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Make good choices.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back to Sonoma - AFM Round 6

Labor Day weekend brought us back to Sonoma Raceway for the second time in 2014 for round 6. The first time around at Sonoma, for round 2 I was a little apprehensive due to my lack of seat time on the course. This time around, after having a few races at Sonoma under my belt, I was a bit more confident. Plus, I was carrying with me my new found skills acquired from my day with Rickdiculous Racing and excited to apply them at a different track. At Round 2 my best finish was an illegitimate 2nd (I consider it illegitimate because the race was stopped early and I had been overtaken in between crossing the line and getting the black flag) and my best lap was 1:48.927. My goal for this weekend was to improve on both counts.

Saturday Race 1, Clubman Middleweight

Business as usual here. If you have been following my race reports this season, you already know how Clubman Middleweight usually goes. Tom Kuchno (#898) and Stephan Anatiychuk (#380) pull away and fight for the win. The rest of us fight amongst ourselves for the last spot on the podium.
I came through turn 2 in 4th looking at the back of Tom, Stephen, and Joe Brown (#822). I managed to get around Joe fairly early in the race, on lap 2. From there the plan is to keep Joe behind me, while keeping the gap up to Stephan and Tom as small as I can. Mission accomplished, I crossed the line in 3rd after 8 laps. With a best lap of 1:49.057 my progress towards the weekend’s goal was 0 of 2. But I got another plastic trophy, so it wasn't all bad.

Sunday Race 6, Novice Formula 1

As usual Joe got a killer start and grabbed the holeshot. I got a better start than normal and found myself side by side with Stephan up the hill. We lunged towards turn 2 still in sync, two abreast. He lost a little momentum being forced to stay on the tight inside line and I out drove him down towards turn 3. I led hip up the hill through turn 3a and back down through the Carousel. But he wouldn’t waste any time hanging around back in 4th place; I was just a nuisance standing in the way of the front of the pack. He came blasting out of the Carousel and motored back by me up the drag strip towards turn 7. Joe wasted no time and had parlayed his holeshot into an impressive little gap off the front. All I could do was watch as Stephen shot off to go chase him down, passing Tom to take over 2nd and reeling in and passing Joe a couple laps after that. Tom too would bridge the gap to Joe and overtake. Then it was my turn. Except...there was no reeling in and no passing. I couldn’t catch Joe and crossed the line in 4th. No improvement on position but the good news is I set a new personal best lap at 1:48.172. Goal status: 1 of 2.

Sunday Race 11, Novice 600 Production

My finishes in this class have been steadily improving after running out of fuel and coasting across the line for 7th at round one. Since then I have two 3rds and a 2nd. The trend would continue this time out. I got an OK start from the front row, beating Ilya Roytman (#333) off the line but Max Sawicky (#842) out dragged me up the front straight. In turn 1 Max had some sort of brief issue; I think maybe he mis-shifted. I heard a pop from his exhaust and suddenly I was careening toward him. With nowhere to go I had to check up and follow him through the corner. Through turn 2 at the top of the hill it was Holeshot Joe Brown, to Max, to me. I found a way passed Max on lap 1 and followed Joe across the stripe for the first time. On lap 2 I made my way passed Joe on the brakes into turn 7. Then there was no looking back. I put my head down and clicked off 5 more solid laps building a gap with each one to eventually take the win by nearly 6 seconds.
Goal status: 2 of 2. I took home the winner’s trophy and broke out of the :48’s with a best lap of 1:47.269.

Sunday Race 13, Novice 750 Production

Despite missing round 5, I am still leading the points in this class, and coming off the win in 600p, I was feeling pretty good for this race.
Starting from pole position, I let everyone else on the front row get by me out of the hole and came through turn 1 in 4th. Doh. Luckily coming up the hill I was presented with a wide open door and took the opportunity making a move to pass both Ilya and Christian Diegelman (#937) at the same time into turn 2. I followed Joe up over turn 3a and back down through the Carousel before passing him on the brakes into turn 7 on lap 1. From there it was a repeat performance of 600p. Each time down the front straight I was getting the “no one behind you” pit signal until the last lap when I was shown the “ok, you can slow down” pit signal.
After 7 laps I was took the checkers 11.2 seconds clear of second place with my best lap of the weekend of 1:46.861.

It turned out to be a great weekend at Sears Point, where I once again exceeded my own expectations. Obviously I was pleased with my results, driving home with two 1st place trophies, and I was also pleased with my personal improvement over my first Sonoma race weekend. Stay tuned as we head into the last round of the 2014 AFM season back at Thunderhill.

Thanks as always to my supporters:
Woodcraft/Armour Bodies
Lockhart Phillips USA
Precision Trackdays & ARC Trackademics

Images by OXYmoron Photography.

Make good choices.
2,808 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That pic out on the rumble strip is awesome! Congrats on the success.
Thanks. Taking turn 1 as fast as I can, jumping over the curb on the exit and blasting up the hill is probably my favorite part about a lap at Sonoma.

Good shit bro! Are you racing this weekend? I was thinking of driving up to watch yall battle it out. Hope to see a good fight between Stephen and Tom as usual.
Yeah, I'll be there. The whole crew will be pitted near turn one. Come hang out and watch some racing.
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