The 2018 SCCA Racing season is drawing to a close and one of the all-time fun events to attend is the annual Turkey Trot at Sebring International Raceway.
This event is always well attended and this year was no exception with 57 Spec Miata racers entered for the 2-race event, including three Runoffs winners. Practice and Qualifying were held on Saturday and both the 20-minute Sprint Race and the 30-minute Feature Race were held on Sunday. Mike Rossini finally rolled out his new Rossini Racing livery which was an immediate hit.
On Test Day Preston Pardus showed his emerging speed and was clear of the field by almost a second. He was so confident of his form he didn’t even do the practice session.
Sure enough Pardus had the field by more than 7/10ths. Rossini’s driver Danny Steyn qualified in 2nd head of Trace Hance, Mark Gibbons and Jamie Tucker. Konrad Czaczyk qualified 6th in his NA 1.8, ahead of Justin Hille, Tyler Gonzalez Alex Acosta and Gary Fierson. That made it 4 Rossini engines in the top 10.
In Race 1, Pardus jumped to an early lead with Steyn on his bumper. Pardus was making small mistakes and Steyn was able to maintain contact, but as soon as he cleaned up, he was able to pull away from Steyn to a 2 second gap when the Full Course Yellow came out. The race unfortunately finished under yellow with Pardus 1st, Steyn 2nd and Tucker 3rd. Gonzalez finished 5th, Gibbons 6th and Acosta 9th. Amy Mills had a great drive to finish 13th and Jeremy Klein was 14th. All in all a great race for Rossini powered drivers.
Pardus got to an immediate lead again in Race 2 but this time Trace Hance got through Turn1 ahead of Steyn and they went through the next set of corners in this order. Steyn was able to pass Hance going into T7 and set off after Pardus but was never able to close the gap. With 3 laps to go Pardus had a clear lead of 5 seconds over Steyn who was about the same distance ahead of Tucker in 3rd. Steyn came up on a lapper going into Turn 17 when the lapped car moved off his line taking Steyn into the marbles and he spun, almost hitting the wall. Steyn was able to restart and continue, falling back to 6th, but managed to climb his way back to the podium behind a triumphant Pardus and Tucker.
Czaczyk finished 4th, Gonzalez 5th, Hille 6th, Davison 7th, Gibbons 8th and Acosta with an amazing drive after spinning out in Turn 1 and dropping back to 30th was able to drive himself back up to 9th. Klein finished 10th and Amy Mills had a super run finishing in 11th.
Six Rossini engines in the top 11 – not a bad way to wind down the season.