Team GTI

A Thin but Successful Year
Battling up and down the Atlantic coast

Event Report 2010
Last updated 8 May, 2011

Carolina Motorsports Park
Kershaw, SC
29-30 May
Central Carolinas Region Monster Memorial

In the 30-minute SARRC spring race, Knestis finished 2nd behind longtime ITB racer Chris Schimmel. Schimmel, owner of Competition Cages, was instrumental in building Kirk's blue Golf, so the two enjoy every opportunity to race one-another. ITB was well represented, with additional finishers including Matt Douglas (Honda), Derek Moore, Steve Ulbrik (Toyota), and John Wilkins.

The second race of the weekend was the 45-minute Carolina Cup pro race. Knestis qualified second behind Jeff Joyce in Douglas' Civic, but ahead of an improving Ulbrik. The race was run in wet conditions - typically an advantage for Washington State native Knestis - but his Golf suffered from terrible handling. The team attributed the problem to rain tires that were past their prime but regardless of the cause, Knestis struggled and was lucky to finish in the same position as he started.

The final bout - a second 45-minute "enduro" with a mandatory pit stop - was run in dry conditions the next day. Joyce suffered from mechanical issues and dropped out after lap13, just prior to a full-course yellow flag situation for an on-track incident. Knestis was left to cruise to what looked like a win. Unfortunately, he was subsequently disqualified, having fallen afoul of the pit stop rule requiring that entrants complete a full lap at the race start prior to coming to pit lane.

Summit Point Motorsports Park
Summit Point, WV

9-10 July
Regional Road Races

Knestis finished 14th of 24 ITB cars on Saturday, in a stellar field of cars led to the checkered flag by Tristan Herbert (VW), Jeff Underwood (Honda), and Dave Gran (Honda).

Knestis got serious during Sunday's qualifying race for the "main event" to come, improving substantially to 6th, just over a second behind Underwood's pole time. He would follow the previous day's top three plus Charlie Broring (Volvo) and Bill Radford (BMW) to the green flag, in what may have been the nation's largest ITB race of the 2010 season.

At the start of Monday's race, Underwood got bottled up at the start, delaying several other cars and allowing Knestis to leap-frog into 3rd through the first few corners. He found the RennGruppe Motorsports Golf suffering from increasing understeer however, as the race progressed, relegating him back to 6th behind Herbert, Underwood, Radford, Tom Martin (BMW), and Broring.

NEW - Video of Monday's race, looking backward from Jeff Underwood's civic. Watch Kirk's good start and fading performance in the early laps.

Virginia International Raceway
Alton, VA
30-31 October
Sports Car Club of America
Charge of the Headlight Brigade 13-hour enduro
Knestis teamed up with longtime enduro codriver Greg Amy, Tom Hoppe, and Tyler Raatz, in the latter's ITA Mazda Miata, to take a class win at the VIR 13-hour enduro. Late to the grid, Raatz started dead last but the team worked over the first 12 hours to lead the nine ITA entries by a useful margin. They were dealt a scare however, when charging system and battery problems slowed them in the closing laps. Two quick stops to work on the issues, including changing a battery, left them just barely ahead of everyone else in ITA and a respectable 26th overall at the end.

Road Atlanta
Braselton, GA
4-7 November
Sports Car Club of America
American Road Race of Champions (ARRC)

Kirk Knestis made his first ARRC sprint race start on a beautiful fall weekend at the historic Road Atlanta.

Read the full story here

The start of the 2010 ARRC sprint race (Photo courtesy of Joe Moser)

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Use by permission only
Last updated May 8, 2011
Project GTI is headquartered at RennGruppe Motorsports, Lexington, NC


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