Weekend Wrap-Up: GingerMan Raceway

Weekend Wrap-Up: GingerMan Raceway

The Tire Rack Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty rolled into South Haven, Michigan this past weekend, July 17-18, for what turned out to be very tight competition on GingerMan Raceway’s 2.14-mile, 11-turn circuit. With nearly 90 entries on hand, including some of the largest fields seen to date in the Unlimited 1 and Tuner 4 classes, on-track activities took place in near perfect conditions with temperatures topping out in the upper 80s and a light breeze to keep things pleasant.

A Game of Seconds

After 80 combined minutes of Time Attack competition Saturday and Sunday, plus a scored TrackSprint session, several Time Trials National Tour classes at GingerMan were determined by less than a few seconds. For example, Sport 2 was decided by only 0.405 second with Michael Kubiak emerging victorious in a 2003 Chevrolet Corvette over Patrick LaMontagne in a 2017 Camaro. And Sport 5 winner Larry MacLeod, in a 2019 Mazda Miata, was only 0.545 second ahead of runner-up Josh Campbell in a 2006 Honda S2000.

With 20 entries, Tuner 4 was stacked this weekend, and the end result showed that fact. James Groh, in a 2001 Honda S2000, won by only 2.792 seconds over runner-up Bernie Kaeferlein in a 2016 Scion FR-S. And with a lap time of 1:43.897 Sunday afternoon, Groh came within 0.1 second of resetting the SCCA Time Trials National Tour track record at GingerMan for T4.

Unlimited 1 drivers swept the top three finishing spots at GingerMan. First overall was Grant Walker in a 1995 Mazda Miata. Walker also managed to turn the fastest lap around GingerMan during the weekend, producing a lap of 1:31.545 Sunday afternoon. He was also the only competitor this weekend whose combined “score” was below the four-minute mark.

Runner-up overall was Ned Neuhaus in a Brunton Stalker. Christopher Bickford was third in a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro. Tuner 2’s Jacob Besemer was the only non-Unlimited 1 driver to crack the top five, finishing fourth overall in a 2017 Camaro. Rounding out the top five was another Unlimited 1 driver, John Krupa, in a 2005 Chevrolet Corvette.

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Additional Awards for GingerMan

Some very special recognition went out to a handful of participants this weekend for going “above and beyond” in support of SCCA’s Time Trials program. For starters, a giant “thank you” goes to Mat and Ellen Milford who drove up to Michigan from North Carolina simply to help with preparations for Saturday evening’s Hagerty Party. The husband-wife duo, which earned the Spirit of Time Trials Award, stepped in for usual chef/BBQ guru Stephen Miller who was unable to attend the event. The Milfords knocked the meal out of the park, then packed up and started the drive back home Saturday night. That’s right, they weren’t even competing during the weekend, they just drove 28 hours roundtrip to lend a hand.

Next is Time Trials National Tour Champion recognition, which was bestowed upon the team from Hawk Performance. Yes, Hawk Performance is the Official Brake Products of SCCA, and a valued partner of the Time Trials program. But at every Time Trials National Tour event, you’ll have several employees from Hawk on the entry list. They don’t “have” to be there, they just “choose” to be there because they love participating in SCCA Time Trials. While at the track, they’re always willing to help with technical advice or anything else, and off the track they extol the virtues of Time Trials National Tour. For that sort of all-encompassing support, Hawk Performance certainly deserves to be noted as a Time Trials National Tour Champion.

Of course, we certainly do not want to forget the Top Novice award, which went to John Redwine. Driving a 2016 Scion FR-S in the Sport 6 class, Redwine finished 36th overall and runner-up in class only 3.226 seconds behind the winning Scion FR-S of Jimmy Vajdak.

Motoring On to Washington State

The Tire Rack Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty sneaks in one more event during July with a visit to Ridge Motorsports Park this weekend, July 24-25, in beautiful Shelton, Washington. The 2.47-mile, 16-turn circuit found about 90 minutes southwest of downtown Seattle is set in a rural location only minutes from Hood Canal and the Olympic National Forest. The track also presents stunning views of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier in the distance. It’s an absolutely amazing venue and amazingly fun track, so be sure to register today for that upcoming event!