Epic end to Season 3, The CSRG Charity Challenge

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Epic end to Season 3, The CSRG Charity Challenge

Danny Baker gets a good start

Danny Baker gets a good start

After such a long season, with some drivers doing upwards of 10 race weekends, it was a slightly battle-weary, broke, but hardcore group of 35 formula ford drivers and crews that gathered to contest the final race of the championship at Sonoma Raceway. There was the usual very strong local contingent, but guys like Bob Morrison, Michael Maros, Don Stern, and Bob Posner made the trek down from the Northwest to join the fun. Over the course of the season, over 120 drivers participated with an average of 45 cars per event, and 32 drivers competing in every race of the championship. We got through the whole thing with one car to car incident with damage, a testament to the depth of the grid, both in sporting and driving terms but also to the work we still need to do. An incident-free series is still the goal.

David Stone and his immaculate Crossle

David Stone and his immaculate Crossle


If we kept track records, which we don’t, but if we did, Danny Baker held the Historic Ford track record throughout Friday practice, at a 1:46.6. But by Saturday morning, Art Hebert had moved that down to a breathtaking 1:45.5. A knowledgeable observer said “every molecule in that car was being urged forward”. Behind him in P2 was Andrew Wait, Bob Lesnett, Danny Baker and an ever-faster Steve Romak and Joe Hopkins (engineered by Neil Porter and on the Club Ford pole) filled out the first three rows. The next group of 11 cars, were separated by less than a second. Heading that group was Tom Duncan and 10 cars down the grid, just .9 seconds later was hugely improving Jay Streets. Personal bests in qualy were posted by several drivers including Robert Posner, David Stone, Mike McDermott and Dwight Matheson. In only his second race, Gunnar Hebert led a third, very tight group with Russ Werner (recovering quickly from a broken upright) Rob Thull, Greg Vroman and a returning Dan Zide. The rookie of the race Preben Ramleth, did a superb job in his first outing, driving the prize-winning family Lotus 51. David Stone journeyed all the way from Australia and on only his second outing at Sonoma, managed a time 2 seconds quicker than his last outing.

Joe Hopkins and race engineer and Formula Ford legend, Neil Porter

Joe Hopkins and race engineer and Formula Ford legend, Neil Porter

The Race

A late green and a very jumpy grid meant the first 4 rows went 3-4 wide into turn 2. Bob Lesnett and Danny Baker surged past a slow starting Andrew Wait, with Joe Hopkins, Steve Romak, and Tom Duncan three-wide into two. Former SCCA National Competitor Brian Forster, in his third comeback race, Dwight Matheson, and a hard-charging Russ Werner (who ultimately gained 8 spots) led the more orderly part of the grid up the hill. It took about 3 laps for the race to settle into a rhythm, with Art Hebert stretching what would ultimately be a 5-second lead over the fighting trio of Baker, Wait and Lesnett. Great dices played out with Steve Hoogs, Rob Thull, and Chris Schoap. Jim Cody found himself as always, battling Jack Wilson, Don Stern and Andy Warburton. On lap six the race-long dice between Bob Lesnett, Danny Baker and Andrew Wait, ended with Bob’s fuel pump dying. Ultimately Art Hebert crossed the line first in a super drive, battling not just the grid, but an overheating engine, followed by Danny Baker, and Andrew Wait in Historic Ford, Joe Hopkins, Tom Duncan and Brian Forster making up the club Ford Podium.

Chris Schoap brought down his trick formula car carrying bus/camper

Chris Schoap brought down his trick formula car carrying bus/camper

The Awards

The Crossflow Cup, by Ivey Engines - The 2019 Crossflow cup winner, is Chris Porritt. He not only built and races his own car but brought two wonderful drivers into the sport and gave them huge help. He functions at a very high level in our community, from dispensing advice and support, to digging up the parts Mike Wirrick needed to get back on track on Sunday. Chris is also an incredibly talented driver, with a long resume of everything from Formula Ford, pro GT racing, two Liter FIA cars, and Formula Atlantic.

Colin Ivey, Chris Porritt, Jay Ivey

Colin Ivey, Chris Porritt, Jay Ivey

Series MVP - The 2019 series MVP is Ed Lauber. This award goes to a driver that is both impeccable on track and a committed supporter of the series and a wonderful sportsman. Ed finished 4th in the championship, a huge improvement over last year, and was an enormous source of support for the series. Whether chilling beers, or helping unload cars, Ed was in the thick of it.

Ed Lauber, Series MVP

Ed Lauber, Series MVP

Rookie of the year - In his first year in the series, David Dupuis impressed. His car is beautifully prepared, he quickly developed into a smooth consistent driver and his dices with Carl Moore were massively entertaining. And to top it off, he finished P2 in the Club Ford Championship. We look forward to seeing David build on the great momentum he developed in 2019.

Most Improved Formula Ford - Car prep matters a lot in this sport. And amazingly, through sheer hard work, the grid is looking better and better every year. Sometimes improvement is discretionary, sometimes, cruel fortune forces it on you. At an SCCA race earlier in the year, the suspension broke and put Michael Edick into the wall, close to destroying his already very nice Lotus 61. Through massive effort, Michael rebuilt his car, and it is beautiful… a well-deserved award.

Best Formula Ford - Every year we honor a car, that is just so beautiful, is causes not just admiration, but lust. Chris Locke’s Merlyn Mk 11, is tasteful, nuanced, and crafted to an incredibly high level… well done Chris.

Chris Locke’s exquisite Merlyn

Chris Locke’s exquisite Merlyn

David Dupuis, Rookie of the Year

David Dupuis, Rookie of the Year

Chris Locke, keeper of the best car of 2019

Chris Locke, keeper of the best car of 2019

Michael Edick, Most improved Formula Ford

Michael Edick, Most improved Formula Ford

Michael Edick’s Lotus 61

Michael Edick’s Lotus 61

The Champions

Historic Ford - Danny Baker drove a stunning campaign. He was fast, made every event, and made no mistakes. Every drive was amazing, but Thunderhill, in particular, was inspired. Danny fended off serious challenges from Laurent Parmantier, Bob Lesnett, Art Hebert, Chris Porritt and more with consistent, controlled performance. P2 in Historic Ford was Andrew Wait and Art Hebert, the 2018 Champion in P3.

Club Ford - Tom Duncan is as fast as ever, and wiser and more strategic than ever. His was a lean, focused campaign, with great results and no mistakes. P2 was David Dupuis and in P3, the most decorated athlete in Crossflow history, Dan Wise.

Masters - The Masters category has passion, strength, and speed that inspires all of us. Also winning Masters, was Tom Duncan. P2 was a very consistent and rapid Dave Zurlinden and P3 was the lightning-quick Bob Lesnett.

Danny Baker, Historic Ford Champion

Danny Baker, Historic Ford Champion

Art Hebert, P3 in Historic Ford

Art Hebert, P3 in Historic Ford

Dan Wise, P3 in Club Ford

Dan Wise, P3 in Club Ford

Club Ford and Masters Champ Tom Duncan

Club Ford and Masters Champ Tom Duncan

Bob Lesnett, P3 in Masters with his better half, Lyndsey Patton

Bob Lesnett, P3 in Masters with his better half, Lyndsey Patton

Dave Zurlinden, P2 in Masters

Dave Zurlinden, P2 in Masters

It’s not possible without…

Jim Cody, our scorekeeper, and series Lawyer and chief provider of moral support. Ed and Martin Lauber, whose sponsorship and support keeps the beer free and the fun factor high. The Secret Champagne Guy, thanks and a huge hug. Jordan Slater of Independent Motorsports, keeper and installer of the scales. John Anderson, Jay Ivey, Roger Krause, Ethan Shippert, and Dave Bean Engineering, without your support, it’s just not going to happen. And to the CSRG and HMSA teams… these are amazing clubs, we are proud to belong to and run with. And to Alvin Lumanlan, we do look that good, but Alvin’s incredible talent doesn’t hurt.

To get your 2019 photos, visit Alvin’s site here.

Stay tuned, can’t wait for 2020

Over the winter we will share news of the 2020 schedule and rule changes. In the meantime, rest up, catch up on deferred family and car maintenance, and we will see you all next year.

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Final Sonoma details

David Dupuis… with his rare and very cool Gemini

David Dupuis… with his rare and very cool Gemini

Sonoma Details.

There is a lot to cover, so please look this over and if you have any questions, please let us know or bring them to the driver's meeting.

Podium Party -  It will be at 5pm, in the John Anderson paddock spot, opposite the garages.  Please get there on time, given we have a lot to get through and we will be celebrating along with our brothers and sisters from group 4, so bring all your friends and family.  We will be raffling off a very cool prize courtesy of Shippert Racing Services, as well as awarding 5 awards (including the Ivey Engines Crossflow Cup), 5 honorable mentions, and the 9 championship trophies!  

More goodies - We also have participation medals for everyone AND a Series T-shirt for every entered driver and several guests and VIPs.  Details on how to get your T-Shirts to follow.

The Right Spirit - As usual, remember, we are here to have fun, and to race for each other, not at each other.  You are here to make friends and race hard, in that order. 

Starts - We have a really nice grid of 35 cars, which includes some very new drivers.  So a tight start, form up by turn 9 at the latest.  Roll up to the start at the usual 3500 RPM in first gear. Doing this will make for a great looking start and help avoid lots of lapped cars. At the green flag it will be a normal start, but please, please avoid anything more than 2 wide into turn 2.

Fairness and Room -  Do not split backmarkers. We have not had any backmarker issues this year, because of this rule.. let's keep it that way.  And give each other room.  If you are next to a newbie, or someone you don't know, give them lots of extra room.  

Qualifying - We are going to self-seed the grid for Saturday morning qualifying.  So if you run sub 1:49, grid at the front, 1:50-1:52, grid in the middle, over 1:53, grid a bit further back.  This will keep frustration low and clean laps high.

Danger Zones - Passing at the entrance to turns 8, 8A and especially 10, is to be avoided. Fast guys neutralize your race if you have a bunch of slower cars at these turns.  Passing exiting 8A is fine, but pick a side please (faster cars to the outside tends to work a bit better)

Visibility - Sit in your car, and note the cones of visibility in your mirrors. If you are not in that cone for the car in front of you, they can't see you.  If you are not next to, and by that I mean, abeam the driver, going into a corner, you are unlikely to be seen at the turn-in point.  Newer drivers, in particular, can't look in their mirrors and focus on the turn-in point simultaneously. So if you are not clearly next to them, they might not see you when the turn-in point rushes up and they will turn into you.  This is particularly true at turn 3A, 4, 7, 8, 10 and 11.  If you sense a car next to you or a bit behind you, take a sec at these corners to glance inside.  If there is a car there, give them room.

Flags - We did kind of a crap job of this in the Sunday morning race at Monterey.  So take time during Friday practice to look for the flag stations.  It is VERY easy to miss the flags at the entrance of turn 2 (outside), 3 (left side), 7, and 8 and 10 (opening in the wall, right opposite the apex!).  In all those cases the turn is cresting, or the flag station is well to right or left of the turn-in point.  Watch the pace lap on this video as see if you can spot all 13 flag stations (it's not easy).  See how easy it is to miss the flagging station on the left of turn two or the one just under the bridge, going up the hill to turn 2.

Friday Practice - Will be a mixed open wheel group, with Atlantic, Formula B etc. cars.  Just exercise extra caution, please.

Okay, in terms of the nagging, that should cover it. One last note... 

Sending a young American to Italy

William Ferguson is one of the fastest young Karting Champs the US has produced.  And as is so often the challenge for our athletes on this side of the pond, getting onto the world stage is expensive and beyond their reach financially.  So read William's message below and if you can help a bit, click on the go-fund-me link and let's give him a hand.

"Dear Charity Challenge drivers...  my name is William Ferguson. Though I am only 15 years old, I have developed a very deep passion for racing.  I have been karting for several years now, and thus far I have one national championship, two regional championships and many race wins under my belt. I aspire to one day become a professional racing driver.  I started out hauling my first kart around in a homemade trailer behind the family Prius but, in 2017, after a lot of hard work and success, I was signed as a driver under the team SpeedSense Motorsports under team boss Austin Elliott.  In April, due in large part to the awesome support of SpeedSense, I secured my first national level championship at Challenge of the Americas. Because of this, I have earned the amazing opportunity to compete in Garda Italy at the Rok Cup Super Final in October. This will be the most intense race of my career thus far and I am proud to be representing Northern California racing internationally.  My team and I have strategized a plan to make competing at this level a success. We will be arriving in Milan, Italy October 2nd, and will spend eight full days at the track for practice, fine-tuning our strategy to optimum driving, chassis setup, and engine tuning, etc. We will be pitting with a highly respected international team, WARD Racing, using a proven race-winning chassis brand as well as being supplied a proven race engine that has the capability to run in the front of the pack. The race will be held at Lonato del Garda on Oct 10-12. This solid plan gives me the best chance in winning this race, however the cost as you can imagine is quite high.  We have raised some of the money by arranging a fundraiser golf tournament, but to make it across the finish line, I am keenly interested in partnering with racing enthusiasts like me but who have happened to achieve success in business and who wish to give back to this awesome sport. 

If you are up for supporting me, you can visit my gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/ferguson-rok-italy

Thanks, and best of luck to all you at the Charity Challenge. Go fast and stay safe -William"




Sonoma Crossflow Series finale... is next

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Thunderhill seems a long time ago

To say it has been an epic year for Formula Ford, would be a massive understatement Since the Baker, Parmantier, and Duncan Masterclass last May at Thunderhill (plus the hay gathering of Porritt, Wait and Streets) there has been a year’s worth of action. From the unprecedented appearance of 56 Formula Fords at The Rolex Reunion and Pre-Reunion to the mass gathering at Elkhart lake, we come to the back end of a year to remember. With the Sonoma series finale at the Charity Challenge and the casual fun of the Season Finale at Thunderhill, many Crossflow regulars will have posted an astronomic 11-12 race weekends in 2019. But all that said, there is a championship to conclude, 12 awards to handout and the handmade Crossflow cup to present.

Given the smaller group at the Charity Challenge (we expect about 35 cars), we will run one, not two groups, so it is even more important than ever to give a new crop of rookies (there will be at least 3 drivers posting their first start) a positive start to their careers. The plan, for now, is to run a normal start and the usual race weekend format … with qualifying, Saturday morning, Points race Saturday afternoon and one more big party and champagne spray Saturday later afternoon sponsored by Vehicles For Charity. Sunday will be the normal non-points CSRG club event and as always, take it easy… Sunday is when the weird stuff happens.

As always, the second group plan may be an option, depending on both the final size of the group and the wishes of drivers running multiple cars.

Series Finale Awards

As a reminder, you need to be present, contact and black flag free to receive an award.

The Crossflow Cup - To the driver who is emblematic of the sport, and has made a meaningful contribution to the community

Series MVP - Has run every event, been a consistent improver, and someone who is central to the fun we’re having

Rookie of the year - A first-year rookie, who has made all the right moves and impressed the awards committee

Most improved Formula Ford - From barn find to show winner. The car that with the most improvement in the season

Best Formula Ford - The car that produces unrequited lust in anyone that sees it

Championship Trophies - The pointy end of the gird in Historic, Club and Masters

Championship Standings going into the Charity Challenge

In Historic Ford, Danny Baker leads the Historic points, and only a DNF will keep him from getting the big trophy. Danny has run a remarkable season, with both consistency and great form. Overall the class had 58 points scoring drivers this year, with an amazing 45 cars scoring at every event season to date.


In Club Ford, once again the podium has ironmen Dan Wise and David Dupuis, and the leader, a very rapid Tom Duncan who not even a DNF will keep from the big trophy. The total number of scoring cars this year in the class is up 100%, with 20 cars appearing for scoring in 2019.

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In Masters, Tom Duncan leads an impressive and inspiring group of drivers who do not appear to be slowing down in terms of their level of commitment and passion for the sport. Even more impressive, over 50% are Super Masters (over 65), and we expect all of them back next year.

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And finally

If we can scramble to do it, we will try to have a series T-shirt done in time for the Charity Challenge. If you are entered in the Charity Challenge only, please click on this link to let us know your T-Shirt size or copy and paste https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DWR9KNZ to get the survey.

Any questions or help, please let us know.

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Wins come in all shapes and sizes

Two groups of 30+ cars

Two groups of 30+ cars

In spite of weird transponder quirks and a lot of oil on the track… it was a great weekend. It was a wonderful combination of perfect weather, emerald green on the Sonoma hills, and a lot of incredibly close racing.

When drivers snap a run of bad luck, or find a new level in their driving, a weekend like the David Love Memorial can be as big a win as any. There were many such stories at the David love… here are three.

Jay Streets ended last season tangled up in a shunt, not of his making, and began this year with big hopes not only for a clean season but anxious to gain a bit more pace, comfortably. Jay performed flawlessly, his pace up 3 seconds a lap, from his PB last October and a series of laps in the points race.. all within a tenth of two. Beautiful, consistent lines and laps showed Jay at his best this weekend.

If you hang out in the garages with the hard boiled mechanics of the various shops, there is a rare moment when a little smile appears on someone like John Anderson’s face, followed by some knowing looks that say, “hey, look at that, someone found their groove”… and that someone is Jim Cody. When a driver like Jim and a car like his pretty Crossle, really meld, turn 11 becomes a way to express how much fun they’re having, and how cool it is to be a racing driver… and even the wise ones in the garage can tell.

Jim and his beautiful racing car

Jim and his beautiful racing car

And then there is your first race weekend. 17 year old Gunnar Hebert ran a flawless, perfectly judged weekend, his first at Sonoma, his first in a Formula Ford and his first race after a stellar performance at the SCCA driver’s school. The high point of the weekend, was being surrounded by his proud mom and dad and his little sister bursting into tears, declaring “I am so proud of him!”

Gunnar Hebert, Ace Rookie

Gunnar Hebert, Ace Rookie


The two group format meant that most drivers got clean laps and were able to establish a rhythm right away.

The B group went out first and Carl Moore put it on pole, followed by David Dupuis is his lovely and very rare Gemini, closely followed by Jeff Rothman, Brian Andrews and Chris Schoap. The next group all covered by less than a second, included Ron Bonham, Rob Thull (setting a new PB) and Lauren Ridge. The tightest group ran less than a second apart had Andy Warburton, Jack Wilson and George Jewett.

Group A qualifying saw Danny Baker grab pole and the fastest lap of the weekend, a friday practice 1:46.7. By the end of a very clean qualifying session, the first five cars were covered by about .158 seconds. The group included a returning Nic Colyvas, an ever more rapid Bob Lesnett and Laurent Parmantier, just .077 seconds behind Danny. A following group with Bob Posner, Quinn Posner, Jay Streets, Tom Duncan and Joseph Hopkins were just .65 sec apart.

The weekend was not without its challenges. Ross Lindell spent the weekend fighting an evil handling car, Nic Hunziker likewise chasing something in the front end that was just not working, Alan Dezzani with a brake bias problem and Art Hebert trying to sort a new car full of gremlins. Joseph Hopkins showed great pace all weekend, but struggled with ignition and brake gremlins in his Crossle. Dave Alvarado had an A arm break, but his crew turned him around in a flash. The good news is that no-one’s troubles were so bad, that for the second time, no heart ache awards were handed out.

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The Race

Without question, the weekend’s races were a fantastic show. Tight grids, very high driving standards, and clean, fun driving

Group B put on an incredible race with Carl Moore, David Dupuis, Jeff Rothman and Brian Andrews all pressuring Carl and David. They managed to cross the finish line just .18 seconds ahead, in spite of at least 3 lead changes in the last four laps. Chris Schoap survived the constant pressure from a charging Ron Bonham to finish in P5. Rob Thull squeaked out his best ever P7, just .056 seconds ahead of Lauren Ridge who was ahead of Dave Alvardo by another tiny .05 seconds (thats about a 3 foot distance). Gunnar Hebert and Jonathan Kitchen diced hard for the entire race, Jonathan giving no quarter to his young competitor, and Gunnar holding up well under the pressure. An amazing show was put on by Jack Wilson, Andy Warburton, and George Jewett, all crossing about a tenth of a second apart. Bob Hancock won the hard charger bottle of wine with another great drive.

Group A took the green flag in a very tight pack, whose order was immediately shuffled on lap one. As the field ran down into turn four, the top four cars compressed really hard, and a shocked Bob Lesnett had no choice but to half spin to avoid contact, causing Nic Colyvas to take evasive action. Ed Lauber, Tom Duncan and Quinn Posner made the most of the opportunity and remained organized in the draft, creating a big gap to the next group of Dwight Matheson (hard charger award winner) Jay Streets, Austin Newman and Ed Van Tassel. Tony Garmey improved massively on his qualy drive, in his newly restored Caldwell, followed by the Merlyns of Steve Hoogs and Adom Moutafian. Ultimately Andrew Wait achieved his first P1 from Chris Porritt by .058 seconds after a race long battle with Danny Baker, and Laurent Parmantier. Chris managed his tires to perfection, building pace as the race progressed and not only chasing down the leading trio, but pulling within 36 inches of the win.

A happy Paul Kitchen, excellent trouble free weekend.

A happy Paul Kitchen, excellent trouble free weekend.

Final results

Group B Historic Ford Podium - Carl Moore P1, Brian Andrews P2, Chris Schoap P3

Group B Club Ford Podium - David Dupuis P1, Jeff Rothman P2, Lauren Ridge, P3

Group A Historic Podium - Andrew Wait P1, Chis Porritt P2, Danny Baker P3

Group A Club Ford Podium - Quinn Posner P1, Tom Duncan P2, Steve Egger P3

Driving Notes

All in, it was a very strong weekend. There were issues with transponders, a mildly jumped Group A start, and a lot of oil dry but on the whole a good weekend. A couple of observations and comments from our note takers

  1. It is best to arrive at the apex of turn 10 at Sonoma with some power on. This shifts weight to the back of the car, so you arrive stable and then really press the back down as you add power. So that means get all of your slowing done early, and then add power to set the car as you approach the apex. Brian Forster noted several tank slappers past the apex, all avoidable if the back end is more loaded up.

  2. If you make a passing move VERY wide, note you need to be extra cautious. You are out of view of your competitors mirrors, and they will be entirely focused on their turn in, if they can’t sense you in the mirrors. A wide pass is fine, if you are well forward of the other driver’s sight line at turn-in.

  3. The bad things tend to happen on Sunday. If you are tired, had a bad Saturday, or whatever, be careful on Sunday. Something about that last club Feature brings out the bad luck.

  4. If you felt uncomfortable, or have questions about Sonoma, review the Racers360 track breakdown, even better, send your video in an get a lap analysis before your next visit.

Final thoughts and Reminders

A new set of beautiful shots is now available from Alvin Lumanlan. To visit the gallery go to, Final Sonoma photos to download your photos, use the password, EveryDayIsYourBirthday

If you don’t have a portrait yet, see Alvin at Thunderhill, please.

The next event is Thunderhill. With a smaller group of 30 cars, we will run as one group, but will still have group A and B awards.

Parting Shot

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Final Sonoma Details

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Final Details

With lovely weather and a healthy grid, it is shaping up to be another great weekend. 

The success of the two-group format means we will have, thanks to the CSRG board, an A Main and a B main format again (and yes 12 medals, 6 bottles of wine, and just for fun, 14 bottles of Champagne).  You will be seeded either into Group 6 or Group 5, with Group 6 being 30 cars, and Group 5,  20 cars, based on the same lap time and race position formula we used at Laguna.  The groups will be adjusted up or down based on Saturday Morning qualifying.

Front row qualifiers in both groups, remember, if the pace car is too fast, and you are not 100% sure the group is formed up tight by the exit of turn 9, slow down, and control the grid.  We do not want another loose A main start as we had at Laguna. If the pace car wants to set a lap record, fine, let it do that, but control and tighten the group.  A beautiful, well-organized start is safer and puts on a great show.

VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE - Group 5 will be split start with a very small group of Formula Juniors and Formula V's...  I will personally pace the group to assure a least a 60-second gap, which means, barring a mechanical the two groups should never see each other.  That said, extreme respect and care passing, and as we do for each other, and no backmarker splitting are the order of the day.

Formula Fords should paddock together on the row in front of the garages, or the row behind as close to the John Anderson row as possible. 

The scales will be in the garages as was the case last October.

We have several newbies running with us for the first time, so keep an eye out for them in BOTH groups.

New Series

There two very cool new series, 100% inspired by your success, the USRRC Tribute Series (group 4) and the John Morton Trophy  (group 8) both kick off with their first races this weekend.  Both groups have great inaugural grids of 21 and 18 cars each.  So lets all please get out on to pre-grid with them, and encourage the drivers.  I know we tend to spend all day locked up in our own paddock spots, polishing and worrying more speed out of our cars, but let's make an effort to show real support for these groups as they are poised to launch their new programs.

See you at the races.



Of Hard Chargers and Heart Aches


The 2019 Laguna Season opener, was a..

Classic and will go down, on the whole as one of the best weekends of racing in a long time. 56 cars entered and were seeded into two groups an “A main” and “B main”. This had the effect of both doubling the number of trophies and bottles of champagne that were give out but also produced two beautiful races where no one got lapped and everyone had a dance partner.

Huge thanks to Martin and Ed Lauber for their party at the Revival Road Company , a jewel box of a facility where both incredible cars get built and great parties take place too. We also want to give huge thanks to Alvin Lumanlan, who took some of the most compelling photos we have seen in a very long, time. And thanks to Jay Ivey, who paced the paddock fixing and tuning all weekend long.. and of course to Cris Vandagriff and the HMSA team who put on a lovely event.

Joining the event was great group of cars and drivers from the RMVR, all of them on a grand tour of Laguna, Willow Springs, Sonoma, Thunderhill and then races up in the northwest. The Letterly boys, Matt Ammer, Becky Creighton, Bob Hancock and Pete Christensen are on an epic tour of all the big events on the west, and were a great addition to the group.


Group 3 qualifying resulted in a very rapid Austin Newman and Dan Wise, being promoted to the A main, along with Bob Lesnett whose confidence is increasing with every lap. Crafty management of traffic resulted in Tom LaCosta and Jonathan Kitchen on the front row of a very tight pack with Adom Moutafian, Jeff Rothman, Norm Cowdrey, Greg Vroman, Chris Schoap, Joe Bunton, Brian Andrews and a returning Carl Moore all separate by less than a second.

Group 2 qualifying saw Art Hebert on the historic and overall pole, .2 sec head of John Hill, followed by Andrew Wait, Martin Lauber, Chris Porritt, Dave Zurlinden, Todd Strong, Danny Baker, Ed Lauber, Laurent Parmantier all separated by less than a second. Another qualifying stand out was Nic Hunziker who pushed his Lotus 51 beyond its design limits up to a very strong P11, followed very closely by Ed Van Tassel and Thomas Parmantier.

Danny Baker, ready to race

Danny Baker, ready to race

The Races

The Group 3 race was huge fun to watch, with the exception of a two DNF’s the entire group finished on the lead lap. This is a first in the history of the series and it produce tight, flowing racing and passing the entire time. The order was mixed up immediately with Carl Moore and Adom Moutafian surging into the lead within 2 laps and Greg Vroman, Jim Cody, Chris Schoap, Brian Andrews, Tom Minnich and Pete Christensen using an organized draft to go way up the order . George Jewett likewise worked with Pete Christensen and Alan Dezzani to surge up to Rob Thull, chased hard by Mike McDermott, Andy Warburton and Jack Wilson both new to Laguna, but rapidly getting more comfortable. The dice up front between Carl Moore and Adom ultimately opened the door for a patient Norm Cowdrey to sweep past into the lead overall and P1 in Club Ford, followed by Jeff Rothman P2 in Club Ford. P1 in Historic Ford was captured by smooth consistent Tom La Costa, followed by hard charger Joe Bunton, then Carl Moore P3 in historic Ford. Stand out performances by the quiet men, Greg Vroman and Chris Schoap, and another hard charger, Jay Streets who intelligently managed the draft and the turn 2 braking zone and pushed up 7 places.

The Group 2 Race got off to an interesting start with Andrew Wait running into the back of Dave Zurlinden.. both half spun and continued. For the most part the rest of the field flowed around them with the exception Geir Ramleth who pitted with a bent front A arm. Martin Lauber managed traffic superbly and earned an impressive P1 overall and in Historic Ford, .7 seconds ahead of John Hill. Art Hebert came in a strong P2 in Historic Ford, followed by Danny Baker in his constantly improving Lotus 61. Second in Club Ford was Tom Duncan, part of a very tight pack with hard charger Ed Lauber, Laurent Parmantier and Bob Lesnett. A nice recovery drive by Dave Zurlinden saw him come in just ahead of a brake-less Todd Strong, and another tight pack led my Michael Edick in his Lotus, Dan Wise and another big improver, Dwight Matheson.

Sheriff Zurlinden did not like being spun at the start

Sheriff Zurlinden did not like being spun at the start

Heart Aches

The highs that racing produces sometimes have corresponding lows. And we were very sorry to see Matt Ammer withdraw with suspension failure, and Becky Creighton tapped the wall on the exit of 11. In his usual style Matt loaded up and is planning on getting his and Becky’s Grand Tour back on schedule as soon as he can. Our series engineer Michael Edick took a look at the failure and shared some sound advice on both how to repair but also strengthen the part that failed. Paul Kitchen’s sparkling new body got caught by a berm and damaged and Greg Edenholm had the engine seize in his immaculate Elden PH10. They will all be back as soon as they can, but all have bottles of Twisting Turns Cabernet to help them ease the frustration.

Ed Van Tassel, personifying the weekend, huge smile, fast car, perfect weather

Ed Van Tassel, personifying the weekend, huge smile, fast car, perfect weather

Driving Observations

Other than Group 2 start melee caused by yours truly, there are two areas for everyone to think about.

  1. You get one move, and one move only down a straight. Anything more is considered blocking and at best its not the in the spirit of what we do, at worst, its dangerous. If someone is legitimately faster than you, hold your line, give them room they will get by. If you are faster, you will stay ahead. A defensive line is fine, but excessive defensive driving and “door closing” is no fun and has and will cause a problem if taken to an extreme.

  2. Yellow flags. Two cars passed under a waving yellow at the turn 11 incident. Both drivers have been spoken with, and its clear were a bit too focused on the car in front. We are all friends and care for each other, under positive and trying circumstances is key to this program… a yellow flag is fundamental to that care.

Yearbook Photos

Alvin Lumanlan will be shooting portraits of you and your car all season long. He is an incredible family and personal narrative photographer, you can see his work here . The first batch of year book photos are available now from Alvin. You can download them for free here the password to download the digital files is EveryDayIsYourBirthday feel free to share them, print them, enjoy them, but please credit Alvin when you post them online. If you don’t see yourself, we will get to you at subsequent events, so please find him, get your portrait done.

Next Event

The David Love Memorial registration is open, there are already 46 cars, so we will be splitting up into two groups again. If you have any questions or need anything in advance of the next event, please let us know.

Parting Shot… Stubborn Corks

Sometimes the best moment of the weekend has nothing to do with racing at all…

Sometimes the best moment of the weekend has nothing to do with racing at all…



Paddock info for the Laguna weekend.

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 5.44.20 PM.png

Paddock info and other reminders

You can load in starting at 11:00 AM.  The Formula Ford group can pit together in the area outlined in the yellow box above.  Basically group together on the row behind the garages, near John Anderson Racing.  It's not an exclusive thing, so if someone is there, don't worry, there will be a ton of paddock space, but it makes it easier to help out if we are all clustered in the same area.

If you see someone lost or alone, invite them to paddock with you... this is key, we don't want anyone having a lonely weekend. 

Remember to sign the series release Saturday morning, we will help you with that.

We might have the podium ceremony at the Revival Road party on Saturday night, so please organize your schedule so you can make that.  Reminder of time and place below

6-9 pm, Saturday March 16

Revival Road Co. 
160 Calle Del Oaks Place,
Monterey, California 93940
(Just four miles from Laguna Seca in the industrial park behind Starbucks off HWY 68). 

Super casual attire. Dress warmly. All are welcome.  Plenty of parking. 


Review the rules, the competition section is at the end of this email.

There are a ton of cars that have been worked on lovingly all winter, most of us are rusty, most of us are over-excited.  So ease into this weekend, visualize giving people room, driving smoothly and adding speed progressively, and most of all, focus on a beautiful race, played out well within your limits.

See you all tomorrow.


Competition Rules and Format - Because the racing in Formula Fords tends to be more intense than in other vintage classes, we are also emphasizing the basics to keep us all safe

1.  Each host club's rules are in force for each event.  Be sure to review them carefully.

2.  Any black flags, contact, illegal cars or unsportsmanlike/unfriendly behavior means you will be excluded from the series.  Any exclusion by any VMC club, or host club, means exclusion from the series.

3. Front row drivers will maintain a moderate "pace car" speed (1rst gear, 3500 rpm) until the green flag waves.  If the front row jumps to race pace too soon, there will be wave offs.

4. No splitting backmarkers. It is nearly impossible to focus on both mirrors, especially if you are racing someone.   We will talk more about this, but caring for your friends who are developing their skills or happy to race their buddies wherever they happen to be, is a core value of this program and of the Clubs we all support.

6. Saturday afternoon is the series attendance points race, followed by the podium party. You must be present to win prizes at the Saturday Podium Party

8.  Remember the race you are in... if you are an HF driver, with a fast CF behind you, move over, this is not your fight.

9. These are big fields (40+) cars, so pack racing rules and etiquette are in effect... that means leave room



Final Details for the Laguna Opener March 16-17


Important details…

Heat groups - We have completely exceeded the maximum run group size Laguna will allow at this event (44 cars) so rather than turn people away, we will run two heats... an A main and B main.  The final line ups for the Saturday afternoon points race will be set by times during Saturday morning qualy.  So you will be seeded into qualifying groups and then will move up or down from the A to the B group depending on your time.  There will be podium Trophies, hard charger, best dice awards, Champagne spraying and more for BOTH groups... yes that means 12 bottles of champagne.    This is a great opportunity to destress the first race of the year and go old school.

This does, however, make the weekend a bit more complicated to manage, so please make 100% sure you come to the drivers meeting.

Register today - The weather looks great (forecast below) so those of you who are waiting to see how it looks, you can probably still register if you contact Cris ASAP.   I will be reaching out to those of you on the bubble to let you know we have increased event capacity for Formula Fords so register by EOD tomorrow... there are no longer any foreseeable event size restrictions. https://www.hmsausa.com/laguna-seca-spring-event/ 

Saturday night party 6-9 pm -   The Crossflow group and its sponsors are hosting the entire event to a taco, beer and wine party.  So please make sure you and your crew make it.  Details below. 

Revival Road Co. 
160 Calle Del Oaks Place, Monterey, California 93940 (Just four miles from Laguna Seca in the industrial park behind Starbucks off HWY 68). 

Super casual attire. Dress warmly. All are welcome.  Plenty of parking. 

6-9 pm.

Load-in and Registration - We will be allowed into the paddock at 11:00 AM Friday March 15th. 

  • Registration on Friday March 15th, will be located at the gas pumps starting at 3:00 P.M.  Registration on Saturday will be starting at 8:00 A.M. Tech will be starting on Friday at 3:30 P.M. and be open until dark.         

  • Race gas is available at the track.

  • Roger Kraus Racing will be at the track starting on Friday afternoon. Please contact Roger in advance if you would like him to bring tires to the track for you. Roger can be reached at; 510-582-5031 or email: roger@rogerkrausracing.com

Year Book - We will be photo-documenting the event on and off track for a 2019 yearbook.  Leica wielding pro Alvin Lumanlan will be doing the off-track shots... https://www.everydayisyourbirthday.com

Important Reminders -

The 50th Anniversary event at Willow the following Friday is a 3X points event.  If you run it, please let me or scorekeeper Jim Cody know. You can learn about the event here.

And finally... The Masters Championship

All drivers 60 or over on the Friday of the Laguna event, are eligible for the Masters Championship.  Please let Jim Cody, or myself know asap so we can score you properly.

As always, any questions let us know.  

The CF Team.

Its looking nice!

Its looking nice!



Laguna Registration and other info


Laguna Registration

To register for the first race of the season, go to https://www.hmsausa.com/laguna-seca-spring-event/  .

A couple of things to know.

1. If you have run the event or with HMSA before, you can use the web registration form.  If you are new to this event, print out the PDF , fill it out and mail it into HMSA (address at the bottom of the form)

2. You do not need to be an HMSA member to run this event.  Just put a number in the membership box and the form will work fine. If you run more than one HMSA event this year, membership is a good idea.

If you have any problems or issues, let me or Cris Vandagriff know.


This man has the right mental preparation!

This man has the right mental preparation!

  • We have a new tire rule, that allows the option of running the A25 Avon in addition to the A29, Hoosier FF and Dunlop.  To refresh your sense of the rules visit www.norwestff.com

  • We are adding a new award this year, to be given out at the Charity Challenge.  The Most Improved Car trophy, will recognize the huge amount of work going into cars over this off-season. If you show up with your formerly tatty looking car looking amazing, you may walk away with a beautiful trophy.

  • There will be several Crossflow competitors testing (weather permitting) Monday March 1 at Sonoma.  Coaching and lead follow will be available if you are interested.

  • Start you mental preparation now.  Most of us will be returning to competition after a very long layoff, so remember the first-weekend mantra... "I will brake in a straighline, I will add throttle only at the apex"

  • Start recruiting your Modern FF driver pals to come to the May Thunderhill event May 3-5.  We need at least 15 to make a run group, so let's start chatting with them now.

  • More to come soon...




Pre-Registration for the Rolex Reunion and the 50th Anniversary are open


Pre-register for two Iconic Formula Ford events

2019 is a banner year for Formula Ford competitors.  In addition to the Crossflow Cup races, your club races, two Formula Ford Festivals and the anniversary of the FIRST EVER Formula Ford race at Willow Springs, there is the unprecedented inclusion of Formula Ford at the Rolex Reunion in Monterey for club and historic fords, and the 50th Anniversary National Race at Elkhart Lake open to all Kent and Cortina Powered cars of all eras.

Four things to understand... 

1. These are not Crossflow events (HMSA and VSDCA are the host clubs), so support, questions answered etc. are not provided by the Crossflow Team.  We will try to be helpful, and we will have a party,  but we are not promoting these events.

2. One is an invitational (Rolex) the second (Elkhart Lake) is limited to 200 cars and they already have 150 signed up.

3. The Rolex has a warm-up event called the Pre-Reunion that comes the week before the Rolex Reunion.  You are welcome to enter both the Pre and The Reunion, or just one of the events. The pre-reunion has more track time and is lower key, so if you want more Laguna time, the Pre is cool.

4. Team up... rent AirBnb's together, organize towing and transport together, and plan to paddock together. We will help, but start grouping up now.

So go for it... these events are not perfect (spectator oriented etc.) but they are an incredible opportunity to promote our class, put on a hell of a show and have a great time.  If you are even slightly interested do not delay your entry.

The Rolex Motorsports Reunion pre-registration is open

To register for an invitation to the Reunion, please click on the link below

Entry Request

50th Anniversary of Formula Ford at Elkhart Lake

To register for an invitation to the Anniversary  please click on the link below


For more information on the Rolex and the 50th click on the link below

Rolex Motorsports Reunion

Formula Ford 50th



2018 Season Wrap Up


An epic ending to a great season

47 cars made it to the grid for the 5th and final race of the 2018 Crossflow Cup.  By season's end, over 100 drivers had run in the series, 15 drivers made every race, and 28 drivers made 4 races.   While not without heartache and challenge, it is now a group that knows each other and have reached a point where they can race close and hard, but with the respect friends afford each other.   And it culminated in a season finale that saw no incidents and 99% green flag racing.   

To see all the weekend's action, check out and share our wrap-up film.

The Charity Challenge, a film by Lucy Snow

2018 produced great friendships, racing and worthy award winners and champions.

Kim Madrid, 2018 Crossflow Cup Recipient

Kim Madrid, 2018 Crossflow Cup Recipient

The Crossflow Cup is made each year by Jay Ivey, and goes to the driver our selection committee feels is both a great representative of the sport and a huge contributor to it.   Kim Madrid is the founder for the FF Driver's Challenge and between her efforts on and off track is without question one of the great leaders and voices of the sport.  

Masters podium presented by Lynn St. James. Champ Dave Zurlinden (far right) Tom Duncan (far left) and Dan Wise (Center)

Masters podium presented by Lynn St. James. Champ Dave Zurlinden (far right) Tom Duncan (far left) and Dan Wise (Center)

The Master's Championship is for drivers 60 and over.  These guys are fast, and a real inspiration to all athletes... never slow down!  Dave Zurlinden was the 2018 Champion, followed by Tom Duncan and Dan Wise.

Series MVP Chris Schoap

Series MVP Chris Schoap

The Series MVP trophy is awarded to the driver that runs every race, never puts a foot wrong, improves materially throughout the year, and that competitors can trust and rely on for impeccable sportsmanship, and help when things get tough.  Chris is quiet, fast, very accomplished and a great guy to hang out with

The Historic Formula Ford Championship podium was headed by Series Champion Art Hebert, followed by Martin Lauber and Andrew Wait (presented by racing Legend Lynn St James)

Club Ford Championship Podium, Todd Strong, Dan Wise and Jeff Rothman presented by Lynn St. James.

Club Ford Championship Podium, Todd Strong, Dan Wise and Jeff Rothman presented by Lynn St. James.

The growing Club Ford Championship was won by Todd Strong, followed by iron men (ran every event) Dan Wise and Jeff Rothman. 

Rookie of the year Will Jackson

Rookie of the year Will Jackson

Series Rookie of the year went to Will Jackson.  Running a John Anderson prepared Titan, Will did a great job at this first race, and we look forward to big things from him in 2019.  Will won a new HJC helmed, presented by Mike Summers

Best Formula Ford winner, Laurent Parmantier, presented by John Anderson.

Best Formula Ford winner, Laurent Parmantier, presented by John Anderson.

Every year the car prep committee picks out a car that is exceptional.  It is prepared to a high standard and has the right level of coolness to it.  This year Laurent Parmantier won the best Formula Ford trophy for his immaculate Crossle 16/20.

2019 will be amazing

The Monterey Historics, the 50th anniversary, Formula Ford Festivals, and the Crossflow points races will make 2019 another epic year. For now, we want to say thank you to our sponsors, host clubs, Jim Cody our score keeper and everyone who came out to compete.  Have a great winter, recharge your batteries and stay tuned for more news and info about next year.




Early, very provisional 2019 Calendar

Major 2019 Dates

We are working on the season wrap-up newsletter and video, which will follow shortly as well as some other big announcements.  But wanted to get everyone at least an early version of the Crossflow/West Coast calendar for next year.  If you thought 2018 was a good year for Formula Ford, 2019 promise to be even bigger. That is great news, but poses challenges as well.

In 2019, between the FF Drivers Challenge, CSRG, HMSA, SVRA, SCRAMP and SOVREN, there will be almost 20 west coast events for Formula Ford Drivers, plus national events like the 50th Anniversary, The Rolex Reunion (yes Club and Formula Fords will be running at the Rolex) and the Lime Rock Historics.  Most of the clubs have yet to set their dates, so the list below is only Crossflow points, Triple Crossflow appearance points and major Formula Ford events dates we are aware of now.  This calendar will evolve and as soon as all of the CSRG, SOVREN and FF Driver's Club dates are available, we will publish them on the web site. We will be doing a survey shortly to see what you all want to do, but save the dates below if you can. 

We are very much aware of the huge hole in the schedule in June and July, so if there is interest, we may see if the SCCA would host us at Laguna or Sonoma during those months.

You will be receiving a survey shortly, that we hope helps us finalize the Crossflow schedule in a way that does not break the bank, assures big grids and makes room for your interest in the big events. The timing between certain events it tight, so it is very important for us to know if you want to prioritize the Elkhart 50th anniversary event, or the west coast races.  There are currently only 3 Crossflow events scheduled, we would like 4 minimum, but need to time those in a way that accommodates your interest in the extraordinary opportunity to run at the Rolex Reunion, the 50th anniversary and even the Lime Rock Historics.

Please note that Crossflow Points races are full crossflow championship events (medals, free beer, etc.)  Crossflow Triple appearance points races are not championship events, but anyone that attends, gets 6 appearance points added to their Crossflow points total.   The goal is to support our host clubs and give competitors who miss or DNF a chance to add to their total.

More news to follow and when you get the survey, PLEASE fill it out. Also if you have a friend that wants to join the party, send them here to sign up for the newsletter.

Provisional Calendar

January (TBD)  FF Driver's Challenge at Fontana.  This will be open to Modern, Club and Historic cars. Triple Crossflow appearance points race,  www.ffdriversclub.com

March 16-17 Crossflow Cup points race with HMSA at Laguna Seca. This will be the season opener for the Historic and Club Fords

April 12-14  Crossflow Cup points race with CSRG at the David Love, Sonoma Raceway

May 3-5  Possible first annual Formula Ford Festival (open to all Formula Ford and Formula F cars) with CSRG at Thunderhill. If we get a big enough group, this would allow two groups, heats, Masters, Club, Historic, Modern trophies and more. This will likely be a Triple Crossflow appearance points race. 

May 17-19  SVRA Historic Motorsports Festival at Laguna Seca.  As of now there is no Formula Ford-only group, but this may change if you all want one.  SVRA allows Modern, Club and Historic cars.

July 5-7 (provisional)  Pacific Northwest Historics at Pacific Raceway.  This may be a Crossflow points race or a Triple Crossflow Points race, final decision TBD.  

August 10-11 Rolex Pre-Reunion at Laguna Seca.  This is a warm-up for the Reunion.

August 15-18 Rolex Motorsports Reunion (the Monterey Historics) at Laguna Seca.  This is an invitational open to Historic Fords and Club Fords.

September 6-8 (provisional) Columbia River Classic with SOVREN at Portland International Raceway.  TBD if this is a Crossflow points or triple appearance points race.

September 11-18  50th Anniversary Formula Ford Festival at Elkhart Lake Road America.  https://stevebeeler.com/ff50th/

October 4-6 (provisional) Crossflow Club points race and season finale at the CSRG Charity Challenge at Sonoma Raceway.



Important info about the Charity Challenge

Everything you need to know about the Charity Challenge

Welcome to the CSRG Charity Challenge and the 5th and final round of the 2018 Crossflow Cup series for Historic and Club Fords.   This brings season 2 of the Crossflow Cup series to an end, with an unprecedented 50 car grid, Championship Trophies, Awards for Best formula ford (shine your car up!), the series MVP award, and the Crossflow Cup for the person who best represented the sport in 2018.  We will also be giving every entrant a commemorative gift and raffling off all sorts of cool stuff (parts, tires).   For those of you new to the series, you can read all about it here (www.norwestff.com) but the main thing you need to know; this is all about friends having a great time, equal, original cars, the vintage spirit to preserve and enjoy our cars, and to keep each other safe with  high standards of driving, judgment, and sportsmanship.   We also want to put on a great show and have a blast.  With 50 cars, everyone whether you can run in the 47's or in the 2 minutes, will get a race, just keep it a fair fight and have fun.

Given this is a huge field, and the new normal in west coast Formula Ford, we are going to take special steps to avoid a lap one disaster.   Those are outlined below. If you are new to historic racing, note we talk a lot more about driving standards and are tougher on errant competitors than you might be used to.  We run close, hard, and with open wheels, and no roll cages, so our focus on driving has to be far greater to keep things fun and safe.  

To help, our driver development and support sponsor  www.racers360.com  will be there all day Friday and Saturday... for coaching support email dion@racers360.com  The first 5 competitors to respond, will get a one lap analysis scholarship... email dion@racers360.com

Below are key details for the weekend, please review them carefully and as often as required to really know them.    This email is in 3 parts.  Procedures, Guidelines, and Schedule.  Recognition and thanks to the companies and individuals that have made this an epic year,  and most important, a review of the mindset to bring to this event and common FAQ's (hoping to cut down on the emails we get :-)

1 - Procedures and Guidelines.

Welcome to large grids.  50 cars is the FIA maximum allowable at Sonoma and the largest grid of open wheel cars at Sonoma Raceway is a very long time.  This could be an epic weekend, or a disastrous one depending on your commitment to responsible driving. 

  • Rules - We are under the sanctioning authority of CSRG, and running Monoposto rules.  There are no Crossflow rules that conflict, only compliment.  If you have any questions, review the CSRG rules and Monoposto rules before you call, or email.  Also keep foremost in mind that we race primarily as members of, and at the pleasure of CSRG. 

  • Competitor Support - Michael Wirrick, and an assistant will be there all weekend if you need anything.  Also, Dion Von Moltke of Racers360 driver development will be set up by the scales.  He is not there to make you faster, he is there to make you more comfortable... so lean on the support.  Also Michael Edick and his mobile repair shop will be available in the paddock if you need something welded or repaired.  Ivey engines (Jay and Colin) will be there all weekend keeping everyone running.

  • Schedule - The Paddock will open up at 3 on Thursday for load-in.  We will have 3, 30-minute practice sessions on a very crowded track on Friday afternoon, use them to limber up, not to prove something.  Qualifying will take place Saturday morning, the Crossflow Finale Saturday afternoon.  Sunday morning is a warm-up session, and Sunday afternoon is the regular club feature race.  We are group 6 on the schedule you have already received.  

  • Scales - The scales will be in one of the Garage Bays... The top 4 cars in each class will be weighed after the Crossflow event on Saturday afternoon, the scales will be available Friday afternoon and all day Saturday.  Know your class weights (www.norwestff.com) and check your car.  There is a 5 lb tolerance in place, but don't cut it close.  

  • The Party - The Crossflow Podium party will take place Saturday afternoon at 5:15 sharp, in Dave Zurlinden's paddock patio, we will show you where that is at the driver's meeting.  Please bring your crew, friends, and family...  you must be present to win any raffles prizes.

  • FF grid driver's meeting - There will be a group 6 drivers meeting for 15 minutes, immediately after the general drivers meeting on Saturday morning at 8:00, this is mandatory. 

  • Pack racing means if you spin, it's not 4 cars bearing down on you, but 20.  If we have an accordion brake-check incident, its not one car but 30 that get spooked into locking up.  It will be a bit cool, so take at least two laps in every session to warm up your tires and drive smoothly, predictably.  You have 90 minutes of track time on Friday to get a sense of your car's balance. If you have doubts about the stability of your car, soften the rear sway bar, roll the brake bias forward, lower the rear, or some combination of the three until you feel confident.  

  • Qualifying grid procedure. We want the cleanest possible grid for Saturday afternoon.   So if you run consistent laps faster than a 1:49, grid in the first third, laps between a 1:50-1:53, middle third, if you run 1:53 and up, last third of the grid.  The first lap of Qualifying will be run under yellow, so no passing until you see the green at the start of lap two, and then ease into the session, progressively increasing your effort.

  • IMPORTANT Starting procedure.   

    • Form up tight - It is critical the grid be tight and well organized before the exit of turn 9.  The pace car will back us up starting at turn 8.  We want to avoid cars taking the green with half the field still back in turn 9.   That means fast guys lapping the back of the grid within one lap of the start.  This is not safe or fun.  So the minute you exit seven on the formation lap, catch up and form up.  Slower guys have a tendency to let a cushion build up, don't do it.   Front row, maintain a steady 2nd gear pace at 3500 rpm until the green flag.

    • No more than 2 wide, restrict/catious passing - Like the FIA Masters F1 guys do, to prohibit being 3-4 cars wide in 2, we will have a cautious start.  We take the green and then ideally merge as we go up the hill to turn 1 and 2.  This means, you will fall behind the faster car ahead of you or go no more than 2 wide, and restrict/exercise extreme caution with your passing until the exit of turn 4  One we exit turn 4, go race.  Again single file, or 2 wide, into turns 1, 2, 3, and 4.  Race at will at the exit of 4

  • Passing.  No splitting backmarkers (that means passing on both sides of a backmarker) .  It's one thing to split a lone car, but there will be long rows of backmarkers, all focused on each other.  So if you are ahead of a group of faster drivers, pick a side and stick to it and if you are following go down the same side.   The passing car is responsible for making a safe pass, so if the driver in front of you has to get out of your way to make a pass, don't try it.  Remember, the driver at the back is as entitled to a fun race, as the driver at the front.

  • Disagreements - Throughout the weekend, someone will chop you off, will push next to you, or whatever.  Talk to each other, get to know each other, sort it out and move forward as friends.  If the behavior is toxic, the race stewards will get involved and that's like having your teeth drilled. So race fair and friendly.

  • Class racing - If you are in a Historic Ford, and you are being hounded by a Club Ford, let him or her by (or the other way around).  As we get bigger the classes will may end up with their own groups, but for now, respect the fact that there are two classes on track. Know the Club and Historic fords so there is no confusion.

  • Paddock layout - The area in front of the Garages is reserved for the Formula Ford Group.  Please consolidate... a 60-foot trailer and Motorhome with one car is not cool.  If you have a single car open trailer, leave it up on the hill. All cars need to be facing the lane so spectators can see them.   So group up, buddy up and make it look awesome.

  • Legality - As you know we track car weight, and visually tech cars for legality.  We will be testing and calibrating an engine pumping system, by pumping randomly, 10 cars.  If you are is selected (I will email you in advance), please cooperate, if you have doubts about the legality of your motor, contact me asap.

  • Grid Walk and Video - You will notice in the schedule there is a grid walk prior to our afternoon race.  This means spectators come down into the hot pit to hang out, ask questions, get autographs and look at your cars... it's great fun.  So at 3:45 sharp, be prepared to go into the hot pit and grid.  We will get a 10-minute warning to clear the hot-pits and allow us to get belted in.   Also, Lucy Snow Media will be back, so prepare to show off your car and do a little interview throughout the day.  We would like as many competitors as possible to provide in-car video for the end of season film so use your Go-Pros

2 - Thank yous

Jim Cody is our scorekeeper and series judge.  He runs an immaculate Crossle, so please say thank you when you see him.

Our podium party is funded and set up by www.vehiclesforcharity.com  and agency network www.19york.com 

Our driver development and support sponsor is www.racers360.com 

Ivey Engines creates the Crossflow cup and is an invaluable support to us and our engine builders.

Roger Kraus Racing,  supplies our tries, is a strong supporter and a huge help trackside

The Parr Law group www.parrlawgroup.com helps with all of our legal requirements, and provide the scales this weekend.

Motorsports Market http://www.motorsportsmarket.com provides series support and is a valuable resource for anyone looking to buy or sell a formula ford.

3 - FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the gearing for Sonoma?  -   If you have a 9:31 ring and pinion, these are the recommended gears  

  • 1   18/32

  • 2    20/30

  • 3    22/29

  • 4    24/28

How many race Passes do I get?  -  You get 4, and you can leave them at will call for anyone you like.

What does everyone keep talking when they say, "the right mindset"? -  These are old, precious cars  For perspective,  the newest Club Ford is 37 years old... .the average age of cars on the grid is 47 years.  Every car, whether driven by an SCCA regional driver or a famous F1 Pilot has a history... a car that gets totaled is history disappearing, it's someones favorite toy gone forever.   And the quality of the racing, equal, legal grids, of competent responsible drivers, produces, is unparalleled.  So to make the most of this, we want to preserve our cars, while using them as God intended. This works incredibly well, if you come to play with your pals, it becomes toxic and wrong if you come to beat your pals.  So come fully prepared have a great time, do your best well within your limits, and behave in a way that everyone is happy to see you afterward... that's the mindset.

What if I am stressed out and uncomfortable with the group? -  Hopefully, this won't happen to anyone, but if it does, you have options.  You can be moved into a smaller open wheel group, or you can grid at the back for the start of the race.  Both are lower stress options.  You need to speak with the race director on the first, you can grid at the back on your own.  You can also call it a weekend.  Whatever you decide, honor your instincts.

How can I avoid un-prompted spins -   Spins are caused by cold tires and poor driving habits, usually combined.  So take a couple of laps to get tires warmed up and ride the brakes on the form up lap for a bit of extra heat.  Spins are also caused by braking too late and too hard with the steering wheel turned.  They are also caused by excessive early throttle in low and medium speed corners.  So brake in a straight line, and don't add throttle unless you are at or past the apex and unwinding the wheel.

Historic Racing black flags, spins, and contact? - If you get a furled black flag for putting two wheels off or a spin caused by the above,  that's a warning, you don't need to come in.  If the flag is open (usually due to going 4 off, or a lurid spin or lockup) with your car number, come in.   In historic racing, car to car contact requires an immediate stop at black flag.  If there is no damage, and everyone seems chill.. they may send you back out, the may not.  Significant damage due to car-to-car contact ends your weekend on the spot. If you damage your car on a solo expedition into a tire wall, but it can be repaired, your continuing to race will be at the race director's discretion and will require an inspection of your car.

What does a decent lap of Sonoma Raceway look like? This is not perfect, but instructive click on Dions’s advice



Portland 2018 Race Report

35 competitors entered the Columbia River Classic

35 competitors entered the Columbia River Classic

The Crossflow cup rolled into Portland for round 4, at the Columbia River Classic hosted by SOVREN. 35 drivers in 3 classes came to play for a second year, in what remains a great weekend of racing. The great food, nightlife and ambiance of a wonderful city just 10 minutes from the track, and the buzz of the All British Meet make this event special. And this year, an exceptionally deep grid of beautifully turned out cars and a uniformly sensible, competent set of sportsmen at the wheel made it a great event.

Ivey Engines hosted their Friday Evening reception

Ivey Engines hosted their Friday Evening reception

As usual things got started with a test day hosted by the Lotus Club and a chance for everyone, especially the 12 CSRG drivers, to tune up for the weekend. The racing line had huge grip courtesy of the Indy cars the weekend before, so right away things felt faster than last year. The test day was uneventful other than Andrew Wait stuffing his Lola into the tire wall outside turn 12. Thanks to lots of tape and encouragement by the Anderson Racing crew, the car and its driver were back on track within a few hours. The test day was followed by the now traditional reception at Ivey engines, followed by 35 drivers, their crews and families scattering throughout Portland for more celebrating.

New ideas take time to sink in

New ideas take time to sink in


The driver’s meeting had the usual warnings and guidance for the weekend, but also a new twist on how the race would unfold. In an attempt to take pressure off the start lap, the SOVREN stewards agreed to run a different process. The change was to run straight up the main straight, without the chicane on the pace lap and the start lap, and then to open the chicane for lap 2. Large grids including the Indycar series struggle to get through both the entry and exit of the chicane without problems (yes this is a link to the inspiration for this) when cars are streaming in and out 3 wide. At least, that was the idea.

Morning practice times set a grid for a qualifying race, where again things were different in that a driver’s best time set the grid for the Crossflow points race in the afternoon, not their finishing position. As expected conference champ and run-offs bound ace Quinn Posner, modern ford drivers Neil Shelton and Scott Olson led the way, with historic points leader Art Hebert, last years third place championship driver Tom Kreger, rounding out the first few rows. A very big fast midfield came next including Ed Van Tassel in his perfectly repaired Titan, a very rapid John Greeven in his Club Ford followed by Ed Lauber, Bob Morrison and Don Stern. A very early green flag saw the field go streaming down the main straight as planned but on lap two, the short term memory most formula ford drivers suffer from kicked in and about a third of the grid bypassed the chicane the rest went through the chicane. Fortunately no one had a problem in the scary merger of chicane and non-chicane traffic, and by lap three everyone was clear on the concept and taking the chicane.

Jay Ivey saving Dan Wise’s weekend.

Jay Ivey saving Dan Wise’s weekend.

Dan Wise’s car went silent and had to be towed in, and unfortunately we had two broken cars; one got caught up with another car as it spun going into the chicane, another with failed suspension. Neither suffered serious damage and will be repaired in time for the final race. With the qualifying session concluded a few grid penalties were handed out for the chicane errors and some work had to be done to pull out the non-chicane laps to get an accurate grid.

Art Hebert and Chris Porritt start P1 and P2 in Historic Ford

Art Hebert and Chris Porritt start P1 and P2 in Historic Ford

The Race

There was a moment of panic in pre-grid as the grid workers were organizing the grid based on finishing order, not best times This meant that several drivers who pulled off once they had a lap in the bank, ended up in the wrong spot. Competition director Jim Johnson spent five frantic minutes sorting it all out, and in the end, a properly gridded field streamed out on time, if with a few drivers a bit breathless. Overall pole sitter Quinn Posner and his front row partner Neil Shelton controlled the pace perfectly, and anticipating another early green, (which they got) treated the crowd to a tidy start and 35 formula fords streaming into the first turn in perfect order. Leading the historic field a very racy Chris Porritt spun on lap two and had to patiently watch a tightly packed grid go screaming by. As usual the grid broke down into distinct battles with Robert Posner, Chris Schoap, Alan McColl (in his immaculate Tiga) Tom Duncan all ran nose to tail. They were joined by a charging Chris Porritt. Another tight group that included Mike Lanning, Michael Maros, and Mark Keller kept appearing in turn 12 with a different leader. In his borrowed Van Diemen, Jeff Rogers led home a group with Steeve Hoogs, Dan Wise, Jeff Rothman, another Canadian, Keith Robinson and Steve Timpson, Trout Roberts and Mike Nau.

In the end the Historic Ford Podium saw Art Hebert in P1, followed by Tom Kreger, and Andrew Wait. In Club Ford, Quinn Posner put on his usual master class for P1 followed by John Greeven and Alan McColl (with a stunning 3rd fastest lap of the race). The Modern Ford podium was topped by Neil Shelton, followed by Scott Olsen and Don Stern.

Back grow left to right, Andrew Wait, Neil Shelton, Tom Kreger, Quinn Posner, Art Hebert. Front row left to right, Don Stern, John Greeven

Back grow left to right, Andrew Wait, Neil Shelton, Tom Kreger, Quinn Posner, Art Hebert. Front row left to right, Don Stern, John Greeven

There were great performances up and down the grid, with personal bests from Ed Van Tassel, and iron men (have finished 100% of the series races) Chris Schoap, Dan Wise, Ed Lauber, and Jeff Rothman. Chris is exceptional in that he also has a triple points event in his tally in addition to the series and this SOVREN club races. Charlie Lyford just needed a few more laps as he cranked out the third fastest lap of the Historic Ford grid just two laps from the end and as usual Jeff Rothman and Dan Wise crossed the line .2 seconds apart have never been more than a few feet from each other the entire race.

Tom Kreger getting his well deserved 2nd place, $4 medal

Tom Kreger getting his well deserved 2nd place, $4 medal

Driving Observations

All in it was a weekend that exemplified this series. Lots of hard racing, but with room, respect and the kind of sportsmanship that makes this as fun as anything you can do. There are a few things to think about.

  1. After watching lots of film from various cars, it is very clear too many of our cars are unstable under braking. It is never a good idea to be braking hard with any turn in the wheel, but it all becomes far, far worse if you have too much brake bias towards the rear. Pro’s can benefit on occasion form rear bias, but not us. Check your bias, it should be 60% to the front as a baseline. Your front wheels should lock up first. If your car “tanks slaps” or spins or steps out in slow corners under braking, move your bias forward, lower the rear of the car, or both. Why is this important? Its one thing to spin in front of a field of 15 cars, its another to have 40 cars bearing down on you. Rear stability in general makes a car more predictable, and in pack racing, safer.

  2. Impossible passes. We are seeing far, far less of this which is great, but it only takes one for someone to go home with their car on a wrecker or worse. If the driver in front of you needs to get out of your way for you to pass, don’t try it. Also note, that if you need an unnatural act to get by someone, you are just not fast enough to pull it off easily, don’t do it. Stay close, and wait for a chance that makes sense or just enjoy the racing.

  3. The Drivers meeting. There will always be instructions that are unique to each event. Never assume anything, so take notes, ask questions, whatever it takes to be clear on how the race will be managed.

A beautiful grid of Historic, Club and “Modern” Formula Fords

A beautiful grid of Historic, Club and “Modern” Formula Fords

The Thank Yous!

We keep saying this over and over. This is simply not possible without the help and support of sponsors, host clubs and volunteers.

Jim Johnson, Sherry and Tom Masterson, Andy Collins, and the SOVREN board. You all worked so hard and we massively appreciate it. Bob Pengraph, thanks for the amazing photos

Ivey Engines … for the prizes the race day support for anyone in need, for the parties and for the Crossflow Cup

Roger Kraus Racing… for the tires, the service and the support that keeps vintage racing alive

Racers360, for the support and resources and for what you to do help develop safer, faster, happier drivers

Vehicles for Charity, for all the beer, wine, help and moral support, and for what you do, helping charities and causes thrive

19York , Pix Systems and the Parr Law Group for the Champagne, advice and support

and John Anderson Racing for the prizes, carrying stuff around and being a credit to the sport.

And not least, many, many thanks to Jim Cody, for scoring and keeping things fair.

Up next

The Charity Challenge , October 5-8 at Sonoma Raceway. A our final race there will be a monster grid, participation gifts, trophies for the Historic and Club Podiums, for the Masters Championship, for the best Ford, the Series MVP and the Crossflow cup. We will be giving away lots of engine parts, a set of tires and 6 Racers360 scholarships. News and details to follow.



Portland is next!



The SOVREN Columbia River Classic is next.

Sept 7-9 at Portland International Raceway is the next race in the Crossflow Cup season.  This is the second year we all gather for this incredibly fun weekend.  Between the All British Meet and its temptations (beer, cars for sale)  the amazing food, and nightlife of Portland,  the hospitality of our host club, and the 40+ expected Formula Fords, this is an awesome event.   We will also be giving away prizes, bottles of amazing wine and $5 medals if you podium.  And as always the Podium Party thanks to vehiclesforcharity.com and www.19york.com

Some Details

The core values of the Crossflow Cup, are fair, safe and friendly racing with your friends, in the best class of vintage race cars on the planet.  So come prepared to see old friends and make new ones and take that camaraderie on track. The two main events of the weekend are..

Test day - Friday, September 7, there will be a practice day hosted by the Lotus Club that includes a Formula Ford only group.  Registration starts at 8 am... we will confirm all the details, but last year the cost was $250 cash or check, payable that morning and includes 5 sessions.   This is a ton of track time and highly recommended.  We will arrange for race gas to be available on Friday if you need it.

Ivey Engines Party - Friday evening Sept 7, the second annual reception will be held at Ivey Engines.  We had an absolute blast last year and remember this is a chance to get Jay to spend money on you!  The drinks and food were great, and a great way to meet your fellow drivers.  Attendance by all is welcome and encouraged.  The party is from 4:30 to 7 on Friday, Sept 7.  Ivey Engines is located at  4722 NE 148th Ave. Portland, OR 97230.  

Racing Weekend Details

Saturday Race Format - After a lot of discussion with drivers and officials... we are changing the Saturday race format to get a cleaner grid, and we are also not going to run the chicane on lap one.  
Saturday session sequence - Practice, Qualifying, Race
Race start procedure - We will have the chicane closed for lap 1 of the race.  I think we all felt that there was too much pressure at the chicane (some scary stuff happens there) so when you take the start, you will go straight through to turn 4 (like in the old days). On lap 2, we will flow through the chicane.
Scales - Ken Dye of DND will be providing and manning the scales... you are encouraged to weigh after every session.  Min weight with driver for Historic Fords is 1100, Club Fords are 1125.
Tires - Monopost rules as always, so Dunlop, Hoosier, Avon

Important reminders

  • We have tight, orderly first gear starts. Allowing the back of the field at Portland and Sonoma, to catch up and be well ordered at the start, is keyto reducing lapped cars. It also looks cool.

  • Respect and care for backmarkers - We will talk more about this, but we try like heck not to split backmarkers. It is dangerous, and to be avoided if at all possible.

  • Passing - If you need the driver in front of you to get out of the way, to complete your pass, don't attempt the pass. We had one bad accident this year because this simple rule was ignored in a red mist.

  • With 40+ open wheel cars on the track, flags and sportsmanship at the highest levels are required so bring your best self.

  • Gear ratios. - If you have the common 9:31 ring and pinion, this is what is recommended

  • 18/34 - 20/30 - 23/29 - 24/26

  • Register early and save $150 click here to register


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CSRG Charity Challenge, October 5-7 at Sonoma Raceway

The Charity Challenge is the final race in the Crossflow Championship.  We will be announcing more details, soon, but this year's event will include big, end of year prizes;  an Ivey Engines rebuild certificate, a set of new Avons from Roger Krause, The Spouse's reception at Ramsgate Winery, and more. 

We are anticipating over 50 cars.  Anyone who has been to the big Formula Ford anniversaries and festivals will tell you what a blast a gathering like this is.  However, the maximum grid allowed at Sonoma is 60 closed wheel cars, and we may need to limit the grid to 50-55.   If you are considering this event, it will be epic, and you should enter early.  Many more details to come, click here to register early.  




Thunderhill Race Report

Thill podium.jpg

An eventful weekend

Normally we start these updates with news of the race, and save the comments on driving, if any, to the end.  For two years we have had 98% green flag racing and no damaged cars. But a reminder of the challenges we face staying safe, and the judgment required to be in this series and in our host clubs, is really the key message of the weekend.  We are friends racing together, not competitors playing a zero sum game, and we need to keep that at the center of what we bring to the racetrack. On the same weekend at Thunderhill we had two cars come together, resulting in one being destroyed.  The Historic Ford group in the UK, had two cars come together and the driver was rescued by bystanders from an inverted car and a fire that flared up briefly.  And at Buttonwillow a car flew over a competitor and landed on another. In all cases, the drivers were uninjured.  The CSRG board are finalizing their review of the Thundershill incident, and we will get a debrief from HSCC, but there are nontheless key lessons to take away after much discussion with the group.

1. If you need to leave the racing surface to make a pass, don't make the pass.  Over-driving in that regard, is never acceptable.  The host clubs will be far more vigilant and more furled black flags will be shown to drivers who create too much risk.
2. If you need the guy in front to move or adjust for you, don't make the pass.  If you can't have at least half a car-width of leeway, don't make the pass.  
3. Dangerous behaviour needs to be discussed in an open, honest way.  If you scare the pants off someone, or have contact, apologize, have a chat, have a beer, but don't keep it a secret. And if you really think someone's behaviour is toxic and persistent, please elevate your concerns to the stewards as soon as you have them.  We have sent people home whose behavior is not in the spirit of what we do, will continue to do so, but need data to act on.
4. Shunts are very, very rare, but do occur. If your roll bar is not at least 2-4 inches above your helmet, get it fixed or lower your seating position in the car, or both.  The best approach always, is to sit on a poured seat, on the floor of the car. If you have a mounted seat, most likely it is elevating you.  By being on the floor, you get better feel and better clearance.  All the drivers  involved in that weekend's shunts are over 6 feet tall and their cars kept them safe with the right roll bar clearance.  If you need assistance with this, please contact us and we will connect you to someone that can help.
5. Use a HANS device, this is without question, something you may not live without.
6. If you don't have a clear mind, or have background issues clouding your judgment, give some thought to your approach to the weekend... maybe don't race, or talk to a friend and test your frame of mind.


Alan Dezanni

Alan Dezanni

Testing and Qualifying

Friday testing showed all the newcomers, what an interesting challenge Thunderhill is.  As the afternoon wore on, times came down a bit, and the fun you can have there started to happen.   Lots of advice flowed, lots of lead follow sessions happened, and for the most part testing ended with everyone reasonably comfortable.  Unlocking more speed in particular was Jim Cody, with the help of Tom Fallon from the Anderson Racing crew and Kurt Joerger. Jim made some changes and was quickly knocking a stunning 4-6 seconds a lap off his best previous times. 

Friday night the group gathered at La Cascada for a Mexican banquet and drinks that lasted far too late into the night. So Saturday morning opened qualifying under perfect, bright, sunny conditions that made all the tequila we consumed seem like a bad idea.

Returning to the series a now healthy Greg Vroman, led a pack than included thunderhill rookie John Greeven, Jack Wilson, big bore driver in his second formula ford start Gary Goeringer, George Jewett, "ironman" Alan Dezanni (has run almost every available event on the west coast!) Jonathan Kitchen and Jeff Rothman, struggling to find a happy set up at Thunderhill.  The midpack running in the mid 2:06 range, and separated by .8 seconds from front to back, included a far more rapid Jim Cody, Paul Kitchen, Dave Alvarado, and Norm Cowdrey, and an increasingly quicker and more comfortable Chris Schoap.  Into the 2:04's was Dave Cooper,  Steve Hoogs and Roger Pujol.  Kurt Joerger, the master of turn 9, and a Thunderhill veteran was next separated from Ed Lauber, and a struggling Dave Zurlinden, by less than .5 sec.   Dave had a new set of Avon A29's and found it challenging to switch them on and get them into their best window.  The top 7 drivers, led by Ethan Shippert at a 1:59 (fastest lap of the weekend) and Todd strong in their Club Fords and then Art Hebert on the Historic pole, followed by Martin Lauber, Dan Cowdrey, and Andrew Wait.

The Race

It was an unseasonably warm track, with less grip and a crosswind at the apex of turn one, that greeted the drivers as they lined up.   At the green Ethan Shippert and Todd strong fell into line for a brief, but intense dice with Todd briefly passing Ethan for the Club Ford lead, before his coolant system let go and Todd had to call it a weekend with a warped head allowing Ethan to claim the Club Ford win.  Behind them an epic back and forth between Martin Lauber and Art Hebert ended with Martin going wide in turn 15 and having to settle for second behind Art.  Tom Duncan's motor stumbled at the start, trapping him and Andrew Wait a bit as cars passed.  Both of them eventually raced back into podium contention, but Andrew's engine quit on lap 4, and he parked his car behind an equally broken Dan Cowdrey on the exit of turn 6 as Tom eventuallly finished second in Club.  Chasing the third step on the historic podium Kurt Joerger edged away from Dave Zurlinden for third followed by, Ed Lauber and Jim Cody scoring his biggest points haul ever.   Dan Wise narrowly beat a surging Jeff Rothman for third in Club Ford, but all massively entertained with a dice that included Paul Kitchen, Chris Schoap, and hard charger, with 11 passes John Greeven.. all running withing .4 seconds of each other.
A pack that included an increasingly faster Dave Alvardo in his show-car-perfect Titan, Mitch Roth, Alan Dezzani, Jack Wilson and Gary Goeringer, circulated nose to tail having huge fun.  DNF's included an overheating Mike McDermott, and Norm Cowdrey with a engine that started feeling tight. 


Art Hebert, Martin Lauber and Dan Cowdrey maintain the top three positions in Historic ford.  But with Andrew Wait and Dan Cowdrey's DNF, Danny Baker now moves into 4th, with 2 races to go and well within reach of a podium spot if Dan C stays home for one race or suffers a DNF.  In Club Ford,Todd Strong, Dan Wise and Jeff Rothman have strong positions, but are closely followed by Erik Inkrott, Kim Madrid, Alan Dezzani and Tom Duncan. In Master's Dave Zurlinden, Dan Wise and Jeff Rothman (who celebrated his 70'th birthday at Thunderhill) lead, but are closely followed by Steve Hoogs, Tom Duncan, Jonathan Kitchen and George Jewett.   

The Thank Yous

We keep saying it, so support and spread the word about our sponsors! 

If you have a car you want to donate, and take the tax write off, please use http://vehiclesforcharity.com

If you need an a marketing agency, for almost any service, contact https://www.19york.com/

For sophisticated financial management services, see https://www.cogmentum.com

If you want to buy or sell a race car, please visit http://www.motorsportsmarket.com/

If you are in the market for a home in San Francisco, there is no one better thanwww.ninahatvany.com

As always if you need tires, please see Roger Krause Racing and for all engine needs, many thanks to our friends and supporters at  Ivey Engines.

Races coming up

The next triple appearance points event, is the Pacific Northwest Historics, June 29-Aug 1, at Pacific Raceways in Kent Washington.  If you enter this and want your 6 bonus points applied, pease email us with proof of entry and we will add that in.

The next Crossflow event, is the wonderful Columbia River Classic and All British Meet at Portland, September 8-9.  We will have a full test day for Formula Fords only on Friday September 7 and the Ivey Engines reception that evening.   We will organize the usual convoy towing up from California for those that are interested. 

And the Series finale at the CSRG Charity Challenge at Sonoma will be huge fun.  We are working on another grid walk, a second documentary, and the CSRG board has approved umbrella girls and boys if we want to organize that.    There will also be a spouses reception at Ramsgate on Saturday afternoon as well. 

In the next issue of the newsletter
. Review of the Spring Classic
. 2019 major events
. Clarity on protest rules and engine legality
. More details on Portland and Sonoma



Sonoma Race Report, the Soggy David Love Memorial

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A track as Mean as a Snake

Friday, it rained torrents.  2 inches an hour at one point, and the 180 cars and teams gathered for the David Love memorial made  a hobby of watching the water pour off their easy ups and trailer awnings. About 10% of the cars withdrew at that point, but every single one of the 28 Formula Ford Drivers, just looked at the sky, shoved their hands deeper in the pockets and went back to staring at their phones, or making wry small talk. 

Just two drivers went out into the gloom for testing, Art Hebert one of them, and one could hear his lone exhaust note rising and falling as he negotiated the river that was now Sonoma raceway.  An interested group of spectators gathered at the wall fully expecting Art to do a pirouette or two... they were disappointed. 

Qualifying. The track was still wet, with a gentle morning rain replacing the "atmospheric river", but one of the things that makes Sonoma Raceway mean is the springs that flow for at least a day after a big rainfall.  Lying in wait for the unwary, they lie like trip wires across turn 8, turn 10 and the bottom of 6, the carousel.  One goes into a corner filled with confidence, only to have a shock when the grip disappears over the muddy rivers.   So qualifying began on tiptoes, especially down the now wet shiny snake winding along 8, 8a, 9.  Art Hebert posted a sublime 1:58 for pole, over 3 seconds a lap faster than the next group, of Danny Baker, Dan Cowdrey, Martin Lauber, Todd Strong, David Cooper and reigning champ  Nick Colyvas all between 2:02 and 2:07.  The next pod of cars covered by 2 seconds, saw Dave Zurlinden, very closely followed by Laurent Parmantier, Ed Lauber and an increasingly confident Paul Kitchen.  

Unfortunately, about 3 laps into qualifying the snake struck Ed Vantassel, in the transition between 8 and 8A, a spot that would bend 5 more cars that day.   Ed now has a pair of wine bottles, one for hard-charging, one for heart-breaking, but will be back just as soon as he can.

Gary Goeringer joined the series for the first time and managed to try his Crossley for the first time, under the most challenging conditions imaginable.   So did Julian Pearl in his super orginal Lotus.  And, John Greeven, a veteran of many days in the rain, re-learning Sonoma after a long absence.

The tightest group, of Jonathan Kitchen, Ross Lindell, Jeff Rothman, Paul Kitchen and Jay Streets were all covered by less than a second, with Jonathan Kitchen out-qualifying Paul for the first time in several races. 

In the end, a very different grid than we normally see in the dry settled out of a nerve-racking 5 lap qualy session, with David Copper, Chris Shcoap, and Jonathan Kitchen all much higher in the order than usual.

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The Race

The day cleared, the sun came out and a breeze helped dry the track.  But it was a patchy dry, you can see in Danny Bakers Video ( Danny's Video ) the wet patches, and how straight and settled the car has to be coming out of a corner to avoid drama.

At the start, the dry track began to sort the field almost immediately.  Martin Lauber, Todd Strong moved into second and third, and Nic Colyvas slipped past Dave Copper to give Danny Baker a battle that would last the whole race.  Entering turn 7 on the first lap Dan Cowdrey half spun losing 6 spots.  He would ultimately climb back to 6th place, drag racing Nic Colyvas to a finish 1 car length back. Adom Moutafian who qualified at the very back, climbed 11 places and joined Michael McDermott (who made a fiendish start, gaining 7 places), Chris Schoap, Jay Streets, Mike Wirrick, all contesting the midfield.  A bit further up the now familiar fight between Laurent Parmentier, Ed Lauber, John Greeven, David Cooper, Paul Kitchen, Jeff Rothman, Norm Cowdrey, Jay Streets and Jonathan Kitchen, moved back and forth until Jonathan Kitchen Spun in 7, losing 10 places very late in the race and running out of time to engineer a recovery.   You can see how tight and clean this group races here  (Laurent's video)  The tightest finishes after 13 laps were an increasingly confident George Jewett, Jonathan Kitchen, Alan Denazzi (one car length back) and Kim Madrid just .3 seconds back from Chris Schoap. 

In the end, Art Hebert, followed by Martin Lauber and Danny Baker made up the Historic Podium.  Todd Strong dug deep into his reserves of courage and experience to top the Club Ford Podium and a third overall.  Dave Zurlinden was the first of the Masters in, followed by Jeff Rothman and Norm Cowdrey.   Most important new drivers Gary Goeringer and Julian Pearl "broke their duck" managing to cross the line with a smile on their faces and their cars and egos in one piece.  

Great races under extremely difficult circumstances were posted by a returning Rob Thull and Ross Lindell.  Both have been gone for a while, and Ross in particular just wrapped an enormous overhaul of his car.

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The Thank You's 

Ed Lauber did a great job running the event, Art Hebert set the tonewith the driver's meeting, huge help from Stewards, Geir Ramleth and Greg Vroman.  Scoring help from Jim Cody and the help and contribution of http://vehiclesforcharity.com, 19York, Ivey Engines, Roger Kraus Racing, John Anderson Racing and CSRG... makes this all possible

Next Races and other info

The next big Formula Ford event is the Spring Challenge, there are only 12 cars entered so far so plenty of room on the grid at Laguna Seca May 18-20, to enter email  ardelle@laguna-seca.com or Cris Vandagriff cris@hmsausa.com

After that is the next points race for the series, the epic,  Columbia River Classic  Sept 6-9 in Portland,  http://sovrenracing.org

Results to date are now posted on theNorwestff site,  (Series Results) 

And photos by Zack Hubbel of the open wheel group can be seen here https://hubbell-photography.smugmug.com/CSRG-Crossflow-Cup/n-pSDP6d/




Laguna Report


First 2018 weekend was phenomenal

The variable weather and rusty driving skills, none of that got in the way of the enormous fun had by all at Laguna.  We had 99% green flag racing, and while we did have one injury, overall the driving standards were exemplary.  35 cars, 10 more than last year entered making sure everyone got a race.  This weekend's high levels of sportsmanship and camaraderie made this a wonderful event for all involved.

But First some huge thanks and appreciation

The tone for the weekend was set with a wonderful party hosted by Geir Ramleth at his lovely home in Carmel.  Geir really went all out with amazing food, wine and a heated chalet for the over 60 people that came.  Also huge thanks to Ivey engines for sending Colin down, Roger Kraus for the prize of new Avon tires, Ed Lauber of www.vehiclesforcharity.com and Martin Lauber of19york.com for the post-race party, Jim Cody for scoring, Chris Duranowski for manning the scales, John Anderson Racing for hauling and support of said scales.   Also a huge thanks to Cris Vandagriff and the HMSA crew for putting on a fantastic weekend and for the Series Podium Trophies. Cris had an enormously important announcement we will cover in the next update.  And not least, the Kitchen Family vineyard provided the usual amazing wine, their 2013 Twisting Turns Cabernet.


It was a challenge for everyone, for many, it was their first time at Laguna and for everyone else their first time in a race car in months.  Qualifying provided just  25 minutes to get loosened up and earn the best starting spot possible. Art Hebert set an overall pole of 1:39, and behind him the usual 3-4 groups emerged with Ed Van Tasell, Tom Minnich, Mike Wirrick, Jason Cowdrey, Chris Schoap, Jim Cody, Kim Marid and Paul Kitchen all covered by less than a second and Dan Wise, Steve Hoogs, Jeff Rothman, Mith Roth, Adom Moutafian and Tom La Costa all covered by .7 sec.   Ed Lauber is now pushing into the top of the grid, part of the group covered by less than .5, that included newcomer Laurent Parmentier, Dave Alvarado and Geir Ramleth in their immaculate Titan Mk 6s.   Southern California drivers Todd Gerstenberg, Todd Strong and Erik Inkrott got faster and faster as the session went on, and Laguna veteran Danny Baker, looked more and more comfortable in his new Lotus 69.  By the time qualifying ended Martin Lauber had P2 overall and historic ford in hand and Todd Strong and Eric Inkrott P1 and P2 in Club Ford. Andrew Wait got P3 in historic ford as did Jeff Rothman in Club.


The Race

Rain and the possibility of more, found drivers and crew looking up at the sky, and at the radar pictures on their phones trying to figure out whether to go out on a dry set up and in some cases, whether to race at all.  For sure the berms and edges of the track would hold residual moisture, but how the track would be, looked like anyone's guess.  As the cars lined up and filed out on their pace lap, everyone on a dry set up was celebrating; it was clear, in spite of the menacing sky, it would be a dry race.    A very spread out start immediately divided the group up into about 3 distinct battles and evolved over a tense 25 minutes as the spooky damp spots on the track dried out and everyone tried to establish a rhythm.   At the front Todd Strong and Dan Cowdrey ran into the distance battling with Art Hebert.  Martin Lauber ran in the thick of that group until his engine went off-song with a fuel system failure, earning the first heartbreak award of the weekend.  Martin kept circulating hoping his sick motor would at least leave him in a points-paying spot... sadly not to be.  Further back Danny Baker, Todd Gerstenberg, Eric Inkrott and Andrew Wait traded places repeatedly with Danny eventually solidifying his P3 in Historic Ford managing a great outcome with a car that lacked top end power.  Ed Lauber, Dan Wise, Laurent Parmentier Jeff Rothman, Ed Lauber, Geir Ramleth, and Ed Van Tassel (hard charger of the weekend) all ran best laps within .3 seconds of each other, eventually Geir, Laurent,  and Ed Lauber broke away for a dice that would end when Geir spun to the inside of Turn 4 and injured his hand on the kickback from the steering wheel.   

At the finish line Jack Wilson, Jay Streets, George Jewett, Jonathan Kitchen, drag raced out of Turn 11 in a group, just behind another tight group with Jim Cody (clearly Laguna is home for Jim) Kim Madrid, Chris Schoap in a pack and the points paying spot earned by Steve Hoogs and Jason Cowdrey.   

The Historic Podium was Dan Cowdrey, Art Hebert, and Danny Baker, the Club Podium was Todd Strong (a sublime overall P1)  Eric Inkrott and 2017 Crossflow award recipient Dan Wise in P3.

There were exceptional drives all up and down the grid, with Ed Van Tassel earning a well deserved hard charger... both for speed and sportsmanship.  As many passes as he made, Ed left everyone room.  Laurent Parmentier completed a very cool trifecta, first race, first drive at Laguna, event in a formula ford.  Jonathan Kitchen, Jay Streets and George Jewett, not only battled hard, but managed the swarm of front-runners with complete poise. 

In the Masters Championship standings, Dan Wise leads, followed by Jeff Rothman, Steve Hoogs, Jim Cody, Jonathan Kitchen and George Jewett. 

Future Crossflow Drivers, Dan Wise's grand nieces and nephews

Future Crossflow Drivers, Dan Wise's grand nieces and nephews

Driving Observations

- We had a number of passes under yellow during qualifying, mostly due to a point-by.  Note, if you get pointed by under yellow, you should not pass the car ahead.  The corner workers and stewards cannot usually see the point-by and you will be black flagged.  Black flags in our sport are bad, and multiple offenses will lead to your being barred by the host clubs.  The exception to Passing under yellow is this;  if the car is clearly broken, running slowly off-line. If that is the case, accept the point-by if under yellow.  Drivers with broken cars, under a yellow please keep your hand in the air.

Starts still ragged - We will be rolling out a new policy to try to fix this.   The importance of a start where everyone is within 10 feet of the cars ahead and behind, and rolling at the same steady speed when the green flag drops, is this.  When we have a tight start, as we did on the Sunday club race, 1 person gets lapped.  When we have a spread out, fast rolling start as we did on Saturday, 10 drivers get lapped.  Being lapped increases risk,increases stress and reduces everyone's fun...especially when being lapped means by 7-8 cars, rather than one or two.   Spread out starts are caused by drivers in the middle and back allowing 3-4 car length gaps emerge, either due to caution or a setting up for a slingshot.  They are also caused by pace laps that are too fast, and pace by the front row that is too high. 

New Start Policy - From now on, the front row will roll in first gear, 3500-4000 revs for the last half mile or so prior to the start and will not accelerate past that speed until the green flag waves.  The drivers at the middle and back, must not fall behind and the host clubs will shake a furled black flag at you if you allow more than a car length to emerge within a half mile (turn 9 at sonoma, turn 13 at Thunderhill, turn 10  at Laguna) for the start line.  

Sunday's start was terrific and resulted in a great race for everyone, without the worry of fast cars weaving through.   To see what that looks like, see Laurent's video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUBPn-P_5II&t=1415s


Next Event

Sonoma Raceway and CSRG host the next stop in the Series.  We are expecting over 40 cars, so bring your best self to the most challenging circuit of the series.

This will be another epic event and usually the loveliest weather and best racing conditions of the year.

You can register here. https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/2018-csrg-david-love-vintage-races-sonoma-raceway-223236

If you want to add points to your tally, the next triple appearance points race is the High Desert Challenge with VARA.  Anyone that attends this race will add 6 appearance points to their tally.  We want everyone out racing as much as they can and supporting their clubs!  You can register for that here.




The Crossflow Cup adds a Masters Championship

The Crossflow Masters Championship runs concurrent to the regular Crossflow Championship and recognizes speed and participation of the top 3 scoring drivers 60 over, in Historic Formula Ford and Club Formula Ford.  Like the regular championship, the points total is a combination of race points scored and appearance points (regular race and the triple points races)... so it will reward Masters drivers who both show the endurance to run the available events and perform reasonably well on track.  We have 20, 60 and over drivers already entered. It's an impressive group that includes new guys just starting out, experienced drivers and several top 5 competitors. To register Crossflow eligible drivers need to  be 60 or over by Friday March 8 and need to email the series at https://www.norwestff.com/contact/