Archive for Racing Team

Run to Monterey, Featuring a Track Day at Laguna Seca

There is plenty to do and see in the Monterey Bay area.  My personal favorite spot is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, between Monterey and Salinas.  Of the nine race tracks I’ve run at speed, Sonoma Raceway is the only one I think is more fun.

On Thursday, June 22nd, I met Tom Kelly and Marie DeMarbiex, Greg and Eunice Magill, and Bob and Kathleen Swanson at the Aliso Creek rest stop, our starting point for our run up to Monterey.  Lisa had planned on going, too.  But our cat, Mario, is having health issues.  So she decided to stay home and watch over him.

Our first stop was for lunch at a small restaurant right on Santa Barbara’s East Beach.  I lived in Santa Barbara for about a year and East Beach was my regular weekend spot.  I learned most of my volleyball skills there.  It was a bit disheartening to realize that it had been 40 years since I had been there last.  When did I get so old?

We also made a gas and Starbucks stop in Buellton.  My cousin Anna lives there and she recognized my car as she drove past the Chevron.  She contacted Lisa through Facebook to see if it really was my car that she had seen.  Lisa confirmed that it indeed was me.  So Anna stopped by for a quick “hello”.  Yes, I do have family everywhere!

Our hotel for the weekend was the Lighthouse Lodge and Cottages in Pacific Grove.  It wasn’t anything special, although the remodeled rooms were nice.  My room had a small balcony off the back, overlooking the adjacent cemetery.  Yes, it was quiet.  What was really nice was the hotel’s location.  It was a short walk to the Point Pinos Lighthouse and what passes as a beach in Northern California.  There was also a nice golf course, complete with deer spectators.

Friday was the track day, so we all got up early and headed to the track.  It was very foggy when we arrived, but the fog burned off just as the first run group began their session.  After we completed our track time and the “transponder hunt” (ask Tom), we had a nice outdoor dinner at Tarpy’s Roadhouse.

On Saturday, Bob and Kathleen went back to the track while the rest of us took a Lyft into Monterey.  We had a nice lunch, did some shopping, mingled with the crowd and finished it off with ice cream at Ghirardelli’s.  The hotel was only 2 miles from the Monterey shops, so we thought we would walk back.  After a few blocks, we gave up and called for a Lyft.  My brother had driven down from the East Bay area to play golf with one of his regular golfing groups.  We had dinner together Saturday evening.  As I said, lots of family.

Bob and Kathleen decided to stay an extra day while the rest of us drove home on Sunday.  We stopped for a barbecue lunch at Willow Ranch in Buttonwillow.  It’s our regular dinner spot when we’re at the track in Buttonwillow.  The food was good as always, but their air conditioning system wasn’t working and there were triple-digit temperatures outside.  They had brought in portable AC units, which made it bearable, but we left just as they closed because of the heat.

Driving home through Los Angeles was the usual traffic nightmare, made worse than a typical Sunday because of a brushfire near the freeway.  We decided to take I-210 around the north to I-15.  My navigation kept trying to take us back to I-5, so after a while, I just ignored it.  Unfortunately, that meant I missed what would have been a shorter route, so we ended up driving a few more miles than necessary.  But we all did make it home.

I will probably plan another Monterey Run for about the same time next year.  Speed Ventures rents the track at least once a year.  They’re no longer my favorite group with which to run, but their Laguna Seca weekend has a 92dB noise restriction.  Most other weekends are limited to 90dB.  Hopefully, we’ll have a bigger group join us, including some non-racers.  Thanks to Tom  and Marie, Greg and Eunice, and Bob and Kathleen for making this one fun!

– Craig

K1 Speed Challenge VI

The COCSD Racing Team completely dominated the sixth K1 Speed Challenge, held Saturday, March 4th at K1 Speed – San Diego.  COCSD swept the top three positions, finishing with 75 points.  The BMWCCA San Diego Chapter won 16 points and the San Diego Miata Club had 10.

As has been the case with the previous Challenges, we used the mini-Grand Prix format.  All three clubs had their own 14-lap qualifying race.  Once those sessions were completed, the 31 racers were divided into three race groups.  Qualifiers 22 through 31 ran in the “Fast” group race.  The second race was for the “Very Fast” run group, made up of qualifiers 12 through 21.  The final race of the day was the “Ridiculously Fast” race group, with the top 11 qualifiers.

Leah Johnson and Greg Magill were in the “Fast” group race.  Leah finished fifth.  Greg was on the pole and led from start to finish.  He held off a stiff challenge from one of the BMW ladies and earned the “Hardest to Pass” award, in addition to his first-place medal.

Howard Kendall ran hard in the “Very Fast” group, and came home ninth.

Six COCSD members qualified for the top “Ridiculously Fast” race group.  Kevin Tagle got caught in a late-lap collision and finished tenth.  Lisa DiSabatino came in ninth.  Bill Belt finished in sixth.  Craig Moya, Randy Standke and Jeff Wilkinson came home one, two, three to sweep the podium.

Team Corvette! Front row, left to right: Kevin Tagle, Bill Belt, Howard Kendall. On the podium: Randy Standke, Ed Griffin (Corvettes of SD), Leah Johnson, Buddy Griffin (CoSD), Lisa DiSabatino, Craig Moya, Greg Magill, Jeff Wilkinson.

Tom Kelly watched the races with his grandson and assisted Jim Mellos in selecting the special award winners.  Lisa Foland and Dawn Standke were also there, cheering on the Racing Team.  As usual, there were several non-racers from SDMC there, supporting Team Zoom-Zoom.

Following the races, we drove to the Corvette Diner for lunch in the Corvette Clubhouse.  The special awards were presented to those who earned them.  In addition to Greg’s award, the “Guardrail Award” was given to SDMC member David Streeter, for his consistent use of the rails to stay on track.  The “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing Here Award” went to SDMC member Wally Stevens.  Wally regularly participates in high-speed straight-line events, but could not come up to speed in the karts.  The “Sandbagger Award” goes to the racer who wins the “Very Fast” race group, but could not quite qualify for the “Ridiculously Fast” group.  This year, that was SDMC’s Greg Lee.

The final special award for the “Most Aggressive Driver” was presented to Randy Standke at the COCSD March meeting.  He was not the original choice of the judges, but after watching the self-incriminating video Randy posted to YouTube, the judges reconsidered.

 

Randy, Craig and Jeff sweep the top 3 places in the “Ridiculously Fast” run group podium.

“Ridiculously Fast” Group Race Results:

  1.  Craig Moya, COCSD
  2.  Randy Standke, COCSD
  3.  Jeff Wilkinson, COCSD
  4.  Tyler Johnson, BMWCCA
  5.  Ken Hurd, SDMC
  6.  Bill Belt, COCSD
  7.  Ed Griffin, Corvettes of San Diego
  8.  Matt Gage, BMWCCA
  9.  Lisa DiSabatino, COCSD
  10.  Kevin Tagle, COCSD
  11.  Buddy Griffin, Corvettes of San Diego

The “Very Fast” run group podium.

“Very Fast” Group Race Results:

  1.  Greg Lee, SDMC
  2.  Sean Nesbitt, BMWCCA
  3.  Preston Waid, SDMC
  4.  Jonathan King, BMWCCA
  5.  Travis Sterne, BMWCCA
  6.  Greg Uhler, BMWCCA
  7.  Arman Freeman, SDMC
  8.  Dave Shapiro, SDMC
  9.  Howard Kendall, COCSD
  10.  Dune Mallory, SDMC

The “Fast Group” podium, with Greg Magill on top.

“Fast” Group Race Results:

  1. Greg Magill, COCSD
  2.  Victoria Jones, BMWCCA
  3.  Jay Stoneburner, BMWCCA
  4.  Rob Mallory, SDMC
  5.  Leah Johnson, COCSD
  6.  Steve Waid, SDMC
  7.  Gene Streeter, SDMC
  8.  David Streeter, SDMC
  9.  Ben Phenis, BMWCCA
  10.  Wally Stevens, SDMC

COCSD Racing Team at Spring Mountain Motor Resort

Seven members of the COCSD Racing Team made the trek to Pahrump, Nevada for a weekend of track time at Spring Mountain Motor Resort.  Several members of the Corvettes of San Diego also participated.  The track days weekend was held on November 12 and 13 and was hosted by the Las Vegas Region of the Porsche Club of America.

Lisa DiSabatino, Leah Johnson, Bob Michels, Craig Moya, Randy Standke and Kevin Tagle all hit the track.  Ray Provencio drove his new 2017 Z06 convertible to Pahrump and served as the chief photographer.  He also hosted the group dinners on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Hanging out on the deck of Ray’s cottage after a day on the track.

lisakevindale

 

 

 

 

 

 

One big advantage of attending the PCA events is the free instruction that they offer to first-time students.  There weren’t any first-timers in our group.  But Randy is a certified PCA instructor, so he rode along with Leah for a few sessions and allowed others to ride along with him while he was on the track.

Bob, Leah, Craig and Ray wait for their run group's next track session. Ray must not have received the memo about wearing his Racing Team shirt.

Bob, Leah, Craig and Ray wait for their run group’s next track session. Ray must not have received the memo about wearing his Racing Team shirt.

lisa

Lisa DiSabatino’s parents live in the Las Vegas area, so Spring Mountain is her “home track”.

 

Leah heads out to the track, with Instructor Randy riding along.

Leah heads out to the track, with Instructor Randy riding along.

raysc7

Ray’s Z06 will soon have an Angelwings Tech Track Day Bar, so he can join Craig and Kevin in the “convertible crew”.

 

Kevin's license plate says it all.

Kevin’s license plate says it all.

craigstail

The tail of Craig’s Corvette includes decals of the 9 tracks he has run at speed.

K1 Speed Challenge V

The fifth K1 Speed Challenge was held on Saturday, February 20. The competition pitted members of COCSD against members of the San Diego Miata Club (SDMC) and Corvettes of San Diego (CoSD).

The race format was the same as previous Challenges, using K1 Speed’s mini-Grand Prix. Each club had its own 14-lap qualifying session. Because CoSD fielded only three racers, they were joined by some SDMC members for their qualifying session. Once the qualifying sessions were completed, the competitors were divided into three race groups. Qualifiers 17 through 24 ran the first 16-lap race for position as the “Fast” group. The racers were grided on the front straight, with the fastest qualifier in the group at the front, the second qualifier behind him, and so forth. Each race began with a standing start.

The "Ridiculously Fast" group is grided up and ready to go.

The “Ridiculously Fast” group is grided up and ready to go.

Following the “Fast” group race was the “Very Fast” group, with qualifiers 9 through 16. The “Ridiculously Fast” group, made up of qualifiers 1 through 8, ran the last race of the event. The top three finishers in each group received K1 Speed medals.

Craig chases top qualifier Randy Brown as Jeff looms in third.

Craig chases top qualifier Randy Brown as Jeff looms in third.

 

Craig takes the lead with Randy falling to third.

Craig takes the lead with Randy falling to third.

The race results:

“Ridiculously Fast” group
1. Craig Moya, SDMC
2. Randy Brown, COCSD
3. Nima Abrahim, SDMC
4. Jeff Wilkinson, COCSD
5. Randy Standke, COCSD
6. Greg Lee, SDMC
7. Aurora Williams, SDMC
8. Tristan Gale, CoSD

Randy Brown finished second in the "Ridiculously Fast" race. Craig Moya took first place, representing the San Diego Miata Club.

Randy Brown finished second in the “Ridiculously Fast” race. Craig Moya took first place, representing the San Diego Miata Club.

“Very Fast” group
9. Ed Griffin, CoSD
10. Eric Gatley, COCSD
11. Ken Hurd, SDMC
12. Jake Taylor, COCSD
13. Robbie Meyer, SDMC
14. Buddy Griffin, CoSD
15. Bob Van Hook, SDMC
16. Gene Streeter, SDMC

Eric Gatley took second in the "Very Fast" group race.

Eric Gatley took second in the “Very Fast” group race.

“Fast” group
17. Mark Booth, SDMC
18. Daryled Bristol, SDMC
19. Greg Magill, COCSD
20. Steve Waid, SDMC
21. Bill Belt, COCSD
22. Howard Kendall, COCSD
23. Denis Meyer, SDMC
24. David Pelsue, SDMC

Greg Magill took third in the "Fast" group race.

Greg Magill took third in the “Fast” group race.

Because COCSD beat the other two clubs so convincingly last time, and since Lisa and I are members of SDMC (no, we don’t own a Miata, but they don’t care), I chose to add a bit of fun and “drama” by racing for SDMC. Yes, they did offer a couple of bribes. They’re on the hook to have at least 25 entries in Main Street America this year. And one of them owes me an apple pie. It turned out to be a pretty cheap investment, as I was able to come out on top. Check out the video from my perspective.  Based upon the Formula 1 points distribution (what else would you use?), SDMC came out the winner with 54 points, followed by COCSD with 41 and CoSD with 6.

As has become our tradition, we had the “official” awards ceremony at the Corvette Diner afterwards. Ed Griffin won the “Sandbagger Award” for winning the “Very Fast” group race after not being quite fast enough to qualify for the “Ridiculously Fast” group. Greg Magill was given the “Hardest to Pass Award” for holding off a SDMC racer for at least six laps before finally being passed. COCSD “ringer” Jake Taylor won the “Needs More Seat Time Award” for finishing just off the “Very Fast” group podium, despite having no prior time in a kart at the San Diego K1 Speed. Jeff Wilkinson was unanimously chosen to receive the “Most Dangerous Racer Award” for bumping more tails than a disco queen. Steve Waid won the “Too Much Ballast Award” for complaining about having to race against lighter competitors.

Paul, Jake, Eric and Howard are joined by the Corvettes of San Diego contingent at the Corvette Diner.

Paul, Jake, Eric and Howard are joined by the Corvettes of San Diego contingent at the Corvette Diner.

Randy, Randy, John, Linda, Greg and Craig, with David of SDMC.

Randy, Randy, John, Linda, Greg and Craig, with David of SDMC.

The fifth Challenge was the most tightly contested in the series. We expect next year’s Challenge to be just as close. Which club will I represent? It’s kind of fun being a free agent. In the mean time, we’ll go back to running our K1 Speed Fridays (on the second Friday of the month) and K1 Speed Saturdays (fourth Saturday of the month) just for fun. The track day season is also just around the corner. If you’re not yet a member of the COCSD Racing Team, come join us and see how much fun it can be!

Craig Moya, COCSD and SDMC

Photos by Mark Booth, SDMC

 

K1 Speed Challenge

The fourth K1 Speed Challenge was simply no contest.

12 COCSD racers took on 12 from the San Diego Miata Club (SDMC) and two representatives of the Corvettes of San Diego (CoSD) at the San Diego K1 Speed on Sunday, November 23rd.

We used the same format as previous Challenges, with SDMC and COCSD each getting their own 14-lap qualifying session.  To keep the size of the qualification sessions relatively small, we also had a “mixed” group, with 4 COCSD racers, the 2 CoSD racers and 2 SDMC racers.  After the 3 qualifying sessions were run, we broke the field into 3 groups – the “fast” group, which consisted of the 9 racers with the slowest qualifying times; the “very fast” group, with the middle 9 qualifiers; and the “ridiculously fast” group, with the fastest 8 qualifiers.

The “fast” group was made up largely of SDMC racers.  Alan Atha and Bob Swanson were also in the group, along with Matt Arena’s friend, David.  They ran the first 16-lap race for position.  SDMC swept the top 3 positions, with Daryled Bristol winning.

The very fast group (qualifiers 9 - 17) line up on the starting grid.

The very fast group (qualifiers 9 – 17) line up on the starting grid.

The “very fast” group was also largely SDMC racers, with two notable exceptions.  Eric Gatley and Matt Arena failed to qualify for the “ridiculously fast” group, but they both ran well in their group race.  Eric won it easily and Matt came in third.

The top “ridiculously fast” group was completely dominated by COCSD racers.  Seven of the eight who qualified for the group were COCSD racers.  Aurora Williams – the only female racer from SDMC, qualified seventh fastest and was the only SDMC racer to make it to the top group.  She finished the race seventh, only after causing Lisa DiSabatino to spin out.

Craig was loose before the big race.  Unfortunately, once the race began, it was his kart that was loose.

Craig was loose before the big race. Unfortunately, once the race began, it was his kart that was loose.

Randy Brown was the top qualifier, beating me by 3/1000ths of a second.  He led the group race from start to finish.  Our K1 Speed buddy, Rudy Iribe finished second and Randy Standke was third.  I struggled with a crappy kart for the race (it happens), but still came in fourth.  Jeff Wilkinson was fifth, with Travis Adams in sixth and Lisa D. in eighth.  Be sure to check out my video of my perspective of the race.

After the races, we drove up to the Corvette Diner for lunch and to hand out the special awards.  Eric was given the “Sandbagger” award – a filled sandbag, for failing to qualify for the top group, then dominating the “very fast” group.  Lisa qualified eighth, but was hampered by a kart with a failing battery (that happens, too).  She was given the appropriate “Dead Battery” trophy.  Randy Standke could not get past Rudy or Randy, but in trying to do so, set a new COCSD single-lap record, becoming the first in the Club to break the 22-second barrier.  His effort earned him the “Drive It Like You Stole It” award.  SDMC did not go home empty-handed.  Daryled is an experienced autocrosser and he tried to pass his knowledge on to his teammates.  Apparently, it only served to make them slower.  So at the request of an anonymous SDMC member, has was given the “Just Plain Nuts” trophy.

Overall, COCSD took 9 of the top 11 places.  It was the most lopsided Challenge to date.  All of our Friday practice sessions clearly paid off.  We’ll see if the Miata Club is willing to try it again next year, or if we will have to find another club to battle.

The "ridiculously fast" group winners podium, K1 Speed Challenge, Nov. 2014

The “ridiculously fast” group winners podium, K1 Speed Challenge, Nov. 2014

The "very fast" group winners podium.  1st: Eric Gatley, COCSD; 2nd:  ,SDMC; 3rd: Matt Arena, COCSD

The “very fast” group winners podium, K1 Speed Challenge, Nov. 2014.

K1 Speed Challenge group photo.

K1 Speed Challenge group photo.

There was a big group at the Corvette Diner after the racing was over.

There was a big group at the Corvette Diner after the racing was over.

All smiles after the "ridiculously fast" group race.

All smiles after the “ridiculously fast” group race.

Photos by Dawn Standke and Mark Booth