Spec Miata At Buttonwillow- June

Spec Miata Competition at Buttonwillow

The Spec Miata series came out in full force this weekend, as drivers overcame the Buttonwillow heat to engage in exciting door-to-door competition.  The technical 1CCW configuration required drivers to carefully manage their consistency and their tires throughout the weekend.  While Sunday’s increased heat brought slightly increased lap times, Saturday showcased multiple close battles.  Eighteen SMs drew up poised for Saturday’s green flag, which saw Clement Lee take the lead and Tyler Vance slip into second.  By the end of the first lap, Grant Westmorland had reclaimed the spot behind the leader.  Directly behind the leaders, Brian Bender and Jeff Walker were engaged in a tight race.  As Walker ‘s tires fell off towards the end of the race, Bender took advantage and permanently gained the position.

Tim Bonney and Francis Hu ran best lap times within 4 hundredths of each other, with Bonney’s consistency pulling him to a 3-second lead by the checkered, while Hu earned his competition license by the end of the weekend.  Curtis Gong and visiting racer John Sause were part of a tightly contested battle, with Sause finishing less than a second behind Gong.  David Dodge, a newcomer to the Teen Mazda Challenge, successfully completed his rookie provisions over the weekend.  Beginning four laps into the race, Chuck Mathews and Tyler Vance traded positions back and forth.  Tyler Vance not only won the second round of the 2010 Teen Mazda Challenge but was a threat for the win all weekend.  Mathews displayed great pace and patience en route to two second place finishes, while Mark Homer’s consistency paid off as he competed against Ken Saward.  Lee was shuffled back in the Bus Stop, allowing Westmorland, Vance, and Mathews to get by, although Lee collected his car quickly and rejoined the train of four.  On the last lap, Vance looked to the inside under braking into Cotton Corners and the Buttonhook, but Westmorland defended well and pulled off a well-earned win.  Lee would go on to dominate Sunday’s race and claim the top podium position.

Nine SoCal Spec Miata drivers are already prepping to take the national Spec Miata champion title at Miller Motorsports Park in September.  Come join us at Auto Club Speedway July 30th and August 1st for the region’s last race before Nationals!

April Event Report

Our April event brought many cars out to the grid and we saw some great racing. NASA played host to the BMW Club racers and they mixed it up with the NASA GTS cars. It was our first WERC event of the year with a great starting field of 28 cars. There were epic battles throughout the 3 hour race and many class wins were decided on the last lap with just a few seconds margin separating 1st and 2nd place.

Spec Miata At Buttonwillow

Spec Miata competition returned to Buttonwillow Raceway Park with a 22 car field ready for some door-to-door racing.  Saturday’s grid was set with Grant Westmorland on pole, and Tyler Vance and Sammy Valafar less than a tenth of a second behind.  In the opening laps of the race, Westmorland, Valafar, Clement Lee, Austin Christian, and Vance quickly formed the lead pack.  There was constant action as drivers challenged competitors at the braking points, at times the leading car blocked, laid over, or employed the crossover to quickly regain their position.   As the race wore on, the track became increasingly greasy, causing drivers to drop wheels (and entire cars!), at the exit of the Bus Stop and Sunset sections.  Dust clouds began to frequently appear through of the Bus Stop, forcing drivers to think quick.  Rookie driver Sean Bradley took advantage of a cloud to pass a fellow competitor.  Chuck Mathews, Eric Richter, and Rob Burgoon put on an exciting show for spectators, swapping positions throughout the race while Emilio Cervantes would drive to a solid 6th place.  Immediately after the white flag, Burgoon looked to the inside of T1 to make a pass on Mathews for 7th place, but misjudged the corner, and ran wide, losing a position to Richter.  In the paddock
post-race, Burgoon explained, “I figured if I didn’t go for it, Eric [Richter] would never respect me again!”  Jeremy Barnes, Brian Bender, and Curtis Gong mixed it up throughout the event, with Barnes prevailing.  While Tyler Vance and Austin Christian fought early on, Vance pulled ahead and drove on to a podium finish.  Valafar and Westmorland raced each other hard until Valafar edged ahead for the win.

Sunday morning found the drivers warming up on a new configuration, utilizing the Dog Leg portion of track.  A miscue on the start set Vance back in the field, where he battled his way forward, going three wide with Burgoon and Curtis Gong.  Valafar, Westmorland, and Lee settled in to gap the field.  Without the technical yet rewarding Bus Stop section, the importance of a solid run out of Grapevine and drafting was introduced to
the mix.  Gong saved his car throughout the main and utilized this to pass Burgoon going into Riverside.  Austin Christian didn’t back down from the daunting line on the outside of Riverside, and used it to gain position on Mathews and later went two wide through T1 and into T2 with Barnes.  Despite Christian’s efforts, Lee secured a solid podium finish, while after 30 minutes of racing, Ken Saward, Preston Lerner, and Tyler Vance crossed the line within an incredible four tenths of a second.   Westmorland ran an incredibly fast yet consistent race.with Valafar ultimately taking the checkered.

Pony Cars at Auto Club Speedway

SoCal’s 2010 CMC/AI season got off to a rapid start on March 13, with a very cool and windy morning at California Speedway in Fontana.  The racers showed their true colors as everyone, from fellow racers to the owner of NASA SoCal, pitched in to help out Team Life’s Good racing after much of their gear was stolen from their truck at their hotel Thursday night!

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