Weekend Wrap-Up: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta

Weekend Wrap-Up: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta

Another incredible year of the Tire Rack Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty has come to an end. But the 2021 season went out with a bang last weekend in Braselton, Georgia, at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

A nearly “sold out” event hosting 85 entrants, the final Time Trials National Tour stop didn’t disappoint. The weather may have been a bit brisk until Sunday afternoon, but action on Road Atlanta’s 2.54-mile circuit was hot. And when SCCA Time Trials drivers were done on course, there was plenty more entertainment to be had watching Spec MX-5 Challenge and American Road Race of Champions (ARRC) competition.

Records Broken in Braselton

Unlimited 1 (U1) drivers claimed the top five overall finishing positions at Road Atlanta. Eric Fleming was atop the heap in his 2006 Chevrolet Corvette. The margin of victory was 0.608 seconds over U1 runner-up Kyle Carrick in a Nissan GT-R. Jackie Ding, in a 2020 Toyota Supra, finished third. Jason Guzman was fourth in another Nissan GT-R, and it was the Dodge Viper of Chris Ingle that finished fifth.

But the more intriguing story from Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta was the number of Time Trials National Tour track records that fell across multiple classes. First and foremost, Fleming reset the U1/overall record with a 1:23.789 − which is a lap that would challenge road racers from SCCA’s GT-1 or GT-2 classes.

Other track records reset from 2020 to 2021 include the Max 2 class where James Avellina delivered a 1:31.738 in his 2020 Toyota GR Supra. Then there’s Max 3 where Brandon Ryan dropped the time to 1:41.816 using a 1999 BMW M3. Matt Saylor sailed to a new Sport 3 lap record of 1:39.805 in a Porsche 911, and Victor Boniface used a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta to nail a lap record of 1:46.789 in the Sport 4 class. Then in Sport 6, a lap time of 1:42.522 became the new benchmark set by Lyle Zyra in a Subaru BRZ.

Continuing on with record-breaking Time Trials National Tour performances at Road Atlanta, we’ve got a new Tuner 2 mark of 1:35.117 set by a 2020 Toyota Supra piloted by David Marcus. The Tuner 3 lap record also dropped to 1:40.178 thanks to a 2003 BMW M3 wheeled by Lawrence Shue. Then it’s the 1997 BMW M3 of Matt Hugenschmidt that completes the “new record” tally with a 1:40.644 in the Tuner 4 class. In total, nine records fell. Congratulations to all!

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Road Atlanta Awards

The KONI Podium Celebration at any Time Trials National Tour event is something fun. It’s a chance for everyone to come together and acknowledge top performers across multiple classes, and it’s a time to hand out some special honors for those who make Time Trials National Tour weekends special.

At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, the Top Novice award went to Christopher Cundiff. He finished 37th overall, and won the Sport 1 class driving a Porsche Cayman. And the Most Improved award on the weekend went to Chris Johnson who showed development session after session driving a Subaru BRZ to the runner-up spot in the Sport 6 field.

Then there’s the Time Trials Champion honor. This award recognizes someone who just “gets it” and goes out of their way to support the Time Trials program or community, and looks to make events fun for everyone. Kyle Carrick received this recognition at Road Atlanta.

A super-fast driver in a nifty Nissan GT-R U1 machine that everyone loves to gawk at, Carrick championed the Road Atlanta Time Trials National Tour stop in a positive fashion across social media. He even went so far as to lobby for inclusion of a late-registering U1 driver if a spot opened up, which turned out to be the competitor who took the overall win. An unselfish display, surely. But Carrick chose top-notch competition and excitement over carrying home another trophy.

Photo by Kyle Quattromani