Kevin Roush and Eric Oviatt into Turn 1 at Auto Club Speedway.
The POC Auto Club Speedway weekend was an exercise in dealing with extreme, 100+ degree temperatures at a favorite SoCal track. Over one hundred drivers braved the intense late summer heat in Fontana for a great weekend of racing and time trials including a one hour enduro on Sunday afternoon. The Porsche Owners Club (POC) was returning to Auto Club Speedway (ACS) for the first time since its Tribute to Le Mans event and two weeks after the IndyCar Championship race at the same venue. The weekend’s activities featured two race groups, Red and Orange and two time trial groups, White and Yellow.
POC Auto Club Speedway – Saturday Events
Red Cup Race
In the Red Cup Race, Dan Aspesi jumped into the lead early on and took the overall honors as well as the GT2 class title and a best lap time of of the race at 1:43.120. An early spin by Jesse Menczer put him back in the pack and playing catch up most of the race to take second in GT2. Kevin Roush took the third spot in GT2. Bill Dawson came in second overall while winning the GT1 class from Dan Davis in second.. Loren Beggs was third overall and won the GTC-4 class. Doug Baron won the GTC-3 class while finishing fourth. In the hotly contested GT3 class, Eric Oviatt won what became a two car battle from Duane Selby after John Gordon dropped out after 1 lap with engine troubles. Vali Predescu won GT4, and Chas Wirken won R4 in his beautiful Cayman R.
Orange Cup Race
Mike Monsalve took first in the Orange Cup Race along with the V3 class and fastest lap of the race at 1:50.220. Second and third the race and the V3 class were Steve Alarcon and Athan Aronis, respectively. Monsalve led from the pole, and Alarcon kept it close for the first half of the 12 lap race with Monsalve stretching out his lead until the last lap when Alarcon closed to within 0.156 seconds. Dwain Dement in his new, blue, Boxster based V3 machine was running well and making some nice passes between Turns 4 and 5 before he dropped out from third with raising oil temperature to let the V3 season class leaders have at it. A total of eight V3 cars finished on the lead lap in this popular and competitive class. Regan Steadman won GT5; Jason Huang won CSX; Brad Keegan won JP; Mark Foley won BSR; Keith Hulley won IP; Peter Busalacchi won GSR; and Carolyn Pappas won GT6.
POC Auto Club Speedway – Sunday Events
On Sunday, we were treated to a couple of particularly exciting battles – the GT3 contest within the Red Cup race and the grueling one hour JE Pistons Enduro.
Red Cup Race
Kevin Roush & Eric Oviatt in GT3 Class Battle in Red Cup Race.
In the Red Cup Race, pole sitter Jesse Menczer took the overall win, GT2 class win, and fastest lap of the race at 1:43.619. Dan Aspesi, Saturday’s winner, took second. Early in the race Jesse and Dan traded the lead multiple times. Doug Baron took third overall as well as the GTC-3 class win. In GT3, we were treated to a fantastic battle between Eric Oviatt and Kevin Roush that was wasn’t over until the last lap with multiple passes throughout. Eric and Kevin put on a clinic of close, clean, and exciting racing with Oviatt holding off Roush by just a couple of ticks at the flag. See Eric’s in car video below:
Steve Vandecar won GT4 from Kip Waterhouse by less than a second; Chas Wirken won R4. Loren Beggs in GTC-4 retired after 4 laps while running third overall.
Orange Cup Race
Orange Cup Race Leaders.
The usual V3/R5 suspects were running at the front of the Orange Cup Race. Mike Monsalve won his second race of the weekend as well as the class from second on the grid. Steve Alarcon took pole and finished second by 2.409 seconds while setting fast lap of the race at 1:50.665. Bob Thacker finished third overall and in the V3/R5 class. Athan Aronis, who typically runs near the front of this group accidentally released his harness buckle and lost a couple of laps getting himself buckled back in. Regan Steadman won GT5 with Paul Young second; Richard Yochum won V4; Brad Keegan took another JP win with Brent Gokbudak second. Drake Kemper won BSR with Mark Foley second and Nathon Johnson third; Jason Huang won CSX; Keith Hulley won IP; Carolyn Pappas took GT6; and Peter Busalacchi won GSR.
Orange Cup racers in the Auto Club Speedway infield.
JE Pistons Enduro
By the time the field gridded up for Sunday afternoon’s JE Pistons Enduro, the heat had taken its toll on cars and drivers resulting in a slightly smaller than expected grid. However, that did not diminish the competition or excitement of the race. I have to really hand it to the guys who raced for an hour in the still nearly 100 degree heat after a full two days of practice and racing. In a really tough break, Jae Lee of ‘Gang of One’ lost the fire in his machine at Turn 1 on the final lap. Paul Young of ‘Dead Pets Racing’ took the win in his 911. Seems like Paul is making a habit of this. Doug Baron finished second, and Nathon Johnson took third.
Start of JE Pistons Enduro.
Green Flag Flies To Start JE Pistons Enduro Race.
More pics here.
POC Auto Club Speedway – Time Trial
Amazingly, even with brutal heat and a pretty slick track, multiple class track records fell on this POC Auto Club Speedway weekend. On Saturday, Brandon Griffith, who set fast time of the day on both days, broke the GT2 class record by nearly 7 seconds at 1:41.783! Unreal. Also on Saturday, Steve Radenbaugh set the GT4 class record at 1:54.308 and Chet Kolley set the CSX class record at 1:56.434. On Sunday in GT4, Bob Mueller broke Steve Radenbaugh’s Saturday time with 1:53.074. Also on Sunday, Paul Young set a new GT5 class record at 1:57.639 – yes, that’s the same Paul Young who took second in class in the Orange Cup Race and won the Enduro overall. Great job Paul! Troy Evarts set a new LS class record at 2:02.751. Congratulations to all the new record holders and class winners
Another POC Auto Club Speedway event is days away with a combined Performance Driving Series (PDS) and Time Trial (TT) event. See the calendar for more info.