PPIR was a battle of wits, heat, and endurance. We arrived with much more race-ready cars than the rush-jobs we had at La Junta, only to find ourselves fighting a number of different mechanical surprises throughout the weekend, but we stuck it out, worked on cars and beers late into the night, and ended up having some close and hard-fought race battles. It was a fun and very memorable weekend for sure!
Saturday looked to be off to a great start with 5 cars ready for wheel-to-wheel racing, but unfortunately Mitchell Taylor’s newly improved Ford Focus lost its clutch during morning practice, followed by Chuck Taylor’s unique FWD Subaru Impreza suffering a rod bearing problem during the race. Three Integras remained, and it was a tough battle with many position changes, but ultimately Andrew DeJesus would win the Saturday race by just 0.790 seconds over Weston Pawlowski. During all of this excitement, Chris Venturini’s Integra had found the limits of the worst aftermarket head gasket that any of us had seen, and had to retire early due to severe overheating.
NASA and PPIR gave us a great bonus at this event, in the form of a Time Attack course, very similar to the events that PPIR normally runs themselves. Straightforward, lots of fun, and open to all drivers of the entire NASA event. Andrew DeJesus tore it up and won it within our Front4 ranks by a good margin, but he also beat most everyone else too! After that concluded, NASA provided a great dinner, drinks, and many awards. Andrew DeJesus was awarded for his first wheel-to-wheel race win, Weston Pawlowski for his La Junta lap record, and Chris Venturini received a “slow moving vehicle” t-shirt for his close but crushing Time Attack defeat by CMC. The CMC crew were gracious victors and treated us to a 4 pack of Seagram’s Peach Fuzzy Navel, which we immediately drank like the real men that we are!
Although Team Taylor’s mechanical issues were more than could be resolved in one night, Chris Venturini was able to locate a suitable new head gasket and the requisite amount of beer. As a result of Chris and Lucas working late into the night on it, he was able to resume racing on Sunday afternoon. After a bit of “monkey see, monkey do” during what was meant to be a standing start, we regrouped and had a great three-Integra battle for many laps. We had more or less established what would end up being our finishing order when this race turned into a test of endurance, as Chris Venturini’s heat issues reappeared on this very hot day and caused him to retire a few laps early, followed by Andrew DeJesus having almost-but-just-not-quite-enough fuel for this race.
The individual results are posted below. Updated season points and a new 1:08.420 track record are now on our main Results page.