Thursday, August 11, 2005

2005 WOR Games at Mid-Ohio

August 7, 2005 - Lexington, Ohio: Phil Mather and the CG-Lock / Total Fitness SpecMiata competed in their fifth and sixth races of the SMART Championship Series ( at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course ( this weekend. This was his first visit to the track in almost a year, and without a test day, it was going to be a challenge.

Saturday’s qualifying was cut short by a visit to the sand trap after a small mistake in turn eleven. However, even with the shortened session, the CG-Lock / Total Fitness SpecMiata still managed a fifth place qualifying position in class. With the improvements to the car that have been made throughout the season, and Mather’s exercise program with Total Fitness Personal Training, he posted a lap time that was over a second faster than his personal best at Mid-Ohio.

Mather had a very good start and maintained his position for much of the race. Mather passed Dave Watts for fourth place with about five laps to go out of the thirteen lap race for what seemed to be for good. Watts closed in when some out of class cars got involved with the battle only to drop back with two laps to go after a slight mistake. Mather had third place in hand. Unfortunately, bad luck struck. On the last lap of the race as Mather was passing a lapped car going into turn nine, it cut back across the track into his left front fender. This pushed Mather off of the track and into the tire wall, along with the lapped car. After what seemed like eternity, Mather was able to back the car out of the wall and slowly drive the last few turns to cross the finish line to a sixth position in class.

After returning to the paddock, the damage was assessed. With the help of his crew, Cory B. and Ben L., and the help of Dave Watts for the loan of a front lower control arm, Mather was able to get the car repaired for Sunday’s qualifying.

Mather again put the CG-Lock / Total Fitness SpecMiata fifth on the grid for Sunday’s race. After picking up a couple of spots at the start, Mather ran in fourth place for most of the race, again fighting with Dave Watts. On lap six, Mather made a small mistake going into turn one, resulting in a spin at over 90 miles per hour. Fortunately, he avoided the sand traps and the tire wall and was able to continue. He managed to finish in fifth position, only losing one spot to the spin and maintaining his starting position.

It was a rough weekend, but Mather walked away learning a lot. He will be more than ready for his next race, Labor Day weekend at Grattan Raceway in Grattan, Michigan. It wasn’t the best weekend this season, but out of six races, five of them have been top five finishes!

As always, none of this would be possible without the help of Mather’s crew and sponsors. Big thanks go out to CG-Lock, Total Fitness Personal Training, Cory, and Ben for their help and support throughout the weekend.

Come meet Phil Mather and see the CG-Lock / Total Fitness SpecMiata in person. They will be making an appearance at Total Fitness Personal training, August 27 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Total Fitness is located at the Country Creek Shopping Center, 7025 E. Michigan Ave., Saline, Michigan at the intersection of State Street and U.S. 12. (Click the link for a map):