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Robert Walter Gets First Win! - WC Round 4

For the fourth round of the West Coast Challenge Series, five drivers  made the trip to the historic Willow Springs Raceway;  T.C. McNett, Karen Salvaggio, Mike Beeler, Robert Walter, and Rick Anderson.  All were braced for the typical 90 plus degree days, but were treated to unseasonably cool temps in the 70’s.  Good for horsepower, bad for track records!!

After Saturday’s qualifying, T.C. had the pole with a record 1:37.345, followed by Robert, Rick, Mike, and Karen.  Note: top three qualifiers all broke previous record of 1:38.507!

Saturday Race:

At the rolling start, TC took an early lead w/ Robert in close behind.  Karen quickly moved up and spent the next couple of laps dicing with Rick for the third spot.  Finally taking third for good, Karen set her sights on Robert.  On the big right hand sweeper #2, Karen went on the outside (!!) of Robert and made the pass.  Now TC had Karen right behind him, with Robert still right in contention.  Rick and Mike were just a short distance back trying to keep in striking distance.  With the race winding down, Robert passed Karen back for second spot and with two laps to go passed TC for the lead in turn one with a brilliant move (or crazy, depends on which car you were in).  Robert held off the late charges of TC and Karen for his first win, followed by TC, Karen, Rick, and Mike.  Robert’s best lap time:  1:36.584: New Record!!

Sunday Qualifying Race:

Based on Saturday’s race results the grid was set with Robert on pole, TC second, followed by Karen, Rick, and Mike. At the green, all were off with a clean start trying to catch Robert.  By the end of turn 2, Karen and TC had edged Robert back to third spot with all five cars nose to tail.  Now with TC in the lead, he had the red and white 28 of Karen’s constantly challenging for position.  Meanwhile, Robert had the pesky Rick pushing and prodding for position for the duration of the race.  And, right behind Robert and Rick’s battle, Mike was positioned to pounce on anyone’s mistake by staying right in the hunt.  At the checker, it was TC for the win, followed by Karen, Robert, Rick, and Mike.

Sunday Race:

For the Sunday race grid, positions are based on qualifying race best lap, not finish.  Based on that, TC had the pole with a 1:36.904, with Karen at P2, followed by Rick, Robert, and Mike. At the standing start, all were off with a clean start.  With TC taking an early lead, Karen fought back by passing TC on turn 2, and TC responded by passing her back.  This went on for the entire race!!  Close behind, Robert passed Rick who returned the favor the next lap.  Rick pressured Robert for the majority of the race as well.  As Rick’s tires started to go away a little, there was the ever present Mike to make a late charge at turn 1 to make the pass on Rick.  Not to be outdone, Rick passed Mike back while looking at the white flag coming out of turn 9.  At the checker, it was TC, followed closely by Karen, then Robert, Rick, and the vastly quicker Mike.  Drivers and spectators alike; all agreed, it was perhaps the most exhausting yet fun 35 minutes of racing this year.

Next up: Infineon Raceway June 28, 29.  Be there or miss out on some great action!!

Rick Anderson

West Coast Race Director

Page last updated: 07/02/2008

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