ACRL: Western Division Sears Point race one report

American City Racing League Ostlund, Team Fresno take first race of Sears Point double header, Fujii is S2 Class victor. Sonoma, California, May 18, 2002 - John Ostlund of Team Fresno dominated Saturday's "Stars and Stripes Forever" race...

American City Racing League
Ostlund, Team Fresno take first race of Sears Point double header, Fujii is S2 Class victor.

Sonoma, California, May 18, 2002 - John Ostlund of Team Fresno dominated Saturday's "Stars and Stripes Forever" race presented by Central Valley Builders Supply at the ALMS weekend at Sears Point Raceway. Ostlund led every lap from the pole, stretching his victory margin to over 24 seconds at the checker. Fourth-place qualifier John Lombardo Jr. (Hollywood) pitted before the green to have his fuel cap replaced, and a five-way battle ensued among Chris Ronson (Las Vegas), Brad Krause (Fresno), Margie Smith-Haas (San Diego), Marvin Jones (Denver) and Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi (Hollywood).

Smith-Haas moved to third and was pressuring Ronson for second when she spun in turn four (possibly in Lombardo's spilled fuel). Her car lodged itself in a rock-filled gully, and she was unable to extricate it. Tirinnanzi, who started at the back of the first wave with no qualifying time (his engine made a round trip from Sears Point to Santa Ana for overnight repairs), moved to third on lap four, and proceeded to put on the best race of the afternoon with Ronson. Ronson's handling started to go away, and when he slid wide at turn 11 on lap 20, Tirinnanzi seized the advantage and the second position. Krause, who had dropped back after a spin in turn 11 on lap four, came up to challenge Ronson, but a second spin in turn 11 relegated him to fourth place at the finish.

Jones hung on for fifth, and Paet Hidalgo (San Diego) was the highest-finishing SS2 rookie in seventh overall, sixth in class. Lombardo worked his way back up to tenth overall (seventh in SS2) at the checker, while SS2 rookies John Cavanaugh (San Diego) and George Nolte (Denver) finished in 11th and 13th respectively overall, and eighth and ninth in class.

Las Vegas team driver John Fujii captured the Sports 2000 victory in sixth place overall. Polesitter and teammate Michael Scully held the early lead while challenger David Ferguson of Fresno was black-flagged for a stop-and-go penalty after putting his car three wide at the start.

Fujii closed up on Scully and was exerting heavy pressure when Scully had a big "off" in the Carousel due to suspension failure, losing the car's nose and retiring. Fujii gradually pulled away from hard-charging new rookie competitor Chris Tryon (Fresno), stretching his lead to 15 seconds-plus at the checker. Ferguson charged up through the field for third, and behind him the last car on the lead lap. Paul Schroeder (Las Vegas) was fourth in the S2 class, with Fred Michael (Fresno) fifth. Denver's Ron Gangemi pitted after two laps with mechanical woes and got credit for seventh in class behind Scully.

Fresno, with five cars in the race, took the team victory, with 256 points accumulated by Ostlund, Krause, and Tryon.

The ACRL series, using a unique team racing concept, races Cosworth-powered Super Sports 2000 and Ford-engined Sports 2000 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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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Paet Hidalgo , Chris Tryon , David Ferguson , Marvin Jones , Paul Schroeder , Brad Krause , Margie Smith-Haas