This weekend marks the opening event for the 2013 racing season with races at Sonoma Raceway, formerly Infineon, but always known to us historians as Sears Point. The Life’s Good Racing!TM team will be there in full force to compete in both Time Trials in the 1969 #69 Camaro and in the opening event in the Western Endurance Racing Championships (WERC) series in the 2012 #96 Camaro.
The work that has gone into the 1969 Camaro over the winter has been minimal and pretty much limited to maintenance and minor repairs. This car achieved a 100% undefeated win streak at the hands of Dave Brown and I in all 17 competitive outings (including one track record). Crew Chief, Chris Hovey, has performed some work, but again relatively little, particularly when compared to the major reconstruction he undertook over the winter on the 2012 Camaro.
The 2012 Camaro has been re-born. It now has a brand new, Swanke-built LS3 engine that puts out 550Hp and 500lb/ft of Tq on 91 octane gas. Shoe-horning that new powerplant in place of the old small block chevy was a work of engineering genius on the part of Chris. He had to fabricate major modifications to the driver compartment’s foot well in addition to the header collectors. And that was only the beginning. The car has been completely rebuilt to accommodate the “Beast’s” new heart. I truly believe that noone else could have accomplished such a feat in such a short period of time!
At 2500 lbs, on slicks, and with the above mentioned engine output specs, this new Camaro should be an absolute screamer. In addition to the endurance series, we are eyeing other series in which to compete. However, this weekend (including Friday) will be all about feeling the car out and working on a setup which optimizes the power-to-weight ratio we have, along with the slicks on which we will be running. Dave was able to achieve a 1:45.7 lap time last year in the 1969 Camaro at Sonoma (my best was 1:47.5). This new car should be five seconds a lap faster when dialed in!
The Enduro on Sunday will be a team event, requiring support from multiple individuals beyond the normal Life’s Good Racing!TM team cast (Dave Brown, Chris Hovey, “Uncle” Mike Brown and myself). We now have a new fuel man, Dave “Pitt” Pittenger and expect assistance from multiple others during the two hour race. Enduros are truly a team event.
We are ready and excited about this weekend and want to take pause to thank our sponsors who have provided us with the support in preparing these two cars, including Competition Clutch (CCI), which builds the awesome unit that can handle the power we are making in the 2012 Camaro and transfer it to the sticky “meats” we will be running. A lesser clutch would be toast under such demands. And, Hawk Performance, which produces the “whoa” in the form of the best performance brake pads and rotors we have ever experienced, has given us the confidence to push the entries deeper and deeper and thus reduce our lap times. And, of course, we only run Red Line products in all of our cars, including their top-of-the-line synthetic oil.
Come spend some time with us at the track! Visit our Facebook page and hear the new LS3 firing up for the first time this last week. “Like” us and come out to the track and get a free team hat! The nice thing about coming out to Pro-Am racing is that you have the opportunity to walk the pits, talk to the teams, drivers and mechanics and get “up close and personal”, unlike in Pro racing.
Hope to see you out there!