Weekend Wrap-Up: Eagles Canyon Raceway
Weekend Wrap-Up: Eagles Canyon Raceway
Eagles Canyon Raceway in Decatur, Texas, this past weekend was site of the third event on the 2021 Tire Rack Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty. The 2.7-mile, 15-turn circuit that includes a half-mile backstraight and 200 feet of elevation change provided attendees with plenty of challenges and excitement both Saturday and Sunday.
Racing Against Mother Nature
In motorsports, sometimes it’s the elements that one must compete against. Such was the case this weekend at Eagles Canyon as competitors had to adjust to some moist course conditions both days. Saturday started off wet for practice. But by the time the first Time Attack portion of the competition began, the track had started to dry and cars got quicker as the day moved forward. Thankfully, the rain held off in the evening so BBQ pulled pork could be enjoyed, along with some camaraderie and storytelling, during the Hagerty Saturday Night Party.
Sunday started off wet again for the TrackSprint leg of the competition. The opening run group encountered completely wet conditions. The second run group got lucky and faced improving conditions. As the course dried, times got faster. In fact, it was the Chevrolet Corvette of Tom Bergeron, competing in the Sport 1 (S1) class, that turned the fastest TrackSprint lap of 59.940 as one of the last cars to traverse the short course.
With another round of rain in the forecast for Sunday afternoon, event organizers adapted the schedule with the hope of getting everyone dry runs in the final Time Attack. For the most part the maneuver was a success as the rain started coming down again just as last groups were making final runs.
The event had a good mix of experienced competitors and folks new to SCCA Time Trials. Everyone found their flow during practice sessions, and things gelled nicely during the timed portions of the event. Even with the spotty showers, it’s safe to say the overall vibe was upbeat all weekend.
Some Class Competition
The overall win at Eagles Canyon Raceway went to Unlimited 1 driver Larry Waterman in a Chevrolet Corvette. His total time of 5:08.844 was only 0.3-second better than S1’s Bergeron who finished in the runner-up spot. Max 2 driver Paul Chin finished third in a Toyota Supra only a second-and-a-half off the winning time.
The largest field of the weekend, with just short of a dozen entries, was the Sport 2 class. It was a great battle at the top of the chart between the Chevrolet Corvette of Chris Wheelock, the Chevrolet Camaro of Norman Wilhelm, and the Ford Mustang of Stanley Whitney. Of the three good friends, Wheelock took first, Wilhelm second, and Whitney third.
In Tuner 4 (T4), Sam Graff took the win in his Subaru BRZ with a total time of 5:32.818. Second was Bernie Kaeferlein who came all the way from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to have some fun with his Scion FR-S at Eagles Canyon. The final T4 podium spot went to the Mazda MX-5 driven by Skip Abadie.
The Sport 6 competition was a battle between buddies sharing a Scion FR-S. Nathan Gess and his wife drove from Latrobe, Pennsylvania to Kansas City to meet up with fellow competitor and friend Tyler Calvert before they all headed down to Texas. Gess and his wife used the roundtrip to Eagles Canyon as a vacation, and Calvert offered up his car for use during the Time Trials National Tour event. After two days of competition, Gess emerged victorious by only 1.775 second over Calvert. Cross Kirchmeier finished third in another Scion FR-S.
Eagles Canyon Awards Rundown
The Top Novice award went to David Hauk in a Chevrolet Corvette. In his very first Time Trials visit, he managed to finish fourth in the hotly contested Sport 2 class. The Crossover award, bestowed upon a competitor coming from another SCCA discipline, went to Curtis Kirchmeier. Winner of a Top Novice award last year, Curtis showed up at Eagles Canyon with his Subaru Impreza SCCA RallyCross car and won the Max 3 class.
The Spirit of Time Trials award went to Mathew Peck. A fixture at many Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack events, Peck won the Max 2 class this weekend driving a Nissan S13 Coupe fitted with an LS1 V8 engine. Every SCCA event Peck attends, he always brings a great demeanor and attitude. He’s always smiling and having a great time with his buddies as they try to run their very best times.
Time Trials Nationals Up Next!
For the first time ever, Tire Rack Time Trials Nationals Powered by Hagerty is being held in late spring — June 10-13 to be exact — and it’s up next on the 2021 Time Trials activity calendar! While the event’s location on the calendar has changed from September to June, the competition will still be conducted for a fourth straight year at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky. A few spots still remain for those looking to join in on the largest SCCA Time Trials event of the year, so register today!
Photo by Gregory Pfaff