HyperFest Race Notes: King Rat
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HyperFest Race Notes: King Rat
NASA Mid-Atlantic's import/tuner themed HyperFest was the setting for the latest round of the King RAT Motorsports Mid-Atlantic Spec Miata Challenge. King RAT has competed in this event since its inception in 2002. Back then Alex Ratcliffe was competing full time in the East Coast Honda Challenge H2 class running the now infamous blue and black Integra GSR that the team bought from Planet Earth Motorsports. Fast forward to 2006 and the RATs were back this year fielding 5 Miatas and supporting an entry in the GTS series with Brian Shipman's BMW 325.

Team regulars Mark Scafidi, Michelle Madigan and Dennis Courtney were joined by Ryan Heischman in the SM class in the King RAT sponsored Spec Miata Challenge series. Kim Ratcliffe was enjoying getting acquainted with her recently acquired #1 1999 Spec Miata in the SM2 class. "It is the first time that I have used the cool shirt system. Everything I have heard about it it true," commented Ratcliffe. "It's on loan from Payton. He says that it doesn't come with the car, so I will definately have to get one of these."

HyperFest typically draws a large crowd, not only spectators coming to see the racing, drifting and roll over competitions, but also competitors come out of the woodwork to be seen in front of the standing room only crowds of fans and national media in the largest NASA event on the East Coast. This translates into a crowded track as officials try to accommodate everyone and put the race groups together. This year was no exception and would have mixed results with several on-track incidents and the all too unwanted red flags.

NASA runs a tight ship when managing track time. With so many classes and entrants the racers have alot of traffic to deal with, said team owner Alex Ratcliffe. As racers we have the responsibility to play nice and share the track regardless of who we race with. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. Practice and qualifying ran without too many problems, but the race would result in a lot of incidents and a red flag. For King RAT, with two cars retiring early due to first lap crashes, both drivers emerged unhurt after a trip to medical.

Once the grid was reset, the race got underway again with Jim Thill barely edging out Evan Gay for the win. Gay set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:31.098 by about a quarter-second over Thill. Chris Snobeck finished third in the final podium spot.
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