Torco International Corporation is proud to announce our partnership with Midnight Oil Motors of San Diego, California, and SO-CAL NASA SE30, as joint sponsors we will be helping to support this new series in Southern California.
The Spec E30 engines will be using our Torco SR-5 oil. They will receive only one oil filter change half way through the racing season and then top off the oil level as needed. These BMW 3 series cars will also be using Torco SGO in the differential and Torco RTF in the transmission, with only one application of these two fluids for the entire season. Less quantity, more quality! Increase Horsepower with Torco Advanced Lubricants.
Sean Trapp won his first E30 race on his birthday at this event. He is supported by E30 MotorWerks and the PHS car engine was also built by E30 MotorWerks in HB. Both cars truly run only Torco oils.
Round 2, 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 nicknamed "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!
Steffen Thompson would claim the pole position with a blistering 2:07.215. Team Sykes Racing would take the outside pole spot away from Mitchell Pepper by .024 seconds! The field was set for the first race of the weekend as we changed things up a bit and went with a flying start.
The format for the day was the familiar standing start. As the green flag waved, the field roared to life and the battles began well before turn one. The first 8 drivers would run nose to tail for the first few laps. All the while, Steve Stepanian and Ken Pearson would slowly march up towards the front from mid pack. With an outstanding start, Team Sykes Racing was pressuring Steffen Thompson for the lead at every corner until Sykes would have an overheating problem late in the race causing the #75 car to fall back and eventually retire on lap 9. Pepper would assume the 2nd spot until a late spin would drop him back to 9th. Meanwhile, Stepanian would quietly work his way up to the 2nd spot and take aim at Thompson for the lead. Unfortunately, Sean Aron was taken out by an out of class racer and would fall out of the race on lap 8. Stepanian patiently waited for Thompson to make a mistake which paid off going into the sweeper where he would make a late race pass on Thompson for the lead. Once past Thompson, Stepanian would not look back, beating Thompson to the line by 1/2 second. Pearson would also make a pass for the last step on the podium; however, a post-race inspection would find the #50 car a bit too light, giving the 3 place finish and points to Frank Reed. Stepanian would not only win the race, but he would also set a new track record with his best lap of 2:08.495 as well as earning himself the trifecta by also winning the hard charger award sponsored by Midnight Oil Motors.
As noted earlier, we like to keep things interesting/challenging for the SoCal drivers by mixing things up a bit. In that spirit, Sunday's format would be a qualifying race with a standing start. The grid for the qualifying race would be set from the results of Saturday's finish. However, we inverted the top 7 cars up front, and the remaining 8 cars were inverted for the back half of the pack. Sean Aron came to the determination that his car was too badly damaged from Saturday's incident to continue. In light of this fact, and in the interest of safety, he made the decision not take the grid.
As the green flag dropped, the field got away cleanly except for the pole sitter, Erick Strong. Strong couldn't seem to find 2nd gear, which made the start even more exciting. Most of the field dodged the #111 car, but some light contact was made between Pearson and Thompson as Pearson made an evasive maneuver to avoid colliding with Strong. Otherwise, the field made it off the line and the 20 minute sprint race was under way with Sean Trapp jumping out in front to take the lead.
Trapp's immediate lead would quickly turn into a healthy gap on the field. From that point, Trapp would not look back. Great battles would rage all over the field and as the race came to a close, the field was set for the start of the main race. Trapp would capture his first pole of the season and Frank Reed would be sitting in the outside pole slot in the best starting position of his career. Steffen Thompson would reset Stepanian's new track record by three tenths of a second with a lap time of 2:08.106.
Sunday's main race would also begin with the traditional Spec E30 standing start. Trapp rocketed out in front of the pack with a 5 second lead after the first couple laps. Giving chase behind him would be Thiemann, Reed, Stepanian, Pearson and Thompson (in that order) and they would battle closely together. On lap 2, Thompson would pass Pearson entering Riverside while Reed would have a dramatic spin heading off track exiting Riverside which put Reed's #11 car back to 13th place. However, he would eventually work his way back up to 9th. Stepanian and Thompson would again battle hard, lap after lap. Matt Thiemann would fend off the group clinging onto 2nd place until Stepanian finally capitalized on a rare error by Thiemann while they were entering the Bus Stop on lap 5. Thompson would soon get past Thiemann a lap later as Thiemann was developing a fatal transmission problem that would eventually end his race on lap 9. Strong had worked his way up to the 7th place position when, on the last lap of the race, he would encounter fuel starvation problems and be forced to retire short of taking the checkered flag.
Stepanian would slowly chip away at the gap Trapp had established, just about catching him close to the white flag lap. However, at the finish line, Trapp would hold on to his lead and take the first official win of his 7 year career! Closing fast, Stepanian would take 2nd place by a mere 1.4 seconds. Thompson would hold off Pearson for the final podium spot. Stepanian would again win the Hard Charger award from Midnight Oil Motors. Trapp would also win the Mothers "Clean Start" award for the win from the pole. Mothers car care products also presented Mark Powell an award for avoiding contact by taking his car off track twice this weekend and losing positions in order to avoid contact with his fellow drivers. Rookie JoJo McKenzie would take the Midnight Oil "Save of the Race" award.
Round 2 was yet another GREAT weekend of racing and an epic weekend for NASA's SoCal Spec E30! We already can't wait to meet again for round 3 at Willow Springs…we hope you are there to join us for what promises to be a seriously good time!
NASA Spec E30 Race Report and Photo's from Fontana So-Cal Speedway.
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!
After the morning warm-up, it was obvious to the group that the new Toyo RR works very well with the Spec E30. Some struggled with dialing in tire pressures, but they would get that figured out by days end. 4 teams would easily be faster than the previous track record right out of the box. Other teams would soon surpass the record as the weekend progressed.
Saturday's qualifying session would find a few drivers trying to work together in the draft to lay down a fast time for the race, while others unfortunately worked alone. The top 6 drivers would all be faster than the previous track record time for the first race grid of the season!
The format for the day was the familiar standing start. The anticipated green flag fell for a perfect start! Very quickly, they went 3 wide entering turn 1, shortly narrowing it down to 2 wide. In fact, the field wouldn't fall inline until entering turn 9. As the field streamed by the start finish, the #28 was on pit lane to replace a missing gas cap. He would rejoin the race, but was too far behind to catch up.
Early in the race, Kenneth Pearson was running well in 4th place when he was passed by a pair of drafting cars on the outside of turn 1. He would later fall back to 11th after a last lap spin in turn 15. Also having trouble, was the newly prepared #48 car of Sean Trapp who was battling a throttle cable issue.
The best race of the day, however, would be between the #111 of Erick Strong and the #59 car of the Vogel Boys Racing Team with Mike Vogel back behind the wheel after a 1 year hiatus. They would change spots, lap after lap, until the laps ran out. Strong was in the right place, at the right lap, and held onto the 4th spot. Nevertheless, Mike came back showing he hasn't missed a beat.
At the front of the pack, Steffen Thompson would lead from the start and the cars battling behind would give him enough of a lead that they couldn't make it up by the closing lap. Rius Billing and Allan Hauser would battle for the remaining podium spots. Even though he finished 3rd, Hauser would still break his old track record and set the new record with a blazing 02:01.702!
After the checkered flag flew and the impound inspections were complete, the guys all gathered around the garages and enjoyed some great BBQ while the bench racing continued well into the night.
In an effort to offer more racing to the group, Sunday's race format would be a little different as we turned the qualifying session into a qualifying race! To make it interesting, we took the finish results from Saturday's race and inverted the entire field. Just to add another twist, there would be a rolling start, instead of the traditional standing. Steve Stepanian's unfortunate incident with a loose gas cap ended up offering him the pole for the qualifying race.
As the field came off the last turn, they were formed up and rolling at a steady speed until the green flag flew. Hearing 11 cars simultaneously shifting into 4th gear is an amazing sound! They would again push one another, sometimes 3 wide, through turns 1 and 2, heading into turn 3! As the field exited turn 4, the cars would begin to battle with everyone settling in to their position. Shortly into the race, Mark Powell lost it in turn 15 and spun in front of the middle of the field. Patrick Vogel was right behind him had to make a quick decision. While it appeared he made about 5 decisions, the last was luckily the right one. Vogel, along with the train of cars behind him, barely missed hitting the #3 car of Powell (who would fall back to finish in the last position).
The big mover of the race was Hauser who started 9th, but before it was over, had worked his way up and was battling hard with Matt Thiemann for the 2nd position at the checkered flag. At the finish, Thiemann was able to hold off Hauser for that position. Stepanian was able to gap the field enough to secure his first win of the season.
While he could finish no better than 7th, Mitchell Pepper bested Hauser's new track record by approximately ½ a second with a most impressive lap time of 2:01.239! Even more interesting was the fact that all of last season's Spec E30 racers eclipsed the last year's track record!
The second rolling start of the day was also flawless and all 11 cars survived the treacherous turn 3 cleanly. Sometimes 3 wide again, everyone gave racing room and the field filtered through turn 4 with positions being both gained and lost by the second. Stepanian would again start on the pole and the field was slowly finding their way past him. It would seem 2 full seasons, multiple enduros and the full length of the 25 Hours of Thunder Hill had decreased the performance out of his power plant. (That's about 100 total hours at race pace without a failure!)
After the completion of the first lap, there was a 3 car break away from the pack as the field battled for position right behind them. Out front was Hauser's #320 car with his mirrors full of Thompson's #67 car. Thompson also found himself stalked by the #59 car of Team Vogel Racing. At one point in the race, each car held the lead on the same lap. The racing was close and hard. Braking zones were fully exploited, and shall we say, reconsidered.
Theimann's brake troubles returned, as the new pads he installed were completely gone after only 4 laps, forcing him to retire from the race. The second pack was now only 5 cars, nose to tail and like the lead pack, positions were changing all throughout the race.
Unfortunately, the post-race decision by the race director determined that contact from the #59 car would result in a DQ, moving Mark Powell into the 3rd spot. Powell, if you will recall, started last on the grid which earned him the Hard Charger of the race award!
What a great weekend of racing and camaraderie at the track. The first event of the season is now in the record books and, if it the weekend was any indication of what the season has in store, this should be one of the closest seasons of racing ever! I look forward to round 2 at Buttonwillow next month as there is no doubt that track records will fall. The two questions that remain are by whom, and by how much?! Join us on April 6th & 7th and find out!
Spec E30 and Round 6 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park!
The weather in October at Buttonwillow is always difficult to predict. It can either provide the blazing heat of summer, or it can be full-on winter cold. For the Spec E30 races the weather would be nice and cool with sun filled skies and a light breeze all weekend. A new record number of drivers showed up for this event – 14! Yes 14 drivers showed up to battle it out on the track.
Two cars and three drivers from NASA’s NorCal region couldn't stay away so joined us for the weekend of racing. All but one regular SoCal driver was able to return and we saw 19 drivers in 14 cars including the “Enduro”. We were also joined by two new drivers for their first ever races, Mitch Pepper and Erik Strong. The new guys would put the rubber to the asphalt for their first green flag starts and are both a great addition to the SPEC E30 group!
Buttonwillow has many different configurations and for this event the track configuration would be Clockwise number 13 a familiar configuration for Spec E30!
Buttonwillow and NASA hosted a Friday test and tune session. These aren’t usually an eventful occasion and mechanical issues are pretty rare and when they do pop up, they are normally uncomplicated such as “teething problems”. This would not be a normal Friday test and tune.
As they happened…
Vogel Boys racing would blow a head gasket in the afternoon.
The guys in the Spec E30 community helped with some needed parts and the car was repaired in the pits before the sun set on the track.
Steven Stepanian took delivery of his freshly built Spec E30 dubbed "The Great Pumpkin" and Friday’s afternoon session was the only shakedown session the Midnight Oil team had.
A strange electrical gremlin would keep the car from running correctly so the crew worked into the night and into Saturday diagnosing the problem.
Dave Reed lost 4th gear just before the test session ended.
A spare transmission was sent up from the Midnight Oil Shop in Miramar, four hours away. Dave’s car was put in the trailer and the transmission was swapped out because space was running out in the garage!
Meanwhile, the Midnight Oil crew was helping another BMW team change the transmission in an E36 BMW race car.
Everyone made it to the morning warm-up. There was so much work going on the night before the racing even started, the Spec E30 series director Shawn Meze was nervously hoping that Friday was not a preview of things to come.
After two months off from racing, the racers were itching to get back on the track and the morning warm-up looked more like the Great Land Rush of 1893. Once the guys got that out of their system, everyone began to focus on the qualifying session.
Steven Ferrario made a profound statement in qualifying with a dominating 2:08.128 to take the pole position and only missed the track record by a half of a second! Alan Hauser and David Reed battled the clock and qualified within a tenth of one another but Alan would claim the outside pole position putting David back to the third spot almost a second and a half behind Ferrario.
Results from Saturday Qualifying
Team Road Runner
The Spec E30 series director Shawn was not able to watch this race from the tower to see the events as they happened. Instead he was driving the Number 3 Midnight Oil car! And his perspective was from the back of the pack.
The start was great, almost everyone got off the line well. There were at least two rows of cars that went three-wide through Turn-1. Despite the aggressive start everyone made it to away without contact or damage. Shawn Meze had a great start right behind Mike Vogel who struggled off the line. Mike moved to the outside leaving Shawn the middle and he moved up next to Frank Reed and all three went through Turn-1 door handle to door handle.
At the start of the race, David Reed passed Allan Hauser to take over the 2nd spot and pursue Steven Ferrario for the lead. On the second lap, David Reed was able to pass Ferrario for the lead in the sweeper. A couple laps later Ferrario repaid the favor by passing Reed in the same turn to retake the lead.
On lap four Stepanian’s race was over with reoccurrence of Friday’s electrical issues and retired from the race. The Midnight Oil team would find and fix the problem before the 3-hour Enduro scheduled to start only a few hours later. Fellow Spec E30 driver Kieran Gobey teamed with Steve for the Enduro and “The Great Pumpkin” ran flawlessly for the entire Enduro.
A NASA region with a growing class of Spec E30’s and cloudless 95 degree weather would not be the only story for the weekend at Buttonwillow! There would also be one of tough battles and an ever changing track conditions! 10 competitors would show up to play in the sunshine and, play they did.
Saturday morning warm-up went off without a hitch. 10 cars would take to the track for qualifying. 3 first time racers would join us for a weekend of racing bliss!
Dave Reed or “Mr. Buttonwillow”, as his peers would come to call him this weekend, went out in the qualifying session and laid down the pole winning time of 2:18.805.....
Read more on the .PDF
May at Willow Springs, ah yes, warm weather with a guarantee of wind, "EasyUps" will be sacrificed! The weather absolutely controls every competitor's ability to go fast at this track. This weekend would prove to be one of the best weather days at a NASA event here at Willow Springs in years, as a result many class lap records would fall, and SE30 was to be no different!
Saturday morning's early warm-up was right on schedule. Four drivers would attend this event. Experience at Willow Springs was extremely limited for all four drivers, setting everyone up for a very steep learning curve and very little time to learn the nuances of Willow Springs. Allan Hauser in his white #320 did not disappoint either he went out and set a blistering 1:40.551 which was already 5 seconds faster than the existing 2007 lap record. Mike Vogel piloting his #59 "Vogel Boys" SE30 set a 1:43.869 while the red #22 of Rius Billing set a 1:46.366 to start his weekend. Jeremy Sykes with a car he'd only just taken delivery of didn't make the morning warm-up. Read more on the .PDF
2011 NASA Spec E30 at AAA Speedway, Fontana, California
A new season for NASA Spec E30 in So-Cal at AAA Speedway marked a competitive view on what’s to be expected for the rest of the season.
Saturday’s qualifying brought Allan Hauser to the pole with a very good time of 2:04.954! Only 2 tenths off the lap record set late last season. Winning the pole is not always a guarantee of victory, as the race showed that Rius Billing battled hard and was able to take the top spot, and in the process laid down a 2:04.760 -- which is pretty close to the lap record by a few thousandths! Allan Hauser suffered some on track damage and retired to make sure the damage wasn't more serious, which it wasn't, and he would return Sunday to battle again. Kieran Gobey experienced some new race jitters and missed correctly tightening the lug nuts on his front wheel, and had to pit to make repairs. He was able to rejoin the race and finished 3rd in his blue dream machine behind Frank Reed in his red #11.
Sunday's race would be different from Saturday’s. Gone are the days of rolling starts. Spec E30 has historically done standing starts, but with a small turnout in So-Cal they were not always able to have them. Now that the group is growing, we will continue to do standing starts!
Once again, Allan Hauser qualified on pole with a time of 2:04.596 that was faster than the track record! Rius Billing qualified close behind with a 2:04.707 that would have also broken the track record! Fran Reed and Kieran Gobey would fill in the last 2 spots for Sunday’s event.
The standing start played out well, and the pack ran into turn 3 together for the hard braking zone. Frank Reed took the lead on the start, and a great back and forth battle between Frank Reed, Allan Hauser and Rius Billing would take place the entire race. Once again repeating Saturday’s results, Rius Billing would end up again at the top spot! Allan Hauser finished 2nd, Frank Reed in 3rd, and Kieran Gobey took the final spot. While battling it out, a new lap record was set by Allan Hauser with a break thru time of 2:03.961! Rius Billing bested it with a 2:03.216 for the new official Spec E30 Track Record for AAA Speedway. Frank Reed also bested his own personal time, which means everyone is getting faster!
E30 So-Cal NASA 2011 series opener drivers:
#320 Allan Hauser, #22 Rius Billing, #11 Frank Reed , #56 Kieran Gobey
Gallery (click on the image to enlarge):
Round 2 of the NASA SoCal Spec E30 season brings us to Buttonwillow Raceway Park. "Photos courtesy of Vogel Boys Racing"
The cool weather and bright sunshine were a good combination for sticky tires, making power and maintaining our Tans! The teams arrived at the track and the Midnight Oil Semi took center stage in the E30 village where all the teams all pitted close together. We were to share the race group with the BMW Club and the German Touring Series which meant a lot of very fast German iron on the track!
7 drivers showed up to battle it out on Saturday. Qualifying would reveal that team Road Runner, driven by Jeff Lepper in the white #5 would take Pole position for the standing start with a lap time of 2:11.368. All the way from Las Vegas, Vogel Boys Racing in the #59 car would claim outside pole turning with a 2:11.762 lap time. David Reed piloting his gold #343 took the third spot posting 2:11.808. All 3 teams are making their presence known in their first race in SE30 this year! Frank Reed's red #11 was close behind his brothers lap time with 2:12.019. Chris Donnelly qualified 5th in car #25 and Victor Beraja was in the 6th spot in his beautiful blue and white #007. Finishing up the pack is Kieran Gobey with his blue dream machine minus 40+hp, was quoted to say, "I love a good challenge" as he came off the track!
For the race, the guys would line up perfectly for the start. The flag dropped, the crowd cheered and the drivers roared off into turn one. Jeff Lepper span the tires of the Team Road Runners #5 which would allow the Vogel boys racing #59, who launched the car like a top fuel dragster, to jump into the lead. David Reed’s #343 stayed in the third spot while the field followed.
Still on the first lap and the leaders made it thru the bus stop without incident and maintained their positions. Frank Reed overcooked the corner slightly on the exit of the Bus-Stop which began a slide to the left where he fought to regain control which then shot him across the track sideways to the right and spin off the track across the front of the field. Chris Donnelly would get caught up in trying to avoid Frank Reed as he went off and both cars would be seen emerging from the dust cloud. Luckily, both were able to avoid contact and rejoin the race. Meanwhile, Lepper in the #5 would get around the Vogel boys racing #59 for the lead. Another back and forth battle was brewing with Kieran Gobey and Victor Beraja while Frank Reed and Chris Donnelly battle it out behind.
Mid-way thru the race going into turn one, Lepper who was still leading the race finds his braking zone, Vogel Boys #59 found his braking zone right behind Lepper and David Reed seemed to miss his braking zone and pull to the inside of Vogel. The crowd let out a gasp as he continued to not brake as he passes the #59 and continue up to the Team Road Runner #5 before he finally got on the brakes side by side with the leader. The crowd, myself, Staff, officials and the other drivers fully expected to see the gold #343 to go straight off the outside of turn 1. Instead, he somehow made it stick and went from 3rd to first in one corner! The crowd cheered!
Meanwhile, the battle between Kieran Gobey and Victor Beraja would end on lap 8 as Victor Beraja's 007 would retire with a mechanical issue. Victor would make repairs and race again Sunday. Frank Reed and Chris Donnelly would continue to battle while they slowly reeled in and threatened Kieran Gobey's 4th place position.
The fight up front would continue to play out in a 3 way nose to tail dogfight to the finish. Dave Reed claimed his first ever wheel to wheel race win! Team road Runner defended their 2nd place position followed closely by the Vogel Boys racing team. In an odd twist of timing and scoring, the overall race leader would pass Frank Reed and Chris Donnelly and they in turn would pass Kieran Gobey, but because of how and when the passes would happen, Kieran Gobey would retain the 4th place spot completing 12 laps and Chris Donnelly and Frank Reed would finish 5th and 6th respectively completing 11 laps. Victor Beraja would retain the 7th place points for the season. The crowd got to watch some great racing all over the track!
Post-race activities with a Mexican Fiesta provided by Midnight Oil and a late night BBQ was enjoyed by all at the track! I can’t wait for Sunday’s race!
Saturdays official results
1) 343 David Reed
2) 5 Team Road Runner (Jeff Lepper)
3) 59 Vogel Boys Racing (Mike Vogel)
4) 56 Kieran Gobey
5) 25 Chris Donnelly
6) 11 Frank Reed
7) 007 Victor Beraja
Sunday morning welcomed the Spec E30 drivers with warmer temps and a beautiful clear blue sky.
Rius Billing would rejoin us today for an 8 car field and let everyone know what he can do with his pole position lap time that was only 2 tenths off the track record and almost 2 seconds faster than the closest qualifying driver. Kevin Nichols would take over the driving duties in the #5 Team Road Runner who, was still suffering from some "new car" mechanical issues that wouldn’t allow them the performance that they needed, but still laid down a lap time good enough for the Outside-Pole spot. 3rd on the grid would be the Vogel boys racing #59 driven by Mike’s co-driver Patrick Vogel. Frank Reed would school his brother David Reed on how to qualify by 2 tenths for the 4th spot with Dave relegated to 5th. Frank was also overheard taunting his brother after the qualifying session saying, "Neener-neener" and was also reported to have also made several faces at his brother. Chris Donnelly claimed the 6th spot. Kieran Gobey hustled his underpowered blue steed to a 6th spot qualifier and Victor Beraja only took a few laps to post up on the board to finish out the 8 car field.
Another fantastic standing start by the group and we would find Rius Billing’s #22 in the lead for lap one, #5 Team Road Runner pulled into 2nd, closely followed by the Vogel Boys #59 and David Reed got past his brother (and was reported to have made several faces back at his brother on the way by but I cannot confirm the reports) to take the 4th spot. These 4 cars would pull away and race closely nose to tail. The 5th position was taken over by Chris Donnelly who also got by Frank Reed's #11 who held onto the 6th spot. Kieran Gobey remained in 7th and Victor Beraja followed the field in the 8th place position.
Rius Billing took a large lead in the first laps but it didn’t last long. The 3 cars behind him reeled him back in within a few laps of the start. David Reed began to slowly work his way past the 3rd place car and eventually claimed 2nd place as he used his newly found favorite passing zone going into turn one where he was able to out-brake anyone he came across.
The other battles on the track were once again Frank Reed and Chris Donnelly battling back and forth until lap 8. On lap 8 while exiting Cotton Corners, Chris got a little loose and tried to correct, which got away from him and he spun in the middle of the track. Frank Reed slowed to avoid Donnelly but calculated wrong and committed to passing Donnelly on the left, where Donnelly wound up and collected Frank Reed. Damage to Frank Reeds car was not bad enough to retire even though he was dragging a front bumper. Donnelly’s car was bad enough that he was forced to retire with a severe rear tire rub that left him trailing smoke around the track. Fortunately damage was minor to both cars and will both be fixed for their next races. Kieran Gobey and Victor Beraja once again had a great back and forth battle on their own.
With about 3 laps to go David Reed finally got a late-braking pass on Rius Billings #22 going into Turn 1 to take the lead for a second time this weekend! It was yet another great nose to tail, 4 car train battle for the first 4 spots. If anyone had made a mistake it would have cost them, but instead another well driven race complete! There was some minor damage to a couple of cars, but overall a great race weekend was in the books. David Reed claimed his 2nd career race win in a row, Rius Billings #22 took 2nd, 3rd went to #5 Team Road Runner with Kevin Nichols behind the wheel. Patrick Vogel completed his first race with NASA with a clean 4th place finish in his Vogel Boys Racing #59. Making a good show with a damaged car was Frank Reed working his way back up after his on track incident on lap 8. Victor Beraja stayed in front of Kieran Gobey at the checkered flag and with his early retirement was Chris Donnelly's #25.
Another great racing weekend and the driver’s camaraderie in the Spec E30 Village made for a spectacular weekend for all. Next up on the NASA SoCal Spec E30 Series calendar is going to be at Willow Springs May 21-22. This will be our one and only visit there this season where the boys just might learn how to bump draft!