Racers Shine in California Sun
BUTTONWILLOW, Calif. (April 28, 2012) – Southern California’s best racers enjoyed perfect weather and waged some intense battles during the first half of the Cal Club Region’s Double National weekend, the opening act for Sunday’s BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour at Buttonwillow Raceway Park.
Mike Miserendino took Spec Racer Ford, winning by 16 seconds over TJ Acker, who held on to second place over Paul Marino despite suffering a flat tire on the final lap.
Michael Lewis won Group Two overall and in GT-1 even though he made a quick dip to the pits in his Jaguar XKR just past the halfway point. Mike Henderson and Wolfgang Maike had a great battle for the lead in GT-3 until Maike spun his Toyota in Grapevine, letting Henderson and his Mazda RX-7 cruise to the win. Marc Hoover sped to the Super Touring® Under win and lowered his track record in the process driving his turbocharged Mazda Miata.
Race Group Three was marred by two incidents, one at the start and one at the finish that eliminated three Sports 2000 entries. Lee Alexander took the overall and D Sports Racing win by nearly a minute and a half. David Ferguson topped the 13-car Sports 2000 field that saw Paul Fruchbom and Adam Draizin eliminated before even reaching the start line. The race finished under full course caution after Bob Lovenson’s car found the wall in the final corner two laps from the end. None of the drivers were injured, but all will likely miss Sunday’s race.
The race of the day involved a pair of teenagers, battling for supremacy in Group Four for Spec Miata. Polesitter Tyler Vance led early, but sixth-starting Elliott Skeer put the pressure on and eventually took the lead. Taking the one to go signal with a one-second lead did not prove enough for Skeer, as Vance took the point on the back straight. Undeterred, Skeer re-passed Vance for the lead two corners from the finish to take the win.
Group Five was won overall by the Formula F of Ed Erlandson, but the best battle was for Formula Vee, with Dennis Andrade and Ron Wake trading the lead throughout. On the final lap, Wake disappeared at the Off Ramp complex, letting Andrade cruise to the win.
The final group of the day saw a runaway victory overall for Chuck Matthews in his Touring 1 Corvette. Aaron Downey (Mazda RX-3) and Brian Linn (Mazda Miata) looked to have EP and FP in hand until mechanical issues took them out, allowing Gary Gist (Mazda RX-7) and Noel Hayward (MG Midget) to take the respective wins. Jason Isley and eight-time X-Games Gold Medalist Jamie Bestwick made it a Toyota Yaris one-two in H Production. Ali Naimi led the first two-thirds of the Showroom Stock C race, but it was Brian Husting who took the win in his Chevrolet Cobalt.
Sunday’s BFGoodrich Tires Sopac Super Tour gets under way Sunday morning with qualifying sessions at 8 a.m. (Pacific).