NASA Spring Mountain Recap

NASA Arizona joined forces with NASA-Socal this first weekend in May for a crossover event at the sprawling Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, NV (    The event drew a wide variety of high performance cars for this first return to Spring Mountain for NASA-AZ in many years. photo14


The “Hunt Configuration” was approximately 3 miles of truly exceptional pavement with large and clearly marked curbs and an extremely smooth racing surface.  Just off track however the dirt is quite rocky and several parts of the track remained littered with rocks ranging from ½” to 1” in diameter… little ball bearings!    Track officials worked constantly to keep the track clear and did an exceptional job.  Most of the attendees had never been to this track before so everyone was learning.

NASA SOCAL, under the leadership of Ryan Flaherty, was the host for this event and conducted all the management and operational duties.  It was a nice glimpse to see how other NASA regions work and a reminder to how well our Arizona staff, volunteers and corner workers treat us.  We are lucky to have such a great team in Arizona.photo6

Pahrump is situated at about 3000’ elevation just Northwest of Las Vegas.  Approximately 350 miles from Phoenix the drive took anywhere from 5.5 to 7 hours depending on the vehicle and traffic.  It was downright warm all weekend.  Temperatures hovered in the 100f range and many found their cooling systems inadequate.  Luckily there was plenty of cold beverages in the paddock and evening temperatures were just about perfect.

 Just a reminder, the next Arizona event is a “DawnPatrol” at Bondurant’s west track early in the morning on May 31.  It’s a good time to do some test-n-tune or just get some additional seat time. 

–       Details:


The HPDE group at Spring Mountain was predominately populated with SOCAL drivers but some of our own local celebrities like Tim Weber and Canaan O’connell who tricked the timing system into a 2:22.578 on Saturday afternoon.

Tim Weber moved up from HPDE into Time Trial this weekend and shaved nearly 20 seconds from his lap times over the course of the weekend while learning a new car and course.  Make sure you checkout a nice write-up on one of NASAs newest up and coming racers in this latest issue of Speed News (Page 64 & 65):

For more HPDE action please note that the timing can be found here for the HPDE events:

Race Group- Saturday

NASA-Socal runs their race groups slightly differently than we are used to in Arizona so there was a lot to pay attention to in the Drivers meeting each day.    Socal uses A, B and C run groups with Group A including USTCC, Honda Challenge and MotolQ.  Group B consisted of the Spec classes for 944, e30 and Miata plus Performance Touring.  Group C is similar to our “Big Bore” with ST, SU, GTS and American Iron classes.


The show starts a little late on this Spring Mountain Saturday morning awaiting those people driving over from Vegas and the “ambo” to arrive and render the course safe to drive.   Race group Warm-up was done in 3 groups and all were finished around 10am as they day began to warm up.    All three run groups had completed Qualification by noon and we convened in the large clubhouse building for Race Group Meeting.


Grid lineup with SOCAL was different than AZ where we lineup purely according to lap times.  SOCAL grids the cars in class and then by time.  So the various groups like HC, PT and SpecE all lined up next to each other in grid spots in order of lap times.   All the starts and races went well enough and a few glitches would be ironed out the next day.  A bit of “contact” stopped the C-Group early with some unfortunate damage to a few cars, but all participants were home safe at the end of the weekend which is the primary goal.

For a more detailed look into the A-Group Honda Challenge competition see the following recap from Gabe Ortega:

Saturdays overall winners-

A Group: Daniel Akhrometsey, Andy Hope and Ken Adelberg

B Group: John Magnuson, Jim Hicks and Mike Rose

C Group: Greg Dalgarn, Ron Ballard and Tim Rollins

Saturday Official Results:

Race Group- Sunday

At Sundays race group meeting we ironed out a few logistics of the starts and the entire day progressed smoothly.  For most of us driving by now the track was feeling familiar and the slippery rocks were seeming to be reliably placed in certain designated corners.

For many the weather was a factor in the race with daytime temperatures nearing 100f and lots of talk the evening before about cooling concerns, timing pulls and sensor location and tricks.  As coolant temperatures increase most cars will begin to pull timing and limit power to help save the engine.  There are tricks to managing and avoiding this loss, but there are also risks of overheating and perforated head gaskets.  With a few events still planned for many of us over the summer this was a good indicator of what items to upgrade in the following weeks.

March competitors

Congratulations to the overall winners in each group below.  For detailed breakdown of victors by class please see the Results link below-

A Group: Daniel Akhrometsey, Brad McClure and Andrie Hartanto

B Group: John Magnuson, DJ Quint and Shawn Sampson

C Group: Michael von Quilich, Ed Chamock and Ron Ballard

Sunday’s Official Results:
Season Points:

Saturday Time Trial

Time Trial was scheduled for 4 sessions Saturday but an upset in the schedule prevented the final run group late in the afternoon. Over 40 competitors participated in the runs on Saturday laying down some impressive times.1546215_1423163104611529_5527577266677904833_n

Overall leaders for all of Saturday included Steve Nagel (2:19.416), Thorpe Logeman and Herve Bezard.

Broken out by class:

TT3: Steve Nagel, Thorpe Logeman and Herve Bezard

TT1: Dan Rose, Gary Felton and Russ Whalen

TTC: Andrew McKelvey, Team Greenbaum and Kam Urquhart

TT2: Derrin Griffin and Arthur Weber

TTU: Team Alfaleh, Doug Makishima and John Atkinson

TTB: Kelly Soske

TTD: John Magnuson, Robert Rose and Robert Strohmeyer

TTE: R&R Racing1

TTF: Need Speed Orozco, Ed Poss and Pramesh Ruparelia

Full results of Saturday’s TT race:


Sunday Time Trial

 Sunday ran a full complement of 4 sessions again with over 40 competitors late into the hot afternoon.  Russ Whalen worked tirelessly in his “camp” to fabricate new brake pads for his Skyline and get back into the action on Sunday-Nice work!


Overall leaders for Sunday were Thorpe Logeman (2:16.426), Steve Nagel and Herve Bezard.


Broken out by class:

TT3: Thorpe Logeman, Steve Nagel and Herve Bezard

TT1: John Bianchi, Dan Rose and Gary Felton

TT2: Derrin Griffin and Arthur Weber

TTC: Team Greenbaum, Team Schotz Racing and Jeff Abrams

TTU: John Atkinson, Team Alfaleh and Jim “Coz” Cozzolino

TTB: Kelly Soske

TTD: John Magnuson, Robert Rose and Robert Strohmeyer

TTE: R&R Racing 1

TTF: Need Speed Orozco, Ed Poss and Praamesh Ruparelia


Full results of Sunday’s TT race:

Join us at Wild Horse Pass- Bondurant West track in just a few weeks May:

Details of Bondurant West event:

NASAAZ Facebook:


Author:  Tom Johnson ([email protected] / 602-628-2701)

Pictures and content courtesy of

Many thanks to Tage Evanson for spending most of the weekend changing tires and to Chris Dowers for jumping in an helping.  photo11

Please send corrections, half-truths and legal notices to the author:  [email protected]

Here is the rest of the story…  Getting to the tracks is half the fun, especially when you can sleep in the back of the RV enroute and watch friends climbing the hills behind you:










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