The first event of the 22 event Spec MX-5 Challenge regular season took place at Utah Motorsports Campus in Toole, UT. This impressive facility is just outside of Salt Lake City. Positioned in the valley west of the Wasatch mountains, March sports car racing at UMC offers the opportunity for an epic week of skiing, biking and road racing.
With some last-minute dropouts due to COVID issues, UMC had a small field. Nonetheless, the experienced Spec MX-5 racers on hand were competitive and had a good time.
On Saturday, Ricardo Arruda captured pole, with a 2:13.665, just ahead of Adam Gonzalez at 2:13.821. These two drivers have run against each other many times and this suggested a good race between two friends. Wes Mollno, who is new to UMC, had the third spot on the grid with a 2:15.041.
As it happened, Race 1 saw some changes in position from qualifying. Gonzalez finished first, followed by Arruda and Mollno. Arruda set fast lap of the race with a 2:14.106.
Sunday qualifying reversed the grid with Mollno on pole, followed by Gonzalez and Arruda. Gonzalez again fought his way to the front, just pipping Mollno for the win. “The second half of the race was incredibly exciting with 5 lead changes and numerous side by side passing attempts” said Mollno. Arruda was just behind these two, separated by some out of class traffic. Mollno had fast lap of the race at 2:15.695.
Bruno Carneiro ran the first Team Series races of 2021 in the ST5 class. He finished 1st in ST5 in race 1 ahead of Gonzalez and Mollno and 30 other cars from GTS1, GTS2, Spec E46 and SM. Carneiro repeated with a win over Gonzalez in Race 2, and also outran 26 out of class competitors.
Congratulations to Adam Gonzalez for a sweep and for his first two overall wins in Spec MX-5 Challenge. And congrats to Bruno Carneiro for his sweep in Team ST5.
Photos by Giovanna Arruda.