Sonoma Majors Recap – Sunday

July 5th, 2018 by James Chartres

By Lynne Hunting

Day Three of the Sonoma Majors and Regional, and we were a success! No drivers were hurt. San Francisco Region had the largest entry of any Majors or Super Tours this year. We had 416 entries Friday at start of the weekend. That is more than the VIR Majors, the COTA Super Tour or the June Sprints Majors.

Hazy skies as the cars prepare on grid.

After Saturday’s heat, Sunday’s cooler temperatures were welcome, which came with a breeze – which helped to blow away the smoky haze from the Northern California Pawnee and Yolo/Napa forest fires.

The fields on Sunday were smaller, as some drivers ‘participated’ but didn’t all run their races, or complete all the laps.
The Group Five Race was exciting, with four lead changes and much racing and dicing in the front pack. In the end, the winner wasn’t one of the top four FF’s, but the lone F5 -Jeff Jorgenson/No.64 Novastar, who had gridded fifth. No one could remember the last time a F5 won Group Five, which usually includes FF, CF and FV. Jorgenson won his class Saturday, finishing third overall. The F&C Crew selected him as Driver of the Weekend. Then it was learned he’d given his Saturday’s Checkered Flag to the Tow Crew at Turn Seven for working so long and hard in the heat.

A couple of races had pileups in Turn One on the start – but no drivers were hurt. Group One (GTL, EP, FP, HP, and BSpec) had the first one, involving five cars in Turn One. Group Six for SRFs 3 & 2 had a split start, which caused the Gen2 Group to get a Yellow instead of Green Flag. At least eight cars were involved.

An unintended consequence of the large Majors fields was that in some cases, two page results had to be issued, double-sided. And several lap charts weren’t able to include the entire field. The software was patterned after NASCAR for 45 cars. No Page Two for the Majors fields of 50, 60 or 70 cars.

More track records were set Sunday (list is incomplete as results weren’t all official/available) :

JAKE PIPAL/No.28 Mazda – Spec – Group One – 2:00.734
JIM DEVENPORT/No.29 Enterprise – FE2 – Group Two – 1:39.307
RYAN McELWEE/No.26 Honda Ligier – F4 – Group Two – 1:40.159 – San Diego Region
MICHAEL McALEEN/No.2 BMW – GT2 – Group Three – 1:39.872 – Northwest Region
KRISTOPHER OLSON/No.49 Acura – T1 – Group Three – 1:43.952
MARK DRENNON/No.10 BMW – T3 – Group Four – 1:50.072
MIKE MISERENDINO/No.11 SRF3 – SRF3 – Group Six – 1:46.660 – Cal Club

Pipal’s record took more than two seconds off the record he set Saturday! Devenport broke his Saturday track record. Miserendino broke his Saturday track record. McElwee could be our youngest record setter. He’s all of 15 years old.

The Course Marshals selected the Emergency Crew as Workers of the Weekend. They went out in every session.

The schedule was a Majors and Regional, so all the Major Group could theoretically include drivers running only for Regional points. By also including a Regional-Only Group in the schedule, the SFR Novices weren’t excluded, and there were three – one running his first race since Driver’s School.

We had the best Worker turnout of the season, in part because we had such support from out of region workers. We had Workers/Stewards from Cal Club, Chicago, Lone Star, Milwaukee, Oregon and Reno Regions. Thank you!

Southern California Flaggers – longtime flagger and now dual member of SFR, John Proctor and his grandson, River James at his first SFR race.

We also had more newbies this weekend than any other race this season. The best part is that they mostly came from our Social Media outreach or ‘recruited’ by current Workers who reached out to neighbors, friends or relatives. Yay team!

Newbies Nikki Kyllonen who started this year and first timer Joseph Sonner, her neighbor. Both will be back!

Next year San Francisco Region  hopes to host a Super Tour as well as a Major.

A perhaps Intended Consequence of the ‘new’ Follow-By schedule was that the day was ended by 4:30pm … except for the Tech Compliance Crew.

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