Holtville; March 1-2, 1997 These are my very raw notes from last weekend at Holtville. Editors are welcome to use them to supplement their stories. When I get results from Pat Samarco, Scoring chief, I'll post them as well in condensed...
Holtville; March 1-2, 1997
These are my very raw notes from last weekend at Holtville. Editors are welcome to use them to supplement their stories. When I get results from Pat Samarco, Scoring chief, I'll post them as well in condensed format so you can associate car numbers with names. Pat had to struggle this weekend; most of her experienced crew were supporting the IRRA races up at Willow Springs. She had all rookies helping her until Barbara Fraire moved from Race Control to Scoring to do lap charts on Saturday. On Sunday I helped a tiny bit in the Scoring shed. Barbara and Mike are half-way towards their first child; congratulations to the family.
Both days: Solo I sessions: very light turnout; in some cases, only one car, or none. Max on track was maybe five cars in first session, after that no more than two. Saturday -------- Qualifying race 1. Bob Sylvestro in FA won handily. Roland Johnson debuted a Swift he'd had stored in his shop for six years; he won racing on McCreary tires. Javier Sardinia and Ron Call had great Spec Racer Ford race. Even after combining the SRFs with the formula racers, there were still only 13 cars on the track.
Qualifying Race 2. Cars 10 (Datsun 240) and 13 (ITA-prepped RX7) had good race. John Williamson in GT2 Porsche started from back of pack but went on to win the race. The Legend car (21) had a great back-of-the-pack race with M. Elliot's BMW (78) until last lap when BMW performed some "oops". Only 10 cars in this group.
Qualifying Race 3. Car 44 got a good start. Outstanding race between 06 and 19. Flagger-turned-racer Ray Biritz made an outstanding start and moved up to second in the SRX7 class behind Jason Miner. On the last lap there was side to side contact between 8 and 21, breaking 21's left front suspension. 18 cars in this group, I believe there were 13 SRX7s.
Main Race 1. Mazda-powered Formula Atlantic made it's Holtville debut, finished second behind Bob Sylvestro. Merle Slater had a great SRF race with Ron Call, which Call won. Another good Ford-powered race was the SF (open wheel) battle between 7 and 54 (Tom Coughlin); the latter won. Sylvestro lapped practically the whole field, was closing rapidly on Roland Johnson's Swift to complete the task, but 15 laps elapsed first.
Main Race 2. What happened to the other 3 cars? We were down to 7. Well, Cal Rothe's Sports Racer broke his transmission and went home, but I don't recall the others. There was a good race early on between 10 and 13 (again). Similarly 34 and 27 diced early, but then 34 pulled away.
Main race 3. 69 (ITB BMW) won again, car 3 showed up late (SRX7) started in the back of the pack, but moved up quickly until a late dice with 81 arrested his progress. Good race for a while between 06 and 91. Biritz finished second again, his strongest performance ever in the highly-competitive class.
Qualifying Race 1. Good Spec Ford race between 97 and 7. Good race between FA (Mazda) 71 and Roland Johnson (Swift FF). 71 made some "yahoo" passes in the 1-2-3 complex that had everybody's heart beating a little faster. Ron Call and Merle Slater duked it out again in SRF.
Qual Race 2. Only 9 cars. Good dicing early on between 13 and 47, but by halfway everybody was strung out.
Qual Race 3. No notes, I had moved into the Scoring shack to help there. (I'd been flagging on Saturday, playing Starter on Sunday.)
Main Race 1. Again, Sylvestro hid from the field. Steve Jepsen was last car to finish on lead lap. Bugs in the software kept the results from showing his overall position, but the lap charts and raw data tapes show his correct position. Bob Sylvestro won handily all weekend, slicing through traffic gracefully as a ballerina's audition.
Main race 2 Sunday. Aborted start to get Ken Leslie into the pits. His trunk lid was open. Like all but two cars in the 9 car field, he won in class. John Williamson started in back of field, won overall, assisted slightly when 34, who led for more than half the distance, spun the car in Turn 6 while leading. 'Twas a scary moment but the pack safely avoided him. The T1-classed BMW also got around 34. I was helping teach people how to do lap charts; am amazed I remembered this much!
Main race 3 Sunday: great RX7 battle 3 (Bob Wright) and 9 (Roger Sather) 69 led ran uncontested for victory, 06 / 19 diced for a while. Biggest field of day, 18 cars.