NASA Cal Speedway— ST races, 4hr Enduro and the 24
After many long days it’s finally time to introduce the NASA paddock to our new car the #24. Team Palomar always planned on running 2 cars in the series, specifically to have a second car for the final race of the season, the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. While we intended to have the car ready a couple races ago building a car from scratch takes time, even when we are following the formula we have in the #25.
We will still be running the #25 in ST5 trim and in the E2 class for the Enduro, we will run the #24 in ST4 and E1 between now and the NASA Nationals in September. After that it will be detuned to the same spec as the #25 where they will both compete in E2 for the 25 hour race in December.
Both cars are out of the trailer Friday night, decals begin to be applied per NASA rules so we are ready to run on Saturday morning practice. The murder black car looks mean, we didn’t have time to wrap it yet in our Palomar Solar livery, but we have to admit in black it is menacing and the paddock is watching.
Saturday morning begins with Matt Million taking the wheel of the new car, Sonny W is at the wheel of the #25. He will be driving later in the day in the Enduro so we wanted to get him some time in the car. Practice starts and we still have radio issues, but the cars are on track. Four laps later and the #24 is back in the gar-age. Teething problems are expected, but after looking over the car its more than we were prepared to deal with at the track. A steering rack hose burst resulting in issues that snowballed eventually resulting in us parking the car an hour into the day. No sense killing ourselves. The good news, “It felt good” said Matt.
Matt went out for Saturdays ST5 qualifying a bit later and was fighting traffic thoughout, we found ourselves qualifying in an un-familiar 3rd place. Work to do in the race, but we know the car is good. Time to change drivers and qualify for the Enduro with Nik Romano at the wheel. This time the car is on the pole for this evenings 4 hour Enduro.
A couple hours later and its time for the first race of the weekend. At the start we went from 3rd to 2nd, after a great fight with Ryan Bittner in his BMW E46, Matt made the pass in the playground with an aggressive move to put him into the lead. At the end of the race it was Team Palomar for the win and a new track record again!
Not much time to rest as its now time to get ready for the Enduro. Our crew led by Kevin DeSirello and David and Dawson Morton checked over the car, changed tires and set up pit road. At 3pm, we were ready for the 4 Hour race to begin.