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Successfully Capturing the 2011 NASA SoCal SM Championship Title

Posted by Sampson Racing Radios , 11-14-2011 · 844 views

NASA @ Buttonwillow - November 5~6, 2011
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The first winter storm blowing through central California threathened to make the final event of the season a difficult affair. Dedicated drivers and supporters who showed up at Buttonwillow Racway were rewarded with gorgeous sunny and cool conditions, essentially perfect race weather for running in configuration #1, counter clockwise, which would be Star Mazda with the Bus Stop.


Saturday
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Clement Lee showed why he was the top driver in 2011 as he qualified his Rush Motorsport Sampson Racing Communication Spec Miata on pole in his SM race class, and 3rd overall in the race group. Clement took command of the race right from the second split green flag, taking the lead into the first turn. As P2 and P3 battled for positions, Clement with a clear track in front, put his head down, ran hard for several laps to open up a gap from the rest of the pack. That gave Clement enough of a safety margin to comfortably get through traffic without taking any unnecessary risks. Clement continued with his fast pace around the track and never relinquished his lead to finish 1st in class and 3rd overall in his Rush Motorsport Sampson Racing Communications Spec Miata.


Sunday
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Weather forecast for Sunday was supposed to be clear through the scheduled race time. The morning began that way but the sky began to turn overcast by mid morning. Just like the day before, Clement qualified his Rush Motorsport Sampson Racing Communications Spec Miata on pole for his SM race class and 3rd overall. Dark clouds continued to accumulate and finally it opened up just before the race. With a completely wet track, all of Clement's competitors quickly changed to their rain tires.

Given the last event of the year, Clement did not bring along any rain tires so he had to make do with his dry setup. Not being able to carry any speed around the corners, Clement lost 2 positions at the start right after the green flag when his competitor pushed him into the the pool of standing water at the esses and he had to straight line through the dirt. Clement rejoined in P3 and was back in P2 when the car in front shot itself off track at Magic Mountain (aka Lost Hill). Clement was back in P1 when another car went wide at the bus stop. Unfortunately, that car slinged mud all over Clement's windshield which in turned jammed up Clement's wipers. With reduced visibility, Clement had to back down his pace as a couple of other cars on wet tires and setup made their was past.

Clement hooked onto their bumpers and took advantage of their tire spray to help cleared the windshield of dirt and mud! Around half way, Clement made his way back into P2 and back in hot pursuit of P1 albeit still slipping and sliding on his dry weather tires. With 2 laps to go, Clement was right on the bumper of P1, but with no functioning wipers, he could barely see out the window as P1 continued to spray water all over Clement's windshield. Clement took a few peeks but thought better of it and decided to just follow P1 to the checkered flag to take home a solid 2nd as well as fastest lap in his SM class and 2nd fastest lap overall.


Recap
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With a 1st and 2nd finishing position over the weekend, Clement Lee in his Rush Motorsport Sampson Racing Communications Spec Miata concluded the season by successfully capturing the 2011 NASA SoCal SM Championship title. Many thanks to Rush Motorsport and Sampson Racing Communications for making the championship title campaign possible and successful. Clement Lee is already looking forward to 2012 for another exciting year of NASA Spec Miata Championship racing.

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