USTCC East Round 3 at Summit Point Raceway - Coyote Black wins hard fought battle in Super Touring
July 23, 2023 (Summit Point, W.V.) – The United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) East held Round 3 of its 2023 season at Summit Point Raceway. Four teams were able to make the event, which was slated to be the inaugural race for new USTCC team Anthony Piselli Racing with their Subaru WRX in ST Trim. Anthony Piselli and Coyote Black chose to take advantage of the Friday tack sponsored test day, Andrew Conner arrived on Friday but opted out of testing, and Roger Maeda planned on an early Saturday arrival.
Saturday’s Qualifying had three of the four entrants on the false grid, and ready for the inner series battle for fastest lap. At the start of the session, Anthony Piselli was out in front in his WRX with Coyote Black in pursuit in his Porsche Cayman S. Anthony was up to speed quickly turning ever faster laps, with a final fast lap of 1:21.687 on lap 5, which would place him P1 in USTCC ST in the qualifying heat race later in the afternoon. Coyote’s qualifying showed that he and the Mezzanine Motorsports team came to play. Coyote was never far off Anthony’s rear bumper and was able to lay down a fast lap of 1:24.340 on lap 8, securing P2 in ST.
Andrew Conner found himself struggling to find a clear space on track during this session due to laying back in hopes of the group thinning out, but that never happened. Once he was able to poke a hole in a pack of slower American Sedan cars, Andrew was able to set a fast lap of 1:26.776 in Lap 5, placing him in P3 for the Qualifying heat race.
In the afternoon’s Qualifying heat race, once the green flag dropped, both Anthony and Coyote were quick to leave Andrew for the front. Anthony ran a stellar race, never dropping a wheel, while Coyote was equally as fast but was unable to finish due to sway bar issue and adjustments being needed. Andrew was able to push his way past a non USTCC Mini Cooper S and was able to claw his way forward just enough to see Anthony’s WRX cross the finish line calling an end to the session.
Within the Paddock the buzz was building. With eight run groups filling the SCCA weekend, it was becoming evident that all eyes were going to be on the Big Bore class. The track announcers were not short of praise for the clean and aggressive racing they had seen so far from all the USTCC entrants, and they expected to see quite a show at the drop of the green. With Anthony placed just ahead of Coyote and Andrew falling in two positions behind Coyote on the grid, and Roger Maeda in his Honda Prelude starting 10 places back, due to mechanical issues suffered on the outset of the previous Qualifier, the anticipation was perceptible. As the cars pulled out of grid and onto the track to start their pace lap, the reality of traffic was becoming evident, the two trailing cars of Andrew and Roger were going to need to get to the front, and in a hurry if they expected to be in the midst of the brewing battle between Anthony and Coyote. At the drop of the green, Anthony and Coyote held true to form and pulled away quickly. Andrew blew the start by not closing the gap to the cars in front in time, and when the green flag flew there was nothing he could do to close the gap. Roger found himself in a similar predicament. He was surrounded by higher horsepower cars and would need to advance where the prelude excels, in the turns.
As the laps ticked down, Anthony and Coyote swapped the lead a few times with hard, clean racing. Coyote was able to push ahead of Anthony securing a win for the Mezzanine Motorsports Porsche Cayman with The Piselli Racing WRX in a close second. Andrew Conner in the On Q Racing E90 325i was to follow in third.
Roger Maeda in the Studio VRM Honda Prelude pulled in a solid first in Sportsman, working his way forward as the session elapsed, all while fighting with higher horsepower American Sedan and GT cars in an epic show of sticktoitiveness and grit.
Round 3 of the East Series delivered excellent racing for both teams and fans alike. Summit Point Raceway welcomed the USTCC with open arms and continues to strive to make the USTCC teams feel welcome. The USTCC remains a premier platform for touring car racing in the United States, showcasing the best drivers and teams in the country.