One lap and a cloud of dust! That pretty much sums up racing the weekend of October 12-13 at Buttonwillow Raceway as 944 Spec, Spec Miata, Spec E30 and an alphabet soup of PT classes shared the track in Race Group B.
Saturday saw six racers in 944 Spec, two more in Driving Concepts competition school and another in HPDE. It was a busy day on track. Eddie Hillard and Ian McIntyre were busy on track and in the classroom all weekend, honing their race craft and practicing race starts.
At race time every class but Spec E30 took the same green flag, which made for tons of excitement from the first turn on. Charlie Buzzetti took off at the start and never looked back, setting a new track record on his Toyo RRs at 2:05.021, leading every lap and winning the race. Jim Foxx didn’t have much trouble holding onto second, and Jim Hicks finished third. The intense racing was farther back in the pack, where Jim Richmond, Tom Atteberry and Everett DeLano were busy battling with Spec Miata and various PT racers throughout. Dust clouds rose repeatedly, even when just one wheel got off track. That evening the racers watched dust-filled race videos on Jim Hicks’ big screen TV.
Sunday morning saw another inverted start in the qualifying session and it, once again, proved to be great fun. Foxx got a great launch at the start and drove three-wide into the start of the esses. Buzzetti gave chase, but Foxx held onto first, meaning he had pole position for Sunday’s race. And what a race it was!
Foxx stayed ahead of Buzzetti for almost the entire race, but behind those two, there was a lot of excitement. DeLano was behind Richmond when Richmond went off in the Bus Stop, came back on the track and spun off the other side, then, as DeLano passed him, Richmond came back on again and spun off the other side. Then DeLano caught up with the back of Atteberry’s car and was there until Atteberry spun off track and damaged his car. Meanwhile, Foxx was experiencing car trouble of his own up front. And on the final lap of the race, Foxx had to slow and Buzzetti got by him in Sunset. At the checkered flag, it was Buzzetti in first, Foxx in second, and Hicks in third.
And though it was the last race of the season for NASA SoCal, the 944 Spec gang was busy planning what other NASA events they might tackle before year’s end, and looking forward to more local races in 2014.