24 September 2010
Out in the middle of the Nevada desert lies 3.1 miles of winding pavement known as Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch. This country club facility is without a doubt one of the nicest stops on the 2010 Redline Time Attack circuit, but it also has a special history as being the site of the first ever Redline Time Attack event back in 2005. Back then, Tarzan Yamada took the event win in the Swift Springs Nissan S15 with a 2:xx.xxx lap. Last year, it was Paul Gerrard in the AMS Performance / NOS Energy Drink Mitsubishi Evo X who emerged victorious with a 2:18.055. The sport, the cars, and the teams have come a long way since the birth of the Redline Time Attack series back in 2005 and this year the progression continued as track records fell in many of the classes.
Many of this year’s top teams were in attendance to do battle for the fifth of seven West Coast rounds, but Super Modified Class entries were lacking, having just one entrant into each division. The GST Motorsports Impreza L was the favorite for the overall event win and the lack of entrants in their class didn’t stop them from going 100%. Their usual driver, the G-Stig, whose identity remains a mystery was not in attendance (or so we think), so in his place was hot shoe Gary Sheehan, who drove the GST Impreza all last year. Gary and the GST Impreza L were after the overall event win and they got it with a blistering 2:18.057, just a mere two thousandths of a second off of the Super Modified AWD class record set last year by Paul Gerard in the AMS Performance / NOS Energy Mitsubishi Evo X.
Running un-opposed in the Super Modified RWD class was Paul Brown in the gorgeous K&N Filters Infiniti G35. Brown piloted the highly modified luxury coupe to a 2:28.891. Dez Ballard has become one of the crowd favorites in the little monster ABF Motoring MINI Cooper S, but Ballard suffered a non-motorsports related knee injury so the team left the Super Modified FWD MINI back at the shop, but when Ballard learned that the World Racing crew was not in attendance, he jumped in a bone stock MINI Cooper with an automatic transmission and went out to seize the opportunity to get 1st place points toward the championship. Dez piloted the bone stock MINI Cooper S to a 2:52.785.
Although the Super Modified class was very thin, the Modified class ranks were yet again packed with competition in the AWD division, the big names being COBB Tuning, NNI Racing, Takata Time Attack, and 034 Motorsports. Brian Lock in the COBB Tuning R35 GTR have been the ones to beat all season long and the domination continued at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch as Lock drove the GTR to a 2:21.421 awarding him a new class record and the Overall Modified and Modified AWD class wins. Christian Miller in the 034 Motorsports Audi A4 came in 2nd with a 2:26.860 and James Elterman in the Takata Time Attack / LIC Motorsports Subaru STI landed in 3rd with a 2:30.052.
AFI Turbo brought their Honda S2000 back out to this event with some major changes and after their win and track record here last year, everyone was anxious to see how the car would perform. Unfortunately they lost a motor in practice and it was Carl Rydquist took yet another Modified RWD victory in his Hankook/City Tire/AE Performance Nissan 350Z with a 2:33.176. Casey Dennis in the Kraftwerks Honda S2000 fought his way to a 2nd place finish in Modified RWD with a 2:35.916 and Kelley Speilberg would round out the podium with a 2:45.210.
The Street Tire Class was another battle royale in both the AWD and RWD divisions and after one of the RWD cars got the overall victory at the last West Coast round, the AWD guys had something to prove. Street Tire RWD powerhouses COBB Tuning and StopTech were both in attendance, but they had a surprise attack from a new team local to Las Vegas. Thomas Smith in the Subaru of Las Vegas / Zenkai Motorsports Subaru STI proved that home field advantage and preparation pay off as they set a new track record and took both the Overall Street Tire and Street Tire AWD class wins with a 2:29.816. Hot on his heels though was Cameron Benner in the COBB Tuning Subaru STI who had never been to the track before, but managed a 2:30.923. Steve Ruiz in the StopTech Mitsubishi Evo X would have to settle for 3rd with a 2:31.079 just 0.156 seconds behind Benner.
The Street Tire RWD class saw the consistent Berk Technology BMW 135i and the Godspeed 240SX who stormed onto the podium in the last two rounds battling yet again for the top spot on the podium. Godspeed had emerged victorious in the past two rounds, but this time Mike Bonanni in the Berk Technology 135i would take the win at his home track along with a Street Tire RWD track record with a 2:33.710. Eddie Lim in the Godspeed 240SX came in a close 2nd in his first time at the challenging Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch with a 2:33.966. Showing tremendous progress over the first half of the season and taking a much needed break from filming a new Fast & Furious movie, Paul Walker put his AE Performance BMW M3 on the podium for the first time with a 2:40.464 moving one step up from his 4th place finish at the last round.
The Street Tire FWD class yet again saw the un-defeated 2009 Street Tire FWD Champion Clint Boisdeau on top of the podium in the ABF Motoring MINI Cooper with a 2:39.516 smashing his own record that he set last year in his Ford Focus. Eric Emmerson in the E&A Motorsports Acura Integra suffered an engine failure on his built turbo motor just prior to the event, but showed up with a stock engine and took home 2nd place with a 2:48.809.
The Enthusiast Class is always exciting and always brings out local talent and a few regulars who travel with the series. Local Las Vegas native Brandon Chappell was looking to walk away with an easy win in Enthusiast AWD, but a fuel pump failure on his Mitsubishi Evo IX took him out in Sunday’s morning practice leaving the door open for Roger Hocking to take yet another Overall Enthusiast and Enthusiast AWD win and track record with a 2:37.993. Chris Reber put his Mitsubishi Evo X in 2nd place with a 2:44.106 and William Long rounded out the all Mitsubishi podium in his Evo IX with a 2:46.352. In the Enthusiast RWD class it was yet again the un-touchable AE Performance 370Z driven by Paul Dentice who took home the victory beating his own track record from last year with a 2:38.806. Filling up the rest of the podium were two Las Vegas natives who know the track well. Kam Urquhart took the 2nd place trophy in the Brakehorn Productions Honda S2000 with a 2:41.645 while Len Novak put his Paladin Advanced Automotive Nissan 350Z in 3rd place with a 2:43.087.
After a massive off-track excursion at the previous round, Christopher Billedo came back with a vengeance in his SpeedZone Motorsports sponsored Honda Civic Si taking the win in Enthusiast FWD with a 2:48.656 beating yet another Las Vegas local Michelle Abbate in her Tunerzedge Mazdaspeed Protégé, who came in 2nd with a 2:50.456. Rounding out the Enthusiast FWD podium was Note Hatanurek in his might 88 horsepower Buddy Club Honda Fit with a 3:02.962
Last year’s Drift Class saw the likes of Formula Drift stars Rhys Millen and Chris Forseberg battle it out around Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch and this year we had another Formula Drift star who has been no stranger to Time Attack this season. Fresh off of the Formula Drift circuit, Kyle Mohan yet again piloted his Mazdatrix / Nexen Tire / Spyder Energy Mazda RX7 in the Drift Class, however he would have to settle for 2nd with is 2:40.464 lap time as Adam Knapik drove his Nissan 240SX drift car to a 2:37.089 lap for the victory.
The Super Session sprint race is easily the crowd’s favorite portion of the event as well as many of the competitor’s. Unable to receive points due to their substitute driver, GST Motorsports decided to sit the Super Session out, leaving the Super Modified class un-represented. Representing the Modified Class was Brian Lock in the COBB Tuning R35 GTR, James Elterman in the Takata Time Attack / LIC Motorsports Subaru STI, Casey Dennis in the Kraftwerks Honda S2000, and Carl Rydquist in the Hankook / City Tire / AE Performance Nissan 350Z. Representing the Street Tire Class was Cameron Benner in the COBB Tuning Subaru STI and Mike Bonanni in the Berk Technology BMW 135i, and representing the Drift Class was Kyle Mohan in the Mazdatrix / Nexen Tire / Spyder Energy Mazda RX7 and Adam Knapik in his Nissan 240SX. The green flag dropped and the cars went screaming into the first corner. The first casualty of the race was Mike Bonanni in the Berk Technology 135i who blew a coupler off of his charge pipe leaving him limping around the track for the remaining 5 laps. The second casualty of the race was Kyle Mohan in the Mazdatrix / Nexen Tire / Spyder Energy Mazda RX7 who suffered a transmission failure that took him out of the race completely. While the race was over for those two, the battle up front was raging between the COBB Tuning GTR and the Takata Time Attack / LIC Motorsports STI. The two battled it out the entire race but it was Brian Lock in the COBB Tuning GTR who would take the win overall and for the Modified class. Cameron Benner in the COBB Tuning STI brought home the win for the Street Tire Class and Adam Knapik took the checkered flag for the Drift class
As the heat of summer wears off, the 2010 Redline Time Attack Series will head up to the historic Infineon Raceway (formerly Sears Point) in scenic wine country for Round #9 of the 2010 Redline Time Attack series. This event is home to many big name bay area teams like GST Motorsports, LIC Motorsports / Takata Time Attack, 034 Motorsports, and N1 Racing. As the second to last round of the 2010 Redline Time Attack series, the race is on for the points championships and this is surely going to be an event not to be missed!