The second weekend of the SoCal HPD Honda Challenge series came with a gentlemen's agreement of the rules by using the national horsepower cap. With a diverse field of 8 entries for H2, and 7 entries in H4, it was some of the closest racing we've seen in a long time. Saturday's Qualifying had the top 3 drivers in H2 within .5/sec of each other: Sam Rothschild posted a 2.01.7, Jeremy Croiset secured a 2.02.1, with Manny Coats at 2.02.2. H4 was even closer with Patrick Heavy at 2.08.2, followed by Joeffrey Ngo at 2.08.433, and Tom "Big Money" Paule at 2.08.478.
The grid was set, and drivers were ready for battle. With a rolling start, Rothschild took the H2 lead from the get go. The race continued with Coats, Adelberg, and Pecqueur in hot pursuit. Final results for H2 were Ken Adelberg taking 3rd place, Manny Coats - 2nd place, and the win going to Sam Rothschild. H4 final results were David Kim - 3rd place, Jeoffrey Ngo - 2nd place, and Joe Barile with the win.
Sunday's race turned out to be equally exciting as the action from the day before and people were saying the race "was something else"! Qualifying in lead positions for H2 were: Jeremy Croiset posting a 2.01.0, Sam Rothschild at 2.02.3, and Manny Coats at 2.02.5. In H4, Patrick Heavy posted at 2.10.9, Angel Velasquez at 2.11.2, and Joe Barile at 2.11.8. The pack of HC cars formed up along the front straight in preparation for the standing start on this blistering hot 90-degree spring day! When the green flag dropped the drivers were neck to neck for what seemed to be the entire race which thrilled the crowd watching from the tower viewing deck. This event yielded super close racing and it was only the second weekend of the season. Rothschild and Croiset were both striving to maintain their lead all throughout the race. Croiset and Rothschild were constantly swapping places, back to Croiset, then Rothschild. Manny Coats, on the other hand was fast as usual until bad luck arrived and his race was abruptly ended with an expired motor in flames! Coats made it out without a scratch and the NASA safety team made quick work of the engine fire, but unfortunately his engine suffered some unintended "heat treatment". Race results in H2 were Marcel DeKerpel - 3rd place, Benoit Pecqueur - 2nd, and Sam Rothschild with the win. H4 final results were Angel Velasquez - 3rd place, Joe Barile - 2nd, and Jeoffrey Ngo taking the win.
Round 3 Honda Challenge takes place at Willow Springs on May 26/27th which should be another hot round of racing and weather!