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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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Prepare the driver

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Prepare the driver

We have a big season of racing coming up, and here are a couple of ideas to help you prepare.

If you have not been to one of the tracks, like Laguna or Portland, one great way to learn the various secrets is simulator training.  Many of us have gone to see Tom Pabst at PRS Driver Development

Another great option is Karting.  If you don't own a Kart, call Infinity Karting, they will rent you a true racing kart, and provide you with support and coaching at the Sonoma Kart track.

And finally, get out for some test days, here in Northern California, many of us gather at Sonoma raceway for test days.  They are a great seat-time value, see the Sonoma Raceway testing schedule and the Thunderhill Testing Schedule

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