NASA Arizona returned to the Wild Horse Pass East Track (WHP) for an end of winter warm up. The weather was perfect, if a bit warm, but more on that later! Rumors continue to flow about the future of this great local facility (http://www.racewildhorse.com/) and we can only hope that most of them come true resulting in a world class facility right in our own back yard.
The East track is a small, short knife shaped track with one long straight away and several short straight sections. There is a small amount of elevation change in a few spots (talking a few feet…) but for the most part it is a flat track. There are enough good passing zones and wider sections to fit several cars side by side and keep the action rolling.
For this event the NASA-AZ (www.nasaaz.com) participants were paddocked outside of the track in a large parking area. This made for much better access by visitors and a safer event without the need to pass through the track for guests. Visibility to the track was just fine as spectators lined up along the northern edge of the track on the “The Hill” and were treated to some fine driving and a little rock throwing.
The April Event is right around the corner! Get your cars turned and ready because we have another event coming up quickly back here at the Wild Horse Pass West track. This next event is the weekend of April 5 and 6, 2014 and registration and details can be found here: https://www.nasaproracing.com/event/1807. We hope to see another giant crowd from many different locations at the next event. The Wast track is also hard on equipment so bleed those brakes and change those engines often!!
Saturday Small Bore Race Group
The Small Bore Qualifying run on Saturday set the tone with the first four cars of Valentin Ivanitski, Team Kit driven by Robert Rose, Leland Forbes the number 469 car of Team LBR all qualifying within a half second of each other!
The Sprint race began with 16 cars on grid and was full of passing and good action including Leland Forbes falling back to 3rd after the start and patiently clawing back a spot to finish 2nd behind Robert Rose in Team Kit. Pete Dimuzio was the victor of the 5 Spec944 cars, David Snyder’s Mazda took first in PTC, and Jorge Diaz was the lone Spec Miata car. Uncontested in GTS2 was Valentin Ivanitski and similarly in David James in PTE rounded out the various class winners.
Official Results: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/2990599
Saturday Big Bore Race Group
Big Bore Qualification put Michael Pinholster in the Radical on Pole followed by Austin Newmark, Erik Davis and Brian Turner in their Porsche 911s. The field was well represented with Super Unlimited, Super Touring 3, Super Touring 1, GTS3 and GTS4 cars.
16 cars departed grid for the warm-up lap and after a clean start the field ran for nearly 30 minutes but Michael Pinholster held the front spot with a fast lap of 59.223 and Erik Davis’ freshly repainted 911 just a hair behind with a fast lap of 59.975, then Greg Dalgarn rounding out the podium. The ultra competitive Super Touring 3 field was won by Erik Davis with Jeremy Renshaw’s BMW second, Brian Turners Porsche in third, another Porsche of Jim Richard and last in class.. a dusty old Datsun.
Ricky Johnson ran his PTB Mini in Big Bore finishing 6th overall and the lone PTB in class. GTS3 field victor David Leyvas beat the BMW of Jim Fluckey with Marty Saltzman taking the third spot and Justin Stevenson left sprinkling the flowers on the side of the track with an unfortunate water leak but no resulting damage. Michael Papworth’s thundering blue Corvette represented ST2.
Official Results: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/2990600
Sunday Combined Race Group
The Sunday Race Group was combined classes which made for fantastic action throughout the race. The start was a normal running Green Flag after 2 warm-up laps and the field formed up perfectly as the Green Flag dropped on anxious throttle pedals, a pile of iron pooling at Turn 1. A flurry of passing throughout the field in the first few laps preceded the faster cars eventually catching up to the small bore cars and then the action heated up. The inclusion of traffic intensifies the opportunities as racers use timing and strategy to move ahead, but hopefully keep their own class competitors tied up in traffic behind them.
The race ended early on a Red Flag due to a 3” hole in the side of the authors (new) engine. Many thanks to Tage and Ramin and all the others who descended on my smoking car just seconds after stopping in the dirt. Go away Monkey!!
Congrats to podium finishers Michael Pinholster, Erik Davis and Jeremy Renshaw, to all the Class winners and thanks for the great competition from all the combined groups.
Official Results: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/2990604
Saturday Time Trials
Some seriously fast action on the Saturday Time Trials as both the Small Bore and Big Bore classes ran 4 sessions throughout the day with a bunch of track records taken over including David Leyvas’ 56.896 on Saturday and Tony Szirka in the UMS Tuning Mitsubishi running 57.864 on Sunday. Ricky Johnson took a 3 year old record down in TTB class at 1:01.669, Dave Schotz and Hal Dunn each beat down their own records in TTC and TTD to 1:02.647 and 1:04.193 respectively.
Here is where to find some great pics of all classes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanitski/sets/72157642474912094/
Lots of close finishes including Gary Felton just .076 seconds ahead of Hunter Bennett in TT1. Even closer on Sunday, Hal Dunn finished barely a whisker ahead of Robert Rose separated by merely .005 seconds. TTE finishers Team Beer:30 and Team Hashtag Racing also had a close finish with just .078 seconds spacing.
Full results of Saturdays TT race: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/2990621
Sunday Time Trials
Sunday Time Trials was slightly different with split groups for the first 3 sessions and a combined afternoon session. As mentioned above Tony Szirka would have had a track record with this time of 57.864 but for David’s impressive Saturday run in the Porsche. The close finishes continued with Team Beer:30 finishing just .013 seconds ahead of Team Hashtag.
Congrats to the other class victors on Sunday including Russ Whelan, Erik Davis, Ricky Johnson, Team Schotz, Robert Rose, Team Beer:30 and Tony Szirka.
UMS Tuning Time Attack
The Time Attack series (http://www.umstuningtimeattackseries.com/) was held on Sunday with 3 total sessions and 14 cars spread throughout the day. Tony Szirka posted his fastest time of the day in the first session in 58.161 seconds but ending with an injured car. Phil Robles and Russ Whelan were within a fraction of a second of each other to complete the top 3 positions.
In class competition Aaron Hiar took top spot in TA-A with Phil Robles first in TA-B and Tony Szirka top in TA-C
Official Results: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/2990625
The drift group returned once again to NASA-AZ on Sunday running a total of 4 sessions. The drift event probably draws one of the biggest spectator crowds of any class. There was some serious horsepower on display and some roasted tires by late Sunday afternoon.
As always HPDE is the “first hit” of road racing and we would like to congratulate the March 2014 HPDE1 class of: Agustin Carcoba, Brent Carver, Kayleigh Casto, Trevor Girdner, Gabe Hansen, Dorian Hollingworth, William Janssen, Kevin Kavanagh, David Kweder, Perry Lehman, Quintin Maley, Rene Mousseux, Karol Owczarski, Lee Rateike, Kirk Vidinghoff, Robert Warman and Michael Pearce (who drove his first DE1 at East and now coming back for DE2 in April in the green Acura below )
Under the expert tutelage of instructor Dave Riddle this gang will hopefully be seen on a race-track near us soon!
There was great “training action” in all the HPDE sessions with a wide variety of cars from Ferrari and Mercedes to Jeff Meade’s 1973 Mini. Congrats to Jake Castro for moving up into Time Trials and turning some of his best lap times.
An unusually high amount of mechanical damage (read carnage) plagued this 3rd event in the NASA 2014 season including at least two head gasket perforations, a bunch of transmissions killed, a thrown rod, another blown motor and a fire in a DE4 car. The fact is stuff breaks and it can become a safety hazard.
Take that extra time you have on grid (because you arrived a few minutes early) to practice your emergency egress, shut off and fire extinguisher procedure. Create your escape path first by opening the door, removing nets, wheel and then releasing your belts last. Consider if you were upside down-you want to remain in the seat until you have a way out as it could be difficult to do the other things after getting dropped on your head when you fall out of the seat.
This should be a logical “flow” of your hands that sweeps around the cockpit completing the tasks in an efficient order, ending up at your belts release point and you getting out of the car. Oh, and practice with your eyes closed and a friend poking you with a stick.
So that’s it! Hope to see everyone all repaired and ready for NASA-AZ’s first return to the West track in 2014 which is just a few short weeks away. Get signed up ASAP for both days and enjoy some great tacos, racing and Arizona sunshine.
Join us at Wild Horse Pass in April: https://www.nasaproracing.com/event/1807
Details of Wild Horse Pass event: http://forums.nasaaz.com/showthread.php?t=6468
Pictures courtesy of
- Tage Evanson
- Ben Kiningham
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