Three Wins and a Second Place for WRPMotorsports Driver Willie Phee at the September Barber Motorsports Park Regional Race.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 weather was challenging but WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would nearly sweep all four races, winning three of four and finishing a close second in the first STL race.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 10th 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 and 10th 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 four laps.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” said Phee.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 Phee.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 2nd in the SCCA ITA Regional Race, and 3rd 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 2nd in class and 3rd overall for the Regional ITA race and 3rd in class and 4th overall for the National STL race.“I was really hoping for a dry track for the races but it rained the night before and 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 hopefully make some time in the first few laps”.In race one Phee would move into 2nd overall and 1st 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 Phee. Race two would be run Sunday afternoon and it appeared that the track was damp but drying. “The team considered sending 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 2nd position until the car slid wide coming out of turn 11 and fall back to 3rd where he would finish the race. “It was an ok weekend, I just couldn’t get 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 Alabama
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 14th and 11th 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 group”. It would be a very difficult weekend for qualifying with so many cars on the track. Phee would qualify for the Saturday STL race 15thin class and 47th overall. The Saturday race would be held on a damp track and Phee would steadily move up during the eleven lap event and eventually finish 14th in class and 33rdoverall. “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 13th 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 14th in class and 43rd overall.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 11thin class and 35th overall. “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 Braselton, Georgia.