NARRA closes out season at Sebring, looks forward to 2014

8 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on NARRA closes out season at Sebring, looks forward to 2014
Aston Martin Vantage

NARRA closes out season at Sebring, looks forward to 2014

Story by Gary Becker/Photographs by Mike Beckers and Gary Becker

The NARRA (or North American Road Racing Association for those opposed to acronyms) closed out its 2013 season at Sebring International Raceway. Under warm and mostly sunny Florida skies, sixty or so racers separated into three groups took turns on 3.74 mile circuit.

If you are not familiar with the NARRA it is what the organization’s Public Relations Specialist Tom Drewer calls a gentleman’s and, or gentlewomen’s series. In other words, no mega-buck teams just hard working folks who are trying to balance their racing life with their private and business lives. Positioned between club racers from the Sports Car Club of America and the professional teams of IMSA’s Tudor series, NARRA is the perfect place to go GT racing in North America if you don’t have several haulers filled with cars and parts supplied by someone like Chevrolet or Porsche.

NARRA morphed from a group of Viper owners who had formed a track day club into a full fledged race series with multiple classes and formats that meet most wallet sizes and skill levels. On this particular weekend there were three race groups, one made up of solo or Time Trials competitors and two wheel to wheel racing GT groups.

Aston Martin Vantage

The Time Trial group is just that. Cars go out and race against each other via the clock with drivers trying to post the best time for their class. Strategy plays a big part with tire wear, air and track temperatures playing a role during the weekends racing.

This group is perfect for entry level drivers or drivers without huge bank rolls. Many of the cars in this class are sponsored by the owners local parts and performance shops who show-off their products and services in real life competition at a reasonable advertising cost.

During this particular weekend, the Time Trials series championship was decided with of all things a taxi cab. Well, it may have looked like a cab you would hail from a curb in Chicago or New York City but underneath the yellow exterior and rate schedule was a 2008 BMW M3 with a Stage 3 Supercharger and a suspension upgrade from BC Racing. The team’s driver, Philip Grabow was unable to transport his normal ride to Sebring because a scheduling conflict.

With the season’s championship hanging in the balance Grabow asked his sponsor, BC Racing, if they could come up with a car for him to drive at Sebring. When Grabow arrived at the track BC Racing had a car for him alright, a bright yellow taxi cab. Fortunately, for Grabow the car was more BMW M3 than Yellow Cab and he was able to clinch the season long title.

The big news for the weekend concerned the future of the NARRA. If you haven’t heard, Aston Martin will run a single make GT4 series next season. Called the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Series. it will join NARRA four times in 2014 with a hoped for field of fifteen Aston Martin Vantage GT4’s. As of the Sebring race weekend ten cars had already been spoken for.

If the demonstration and test laps being run at Sebring by TRG-AMR North America are any indication, this is going to a great series and a must see for any North American GT racing fan who has longed to be able to watch the GT3 and GT4 cars that are so popular in Europe and Asia.

NARRA also currently has the Radical Club sports racing series and according to Tom Drewer the series is considering adding more sports racing classes and formula cars. Make sure to keep track of their next year’s schedule and if they visit your favorite track be sure to make plans to check them out.В В  For more information about the NARRA visit their website at http://narraonline.com/ .

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