Nov 10, 2012 – Sonoma Raceway, Calif.
In Saturday’s warmup session, an oil vent line separated due to excess pressure and a weak seal, so it was spewing oil over the rear of the engine and on to the tires. Repair meant removing the intake manifold thus missing qualifying. But in the race, Geoff Sykes was able to move quickly to the front, winning the overall race by a margin of 30 seconds.
On Sunday, Sykes opted to not do the warm up session to preserve tires, but 3 laps into qualifying the ECU hiccuped and he brought the car into the hot pits. “A few minutes later I was back out, but a safety car on track meant no hot laps til close to the end of qualifying,” said Sykes. “Fortunately I was able to fire off one hot lap and this was enough to put me just off the pole.”
In the race, Sykes started second to Gil Caravantes in the #01 M3. “For 7 laps I hounded Gil, trying passes left and right, but Gil would always manage to pull away on the straights with his more powerful motor. Finally, I took the outside of the curving downhill turn 6 and held it through the exit and down the straight after it, giving me the inside line on turn 7 and ultimately the win of the race. A fantastic way to close the season on the west coast!”