ACRL: Thunderhill race results -- Revised

Following a post-race review of on-track incidents and penalties by Chief Steward Mike Jennings, Team Fresno was awarded the Team victory for the Thunderhill round of the ACRL West 2000 season. A revised race report follows Willows, CA - Points...

Following a post-race review of on-track incidents and penalties by Chief Steward Mike Jennings, Team Fresno was awarded the Team victory for the Thunderhill round of the ACRL West 2000 season. A revised race report follows

Willows, CA - Points leader Peter Zarcades of Team Las Vegas had the field covered again, setting fast time in every practice session, qualifying on the pole, and leading the race handily for eight laps. Unfortunately for Zarcades, the race lasted 15 laps, and his battery didn't. Team Fresno's Steve Romak surged into the lead on lap 9, erasing a six-plus second lead as Zarcades coasted up the start/finish straight and pulled off at the head of the pit lane with a dead battery. Romak was never headed from that point, finishing 1.7 seconds ahead of teammate Dennis Pavlina at the checker. Pavlina had moved around Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi on lap six with a bump-and-run move in Turn One. Tirinnanzi took a ride through the boondocks but rejoined in front of third Team Fresno driver John Ostlund. This pair staged a stirring battle for the rest of the race, with Ostlund feinting passes and Tirinnanzi deftly parrying every move. They finished the race nose to tail, with Tirinnanzi capturing the final podium position. Another tremendous battle raged behind them, between Sandra Popescu of Team Salinas, Brad Pierce of Team Las Vegas, and Team San Diego driver Margie Smith-Haas, who was recovering from food poisoning. Pierce overcooked it in Turn Three on lap five while trying to get around Popescu, and his excursion dropped him out of contact with the battling ladies. Smith-Haas stalked Popescu for the next five laps, when Pierce re-joined the battle, re-passing Smith-Haas. Coming out of Turn 15 Popescu, with a deflating rear tire, swerved abruptly from side to side and Pierce and Smith-Haas pulled alongside for a three-car drag race down the front straight. Pierce had no room down the inside and had to back off, as Smith-Haas took the outside line, putting two wheels in the dirt in Turn One to maintain her position just ahead of Popescu. The two bumped, but Smith-Haas had pulled ahead by the entrance to Turn Two when contact with Popescu put her into a spin. Pierce cautiously trailed Popescu, who by now had smoke pouring off a rear tire, and finally got by in Turn Seven. Popescu's demolished tire then caused her to spin and stall in Turn Fourteen in front of Smith-Haas, bringing out a full-course caution on lap 13. This put a halt to the racing, and the field took the checker two laps later under caution. Popescu received a post race fine for blocking Pierce and a probation penalty for multiple contacts with Smith-Haas.

The Aerocell Sports 2000 race was also highly interesting. Michael Scully led from pole position as the S2 field started the race in a split start behind the front pack of Super Sports 2000 cars. Scully motored away from newcomer Harry Hoffman and S2 points leader David Ferguson, building a lead of slightly more than four seconds. On lap 13, Scully saw yellow flags at the starter's stand and Turn One for an incident in Turn Two, and incorrectly assumed a full course caution. He slowed, but arrived at Turn Three to see no yellow flag, just as Hoffman blasted by for the class lead. Scully immediately set out in pursuit, but by then track was under full course caution for Popescu's Turn Nine incident, trapping him in second place just ahead of Ferguson, who had been reeling in Hoffman for the last few laps. A disappointed and frustrated Scully accepted the second place trophy on the podium, but was soon to be elevated to the win. A post-race inspection revealed that talented first-time ACRL competitor Hoffman had inadvertently selected a non-spec octane for his Union 76 fuel. This, unfortunately, led to a post race penalty of loss of two laps, which dropped him to sixth in class. Team Fresno maintained the team win with 248 points when Romak and Pavlina’s one-two finishing points were added to Hoffman's 14th overall placing. Team Las Vegas followed with 213 points, and Salinas scored 210.

The lone Sports 1600 entry was newcomer Paul Schroeder, who mixed it up with three or four of the Sports 2000 cars for most of the race. Schroeder declared on the podium that he had had a great time in his ACRL debut, and was looking forward to some competition in class at the upcoming Sears Point doubleheader.

Zarcades still leads the Super Sports 2000 points chase with Tirinnanzi and Smith-Haas in pursuit. In Sports 2000, David Ferguson is a mere six points ahead of Michael Scully. The S16 title is between Mel Hawkins and Steve Knight. Season leader, Team Denver has only a 14 point gap ahead of Team Salinas. The ACRL will finish the season October 14-15 with a all pro weekend doubleheader with NASA at Sears Point Raceway.

The American City Racing League Western Division, using a unique team racing concept, races Cosworth-powered Super Sports 2000, Aerocell-sponsored 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 Racing Fuel.

<pre> Thunderhill Race Results: Finishing position, start position ( ), driver, team, chassis, class, laps complete, qualifying time, best race lap, reason out (if any). 1 (2) Steve Romak, Fresno, Carbir, SS2, 15, 1:45.971, 1:46.484 2 (4) Dennis Pavlina, Fresno, Doran, SS2, 15, 1:46.494, 1:46.162 3 (3) Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi, Hollywood, Carbir, SS2, 15, 1:46.030, 1:45.987 4 (5) John Ostlund, Fresno, Carbir, SS2, 15, 1:46.536, 1:46.531 5 (6) Brad Pierce, Las Vegas, Carbir, SS2, 15, 1:47.540, 1:48.336 6 (10) Margie Smith-Haas, San Diego, Falcon, SS2, 15, 1:49.736, 1:50.084 7 (12) David Jansen, Salinas, Lola, SS2, 15, 1:51.080, 1:51.388 8 (7) Michael Scully, Las Vegas, SR71, S2, 15, 1:48.677, 1:49.458 9 (11) David Ferguson, Salinas, Swift, S2, 15, 1:49.927, 1:50.318 10 (13) Marvin Jones, Denver, Carbir, SS2, 15, 1: 51.587, 1:51.973 11 (15) Joe Moran, Hollywood, Carbir, S2, 14, 1:56.021, 1:56.822 12 (14) Doug Ota, Denver, Swift, S2, 14, 1:55.365, 1:57.145 13 (17) Gary Holcomb, Hollywood, Swift, S2, 14, 1:57.483, 1:57.261 14 (9) Harry Hoffman, Fresno, Swift, S2, 13, 1:49.660, 1:50.233, Penalized 2 laps for incorrect fuel. 15 (16) Paul Schroeder, Las Vegas, SVC, S16, 13, 1:56.830, 1:57.728 16 (8) Sandra Popescu, Salinas, Swift, SS2, 12, 1:48.741, 1:49.371, Spin/Mechanical 17 (1) Peter Zarcades, Las Vegas, Swift, SS2, 10, 1: 44.841, 1:45.474, Electrical 18 (18) Roger Heyl, Salinas, Swift, S2, 9, 1:57.602, 1:57.335, Running DNS (DNQ) Joe Casanova, Hollywood, Swift, S2, 0, DNS

POST RACE STEWARDS ACTION: Car #58 penalized 2 laps for unauthorized fuel (15 laps completed, scored as 13 laps) Car #60 fined for blocking #52 Car #60 penalized for multiple contacts with #6

Race Time: 27.01.31 Race Length: 44.835 miles Track Length: 2.989 miles Margin of Victory: 1.700 seconds (under caution)

SS2 Fastest Race Lap: 1:45.474 (Zarcades) - New race record SS2 Pole: 1:44.841 (Zarcades) - New qualifying record S2 Fastest Race Lap: 1:49.458 (Scully) - New race record S2 Pole: -1:48.677 (Scully) - New qualifying record S16 Fastest Race Lap: 1:57.728 (Schroeder) - New race record S16 Pole: 1:56.830 (Schroeder) - New qualifying record

Thunderhill Team Points: 1 Fresno 248 2 Las Vegas 213 3 Hollywood 210 4 Salinas 196 5 Denver 128 6 San Diego 80

BEST 5 OF 6 RACES:              BEST 5 OF 6 RACES:
 1   Peter Zarcades       445     1   David Ferguson (R)      472   
 2   Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi  424     2   Michael Scully          466
 3   Margie Smith-Haas    396     3   Doug Ota (R)            404
 4   Sandra Popescu       361     4   Joe Moran (R)           403
 5   David Jansen (R)     359     5   Gary Holcomb (R)        369
 6   Marvin Jones (R)     341     6   Jeff Littrell (R)       337
 7   Dennis Pavlina       314     7   Joe Casanova            157
 8   Stephen Romak        288     8   Ernie Spada (R)          93
 9   Rick Lee             266     9   Leo Giroski\             84
10   John Ostlund         252     10  Jeff Anderson (R)        76
11   Brad Pierce          235         Harry Hoffman (R)        76
12   Jay Messenger        219     12  John Bachofner           73
13   Bob Schader          193         Roger Heyl (R)           73        
14   John Hill            181     14  Jeff Read (R)            70
15   Tom Kreger            93     15  Erik Giroski (R)         70
16   Rick Ferguson         84     16  Bob Lovenson (R)         67
17   Eddie Jones  (R)      61     17  Dan Dubrovich             0 *
18   Rick Eickhoff         58     18  Duke Johnson              0 *
                                  19  John Burke                0 * 

* Western Division points transferred to Eastern Division

S1600 DRIVER POINTS TEAM POINT STANDINGS Best 5 of 6 RACES: (AFTER 6 RACES) 1 Mel Hawkins 481 1 Denver 1133 2 Steve Knight 453 2 Salinas 1119 3 Mike Anderson 288 3 Las Vegas 1078 4 Phil Fogg 173 4 Hollywood 1001 5 Mark Kenworthy 168 5 San Diego 967 6 Paul Schroeder 102 6 Fresno 853 7 Graham Fotheringham 88 7 Portland 779 8 Los Angeles 269 9 Tampa 140 10 Vancouver 99

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers John Burke , Duke Johnson , Steve Knight , Steve Romak , David Ferguson , Marvin Jones , Rick Lee , Dennis Pavlina , Paul Schroeder , Margie Smith-Haas , Gary Holcomb , Phil Fogg