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Challenge Series Racers Hit Road Atlanta for Second East Coast Race

Posted on June 24th, 2011

Factory Fives Run in 3 Hour Enduro and Keep Things Close in FFR-NASA Challenge Series Race

Last weekend, 10 Factory Five Challenge Series racers hit the track at Road Atlanta. Friday was a practice day and two Challenge Cars were also driven in a 3 hour enduro which saw Scott McKay come in 1st in class and 2nd overall running 96 laps, just shy of the winning Porsche GT3′s 97 laps. John George and Peter LaRose teamed up during the enduro coming in 4th in class and 7th overall. The Challenge Series racers had an exciting Saturday and Sunday with John George taking 1st on Saturday and Scott McKay winning on Sunday.

Here is John George’s report of last weekend’s races at Road Atlanta:

“This past weekend Jim and I trailered down to Road Atlanta for the second East Coast race weekend of the year. Friday was a test/tune along with a 3 hour enduro from 2pm to 5pm. After running the test/tune, Peter LaRose and I ended up running Peters car in the enduro, finished 4th overall but had some issues with the car.. during the race we removed the hood, trunk, Peter found the inertia fuel kill switch tripped when he was too aggressive over the rumble strips.

Saturday came along with typical practice in the morning, qualifying mid day, and race later in the day. My car ran great in a shortened qualifying session with only 1 hot lap, mine ended up being the fastest of the FFR Challenge Cars (they red-flagged the session due to a Miata off track into the tirewall). During the race I led the Challenge Cars slowly to the starters flag, took the green and hunkered down for a great sprint race with Scott and Paul pressuring me hard on the first lap. Luckily they kept each other busy enough to let me get a gap allowing me to focus on running fast laps consistently till the checkered flag. After the race the skies opened up and a torrential downpour ensued to cause massive destruction to the easy-ups along with floating away some coolers! Once the rains stopped we were invited to a pulled pork bbq by the local street C-car club in the area.

Sunday had us straight to qualifying as we didn’t have the early practice session like on Saturday. I ran a great lap, enough to set a new lap record of 1:39.5 once again starting on pole for the race. Things went a little different then Saturday. Paul skipping qualifying and started back of our field leaving Scott’s attention solely on me. We had a great 3-4 laps driving at the limit until Scott got the advantage dealing with lapped traffic. He maintained a similar gap I had on Saturday for the win. During the last lap another Miata hit the wall hard after turn 7 causing a full-course yellow, then a red flag. During this full-course yellow another Miata behind me decided to completely ignore the 3 flag stations we passed between turn 2 and turn 5. Having the red-mist in his eyes and being extremely peeved I was going slow, he proceeded to bump me twice to get me going.. then popped out of line and passed about 5-6 cars during this yellow flag/red flag time. He was DQed for doing this..

Overall a great weekend with excellent racing. I hope to have the same at the next event July 15-17 at MidOhio.” – John George

Photos courtesy of Kerry Arnold and video courtesy of John George.

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