2021 Rounds 3 and 4 Wrap Up by Colleena McHughby

By: Cameron Drudge on 03/24/2023

A party-like atmosphere permeated the grid today. Steve Mclaughlin designed a great, fun track that threw lots of challenging elements at everyone! From a free-for-all flying start, there was almost a 90 degree right hander as soon as you popped up on the concrete pad. A huge sweeper led to an angled, long slalom across the pad, right to a couple of eyebrows, then a hard right to a short straight interrupted by “Winky Dinks” or “Dinky Winky” cones and a right-hand sweeper to the finish Tunnel. 60 racers got five laps around Steve’s exciting course, partly because it was so fast and easy to read and remember. There were only eleven DNF’s all day!

Cameron Drudge did not hold back on his first lap, his STI had good acceleration in the short straight, and he hit third gear in the finish chute! Confident into the course, he kept good speed through the sweeper on lap two, for a slight improvement, but on lap three, it looked like he blew it. On the contrary, he whipped around every turn, barely hanging on after the sweeper and, after going wide into the chute, he finished with a 34.1 for 1st in TSM and 8th overall.

Father/son team Chris & Christian Kannan once again brought out their zippy little Miata to challenge each other for the ES win. Dad forced the sports car, “Inspired by classic roadsters of the 1960’s” to lean into the turns, hopping at least one rear wheel around every corner. On his third lap, he took first in PAX and that wasn’t even his fastest lap! Of course, that was before the Death Match guys had their shot and Chris’ PAX rating fell to 9th when they did, but he was up there for a while!!! Son, Christian, was careful on his first lap, then he went too deep after the slalom, like many did. Chris’ fastest lap was smooth, he carried good speed into the chute, bringing it down to a 35.9 1st, while Christian’s 37.3 took 2nd.

Jason Lewis started out, like many, with his Civic R racing through the slalom and coming out of the small sweeper with a big push into the eyebrows. But he missed the first cone for one of the rare DNF’s. Second lap wheel-hop looked like fun, but the gigantic winged, grey shark looked like it was trying to gobble up the whole course! It pushed him into the chute, swam too deep after the slalom and the sweeper, and even hit a cone into the chute (it was laying down), but his time was in the top twelve overall! In the meantime, co-driver Tori Speicher was taming the beast, turning in some decent times of her own, and she kept it off the cones!! On lap three, Jason got tidy after the slalom (almost tagged the same cone), and slowed a bit, then good speed in straight and at the exit, awarded him with a 34.6 for 1st in XSA. Tori swung in for 2nd with a last lap 36.1.

I’m always watching Travis Hisken in his Tesla 3, because, as a muscle car junkie, I just can’t get past the silence! At least the tires squeal so you know he’s out there! Earning the “Best Wheel Bling'' today, Travis treated his winning SS car to a Plasti Dip, chrome delete, but instead of using a black out treatment, he used white!!! So sleek and surprising and to top it off, he dipped the lug nut covers in blue!! Every lap, he was so close to the eyebrows, it seemed the new wheel treatment was cone repellant, but on lap three, he was just too fast into the course, and he tagged one. I wasn’t the only one watching! I looked around and he had his own cheering section, his uncle Curtis and cousin Meyer came out for Travis’s birthday! Not new to racing, his grandfather, Andrew, on his mom’s side, had a Cobra and a Ferrari. His grandfather, Rod, has 100 tractors and they organize tractor square dancing (just like Mater's Square Dance at Disneyland) and his dad, Roger, autocrossed an MGB in ‘68! Travis scored 1st in SS with a 35.1.

I love BMW’s and Kelly Martensen brought out a 325i whose middle name is Lean! He managed to keep his speed up like he was in a Miata and a 36.9 claimed 1st in GS.

Ed Reichley was in a Miata when he came flying up the hill. He looked awfully busy in the ****pit as the car got sideways everywhere! The Mighty Miata was wiggly as Ed steered with the throttle, almost losing it at every turn and every lap getting faster! A wheel lock-up into the sweeper, sideways into the chute and pounding the Revlimiter at every exit is what it took to win 1st in TSSM (33. and 3rd overall. As Patricia and Nate Berlant fought over 3rd, Nate found the pavement transition in the back sweeper troublesome. He felt the Z06’s rotation at the pavement change, but he ignored it, as he was trying to better a good first lap. Oversteer, a lift in the exit chute and a cone into the sweeper gave Trish an opening, but that first lap 35.7 stood for 2nd. Trish took her time and worked it down after the Corvette’s rear stepped out on lap one. After that, good, smooth car transitions and speed in the sweeper helped her turn a lap in 38.2 seconds for 3rd.

Steve Mclaughlin was so confident today, he took a passenger, and, out of the whole entry list, only competitor Roger Petch beat him that lap!!! With huge acceleration before the start, it didn’t look like Steve would manage to slow the 350z down to make the right hander, but deft braking kept him on track. He was the first in the new Death Match class to hit a 33, and a 33.1 took 1st in Class, 1st in PAX and 1st overall. Roger Petch’s Mustang flew onto the course, and everyone was thinking, “There’s no way he made that first cone!” But watching carefully, you could see he just barely touched it, then tucked it in at the last second without penalty. Then he pushed out of the sweeper and clobbered two! He got 2nd in PAX from Aaron with a 34.0 second lap, taking 2nd in class and 5th overall as well. Aaron Renner wasn’t giving up easily, he hung the rear end of his Trollrolla out everywhere, “I’ve got to keep the aggression but get rid of the Slidey”. Keeping the slip to a minimum, a slight slip at the exit of the sweeper caused him to tag a pointer cone in the chute for one of the rare DNF’s. On his fourth run, even crossed up in the slalom, he finished with a 3rd in DM, 3rd in PAX, 7th overall (34.2)! Oh, and keeping with the party theme, he had sparkle numbers! I know Boris Vujasinovic walked the course, but he threw his GTO so fast onto the pad, there was no way he could slow down for the practically 90-degree right hander! He tagged cones on three laps in that turn, by having too much fun at the entry! Run three was almost perfect and ended with a 34.1, 4th in class, 4th in PAX and 6th overall. Kevin Weiss is used to winning everything, all the time, but he’s got his work cut out for him in the Death Match class!!! He’s got some real competition now, and the new class is proving to be very entertaining for spectators!! His Blue Beast went too hot into the course on lap 3, pushed and aimed right at a cone, and he squiggled out of it, but it cost him a bit of time. His last lap looked slow, but he was perfect everywhere and crossed the finish line in 33.1 seconds for 5th in class, 5th in PAX and 2nd O/A. You could see Maggie Elorza muscling her BMW around like she was Arnold Schwarzenegger! She turned all clean laps, took 6th in class and 7th in PAX with a 35.1. Bryce Redinger is always fluid in his Corvette, which he is quick to point out isn't a Z06. His Hoosiers did a nice job keeping him tight in the slalom and when he turned his second lap 33.9, he had the top time of day! Trying to best that, he hung the rear of the Vette out at the exit of everything but earned a 7th in class and 4th overall lap two! Nick Johnson’s first two laps looked very precise, but lap three was another story. The TowRolla’s rear did a huge swing-out into the chute (he almost didn’t make it), got sideways into the small sweeper, then, got sideways back into the chute, taking many cones with him (3). A last lap 36.9 put him in 8th, rounding out the Death Match class!!!

 Arreygue’ Corvette was very well behaved, until the rear end got a little happy in the slalom and tagged a cone! A push in the small sweeper was fun to watch, as Anthony kept the car off all of the other cones, and a fourth lap 36.5 took 1st in BSP.

Bob Williamson took the AS class in another Corvette, even though the rear end snuck out at the entrance to the slalom, sweeper, and chute! On lap five, a great transition from the sweeper to the finish chute ended in a 37.0 for 1st.

TFSP’s Sean Sullivan did not go easy on his Jetta TDI, from the lean into the eyebrows, to the hard charging, rear wheel-up in every turn! Not only was the diesel’s wheel up, while it’s up, it stops rolling and skims over the cone lips!! Steady and strong in the sweeper, Sean swept across the finish lights in 37.6 for 1st.

Jess Clark fought his Scion FRS just a bit when it got extremely wide in the small sweeper (his head was looking right, but the car was going left)! The rear came out with each supercharger engagement, and he got sideways in the chute, but he recovered nicely to finish 3rd in STU, with a 36.0. Denis Savelyev played his Lancer Evo with excellent throttle-feather, keeping the car snuggled-up in the eyebrows, and keeping valuable speed at the finish, but lap four was a perfect lap! A frisky 34.3 won 1st in class and 9th overall. Michael Ufford dominated Steve’s course in his 230i, and all clean laps led to 2nd place and a 36.3.

Anthony Ta’s newish Mustang got tail-happy into the sweeper, tried to loop out of slalom, managed a bit of acceleration between the eyebrows and hit the rev limiter on his fifth run! The Muscle Car Growel explained his screaming fast finish, and 1st in DS was his (35.9).

Michael and Roxanne Fertitta are once again sharing their Mini and fighting over DSP fame! Michael rushed way too hot into the pad but snuck between the cones at the 90 degreer because the car is so small! He was so fast out of the slalom, I didn’t think he’d make the small sweeper, he did, and it was fun to watch the car hanging on! A third lap 35.2 for 1st while Roxanne followed in 2nd with a 36.4.

Father/Son team Ronald and Andrew Kauble also shared a car to test their winning mettle. Ronald hit the Corvettes Revlimiter at the finish every lap, while Andrew got it completely sideways on his first lap! Andrew recovered and on lap two, turned in a 35.3 for 1st in BS and 10th in PAX. Ronald settled into 2nd with a 36.6. Andrew’s mother, Katherine and Grandmother, Beverly also brought out a car to share, just to see what all the fuss was about!! Andrew explains, “They were just looking to have fun. They enjoy racing but have never tried anything like track or autocross. My grandpa may join in as well. They all live in the area.” My Dad is getting licensed in a ‘70s front engine dragster that my grandfather owns. Drag racing is something my grandfather has been doing for years and still does. My Dad was heavy into motocross in the mid-late eighties and even raced in the local pro leagues within the last 5 years. My Grandma and grandpa Kauble is where my corvette came from. They love corvettes and have another yellow one with extremely low miles, sitting at home. The yellow one may make it out to an event if I can convince them to bring it instead of the Sonic someday. My grandpa, on my mom's side, was into racing drag boats. For quite a while, we had a flat bottom Sanger hull with a big Cadillac motor and V drive setup. Lots of fun, but boats are a lot of maintenance. They just came out because they thought it would be fun. My mom, dad, and grandmother all signed up with SCCA memberships and plan to attend more going forward. I am loving all of it and it’s been so much fun for me to have them there. My grandpa asked if I would give drag racing a try, so I’ll be doing that the second week in June in his Willys, with a bored and blown motor. I don’t think drag racing is really my thing, but we will see!”

Patrick Drudge’s beautiful, vintage Camaro is so fast, I had to make sure I didn’t blink when it went by or I'd miss it!!! It always sounds like it’s going to take off, I wish I could attach sounds to this column! It was such fun seeing it get sideways in the Winky Dinky straight, and it did not hurt him at all, as his third lap 34.4 collected 6th in PAX, 10th in O/A and 1st in CAMT. Logan Toles tried to keep up with Drudge in his Truck, which was tricky, as it was as long as one of the eyebrow elements!! Not only that, He had that truck so close to the cones, you couldn’t see daylight between them, how can he tell where they are? You could tell he was trying, the rear came out in the chute and he laid down rubber as the rear swept around the small sweeper! In the end, a nice 39.7 took 2nd.

Jennifer Kauble in another BMW gently guided her M240 past every obstacle today for a 1st in FS (37.3). Mark Skeem, in a Grey Mustang he has had for two weeks, started out reticent, then, the tail swung out left, then right, before he reigned it back in! His careful, first lap 39.5, dropped him into 2nd.

After a wild first lap (he got lost) Chris Rochefort, in a fun A4, turned a 36.7 for 1st in STH.

Four Novices joined us today from Vetmotorsports.org (an organization for former and active military, with a service-connected injury) to experience autocross!! Three men and a gal came out to see what it was all about, and it looked like they had a blast! All four kept our Solo Mentors busy, and, in the end, they all did very well. 23 other Novices showed up, and as usual, we were all very excited to see them. We had all kinds of new cars and all kinds of new drivers, and hopefully, we showed them all such a great time, they’ll be back!

James Moffatt in an exciting Exige, got things rolling by turning the fastest first Novice lap and he never looked back. His fluid driving style hid his speed, and the supercharger whine betrayed it! The Lotus pushed wide past the second eyebrow, had squirrley oversteer after the slalom and, although his third lap was fun to watch, it wasn’t terribly fast. His last lap 34.5 was almost a two second improvement over his first, and a 1st in Novice was his with all clean laps!! Zach Ferenz , in Cameron’s STI, pushed hard out of the small sweeper on his first lap, but kept it tidy on his last, collecting 2nd place (36.1). Erik Hertel came out in a beautiful, maroon Camaro, with an aptly positioned black racing stripe, to take his spot in the Novice top three! A push after the slalom on lap three collected a cone, but a agil lap four made up for it. That lap was so sleek and quiet, it looked like he was standing still, but the loud growl at the finish explained that he was not! A fourth lap 35.2 grabbed 3rd. Just a few tenths away, Mike Huml, in a stunning Cayman, swung the rear end around into the straight and just kept sliding toward all the left cones in the chute! The Porsche also did a little squiggle into the chute on lap four but got away with a 35.6 for 4th. Rowell Mascardo, in a Civic that looks more like a kids toy than a car, flew hot into course, slid onto pad, killed a Cone in the slalom, and, after all of that, took 5th on his last lap with a 36.6. Skip Bry has been taking full advantage of our Mentor Program (we paired him with Boris!) and his lap times have fallen as a result. Flying around Steve’s course in his 911, the Porsche displayed pure power in the straight and a loud Revlimiter exposed an aggressive finish! 6th place was Skip’s with a speedy 37.6. Troy Gundle, in an older generation Civic, looked like he was having fun sliding the thing around! Without much weight in the back, the low, long, front wheel drive Honda, slid its rear end around the sweeper and eyebrows, but a strong, revlimiter pounding finish slid Troy into 7th (37.96). Cassidy Hebert, in a pretty, little Miata, did everything he could to catch up to Troy, but in the end, he was a tiny fraction of a second behind. Cassidy employed every skill he had, which was obvious by his aggressive throttle (keeping his speed up), precise rotation out of the small sweeper and zippy finish. His 37.99 grabbed 8th, just an eyelash behind Troy. Hayden Hauserman also brought out a Tesla and, again, you heard nothing but tires, tires, tires! You could hear a pin drop except for tire squeal, but a big skid into the chute got everyone’s attention! He got away coneless, with a 38.05 for 9th. Jose Hernandez Najera could be seen inside his WRX, forcing the rear to rotate around every corner. His effort was so intense, he hit the horn in the small sweeper and, on his next lap, overcame a huge push at the sweeper exit, to pick up 10th with a 38.07in another close finish! Mathew Mudd’s Focus looked quiet, calm, like it was ready for what was to come, but maybe not! You could hear Mudd pound the accelerator pedal hard into the chute, engaging the Ford’s wing for maximum performance, and clinching 11th with a 38.54. Talk about a gal and her bling!!! Tamala Gilliland had her Honda Civic gold glitter wrapped! One announcer argued it was, “Dijon mustard color,” but I saw 24 Carat, Glistening Gold! A tight fourth run 38.59 beamed Tamala into 12th. Eric Rush looked effortless in his snazzy, newer Miata, until he got sideways after the eyebrows and into the small sweeper! After that, he was careful and slowed a bit, but, when he saw Cameron’s fourth lap time, he got totally sideways on the pavement transition in the back trying to beat it! His third lap 39.393 stayed ahead in 13th. Cameron St Pierra threw his 325i right into the course, working the steering wheel hand over hand and seesawing from left to right. He finally hooked it up on his fourth lap and it looked like he was going to take Eric down. He finished a very close 39.394 for 14th. Dan Plinski brought out a beautiful, lively (0-60/2.4), convertible M240 and he just kept shifting! He shifted in between the eyebrows and since he had his foot to the floor at the finish lights, he shifted there, crossing in 39.4 seconds, putting Dan into 15th. Like many, Adam Holguin almost didn’t make the entry, so was too hot into the sweeper and his Miata got sideways in the slalom, which made everyone squeal. The car looked like it was having fun sliding here and there, but on his fourth lap, Adam highlighted a stunning entry into the eyebrows with a 39.9, 16th place finish. Emily Spaulding, in a very professional looking FRS, stayed in the 41’s for four laps until she’d had enough! The Scion’s supercharger made the car sound like a rocket ship and an improvement of over a second gave her 17th with a 40.3. Roman Mudd’s mastery in the chute and speedy finish, placed his Ford Focus ST in 18th (40.. William Medley’s Charger looks like a handful, tearing through the straight and skidding through the chute, with a 41.1 rewarding him a 19th. Adam Parent kept everyone's attention with energetic Mustang sounds and handling prowess. To everyone’s excitement, the rear came out into an eyebrow, but finesse with the throttle and good feathering saved it and a 41.44 swept him into the top 20. Luis De La O’s Corolla started out a bit rough, he slid onto pad, then cut in early and missed a cone, but an improvement of over seven seconds, effortless speed in the straight and a dramatic finish, snuck him into 21st with a 41.49. A blink slower, Robert Rinck’s crafty Corvette claimed 22nd (41.7). Katherine & Beverly Kauble (Andrew’s mom & grandmother) brought out their Chevy Sonic for another weekend of fun! Kat showed massive improvement, with wonderful lean and fantastic recovery when she got into trouble. She came in 23rd with a 42.95. Beverly showed great improvement and on a foot to the floor finish, on what looked like a perfect lap she rolled into 27th (66.5).

Wonderful fun was the real prize today, and another is due in a few weeks!!! See you all next month!!

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