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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

Qualifying

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.




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Portland is next!

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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.  


 

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Thunderhill Race Report

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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. 

Championship

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

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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/

 

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Laguna Report

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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.

Qualifying

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.

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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.

https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/high-desert-challenge-2018-willow-springs-intl-raceway-vara-943131

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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/

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Just 5 Weeks to Go!

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Hi all...  We are about 5 weeks away from from our first race.  Drivers are polishing and fettling their cars,  some are on diets and violent crossfit programs, others are karting and doing sim work.  So to really focus everyone,  here is one of two notes about the opening of the 2018 Crossflow Cup Championship.   Our season opens March 10-11 with the HMSA event at Laguna Seca.  

To Enter
To enter the event go to https://www.hmsausa.com/new-events/ and you can enter online or with a mail-in form.  Imporant, you will see a Formula Ford Classification that says 1962-1972... you can ignore that, all eligible Historic and Club Fords per our series rules are eligible.

Important news about the first race
Trophies - HMSA is welcoming us back and will be sponsoring Trohpies for the top 3 Historic and top 3 Club fords.  So in addition to your series medals, if you podium at this race you will receive a unique trophy courtesy of Cris and the team.
Friday night Party - We will have a party for the Crossflow drivers and crew on Friday night, location TBD.  
Paddock set up - We have access to the paddock on Friday, and we all need to pit together, so we will have help on the ground to guide you to the paddock space for our group
Prizes - Roger is back with a new set of Avons for some lucky prize winner (you must be present to win)

Support - Jay Ivey and crew will be there along with our usual coaches and series helpers
 

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Masters - A New Championship

We are also very happy to announce that we will be adding a new championship to the Crossflow Cup.  2018 will include a Masters Trophy.  The top three scoring driver in Historic and Club Ford, that are age 60 and over, will be the Masters Champions.  To be eligible, drivers must enter 3 of 5 races, and be 60 or over prior to March 10.   So if you qualify please email andrew.wait@gmail.com and jimcody@yahoo.com and let us know that you qualify, don't tell us your age, just that your are a Master's driver.

Sponsors

Without sponsors, there is no series!  So please support the folks who support us.

The Podium Party! -  Brought to us by www.vehiclesforcharity.com and www.19york.com

The Trophies - Supported by www.rogerkrausracing.com

The Crossflow Cup - Supported by www.iveyengines.com

Supporting Sponsors - www.johnandersonracing.com, www.hjc-motorsports.com, Victory Lane Magazine, CSRG, SOVREN, VARA, and Vintage Motorsport Magazine

Big news for Lola Drivers
Neil Fowler Motorports in the UK, provides everything Lola formula Ford... disks, uprights, new chassis and more.  They also provide parts for other Formula Ford marques.  Contact David Wild at david@neilfowlermotorsport.co.uk  

If you want even more opportunities to race... 

All the supporting clubs, CSRG, SVRA, RMVR, SOVREN and VARA have formula ford groups, and remember the double appearance points Races (info at https://www.norwestff.com/about)

The  Spring Classic at Laguna Seca May 18-20 is accepting Formula Fords.  These are the same folks that put on the Rolex Reunion and should be a fun weekend. For more info www.mazdaraceway.com/spring-classic

The SVRA Wine Country Classic has a mixed open wheel group (1.6 liters and below, so Atlantics, Formula B, Formula Ford, Formula V, Juniors etc.)

For everything else, visit www.norwestff.com and stay tuned for more updates.

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2017 Series Wrap up

 Art Hebert celebrating after a fantastic run at the Series Finale

Art Hebert celebrating after a fantastic run at the Series Finale

76 drivers ran a Crossflow Cup event in its first year.   The series averaged 27 cars per grid with a phenomenal 43 cars running the final event at Sonoma.  It was incredible fun, with perhaps best of all, 98% of the series laps run under green.  The Crossflow Cup will be back in 2018, but for now here is the story of how it all came down to the wire.

 Ed VanTassel chasing Don Stern in a typically tight field.

Ed VanTassel chasing Don Stern in a typically tight field.

Portland - Columbia River Classic

39 cars entered the SOVREN Columbia River Classic.  And for about 20 drivers, it was their first taste of Portland International Raceway, but also of the pleasures of Portland, the bars, restaurants, and sights of a truly great town just 5 minutes from the track.  The event itself was great fun, with loads of track time (6 sessions) and the All British Meet providing lots to see and do, along with great music and temporary pub pouring pints of great local and English beer.

On Friday night we also had a wonderful reception at Ivey Engines, with fantastic food, beer, wine and a tour of the legendary shop.  

The weekend started Friday with a test day, courtesy of the Lotus Club, where almost all 20 of the visitors got ample track time to figure out Portland.  Everyone found it great fun, but a real challenge, with lots of little nuances and subtleties.   Lots of drivers went to bed that night wondering how big the gap to the locals was going to be come Saturday morning.  

 Todd Strong follows Quinn Posner on the parade lap

Todd Strong follows Quinn Posner on the parade lap

In a somewhat unusual format, we had a qualifying session and then a qualifying race to set the grid for the Crosslow cup points race.   Qualifying made two things clear.  It was going to be tight, and there were 4 distinct groups up and down the grid, separated by tiny gaps.  John Hill set a breathtaking 1:23.6, over a second faster than Tom Kreger, who led a group of 11 cars separated by less than a second.  Of the visitors, John Anderson and Todd Strong were the fastest qualifiers with a 1:25.4 and 1:25.9 respectively.

 John Allen, chased by Geir Ramleth, Rob LaRoque and Mike McDermott

John Allen, chased by Geir Ramleth, Rob LaRoque and Mike McDermott

The qualifying race tightened things up even more with 11 cars running in the 1:25's and the next 14 cars running within a second of each other.   But more notable were big improvements from Kim Madrid, Don Stern, Dave Grieger, Jeff Rogers as they moved higher on the grid for the points race.  The big shock was Martin Lauber, who up to that point had been second in the championship, had his motor stop and he parked against the wall on the main straight.  This triggered a double yellow that changed the rhythm of the race and created more of a procession to the end. Andrew Wait had his shifter break so he retired on the parade lap as did Dave Zurlinden who correctly, sensed a problem with this right front hub.

 A hyper-focused George Jewett, chased by Andrew Wait and Martin Lauber

A hyper-focused George Jewett, chased by Andrew Wait and Martin Lauber

The points race was a tense affair.  On the pace lap, a car pulled off and the grid ran 2 laps under yellow before finally getting a green flag.  John Hill ran away from the field, eventually finishing almost 12 seconds ahead of the Historic Ford winner Tom Kreger.  But behind these two, there were epic races all up and down the field.  The leading group of 12 cars all ran laps within a second of each other, and the two following groups ran nose to tail, with the most dramatic finish being Kim Madrid, Larry Bangert, Sherm Johnston, and Martin Lauber all crossing the finish with less than car lengths separating them.  Martin Lauber passed 16 cars, earning the fast charger award but finishing out of the points.   The eventual Historic Ford podium was Tom Krieger, Nic Colyvas and John Anderson.  The Club Ford Podium was John Hill, Quinn Posner and Todd Strong.

More Portland Photos here  - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/iqwjmnx4iwe3jc5/AAAvTVbvYiINw49SzRbN3XSVa?dl=0

Sonoma - The Charity Challenge

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An enormous field of 43 cars arrived in a very crowded paddock for the 14th Charity Challenge at Sonoma Raceway.  320 competitors, 4000 spectators, an airshow, and spectacular Sonoma weather made this a memorable event.  There were drivers coming from as far away as Canada, and the biggest VARA group in memory came to race.  Several SOVREN drivers, Chuck O'Connor, Bob Morrison, Don Stern and several others came down to spectate.  Also significant, there were 11 drivers with no experience at Sonoma.  

Friday testing saw a lot of lead follow, coaching and mentoring of new drivers around the most technical track we run all year.  It all paid off with everyone finding the line and with 100% green flag racing throughout the whole weekend. 

Qualifying saw Art Hebert set a sublime 1:47.3, in his Titan Mk 6, surpassed only by Ethan Shippert in his Club Ford who cracked open the 1:46's.  But as usual, the grid was grouping into tight subgroups that promised great racing for everyone.  Martin Lauber, Todd Strong, Nic Colyvas, Dan Cowdrey, were separated by less than .3 sec. A little further back, a particular a rapid Roger Pujol, John Anderson, John Ballantyne, Dave Cooper, Ed Lauber, and Tom Krieger were all separated by less than .5 sec.  And if the less than .1 sec gap between Geir Ramleth, Tom Duncan, Dan Wise, Jay Streets and Tom Lacosta held up, theirs would be the most thrilling race to watch.   

 Nic Colyvas lined up for qualifying

Nic Colyvas lined up for qualifying

The competitors rolled their cars to the hot pits/grid and enjoyed a gridwalk, with spectators, friends, and family coming down to mill around prior to getting strapped in and starting engines. The grid cleared and the parade lap led to the best start of the year, a tight well-organized roll in 2nd gear.  Organizing behind leaders Hebert and Shippert, there emerged 4 distinct battles.  The most exciting was Richard McCloskey, Rob Laroque, Mark Colbert, Jay Streets, Jonathan Kitchen Jim Cody, George Jewett and Jack Wilson all crossing the line within 30 seconds of each other.  Unfortunately, Ethan Shippert, Dave Alvarado, Brian Iriks and Alan Dezzani retired with a range of issues.  In the end, the Historic Ford Podium was Art Hebert, Martin Lauber and Dan Cowdrey, the Club Ford Podium Todd Strong, Tom Duncan and Eric Inkrott.   

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The Final Results 

After 5 races, and a very long intense season, everyone got a participant medal.  The final awards for the 2017 season go as follows.

The Crossflow Cup by Ivey Engines awarded to the driver that best represents the spirit and values of this Championship - Dan Wise

Best Ford, for the most beautiful car on the grid, - Geir Ramleth

Series MVP goes to the driver who combines phenomenal performance on the track, with support for his fellow drivers and the series - Martin Lauber

Historic Ford Championship Podium by Roger Kraus Racing-  1 Nic Colyvas, 2 Martin Lauber, 3 Tom Kreger

The Club Ford Championship Podium by Roger Kraus Racing- 1 Dan Wise, 2 Tom Duncan, 3 Norm Cowdrey

The Final Thanks

We say this over and over. A series like this cannot be run without help, supporters, and sponsors.

Many thanks to Auction City, York 19, HTC Motorsports, Ivey Engines, Roger Kraus Racing, Hunziker Design, Joerger Financial, Wine Country Motorsports, Sonoma View Winery

And also big thanks to the team that helped put this all together. Jim Cody, Kurt Joerger, Ed Lauber, Martin Lauber, Dan Wise, Mike Summers, John Anderson, Cris Vandergriff, Jim Johnson, Geoff Pitts, Jav Ivey, Chris Duranwoski, Mike Wirrick, the SOVREN team, and Jeff Rogers.  Paul and Jonathan Kitchen, Don Durbin, the podium Girls, Jenny, Pere and Sandra and our Photographers, Bob Pengraph, Bert McBride and Alvin Lumanian.

Parting Shots- What it's all about, lots of smiles

 The boys from SOVREN. Bob Morrison and Don Stern came down to party at the Series Final.

The boys from SOVREN. Bob Morrison and Don Stern came down to party at the Series Final.

See you next year!

 Dave's Labor of Love... 

Dave's Labor of Love... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Charity Challenge at Sonoma Raceway Details

We are still working on the Portland race report but wanted to get this out asap given many of you are manically prepping for this race.   We already have 25 cars signed up so it will be a very big grid.  Note there are 150 people on this list, we started with 25!

Below are key details and info, and at the bottom, very important messages about attitude and gratitude.

Details

  • The race weekend of Sept 29-Oct 1 is coming up fast, register soon to get the early bird discount  
  • Thanks to the CSRG board, Formula Fords will have their own run group for this race.  This is unprecedented and for those of you who have been around the Historic Racing scene for a while, you know this is a rare privilege.  
  • This is a very special event, learn more here www.charityracing.org
  • As always, the host club's rules and governance are in effect and we are here at their pleasure.  Any and all questions can be answered at www.csrgracing.org
  • There will be Avons and a few Hoosiers available at the track... Dunlop did not come through again, so to our Canadian friends coming down, apologies, but we did our best
  • Read the rules, in particular, get your weight right before you come down.  1100 for Historic Fords, 1125 for Club Fords.  Rules are at https://www.norwestff.com/rules/
  • 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
  • If you have not been to Sonoma before, try to make the Friday practice day, we will have a coach to talk you through if you need it and we can arrange lead-follow sessions for you.
  • As usual, we have Qualifying Saturday morning, and then the final Crossflow race Saturday afternoon... followed by the end of season podium ceremony and beer fest, you and your friends and family should come (you must be present to win a prize).  The Sunday races are regular club races and we might invert the grid or some other fun option.
  • Awards and Prizes (not the final list)
    • The Crossflow Cup recipient to be chosen by a series panel
    • Race medals and Championship Trophies
    • Hunziker Design awards to the Championship Podium
    • End of season gift for all entrants to this race (a Crossflow series gift and a CSRG gift)
    • Long tow, hard charger, and other participant appreciation
    • Awards for Best Ford and Driver of the season to be chosen by a panel
    • Raffles - Set of Avons from Roger Kraus, Ivey Engines $2000 certificate, $250 John Anderson chassis hardware certificate and an HTC helmet from HJC motorsports.
  • Supporting events.
    • There is a very special viewing of the Bruce McLaren Documentary Friday night with wine and snacks, hosted by Hagerty.  If you will be attending please send a note to CSRGvideo@gmail.com 
    • There is the traditional Saturday dinner and silent auction courtesy of Sonoma Raceway and the Speedway Children's Charities
    • Race car rides start at $75 and all the proceeds are a tax deductible donation to the Speedway Children's charities.
    • The paddock will be full of Mini Coopers and other vintage cars and there will be vintage aircraft flyovers and biplane rides at Schellville field.
    • Note there will be a ton of children and families, please be your usual welcoming, charming selves.

Attitude

Racing historic cars is a test of skill, but more than that, a test of character.   

At the Portland race, we struggled a bit with the second test.  Skills can be remediated, character and judgment are harder to fix.  We saw starting instructions ignored, some over-aggressive passes, but most concerning, we saw fast guys shaking their fists at backmarkers.  They were so focused on their frustration at being held up, that they passed the backmarkers under double yellow flags while there was as car up against the wall on the track-out of the final turn.  This is not acceptable and the drivers involved are not welcome at the Charity Challenge.  Of the over 60 drivers that will have run with us by the end of the series, 2 have crossed the line we set.  Let's keep it that.

We are a group of friends racing for fun, that is and always will be what is welcome and what makes what we all do so special.

So as we approach the final race of the series, be mindful.

1. It has been a long, amazing series... 99% of the on-track behavior has been stellar, friend ships have been forged, huge amounts of fun has been had.  Let's keep it that way. 

2. We have people coming from Canada, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Southern California, Colorado.  Sending them home after all the effort and expense with a broken car or a sour feeling is not how we want to end this series.

3. We have some extraordinary opportunities to build on our success.. we will share more as it becomes final.  But it will all go up in smoke if we screw up.

Gratitude

Many, many thanks... as we approach the final event, dear sponsors and supporters, know it would not be possible without you and we all send huge thanks.

  • Ed Lauber of Auction City and Martin Lauber of York19 for the podium parties
  • Roger Kraus Racing, Ivey Engines, Hunziker Design, HJC Motorsports, Sonoma View Winery, Joerger Financial, John Anderson Racing for the support and help that made this year amazing.
  • Jim Cody for scoring, Eric Sidebotham for the scales of justice, Kurt Joerger for the patches and decals, Bob Pengraph and friends for the photos, Mike Wirrick for his help with the final weekend and the podium champagne.  Geir Ramleth for all your support and for hauling the scales.  And the Kitchen boys for sharing their amazing wine and enthusiasm for the series.
  • Chris Vandergriff (HMSA),  the CSRG board, the SOVREN board for letting us run at your events
  • John Anderson, Jay Ivey, Jim Johnson, Ethan Shippert, Jeff Rogers, Bob Morrison and Dan Wise for all of your advice and help.
  • Kim Madrid, Norm Marshall, Jeff Rogers, Tom LaCosta and the Royale Cup guys for working on the future!

So we are really looking forward to seeing as many of you as can make it, with the right approach this will another epic weekend and an amazing transition to 2018.

The Crossflow Team.

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Final, Final Portland Updates

Pass the word - SOVREN members, I do not have everyone entered on this mailing list or the Facebook page,  so please forward this to all the FF drivers you think might be coming.

Bring your best self - As of today, we have 38 cars entered, that is a huge field and will make that first trip through the chicane... interesting.  So start calming down now, we want everyone to make it through in one piece.  If we get well over 40 cars, we may blend at the start just to keep everyone safe.  This is what the F1 masters do occasionally and we did it at Laguna. We will make that call with the Stewards on Saturday morning.

Ivey Party- The Ivey Engines Party will be at Ivey Engines from 4:30 to 7 on Friday Sept 1.  The shop is at 4722 NE 148th Ave.Portland, OR 97230.  

Format reminder - A reminder of the format.  

  • FF drivers have a quick 5 minute meeting after the general drivers meeting on Saturday morning.
  • We qualify Saturday morning at 9:25, 
  • Then a  qualifying race at 11:25 Saturday
  • Crossflow cup points race 3:25 and podium at 5:10 sharp before the worker Party on Saturday.  We will raffle off the usual cool prizes and give lots of wine away, you must be present to win.   
  • Sunday there are two club races where we might invert the grid and give the midpack a thrill... race stewards call on that.

There is a link to the schedule here... http://sovrenracing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/2017_CRC_Sovren_Schedule-v2.pdf

See you all in Portland!

 

AW

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Final Portland Details

Hi all... here are the final details and loose ends on the weekend.  Any questions let me know, but hopefully the information below answers all the questions I have received so far.  PLEASE share this with any fellow competitors that are not getting this newsletter.

Can I arrive and park my rig on Thursday?

YES - There is a lot of activity at the track that weekend so it would be best if you could arrive after 4:30.   You can park for free on the lawn, or you can park in the club paddock for $28.  

Do I need to pay or register in advance for the test and tune session on Friday?

NO -  Mark will take a check or cash for $285 on Friday when you come in.

Anything else I need to know about the test day?

YES -  See below

  • There is a driver's meeting at 8:30 am Friday.  Mark runs the event from the inside (pro-pits) paddock, but there will be times throughout the day where you can cross back and forth with your cars.
  • You will get up to 5 sessions throughout the day, if things run smoothly.
  • You can join in the day at any point if you are arriving later.
  • Since this is about familiarization, the first couple of  laps will run under Yellow so everyone can see the flag stands, and the "chinane open" sign

Will there be race gas available on Friday?

YES - Racegas will arrive mid morning or so, so please fill up your cars before you leave home so you are good for the first session or two.

Are there any tech details to be aware of?

YES - In the rainy Northwest, they strongly recommend your run rain lights.  It is not a deal breaker, but take the time to install a rain light if you can.   We will be weighing cars at this event (top 5 in qualifying, top 5 in race) so check your weight before you leave home if you can.  Otherwise, it's Monoposto rules as has been the case all year.

Is the party at Ivey Engines pre-dinner snacks or drinks or dinner?

It is pre-dinner snacks and drinks... so come on time, have some fun and then head out to a proper evening dinner.

Will it the normal Crossflow cup format and will be in an all FF grid?

YES - We will qualify on Saturday morning, points race and podium party Saturday afternoon, club racing on Sunday.  And yes, an all FF grid!

All other details are available here https://www.norwestff.com/new-blog/2017/6/14/important-information-about-the-portland-race

Any last thoughts?

YES -  Many, many thanks to our SOVREN supporters, the support and generosity they have extended is amazing.  Let's repay the favor with clean racing, buying some beers and giving them the same support when they come down to race us.

And as always... questions please let me or any of the team know.

Charity Challenge Updates

The details (prizes, awards etc.) list is more or less final, so if you come, here is what to expect in addition to a huge field, great racing and camaraderie.

  • An amazing event that is really starting to take shape (www.charityracing.org)
  • Championship trophies for Historic Ford and Club Ford
  • Event medals as usual
  • Championship Medals for every entrant at the Challenge
  • A set of Avons will be raffled off, thanks to Roger Kraus Racing
  • A $2000 engine refresh certificate raffled off thanks to Ivey Engines
  • The usual podium party thanks to Auction City, York19 and Car Week Concierge
  • Long tow, hard charger and more awards from Sonoma View Winery
  • The best turned out Formula Ford Trophy thanks to Anderson Racing (start polishing your cars now, you will want this one on your shelf)
  • Podium champagne thanks to Anonymous!
  • The Crossflow Cup award thanks to Ivey Engines
  • HTC Helmet to the Series champs and Hunkier Designed Shoes

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Important information about the Portland Race

Hi everyone;

Portland is just over two months away, and we thought it best to get everyone some details and information well in advance to make sure it's a great, smooth, fun weekend.  So here are the key things to know and think about.

Preparing for Portland.

Sim Training - If you have never been to Portland, prepare to have a great time.  It is a super-fun circuit, with a number of nuances that make it challenging.  If you have never been there, I cannot over-emphasize the value of simulator training.  Tom Pabst of Pro Racing Simulators, is at Sonoma Raceway, across from the John Anderson shops.  He has a great Portland set up and even better, he lived and raced up there for years and can share the secrets of the track.  Set aside two to three hours to really get oriented.   You can reach Tom at http://prsdd.com call  (707) 975-6244 or email him at tompabst@prsdd.com 

Without sim training, you will flop around out there for half a day at least before you know your way around.

Gear ratios. - If you have the common 9:31 ring and pinion, this is what we used last year. 

18/34

20/30

23/29

24/26

Top speed in 4th was 126 at 7,000

Where to stay - There will be more detail on the SOVREN site, but if you like to plan ahead, the link below has a number of suggestions.

http://portlandraceway.com/?/fan_guide/lodging__attractions

Testing and Parties

Test day - Mark Viskov of the Lotus Club and Ivey Engines, has graciously opened a group for us to test on Friday.  I highly recommend you do this, it will help you prep and enoy the race weekend.   The test day will be the Friday of the race weekend, September 1st at Portland International Raceway. Cost is $285, It's a fully open test with a full staff of corner workers and you should expect to get 4-5 20 min sessions. For sign up or further info, call Mark Viskov at 503-913-1102

Ivey Engines Friday Night Party - The Ivey boys will be putting on a celebration for the Formula Ford group on Friday evening after the test day at their shop (about 10 minute drive from the track)  So keep your agenda open and plan on coming.  The Ivey shop is really fun to tour and there will be food, beer, wine, and stories.

Group Dinner Saturday night - For those of you who just can't get enough of your FF brothers and sisters, we will be organizing a mass group dinner on Saturday night, more to come on that.

Towing - We will be coordinating, for those that are interested, a convoy departure from Sonoma so we can keep each other company.  There is also a possibility that there will be trailer room for two cars (not tools and spares, the cars only).  So if you think you might need help getting your car up there, let Andrew Wait know (andrew.wait@gmail.com)

Thank yous and other news

Many thanks to our SOVREN brothers Jim Johnson and Jeff Rogers, they have been amazing in their help and support of the event.  Also huge thanks to the Ivey family, their support has been incredibly important.

And finally a reminder about the final Crossflow Cup race at the Charity Challenge.  We will be awarding an Ivey engine refresh certificate, a set of Avons, Helmets, Hunziker Shoes, Championship Trophies, the Crossflow Cup, the Best Car Award, and more.  We also have an anonymous donor who will donate to the Sonoma Speedway Children's Charity, $150 for each Formula Ford that enters.  Our current informal car count is 40 cars, it should be an amazing event.

We have had several guys buy cars to join the series next year, and we know of at least 5 more people who are looking for cars. If you know of a car, post it on the Facebook page.

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Race 3, Thunderhill Raceway Park

 Lap 2, John Anderson (92) recovers third place, from an early braking Andrew Wait (23), Michael Edick (36), Steeve Hoogs,  Jay Streets and Paul Kitchen pressing hard.

Lap 2, John Anderson (92) recovers third place, from an early braking Andrew Wait (23), Michael Edick (36), Steeve Hoogs,  Jay Streets and Paul Kitchen pressing hard.

Race Number 3 and another epic fun weekend

CSRG had a great turn out for the weekend boosted by the Miata grid that now comes regularly to the Willows events and the Crossflow Cup's 22 cars that all came for round 3 at Thunderhill Raceway Park.  We had most of the regular historic grid, and three new club ford competitors, Alan Dezanni, Tom Duncan and Michael Edick joining Club Ford points leader Dan Wise.  And for the second time in the series a Formula Ford only grid. Thunderhill provided fast close racing, perfect weather and the low key fun of a club event, and the cheap beer and eats of the various watering holes around Willows.  We also had a new anonymous Champagne sponsor, you know who you are.. thanks!!

 The Champagne soaked Podium

The Champagne soaked Podium

The Race

About half the field tested on Friday and one could see throughout the weekend the guys with the extra practice under their belts surge forward a bit.  Thunderhill is fast and flowing and there are two corners that separate people who go well there, Turn 9, and turn 15.  Get through the former really fast with minimal braking and exit the latter onto the long main straight and you will generate a quick lap.   

Saturday morning Qualifying was again held in cool temperatures with most of the grid running about a second a lap below their best pace.  And once again, the field divided up into 3 distinct races, each group shaded by a second or less.  The overall pole was set by Tom Duncan, followed by Nic Colyvas, Tom Kreger, Martin Lauber, John Anderson and Andrew Wait.  Hot on their heels was Michael Edick, trying hard to adjust to the vintage treaded tires, Steve Hoogs and Roger Pujol who fought a car that felt just a bit odd all weekend, Ed Lauber and Paul Kitchen, who continues to make progress up the grid. The tightest group in the field, covered by less than a second was led by Jay Streets, Dave Alvarado, Jim Cody and Alan Dezzani (also figuring out the Avons) Jonathan Kitchen, Greg Vroman adjusting to a Formula Ford and Dan Wise whose engine was making some ominous sounds.   The next battle was set between Geir Ramleth, returning to Thill after a long absence in his beautiful Lotus, Jack Wilson, Dan Wardman, and George Jewett, all covered by just a few tenths.

 Just inches separated Jim Cody, Dave Alvarado, Jonathan Kitchen, and Alan Dezzani

Just inches separated Jim Cody, Dave Alvarado, Jonathan Kitchen, and Alan Dezzani

Track temperatures were ideal for the afternoon points race, and Tom Duncan and NIc Colyvas led the field out for a tight, picture perfect first gear start.  By turn one Martin Lauber, Andrew Wait and Roger Pujol gained several spots with Martin exiting turn 6 in the lead, Andrew in 4th place and Roger pushing past Steve Hoogs.  By lap two the midfield fight formed up with Alan Dezzani, Paul Kitchen, Dave Alvarado, Jay Streets and Jim Cody running a pitched battle that did not organize fully until the end.   Then entering turn 14 on lap 3, Andrew Wait inexplicably braked early, letting John Anderson and Steve Hoogs by, setting up a chase that did not settle out until the last lap and included the sportsman of the weekend, Michael Edick.  By lap 5 everyone’s rhythm was established and some big improvements were being posted.  Greg Vroman knocked 3 seconds off his qualy lap, so did Jack Wilson, Geir Ramleth, and Jonathan Kitchen... and Dan Wardman a full 5 seconds off his qualy laps!  With just a few laps to go, the battle at the front, with Colyvas, Duncan and Lauber trading 2 minute laps changed dramatically as points leader Colyvas spun off turn nine and then moments later Club Ford points leader Dan Wise parked on the outside of turn 13.

 Michael Edick running on treaded tires for the first time, pressures Andrew Wait and Steve Hoogs and a surging Paul Kitchen looks for a way past

Michael Edick running on treaded tires for the first time, pressures Andrew Wait and Steve Hoogs and a surging Paul Kitchen looks for a way past

Martin Lauber took the checkered first, followed by Tom Duncan 5 second later and then Tom Kreger, John Anderson and Andrew Wait.  Steve Hoogs, Nic Colyvas and Michael Edick came next.  The intense midfield battlers crossed next led by Roger Pujol, Ed Lauber, Alan Dezzani.  Paul Kitchen and David Alvarado crossed almost side by side, followed by Jay Streets, Jim Cody again setting personal best times, and Greg Vroman, Jonathan Kitchen, Geir Ramleth Dan Wardman, George Jewett and Jack Wilson in the final group.

 Jim Cody (right) and his pit crew, Eric Sidebotham, Kurt Joerger and crew chief Max Sidebotham (lower center)

Jim Cody (right) and his pit crew, Eric Sidebotham, Kurt Joerger and crew chief Max Sidebotham (lower center)

The back stories that stood out.

Michael Edick not only raced as sportsmanlike a race as ever, but also found time to weld Geir Ramleth’s oil can back together so he could run the CSRG feature on Sunday afternoon.  Michael is a skilled fabricator and produced a lab quality fix, while welding out in a windy paddock.  

Greg Vroman came out in his exquisitely beautiful Lotus, trading in his Formula B car, for the crowded hand to hand combat for the Fords.  He had a great time and looked faster and faster as the weekend progressed.

The line of the weekend, was Tom Duncan's... as he was handed his bottle of Champagne, he cried out "I've never done this before, what do I do!?"... he was soon thereafter utterly ambushed by his podium mates.  The advice as always, when faced with a podium full of champagne, the best defense is a good offense!

The mechanical heart-ache of the weekend was Dan Wise.  His motor went from sounding and feeling odd, to producing a death rattle somewhere in the crank area that brought his weekend to an end.  Dan recovered nicely with the help of some Champagne and his usual optimistic grit.  We will see Dan out again very soon.

Roger Pujol won the hard charger award, having lost several places and then gained 11 places back, with a car that felt odd. Roger will be spending some time in his shop diagnosing things before the next race.

 Happy Lauber brothers and Race Director Geoff Pitts

Happy Lauber brothers and Race Director Geoff Pitts

Driving Observations

The main theme of the weekend was the interaction between the front of the pack, with everyone else.  Some key things to keep in mind.

1. If you come up on 5 guys racing for position, keep in mind their race is incredibly important to them as well, and it is very challenging to pass a group of 4-5 cars who are racing each other.  Only the guy at the back of that group is aware of you.  Further discussion is required here, including possibly neutralizing the front of the field.

2. There was no contact during the points race, but there was the next day,  Moving forward you will be DQ’d from the points event for any contact at any point in the weekend.

 Dan Wise enjoying Michael's upgraded sponsor champagne

Dan Wise enjoying Michael's upgraded sponsor champagne

The Thank Yous... without sponsors this would NOT be possible, so let's please support them!

We have a new wine sponsor, www.sonomaviewvineyard.com .  This is the Kitchen Family winery, and the wine is superb, lots of it was consumed Saturday night.  They only make 50 cases a year and the only way to buy it is to email info@sonomaviewvineyard.com

Auction City www.auctioncity.com and www.19york.com and Car Week Concierge for the beer

rogerkrausracing.com for tires and support, and the end of season Trophies

www.iveyengines.com for race-day support and the end of season grand prize

HJC-motorsports.com for their Champion Grand Prize

www.nicolashunziker.com for the really cool shoes... discount code for the racers: NORWESTFF will give everyone 15% of all purchases  (ps. several of us have a pair and love them)

www.parrlawgroup.com for the “Scales of Justice” and legal support

Joerger Financial,  www.joergerfinancial.com for graphics, decals and patches

Mike Summers, John Anderson, Eric Sidebotham, Kurt Joerger and Jim Cody for operations and moral support.

Other updates and Things to know for the next race

The next race is at Portland September 2-3 where we are guests of SOVREN.  There will be a test day on Friday September 1.  And we will be following up with a lot more detail on how to prepare for that race, where to stay and so on. This will be huge fun with over 35 cars expected.

If you did not get series decals or patches let us know we have both the small and larger sizes for trailers and street cars.

We also have a Cafepress store up if you want to buy FF Anniversary schwag, http://www.cafepress.com/formulaford50th

Thanks, and we will see you Portland!

The Crossflow Cup Team

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Sonoma Race Report - The Love Memorial Races

 Geir Ramleth's Lotus 51

Geir Ramleth's Lotus 51

Race Number 2 goes into the History Books

The weather, the size and depth of the grid, the great racing and the free beer all made for another epic weekend.  29 cars entered, including 4 guys running their cars for the very first time, at least one running his first ever formula ford race.  It was also our first split start with the Formula B cars, and for about 5 drivers their first time at Sonoma. This is a tricky, technical track and in spite of all the "firsts" we had an exceptionally clean weekend with a lot of hard, heads up driving, up and down the grid and several drivers setting personal bests or huge improvements.  We shared the track and podium party with the Formula B Continental Challenge drivers and rightly earned the praise of the B drivers, probably for the first time!

 29 cars, drivers and crew

29 cars, drivers and crew

The Race

For most of the grid, Laguna had knocked off the cobwebs, and for those that did not make Laguna there was Friday testing to get comfortable with Sonoma' Raceway. There was some lead-follow coaching on Friday and some chalk-talks to help out, but for the most part, everyone woke up Saturday ready to go.    

Qualifying was held in cool temperatures, a mixed grid and less than perfect grip.  As usual Ethan Shippert did not disappoint, producing more of his usual pro-level speed and setting the overall pole and the Club Ford Pole time.  The Historic Ford pole was set by Martin Lauber, just .7 seconds shy of Ethan, and followed by Art Hebert running his newly acquired Titan, Nic Colyvas, Andrew Wait, Tom Kreger and David Cooper all in the 1:50's or better.  The next group headed by Mike Wirrick were all covered by less than a second, included Sonoma newbie Nic Hunziker, and veterans Rob Laroque, Steve Hoogs, Ed Lauber and Roger Pujol.  And then a third group also all covered by less than a second included Paul Kitchen, Dave Alvarado and Mark Colbert, the latter two in their newly acquired Titans. Qualifying also saw Michael McDermott set a new personal best since his comeback to racing.  A fourth group headed by Dan Wise, had four cars in it, all covered by less than .4 seconds, so Matt Ammer, Jonathan Kitchen and Jim Cody all set for what looked like the tightest race in the field.

Qualifying set up 4 distinct races within a race, and as driver observer Kurt Joerger up on turn two noted, there were amazing battles up and down the grid.

The Fords were released a little late for the split start which meant a slightly more strung out field than ideal took the green flag; but we still saw some great racing up the hill with several sets of cars three wide, struggling for grip in the marbles outside of turn 2 and taking wide outside lines at four.  By the time the field rounded turn 11 and started lap 2, Dave Alvarado, Geir Ramleth, Jim Cody, Mark Colbert, Bob Hancock, Dan Wise and Jonathan Kitchen were clearly on the move, all of them finishing with 5 place improvements over their starting spots.  Mark Colbert earned the RaceHero hard charger badge.  Further up the field Ed Lauber and Steve Hoogs dueled hard and Mike Wirrick, Rob Laroque, Mark Colbert and Roger Pujol ran nose to tail, with Rob and Mike lead-changing a few times until Mike finally passed him to finish .01 seconds ahead at the finish.  Mitch Roth and Paul Kitchen ran nose to tail the whole race and crossed almost side by side.

12 laps later crossing the line with the overall and Club Ford win was Ethan Shippert, followed by Historic Ford winner Martin Lauber, then Nic Colyvas, Tom Kreger, Andrew Wait and hyper focused and steadily gaining David Cooper;  all covered by less than two seconds.  The field came in three tight racing groups with the tightest being Ed Lauber, Mitch Roth and Jack Wilson, all fighting hard and crossing the line less than three seconds apart, the later two within less than a tenth of a second of each other.   Also running together at the end of a huge dice were Jim Cody, Jonathan Kitchen, Geir Ramleth and Matt Ammer

 The CF, FF and FB podium, totally soaked in Champagne, with Rebecca standing in for baby-holding Ethan

The CF, FF and FB podium, totally soaked in Champagne, with Rebecca standing in for baby-holding Ethan

Once again there are way too many back-stories to outline here, but below are just a few.

The benefits of showing up are huge, and no one is doing better than Dan Wise who now leads the Club Ford standings by getting in the game. Jim Cody's best lap was a full 6 seconds a lap faster than his best lap at the 2016 Charity Challenge; a huge improvement and testament to hard work on fitness and driving over the off-season.  After a lot of winter testing and preparation, George Jewett finished his first ever formula ford race in style, and came out of the weekend with a huge smile and some great racing under his belt.  Geir Ramleth shook down his exquisite, newly restored Lotus 51, which everyone needs to come and see. 

The mechanical heart-ache of the weekend was Ross Lindell, in his beautifully restored Merlyn, that fogged oil into the cockpit, gently enveloping its driver in an oily mist.  Some help by the Ivey family reduced the problem somewhat so Ross could have a full weekend of racing.

Sadly we also bid farewell to Bob Hancock, Matt Ammer and Mike Wirrick who continue their Grand Tour of the country's great racetracks by heading east to Indy, Elkhart Lake, VIR and more.  It was great racing with you guys and we hope to see you back here.

 Fantastic Grid

Fantastic Grid

Driving Observations

It was a very clean weekend, but not a perfect one.  We had two incidents, one light contact between two cars that left one with body damage, and the other due to an aggressive B car pass that left the Ford Driver with diminished options, but thankfully minimal damage.  We also had one pass under the yellow right under the starter's stand that required a re-score.  Again, we are becoming a very high-profile group, and our big grids amplify some challenges that always exist in racing.  So a few of important reminders.

1. Check your mirrors on the straights and if you see cars approaching fast, you can gently move a bit to give them room or hold your line... but don't make large moves that might compromise your safety.  It is their responsibility to pass you safely, yours to only be courteous and predictable. 

2. Every track has places where passing is tempting but not always possible safely.  Identify those places and manage them carefully... especially under very hard braking.  If in doubt, wait to make the safe pass.

3. Flags.  Remember there is no passing after a yellow flag until the next flagger station.  If there is no yellow there, continue racing.

 All possible thanks to your generous sponsors!

All possible thanks to your generous sponsors!

The Thank Yous... without sponsors this would NOT be possible, so let's please support them!

We have a new wine sponsor, www.sonomaviewvineyard.com .  This is the Kitchen Family winery, and the wine is superb.  They only make 50 cases a year and the only way to buy it is to email info@sonomaviewvineyard.com

Auction City www.auctioncity.com and www.19york.com and Car Week Concierge for the beer

rogerkrausracing.com for tires and support, and the end of season Trophies

www.iveyengines.com for race-day support and the end of season grand prize

HJC-motorsports.com

www.nicolashunziker.com for the really cool shoes... discount code for the racers: NORWESTFF will give everyone 15% of all purchases

www.parrlawgroup.com for the “Scales of Justice” and legal support

www.infinitykarting.com for the raffle prize

Joerger Financial for graphics, decals and patches

Mike Wirrick for the Podium Champagne  https://mikesracing.com/

Mike Summers, John Anderson, Eric Sidebotham, Kurt Joerger and Jim Cody for operations and moral support.

Other updates and Things to know for the next race

The next race is the Thunderhill event April 28-30 and early registration is still available.  Thunderhill is a really fun, challenging track, but with wide open run-off areas and some classic corners. 

Some of you did not come to the podium celebration, please do attend, we have the beer budget with you in mind, and to add an extra incentive, you will need to be present to win any prizes.  It is more fun, and safer to race guys you know so come to the party.

The Sonoma group photos are available at https://historicmotorprints.com/collections/2017-david-love-memorial  we are still working on getting the Laguna Group photos up as well.

If you did not get series decals or patches let us know we have both the small and larger sizes for trailers and street cars.

We also have a Cafepress store up if you want to buy FF Anniversary schwag, http://www.cafepress.com/formulaford50th

Thanks, and we will see you all at Thunderhill!

The Crossflow Cup Team 

 See you next time

See you next time

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Laguna Race Report

The Wow!

The drivers that attended the opener at iconic Laguna Seca Raceway, had a ton of fun and set a really positive the tone for the series.  There was great racing up and down the grid, new friendships were made, and we truly celebrated these historically relevant racecars.  If we keep this up, those of you that plan to run future races are in for a treat.  The weather was great and we had VIP treatment from HMSA (including a group photo taken at the top of the corkscrew, and big shiny trophies for the overall podium finisher). 

 Dan Cowdrey lines up for the Saturday race

Dan Cowdrey lines up for the Saturday race

The Racing

The first race of the season always seems to have an added element of tension, and this was no exception.  The winter cobwebs for most and a new track for some, meant the first session needed to be clean, provide a good learning experience and good warm up.  Things got off to a rocky start, with a black flag all on the first lap caused by Kurt Joerger's brand new engine throwing a rod through its block.  But after a pause in the pits, we went back out and qualified 26 cars without further incident.  Dan Cowdrey set the pole-winning time, followed by Nic Colyvas, Eric Sidebotham, Tom Kruger, John Anderson, and David Cooper all breaking the 1:45 barrier.  

The race started with an unfortunate mechanical, on the start Eric Sidebotham's engine also failed, but everyone successfully got by.  There were great battles up and down the grid and everyone got a race.  11 laps later Nic Colyvas finished first, having escaped his pursuers in traffic and crossing the line with a 12 second lead, followed home by Dan Cowdrey, Tom Kruger, and John Anderson, all covered by less than a second.  David Cooper fought back from a busy start for 5th overall, followed by Norm Cowdrey the day's Club Ford winner.  Right behind Norm, Adom Moutafian, Nic Hunziker, Ed Lauber had a massive dice, watched closely by Andrew Wait... all four cars crossed the finish line within a second of each other.  Steve Hoogs, Mike Wirrick, Paul Kitchen Dan Wise (second in Club Ford) and Jason Zide were the next batch to cross the line.  Mike, in particular, got a monster start gaining and keeping 4 places on this qualifying spot.  Jim Cody showing his strongest form to-date, led home  Jay Streets, Matt Ammer, Jonathan Kitchen and David Buchanan and the tail gunners with Dan Wardman and Bob Hancock brought the first edition of the Crossflow cup over the line in style.  

In the end, the final historic ford podium promoted John Anderson into third, as in the rush to change gears, Tom Kruger did not fuel up completely and came in a few pounds underweight (his car quit as it rolled up to the scales!).  

There were stand-out stories and drives all up and down the grid, and to call them all out would make this too big an update, but to call out a few.

David Buchanan got his first ever open wheel experience in Martin Lauber's car.  He had so much fun, anyone with a nice car for sale should contact him. There were two father and son teams.  Norm and Dan Cowdrey both podiumed in their classes.  And Paul and Jonathan Kitchen were out for the first time in their Lotus 61's after a very long, arduous restoration process. Its one thing to race, but another to be so visibly having so much father-son fun.  Jason Zide had two big firsts; he was out in his car for the very first time, and at Laguna for the first time and scored creditable lap times and the confidence of the more experienced guys around him with his smooth driving.  It's also nice to see the younger generation represented so well by Jason, Dan and Paul, lets draw in more young people!  Mark Ammer and Bob Hancock are out on their grand tour together with Mark's super rare Koing-Heath F1, and one of the best organized two car trailers ever.  And it was also great to see John Anderson back in his car after almost two years away from the cockpit.  In typical fashion, Kurt set aside the exploded engine blues, and he and Roland pitched in to help Mike Wirrick align his car and Nic Hunziker broke a record... he posted a well-edited video of his race about 4 minutes after getting out of his car!

 Norm and Dan, the Club Ford Podium!

Norm and Dan, the Club Ford Podium!

Driving observations

Driving standards on Saturday looked good, with guys running very very close but heads up and respectfully;  and we pulled off the reverse grid blend and race procedure on Sunday perfectly.  However on Sunday during the non-points exhibition race things got a little tougher with two minor incidents.  They were minor but nonetheless, two incidents too many.  Keep in mind the other clubs we run with are far less tolerant of over the top behavior, and for us to have real longevity, we need to prove to all of them, that we are keeping the competitive elements in perspective.

Our driver/observers and the course marshals had a few comments.

1. There was a bit too much blocking and ignoring blue flags especially in the practice sessions.  If you are in a practice session and there is a car in your mirrors, let him pass.  He is faster than you.  If you defend, you will mess up your session and his.  Instead, let him by and try following him to see what line he drives, when he brakes, et cetera.  In the races, defending is permitted, but blocking is not.  You get one move, not as many as required to keep a guy behind you.  And remember, this is vintage racing for a $2 trophy.  So if a guy is behind you pressuring you for two laps, he is clearly faster.  So let him by, and then get in his draft and together you can get into the fight further up the road.  If he is not faster then you can repass him.  But blocking is frustrating and not in the spirit of what we do.

2. There were too many locked wheels banzai passes.  Again, remember this is vintage racing in 50-year-old open wheel cars.  Banzai passes are not safe for anyone.  Laguna is wide, and the walls, for the most part, are fairly far away.  But as we go to more technical tracks like Sonoma and Portland, with harder edges, the margin for error will go away.  Plan your passes, and try to execute them on the exits of turns, which is safer and more fun!

3. When we combine fast locals, with guys new to the track, let's give each other more room and avoid passes on the tricky stuff, like the corkscrew.  A very close pass freaks out the guy trying to find his way around.

4.  Know the flags, and know what not to do when a flag was shown.  During Saturday’s practice session, the course went from full course yellow on the parade lap to waving black.  A solo waiving black flag does not warrant threshold breaking on the front straight.  A black flag combined with a yellow is an indication that you are approaching the incident.  A waiving black flag just means that you need to head back into the pits.

The Thank Yous... without support this would NOT be possible

Auction City www.auctioncity.com and www.19york.com for the beer

rogerkrausracing.com for tires and support

www.iveyengines.com for race-day support 

HJC-motorsports.com

www.nicolashunziker.com for the really cool shoes... discount code for the racers: NORWESTFF will give everyone 15% of all purchases

www.parrlawgroup.com for the scales and legal support

Mike Wirrick for the Podium Champagne

Mike Summers, John Anderson, Eric Sidebotham, Kurt Joerger and Jim Cody for operations and moral support.

Things to know for the next race

Early registration is still available for the next few days, so sign up soon.  There are 26 cars registered so far, we expect 3-4 more.

Many of you are coming to Sonoma for the first time.  It is technical, a bit unforgiving and huge fun. So if you test on Friday, there will be local drivers available to do lead follow with you and we will have chalk-talks and coaching for anyone that needs it.  We will have driver observers there to help you find speed and enjoyment at Sonoma.  As a special run group, anyone not in a garage should try to pit in the lane opposite the garages so we are all grouped together.

Some of you did not come to the podium celebration, please do attend, we have the beer budget with you in mind, and to add an extra incentive, you will need to be present to win any prizes.  It is more fun, and safer to race guys you know so come to the party.

If you did not get series decals or patches, there will be more available at Sonoma.

Results and more news will be posted on www.norwestff.com  and the facebook page within the next few days.

Thanks, and we will see you all and more at Sonoma.

The Crossflow Cup Team

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Mike's Grand Tour

Fellow racer Mike Wirrick, will be documenting his adventures racing in the midwest and east at tracks like Elkhart Lake, Mid-Ohio and Indy.  Track his progress at https://mikesracing.com/

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