Road Atlanta will be the site of the 2018 Spec MX-5 Challenge Championship, with $100,000 on the line. As a preview of coming attractions, most of the competitors from both the East and Central Series gathered recently for a preparatory Road Atlanta weekend.
In this video, we ride along with Team Winding Road driver Tom Martin III for highlights from Race 2 of the weekend. Martin qualified P3 for this race. We see Martin work with pole sitter Nick Bruni and Peter Ensor to create a three-car breakaway. That is until a combination of slower lap traffic and faster lapping cars (850 hp Trans Am cars) breaks up the field. This sets up an interesting teachable moment when Martin gets a bit greedy and tries to follow Bruni past Ensor in Road Atlanta’s 10A/10B complex. Ensor doesn’t give way and in the process slows Martin enough that he gets freight trained on the front straight. Martin falls from third to ninth in this process. The moral of that story is that in some critical corners (10A/10B lead on to what is effectively a huge straight from T11 through to T5) “carefully choosing whether to fight or follow is essential”. This is especially true in momentum cars.
Martin then sets up our second teachable moment by working his way back from P9 to P4, by steadily picking off one car at a time. It looks to us like Martin might have been able to pass Jason Connole for P3, but due to the regular season points system, he felt the risk wasn’t worth it. The moral of that story is something like “never give up”.