The last NASA ST4 race of the year and it was a weird one
Also, there was a new car, racing in a new class for EDGE
This event had a different feel to it with an Enduro taking up most of Saturday. Consequently, we didn’t arrive until early Saturday morning.
A new and crazy addition to EDGE for this event was a Spec E30 that belongs to a very old and good friend who had been away from racing for almost a decade. After seeing him at COTA, where we were supporting a customer at the Trans-am TA 2 National Championships, he asked us to prepare and race his old Spec E30. We only had a week to retrieve the car from Bakersfield, where it sat dormant for the last 2 years, prepare it for the Thunderhill race, and get the annual tech and logbook completed.
Saturday Time Trials
The first session out for the Spec e30 in TT went well. We were able to turn a 2:07 lap on used tires from 2018, which seemed okay for a car that had sat for 2 years. Not to mention that Tony had not driven a Spec E30 in anger for almost 10 years :-)
After that first TT session, the E30 came into the paddock smoking, as years of dust and debris burnt off. We liked the smoking beast vibe! After checking everything out, we confirmed that the car was safe and ready to race on Sunday; the race was on!
Saturday wrapped up with some good lap times for our other cars in TT. We won TT3 and TT4 with the Green car (#38), Red car (#37), and Yellow car (#32) all turning quick laps in the cool November air.
Saturday BBQ. Yes, BBQ
The best part of the day was the NASA BBQ, which has been missing from the Sonoma events. It’s a shame Sonoma Raceway won’t let us have the BBQ because it really makes everything so much better. To be able to relax, share good food and drink, and share the day’s happenings with the Team and extended EDGE Family is priceless.
The Fog had been an issue all weekend. It came in hard on Saturday night and wouldn’t burn off until 11 am.
Soon after the burn-off, qualifying for Spec E30 was up. Tony worked hard to familiarize himself with the car he hadn’t driven in 10 years while trying to get a reasonable spot on the grid. He ended up taking P2, about 1/10th off of P1, and still on the used tires. Tony felt a lot more confident in the car and the grid spot was fine considering there was going to be new rubber for the race.
In ST4, Shaun Webster, in the #38, out-qualified Eric Moore in #37 for an EDGE front-row lockout. Our other EDGE car, #32, with John Friesen driving, qualified 5th.
Spec E30 Race 1
With the race day compressed by the fog, Race 1 followed qualifying so quickly that we had to hustle to install the new tires and get the car fueled up. Spec E30 races are always exciting with a standing start, which Tony is not very familiar with. Thankfully, he was able to get a clean getaway and by turn 1 was in the lead.
And that was pretty much the race. The new tires were so much better and Tony was able to gap the field by a few seconds which he was able to manage for the entire race. His fast lap was a 2:05.8 which was great although another competitor was able to do a 2:05.6 and grabbed fastest lap 😡. No fastest lap for EDGE but we still won.
Spec E30 Race 2
For the second race, we put Matt Powers in the car. Like Tony, Spec E30 isn’t something that Matt has done much of so he used a quick TT session right before the race to get acclimated. Starting in 1st because of Tony’s win in Race #1, Matt was able to also gap the field from the start and win by a margin of 3+ seconds after a late-race full-course yellow.
We think it was a better-than-expected reintroduction to racing for this old warhorse: out of the trailer after 2 years, some maintenance, and 2 wins. Look for an EDGE Spec E30 next year. It may be in Northern California or Texas, we’re not sure yet.
ST4 Race 1
With a great start, Shaun in #38 was able to get out to a good lead in the ST4 race with Eric Moore in #37 behind. Although Shaun was having a great race and probably would have won, there were team orders as the race neared its end. Let Eric by!
The #37 E36 was close to the season championship and we wanted to do whatever we could to improve any remote chance that we could improve the result. Never mind that the calculation was flawed - the #38 was actually higher in points considering drops and non-team drivers in #37. There was no way that the #37 could move up in the standings, but a late-night, whiskey-fueled plan had been hatched and it was time to execute.
Shaun let Eric by, without Eric actually being aware of said plan. Eric refusing to take the gift, started to slow so Shaun could have the spot back. An intriguing game of Cat and Mouse ensued with both of them continuing to slow so the other could win…WTF!!! We radioed Eric ASAP to share the team orders so he would speed the @#$% up :)) and take P1. They finished 1-2 with John Friesen in the #32 EDGE car taking a strong 4th place.
Somewhere in all the shenanigans, Shaun set the new Thunderhill ST4 lap record with a 1:53.4.
The pass under team orders because of Pirate Math
ST4 Race 2
Kevin Moore was driving #37 in P1 and Tony was P2 in #38 for race 2. Tony got a great start and quickly made a pass on Kevin around the outside of turn 1. With the lead into turn 2, Tony started to drive away from the pack and had a relatively easy race from that point.
With team orders still in effect, Tony was keeping his eye on the #37 car to ensure a double win on double-points day (NASA awards double points for the last race of the year). Unfortunately, Kevin was squeezed at the exit of T2 and dropped down to 4th after 2 cars got around him. Fortunately, he was able to fight back up to 2nd place and team orders were executed. We finished with Kevin 1st, Tony in 2nd, and John in 4th again. Consistency!!
We were hoping for the season championship but the #37 car fell just short of Jason Beacham who took the regional championship. Congratulations Jason!
Sunday Time Trials
All 4 EDGE cars competed and we won TT3 and TT4.
At the end of the weekend, Kevin and Eric finished 2nd in the season championship because they missed a few local NASA events where the substitute drivers weren’t officially part of the #37 team. Also, the EDGE team raced (successfully) in Utah instead of racing a NASA event at Thunderhill earlier in the year.
BTW, one of those substitute driver races happened because the Moores attended Eric’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor; Family before racing.
Regardless of season championship placing, fog delays, and pirate math, it was an exciting and fun end-of-season event with great results for an amazing team. We’re always grateful for the incredible Family we have at the track and the memories we create together.
#edgefamily #nasaspece30 #thunderhill
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