Large fields and top drivers
SONOMA, Calif., (Aug. 13, 2014) – The National Auto Sport Association’s (NASA) ninth annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Eastern States Championships is gearing up for their weekend at Road Atlanta, Aug. 29-31.
The NASA Eastern States Championships are three weeks away. The 2.54-mile, 12-turn undulating Road Atlanta circuit has NASA drivers excited for a high-level of competition with competitors they see on regular weekends and familiar faces from across the country. Over 300 entries have been received so far with additional filings still coming into the office. Drivers that have been a factor in past Championships as well as returning winners crowd the driver lineup for the Eastern States Championship at Road Atlanta.
Kevin Helms is bringing his No. 05 Honda Civic Honda Challenge 1 car with help from sponsors Hondaworks, Carbotech, RLZ Engineering & Tuning and Hasport Motor Mounts, HPD and Ferrea Racing Components. Helms has been runner-up in the Championships and will be looking for the top step at the end of the month.
“I’ve raced at Road Atlanta in 2010 in the ARRC Championship as well as World Challenge in that same year,” Helms said. “I qualified for the Championships at Virginia International Raceway and Summit Point in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Honda Challenge 1 Class is always competitive and everyone steps up their preparation and competitiveness for the Championships. Anyone in the field can win it. I hope to use my Road Atlanta knowledge to give me that slight edge come the end of the month.”
Yiannis Tsiounis is the 2012 National Champion in Spec Miata (SM), which took place at Mid-Ohio. He will drive his No. 69 Mazda Miata with sponsorship from YUSHINO (a game of Scrabble with numbers). Tsiounis ran his qualifying races at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut.
“I have raced in two Majors races at Road Atlanta in March of 2013 and 2014,” Tsiounis said. “Unfortunately I have not been very lucky there yet. My best finish has been fourth in the STL class, three times, two in 2013 and one in 2014 and I have had several mishaps, including a non-trivial accident in 2014, where I was hit by no less than four cars after someone spun me at the start of the race, in front of 40+ angry bees. There are at least 10 drivers in the SM Class who are extremely good and it can be anyone’s race. I have participated in seven NASA races in Spec Miata. My goals for the Eastern Championship is to have fun, keep myself and the car in one piece and perform to the capabilities of the car and WIN!”
Ben Lesnak from Brooklyn, New York drove to TTB and TTA time trial national championships in 2011 and 2012. Lesnak is looking forward to the competition at Road Atlanta.
“I qualified for the Eastern Championships at New Jersey Motorsports Park and at Road Atlanta,” Lesnak said. “I am driving my Corvette C5 with help from AJ Hartman Racing and Mantic Clutch. I am looking forward to racing again at Road Atlanta as I enjoyed driving the track from my qualification races, I also watched the first two Petit Le Mans races there a few years ago. My goals for the Championships are simple, have fun, bring the car back in one piece and win! The field is full of good cars and drivers so it won’t be easy.”
Will Faules, NASA Championships event manager, likes the way the fields for the Eastern Championship are taking shape.
“The fields for the upcoming Eastern Championships are getting bigger by the week,” Faules said. “In Spec Miata we are at 40 cars with entries still coming into the office. The always competitive American Iron class is nearing 25 cars. We are also expecting over 20 Porsche 944 competitors. These great grids are going to make for some exciting racing around Road Atlanta at months end.”
Road Atlanta is a 2.54-mile, 12-turn undulating road course located in Braselton, Ga., just 50-miles north of Atlanta. Road Atlanta is known as one of the most exciting places to drive a race car. The ultra-fast circuit has only one slow corner, Turn Seven, which leads onto the long back straight. The approach to the fast downhill Turn 12 is blind challenging drivers to carry a lot of speed down the hill that leads to the front straightaway and in to Turn One. The stretch out of Turn One to Turn Five consists of a set of esses and lefts and rights that will reward a good handling car.
Complete information on the NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires can be viewed at nasachamps.wpengine.com.
The NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Western States Championships will take the green flag at Sonoma Raceway, Nov. 7-9.
For additional information, please contact NASA Championships Media Director, Kyle Chura at [email protected] or (248) 821-0468. More detail can be found at nasaproracing.com or nasachamps.wpengine.com.
To qualify for the NASA National Championships presented by Toyo Tires, NASA competitors must compete in and score points in four regional races around the country, five for the Western States Championships. The 2014 National Championship presented by Toyo Tires Eastern weekend will feature over 300 competitors racing for the NASA National Champion trophy in 36 racing classes and nine Time Trial divisions around the famed Road Atlanta circuit home to Petit Le Mans.