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2014 Western States Championship PDF Print E-mail
Written by A. U. B. I. E.   
Sunday, 16 November 2014 19:25
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November 7-9: A mid-pack view of the NASA Western State Championship 944 Spec race weekend.

Anytime you get to compete in a championship event your heart rate rises in anticipation, double the excitement if your first time is at a home track. Daybreak over the San Rafael bridge, Sonoma Raceway revealed her blind crests for the inaugural NASA Western State Championships. Had to start early and sunlight’s first rays radiated brightly off a setting moon as everyone prepped for the first session of the day. Drivers from California, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, and as far away as Illinois would be joining NorCal's local racer contingent.

Turn 1
Thursday's pre-race testing brought an inauspicious start to the weekend: Jim Richmond’s car coming off a tow truck, front left wheel shrugged into the wheelwell. Before Richmond was out of his driver’s suit, Jim Hicks, Ron Dale and others were rolling up their sleeves to get dirty and keep the 512 car on track for Friday’s sessions. Driving Concepts Racing School instructor, Carl Mc Ginn had a saying, paraphrased: "Your driving is your reputation." 944 Spec has a reputation: We come together for each other. The early diagnosis was a broken spindle and the group got Richmond’s wheels turning before sunset. Dan Piña’s reputation was growing, traveling all the way from Chicago with a second place from the Eastern Championship event, but he was swapping computers. His crew was working hard to get things right.

Our race director Tim Comeau summed it up proudly: “It shouldn't be about the car, it should be about how you drive it." Comeau wanted legal, compliant cars, zero contact reports and for everyone to have fun.

There are a couple other reputations NorCal 944 Spec carries: Every field has multiple drivers named Jim, every other car on grid is Porsche Guards Red, and a driver who’s reputation precedes him, Charlie Buzzetti opened the weekend right by hosting the Buzzetti barbecue for any hungry driver in our class. Say it with me everyone: “Fish Tacos!”

The roll call Z to A is as follows:
Auburn Schmidt
Jim Richmond (Jim #1)
Dan Piña
Katherine Pelland (Red #1)
Austin Newmark
Ken Myers
Steven Lewis
Jason Jane (Red #2)
Jim Hicks (Jim #2, Red #3)
James Foxx (Jim #3, Red #4)
Alberto Fonseca (Red #5)
Pete Dimuzio (Red #6)
Ronald Dale
Javier Cantu-Lucero
Charles Buzzetti (Red #7)
Thomas Atteberry.