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THUNDERHILL RACE REPORT


Tony G

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Thunderhill Race Report Sept 2003

 

Round 6 of the CMC 2003 season was held at the local favorite: Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California on the weekend of September 6-7th. A strong field of CMC racers arrived with little idea about the exciting weekend that would unfold before them.

 

Unseasonably cool weather was a welcome sight and meant some fast lap times were in store throughout the weekend. Saturday morning practice showed some great lap times from the mid-pack drivers. Tim Bullock and Mike Plum showed good speed early. Nick Steel, Dave Morin and Erick Van Wagenen had fast times. Al Fernandez, Scott Gregory and Mike Donahoe returned after brief absences, and from the grins on their faces, it looked like they were very glad to be back on the racetrack.

 

Race #1 featured a standing start with clean, close racing.

The usual CMC bumper to bumper racing was witnessed through out the entire race. At the end, Erick Van Wagenen crossed the finish line first, with Nick Steel taking second, and Ed Varon coming in a strong third. It was then Morin, Bullock, Fernandez, Trask, Plum, Robinson, Donahoe, Stone, Gregory, Bergman, Helldin, Sparklin, and new rookie Jim Griffith in his first race with us.

 

Race #2 was held within another race group and had the famous CMC inverted start. Steve Graves and Steve Sparklin started up front and managed to keep the rest of the field behind them for a lap or two. Sparklin suffered rear shock problems and Graves would be eventually caught and passed by Greg Robinson on his way to the front. Robinson led his first laps of the season, and put some distance on the rest of the field for several laps, until Steel worked his way through traffic and put on a pass on Robinson with two laps to go. The finish was close but Steel stayed out front to take the win. Robinson took a second, followed by Mike Donahoe taking the third place position.

 

Saturday night the entire CMC group joined each other for good food and conversation. Series Director Tony Guaglione, held a surprise informal roundtable discussion with everyone having the opportunity to voice their opinion on this and the next season. The overwhelming response was that everyone was having a great time racing with such a professional group, and many great comments were heard from all that attended which will be discussed later in the year.

 

Race #3 on Sunday saw some new faces up front. Al Fernandez had a great qualifying run as did Mike Plum and Tim Bullock. CMC veteran Ben Pfaff made an appearance, and without a practice, put his Camaro on the pole. Erick Van Wagenen was close behind. Lap times fell about one second from the previous day’s times!

Ben Pfaff ran hard and took the checkered flag in another typical super clean CMC style racing environment and posted a fast lap of a 206.672.He was followed by Erick Van Wagenen, with Mike Plum taking a great third place finish. Al Fernandez ran super hard, and took a fantastic fourth, followed by Morin, Donahoe, Bullock, Stone, Robinson, Helldin, Gregory, Steel, Bergman/Marshall, Jim Griffith, and also James Griffith who is brand new to our series. Jim and James Griffith are a brand new Mustang family who joined us this past weekend, and it should be fun watching father and son competing against each other on the track.

I spent some time this past weekend training and licensing some new CMC racers, and CMC is on track for another explosive year in 2004.

People are seeing once again that the CMC group has by far the most fun/bang for the buck available anywhere in the country, hence are continued growth.

.

The next race weekend, Round 7, will be at Buttonwillow on October 18-19-2003. The points battle is close and promises to be fantastic battle to the very end. Don’t miss it!

 

See you at the races.

 

Greg Robinson, CMC Editor

Tony Guaglione, CMC Director

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