WRPM 2016 Race Update
WRPMotorsports
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August 27-28, 2016 – Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama
Rounds 1 and 2 of the Atlanta Region Double SARRC and WRPMotorsports Driver Willie Phee Collects Two First Place Finishes at Road Atlanta   WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would finish 1st in ITS in both SCCA SARRC Races at Road Atlanta Raceway. Rounds 1 and 2 of the Atlanta Region SARRC Championship Race Series would be held at Road Atlanta Raceway. Qualifying for both races would be Saturday morning in somewhat cool conditions with WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee starting on outside of the front row in the 2nd position.  The Saturday race would be held that afternoon in very hot conditions. Phee would move into the lead by turn three and round the first lap in the top spot.  On lap two the pole sitting Mazda RX-7 of Harold Corbin would get back into the lead and Phee would eventually drop back to third after the Datsun 240Z of David Plott would get underneath Phee in Turn six.  Phee would get back by the Datsun on the exit of turn 10 when Plott locked up his brakes and slowed his momentum.  On lap three a full course caution would bunch up the field for two laps with Phee back in the second position.  After the restart, Phee would get back into the lead on lap 6 and hold off a determined Corbin until the last lap when entering turn one Corbin tried to go inside but ended up on the curbs and spun out of contention.  Phee would go on to the finish in first place with a seven second lead over the Datsun of Plott. “I was having brake issues that entire race,” said Phee.  “The pedal was very soft and I had the pump the brakes for nearly every corner.  Luckily I was able to hold off Harold and he ended up spinning off in turn one on the last lap”. Sunday’s race would be in even hotter conditions than Saturday.  Phee would again start outside row one but would move into the lead in turn 10 before the end of lap one and held the lead for the entire 15 lap race. “The Sunday race was much easier even though it was hotter” said Phee.  “The crew was able to solve the brake problems but putting on new pads and rotors and the car responded perfectly.  Once I made the pass on Harold I just tried to be consistent with my lines and maintain a gap to the second place car”. Phee would finish the 15-lap race three seconds ahead of the second place car and would run 11 consecutive laps within eight tenths on each other. The next race is scheduled for August 6-7, 2016 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL.   Photos courtesy of Motorsports Photography by Clark McInnis http://cmcinnis.wordpress.com/  The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA, Total Lubricants and OPM Autosports. 
Race Results
WRPMotorsports Driver Willie Phee Recovers from a Mechanical DNF to Dominate Round 6 of the Central Florida Region Double SARRC at Daytona International Speedway   WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would finish 1st in ITS in in Round 6 of the SCCA SARRC Race at Daytona International Speedway. Rounds 5 and 6 of the Central Florida Region SARRC Championship Race Series would be held at Daytona International Speedway. Qualifying for both races would be Saturday morning with the first race that afternoon followed by the Sunday race just before lunch.  Qualifying would be critical due to the large quantity of cars in the class, 37 in ITS and 67 in the group.  “I know it would be difficult to get a clear lap in qualifying with so many cars on the track,” said Phee.  Phee would top the class and overall with a 2:14:8 just six-tenths off the lap record and five-tenths clear of the second place car. In Saturdays’ race, Phee would lead the pack until just before turn six when a .50-cent bolt would break causing the header to become disconnected from the collector and the car to lose power.  Phee would drop to the apron and slowly cruise back to the paddock.  “I’m sure people have heard of the .50- cent part breaking on a car costing the driver a finish, but this was literally a bolt that broke and cost me a good finish” said Phee.  In Sunday’s race, Phee would again start from pole position and lead the field for the first three laps while the second place Triumph TR8 of Jeff Young would squeeze by in the infield and lead the next three laps.  Phee would eventually get back by exiting the bus stop on lap seven when Young was held up by a spinning car.  Phee would go on the lead the next 10 laps and finish with over a one-minute lead over the second place car.  Video from the first six laps can be seen here:  https://youtu.be/11spTO2gJSo “Jeff and I pretty much checked out on the field for the first six laps.  We had a great battle passing each other on different parts of the track until Jeff got held up buy a spinning car as we were entering the bus stop on the back straight.  I could see the car spinning and backed off slightly.  I think Jeff had to over slow his car to keep from collecting the spinner while I kept my momentum up and made the final pass for the win in NASCAR three”. “I have to thank the OPM crew for their support over the course of the weekend, I know they were as disappointed as I was with the Saturday race problem but they fixed the car for Sunday and the car ran perfectly” said Phee.  The next race is scheduled for August 27-28, 2016 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.   The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA, Total Lubricants and OPM Autosports. 
Race Results
Two Pole position and two podiums for WRPMotorsports Driver Willie Phee at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham Alabama  WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would finish 2nd in ITS in in Round 18 and 2nd in Round 19 of the SCCA Double SARRC Race at Barber Motorsports Park. Rounds 18 and 19 of the Northern Area Championship Series would be held at Barber Motorsports Park Qualifying for round 18 would be Saturday morning and Phee would top the ITS times with a 1.45.2 nearly a second faster than the second place car and just 2/1000’s off the track record. At the start of race one Phee would get pushed wide in turn one when the second place ITS car got into the side of his car and would push him off track.  Video of the contact can be seen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03urd5z9tWE Phee would collect the car and maintain second place until turn five when the second place ITS car would get by.  Phee would hold onto second place for the remainder of the race finishing just two seconds behind the first place car. “I thought I had a decent start but the second place car got into me in turn one and push me off track.  I managed to get back on track in second overall but I wasn’t sure how damaged the car was.  It felt like the left rear wheel was bent so I took it easy for a few turns just to feel the car out.  I radioed the crew and asked them to look at the car while I was on track but they couldn’t really see any problems,” said Phee. After the race, the crew determined that two of the shocks were leaking fluid and were causing the handling problems during the race.  “The car was bouncing in the turns and transitions and was pretty difficult to drive.  There were places on the track that I should have been flat but the car wasn’t as planted as it should be,” said Phee. Qualifying for Sunday’s race would take place in the morning and Phee would improve on his Saturday qualifying by a tenth of a second and would be under the track record.  “I was surprised by the time,” said Phee, with the shock problems I was having I didn’t expect to turn that quick of a time”. At the start Phee would again start on the outside but would hold on to first in class for 14 of the 15 laps only to be passed in turn 14 on the last lap.  Phee would get a run in the final turn but would end up just 4/1000’s out of first. “I was really struggling with the car’s handling today, with the shock problems the car just wouldn’t respond in the turns.  As soon as I would get on the gas, the car would just start bouncing making it difficult to get the power down.  I was lucky to hold off the Miata as long as I did.  IT was a great race, I just came up a few feet short” said Phee.  Video from the last lap can be seen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-ls91dnkZw  “I have to thank the OPM crew for their support over the course of the weekend, I know they were as disappointed as I was with the Saturday race problem but they fixed the car for Sunday and the car ran perfectly” said Phee.  The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA, Total Lubricants and OPM Autosports.
Race Results
August 6-7, 2016 – Daytona International Raceway, Daytona Beach, Florida
July 23-24, 2016 – Road Atlanta Raceway, Braselton, Georgia
September 15-16, 2016 – Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Virginia
Four Races and three podiums for WRPMotorsports Driver Willie Phee at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would finish 2nd in STU in rounds 1 and 2 and 3rd  in ITS in Round 2 of the 2017 SCCA SARRC Championship series at Virginia International Raceway. Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2017 Northern Area Championship Series would be held at Virginia International Raceway with qualifying for each round to be held on Saturday morning for round 1 and Sunday morning for round 2. Saturday morning and Phee would qualify 1st in class in STU and 7th overall in the group.  Phee would lead the first two laps until the second place Porsche 928 got by down the back straight on lap 3.  Phee would make several tries to get back by the Porsche but would have to settle for 2nd in class and 7th overall. “I really didn’t have anything for the Porsche said Phee.  That car was super fast down the straights with the turbo charged engine.  I could make up some ground in the twisty bits but every time we got to a straight away he would just drive away from me”. Phee would qualify 5th in class and 5th overall for the ITS race on Saturday.  Phee would move up to 3rd by the end of lap one but would drop out of the race at the completion of lap 2 when the power steering belt came off the pulleys.  “I could feel there was a problem as I was going down the back straight, I thought I had a flat tire because the steering was so heavy.  I came into the pits to have the crew check the problem ant it turned out to be the belt” said Phee. Phee would be credited with one lap and a 12th place in class finish for race 1. Qualifying for day two would be Sunday morning with STU out first followed by ITS qualifying.  In STU qualifying Phee would have car problems on the out lap and would be unable to turn in a time and start at back of the 23 car field.  “I noticed on the out lap as soon as I started to warm the tires the steering instantly got heavy again.  I also noticed that the water temps were getting high so I know it must have been the belt again.  Once I got the car back to the pits the crew diagnosed that two bolts on the alternator had broken and that was causing the alternator to twist allowing the belt to come off the pulleys” said Phee. At the start of the STU race Phee would move from the back of the grid to eighth by lap three and would be just behind the first place STU Porsche.  Phee would renew his battle from yesterday’s race with the Porsche going back and forth throughout the race but would end up second in class and fifth overall by just 4/1000th of a second.  “It was the same situation as yesterday, I was faster in the corners and he was faster at the end of the straights.  I was surprised how quickly I caught him, especially after starting at the back but it was a good race and the belt stayed on for the entire time” said Phee. Qualifying for ITS would have Phee topping the time charts in ITS and starting second overall behind the T4 Miata of Tom Hart. At the start of the ITS race Phee would get a slight lead going into turn one and lead lap one with a slight margin on the second place RX-7.  At the end of lap two Phee would have a slight bobble coming out of the last turn allowing the RX-7 to get by in turn one.  Phee and the Miata of Chuck Hines would battle for the next 10 laps and they would slowly close in on the first place car.  On the last lap Phee would move into second place but over shot turn one allowing Hines’s Miata to get back by.  At the finish Phee would cross the line in third place just six seconds off the second place car even after going off in turn one. “As usual the OPM crew did a great job of keeping the car dialed in all weekend and managed to fix the small problem we had with the alternator.” The next race is the American Road Race of Champions at Road Atlanta Raceway scheduled for November 5th, 2016 in Braselton, Georgia. The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA, Total Lubricants and OPM Autosports. Photos courtesy Angie Phee and Bob Casullo
Race Results
November 5, 2016 – Road Atlanta Raceway, Braselton, Georgia
WRPMotorsports Driver Willie Phee Finished 2nd at the Season Ending American Road Race of Champions at Road Atlanta Raceway in Braselton, Georgia The American Road Race of Champions (ARRC) is the season ending championship race for SCCA regional classes that has taken place at Road Atlanta for the past 23 years.  WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would finish 2nd in ITS at the prestigious event. The ARRC has a unique qualifying format with two rounds of qualifying on Friday and the Championship race on Saturday.  Conditions for the first round of qualifying would be near perfect with cool temperatures and a dry track.  WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would set the initial pole time with a 1.42.1 on lap two when a full course caution would come out.  The course would go green with just eight minutes left in the session and Phee would improve to a 1.41.2 but it would only be good enough for third on the grid.  “I tried to put a good lap in early and I thought the full course caution would work in my favor but with eight minutes to go and the track going green again I gave it one more try but ended up just 6/10ths off the pole.  I actually had a time on the 1.40’s but got held up in turn 11 on my fast lap” said Phee. The Championship race was scheduled for Saturday morning and Phee would line up inside row two.  At the start Phee would jump to the inside of the pole sitting RX-7 of Bowie Gray and lead the field into turn one.  Phee would hold onto the lead until the start of lap three when Matt Reppert would move his BMW into the lead in turn one.  Reppert’s pass would cause Phee to loose momentum in the uphill run to turn two and would allow Bowie Gray to get back by followed by Trevor Degioanni to also move past in his Acura Integra.  Phee would go from first to fourth in just three turns.  Trevor would have a huge slide in turn five allowing Phee to get back by for third.  Video form this sequences can be seen here:  https://vimeo.com/190557816 “After Trevor spun in front of me, Matt and Bowie checked out to a six second gap so I just tried to maintain the gap hoping I could catch them up once they got into traffic” said Phee.  Phee would stay about six seconds back until the halfway point when he started to reel in the second place car.  Phee would eventually catch and pass the misfiring Mazda with four laps to go to move into second place.  Phee would try to catch the leader and reduced the gap to just a few seconds but would run out of laps and have to settle for second. “The crew told me that I was making up time on the second place car so I just tried to put in qualifying laps and run him down.  I managed to get by but ran out of time to close in on the leader” said Phee. “In all of the times I’ve been to this race this is my best finish and I have to thanks all of the OPM crew guys for their help and support”.  The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA, Total Lubricants and OPM Autosports. Photos courtesy Clark McInnis of Motorsports Photography  https://cmcinnis.wordpress.com/
Race Results