West Coast Season Opener!
For the first weekend of racing, Factory Five was
well represented at Thunderhill Raceway Park: Six racers, one Time Trial
driver, and three working on their driving skills in HPDE.
Under clear blue skies, with temps. in the 70ís
(remember this is California!!), the racers got down to business with
Saturday Qualifying. Karen started things off with a new record (low
2:05, to be verified), followed by Dave Standridge, Robert Walter, Rich
Norgrove, Rick Anderson, and Ed Boothman (who will be joining us for,
hopefully, most of the season. Missing in action was T.C. McNett (2007
West Coast Champion).
At the start, Karen got off to a great start, with
Dave close behind. Rick also got the jump on Robert and Rich for the
third spot. Rich and Robert waged a fierce battle while Dave and Karen
battled for the lead. Ed, learning the new track, was rounding out the
At the checker, it was Karen for the win, followed
closely by Dave, then Rick, Robert, Rich, and Ed. In tech, it was
determined that Robertís rear track was ever so slightly (by about a ľĒ)
wide and had to take a DQ.
After the last checkered flag of the day, we all
enjoyed freshly blended margaritas compliments of Karen and Andy
Salvaggio, very competitive bench racing, and the always popular BBQ
hosted by NASA. A good first day of the season!
For Sundayís activities, we have elected to once
again run qualifying, points races. Points are awarded for finishing
order, and best lap time is used for grid order in the feature race.
For this race, we inverted the finishing order (without penalties) from
the Saturday race. Once again, a clean, tightly contested race with
great battles, start to finish. The best battle came at the checker
with Dave passing Karen at the line with about .003 seconds to spare.
Thatís about the distance of our trim rings on out head lights!!
Following was Robert, Rich, Ed, and Rick to round out the field. Also,
Karenís record (from the previous day) fell to Daveís 2:04.
From the qualifying race, pole went to Dave, second
spot went to Karen, third to Rick, then Robert, Rich, and Ed to complete
the grid. At he start, Karen got a jump on Dave for the early lead,
followed by Rick, Robert, Rick, and Ed. Early on, Robert and Rich got
very close with Robert taking a brief excursion off track. Not to be
denied, Robert got right back into the fray. Meanwhile, Karen was
managing to hold off Dave and Rick was fighting to keep in sight of the
top two drivers. Halfway through the race, everyone was red flagged
because of an incident involving a couple of ST-2 cars, a tire wall, and
a failure to heed a waving yellow flag. Fortunately, the race was
allowed to continue. Dave and Karen resumed their battle, with the rest
of the field trying to stay in sight. Near the end of the race, Dave
made a pass for the lead and held it to the checker. With Karen not
willing to concede the top spot, Dave had to run error free to keep
Karen at bay. Meanwhile, Robert had marched his way back to challenge
Rick for the third spot. That drama was played out at the finish line
with a drag race from turn 15 to the checker. This time it was Rick who
came out on top, but Robert proved he is ready to wheel that little car
with the best of them. Rich came in behind the Rick/Robert drag race
with Ed continuing to acclimate to the new car and track.
All in all a great way to start the new season.
The next race will be in April at Infineon Raceway (Sears Point to those
of us older that 30).