Join the Team

July 26-27 2014, Laguna Seca Raceway PDF Print E-mail
Written by A. U. B. I. E.   
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 23:25
Article Index
July 26-27 2014, Laguna Seca Raceway
All Pages

California. When you think of California you might think of the sandy beaches of Los Angeles. You might think of the tech monkeys in Silicon Valley. You might think of the bottle of wine on your table from Napa Valley. But no, this is Monterey: The Historics, Pebble Beach and Laguna Seca raceway, home of NASA's Northern California/Southern California crossover event. Drivers came from Arizona, Nevada, and our fine Golden State. New friends were made and past acquaintances renewed for a race around an old dry lagoon.

We were expecting a little more temperate weather than what greeted us on Friday as we dropped off the cars and settled in for the weekend. Saturday would remain at elevated temperatures in the 80s, the occasional breeze to take the edge off. It wasn't high desert heat, or a smothering central valley blanket but our warmup session was already hot, seemed like it may have been sapping some performance from the engines as most of the times felt a second or two off our practice pace last year.

I'd just gotten my car back from some extensive body work and a few minor tweaks, wanted to get a feel for a couple laps before I got aggressive. Brake markers and shift points were all jumbled in my head, much as our 944s were mixed in with a group of Spec E30 BMWs. I caught a few E30s tossing their cars into the dirt, especially around turn 6 and 9. Turn 6 is a high-speed kink into an uphill. To get it right gets you a great pull up-slope into the legendary corkscrew. To get it wrong at best leaves you bogging, a duck on a pond for your fellow racer to hunt down. At worst you'll be in the barrier at 70mph. Turn 9 is a big downhill sweeper that you have to get the line right for unless you want understeer and a sand trap to beach you. I mentioned old acquaintances: One of the E30s in our run-group was piloted by our friend, Charlie Buzzetti, turning up in a Roundel coat instead of the accustomed shield of Stuttgart. At least we got to crack jokes at the driver's meeting.

Jim Hicks, fresh off a great run at Sonoma Raceway and utilizing the age-old power of "lots of seat time" would take pole. He was nearly a half second up on Ken Myers. I ran third, less than a tenth behind, and on the desirable inside grid position. Steve Lewis, fourth, Thomas Atteberry fifth and Jim Richmond, sixth. Less than two seconds covered the top seven qualifiers. The field rounded out with John Niedernhofer, Mary Riddel, Everett Delano, Simon Peck and Jason Jane. The pace was picking up.