Cool conditions proved better than perfect as lap times for qualifying dropped well below the Spec E30 track record from previous events. The fastest lap was a 1:36.0, which was more than 1.4 seconds quicker than the current lap record, put Clark on pole, Stepanian second, Hauser third and returning SoCal Spec E30 Champ Mihld in fourth, all four drivers posting lap times faster than the previous record!
In the race, Clark and Stepanian battled nose to tail all race long, gapping the field by a comfortable margin. Both used race craft and traffic to their advantage to maintain the gap back to the pack fighting for third place. Hauser, Mihld, Team Ed Sukchai and Sean Aron battled together after Hauser struggled from the start with a missed second-gear shift. Team Ed Sukchai worked its way to the front of that pack with Hauser on his tail in pursuit of the leaders who were within striking distance.
Clark was first to see the checkered flag. Team Ed Sukchai and Hauser worked past Stepanian for second and third place respectively. After the race, Clark’s car made a little too much power, removing his win and giving the win to Team Ed Sukchai for its very first team win! Hauser finished second and Stepanian third. Two drivers broke the official Spec E30 track record, with Hauser posting the new track record of 1:37.431.
For Sunday’s race, Hauser’s new shifter refused to cooperate and give him second gear when he needed it most: on the race start. Hauser fell all the way back to the ninth spot before he could rejoin the race and he thanked everyone for not hitting him while he begged his new shifter to find second gear. There is a brand-new, only-used-once, E30 shifter for sale on Craigslist if anyone is interested. Hauser’s luck didn’t get any better, either. On the very next lap Hauser swerved to avoid Team Ed Sukchai, which lost control on the exit of Turn 1. That resulted in Hauser ending up in a very odd spot, high centered on a berm, but facing straight up in the air.
That brought out a rare full-course yellow, which bunched up the field. After two pace laps, the race resumed. Sean Aron timed it perfectly and shot past Clark for the lead going into Turn 1, with a windshield full of thick traffic ahead. Aron defended the lead furiously and eventually was passed by Clark. With two laps to go, Mihld finally worked his way past Aron to take over the second spot.