ICE ICE BABY
The 2016 Cumberland Airport Summer Sizzler Autocross lived up to its billing in every way. As organizers scrambled to keep entrants hydrated and rotated in the hottest weather of the year, the drivers put on a sizzling show on Cumberland second autocross weekend of the year.
The new Dodge Hellcat and Ford Focus RS made Cumberland debuts in a Saturday field that included prohibitive FTD favorite Matt Felten. Day One featured a quick short course with great visuals and a fast open return route from the Medivac end.
Felten dominated both morning and afternoon sessions of the split day format, covering the field in his BMod Reynard FC by 1.321 seconds. The low winning time of 37.405 stands as proof positive of the wide open course layout.
A gaggle of drivers within 8/10s of each other filled out the Top Five. Silver Spring SSM class Lotus shoe Howard Leikin continued his march to the top of the CBE field with a strong second overall, edging Gary Hughes’s open wheeler by .044. Friendly rivals Karl Loper and Tink Phillips placed their XP class cars in fourth and fifth.
Bruce Wesley’s AS class Shelby GT350 was the PAX winner. Other Saturday standout performances included Jonathan Leyh’s run in the Focus RS, snagging 9th overall and 4th in PAX and Doug Macy’s drive in STX, topping a six-car group. Mountaineer campaigners Sean Halloran and Jim Mason staged a great show in CP with Halloran’s Formula Trans Am edging Mason’s raucous ’74 Mustang by .148 to win the class.
Day Two dawned without Felten in the field and a fight followed among the usual suspects with a chance to grab a career-first Cumberland FTD on the line. Even hotter temps and a bit trickier course did not deter Howard Leikin’s Red Rocket from snagging his first Fastest Time of the Day at the airport, by a scant .033 over a determined Karl Loper. Gary Hughes was third again, followed by Tink Phillps and Ken Bane’s turbo Miata. the second SSM car in the Top Five.
Smooth Jim Harris from Reston VA in 2015 FS class Mustang topped the Leyh Focus RS for the PAX laurels, followed by Leiken, former FTD Dan Whiteman’s Focus ST and Bane in the Top 5 adjusted time results..
Chris Fritz’s dominating drive over a seven-car Street Mod field, and a battle between newcomer Victor Adamson’s Honda Civic and Corey McKenzie’s majestic Volvo in HS were among Sunday’s best performances.