The small track in western PA formerly known as BeaveRun was sold to new owners and they extended the racetrack significantly, making it worth a visit again. The new portion of the track has significant elevation changes and challenging combinations of turns. It's a tremendous improvement over the previous layout. Joe Sammut was likely to be my primary competition going into the weekend- he was in contention for the Northeast Majors Championship with my teammate Keith. Joe was running both his Formula Enterprises car and his Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, and had done the practice day before the race giving him even more of an advantage going in. At the end of Q1 it was no surprise to see Joe at the top of the times for our class, with me in second, Ray in 3rd, and Keith 4th.
The first race got the green flag despite the field not being well formed. It wasn't a big deal for me as I was able to pull up next to Joe on the outside of the first turn, and tuck in neatly behind him on the exit. A few turns later I waved by a car in a faster class, but in doing so over slowed and was in the wrong gear for a long uphill turn, allowing Ray to get by me as well. I got him back under braking late in the first lap, but that gave Joe a gap that I'd need to overcome. I got close for a few laps, but he was quicker through the long uphill turn and the esses, so eventually he got away. Joe got a well deserved win, I was second, Ray was third, Keith was 4th.
The second race promised to be much better, since in the first race I had managed to get my lap times down to within half a second of Joe. The field was better formed for the green flag this time, and Joe managed to get past one dawdling FB driver putting the FB between me and Joe briefly until the FB motored by. The lead FBs got together in the third turn, which brought out a full course yellow a few turns later for cleanup. After the restart, I got past Joe at the entrance to turn 3. I was able to keep the lead for several laps before he passed me back in the same spot. After that, his greater speed through the esses allowed him to stay ahead until the checkered flag waved. It was another well deserved win for Joe, and a well deserved championship!
2015 was set to be a light year for me racing after spending lots of money going to Laguna Seca for the Runoffs in 2014. The 2015 Runoffs were scheduled for Daytona, which in my formula car would be really boring so I was ok with skipping the Runoffs this year. Summit Point is my home track, so there's no skipping that race. The weekend was a straightforward return to the car after several months away- I qualified on the pole and won both races.