ACRL: Laguna Seca report

Monterey, CA, May 20, 2001 -- An impressive field of 29 cars representing nine cities took the grid for round three of the American City Racing League Western Division season at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. Peter Zarcades of Team Las Vegas put...

Monterey, CA, May 20, 2001 -- An impressive field of 29 cars representing nine cities took the grid for round three of the American City Racing League Western Division season at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. Peter Zarcades of Team Las Vegas put his Pennzoil-sponsored Swift on the pole for the 10th consecutive race. Sports 2000 polesitter Vic Kicera of Team Boston, in his first time on the twisty 2.38 mile track, served notice that he was the driver to beat in that class. Teammate Bill Haney grabbed the Sports 1600 pole on his first hot lap (good thing, because he was sidelined with broken rear suspension one lap later).

When the green flag flew for the race, there was a little different look to the field for most of the first lap. The difference was that current points leader Zarcades did not lead the whole lap, as John Ostlund of Team Fresno took command in turn three and held it all the way to turn 11. . Zarcades repassed Ostlund for the lead just before the pace car came out, and that was the end of the battle. The pace car was out due to an incident in Turn One at the start, when Team Philadelphia's A.J. Smith broke a half-shaft 50 yards past the start/finish line. Jay Messenger was unable to avoid the Smith car, but continued with severely scuffed-up bodywork, while Smith's day was done. Roger Heyl of Team Salinas had just completed a 360 degree spin in all the confusion and was nailed in the back by Smith's teammate, Jim Stengel. Heyl and Stengel limped to a safe spot and parked, also through for the day. It was Messenger's second unavoidable incident of the weekend, as he destroyed the left front corner of the car in practice. Fortunately, spares and people converged on the car from all points of the ACRL paddock, and it was back together for qualifying and the race.

Up front, Brad Krause of Team Fresno got shuffled back due to a spin in Turn Two, but managed to work his way backup to seventh in class at the checker. While Zarcades motored away, Team Fresno's John Ostlund held Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi at bay, then began to open a gap when the pair got into lapped traffic. Marvin Jones moved up to fourth when first Chris Ronson (Las Vegas), then John Lombardo Jr. (Hollywood) pitted. Ronson had a single-speed gearbox (first gear only), and lost two laps getting it repaired. Lombardo pitted on lap four to have a flat tire replaced, only to retire three laps later with broken suspension. After an exciting dice with Sandra Popescu and an outside pass on Krause in the first lap, Margie Smith-Haas settled into a fairly lonely fifth place. Behind her, Sports 2000 leader Kicera ran sixth, with Denver's Jeff Littrell hot on his heels in the early stages. Unfortunately for Littrell, Salinas teammates Dave Jansen and Sandra Popescu inserted their Super Sports 2000 cars between the two Sports 2000 leaders, giving Kicera relatively clear sailing. Popescu eventually dropped back with brake problems, but Krause came up to take her place, leaving the frustrated Littrell with no way to join up with Kicera. Besides, he had his hands full keeping Las Vegas S2 driver John Fujii behind him for most of the race. Fujii held on for third ahead of Messenger, Doug Ota (Denver), Joe Moran (Hollywood), Gary Holcomb (Hollywood), Joe Casanova (Hollywood), and Fred Michael (Fresno).

Bill Haney, with suspension repairs completed shortly before the race, took immediate command of the Sports 1600 field with his car performing flawlessly. Not so good was the car of teammate John Faulkner, who retired after only six laps. Sports 1600 stalwart Paul Schroeder had his best and longest performance of the season, finishing 17 of the 18 laps in second place in S16. Third was newcomer Tim Moore of Team Los Angeles, who had a race-long battle with fellow ACRL first-timer Jim Colombotos (Salinas). Jeff Witwer of Team San Diego parked his S16 after 10 laps with mechanical woes.

The team scoring used up several calculator batteries, but the recap showed Team Las Vegas edging Denver by sixpoints, 212 to 206. Unfortunately, the preliminary calculations showed Denver in the lead, so they received the trophy on the victory stand. The recount gave Las Vegas its third team victory in as many races for the 2001 season, and maintained the City Team points lead over Denver

The Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca round was the first major cross-pollination between the ACRL Western and Eastern divisions, and the crossover ranks will hopefully grow in the future. Team Boston did quite nicely, with two class poles and two class wins, but Philadelphia had a disappointingly short day. The rest of the field, however, was enthusiastic at the conclusion of a tremendous race.

The American City Racing League Western Division will race next at Thunder Hill Raceway Park in Willows, California on July 1. The Eastern Division's next stop is at Mid-Ohio with the Grand Am series on August 11.

The ACRL series, using a unique team racing concept, races Cosworth-powered Super Sports 2000, Ford-engined Sports 2000, and Toyota-powered Sports 1600 cars, with drivers required to run Hoosier ACRL-stamped R-45 compound tires and Union 76 110 Octane Leaded Racing Fuel.

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Acrl Laguna Seca Race Results: Finishing position, start position (), driver, team, chassis, class, lapscomplete, qualifying time, best race lap, reason out (if any).

1 (1) Peter Zarcades, Las Vegas, Swift, SS2, 18, 1:29.069, 1:29.9172 2 (2) John Ostlund, Fresno, Carbir, SS2, 18, 1:29.889, 1:30.7233 3 (3) Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi, Hollywood, Carbir, SS2, 18, 1:30.515, 1:31.3174 4 (6) Marvin Jones, Denver, Carbir, SS2, 18, 1:31.838, 1:32.2885 5 (8) Margie Smith-Haas, San Diego, Falcon, SS2, 18, 1:32.993, 1:33.4166 6 (9) Vic Kicera, Boston, Lola, S2, 18, 1:33.152, 1:33.901 7 (11) David Jansen, Salinas, Lola, SS2, 1:34.207, 1:33.717 8 (7) Brad Krause, Fresno, Carbir, SS2, 18, 1:32.860, 1:31.982 9 (10) Jeff Littrell, Denver, Swift, S2, 18, 1:33.537, 1:33.993 10 (14) John Fujii, Las Vegas, Swift, S2, 18, 1:34.758, 1:34.112 11 (15) Jay Messenger, San Diego, Swift, S2, 18, 1:35.004, 1:35.409 12 (12) Sandy Popescu, Salinas, Swift, SS2, 18, 1:34.454, 1:34.879 13 (16) Doug Ota, Denver, Swift, S2, 18, 1:36.167, 1:36.446 14 (18) Bill Haney, Boston, SVC, S16, 17, 1:36.993, 1:36.718 15 (17) Joe Moran, Hollywood, Carbir, S2, 17, 1:36.859, 1:36.678 16 (20) Gary Holcomb, Hollywood, Swift, S2, 17, 1:38.466, 1:37.796 17 (24) Joe Casanova, Hollywood, Swift, S2, 17, 1:40.224, 1:39.991 18 (23) Paul Schroeder, Las Vegas, SVC, S16, 17, 1:40.047, 1:40.441 19 (26) Tim Moore, Los Angeles, SVC, S16, 17, 1:41.600, 1:41.104 20 (27) Jim Colombotos, Salinas, SVC, S16, 17, 1:42.235, 1:41.365 21 (28) Fred Michael, Fresno, Tiga, S2, 16, 1:45.351, 1:46.149 22 (5) Chris Ronson, Las Vegas, Carbir, SS2, 16, 1:31.804, 1:33.052 23 (25) Jeff Read, Fresno, Swift, S2, 15, 1:40.768, 1:41.653 24 (29) Jeff Witwer, San Diego, SVC, S16, 10, 1:57,414, 1:51.108 (NR, Mech.) 25 (4) John Lombardo Jr., Hollywood, Carbir, SS2, 7, 1:31.142, 1:35.365 (NR, Mech.) 26 (21) John Faulkner, Boston, SVC, S16, 6, 1:38.557, 1:41.200 (NR, Mech.) 27 (13) A.J. Smith, Philadelphia, Pratt Miller, S2, 0, 1:34.607, NT (NR, Accident) 28 (19) Roger Heyl, Salinas, Swift, S2, 0, 1:38.029, NT (NR, Accident) 29 (22) Jim Stengel, Philadelphia, Pratt Miller, S2, 0, 1:39.556, NT (NR, Accident)

Race Time: 29:34.885 Length: 40.284 Miles Track Length: 2.238 miles Fastest Race Lap: 1:29.917 (Zarcades) Winner's Margin of Victory: 3.084 seconds Fastest Race Lap: 1:33.901 (Kicera) Winner's Margin of Victory: N/A 16 Fastest Race Lap: 1:36.718 (Haney) 16 Winner's Margin of Victory: N/A

Laguna Seca Team Points: Las Vegas 212 Denver 206 Fresno 203 Hollywood 186 San Diego 179 Salinas 173 Boston 168 Philadelphia 66 Los Angeles 44

2001 SS2 DRIVER POINTS 2001 S2 DRIVER POINTS BEST 2 OF 3 RACES: BEST 2 OF 3 RACES: 1 Peter Zarcades 204 1 Dan Dubrovich 204 2 John Ostlund 186 2 David Ferguson 186 3 Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi 181 3 Jeff Littrell 177 4 Brad Pierce 172 4 John Fujii 176 Marvin Jones 172 5 Jay Messenger 168 6 Margie Smith-Haas 160 Doug Ota 168 7 Brad Krause 153 6 Gary Holcomb 149 8 David Jansen 152 8 Vic Kicera 102 9 John Lombardo Jr. 140 9 Joe Moran 76 10 Sandy Popescu 70 10 Joe Casanova 70 11 Chris Ronson 67 11 Fred Michael 67 12 Chad McQueen 0 12 Jeff Read 64 13 AJ Smith 61 14 Roger Heyl 58 15 Jim Stengel 55

2001 S1600 DRIVER POINTS BEST 2 OUT OF 3 RACES: 1 Paul Schroeder 202 2 Bill Haney 102 3 Tim Moore 88 4 Jim Colombotos 84 5 Jeff Witwer 80 6 John Faulkner 76

2001 TEAM POINT STANDINGS (AFTER 3 RACES) 1 Las Vegas 696 2 Denver 614 3 San Diego 535 4 Hollywood 540 5 Salinas 396 6 Fresno 376 7 Boston 168 8 Philadelphia 66 9 Los Angeles 44

-ACRL

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Series SCCA
Drivers A.J. Smith , John Faulkner , David Ferguson , Marvin Jones , Chad McQueen , Paul Schroeder , Brad Krause , Margie Smith-Haas , Tim Moore , Gary Holcomb , Dave Jans