Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Waterford Hills Road Racing, Inc.

September 18, 2005: Clarkston, Michigan - Team MatherMotorsport attacked a new (to them) track this weekend. Waterford Hills Raceway is a 1.5-mile, 11 turn road course that is very hilly, and extremely physically demanding.

Having tested the previous weekend at an open track day, the team was armed with data and had the CG-Lock / Total Fitness SpecMiata setup for the track when they arrived Saturday morning. Waterford Hills runs their races weekends slightly different than the typical SCCA weekend. Saturday is the normal race day with a qualifying session in the morning, then race in the afternoon. Sunday is different because there are two races; a morning race then a feature race in the afternoon. That’s right, three races in one weekend. The morning race’s starting position is determined by the finishing position of Saturday’s race. The feature race’s grid position is determined by the fast lap in Sunday morning’s race.

Saturday morning found the CG-Lock / Total Fitness SpecMiata right up to speed, starting in third position, only five tenths of a second off of the pole position. When the green flag waved Mather had a slightly slower start, but still managed to hold his third place position. Going into the turn known as “Hill top”, Mather was side by side with Jeff Stevenson, with zero room between them. Everyone made it through without incident (other than a tire donut on the side of Jeff’s car) and continued. Mather was hounding the back bumper of Stevenson for the next two laps. Mather finally out-braked Stevenson going into turn six and moved into second position. He then worked on catching up to Alan Faitel, who is the track record holder and last years track champion. However, Alan had gotten enough of a lead to win, with Mather and the CG-Lock / Total Fitness SpecMiata capturing second place.

Sunday morning, Mather started outside of the front row, next to Faitel. He had a better start this time and was right on Faitel’s back bumper. Half way through the race, Mather got a run coming out of turn five, “Big Bend”. Mather was able to get to the inside of Faitel coming into turn six, and they were side by side for the next four turns. Unfortunately, the track narrows into the esses and Mather bounced off of a curb and lost some momentum. This allowed Faitel back into the lead. Mather was still close enough to keep Faitel working for the win, and held on for another second place finish.

The CG-Lock / Total Fitness SpecMiata was gridded second for the start of the feature race. With an excellent stat this time, Mather was pressuring Faitel from the start. Mather kept the pressure on for the entire race. One mistake and the Mather would be able to pass. But the mistake didn’t happen, and Mather finished a still impressive second place.

This was one of the best weekends of racing Mather has ever had. Three second place finishes at a track that he has never raced before, and keeping constant pressure on the track record holder is quite an accomplishment.

Thanks go out to the MatherMotorsport crew, Cory and Katie B., and Ben L. for their help this weekend. Also joining this weekend was David H., who raced at Waterford Hills in the past and gave Phil some pointers, Josh E., who got some excellent racing action photos, and Bruce Mather of CG-Lock. On Sunday, Giuseppe Del Giudice from Total Fitness Personal Training joined to watch the racing action. Without the support of CG-Lock (www.cg-lock.com) and Total Fitness’ training program (www.totalfit.biz), MatherMotorsport wouldn’t be having the excellent season they are enjoying this year.

Team MatherMotorsport will be making their next appearance at Nelson Ledges on October 15th. This will be their final race of the season. Stay tuned for the next race report!