Finishing your race in the middle of the class would not always be seen as an excellent result. But if you’re15, driving a car you haven’t driven before, with more power than the total sum of all the cars you’ve driven to date, mid – pack is a pretty good finish.
Last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, driver Nate Stacy was behind the wheel of a Mustang Boss 302s. Dean Martin and Rehagen Racing made available Dean’s race winning Mustang for Nate’s first drive in GTS.
“Since I will be racing my new GTS Mustang Boss 302S at Barber, the car that I won with at St Petersburg is the car that we have made available to Nate for Barber. I’ve been watching Nate drive for the past few years and he has been very impressive.” – Dean Martin
Arriving early Thursday, Nate was “fitted” for the car and got used to the new “cockpit”. There would be two test sessions along with one practice session before qualifying and then racing on Friday afternoon. The speed and the handling took him a few laps to get used to, but he soon found his groove and started turning competitive laps, matching the pace of the field. Dean was able coach him on a few things specific to the car, and the crew was able to set the car up quickly to suit Nate’s driving style.
Friday was a long day. A 60 minute practice session, qualifying, then race 1 in the late afternoon. Having driven the track several times Nate was quite comfortable so it was a matter of dialing in the car and getting used to the higher speed and traffic. He was able to get in a good flying lap and qualified 15th.
“I was told to drive smart, drive clean, and bring the car home” – Nate Stacy
Race 1 went well. Nate had a tough start, but then managed to move up a few positions making clean passes before getting held up in traffic. Started 15 finished 13.
“I’m happy to finish the first race clean, just really happy that we got that finished and out of the way. I kind of got held up behind another car and let the field get away from us, as soon as we cleared that car, we dropped time and we were gaining on the guys in front of us. It could have gone better, but I can’t complain for the first race,” – Nate Stacy
After the first race the grid was set by fastest lap times and so Nate would be starting from P16. Feeling more comfortable in the car and with that first race behind him Nate drove hard and pushed his way up to finish 12th.
“What an unbelievable weekend of racing! I need to take a moment and thank Dean and Amy Martin, everyone at Rehagen Racing, Ford Performance, Spy Optics, Folds of Honor and my parents for the amazing opportunity to run the Pirelli World Challenge in an incredible GTS Boss 302. I learned so much this weekend and can’t wait for the chance to do it again! ” – Nate Stacy
Nate will be stepping back into his Folds of Honor/ 3R Racing Volvo C30R for rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Championships May 15 – 17 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.