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
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.
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!!
West Coast Race Director