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Reno Race Report

Tony G

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Camaro Mustang Challenge Reno-Fernley Race Report


Round 5 of the Camaro-Mustang Challenge had 14 racers making the long drive to the new Reno-Fernley Raceway on August 9-10-03. Nick Steel and Greg Robinson made the long haul from SoCal. The long distance award went to Robinson with a 678 mile trek from San Diego which earned him a free dinner. With the full road course still under construction, racers found themselves testing their abilities on a short, compact 1.2 mile circuit. Amenities were scarce but the track staff was very helpful and did their best to make the racers feel welcome. Several drivers were on hand Friday morning to take advantage of open testing. The buzz in the paddock was that of caution. The track was narrow with little safe runoff. Additionally, overtaking would be extremely difficult due to the compact nature of the circuit. On a positive note, spectators could see the entire circuit from one vantage point.


Saturday began with a driver’s meeting to discuss the serious potential for a disaster on this new track. It was unanimously agreed that any body contact would result in a loss of points and disqualification from that race. Qualifying was split between AI and CMC. Both groups enjoyed having the track to themselves, at least briefly. Saturday’s first race saw Nick Steel and Tony Guaglione in the first row. A standing start was chosen because the short front straight led almost immediately into the esses. When the green flag dropped, Guaglione’s Mustang with its 3:73 gears won the drag race against Steel’s Camaro to the first turn. After 5 laps Sam Stowell hit the wall hard on the last turn which brought out the yellow flag for 5 more laps. The race would stay yellow until Tony Guaglione took the checkered flag followed by Steel in second place. Third was taken by Dave Morin, followed by Van Wagenen, Varon, Plum, Bullock, Blain, Robinson, Stone, Trask, Helldin, Bergman, and Stowell. Fastest lap of the race was a 53.771 by Guaglione.


Saturday’s second race featured the famous CMC inverted standing start. The crowd absolutely loved the standing starts! As with the first race, limited passing opportunities seemed to be the norm and kept the whole pack nearly nose to tail for the duration of the race. Per Helldin jumped out front and never looked back enroute to his first win for Team Esse. Everyone joined in congratulating Per on a well-deserved win. Per has been through a lot this year and it was good to see his yellow Camaro up front. Finishing results were as follows: Helldin, Trask, Robinson, Blain, Varon, Van Wagenen, Bullock, Steel, Plum, Morin, Bergman, and Guaglione. Fastest lap was by Steel at a 53.063


Saturday evening was spent enjoying the company of our fellow racers and talking about all the usual CMC bashing of the days events over dinner at a local casino. Everyone enjoyed the cool air-conditioning and the storytelling. This is just one more reason CMC has fun both on and off the track!


Sunday’s qualifying and practice were combined, but again allowed CMC and AI to have separate track time. Great qualifying efforts had Dave Morin up front with the pole position, followed by Nick Steel and Eric Van Wagenen right behind him, which placed them up front and ready for action with another standing start. Nick Steel took off and never looked back with a strong first place finish. Passing was almost impossible and saw Van Wagenen take second. Mike Plum had a great performance and took third. It was then Morin, Varon, Trask, Robinson, Guaglione, Blain, Helldin, Bullock, and Stone. Fastest lap was by Nick Steel with a 53.215.

The fact that no one had any contact with any other car was a testament to excellent driving, especially at this track!

I thank you all for this, and it shows our ability to run super tight, but still under control.


At the end of this hot weekend many had horrible traffic on the way home. Much of the problem was from Hot August Nights traffic from Reno. CMC has a lot of dedicated competitors and it showed this weekend. Thanks everyone!


Our next race will be at Thunderhill on September 6/7th.

See you there!!


Race report by Greg Robinson and Tony Guaglione

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