Sonoma Raceway Tag
For the 2nd weekend of the X-Bow Cup, 2019, temperatures were a bit higher than usual, but the cars and competitors did very well.
With 8 races completed by the end of last weekend, there have been zero on-track incidents, which serves as a testament to the KTM X-Bow platform.
New Drivers to Watch Out for
There were also two new faces in the X-Bow Cup paddock this past weekend, Josh Sarchet and Mathias Pelzmann.
Sarchet is an interesting racer with experience in Formula Ford cars and lots of time behind the wheel of go-karts.
Mathias Pelzmann is a competitor from Europe and a regular driver in the X-Bow battle across the pond. Stateside, Pelzmann did quite well, but he noticed some major differences between the European Circuits he’s used too and the course at Sonoma:
“The car is familiar to me, but the track here is challenging compared to the tracks in Europe.”
He agreed that a racing school set at a track like Sonoma Raceway is a huge advantage to learning drivers.
Top Performers for the Weekend
On the other hand, a few returning riders enjoyed the challenge and showcased impressive results.
Daniel Doerr, Michael Kopper, and Will De La Rosa flexed their muscles on the track, but the first race belonged to newcomer Josh Sarchet.
This was his first event and first time at Sonoma raceway, and after doing some simulator work and studying race videos, he won the first race and posted the fastest time that session.
Daniel Doerr took second, Michael Kopper placed third.
In race two, things improved for everyone across the board. Will De La Rosa, a 15-year-old phenom who still only has a driving permit, won the 2nd heat of the day.
Josh Sarchet was second on the podium, and Mathias Pelzmann placed third.
For race number three, Josh Sarchet won again, Daniel Doerr finished second, and Will placed third.
In the final race, Daniel Doerr led the pack once more with Josh Sarchet behind him, and Will De la Rosa at third.
KTM X-Bow Cup Driver Takeaways
According to Matt Bell, Chief Instructor and manager of the KTM program, he states that everyone performed quite well.
“Josh Sarchet just tapped into some of his Formula Ford experience and really ran super smooth races. Even if he wasn’t the fastest guy out there, he found where the difficulties were for other people to pass and exploited them.”
“Daniel Doerr was just a missile all weekend long. He posted some of the fastest times and made some great passes, but in the end, he didn’t win the weekend because he was too fast for his own good. Tire attrition is a great lesson to learn”
It’s important to consider that everyone was on a new tire package—Michelin tires which tend to go longer throughout the weekend, but harder to cool off if abused.
Despite the changes, “Will De La Rosa was consistent the whole way through. He maintained the same lap times every race and had no real issues the entire weekend.” Bell explains.
“However, Mathias Pelzmann found the track really challenging but still managed to stay consistent. By Sunday, he really showed his competitive nature, giving some of the other racers a hard time.
Lastly, “Michael Kopper increased his times with each lap and each race, steadily climbing up the ladder. He’s just happy to be here and his enjoyment really shows. Every weekend he spends with us he gets closer to that top step of the podium.”
Final Event Results
By the end of the weekend, it was Josh Sarchet with 90 points, Daniel Doerr with 79 points, Will De La Rosa with 69 points.
As far as the Championship results go…
Daniel Doerr is leading with 177 points
Will De La Rosa is in second with 151 points
Michael Kopper is in third with 98 points
Josh Sarchet is in fourth with 95 points
Learn More About the X-Bow Cup at Simraceway
With two more weekends left in the X-Bow Cup, it’s still anyone’s cup.
Not to mention, the winner of the X-Bow Cup receives a voucher to compete in the X-bow championship in Europe in 2020, so there’s bound to be some fierce competition ahead.
In its second year now, the Simraceway Performance Driving Center was proud to host the Autoweek Fantasy Camp where 20 individuals got to live the pampered life of an automotive journalist. 10 cars were invited to the party: the Lexus IS-F, BMW M3, Dodge Charger Hellcat, Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet SS, Audi S4, Mercedes Benz C400, Chrysler 300C & Acura TLX. Ganassi Racing’s dynamic duo Scott Pruett & Joey Hand were also there to offer some fun racing stories as well as some wild rides in the Lexus RC-F.
Starting with a street drive through the winding hills and valleys of Sonoma/Napa, the “editors for a day” rotated through the cars to get a good feel for each car. They ended up at Simraceway Performance Driving Center at Sonoma Raceway to start the serious business of really putting these cars to the test. Here our instructors went along for the ride, helping with track and driving tips as they drove the cars on our performance Autocross as well as the raceway itself, all the while writing their thoughts on how each one stacked up against each other. Some serious rubber was burned, especially in the Dodge Charger Hellcat as horsepower doesn’t suck, where no one could resist holding that throttle all the way to the floor (and the noise wasn’t half bad either)! This was a unique opportunity that everyone seemed to have a ball being a part of. Even our instructors seemed to find some new cars they’d like to add to their garage. After a fantastic day of endless car talk and fuel burning fun, they headed over to Aston Martin headquarters at our friends TRG’s raceshop & winery. We are already looking forward to next year’s program, so stay tuned to Autoweek to see if you can be one of the lucky ones in 2016!
Pictures from the day: