Racing can be like a fickle lover. One day you’re a rock star and the next you’re chopped liver. What happens when you’re a rock star all weekend, but so is the competition? That’s what 10 racers in the 944 Spec class found out at Buttonwillow Raceway Park June 7 and 8. Although they had spent the last several events honing their race craft, so had their competitors. Adding to the usual cast of Southern California speedy racers were some very fast shoes – Las Vegas residents Mary Riddel and Simon Peck, as well as the welcome return of veteran and 944 expert Tim Comeau.
The weekend format was a racer’s paradise, with a practice session, two qualifying sessions, and a 35-minute race each day. And all the racers were quick from the drop of the first green flag. Qualifying revealed remarkably close times. For example, the difference in time between the fourth- and fifth-place starters was one one-hundredth of a second! And while no one was able to catch Jim Foxx in Saturday’s race, the next six cars remained together in a tight and fiercely-competitive bunch for most of the race. At the drop of the checkered flag, the finishing order was Foxx in first, Peck in second and Tom Atteberry in third.
That evening was the Western Endurance Race Championship three-hour race. Two 944 Spec cars were entered in the E3 class, with Jim Richmond and Jim Hicks teamed in one and Atteberry and Foxx teamed in the other. While the Atteberry/Foxx car was fast, it was ultimately retired with mechanical issues. But Richmond/Hicks did well, ultimately placing third in class.
Sunday saw even more great racing. The second qualifying session was a qualifying race, and, once again, the action was fast and furious. And Sunday’s main race likewise saw lots of passes and side-by-side racing. At the checkered flag, it was Hicks in first, Peck in second and Richmond in third place.
The on-track racing was as enjoyable as the off-track entertainment and camaraderie. And no doubt each of this talented bunch will be thinking about what he or she has to do in preparation for the next race event, and how to be an even bigger rock star.