Pittsburgh International Race Complex played host to Spec MX-5 Challenge this weekend, seeing the North Region drivers tackle the multiple elevation changes in both dry and tricky wet conditions. Flatout Motorsports brought 3 cars to the SCCA sanctioned PITT Hoosier Super Tour, supporting young drivers Nathan Saxon, Gunnar Bischoff, and Rowan Gill.
Nathan Saxon was a force to be reckoned with all weekend, which started during Saturday morning’s qualifying session where he topped the timing sheets with the fastest lap of the weekend at 1:59.423. Rowan Gill crossed the finish line with the second fastest with a time of 1:59.861, with Gunnar Bischoff setting the third quickest time just .654 behind Rowan.
Later Saturday afternoon saw the three line up for the first race of the weekend, with Nathan leading the way for the entirety of the race. Gunnar was able to get past Rowan when the #71 MX-5 had a mishap and left the track briefly. Rowan kept his head down after his moment, and was able to put in some great laps to finish on the third step of the podium, just 3 seconds behind second place finisher Gunnar. Nathan had a dominating flag-to-flag finish to claim to top step and 1st place, 9 seconds clear of the pack behind him.
Rain fell overnight and into the morning, soaking the Pittsburgh International Race Complex. After a slight delay in the schedule to ensure safe track conditions, the 3 Flatout Motorsports drivers headed out for the final race of the weekend. As the green flag waived, Nathan Saxon was able to pull away from both Rowan Gill and Gunnar Bischoff, driving a clean race to secure another flag-to-flag victory. Gunnar finished in second place, just 4 seconds behind Nathan, with Rowan claiming his second consecutive third-place finish.
“The first few laps I was lucky enough to clear Rowan and Gunnar in turn one. Just trying to manage the race a little bit, made a couple mistakes in one Gunnar got me back and we actually had a really good battle to the back esses from then I was just trying to break the draft and stay consistent and not make mistakes. That’s what was important about this race. This track is a lot of fun and a lot of work. I mean, there’s no break. It’s not an easy track to pass that but it’s a really fun track to drive. Totally recommend it for anyone who hasn’t raced it.”
“What an awesome few races with Nathan and Rowan! We must have been side by side for what seems like half a lap. I kind of overdrove the car a little bit and lost the tires, but I managed to keep it on track and secure second place for both races. We’ve been experimenting a lot with tire pressure is and it’s seems like with these tires, the first couple of laps are where they are at their best. But it’s nothing unmanageable in these cars as it’s really predictable. They are easy to drive, and easier to recover. I loved the track. It’s like Nate was saying it’s really difficult to pass in this track, but it’s not impossible. The track is really technical, so you’re always thinking about what’s next.”
“I was having a great first race between Nathan and Gunner, and then I had a bit of an issue coming into the third lap, which caused me to drive off the track. After that, I just put my head down and focussed on damage limitation to bring the car home. I really love the esses of this track, as they are really technical and you really have to get them right. If you don’t, you’re just not going to be up to speed.”