Round Two of the Western States Challenge
Round two of the
Western States Challenge Series was held at Thunderhill Raceway Park.
Ten racers made the trip out for the weekend, even though the local
weather forecast was for rain on Saturday and possibly continuing into
and qualifying saw rain and very slippery conditions. Even though there
were a couple of off track excursions and spins, there was no damage (TC
did suffer a broken shock in the warm up). The grid for the race was:
Dave Standridge, TC McNett, Karen Salvaggio, Tom Andrews (first time
running with us-Welcome!!!), Robert Walter, Rick Anderson, Rich
Norgrove, Paul McGarvey, Mike Beeler, and Tasha Standridge (although
running in time trials last year, a first timer racing with us-Glad to
have you with us!!).
The race started
with a relatively dry track but went away by the third lap when the rain
returned. Dave took off at the start with TC, Karen, Rick, Rich, and
Paul in hot pursuit. Tom, Robert, Mike and Tasha stayed right in there
until the wet stuff started falling. As the race went on, Dave and TC
separated from the rest of the pack to leave Karen and Rick to duke it
out for position. After another off track excursion (!!), Rick could
not catch Karen. Further back, Rich and Robert had their own battle
with spoiler Paul ready to pounce. In the end it was: Dave, TC, Karen,
Rick, Tom, Rich, Robert, Paul, Mike, and Tasha.
For Sunday, we
decided to change the format a little and have our qualifying race at
8:00 (instead of the warm-up) and the feature race at 10:20 (instead of
the scheduled qual.). That would make the afternoon session optional
for those who wanted to test or allow the SoCal folks an early start on
their 10+ hr drives home.
For our qualifying
race, we gridded up according to Saturdays race results. With dry and
windy conditions, everyone was anticipating a fun and fast race. At the
start, TC led Dave with the rest of the group nose to tail for several
laps. By the third or fourth lap, every one was thinking that their
tires were way off in pressures, as the cars got real loose. Only Dave
knew the answer to the problem, he was getting a mist of oil from TC’s
motor as it was on its way to self destruction. After retiring (blown
motor), TC watched as Dave motor by for a comfortable lead. Behind
however, there was a major battle for second between Paul, Karen, Rich,
and Rick. All four cars occupied a space of about 50 feet for the
remainder of the race. On the last lap, and on the last corner before
the checker, the four cars entered into the turn 2x2, and nose to tail.
As the dust cleared, Karen hit a patch of oil and backed into the tire
wall, Paul and Rich had to check up to avoid contact, allowing Rick to
sneak by on the inside to take second, followed by Paul, Rich, Tom,
Karen (even though her car was mangled!!), Tasha, Mike, TC, and Robert.
Whew!! I think we are ready for some ice racing!!
For the Sunday
feature race, we had Rick on Pole, with Rich at second spot, followed by
Dave, Paul, Robert, Tom, Tasha, and Mike.
At the standing
start, Dave got a great start and Rick, Rich, and Dave took turn one
three wide followed closely by Paul and the rest of the troops. By turn
three it was Dave, Rich (showing his new car set up and Toyo's will be a
force to be reckoned with), Paul, and Rick. As the race wound down, the
race for second place was between good friends Rick and Rich with Rich
showing he has no problem racing with another car inches from his tail.
However, exiting the esses, Rich had a little trouble with his gear box
and Rick made heavy contact with Rich’s left rear quarter. Fortunately,
Rich was able to continue on to place a well earned second followed by
Paul, Robert, Tom, Tasha, and Mike.
All in all, a
great weekend with a really great bunch of racers/friends. Next up: May
5-6 at Willow Springs. Calling all Spec Racers-Be there or be square!!