Race reports for the first four rounds of the 3D Carbon S2 Cup. This is a new Sports 2000 Series being run on the west coast. All races are to be run with the Cal Club Region of the SCCA.
Ota Strong in Season Opener to Take Round 1
Fontana, CA. (January 24, 2009) - The 3D Carbon S2 Cup season opened today at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. The series is new this year with title sponsorship from 3d Carbon a provider of high quality body styling kits for domestic muscle cars and the help of additional series sponsors Fast Forward, GoPro, Sebring West, and Motorsport Composites. The series is set for eight races over four race weekends at three venues including races at Willow Springs International Raceway and Buttonwillow Raceway Park. Cool temperatures and cloudy conditions prevailed today and Doug Ota became the first winner of the season with a strong performance in Round 1.
Under threatening skies the field took the green flag and was soon running three wide around the banked oval of Auto Club Speedway. Ota who started on the outside of the front row driving a Swift DB-2 was on the high side with pole sitter David Ferguson, Van Diemen followed by Ted Guenther, Swift DB-5 were in the middle and Joe Moran, Carbir CS2 was on the low side. Ota was unable to take advantage at the start and was overhauled by Ferguson and Guenther but did manage to hold off Moran and at the end of the first lap it was Ferguson, Guenther, Ota, Moran, John Ostlund, Carbir CS2, Sterling Ellsworth, Swift DB-5, Bob Lovenson, Swift DB-2, Bruce Allison, Lola 88/89, Kathy Allison, Swift DB-2, Gary Holcomb, Swift DB-2, Laird Owens, Swift DB- 5 and Rob Thomson, Swift DB-2.
After a brief full course caution, the green flag came out to begin lap 3 and Ota set about getting by Guenther, and Bruce Allison also improved one position passing Lovenson.
The field remained static for the next several laps with the top five cars running almost nose to tail with no one having a clear advantage.
On lap 7 Bruce Allison brought his Lola in to retire with a tire problem followed two laps later by Kathy Allison in her Swift with a high speed misfire.
Joe Moran moved past Ted Guenther on lap 8 to take third with Ostlund passing Guenther a lap later pushing Ted down to fifth. On this lap Ota also managed to get by Ferguson for the lead leaving the order now Ota, Ferguson, Moran, Ostlund, Guenther, Ellsworth, Lovenson, Owens, Thomson and Holcomb.
Ten laps in and the pace beginning to pick up and both Ota and Moran recorded their fastest race laps with Moran's 1:44.664 being the fastest of the race which also enabled Moran to get by Ferguson for second and Ota extending a small advantage.
This order remained until lap 15 when both Ferguson and Guenther got by Moran and Ostlund retired with a broken left rear suspension.
Ota managed to hold off a hard charging Ferguson for the first win of the 2009 Series with Ferguson second and Guenther completing the podium in third. Fourth was Moran the only other finisher on the same lap. One lap down were Ellsworth in fifth, Lovenson sixth, Owens seventh and Ostlund credited with eighth. Another lap back was Rob Thomson in ninth and Holcomb completed those running in tenth with 12 laps completed. Kathy Allison with nine laps complete was eleventh with Bruce Allison twelfth and seven laps completed.
It was an exciting start to the Series with Round 2 scheduled to be run under similar weather conditions tomorrow we should see another fine race in this series.
Series Points: Ota 12, Ferguson 9, Guenther 7, Moran 6, Ellsworth 5, Lovenson 4, Owens 3, Ostlund 2, Thomson 1.
Guenther Edges Ostlund for Win in Round 2
Fontana, CA. (January 25, 2009) - The second round of the 3D Carbon S2 Cup series has been run today at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. Just as in round 1, cool temperatures and cloudy conditions continued today as Ted Guenther swept into the lead from his front row starting position and hold that position for all but three laps to take the win in Round 2.
Pole sitter David Ferguson spun on the pace lap and eventually took the green flag in tenth place. This left Guenther in his Swift DB-5, the outside front row starter, with a clear shot into the lead followed by second row starter John Ostlund driving a Carbir CS2. By the end of the first lap Ferguson had taken his Van Diemen from tenth all the way up to third place. Other drivers making good starts and gaining positions were Bruce Allison, Lola 88/89, Bob Lovenson, Swift DB-2 and Kathy Allison, Swift DB-2 all moving up two or more positions. The order at the end of the first lap was Guenther, Ostlund, Ferguson, Saturday's winner Doug Ota, Swift DB-2, Bruce Allison, Bob Lovenson, Kathy Allison, Sterling Ellsworth, Swift DB-5, Gary Holcomb, Swift DB-2, Rob Thomson, Swift DB-2 and Joe Moran, Carbir CS2 who had spun.
While Guenther was extending his lead over Ostlund on lap two, Sterling Ellsworth picked up two places, first passing Kathy Allison and then getting by Bob Lovenson. Joe Moran also began his charge through the field by passing Rob Thomson into tenth place.
Kathy Allison got by Lovenson on lap three only to give the position back a lap later. Also on lap four Ellsworth moved up one spot to fifth by passing Bruce Allison.
The positions at the front of the field stabilized, Moran continued his charge up the field passing Holcomb on lap five, Kathy Allison on lap six and Bruce Allison on lap seven. Kathy followed Moran and also passed Bruce on lap seven.
By half distance, Ostlund began to close the gap between himself and Guenther. On lap nine Ostlund was right behind Guenther and the two had a great battle that had them swapping positions and running side by side through several corners each giving the other just enough racing room. Through all of this Ostlund managed to lead only three laps and was in the lead heading into the final lap when coming off the banking side by side. Ostlund had the advantage going into the right hander then there was slight contact with Guenther's left front contacting the side of Ostlund giving Ted the opening to take the lead. Guenther commented, "John drove really well today and I didn't". "There just wasn't enough room", he continued, "I really enjoyed racing John."
Ostlund agreed saying, "I really had fun today, except for the contact, it was a real clean race."
While this battle was raging, Doug Ota after passing Ferguson on lap ten for third place began closing in on the leading duo finishing just over 5 seconds behind. Ota claimed that "A couple of more laps and I might have been right there with them."
After Ota got by him, Ferguson spun at the hairpin and dropped back crossing the line in fourth. After the race Ferguson was penalized 3 places for his pace lap spin and ended up seventh.
Sterling Ellsworth had another solid run to finish fourth, followed by Lovenson; fifth, Kathy Allison; sixth one lap behind, Ferguson, Rob Thomson; eight two laps behind, Bruce Allison; ninth three laps behind and Holcomb; tenth three laps behind.
Moran's charge ended when on lap eleven approaching the infield hairpin had contact with another car and spun. He managed to continue around to the pits to retire. He was credited with finishing eleventh.
With two rounds now complete, the series moves to Willow Springs for rounds 3 and 4 on the 21st and 22nd of February.
Series Points: Ota 19, Ferguson 12, Guenther 19, Moran 6, Ellsworth 11, Ostlund 11, Lovenson 9,K. Allison 4, Owens 3, Thomson 3, B. Allison 1.
Fujii Joins Series in Round 3 and Finds Success
Rosamond, CA. (February 21, 2009) - The 3D Carbon S2 Cup moved to Willow Springs International Raceway for rounds three and four which also brought John Fujii to the series. Fujii in his first drive this year driving a Swift DB-2 was fast right off the trailer and qualified in the second starting position being bested only by Doug Ota also driving a Swift DB-2.
The weather was cool and cloudy for the late afternoon start and with the skies threatening the field took the green flag. Fujii didn't wait long and challenged Ota at the first turn diving inside in the braking zone. Ota held his line and managed to fend off Fujii and at the end of the first lap Ota led from Fujii, David Ferguson; Van Diemen, Ted Guenther; Swift DB- 5, Bob Lovenson; Swift DB-2, Gary Holcomb; Swift DB-2, Kathy Allison; Swift DB-2, Laird Owens; Swift DB-5 and Bruce Allison; Lola 88/89 having been passed by Owens. Joe Moran was a non-starter due to having a bracket on the upright of his Carbir CS2 shear off leaving him without steering control and not having a spare readily available.
On lap two, Fujii continued his assault on Ota with another lunge at turn one and again Ota held his position to lead as the field began to string out with Ota and Fujii building an advantage over third placed Ferguson who in turn moved clear of Guenther in fourth. The field remained static throughout the next several laps in spite of Fujii's continued attempts to find a way past Ota and after several failed attempts at turn one decided to try a move at turn 3. This was also well defended by Ota as he continued to lead. The battle between Fujii and Ota enabled Ferguson to close the gap and the three circulated nose to tail for the next few laps.
On lap six Owens found his way past Kathy Allison to take the eighth position away. The field continued to circulate in this order and by mid- race the running order was Ota, Fujii, Ferguson, Guenther who was caught up in traffic, Lovenson, Holcomb, Owens and Kathy Allison. Bruce Allison retired at this point.
These positions held until on lap sixteen with a little over two laps to go mechanical gremlins did to Ota what Fujii could not when he developed a misfire and Fujii moved past heading toward turn eight. Fujii by this point was able to cruise to his first victory of the series setting the fastest lap of the race with a 1:23.305 as Ota continued to struggle around trying to hold on to second position for the remaining two laps. This was not to be however as Ferguson moved past on lap seventeen. Ota to his credit and after the great duel salvaged the final podium position finishing third enabling him to maintain a slim one point lead in the championship with 26 points. Guenther finished in a lonely fourth position neither being challenged from behind nor able to attack for third having been stuck in traffic through the entire event but still moved into second place in the championship with 25 points. Lovenson drove a solid race to finish fifth with Holcomb in sixth behind him. Owens in his second race in the series finished a fine seventh followed by Kathy Allison in eighth and Bruce Allison taking the final point in ninth.
In addition to Moran, Fred Michael also a newcomer to the series this year managed practice but was a non-starter due to engine troubles. John Ostlund, Sterling Ellsworth and Rob Thomson were unable to attend this event and hope to return to the series when it moves to Buttonwillow in April.
Series Points: Ota 26, Guenther 25, Ferguson 21, Lovenson 14, Fujii 12, Ellsworth 11, Ostlund 11, Moran 6, K. Allison 6, Owens 6, G. Holcomb 4, Thomson 3, B. Allison 2.
Fujii Wins Round 4 to Complete Weekend Sweep
Rosamond, CA. (February 22, 2009) - Sunday's round 4 of the 3D Carbon S2 Cup at Willow Springs International Raceway was all John Fujii by not only winning his second race but also qualifying on the pole and setting the race's fastest lap. Fujii in his Swift DB-2 coming off of his first win in the series yesterday continued setting the pace. Joining Fujii on the front row was Doug Ota also driving a Swift DB-2.
Just as on Saturday the weather was cool and cloudy when the field took to the track. The first start was aborted with emergency crews removing a stranded car. When the field finally was shown the green flag to begin lap three Fujii led the field to turn one. Doug Ota challenging for the lead spun in turn one and was contacted by another car and was forced to retire on the spot. Ota's retirement enabled Fujii to take the lead and establish a small gap over the field and led the first green flag lap from Ted Guenther; Swift DB-5, David Ferguson; Van Diemen, Joe Moran having repaired his Carbir CS2, Bob Lovenson; Swift DB-2, Kathy Allison in her Swift DB-2 who had gotten by Gary Holcomb; Swift DB-2 and Bruce Allison; Lola 88/89.
Fujii continued to lead on lap four while Ferguson moved past Guenther to take over second place. Lap four also saw Holcomb pass Kathy Allison for sixth place when the double yellow flags came out again for a car stalled between turns three and four. This bunched the field and when the green flag came out on lap eight Ferguson was able to take advantage of traffic and moved past Fujii into the lead with a pass around the outside of John in turn two.
The running order at half distance was Ferguson trying to pull away from Fujii, Guenther, Moran ready to challenge for third, Lovenson, Holcomb, Kathy Allison and Bruce Allison.
Fujii began to close the gap to Ferguson for the next few laps at the same time Moran was sizing up Guenther for an attempt to take away the final podium position. Moran made his move on lap eleven and moved Guenther down to fourth place, a position he held on to the finish. Bruce Allison also retired on lap eleven.
Fujii was now right behind Ferguson and the two were circulating as one until on lap fourteen Ferguson slid wide in turn four Fujii stuck his nose inside and the two ran side by side down to turn five where Ferguson finally succumbed and Fujii was into the lead and set off toward his second victory in two races. With his second win Fujii moved within 7 points of the championship lead and has served notice that even after missing the first two rounds is going to be a strong contender for the title and the Grand Prize of an aluminum head provided by Fast Forward. The remaining places were uncontested to the end with the exception of Kathy Allison working her way past Holcomb on the final lap to take sixth place.
Second place went to Ferguson who rued the lost opportunity in turn four, "I was a little loose and slid wide, John held his line and drove right through." This also moved David to within one point of the lead in the Championship with 30 points.
Fujii commented, "I raced with David a lot and have a great deal of respect for him and confidence in his driving and knew I could trust him as we were side by side heading for turn five." He continued, "It was a good clean fight."
Moran recovered from his non-start on Saturday to take third in his newly repaired Carbir and complete the podium.
Guenther finished fourth and with it took over the lead in the championship with 31 points.
Lovenson had another strong drive finishing fifth followed by Kathy Allison in sixth, Holcomb in seventh and Bruce Allison still struggling with his newly rebuilt Lola credited with eighth place.
The series now moves to Buttonwillow Raceway Park for rounds five and six on April 4 & 5, 2009 and looks forward to the return of John Ostlund, Sterling Ellsworth, Rob Thomson, Fred Michael and the rumored appearances by Jeff Anderson and Wayne Smith.
Series Points: Guenther 31, Ferguson 30, Ota 26, Fujii 24, Lovenson 19, Moran 13, Ellsworth 11, Ostlund 11, K. Allison 10, G. Holcomb 7, Owens 6, B. Allison 4, Thomson 3.