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September 26, 2013

What a weekend in Sonoma! … And the 69 Camaro gets a new Heart

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The Life’s Good Racing!TM team was out in full force at Sonoma Raceway for the very hot FIA WTCC weekend.  In addition to running three cars in USTCC, (M3 & Lancer in USTCC Touring Car, and #96 Camaro in USTCC-GT) we had the entire team in attendance supporting the three cars and the throngs of fans that paraded through our pits all three days.  To say the weekend was eventful is an understatement as events both on and off the track had all of us hopping.  In the end, it was a great event with a very strong showing for Life’s Good Racing!TM in front of the very large crowd in attendance for this banner event.  See our Facebook page for so many fan pictures.

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The weekend started eventfully on Friday with some fueling issues with the #96 Camaro, necessitating removing the fuel cell which was no small feat.  What appeared at first to be a failed high pressure fuel pump was found to be a burnt wire.  I was not able to go out in Friday’s qualifying for Saturday’s race, however, and thus started Saturday at the back of the field.

In that race I was able to make my way up to 5th in class and thus salvage a good start to the weekend among what was nothing short of chaos as a car oiled the track from Turn 2 through Turn 4, which meant for some – how shall we say – excitement?!?  I was pleased with Saturday’s outcome and even more excited for Sunday’s race.
Dave Brown, driving the #12 BMW M3, took pole for Saturday’s race with a blistering lap during Friday’s qualifying session.  He started from pole but was not able to hold the lead given the 200 pound “reward weight” he was carrying from his previous success which had him tied for the Seasons Points lead going into the race.  He was able to take a second and keep P2 in overall points.

clip_image007_0008 Unfortunately for John Klusendorf, he hit the wall coming out of Turn 11 during Friday’s practice while running very well and broke some suspension parts on the driver’s side front which terminated his day.  The team worked around the clock and was successful in getting him out for Saturday’s race, however unknown at the time the damage was much more severe and required another team “all-nighter” to replace the clutch.  Heroics prevailed and John was sent out for Sunday’s big race.  Special thanks for these herculean efforts go to Chris Hovey, Chris Carstens, Eric VanZandt, Gary Minnich and James Gouveia.
clip_image009_0006Sunday’s race was even more eventful than Saturday’s Turn 2 – through – Turn 4 “oiling” as a GT car starting up front with me blew its motor and oiled the track from the start-finish line all the way through the Carousel!  This resulted in all cars being sent into the hot pits for an extended period, followed by many slow caution laps under double-yellow flags.  When the green flag finally dropped, every driver was more than anxious to run and the battles were intense.  I was able to muster a 4th place finish in class and was more than happy with this result.

Dave Brown’s luck in the M3 wasn’t quite as good in Sunday’s race as he had a rear suspension component give way early in the race during (luckily) slow laps.  He was not able to continue and came in early.
John was finally able to run a complete race and did fantastically, placing fourth in class a driving a hard-fought race.
Season points standings are as follows after Sonoma’s event with just two race weekends remaining in USTCC, October 12-13 at Buttonwillow Raceway and November 9-10 at Sonoma Raceway:

USTCC – Touring Car Class  USTCC – GT Class
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I would be remiss at not mentioning all the special support we received from countless members of the Life’s Good Racing!TM team, including the Umbrella Girls and our shirt and hat sales team.  We were well staffed, fielded significant attention from the public, and had a great time.   Thank you all!

What’s Next????  Sonoma this weekend where we will – hopefully – be debuting the 1969 Camaro with the new powerplant.  Here’s a picture from yesterday (Wednesday).  There’s still lots to do, however Chris Hovey is all over it and determined to have us out there!

We’ll also be running the 2012 Camaro this weekend in Super Unlimited as well.  As always, you are welcome to come out and join us!

Special thanks go out to the extended Life’s Good Racing!TM team, both in attendance and also to those who were not able to make the race.  Also, without the support of our sponsors, we would not be in the position to field such a strong showing as we do.  The most significant of our sponsors include: HAWK Performance, Competition Clutch, WORKS Motorsports, San Rafael Mitsubishi, Big O Dublin, Supertech, Red Line, Koenig and AIP.

See you at the races!

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