This is a part of a series of race reports from Tom Patton who races a vintage Sunbeam Tiger as a class GT2 in the SCCA
With a three week break after VIR we headed to Pitt Race in Wampum, PA, April 28 through May1.
The track sits just north of Pittsburg right off the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The multi-use facility has a skid pad, state of the art Go-Kart track and of course a 2.78-mile racecourse with elevation changes and many challenges for us drivers. The surface was resurfaced a few years ago and has very good grip. As the weather has been the story for the 2022 season, we had temps in the low 30s when we arrived in the mornings but as day progressed the temps improved to the mid 50s.
We have not run often at this track and there was a strong field of seven cars entered in GT2 (350Z, 300ZX, RX7 turbo, two Camaro TA2 and one Corvette C7).
The rules to qualify for the Runoffs this year are that you must run at a least three major weekends, finish at least three races and finish in the top 50% in points. We needed our third finish to take the pressure off. This track is not available on my iRacing simulator, so we did a test run on Thursday and by the end of the day we were running our faster than our previous visits.
With this being another Hoosier Super Tour race the schedule was the same as VIR.
Friday had a practice in the morning followed by qualifying that afternoon. We skipped that as it was on the cold side. Saturday had the second qualifying in the morning and race one that afternoon. Sunday would be the final race early afternoon.
In the Saturday qualifying session, we put down our best lap of 1:45.55 putting us third in GT2 behind the Nissan 300ZX and pole sitter in C7 Corvette. Again in the cold and to save the car, we skipped the Saturday qualifying session.
Pitt Race is a very nice facility but it is a tough track to make a clean pass. The track has a slow flow to it with top speeds in the 140mph range. At the start we made a great break from the pack and were following closely to the leaders in my class. On the second lap the Tiger posted a 1:44.67 lap time bettering our best by over a second. The battle between the Nissan and the Corvette was very entertaining and they were starting to put some distance on us. We backed the pace off a bit and took time in the traffic to insure we got our finish. With five laps to go Janet radioed me to say we were in second place. The 300 ZX did a slight off-track and filled the air inlets to his radiator with grass. We came home second which we were very pleased with the level of the competition.
When we got to the track Sunday morning the rain started. It spit for awhile then stopped. Right before the first race group it rained pretty steadily making that race a slippery mess. We were scheduled two race groups later and we decided not to risk the conditions and loaded up and went home. Several of my competitors did the same after they saw the carnage in the first race groups. We were extremely pleased with our results, fast laps and second place we checked off another box on our path to the Runoffs. All that we need to do now is turn a wheel at Watkins Glen next month and we are in!
Pitt Race Qualifying close call video
Race 1 start