After missing Tuesday’s practice session due to the team battling ignition issues I was happy that the team and I were even at the event and ready to race with all the gremlins we were faced with.
This is an amazing shot of the Team Need For Speed AWD Scion tC pulling up to the grid before the start of session two…
I arrived bright and early for the drivers meeting enthusiastic about the chance of whipping our AWD tC around CW13 at speed for the first time.
I bumped into John Naderi on the walk back to our garage. We spoke about the issues I have been experiencing with the front differential in our car wanting to drive straight when turning under acceleration which led to all the difficulties’ keeping the car on the race surface at corner track out.
Being that we are also racing our FWD Drag tC at the NHRA Finals in Pomona this weekend, we had our Race Hauler parked and ready on Wednesday. This meant we needed to use one of the garage spaces at the track for our operations at Super Lap Battle.
Transforming myself into Captain Chaos.
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Brian Rieley was checking the rear diffuser before the first practice session Wednesday morning. Brian’s our suspension tech on the Time-Attack program, but his day job is pretty cool too. He works at TRD (Toyota Racing Development). Brian helped develop some of the TRD superchargers and other performance items available on the market today.
Armed and Ready to ROCK with my trusty sidekick Hootie the Owl!!
Put me in coach!
FIRE IN THE HOLE!
“The calm before the storm.”
Cousin Rob looking over his “baby” before it heads out on track. If there is anyone who knows this car from rocker to roof, and bumper to chute (or in this case “fwing to wing”) It’s WORLD Motorsports General Manager, Rob Cardona. Cousin Rob had the extreme task of overseeing the complete build of the Team Need For Speed Scion tC.
During my first warm up lap the crew waited for my usual radio feedback insuring the car was good to go.
Around the first few turns I was happy to see the car was making some decent boost and the ignition issues appeared to be gone.
Not sure if this is Ludicrous Speed, but I’m looking for the “Go To Plaid” button, has anyone seen it? The car felt pretty good initially and I must point out that it took us four full years of competition in the Front-Wheel drive “Fwing” tC to accomplish a sub 1:49.xx Lap on the CW13 configuration and on our first competition outing ever at this track I was able to secure a 1:49.342 lap which was a step in the right direction to say the least.
The engine felt strong but the issues I had been experiencing with the car not wanting to steer under acceleration really had me struggling to keep the Team NFS tC on track. A slight off had me back in the garage just as fast as I came out on track for the crew to inspect the car for damage.
Mike Alejos a.k.a “P-Wee” is usually busy working on PR or the marketing partnerships for our race team. Since he shares the passion for cars like the rest of the team whenever the chance is given for him to help on the car, he does. This weekend Mike sure put some much needed TLC into the front splitter (which took a bit of a beating with my off track experience just moments before). Good thing I didn’t stick around for his next move…
Out comes a big yellow sawzaw and Mike begins to cut the damaged portion off with ease. After taking the sawzaw to our new custom carbon splitter and a few pieces of aluminum tape she was almost ready for the next session.
Two thumbs up are usually a good sign, so one will suffice. We have a spare splitter on –hand, but we decided to take our chances with this one for the time being to make sure we have everything else worked out.
This isn’t what I meant when I said, “Ready to ROCK” This little fella made his way back to the garage.
Gary, seen overlooking our bullet prior to the second session. Gary is usually a pretty quiet guy, into Heavy Metal, Skateboarding, and Protein Shakes. Cool Fact: Gary Kubo has a 1991 Honda Accord that in the past few years he has transported over 150+ race engines (In the TRUNK!)
I guarantee that this is a world record!
Gary “G-3PO” Kubo has been my engine builder for the past seven years; He started out by building our engines for the drag program which is the currently the most powerful four-cylinder race engine in the world, a 2,000 horsepower methanol breathing monster that typically sees over 70psi of boost. From there Gary eventually helped us develop the 1,200+horsepower road race application that you see in our time attack cars today. Gary is a pioneer in the import racing industry and has been responsible for some of the fastest four cylinder race engines in the world.
Seen in the background is Time-Attack crew chief, and lead engineer Ron Mathis. Ron has been working with WORLD Racing since last season and has been a huge help with the new car, and a real pleasure to work with. Hands down one of the smartest men I know.
“Mathis is a 1985 graduate of Polytechnic of the South Bank, now London South Bank University, with an emphasis in engineering product design. While still a student he talked his way into being a fabricator and machinist on the ADA Engineering team that campaigned a Gebhardt-Ford in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Group C2 Sports Prototype class. He tasted success quickly, when the team placed eighth overall and won the C2 class at Le Mans in 1986. Because he was “the only bloke in the place that did any drawing,” the design work went through him. He picked up additional valuable experience when he worked on Emerson Fittipaldi’s F1 effort.” Source: 'The Men of Ron Mathis' @ Baggy Paragraphs Company
If I was to get into some of the other amazing things he’s done I would probably need a few more pages, but most recently Ron’s team Edison2 won the Progressive Auto Insurance Automotive X-Prize challenge where a $10-million purse for achieving 100 mpg or the equivalent was up for grabs. The prize is divided among three classes of entries; the Edison2 team is the only one to enter all three of them. They won!
Continental Tires hooks me up with the best gumballs a racer could ever dream of. Thanks Dana!
Cousin Rob brings some lunch over, and just like that…
Donezo… The feeding frenzy begins as the veggie burgers at Button Willow are surprisingly good. They always take great care of WORLD Racing and all of our fellow racers.
But all Mr. Poop got was a sniff of this finger!
“We’re about 15 minutes out…some last minute camber adjustments and it’s about to get interesting”
Very happy the crew was able to get her buttoned up and back out on track! Now let’s see if this beast has what it takes to lay down a number on CW13.
It’s time to grid! Pull those tire warmers off cuz’ I’m ready to do this!
More pre-grid awesomeness from the Speedhunters crew! Thanks to Linhbergh, Larry and Mike G the Speedhunting tri-fecta for coming out and hanging with the team this weekend.
When I got back out on the track the car seemed to be running ok engine-wise, but I was still having an issue with the front differential locking up to soon under power and making me push the car wide at track out.
Disappointingly this was the final result… a second off in the car this time taking out the splitter completely, ending our outing at the Super Lap Battle Finals. Time for some drag racing at NHRA this weekend! Thank you to all of our sponsors who made this year possible, and to my family for their continued support.
After the off-road fiasco, I drove the car right into the garage pretty disappointed in what had happened to the car.
Once I had a better look it wasn’t nearly as bad as I originally thought, especially considering the fact that I was flying through the air at over 130mph off road heading towards sunset. The front wing was fully intact, and the only thing that showed damage was the splitter and belly pan, something that we already planned on changing for next year.
What’s left of the front splitter wasn’t much.
We will be back in action in 2011 competing in the Global Time Attack, Super Lap Battle, and GTGP series. For more information please visit GlobalTimeAttack.com, SuperLapBattle.com, and GlobalTunerGP.com.
I look forward to blogging during my off-season and keep you all up to date with the updates to our car and keep you up to date with the exciting things I have planned for you in 2011. GO FAST OR GO HOME!!!