Grids set for championship Sunday
SONOMA, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2014) – The National Auto Sport Association’s (NASA) ninth annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Western States Championships set the grids for Sunday’s final races at Sonoma Raceway.
The 250+ racers were spoiled with perfect 80-degree temperatures for a second day of qualifying races at the NASA Western Championships. The Spec Miata competitors took to the 2.52-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway circuit for their second qualifying race this morning. Mark Drennan in his No. 10 Mazda Miata was once again the class of the field.
“At the beginning Kyle (Loustenau) had a good start and we were side-by-side up into Turn One,” Drennan said. “I started to build a gap and then I missed a shift exiting Turn 11 from second to third and the next thing I know we are in a drag race up to Turn Two. I was able to keep the lead. I was able to build up another gap as I think his tires were going off. No changes for the race tomorrow, just keep doing the same thing – winning.”
The 944 Spec Class set their field for the championship races on Sunday. Saturday’s winner, Jim Foxx had to look at the back of the 908 of Charles Buzzetti for a few laps before he took to the outside line into Turn Two and completed the pass for his second qualifying race win.
“It was another good run” Foxx said. “Charlie (Buzzetti) is good competition all of the time. We had a nice battle going early on in the race. My car is really good through the fast stuff like Turn One and the esses. The only changes for tomorrow will be to rotate the tires.”
The ST1-3 race took the green with Craig Ames, No. 373 Porsche GT3 and Cindi Lux in her No. 5 Dodge Viper locked in battle for the win.
“I had a good run this morning,” Ames said. “There was a lot of grip in the track. I had some pressure from Cindi Lux in her Viper. She is a pretty amazing driver. I am fortunate to be out there with her. I just try not to look in my mirrors too much. The car is running really well, no changes for tomorrow.”
One of the largest fields of the weekend took to the track just before noon. The Spec E30 Class, some 30+ cars, had a great battle for their final qualifying race. Continuing where he left off yesterday, Michael Shawhan drove his blue No. 2 Spec E30 BMW 325 to a second qualifying class win in as many days.
“The race went really well,” Shawhan said. “It looks like Larry Fraser has his car working really well, so I think that tomorrow should be a good battle. I might do some BTM Motorwerks tuning on the car. I will also work with the sway bars a little to get it turning in just a little better for tomorrow.”
The GTS field was headed by Matthew Powers in his No. 46 BMW M3.
“It was a little bit of a challenge,” Powers said. “We lost some power halfway through the race. It was fun to race with Michael (McAleenan). He’s a great driver. We need to fix our engine issue for tomorrow and then just keep doing what we are doing. The car is handling great. We are pretty confident. We just need to stay consistent.”
In HPD Challenge 1 Andrew Ogilvie took his weekend win streak to two with a dominating win in his No. 876 Honda Civic.
“It was another good run,” Ogilvie said. “We are going to do our fluid changes for tomorrow and get the car ready. I am also going to get my mind ready. I will look at some video from today, relax and be ready to go for it tomorrow for the championship.”
Jeremy Croiset added a second qualifying race win to his weekend stats in his No. 25 Honda CRX in HPD Challenge 2.
“We made a couple of set-up changes to the car,” Croiset said. “We also adjusted our Toyo tires a little and that helped make the car consistent from the beginning to the end. Getting the hole shot at the start helped. I tried to get a gap and maintain it to Ryan (Flaherty) and Ken (Adelberg). I was able to get a couple second lead, which also helped me to manage the GTS traffic. It was a good run. All set for tomorrow.”
In PTB, Ricky Johnson won today’s qualifier in his No. 00 Mini.
“I was saving the car for the championship race tomorrow,” Johnson said. “I was short shifting the car and keeping it on the track all race. It’s a Mini Cooper, a go-kart on steroids so it handles great. The Hoosier tires are working great and we are ready for the big race tomorrow.”
Pole position starters for Sunday’s National Auto Sport Association’s (NASA) ninth annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Western States Championships:
Spec Miata, Mark Drennan, No. 10 Mazda Miata
944 Spec, James Foxx, No. 16 Porsche 944
Super Unlimited, Jon van Caneghem, No. 7 DPO2
American Iron, Ryan Walton, No. 32 Ford Mustang
ST1, Craig Ames, No. 373 Porsche
ST3, Michael McAleenan, No. 3 BMW M3
Spec E30, Michael Shawhan, No. 2 BMW 325
HPD Challenge 1, Andrew Ogilvie, No. 876 Honda Civic
HPD Challenge 2, Jeremy Croiset, No. 25 Honda CRX
GTS 1, Sylas Montgomery, No. 71 BMW
GTS 2, Tristan Littlehale, No. 54 BMW M3
GTS 3, Andrew Morton, No. 0 BMW 325
GTS4, Andrew Powers, No. 46 BMW M3
PTB, Ricky Johnson, No. 00 Mini
PTD, Eric Powell, No. 74 Mazda Miata
PTE, Randy Evans, No. 64 Mazda Miata
Complete information on the NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires can be viewed at nasachamps.wpengine.com.
The Sonoma Raceway event page can be viewed at:
Live timing from the NASA Championships from Sonoma Raceway can be viewed at:
The NASA Championships media guide can viewed at:
Sonoma Raceway is a 2.52-mile, 12-turn undulating road course located at the gateway to California’s wine country. The challenging road course used by NASCAR and IndyCar is sure to provide exciting racing throughout the championships weekend.
For additional information, please contact NASA Championships Media Director, Kyle Chura at [email protected] or (248) 821-0468. More detail can be found at nasaproracing.com or nasachamps.wpengine.com.
To qualify for the NASA National Championships presented by Toyo Tires, NASA competitors must compete in and score points in four regional races around the country, five for the Western States Championships. The 2014 National Championship presented by Toyo Tires Eastern weekend will feature over 300 competitors racing for the NASA National Champion trophy in 36 racing classes and nine Time Trial divisions around the famed Road Atlanta circuit home to Petit Le Mans.