Posts Tagged ‘Redline Time Attack’

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 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.

So if you’re into Time Attack (or even if you’re not) you have heard of the “G-STIG” from GST Motorsports. If not, let me do a quick explanation. Throughout the Time Attack season, the G-STIG (much like the Top Gear’s STIG) drove the GST Motorsports Impreza L. Now, they kept the identity of this driver a mystery. At the end of the season, they would reveal the true identity of the G-STIG and we found out it was Jeff Westphal. Jeff was nice enough to talk to us!

Q: Hi Jeff! So the Redline Time Attack season was just completed and you topped it off by breaking a record! Congrats! So, tell us a little about yourself; your racing history, hobbies, and how you got hooked up with GST.

A: Well, I’m 24 and I live in San Carlos, Ca.  I was born in San Francisco and grew up on the peninsula.  As a kid I was very active, and that still holds true today.  I love anything physical, but especially enjoy snowboarding, cycling, running, soccer, and weight lifting.  That’s actually how I stay in shape to drive such ferocious cars like the “L”.

Training not only helps my endurance and mental acuity, but it also battles the genetic makeup of my Italian family and their affinity for food.  I love to eat, especially good food.  I haven’t touched a lick of fast food since 2004, but i more than make up for the caloric intake with other “healthier” forms of eats.  Aside from training and food, I really enjoy music and seeing live shows for which i am lucky as the bay area but specifically San Francisco has plenty of!

To keep my racing history brief, as there is a bio on my website, but my career in racing started from a job in high school at an indoor kart track funny enough.  That led to a Redbull scholarship shootout months later, and then turned into 3 seasons of formula car racing.  One championship later, I sat in a Rolex car at the 24 Hours of Daytona for the past 2 years with the debut and development of the Pratt And Miller Dinan M6 in between.  It was the Daytona 24 this year in the M6 that led me to GST by way of a Speed channel reporter’s recommendation to Mike Warfield.

Q: Wow, such a great and young racing history you have so far! So going back to Redline Time Attack, how did GST and this whole G-STIG get started up? What did you think about their idea?

A: The G-Stig was an idea Mike came up with and  presented to me about a month before the first event.  I thought
about it for a few days, and realized that it would be a long term investment for me in the sport, but that it would be great for the fans of Redline Time Attack to have a mystery driver in the top tier of the competition.  So from that point it was a no brainer for me, i said “sign me up!”.

Q: Was it hard to keep your secret as the G-STIG? How many people actually knew?

A:  little did I know how hard it would actually be to keep my identity a secret.  It was more than just changing in and out of my  race suit 3-4 times a day in secret, and keeping the visor on the  helmet down.  Some things people don’t know, at one point in the  season we had David Empringham and the Sierra Sierra crew thought I was Tanner Foust and they held  their cherry picker hostage unless the GST guys told them who the G-STIG was.

At another event we had the Owlee tv guys positing cameras  up across from our trailer all weekend to try and figure me out.  After that I started changing in the AE Performance motor home as I’m also coaching Paul Walker, and then we started having fans coming up saying “how come Paul gets changed and walks out with his helmet on?” so it really was a dynamic thing all throughout the year.  I guess that means we kept everyone guessing….

Q: You drove the famous GST Impreza L this whole season, what were your impressions on this machine? 

A:  Coming from the limited experience I’d had in racing, I was  fortunate to sit in some pretty fast racecars.  The m6 was 500+hp and  did over 180 at daytona, the indy lights car was a 200mph+ car that  had about 450hp but weighed around 1700lbs, and the racing school my career started at which I now teach at uses me for testing their 300+  hp Lola formula 3 cars, and NONE of that prepared me for what the GST L had to dish out.

Even on low boost, the first time I went out I thought to myself “holy crap this thing goes!”.  As with anything you get used to it, however this car never feels slow, I just feel like it could be faster.  And to be honest, this whole
year I asked to change everything on the car except the power.  Chassis development has made the L much faster this season, some 4+  seconds at most tracks.

Q: We saw the GST Motorsports Impreza L change a lot this season. How much of your input was given to improve their GST Impreza L?
A: Part of my role in GST’s program this year was to develop the car they felt always had the grunt.  They were absolutely right, from me  requesting new settings or parts on all 3 diffs, wings, front end aero, track width, springs, shock valving and settings, alignment and sway bars, we’ve made this little 1996 L into a monster on the track.  It was a chance for me to call upon all the Grand Am Rolex, and Formula Car driving I have done in the past to help turn this street car into a racecar. 

I couldn’t have done it without the cooperation of the team  for all their hard work, and the sponsors for their continued support of their products and our program.  As you said, the car really has changed shape!

Q: You had an epic event at Infineon allowing you to clinch your championship and it was a wet and wild event. How were you able to drive so well in the rain? 

A: Ahh the rain!  I love the rain, its something that most drivers  fear, and I did in the beginning.  My view is if there is something I  am afraid of or not good at, I do it more.  As you might imagine, I am extremely competitive and hate being “beaten”, so I try not to let anything beat me.  What is most important about driving a racecar,  and especially hold true in the wet is to know your surroundings.  In the rain, the line I use is different. The track also changes every lap, so it’s up to the driver to  pay attention to everything that’s going on around them.

The commonly used areas of pavement get polished, so the water has no where to go in the pores of asphalt which in turn makes the normal line slippery like ice.  But I also pay attention to weather patterns, wind direction (yes it can affect aero!), puddle accumulation or dissipation, and grip  levels of surfaces.  In the rain, you are flirting with the edge at a  lower speed than you are used to, that’s why it’s so easy to over do it!

Q: What are you future plans? Are you returning to Redline Time Attack

A: At the moment I do plan to return to time attack with a revamped “L” as it embodies all that time attack is truly about, the quest for outright speed and creative ingenuity.  However there are some other plans in the works at the moment as well.

Q: Anyone you would like to thank that helped you in the Redline Time Attack series? 

A: Well first and foremost I’d like to thank Marshall, Mike and the GST guys (Keith, Tommy, Earl, Mert, and everyone else who helped out at the track) for making it possible for me to be involved in time attack.  I’d also like to say thanks to everyone involved in Redline Time Attack for making such a fun series to compete in.  And also our sponsors, with out them the “L” wouldn’t be able to break any records:

Kognition design
Guard transmissions
JE pistons
Brian Crower
Afi turbo

Some personal supporters of mine:

Go Pro camera
The Draw portfolio
TNT demolition

And lastly, Mrs. Warfield for not killing her husband after all those late nights and extended weekends of racing related duties….. and killer sandwiches

Q: Thank you very much Jeff! Hope to see you around the track soon! 

A: Anytime, it was my pleasure.  See you soon!

Redline Time Attack was extremely exciting at Infineon this weekend as the rain was a major factor in lap times but that didn’t damper any attempts in making the fastest lap times! Check out the event recap:

Redline Time Attack Sonoma Event Re-Cap
As the 2010 Redline Time Attack season winds down, our second to last event is now in the books. The event was held at the famous Infineon Raceway (formerly Sears Point) in the heart of wine country, Sonoma, CA. While the normal talk in the region is about Cabernet, Merlot, and fine dining, the hot topic around the Infineon Raceway paddock was rain. Yes, there was rain, and lots of it. It rained virtually non-stop this weekend and teams were struggling to learn how to go fast in it.
Rain does very funny things to race results. Front wheel drive becomes fast, all-wheel drive becomes even faster, and rear wheel drive guys are left chasing their tails, literally.   Huge power becomes a disadvantage, and so do skinnier tires and softer suspension. Teams either learn to adapt or find themselves at the back of the pack and this event was no different. Teams dealt with heavy rain through the first part of the competition day but a break in the rain made the track gradually faster as competitors got into their second and final time attacks.
There was a lot of anticipation coming into this event, but something many of us have been anticipating all year long finally came to fruition today and answered the question that has been floating around since the season opener in March; who is the G-Stig? Yes ladies and gentlemen, the mysterious dark visored driver of the GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza finally revealed himself at the awards ceremony and the G-Stig is none other than Jeff Westphal.
Westphal, the 2008 Pacific F2000 Champion,  has raced everything from the Jim Russell Formula Series to GrandAm ROLEX GT and now he can publicly add Redline Time Attack Champion to that resume as well.
Westphal and GST Motorsports were one of the favorites in the Super Modified class coming into the race as Infineon is their home track, however they had one big hurtle to clear in the form of the ACS SPEED World Challenge Ford Mustang driven by Brandon Davis.   The ACS team reportedly removed 300 lbs. from their race car as well as removing the restrictor plate that SPEED World Challenge mandates to make over 750whp. Many thought that the SPEED World Challenge car would dominate the entire field, however Westphal had something to say about it, and he said it loud and clear.
Westphal piloted the GST Motorsports Impreza L to a blistering 1:56.952 on a soaking wet track, a full 20 seconds faster than anyone else taking the overall event win, overall Super Modified class win, and the Super Modified AWD class win. Brandon Davis in the ACS SPEED World Challenge Mustang did land himself on the top of the Super Modified RWD podium however with the second fastest time of the day at a 2:16.555. Andrie Hartanto took 2nd in Super Modified RWD in the N1 Concepts Honda S2000 with a 2:39.764. Jason Saini ran un-opposed in the Super Modified FWD class in the Tri-Point Engineering Mazdaspeed3 with a 2:34.785.
The Modified Class was yet again stacked with regulars from COBB Tuning, AFI Turbo, AE Performance, and local boys LIC Motorsports. Brian Lock struggled all weekend in the rain with the heavy COBB Tuning R35 GTR but pulled it together when it counted to take the overall Modified and Modified AWD class wins with a 2:16.827. WORKS Motorsports used to race in the Redline Time Attack series back in 2006 and they returned at this event with a number of cars including the Mitsubishi Evo X that Lars Wolfe piloted to a 2:19.338 for 2nd place in the Modified AWD class. James Elterman in the Takata Time Attack / LIC Motorsports Subaru STI rounded out the Modified AWD podium in 3rd with a 2:34.092.
Carl Rydquist in the AE Performance/City Tire/Hankook Nissan 350Z has been a dominant force this year in the Modified RWD class, but he was de-throned at this event by Jeremy Renshaw in the AFI Turbo Honda S2000 who came back from a blown motor at the last round to take the Modified RWD class win with a 2:22.887. Rydquist came in 2nd with a 2:23.881, while Nicholas Cahill in came in 3rd with a 2:28.350 in his Mazda Miata. Ghram and Liam Downey battled back and forth all weekend long in nearly identical Red Stone Honda Civics for the top spot on the Modified FWD podium, but at the end of the day it was Graham who would take top honors with a 2:35.734 over Liam who took 2nd with a 2:37.130.
The Street Tire Class showed fairly low attendance from what we are accustomed too on the West Coast, but that didn’t stop the action. All weekend long Clint Boisdeau in the ABF Motoring MINI Cooper S was looking like the man to beat in the wet but Sean Mackenzie pulled together a 2:17.356 lap toward the end of the day to claim the overall Street Tire, and Street Tire AWD class titles in his Mitsubishi Evo IX. Mike Butler came in a distant 2nd with a 2:33.358 and Cameron Benner rounded out the Street Tire AWD podium in 3rdafter battling intake issues with a 2:44.429 in the COBB Tuning Subaru STI.
Mike Bonanni found himself on the top step of the Street Tire RWD podium for the second event in a row, but this time it was not in the Berk Technology BMW 135i that he has piloted all season long. Unfortunately the Berk Technology 135i suffered electrical issues and couldn’t make the event so Bonanni drove his personal, bone stock Nissan 370Z to a Street Tire RWD class win with a 2:26.548 which proved that rain is the great equalizer between stock and modified cars. Ethan Boyles came in 2nd in Street Tire RWD with a 2:39.048 in his Honda S2000 while Dave Lemon piloted his new turbocharged Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 to a 3rd place finish and a 2:39.724 lap.
Clint Boisdeau once again took 1st place in the Street Tire FWD class leaving him with just one more event to win for a perfect season. Boisdeau piloted the ABF Motoring MINI Cooper S to a blistering 2:19.094 ahead of the ENA Motorsports Acura Integra driven by Eric Emmerson with a 2:22.434 for 2nd. Kaimana Holokahi rounded out the Street Tire FWD podium in 3rd with a 2:31.276.
Michele Abbate was also looking un-stoppable in her ABF Motoring MINI Cooper S during Enthusiast Class practice, but Yang “The Animal” Tang pulled a flying lap out when it counted in his Mitsubishi Evo IX taking the Overall Enthusiast and Enthusiast AWD class wins with a 2:18.940. Tang ran un-opposed in the Enthusiast AWD class. Paul Dentice is also continuing a dominant season in the Enthusiast RWD class proving that wet or dry, he is un-stoppable. Dentice drove his AE Performance Nissan 370Z to a 2:21.904 for the Enthusiast RWD win over 13 seconds ahead of Kazuyuki Saegusa who came in 2nd with a 2:35.667. Charles Boyles rounded out the Enthusiast RWD podium in his Nissan 350Z Nismo with a 2:36.629 for 3rd.
Michele Abbate may have been denied the overall Enthusiast Class win, but that didn’t stop her from taking the Enthusiast FWD class win with a 2:22.316 in her ABF Motoring MINI Cooper S. The youngest man in time attack, Christopher Billedo drove his Speed Zone Motorsports Honda Civic Si to a 2nd place finish in Enthusiast FWD running a 2:26.939 lap time followed by Palmer Sanderson in 3rd with a 2:29.051.
The Drift Class drivers were without a doubt fun to watch as it was clear that they were pretty comfortable going sideways. It was a close battle in the wet, but Kyle Mohan in the Nexen Tire / Spyder Energy Mazda RX-7 took top honors with a 2:32.815 lap time, just 1.225 seconds ahead of Adam Knapik in his Nissan 240SX.
Everyone in attendance was anxiously awaiting the 5-lap Super Session sprint race at the end of the day. The track was far from dry, but better than it had been during the earlier time attack sessions. Representing the Super Modified Class was Jeff Westphal in the GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza L and Brandon Davis in the ACS SPEED World Challenge Mustang. Representing Modified Class was Dave Brown in the WORKS Mitsubishi Evo X, Brian Lock in the COBB Tuning R35 GTR, Carl Rydquist in the Hankook / City Tire Nissan 350Z, Jeremy Renshaw in the AFI Turbo Honda S2000, and Nick Cahill in his Mazda Miata. Dave Lemon in the Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 was the sole Street Tire Class representative. AFI Turbo broke a transmission in their last time attack and just barely got the car back together in time for the Super Session, unfortunately they were just a minute too late and had to start the race from the pit lane.
The green flag dropped for the rest of the group and the GST Motorsports Impreza L was off and running putting a huge gap on the rest of the field in just a few turns. With the improved track conditions, everyone was going a good bit faster including the Jeff Westphal in the GST Motorsports Impreza L who shattered his time attack session time with a 1:53.455 lap during the sprint race! After the checkered flag flew, the GST Motorsports Impreza had lapped two cars in just 5 laps to win. Dave Brown in the WORKS Evo X battled with Brandon Davis and Brian Lock for a while before getting past and pulling away from them both taking 2ndplace overall and 1st place for Modified. The battle for 3rd was epic between Brian Lock in the COBB Tuning R35 GTR and Brandon Davis in the ACS SPEED World Challenge Mustang and it is incredible that no paint was swapped between them in the wet conditions. Brandon Davis took the 3rd place position over Lock by less than a car length. Another epic battle was brewing for 4th between Carl Rydquist and Jeremy Renshaw. The two were all over each other, but Rydquist was able to hold off Renshaw in the AFI Turbo Honda S2000 to take the position. Nick Cahill and Dave Lemon brought up the rear.
With 9 events now in the books for the 2010 Redline Time Attack season, all we have left is the season finale scheduled for November 12-14th where competitors will return to the high banking and technical infield known as Auto Club Speedway! You will surely not want to miss this event as records will be broken and champions will be crowned!

Here’s a cool little clip of Cam Benner, Driver of the Street Class Cobb Tuning STi talking about his experience at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch Round 8.

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

• 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!

I don’t usually describe things as “Epic” but this video is Epic. Taking place about a month ago during the 4th of July Weekend, the Takata / LIC Time Attack team came out, guns blazing, against the other top Time Attack Teams in the Nation during the Liberty Grand Prix in the Redline Time Attack series.

Check out this pretty sweet video of these guys and keep coming back to see more!

The Underdogs Episode 2

It’s amazing to see Cam Brenner of COBB Tuning driving that Street Class STi on the track. It’s a fast car and it’s pretty much built to drive hard. It’s leading in points right now in the Street All Wheel drive class and the COBB Tuning guys have made a wonderfully entertaining video.

Redline Time Attack was an epic weekend last weekend as it a 4th of July and they added a bunch of cool things through out the day including drag racing, fireworks, drifting, karting, and of course, Time Attack. Here’s a recap of what happened from Redline Time Attack’s official recap!


Another epic Redline Time Attack event is in the books, and the first “Liberty Grand Prix” was definitely one to remember. The event went off without a hitch and the crowd was treated to everything from broken records to massive fireworks shows, drag racing, autograph sessions, circuit battles, and endless entertainment over the course of the weekend. The time attack action was as intense as always and once again, the level of competition this season has gone up another notch. The air temperature peaked at 95° and track surface temperatures were well into the triple digits which posed an added challenge to the competitors trying to keep their cars cool.
We saw some seriously fast times being laid down, but at the end of the day nobody could touch the overall track record of 1:18.555 set last year by Billy Johnson and FX Motorsports Development. The mystery driver only known as the G-Stig drove the GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza L to another overall event victory running a 1:20.759 but talking with the team, the car had some issues and definitely has more in it, but they will have to wait another year to have another go at the current record. Second place overall went to the World Racing Scion tC, but with the regular driver Chris Rado out of the country, hot shoe Gary Sheehan hopped into the driver’s seat and ran a 1:22.649, just hundredths of a second off of the record setting time the World Racing team set in the same car last year. Third place overall would go to Brian Lock and COBB Tuning with their Nissan R35 GTR with an impressive 1:23.488 in Modified class trim.
The Super Modified Class action was as intense as always. Some of last year’s big hitters and record setters like FX Motorsports Development and Sierra Sierra Enterprises were not in attendance but some serious contenders like GST Motorsports, World Racing, Tri-Point Engineering, and Togue Factory were in attendance to try and re-set the record books. As mentioned earlier, the GST Motorsports Impreza L took the overall event win with their 1:20.759 and took the Overall Super Modified and Super Modified AWD wins along with it, coming within a few tenths of the Super Modified AWD class record set by Sierra Sierra Enterprises last year. Trent Choi and the Togue Factory Mitsubishi Evolution got the overall event win at the last round in Chicago, but had to settle for 2nd in Super Modified AWD this go-round with a 1:25.336.
The dual winged beast known as the World Racing Scion tC took 1st place in Super Modified FWD with Gary Sheehan behind the wheel at a 1:22.649, just a few hundredths of a second off of re-setting their own record they set at this track last year. Tri-Point Engineering has been hard at work turning their Mazdaspeed3 from a World Challenge car into a full blown time attack car and are making huge leaps. Their hot shoe Jason Saini piloted the Mazdaspeed3 to a 1:28.212 before suffering a mechanical failure in the engine. Saini’s time would be good enough to land him in 2nd place in Super Modified FWD. Dez Ballard in the ABF Motoring MINI Cooper S came within a few tenths of Saini for 3rd with a 1:28.682.
The Modified Class was full of heavy hitters as usual with the likes of COBB Tuning, Takata Time Attack/LIC Motorsports, Ryan Gates, 034 Motorsports, and Fontana Nissan all in attendance to battle it out in the AWD division. At the end of the day Brian Lock in the COBB Tuning Nissan R35 GTR took the overall Modified Class and Modified AWD class wins with a 1:23.488 shattering the track record for his class! Continental Tire Series driver Christian Miller and the 034 Motorsports team have had a rough season so far, plagued with mechanical issues in their Audi A4, but this weekend they gained redemption, taking 2nd place in Modified AWD with a 1:25.277 beating out Ryan Gates in the Tire Mitsubishi Evo X who would have to settle for 3rd with a 1:26.506.
Carl Rydquist continued his winning streak in his twin turbo AE Performance/Hankook/City Tire Nissan 350Z taking the Modified RWD class win with a 1:29.315 setting a new record for his class! Richard Taylor in the AE Performance BMW 335i took home 2nd place with a 1:32.252 ahead of Casey Dennis in the Kraftwerks Honda S2000 who crossed the line at a 1:33.741 for 3rd in Modified RWD.
Renzo Marsano took top honors in Modified FWD with a 1:32.884 in his SportCar Motion Acura Integra with a 1:32.884 followed by Tetsu Fukui in the IL4 Racing Honda Civic in 2nd with a 1:36.081. Ryan Lapp would round out the Modified FWD podium in 3rd with a 1:42.898 in his Ford Focus.
The Street Tire class continues to prove that it provides the closest competition in time attack and we saw some very close battles all weekend long. Normally, the AWD competitors take the top honors in the Street Tire class, but this time it went to a RWD car. VJ Mirzayan piloted the Evolution Racewerks BMW 135i to a blistering 1:29.331 blowing the old Street Tire RWD class record out of the water by three seconds and taking the Overall Street Tire Class and Street Tire RWD class victories. Eddie Lim took home the top honors at the last west coast event in his Godspeed Nissan 240SX and came very close to repeating that performance running a 1:29.583 for 2nd place in Street Tire RWD. Mike Bonanni in the Berk Technology BMW 135i took home 3rd with a 1:30.415. All three podium finishers and 4th place finisher Paul Walker in the AE Performance BMW M3 broke the previous class record which goes to show how high the bar has been raised in the Street Tire Class this season.
COBB Tuning, StopTech, and HB Speed were once again battling it out in the Street Tire AWD class, but as the dust settled it was Cameron Benner in the COBB Tuning Subaru STI that emerged victorious with a 1:30.200 barely edging out Steve Ruiz in the StopTech Mitsubishi Evo X who came across the line with a 1:30.482 for 2nd. Jon Drenas in the HB Speed Mitsubishi Evo X showed up on Sunday and did only one practice session, but was able to bring home a 3rd place finish with a 1:31.380.
Clint Boisdeau and Jason Nathan have been battling each other all season long in the Street Tire FWD class but once again it was reining 2009 Street Tire FWD champion Clint Boisdeau who would come out on top in the ABF Motoring MINI Cooper S with a 1:34.522. Nathan clocked in a 1:37.355 for 2nd in the Ceremonies by Bethel Dodge Neon SRT-4.
Paul Dentice is proving to be an un-stoppable force in the Enthusiast class with his AE Performance Nissan 370Z. Dentice has dominated the class all season long and this event was no different as he clocked in a 1:34.111 taking home another Overall Enthusiast Class and Enthusiast RWD class win. Ed Lee in the Berk Technology Honda S2000 ran the second overall fastest time in Enthusiast class and took home 2nd place in the Enthusiast RWD class with a 1:35.780. Anderson Tanoto walked away with 3rd place in the Enthusiast RWD class in his HP Autowerks BMW M3 with a 1:36.392.
In the Enthusiast AWD class it was once again Roger Hocking standing on the top step in his Robispec Mitsubishi Evolution clocking in a 1:36.178. William Long, in another Mitsubishi Evo IX came in 2nd with a 1:38.576 trailed by Kenny Hui in 3rd with a 1:42.689.
Michael Chang  walked away with the victory in Enthusiast FWD with a 1:38.941 in the Evasive Motorsports Honda Civic Si followed by Michael Hernandez with a 1:42.713. Christopher Billedo had a big off-track excursion in his Speed Zone Motorsports Honda Civic Si damaging the front end of his car, but Billedo managed a comeback and took home 3rd place with a 1:43.152.
Mazdatrix/Spyder Energy/Nexen Tire driver Kyle Mohan and Hankook Tire driver Conrad Gruenwald once again battled it out in the Drift Class, Mohan in his 2009 Formula Drift Mazda RX7 and Gruenwald in a borrowed twin-turbo Nissan 350Z from Carl Rydquist. Gruenwald’s Formula Drift Hankook Tire Chevrolet Camaro in on its way to Seattle for a drift competition, but despite being in a borrowed car, Gruenwald was able to pull off the win with a 1:30.384. Mohan in the Mazdatrix/Spyder Energy/Nexen Tire RX7 came across the line with a 1:35.142 for 2nd.
Everyone’s favorite part of the day, the Super Session, saw a full field of 11 cars go wheel to wheel in a 5-lap sprint race for position. Representing Super Modified was GST Motorsports and ABF Motoring. Representing Modified Class was COBB Tuning, Takata Time Attack/LIC Motorsports, AE Performance/City Tire/Hankook, Kraftwerks, AFI Turbo, and Ryan Lapp. Representing Street Tire was COBB Tuning and Berk Technology. And finally, representing the Drift class was Mazdatrix. The green flag dropped and the pack of angry time attack cars funneled into turn 1. Quickly the GST Motorsports Impreza L jumped out front followed by the COBB Tuning R35 GTR and Takata Time Attack/LIC Motorsports Subaru STI.
After an intense 5-laps, the G-Stig was able to hold off the pack in the GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza L for the overall and Super Modified win. Coming across the line in 2nd overall and 1st for the Modified class cars was Brian Lock in the COBB Tuning R35 GTR just 1.8 seconds back. James Elterman and the Takata Time Attack/LIC Motorsports STI would cross the line in 3rd overall and 2nd in Modified followed by Carl Rydquist in the AE Performance/Hankook/City Tire 350Z. Cameron Benner in the COBB Tuning STI took home 5th overall and 1st in the Street Tire Class followed by 2nd place Super Modified finisher Dez Ballard in the ABF Motoring MINI Cooper. Casey Dennis in the Kraftwerks Honda S2000 crossed the line in 7thoverall and 4th in Modified followed by Mike Bonanni in the Berk Technology BMW 135i who dropped back to 8th overall and 2nd in Street Tire after battling oil temperature issues. Jeremy Renshaw in the AFI Turbo BMW E36 M3 crossed the line in 9th overall and 5th in Modified followed by Kyle Mohan in the Mazdatrix/Spyder Energy/Nexen Tire RX7 in 10th overall and 1st in the drift class. Rounding out the pack was Ryan Lapp in his Ford Focus with 11th overall and 6th in the Modified class.
The Willow Springs “Liberty Grand Prix” was one for the books this past weekend and the event went off without a hitch. The competition was intense, the cars were fast, records fell, rivalries were sparked, and the crowd loved every minute of it. From fireworks to circuit battles, to say that the entire weekend was exciting would be an understatement. We are halfway through the 2010 Redline Time Attack season and it seems every event gets wilder.
The next stop is the legendary Sebring International Raceway in Sebring Florida August 14th and 15th. The Sebring event will be our last East Coast stop so expect the teams in attendance to be giving it everything they’ve got!

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! I just got back from the Redline Time Attack Round 6 at Willowsprings yesterday and it was great to see a lot of familiar faces there that I haven’t seen in a while. One of the major franchise teams that are part of Redline Time Attack is LIC Motorsports / Takata Time Attack. This is their first time together in their partnership however, James Elterman has been with Takata Time Attack for several years now campaigning in Redline Time Attack with a different STi.

This season they have decided to make a really cool looking documentary about their journey through the Time Attack season. We even saw their film crew at the track with all sorts of video equipment. I want everyone to take a look at their first episode of their documentary called “The Underdogs”. Click HERE to view it, you will not be disappointed!

Just as a reminder, the fastest Subarus in the nation will be at the Liberty Grand Prix with Redline Time Attack this weekend at Willowsprings, CA!

This should be a super epic event (that’s right, I said SUPER epic) and you should be there. I’ll be there along with Todd Wilson and John Naderi for the announcements. Feel free to say hi to me!