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Infineon race report

Tony G

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Infineon/Sears Point Race Report



Round 4 of the Camaro-Mustang Challenge heated things up in Sonoma on June28-29, 2003. Temperatures reached 104 degrees on Friday as the drivers unloaded their rides for a weekend of close battles on the track. Saturday brought temperatures in 85-90 degree range with slick track conditions. The heat coupled with the rubber laid down by NASCAR the previous weekend could best be described in one word—greasy!


The CMC drivers would be sharing the track all weekend with AI/AIX and ASC, a combination that had many concerned on this tight track. These worries seemed to be unfounded as the weekend progressed and all drivers showed speed and courtesy to each other. Saturday’s qualifying saw Steel and Guaglione on the front row.


CMC Director Tony Guaglione secured an extra race with the predominantly BMW Group D prior to the main CMC/AI/AIX/ASC race. The format would therefore be back-to-back races without a fuel stop. Many drivers were concerned with fuel load issues but an adjustment was made to remove 45lbs. from the post race weight to allow for the extra fuel needed for two races. The second race would be an inverted start. Excitement started early when during the start of the first race, Trask and Plum would try to occupy the same spot on the track simultaneously. The resultant contact would throw Trask into a spin in turn 1 across the accelerating field! Everyone did a great job avoiding a potential disaster and should be commended for keeping their cool. Tony “first to last†Guaglione, Led for the first 5 laps until the same continuing overheating problem forced him to side line the car once again.Final results saw Eric Van Wagenen taking the checkered flag with Dave Morin in 2nd,followed by a hard charging Mike Donahoe with a great 3rd place finish. Steel and Robinson made it interesting all the way to the finish with a drag race from turn 11 to the checkered flag with Steel taking 4th from Robinson by less than two feet! Now that’s close racing. It was then Righetti, Team BAF, Trask, Arnheiter, Bullock, Plum, Helldin, Bergman, Stone, Guaglione, Santos ,and Al Fernandez who had a small electrical problem on the starting line.Fastest lap of the race was held by Guaglione at a 156.604.


The start of the second race was a bit unusual with some drivers launching at the first green flag meant for the AI/AIX group and the rest waiting for the second CMC start flag. The race showed Steel making a hard charge from the back of the field to first by the time the second flag flew. Clean racing through out saw Steel taking the win with Van Wagenen in 2nd and Trask taking 3rd.

It was then Righetti, Morin, Plum, Bullock, Robinson, Helldin, Donahoe, Arnheiter, and Stone.

Fastest lap was by Nick Steel at a 157.639.


Sunday brought a welcome relief from the heat as the cloud cover kept temperatures down all day. By midday it was breezy and sunny with track conditions in the 70 degree range. The missing grip seemed to reappear to the delight of all drivers. The qualifying and practice session were combined to allow race time to be moved up and allow drivers to make their way home at a decent hour. Qualifying saw Van Wagenen, Steel, Morin and Trask taking the first two rows.… Righetti received a penalty for passing under the yellow during qualifying and had to start at the rear of the grid. The weekend was topped off by a fantastic BBQ lunch, courtesy of Sam Stowell and his wife, and also having the CMC A/I AIX combined pre-race meeting which put together all the group G racers. It was a great chance to enjoy each other’s company and to meet other racers from AI/AIX and ASC.


So back to the race results, race number three started with another standing start and saw Van Wagenen and Steel jump out front with Trask, Morin, Stowell and Robinson giving chase early. About 2-3 laps in Robinson would go off in turn 8 and back his car into the tire barrier only to quickly recover and rejoin the mix after losing several places. Van Wagenen and Steel exchanged battles over the same real estate nearly every lap until the finish. The race was long--about 35 minutes—and allowed racers to push it to the limit as they battled amongst the pack.

Final results saw Steel taking the win with Van Wagenen within one car length to take second place. Don Trask held off Stowell to take a strong third, with Stowell, Morin, Righetti, Plum, Robinson, Donahoe, Fernandez, Bullock, Bergman, Stone, and Graves/Heldin rounding out the field.

The past weekend was one of highest attended NASA events of recent memory, as evidenced by the crowded paddock conditions. A big thank you to all competitors who did their best under these conditions.


Last, I would like to dedicate this CMC race Weekend to Per Heldin and his father.

Pers father passed away this last month and we all were sadden by this tragic news. We all wish Per and his family the best in these hard times.


The next Event will be on August 9/10th at the new Reno-Fernley Raceway in Fernley, Nevada.

Should be interesting to say the least!

See you there!


Tony Guaglione

CMC Director


Greg Robinson

CMC Editor

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