Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend @ HPT

What an awesome Memorial Day weekend it was down at Heartland Park Topeka. Great weather all weekend long with a good amount of sun, low humidity, and temps hanging around in the 70s. It was also an excellent turnout for the NASA Central & Rocky Mountain regions crossover with around 90 cars registered.

Saturday morning’s practice session went off pretty smoothly. The car was running great and it didn’t take long to drop our times into the low 1:33’s around the 2.2 mile track layout. This put us near the top of the time sheet, only behind a few ST1 cars. After about an hour break, it was time for qualifying. 2 hot laps later we rolled back into the pits with a very fast 1:32.9, placing us 4th on grid for the afternoon race.

At 3PM we rolled down to grid and staged up behind the pace car. After a quick lap around the track behind the pace car the green flag was dropped. By the end of the first lap we were sitting 5th overall after a ST2 S2000 passed us going into corner 3. While that group of 4 cars kept slowly pulling away, we kept building the gap to everyone else behind us. Included in that group was our ST3 competitor who lost a couple positions at the start and was now stuck in traffic. The rest of the race continued on without issue and saw two of the cars ahead of us retire, bumping us to 3rd overall.

Sunday unfortunately didn’t go quite as well as Saturday. The whole day we were faced with a intercooler hose coupling that decided to start shredding apart. This obviously created a major boost leak putting us way down on power. We carried on however and did the best we could for Sunday’s race to get as many points as possible.

Now its onto summer break for Team STI Guys as our next event won’t be until August at Motorsport Park Hastings. Over this period of time we will be working to finish some aero developments for the car. We will update as things progress.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mid America Motorplex

This past weekend saw us just outside Omaha, Nebraska at Mid America Motorplex. With the weather forecast looking much more optimistic this time around we were set for a good weekend.

Since the last event our STI has been under the knife being rebuilt stronger than ever. After some fresh new internals and a dyno tune the car was making way more power than it was previously. So we decided to go with it and bump up to a higher class. The STI Guys will now be running in NASA's new Super Touring 3 class.

Saturday was all about getting STI Guy Ron through comp school and shaking down the car after its rebuild. With temps rising into the mid 70's and sunshine breaking through the clouds, Saturday was turning into a perfect day for racing. The car ran without issue all Saturday long and was much faster than last year. Lap times were 2+ seconds lower and we were hitting 131 MPH on the back straight, 9 MPH higher than last summer! Saturday finished with Ron successfully completing comp school and obtaining his provisional license!

STI Guy Ron pictured center

Sunday was race day. We ended up qualifying 4th overall out of a 18 car field. The race went without issue and we climbed our way up to finished 2nd overall! The car ran extremely strong and we were able to keep up a very good pace throughout the entire race. We were also very happy with the new Hankook Ventus Z214 race tires we were running. They were fast and very consistent, definitely a tire we will continue to use. We were very happy with the race and can't wait for the next one.

The next event we should be making it to will be down by Kansas City, Kansas at Heartland Park Topeka. It's a top notch track and we had a lot of fun there last year, and so far the number registered is looking good. For this next event we may have time to develop some further upgrades to the car. Now that we are running ST3 we have more freedom to modify the car. One of the first items on our list is to fabricate a front splitter. We will see...