The sixth and final round of the popular SoCal RC Scale Series took place this past weekend at TQ Raceway in Chino, California. As always, the realistic race program (both looks and format) provided for some close racing, phenomenal fun, and has left racers anxious for the next SoCal RC Scale Series to get underway! Tuning Haus and the SoCal RC Scale Series organizers have shared yet another in-depth and exciting race report from the series finale, recapping ALL of the action!
Race Report by Tuning Haus
Welcome to the sixth and final round of the SoCal RC Scale Series Presented by Tuning Haus held on March 7th at the center of west coast carpet racing; TQ Raceway in Chino, California. Sedan led the entry count over Formula 1 again and we tied our second largest entry of the season today as the inaugural series concludes. Now on to the race report…
Sedans cars rolled onto the track first today to qualify for the round 6 finals and the average of the best five laps over three minutes produced the super-close times expected in this series. Today’s qualifying saw TQ Raceway owner Sean Park take the initial TQ time as the fastest car in the first qualifying heat. The big news in qualifying was Sportsman driver Jason Laurel making his first A main qualifying group of the series with a great 5 lap average at 9.843 seconds to secure the 8th spot with fellow Sportsman driver Toby Zhang the BQ just behind at a 9.870 average. Dave Berger would lock down the pole spot and the extra TQ point with a great 5 lap average of 9.657 followed closely behind by Kyle Goodwine on 9.682 and JD Ramsey with a 9.711. The top 11 drivers all qualified in the 9 second bracket. In Formula 1, fresh from his overseas trip, Kevin “Panda” Cole would lay down a fast lap of 10.147 but it was Charles Lightfoot coming out on top being the more consistent fast lapper with a 5 lap average of 10.223 followed closely by the Panda with 10.245 and rounding out the top three was photo ace Jason Huang with a 10.290 average. Less than 7/100th’s of a second separating our top three. Craig “Cuda” Hammon rounded out the A group in seventh with an average of 10.387, less than 2/10 of a second off pole. Let’s see real Formula 1 produce qualifying as tight as this !
First race of the day in round 1 was GT Sedan. Pole sitter Bensi Lopez in his bright yellow Ferrari 458 jumped into the lead. On paper, it looked like an easy race for Bensi but not so with Doug Rebal, Tom Kahl, Mark Goldwater, Steve Vines and Charles Lightfoot running the old school Porsches 911 RSR Martini car. Elias Schablowski’s race would come to an early end barely one minute into the race with handling issues. Early pit stops by most drivers shook up the order so it was hard to tell who was where. Running in second early until pitting, Doug Rebal earned his new nickname “Smoke House” when his motor started smoking and he was able to complete almost two full laps with smoke billowing from the car. When it finally retired, rumor has it the words “I really did not like that motor anyway” were heard coming from the drivers stand. Fortunately Doug did not oil down the track but some drivers complained of blurred vision from oil and smoke on their windshields. Back to the action and Bensi, leading every lap from the start finally hits the pits with less than 20 seconds left to the 7 minute mandatory pit mark, exiting the pits just ahead of the Porsche 911 of Charles running second. A three way battle was now on for the lead between Bensi, Charles and Mark with a small gap back to Tom, Steve and the Blue 350Z of Ronald L. Down to the wire and it was Bensi with the first win of the day leading every lap and finishing….wait…. 0.438 seconds ahead of Charles ? Yup, Bensi’s win was certainly not as easy as it looked on paper. Coming home third only 1.9 seconds behind Charles was Mark. Winning the battle for fourth was Tom a few seconds ahead of Steve in fifth and Ronald rounding out the runners in sixth.
Race two of sedan would see pole sitter Toby Zhang jump to and early lead, running his fastest lap of the race with a 9.8 on lap 5 only to bobble the next lap and open the door to Fred “Mr. Tamiya TCS” Medel to take the lead with Sean Park, Jeff Gacula and Jeff Fink in tow. A mishap between Calvin Simmons and Phil Goodwine on lap 2 would drop them to the back but the spectators saw some great action as these two clawed their way back to the front. After almost a one year absence from racing due to work commitments, Rodger Tsai was making a great return in his first race running as high as third before making his pit stop around the three minute mark. From next to last on lap 2, Calvin “Old Man” Simmons had worked his way back to the lead by the 4 minute mark before pitting. Pit stops completed and now heads up racing with Calvin, Fred and Toby going hammer and tong for the lead. Just behind and Phil “The Thrill” Goodwine and Jeff Fink were fighting over fourth with Rodger, Sean and Jeff G nose to tail for sixth. Calvin gave it all he could but came up short in the end finishing second just 0.541 seconds behind race winner Fred. Toby would take the final podium spot a few seconds behind in third. Phil finally settled the battle for fourth with Jeff Fink fifth a few seconds behind. There was no letting up for this pack as the final battle saw Rodger take sixth, 0.161 seconds ahead of seventh place Sean and Jeff Gacula taking the eight spot less than a second behind Rodger.
Third and final sedan race of round 1 saw the fastest qualifiers take to the track. Dave Berger lead from pole but was being pushed hard by Kyle Goodwine and JD Ramsey. The midfield battle would see Paul Dabao, Johnson Thai and Kevin “Panda” Cole pushing each other with Jason Laurel and Brian “B-Ruff” Rutherford close behind. Brian’s race would come apart close to three minutes in with a transmission that left him with nothing but neutral and a startled Panda running up on the side of B-Ruff’s stationary car. The pack was not letting Dave get away easy this race as Johnson put his head down and moved from mid-pack after a bad lap to second hot on Dave’s heels with JD breathing down Johnson’s back. A couple of bad laps dropped Kyle back but still able to stay ahead of a great battle between the Panda and Paul followed by Jason. Johnson would run fast race lap of the day but it was not enough to take the top spot away from Dave. After dropping back, Kyle pressured JD hard and got him at the end taking third just 0.35 seconds ahead of fourth finishing JD. Kevin would take fifth just a few seconds ahead of Paul with Jason rounding out the runners in seventh.
First round of Formula 1 saw Elliott Miyashiro start from his becoming regular BQ position to take the early lead but with Mark Goldwater and Doug “Smoke House” Rebal tied to his rear wing. Teammates Don Stearns and Alan Rollo, also battling for a top three Sportsman position in the series were the mid pack battle to watch with Tom Kahl taking his usual lap two pit stop to come out battling with Jason laurel. Pit stops would shuffle the order with Smoke House keeping the smoke in the motor in his F1 machine until pitting about the 7 minute mark and his second and final pit just two laps later. All pit stops completed and Elliott would take back the top spot that he would hold to the end ahead of Mark in second. Doug would take a well earned third with Don winning the battle of the teammates for fourth ahead of fifth place finishing Alan. Jason would take the final running position in sixth with Tom having a power unit failure short of the half way mark.
Final race of round 1 and Charles Lightfoot took the early lead from pole with Kevin Cole, Jason Huang and Bill Jeric in hot pursuit with the a gap to the next battle of Tyree Phillips, Craig Hammon and Alex M. Some traction issues for the early leaders would see Mr. Tuning Haus himself, Bill Jeric take the lead. His smooth driving would only see him give up the top spots during pit stops as he set the mark with his 85 lap run to the win. The race to watch was between the Panda and Charles when Panda was able to get out just in front of Charles by inches after his second stop. These two pushed each other hard allowing Tyree to slowly reel them in hoping to make it a three way battle for second with Jason, Alex and Craig behind. Kevin was able to hold on taking second just 0.56 seconds ahead of Charles with Tyree fourth a few seconds behind. Jason finally won his battle over Alex for sixth with Cuda completing the field. After dominating rounds 4 and 5 with his new X-Ray F1, Charles would have his hands full with the Tuning Haus teammates of Bill and Kevin with their VBC’s in this sixth and final round.
Start of round 2 saw our first group of GT Sedans and a bad lap 2 dropped pole sitter Bensi Lopez to third with Charles Lightfoot and Mark Goldwater pouncing on the opportunity to take the top spots. F1 tech guru Steve Vines was in the hunt this round and in hot pursuit of the leaders with an early-pitting Tom Kahl and Elias Schablowski in close pursuit followed by Ronald L. This would be a race of attrition as first Ronald with just over one minute in left the track with suspension issues but returned later many laps down. Since your day’s points are a total of all three rounds, it is important to try to fix your car and return to the track for every valuable point. A late starting Doug “Smoke House” Rebal whose crew was just able to button up a fresh motor in his Audi R8 ran into suspension troubles just 7 laps later. His crew, exhausted from the engine swap was able to make repairs so Doug could be running at the end. Next to hit trouble was a suspension failure on Tom’s car just before the half way mark that would leave him in the eighth and final points spot. For the cars still running strong, a great battle emerged after all pit stops completed between mark Goldwater in his NSX, the Ferrari 458 of Bensi, the NSX of Steve and the Porsche 911 RSR of Charles. Mark was able to finally grab the lead for good with just over three minutes left to take the checkered flag ahead of Bensi Lopez just a second behind. Steve Vines completed the top three with a fine run just a few seconds behind Bensi with Charles a few seconds further back in fourth. Elias would have issues with the steering on his car and stopped just short of the finish to take fifth followed home by Ronald who returned after repairs and Doug who also made it to the finish after his lengthy stop.
Round 2, race 2 and again the Fred Medel / Calvin Simmons show returned. Fred and Calvin would swap the lead early many times with Phil “the Thrill” Goodwin, Jeff Fink, Sean Park and Jeff Gacula chasing each other mid pack and a small gap back to Toby Zhang with a slow start and Rodger Tsai. With excellent pit timing, Calvin was able to stay in the top two all race but an early pit dropped Fred back who had to drive his tail off to get back to the front with Phil and Sean being the battle for third. You could throw a blanket over Toby, Jeff Fink and Jeff Gacula for most of their race with Rodger in close pursuit. With Calvin pitting just past the half way mark, Fred would retake the lead to the finish just 1.2 seconds ahead of second place Calvin Simmons. Phil would build a little breathing room in his battle to take the third spot over Sean. Toby Zhang would finish fifth over an improving Jeff Fink who trailed Toby but just a half second with Jeff Gacula a few seconds back in seventh and Rodger eighth.
Race 3 of sedans and a great battle between pole sitter Dave Berger and Johnson Thai who would trade the top spot many times as they slowly gapped the field. Third was a battle from the start between Kyle Goodwine and JD Ramsey with Kevin Cole and Paul Dabao having another great battle just behind them and Jason Laurel and Brian Rutherford having another early battle like round 1. Johnson and Dave both like to go for the late pit and Dave waited out Johnson to be the last to pit but Johnson was able to retake the lead after Dave made his stop to take a well deserved win and posting the only 61 lap run of the day for sedans. Kyle would finally lock in the third spot but just by 0.358 over JD. Try as he might, the Panda just could not catch the draft of these two with Kevin finishing fifth, 3 seconds back but ahead of Paul in sixth and Brian in seventh. The three separated by just two seconds with Jason taking the final points spot.
Formula 1 back on the track and it was the pride of Northern California and Nor Cal Hobbies Elliott Miyashiro back in front. Elliott may have not logged the most miles on track but he easily won the award for most miles racked up getting to the race. His dedication was appreciated and respected by his peers and has made him the F1 driver to beat at the newly opened carpet track up North. Mark Goldwater would give his best but after all pit stops completed, Elliott would take the win with Mark in second. Alan Rollo, Doug Rebal, Don Stearns and Jason Laurel would battle for the third spot most of the race. Tom Kahl again did not see the end of the race with another mechanical issue on his Formula 1 ride ensuring more thrashing in the pits to get ready for the final round. Doug Rebal would lose laps in the middle of the race when his traction control feature went out causing severe slip from the rear drive but a quick reboot in the pits got him back running to take sixth. Alan and Jason would edge away from their mid pack battle with Alan taking control at the end to finish third just two seconds ahead of Jason with Don taking fifth.
Last race of round 2 and a tight battle from the start as Bill Jeric would lead Kevin Cole, Jason Laurel and a much improved Alex M. with Tyree Phillips and Craig “Cuda” Hammon behind them. A bad start for Charles Lightfoot would put him at the back of the pack in this tight field. A slow first stop by Bill would drop him back allowing the Panda to take the lead who then made his two stops within a 5 lap window to get off pace with the others but running a different tire strategy. Jason and Tyree would take turns sharing the lead but when all stops were completed, Kevin would be back on top the leader board about the 7 minute mark and he would hold on to the end of their fifteen minute race. The battle for second kept the crowed on their feet between Tyree and Bill and as hard as he tried, Bill had to settle for third just 0.414 behind second place Tyree. Another great battle would see Jason take fourth just 0.383 seconds ahead of Charles in fifth and Cuda in sixth. Alex had his promising run end just before the twelve minute mark with a suspension failure.
Start of the final round of the series for all drivers and Mark Goldwater gets a good start from pole to lead the first three minutes until his pit with Bensi and Steven Vines again pressuring Mark all the way. A good scrap for fourth developed between Charles Lightfoot, Doug Rebal and Tom Kahl with another battle between Ronald L and Elias Schablowski just behind. Doug was hoping to finally get a clean run in sedan but a suspension failure that had him off track for repairs again lost a lot of time but he was able to return to take the eighth and final points spot, an exhausting day for the mechanics for “Smoke House”. Elias would also have more handling issues leaving him seventh a few laps off the pace. Bensi would take the lead when Mark pitted and was able to put in some good hot laps in clean traffic so when he made his pit late in the race, Bensi was able to come back out still in the lead, a position he would maintain to the end. Steve Vines after dropping as low as fifth would put the hammer down closing the gap to Mark but ran out of time to take third, just two seconds behind second finishing Mark. Charles Lightfoot put on a great race battle with Steve pushing him hard and why he was closing the gap to Mark but Charles was not able to pressure Steve into an error and settled for fourth just 0.333 seconds behind Steve after ten minutes of racing. Tom Kahl would come across the line in fifth followed by Ronald in sixth.
Sedan race 2 and Phil “The Thrill” Goodwine decided it was time to crash the Fred Medel / Calvin Simmons party to end his series. Fred and Calvin jumped to the early lead but their tight racing opened the door for Phil to grab the lead from them on lap 3 where he would hold the point until pitting about the six and a half minute mark. Behind these three a fierce battle raged between Jeff Gacula, Toby Zhang, Rodger Tsai and Sean Park. Jeff Fink was not able to maintain the pace of his round 2 run and trailed this group. With Phil pitting, Fred assumed the point position and held on for the win but just by two seconds over Phil with Calvin a close third just one second behind Phil. Jeff Gacula finally moved ahead of the mid pack battle to best Sean for fourth by a little more than two seconds. Sean would finish fifth with Rodger and Toby close in tow with Rodger taking sixth by just 0.67 seconds over Toby followed by Jeff Fink in eighth.
Final race of the series for sedans and it was Johnson Thai leading from pole but with Dave Berger, Kyle Goodwine, JD Ramsey and Kevin Cole with Paul Dabao leading the next pack with Jason Laurel and Brian Rutherford. Johnson Thai’s hopes of an overall win were dashed when on lap five, his machine coasted to a stop with no power to the drive train. A failed transmission cost him dearly. Kyle made a good early lap pass on Dave and would take the lead when Johnson dropped out with the Panda pressuring JD. The handling on Panda’s car was much improved from the last few rounds thanks to his chassis engineer Tony “Nemo” Tam. This battle was allowing Paul Dabao to close on JD and Kevin with Jason Laurel in tow. Brian’s race ended early just after two minutes with a suspension issue to finish the race seventh. Back in front, Dave was pushing Kyle hard for the lead and a last lap error by Kyle made room for Dave to squeeze through to lead only one lap of the entire race but the most important lap, the last lap, to take the win. Kyle would recover for second just 1.4 seconds behind Dave and a couple seconds ahead of third finishing Kevin. JD would take fourth less than 1.5 seconds ahead of fifth finishing Paul with Jason the final runner in sixth.
Final round of the series for Formula 1 cars saw Elliott Miyashiro and Mark Goldwater surge to the early lead only to have Elliott pit on lap 3, trying to catch some clean traffic. Doug Rebal, Alan Rollo and Don Stearns would make up the next pack followed by Jason Laurel and Tom Kahl. Tom’s frustrating day came to an end at the 8:30 mark taking the final spot in seventh. Mark would lead Elliott all the way up to Mark’s second and final stop where Elliott would regain the lead for good, taking the race win. Finishing second was Mark for a good days’ point total with Alan winning the battle with his teammate for third. Don would finish a solid fourth with Doug taking fifth. Jason Laurel had handling issues with his car to take sixth.
Final race of the series saw Kevin Cole start from pole but a tap from behind on the second corner sent him to the back of the pack facing backwards to traffic. Tyree Phillips then took the point closely followed by Bill Jeric, Charles Lightfoot and Jason Huang with a small break back to Craig “Cuda” Hammon, Alex M and the Panda. The Cuda’s race came to an early end when his steering wheel would only show “N” and he rolled to a stop with no forward power. Tyree would hold off pitting until late allowing him to hold the lead for most of the first half of the race but after all pit stops were made and the drivers cycled through, it was Charles taking the lead with Jason sniffing his exhaust fumes. Bill and Tyree would battle for third with Kevin working his way back up to fifth followed by Alex.
By the end, Charles was able to pull out a gap to take the win with Jason coming across the line in second. The battle for third was won by Bill by 1.7 seconds over Tyree with Kevin in fifth another 3 seconds behind Tyree followed by Alex in sixth.
- Formula 1: Bill Jeric set fastest race lap at 10.199 in round 1 closely followed by Charles Lightfoot at 10.202 in round 1 as well along with Kevin Cole’s 10.219 in round 3. Best run of the day was Charles with an 85 lap 15:03.811 in round 3. Also making 85 laps was Bill with an 85 lap run at 15:08.401 in round 1.
- GT Sedan: Johnson Thai set fastest race lap at 9.583 in round 1. Paul Dabao, Kyle Goodwine, Dave Berger and JD Ramsey had best race laps of 9.6 Best run of the day also went to Johnson Thai with a run of 61 laps in 10:06.897 in round 2 and the only GT car to go 61 laps today.
Podiums and notable mentions:
- Formula 1: When all the dust settled, Bill Jeric was the overall winner with 296 points in addition to clinching the series championship with his VBC Lightning F. Second place was a tie with the Panda, Kevin Cole at 295 points also running a VBC Lightning F and Charles Lightfoot, with his 1 point TQ bonus also scoring 295 points with his X-Ray.
GT Sedan: Dave Berger in his Yokomo BD-7 was also the round 6 and series champion with a total score today of 300 points that included his bonus TQ point. Second today and clinching second in the championship was Kyle Goodwine collecting 299 points with his X-Ray and completing the podium was JD Ramsey who also made the big jump in points to clinch 3rd overall for the season in his Yokomo BD-7.
With the final season positions on the line, the expert drivers really stepped it up today and locked out the Sportsman drivers from the top 8 positions in both classes.
Season end review:
Some interesting numbers and statistics from our first series. A total of 27 Formula 1 drivers and 44 GT Sedan drives competed in the 6 race series for a total of 71 racers. 14 drivers ran both Formula 1 and GT Sedan classes. The overall winners in both Formula 1 and GT Sedan only ran one class (Bill Jeric running his VBC Lightning in F1 and Dave Berger and his Yokomo BD-7 in GT Sedan). Of the 14 racers who ran both classes, only two drivers made the top ten in both classes (Kevin “Panda” Cole finishing second with his VBC Lightning in Formula 1 and seventh in GT Sedan with a Tamiya 418 and Tyree Phillips finishing fifth in Formula 1 with his TRG and ninth in GT sedan driving his VBC Wildfire D07). Two sportsman drivers finished in the top three in Sportsman and also cracked the top ten overall. Both won their Sportsman class and finished tenth in the overall standings (Doug Rebal with his VBC Lightning in Formula 1 and Jeff Gacula with his ARC in GT Sedan).
- In Formula 1, three drivers took TQ honors: Bill Jeric (3), Kevin “Panda Cole (2) and Charles Lightfoot: 1. Overall wins were shared by three drivers: Bill Jeric (3), Charles Lightfoot (2) and Tyree Phillips (1).
- In GT Sedan, TQ was dominated by two drivers: Johnson Thai (4) and Dave Berger (2). Overall wins were shared by three drivers: Dave Berger (3), Johnson Thai (2) and Leo V (1).
To see the series final point standings as well as all the race results, pictures, videos and race reports from our series, please check out our series page HERE.
From Bill Jeric of Tuning Haus and his side kick, the Panda, we would like to thank the following for contributing to our series: Sean Park, owner of TQ RC Racing for the use of his track, web page, posting the race results and points and updating with our pictures, videos and race reports. Joe Mac for his great announcing. F1 racer Jason Huang for taking the pictures so we can share our racing action with you. GT Sedan driver Steve Vines for Formula 1 tech support. Tim Ruwe for the pit timer equipment. All of the racers who came out and raced and supported our series. Finally and most important, to Bill Jeric, owner of Tuning Haus and avid racer for his support, leadership, industry knowledge and racing spirit that allowed the two of us to create this unique and exciting racing series in Southern California.
Southern California is well known internationally for our great summer weather and bright sunshine. So, what better way to enjoy it than to take the Tuning Haus party outdoors! We will be scheduling 2-3 Tuning Haus “Summer Haus Parties” this summer and fall. These will be one day stand alone races so STAY TUNED for details!