Saturday’s qualifying session at the combined SoCal and Arizona regional event at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway put the veteran Mihld on pole, continuing where he left off in his 2017 SoCal Spec E30 championship season. Andrew Clark turned in a lap time fast enough to put him outside pole, just 2.3 seconds back. Qualifying in third with a new car, Ed Wagner was only .3 seconds behind Clark for the third spot on the grid.
By the end of the race Saturday, Mihld had established a 5-second lead and maintained that on second place. Wagner wiggled past Clark early in the race and defended Clark all race long. Clark finished third, with Wagner and Mihld ahead of him.
For Sunday’s race, Mihld squirted away from the field, with Clark just behind. Team Black Swan Research was leading a pack in third, with Wagner glued to his bumper and Team Ed Sukchai, with Sukchai at the wheel, attacking Wagner. Arabian was within striking distance of the group, just waiting to take advantage of any mistake.
It didn’t take long. Sukchai drove up tight to the left side of the track in turns 16 and 17 on the inside of Wagner and Team Black Swan Research, simultaneously. Wagner also was making a move on Team Black Swan Research, which put them all at the same place on track. Sukchai tried, but couldn’t brake hard enough to avoid contact with the left rear quarter panel of Wagner, spinning him.
Team black Swan Research evaded the incident and avoided being collected, but the spinning Wagner collected Devon Charters’ left front fender and door, which ripped the rear bumper and tail light off of Wagner’s car. Charters was pushed to the right, which resulted in a second contact with Team Ed Sukchai on the right side of Charters’ car to Sukchai’s left side.
Wagner and Charters retired from the race a lap later and Sukchai continued. Soon after, Bob Michaels retired with mechanical issues. At the back of the pack, new drivers Ben Kirkbride in a rented Spec E30 and Hasan Hamade were enjoying a private little battle of their own, until Hamade broke a rocker arm and fell back, but still managed to finish the race in seventh. After all of the drama, as the checkered flag flew on the field, Mihld picked up his third win of the weekend. Mihld had an 11-second lead over Clark followed by Team Black Swan Research in third.