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.

FFR Race Report- October

Anderson Takes Nor Cal Championship; Salvaggio Sweeps Weekend

 

The last time the Challenge Series racers were at Infineon, it was February, the hills were lush and green, and the first on-track session greeted racers with light rain and a slick track. October in Sonoma is very different….The hills were dry from the long summer, the evenings were warm, and the track was hot, hot hot….And that heat was not just from the rays of the sun!

 

Six Challenge Series racers found their way to the track by Friday evening,

Anderson Takes Nor Cal Championship; Salvaggio Sweeps Weekend

 

The last time the Challenge Series racers were at Infineon, it was February, the hills were lush and green, and the first on-track session greeted racers with light rain and a slick track. October in Sonoma is very different….The hills were dry from the long summer, the evenings were warm, and the track was hot, hot hot….And that heat was not just from the rays of the sun!

 

Six Challenge Series racers found their way to the track by Friday evening, and after setting up the pit area, the group feasted on a wonderful BBQ of chicken, green salad, a fantastic fresh fruit salad, and pumpkin pie w/whipped cream. Of course, if you’re racing in Sonoma, CA, there will always be plenty of vino fino on hand, and the racers were not to be shamed this go-round. Series regulars Rick Anderson, Jeff Awender, Tom Coon, Sern Clementson and Karen Salvaggio were on hand to greet Series newcomer John Teaby to the group, and these new racing friends quickly found common themes in their passion for racing and all things speed, which carried the bench racing well into the evening.  Challenge Series driver Dr. Tom Coon recovering from an emergency root canal earlier in the day….Ahh yes…The healing power of self-medication. Napa-style!

 

Race Group B was comprised of American Iron/Extreme, Camaro-Mustang Challenge/2, German Touring Series (GTS), US Touring Cars (USTCC), and the Factory Five Challenge Series racers. All racers took to the track for the 9:25 AM practice session; each looking to improve upon their line from earlier in the season, and to assure their trusty steeds were ready for the weekend competition. After a couple of quick warm-up laps, Karen Salvaggio logged a smoking 1:53.1X laptime, a full second under the previous track record set in 2007 by National Champion Dave Standridge. It was the first practice session of the weekend, and Karen had hooked up with a GTS Porsche right out of the hot pits. She had been chasing that red beauty, not thinking about laptimes, and couldn’t believe when her crew chief Andy called the time over the radio. She continued to chase the Porsche for two more laps, and in the process, set the new track record of 1:52.719 in that Saturday morning session. She would back it up with several 1:52.9x laps over the course of the weekend.

 

As mentioned, the track was hot, hot, hot all weekend, and laptimes for all Challenge Series competitors dropped steadily all weekend long. At the end of the weekend, a 1:54XX would be in the hands of several Challenge Series drivers. The group drove a great qualifying session amongst nearly 40 racecars, and the results:

 

Saturday Qualifying:

Karen Salvaggio 1:52.950

Jeff Awender  1:55.745

Sern Clementson  1:58.390

John Teaby  1:59.720

Tom Coon  2:04.531

 

Following qualifying, Rick Anderson felt his car was seriously down on power, and began an afternoon of changing parts and chasing down those extra seconds prior to the 3:55 PM feature race…..His worked paid off…..

 

The group was to take the third green flag in their race group, however, that plan was quickly changed by NASA when Race Group A experienced a number of re-starts and then carnage at the start during their race, so….Plan B: FFR takes the first green with the CMC and AI cars…USTCC and GTS cars would take a second green flag.

 

At the start, it would be Karen leading from the pole, weaving her way through traffic up the hill to Turn 2. Rick Anderson, Jeff Awender, Sern Clementson, John Teaby and Tom Coon, all found themselves dodging and weaving through CMC, AI, and GTS traffic, while the fast FFR’s held their own race in the midst of three other races. Sern would battle with John for a time, while Tom dropped his laptimes and dice with fellow competitors. Jeff had his hands full chasing Rick Anderson (who’s car was obviously back up to speed), and both racer’s set new personal best laps in the session. The group raced clean, and at the checkered it was….

 

Saturday Race Results

1st Karen Salvaggio 1:54.255

2nd Rick Anderson 1:54.723

3rd Jeff Awender 1:54.920

4th Sern Clementson 1:59.080

5th Tom Coon 2:03.407

 

Competition Note: John Teaby’s 1:54.858 immediately proved he was a contender among the group, however, he’s still working on getting the car completely within spec, so his times were unfortunately disqualified….Not to worry though…John brings years of successful driving experience and on track victories to this, his newest on track adventure…..He’s certainly a player!!!

 

Saturday evening, all racers were treated to the now legendary NASA Saturday night BBQ, which featured great food and some fantastic classic rock-n-roll sounds from the awesome live band. As usual, the bench racing carried well into the evening. Sunday morning would bring clear skies, and hold even greater on-track adventures. Challenge Series racers on the out-lap for the inverted start Sunday morning Qualifying race. Let the fun begin!

 

As is the tradition for West Coast racers, the group would compete in three races for the weekend, with the Sunday morning qualifier being driven as a Qualifying Race…With one caveat….The grid would be inverted based on the results of the Saturday race, and would form up behind the Camaro-Mustang Challenge series cars. Tom Coon would lead the group to the green flag, in tight formation behind the CMC’s and with Sern, John, Jeff, Rick and Karen close behind.

 

At the green, to say it was a donney-brook would be an understatement. The FFR’s scattered like quail, darting through the back of the CMC pack, all the while chasing each other. 18 cars sped through Turn 1 and up the steep hill toward the sharp righthand Turn 2. Jeff Awender would secure the lead out of two, with Rick Anderson in hot pursuit. Tom Coon and Sern Clementson would do a masterful job of working traffic, while John Teaby yet again proved his racing skills, all the while keeping Rick Anderson in close proximity. In an effort to keep the pack in striking distance as they sped toward Turn 3, Karen would make a pass on the right of a CMC car, and get her left front slammed when the driver made a sudden move right. Fortunately, it was an off track excursion, but no harm to either car, and they both continued. Jeff, Rick, Karen, John, Sern and Tom were off to the races.

 

Jeff would have a masterful drive and hold onto the lead for several laps, while Rick, Karen, and John battled for position close behind. Karen would get by Rick several laps in and set off to chase down Jeff. Meanwhile, Rick and John’s race would turn into an epic battle for position. Lapped traffic was an issue for all of the racers, and when the checkered flag fell, John would cross the line in third position, with several battle scars (nothing that some blue racing tape couldn’t hold together) from his bout with the #6. John would get his grid position for the final race, but his position would again be disqualified due to spec rules.

 

Sunday Qualifying Race Results

Karen Salvaggio 1:52.984

Jeff Awender 1:54.015

John Teaby  1:55.051

Rick Anderson 1:55.299

Sern Clementson 1:57.903

Tom Coon  2:01.089

 

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http://www.mylaps.com/results/showrun.jsp?id=1727004&perclass=1

 

Sern Clementson, John Teaby, Karen Salvaggio, Tom Coon, and Jeff Awender

 

The Sunday afternoon race would be delayed until 4:15 PM, and racers were more than ready to go from their long (all day) wait to get it on out there on the track. With the sun now setting directly into the racer’s eyes as they approached Turn 2, the green flag fell with Karen on pole, and leading the group up the hill. Rick, Jeff, Tom, Sern and Tom would again do a masterful job of weaving through the CMC and AI traffic.

 

The race was run “flat out” for its entire length, all that is, until the last lap when a Porsche had contact with the wall out of Turn 7 on the white flag lap. Karen had secured an eight second lead over Jeff, and was approaching the checkered flag when the safety vehicle flag was displayed just prior to start-finish. Just eight seconds back, Jeff had his hands full battling with Rick Anderson throughout the length of the race. Jeff and Rick would swap places several times during the session, with both showing their true racing skills in a tight, clean battle lap after lap. Karen crossed the line and took the checkered, and then as Jeff and Rick rounded the kink to the finish, a track safety vehicle pulled on course directly ahead of the battle, and a lapped-traffic car way over-checked up, and Rick and Jeff immediately found themselves with simply no where to go. Jeff was able to pull off a swashbuckling maneuver to avoid; however, Rick pitched his car right, and pancaked into the wall, hard, at well over 90 mph…He managed to limp the car across the line, but he and his car were hurt and could not continue.

 

Rick rode back to the pits in the rescue truck with sore ribs and the effects of a 90 mph slam on the wall, with his wounded racecar in tow behind.  Fellow racers helped load the car, and the damage appeared to be significant, with the rear end now adjusted more than 2 inches to the left, a couple of wheels toasted, shocks relocated, with the front having that heart-sinking look of positive camber, as well as a panhard rod now bowed into the shape of a banana, indicating some serious frame/suspension issues.

 

If there was a silver lining to all the action, it would be that Rick Anderson secured the 2009 FFR Nor Cal Championship this weekend, and all of the racers wish him a speedy recovery. Congratulations Rick!! Hats off to Jeff Awender as well, for securing a podium spot in his first complete season!

2009 Nor Cal Championship

1st Rick Anderson

2nd Karen Salvaggio

3rd Jeff Awender

4th Tom Coon

5th Sern Clementson

6th Tim Knokol

7th Rich Norgrove

8th Ron Stebles

9th Mike Beeler

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