Aaron Lane Claims victory in RND 1 Summer 2014!
Aaron Lane and CEO of Exotek, Mike Rydwell had two brilliant races in the first round of the 2014 UF1 So Cal Series! The series kicked of at the World Famous Tamiya R&D Raceway in Aliso Viejo, CA.
For the complete race event recap read below as “Panda” puts what transpired into one cohesive and entertaining report!
The first round of the Southern California 2014 UF1 Summer Series kicked off at Tamiya Raceway in Aliso Viejo, California. This race was run in memory of a long time UF1 racer and friend, Dennis Lyman. Dennis’ battle with cancer came to an end this last week. Dennis will be best remembered for his always creating and developing his own chassis, helping anyone who asked and a happy low key attitude. Yes, Dennis was just happy to be racing. From the UF1 community and Dennis’ many friends, our condolences go out to the Lyman family.
A small field of 18 attended the first round but the racing was fierce. The top 3 in qualifying were separated by only 0.25 seconds with first and second only 0.033 apart. Aaron Lane driving his Exotek F1R2 came out on top earning the bonus two points for TQ that would prove critical in this first round. Second was Bill Jeric and his VBC just a breath behind. These two also finished first and second overall in the 2013-2014 UF1 Winter Series. Third qualifier was Edgar Fiallos driving Dennis Lyman’s home built F1 car in his memory. Fourth was Kevin Cole with a Tamiya F104, third overall in the 2013-2014 Winter Series and fifth was rounded out by Mike Rydwell, the man behind Exotek in his prototype chassis showing that all his Exotek products are truly race proven. The top three Winter Series finishers qualified in the top four showing they can get the job done indoor on carpet or outdoor on asphalt.
B Main 1 started the So Cal UF1 Summer Series and was the first of what was to become a day long battle between Jason Huang and Quincy McClinton. Jason started from pole and took the early lead as Quincy dropped back early in the first couple of laps. Jason did his best to work his way through lap traffic while Quincy started his drive to work his back way to the front. This allowed 7th starting Don Natale, winner of the longest drive award for the weekend coming all the way from Arizona to slot into a solid second place. Shortly after the half way mark, Jason ran into trouble with a back marker that cost him almost 9 seconds and the lead. This allowed Quincy to make his way into the lead ahead of Jason, Don and Doug Rebal working his way back up from a bad start. Tragedy struck just after the 13 minute mark when Quincy suffered a catastrophic hydraulic failure with the pit wall telling him to shut down immediately to save the engine and transmission. This moved Jason back into the lead after his traffic troubles where he would run to the finish. A hard earned second went to Doug Rebal who worked his way back up from last on the first lap. Don Natale rounded out the first race podium in third. Fourth up was newcomer to F1 JD Ramsey closely followed by long time UF1 supporter Tim Ruwe (aka Mr. Pit Timer maker) only 1.5 seconds behind in fifth. Jason Laurel making his first UF1 outdoor race after running the UF1 Winter carpet series was sixth with the stricken Ferrari of Quincy listed seventh. Mark Lane, father of Aaron Lane was 8th and rounding out the field was Carlos Ledezma who had tire issues that forced him to the garage but he was able to come back out to finish the race.
A Main 1 was now up and Aaron Lane made good use of his pole position to jump out to the early lead with Edgar Fiallos a close second, Mike Rydwell third. Kevin “Panda” Cole got the worse end of some first lap action and dropped back to eighth after the first lap. Aaron continued to pull away as Mike seemed snake bit with traffic woes slowing him up every time he made a charge. From his bad start, Kevin pushed hard and made his way back to third by the six minute mark . By this time, the leaders had pulled well away but a great battle for fourth thru seventh raged on between Edgar, Bill Jeric, Anthony Fung and Mark Goldwater. In the end, Aaron had skill and luck on his side making a flawless run, leading every lap to take the first round win of the 2014 Summer Series. Mike Rydwell was second five seconds a drift with Kevin a comfortable third. The mid pack battle was finally won by Edgar finishing fourth followed by Bill in fifth, Anthony in sixth and Mark in seventh. UF1 founder and creator Charles Lightfoot finished the race 8th and ninth overall for the round was Tyree Phillips, the number 6 qualifier having troubles with an undisclosed “energy system” issue that ended his race short after only four of the fifteen minutes had passed.
After a short break to prep cars and steady nerves, B main round 2 was up. Again from the pole, Jason Huang jumped to the lead and drove hard to try to build an early lead with Doug Rebal and Don Natale close behind. Quincy had a great start moving from ninth to fourth on the first lap, up to second on the ninth lap and now hot in pursuit of Jason. Again Jason had back luck with a back marker and that allowed Quincy to take the lead. Jason put his head down and started to slowly cut away at Quincy’s lead. This left Doug and Don in a tight battle for third. JD Ramsey, after working his way up to fifth, had a front suspension failure that ended his run early. This left Carlos, Jason and Tim scrapping with each other over fifth thru seventh with Mark Lane running eighth. The last five laps saw Jason Huang right up under Quincy’s rear wing, encouraged by his engineer cheering him on over the radio, looking for a opening that never came with Quincy taking the win just 0.398 seconds ahead of Jason. Doug finally settled his battle taking third with Don fourth. After their race long scrap, Carlos got the best of the next group taking fifth, with Jason Laurel sixth, Tim Ruwe seventh and Mark Lane rounded out the finishing cars in eight
A main 2 was up and could they put on an equally exciting battle ? Aaron Lane led the first lap with a great clean start by all. Sadly, Anthony Fung was not able to make the start. An electrical issue with his ERG system was suspected and you could see the team with the engine cover off and mechanics working frantically to be ready for A3. Lane after running wide over the curbs early and falling back was able to retake the lead from Cole who ran wide and picked up debris on his tires. Mike Rydwell took advantage to take back second and chase after Lane. This left “Panda” Cole and Bill Jeric in a tight battle for third as Panda struggled with dirty tires. A great scrap for fifth developed between Tyree Phillips whose car went into “garage mode” on the start and just sat helpless on the grid losing 2/3rd ‘s of a lap but was now running hard under power, Fiallos in the Dennis Lyman memorial car, Goldwater and Lightfoot. Mercedes was later to apologize for a programming error on Tyree’s system. Rydwell was determined to not let the B group show them up and closed the gap where he made a successful and impressive pass on Lane with just over a minute left. Aaron made every attempt to retake but Mike held on for the win by just 0.252 seconds ! Finishing third was Kevin with Tyree coming out ahead of the mid pack battle with fourth. Fifth thru seventh came under the flag just seconds apart with Jeric ahead of the group followed by Fiallos and Goldwater with Lightfoot completing the field and improving his previous run by almost one lap. Fung, who could not get out of the garage was classified in the final ninth spot for the group.
B Main 3 and could Quincy McClinton and Jason Huang wage battle for fifteen minutes again ? Yes they could. Jason jumped out early but then had a couple of “moments” handing the lead to Quincy. After four minutes, Jason worked his way back to second trying to chase down McClinton who was working traffic to his advantage. Doug Rebal continued his day long battle with Don Natale but this time with JD Ramsy in the hunt after his mechanics repaired the front suspension damage from round 2. A short gap back and Tim Ruwe and Carlos Ledezma fought hard over sixth with Mark Lane and Jason Laurel contesting eighth. Jason Laurel suffered a race ending rear suspension failure just after the nine minute mark requiring the cranes to be brought in to remove his car. Back up front, Jason fought hard but could only close the gap to two seconds giving Quicny the win in their final battle of the day. Doug Rebal was able to pull away to finish third over his day long nemesis Don Natale with Tim Ruwe in fifth a few seconds back. JD Ramsey had a strong run to sixth over Carlos Ledezma in seventh, Mark Lane in eight and Jason Laurel in the final spot.
Last race of the day with A main 3 up and the first overall position up for grabs. Mike Rydwell did everything he could trying to capture the day’s top spot getting a great start and leading every lap. However, Aaron Lane would not let him out of his sights. Panda Cole slotted into third followed closely by Tyree Phillips, Bill Jeric, Edgar Fiallos and Anathony Fung. Back up front and half the race gone, Mike and Aaron slowly pulled away from Kevin who now had a good gap built over fourth place Tyree who was locked in a tremendous battle with Bill, Anthony, Mark Gooldwater and Charles Lightfoot. Edgar Fiallos race ended just over the eleven minute mark. A bad vibration in the suspension was suspected and the sight of Dennis Lyman’s car backed into the garages was not what the crowd wanted to see today. Hard as he may try, Aaron Lane could only close the gap to a little over one second, not allowing him to use DRS to try to overtake race winner Mike Rydwell. Kevin Cole finished with another solid third with the consolation of fast lap of the day at 15.459. Rydwell, Lane and Cole, the only drivers going 57 laps today. Phillip’s again crossed the line in fourth with Jeric taking fifth just 0.865 seconds ahead of Fung. Lightfoot made another big improvement this round taking seventh with Goldwater 4.5 seconds back in eighth.
The day finished under beautifully sunny and cool skies in Southern California. Close racing and smiles aplenty a fitting tribute to the memory of our friend, mentor and fellow competitor Dennis Lyman.
How important was that number one spot in qualifying ? It was the difference between the top spot on the podium as the days TQ, Aaron lane finished first overall with a total of 300 points. Second overall for the day was Mike Rydwell with 299 points and third was Kevin “Panda” Cole with 296 points.
The balance of the top ten was Bill Jeric in fourth with 288 points. Fifth to Mark Goldwater on 280 points. Sixth a tie with Tyree Phillips and Charles Lightfoot with 277 points. Eighth a tie between Edgar Fiallos and Jason Huang with 276 points and rounding out the top ten was Anthony Fung on 273 points.