Archive for the ‘Thomas Smith’ Category

Here’s a great video from the Zenkai Motorsports / Subaru of Las Vegas group from their experience at Gymkhana Grid! Enjoy!

From starting out as a weekend track day driver to now a fully sponsored pro-level driver, Thomas Smith is easily considered as one of the rising stars in the Time Attack / Gymkhana scene and with his 2009 Subaru WRX STi built by Subaru of Las Vegas and Zenkai Motorsports. Thomas Smith is now making a noticeable mark. Thomas was kind enough to take some time out and talk to Subie-Life.com about his recent event at Gymkhana and also about his recent Time Attack season. Whether or not you know Thomas Smith now, you will always remember him with his million dollar smile and his infamous backflips.

Q: We have Thomas Smith here, driver of the Zenkai Motorsports / Subaru of Las Vegas Subaru STi! Thomas, you just ended your ended your 2010 season but tell us about your history in racing.
A: I started out autocrossing in 2005 and still do today. I started doing open track days a few years after, and I participated in my first TA (Time Attack) at the 2008 Subiefest. Then I started racing RTA (Redline Time Attack) with my personal car this year and finshed out the year racing the Zenkai Motorsports STI. I have also participated in number of local karting races, including at couple endurance races. As of this pass weekend I participated in my first Gymkhana Grid competion.

Q: Your 2010 Season was pretty busy. Tell us a few of your accomplishments and high lights so far.
A: Begining this year I had a couple of good finishes and a podium in my personal litely modified STI in the RTA series. Shortly after the Zenkai Motorsports/Crawford Performance STI had finished being built. I placed 1st and set a class record at round 2 of the Super Lap Battle series, which was actually the first time the car had ever been on the track. I also placed 1st and set a class record at round 8 of RTA, after that event we ran Subiefest 2010 and again took home a 1st place and a class record. We also got invited to the Gymkhana Grid media/test event, had a awesome time and received an invite to the Gymkhana Grid/ Ken Block Invitational. I’m really proud of the team this year, honestly no one on the team thought that we would build a brand new car and do so well for the first season out.
Q: The Subaru STi you drive is pretty noticeable with its bright orange graphics and great styling. Tell us about the build and what’s done to the STi.
A: The Zenkai Motorsports powered by Crawford Performance STI is mostly bolt on idems. It is a 2008 STI, it has the Crawford Performance ultimate street car engine package. It is a 2.5L S3L block, with a GT35R turbo tuned on E85 with Motul fluids, C West aero kit, Racetech 4009 seats and Racetech 6 & 5 point harnesses, GTspec bracing, K&N air filter and GoPro cameras. It also fitted with a weld in 6 point roll cage. Graphics were all done by Grafik Impact. Paint work was all done by Pacific Custom Paint.
Q: As you were testing and tuning the STi, what was your impression on how your team built the car?
A: It was a great team effort to get the car done. Crawford Performance built, tuned and helped with the race prep & setup. With their knowledge of Subaru’s and experience from there race car we had a great platform to start with. Zenkai Motorsports performed the rest of the race prep and also installing the hydraulic e-brake for the Gymkhana Grid invitational thanks to Crew Chief Rob Wohlfeil.
Q: So here comes Gymkhana Grid and you had to prepare your car for the “Try out”. How did the first event of Gymkhana go?
A: At the first Gymkhana Grid media/test event we just took the car as it was. We didn’t really have time to install an e brake, so that made it a little difficult. LOL We made some suspension changes to help the car break out more, but mostly I just had to use a lot of weight transfering to slide the car.
Q: When time got close to the Gymkhana Grid invitational event, what kind of emotions and thoughts were going through your head?
A: As the event got closer I got more and more excited and to be honest a bit nervous. But as always once I’m behind the wheel and get started the nervousness goes away quickly.
Q: Of course this kind of event is different from what you were normally used to (road track) and it was done in front of an audience. Did you get nervous at all? What was going through your head?
A: I was alittle nervous, but not to much. I just wanted to do well for the team, because they all put in alot of hard work for us to be ready for that event. I was really excited and honored to be invited by ken block, and to drive with/against such skilled driver’s.
Q: After this great event, how do you feel about Gymkhana Grid and what do you think the future holds for you and this event series?
A: I had a great time participating, seeing and talking with all the great friends and fans. Well, the Gymkhana Grid is planning on having a series for next year that will run across the country. I would love to be a part of it again, I think for me and all the people that were there watching or watching online it was very exciting. I believe the series could have a great future ahead.
Q: Speaking of the future, what are you plans for 2011?
A: As of right now the only thing that is kinda on the schedule for next year is probably Gymkhana Grid and maybe some close TA events. As some people might of seen at Gymkhana Grid Invitational is that I was recently picked up by Monster Energy Drink. I am extremely happy to be part of the Monster family! So 2011 could hold some big things for me, So keep an eye out.
Q: Thank you very much for taking time to talk to Subie-Life, Thomas. Is there anyone you would like to thank for the 2010 season?
A: I would like to thank: Crawford Performance, Zenkai Motorsports, Everyone @ Subaru of Las Vegas, Tein, Carbonetic, C West, 5 Zigen, Motul, Racetech seats, GTspec, K&N air filters, GoPro, Racing brake, Pacific Custom Paint, Grafik Impact, Subaru performance tuning(SPT), Garage Uehara, DCB, Monster Energy, Falken Tire, Mike Garage, ALL of my friends for the endless support and motivation and My Family.

Our old friend, Ken Block is hosting the Gymkhana Grid event this weekend and they made this funny little video. There will be several Subarus in attendance including Crawford Performance,Stephan Verdier, and Thomas Smith from Subaru of Las Vegas.

Check it out!

We were at SubieJam in Las Vegas, NV last week and they already have this sweet video up! Check it out!

Make sure you check out Subaru of Las Vegas and Zenkai Motorsports!

Got an email the other day from our friends at Subaru of Las Vegas / Zenkai Motorsports about their great efforts at this past Redline Time Attack where their STi driven by Thomas Smith broke the Street Tire record by 5 seconds! 5 seconds may not seem a lot for those who don’t do racing but just sit and think 1… 2… 3… 4… 5.. that’s a good amount of time!

All their press release had to say:

1st place (Street Tire Class)

Rd8 of Redline Time Attack / Spring Mountain,
Pahrump, NV
Best Lap Time: 2:29.816
Thomas Smith – Subaru of Las Vegas / Zenkai Motorsports powered by Crawford Performance
Result:

• 1  SMITH, THOMAS 02:29.816
• 2  BENNER, CAMERON 02:30.923
• 3  RUIZ, STEVE 02:31.079
ZMRT Thomas Smith also broke the course record (Street Tire Class) by an impressive 5 seconds
during his morning qualifying session. Even though this was not an official Redline TA lap time,
he finished the lap at an amazing,
2:28:465 Lap time!