Cold track temperatures and windy conditions didn’t stand in the way of Tarmac Faction this month. Equipped with EBC Brakes, they grabbed multiple top-ten finishes including three podiums. Team Principal Paul Geldziler takes us through their weekend in Las Vegas for Round 3 of the CMVA Winter Series:
It was a tough weekend. In addition to the cold weather, we were still short on teammates. Sebastian, #646, held back from Round 3 due to a back injury a week prior to the event and deemed himself unfit to ride. Better safe than sorry. C-Spec rider Amber Ger, #237, is still healing up from a broken wrist due to a track day incident on her Yamaha R6. We wish them both a speedy recovery and should see their return for Round 5 in February. With that said, it was just me and fellow C-Spec rider Ryan Bennett, #427, holding down the fort for the weekend.
And held down the fort we did, literally, with cold, high winds blowing everything around in site. These conditions made for an interesting weekend. All my testing leading up to this point has been in hot weather, and although I feel like I have a solid base set up it was evident the cold temps required something different. With zero testing in these conditions, I had to test during the race weekend. I brought some upgrades that proved to be valuable, but more data is needed. So far, we are moving in the right direction.
For Saturday’s 350SS race I started on the front row, P3. Thought I got a great start and was briefly in the lead for a moment, thanks to Ronald Bennett making some last-minute clutch lever adjustments prior to the race. About halfway down the front straight, Torin Collins edged me out and brought Jessie Davis with him as we settled into “Patience”, a long left-hand sweeper. Midway through the turn Matt Cavarlez comes from nowhere to pass me on the outside in what I thought was a pretty bold move, but he made it stick and also got by Jesse to do battle with Torin. At the end of the first lap, Torin and Matt gaped us pretty good and I focused on catching Jesse for the final podium spot. I got great drive coming out of the last corner and had a good run on him to pass at the start of lap 2.
From there I had Matt in my sites but was overriding the bike trying to catch him and nearly went off, which messed up my lines for the next two laps, making silly mistakes. Except for passing a backmarker, it was a lonely ride until Lap 5, when my old nemesis, Ryan Whitman made his appearance and passed me just after the main straight, just like old times. I had a good look after “The Slide” headed onto the back straight and was able to get by him on the inside entering “Crash Hill”. I managed to stay in front but a few corners from the end of the race Ryan got by me, and I wasn’t about to let my podium streak just slip away. I put my head down and got incredible drive out of the last corner to make a run to the line, but got pipped by just .042 at the stripe, coming in 4th place.
Ryan Bennett did great on his Tarmac Faction C-Spec 004 machine, with a Top 10 finish and a 1st place podium in the Amateur 350SS class, and the 5th and 3rd highest placed Amateur in his Shootout races, nabbing another Personal Best lap time in the process. Congrats Ryan!
Paul Geldziler #138:
Formula 40 UL – 3rd on Sat, 2nd on Sun
350ss – 4th on Sat, 4th on Sun
Ryan Bennett #427
ULWS – 17th on Sat (5th Amateur), 14th on Sun (3rd Amateur)
AM 350ss – 10th on Sat, 1st on Sun
Overall, we only gave up 1 point to Jesse during the entire weekend. This means we’re still leading the championship, but it’s so close anything can happen. If Torin and Matt continue to blaze their trails, we’re in for a challenging latter half of the season. Considering the weekend was also a testing weekend, I’m pretty happy with the result. I qualified on pole for both my Formula 40 UL races, and P3 for both my 350SS races, but need to finish higher up the order to maintain the championship lead. Some more upgrades and cold weather testing should help. We have a dedicated winter test day in the coming weeks.