Right Coast Formula F Series presented by American Pen Company at the American Road Race of Champions Race Report
The final race weekend of the Right Coast Formula F Series (RCFFS) presented by American Pen Company took place at the fabulous Road Atlanta circuit in conjunction with the Atlanta Region of the SCCA American Road Race of Champions (ARRC) on November 1, 2, 3, and 4.
The Thursday (11/1/18) test day was somewhat inconclusive as it was dry for the first two sessions and then wet for the last two. The most noteworthy and unfortunate occurrence on Thursday was that Kevin Brumbaugh experienced a complete and utter failure of the differential (it pretty much exploded) and the gearbox is beyond repair. As an aside; this is the second such failure that we have seen this season as Mike Rand had a similar failure at Summit Point in August. Sadly, Kevin was just leaving the race track when we discovered that Phil Kingham had a spare Mark 9 in the trailer and was more than willing to let Kevin use it.
Friday morning qualifying was wet, but not pouring down rain. The FF/CFF cars were in Race Group 4 with the F5 cars. Andrew Dobbie was quickest overall in the Rice Race Prep Mygale Honda. Then Jeff DeLong in one of the F5 cars. Wayne Nicolette in his Lola T340 Ford CFF was third, Phil Kingham in his Zink Z-10 Ford CFF was fourth, Dave Harmison in the Royale RP21 Ford CFF was fifth overall. Craig Laprade was 6th in an F5, Bob Reid in his new Citation Honda FF was 7th, Dave Gernert in a K-Hill Mygale Honda was 8th. Then Mike Rand in his Crossle 30F Honda CFF 9th, Ryan Mayfield and George Bugg in F5’s were 10th and 11th. Angela Slocum was 12th in the other K-Hill Mygale Honda FF followed by George Fox’s F5 in 13th. Craig Walker was next in his Crossle 25F Ford, then Graham Early in a JPS livery Lotus 61 Ford CFF, Chris Smith in his RF97 VanDieman Honda FF, and finally Chris Forrer in his Tiga 78F Ford CFF.
The rain subsided, and Group 4 took to a dry, but pretty green racetrack Friday afternoon. Three F5’s led the charts followed by Andrew Dobbie, Sam Lockwood in a Spectrum Honda FF, and another F5 in 6th. Phil Kingham, Steve Brooks in the RF81 VanDieman Ford CFF, Wayne Nicolette, Dave Harmison, Bob Reid, Doug Fisher in his Zink Z-10 Ford CFF, Don Baggett in a Crossle 35F Ford CFF and Chris Forrer were 7th through 15th respectively. An F5 was 16th, then Sam Eyer in a Zink Z-10 Ford CFF, Dave Petzko in his Spectrum Honda FF, Dave Gernert, Steve Roux in his self-build Wyvern Honda FF and Tim Voth in his Swift DB-1 Honda were 17th through 21st respectively. An F5 was 22nd and then Angela Slocum, Graham Earley, Craig Walker, Joe Marcinski in a Royale RP24 Ford CFF and Chris Smith in 27th.
At our Friday RCFFS social we drew car numbers for our corporate partner awards. Craig Walker was the lucky winner of the half set of Hoosier Race tires. Don Baggett was the winner of the ANZE Suspension discount certificate for shock service. Sam Lockwood and Dave Harmison won the discount certificate for sets of KFP brake pads. Dave Gernert was the winner of the K-Hill Motorsports shop service discount certificate. Chris Forrer won the Primus Racing Parts $200 gift certificate. Tim Voth won the Quicksilver Race Engine discount certificate.
We also did the presentation of the 2018 DUFFUS Cup. The DUFFUS (Da Unofficial Formula F United States) Cup has its origins from the beginning of our race series and it awarded to someone who has made significant contributions to the success of our series. By that we mean someone who had expended extraordinary effort just to get to race; overcome some significant unfortunate circumstance to continue racing, gone well beyond being a good person to ensure that someone gets to race or provided their time and effort to help the series progress. This year the choice was very, very difficult as we had three candidates, well actually four; who all fit the bill. This year’s winners (if you see being presented a $29 trophy topped with a horse’s hind end as a win :-) ) are Angela Slocum and David Gernert. Angela and Dave are responsible for creating the Right Coast logo decals and patches, all of the seasonal posters, our DUFFUS tech stickers (when we need to use them), our DUFFUS kill stickers and they also manage the Right Coast website; www.rcffs.org.
Angela and Dave are also competitors in our series. They are unfortunately not able to race in every event because the cars they rent are not available for all the Right Coast events. Angela and Dave are responsible for everything that gives Right Coast its visual identity and we are extremely grateful and happy that they have chosen to assist us.
Hopefully, some of the other drivers will chime in on their races as I can only really report on what I could see and remember. I also was able to fill in some gaps by watching Sam Lockwood’s amazing videos. Thank you, Sam.
The Group 4 ARRC championship race on a sunny Saturday got started just before noon. There was a split/delayed start with the F5’s heading the pack. Sam’s video’s show a great race between he, Dave Petzko, Phil Kingham and Dave Harmison. Unfortunately, Dave Harmison spun at Turn 10B on the last lap. Since I was starting on the back row, I can only report those things that I saw, but when I got to Turn One, there were several cars off the track. The pack was nose to tail though the esses and good through Turn 7 when I think Don Baggett spun. This put a space between what looked like positions 11 and 12. At that point I had Doug Fisher, Sam Eyer, and Chris Forrer in front of me and Don behind me. For the next few laps we began drafting one another with the occasional change in position until Sam Eyer spun at 7. Don Baggett and I ran in close proximity for a few laps and then he got away. Chris Forrer and I ran with one another for the remaining portion of the race. It was great fun racing with Chris in my old car. This was the first time that Chris and I raced with one another and it was a pleasure and I hope we get other opportunities in the future.
The race ended with F5’s finishing 1, 2 and 3 with Phil Kingham taking the CFF win and 4th overall. Sam Lockwood took the FF win next in 5th. An F5 was 6th, then Steve Roux and Dave Petzko filling out the FF podium. Mike Rand and Dave Harmison battled it out for 2nd and 3rd in CFF. Dave Gernert was next for a 4th in FF, Don Baggett was 4th in CFF followed by Wayne Nicolette, me (Joe Marcinski), Chris Forrer and Sam Eyer in 5th through 8th in CFF. Chris Smith was next in 5th in FF, Angela Slocum 6th in FF an F5 then Craig Walker in 9th in CFF. Unfortunately, Bob Reid and Wayne Nicolette had gotten tangled up two laps before the end and Bob’s car was too damaged to continue and he would not be able to race on Sunday. Andrew Dobbie was next in FF after only finishing 13 laps. I do not know what caused Andrew to have to stop, but he did have to go off to the outside of Turn 1 on the start to avoid one of the spinning F5’s. Doug Fisher in CFF had a handling issue with his car and pulled in after completing 10 laps. Graham Earley had spun earlier in the race at Turn 7 and damaged the suspension on the right side of the Lotus and he too could not race on Sunday. Steve Brooks CFF was next only completing 2 laps with a cooling system problem. Tim Voth in FF was the final placing and I do not know what issue Tim had.
Qualifying for the Right Coast Formula F Series Feature race presented by American Pen Company was scheduled to begin at 4:20 PM on Saturday afternoon. Some delays to repair tire walls damaged during the Saturday afternoon races caused the qualifying session to be cancelled as the Region had a hard stop at 5 PM. This was disappointing and some of the drivers were very unhappy about this. The Atlanta Region considered having RCFFS qualify first thing Sunday morning as an option. Rather than have us go out first on Sunday morning on what was to be a pretty chilly track; we asked the Region to use our best lap time from the ARRC Championship race to set the grid for Sunday.
In retrospect; I should have asked them to use our best lap from any previous qualifying session or race to form the grid. For that oversight; I apologize to all our drivers. I will bear this in mind and should we ever encounter a similar circumstance; that will be my suggestion/request.
So, the starting order for Sunday’s American Pen Company Right Coast Formula F Series final race of the season was as follows: Andrew Dobbie FF, Dave Harmison CFF, Wayne Nicolette CFF, Steve Roux FF, Mike Rand CFF, Dave Petzko FF, Sam Lockwood FF, Phil Kingham CFF, Chris Smith FF, Dave Gernert FF, Don Baggett CFF, Sam Eyer CFF, Joe Marcinski CFF, Steve Brooks CFF, Doug Fisher CFF, Angela Slocum FF, Craig Walker CFF, Tim Voth FF.
My view of lap one was interesting. Don Baggett spun at Turn 1. Cars scattered, and I found myself in a line of Dave Gernert, Tim Voth, Mike Rand and me. As we exited Turn 5; Dave Gernert spun, Tim Voth got on the brakes, Mike was right on Tim’s gearbox and could not avoid going straight into the back to Tim. Mike’s nose cone was damaged, and his radiator was punctured. I was fortunate to avoid everything and continued. On lap three, Sam Eyer spun into the gravel trap behind Turn 10A and that brought out a full course yellow. Sam Lockwood’s video shows that upon the restart; he the two Dave’s and Phil Kingham picked up where they left off in Saturday’s race. They drafted and swapped places pretty much up to the end of the race. Tim Voth escaped any damaged from the Turn 5 incident and had recovered quickly. Don Baggett had also recovered from his Turn 1 spin and got by us shortly after the restart. Tim, Doug Fisher and I ran together for several laps until I was able to pass Tim under braking for Turn 10A and I was able to pull away. A bit later I came upon Don Baggett facing the wrong direction in Turn 10A. I did not know where I was in the running order, but I could see Wayne Nicolette a bit further up the road. I did my best to catch Wayne but was not able to get there by the end of the race.
The finishing order was Andrew Dobbie first in FF and first overall and Andrew turned the fastest race lap at 1:34.118 to win the American Pen Company fastest lap award. Sam Lockwood was next in 2nd in FF; Phil Kingham 1st in CFF; Dave Petzko 3rd in FF; Dave Harmison 2nd in CFF; Steve Roux 4th in FF; Wayne Nicolette 3rd in CFF; Joe Marcinski 4th in CFF; Tim Voth 5th in FF; Don Baggett 5th in CFF; Doug Fisher 6th in CFF; Dave Gernert 6th in FF; Steve Brooks 7th in CFF; Angela Slocum 7th in FF; Craig Walker 8th in CFF; with Mike Rand and Sam Eyer having retired completing just 2 laps. I believe that I saw Chris Smith on the grid, but unfortunately, he was unable to start.
I do not have a copy of the final race results, but you can find the finishing order and lap time information on the Speedhive website. I do expect the Atlanta Region will post the final results shortly and we will get that up on the www.rcffs.org when it is available. The Stonebridge Cryogenics Hard Charger award goes to Tim Voth who gained 9 places from his starting position; congratulations Tim. And, the Williams Racing Developments Hard Fader award goes to Mike Rand who lost 11 places from his starting position.
The drivers of the Right Coast Formula F Series would like to thank the kind folks of the Atlanta Region of SCCA for their hospitality and we look forward to returning to Road Atlanta in 2019.
The drivers of the Right Coast series also need to acknowledge and thank Clay Aulebach of R.A.C. Engines. Clay builds very strong engines for Wayne Nicolette, Sam Eyer, Doug Fisher and several other Right Coast and MARRS series regulars. But Clay also can be found at almost every one of our events bent over someone’s car helping sort out an engine or driver line issue. He has personally helped me sort out a very obscure brake problem which helped get the Royale up to speed. Clay does this for no other reason than that he loves Formula F and the drivers who race in it. He calls drivers in between race to see if they need any help or need for him to bring anything to the next race. For those of us who were privileged to call Joe Stimola a friend; it is almost as if Joe had returned to us through Clay. I for one cannot think of higher praise than to be compared to Joey and I hope Clay understands that.
We also want to thank our great corporate partners. Bob & Andy Melvin and Reid Hazelton of our presenting sponsor, American Pen Company. The Bruce Foss and the other wonderful folks of Hoosier Racing Tires; Kris Kaiser of K-Hill Motorsports; Keith Averill of Averill Racing Stuff/KFP Brake Pads, Sandy Shamilan of Quicksilver Race Engines, Mike Agniflo of Stonebridge Cryogenics, the kind folks at Williams Racing Developments and last, but certainly not least, Brad Baytos of Primus Racing Parts. We genuinely appreciate their support of our series and encourage you to support them with your business.
Please stay tuned for the announcement of the 2019 Right Coast Formula F Series schedule………………….
Joe Marcinski, CF 04