The 2012 Spec:RaceAtom Series Presented by Honda Racing/HPD is in full swing, with Race 1 and Race 2 in the books. The season opener was greeted by fantastic weather, great track conditions, and an excited group of racers ready to hit the track.
The Virginia International Raceway South Course was the location for both races. This 1.65-mile course is very well-suited to the quick and nimble SRA racecars, providing some of the closest racing action in series history.
Race 1 took the green flag later in the day, just before 5 p.m., in what proved to be difficult conditions for many drivers, as track grip levels had changed from previous sessions. Ben Sinnott and David Chen quickly locked into a battle for third and fourth positions, while Aaron Elsner and Tyson Bytzek were pushing for the top spot. An error at the mid-point of the race cost Bytzek a shot at the win, as he dropped to fifth in the running order. Bytzek would eventually push himself back into the third position. After 16 laps of caution-free racing, the checkered flag fell with Elsner, Chen, Bytzek, Sinnott, and Christian Shield filling the top five finishing positions.
Race 2 was held under hot, sunny conditions, which provided some heated battles. The green flag fell at 2:12 p.m. with the #09 of Tyson Bytzek jumping to an early lead and Aaron Elsner and David Chen hot on his trail. Lap 3 saw a brief change in position at the front end of the field, as Elsner got a run coming onto the main straight. Bytzek quickly put himself back in the front spot on Lap 4. Great racing took place throughout the field with the 10th, 11th, and 12th-place drivers consistently running lap times within 100ths-of-a-second of each other. Sixteen laps of racing once again went caution-free and provided a first-time winner to the SRA series, with Tyson Bytzek beating Aaron Elsner to the line by 1.034 seconds. The top five finishers for Race 2 were Bytzek, Elsner, Chen, Shield, and Lee Watterworth.
Close racing has become a common theme in the Spec:RaceAtom series; Race 2 saw the fastest lap times of the top three competitors separated by only 0.03 seconds!
Fastest South Course Race Lap: Aaron Elsner 1:13.90 (Race 1)
Race 3 and Race 4 of the Spec:RaceAtom Series Presented by Honda Racing/HPD will be held July 14-15, on the fast and flowing Virginia International Raceway Full Course.