Saturday April 9th the NASA-AZ gang descended on Arizona Motorsports Park for a day of Time Trial, Racing and HPDE. We got a very lucky hole in the weather with rain showers both Friday and Sunday. But on Saturday it was cool, clear and the track had dried.
And what a great track it is. By far the best track within the Phoenix area and certainly a top track in Arizona. The asphalt is in great shape, curbs are well defined and the tarmac is large and well designed. There is a noise limit, but I was able to get well under the noise limit with just a scabbed-on Camry muffler which I can remove and install in 5 minutes. I swear I think the car was faster WITH the muffler.
Good morning Drivers! Hoping everybody had a great time at our last event a few weeks ago at Wild Horse Pass East marking a successful 1st Quarter of 2016 NASA driving action. It was an action packed weekend at our local track with all race and training groups well attended.
As always we like to send a special thanks to our new Cadre of HPDE1 drivers for coming out and driving with us. All reports were glowing with some future Time Trial and Race drivers in that group! Thanks to Nicholas Bocchicchio, Vlad Gordiyenko, Clifford Hicks, Jon Hight, Brandon Ideen, Leo Kalisz and Tyler Michelson.
NASA Arizona returned to Chuckwalla to run counter-clockwise this past Valentine’s Day weekend February 13 and 14th of 2016. For those that haven’t been, Chuckwalla is an easy (mostly flat) 4 hour drive from Phoenix, just west of the bustling Blythe metroplex. Nasa visits Chuckwalla Valley Raceway nearly every year and its always a local favorite and always a real fun venue both day and night.
It was a big event with a full paddock featuring our usual wide variety of cars and experience levels. I know we had participants from at least 3 states (AZ, CA and NM), perhaps I missed some that came from even further away? We are lucky to have this facility with a nice shaded picnic /admin area and daily onsite food vendor.
HPDE 1 had about a dozen first time drivers this weekend that made the trek to the track for a hit of the racing goodness. Welcome and thanks for coming to: Ally Askew, Nikolaus Awtrey, Brian Betz, Rafeal Canseco, Juan Martinez, David McKee, Sean O’Brien, Gary Schmidt, Ashlye Stark, Brian Strovers and Cathy Strovers.
Time Trial sessions ran throughout both days and we had over 40 participants signed up for this event. For HPDE drivers, the Time Trial is the next logical evolution in training, experience and fun since you will get to be on track with other drivers, but you can earn points and compare and build your lap times in a more uncongested fashion. For Racers, it’s a great way to increase seat time and work on Qualifying times. Thanks to Jeff Abrams for getting the results posted and to Eric Jacobson for getting the season results updated (may take another day or so for all to be posted).
Here is one Hot Time Trial car driven by the team of Jeremy and Angie Renshaw.
UMS Tuning Time Attack had a dozen entrants on Sunday for a 15 minute session. Time Attack is another venue for competitors to build speed and confidence and share with other drivers in a much broader geographical basis. For comparison, many of the fastest Race Group cars lapped Chuckwalla this past weekend in the low 1:52 time frame. Tony Szirka has a Time Attack record of 1:49.2! So be like Tony and run Time Attack to drop your lap times. Thanks to Jon Via for getting our results and season points updated (may take another day or so for all to be posted).
NASA Race group ran our normal configuration of Warm-up, Qualify and Race although from time to time we alter the schedule and some groups will run a Qualifying Race and then a Race based on those results. Additionally we had the American Iron series join us and use a separate start flag to equalize their group much like the 944 Spec series will often do.
A *cool* Datsun. #shamelessselfpromotion
Although we had a fair amount of mechanical attrition this weekend due to engine failures the races themselves were very clean and smooth with a minimum of caution flags. Thanks also to the Southern California racers that joined us and added a bunch of stiff competition to the sessions. It’s nice to see how smoothly our other regions merge into our Arizona events since we all use a common set of rules and protocols.
Our next event is less than 2 weeks away! Remember this is a great time to bring a friend to try HPDE1 or drag a friend back who has been away from the track for a while: https://www.nasaproracing.com/events/2259
Edits and comments: firstname.lastname@example.org PS… Always glad to get input from other classes and drivers that want to help expand the information in the recap. Pictures, notes, assistance, editing are always appreciated!