Spec Miata Festival at Sonoma Raceway

September 20th, 2017 by Sherry Grantz

Spec Miata Festival Race

Photo by Aaron Meyer

Round Three of the Spec Miata sparring match between Marco Gallaher and Nick Somers. The score was even going into this race, but a third competitor was thrown into the fray, and that was Robert Rodriguez, Jr. Rodriguez Sr (father) and Jr (son) have been racing together for a while; and this is definitely a case where the pupil surpasses the teacher.

This was without a doubt the race of the weekend.  Those who had a date with the traffic on the way home missed the best part of the weekend. The grid was set by fastest laps in the previous race, putting Robert Rodriguez Jr/No.46 on pole.

Rodriguez led them to the line, but his day in sun did not last too long. He fell back to second by Lap Two; by Lap Three, he was back in the lead. But it was for only one lap. Gallaher was determined to lead this thing, so every time he saw Rodriguez slip or go wide, he was Johnny-on-the-spot. Lap Eight saw the Mr. Somers introduce himself to the mix.  He hung around in third waiting for his turn. He passed Gallaher on Lap Eight and then made it by Rodriguez on Lap Nine.

No one could hold the lead and by Lap Ten Gallaher took over the top spot.  Early on, Turns Seven and Eleven were particularly good spots to overtake. But by mid-race, a car parked at the exit of Turn Eleven brought  out a local yellow. Once the passing was narrowed down to one good corner, Somers was able to hold on for the win.  Gallaher and Rodriquez continued to swap positions and trades place two more times (officially) and more (unofficially) over the next seven laps. Gallaher finally prevailed and at the end of the race all three of the podium finishers had smiles and tales to share with each other.

Sommers won SMT, while Rodriguez took the top honors in SM.

With SMT and SM being decided by the first three finishers, the only question was who was going to win the SSM class.  To find out, read about it in the September issue. –>

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