Just back from a warm weekend in Willows at Thunderhill Raceway, the Life’s Good Racing!TM team had an incredibly busy time, competing with four cars in three series. At least, that was our intention as we brought the #69 Camaro, the #96 Camaro, #18 Lancer Ralliart, and the NEW #12 BMW M3.
Unfortunately, we ran into drivetrain issues while testing #96 Camaro on Friday during a Trackmasters Racing testing day, which ended our hopes of competing in the USTCC-GT class for the first time. This was a huge disappointment, however it will not deter us from our goal of continuing to sort this wicked machine out as we focus on our ultimate goal of having the most competitive endurance racer on the West Coast.
This left us with our tried-and-true #69 Camaro for our third weekend of competition in Time Trials. We generally do not receive formal results for a couple weeks after the event, however Saturday looks good with a 1:47 and change for the best run. And, Sunday also looks good with a 1:48, however the unfortunate news is that after a 10+ year run, our Donovan aluminum small block powerplant appears to have gone to the great high performance motor graveyard in the sky. We won’t know for a couple of days, but it looks almost certain.
Putting a positive spin on this unfortunate news, we did get a great run with this motor, setting a Time Trials class track record, along with at least 21 consecutive undefeated outings! And, this gives us the opportunity to look at taking the #69 Camaro to the next level. Thoughts? Should we keep her “old school” or update to an LS platform? Post your comments on our Facebook page.
Moving on to USTCC and the Round #1 of the 2013 season, we have a new driver for the #18 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart. As previously announced, John Klusendorf, is the new “hot shoe” in this car and brings with him such notable sponsors as Delyse Nash & Associates (DNA) and Hill Road Vineyards. This was John’s first weekend in the Lancer and he did phenomenally well, taking a P4 in the Saturday race! All was going well Sunday morning until what appears to be a broken half-shaft ended his run during qualifying. A quick scramble resulted in a loaner car for John’s Sunday race and full points to start the 2013 season. The exciting aspect of John’s performance is that his lap times in the Lancer could have easily landed him a podium in Sunday’s race!
And, finally, we debuted a new USTCC entry with the #12 2002 BMW M2, piloted by Dave Brown. The fact that this car was even on track for the weekend was testimony to Crew Chief, Chris Hovey’s hard work as the car only arrived from the East Coast just three days prior to its first day on track! There is much work to be done here, but in spite of its shortcomings, Dave was able to take a P3 in Saturday’s race!
For Sunday’s point race, Dave was gridded outside front row in P2 as the pole sitter was moved to the back of the field. This put Dave in a great position which he made good on with a fantastic launch at the green flag to take the lead in the race! He was able to hold the lead for the majority of the race, being passed once only to see that car lose its engine going over the bypass, and again he was in the lead with just a couple laps to run. He battled aggressively, but was passed by another M3 near the end of the race and held on for a second place in the car’s debut run! This was great driving by Dave in a very strong car!
We attribute a lot of the M3’s performance to the great braking, courtesy of HAWK Performance as the first thing we did when the car arrived was to shod her in new pads. We have seen across all of our platforms that of HAWK Performance provides us with the competitive edge. Additionally, Competition Clutch continues to operate flawlessly in both the #96 and the #18, taking all of the abuse of countless up and down shifts in our aggressive road racing applications. A Big ‘Ole thank you goes out to our friends at Dublin Big-O Tires for taking care of all our mounting and balancing needs. With nitrogen on tap and the expertise to mount any type of wheel/tire combination they are a great resource for all your performance & street tire needs. And, finally, our cars run cool and smooth Red Lineracing fluids, even at the limit.
In many ways this weekend was bitter sweet and very, very tough. The entire team worked around-the-clock and huge thanks go to each, including Chris, Uncle Mike, Pitt, Eric, Ben, and James. In spite of the challenges, we saw a lot of encouraging success as well. We will be hard at work with each of the platforms in preparation for each of their next competitive outings. Follow our progress both here on our site and at our Facebook page .
Be sure to weigh in on our #69 Camaro powerplant direction on Facebook, and, as always…..
See you at the races!