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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
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