WRPM 2013 Race Update
Three Wins and a Second Place for WRPMotorsports Driver
Willie Phee at the September Barber Motorsports Park
WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee took two wins in the SCCA ITA Regional
Race, and a first and second in the STL Regional race.
Four races over two
days in 90 degree plus
Willie Phee would
nearly sweep all four
races, winning three of
four and finishing a
close second in the first
Qualifying for the
Saturday races would
be in the morning with
the races in the
afternoon. Phee would qualify second in class and seventh overall for the ITA
race and third in class and 10
overall for the STL race.
“The sessions were only 15 minutes so it was critical to get a good time in
early but the track went full course yellow after just one lap, so I really only
had one flying lap to get a time in” said Phee.
In the ITA race Phee would maintain a close second for the first half of the
race and get into the lead on lap eight of the 15 lap race. He would finish
with a four second gap on the second place car by race end.
“There were a couple of ITS cars between me and the ITA pole sitter at the
start and I managed to get right on his bumper as we got to turn five. I
stayed just behind him for the first few laps just to see where he might have
more speed than me. Once the tires came up to temperatures I made several
attempts to get by but he did a good job of holding me off” said Phee.
“On lap seven I got a good run out of turns three and four and made the pass
in the turn five horseshoe. After that I put my head down and tried to run
consistent laps and get a gap on the second place car”. Phee would turn his
quickest laps of the race in the last 5 laps and cross the finish line first in class
and fourth overall finishing ahead of several ITS and ITR cars.
Race two would be another exciting race as Phee would start third in class
overall in another mixed class of much faster cars.
At the start Phee
would get passed by a
couple of the faster
out of class cars but
managed to get back
by in the tighter
sections of the track
and get back to the
cars in class. A double
yellow would come out
on lap two and
shorten the race by
At the restart Phee
would get a jump and
move into second
position in turn one but would drop back to third by the end of the lap. Four
pas later Phee would move back into second with an inside pass in the turn
five horseshoe. With two laps to go Phee would move into first place with yet
another move in the turn five horseshoe. Phee would lose the lead going into
turn one and then got held up on the last lap but would cross the line second
in class and seventh overall.
“The STL race a really fun race especially with the out of class cars we had to
deal with for the entire race. It really kept the top three STL cars very close.
It seems like none of us could really get away so it kept the racing very close”
The Sunday schedule would be the same as Saturday with two qualifying
sessions in the morning and two races in the afternoon.
In ITA qualifying Phee would end up second in class and fifth overall. At the
start Phee would drop back to third but would move back into second at the
horseshoe and on lap three would take over the lead with a pass, you
guessed it, in the horseshoe.
Phee would hold off a strong challenge from the second place Miata for the
next seven laps when he would gap him by several seconds after he
developed an overheating problem. Phee would remain unchallenged for the
remainder of the race and would take first in class by eight seconds.
“It was another exciting
race and I managed to
hold off a hard charging
Richard Pannell in his
Miata. I really wasn’t
sure I had the pace
especially after he set
such a solid time in
qualifying, but I
managed to keep pace
and make almost all of
my passes in the
horseshoe all weekend.
Unfortunately he had a
problem near the end of
the race at that allowed me to get a little breathing room to the finish” said
For the second STL race Phee would qualify first in class and eighth overall.
After all of the excitement of the first three races the final STL race was rather
boring, Phee would hold onto the lead for the entire race and finish several
second ahead of the second place car.
“Overall I’m really happy with how the weekend turnout. To come away with
three wins and a second was absolutely fantastic, and three of the four races
were very competitive. As usual the OPM crew did a great job of setting up
the car and keeping it running flawlessly for the entire weekend. Rickey
Downton was my crew chief and did a great job of keeping updated on the
radio and keeping the car perfect all weekend” said Phee.
Two Races Two Podiums for WRPMotorsports driver Willie
Phee at the May Road Atlanta National/Regional Race.
WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would finish 2
in the SCCA ITA Regional
Race, and 3
in the STL National race.
It was a mixed weekend with dry qualifying on Saturday and rain for both
races on Sunday. Phee would qualify 2
in class and 3
overall for the
Regional ITA race and 3
in class and 4
overall for the National STL race.
“I was really hoping
for a dry track for
the races but it
rained the night
continued raining for
the first race” said
Phee. “The good
thing was getting to
start in row two for
both races allowed
me to stay out of
the spray and
some time in the
first few laps”.
In race one Phee would move into 2
overall and 1
in class as the field
exited turn one. Phee would hold onto the lead for the first lap but would fall
back to second in turn seven when the second place ITS car spun coming out
of turn seven and Phee had to back off to avoid hitting the spinning car. That
allowed Phee’s team mate to get by down the back straight. Phee would
circulate on second for the remainder of the race.
“I had a great start, but when the ITS car spun in front of me I had to wait to
get on the gas and that allowed my team mate to get a run on me down the
back straight. I tried
to stay with him but
with the spray from
his car it was difficult
to see, so I just
maintained a pace and
hoped for a mistake
that never came” said
Race two would be
run Sunday afternoon
and it appeared that
the track was damp
but drying. “The team
me out on slicks but
there was still some spray coming up from the previous race. As I was sitting
on the grid I though we made the wrong choice to go out on wets, but on the
pace lap it started to rain again, so the rain tires ended up being the right
call” said Phee.
Phee would get another good start and hold onto 2
position until the car slid
wide coming out of turn 11 and fall back to 3
where he would finish the
“It was an ok
weekend, I just
comfortable with the
track in the wet. I
think I would have
done better if the track
had stayed dry for the
races” said Phee.
“Overall I really can’t
complain, I did end up
with two podium
finishes”. “I have to
thank the OPM crew
for all of their help and
support over the
weekend, as usual they did a great job in setting up the car”
The next race is scheduled for August 31, September 1, 2013 at Barber
Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
August 31, September 1, 2013 – Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham
May 18-19, 2013 – Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia
March 9-10, 2013 – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas
WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee Starts the 2013 Race
Season at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.
WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would finish 14
in the SCCA Super
Tour STL National races in a field of over 43 cars in class and 82 in the group.
“What a fantastic facility” said Phee, “I knew my car wasn’t competitive for the
class but the opportunity to race at this facility was too good to pass up”.
“I was actually pleased
with how I finished,
especially since I was
sick all weekend and
the fact that there was
such a large number of
cars in the class and the
It would be a very
difficult weekend for
qualifying with so many
cars on the track. Phee
would qualify for the
Saturday STL race 15
in class and 47
The Saturday race would be held on a damp track and Phee would steadily
move up during the eleven lap event and eventually finish 14
in class and 33
overall. “Since this was everyone’s first race here and with the first turn being
very tight I knew I
needed to get to the
inside quickly to avoid
being pushed out at
the start” said Phee. “I
had a good jump and
got to the inside and
just started passing
cars, there was a full
course caution for 3 or
4 laps at the end of lap
2, but I did get a great
restart and moved up a
few more positions”. “I
was having a good
battle with one of the
Miata’s but I missed a
shift in the final turn
and gave up 13
by a couple thousand of a second” said Phee.
Because of the volume of cars in the other classes, 5 of the 7 groups had 80
plus cars, qualifying for Sunday’s race would be based on fast lap from the
Saturday race. Phee
would end up 14
class and 43
Sunday’s race would be
in dry conditions and
Phee would line up on
the inside of the 81 car
field. “With a dry track
my lap times were two
seconds faster than
Saturday and I was able
to move up consistently
during the 10 lap race”.
Phee would gain eight
positions and finish 11
in class and 35
“I wanted to try and make the top 10 but just missed out” said Phee.
“It was a great weekend, to finish in the top 15 in a 43 car field with a car that
really isn’t prepped for the class was a great accomplishment. The OPM crew
did their usual great job of keeping the car set up the whole weekend. I don’t
think we made any changes other than tires the whole weekend” said Phee.
The next race is scheduled for May 18-19, 2013 at Road Atlanta Raceway in