Written in collaboration with the GRIDLIFE Motorsports Team.
Racers of the 2nd round of GRIDLIFE Touring Cup (GLTC) took to Gingerman Raceway at Midwest Festival for one of the biggest events of the year. This one proved to be just as exciting as the debut at Mid-Ohio just a few months ago. Not only did the class size grow 75% to a total of nearly 40 drivers, but crowds filled the bleachers every session to watch the intense action of wheel to wheel racing!
Saturday morning proved to be very tricky with wet conditions for qualifying which made many GLTC drivers scramble for rain tires. In the end, it was the Hoosier H20 equipped cars that dominated the session. 2nd place went to Ryan Kristoff in his 1st gen CRX running a 2:01.247. Kutil capitalized in the rain by setting a new GRIDLIFE overall wet-track record of 1:58.350 in Q1 and pole was awarded to Eric Kutil in his EG running a 1:58.350, the fastest wet lap ever recorded at GRIDLIFE.
An impressive lap on Michelin Pilot Sports was ran by David Alessandrini in his 8th gen Civic which placed him in 3rd with a time of 2:07.913. The rest of the field was mixed up due to competitors not having rains or choosing not to qualify at all.
Race 1 came down solely to tire strategy. The rain throughout the morning and afternoon caused the track to remain wet and slick. However the conditions were drying and the sun was starting to come out as it came closer to the race start. So the question was, wets or drys. The front row chose the safer option and started on wets while a majority of the field chose a riskier strategy of running slicks and hoping for a drying track. The first 3 laps benefited the rain tire equipped cars which extended Kutil’s and Kristoff’s lead significantly. However as the race went on, the sun and 35 cars finally started to dry the track but it was too late. The gap to the leaders was too large even though they went into tire saving mode, keeping the Hoosier wets cold and wet as much as possible. Kutil took the checkered flag leading all laps with Kristoff in 2nd followed by Jake Joraanstad with an impressive run from 7th to 3rd. The GLTC new comers of Egidijus Sadauskas in his e36 had an impressive run from 8th to 5th while Justin/Tiffany Kelly in their s2000 struggled in the intermediate conditions and dropped from 5th to 8th.