April 30 – May 1, 2011
THR-W drivers Sage Marie, Matthew Staal and Lee Niffenegger wrapped up their West Coast series of SCCA National races with a combined four wins and two track records at the Buttonwillow, CA BFGoodrich Super Tour event.
Sage Marie once again claimed the T3 class checkered flag in each of the two races in his Honda Racing/HPD BFGoodrich Honda S2000 CR. The racing was close, however, as fellow Honda S2000 CR driver, Tom Wickersham, started first in class on Saturday, while Marie was the top T3 qualifier on Sunday. The intense battle in Saturday’s race pushed Marie to a new T3 track record, while a brake problem put Wickersham a few laps down in Sunday’s race and no other drivers in the T3 field challenged for the lead.
Lee Niffenegger’s SSB class Honda Racing/HPD Civic Si showed impressive pace all weekend, posting lap times many seconds ahead of his competition, and delivering him first place finishes in both races. Niffenegger also earned a new SSB track record in Sunday’s race.
A tuning problem with Matthew Staal’s HPD BFGoordrich Acura RSX left him down on power and off the pace of the leader, but Staal was able to deliver strong third place finishes and entertaining battles for second in each of the two races in a deep field of 9 STU class competitors.
“Our success this season is a testament to the competitive edge the BFGoodrich tires deliver, especially since the competition has talented drivers and newer hardware” said Marie. “It was very gratifying to be able to deliver such strong results in front of the BFGoodrich team at one of their premier events. Of course, without Honda Performance Development, we wouldn’t be here at all, so much of the credit must go them.”
The team’s next race is a NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship (WERC) event at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on June 18th, and then its sights will be set on the pursuit of SCCA National Championship titles at the Runoffs in September.