Recap: Rounds 1 & 2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Coming into the season opener, my plan was to start the season off strong...and boy did we ever. After 3 months of training, testing and preparing for the season, I had high expectations. Those expectations were realized - I won the first race of the season!

The 2016 VMB Scholarship Cars (#55 Carter Williams & #24 Jonathan Sugianto)

The 2016 VMB Scholarship Cars (#55 Carter Williams & #24 Jonathan Sugianto)

In Round 1 of the championship, I started on pole. On the pace lap, my mind was more focused than ever as I looked around and saw the other 31 cars on track. Emotions were high. I felt nervous, excited, and proud all at the same time. When the green flag dropped, I got a great start and was able to gap myself to 2nd place on the opening lap. From there it was all about being consistent and clean. I told myself to maintain focus, keep calm, and make no mistakes. With about 3 laps to go, there was a 3 car crash that drew out the yellow flag. The race ended under yellow and I was able to take the first win of the season!

I won the gold trophy, a pair of Goodyear tires, some Molecule products for my suit, and some points towards the championship. It was an awesome way to start the season!

Getting ready for the race! 

Getting ready for the race! 

In Round 2, things went a little differently. I managed to be aggressive on the start and make a pass for the lead in turn 3. From there, I laid down as many fast laps as I can to pull away in the early stages of the race. I managed to build myself a good lead but about 10 or so minutes into the race, my car had an issue with the fuel pump and I was forced to retire the car. It was a bummer since we should such great pace all weekend. It would have been great to sweep the weekend, but these things happen. 

Overall, I was pleased about the opening rounds of the championship. It's a long season and I know I need to keep maintaining my pace if I want to win this championship. However, I think we have established ourselves as front runners, and I know we have the pace to run up front. I left Laguna with confidence, pride and excitement for the future. I can't thank VMB Driver Development enough for all their support & Worldspeed Motorsports for giving me such an awesome car. Lastly, I'd like to thank Yoshida Sushi, Ramen Naruto, Axcel Fast Graphics, and my personal sponsors for allowing me to be on the grid this year. 

The track: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

The track: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

 

Let's get em at Thunderhill!

- Jonathan