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SFR SCCA Season Finale: blew up motor, won two races and a championship…video

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SFR SCCA Season Finale: blew up motor, won two races and a championship…video

Old 10-27-11, 12:19 AM
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CA SFR SCCA Season Finale: blew up motor, won two races and a championship…video

This past weekend was the season finale for the San Francisco Region of the SCCA. I came into the weekend tied for the points lead in the ITE class (an unlimited class using production based cars with DOT tires) with a very fast Turbocharged 1992 Acura NSX. I felt as though I had a good chance of beating the NSX as I have run quicker at Thunderhill Raceway recently.

For the 13th and final race of the season there was ten ITE cars out of the twenty-one entered. Of those ten ITE cars there was another 1993 RX7, driven by Niles (Shpnout) a stout 2006 Subaru STI, a stock 2008 CO6, a 1973 914 Porshabaru (914 with a turbo 2.5 STI motor…500+ RWHP!), of course the 1992 NSX (550 RWHP, 640 RWHP on the button), a fully stripped 1st Gen RX7 and a couple other players.

I used the morning practice to find my shift points as I had installed a 4-speed G-Force dogbox with different gear ratios than the OEM FD gears. The car felt ok and I didn’t push it running 2:00 laps. (My best time at Thunderhill is a 1:56.3) For the qualifying session Niles offered to lead follow with me as he has consistently run in the 1:55-1:56 range for the last few events and I thought a good qualifying time would erode the confidence of the NSX driver. It was a good plan, but when I dropped the hammer during the first of the hot laps my motor blew. Wow, what a bummer! I was able to limp back to the pits on the one functioning rotor housing combination.

Back at the trailer I found myself surprisingly calm and felt relief that the hectic points chasing had finally come to an end. Niles drove back to our spot in the paddock and without hesitation offered his car to me for Saturday’s race. This was after Niles set a personal best at Thunderhill, 1:54.8 and was sitting on pole. I felt quite uneasy about this; Niles doesn’t get a chance to race much these days and I’ve never driven his car. I would have to start at the back of the field and to apply any pressure to the now pole-sitting NSX I would have to take risks coming through the field. I spoke with a friend who has been a chief mechanic in IMSA and CART and he said you have to do what you can to make things happen. He also happens to be the mechanic who built the NSX of my closest competitor. So I took Niles up on his offer, I would race for the championship.

Late Friday night I called Niles and asked if he had put the gas that I gave him in his car. I had pumped the fuel from my cell after the motor expired. He said he had; I told him I think we should pump it out. I recalled when I was buying my gas that morning there was some conversation taking place at the gas pumps between some track employees. It seemed there had been some contamination of the 110 Octane fuel with the 91 Octane fuel. I now wondered if the 100 Octane that I had used also had some 91 Octane in it. There were a few other things I noticed later in the day that might also support this hypothesis. Best not to take chances, I didn’t want to blow up another motor.

First thing Saturday morning we pumped the fuel out Niles fuel cell and put in some fresh gas and I was ready to go. I had a pretty good start and was able to cleanly get through the slower traffic during the first lap. I was in fifth place by the end of the first lap and in second place by the fifth lap. I was slowly closing in on the leader, but not very fast. Then fortune or misfortune, depending on how you were looking at things came into play. The axle then transmission of the NSX failed handing me the lead. As we planned to run Niles’ car in a four hour endure the following day, I backed way down on my lap times taking the strain off the car. I won the race and the ITE championship.

What followed was a great victory lap!

Many thanks to Niles for giving me a chance to race for all the marbles!

As for the second race I’ll let Niles fill you in on Sunday’s event…

Here is edited video of the race. I apologize in advance for my crappy 2-3 shifts...I was pretty excited in the car and doing things a little too fast...Enjoy!

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Old 10-27-11, 07:51 AM
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Nice show!

That brake squeal would get to me in a hurry!
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Old 10-27-11, 08:28 AM
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First, I want to say congratulations to you on winning the Championship. A lot of hard work, time and effort goes into running, let alone winning a championship, so take time to enjoy the win. Keep and remember everything about it as they don't come along too often.

I also would like to give a big thumbs up to Niles for lending you his car for the event. Especially after taking pole in the car and knowing that you had not driven it before. Even though it was one FD to another, anybody who races knows that there are substantial differences. This act by Niles tells me a lot about the gentleman. A good friend to have and I expect somebody who well respected.

I was fortunate to have raced at Thunderhill back in 2001ish in the 25 Hour and I know how hard it is to do a 1:54. I was driving a Cobra R and got to a 1:58 and I thought I was a "God". A great track and tons of fun.

Stories like this remind me of why I have been racing for over 20 years. Congrats to all again, great story.

Eric
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Old 10-27-11, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 23Racer View Post
First, I want to say congratulations to you on winning the Championship. A lot of hard work, time and effort goes into running, let alone winning a championship, so take time to enjoy the win. Keep and remember everything about it as they don't come along too often.

I also would like to give a big thumbs up to Niles for lending you his car for the event. Especially after taking pole in the car and knowing that you had not driven it before. Even though it was one FD to another, anybody who races knows that there are substantial differences. This act by Niles tells me a lot about the gentleman. A good friend to have and I expect somebody who well respected.

I was fortunate to have raced at Thunderhill back in 2001ish in the 25 Hour and I know how hard it is to do a 1:54. I was driving a Cobra R and got to a 1:58 and I thought I was a "God". A great track and tons of fun.

Stories like this remind me of why I have been racing for over 20 years. Congrats to all again, great story.

Eric
Plus 1

Two super cool Gents living the dream
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Old 10-27-11, 09:34 AM
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Very nice! I'm glad that you were able to make it happen, even if it wasn't in old yeller! Kudos for even getting a vinyl of your name above the door and everything!

Hopefully the motor isn't too bad.


*edit* looks like I should maybe change my forum pic, eh finger lock?
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Old 10-27-11, 12:02 PM
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Awesome story and video! Congrats on the win! Niles definitely seems like a stand up guy and a good friend to have.

Back in 2006, I was trying to be competitive at the SCCA NER autocrosses in SM2 and my FD was down for one event weekend. I went out to check out the event, and a friend of mine (Christian) with another FD offered to let me drive his car for the weekend to see if I could at least get a point or two out of the weekend. I refused at first, but after he insisted, how could I pass up the offer? I didn't do as well as I hoped and ended the weekend without earning any points, but to this day I am completely grateful to him for that.

How did Sunday go?


gpracing - I hear stories about you whenever I'm at NHMS. Do you know the McParlands?
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Old 10-27-11, 01:33 PM
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Congrats Guy! Awesome write up! Downloading the video now. The things we do and the money we spend for a $5 trophy and bragging rights...









... is totally worth it
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Old 10-28-11, 09:01 AM
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"Kudos for even getting a vinyl of your name above the door and everything!"

Funny, Glad you noticed the vinyl.....we ran my car in the enduro so I had the names made up for the race.

Great driving by Guy, it was exciting to be in the crows nest spotting and watching it all go down.
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Old 10-28-11, 02:57 PM
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Niles = 1st rate sportsman!

Very cool of him to lend you the car, and (in my opinion) very cool of you to accept his offer. I've offered my car before, and I've accepted rides as well (in autocross). Very nice run and a great story...

I really like driving other cars, and sometimes feel I put in my best performances in a strange seat. I think that, with your own car, you have certain expectations of what it "should be able to do", which are not always correct. Driving a strange car, you have to listen to it, feel it, and get to know it from scratch. Hence, no preconceptions to get in your way.




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