WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee Finishes 1st in Round 10 and 2ndin Round 11 in the 2021 SARRC Championship series at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia.
November 5-6, 2021 – Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Braselton, Georgia
Round’s 10 and 11 of the 2021 SARRC Championship series was held at Virginia International Raceway and WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would finish first in race one and second in race two. Qualifying for the weekend would start Saturday morning with the quickest time in either qualifying or the race setting the grid for race two. Phee would end up qualifying seventh overall and second in class in the mixed group session. “This was the first race in 2021 and it took me a few laps to get comfortable in the car, but I managed to get withing one second of the lead IT car and was 3.4 seconds ahead of the third place car” said Phee. In the Saturday afternoon race Phee would start seventh on the grid but would get a great start when the pole sitting Porsche missed a gear causing the front rows to check up. Phee would go into turn one in second overall and would hold onto second for the first two laps. At the start of lap three the more powerful Corvettes and Camaros would get by dropping Phee to fourth overall but still in the ITS lead. Phee would hold onto the ITS lead until he got into lapped traffic which allowed the second place ITS car to close the gap. On lap five of the 12 lap race Phee would drop into second but stay glued to the bumper of the first place Mustang. On lap nine Phee would make his move back into first and would hold the lead all the way to the checkers.The Sunday race grid would have Phee lining up fourth overall and third in ITS. Phee would get another great start and briefly get into the lead prior to turn one, however he was on the outside and slotted into second behind Jeff Giordano’s Mustang. The Mustang would pull a four second gap by lap six.Phee would bide his time knowing that the Mustang would use up his rear tires and would get into lapped traffic by lap seven. Sure enough on lap seven Phee started to close in on the first place Mustang. By lap 12 oof the 14 lap race Phee was right on the Mustang’s bumper.Phee would make several attempts to get by the Mustang, but couldn’t make the pass stick. It was a close finish at the end with Phee coming up .3 seconds short of the win. “Once I caught back up, I could see that the Mustang was struggling for rear grip. I got alongside in a couple of the turns but the Mustang had better torque out of the corners. I felt like if we had a couple more laps I could have gotten by, but the race ended on lap 14 and I ended up second” said Phee. The next race is scheduled for July 24-25, 2021 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA, Total Lubricants, MCS Suspension and OPM Autosports. Photo’s courtesy of F&S Enterprises Photography: http://www.fandsenterprises.com/
WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee Dominates Rounds 14 and 15 in the 2021 SARRC Championship series at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.Round’s 14 and 15 of the 2021 SARRC Championship series was held at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would dominate the weekend with a pole position, fast lap, leading every lap and finishing first in both races. Qualifying for the weekend would start Saturday morning with the quickest time in either qualifying or the race setting the grid for race two. Phee would end up qualifying on pole by nearly one second over the second place Miata of Bruce Anderson. “The weekend was very hot and humid and I was fortunate to get a good lap in early in the session” said Phee.In the Saturday afternoon race Phee would lead the pack into turn one and never look back. “I got a great start and put some time between me and the second-place car but once I got into traffic, he started to reel me in a bit” said Phee. “He was better on the brakes and in the turns but I knew my TSX had the power down the straight”.Phee would lead every lap and finish nearly one second ahead of the second place Miata. “I knew he was there but I managed to hold him off at the finish”.Sunday race grid would have Phee lining up in pole position and he would get another great start, lead the pack into turn one and lead every lap for the second day in a row. Phee would steadily pull away and finish in first with a 4.4 second gap to the second-place car.“Both races were fairly uneventful although Bruce kept me honest in race one on Saturday. In the Sunday race I managed to slowly pull a gap and maintain it to the finish. The next race is scheduled for August 7-8, 2021 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA, Total Lubricants, MCS Suspension and OPM Autosports. Photo’s courtesy of Pepper Bowe Photography
The Streak Continues for WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee as he wins rounds 16 and 17 of the 2021 SARRC Championship series at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.August 7-8, 2021 – Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach, Florida.Round’s 16 and 17 of the 2021 SARRC Championship series was held at Daytona International Speedway and WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would top both races. Qualifying for the weekend would start Saturday morning with the quickest time in either qualifying or the race setting the grid for race two. Phee would end up qualifying fourth in class and seventy overall after fuel pickup problems during qualifying.“The Friday test day started out with no issues for the first three sessions but in session four the car would cut out in several of the infield turns. I brought the car in and the crew diagnosed a problem with the throttle body. We replaced it and went out in the Saturday morning warm up session. We ended up with a similar problem in the warm up session and traced it to a bad connection on the throttle body. Several zip ties and a little super glue and we thought we had the problem solved” said Phee. Phee would go out for the morning qualifying session and still have a problem with the car losing power in several of the infield turns. Phee would complete about half of the session and even with the car problems would qualify fourth in class and seventh overall. “I was surprised by the qualifying position with all of the problems I was having” said Phee. “The crew continued their diagnosis of the car and found a bad fuel pump, so they replaced the pump and got the car ready for the first race”.Phee would line up for race one and get a great start and move from sixth to third by the exit of turn one and move into second overall and the lead of ITS by turn three. Video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/QNRbJR155Ss Phee would have a 3.5 second gap over the second place ITS car as he moved into the overall lead on lap four of the 25-minute race. On lap six a full course caution would come out for an ITR BMW that went off in the bus stop chicane, and the race would end under caution.“The car ran great for the entire session and I was happy to get such a great start. The crew did an awesome job in getting the car fixed for the race. I knew if the car ran well, I could get a decent result” said Phee.Race two on Sunday would start just before lunch and Phee would line up second overall and first in class due to his race time in race one being 3.4 seconds faster than his qualifying time. Phee would maintain second overall until lap four when he would move into the overall lead. He would hold onto that lead until lap seven when he would drop back to second overall but still leading ITS by nearly nine seconds. That lead would evaporate on lap nine as a full course caution would come out and bunch up the field. The restart would occur on lap 11 with one lap to go and the second place ITS car would get a run off of NASCAR turn four and get by Phee going into turn one. Phee maintained the inside line in turn one when the now leader went wide. They were side by side through turn three when Phee would have the inside line going into the infield kink. Video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/EEcBzaSGnx8Phee would gap the second-place car and end up with a 3.2 second lead at the finish.“This was such a strange weekend with all of the problems we had on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning I wasn’t the weekend would turn out as well as it did. I was very happy to get a decent qualifying time with car problems and even more happy when the crew figured out what the problem was. As usual the OPM crew did a great job diagnosing the problem and then finally fixing it. I really owe the weekend results to them” said Phee. The next race is scheduled for August 28-29, 2021 at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama.The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA, Total Lubricants, MCS Suspension and OPM Autosports. Photo’s courtesy of Dave Green at https://www.flagtoflagphotography.com/
WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee Wins the American Road Race of Champions for the Second Year in a Row at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton Georgia.Round’s one and two of the 2022 SARRC Championship series was held at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would finish first in race one, win the Championship Race the following day and have fastest race laps each day. Qualifying for the Friday SAARC race was Friday morning and Phee would qualify second in class and second overall. “I thought I had a good enough lap to put the car on pole but David Spillman would put in a low 1.42 in his Datsun 240Z and get pole position. I just couldn’t get going and traffic was a problem for the entire session and ended up second on the grid” said Phee. In the Friday afternoon race Phee would lead going into turn one and lead from start to finish. Phee ran consistent laps for the entire race but with two laps to go Phee would have an exhaust failure. The header had broken off at the collector. In spite of this problem Phee would hold onto the lead and would end up setting the fast lap of the race on the 11th of 12 laps. The pole sitter David Spillman would maintain second the entire race and finish just one second behind Phee at the finish. “I knew if I could get a good start and get into the lead early, I could hold off Spillman. I wasn’t sure what the problem was on lap 10. The car felt like it was losing an axel or having a transmission problem. I really thought the car was blowing up. But I managed to hold on to the finish and just hold off Spillman” said Phee. The ARRC Championship race was set for Saturday morning and Phee was second on the grid. At the start Spillman would get the jump going into turn one and would start to pull a gap. The gap was 3.1 seconds by lap four when a full course caution would come out and bunch up the field. The restart would take place on lap seven and Phee would hound Spillman until lap nine when Phee would move into the lead. Phee would pull out fast lap after fast lap with his and the race’s fast lap on lap 17 at 1.42.7. Phee would steadily pull away and would cross the finish line with a 6.9 second gap over Spillman. “I wasn’t concerned when Spillman pull the gap early in the race. I figured he would use up his tires and brakes and I’d have a chance to get by later in the race. Fortunately, the full course caution eliminated his lead and I had the opportunity to get by at the mid race point”.“Once I got by, I just tried to put in qualifying laps and get a gap on him. I managed to keep him behind me and pull out a small gap each lap. Spillman was right there the entire race and but I knew if he got by, I had a better top end for the run down the back straight and could make a pass going into turn 10A’ said Phee.“To win this race two years in a row is special and I have to thank Ryan, Tristan and all of the OPM crew. Tthey were able to give me a car capable of winning the event especially after the exhaust problem on Friday. I also have to thank Sam Nelson of Nelson Engines for providing me with a great engine package”.The next race is scheduled for March 12-13, 2022 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia.The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by GLoc Brakes, Sparco USA, Total Lubricants, MCS Suspension and OPM Autosports. Photos courtesy of pbowe Photography and Clark McInnis Photographyhttp://motorsports.clarkmcinnisphotography.com/motorsports/SCCA/index.html