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October 3, 2013

Another Great Sonoma Weekend of Racing and shake-down run in 1969 Camaro

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The Life’s Good Racing!TM team was back out at Sonoma to race the #96 Camaro in NASA’s Super Unlimited AND to (finally) try out the new power plant in the #69 Camaro.  First, however, I want to take a moment to highlight all the support we have received from our sponsors this year, without which we would not have had the successes we’ve had to date.  They include:

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I was the proud driver of the #96 Camaro in the Super Unlimited (SU) races, my first time driving in this class.  I started Saturday’s race from deep in the field as we used the Qualifying session for some testing which did not result in a fast qual lap.  At the start of the race, however, I was able to jump up to 4th overall by Turn 2 and then 3rd by Turn 7 as seen in the video posted on our Life’s Good Racing!TM  Facebook page.  It was an intense 30 minutes of non-stop battle, at the end of which I am pleased to say that I held on to 2nd in class and 3rd overall!  This put me on the podium for my first SU race!

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clip_image021Sunday’s race had me starting outside front row, thanks to the great qualifying effort of Dave Brown who turned a 1:44, just 0.3 seconds off the fastest qualifying time.  I had a great launch at the green flag and jumped into first but was not able to hold on as the tires were absolutely gone.  In spite of struggling with tires that were completely shot, I was able to hold on to the same positions as Saturday’s finish with a 2nd in class and 3rd overall and another podium

Lots of thanks go to the entire team for this effort as they were the ones who gave me a car capable of being driven to that level.  They worked non-stop and can be seen here from left-to-right:  Manna, Stefan, me, Pitt, and Chris.

clip_image023The other big news from the weekend is that we were finally able to complete the install of the new LS3 in the 1969 Camaro to the point of being able to perform a shake-down test run.  Chris Hovey has been working around-the-clock on this project when he has had time between working on and overseeing work being done at the team’s shop on the other three race cars.  In case you have not been following, we lost the Gen 1 Donovan Aluminum Small Block back in April at Thunderhill Raceway while competing in Time Trials.  The car has sat ever since then as this engineering/science project defined best as “shoe-horning an LS where a small block had once been”.  All I can say is that it was “WORTH THE WAIT.”

clip_image025“Oh My God!  This thing is a heat seeking missile!”, were the few words I uttered while driving her around the track.  Other choice words included, “it pulls like a big block!”.  And, what’s amazing is that the linkage was such that I had less than three-quarters throttle!!!!  Needless to say, I was smiling….
So, what’s next?  We are competing in USTCC Round #5 at Buttonwillow Raceway outside of Bakersfield on Saturday and Sunday, October 12 & 13.  We will have the #18 Mitsubishi Lancer, the #12 BMW M3 and the 2012 #96 Camaro all in attendance at this race.  This will be a very important weekend for us at is the second-to-last USTCC race weekend of the 2013 season and has Dave Brown in second place and in striking distance of first.  I am in 4th in USTCC-GT and just a few points behind 3rd and 2nd.

Again, big thanks to all of those who support us, and especially: HAWK Performance, Competition Clutch, WORKS Motorsports, San Rafael Mitsubishi, Big O Dublin, Supertech, Red Line, and Koenig.

See you at the races!

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