Day 2 for Race 2 of Jim Russell F3 series by Simraceway saw a whole different side of mother nature as the drivers were greeted to a cold but at least a clear and dry (well dry-ish) Sonoma Raceway. Another tight qualifying saw the top 2 John Jastremski and Chase Murray fight it out for the entire session at risk of taking the edge of their Pirelli slicks for the race, both seeing that P1 start as an important part of standing taller on the podium at the end of the day. Unfortunately an error at turn 2 late in practice meant that Roy Strandberg could not finish off his weekend, but some good strides in competitiveness will hopefully give him something positive to build from as the winter Series continues at Laguna Seca in the New Year.
So line up for Race 2 saw a familiar picture as John and Chase were followed on Row 2 by Brian Frank with another of the new competitors to the series, Ross Jaffe, having a great run in qualifying to line up alongside him
At the green flag everyone steamed up turn 1 but the notorious turn 2 escapades at the start were to play a big role in the finishing order as pole man Jastremski got it all wrong and came a cropper as he spun to the outside relinquishing the lead to the “Texas Tornado” Chase Murray. With the stack up ensuing from the pirouetting #16, Hammer Nutrition’s Brian Frank also had a spin in avoidance of contact with Jaffe so losing 2 of our top 3. Both got moving again just in time to avoid sending out the Simraceway RS4 pace car but were obviously way out of contention at this point.
So Chase Murray made hay while the partly sunny sky shone and pulled a big gap over Ross Jaffe and John “don’t squeeze the ” Schauerman. Schauerman was not to be in third for long, however, as he ran Jaffe down in successive laps to take 2nd on lap 4. Some great battles now started to emerge as eyes were on an epic race long tussle between Jim McGuire and Roy Block, Block never an easy man to get by and McGuire always up for a fight made for an entertaining duel. Doug Tuttle was also resurrecting his form after a un-Tuttle like Race 1 and stole the last podium spot form Jaffe on lap 7, then set about trying to chase down John Schauerman but ran out of laps to really have a good opportunity. Another fun race was for 5th place as Erickson Shirley, Gus Doppes, Pat Daly and Quentin Wahl fought it out tooth and nail lap after lap, Shirley able to withstand the pressure till the end while Gus made it easy for Daly and Wahl by heading to the mud in turn 9 for the 3rd time in the weekend. All the excitement at the end had to do with the recovery runs of Jastremski and Frank. Jastremski able to run back up the pack to finish 10th while Frank made a brave move and “pass of the weekend” as he closed on the dog fighting Block and McGuire into turn 9. Jim had Roy all set up for a pass but as both were pinching on the right side of the road Brian saw a gap on the outside and passed McGuire and nearly Block as they turned in for the tight chicane, still coming out with some good momentum Brian made two more stabs at the Argentinian but could only get halfway alongside at the finish line, but it was close!
So more merriment ensued on the podium as the Christmas ale was raised to the ever darkening skies above. With big storms either side of the weekend everyone was relieved to get some good hard dry running in and looking forward to a new track and of course an new challenge for rounds 3 & 4 at Laguna Seca in January.
|Driver||Qualifying Lap Time||Finishing Position|
|7 - Chase Murray||1.39.769||1|
|3 - John Schauerman||1.41.106||2|
|19 - Doug Tuttle||1.41.323||3|
|18 - Ross Jaffe||1.41.088||4|
|14 - Erickson Shirley||1.42.058||5|
|6 - Pat Daly||1.42.074||6|
|8 - Quentin Wahl||1.43.187||7|
|15 - William Shields||1.42.951||8|
|9 - Gus Doppes||1.42.098||9|
|16 - John Jastremski||1.39.508||10|
|23 - Roy Block||1.44.018||11|
|12 - Brian Frank||1.40.224||12|
|4 - Jim McGuire||1.43.991||13|