Sonoma Raceway, USA

Sonoma Speed Festival
31 May – 2 June 2019

RACE REPORTS

Masters Endurance Legends USA – Race 1
This is an amazing group with many good drivers and cars. Kevin Buckler is here with his 2003 911 GT 3 RS he raced this car at Daytona in 2003 and won overall, beating out the entire field of cars. His very large trophy for that rare of feat is proudly displaced in his pit today. He qualified yesterday a respectable 6th of 11 entries.

Travis Engen is here with his 2005 Audi R8 LMP1, A stunning silver spaceship comes to mind. Steven Read’s beautiful (1989 Ferrari F40/LM) is actually setup for Silverstone but you’d never know it as Johannes van Overbeek drove it so beautifully in his Qualifying and positioned him at 7th. Johannes has spent the last year driving prototypes “all over the world.”

The afternoon 40-minute race including the mandatory pitstops of one minute stationary today, was won by Keith Frieser in his 2011 Oreca FLM09 with Spencer Trenery (2006 Daytona Prototype) coming in second and Travis Engen, who qualified 5th the day before, became third. Travis said “he has hopes of catching Keith in tomorrow’s race”, saying they have had fun dicing more than once on the Masters European circuits. Kevin Buckler, battling with the prototypes in his Porsche during the race, moved up one place, right behind James Hagan sharing his 2011 Oreca FLM09 with Chris Atkinson who finished in 4th place.

Tomorrow will be interesting.

Masters Endurance Legends USA – Race 2
This group of cars is racing the second 40-minute session today, a long time for vintage racing events as a rule, but, as these cars are built for long distance racing, they only compete for the longer hours sessions at Vintage Daytona or Vintage Sebring in the USA for instance.

It’s a treat for us to see them on the West Coast on the track and to hear these engines roar to life. With an open-paddock-spectators have the added value of seeing all the cars and drivers their pits up close.

On pole today was Keith Frieser in his 2011 ORECA FLM09, followed by Spencer Trenery in the Riley Daytona Prototype, and in fifth Travis Engen in the Audi R8 LMP1. Travis and Spencer traded places with James Hagan, who spun in the very beginning, in between and the results are Keith Frieser 1st, Travis Engen 2nd and Spencer 3rd.

Kevin Buckler followed in 4th which was a great result with the Porsche beating the Prototypes, then Johannes van Overbeek in the Ferrari F40/LM.

While the pit window was open Mark Mathis was unfortunate and had an incident on track which caused the safety car and a delay in releasing the pitting cars on the track again.

A great way to close out the Masters Historic Racing appearance in California with their Historic Formula One cars and these Endurance Legends type cars. Next stops – Road America in July and for the Monterey Car week at Laguna Seca in August.

Masters Historic Formula One USA – Race 1
It has been a clean quick start this morning for these very fast Masters Historic Formula One USA Cars. Here at Sonoma, many spectators may have never before seen these cars in action, illustrated by the visible gasps and cheers heard in appreciation, at the thrill of seeing these iconic cars zoom by.

James Hagan was unfortunate with a spin in the very beginning of the Carousel. He couldn’t start on his own again and caused a 3 laps safety car on track. The winner, Californian native Steve Romak (1985 Tyrrell 012-6), who qualified on pole, enjoyed the race with Gregory Thornton from the UK (1982 Lotus 91/5) challenging him the entire run.

Steve Romak: “Lots more fun when someone is in your mirrors the entire time.” Gregory said it was a fair fight, Steve never closed the door on him but he pledged to pass him tomorrow on Sunday, “it’s against the rules to pass on Saturdays.”
There were less than a couple of nano seconds between them.

Nick Colyvas drove well coming in third, the top three taking positions just as they had qualified. The next five drivers were all within a second of each other, so tomorrow’s race should be interesting as well.

Masters Historic Formula One USA – Race 2
Great weather for racing today, full California sunshine. The pre-grid lined up with Steve
Romak (1985 Tyrrell 112-6) on pole, he was the quickest all weekend in every session, followed by Gregory Thornton (1982 Lotus 91/5) and Nicolas Colyvas in his 1974 Tyrrell 007.

It was an interesting race, no one exactly ran away with it from the start. Gregory Thornton and Steve Romak had a very good battle which was won by Greg Thornton in the end placed 1st having started 3rd, a Steve Romak became 2nd and Nick Colyvas third.

Bud Moeller, a very fine driver with a few fastest laps at circuits, and very experienced at this track, came in fifth in his Ensign MN179 after Martin Lauber (1974 March 741) who had started 2nd.

You get the idea, there were enough position changes to keep the spectators’ rapt attention. Ron Maydon came in 7th having moved up a position, lots of changes from yesterday’s race.

Romak said “Thornton came close a critical corner and he had to let him pass”. Nick Colyvas said his goal was to pass Martin Lauber today! A nice compliment from Chris Locke for Ron Maydon, saying it’s great to be a part of his Masters Series on both sides of the Atlantic.

We look forward to seeing the cars and drivers at Mt. Tremblant in Canada and Road America next and then two weekends in August at Laguna Seca Raceway for the Monterey Car Week.