Spec E30 comprised the biggest field of cars at the Western States Championships presented by Toyo Tires. It also was one of the most competitive, with some of the best drivers on the West Coast and even some hot shoes from back East.
NorCal standout Michael Shawhan qualified on pole, followed by J.P. Cadoux in second and Larry Fraser in third and Brad McClure in fourth.
When the green flag flew, 44 Spec E30 racers side-stepped the clutch and scampered off toward the gentle bend of Turn 1 and the tricky uphill and blind Turn 2.
On just the second lap, the field slowed because of a full-course caution and rounded the circuit at subdued speeds for two laps. When the race resumed, Shawhan, who was eventually DQ’d after the race, suffered contact and was relegated to finish fourth.
“I got run off the track by J.P. in Turn 2 and then on the restart, Larry got by both of us and got the lead,” Shawhan said. “When J.P. went to pass him, we went three wide and they ran me off the track again and wrecked my car for the rest of the race. It was over.”
By lap five, Fraser had the lead, chased closely by Cadoux. By lap 17, the front-running pair had checked out from the rest of the field, including Brad McClure who had taken over third. McClure went on to finish third, but also was DQ’d after the race. Try as he might, he couldn’t catch Cadoux. In the end, Fraser took the win, followed by Cadoux in second and Sylas Montgomery in third.
“We bumped a little bit in Turn 2, but I prevailed and got out front and I started to pull away till we got a yellow flag,” Cadoux said. “We went three wide in Turn 8 and that was exciting. I was the meat in the sandwich, so I got bumped around pretty good, and I came out behind Larry. I could catch him but I just couldn’t get by him.”
While the rest of the field was on the cool down lap, Fraser engaged in the time-honored tradition of doing a huge, tire-smoking donut in the asphalt infield down near Turn 11.
“I went around for a few laps in third, then on a restart, I passed to go into first and pretty much held them off from there,” Fraser said. “JP definitely had the pace. He could have passed me. I think he tried a couple of times. My car went away a little bit. His was a little bit better and he was driving superbly.”