SBRS: Western Retional Laguna Seca race report

Mefford Opens With a Pair John Mefford claimed a pair of wins, including his first ever, in Formula Dodge Western Regional Series action from Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. The regional race action supported the penultimate rounds of the ...

Mefford Opens With a Pair

John Mefford claimed a pair of wins, including his first ever, in Formula Dodge Western Regional Series action from Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. The regional race action supported the penultimate rounds of the Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER, run on the historic 2.24 mile road course. A number of racers contested both series. Justin Blower, Burt Frisselle and Al Unser were three that saw double duty, each successful in capturing a win in the regional groupings. Through four rounds, Mefford leads the early championship tally by five points over Blower while Jose Guzman leads the Masters [41-plus category] on the strength of his perfect record.

Despite early fog, Mefford led off group 1 race 1 in clear fashion with a wire-to-wire victory from pole over Nick Jones and Chris Guerreri. Jones and Guerreri scrapped throughout for second position as Mefford motored unmolested. The pair exchanged positions early before Jones, who set a fastest lap time of 1:40.896 sec., clamped down on P2 on lap 6 and held off Guerreri for the duration. Gilan Reynolds improved her 12th place start position to finish in the top-10. Dave House finished fourth overall and claimed the Masters prize.

Fourth place starter Tim Traver seized the point when polesitter Burt Frisselle was knocked out of the race on the first lap. Traver then led all remaining laps en route to victory in group 3 race 1. The San Diego native was close to dominant in form and came home six seconds in front of Jared Wilcox and Justin Clayton. Matt Jaskol made things interesting, advancing from 15th to finish fourth just shy of a podium result. Newcomer Victor Quieroz was quickest of the bunch, setting a fastest lap time of 1:40.983 sec. Craig Conwell claimed the Masters race win, eighth overall, over Tom Brady.

In the day’s last race, Justin Blower kept challenger Al Unser at bay, stretching his R/T 2000 over all 17 laps to win this exciting contest. Unser, who started fourth, slotted in for second place ahead of Chris Ortenburger, who rounded out the podium. Jose Guzman was notably swift, notching a best group 4 time of 1:40.608 sec. as well as claiming the Masters win.

John Mefford withstood a determined charge from Michael Vukelich to win his second race of the weekend from pole. Vukelich set the quickest lap time and only 0.6 sec short of Mefford at the final flag. Nick Jones found the podium for the second time as he landed third place honors. Tad Schink took most progressive driver distinction with his impressive bound to fifth from 10th on the grid. Dave House claimed another Masters win in this group with his fourth place overall result.

Burt Frisselle shook off the hard luck he suffered in his earlier race to put on a race clinic in group 3 race 2. Forced to start from last, Frisselle mounted a charge that saw him leap 12 positions on the opening lap, then slot into third after only three laps. Frisselle set up and picked off Jared Wilcox and Traver before lap 4 and pulled out an advantage that eventually grew to a 13 sec margin of victory. Victor Quieroz and Ben Freudenburg followed in second and third place. Richard Smith-Allen was best among Masters racer with his eighth place finish.

Al Unser led 15 laps and endured a last lap duel with Chris Ortenburger to win in group 4 race 2 action. Justin Blower and Jason Bowles were promoted to second and third place after a penalty ruling against Ortenburger and Jose Guzman for touching. Fastest lap setter Jason Richardson finished in fourth, allowing him to claim most progressive driver honors.

The Memorial finale gridded up in a reverse starting order. Mikel Miller secured the win from 18th over Jason Holehouse and John Mefford.

Formula Dodge Western Regional action resumes at Phoenix International Raceway on December 14-16.

-FDWR-

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Burt Frisselle , Michael Vukelich , John Mefford , Nick Jones , Jason Bowles , Tim Traver , Mikel Miller , Matt Jaskol , Jason Holehouse , Al Unser , Dave House