NASA-AZ Bondurant West: April 2014

NASA Arizona returned to the Bondurant West Track for the first time in 2014 on this perfect Spring Weekend. The West track is a short elbow shaped track of about 1.1 miles including one long straight with a sharp left at the end and a fun sweeping right hand turn just in front of the crowd with lots of pavement to play with.  West track also has a pretty darn good paddock setup with excellent view of all the action and a relatively efficient track-on and track-off setup.

Like most of our local events we are treated to some great food by Lulu’s Taco Truck serving breakfast and lunch all day long.  It’s a great place to come out with the family and experience some of NASA’s finest drivers.  The weather was about as good as could be expected although the afternoons warmed up a little and the dust-devils are a good indication of the convective activity in the atmosphere… summer is upon us.

Tage Evanson and the entire NASA crew was setup early and the paddock began to fill Friday afternoon and by the morning briefing it was clear… we had a race!

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Just a reminder, the Spring Mountain Event is right around the corner!  Management is trying to get a good head count and verify event details, plus there is discounted pricing.     Please register early and often:  https://www.nasaproracing.com/event/1840

HPDE

The NASA High Performance Drivers Education is the breeding ground for all new racers and NASAAZ would like to congratulate the following HPDE-1 participants for taking the time to come out and get involved.   DE1 is something many of us fondly remember as the beginning of many new friendships, new skills and a bunch of fun driving.

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Wyatt Bledsoe, Tammer El Habiby, Dorian Hollingworth, Michael Kasdorf, Robert LaCoste, Lisa Kavanagh, Aaron Looft, Joshua Mcguigan, Colton Stoks and KellyeTurben.  It’s worth noting that 70% of these drivers returned for more action on Sunday also.  A nice mix of cars in the DE1 including the now obligatory FRS/BRZ, Lexus, S2000, Mustang, BMW, Nissan and Mazda.  Come back for more, please!  And give some thought to making the trek up to Vegas with us for the Spring Mountain event.  It is 10x more fun at an “Away Track”.

DE3 and DE4 ran combined sessions both days and while no drivers promoted to Time Trial at this event there are a number who are very close.  The DE3 drivers under the watchful eye of Ravi Tomerlin did an excellent job helping control the faster traffic with pointbys and keeping the pace moving.  It can sometimes be hard to know exactly who is who in the combined DE3/DE4 sessions so this was a great indication of “Situation Awareness” in all the groups.

 UMS Tuning Time Attack

The Time Attack series (http://www.umstuningtimeattackseries.com/) was held as usual on Sunday with 2 groups.  Within the 2 groups there were 6 TA-A cars, 6 TA-B cars and Russ Whelan running is right hand drive Nissan as the sole TA-C car.  In the first session Philip Robles posted the fastest time, just to be outrun by his son moments later.  Similarly the ubiquitous Aaron Hiar ran a good full second quicker in the first group, than his Father Todd in the second session.  Be nice to your elders!!

image4The rest of the first session was a pretty tight group of Jeff Abrams, Robert Smithson, Harold Dun and Jason Griepnetrog.   In session 2 Jake Casto, Brenden Garvey, Jeremy Nosko and Jon Via posted their times in the 15 minute long session.

Official Results: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/3010505

Saturday & Sunday Combined Race Group

Saturday’s race was a thirty-minute combined sprint race with 26 cars starting on the tight 1.1-mile Bondurant West track.  There was roughly an 11-second difference in lap times between Big Bore and Small Bore groups meaning that all classes would have to stay alert and drive clean.  Small bore had epic battles in the back half of the field:  Team LBR + Team Snail + Eric Dayton all swapped positions as if they were playing a game of 3 card monte.  Stay tuned for an in car video showing all the action with those three cars mixing it up.   In the end, the Saturday Small Bore podium looked like this:  First Place: Team KIT, Second Place: Leland Forbes, Third Place: Eric Dayton.  Big Bore and overall First Place:  Michael Pinholster, Second Place Drew Wadolny, Third Place Greg Dalgarn.

1496646_726828367367813_4979541531223561395_nSunday’s race followed the same 30-minute, combined format, with 24 cars starting the race.  Tires were a clear factor as the weekend progressed for Small and Big bore, with some of Saturday’s faster racers moving rearward on the starting grid.  Sunday’s spectators were treated to a full thirty-minute battle with a tight finish.  Sunday Small bore First Place: Eric Dayton, Second Place: Team KIT, Third Place: Team LBR.  Big Bore and overall First Place:  Michael Pinholster, Second Place Tim Rollins, Third Place Greg Dalgarn

Notable track records for Saturday:

  • New Track Record (1:08.391) for GTS2 by Colin Elsberry.
  • New Track Record (1:01.800) for Super Unlimited by Michael Pinholster.
  • New Track Record (1:03.574) for Super Touring 2 by Drew Wadolny.
  • New Track Record (1:06.709) for Honda Chal 2 by Team KIT.
  • New Track Record (1:07.437) for 944 Spec by Pete Dimuzio.

Saturday Official Results: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/3010482

 Notable track records for Sunday:

  • New Track Record (1:06.455) for GTS5 by Ron Ballard.
  • New Track Record (1:02.027) for Super Touring 1 by Tim Rollins.
  • New Track Record (1:03.511) for Super Touring 2 by Adrian Little.
  • New Track Record (1:07.896) for GTS2 by Colin Elsberry.
  • New Track Record (1:05.101) for GTS5 by Frederick (Rick) Touton.
  • New Track Record (1:01.412) for Super Unlimited by Michael Pinholster.
  • New Track Record (1:01.987) for Super Touring 1 by Tim Rollins.

Sunday’s Official Results: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/3010486

Season Points: https://nasaaz.com/results/race-results/race-group-results/

Saturday Time Trials

Time Trial ran 3 Small Bore sessions and 3 Big Bore sessions along with a final afternoon Combined session on Saturday as the afternoon temperatures heated up.

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In the Overall Small Bore results for all sessions Team Schotz Racing posted the top time of 1:04.652 followed by Robert Rose and Ricky Johnson.  In the overall Big Bore results over all the sessions the top speed was earned by Tim Rollins nearly 1M flat, then Dan Maloney and Gary Felton who later suffered a clutch problem that sent him looking for his trailer early.

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Full results of Saturdays TT race:  http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/3010501

Sunday Time Trials

Sunday’s Time Trial sessions were held in an identical format of 3 split and 1 combined.  On Sunday there were even more competitors with a total of 34 cars posting times versus 32 on Saturday.

Team Schotz once again took the best of the Small Bore competitors beating his previous days time followed by Jeff Abrams and Harold Dunn. In Big Bore Dan Maloney, Sean Southland and Phil Robles posted the best times throughout all the sessions.

Results:  http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/3010502

US Drift

Drift group is packed with horsepower and smoke with a few new faces and lots of wrenching in the pits.  There is no License for the Drift group, but participants do coordinate and avoid proximity without certain roll cage minimums and then work with other drivers to assure contact free action.

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Always need to say an extra thanks to all the guys and gals that come out and work / volunteer to keep the events “on track” including all the safety crews and corner works.

Join us at Spring Mountain, Nevada in May:  https://www.nasaproracing.com/event/1840

Online Registration is discounted for early registration. Prices for the race groups will increase by $50 two weeks prior to the event (April 19). Fees are $100 higher than online price by entering at the track!

Details of Spring Mountain event:  http://forums.nasaaz.com/showthread.php?t=6518

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/NASAAZ

Author:  Tom Johnson (tomjohnson@cox.net / 602-628-2701)

Pictures and content courtesy of

  • Tage Evanson
  • Gabe Ortega
  • Robert Rose
  • Drew Wadolny
  • Amanda Aponte

Please send corrections, half-truths and legal notices to the author:  tomjohnson@cox.net

 

 

 

 

NASA Arizona Event Recap WildHorse Pass-East, March 2014

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.

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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.

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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! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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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.

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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

Season Points: https://nasaaz.com/results/race-results/race-group-results/

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.

Results:  http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/2990620

 

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

 

US Drift

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.

HPDE

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 )

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Under the expert tutelage of instructor Dave Riddle this gang will hopefully be seen on a race-track near us soon!

 

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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.10009310_10152292666324761_523726301_n

Mechanical Issues:

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

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/NASAAZ

 

Pictures courtesy of

  • Tage Evanson
  • Ben Kiningham

 

Please send corrections, half-truths and legal notices to the author:  tomjohnson@cox.net

PS…

 

 

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Teams

Team Declarations 2019

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