Pikes Peak 2016 Time Attack 2 Class EVO 8 driven by Australian rally driver Jeff Denmeade of Meadsports with prep and crew support by Road Race Engineering. Tuning by David Hinde of Merlin Tuning.
Jeff’s recap of race day:
After seeing that we had a small chance to take the number 2 Viper, we knew 4th place was ours to loose, a finish was more important than a fantasy. The mountain was yet to play all it’s cards, it had 10 hours left to teach some lessons.
With an amazing amount of red flags that left us bewildered, with a huge amount of cars being turned around and sent back down the hill for restarts the day dragged on.
Finally the gates opened for us and we were let into the start zone area, safety checked, and given the clear order, we were now under starter orders. Revs raised, launch control enabled. Great start! The best all weekend. A good start, even on a rally usually, seemingly, sets the atmosphere for the mood for the run.
Concentrating on accuracy first for the lower section, quickly in 4th gear hitting all the high speed apexes, all in 4th gear. This sets the mind up for the run, accuracy first, speed second.
In all the run was effortless, even faultless, but at some point it felt like the car simply ran out of air, not pulling as strong as it did in practice, no real time to fight it, just had to keep getting it to the apexes. Suddenly cars were stopped all over the course, hoods up and steam coming out, in large places there was little grip on the pavement due to heat, brake zones were harder to read with over run forcing diving into the apexes.
Data later showed that the car ran out of air, due to a zone on the mountain where there was simply no humidity to cool the air going into the airbox, or radiator. The car became a barometer meter itself. The car spiked from 97 degrees Celsius, to a whopping 113 in this odd ‘dead-zone’. But the old dog hung in there.
Running the same specification we ran in 2010 when we won the Time attack class, even the same turbo, the old EVO proved it can run reliably, with simple ecu updates and reflashes running constant all week.
Typical of Pikes, we were entertained with a ice storm, then a hail storm at the top, leaving all of us to tip toe down a few miles on the ice with race rubber, when we were rounded up let loose to come down under a safety car. How we all made it down without someone sliding off is beyond me.
Only one car didn’t make up due to the storm, when the Ecoboost Mustang simply couldn’t go up the hills on the ice, at some point sliding backwards down the road, deciding to park it for safety sake.
End result, 4th, which was expected, and achieved, and not wasted. We drive the car up into the trailer on it’s own power, lock it down, and have a post race drink in the spa.
In reflection, it was an amazing year, and the team was simply the best to have around me. Mike and Matt and Bryce from Road Race Engineering in California, and our tuner David Hinde (aka Merlin) from Sydney kept the car at it’s peak, and were always ahead of the curve on anything that may have happened. We’ll be back.
Cheers to all.
Final results for Time Attack 2 Production were:
1st Place Nick Robinson 2017 Acura NSX Hybrid – 10:28
2nd Place Kevin Wesley 2016 Viper ACR – 10:39
3rd Place Stephanie Reaves 2016 Viper ACR – 10:56
4th Place JEff Denmeade 2003 EVO 8 – 11:32
5th Place Fumio Nutahara 2015 GT86 12:36
DNF Kash Singh 2016 Ford Mustang
Friday is the last of 4 days of practice on the mountain. For us, this was the middle section. This starts at Glen Cove just past the ski area and goes up past the tree line and through the “W”s and stops at Devils Playground. All the go up a couple minutes apart. Once all the cars go up, they clear the road and send everyone back down. The cars do any prep or changes and go back up again. We hope to get 4 or sometimes 5 runs on a short section like this. The drivers don’t get to connect the entire course until race day.
The car had been running fine all week. We were looking to see how the additional ducting that we had made the day before had changed. In the practice sessions we run from daybreak until 9 am. The weather is very cool. But come race day our start time wont be until about noon. And instead of running a short 4-5 mile section, we’ll be running the entire 15 mile course flat out. We wanted to compare coolant temps here with the higher to[ section that we ran earlier in the week.
We were also able to track the tire pressure at the altitude went higher to best set a start pressure. The run group that we are in has some wild cars. A good Pikes Peak car always looks like it was drawn by an 8 year old. Because of the thin air up this high, the aero is always exaggerated. You end up seeing crazy open wheel cars with giant double wings in the front and rear. Tunnels and diffusers, canards out a foot in each direction. We see the open class electric cars of Rhys Millen and “Monster” Tajima, stock cars, Mike Ryan’s Freightliner semi-truck, every concept of an open wheel car you can imagine…
Here is a video of the middle section practice run. One run, three different camera angles back to back.
This video was shot earlier this year for the /DRIVE+ Channel on Youtube as a subscription only feature. It hasbeen released now to the public at large on the Electric Fedral Youtube Channel and here it is:
From Electric Federal:
Published on Jul 13, 2015
After ten iterations, the Evo is about to kick the bucket with no real successor in sight. We decided to pay homage to a modern tuner icon.
In our latest EF release, which first aired back in March on /Drive+, we profile two significant players in the Mitsu Evo realm: Mike Welch, the West Coast’s premier Mitsu tuner, and Canaan O’Connell, an up-and-coming star in the racing world. RRE and JemFX Motorsports make for a fun, mildly chaotic combination.
We had so much fun that we decided to profile their race at Pikes Peak in 4K.
No, we don’t just mean GoPro 4K. We mean all sorts of footage in 4K. We’ll update you on that soon.
Special Thanks to:
+ Mike Welch and Road Race Engineering: http://goo.gl/JgWFHD
+ Elia Popov and JemFX Motorsports: http://goo.gl/uQu5PB
+ Canaan’s parents for making Canaan (and therefore a cool subject)
+ Mitsubishi Motors for building (and then sadly killing) the Evo: http://goo.gl/AlVVWj
– Matt Genesis as Director/Editor
– Rony Karkar (a.k.a. “Ronky”) as Colorist
– Ian Norum on Camera
– Chris Belizzi as Grip
– Andrew Montiveo as Producer
Here is some pure in car video of the Jet Black Racing RRE EVO 7 running with NASA at Willow Springs on the Big Track. Canaan worked through the weekend to get the lap times down to 1:25. That was good for First Place in the Open Class Time Trial class.
Video shot and edited by Electric Federal
We decided to drive the RRE Rally Box Van to Colorado to help Danny George prepare to run his FD Miata up Pikes Peak. We met him at John’s house there in Colorado Springs to help make the conversion from drift to grip. We pretty much took over the driveway, garage and turned the basement into a dorm room with 7 guys all camped out on the floor.
Pics are in the gallery below. Once the car was ready, we took it to Pikes Peak Raceway to do some practice with the grip setup. Then up the mountain at 4am to be ready to run when the road opens up for practice at 5am. Then they run to 9am when the road is open to the public. They divide the course into 3 sections and each day you practice one section with your run group.
Before this event we mentioned that we were ready to battle, and battle we did! Piloting the Road Race Engineering Berk Technology Nissan 350Z powered by Champion Spark Plugs through both the PRO and PRO2 categories at Formula Drift’s newest venue Homestead-Miami Speedway, our driver Carl Rydquist started off with winning 1st qualifying spot in PRO2, followed by a 23rd qualifying result in PRO, then Carl went onto win 3rd place in the PRO2 tandem competition on Friday night and finally capped off the weekend with a Top 16 finish in PRO.
Rossy Welch, team manager Road Race Engineering
Carl’s FormulaD Pro2 podium finish under the sunshine of Miami has made one of my biggest dreams come true in my favorite racing series. It feels wonderful to work with such a talented, young and passionate team. I’m so proud to be part of it and thankful for the opportunity. We can feel the love from our fans and with the support from our sponsors, that is what keeps us working harder.
Carl Rydquist, driver RRE 350Z V8 Turbo powered by Champion Spark Plugs
What an amazing weekend! The team behind this car consists of Road Race Engineering, Berk Technology and S-Empire, Carl explains, and it’s a strong combo that combines tons of experience with brains and competence to find solutions to the challenges we come up against and to execute the jobs that are needed. I am equally impressed, fascinated and thankful and I’m extremely happy to have won my first Formula Drift trophy!
Formula Drift PRO Rd4 in New Jersey takes place on June 20-21 and our preparations have already begun. The Z chassis, then powered by a V6 engine boosted by a Garrett GT3582R turbocharger ran well there last season so we have a great baseline and Carl did well in qualifying at that track, but still with today’s level of development speed in Formula Drift we have to work tirelessly on sharpening the competitive edge to climb further up the standings where we are currently sitting in 29th place in the PRO series and 3rd in the PRO2 standings.
We have amassed great momentum during the start of the 2014 season by excellent working relationships with our technical partners and with great support from fans around the globe, however we did suffer a no-points weekend in the second round of the 2014 Formula Drift PRO Championship by taking 34th spot out of 60 cars at Road Atlanta. Now how do you handle a gut punch like that? Answer: Like a Champion.
Here is a nice video about the details of Dr Alex’s EVO 6 Varis Wide Body SEMA project that we had in the Zeitronix display at SEMA 2013 in Las Vegas. Next up for the car is some track shakedown over the winter months.
Video and editing by Drew @ www.thirstyfilm.com
2000 Mitsubishi Evolution 6 GSR
• Carbon Wide Body, Hood, Trunk Lid and Wing by Varis Japan
• Volk Racing Wheels TE-37 Super Lap 18X11+22
• Hankook Ventus C71 Racing Slicks
• Cobra Sebring and Suzuka Race Seats
• Schroth Race Belts
• OMP Steering Wheel
• Stack Race Dash
• Zeitronix ZT-2 Wideband
• Zeitronix ZR-1 AFR — Boost Display
• Zeitronix ECA-2 Ethanol Content Analyzer
• Zeitronix Ethanol Content Gauge
• Zeitronix Flex Fuel Sensor
• Safety Devices 10 Point Roll Cage
Mitsubishi 4G63 600 whp/500 ftlbs Tq @ 25 psi
• Road Race Engineering 2.3 Stroker
• Turbo by Garret GT3582-R
• Tial 44 MM Waste Gate
• Road Race Engineering Front Mount Intercooler and Piping
• Road Race Engineering 4′ Intake
• AEM Infinity ECU – Full Flex Fuel – Tune by Sam @ RRE
• ACT Xtreme Single Disc Clutch
Brakes and Suspension
• Muellerized… Öhlins Road and Track Coil Over Suspension
• Stoptech 6 Piston Front — 4 Piston Rear Trophy Big Brake Kit
Joon Maeng debuted his new LS2 powered S13 at the Las Vegas Formula D this weekend. We just finished building the new car over the last month and a half. Joon lost his ride in the Nitto Tire RX8 with Ron Bergenholz just before the Seattle Formula D round.
Joon had a S13 bare shell in the wings waiting and all the guys at RRE chipped in with some serious long all nighters to get the new car built and running.
Lucas Oil and American Real TV have always been a personal sponsor of Joon. They both are really helping to get Joon to the last two races of the FD championship this year.
The S13 is wrapped with one side as Lucas Oil
And the other as American Real TV.
After being let go from Bergenholtz Racing, Joon Maeng decided to continue as a privateer in the Lucas Oil/Nitto Tires V8 S13 240SX. This car was a plain 240SX body shell that was built into the LS2 V8 beast you see here in just over a month and a half.
Nitto Tire, Sam’s Auto Land, Parts Shop Max, Feal Suspension, Westech Performance, ACT and many, many other companies stepped in to help Joon make this happen.
With some final suspension adjustments Joon qualified 12th Friday night with a clean 82 point run. With the new course layout it was a night of big upsets.
RRE mechanic Lod Tongkul is Joon’s crew chief and RRE fabricator Art Thavilyati (more…)
Jen got her Suzuki Swift all patched up after the roll at the Gorman Ridge Rally last month. The car headed out of here and off to Arizona last Thursday.
She finished 2nd place in Performance Stock for the Friday night rally. On Saturday she had to deal with a blown rear strut but here competition for the championship John Black in the Ford Ranger had more problems. She ended up with 1st place in P-Stock on Saturday and enough points to get the Performance Stock California Rally Series Championship. Congratulations Jen!
This is what got me into AWD turbo cars… fixing bent rally cars. Bent rally cars led to AWD Eclipses which led to EVOs and the rest is history.
But bent rally cars still follow me around.
This is Jen Imai’s Suzuki Swift GT with Terry “Tear Dawg” Stonecipher as navigator. Jen rallys her Swift in Performance Stock and is leading the championship in points this year. (more…)
Ed is a good guy. I have gotten to spend some time with him over the last few months for NASA. He is the perfect garage mate. He doesn’t talk to you too much and takes care of business. He also has the coolest dad ever. The last time I ran NASA was in June. Ed wasn’t driving but he came out anyways and did a ride along in my EVO. Then, he drove my EVO, which scared the crap out of me. There is nothing like having a real race car driver drive your daily driver around the track in anger to freak you out and show you how slow you are. I thought I was kicking some imaginary ass in HPDE but ED is really the one killing it!! I can’t wait to have more good times with Ed out on the track this year in NASA. You should come out too!! [nasaproracing.com]
More on ED Nazarian after the break
MotoIQ just posted a great interview with JOON MAENG.
Before getting in to that however, I have to say, all that stuff you hear about Joon is true. I got the chance recently to hang out with Joon over the weekend at Redline Time Attack when RRE was out supporting his S13 for the event July 2-3 at Big Willow. Joon and I shared a hotel room, so we hung out a bit on and off the track. After careful study of Mr. Maeng, I have to say, he is just as cool as the media describes him as. The guy has a magnetic personality and he is just golden to be around even when his car was overheating in the 112 degree heat (that translates to something like 10000000 degrees on the track). Joon took the whole weekend in stride, the ups the downs and even me, snoring while he was trying to get some sleep. It was a great weekend and I hope to get the chance to hang out with the RRE crew and Joon again soon!!
Also, The fact that Joon is the first Korean American pro drifter is no joke in the Korean community. Koreans take stuff like that seriously and the community is behind this guy with their love and support!! There is a minidoc on this here:
….enough said… Here is the interview. Don’t forget to check out MotoIQ!! Their site is worth at least a day wasted in the office at your cubicle monitor!! ALSO, I changed ALL the pictures on here, so the MotoIQ story will have pics. of Joon in his beastly RX-8.
New video of a picture or two I took at RTA the weekend of July 2-3, 2011 at BIG WILLOW.
OMGWTF? RRE Works on Miatas?
Mike @ RRE tuned the AEM EMS Series 2 ECU on Jeff Abbott’s FD Miata. It is not only DSMs and EVOs all day every day. There are some weird things going on at RRE like JOON MAENG’S S13 and JEFF ABBOTT’S Miata. Come by the shop and see what is going on!!
Everyone who is anyone reads MOTORMAVENS! You are in your favorite PJs sipping some coffee and you see a MIATA and ask, IS that an RRE sticker on that MIATA??
Why yes, that is an RRE sticker. Get out of your PJs and come to an FD event to support these fools!!
We were racing at BRP about a week ago, April 9-10, on configuration #13CW. About a month before that we completed both of our races at ACS Roval during our 2011 season opener event. You can read about our season opener here:
Ed is completely changing his tire setup this year going to full race slicks. Between this and changing the downforce setup with the added front splitter, this will be a learning year for Ed. He wont be going to the national championships because of some family obligations he has.
Saturday was mostly a disaster dealing with the new tires and pressures. Ed was busy again on Sunday getting his corded tires flipped/mounted/balanced, so he was late to grid again. He didn’t have enough time between his qualifying session and the race to get everything done quickly enough to make it to the grid on time. He had to start in the back again.
At the start the cars in front of him looked confused. Ed was able to capitalize on that and passed 3 out of class cars, and a fellow ST2 racer. He set his fastest lap of the entire weekend in lap 2 with a 1:48.622. Unfortunately, his tires started cording again during this race also, but this time it was far worse than Saturday’s race.
Ed’s Full War Story:
The 2011 season opener was at ACS Roval on March 4-6. Up until last year our season opener has been at Big Willow in February, but NASA decided to cancel that event this year. It’s really unfortunate because I love Big Willow.
Before anything I want to say a quick thank you to Mike Welch (owner of RRE), KC from APR, and Art from RRE. Due to some personal challenges in the off season, I didn’t have time to get ready for our season opener in a timely manner. I literally prepped my car a few days before leaving for ACS. Mike, as usual, was extremely helpful and generous. He even made the time to get my car on the dyno in the midst of a busy schedule to see how things were looking. KC from APR went out of his way by driving out to ACS on Friday to hand deliver a set of risers, that he installed himself. Since I had used the GTC-200 wing without the risers, I could feel they made enough of a difference. As for Art, he was there that weekend crewing for someone else but made time to check up on me. I was doing some work on my RF fender and had him come over to give me his opinion. He ended up doing some work on the fender also.
Earlier I said that since I had some personal challenges in the off season I couldn’t get ready in a timely manner. The major factor I didn’t have time to sort out was getting my alignment adjusted for this event. And Robi (owner of Robispec) was going to be out of town during this event, so we couldn’t make adjustments at the track like we usually do. I knew it wasn’t ideal but I figured it was close enough from when I did a test day in November, so I decided I was willing to race as-is. Besides, I figured it would be a good learning experience.
Saturday was a day full of incidents before and during the race. I qualified P2 with a 1:48.745, but after qualifying I realized I was cording my RF and RR tires. Since our drivers meeting was after our qualifying session I didn’t have enough time to get my tires flipped, get ready, and make it to grid on time.
For Saturday’s race our group had 2 rolling starts. Super Touring was with the 1st start, while GTS had the 2nd start. When I entered the track both groups were long gone. By the time I was approaching T9 the first group had already taken their start and the leaders were entering T3. A few seconds later GTS took their start. My only chance at that point was if there was an incident that entailed a full course double-yellow, or a pace car to collect the field. Due to a pretty serious incident, that’s exactly what happened. As I crossed start/finish to start my 1st lap there was a yellow issued before T3 due to an incident in T3. As I started my 2nd lap the pace car was entering T1 with a full course double-yellow. What are the odds? I had to do over 2 laps to catch the pack behind the pace car. It was unfortunate that incident happened, but it gave me what seemed like a one in a million scenario. I was in the very back of the pack, but at least I was with the pack.
The race then restarted on lap 5. After 4 laps I closed in on one of my competitors, but there was another incident at the start of lap 9 which caused another full course double-yellow. The pace car was deployed again to collect the field, and our race ended as-is with the pace car. I have in-car footage of this race but there is no point in posting it.
Sunday was nearly a repeat of Saturday. I corded my tires again during qualifying and was busy after that rushing to get my tires flipped in time for the race. This time I just barely made it to grid in time, but as I was pulling in they were rolling out, so I had to start in the back. But at least this time I was able to start the race with everyone else.
At the start the cars in front of me looked confused, so I was able to capitalize on that and passed 3 out of class cars, and a fellow ST2 racer. I then passed another Super Unlimited American Stock Car on the outside of T4 totaling 5 cars I passed by T5. So I started off pretty strong, and set my fastest lap of the entire weekend in lap 2 with a 1:48.622. I got into a decent groove and was ready to gradually push it a little harder, but I quickly realized something didn’t feel right with my RF tire. So after lap 2 I focused on trying to maintain consistent and decently fast laps. Unfortunately, little did I know that my tires were starting to cord, but this time it was far worse than Saturday. If my tires didn’t cord, I was on pace to run 1:47s all day from start to finish. And if I had the luxury of having [forum-restricted] there with me, I think 1:46s were within reach. At least now I know what I’m capable of doing in a race with my new setup. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until next years March event to see what I can do at ACS Roval. Here’s a breakdown of my lap times illustrating how badly my tires corded:
Consistent and decently fast laps in the beginning:
Lap 1: 1:54.130
Lap 2: 1:48.622 (Fastest lap of my weekend)
Lap 3: 1:48.747
Lap 4: 1:49.094
Lap 5: 1:49.022
Since my tires started cording I tried to maintain consistent yet somewhat fast laps:
Lap 6: 1:51.451
Lap 7: 1:51.376
Lap 8: 1:51.518
I could no longer maintain those lap times because my tires were cording severely:
Lap 9: 1:53.155
Lap 10: 1:54.272
Lap 11: 1:55.658
Lap 12: 1:57.688
Lap 13: 1:57.187
Lap 14: 1:58.173
By Ed Nazarian
My 2010 race season is over. Reflecting on what I’ve encountered this year, numerous things stand out. I had a couple really exciting races this year. My win at ACS where I went from the back of the pack, to the front, and won the race on the last lap by .152 seconds. Battling the Mazda GTs at BRP. The 3 brutal days of racing at NASA’s National Championship. More than anything, finishing the National Championship race under some challenging conditions. The more I race the more I learn, conversely, the more I realize how little I know.
Other than that, I remember the transitions my car has endured. From adding the TRE rear-diff, to adding some aero on my car for the first time. All of which was made possible by Mike Welch, owner of RRE, and the entire RRE crew. Being the genuinely awesome guy Mike is, he gave me a diff that he shipped to TRE. This way we can keep my OEM diff as backup. As for the aero, KC from APR set me up with a splitter. And to help me minimize my expenses for Nationals, my friends stepped up to the plate and gave me their wings. Sean Bradley gave me his APR GTC-200 wing off of his STi, and Scott Pennock gave me his GTC-300 wing off of his Evo. Not to mention the scores of hours Mike invested in fabricating all the supporting components. The work was extremely meticulous and time consuming but Mike made it all enjoyable.
I also want to thank my fellow racers. The competition grew significantly this year, and the majority have stepped things up. On top of that, we had some seasoned drivers join us with some pretty fast cars, 2 Corvettes and a blisteringly fast Porsche. I got to know some of the drivers I met in 2009 a little better, and met some new people in the meantime. It’s been an honor to race against these guys, and I’m looking forward to trying to battle with them next year. If the 2011 season progresses at this rate, the potential is there for some even more competitive racing.
In closing, a major thank you to all my sponsors and friends who have been there for me. Without their support I would not be as far along as I am. They are part of the reason why I’ve been able to achieve the following since I started racing in 2009:
– 5 wins
– 8 podiums
– 1 pole position
– Winner of hard-charger award
– (12) 35min Socal Regional races
– (3) 25min National Championship qualifying races
– (2) 45min National Championship races (2009 National Championship race ended really short because I was hit)
– (17) Races in total
– Finished 16 out of 17 races
* Tuning: Scot Gray with some touch ups by Mike Welch
* Maintenance/Installs/Fabrication/Just about everything else: RRE crew
– RRE: Mike Welch, Robert Ramirez, Scot Gray, and the entire RRE crew.
– Robispec: Rober Fuller, a.k.a. Robi, and his crew for providing me trackside suspension tuning at my races.
– Girodisc: Martin Meade for providing me 2pc rotors and Raybestos brake pads.
– South Coast Mitsubishi: Rigo, Sam, Abbas and everyone else for all their support.
– APR: KC for setting me up with a splitter and all the other little things.
– Crew and Friends: Robert Ramirez, Sean Bradley, and Mark Homer.
Ed Nazarian racing his RRE Evo 9 at the 2010 NASA National Championship in Super Touring 2 at Miller Motorsports Park (MMP), in Utah. This is in-car footage of the National Championship race. ST2 had about 26 entries, but a few of them broke down before or during the National Championship race. There were 19 ST2 cars listed for the National Championship race, and Ed was in P10 for the start.
Ed was battling with 5 of his competitors during most of this race. They exchanged positions several times. After Ed took the lead amongst that pack, his brake pedal fell nearly on the floor. Because of that he had to let 2 of his competitors pass him. Ed had to back off a bit and continued the race one corner at a time. He had to pump his pedal several times before every braking zone to make sure his pedal would holdup. One of his competitors he let by was Scott Howard, driver of the white 1st gen Mazda RX7, who went on to take 2nd place. Major congrats to Scott considering the troubles he’s had the last 2 years at Nationals. The other was Jim Wagaman, driver of the yellow Mazda GT. After letting Jim by, Ed was able to keep him within reach. Unfortunately, NASA ended the race a bit short due to excessive oil spills. If it wasn’t for that Ed would have had a chance to battle for 5th. Beyond that, if Ed had an optimal brake pedal, he would have been in a position to battle for a podium, but that’s racing. As always, a certain amount of good/bad fortune plays a factor for everyone. Ed ended up in 7th place, so it was a successful finish considering the circumstances.
Ed’s Full Story:
The 2010 NASA National Championship was September 14-19 at Miller Motorsports Park (MMP), in Utah. We were racing on the Outer course again this year, which is listed at 3.06 miles. I was there racing my RRE Evo 9 in Super Touring 2. Last year was the first time I had raced at MMP, let alone driven the track. And I left MMP with not much interest in the track. It just wasn’t a track that thrilled or interested me. I’m really not sure what happened this year, but I left with the exact opposite experience. I really enjoyed the track this year and left wanting more of it.
The competition this year was fierce and diverse. There were around 3 times as many ST2 entries this year. I don’t know how many ST2 racecars were there, but from what I recall there were around 26. However, we lost a few by the final National Championship race on Sunday. And iirc, 4 people didn’t finish the National Championship race. NASA’s Nationals is brutal because on top of it being our National Championship, it’s 3 days of racing. And the National Championship race is 45 minutes long. So NASA’s National Championship is more like a marathon of races, as opposed to 1 race. Despite trying to be well prepared, you really have to be somewhat lucky because anything can and will happen, especially with 3 days of racing.
Last year I was the first to be racing an Evo at MMP for NASA’s National Championship. This year I wasn’t alone. A Socal Honda Challenge racer was racing in H2 with his Integra, and ST2 with his Evo 9. There was also a guy racing an Evo in ST1, who I think is a MMP local. Although, I barely saw them on track. I think both of them were having some sort of issues.
As for me, I didn’t have any major challenges. I started and finished all 3 races. The only major challenge I had was trying to get used to my new aero on a track that I have very limited seat time on. As I noted in my previous thread, my new aero consists of an APR splitter that’s coupled with an APR GTC-200 wing. KC from APR set me up with the splitter. As for the wing, to help me minimize my expenses for Nationals, my friend Sean Bradley gave me his APR GTC-200 wing off of his STi. My friend Scott Pennock gave me his GTC-300 wing off of his Evo also, but I ended up only using Sean’s 200 wing. Sean’s wing is slightly different than the Evo version, but we made it work thanks to Mike Welch, owner of RRE. The dimensions of the wing are identical, only differences are the size/shape of the end plates, and the location of the wings mounting brackets.
Before anything else I want to thank all my sponsors, RRE, [forum-restricted]spec, Girodisc, South Coast Mitsubishi, and APR. Without their support I would not be able to do all of this. My racecars home away from home is at RRE. I’ve spent many long nights at RRE prepping under Mike’s wing. For instance, Mike spent a great deal of time fabricating and installing my splitter and wing. It was a great deal of meticulous work, but he made it enjoyable. I can’t say enough good things about Mike and his crew. He is such a genuinely good person. I truly enjoy working by his side. More than anything because he is patient, and has the capacity to explain just about anything in the simplest way. I didn’t grow up around cars, so I’m the furthest thing from a gearhead/grease monkey. Not everyone has the capacity to teach, but Mike is one of those rare people. Not only has he been around, but he also has the capacity/wisdom/patience to teach without coming across as arrogant/condescending.
So, did my new aero and brake ducting help? Yes. But I’m not sure by how much because I don’t have a comparable reference point for MMP. I’ll know better when I run ACS in Socal. I can say that my car feels different with the aero. And I can tell that my new brake ducting is helping, but it has its limit. With my experience, I can now say that if I want to maintain faster lap times in a race, I can’t do it with the OEM calipers. I have proven that the Girodisc rotors work, but they can only do so much.
The dyno situation:
There was 1 factor that put me at a disadvantage compared to everyone else. NASA couldn’t get an AWD dyno this year either. Last year they found a MMP local with an AWD dyno. And I went last year to test on that dyno, but it was malfunctioning. That dyno was malfunctioning this year also so NASA tried locating another one. They tried, but they couldn’t get anyone to commit. So while everyone else (RWD, FWD) had the opportunity to check their power at MMP and to tune their car on the 2WD dyno, I couldn’t.
NASA did however have GPS units that they used to monitor a lot of people, including me. I requested that they monitor me all day Thursday so I knew where I was at. That way, if I was down on power I could at least take ballast out of my car. Problem was that they were busy and fell behind, so they didn’t get a GPS unit on my car until Friday. That hurt me even more because I pretty much lost any chance I had on Thursday to adjust my weight. So I basically went into the 2nd day without any real progress on my setup. Although, they sincerely apologized, and went out of their way to help me out.
They finally got some data of me on Friday, and that’s when I found out that I was down on power. They told me by roughly how much I was down on power, however, it didn’t really help me because they weren’t allowed to tell me what my actual numbers were with whatever other math they needed to apply to that data. So I knew I was down on power, but I didn’t know exactly by how much. Therefore, I didn’t know exactly how much ballast I could remove. Best case scenario, I figured I could have been close enough to making the power I needed with their calculations, but there could have been something funky happening in my powerband. Keep in mind that my car was tuned in Socal, so maybe at MMP’s elevation, around 4,400 ft., my powerband wasn’t as efficient as it could have been. It’s not a comforting feeling knowing my car is potentially down on power by enough of a margin, and I can’t really do anything about it because there isn’t an AWD dyno. Meanwhile, my competitors have the opportunity to tune their cars at MMP on the 2WD dyno.
As I noted before, this year I was able to start and finish all 3 races (Thursday, Friday, and Sunday). My focus was to make it to Sunday, so my plan was to progressively get up to speed. We started off with around 26 cars in ST2, but a bunch of them had some sort of issue from the first day. Conversely, everything worked out well enough for me on Thursday. I qualified in 13th place, and finished the race in 11th. I also improved my time in the race by about 1.5 seconds. I was basically on track with my plan of attack. Only issue was that after the race I found out that one of my rear brake pad pins and the clip was missing. It was a first time for me. I called Mike at RRE and he immediately shipped me replacement pins and a clip overnight.
Friday started off well in Qualifying, because I improved my time from Thursdays Qualifying session. I also improved 2 spots by starting the race in 11th, but my race didn’t go as well. PTA was mixed in with us, but they only had 3 entries. However, only 2 of them were competitive. One of the PTA cars, I think it was a turbo Miata, dive bombed a few of us. He was clearly a fast driver with a really fast Miata. Since my goal was to make it to Sunday, I didn’t want to tangle with him, or anybody else for that matter. On the other hand, it didn’t seem like he had the same plan, so a couple of us got stuck behind him. He was clearly trying to use us to put some distance between himself and the other PTA driver. We were all bunched up so I kept my distance and didn’t really bother trying to pass anyone.
Saturday was our groups day off, so I spent pretty much the entire day relaxing and getting ready for Sunday. Everything went smoothly and I was ready to go. Sunday’s race was a great deal of fun. I was in P10 out of 19 ST2 cars listed. For me, it was intense from start to finish. Since I was hit last year at the start of the National Championship race, which ended my race, I wasn’t sure what to expect out of a 45min race. All my other races thus far have been 35min races. You can see how it all went down because I have in-car footage of the entire National Championship race.
What basically ended up happening is that my brake pedal fell nearly on the floor. In the meantime I was battling with about 6 other ST2 cars. We exchanged positions several times throughout the race. I finally took the lead amongst our pack, but my brake pedal didn’t have the capacity to allow me to stay competitive, so I let 2 of my competitors pass me. One of them was my friend Scott Howard, racing his White 1st gen Mazda RX7. Scott went on to take 2nd place. Major Congrats to Scott, especially considering the issues he’s had the last 2 years at Nationals. The other driver was Jim Wagaman, driver of the Yellow Mazda GT. After letting Scott pass me, I thought about ending my race, but decided to stay on for a bit longer.
I had to back off and focus on taking it one corner at a time. The only way I was able to do that was to pump my pedal several times before every braking zone. For the longer straights I actually had to pump my pedal in 2 sets. Around 3/4 way down every long straight I’d apply 1-2 pumps to make sure my pedal still had the capacity to rise. Then before the braking zone I’d start pumping again to prepare the pedal. All the while I was able to keep Jim within reach, and with about 2-3 laps to finish we closed the gap on Josh Carroll, driver of the Bronze Mazda GT. Josh clearly had some sort of issue also. However, NASA ended our race a bit short. We were told it was due to oil spills. I remember hearing of 2 cars specifically that dumped a bunch of oil all over the track. If our race wasn’t cut short, both Jim and I would have passed Josh in that lap. And since Jim wasn’t pulling away from me, I’m confident that if I had the entire race I would have had an opportunity to pass him again. Furthermore, if I had an optimal brake pedal, I was in a position to battle for a podium. Either way I’m happy with 7th place given the circumstances. If you watch my entire race you will see how busy my left leg gets pumping my pedal before every corner and down the long straights. It was another great experience.
Beyond all that, a certain amount of good/bad fortune pretty much always plays a factor also. Here are some examples of people I know of who weren’t fortunate. Ryan Cashin blew his engine on the first day and never got to race. Oli Thordarson had a puncture in his oil filter during the National Championship Race and had to pull off on the warmup lap. John Gordon was dominating all week by winning both Qualifying Races, and also set the fastest lap times. However, John’s car broke down in the National Championship Race. I’m not sure but I think it was due to a blown engine. Basically, anything can and will happen in a race because despite trying to be well prepared, a certain amount of good/bad fortune always comes into play.
Link to the Results of the National Championship Race:
In-car footage of my National Championship Race:
– 2010 National Championship Race in-car
The SU/ST1/ST2 National Championship race is now online at SpeedCastTV.com:
Thanks again to all my sponsors:
– RRE: Mike Welch and the entire RRE crew for everything from tuning, to maintenance, to everything in between.
– Robispec: Robert Fuller, aka Robispec, and his crew for providing me trackside suspension tuning.
– Girodisc: Martin Meade for providing me phenomenal 2pc rotors and Raybestos brake pads.
– South Coast Mitsubishi: Rigo, Sam, Abbas and everyone else for all their support.
– APR: KC for setting me up with a splitter and all the other little things.
– Friends: Sean Bradley for giving me his APR GTC-200 wing off of his STi. Scott Pennock for giving me his APR GTC-300 wing off of his Evo. And also a thanks to Matt Dennison and Sean Sisco for going out of their way to help me out.
By Ed Nazarian – RRE Team Driver
The 2010 NASA National Championship is right around the corner, September 14-19, at MMP in Utah. Last year was the first year that Nationals was held at MMP. Cool thing was that I was the first to be racing an Evo at MMP for NASA’s National Championship. This year I won’t be the only one racing an Evo at Nationals. Earlier this year a Socal Honda Challenge racer started racing his Evo with us. Last time I saw he is registered to race in H2 with his Integra, and ST2 with his Evo. Hopefully both of us do well and return without any issues.
After this year, Nationals is going back to Mid-O for 2 years, 2011-2012. It will return to MMP for 2 years starting in 2013. So it’s sort of my last year at Nationals because, given how things are, I don’t foresee being able to do the 5,000 mile round trip drive to Mid-O and back.
As of today there are 21 racecars entered in ST2 for Nationals. That is the biggest field of racecars for a higher class series. There might be a few more come Nationals, but you never know who’s going to make it until it happens.
Looking at the names that have registered for ST2, the competition is looking really fierce. The racecars are pretty diverse, and it’s been changing, so we’ll have to wait and see. So far there are a bunch of Corvettes, a few of the Mazda GT’s, 2 Porsches, Mazda RX8, Honda Civic, Nissan 240SX, E46 M3, Roush Mustang, my friend Scott Howard in his 1st gen RX7, and so forth. I know most of my competition, and since the National Championship race is 45min, I’ll need all the luck I can get.
In the meantime I want to note something we’ve modified on my car…some aero and better brake ducting. It’s the first time that I’m modifying my aero, so bear with me. I contacted APR, and they set me up with a splitter. And to help me minimize my expenses for Nationals, my friends stepped up to the plate and gave me their APR wings! Sean Bradley gave me his GTC-200 wing off of his STi, and Scott Pennock gave me his GTC-300 wing off of his Evo. Then, Mike Welch (owner of RRE), fabricated and installed pretty much everything. Mike, on his own time, bought all the parts we needed to put it all together. Then over the course of about 3 weeks, I went to RRE where Mike did his thing. Mike is awesome!
As for the brake ducting, it’s something I’ve been planning on amending ever since I bought a used AMS kit. I wasn’t happy with the AMS kit because it didn’t seem beneficial/efficient for my needs. So I took some basic concepts and incorporated them into my setup. Only thing I can say now is that it came out better than I had anticipated. It’s really cool when something you visualize finally comes together.
I also want to thank Robert Ramirez, a.k.a. Honda Robert, from RRE. I ran into some challenges one night at RRE while prepping and I needed help. Honda was planning on working on his car but he sacrificed his time to help me out. Then, 2 days later I did a shakedown test day on Sunday, August 15, at ACS with Speed Ventures. Everything seemed normal, but my day ended short. During the 2nd session the coupler of my lower IC pipe popped off. I crawled into the pits and had them tow me to my spot. In order to get to that coupler I would have had to remove the splitter. Since it takes a while to remove/reinstall the splitter, I called it a day. After the test day we’ve gradually been continuing with our prep work. Now we just need to tweak on a few more things, wrap things up, and cross our fingers for Nationals.
Btw, if you’re the type that likes road trips and you’re interested in seeing Nationals, don’t hesitate to come out and spectate. Here is my schedule for Nationals. I’ve excluded my Warmup and Qualifying sessions, so this is just a schedule of my races:
– Thurs, Sep 16: 1st Race
– Fri, Sep 17: 2nd Race
– Sun, Sep 19: National Championship Race (45 min)
In the meantime I want to thank my sponsors and friends:
– RRE: Mike Welch and the entire RRE crew. Too many things to note. RRE is basically my racecars home away from home. One thing I will note again is the APR splitter and wing that I added in preparation for Nationals. Mike pretty much did all the fabrication work. And he did it on his own time, even on weekends. Mike is so easy to work with. I truly enjoy working by his side and learning from him. He is such a genuinely good guy.
– Robispec: Robert Fuller, aka Robi, and his crew for providing me trackside suspension tuning at my races.
– Girodisc: Martin Meade for providing me phenomenal 2pc rotors, Raybestos brake pads, and awesome customer service.
– South Coast Mitsubishi: For their continued support. I can’t imagine there being a better car dealership out there.
– APR: For the splitter and for all their help. KC was the rep that dealt with me, so a special thanks to KC for being so helpful and swift with everything.
– Friends: Sean Bradley, and Scott Pennock. To help me minimize my expenses for Nationals, Sean gave me his GTC-200 wing off of his STi, and Scott gave me his GTC-300 wing off of his Evo. Thanks also to Matt Dennison for letting me borrow his Tactrix cable.
– All my other friends and everyone else for their support.
1St in Class, and with the new qualifying record! thanks to Dave (aka Merlin) Hinde, and my other special half, and navigator, Cath.
We will post a full report later, this image is from the newspaper here in Colorado!
Photos by Kevin Hahn Photography.
Place Car# Driver Name Vehicle Make Vehicle Model Type Course Time
1 16 Jeff Denmeade Mitsubishi Evolution 4WD 11:53.2
2 61 Karl Scheible Subaru Sti 4WD 11:55.0
3 156 Dave Kern Mitsubishi Evolution 4WD 12.55.4
I have been looking for results but have not found anything for the smaller classes yet. Cant find anything for AWD Time Attack other than Jeff Zwart won with his Porsche in 2WD TimeAttack. Looks like Rhys had tranny problems and more and didn’t get a chance at the overall or record. Tajima won overall but was off the record of 10:01.
Here is all I have for now:
Being a rest day, today we borrowed a lift and rotated the tyres, changed the oil, bled the brakes, bled the clutch, and did a checkover.
Tomorrow, Sunday, we race. We have to be up by 3:00am, and be at the hill around 3;30, we are scheduled to be on the hill competing by 10:30-ishy.
They hope to have us all run by 1pm, including over 200 motorcycles. Hopefully all will be safe, and well.
We are very happy with how it all has gone so far, how could we not! We set the new record for qualifying, but we have a target painted on our backs, and there are many aiming at it, not only in our classes, but also the ‘open’ class of cars of which we beat all but one.
Our focus now is slightly different, we had a plan to always run 70% speed but 100% accuracy, and I really hope my mindset stays with that, it will assist us in finding the rhythm early. Getting to the top is more important than winning for us now.
The record we set will stay for the year, as they pave the last half right after the end of this years event, next year it will tumble dramatically.
May all be well in your world, Chase your dreams, cherish the friends you have. Life is short, you only get one shot at it, and remember,you miss 100% of the shots you dont take!
Here’s the result from today! We were fastest in class in Qualifying and set a new AWD Time Attack Qualifying record!!! Which means we beat ACP in his full house AMS NOS energy drink Evo. ACP is a good friend of mine, and it makes it sweeter.
Here are some nice pics of the car at speed. Thanks Mike, we are very happy, we just have to get through the big day on Sunday.
I asked Jeff about his suspension:
My suspension is Ohlins coilovers with my spec springs by Swift. We spent two days at a test center dialing the suspension in Australia, and then ran that at the Mt Buller Hillclimb event in Australia, which is the setting we are using now, so you could say we spent 4 days and many $1000s dialing the suspension and geometry in, and all focused on Pikes.Even sweeter of course is we are tormenting the AMS guys! All for RRE, of course, in the line of duty… ha ha.
I think the ACP car (AMS) is running on a stock motor right now after all the motor problems this week. Tomorrow is a day off I think and they might have time to get some of their power back.