After a thrilling opening race at Suzuka during week one, RSR drivers took a few days off and toured Japan as they prepared for the “Hadaka Matsuri 30 Okayama” at the Okayama full course in Mimasaka, Okayama.  Not content to take in the nighttime sights in the Shinjuku district or the famous shopping district in Ginza, several drivers visited the National Museum in Ueno, Tokyo before heading to Okayama to begin pre-race testing.  Unseasonably good weather allowed fans to enjoy the race weekend and gave drivers plenty of track time to learn the tricky 11 corner, 2.314 layout.

Brad Vincent dominated the Class A HPD qualifying session and won his second pole of the season with a lap time of 1:19.159.  Les Turner (2nd) was the only other driver to break the 1:20 barrier.  John Koscielniak (3rd), Terry Daul (4th), Andrew Feldman (5th), David Berry (6th), Kyle Young (7th), Ed Sutcliff (8th), David Weiss (9th), Divina Galica (10th), William Kabela (11th), Bill Pawluckie (12th), and Kevin Kyle (13th) completed the HPD starting grid.

Tommy Rhyne led the way in the Class B Corvette field after winning his first pole of the season with a lap time of 1:25.278.  Corey A. Wolf (2nd), Jeff Thomas (3rd), and Scott Husted (4th) gave Rhyne all he could handle as they laid down sub 1:26 laps.  Dean Moll (5th), Dennis Griffen (6th), Jeff Sharp (7th), Ricky Hardin (8th), and James Prostell Jr (9th) completed the grid.

Early lap mistakes by several drives gave leaders in both fields breathing room as the field was stretched out.  Young was the first to lose position when he went wide in turn two and spun into the outside wall.  His mistake was minor, but cost the new RSR member valuable track position as he was forced to let the field pass before rejoining the racing action.

Griffen was chasing Husted into turn four on lap two when he got into the rear of “The Racing Historian” Corvette and spun Husted as a gang of competitors bore down on his car.  Husted was damaged in the accident but was able to continue racing.

Galica, who missed the first race of the Season Three schedule to participate in the Mike Stott Enduro Race at Watkins Glen, was hoping her thrilling seat time in the 1985 Swift Sports 2000 had prepared her for the challenges in Okayama.  “I raced against the big engines (Corvettes, Porsches, Ford GTs) at Watkins Glen, but had a blast!”, said Galica before the race.  “Mike Taradash and I finished 3rd in our class and 15th overall out of 45 cars, so we were very pleased with our effort.”  Unfortunately, the extra aero in the HPD lulled Galica into a false sense of security and she eventually pushed the limits of her car too far.  The result was a lazy spin exiting turn seven on lap three which saw her car slam violently into the inside wall.  The resulting damage forced Galica to pit for repairs.

Similar mistakes by Thomas, Moll, Kyle, Weiss, and Feldman cost them track position to the lead pack.

Class A results

Vincent led all 21 laps on his way to his second victory of the young season.  Turner crossed the line in 2nd place, 29 seconds behind Vincent and 5 seconds ahead of Koscielniak.  Daul (4th) edged Feldman (5th) to the line after Feldman made a late race mistake which cost him 4th place on lap eighteen.  The top-5 positions mirrored the week one results, so the overall championship standings remained the same after week two.

Sutcliff (6th) and Berry (7th) completed the race on the lead lap, while Young (8th), Kabela (9th), Weiss (10th), Pawluckie (11th), and Kyle (12th) were scored one lap down.  Galica’s lengthy pit stop for repairs put her two laps down and in 13th place.  Vincent, Turner, Koscielniak, Dual, Sutcliff, and Kabela earned bonus points for completing the race without incident.

Class B results

Rhyne won his first race of the season despite strong challenges by Wolf, Hardin, and Moll.  Moll took advantage of the early incidents to get past Husted and Thomas, then gave up a position to Griffen when he went off track to avoid running into the back of Wolf in turn five on lap four.  Moll pitted ahead of the field to replace his tires, then slowly climbed his way back into contention.  He crossed the finish line in 2nd place.

Wolf earned 3rd place, while Griffen held on for 4th and Hardin finished in 5th.  Wolf was happy with his second consecutive podium finish.  “Wolfpack Racing had another good finish tonight despite a slow pit stop which allowed Dean to get past us.  We are looking forward to tackling Barber next week.”

Demonstrating the strength of the Corvette field, Thomas (6th), Prostell, Jr (7th), Sharp (8th), and Husted (9th) all finished on the same lap with Rhyne.  Rhyne and Sharp received bonus points for completing the race without incident.

Unlike the HPD field, week two shook up the standings in the Corvette.  Griffen leads the standings with a one point advantage over Wolf.  Rhyne, Hardin and Thomas round out the top five.

Next Race

RSR travel to Alabama next week for the “Tracksunlimited.net presents Barber Motorsport Park”.

Results / Standings / Video coverage

Race Results:  http://rsr.ileaguerace.com/champ/show_event_result/Red-Sox-Racing-League/2162

League Standings:  http://rsr.ileaguerace.com/champ/show_champ/Red-Sox-Racing-League/355

League Video Site:  http://www.youtube.com/user/draftin11

 

Source: http://www.iracing.com/inracingnews/iracing/vincent-and-rhyne-victorious-in-japan

Jim Hurtubise Gus Hutchison Jacky Ickx Yuji Ide

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