July 2022 at the Utah Motorsports Complex
A full weekend of racing with two races each in ST4 & ST5 and a 6hr WERC Enduro in E1 & E2.
We are now halfway through our season! In NASA SoCal, Palomar Racing has a strong grasp of the ST5 region-al points lead. In NASA WERC, Palomar Racing has won all 3 of the previous endurance races in E2 class. Now we will travel over 700 miles to Utah and to add to the challenge, we are now campaigning 2 cars.
In early June at Auto Club Speedway, we brought the new #24 car to the track for the first time, however due to a few teething issues it wasn’t able to compete. A few weeks later we took the team to Sonoma to again attempt to get a handle on the new car. Team mechanic Kevin had worked out the kinks and we were able to explore the potential of the new chassis. While Sonoma was a successful test, we also learned that if we wanted the ST4 program to be successful we’d have to make some changes. The #24 is inherently a bit heavier than the #25, so we decided to swap their classes: #24 in ST5, since it is already just about at the right power to weight, and #25 to ST4 where its lighter chassis would get us closer to the class limit…with the ballast and restrictor plate removed, that is. We cannot fully exploit the ST4 rules because we will be returning the car to ST5 trim after Nationals in September, so the setup is a bit of a compromise. Our cars are built primarily to ST5 specs, much of the reason we have dominated the class so far. While we believe the #24 should be ultra competitive in ST5, the ability of the #25 to compete against true ST4 cars is still unknown.
Due to the nature of a 6 hour enduro (the longest race of our NASA WERC season thus far), this will also be the first time we run with 6 drivers. We are building the team in order to get ready for the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill in early December. We will need as many as 8 drivers for that ultimate test of en-durance, and now is a good time to start understanding the difficulties of running a 2-car team with mul-tiple driver lineups. We will still lean on our primary drivers Nik Romano and Matt Million, with each of them taking a stint in both cars, but in addition we will have 4 more drivers join us for Utah. Sonny Watanasirisuk, who joined Romano and Million during the June NASA WERC victory in E2 at Auto Club Speedway will return again, also joined by Ryan Keeley. Both Sonny and Ryan are accomplished enduro drivers and have been a part of various winning endurance efforts. New to the team is Ryan Bittner, front-running SoCal SE46 driver who we know well as he is chasing us in the SoCal ST5 points fight. Our final driver will be Lucas Weisenberg, a young gun who is currently leading the NASA SoCal Spec E46 points. All 6 are top drivers in their classes; our enduro team is not one of compromises. Once again, we are building an unfair advantage.