This past weekend was quite the busy one for me.
On Saturday I headed to the Formula Drift Tech Day at UTI in Rancho Cucamonga, and yesterday I drove up to Buttonwillow Raceway to check out the opening round of the 2010 Redline Time Attack season.
While the driver turnout at Buttonwillow could have been better, more than one record-setting lap would be recorded before the dust settled on Sunday evening.
I guess I'll jump right into the big news of the day.
The Sierra Sierra Evo has broken the Buttonwillow record held by the HKS CT230R since 2007 – sort of. During morning practice the David Empringham in the SSE car ran a 1:43.436, besting the CT230's record by nearly a tenth of a second.
However, because it was a practice run, the lap did not "officially" count, meaning SSE would make do with a 1:44.344 – set during the afternoon time attack session when it was much warmer. Still, it was more than enough to be the fastest of the day.
Chris Rado and the World Racing team were also out for blood. Running in the Super Modified FWD class, the Scion turned in an incredible 1:46.736, beating the car's previous record set last year. After speaking to Chris, he thought the car still had even more time to shave – further stretching the possibilities of what can be done with a front wheel drive car.
Unfortunatley though, it seemed as if a lot of the big names in the Super Modified class were nowhere to be seen. FX Motorsports, C-West, AMS, and Crawford were just a few of the favorites that were absent at Buttonwillow. Tough times I guess…
Of course the absence of the the veterans didn't mean there weren't plenty of other cool machines to check out. Conrad Grunewald brought out his new Camaro to run in the Drift Car class.
You just have to love a car that can perform "double duty" like this. Can't wait to see how Conrad and the 'Maro do at Long Beach in a couple weeks.
As usual, there were a wide variety of cars running in the Modified, Street, and the Enthusiast classes. For example, this lightly modded R35 GT-R came all the way down from the state of Washington to run.
Looking straight off the showroom floor, this new Cadillac CTS-V was running in the Enthusiast class. I don't think any of the other car running could rival the Caddy in terms of driver comfort…
This Hyundai Genesis Coupe was running in the Street RWD class, looking rather quick as it made its way around the track.
One thing I noticed was the abundance of European cars running in the various classes. There was everything from BMW's…
…to an occasional Porsche. This 911 was driven by Formula Drift driver Carl Rydquist in the Modified RWD class.
If Hondas are your thing, then this event didn't disappoint. There were S2000's of every sort, ranging from bone stock models to turbocharged track monsters.
Not to mention plenty of traditional FF Hondas, like the Evasive Motorsports Civic Si sedan.
Even this Fit was getting in on the action. If I'm not mistaken, this a former show car, and is there anything cooler than seeing a show car being pushed out on the circuit?
Sticking with the Honda theme for a moment, this S2000 was built by J's Racing in Japan before being purchased by N1 Concepts in the SF Bay Area. N1 has had the car for a while now, and it's great to see it back on the track where it belongs.
Driven by Andre Hartanto, the JDM machine ran in the Super Modified RWD class.
Another familiar face out on the track – Kyle Mohan running his FC RX7 in the Drift Class.
Another one of the many Evos running in the event – this one driven by Rod Morley in ultra-competitive Modified AWD class.
That's it for now, but there's much more to come from the Redline Time Attack season opener at Buttonwillow.