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Matt Dennison: Redline Time Attack 2010 Final

by Matt Dennison

Just wanted to congratulate all the teams and drivers that have accomplished the holy grail of the championship!!!

It was a pretty excited event to say the least, with it being the last event of the RTA series. Pretty much meaning that all the East Coast teams were coming over to see how they can hang with the West Coast teams. And they didn’t bring no knife to a gun fight.

Practice on Saturday for me was filled more with giving joy rides around they ROVAL, then paying attention to car setup. So nothing spectacular was achieved except for the uncomfortable silence from the passengers when flogging it around the banking.

I can say the car ran great on my 91 tune (370hp) for Saturday. Running within a few seconds off pace of my previous best of a 1:53 with the new Federal 595RS-R’s was pretty impressive as well on a low boost/power map. I’d only have to dial in tire pressure and run my 100 octane (450hp) tune to see where I stand against the BIG dawgs come Sunday.

Well for Sunday’s first practice I was still running my 91 tune to dial in my TP and feel out the track without a passenger for once. I was getting more comfortable around the high speed banking and to my surprise ran a 1:54 within a few laps… Practice done, time to flip the switch for more power for the next practice session.

For the last practice session I finally flipped the switch to figure out my new braking points as I usually pick up 20mph entering T1 let alone another extra 80hp on the stock block Smiley Well within the first hot lap my car experienced some excessive and ridiculous knock all over the place. No matter where I was at my knock indicator (more on this later) would illuminate immediately. I few laps later I noticed my boost gauge was reading -0- and no vacuum either. I blew a vacuum hose off. So no true track practice for me. Next up, first time attack session

*** To get back to the knock sensor light***
Without Scott Gray implementing his knock sensor light (SES light illuminates) into his tune I would have easily caused some kind of catastrophic failure. As I use my vacuum source for my boost gauge via a line that connects to the fuel pressure regulator. No fuel pressure at high RPM’s is a no bueno. I have never had this extra safety measure until Scott tuned my car… let alone he also added in a valet mode  Afro Good stuff! Go get it at RRE…

For the first time attack session I was gridded 5th fastest amongst all of the Street Class competitors and not just the AWD folks. That in its self was a huge accomplishment for me.

On track everything felt great. The extra power is always a great thing pulling you out of the corners and the top speed makes you think twice about when you should let off the gas. With the first session completed I am happy to say I surpassed my best time of a 1:53.241 with a 1:52.052. But the competition was even more impressive running in the high 40’s and setting a new track record!

First TA
1 – Steve Ruiz –           1:47.776 *new record
2 – Jon Drenas –          1:48.406 *out for last TA session; mechanical failure
3 – Daniel O’Donnell –  1:49.918
4 – Cameron Benner – 1:50.905 *out for last TA session; mechanical failure
5 – Matt Dennison –     1:52.052
6 – Rigo –                     1:55.120
7 – Ryan Lucas –          1:56.250
8 – CoCo Zurita –         1:58.643
9 – Tony Brown –         1:59.628

For the last TA session I knew I was beat on power by the top 4 drivers so I would really have to concentrate on driver skill to run any faster. Not to mention that Jon and Cameron each had car issues and would not run in the last and final session. And who knows what the other teams have up their sleeves.

During the last TA session I ran as fast as I could manage and actually improved my time by dropping another 2 whole seconds, making it a 1:50.423. On the other end, Daniel O’Donnell must have turned on kill mode and ripped a 1:46.674! Setting another new track record and beating out Steven Ruiz for 1st place

1 – Daniel O’Donnel –   1:46.674 *new record
2 – Steven Ruiz –         1:47.657
3 – Jon Drenas –          1:48.406
4 – Matt Dennison –     1:50.423
5 – Cameron Benner – 1:50.905
6 – Rigo –                     1:53.774
7 – Ryan Lucas –          1:55.815
8 – CoCo Zurita –         1:56.945
9 – Tony Brown –         1:59.628

For the final points standing I was able to clinch 4th Overall in the Street Class. With a automatic shoe-in for the NEW Pro Time Attack in 2011 who knows whats in store me for the following year.

All in all I am extremely excited on my performance. Knowing that I have always been the underdog running against some well designed and thought out race cars on street tires, I actually enjoyed trying to make it a fighting chance. Even though it was a long shot…

Thank you Mike Welch for the awesome track side support and the boys/men at Road Race Engineering.

And thank you to all my sponsors for making it a fighting year…!


Road Race Engineering
Federal Tires
GT Spec
Odyssey Batteries
SPY optics+

And thank you Tim and the entire Alliance Motorsports crew for the tremendous helping hand over the weekend!


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