February 15 and 16 marked the beginning of the 2014 racing season for Life’s Good Racing!TM with both Time Trials and a two hour WERC endurance race at Sonoma Raceway.
We entered the weekend with the forecast of unsettled weather and a chance of rain, which always presents an interesting variable, particularly in Time Trials (fastest lap wins) and Enduros, where it isn’t necessarily the fastest, but the one that lasts. We fared well with rain Saturday night only disrupting morning Time Trials for our slick-shod #96 Camaro. And, by the time the Enduro started at 3pm on Sunday, the track was dry and fast!
Running #96 in Time Trials, we were able to put down the fastest lap both days and take to first places. This bode well for us as we were not only competing in the series, in Time Trials Unlimited (TTU), we were also shaking the car down in prep for Sunday’s Enduro.
We started the Enduro with Dave Brown behind the wheel with a driver change scheduled in conjunction with a brief fuel stop. Dave qualified P4 on grid and fourth in class as there was a car on pole in a faster class. He had a good launch at the start and found himself in third when a Porsche spun into the wall right side exiting Turn 7 on the first lap. This brought out a full course caution for five laps.
Dave battled his way into second overall, and when the lead car in the faster ESR class came in, he found himself in the overall lead and over a minute ahead of second place with a half hour remaining. Then, with just 25 minutes remaining, the car cut out going through the carousel and coasted to a stop on the back straight heading into Turn 7. Game over.
So close and yet so far….. We analyzed what occurred and have put preventive measures in place to protect against a similar recurrence. We finished 4th in class and go into the next round of the Western States Endurance Racing Championships April 5 at Buttonwillow Raceway prepared once again for battle and expecting nothing short of excellence.
It was a good weekend overall. The team was well represented to support the Enduro efforts as seen here with everyone excited for the start of the racing season. The team included Eric VanZandt, Stefan Petrov, “Uncle Mike” Brown, Ben Hedrick, Dave Brown, Karl Chicca, Chris Hovey, Dave “Pitt” Pittenger and Gary Minnich.
Not seen in the team lineup photo but playing a key role over the wall as part of the fueling crew is James Gouveia, who also happens to pilot his own race car in the Spec E30 class. In the adjoining picture, James is seen going out for some testing with team member Stefan in the passenger. A big “congratulations” goes out to James for two major life milestones late 2013 with not only earning his racing license, but also getting married! Congratulations James!
Next up for Team Life’s Good Racing!TMwill be another round of competition at Sonoma Raceway the weekend of March 15 & 16 with #96 in Super Unlimited (SU), #10 Mitsubishi in ST3, with Mario Lento seeing his first competition in the AWD rocket ship, and the return of the #69 Camaro to Time Trials.
Finally, a great big THANKS to all of our partners who assist us to achieve such great performance, including HAWK Performance, which gives us the best brake pads and rotors in the business; Competition Clutch (CCI), providing us with the ability to put that brutish power to the pavement; Dublin Big O Tires, who handle all of our tire needs with exacting perfection; WORKS Motorsports, masters of dyno-tuning and so much more when it comes to squeezing every ounce of performance out of your ride; Supertech, manufactures of high quality engine components; and Red Line fluids, producers of nothing but the best in the business.
As always, we enjoy having visitors at the track and encourage you to come out and see up close and personal what this is all about. Like our Facebook page, come out, and get a Team Hat!
See You at the Races!