Contact: Larry Mason
LMR Marketing Communications
Team LMR Starts 2017 Season with Elation and Frustration!
FONTANA, CA –Larry Mason drove the Auto Diagnostic Services Team LMR Formula Mazda (FM) to a win in the first race of the 2017 SCCA US Majors Championship event at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, January 14. It was a tremendous result for the team as this was their first race back after not racing at all in 2016. Not only that, but Mason beat the 2014 SCCA National Champion and the rest of the field to make this win very sweet indeed.
The race itself was kind of fractured in that there were full-course cautions and other class cars that served to keep most racers out of their rhythm. As it turned out, the traffic provided Mason an opportunity to draft through the oval Turns 1 and 2 and get a great shot to out-brake the leadergoing into Turn 3 on the penultimate lap. From there, Mason held his lead to the finish. An exciting way to return to racing with his new Polar M450 heart rate monitor measuring a peak of 170 bpm!
On Sunday, Mason qualified second on the grid and had a great start leading into the treacherous Turn 3 that takes racers off of the high-speed banking of Turns 1 and 2 and has them diving down into a tight, 90 degree left-hander, that starts the infield portion of the “Roval”. This is typically where the accidents happen since every driver wants to win the race on the first lap. As Mason prepared to turn in, another Formula Mazda made a dive-bomb move to the inside and essentially hoped that everyone else would get out of his way. Fortunately for that driver, it worked. Unfortunately for Mason, that move put everybody else out of place and put Mason in the line of just about getting T-boned by another car. By the time he avoided that, the first two FMs where way ahead. Mason tried to catch them, but with two more full-course cautions for crashes and debris with other class traffic in between, he was not where he wanted to be. On the last lap, with the leaders still in sight, Mason got caught up in an intense battle with three other class cars. He was still focused on trying to win and when he saw the other class cars in front of him battle for position a few turns from the finish, he committed to the inside line of the track. All of a sudden there was a half-spin by two cars and contact that stopped them right in front of Mason. With no place to go, he slammed into the car in front which launched that car on top of Mason’s and another competitor. Everyone was okay, but that lost Mason a podium spot and he was classified fourth.
All-in-all, it was still a good weekend. Any time you can get a win, that’s great. Sometimes wrecks happen, that’s part of racing, but at least there’s time to get the car fixed before the next event in March.
These finishes have placed Mason in second place in the SCCA US Majors Western Conference Championship points standings as well as in the Southern Pacific Division. It’s a great way to start the season. Now is the time for sponsors to join a winning team!
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Tom, Brandon, Larry, Fred, and Collin enjoy the spoils of victory after the race.
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