Frieser takes charge at the Sonoma Speed Festival
Keith Frieser in his 2011 Oreca FLM09 was the man to beat in the inaugural Masters Endurance Legends USA races at the Sonoma Speed Festival!
For the first running of the Masters Endurance Legends USA grid, there were many stunning cars and stories to tell in the paddock. From Kevin Buckler in his 2003 Porsche 911 GT 3 RS, which he raced and won Daytona with in 2003, through to Masters-regular Travis Engen with his stunning 2005 Audi R8 LMP1 and Steven Read’s beautiful 1989 Ferrari F40/LM. Unfortunately, Andrew Wait and Art Herbert would be non-starters after breaking a hub in their very rare Picchio.
Saturday afternoon’s 40-minute race, including taking an unnecessary a 1-min mandatory pitstop, was won by a flawless Keith Frieser. Spencer Trenery (2006 Daytona Prototype) came in second managing to keep Travis Engen at bay in 3rd, who qualified 5th the day before. Engen said “he has hopes of catching Frieser in tomorrow’s race” – the pair have plenty of history of racing together at US and Europe!
Kevin Buckler had a great battle in his Porsche with the prototypes during the race, managing to move up one place in 5th, finishing right behind James Hagan sharing his 2011 Oreca FLM09 with Chris Atkinson who finished in 4th place. Atkinson forgot to switch his engine off during the drivers change which led the team to take a drive through penalty on their way to 4th.
Frieser was again the man to beat for Sunday’s Race 2. Starting from pole position, Keith Frieser was in control throughout in his 2011 ORECA FLM09, taking his 2nd win of the weekend. He was followed in the race by Spencer Trenery in the Riley Daytona Prototype, and, starting in fifth Travis Engen in the Audi R8 LMP1. Travis and Spencer traded places with James Hagan, who spun in the very beginning, and the results are Keith Freiser 1st, Travis Engen 2nd and Spencer 3rd.
Kevin Buckler finished up in 4th place, which was a great result with the Porsche beating the Prototypes, followed by Johannes van Overbeek in the Ferrari F40/LM.
While the pit window was open, Mark Mathis had an unfortunate incident on track which caused the safety car and a delay in releasing the pitting cars on the track again.
Next stop for Masters Endurance Legends USA is Circuit Mont-Tremblant and Road America in July and for Monterey Car Week at Laguna Seca in August.