The 2015 NASA SoCal Spec E30 racers roared into Fontana, Calif., for round three. Temperatures in the high 70s welcomed 16 teams who came ready to duke it out on the high banks of Auto Club Speedway.
As they have done all season, the top qualifiers shattered the existing track record, ensuring that the pace for the weekend would be exciting. Michael Mihld took the pole for the first race of the weekend with the fastest time of the weekend, laying down a 2:00.780 lap, besting the track record by more than a second! Steve Stepanian qualified on the outside pole, besting his fastest time by a full 2 seconds. Row two had Sean Aron in Q3 with new comer Gavin Bristow, from the U.K.-based Mini Challenge on the outside in Q4.
From the drop of the green flag, Mihld and Stepanian worked with each other to gap the field and then battle it out. However, once they got a nice size lead, Stepanian made a costly error in Turn 9, giving Mihld a large lead. Mihld went wire to wire for the win. Stepanian finished second, and taking third was Allan Hauser, who started from the back of the field due to his missing qualifying. Positions four through six were filled by Andrew Clark, Hubert Young and Jerick Javier, respectively.
There was no qualifying race Sunday, so the Race Director chose to invert the top six qualifiers just to make things interesting. That put No. 17 Javier on pole with JoJo McKenzie’s No. 15 outside him. Steve Agoston started behind the pole sitter and Clark started fourth. The Spec E30 group took their traditional standing start as the fourth wave. Being that late in the field, the green dropped just as the majority of the pack was getting in position. Some were caught sleeping, but the front of the pack got away clean.
Coming off the banks and turning into the infield, Agoston took the early lead with Hauser, Clark, Javier and Stepanian nose to tail, giving chase. Agoston and Hauser raced for three straight laps with Stepanian close behind. On lap four, Hauser tried to out-brake Agoston going deep into Turn 5. Stepanian capitalized on their battle and slid under the two of them to take the lead with Clark and Charles Buzzetti in tow. As the clock ran down, Stepanian held on to take the win and moved into the lead in the SoCal points standings. Clark finished second with Hauser snatching the last podium spot. Agoston finished in the fourth spot and ironically, Young and Javier repeated their Saturday finishes in fifth and sixth, respectively.