Kevin Jander of Porter, won the Camaro-Mustang Challenge class championship earlier this month at the 2018 National Auto Sport Association National Championships presented by Toyo Tires.
More than 450 amateur and professional drivers from across the United States converged on Circuit of The Americas outside Austin, Sept. 13-16, to compete for a championship in more than 20 classes. This year’s National Championships was the largest field of competitors since NASA was formed in 1991.
“The cautions made things fairly interesting, and with the full-course caution, once we got grouped back up and did the restart, we were right at the back of the Spec E46’s and it was a bit tough navigating the traffic,” Jander said. “It was a good race. There was a little bit of frustration with some of the out-of-class cars, but I managed it and managed to get around them and everything ended up well.”
Drivers had two days of qualifying sessions and a qualifying race before the Championship races on Sunday, September 16. NASA is one of the United States’ largest grassroots motorsports groups, with numerous drivers moving into the professional ranks.
The racers drove the same 3.4-mile road course that Formula 1 drivers will run in late October on the North American leg of their tour. With varying elevations and challenging turns, the Circuit of The Americas road course pushes amateur and professional drivers’ skills to their limits.
This year marked NASA’s return to a single National Championships centrally located in the country. Previously, NASA held National Championships on the East and West coasts. The combined championships produced larger fields and a single National Champion for each class.
“There’s no better place than COTA to bring back the combined event as a single national championship,” said NASA’s Will Faules, who leads the Texas Region, which organized the National Championship. “Anytime there are more competitors in a class, you’re going to have more competition, more fun, more people to battle with.”