Our next event was the David Love Memorial Race at Sears Point Raceway outside Sonoma, CA. This is one of my favorite tracks and it really suits my 2002.
The weather was fantastic all weekend and the racing was some of the best I’ve had in quite a while. Thanks to Rob Fuller, Jim Froula, Troy Ermish, and the other racers in Group 8.
After practice and qualifying we had the Qualifying Race on Saturday afternoon. I had qualified 3rd for this race behind Mike Thurlow in his Corvette and Troy Ermish in his 510 Datsun. At the green flag Mike and Troy drove away from the rest of us but I had a great battle with a group of Datsuns lead by Jim Froula.
Jim chased me hard for the opening laps, then Michael Anderson got by him and brought Rob with him. Michael put on a lot of pressure but I was able to hold 3rd place until the checkered flag.
Sunday morning we all went down to pre-grid for the morning warm-up session and the CSRG folks informed us that this session would be a race that set the grid for the Feature Race later in the day. This took us all by surprise. I had planned to scrub some sticker tires for the Feature Race. Troy only put a few gallons of fuel in his car. It would be an interesting race.
At the green flag Mike disappeared in his Corvette but eventually pulled off because he didn’t have enough fuel to finish. Troy was having to short shift and coast to save fuel so he, Rob and I had a fun battle the entire race. Mike Korn came from the back and passed the 3 of us. I eventually finished 4th behind Mike Korn in his Chevy Beretta, Troy, and Rob but I turned my best lap of the weekend- 1:53.7.
The Feature Race was gridded by our best lap time of the weekend because of the confusion from the warm-up/race. That meant I started 3rd. Again, I had a great race with Rob and eventually finished 5th.
It’s been quite a while since I have posted anything. I apologize for that but it has been a very strange year for all of us. Plus I had some health issues this year that have reduced my energy.
Last march we weren’t sure if we would have any racing at all this season. Though several big events were canceled or re-scheduled we were finally able to attend 8 races and a track day out at ORP. We’ll review the first 3 in this post.
Our first event was the SOVREN Spring Sprints held at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA. I will admit Pacific Raceway is not one of my favorite tracks. It is rough, narrow, and there is no run-off room. Because of these factors I’ve just never felt very comfortable racing there.
However, I was anxious to try the new motor and transmission combo in the Koepchen 2002 as well as the new seat in the Swift so Mary and I loaded the RV and headed up I-5.
It was a different kind of weekend for several reasons. First, it was the first race under the new COVID protocols which meant social distancing, masks, and extra paperwork. Second, SOVREN and SCCA shared the track for the weekend so we had a lot of different cars and classes at the track. It did make for some down time for us.
Saturday and Sunday had pretty good weather so I got some good seat time in both cars. I found the new engine and transmission combo to work very well together in the K2002. The power and torque were improved and complimented the closer ratios in the transmission.
The new bead seat in the Swift was a huge improvement for driver comfort. I now felt like I could actually drive the car closer to its limit.
Unfortunately the weather turned to rain on Monday so we packed up and came home early. Here’s the video from the weekend:
Our second event for the season was a track day out at Oregon Raceway Park in the high dessert of eastern Oregon. Its a 2.3 mile, highly technical track with lots of blind rises and blind apexes. It’s really a lot of fun to drive, but also very taxing.
We had a group of Racecraft friends and 8-9 cars out for the day of practice. It was a good chance to get some seat time. I was also getting some time on the new motor Terry Tinney built for the CSL. My friend, John Murray had purchased an ex-DTM MB 190 that he wanted to get familiar with.
The day began with a short track orientation with Bill Murray, the track manager. He helped us all a lot and made our day more productive and fun.
Following that we began taking our cars out for some runs. I began by taking the M3 out for a few laps. The last time I drove ORP was 5 years ago so I began slowly and built up speed as I re-familarized myself with the track.
Over the lunch hour our resident hooligan, John Hill, entertained us all. You’ll have to watch the video to see what he was up too. You won’t be disappointed.
I did get some time in the CSL but it was a lot of work on this track. The car is quite heavy to steer and as busy as this track is it gave me quite a workout.
John Hill had brought his Mitjet and he let me have some laps in it. The Mitjet is a tube framed race car much like a scaled down NASCAR car. It has a solid rear axel, a 2 liter Renault engine, sequential gearbox, and ABS brakes. John has raced it a couple of times in the 25 Hour race at Thunderhill, winning his class in 2019. It was nice of him to let me try it out.
Here’s the video from the day:
In July we were back at Pacific raceway for the PNW Historics. I had the K2002 and the Swift there again. The field of cars for this event was smaller than in years’ past but the racing was just as competitive as always.
The K2002 was in Group 2 which is mid-bore production cars and sedans. I had some great racing all weekend with Bruce McKean, Paul Gladio, Eric Smith, and Josh Moriarty.
Unfortunately I got a very nasty surprise in Race 4. Watch the video to see what happened.
The Swift ran in Group 6. There were only 8 cars in the group but I still had some great racing with John McCoy in his Mallock. He was much quicker tham me down the long straight but I was quicker under brakes and through the turns. It was a classic battle!