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Old 12-04-2016, 09:43 PM
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Default Can-Am Challenge 2016 Report

For my money, last night was just about the perfect race. We had a nice 73 entries, a proper number of Canadians and Portlandians in addition to the usual crew of locals, and we were treated to superb racing that gives the Can-Am Challenge tradition credibility and luster. Everyone raced HARD, but at the same time, people kept their cool and had a good time. And it all stayed on a club racer’s modest, reasonable budget. That’s how I like it.

Scale Spec this past couple seasons has seen Dick, Donny, and Ryan duel for the top spot on several occasions. As has been the case in years past, this was the last chance for track records to be posted on the year’s layout. Ryan pinned down the record at the ECC in the spring, and while he’s taken a couple charges at it since, it stood. He had another go, but I think he was slightly handicapped by running a taller, heavier BMW body over the McAllister Mustang he used to set the high mark. At the end of the night, he came within a second, but he could not ultimately improve on his standing best time. So, he retires the layout with the track record in Scale Spec, but the final main was not to go his way. Ryan, Dick, and Donny formed a compact threesome and ran in tight formation for over two minutes, with Ryan leading, Dick second, Donny third. Dick’s car had great speed on the straight, but Ryan was smooth through the twisties and drove an immaculate defensive line. But, it also invited the inevitable and on lap 12, Dick came onto the straight and made a run on Ryan which looked like it might succeed, but Dick tagged Ryan at the end of the straight, forcing them both into catch-up mode as Donny took advantage and scooted through to the lead. Donny kept his head down and sliced clean through the field, keeping Ryan and Dick well off his bumper for the remainder of the race, and that’s how it ended.

In Stock 1/12th I set the early TQ with a 40-lap run, but I knew a certain nemesis was inbound from the airport for Q2. And indeed, Slappy brought his dialed-in Stock program to bear, leaving me searching for answers and coming up with only more questions, mainly of the “Ratsa-Fratsa-Team-Scream-Blasted-Bodine-What-Can-I-Do?!” variety. No question, Brian has his program dialed in, and all I can do is to keep working on my own. All these years, and it’s still a privilege to have Brian setting such a high bar in 1/12th scale. I hope he keeps racing until he’s 80. It was Bodine, me, and Ron Lui making the top 3 and taking the maple shots at the end.

We’ve had a strong Novice program going this season, and we are graduating a new racer into the Scale Spec ranks at next time out. Joshua Dolim bids farewell to Novice with a winning drive and takes home a shot glass to commemorate his efforts. Alex DeGuzman, who claimed the night’s concourse prize with a sharply painted PFM lid in Seahawks livery took second.

Modified Touring saw the welcome return of Jake to action, Panos the Greek Streak showed best-ever form all night, and Jeff rocked a new Serpent chassis that brings some wild new ideas to the ever-competitive touring car field. For all of that, the outcome was predictable: Korey TQ’d and won. He has been our best and most consistent touring car driver this past two seasons, from carpet, to asphalt, and now back to carpet, Harbke has been the class of our field.

Formula 1 is delicate open wheel action, which when done well is exciting to watch. After some rough opening laps of the main, Chris and Alex, two of our Canadian visitors, settled down and treated the fans to some good racing. Chris had TQ’d, and then he followed with a win in the main, separated from Alex by little more than quarter beat.

The big field of the night was Stock Touring, which in general feels right. The best race of the night was between Chad and Ritchie for the B main bump. Those two battled nose to tail, never separated by more than a second from tone to tone. At one point Ritchie made a robust but ultimately clean pass on
Chad to snatch the lead. He held until the last turn when he drove just a tiny bit wide and Chad was able to sneak past and snatch the lead. It brought a “What?! Whoa! Wow!” from the crowd and a congratulatory cheer from his fellow Portland travelers. Props to both for a stellar and exemplary drive. The main event was settled nearly from the tone as Brett made a clean getaway and never looked back. Malkinson was steady in second, but the real battle was for the final third place shot glass. Mike Boyle had a crack at it, and then Justin came through and held to the end. But Chad put pressure on late in the run, carrying his good speed from his winning B effort to the A. It’s good to see Stock Touring running deep and strong. It takes nothing away from our other classes to say that when Stock runs deep and strong, the fundamentals are in place.

The final race of the night was Modified 1/12th which was enjoying a full strength heat for the evening. It will be no surprise that Korey was TQ, and it looked like a check out and done in the main would seal the deal. But, to everyone’s surprise, his car shut down, leaving John Tsang to take the lead and then the win for a surprising and fully deserving win. Sometimes a little luck is good. Korey is sorting out a new speedo, which I’m sure will be figured out soon enough. But we all have to manage our gear and sort out our settings. The bench race is as important as the race on the track, particularly for Modified 1/12th which perhaps more than any other class is preparation-dependent. You really have to be sorted out to show your best effort during the drive. Props to John for putting the winning car on track.

The Can-Am Challenge tradition is a good one, and we will continue with it next season. Thanks to all of our visiting racers for the effort to join us, and thanks as always to the locals who gather up and help make the program a success.

Results attached.
Attached Files
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Round1.txt (83.6 KB, 203 views)
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Round2.txt (84.4 KB, 64 views)
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Round3.txt (62.3 KB, 307 views)
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