Another hot sunny California day greeted the penultimate round of the 2014 Jim Russell F3 series at Simraceway Performance Driving Center’s home base of Sonoma raceway. A full grid of drivers were raring to go with arguably the fastest 2 drivers of the series Kevin Woods & Chase Murray ready to go toe to toe for top spot. Qualifying was a thriller as both Kevin & Chase bantered pole position back and forth lap after lap till finally Chase secured P1 on the board in the last throws of the session. Filing up in equally competitive runs were Doug Tuttle, John Jastremski , Brian Frank, Roy Block ,John Schauerman, Steve Campbell and crowd favorite and past victor Jim McGuire.
The tight field stayed well bunched as the pace car pulled off and stayed that way all the way into turn one, Woods & Murray running side by side all the way to turn 3 where Chase managed to get completely in front. But Kevin new an early pass on colder tires would be crucial to have a good chance of putting another 60 points in his pocket, and so it was that on the rundown through the esses he stayed closer than most dare to the back of the no.23 Texas Tiger. Chase covered the predictable inside pass but Kevin jinked to the outside and with Chase now off-line to the inside was able to brake a bit later and show his car to the outside. As they entered the turn in point with Kevin’s nose just an inch or two ahead Chase checked up his speed to allow a clean run for both through the Chicane, Woods was now the point man.
Things settled down through the field although Chase never let Kevin get any more than a shadow away. Working lap 7 saw some great passing action at turn 11 as the Hammer man Brian Frank got by Doug Tuttle and Argentinian Roy Block took Schauerman for 6th
The lead battle raged on till lap 10 when Chase tried to get close to Kevin going into turn 6 as this leads to the best passing opportunity in turn 7. But with a little less aero from following the lead car it proved just a little too difficult and Chase lost the rear end spinning to the middle of the track & although he was able to get back under way was never able to recover and ended up in 9th place at the finish line. The field then got separated from each other as they made their way past the stationary Murray car to end the race with no battles to speak of. Brian Frank claimed 2nd spot on the podium with Doug Tuttle making another appearance on the famed steps. As is always the case a nice bottle of bubbly greeted the top 3 but this time in acknowledgement of the start of the 2nd half of the F1 season at the famed Spa Francorchamps circuit with a fine Chimay Belgian Beer, what could be better!
Media Packs (Password Access Only)
If you purchased a Media Pack for this race, you should have received a password to access the below galleries. If you have not received a password or didn’t purchase a media pack but would like too, please contact your racing consultant.
Practice and Qualifying: http://youtu.be/emsjiCSzppY
Practice and Qualifying: http://youtu.be/oA-m-cvQid8
Practice and Qualifying: http://youtu.be/yWPCwM8IIII
Practice and Qualifying: http://youtu.be/ljvLJjyeszs
Practice and Qualifying: http://youtu.be/pkjizM8DjXc
Practice and Qualifying: http://youtu.be/2gDnPnVZc8w
Practice and Qualifying: http://youtu.be/t968yRiTO5E