August 27th, 2018 by Sherry Grantz
Sonoma Major Sprint Race Coverage
The Feature races appear in the print version of the August issue of The Wheel. Here is the summary of the sprint races held on Saturday.
SPRINT RACE GROUP 3
Fifty-one of the 61 Group 3 entries raced, and seven of the 11 classes had at least one driver. The GT2 class has 23 entries. ITE had one.
Preston Calvert/No. 177 Porsche had the overall and GT1 pole. Michael Lewis/No.12/122 Jaguar, who was entered both as a GT1 and GT3, was gridded second, as a GT1 and concurrently on the GT3 pole in tenth position. He did this by qualifying the GT1/No.12 in the first qualifying and as a GT3/No.122 in the second qualifying. Lewis was able to take advantage of his front row GT1 starting position to run and win the GT3 race.
Calvert, from WDC Region, led the first two laps before being passed by Michael Fine/No.66 Camaro. Calvert maintained his second place position for the rest of the 11-lap race, and won the GT1 class. Fine led for four laps before suffering mechanical problems and retired. Before he pitted, he turned the fastest race lap of 88.972 mph.
After Fine pitted, GT2 driver, Michael McAleenan/No.2 BMW from Northwest Region went from third to first, winning overall and the GT2 class.
The GT2 class was competitive. Sean Wheeler/No.60 BMW was running fourth in class, sixth overall when he widened his line in T6A on the second lap. This dropped him back to 22nd. He recovered and charged forward, gaining positions with every lap. Wheeler finished seventh in class, thirteenth overall.
Just before halfway, GT2 driver from Northwest, Todd Clarke/No.107 BMW was racing hard in ninth position. He went wide in Turn Four, and then hit the tires hard enough in Turn 11 to dislodge them and cause a ‘situation.’ He was OK but the Safety Car came out to move him and the tires. It was a long cleanup, using six Course Marshals, two tow trucks and two crash trucks. The race ended under caution, short of the 25-minute mark, and no time for Victory Laps.
Charlie Hayes/No.22 Miata in T1 ran one lap and pitted. Another ‘participant’ was Lance Stewart/No.11 Porsche Cayman who didn’t qualify and ran two laps for T1 credit. Bob Kelley/No.9 Viper had a brush with Robert Roumimper/No.54 Datsun 240Z. Both were GT2’s. Roumimper was able to continue, and finish one lap down; but Kelley slowed and pulled off and retired in Turn 11 with body damage.
Class winners were:
GT1: Calvert; Rob Davis/No.95 Camaro; and Cal Club’s Scott McPherson/No.57 Porsche.
GT2: McAleenan; William Brinkop/No.78 Corvette; and Spencer Trenery/No.5 Porsche. GT3: Lewis; Collin Jackson/No.53 Nissan 240SX; and Taz Harvey/No.88 Mazda RX7. T1: Kristopher Olson/No.49 Acura; Darrell Anderson/No.50 Mustang; and Igor Lyustin/No. 71 Acura.
SMG: Beau Bridges/No98 Mustang; Ken Pedersen/No.39 Mustang; and Clark Nunes/No.70 Mustang.
ITE: Randall Macintosh/No.135 Corvette.
AS: Christopher Qualls/No.173 Mustang from Cal Club