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Putnam Park Time Trials Report


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Putnam Park Time Trials

Oct 11-12, 2003


The NASA Ohio/Indiana region's first visit to Putnam Park dawned on Saturday morning with heavy fog conditions and competitors searching for the track.


Everyone made it safely to Putnam after the slowest driving that would be seen for the weekend. The good news was the forecast called for clear skies for the next two days, and the weather proved to be spectacular for the NASA OH/IN region's final event of the year.


HPDE 4 and time trial group were the first on the track at 9:15 AM. Competing in this time trail event were 3 late model Mustang GT's: Richard Cranston in class B, Jason Lakomiak in class C and Jim Petroski also in C. The track was in great condition for the first session as the group began learning the line. At the end of the first session the times settled out as:


Jim Petroski 1:26.85

Richard Cranston 1:27.24

Jason Lakomiak 1:30.52


In the second morning session Jim Petroski and Jason Lakomiak did some "follow the leader" as Jim showed Jason some lines in T3-4, and Richard settled in to a fast groove. Unfortunately Richard developed an exhaust leak between a header and the cat pipe and was black flagged. The leak was sizable and required repair, and Richard spent the rest of Saturday afternoon cutting rusted bolts to remove and repair the leaking joint. By the end of the session the times had mostly improved to:


Richard Cranston 1:25.71

Jim Petroski 1:27.27

Jason Lakomiak 1:27.44


The third session in the afternoon was exciting, with Jim and Jason working each other hard around the course to improve with their near equally prepped Mustangs. Spending lap after lap following each other around, their times fell into the 1:26's and Jason came out on top during this session by just a couple of tenths:


Jason Lakomiak 1:26.09

Jim Petroski 1:26.27


Sunday dawned clearer and somewhat warmer, and the battle for better times heated up for everyone. Richard returned in his repaired Mustang and further improved his time, as did both Jason and Jim. Everybody broke into the next lower second barrier from the previous best times. Jason and Jim provided some exciting dueling on track as the two competitors were nose to tail for over ten laps, and any minor mistake on line caused one or the other to close up or pull away. Jason proved to be the better driver and car combination this day as he once again pulled out the faster class C time.


Richard Cranston 1:25.57

Jason Lakomiak 1:25.90

Jim Petroski 1:26.35


The final morning session was the last timed battle of the weekend, and with the sun warming the track the perfect conditions allowed the best times to fall again. The final and best times for all 3 competitors were posted in this session.


Richard Cranston 1:24.32

Jason Lakomiak 1:25.54

Jim Petroski 1:25.94


After the last session, Jim Petroski discovered his front left wheel bearing was wearing out. The vibration he felt all weekend turned out to be the bearing gradually wearing, and fortunately he was able to return home driving on it. He plans on returning next year to challenge Jason for the Putnam Park title in C!


Congratulations to all competitors for an exciting and safe weekend!



Jim Petroski

Time Trials Director


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