USTCC Rolls into Pittsburgh International Race Complex for Round 3 and 4 of the East Series
Wampum, PA – The United States Touring Car Championship East Region continued its inaugural season by rolling into Pittsburgh International Race Complex (AKA PittRace) for a Round 3 and 4 Double Header in Wampum Pennsylvania.
The weekend started off with Sportsman racers Coyote Black and Roger Maeda arriving trackside Friday to take advantage of a Test Day to dial in their machines in advance of the Qualifying for Round 3. Unfortunately, Roger Maeda’s Prelude suffered a catastrophic engine failure during the test day, leaving Coyote Black running solo in Sportsman for the remaining events of the weekend.
Saturday’s Round 3 Qualifying saw the remaining USTCC entrants tackle the fast 1.6-mile North Track with clear blue skies and optimum track temperatures. Coyote Black proved the value of home track advantage and was quick to lay down some solid times while providing Andrew Conner with some impromptu lessons on both the racing line and braking points. Both drivers were able to gather needed data for the upcoming Feature race.
In Super Touring, Andrew Conner started P2 overall in his On Q Racing BMW E90. The red E90 BMW was able to give chase to the P1 starter in his E36 M3 for all 20 laps of the Feature race. The ST race was incident free, but Andrew did drop a few wheels off track while pushing a bit too hard trying for the overall win. Unfortunately, the ST E90 fell just short and finished P2 overall.
The weekend’s Sportsman action was a battle of survival for Coyote Black, having to diagnose ignition issues real time under race conditions, while continuing to hustle his Integra Type R around the corner-filled 1.6 mile North Course. Coyote was able to bring the car home with a hard-fought P1 in Sportsman.
Sunday’s Round 4 qualifying saw the USTCC entrants on the fast 2.78-mile Full Track featuring 19 challenging turns, again with clear blue skies and slightly elevated track temperatures.
SP points leader Coyote Black once again proved how home track advantage and sheer determination are a winning combination for fast and consistent lap times. Coyote was able to put together a solid qualifying run and postured himself nicely for the afternoons feature race. Andrew Conner in ST was quick to find open track and start to put together a rhythm, but his session and ultimately his weekend came to a sudden close due to an overheating issue in his BMW.
Sunday’s Feature race had only Coyote Black representing the USTCC in his Acura Integra Type R, in a field of Production and Improved Touring entrants. Coyote was quick to set the tone on the second lap with a 3 wide charge into a tight turn 1. But as solid a weekend as Coyote had put together, he too fell victim to the PittRace gremlins when the Integra’s throttle body failed, and he too was forced to retire early.
The teams now will have a much-needed break to prepare their cars for Round 5 at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Raceway.