Neville, Carlos Suarez, Chris Gonzales
With his second place finish, Scott Neville earned the final GTI Cup
Cup National Champion Scott Neville. Congratulations Scott!
The weather report for Sunday was dry, so Scott Miller took home the
rain tires. Mother Nature apparently didn't get the
message, as the sky became more overcast as the day wore on. By
the start of the race, it was completely overcast.
When you paint your fuel drum to match
your car, you take things too seriously.
Starting order was random, and Marcus took the green flag in 9th place,
directly in front of a number of much faster cars. It took a few
laps for the running order to sort itself out, in which Marcus slid
back to 18th place, of 20 starters. Every few laps, Marcus would
move up the running order, finally hitting pit road back in 9th place
overall, second in class, on lap 38. Marcus turned his best lap
of 2:12.9 in lap 36, just before his pit stop.
Grant acts as timekeeper from his
Scott Neville added 9.5 gallons of fuel, and with help from Grant, Tom
strapped on the car for his half of the race while Richard cleaned the
windshield. With the order
shuffled by the pit stops, Tom reentered the race 13th overall, 4th in
class. Tom was not very fast, but consistent for the beginning of
his stint, feeling out the car in the changing conditions, as the sun
went down behind ominous looking clouds. In lap 48, twelve laps
in to his stint, it started to rain. The rain was never heavy,
but it was enough to make the track slick, and enough to slow everyone
down significantly. It continued to drizzle as dusk turned to
darkness, and with no rain tires. Tom continued to churn out laps
in the deteriorating conditions.
L-R Grant Conley, Scott Neville,
Robert Miller, Marcus Miller, guest crewman Richard Burke
Tom came into the pits on lap 58, to talk to the team to see if they
should continue. One of the main reasons for entering the race
was to determine the wear rate of the tires for the upcoming 25 hour
race, but the wet track meant the end of meaningful data, and ending
early saved time on the engine for the 25, plus reduced the risk of
anything bad happening on the wet track. Marcus decided it was up
to Tom, as he was driving. Tom opted to go back out and run a few
more laps, then retire and get a head start on loading up for the trip
back home. The team was not aware of it, but Tom was in 9th
place overall, third in class. He went back out to turn a few
more laps of practice, when Scott Neville popped in to Timing and
Scoring and found out the team was currently in a podium position, and
passed the word to Marcus. Marcus spent the next 10 minutes
screaming in to the radio "Stay out! Don't come in! We are
Naturally Tom heard nothing on the radio, and hit pit road on lap
61. Marcus intercepted him before he could make the turn into the
paddock, and sent him back out to finish the race. The rest of
the race was as uneventful as racing on a wet track on slicks in the
dark can be
expected to be, but Tom brought the car home in one piece, 9th place
overall, third in class.
The third place finish moved Miller Motorsports to third place overall
in the Western Endurance Racing Championship in E2 class.
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