INVERTED SHOOTOUT CAPS ’17 SEASON – The Cumberland Airport Autocross Series closed 2017 on a similar note to its first motorsports revival event back in 2003. Three of original year’s cars entered and the fast guys and gals were coaching others in a quest for glory on the hallowed tarmac at CBE.
Saturday’s Shoot Out format was a secret until returning from the lunch break in the split day-two heat format. Returning to a mini-driver’s meeting it was revealed (reality show style) that the bottom four raw time drivers in each heat would face off in the Bill Hartman Challenge..and the fastest four drivers in the opposite heats would spend their afternoon work assignment coaching the shootout drivers! Worked like a charm, to the enjoyment of all involved.
Martin Valent’s evil SSM Toyota claimed another Cumberland FTD on Saturday, barely squeaking past Johnstown area driver John Ryan, in his nimble Dulon C-Mod open wheeler. The margin was a scant .025 seconds. The Saturday surprise was rising track star Robbie Wilson’s drive in the venerable Porsche 944 “7 Car”. Rocket Boy grabbed third overall and joined Valent and Ryan in an identical PAX podium. Derek Poorman’s beautiful LS-powered XP Datsun was fourth overall and Karl Loper led the ATK Crowd with a Top Five in his XP FFR GTM.
The shootout was filled with drama, two mechanical failures and a great final pair, in which Ted Haines battled his way to the final match before his HS Mustang fell to the CAMT ‘68 Charger of Steve Rodgers, whose coach (and fellow CAM driver) Eric Hartman shared the Bill Hartman Challenge Trophy. The first heat bracket included Kevin Moses, newcomer Shawn Cox, Haines and Troy Cunningham. The second heat bracket included Rodgers, Lee Terrill, Don Schlusmyer and John Porasky. Good sports and effective coaches, Martin Valent, Gary Miller, Karl Loper, John Ryan, Robbie Wilson, Carolyn Loper, Dan Hill and Eric Hartman made the event fun!
On Seat Time Sunday, all-time FTD leader Matt Felten’s 44.054 covered Fairfax VA driver Jeff Duncan (also a former CBE FTD winner) in his 95 BMW M3 for the top spot. Jonathan Leyh was third in a Focus RS only a tenth of second ahead of Elazar Mann’s best ever finish in the Oreo Subaru SVX and Tink Phillip’s XP Daytona. Leyh won PAX fight ahead of STX combatants Jake Moran and Pete Harrison.