Monday, October 10, 2011

Irwindale and 2011.....

The season is officially over! What is there to say... Let me start off by recaping our drivers results at Irwindale.

Taka Aono. Coming into the last event, I was hoping to see some serious laps by our veteran driver and he did. On Thursday's practice, he took the usual route of taking it easy which actually made me nervous. I even thought he was playing safe that weekend but he didn't and made quite an impression on the track.

Friday's qualifying came and he went for it and scored a solid 70.8 putting him in a respectable 22nd for Saturday's main event. Taka was paired up against Ken Gushi. Ken, being the higher qualifier led first. As they left the starting line, I see Taka pulling away from Ken going into the first turn.... Taka slowed down waiting for Ken to catch up but Taka, almost at the initiation point, had no choice but to lift losing all momentum as Ken finally passed him into the first corner giving no chance for the AE86 to keep up. I thought that it should have been a re-do but the damage was done and Ken moved on....

Alex Pfeiffer might have had the worst event yet as he didn't qualify into top 32 with what everyone else thought was a great qualifying run. Alex knew he wasn't going to hit the required speeds, so he focused on style and line, which I thought he nailed... The judges didn't think so, and he scored a 50.9.

Cyrus Martinez was doing well and he could have qualified higher on his second run IF he didn't have clutch problems. Luckily his first qualifying run was high enough to take 30th into Saturday's main event. His run against Tyler was interesting to say the least. Cyrus went for it getting as close to Tyler going into bank. As they were coming into the smaller bank, Cyrus reached for his E-brake handle and accidentally turned off his car mid turn. For his second run, he went for it again but maybe too much. He scraped the wall mid-bank and couldn't continue the course breaking a few suspension parts along the way.

John Russakoff aka. "Murphy" had issues again coming into the last round. He had to return back to his shop on Thursday with some engine problems and came back on Friday only hit the wall on Friday's morning practice. With bent front control arm and rear axle, he did his best to replace them both with the help of Tom Flowers and did his best to get back in time for qualifying. Unfortunately, the car was not well and John just couldn't drive the car.

To sum up my personal thoughts on the season, I would have to say the I am very regretful and happy for the drivers this year. Taka should have killed it this year with his new motor and "no hold" attitude but it just didn't happened the way it was supposed to. He still kept his head high and did what ever it took to stay in the game. I don't think everyone knows but he sacrificed a lot in order to finish this season.

Alex Pfeiffer is a stand up guy and although we had our differences this year, we got along better as the season progressed. I don't think any driver in the field could have done a better job driving the Megan 350z car. We have seen what a driver is willing to do to show his frustration, but Alex didn't and I commend him on that.

What we saw from Cyrus this year was a mature and focused driver. I am proud of who he has become and I think he has a future as a driver in this sport.

John Russakoff. What can I say about his first complete season this year? I think what made his season so tough was that he was the main focus of the team after a 4th place finish in Atlanta. Some people call it bad luck, I say "Let's see happens next year".

I would like to thank everyone that helped the team which includes the following:

Yoshie Shuyama
Robert Penado
Daniel Anguiano
Mac Crook
Tom Lee
Chiemi Russakoff
Tom Flowers
Megan Racing
Mike at Nexen Tire USA
Mark Aldaba
Jp Mendoza
John Yim
K1 Race Gear
Jeff Jones
Steve Reyes
Larry Chen
Intek Racing

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