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West Coast Challenge Series, Round 5

For the fifth stop on the West Coast Challenge Series, we had 11 drivers show up to do battle on the very technical Infineon (Sears Point) Raceway.  Tom Andrews, Paul McGarvey, Dave and Tasha Standridge, Ron Morris, Karen Salvaggio, Robert Walter, Rich Norgrove, T.C. McNett, Dave Brown (driving the Team Racing 4 A Reason 25 hour Enduro car), and Rick Anderson made up the list of drivers.  Unfortunately, Ron lost a motor during testing on Friday which sidelined him for the weekend.  The Racing 4 A Reason team was there to test and tune with us and do further shake down on the car. Rich Migliori should receive a Masters Degree for “Roll Cage Engineering”.  Hopefully he will post some comments and pictures later.

After the Saturday warm up it was time to get serious and qualify.  When the qualifying times were posted, there was a 1.1 second separation between first and seventh spot!!  Talk about a tight group, you could have thrown a “small blanket” over the whole field.

For the race, we had a standing start that followed the CMC group.  At the green, all were off with a clean start and the battle was on.  The Challenge cars stayed in a pretty tight group with close racing and plenty of dicing back and forth throughout the pack.  Near the end of the race, Rick had an unassisted spin into the tire barrier at turn ten.  Tom, while working to stay clear of any of the “yard sale” that was going on, spun safely to the inside of the ten/ eleven which is wide open and all asphalt.  Dave went on to victory, with Robert taking second, and Paul securing third place. T.C., Tom, Karen, Rich, Tasha and Rick rounded out the finishing order.

The grid for Sundays qualifying race was based on the finishing order from Saturdays race, but with a flying start and inverted grid.  At the start, Rick took off for the lead with the rest of the group in hot pursuit.  Midway through the 20 minute race, it seamed like the whole group passed Rick like a freight train.  Meanwhile, Karen had worked up to the front with Dave carefully picking his way towards the front also.  Rich Norgrove held his third spot while T.C. and Robert battled close behind.  At the checker, it was Karen, Dave, Rich, Robert, T.C. Paul, Rick, Tom, and Tasha.  Note: the separation between Robert and T.C. was .008 seconds!

For the Sunday main race the field was based on fast lap time in the qualifying race with a standing start.  On pole, with a new track record, was Dave Standridge (1:55.711), followed by T.C., Paul, Rich, Rick, Karen, Robert, Tom, and Tasha.  The top seven qualifiers were separated by 2.1 seconds.  Even though the temperatures were cool and mild, the competition was hot and intense! Just before the start, Dave had to retire: fuel pump failure.  At the start, T.C. took the lead with Paul close behind.  As usual, the rest of the group was having a great time swapping positions while trying to catch T.C.  Midway through the race, there was a full course yellow.  Unfortunately, Paul’s motor decided to lay down (spark plug wire failure) which allowed a large gap to form between T.C. and Paul.  At the green, Rick, in second spot, tried to catch up, but had to contend with a pesky Robert who was not content with his current position.  After about two laps, Robert got by but had to contend with Rick, Rich and Karen nibbling at his tail for the remainder of the race.  In the end, it was T.C. for the victory, followed by, Robert, Rick, Rich, Karen, Tasha, Paul, Tom, and Dave.

All in all, a good weekend for all drivers and teams.

--Rick Anderson

Page last updated: 07/02/2008

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