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P.B. and Jubilation for BRT's Martin Szwarc

This weekend BRT returned to their home course at NJMP Lightning. Last year, the car was solidly still in the development stage and lacked both functional aero and brakes. After BRT’s first successful event of 2024 at Summit Point, brothers Martin and Dan were hopeful for a good showing. In addition to the aero and brake changes, the team decided to wrap the two front wheels with new rubber to get as much out of the car as possible.

With a warm and sunny Memorial Day weekend, Saturday qualifying went as well as the team could have hoped. Martin set a blistering 1:16.5 in qualifying on Saturday on only his third lap out, more than 3 seconds faster than his time last year and a new Personal Best lap.

After qualifying ended, Martin had this to say:

“Dan, I have no idea what to do with all this speed. Mind blown.”

This quote makes a lot more sense when you keep in mind that before the Civic, Martin primarily raced a 110hp CRX in ITA.

During Saturday’s race, Martin was right behind fellow racer Roger Maeda’s Prelude. The two battled for several close laps with less than a second and a half between them at any point. Both racers were seemingly being held up by another racer in a Corvette in the infield, and neither Martin nor Roger could get a clear advantage. Martin unfortunately suffered a mechanical failure in the last laps of the race when the head of splitter rod bolt clearance-d itself when turning right under high G-forces. Martin limped the car across the line and placed second in class and 14th overall in Big Bore.

After some quick repairs, BRT was ready for Sunday’s feature race. Sunday was another hot day and while other competitors prepped their cool suits, BRT chose the tried-and-true “ice cubes in a bag”. This was 100% a weight saving strategic move and has nothing to do with the cost of a cool suit and system. Sunday’s race started off much the same as Saturday with Martin following directly behind StudioVRM’s Roger Maeda in his Prelude. Unfortunately, in lap 13, Roger Maeda’s Prelude suffered from engine failure and could not continue in the race. Martin was able to cleanly finish the race, placing 1st in USTCC SP and 12th overall in Big Bore.

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