Next up was Amanda Sorensen and Dan Stuke. Purging nitrous on the line, it was clear Stuke wasn’t about to move on by luck again. Sorensen peeled away from the line, intentionally letting her rear fall a bit down the bank to clear the chicane. Both cars initiating, Sorensen attempted to break away, making up only a length and a half on Stuke’s S13. However, she held the distance all the way to the touch-and-go, where Stuke started inching closer and closer. He continued improving his proximity all the way through the spiral as well.
With the roles flipped, Stuke broke away hard on the bank; gaining a lead of four to five lengths just after initiation. However, the Vegas native Sorensen wasn’t going to give in that easily. She didn’t gain any distance back on the bank, but she didn’t allow it to cross to inactive chase distance either. Coming around the touch and go and into the spiral, the distance remained the same throughout. I noted a hearty amount of limiter slap from the E46 on the spiral, however. Missed gear, maybe?
With Stuke taking a win back to the hot pits, another Sorensen took the line next to Pablo Cabrera. Branden led first, breaking away with five lengths on the bank similar to the last battle. Moreso, Cabrera didn’t let Sorensen slip away to inactive chase distance, yet didn’t gain any proximity throughout, also like the last run.
Cabrera taking the lead, Sorensen made himself known on the bank, tapping the brakes twice to avoid making contact on the fastest portion of the course. However, the pressure got to Cabrera as they transferred to the touch and go. Cabrera grabbed too much angle, losing control of the car as he spun out. Rather than take his chances through the smoke, Sorensen opted to spin out as well. Both cars zeroed, the win went to Sorensen.
Next up was Stuke and Charpentier. The Imagine Garage E36 took the lead first, attempting to break away from the MSpek Performance S13 on the bank. However, Rome made no more than a length on the bank. As both cars came around the touch and go, Rome gained another half length, only to lose it as they dove into the spiral. Despite the proximity, Stuke just couldn’t get closer through the spiral.
It’s no secret that Rome and Stuke are closely matched. Looking back to previous rounds, they tended to trade great lead and follow runs, only winning and losing after long deliberation from the judges. However, as Stuke failed to break away from Rome on the bank, I knew things were just getting good. Despite how much pressure Rome was applying from behind the wheel of his E36, Stuke failed to crack, putting up a great run for himself, if not making any distance on Charpentier.
A One More Time was soon declared.
However, as I stepped back towards the hot pits, I noticed Micah’s E46 on jackstands, nowhere near ready to compete. Upon asking him, he had this to say:
Nick: “What’s wrong with your car?”
Micah: “Specialties. Angle kit.”
Nick: “Are you gonna try to fix it?”
Micah: “Nah. I was supposed to go against Pablo a while ago. I’m out.”