Realtime Attack Round 3

Well the PTG Acura RSX Type S lasted a pretty long time before we started having problems I must say but this weekend really showed how good of a team we really are when things go bad.

Everything started off really great. I got the car down to Milleville NJ in plenty of time on Friday afternoon to get some good sleep before a long weekend which I haven’t had the luxury of doing in a while. Unfortunately that’s where our luck ran out.

Saturday morning we arrived at the track, unloaded to car off the trailer, got the new tent up (which is awesome) and had everything ready to go for tech inspection at 10 am. Time Trial tech was a little later in the morning which was nice since we didn’t have to be so rushed in the morning. Passed tech no problem. Finally it was time to suit up and get on track. There was minor traffic but things seemed to be going OK. It was my first time on the Lighting track at New Jersey Motorsports Park so for the first few laps it was all about learning the line. After the 7th lap I came out of turn 10 and felt a really bad vibration in the steering wheel. After bringing it back to the pits we noticed that the driver side front wheel had axle grease all over and that the axle boot completely fell off. As soon as our Technical Director Tony realized this it wasn’t two seconds later our Trackside Operations Manager Danny was on the phone and had sourced out a new Honda boot. Not only did he find a new boot available at an Acura dealership he also had new aftermarket axles coming from the shop the next day just in case. Since the repairs would take some time though our day was done. While the team went to go pick up the new boot we spent most of the day checking out vintage race cars of VS2000. I really enjoyed seeing some classic Lotus machines.

The trip to the Acura dealership took almost 3 hours round trip. Once they were back the next problem was breaking the axle nut. Bottom line we broke 1 half inch socket wrench and 1 half inch breaker bar. Since we were really struggling with the axle and getting no where fast we called it for the night and decided to hit it up hard in the morning. A team dinner and some relaxing hot tub and pool time hit the spot and we all woke up in the morning ready to tackle the problems ahead. First thing we did was find the biggest hauler in the paddock available and borrowed their half inch impact gun to finally get the nut loose. Once that was done both Tony and Danny did what they do best and had the new boot on with an hour to spare before getting on track. I couple quick laps around the paddock and it looked like we were all good to go although we really didn’t know how long it would last.

For the first session I went a little easy in the first couple laps just to make sure we didn’t have any problems right away and once I felt confident in the repair pushed it but seemed to hit traffic at least at one point on every lap. Only managed to get consistent 1:20’s. Second session out was a complete disaster. Once I started trying to push it I ended up only getting a 1:19.95 and every lap after that I got held up in traffic. To finally top it off we started having fuel issues after turns 9 & 10 which really bogged me down getting onto the main straight. In the end the 1:19.95 was the best I did which earned me 2nd place in round 3 of the Realtime Attack series presented by Fueled Mag and Import2Race. Of course I’m not happy with the result because I think without the fuel issues and traffic I could have dropped another second or two but we’ll never know. Have to look at the positive end of things; I got points in the bag for the season. PTG did a great job getting the car back on track. The weekend would not have been possible without them. Could not ask for a better team than PTG. Looking forward to the next even with Realtime Attack.

NARRA Rounds 7&8 ; Realtime Attack Round 2

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So we registered to enter into the NARRA rounds 7 & 8 at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Saturday and Sunday June 9th and 10th. The Realtime Attack series would be held on Sunday within the NARRA sessions.

Saturday we got through Tech and started getting the car prepped for the day sessions. We ended up missing the first run but that was ok. Saturday we just planned on getting used to the track and see how the car felt. Only thing we didn’t really plan on too much was the incredible heat. We seemed to be doing steady 1:40’s the whole day. The TT3 run group was the biggest group which had a crazy variety of cars (Corvette’s, GTR’s, Evo’s,) and of course my 250hp FWD Acura RSX Type S. lol.We knew were weren’t going to podium with NARRA with the huge hp difference but still non the less was great being on track with them.

Sunday was more or less the same thing but with even more heat! It was another great weekend with the Realtime Attack group and The PTG Racing RPM NYC Acura RSX Type S took the top step of the podium in Modified Front Wheel Drive. We had a best lap of 1:39.651. After review of the video tape I definately had room to take out more time. I also think with a slightly different setup I could have done better too. Overall it was a great weekend and I was so glad to have the support of PTG Racing and the RPM NYC sponsorship for the weekend.

MARRS Round 1

Well this blog entry is WAY overdue. Kinda almost makes no since publishing it now I should to keep everything logged. Non the less here it is…..

Well April 20-22 was the SCCA MARRS Round 1 at Summit Point Motorsports park. This was my first time racing in this event. I drove one of Meathead Racing’s SSM cars. Because it was an SSM car I could get more seat time driving both SM and SSM classes. First off I want to thank Meathead Racing for letting me join them for the weekend. This group is serious about all things Mazda! Mike, Greg, and Steve run an excellent program and I really enjoyed hanging out with the other drivers hoping to learn as much as I could from them.

April 20, 2012

I got to the track and registered. Met with the team and went over the basics of the track… breaking zones, gearing, etc…it didn’t take long though before I was putting my helmet on and getting fitted in the car. Not to much longer after that I was rolling down pit lane about to get on the hot track for the days practice sessions. There were 5 practice sessions throughout the day and I progressively got faster each time out. I knew in the back of my mind though that I wouldn’t be running this line on Sunday with the expected rainstorm that was going to come through. In the end Friday practice was great. I got a good understanding of the track and car.

April 21, 2012

Qualifying followed by a quick 10 sec sprint race in the afternoon for both classes. I knew before I even got out of the car that my SSM qualifying was better (basically because I had the SM qualifying to practice with) but my goal to not qualify last on my first SCCA race was at least a success. For both SM and SSM I qualified 25 in a 32 and 34 car field respectively.

In the SM afternoon race I started off fairly well, halfway through the race though I came in to turn 5 a little too fast and got lose and went off track. Lost any positioning I gained right there even though I got back on track fairly quickly. In the end I came in 24th with a best lap of 1:33.236

In the SSM afternoon race in the afternoon I learned from my mistakes and did a little bit better. Again finished 24th with a better fast lap of 1:32.529

On Sunday it was on and off pouring rain. This would be my first real race in the rain and to be honest I was excited. I wanted to experience it and get it under my belt so I wouldn’t be so nervous about it. Well it was time to suit up and get in the car for the SM race.

In SM it was raining steadily at the start of the race and once the grean flag dropped you were petal to the metal with no visual out the front windshield because of the spray coming off the car in front. Looking side to side to see where I was in the pack finally came down into turn one hoping for grip….luckily we came out of turn one and I was good to go for the rest of the race. Unfortunately my inexperience was evident since I was getting lapped in the rain. My car was also set up for the SSM race after so I was running TOYO’s when all the SM guys were running Hoosier wets which looked awesome I must say. Sad to say I dropped two positions and came in 26th with a fast lap of 1:51.089. Ouch!

In the SSM race the rain was worse at the start but again I came out of turn 1 untouched. Throughout the race there were a lot of cars off track so I did gain good positions and made a few passes. I had one minor incident coming down into turn 1 half way through the race… the car in front of me checked up halfway through the turn and I had no where to go and bumped into the back of him. No major damage though and the stewards saw it in my favor. Next time around I was sure to go on the inside and passed him up right away. This race went much better and I ended up gaining 8 positions and finished in 16th with a fast lap of 1:55.389.

Overall it was a great experience and I am instantly hooked on Spec Miata racing, specifically the Mid Atlantic series. There is a great field and insane competition. I was also really glad to be racing with some of the drivers I really admire and strive to be one day. I also have to really thank Meathead Racing who allowed me to race with them that weekend. They really are a great bunch of guys and I hope I can race with them again soon.

Realtime Attack Round 1

Well, the first round of the 2012 Realtime Attack season started on a high note and I hope this is a sign of things to come this season. We placed 1st in the Realtime Attack season opener for the Modified FWD class and received a 3rd place in EMRA’s stock class. This was actually a huge surprise given the conditions we ran in and was basically pure luck we didn’t run into the competition I expected to for round 1. The competition was so small mostly because of the Lime Rock Park’s 86 db exhaust limit for cars on track. I had considered not attending the first event because I knew our Power Technica Garage Acura RSX was way too load to compete. We’ve budgeted this season so close I didn’t want to risk going over budget on the travel costs as well as any exhaust modifications for only 1 event. So what does one do for a situation like this? Well I actually borrowed my wife’s bone stock 2007 Honda Civic EX (Automatic) to run in the modified class. To say the least we were SLOW! The car had no power and the automatic transmission really didn’t help at all. I also have no idea what I would have said to my wife if I lost it and slammed it into the fence at the bottom of the down hill. My only saving grace was I noticed a lot of people breaking way too early into turn one. I did make up some time from here all the way to turn 4 but after that I was done. Overall it was a great day getting in a car and just having fun on track. Lime Rock is such a great track and I’m glad I decided to go to round 1. I had no idea I would end up getting 25 points on the board for the season. I know the rest of the season we’ll have much more competition and I’ll be looking forward to it.

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More than anything this has been great motivation for next weekend where I will be entering into my first SCCA MARRS race. It will be the first MARRS race of the season at Summit Point and I will be racing in both the SSM and SM class. I’ll be racing in a huge field here and I’m excited to be on track with some of the people I have great respect for.

First Attempt

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Just wanted to add some pics that I took recently. Quickly becoming a fan of racing photography so I try every now and then to come up with something.

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