Buttonwillow 3 Hour Enduro: October 8, 2011

Congratulations and big thanks to all of the teams that competed at Buttonwillow Raceway last weekend! The on-track performance of the Western Endurance Racing Championship (WERC) drivers was amazing, and the pit support for each of the teams was simply flawless. The combined talent of these individuals resulted in virtually no pit penalties or on-track incidents in a 3 hour day/night enduro: A true testimony of skillfull driving and outstanding work in the pits. The conditions were amazingly tough on track, and all of our drivers did a great job!

Andy Salvaggio Memorial (3 Hour) Enduro Results:
http://www.mylaps.com/results/showrun.jsp?id=2108932
WERC Season Points:
http://www.nasanorcal.com/WERC2011/WERC2011.htm

Next up is the 6-Hour enduro event to be held in conjunction with the 25 Hours of Thunderhill on December 3-4. The battles are very close across the classes, and the season finale is setting up to be one of the closest season points finishes in the history of the WERC.

On behalf of the entire Salvaggio family, and Team Thunder Valley Racing, I want to send along my deepest appreciation to the NASA family for your kindness and generosity in our time of loss. We may compete with great passion on track, but we also share a common bond of friendship with one another that extends far beyond pit lane…..Andy was a racer’s racer, competing on legendary tracks such as Riverside, Ontario, Sears Point, Las Vegas, Pikes Peak and many more in his forty year racing career…The friendships we shared and the memories we made within the NASA racing community will always hold a special place in our hearts. Thank you….Karen

Pony Cars Battle at Auto Club Speedway

We had a total of 14 racers at this event.  If we make another 14 at the October BW event, the drivers who attend all three events (June BW, July CS, and October BW) will receive a check for $150 from NASA, to use anyway that you like.

We would also like to thank Agent 47 Racing, Stop Tech Brakes, and Maximum Motorsports for generously donating the giveaway items for this event.  We are working with other manufacturers to do the same for the October event.

Enjoy a well deserved 2 month break!  The next NASA event will be the Nationals at Mid-Ohio, 8-11 September 2011.  For those planning to attend the Nationals, please let me know.

We look forward to seeing all of you at the 8/9 October Buttonwillow event. Several racers will be back racing with us after experiencing some trouble this year (the Klamecki’s, Nick Steel), as well as a few soon-to-be licensed drivers (Randy Wright, Bryan Rogers, Brian Gust), and it’s already shaping up to be our largest event this season.

Spec E30 Round 5, July 30/31- Auto Club Speedway

SE30 returned to California Speedway with nine drivers, many of them
had the track record in their sites once again, but the hot weather
would control how fast they could run.

After the morning warm-up, cars were prepped for the qualifying
session. With clear skies with nary a breeze meant that the day was to
be a hot one. Hauser would post the top time putting him on the pole,
Dave Reed was close behind. Four seconds would cover the entire field
in qualifying, a standing start on this tricky banked front stretch
will have a say on who gets to turn-3 first though!

Saturdays Qualifying:

320 Allan Hauser  2:04.699
343 David Reed  2:04.781
67 Steffen Thompson 2:05.009
75 Jeremy Sykes  2:06.469
21 Matthew Thiemann 2:07.544
45 Rius Billing  2:08.113
11 Frank Reed  2:08.389
3 Steven Stepanian 2:08.795
59 Vogel Boys  2:05.934 **

Mike Vogel unfortunately did not attend the mandatory drivers meeting
and would start the race at the back of the pack to serve his penalty.

Saturday’s race start was a good one! All nine cars made it off the
line and would charge into turn-3. The racing was close and there was
multiple passes made all over the track!

A freak incident happened in front of Billing’s car. Billing pulled
down behind an E36 BMW to use the draft as they went into turn-2, the
E36’s under-tray came off and landed on Billing’s hood shattering his
windshield. Billing was thankfully not injured but had to retire from
the race.

Vogel fought lap after lap to get to the front of the SE30 pack after
another E36 made contact with the 2nd place car of Dave Reed. Vogel
was able to take and hold the 2nd spot at the finish. But he simply
ran out of time as the race ended. Vogel received the hard charger
award for starting last and finishing 2nd! Dave Reed held onto 3rd to
finish on the podium. Once again, Hauser would keep his car on point
and take the victory!

With the exception of Billing’s early retirement, all of the SE30
drivers would finish on the same lap! Spec E30 is not only a growing
racing series, but the level of competition has closed up a lot and
everyone is bringing their A-game to the track.

Saturday Race Results:

320 Allan Hauser
59 Vogel Boys
343 David Reed
67 Steffen Thompson
75 Jeremy Sykes
21 Matthew Thiemann
11 Frank Reed
3 Steven Stepanian
45 Rius Billing

Sunday saw a huge change in the whether as Mother Nature decided to
change things up!

Sunday morning at the track at around 3am the skies opened up with a
downpour that would last well into early afternoon. Nobody brought
rain tires and as a result very few drivers went out in the morning
warm-up in fact only three Spec E30 drivers would venture out onto the
wet conditions. This would be a mistake for those who stayed in the
pits as the qualifying race was to be in the rain and those that had
not tried out the wet conditions would not know what to expect from
the saturated track, much less a saturated track in race conditions.

Sunday’s qualifying format would be different from Saturday’s. The
race results from Saturday’s race were the starting grid for a
“qualifying race”, and as an added wrinkle the grid was also inverted,
placing the race winner at the back of the pack and the last place car
on the pole.

The very fast and very experienced Steven Ferrario from the NorCal
series also joined us for Sunday’s race!

Garrett Katzenstein, the owner of the #45 SE30 that Billing drove on
Saturday was able to replace the windshield before Sunday qualifying.
This allowed Billing to start from pole position for the qualifying
race. That’s the never say die attitude that we all love about this
group of racers.

This was to be the very first SoCal Spec E30 standing start in the
rain! The 10 car field took to the starting line and waited for the
flag man to drop the green. Everyone got away cleanly!

Unfortunately at the start Billing’s hood opened enough and forced him
to drive off track to look for help to the hood secured. Two of the
three drivers that ventured out for the wet morning warm-up made good
use of the rain soaked experience and claimed the top two spots for
the race start. It was Dave Reed who achieved pole for the race.

Sunday Qualifying Race Results and race starting grid:

343 David Reed
59 Vogel Boys
93 Steven Ferrario
320 Allan Hauser
21 Matthew Thiemann
3 Steven Stepanian
67 Steffen Thompson
11 Frank Reed
45 Rius Billing
75 Jeremy Sykes

Rain stopped before race time and the track’s imitation of “Florida”
became very convincing with its high heat and humidity! The track
actually dried out before race time.

Once again the SE30 field lined up for a standing start and once again
everyone got away cleanly into and through turn 3! The cars were nose
to tail for the first few laps and they were pushing as hard as they
could, sometimes too hard! Hauser would start 4th but early on in the
race, going through the complex, the field checked up in front of him
and Hauser would get into Steven Ferrario while trying to avoid him
and the end result was Ferrario would retire from the race with a flat
tire. Hauser would continue but fall back to the 8th spot before
resuming the fight.

Meanwhile, up front Dave Reed, Jeremy Sykes and Patrick Vogel were
battling for the lead, swapping positions lap after lap! In the
process, Hauser was catching the threesome, picking off positions as
he went. The threesome of Reed, Sykes and Vogel was battling so hard
that he simply drove past them on the inside on the exit of turn 4!
Hauser drove away to a huge lead while Reed, Vogel and Sykes continued
to fight one another, often times going 3 wide into and thru turn 3
and 4!

A little further back in the field, SE30 rookies Thompson and Thiemann
would have a battle of their own, continually swapping positions.
During the Thiemann/Thompson fight, Billing would catch, battle, and
finally pass Thiemann to hang onto the 5th spot.

On lap 9, the 3 way battle between Reed, Sykes and Vogel came to a
head when the trio went into turn 3 together and Sykes did not get the
car slowed down enough and hit Reed door to door. Sykes retired from
the race. Reed would school Vogel lap after lap with a classic
crossover move out of turn 3 followed by a run through turn 4 to
reclaim the position from Vogel. However, by the end of the race Vogel
figured out how to keep the position and claimed 2nd place spot over
Reed. Hauser was able to again duplicate his Saturday win but he had
to work much harder this day. Hauser claimed the hard charger award
because of this terrific comeback.

No track records were broken, but that is not to understate how hard
everyone tried! They pushed hard and a few of them working together to
experiment with the advantage of bump drafting.

Sunday Race Results:

320 Allan Hauser
59   Vogel Boys
343 David Reed
67   Steffen Thompson
45   Rius Billing
21   Matthew Thiemann
3     Steven Stepanian
75   Jeremy Sykes
11   Frank Reed
93 Steven Ferrario

It was one of the hardest fought races of the season, and with 2 more
events left, the points chase tightened up yet again. It’s anyone’s
championship!!

944 Spec Battle At Willow Springs

NASA Southern California 944 Spec

May 21-22, 2011 Willow Springs International Motorsports Park “The Fastest Road in the West”

Two of our regulars were sidelined on “injured reserve” and had to sit out this round 944 action. We expect to see Chris Allen and Tyler Palmer to return very soon after a brief tune-in the body shop!

Between the injuries and all those commitments associate with family only three of us made it to Willow Springs this past weekend.  While small in number the Porsche 944 class put on a first class show for the crowd.  Qualifying for Saturday had Tom Atteberry on the pole with Jim Richmond .049 seconds behind and Everett DeLano only 1.5 seconds behind Jim.

Given there were only three of us we were mixed in with the PT class for the grid.  At the start Tom went left and passed two cars on the green flag.  Everett smartly tucked in right behind Tom and all looked good.  Then Tom forgot where 4th gear was and by turn one the two passed cars were back ahead and Jim was in the lead.  For the next 8 laps Jim build a small lead only to watch it vanish in the last 6 laps. His wide car was able to hold off Tom and Jim won by .23 seconds.  Everett had difficulty shaking the PT cars and finished third.  Between his battling with the PT cars and Tom and Jims battle the less than capacity crowd saw a very good race.

NASA Southern California 944 Spec

 

May 21-22, 2011 Willow Springs International Motorsports Park “The Fastest Road in the West”

 

Two of our regulars were sidelined on “injured reserve” and had to sit out this round 944 action. We expect to see Chris Allen and Tyler Palmer to return very soon after a brief tune-in the body shop!

 

Between the injuries and all those commitments associate with family only three of us made it to Willow Springs this past weekend.  While small in number the Porsche 944 class put on a first class show for the crowd.  Qualifying for Saturday had Tom Atteberry on the pole with Jim Richmond .049 seconds behind and Everett DeLano only 1.5 seconds behind Jim.

 

Given there were only three of us we were mixed in with the PT class for the grid.  At the start Tom went left and passed two cars on the green flag.  Everett smartly tucked in right behind Tom and all looked good.  Then Tom forgot where 4th gear was and by turn one the two passed cars were back ahead and Jim was in the lead.  For the next 8 laps Jim build a small lead only to watch it vanish in the last 6 laps. His wide car was able to hold off Tom and Jim won by .23 seconds.  Everett had difficulty shaking the PT cars and finished third.  Between his battling with the PT cars and Tom and Jims battle the less than capacity crowd saw a very good race.

 

Sunday was a day of adjustments.  Everett asked about how to get more speed in turn 9 the decreasing radius high speed turn leading onto the front straight.  He followed up that with a lead follow with Jim to get the right line.  Tom on the other hand puttered around scrubbing new tires.  Jim’s car had a bad habit of the rear end hopping out in any high-speed turn. Willow Springs has three such turns.  So after warm-up Jim decided that maybe if he raised the rear end up some that might cure the problem.

 

Tom qualified on pole for the second race.  By the way unless there has been an inverted start Tom has never qualified on pole.  The lead follow worked for Everett he qualified second .39 seconds behind Tom.  Raising the rear end was a bad idea for Jim as he qualified 1.4 seconds behind Everett.

 

Well it was crowd-pleasing time again for the 944 racers.  This time they went in three wide into turn one on the start.  Jim on the inside Tom in the middle and Everett on the outside giving each other respectful room and in Tom’s case praying to make it through unhurt.  When it was all said and done Jim was in first, Tom was in second and Everett was in third.  For the next twelve laps not more than a few seconds separated all three.  With Jim and Tom in a heated battle for the whole race Everett kept dogging Tom tail for second.  For the three of us the challenge was how to deal with a PTE Nissan that for some reason felt the need to try and play with us.  From an entertainment factor he certainly made the race exciting.  In the end Everett got the short end of the stick with the Nissan as it spun on the last lap in front of Everett at the brake point for turn nine and ended his challenge for second.  The result was another victory for Jim by .82 seconds.

 

All three had a fantastic race with great stories to tell.  Several spectators commented on the close racing among the 944’s.  Additionally we may have picked up a father and son racing team.  After watching the three of us and seeing the smiles on our faces and the congratulations for each other they seemed to fully understand why we race in this class with each other.

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