Time Trials Nat Tour Rocks Road America in its First-ever Visit

Time Trials Nat Tour Rocks Road America in its First-ever Visit

A trip to Road America is always special, but a first-time visit to Road America for the Tire Rack SCCA® Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty on April 13-14, 2024, was one that won’t be forgotten. The four-mile circuit has racing history, it has bratwurst, and it has one of the single most fun layouts this side of the Atlantic.

While springtime in the Kettle Moraine can be as hit or miss as stock brakes on a Mustang, this weekend was nothing but fantastic. Sunshine for the full weekend was catered by folks from Milwaukee, Chicago, and Indy Regions on hand to staff the event, which made for a successful weekend for the nearly 100 cars taking part in the on-track festivities and the Hagerty Social Party.

NATA Easy Feat

Time Trials National Tour’s Road America event marked the opener of the 2024 North American Time Attack Championship (NATA). NATA was formed when SCCA, GRIDLIFE, and Global Time Attack joined forces to bring the best time attack programs under a unified umbrella, with the ultimate goal of increasing awareness of time attack in the U.S. and offering the opportunity for all drivers to get involved.

In a very figurative sense, NATA stands for bringing the best time attack events to the masses. That really swung into action in 2023 with the three-event NATA Championship, with 2024 taking it up a notch with a six-event series that began at Road America and ends with Time Trials Nationals in October.

This article will bring you up to speed on the entire 2024 NATA Championship schedule – but simply put, these cars are the best of the best, classed by tire size but unlimited in car prep.

On Track Goings On

Being this was the Time Trials National Tour’s first visit to Road America, that meant everyone laid down a personal best, and every class set new track records. But at the end of the weekend, several drivers were specifically called out on the KONI Podium.

The top five drivers overall, based on the best lap in three separate segments, were:

1. Steve Forrer, Max 1, Ferrari 458 Italia, 7:09.998
2. Nicholas Hendrix, Tuner 2, Chevrolet Corvette, 7:17.896
3. Keenan Prusank, Max 1, Chevrolet Camaro, 7:23.585
4. David Feigner, Max 2, Ford Mustang, 7:26.682
5. Brian Black, Unlimited 1, Chevrolet Corvette, 7:27:090

Tony Machi, who has more than a few laps around Road America, was the quickest FWD car of the weekend. He and his Sport 3 Honda Civic Type R knocked out a total time of 7:54.883, running 2:36s twice before dropping off just a few seconds in the final session.

Michael Lara received special recognition as the quickest AWD car, ripping off a combined time of 8:29.219 in his Volkswagen Golf R. To no surprise, Lara was also consistent, knocking out laps of 2:47 in the first two sessions in the Sport 3 class before the track got slower on Sunday.

But let’s talk Steve Forrer and his Ferrari 458 Italia. First of all – OK, great choice of car for Steve. Second, he’s got a proven history as a driver, with five National Championship titles at the SCCA Runoffs®. But it’s not just any National Championship, it’s Formula Atlantic – in the 1990s, which is relevant – and three in a row in C Sports Racer at Road America in the early 2010s. Combine those, and his top overall time and quickest RWD car makes a whole lot of sense.

(Steve Forrer piloted his Ferrari 458 Italia expertly, claiming the event's top lap time.)

Want to know who else went fast? Complete event results can be found below.

 Event Results

Celebrating More Than Speed

Off track, Forrer captured the idea and the tone of a Time Trials Nationals event very quickly. He was encouraging to other drivers, and other groups, and was upbeat throughout the weekend. That, and his road racing success, earned him the Crossover Award for the weekend.

While we’re at it, let’s talk about all of the Superlative Awards presented at the Road America Time Trials National Tour.

Keith Wilkening improved an incredible eight seconds over the course of the event to earn the Most Improved award. While more experienced drivers were falling off of their times, Wilkening was learning both the track, the car and his comfort level and hitting his groove by the end of the weekend.

The Top Novice was a mixture of the on- and off-track presence. Aldrin Natividad was good on track, finishing third in Sport 5. But he also kept his awareness about him as one of the lower horsepower classes, and was engaged with fellow drivers throughout the weekend and commending them for their great work on track as well.

The Spirit of Time Trials award went to Miroslav Knava and Romana Smela, a couple driving identical Mini Coopers during the weekend. Time Trials isn’t always about beating everyone else on the track. Instead, Knava and Smela found the fun within competition and let that be their approach. While they both worked to put down the best possible laps, they were focused on how fun all of the on-track sessions were and had some fun and ribbing with each other at the end of each session.

(Miroslav Knava and Romana Smela performed well on track, but fun was really the name of their game.)

Next? We Got Next

Looking for a Time Trials National Tour to attend so you don’t miss out on the fun? We’ve got several, but here’s the secret: The event you want is the next one.

The Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour at NCM Motorsports Park brings the Tour to the spiritual home of SCCA’s National Time Trials program, and with it a strong field. As the preview to the end of year Time Trials Nationals, expect many of the best to attend.

Register now to join us on May 18-19, 2024, at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, KY.

Main photo caption: Dallas Reed took his Corvette to the top of the results sheet in Sport 1, bettering the competition by a significant margin.
Photos by Lauren Radenacher