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
Registration will be open soon on MotorsportReg.com. We have found that early entries seem to result in more entries, so please enter as soon as you can, as we often say to folks, entries breed entries. We will let you know as soon as registration is officially open. The kind folks of the Atlanta Region are fantastic hosts and you will really enjoy yourselves, should you decide to join us for the ARRC weekend. Last year’s event saw some very close, terrific FF/CF racing which only gets better if more drivers decide to join in.
The Right Coast Formula F Series is a very down to earth, no nonsense, no bull excrement, keep it simple series. We always welcome every entrant regardless of motor or tire choice. It is about racing with a good field of like-minded competitors. We are looking forward to more terrific racing as we’ve seen all season long.
We sincerely hope that we will see a turnout at Road Atlanta even higher than we had last year so we can close out 2018 on a strong note and set the stage for a very successful US Formula F 50th Anniversary celebration on November 1, 2, and 3, 2019.
All Formula F cars are eligible; Ford or Honda powered, slick or treaded tires; all are welcome. If you have a Formula F you can come and race with us in whatever configuration you choose. We will classify you as you request and you too can race for one of the “unique” Right Coast trophies.
We will be unveiling the logo for the Road Atlanta celebration of the 50th Anniversary of our class at the ARRC this year, a year in advance of the 50th, and if things go as planned we may also have our first version of a tee shirt featuring some special artwork for the 2019 event. But you must enter to get one, so….
Remember, the second ever SCCA National Championship race, won by Skip Barber in a unique Tecno chassis [following up on his 1969 first ever FF championship race win at Daytona in a Caldwell] was held at the then, newly opened Road Atlanta in November 1970. Road Atlanta continued as the home for the SCCA Runoffs for the next 22 years, so there is huge FF history at this wondrous racing track. While the track has changed a bit, it actually races better now with the great passing zone at Turn 10A-B.
Looking ahead to 2019 and the 50th Anniversary we expect to offer several race groups, depending on the number of entries but can see possibly three races, one for treaded tired cars, one for Club Formula F car, and one for Formula F cars, that is the more modern group. Then — ALL will be invited for a grand finale race up to the track limit of cars allowed!
We have a team working hard on a number of items that we believe will make the 2019 event special, but it all begins with you and a really strong turnout at this Prelude to the 50th event on November 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
Joe has a message for us all...
Organ donation saves lives. Joe is among the organ donation heroes for his action!
Registration for Race 1 of the 2018 Right Coast Formula F Series opens Tuesday, May 8 on MotorsportReg.com. Once again the kind folks at South Jersey Region of the SCCA are hosting us as part of the Lightning Challenge weekend on June 1, 2, & 3.
This event is also Round 4 of the MARRS championship; Round 3 of the Northeast Division Road Racing Championship; and Rounds 3 & 4 of the New Jersey Road Racing Series. Friday, June 1 is a track sponsored test day (extra fee required). The regional race program kicks off on Saturday morning. Formula F and Club Formula F drivers have the opportunity drive the Lightning Circuit three times on Saturday with a morning qualifying session, a 20 lap Right Coast Formula F Series (RCFFS) race right after lunch, and a 15 lap regional qualifying race later on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning the second 20 lap Right Coast race goes off shortly after 9 AM and there is a 20 lap regional/divisional championship race on Sunday afternoon. Details on the schedule page.
We will have our usual Saturday night social where we will have our prize drawings which includes a chance to win a set of Hoosier Racing tires.
There is also a little news regarding the second race of the 2018 RCFFS season at Mid Ohio. There will be a Thursday evening test session available (extra fee required). Our host for that weekend, Formula Race Promotions, has asked if we can get a count of the drivers who are interested in that Thursday evening test session. If you plan on doing the session; please let me know at your earliest convenience so we can help out our hosts.
Thanks, and we hope to see you at NJMP.
We are extremely pleased to announce that the very kind folks at Hoosier Tire have confirmed that they will be presenting certificates for free tires to a Formula F and a Club Formula F driver at each of the six Right Coast race weekends in 2018!
A certificate will be presented to a Formula F driver and a Club Formula F driver each weekend for one front and one rear tire. That will allow a driver to purchase a full set of tires for ½ price.
Now, the next question one might ask is “what if I have entered as the driver of an Historic/Vintage Formula Ford?”. Well, Hoosier does make very fine treaded vintage tires so we will include that driver in the population of eligible drivers.
We will be conducting a drawing on the first night of each race weekend for the Hoosier Tire certificates. We feel the best way to make this fair is to eliminate previous winners of the certificates from each subsequent drawing. That means that as the season goes on; your chances of winning one of the certificates gets better. So, we will keep track of the certificate winners and make sure that their numbers are not in the random drawing pool in the subsequent drawings. We hope that you agree with our concept of fairness.
With all that being said, we are extremely grateful to Bruce Foss and the other members of Hoosier Tire who have made this possible for us. When you see Bruce or other members of the Hoosier crew at the races please be sure to give them your thanks for their support.
The Right Coast Formula F Series is very pleased to announce its six-race schedule for 2018. We are very fortunate, to again, be able to race at six challenging tracks that lend themselves to great racing.
Our second event is over the early Fourth of July holiday weekend, June 29-30 & July 1, at Mid-Ohio. Again we will be with Formula Race Promotions as a support event for the Pro F1600/F2000/FAtlantic series. It looks like this will be another, all formula car weekend with the Formula Vee Challenge Cup series joining in as well.
Event number three will be with the Steel Cities Region of SCCA at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex (PIRC) on August 11 & 12. This weekend will be very similar to the first weekend at NJMP in that we will be racing as part of their SCCA Regional race with stand alone RCFFS racing as part of the program. The full PIRC circuit is just spectacular with lots of elevation changes, several great passing zones and a challenging set of esses.
Weekend four will be on August 24-26, at the newly repaved Summit Point Raceway main course with the Woodbridge Karting Club and Formula Race Promotions, as in 2017. Summit Point is the ancestral home of DUFFUS/Right Coast and has long been one of everyone’s favorites. The Summit Point Circuit provides another venue that lends itself to great racing. A challenging track with a couple of great passing opportunities and a good mix of slow, medium and fast corners. We also get to see the great racing in the pro F1600/F2000/FAtlantic series, and the karts are spectacular.
The fifth race weekend takes place at the historical Watkins Glen International for the Fun One on September 15-16. We will be on the regional race program with the Finger Lakes Region of the SCCA. This too will be regional racing with stand alone RCFFS racing as well. The FV Challenge Group is also on the program. We will be on the 3.4-mile Grand Prix course on Saturday and the ultra-fast 2.4 mile, so called, NASCAR course on Sunday, two tracks over one weekend!
The sixth and final race of the 2018 Right Coast season takes place on November 2-4 at Road Atlanta with the Atlanta Region of SCCA at the American Road Race of Champions. This will be the Prelude to the 50th Anniversary of Formula F in the US in 2019. We will be racing as part of the ARRC championship weekend program with stand alone RCFFS racing on Sunday. Once again, we will be on one of the destination tracks in the country and certainly one of the most challenging race tracks anywhere. This offers a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the track that the 50th Anniversary event takes place on November 1-3, 2019.
We hope you are as excited about this race schedule as we are and that you will join us at all six in 2018!
The Right Coast Formula F Series (RCFFS) announces that:
On Saturday afternoon, we met with Bruce Foss and John Miller of Hoosier Racing Tire. The kind folks at Hoosier have been watching you, the drivers of Right Coast, coming out and supporting our races. This has given them confidence that open wheel at the club level is coming back. They are so pleased with what they are seeing, that Hoosier Racing Tire let us know that they will be supporting the Right Coast Formula F Series in 2018. The details and level of support will be worked out in the coming weeks, but we have been assured that we will have tires to give away to our drivers at each race next season. I am completely blown away by this development. Hoosier is a great company and they want to help; thanks to all of you for showing up to race with us. This is huge and simply amazing!
On Sunday morning, we met with Rick Mitchell (the current RE of the Atlanta Region), Bob Hudson (the incoming RE of the Atlanta Region), AJ Schram (the Assistant RE) and Clark McInnis (Atlanta Region Board Member) regarding Right Coast participation at the ARRC. The kind gentlemen from the Atlanta Region let us know that they were thrilled with the level of support that you, our drivers, demonstrated by coming to race. They were so pleased that they asked if we would return to the 2018 ARRC. We agreed to include the 2018 ARRC on the Right Coast schedule. So, please block off the first weekend of November 2018 on your race calendars for this thrilling event.
Additionally, we discussed the 50th Anniversary of Formula F (Formula Ford) in the United States. Again, based upon our participation at the 2017 ARRC; the regional executives have confirmed that the Atlanta Region is going to partner with the Right Coast Series to present the 50th at Road Atlanta as part of the 2019 American Road Race of Champions. So, as we have been reporting, this is now a confirmed event, not a rumor. We have already begun the planning process and have an extensive milestone and action item list at this very early point in time.
These amazing things have only happened because all of you have chosen to come out and race with us.
So, thank you all very, very much!
Joe Marcinski, CF 04
The 2017 Right Coast Formula F Series (RCFFS) presented by American Pen Company closed out its season at Road Atlanta this past weekend on a mostly high note. We would like to sincerely thank the folks from the Atlanta Region of the SCCA for including us in the American Road Race of Champions (ARRC) program. Next, we would like to thank the American Pen Company for their season long presenting sponsorship of the Right Coast series. Also, for supplying us with some really, really cool new pens to present to the podium finishers of this season finale.
This was a very significant weekend for Right Coast both in terms of good racing and in the plans for the 2018 season and beyond. So first, some racing…
The Friday qualifying sessions for the ARRC championship race saw 22 FF and CFF drivers plus 5 F5 drivers take times. Andy Brumbaugh in his Van Diemen Honda FF took the pole with Cliff Johnson in his Piper Honda FF three tenths behind in second. Stuart Jackson (Van Diemen Ford FF), Sam Lockwood (Spectrum Honda FF) and Chris Smith (Van Diemen Honda FF) rounded out the top five.
Steve Brooks (Van Diemen Ford CFF), Dave Petzko (Spectrum Honda FF), Phil Kingham (Zink Ford CFF), Steve Roux (Wyvern Honda FF) and Greg Rice (Reynard Honda FF) completed the top ten. Dave Harmison (Royale Ford CFF), Don Baggett (Crossle’ Ford CFF), Craig Laprade (F5), Mike Rand (Crossle’ Honda CFF) and Wayne Nicolette (Lola Ford CFF) were the next five.
Derek Holmes (Swift Ford FF), Kevin Brumbaugh (Crossle’ Honda CFF), Shayne Frebert (Van Diemen Ford FF), John Mark Gray (Zink Ford CFF) and John Walbran (F5) were 16th thru 20th. Doug Fisher (Zink Ford CFF), Jeff DeLong (F5), George Bugg (F5), me (Royale Ford CFF) and Sam Eyer (Zink Ford CFF) were 21st through 25th. Mo Makki (F5) and Tim Voth (Van Diemen Ford FF) rounded out the field.
The ARRC championship race on Saturday was fabulous! I got to witness the last lap and a half of the battle for the Club Formula F (CFF) win. John Mark Gray, Doug Fisher, and I had a really fun race. We three went back and forth for positions 6 thru 8. It was huge fun and when Steve Brooks and Phil Kingham came up to lap us they went by with barely the length of a nose cone between them. As they approached the turn in point for Turn 1 going into the last lap, Phil poked his nose out to the right. Steve tapped the brakes and Phil took the lead. They continued, nose to tail, until they got to Turn 7 and headed up the straight. Steve got by Phil some place between 7 and the finish line, but I can’t tell you the details.
As I turned into 7, I realized that I had lost a little pace paying attention to their race and had forgotten my own! Doug had done a nice job of closing the small gap between us and by the time we turned into Turn 10A; he was right on my gearbox. I had to move to the left a bit after we turned under the bridge to make sure he had enough room to make the final corner, but I was lucky enough to finish just ahead of him with John right behind us.
I believe that Mike Rand, Wayne Nicolette, and Dave Harmison had the same kind of fun as they went at one another for third through fifth places. It is a little harder to write more of report when one is sitting behind the wheel instead of standing at a fence, so that is about all I can relate first hand. Hopefully the other drivers who have not already done so will jump in and detail their races.
Andy Brumbaugh (FF) won from the pole, followed by Cliff Johnson (FF) who came all the way from Stillwell, Kansas to race with us. Then the Club Formula F winner was Steve Brooks followed by Phil Kingham (2nd in CFF), Dave Petzko (3rd in FF), Greg Rice (4th in FF), Mike Rand (3rd in CFF), Wayne Nicolette (4th in CFF) and Dave Harmison (5th in CFF). Next was me (6th in CFF), Doug Fisher (7th in CFF), John Mark Gray (8th in CFF), Sam Eyer (9th in CFF) and Tim Voth (5th in FF) rounded out the cars running at the finish. Mechanicals shortened the race for the rest of the field except for Shayne Frebert who had spun and contacted the wall between Turns 1 & 2.
On Saturday afternoon we held our final social gathering of the season. We reported some news for 2018 and beyond which you will see in our next posting. We also presented the second annual Spirit of DUFFUS Award. This unique award is given to someone who participates in our series, but it is not limited to drivers. We try and select a recipient who demonstrates the qualities of sportsmanship, concern for fellow competitors, and a never say die determination to make the race. This season’s recipient is Shayne Frebert. Shayne only raced in the series once, at Road Atlanta on this weekend. However, at various points in the season; Shayne would appear at the track, usually with parts taken from his own race car. He would proceed to help some other driver get their car repaired so that they could race in the next session or next day. Derek Holmes and Brandon Lavender benefitted from Shayne’s willingness to dismantle his own car, so their cars could race the next day.
So, please congratulate Shayne on this award (even though it is a very large horse’s ass trophy) because it signifies that he is truly one of us and that he demonstrates the qualities we would like all our fellow competitors to exhibit.
As for Sunday, you will not see my trying to “put lipstick on a pig”, the Sunday feature race was pretty ugly! Under that pigskin were a few good battles which were interrupted by the full course cautions which had their root causes in the slippery verge and wet grass. Road Atlanta is a very fast track and the topography places some extreme loads on our cars. When the conditions are not ideal, and you get a little off the line there can, as we saw, be some dire consequences. Fortunately, no one suffered any significant physical injury and, so I will focus on the more positive aspects of the weekend.
But to recap; the Sunday morning qualifying session was foggy and damp. When we all looked at the track we were considering the risk versus reward of taking a qualifying time. Right Coast racing is very competitive, but at the last race of the season with a damp, challenging track and the promise of dry weather at race time; many of us really did not want to take to the track.
As Right Coast is a for fun, non-championship series, we considered simply using the best time from the previous day’s ARRC race to set the grid. The only problem with that is that there were two drivers who could only join us on Sunday and it seemed unfair to place them at the back of the grid. Joel Haas and Graham Earley were the two Sunday only drivers and we would like to thank them for making the trip to support this event. They had both come a long way to join us for one day and we wanted to give them an opportunity to qualify.
So, we proposed a solution which all our drivers agreed to. We agreed that anyone who went out in the wet qualifying session would occupy the front portion of the grid based upon their best lap in the session. Those who chose not to go out would be gridded next by their best time from Saturday’s ARRC race.
Only six drivers chose to make qualifying runs. Sam Lockwood (FF) took the pole followed by Wayne Nicolette (CFF), Greg Rice (FF), Joel Haas (FF), Steve Roux (FF) and Graham Earley (CFF).
When the spray had settled and the yellow flags were put away we had a new set of race winners. Congratulations to Dave Petzko and Phil Kingham who were the winners in FF and CFF respectively. The finishing order was as follows: FF was Dave Petzko, Joel Haas, Steve Roux, Derek Holmes, and Tim Voth. Greg Rice and Sam Lockwood were not running at the finish. CFF was Phil Kingham, Steve Brooks, Mike Rand, Dave Harmison, Kevin Brumbaugh, Doug Fisher, me, Sam Eyer, and Graham Earley. John Mark Gray, Wayne Nicolette, and Don Baggett were not running at the finish.
Once again, we would like to sincerely thank all our drivers for making the trip to Road Atlanta to support this event. This was very significant for our series and their presence had a hugely positive effect on our hosts, the Atlanta Region. Please watch for our next posting where will report some significant good news for the series.
This is really important to the future of our series. We are just about 3 weeks away from the final event of the 2017 Right Coast Formula F Series presented by American Pen Company. This event will take place at Road Atlanta as a part of the American Road Race of Champions on November 3, 4, & 5. This event was originally scheduled to be one of our “flash mob” type events, but the very kind folks of the Atlanta Region have agreed to let us have a 50 mile FF/CF only race on Sunday as part of this race program.
The ARRC is a great event and this one is extra special as it has implications for those of us in the Formula F/Club Formula F community well beyond 2017. If we can generate a strong entry of 20 or more cars; there is an excellent chance that we will be able to schedule a longer Right Coast event at the 2018 ARRC.
And as we have already announced, thanks to the efforts of 40th co-organizer Mike Rand, the Atlanta Region has agreed to partner with Right Coast to stage a 50th Anniversary of Formula F in the US event in 2019 as part of the ARRC.
But, for all of this to fall in place it is essential that we have a strong entry for this event. So, please come and join us at Road Atlanta. You will be able to race in both the ARRC championship race as well as the stand alone FF/CF race on Sunday. We welcome all Formula F cars; Ford and Honda powered; Formula F/Club Formula F/Historic Formula Ford; slick or treaded tires. We will keep track of the participants within each sub-group and will award our series kill stickers and trophies to the podium finishers in each class after Sunday’s race.
As this is being written we have fifteen entrants. I know of at least five who will be completing their entries in the next couple of days. Can we get another six and hit a total of 25? Whenever we announce our schedule or survey our drivers; we always get a question regarding scheduling an event at Road Atlanta. Well; we now have one and it is actually going to be a bit more than we had hoped for. And, a strong entry gets us another invitation.
Just in case there is still any doubt, the celebratory 50th Anniversary of Formula F in the US East is not a rumor; it has been confirmed by the Atlanta Region. It is going to happen and while we do not have a definite date from the Atlanta Region; the annual American Road Race of Champions (ARRC) event traditionally falls on the first full weekend of November which would make our date November 1, 2, & 3, 2019.
Road Atlanta is definitely a destination track on many bucket lists. Make this the year that you check that one off and join us in three weeks for the Prelude to the Prelude to the 50th Anniversary of Formula F in the United States.
Registration with schedule and supps is open at www.motorsportreg.com and can also be found on the Right Coast website at www.rcffs.org on the schedule page.