June 4-5 Wraps Up

Summer is here, and marks the start of the NASA-AZ summer event format–early to rise, race, and return home before the heat takes over the valley. Why drivers meeting before sunrise? Because RACE CAR! While the lack of sleep might be hard on everyone, it spares us being out in the highest temperatures later in the day. Unlike other club racing organizations, NASA-AZ does a good job at keeping to the condensed schedule (even with track clean up), sending you home in time to relax by the pool.

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This time around we ventured to Firebird International Raceway—East Track for a full schedule of racing, Time Trials, HPDE and Time Attack. Track temperatures start out “tolerable” but tend to climb rather quickly, introducing all sorts of challenges as participants make their way around the track.

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Despite how uncomfortable the summer can be, NASA-AZ drivers certainly have continued to show their commitment to our region by braving the heat and making every effort to enter the track gates for a very early morning start.
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Race Group

With a condensed schedule, the racing lineup of sessions had a slight twist to the usual. As we began with qualifying, lap times sorted the field for a qualifying race later in the morning. The heat played games with grip on the track and the Small Bore field found themselves in reversed order more than once, with some great battles amongst drivers. In qualifying, Norm Hamden turned our fastest overall lap but a landscaping venture brought him a consequential DQ, introducing Darren Griffith as our pole sitter, followed by Joe Paluch and Dave Hauck.

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With a qualifying race underway, a battle for position began to unfold. The finishing order was established with Jeff Wojnar up at the front of the 944 pack, followed by Dave Hauck and Steve Marlow as our top three. With a bit of drama having taken place during this session, several drivers found themselves with penalties and were consequently sent to the back of the pack.

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Sunday’s race would be the time and place to sort out unfinished business from Saturday’s results. It was bound to be an exciting start as the fastest qualifiers from Saturday were all in the back. Once the green was revealed, Hamden took every opportunity at the start. Taking the inside of the field, and creating a giant dust cloud in the process, Hamden passed nearly the entire field and with 2 tires off the entire way.

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With the session over, the dust settled and the checkered flag in the air, Norm Hamden took the lead and finished first, followed by Darren Griffith and Dave Hauck finishing second and third respectively. Our lone PTF driver Paul Seiferth, kept his race clean and turned quality laps throughout the weekend.

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The Big Bore race was host to a lot of action on this small track. Qualifying sorted the field in several respects; not only in terms of lap times but also how those times were effected by continuous changes in grip on the track as the heat began to increase. That did not seem to stop Rich Marziale (in SU) who ran a sub-minute lap placing him as our Big Bore pole sitter, followed by Mark Alger who ran a minute-flat, positioning himself for second in SU.  Next up is CV Wells, who qualified first in his class (ST-2) running a minute-flat. PT-B was led by Matt McIntyre, while PT-A and PT-C were led by John Dowling and Leroy Moore.

With the qualifying race next on the agenda, the field was turned loose with the green flag and drivers sorted themselves into their positions—all while trying their best to turn clean laps–despite the grime and dust. With Alger absent missing from the field, Marziale was sure to lead the pack and continued to do so with a 0:57 as his best in the session. Next to cross the finish line were McCormick and Wells in ST-2, followed by Dalgarn. In PT-B, it was a dual between McIntyre and Renshaw who finished first and second. While Dowling and Moore were the only cars in the PT-A and PT-C classes, they did mingle amongst the PT-B field.

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Sunday brought us some very fast and very good racing. Ricky (Boo-Boo) Johnson (ST-1), Dan Maloney (ST-2), and Mark Alger (SU) started the race in the back of the pack—as a result of not running the qualifying race the day before. Mixing it up amongst the PT field, the start immediately presented the higher-powered cars with some traffic to contend with. Johnson was on new slicks, which certainly brought out the best in the car as he navigated through the entire field finishing only second to Alger, who was our overall winner. It was an interesting battle between Alger and Johnson, both turning quick laps during the race — :59.3 and :59.7!

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PT-B brought our regular trio of racers to the field, with a battle between McIntyre and Renshaw who maintained their first and second positions, followed by Marty Saltzman in third. In PT-A, John Dowling had the company of Brian Turner. However, Dowling maintained a fair lead from the start, helping him to secure a class win for the day. Last but certainly not least was Leroy Moore in PT-C who mingled yet again with PT-A and PT-B cars and finished a respectable 10th overall.
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Top Racers from Saturday (Big Bore Qualifying Race)
SU

– Ritch Marziale

ST-2
– Bryan McCormick
– CV Wells
– Greg Dalgarn

PT-B
– Matt McIntyre
– Jeremy Renshaw

PT-A
– John Dowling

PT-C
– Leroy Moore
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Top Racers from Saturday (Small Bore Qualifying Race)

944 Spec
– Jeff Wojnar
– Dave Hauck
– Steve Marlow

PT-F
– Paul Seiferth
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Top Racers from Sunday (Big Bore Main Race)

SU
– Mark Alger

ST-1
– Ricky Johnson

ST-2
– Bryan McCormick
– CV Wells
– Dan Maloney

PT-B
–  Matt McIntyre
– Jeremy Renshaw
– Marty Saltzman

PT-A
– John Dowling
– Brian Turner

PT-C
– Leroy Moore
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Top Racers from Saturday (Small Bore Main Race)
944 Spec

– Norm Hamden
– Darren Griffith
– Dave Hauck

PT-F
– Paul Seiferth.

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Time Trials

Even with the Summer heat, our many dedicated Time Trialers hit the track, bringing some close in-class competition.  From TTR to TTE, drivers had their chance to turn some quick times and continue to collect much needed season points.

Starting with our Big Bore Time Trialers, we have Ritch Marziale; who not only turned our fastest laps in Race Group but turned the quickest overall lap in TT with a :57.287—a new TTR track record.  In TTU Mark Alger took center stage with his Saturday win as he turned the quickest lap in his class with a :59.551, followed by Travis Barnes who ran a 1:01.948, and Gary Felton who turned a 1:03.366.

TTS was led by some NASA-AZ regulars, including Pete Creek, Bryan McCormick, and CV Wells—all turning 1-minute flat laps with only a tenth or so apart. Creek led TTS with a 1:00.2, McCormick turned a 1:00.747, and CV Wells an equally quick lap with a 1:00.784!

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TTA was a 5-car lineup, led by ITR driver Paul Bloomberg who ran 1:04.093, followed by Justin Markiewicz with a 1:04.539, and in third was Doug Evans who turned a 1:04.759. Matt McIntyre definitely kept the pace despite the summer heat, keeping the lead in TTB by over a second with 1:03.086 as his best for Saturday, followed by Mervin Tan who turned a 1:04.516, then a 1:05.288 by Jeremy Renshaw.

TTC was led by the bright orange Camaro piloted by Dave Schotz, who turned a 1:04.506, securing the win for Saturday. Next up was Phil Robles, who ran a quick 1:04.688, and Eric Dayton with a 1:06.740. In TTD, Robert Rose turned a quick lap his second session of the day, but the 1:06.404 was not to be counted. However, despite the DQ Robert secured his 1st position with his original fastest lap of 1:07.022, followed by Dave McCombs who ran a 1:08.841.

Last but certainly not least was our TTE lineup. Now becoming a TTE regular, Tage Evanson’s white Honda Accord had been recently revamped with the intention to break some E-class track records. Indeed it did—with Evanson turning a very quick 1:06.915, a new track record. TTE’s second place finisher was Marc McCombs who ran a 1:08.264, followed by Eric Jacobsen who turned a 1:11.744.

On Sunday our fastest overall Time Trialer was Mark Alger in TTU, who brought out some quick laps with a :58.566 as his best. Not far behind was Rick Johnson who turned a 59.962 securing second in class, followed by Travis Barnes, who seems to be getting quicker all the time—with a 1:01.097. Bryan McCormick was next up, our third fastest TT driver of the day, who turned a 1:00.471, followed by Pete Creek (less than a tenth away) with a 1:00.532, and then CV Wells who ran a 1:00.749. The TTS field was slightly larger than usual, with our newest car #66 driven by Tage Evanson—while not in our top-three in-class, he managed to turn quality laps despite some mechanical challenges with the car. Brian Turner secured a TTA class win on Sunday, turning a 1:03.581, followed by Doug Evans in second who ran a 1:04.066, and in third place we have Justin Markiewicz who turned a 1:04.769. In the meantime, Matt McIntyre was enjoying his second win of the weekend running a 1:03.015, followed by Chris Wilson who ran a 1:04.273, and in third was Jeremy Renshaw with a 1:04.428.

Dave Schotz was our only new track-record setter on Sunday, changing the par for TTC by turning a 1:03.632, followed by Phil Robles with a 1:04.694, and Eric Dayton who ran a 1:05.911. Another competitor, Joe Catteneo, entered the mix in TTD on Sunday. He was close but not quite quick enough to catch Robert Rose. Turning a 1:06.226, Robert took the TTD win, with Catteneo running a 1:07.746. In third place was Dave McCombs, only a few tenths from Catteneo, turned a 1:07.923. Our TTE trio kept the pace from Saturday. While no new track records were set, Evanson still maintained his class lead—turning a 1:06.981. Marc McCombs picked up the pace, turning a second faster than Saturday, running a 1:07.923, followed by a 1:11.930 turned in by Eric Jacobsen.

Top Drivers from Saturday
TTR – Ritch Marziale #56 Dodge Viper – 0:57.287 (New Track Record)
TTU – Mark Alger #4 Viper CC – 0:59.551
TTS – Pete Creek #727 BMW E46 M3 – 1:00.227
TTA – Paul Bloomberg #51 Acura Integra – 1:04.093
TTB – Matt McIntyre #31 BMW E36 M3 – 1:03.086
TTC – Dave Schotz #175 Camaro – 1:04.506
TTD – Robert Rose #3 Mazda Miata – 1:07.022
TTE – Tage Evanson #7 Honda Accord – 1:06.915 (New Track Record)

Top Drivers from Sunday
TTU – Mark Alger #4 Viper CC -0:58.566
TTS – Byan McCormick #727 E46 M3 – 1:00.471
TTA – Brian Turner #524 Porsche 911 – 1:03.581
TTB – Matt McIntyre #31 BME E36 M3 – 1:03.015
TTC – Dave Schotz #175 Camaro – 1:03.632 (New Track Record)
TTD – Robert Rose #3 Mazda Miata – 1:06.226
TTE – Tage Evanson #7 Honda Accord – 1:06.981

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HPDE

Share some shade with a stranger and make a new friend–how many times has this happened to you during a NASA weekend? Remember that first “epic chase” on the track? Or the time you boiled your brake fluid and found yourself surrounded by fellow drivers eager to help you with your car? Stories like these bring to light a slew of small yet positive experiences between drivers. This event was no exception. As drivers continue to look out for one another, there were no major incidents this event, and half-dozen drivers graduated from DE2 to DE3. It’s always great to see positive, safe drivers continue to run with us. This is the kind of environment NASA-AZ strives to achieve.

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This positive environment not only comes from our fellow drivers but also our group leaders and officials. Without them, the HPDE ladder system could not exist, and NASA-AZ’s safety standards could not be upheld. With many familiar faces within our HPDE program, I think it’s safe to say that we’re definitely doing something right!

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UMS Tuning Time Attack

One thing is for certain, the UMS Tuning Time Attack series is growing–now with a consistent field of nearly 30 cars, it’s the largest turn-out of the series all year. What I like about these sessions is that it not only affords HPDE drivers the opportunity to compete, but also helps set benchmarks for drivers in the same class. As we have seen from previous results, drivers have continued to make strides in their lap times and overall level of competitiveness!

Starting with our fastest class in the UMS Tuning Time Attack series is our TA-C class, with Paul Lynch as our fastest overall driver who ran a 1:01.24. Second in class was Jerome Silvers who ran a 1:01.77, followed by Taylor Wilson in third with a 1:02.154.

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Next in TA-B is Phil Robles, who took first in his class with a 1:04.590, a noted success for our underpowered FWD TA-B competitor. Second in class was Justin Markiewicz–only a few tenths behind running a 1:04.803. Chris Wilson took third in TA-B, who ran a 1:05.064.

Next up is our winner for TA-A, Robert Rose, who ran a 1:06.370. Leland Forbes took second in class and, after noticeably shaving off time throughout his efforts in DE4, he turned a very respectable 1:07.286, beating Dave McCombs who was only two-tenths slower running a 1:07.458.

Congratulations to all of our TA participants!

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Next Event Preview

We have a little bit of a break between now and the next event, which takes us to FIR West August 20-21. Following a similar format to our event at East, our August venue will include a full line up of HPDE, Time Trial, Time Attack, along with practice and qualifying sessions for Race Group on Saturday, with a race on Sunday. For now, get your cars prepared and your calendars marked for this next event, which will be the last of the NASA-AZ Summer series.

Draft Schedule –> http://forums.www.nasaaz.com/showthread.php?t=4961
Register here –> https://nasaproracing.com/event/1284

Article written by Geri Amani
Photography by Doug Hughes (http://www.waypast210.com) and Tage Evanson

May 7-8 Wraps Up

Just when we lost one of our most beloved tracks in the NASA-AZ region, another one popped up on our radar. This particular event brought us to Inde Motorsports Ranch, located in Willcox—about a 1.5hr drive (if you follow the posted speed limit) outside of Tucson.

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Despite the bit of travel this event required, there was a fantastic turnout in all run groups making for a plethora of fun for everyone who participated. After all that driving on track (not to mention to/from it), let’s recap on why this event was definitely one to remember.

As you all noticed, Tage is back in action! As impressed as I was that he made it to the track, I did not expect him to drive it! His recovery has been slow yet steady, and despite the circumstances of his accident, I am pleased to see that he has maintained the inner-racer that we all have come to know and appreciate. While not in Race Group for this event, Tage jumped into his infamous Accord and put down some laps during Time Trials. Welcome back Tage!

Did someone say fire?! Did someone say snake?! Yea, a little of both. Another quick response by Tage helped bring a small fire in the paddock to a halt. Not only does he do the job of regional director and back-up fireman, but he also takes on the role of pest control when a 3-foot king snake was discovered at track exit trying to get into impound.

226819_2099013235263_1243354167_3695802_309963_nAside from the hint of race gas, love was in the air. A very special couple got engaged at Inde late on Sunday.  Many of you know Joshua Ray, or have seen him working for NASA-AZ doing everything from tech, to clean up, to gate-worker. When the event was over, Josh gave his girlfriend Megan Parent a very special ring and proposed to her. Needless to say she accepted! Congratulations to the both of you!

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The first day at Inde you might have noticed a plane sitting on the runway. Fellow NASA-AZ racer Chad Nelson “flew-in” to meet and greet with friends. While he did not drive the course itself this weekend, he did get to use the long straightaway at Inde that doubles as a runway and got (quite literally) a bird’s eye view of the facility.

While it goes without saying, kudos to everyone who made this event possible—the Inde staff, NASA-AZ workers and officials, and of course all the participants who drove all the way to the track…to drive some more!

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Race Group

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Saturday’s big bore race began with Mark Alger, Bob Gottlieb, and Bryan McCormick as our top three starters, each qualifying fairly close with only a few tenths difference between McCormick and Gottlieb. As the green flag crept into sight, the first official NASA-AZ Big Bore race at IMR was officially on. Alger took the first turn and lead the field as the rest began to sort out their position on track.  This sport naturally comes with a set of challenges; some are mechanical and others are more tactical. With several racers falling behind or out of the race completely, our top finishers were eventually determined. Alger maintained the first position and was our top overall finisher, followed by Gottlieb in second. CV Wells placed third overall and also won his class (ST-2) in the process. Second in ST-2 was secured by Adam Bode, followed by Michael Papworth in third.

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PT-A was made up of a trio of racers, led by Brian Turner in his #524 Porsche. John Dowling–also a PT-A Porsche driver–came in second, with Sean Southland taking third. Our lone PT-C car wasn’t alone…far from it. The #19 BMW E30 driven by Leroy Moore was mixing it up with all sorts of cars outside of his class, definitely making for some fun racing, not only for him, but the spectators who gathered in the Inde tower. Last but not least were our PT-B cars driven by Matt McIntyre and Jeremy Renshaw. While McIntyre secured the first position with a blazing qualifying time of 1:59.567, technical issues forced him to drop the race leaving Renshaw to take the win.

Small Bore’s race on Saturday not only had a great turnout but also had some great racing across the field. Qualifying in the front of the pack was an all 944 Spec lineup beginning with Norm Hamden, Doug Nelson and Jeff Wojnar with the rest of the pack following closely behind.

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Amongst the crowd of 944s were our PT-E cars driven by Shane Kneisel and Geri Amani, who found themselves starting in the third and fourth positions respectively. Even though PT-E and 944 Spec diced it up together, our top three 944 Spec drivers finished in their starting order. Geri Amani took the class win for PT-E, followed closely by Shane Kneisel in second.

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Make-Up Race
This event accommodated our usual race lineup but also included the FIR Main makeup race.  This race in particular brought both Big Bore and Small Bore drivers together in a field of 16 cars. On a track that is spread out over 2 miles, competition was definitely going to be segregated into respective classes. For racers that made the journey out to IMR, each had the opportunity to participate in this race race that took place late Saturday afternoon. Grid positions were sorted based on previous results from FIR, mixing high-powered cars amongst their slower, low-powered counterparts right from the start.

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Within the first lap, Big Bore cars sorted themselves in their respective battles in the front, leaving small bore behind them—minus our SU class who did not finish the race. With an extended race such as this on a 2.31-mile track, much transpired between the green and checkered flags. CV Wells took first overall and first in ST-2. Wells happened to turn the fastest lap during the race (2-minutes flat), followed by Michael Papworth who took second in class. Sean Southland was our second fastest racer in the field who took second place overall and first in PT-A. Next up was John Dowling who would take second in PT-A. Third place overall was Leroy Moore who kept his pace with PT-A. As it was in the sprint race, Moore turned some very respectable times in PT-C ensuring he would have some regular company with cars outside of his class. Jeremy Renshaw was our lone PT-B car during this race, turning similar times to Moore and finished fourth overall.

In the back of the pack, several notable battles ensued throughout the race.  With a 5-car lineup in 944 Spec, Norm Hamden led his class and ultimately finished first, followed by Kim Unger and Dave Hauck. Our PT-E cars were able to mingle with the 944 Spec crowd, with an epic (and familiar) nose-to-tail battle between Shane Kneisel and Geri Amani.  With Kneisel taking full advantage of the green flag, he led his class throughout the race by passing Amani early after the start. Ultimately the two E cars turned nearly identical lap times and were within an arms reach of each others bumpers throughout. By the time the white flag was out, a minor contact set Amani behind, bringing Kneisel the class win.

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Time Trials

It's now confirmed. Civic's can fly.

It's now confirmed. Civic's can fly.

This would be the first official NASA-AZ Time Trials event at Inde Motorsports Ranch, and as a result, each class enjoyed establishing track records! On a course such as this—one long straight, blind crests, off-camber apexes, and 21-turns of fun—drivers had a great opportunity to bust out those car control skills that might not have been fully exercisable on our local tracks such as FIR. Let’s take a look at the results from this very memorable TT event.

On a track like IMR, anything below a two-minute lap is certainly cooking the pavement. In our “traditional” Big Bore group, we saw several drivers break that marker and in the process set fresh track records. Our top three begins with Mark Alger who turned the fastest lap on Saturday in his #4 Dodge Viper CC with a 1:53.313. TTR driver Lou Lupo ran a 2:01.703 in the #496 Z06. In TTS, Pete Creek busted out a 1:55.625 in the #727 BMW E46 M3. TTB driver Matt McIntyre brought some very fast laps, turning a very respectable time of 1:58.896.  In TTA, #524 Porsche driver Brian Turner delivered a class win, turning 2:03.217.

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Moving along the class lineup we have Dave Shotz in his #175 Camaro, who turned a hearty 2:02.146 in TTC. Robert Rose is continuously setting precedent in TTD leading the field by a sizable margin turning 2:04.112. In TTE, Marc McCombs continuously made improvements throughout the day and finished Saturday off with a 2:07.505. Eric Jacobsen brought out the notorious TTF “1985 Mazda POS” (aka – Zombie) and ran a 2:20.667!

Sunday brought times up a notch or two for several drivers with slightly different track conditions to contend with.  However, there were a few exceptions. Mark Alger in TTU turned times over a second faster than his best on Saturday finishing with a 1:52.564. Sean Southland broke the TTA track record with a 2:02.132, and Matt McIntyre who turned a great time for a TTB car with a 1:58.066 (also beat his own track record). In TTR, Lou Lupo turned a 2-minute flat and in TTS, a 1:55.650 lap was turned by Pete Creek.

Dave Shotz took a two-day win for TTC running a 2-minute lap, with Robert Rose chopping nearly a second off his Saturday’s best with a 2:03.323 in TTD.  TTE was led yet again by Marc McCombs with a 2:06.415, breaking his previous track record. TTF should stand for TT-Flatout as Eric Jacobsen stepped it up with the #98 Mazda POS running a 2:18.693.

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Top Time Trial Drivers from Saturday
TTR  Lou Lupo #496 Corvette Z06 – 2:01.703
TTU  Mark Alger #4 Viper CC – 1:53.313
TTS  Pete Creek #727 BMW E46 M3 – 1:55.625 (Track Record)
TTA  Brian Turner #524 Porsche 911 – 2:03.217
TTB  Matt McIntyre #31 BMW E36 M3 – 1:58.896
TTC  Dave Schotz #175 Camaro – 2:02.146
TTD  Robert Rose #3 Mazda Miata – 2:04.112
TTE  Marc McCombs #439 VW Jetta – 2:07.505
TTF  Eric Jacobsen #98 Mazda POS – 2:20.66

Top Time Trial Drivers from Sunday
TTR  Lou Lupo #496 Corvette Z06 – 2:00.038 (Track Record)
TTU  Mark Alger #4 Viper CC – 1:52.564 (Track Record)
TTS   Pete Creek #727 BMW E46 M3 – 1:55.650
TTA  Sean Southland #777 CTS-V – 2:02.132 (Track Record)
TTB  Matt McIntyre #31 BMW E36 M3 – 1:58.066 (Track Record)
TTC  Dave Schotz #175 Camaro – 2:00.541 (Track Record)
TTD  Robert Rose #3 Mazda Miata – 2:03.323 (Track Record)
TTE  Marc McCombs #439 VW Jetta – 2:06.415 (Track Record)
TTF  Eric Jacobsen #98 Mazda POS – 2:18.693 (Track Record)

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HPDE

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NASA-AZ was host to a great lineup of HPDE run groups. Many drivers came back into the pits after the first session out raving about the track. While the track itself is long and technical, it can be a great place to learn the essentials of car control and the tricks of the trade to move up the HPDE ladder.

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HPDE 3 group leader Robert Rose never is in short supply of positivity!

With the dedication and support exhibited from our HPDE group leaders, drivers enjoyed a brand new track to run on with the encouragement and positive learning environment that made for two very successful days.
It just goes to show that despite the commute that everyone had to drive to get to IMR, the track and camaraderie was worth every mile!

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UMS Turning Time Attack

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For this event, NASA-AZ was able to accommodate not just one but TWO UMS Tuning Time Attack sessions.  Saturday (a no points event) brought out approximately 22 drivers to the test of who could turn the fastest lap in their class. Starting with TA-A Robert Rose has consistently been leading his class with no signs of him loosing any momentum. 2:04.865 was his fastest lap, separating himself nearly 5 seconds from the rest. In second was Markos Mylonas who turned a respectable and consistent 2:10.311, followed by Dave McCombs who ran 2:13.941 to secure third.

TA-B was and has been one of our largest TA classes. At the top of the roster is Sean Southland who ran a quick 2:01.926, followed by Justin Bowie, a half-second off Southland, with a 2:02.490 and only another half-second away was Mervin Tan with a 2:02.988.

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Our smallest yet FASTEST class is TA-C. It was led yet again by the UMS Tuning Evo 8, which ran our only sub 2-minute lap of a 1:58.875, followed by Tim Schoeppner with 2:02.133, and Paul Lynch with 2:02.487.

On Sunday, numbers diversified slightly per class and TA season points were up for grabs. Starting with TA-A, Robert Rose took the win turning an even quicker lap of 2:03.797, followed by Dave McCombs who stepped it up a bit running 2:09.975 to secure second. A 2:10.075 secured third for Markos Mylonas. TA-B was led by Taylor Wilson this time around running a 2-minute flat, followed by Phil Robles who also ran a 2-minute lap and only 3-tenths away from the win! Chris Wilson took third place running 2:02.374.

In TA-C, UMS and Snail Performance were our two front runners, each turning sub-2-minute laps. UMS would ultimately win TA-C and secure the fastest lap in the UMS TA series for the weekend with a 1:58.327. Snail Performance took a very respectable second running 1:59.986, followed by Russ Whelan in third who turned a 2:00.495.

Congrats to everyone who participated in this Time Attack event!

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Top Drivers from Saturday

TA-C
1 – UMS Tuning  – 1:58.875
2 – Tim Schoeppner  – 2:02.133
3 – Paul Lynch  – 2:02.487

TA-B
1 – Sean Southland  – 2:01.926
2 – Justin Bowie  – 2:02.490
3 – Mervin Tan  – 2:02.988

TA-A

1 – Robert Rose  – 2:04.865
2 – Markos Mylonas  – 2:10.311
3 – Dave McCombs  – 2:13.941

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Top Drivers from Sunday

TA-C
1 – UMS Tuning – 1:58.327
2 – Snail Performance – 1:59.986
3 – Russ Whelan – 2:00.495

TA-B

1 – Taylor Wilson  –  2:00.663
2 – Phil Robles  – 2:00.988
3 – Chris Wilson  – 2:02.599

TA-A

1 – Robert Rose  – 2:03.797
2 – Dave McCombs  – 2:09.975
3 – Markos Mylonas  – 2:10.075

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Next Event Preview

Did you get your cool suit yet? Well, you still have time before we hit the track again at FIR East. This event commences our summer sessions that start bright and early June 4th and 5th with a full HPDE lineup, Time Attack, Time Trials, racing, and of course seasonal Arizona temperatures.  Be sure to check out the links below to register for the event and see what we have planned.  See you at the track!

Draft Schedule: http://forums.www.nasaaz.com/showthread.php?t=4881
Register Online: https://nasaproracing.com/event/1190

Photography by Doug Hughes (http://www.waypast210.com) and Geri Amani.

Who’s Who in NASA: Matt McIntyre

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Full Name: Matt McIntyre
Hometown:
Salinas, California
Years in AZ:
8 Years
Favorite Food(s):
Fish… fish… and more FISH! Favorite fish-based meal was had in Australia called Barramundi. Matt also enjoys crab and lobster (he would have it every day if it wasn’t so expensive). Needless to say, he misses living next to the ocean and walking the wharf eating “crabby cakes”!
Favorite Music:
Everything except elevator music, but mostly Country and Rock. Favorite bands are Seether and Lady Antebellum.
Occupation:
Flight Instructor
NASA Class:
TTB, PTB / GTS-3

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Many of you have seen or heard about a certain blue BMW M3 zooming around the track. In this edition of Who’s Who I’d like to bring your attention to the guy behind the wheel, Matt McIntyre.

Matt grew up in beautiful Salinas, California, native to many local wineries, beaches, and cultural richness of the Bay Area. His father was a successful businessman in managing and consulting with the various vineyards in Monterey County, so needless to say he always had wine in his blood and viticulture on his brain. He spent many summers working for his dad in the fields, essentially saving up a “car” fund. No, he did not end up with a pristine hot rod and spend carefree nights in the neighborhood doing burnouts. Instead, his first car was a 1989 535i automatic…in beige. While not quite the car you see him driving today, it was a blast to flog around. Stock parts from this 5-series were slowly replaced with aftermarket ones, truly making the car all his own. In the process, he also learned which parts endure the test of time.

“I remember racing on the back roads and over the Laguna Seca grade passing cars in a four door sedan. That car was riddled with transmission problems. I had to replace it twice which is why to this day I will not buy an automatic!”

Thumbs up ace!

Thumbs up ace!

When Matt graduated from Robert Louis Stevenson High School, he went from Pebble Beach to Arizona for the wonderful opportunity to fly at a rather prestigious flight school known as Mesa Pilot Development. Matt worked tediously to earn his certificates and soon completed a Bachelors of Science degree in Aeronautical Management and Technology in 2008 from Arizona State University. From that point forward, Matt has been instructing flight students full-time and currently instructs foreign pilots at Falcon Field Airport. “I really enjoy my job,” explained Matt. “But it can be stressful with people trying to kill me everyday (students, weather, ATC, other pilots, the plane) but that’s my job to make sure everything and everyone is safe. Just like racing, if you do this job long enough you can anticipate others moves before they act so that you can prevent an accident or incident. I have many good stories of avoiding such things!”

pilots

I’ll never forget the time Matt was explaining to me how he likes to “eliminate risk” in his life. Naturally, I agreed with a raised brow. So! Matt likes to race cars and teach students to fly. I can see how that’s low risk…indirectly anyway.

Matt's office view is certainly a good one.

Matt's office has a pretty spectacular view.

Like many of us, the love of the race track and the excitement that goes along with it is like a drug to the vein. From a very early age, Matt has always been engulfed in the automotive world, influenced by the excitement and sounds that come along with it. His father always had a toy in the garage that needed to be tinkered with, polished, and driven. “He used to restore cars back in the day,” Matt explained. “I remember one time I asked my Dad if I could take the Porsche (1999 Porsche Carrera in a weird purple color, 6-speed manual) to school because my car was in the shop…and to my surprise he said yes! As long as I didn’t let it get rained on and only if I wash/wax it after. After driving it I couldn’t get enough of the feeling of speed.”

To be on the safe side, Matt’s parents sent him to the Skip Barber School to learn how to control his insatiable craving for speed. A drivers AA in a way! Before NASA, Matt had no prior racing experience, making Skip Barber the ultimate crash course (no pun intended) in learning how to race and control a car at speed.

Matt has been involved with NASA since it was known as Club Racing AZ, watching all the action from a flag station. With all the spectating that Matt was able to take in waving the various track flags, he gradually felt the bite from the racing “bug” and began his progression up the HPDE ladder. From the beginning, Matt has demonstrated a natural ability to drive and certainly couldn’t get enough of the rush of going 100mph with his hair on fire and inches from the walls.

For Matt, the choice for an E36 M3 was easy. Not only did he grow up with a quintessential BMW for his first car, but also owned an M3 prior to his current race car–same model but with a supercharger bringing power up to 450-ponies under the hood. “I was so comfortable in the car and was really in touch with how the car handled,” said Matt. “I figured it would make a great track car. I was able to slowly upgrade it over the years so as to not break my limited budget. Eventually, it turned into a great looking race car with the help of Precision Chassis Works and Ultimate Auto Works.”

nationals

One of Matt’s most memorable moments took place at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah last September. Having been there myself and in the same pit area with Matt, I remember it well. His very healthy PTB/TTB E36 M3 was under utmost scrutiny; weighed multiple times, GPS tracking, dynoed, even the engine was fully inspected to check compression, bore and stroke. In the midst of the “tech” madness, all Matt could think about was going faster and leaving his mark in the TTB class. ‘I have to push harder to get this damn track record’ went on in his mind. He would not be satisfied until he had another track record under his belt and a first place win in TTB. Both of those goals were achieved that weekend.

An all NASA-AZ TTB podium!

An all NASA-AZ TTB podium!

“I remember getting off the track early because I knew I was light on fuel. The grid marshal waved me into the weigh station and pushed me up the ramps and on to the scales,” said Matt. “My dad was there and immediately I knew something was up because he was jumping up and down with a big smile on his face. He yelled “2:09.89″! I started yelling and bouncing up and down in my seat, so much that the grid marshal had to tell me to sit still so he could weigh me! I knew I set a very good lap but didn’t expect to beat the track record by over a second and a half! One of my best memories especially since my Dad was there to experience it with me.”

As most of our drivers have found, one of the greatest aspects of motorsports is the camaraderie that develops within the NASA community. Likewise, Matt enjoys helping other racers at the track, or simply spending quality time with them. It’s usually easy to do in such a tight community of people, as everyone shares a common passion. When times get tough, people are usually happy to help a driver in need. Matt discovered this first-hand when his car suffered a catastrophic engine failure at PIR during his first race with NASA-AZ. “I remember when I blew my engine at the first PIR event this year,” said Matt. “People really stepped up and helped me get my car onto a trailer and home to my garage without really asking for much in return (Thanks Paul Bloomberg!)”

study

I think it’s safe to say that there are a fair number of spectators that have been converted into participants by watching drivers like Matt. Those of you that made the switch and gave track driving a try will likely agree that it’s fairly easy to get addicted to the sport. With his approachable personality and solid driver ability, Matt offers qualities that make him an example driver in our community. “I really love that feeling of having the fans in the grandstands watching me do my thing on track. Hopefully I may influence them as others did for me when I was sitting watching racing in the grandstands thinking that could be me on track.”

As fun as racing can be, there are inherent risks involved. We of course know Matt likes to reduce his “exposure to risk”, but he has bared witness to some fearful moments. Matt recalls two particular instances at FIR Main:

“I have been really lucky where I have not had any real scary moments on track but I have experienced two scary moments of others (both at the night event). I remember going into turn one and two at FIR main at the night event last year thinking the track was clear ahead only to see lots of dust and a car upside down in the tire wall! I immediately had that “holy shit” moment and hoped the person was ok. Oddly enough that was not was made it scary. Rather, it was his girlfriend in the car behind me screaming her head off thinking her boyfriend was in the car hurt badly or dead and she couldn’t get out of the car to help. Her screams gave me that sinking pit feeling in my stomach and goosebumps on my skin and still do to this day even thinking about it. I had that same feeling when I got word of what had happened at the last night event at FIR when Tage’s car caught fire. I hope he has a speedy recovery!”

Everyone in racing knows support is everything and safety is paramount. From family, friends, finances, and emotions; it is all a part of the large complex web of what makes or breaks a driver. Naturally, family members will have their worries when a loved one goes out and rolls the dice on the track. “My family and girlfriend really support me and my racing, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it. My mom and my girlfriend get really nervous for my safety when they know I am going on track,” explained Matt.

While the circumstances that occurred at FIR Main were unfortunate, they are nonetheless reminders of what safety gear can do in the event of the unexpected. It is a critical reminder to us all that investing in safety equipment and being prepared can save your life.

in-car

This doesn’t always make parents feel better about our “sport” even when you show them that it is reasonably safe. Matt recalled the one time he took his mother on track for a ride-along, thinking it would tame some of her worries. It would be her first time in the car with Matt, and she exhibited a lot of hesitation. “She was very reluctant to even get in the car with me,” Matt explained. “I said ‘…oh don’t worry about it. I will go slow and we will only do a couple laps.’ So we went out there in a Time Trial session and I kept increasing the speed till I was at 8/10ths of my normal pace. She then started screaming and trying to find something to hold on to and began stomping the imaginary brake pedal to the floor. Great memories!”

Matt and Tamara

Matt and his girlfriend Tamara

While I doubt Matt’s mother will be going for another ride-along, she certainly understands that his passion for racing isn’t going away any time soon. With such a close family, there is a natural level of acceptance and support from them all. While Matt continues his efforts in racing, and perhaps to take it to a professional level someday, he maintains a healthy life/racing balance with his girlfriend of over three years, Tamara. “I want to get married sometime soon and have a family of my own with the love of my life Tamara,” Matt explained. “She really makes me a better person and supports me though the good and the bad.”

So there you have it! The various sides of this young man’s life; pilot, flight instructor, racer, family-oriented and all-around good guy that we know as Matt McIntyre. If you see him at the track, be sure to take time to say hello. More than likely you’ll be greeted with a smile.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone at NASA for the love and support over the years as well as Geri for taking the time to write some great articles on some really great people. If anyone sees me at the track or out and about, please feel free to come talk and introduce yourself!” –Matt McIntyre

Article Written by Geri Amani

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