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August 28, 2015

YES! USTCC Laguna Seca!!!

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….from the Driver’s Seat

Update: Aug 27, 2015

….. Laguna Seca was VERY Good to Us!

Team Life’s Good Racing!TM  knocked this one out of the park!

We descended upon Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca in Monterey, California Friday July 31 for a three day weekend of competition in both the United States Touring Car Championships (USTCC), Rounds #3 and #4, and in the National Auto Sport Association, (NASA) West Coast Championships, specifically Time Trials Unlimited.  We brought with us four cars, five drivers, a team and staff too large to list for this banner event, AND the LGR Girls!  The results were stellar

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The lineup for this weekend in Touring Car Class saw Beau Borders in the #12 M3 going into this double-points race weekend leading the points and feeling confident that he’d continue to fare well.  Michael Whelden, coming off a win in the previous competition in June at Miller Motorsports Park, knew that he had the secret weapon for this track in the AWD and severely hooked-up #10 Mitsubishi.  Justin Crickenberger, partnered with Karl Chicca and 3rd in points as a team driving the #11 M3, drew the straw for the weekend and promised to be fast given his prior experience in the car two months earlier.  In GT Class, Dave Brown who is partnered with Karl in the #96 Camaro and currently 4th in points, was given the nod to wheel that beast for the weekend.

Fridays format was a combination of warmup and qualifying for the USTCC Saturday race and saw the Life’s Good Racing!TM  drivers produce somevery good times, resulting in favorable grid positions for Saturday’s points race.  Michael Whelden qualified P2 with Beau Borders in P3 and Justin Crickenberger in P5. Interestingly, the top 9 qualifiers in Touring Car class qualified within 1.6 seconds of each other!  In GT Class, Dave Brown slotted into P2.

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When it came to the Saturday race, Michael Whelden got himself into an unfortunate issue with the #10 Mitsubishi during warm-ups and was moved to a backup car and was moved to the rear of the field for Saturday’s race.  Therefore, the field shuffled accordingly with both Beau and Justin moving up a spot.

The races started and ended with drama.  At the drop of the green flag, a GT class car stalled at the start, resulting in a full-course Yellow and, ultimately, a restart of the race.  And, the checkered flag was thrown early when a Mustang racing in another class blew up coming out of the world renowned Corkscrew and oiled down the track so badly that a large number of cars ended up skidding into the gravel on either side of the track when they hit the slick patch.  One of those cars was our #96 Camaro (badged as #99 because of another #96 in the field) and it caused Dave to spin off track losing one finishing position, and luckily, not causing any damage to the car.

In spite of all the mishaps, Beau Borders collected a 2nd and Justin Crickenberger took a 3rd in Touring Car and Dave Brown finished 3rd in GT. Also, although he was moved to the back of the grid, Michael Whelden made a heroic effort and placed 5th after working his way through a very tight and competitive field. It was a very good showing for Team Life’s Good Racing!TM  !  Also running that day in the #96 Camaro, Karl Chicca was in 3rd in the NASA Time Trials Unlimited Class after three sessions on track in this ultra competitive class.

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Sunday’s race was run without any issues.  The qualifying session forSunday’s race occurred on Saturday and resulted with Beau starting in the #12 M3 in P2, Justin in the #11 M3 in P4 and Michael Whelden again being moved back to the rear of the pack because of his requiring the backup car.  Dave Brown started in P2 in GT class.

The race was long and exciting with very few mishaps and some fantastic door-to-door racing at this picturesque course.  When the checkered flag was waved, Michael Whelden had accomplished the impossible and had worked his way through the field from the absolute back of the pack into FIRST PLACE for his second win in three races!  Beau Borders had collected his second podium of the weekend with another 2nd place, and Justin Crickenberger had taken a solid fourth place.  And, in GT class, Dave Brown had held off an aggressive charge fromthe third place finisher throughout the majority of the race to take a second place in this very fast and exotic class.  This proved to be yet another great weekend for the Team.  In NASA Time Trials Unlimited competition, Karl Chicca ended up in an overall 4th place after the weekend’s sessions were complete.

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The weekend was notable on many levels.  First, the team amassed six podiums and one win.  It was also recognized as the Cobra Electronics Top Team for both Saturday’s and Sunday’s performances, having achieved the aggregate highest performance on the track.  And, perhaps most importantly,the weekend’s performance catapulted the three Life’s Good Racing!TM  Touring Car drivers to the top three positions in Season Points!!!

Season Points TC

The Laguna Seca race weekend results and the 2015 Season results to date are testimonial to the incredible driving skills of each of the team drivers, in addition to the tremendous prep work and at-track support provided by the team’s particularly from our partners.  Most notable among those supporters:

HAWK Performance, provides us with the braking confidence so that we can push our cars deep into turns at the highest rates of speed and be able to slow with confidence to make the turns.

Competition Clutch (CCI) gives us the opportunity to transmit all the power our engines make directly and flawlessly to our drive-trains with the highest performing and most reliable clutches on the market.

Sparta Evolution is the manufacturer of the big brake kits on both the #12 M3 and the #11 M3, first and second in mid-season points, and produces an over-the-top and beyond amazing easy-to-bolt-in kit that allow these two rocket ships to out-brake the competition turn after turn reliably and with zero fade

Dublin Big O Tires, provides the most competitive tire prices and best mount and balance service in the SF Bay Area.

San Rafael Mitsubishi, is a local Mitsubishi dealer offering the best service and support of any such dealer in the area.

The team and it’s drivers are very well positioned for the next stop on the 2015 Tour, which will be in the wine country at Sonoma Raceway the weekend of Sept 26 and 27. We consider this to be our home track and, as such, we believe we have a competitive advantage.  We hope to see you there cheering us on.  If you make it, please visit us in the pits, meet the drivers, team, and crew.

See you at the races…. in wine country!

Karl Chicca, Livermore, CA

 

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