Track Records V25913.xls
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Youth and the 1.6-liter Engine Rule at Willow Springs
The first race of the Teen Mazda Challenge West series showcased youth and enthusiasm, and demonstrated the viability of the early 1.6-liter cars at Willow Springs International Raceway May 4 and 5.
Charlie Hayes' blistering 1:36.769 qualifying time landed him on pole for Saturday's race, followed by Alex Brauer, who was racing for the first time this season, with Joey Bickers in third.
When the green flag dropped, Brauer chased Hayes into Turn 1, a fast, banked left-hander with an exit you can't see from the entry. The two ran nose to tail for the first few laps swapping positions once a lap, always in Turn 1.
Round 2 of the 2013 SoCal racing season sent the NASA Spec E30 racers to their home track at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. 15 teams showed up to do battle on track and all were pleasantly surprised to find almost perfect weather conditions. 75F and sunny all weekend long, coupled with the outstanding performance the new Toyo RR spec tires has been providing, would only mean one thing...a new track record lie in wait.
Joining the series were two rookie drivers in JoJo McKenzie and Andrew Clark. They would both be taking their first green flag with the Spec E30 bunch in their beautifully prepared 325's. Also joining us for the first time this season was Nick Steel who is coming from the CMC series. All were welcomed in the typical SoCal fashion. Mark Powell made the long trek all the way from the Arizona region to race with us in his newly Yellow painted #88 SE30, which was affectionately nick-named "Big Bird." The stage was set for what promised to be an epic weekend.
If records are accurate, the last time Spec E30 raced on the #13 CCW configuration was way back in June of 2007 when the record was set by Victor Beraja at 2:27.245. To illustrate how far the group has come and how good the new Toyo RR tires are, that record lap time would be beaten by each and every driver in Saturday's morning warm-up!
Anticipation for another exciting season with the SoCal NASA Spec E30 series kicks off at AAA Speedway. 12 teams trekked to Fontana, CA for the first race of the season where the new Toyo RR's would be put through their paces for the first time under competition. The expectations were for huge improvements over the previous spec tire. The standing track record was set at this same event last season by Allan Hauser, who laid down a blistering 02:03.041.
The SoCal group would also be welcoming 2 new drivers to the series. Mark Powell would join us from the Arizona region in his newly purchased E30. Ken Pearson, from the CMC series, would also be joining us piloting his freshly built #50 Spec E30 race car!
The first points race of the season always brings a heightened sense of anticipation. What improvements did your competitors make during the winter off-season? Who has a new engine? Who refreshed their head? And which drivers are rusty?
You can ask, but you probably won't learn much until you see how they run -- then check the time sheets.
Oregon's David Dodge hadn't lost his edge over the winter. He qualified on pole with a 2:04.434 for Saturday's race, just .001 seconds quicker than SoCal's David Varco, and Ken Saward in third with a 2:05.750.