National Auto Sport Association

National Auto Sport News

2018 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires Registration Opens April 6th 2018

Published on April 02, 2018 20:52

April 2, 2018, Napa Valley, Calif. — The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) is pleased to announce that registration for the 2018 NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires will open April 6, 2018 at 9 a.m. PST. The NASA Championships move this year to the world-famous Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The four-day event will take place September 13-16, 2018.

This world-class facility, home to the United States Grand Prix, and some would say the pinnacle of motorsports in the world, also will be where we find out just who are the fastest drivers in the country! This top-level event will feature the inaugural Toyo Tires Classic for Spec Miata competitors, along with 28 classes of wheel-to-wheel competition joined by nine classes of Time Trial competition.

Registration for the 2018 NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires will be strictly based on a first-registered, first-entered basis because space for what is sure to be the biggest amateur motorsports event in 2018 is limited.

In addition, NASA once again will make an early-entry reservation option available later this month to anyone who wants to take advantage of the lowest entry prices available for the year. Be sure to log in to nasachampionships.com on April 6, 2018 at 9 a.m. PST to secure your spot.


Toyo Tires Continues as the Official Tire of the National Auto Sport Association for 2018

Published on March 15, 2018 17:13

NASA is pleased to announce that Toyo Tires® will continue as the Official Tire of The National Auto Sport Association in 2018.  This represents the 16th year that NASA and Toyo Tires have been committed to expanding the sport of amateur road racing throughout the US.  As part of that long-standing partnership program, NASA is excited to announce the official 2018 Toyo Tires Contingency Support Program.

A few seasons ago, we were privileged to announce a newly revamped spec tire program that dramatically increased awards for competitors. New for 2018, Toyo Tires has done it again with their open tire class contingency offerings. Racing, Enduro and Time Trials are again included in the industry-leading program and your chance at winning “Toyo Bucks” for the 2018 race season has never been better.

American Iron, Spec Iron, Spec Z, and CMC classes will be eligible for over $5,000 in awards per weekend. Participants in the NASA Prototype NP01, Spec E46 and Factory Five classes will be eligible for up to $4,000 per weekend while the classes of Spec Miata, Spec E30, Honda Challenge, and 944 Spec will be eligible for up to $2,000 in awards per weekend.  The open tire portion of the Toyo Tires contingency program has also been revamped, offering competitors the chance to grab up to $1,800 in Toyo bucks per weekend.

“Giving back to the racing community and offering best-in-class products is part of our long-standing tradition at Toyo Tires,” said Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager of motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “We want NASA competitors to know that we stand with them as they go for the win and hope this bigger contingency program provides the additional support they might need to go for that championship.”

“We always strive to secure the best programs in the industry for NASA competitors and having Toyo Tires with their commitment to the amateur racing community makes it much easier,” said Jeremy Croiset, Vice President, NASA. “This new 2018 program rewards competitors with large contingency awards while providing tremendous support throughout the race season. This, plus the newly announced Toyo Tires Classic to take place during the NASA Championships, makes it an outstanding year to be a Toyo driver! We couldn’t be more thrilled to continue this relationship with Toyo Tires as the Official Tire of NASA.”

As announced earlier, Toyo Tires will offer the most lucrative NASA Championships prize package to date with nearly $275,000 in cash awards and almost $50,000 in product support to competitors during the NASA Championships at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX in October. Toyo Tires is also offering the largest single payout in the history of amateur road racing during the inaugural Toyo Tires Classic. This unique race will award the overall winner with a cash payout of up to $80,000 and over $130,000 in total cash awards to the Spec Miata competitors during this historic event. All told, Toyo Tires is making well over $1,000,000 in awards available to NASA competitors during the 2018 racing season!

These programs are available beginning immediately for NASA competitors. For complete details on the Toyo Tires Contingency Program please visit prizes.drivenasa.com.  For information about Toyo® Proxes® competition tires, go to toyotires.com/tires/competition-tires.

About NASA

The National Auto Sport Association was formed in 1991 with the premise of delivering high-quality motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing venues throughout the United States. NASA has created programs that allow owners of racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full performance capabilities of their cars in a controlled professionally managed environment. NASA offers many different programs that will allow you to enjoy motorsports on a number of different levels, including our High-Performance Driving Events (HPDE), Rally Sport, Time Trial, NASA-X and Competition Racing programs.

Media Contact: Brett Becker, Speed News Editor

805-850-8310, Brett@drivenasa.com

About Toyo Tires®

Established in 1966, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. represents the innovation, quality, performance, and excellent service that Toyo Tires has delivered worldwide for 70 years. The company offers a full line of premium tires for nearly every vehicle including light trucks, SUVs, crossovers, sports cars, luxury cars and hybrids as well as commercial trucks.  Many of the tires are built in the United States at their state-of-the-art factory in White, Georgia. To find the right tire for your vehicle as well as an authorized dealer, visit www.toyotires.com.  Join the Toyo Tires community on:  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Media Contact: Jay Jones, TMC

949-851-6313, jay.jones@tmcauto.com

Toyo Media Site:  http://media.toyotires.com/



National Auto Sport Association Announces New National Teen Mazda Challenge Program

Published on March 15, 2018 00:11

Giving young drivers a helping hand is what the Teen Mazda Challenge (TMC) has always been about, and the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) is excited to announce it is expanding the TMC program nationally. The new TMC will add value and help drivers up to age 20 climb the ladder to success in racing and help them develop skills they need in their careers. The program also will deliver a suite of contingency prizes to help make racing more affordable. For the 2018 season, NASA and a few select sponsors will offer the following benefits for the TMC:

Mazda Motorsports

Mazda Motorsports will make each regional TMC champion eligible for nomination to the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, which typically is held each November or December. The grand prize is a scholarship valued at $100,000 applicable to a season of racing in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. The nominations will be based on regional points standings at the end of September. What’s more, each TMC regional champion will earn the opportunity to win a $500 cash award from Mazda.

NASA Driver Advancement Scholarship

NASA will award each TMC regional champion complimentary entry fees for the 2019 Spec Miata racing season. This applies to any NASA region where there are TMC competitors. The significance of this benefit is that even if a competitor doesn’t win the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, he or she can return to competition in the Teen Mazda Challenge the following season to further develop his or her skills and get another opportunity to advance to the Shootout. These scholarships will be tallied after each NASA region has completed its full season of racing.

Toyo Tires Ron Cortez Memorial Award

In honor of TMC founder Ron Cortez, who passed away in January 2018, TMC regional competitors finishing in the three podium positions in their regions will be eligible for $1,000, $500, $300 in direct cash benefits to assist them with racing in the NASA Championships. This will be open to all TMC competitors in all regions who run the five required races that make them eligible to race in the Championships.

These positions will be tallied according to regional points standings July 1, which will give drivers a chance to prepare for the Championships September 13-16 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

In addition, the top finishing TMC competitor at the 2018 NASA Championships will be awarded $2,500 regardless of overall finishing position.

Hawk Performance Benefits

The top five finishing TMC competitors at the NASA Championships will be eligible for $400 in product certificates that will assist them in purchasing brake pads for the season.

“The strength of this new program is to give young drivers coming out of the karting world a clearer path to racing in Spec Miata and, ultimately, a career in professional racing,” said NASA Director of Business Development Jeremy Croiset. “The skills they develop racing with NASA in the Teen Mazda Challenge will be invaluable to them as they advance their racing careers, and by expanding the Teen Mazda Challenge to all NASA regions nationwide, more young drivers will be able to climb the motorsports ladder.”

More details will be forthcoming as the season progresses.



NASA Promotes Jeremy Croiset to Vice President

Published on March 08, 2018 20:06

The National Auto Sport Association is pleased to announce the promotion of Jeremy Croiset to the position of vice president.

Formerly the director of business development, Croiset has worked for NASA since 2005. The new promotion marks an important milestone in NASA’s history and in Croiset’s motorsports career. Croiset’s duties now include strategic planning and managing daily operations of the company.

“Everything I’ve accomplished in motorsports has led me to this moment,” Croiset said. “NASA gave me the opportunity to join the company more than a decade ago and it’s been an amazing journey. I love working everyday to bring new programs and ideas to fruition that NASA members can take advantage of on and off the track. My new role will provide me an even broader opportunity to continue that mission. NASA is a fantastic company and the product we put on track is second to none. I’m grateful for the opportunity, and looking forward to growing the organization even more.”

Croiset was instrumental in the development of the NASA Prototype Élan NP01, and the class in which it runs. Croiset also has played a major role in developing the NASA Championships, and creating prize packages and contingency awards that went into this year’s Toyo Tires Classic, the largest purse in amateur motorsports history. The Toyo Tires Classic will take place at this year’s NASA Championships at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

“Jeremy is now positioned to bring great things to NASA in the coming years,” said NASA National Chairman Ryan Flaherty. “He’s dedicated himself to NASA for years and he knows our program better than anyone. He tackles problems head-on and has the creativity that make him a great fit for the role of vice president. I look forward to working with him in his new executive role.”



2018 Hawk Performance NASA Contingency Program

Published on March 08, 2018 18:02

The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) is pleased to announce the continuation of the 2018 Hawk Performance Contingency Program. As the Official Brake Product of NASA, competitors finishing 1st through 5th are eligible for Hawk Bucks’ and up to $400 per class will be available every race weekend to competitors.

“Hawk Performance is thrilled to partner with NASA once again and support the great racers all across the country,” said Hawk Performance Marketing Manager Lindsey Nikolai.  “We continue to take pride in aligning ourselves with one of the best racing organizations in the US and are looking forward to another fun and exciting season.  Good luck to all of the racers!”

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Hawk Performance in 2018,” said Jeremy Croiset, NASA Vice President. “Hawk Performance support of NASA competitors is stronger than ever in 2018 and we look forward to announcing some new programs with them later this season that NASA participants will benefit greatly from.”

Competitors are eligible to win up to $100 per weekend toward the purchase of Hawk Performance products that can also be combined toward higher value purchases. This unique and very easy participate in program is available to all NASA competitors beginning immediately. For complete details on the 2018 Hawk Performance contingency program, please visit our new contingency portal at: prizes.drivenasa.com


New Contigency Portal for Racers and Time Trial Competitors

Published on March 07, 2018 18:48

NASA is pleased to announce the launch of the newly created Contingency Portal. This new system has been designed specifically to make the process of contingency redemption easier for NASA competitors. This new website allows members quick and easy access to essential information with features that offer a more streamlined process to claim contingencies. The updated look with improved functionality includes easier navigation and secure electronic forms that will be used to submit contingency claims. New and existing programs will be located in one central location and members will find that the easy to navigate design and responsive mobile interface will showcase the large amount of support to the amateur racing community from aftermarket companies and manufacturers.

“We are excited to launch our new contingency portal as we continue to update it with new programs for 2018”, said Jeremy Croiset, Vice President of NASA. “Our dedicated team of professionals are always working to provide NASA members with an experience second to none in motorsports and we believe that harnessing the power of today’s technologies will do just that. The ease of use this new system provides to all of our NASA members is right in line with that goal and we couldn’t be more thrilled to present it to the NASA Community. We want our members to be able to find and submit all the information they need in one place, while significantly reducing the amount of time it takes to claim a contingency prize and that’s what this new system provides.”

The new website will be located at prizes.drivenasa.com and will be updated with new programs throughout the 2018 Racing Season. Members are encouraged to explore the new site and reach out to us with any questions or feedback.


Winding Road Racing Remains Official Motorsports Equipment Supplier of NASA in 2018

Published on March 06, 2018 17:33

The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) is proud to announce the continued support of Winding Road Racing for 2018 as the Official Motorsports Equipment Supplier of NASA. As a leader in motorsports equipment supplies with three retail locations including their main headquarters in Austin, TX, NASA members are able to take advantage of their extensive knowledge and experience with a massive selection of motorsports gear and equipment offerings. Through this partnership, NASA members are also eligible to access an exclusive Members-only loyalty program providing special discounts and lucrative savings, in addition to a Contingency program unique to the industry which helps NASA participants save even bigger!

“We’re excited and proud to continue our partnership with NASA for 2018,” said Thomas B. Martin II, owner and President of Winding Road Racing. “The partnership has enabled us to continue to connect with the racing community and support the achievements of NASA club racers. We’re able to do this via our online store, at national and regional track events, and our retail locations in California, Kentucky, and Texas.”

“Through our partnership with NASA, we have been given the opportunity to support amateur racers with our member benefits program and contingency sponsorships,” said Shawn Stout, Winding Road Racing’s Retail Product Director. “We are very excited to continue our partnership and help foster that community growth.”

“We’re privileged to be able to welcome back Winding Road Racing for the 2018 season”, said Jeremy Croiset, Vice President of NASA. “They have quickly established themselves as the leader in safety equipment supplies with top level customer service and knowledge that I know each NASA member can benefit from. With unique programs benefiting all NASA participants and periodic exclusive offers, we’ve found ourselves a great partner in Winding Road Racing that will go the extra mile to make every NASA members journey into motorsports just that much easier.”

Along with the racer support programs offered to NASA members, Winding Road Racing also operates the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series – Central hosted by NASA. Winding Road Racing also builds race cars at their Austin, TX, and Sonoma, CA shops. From building race cars, nationwide arrive and drive programs, and being racers themselves, Winding Road Racing staff have the expertise and first-hand experience to assist NASA customers with what they need.

Competitors who register with Winding Road Racing are eligible to win up to $100 per weekend toward the purchase of motorsport gear and equipment. NASA members can also enjoy a loyalty discount on eligible gear. The program is available to all NASA competitors beginning immediately. For complete details on the 2018 Winding Road Racing contingency program, please visit: prizes.drivenasa.com.

About Winding Road Racing

Winding Road Racing is a leading provider of road racing equipment and services. With locations in Austin, Los Angeles, and NCM Motorsports Park, and online at windingroadracing.com, the company offers a full line of safety and performance equipment from leading manufacturers like Stilo, AiM, Sparco, Bell, Schroth, and Motorola. From shops in Austin and Sonoma, the company runs teams in Pirelli World Challenge as well as building cars and providing full service for NASA. Winding Road Racing and ATL Speedwerks recently co-launched the Spec MX-5 Challenge Series, a new pro sports car racing option sponsored by Yokohama and Mazda.


NASA Welcomes Shawn Meze as the New Technical Director of Racing

Published on February 07, 2018 18:41

NAPA VALLEY, CA (Feb 7, 2018) – NASA is pleased to announce that beginning with the 2018 racing season, Shawn Meze will assume the position of Technical Director of Racing. Shawn will be responsible for interacting with all NASA series leadership, assisting in cultivating grown, in addition to continuing his role as National Series Director for our very popular Spec E30 series. Shawn will also assist with the oversight and management of NASA’s growing top-level series, NASA Prototype which features the world’s first affordable to operate prototype race vehicle, the NASA Prototype Elan NP01.

Shawn joined NASA in 2005 where he won his first regional Championship moving then toward focusing his sights the following year on his first National Championship where he would come out with 2 podium finishes. In 2010, he took on his first leadership role with NASA as National Super Touring Series Director before eventually moving into the world of Spec E30. Choosing to focus on Spec E30 instead, he assumed the role as SoCal Spec E30 series leader which eventually transitioned into the National Series Director for Spec E30 in 2015.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with this new opportunity,” said Shawn Meze, NASA Technical Director of Racing. “I’ve raced with NASA for a long time and feel very honored to now work for this fantastic company. I’m really looking forward to working alongside the strong series leadership NASA already enjoys to continue growing this great sport we all love”.

“We’re really pleased to have Shawn on board with us,” said Jeremy Croiset, NASA Director of Business Development. “He’s a long time member of NASA, a respected member of our community, and a real team player. He should make a valuable addition to our growing team”.


NASA Announces the Creation of the Toyo Tires Classic Offering the Largest Payout in the History of Amateur Road Racing

Published on December 09, 2017 03:55

Indianapolis, IN – Dec 8, 2017 – The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) is excited to announce that the inaugural Toyo Tires Classic will take place during the 2018 NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires to be held during the Circuit of the Americas, Sept 13-16, 2018.  This newly created event will include Spec Miata competition during the championships and will provide competitors with the largest purse ever in modern amateur competition history.

This unique race will award the overall winner at the event with a cash payout of up to $80,000!  More than $131,000 in cash awards will be made available to Spec Miata racers taking part in the competition with two different random cash awards totaling $5000.  A hard charger award will land a $10,000 pay day for a lucky driver, while many more unique incentives will be announced!  Qualifying requirements to enter the Toyo Tires Classic will be very straight forward and follow our typical NASA Championship qualification format.

“This will be the richest purse in Spec Miata competition”, said Marc Sanzenbacher, Toyo Tires, Senior Manager of Motorsports. “Our goal was to put together a program that would bring Spec Miata competitors together in a way that has never been accomplished before.  Our hope is that this new program will provide Spec Miata competitors with an annual pilgrimage that combines the camaraderie and festivities that NASA events are known for -- combined with a financial benefit that has never been seen in the community.  We look forward to the tremendous competition we expect to see at this event.”

“We’re really excited to announce this new program with our long-time partner Toyo Tires”, said Jeremy Croiset, NASA Director of Business Development.  “This new program demonstrates a level of commitment to the amateur racing community that is nearly unprecedented.  We fully expect this to be the largest Spec Miata competition in history at one of the best tracks in the country and we’re just getting started.  Folks can expect much more info on this program in the coming weeks as we announce further details.”

Additional event format details will be posted to www.nasaproracing.com following New Years Day. 


Toyo Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi Wins Third Consecutive NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill Presented by Hawk Performance

Published on December 03, 2017 22:18

Willows, Calif., Dec. 3, 2017 - The Toyo Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports team took its third consecutive overall win in the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance on Sunday, marking only the second time in the endurance race’s 15-year history that a team has won three overalls in a row.

The Audi R8LMS took the overall lead just after sunrise Sunday and never looked back as the team’s main competition, a pair of Ginetta G57 prototypes, dropped out late in the endurance race because of mechanical issues.

“It’s still fun to win them,” said driver Darren Law, who has helped drive the team to victory the past three years. “We literally didn’t touch any other car. There’s not a mark on it and we didn’t have anything go wrong. It was perfect.”

Toyo Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports is only the second team to have three consecutive overall wins at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill since the race began in 2002. Team Mercer Motorsports won overall in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The Toyo Tires team did have a brief scare with 90 minutes left in the race when driver Nathan Stacy went into the dirt in Turn 3 and for a moment it didn’t look like Stacy would be able to restart the Audi. Stacy got the car started and the team won by six laps over second-place overall finisher Calvert Dynamics/Competition Motorsports. Third-place overall finisher was Crowd Strike/One Motorsports.

By the time race ended Sunday, Toyo Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports drivers Darren Law, Nate Stacy, Charlie Hayes and Tom Haacker had put in 2,200 miles — nearly the equivalent of driving from coast-to-coast across the United States in 25 hours.

More than 50 teams participated in the famed endurance race that tested drivers’ resolve against machine and fatigue. Much of the race is run in darkness, further challenging the field of amateur and professional drivers.

In additional to the overall champion, there were seven class winners crowned Sunday.

E0
Despite having just one gear (fourth) for 12 hours of the endurance race, RK Motorsports/TC Design brought home the class championship in a 19-car-deep and competitive E0 class.

RK Motorsports/TC Design’s Tony Colicchio was wondering if the string of bad luck at NASA’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill would continue. He’s competed in six Thunderhill races and has crewed nearly every race since its start 15 years ago.

“I’ve had some really bad luck here, especially given all my sprint races,” Colicchio said. “I’ve actually qualified a car three times and not been able to start because the car has had some sort of problem. Winning it is pretty awesome.”

E1
What a difference a year makes for the Trim-Tex Racing team. Last year, the team had transmission issues and just missed winning the class.

“We were having transmission issues in 2016 and the same curse hit us again, but thankfully we were able to salvage it,” said driver Britt Casey Jr. “We only lost one gear this time, and last year we lost every gear but one.”

Just two laps separated Trim-Tex Racing and second-place class finisher Team MooreWood Racing.

E2
KD Motorsports captured back-to-back 25 Hours of Thunderhill victories in E2 as the team dealt with a host of issues with the racecar.

The team was dealing with issues on the 1989 BMW 325is, from brakes to the transmission.

“We lost every gear but fourth,” said team owner Kevin Doyle. “We had oil pressure issues. We were down to our backing plates on the rear brakes, so it was metal on metal on the back. We were getting everything we could.”

The team turned its fastest lap of 2:06.045 during the middle of the night, which crew chief David Stenner credits his drivers.

“How we won the race was down to incredibly fast laps at night,” said Stenner, who beat second-place finisher RDR by five laps.

E3
Team RAmotorsports40 had a Mazda Miata stuck in fourth gear, but the drivers made the most of it to get the E3 class win at 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Even with the transmission problem, the trio of drivers were able to beat second-place finisher CorkSport Performance by 22 laps.

“Likely something is going to break on the car before the end of the race,” said driver David Biggar. “It’s just how you manage it and then how you get through the rest of the race with that, and I think we did a great job.”

ES
Toyo Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports’ strong performance left the rest of the teams in ES class chasing the Audi R8 LMS and second place. Calvert Dynamics with its Porsche GT3

took home second and Prototype Development Group was third.

ESR
Crowd Strike/One Motorsports won its first 25 Hours of Thunderhill, but it didn’t come without complications.

A problem with the alternator required creative solutions to keep the open-cockpit car running. The team had to shut down fuel pumps, reduce headlight output and even turn off the steering wheel heater despite racing in temperatures that dipped in the low 40 degrees.

“It was five hours of absolute thrashing,” said driver Kenton Koch. “We had a couple issues with the alternator and keeping things charged, so we had half the lights shut off all night and we could hardly see straight. The only thing we had were the lights that point out so I could see the marks.

A pair of Ginetta G57 cars that were favorites to win the overall race and class had mechanical issues and dropped out late in the race. Norma’s Last Chance finished in second, two laps behind Crowd Strike/One Motorsports.

GT Challenge
The lone car in the class, Toyo Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports team had a water-line failure, but got it fixed and was able to get the car out in time to grab the checkered flag. The Porsche Cayman ended up 24th overall.

“It was obviously a little disappointing the other teams dropped out, and I do believe that next year is going to be a pretty big group, because obviously anything Toyo does, they do it right,” said team manager Thomas Blam. “So, we were happy to run the tires. We had a phenomenal run for the first 20 hours, and at one point we were sixth overall, which I think is pretty remarkable for a DOT tire. We’re hoping to be back next year and hoping to bring a couple of more cars with us.”


Follow All the Racing Action Live from the 2017 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Published on November 28, 2017 21:18

NAPA, CA., November 28, 2017 - Pacers, fans and family – this year we will have ample amount of options available to you in order to follow all the action LIVE from the 2017 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill Presented by HAWK Performance. Live video broadcast made possible thanks to Toyo Tires. For the first time this year, we will have trackside cameras and LIVE video interviews from the hot pits so you can follow all the action as it unfolds in real time. Make sure to Like Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Instagram and Twitter. Check all the links to Live VideoLive Timing and Social Media below.

When making social media posts, make sure to use the following hashtags #nasa25hour, #drivenasa, #hawkperformance, and #toyotires.

Event Coverage and Broadcast Schedule will be available at the NASA 25 Hour Website:
https://nasa25hour.com/

Live Video Coverage at Livestream(Follow the channel):
https://livestream.com/drivenasa/25hour

Live Timing will be available exclusively at:
https://racehero.io/orgs/nasa-norcal

Latest 25 Hour News will be posted to:
https://nasaspeed.news/race-coverage/25-hours-of-thunderhill/

Like us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/NASA25HrsofThunderhill/

Follow us on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/drivenasa/

Follow us on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/nasaproracing


Repeat Winners Returning to the 2017 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill Presented by Hawk Performance

Published on November 21, 2017 21:50

The 15th running of the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance is attracting past winners and teams who are still looking for their first class win. The twice-around-the-clock plus one-hour race is set to run Dec. 2-3, 2017.

E1

Peter Hopelain with Team Technik/AGM Racing is still chasing a class win at Thunderhill, and the team has come close in years past. Team Technik lost an engine in the middle of the night while enjoying a two-lap lead in 2014, then scored a third-place finish in 2015. The team sat out the 2016 event and has spent the majority of 2017 prepping their BMW E46 chassis and crew for competition in the E1 class.

“We have spent the last six months developing the car and developing the team,” Hopelain said. “The specifics of what we’ve been working on is that there is not much left we can do, per the rules, to speed up our pit stops. It’s become a real distance-traveled-over-time type of race, and a matter of survival. So, we’ve changed around a lot of the setup over the last few years to get the car to run more efficiently, and at the pace of the leaders. So, we’re able to get two hours of driving time on 15 gallons of fuel.”

Hopelain will start the race as the first driver, but will act as crew chief for the remainder of the event. Other drivers include 25 Hour veteran Shawn Sampson, owner of Sampson Racing Communications, Robert Dietz who just won the PTE Championship at Thunderhill in October, and Patrick Avakian.

E2

The E2 class wins in the last two 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance have gone to the Robert Davis Racing team driving “Kermit,” a green and silver Mazda RX-8. That car has since been retired and the team has a new Mazda RX-8 to compete in this year’s event. It will be the only rotary-engine-powered entry on grid.

Team driver Jeremy Barnes said the team has taken everything it learned from racing “Kermit” over the years and poured all that knowledge and experience into the new car, which the team has been quietly developing this year.

Although rotary engines make prodigious power relative to their displacement, their fuel economy presents some challenges in endurance racing, and with a stock fuel tank that holds 16.9 gallons, the team has to stop every hour to refuel. Barnes said the team incorporates fuel consumption into its strategy.

“We know we’re a lot more fuel thirsty than any of the cars that we run against, so it’s making sure that the rest of the package is so good that we don’t have a reason to stop other than putting fuel in the car and doing driver changes and tire changes,” Barnes said. “So, if we can stay out of the pits and stay on track as much as possible, and just take care as much as we can the weaker points of the car, then we think we’re going to be in a good place, and we certainly proved that the last few years with Kermit. I think we’ve made a car that everyone said couldn’t be competitive and couldn’t be reliable both competitive and reliable.”

The team’s driver lineup includes Barnes, 25 Hour veterans Jim and Dennis Holloway and Lee Papageorge, and Mazda’s long-time IMSA driver Joel Miller.

E3

Team RA Motorsports owner Ron Gayman has two wins in the E3 class, in 2015 and 2016, and he’s bringing the same two Mazda Miatas again this year, plus another to compete in the E1 class. The E1 Miata is powered by a General Motors 2.4-liter EcoTec engine, which is roughly 30 percent more powerful than a stock Mazda 1.8-liter. It also will be a little faster thanks to suspension, tire and aerodynamic upgrades.

“This year, we hope to gain a few seconds in lap pace, and be more competitive,” he said. “We were not competitive in lap times last year. The fastest in the class were running 1:59s and we barely did a 2:03.”

Gayman notes that luck plays a role in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance, and that he’ll take it when he can get it, but there’s much more to winning than good fortune.

“People say it’s all about luck. Well, luck is in the preparation,” he said. “The simple thing is I put new parts on the car that we consider wear items or break items. We put new hubs, fresh brakes and rotors and a fresh motor, typically.

“Last year, we got lucky,” he continued. “We were the only one that didn’t break. We would have had a one-two finish if our other car hadn’t broken.”


New Toyo Tires® GT Challenge Class to Debut at the 2017 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Published on November 14, 2017 02:35

CYPRESS, CA, November 13, 2017 - Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. (Toyo Tires®) and the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) are pleased to announce the creation of the Toyo Tires GT Challenge.  This new class features equally prepared Porsche® Cayman® GT4 Clubsport and GT4 Clubsport MR race cars competing on 18-inch Toyo® Proxes® RR DOT competition tires. The inaugural race will take place during the 2017 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance.

The new GT Challenge class is the first spec tire program in the 15-year history of the 25 Hours, the longest endurance race in North America.  The Toyo Proxes RR delivers teams impressive performance throughout the life of the tire plus longevity, a combination racers know is difficult to achieve.  In addition, the class is supported by a lucrative contingency program where the winning team of this class will receive a $5,000 cash reward from Toyo Tires, the official tire of NASA. Details are available at https://www.nasaproracing.com/contingencies.

The inaugural running of the new GT Challenge class will pit evenly-matched race-ready Porsches against one-another creating a ‘race within a race.’  The 2017 race will set the stage for the 2018 NASA 25 Hours when NASA plans to expand the class to include many other manufacturers.

“With the growing popularity of manufacturer supported GT racing in the United States, we wanted to work with our great partners at Toyo Tires to create something new in the endurance racing world that those racers could take advantage of,” said Jeremy Croiset, NASA Director of Business Development. “Spec class racing is seeing significant growth and we wanted to provide a competitive home for these fantastic race cars in what has become the country’s preeminent Pro-Am endurance race.”

“We couldn’t be more excited about the Toyo Tires GT Challenge being added for the 2017 running of the 25 Hours of Thunderhill,” said Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager, motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “The race-proven Proxes RR will provide competitors with fast, consistent laps times throughout this grueling 25 Hours event, while maintaining the even level of competition that only a spec class can enjoy. We look forward to seeing some of the closest racing the event has seen in recent years and eagerly await the future growth and excitement this class will provide.”

To learn more about the Toyo Proxes RR DOT competition tire, go to https://www.toyotires.com/tire/pattern/proxes-rr-dot-competition-tires.  To learn more about the NASA 25 Hours, go to https://nasa25hour.com/.

About Toyo Tires®

Established in 1966, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. represents the innovation, quality, performance, and excellent service that Toyo Tires has delivered worldwide for 70 years. The company offers a full line of premium tires for nearly every vehicle including light trucks, SUVs, crossovers, sports cars, luxury cars and hybrids as well as commercial trucks.  Many of the tires are built in the United States at their state-of-the-art factory in White, Georgia. To find the right tire for your vehicle as well as an authorized dealer, visit www.toyotires.com.  Join the Toyo Tires community on:  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. 

Media Contact: Jay Jones, TMC

949-851-6313, jay.jones@tmcauto.com

Toyo Media Site:  http://media.toyotires.com/


NASA Drivers Comprise Majority of 2017 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout Roster

Published on November 10, 2017 00:59

The Mazda Road to 24 Shootout selects the very best amateur drivers who race a Mazda or Mazda-powered vehicles. The Shootout also pulls in virtual racers from the world of iRacing, competitors from the NASA Teen Mazda Challenge, the Skip Barber Series and the Formula Car National Challenge.

This year, 13 of the 19 eligible drivers selected are NASA racers. In 2014, five of the eight finalists were NASA racers, and in 2015, 15 of 23 semifinalists came from NASA. What’s even more telling, five of the last seven winners of the Shootout have come from NASA.

“NASA racers make up 68 percent of the field of eligible drivers for this year’s Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. That’s an incredible figure,” said NASA director of business development Jeremy Croiset. “It’s a testament to the level of competition in NASA, and the caliber of our drivers. We’re really proud of our guys, and we wish them the best in the Shootout.”

The drivers are competing for the Shootout’s $100,000 scholarship, which they will use to support a season of professional racing in the 2018 Battery Tender MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. It’s the largest prize in amateur motorsports and a high-water mark for drivers selected to take part.

“The criteria for the Shootout have been created to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the most complete set of skills required to succeed in motorsport,” said David Cook, business development manager for Mazda Motorsports. “These skills include speed, consistency, race craft, technical understanding, and off-track business and PR skills. History has shown that a driver will be limited in success if he or she is lacking in multiple areas. It will be a big challenge for the judges to narrow these 19 racers to our finalists. It will be an even larger task to select a $100,000 winner.”

Now in its 12th year, the Shootout is the best way for an amateur to climb the ladder into pro racing, though it certainly isn’t the easiest. To be considered, you have to win a Championships event in a Mazda or Mazda-powered car or racing online. Mazda also awards “at-large” spots to worthy candidates.

The Shootout takes place Dec. 8, 2017, at Bondurant Racing School in Chandler, Ariz.

NASA Drivers in the 2017 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout

  1. Jay Aranha – NASA NP01 (at-large)
  2. Ryan Dexter – Teen Mazda Challenge Rocky Mountain Region Champion
  3. Brian Henderson – Teen Mazda Challenge Mid-Atlantic Region / NASA East PTE Champion
  4. Tristan Littlehale – NASA West Spec Miata Champion
  5. Brian Lock – NASA West NP01 Champion
  6. Aaron Michelet – NASA PTC (at-large)
  7. Matt Million – Teen Mazda Challenge (at-large)
  8. Austin Newmark – NASA ST4 (at-large)
  9. Bryan Putt – NASA East Super Unlimited Champion
  10. Selin Rollan – NASA Spec Miata (at-large)
  11. Michael Ross – NASA East Spec Miata Champion
  12. Nick Sommers – Teen Mazda Challenge West Coast Region Champion
  13. Danny Soufi – Teen Mazda Challenge Texas Region Champion

Toyo Tires ® Continues On-Site Hospitality and Support of the 25-Hours of Thunderhill™ The Longest Endurance Road Race in North America

Published on November 06, 2017 15:50

CYPRESS, CA, November 6, 2017 – Toyo Tires® continues its support of amateur road racing with VIP track services and an on-site hospitality area at the 25-Hours of Thunderhill™, the longest endurance road race in North America.  This year’s race will take place December 1-3 at Thunderhill Raceway Park in the rolling Northern California foothills.  Competitors using Toyo® Proxes® tires will enjoy access to the Toyo Tires hospitality area including meals on Friday (lunch and dinner), Saturday (breakfast, lunch, dinner and a midnight snack), and Sunday (breakfast and lunch).

 

Registered participants will also receive free mounting and balancing services from Thunderhill AIM Tire on all preorders and via trackside service at Thunderhill Raceway Park from December 1-3.  The program applies to racers using the Toyo Proxes® RS1™ full-slick, the Proxes® RR DOT competition, the Proxes® R888™ and the new Proxes® R888R™ tires in dry conditions; while the Proxes® R1R™ and Proxes® RA1™ are approved for wet use.

 

“We are thrilled to have the continued support of Toyo Tires at what has quickly become the premier pro-am endurance race in North America," said Jeremy Croiset, NASA Director of Business Development. "NASA competitors at the 25 thoroughly enjoy this VIP program Toyo Tires makes available for their customers as it makes a number of logistical aspects of the event much easier to manage for them."

This is the 15th year Toyo Tires has been the Official Tire of NASA and the sixth year the company has provided VIP track services to support racers in the 25-Hours of Thunderhill.

 

“To survive the 25, you need the right tires and the right support,” said Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager, motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “Our race-proven Toyo Proxes tires deliver the on-track performance and long treadlife teams need to make it through the weekend.  We also offer unparalleled on-site hospitality and round-the-clock trackside assistance.”

 

Space for this special program is limited.  Racers must register for the VIP hospitality at toyotires.com/races-and-places/racer-direct-program and tire purchases must be made through one of the following dealers by November 24.

 

AIM Tire.
Ron Cortez
(707) 938-9193
aimtires@aol.com

 

Thunderhill AIM Tire
Jim Thompson
(530) 519-2201
jim@thunderhill.com


To learn more about the 25-Hours of Thunderhill, check out http://nasa25hour.com/.  For more information about the Toyo Tires contingency offered for NASA competitors, go to https://www.nasaproracing.com/contingencies.

 

About Toyo Tires®

 

Established in 1966, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. represents the innovation, quality, performance, and excellent service that Toyo Tires has delivered worldwide for 70 years. The company offers a full line of premium tires for nearly every vehicle including light trucks, SUVs, crossovers, sports cars, luxury cars and hybrids as well as commercial trucks.  Many of the tires are built in the United States at their state-of-the-art factory in White, Georgia. To find the right tire for your vehicle as well as an authorized dealer, visit www.toyotires.com.  Be sure to join the Toyo Tires community on:  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

 

#      #      #

 

Media Contact: Jay Jones, TMC

949-851-6313, jay.jones@tmcauto.com

Toyo Media Site:  http://media.toyotires.com/

Drivers Claim Titles in the 2017 NASA Eastern States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires

Published on October 27, 2017 17:39

Sebring, Fla., October 27, 2017 —Drivers battled the elements and each other on Sunday’s final day of the NASA Eastern States Championships, which were held at Sebring International Raceway. Sunday’s championship day was the culmination of the three-day event, which drew more than 200 competitors from 10 of NASA’s 15 regions.

Drivers had to fight the heat during the day and the rain that fell when the final group of the day was on the track, which led to a brief stoppage and some interesting track conditions.

Spec Miata


Mike Ross

Jim Drago started on the pole, but was involved in a first-lap incident, which led to a duel between Selin Rollan and Michael Ross. Rollan led nearly the entire race, but Ross was able to win a drag race down the front stretch to claim the championship by .052 seconds.

“It looked like his (Rollan) car was starting to go a little more than mine toward the end of the race, so I was hunting and pecking for a place to pass,” Ross said. “Turn 17 looked like my only spot. He’s too good of a driver. I got him down on the front straight the last time and made the pass there, but I thought 17 was going to be it.”

Ross said winning the Eastern States Championship was huge.

“I teared up a little on the front straight coming back around on the cool-down lap,” he said. “It really couldn’t sink in. I really didn’t think I was going to get there this weekend. I haven’t driven much this year and I’m the kind of guy who needs to be in the car a lot, but maybe that’s not my mentality anymore.”

American Iron


Bruce Byerly

Bryce Byerly led a Florida podium sweep, capturing the American Iron title by 1.761 seconds over Dennis Ramsey. Contender Michael Patterson, driving the lone Camaro in field, suffered a mechanical failure and pulled off early.

“We’re just happy to have at least one Camaro out here, but unfortunately he broke,” Byerly said of Patterson. “I think he said he broke the diff, but next year I’m sure he’ll be showing us the way around COTA because that’s where we’re going next year.

For Byerly, the finish couldn’t come soon enough.

“The Toyo tires were doing all right, but this car was smoking,” he said. “We basically run a stock car and the trans was overheated, it was done. I was begging for that white flag for five laps. I knew I couldn’t shift anymore. It was crazy. I just got lucky.”

American Iron Extreme

Robert Shaw

Robert Shaw was the only competitor in the American Iron Extreme race, but stepped it up a notch on Sunday, even though he was essentially running by himself. His fast lap of 2:19.509 was easily the best he turned all weekend.

Super Touring 1


Dmitri Goliakov

Dmitri Goliakov captured the ST1 class with a solid effort, and was the only one of the drivers to complete 15 laps. Goliakov managed to run a clean race, something not all of his competitors were able to do.

“It feels great,” he said. “Thanks to the staff. Too bad for the Panoz (Brian Goldburg). He was strong, but unfortunately cut a tire. Then the Elan (Franklin Futrelle) was pushing for a little bit. He got caught in traffic.”

Goliakov said 45 minutes in the heat takes its toll, especially during a red-flag period.

“I was sitting over there talking to my guys and say ‘Hey, a cold martini would be nice right now because I’m sitting in an oven.’ It takes a lot out of you, I’m exhausted.”

Super Touring 2


Ken Mantovani

Scott Argow and Ken Montovani had a hard-fought battle in the ST2 class, and Argow crossed the finish line first, but when the officials released the final results, it was Montovani who was awarded the Championship.

Super Touring 3


Mark Burt

Sebring International Raceway is Mark Burt’s home track, which meant he was familiar with its intricacies. So, when the rain started coming down after the race began, Burt knew the wet line and where to find grip. Burt also had been keeping a little something in reserve for Sunday’s Championship race.

“I put fresh tires on and I just drove it harder. Always save a little bit for the last race,” he said. “That way, nobody knows or expects you. This is my home track, so I know a little bit more than these guys who have only been here once.”

Super Touring 4

Stephen Pearce

Stephen Pearce drove his Honda S2000 to victory in the ST4 class, out-dueling David Davison by less than a second to capture the title.

“That was a great race,” Pearce said. “I couldn’t ask for anything else. I love the track. It’s a fantastic time. We came down in January for the first time to get the lay of the land. I think it paid off.”

Super Unlimited


Bryan Putt

Bryan Putt captured the competitive Super Unlimited class in his Elan DP02, but not without a solid fight from Charles Wicht in his Ligier JS P3. After Putt pulled out in front, Wicht was coming at him all race long, but spun out when the two made contact at Turn 7.

“It went well because we got the win,” Putt said. “Charles in the LMP3 car was running really good and I had to pedal as hard as I could. It was a great day.”

NP01


Jay Aranha

Jay Aranha captured the win in the Tom Hahn-built Elan NP01, although Charles Liniger didn’t make it easy on him. But Liniger didn’t have luck on his side, and Aranha’s car was running great.

“It was a great race, pretty clean in the beginning,” Aranha said. “We were just trying to stay out of any trouble out there. Charles ran an amazing race, but he got caught up behind the pace car on a yellow and ended up losing a lap. It was awesome racing and this is an amazing car.”

German Touring Series 4

Randy Mueller

Randy Mueller didn’t exactly play possum, but he wasn’t in a hurry to tip his hand completely, either. After seeing what the car could do, he was in no hurry to put it through the punishment known as Sebring International Raceway. But when it counted, he took the victory by 6.778 seconds over Robert Ferriol.

“It was good,” Mueller said. “We did the first qualifying race and I saw where we were time-wise, and then decided to park the car the rest of the weekend and save it for this race. All-in-all it was a good race.”

Spec E30

Carlos Mendez

Carlos Mendez captured the Spec E30 victory in a thrilling finish, briefly surrendering the lead on the last lap, but grabbing it right back momentarily later and took the checkered flag.

“The last lap was crazy,” Mendez said. “In the last turn, going into 17, I ran a defensive line and Brian Edmonds came in on the inside, and he passed me and I thought this might be the end. I might finish second. I kind of went under him through 17 and I made it, and I can’t believe it. I’m still in shock.”

944 Spec


Dan Pina

Dan Piña captured his second 944 Spec Championship by taking a 1.967-second victory over Jason Stanley.

“Honestly, that whole race wouldn’t have happened without teamwork,” Piña said. “You know in 2015 when I won, I got lucky. The two top guys took each other out, so that was an inheritance. I really wanted to win this one. Honestly, I have to give a huge thank you to Bob Keller. He paid the price.”

Keller, who had been having temperature problems all weekend, overheated, leaving Piña to hold off Stanley and Kyle Kimball at the end.

“Kyle and Jason hooked up and once they did that, oh, man, they were both coming for me,” Piña said. “Once I saw Jason’s yellow car get in front of that orange one, I knew I was in trouble, and luckily the clock ran out before he could get to me.”

German Touring Series 1

Clarice Lee

Clarice Lee took the default victory once again as the only car in her class, completing nine laps in a race that was marred by rain and a black flag due to track conditions. But the rain went away quickly and racing resumed, where she took home the championship.

German Touring Series 2


Scott Blair

After winning both qualifying races, Scott Blair went out and completed the trifecta by capturing the Eastern States Championship by 11 seconds over Aaron Nash.

“You have a plan what you’re going to do, and then it starts dumping on you and it all goes right out the window,” Blair said. “I was still in the lead so I tried to drive to the limit in the rain. I tried not to overdrive the car, just enough to stay in the lead.”

German Touring Series 3

Michael Camus

It was an up-and-down weekend for Michael Camus, but ended on a high note, as he took the victory in the GTS3 class. The final margin of victory showed 9.591 seconds, but Camus had to work hard for the win.

“It was a great battle,” Camus said. “The rain came, I did four donuts. I recovered and I was in fifth overall. The track kept drying and I kept getting faster and faster, and I pulled away from everybody. I really had a great time. It’s my first NASA Championship, ever.”

HPD Honda Challenge 2

Robert Paszkiewicz

Robert Paszkiewicz made it three for three with his victory in the HPD Honda Challenge 2 class, sweeping both qualifying races and taking the win in the Championships. Unlike the qualifying races, Paszkiewicz had to bear down on Sunday and his margin of victory was 3.257 seconds.

“I went off in the rain, I spun off,” he said. “It sucks it happened, but I’m glad it happened because I had to work for it, so it makes me feel like I earned this trophy instead of just sailing home with a win.

Paszkiewicz said he’d definitely like to hit the Championships next year.

“I’ve never been to COTA. I’d like to,” he said. “Hopefully we get a good turnout in our class, so why not go out there and give it a shot?”

Performance Touring C


Aaron Michelet

Aaron Michelet captured both qualifying races and followed that up with the Eastern States Championship. Not bad for somebody racing a PTD car in the faster PTC class. It wasn’t easy, however, because he had to fight off a hard-charging Michael Globe the last two times on the track, and won the Championship by 1.201 seconds.

“That was crazy,” Michelet said. “It’s everything my dad and I have been working for and I can’t thank him enough for giving me a great car. And Mazda and Hoosier Tires, for giving me a great contingency, I can’t even put into words how I feel right now.”

Michelet knew Globe was going to be coming hard at the end.

“My dad’s on the radio telling me he’s a half-second behind. If I hadn’t taken Turn 7 on the inside line, I wouldn’t have been a champion today. That was the race right there. Then the last lap, I almost blew it in 7. He was right there again.”

Performance Touring E


Brian Henderson

Brian Henderson took the victory in PTE after having some issues earlier in the day in the Spec Miata race. Henderson took the checkered flag by a margin of 3.752 seconds over Tyler Harrell.

“That was a wild race, with all the traffic and then the rain came,” Henderson said. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it until the end of the race, but I’m glad I came out on top. It has been a very long weekend. We lost one car in Spec Miata, didn’t the finish the race due to an electrical issue. This makes the weekend a lot better. I’m glad we got it.”

Spec E46

Broderick Bauguess

After winning Friday’s qualifying race, Broderick Bauguess had some issues Saturday. But when it counted most, he turned in a big performance to grab the Spec E46 Championship.

“The rain really threw a wrench into plans,” he said. “Being on slicks, it was like an ice skating rink out there.”

Once the track started to dry, Bauguess was able to lay down some solid lap times.

“The first few laps it was tricky. Everybody was being careful, but then it got better and I was able to put a gap on second place,” he said. “It’s pretty incredible because we had an incident yesterday. Our friends at Crucial Motorsports helped us get it back together. I’m really happy with it. Setting a track record for the class was pretty good.”

Spec Iron

Carmine Pace

Carmine Pace knows Sebring International Raceway pretty well, because it’s his home track. On Sunday, he was able to use that knowledge to his advantage and capture the Spec Iron class championship.

“The rain helped me out,” Pace said. “The rain came out and we had a restart. This is my home track. I had a dry line and just kept going. I was able to get away from Robert Miller and get ahead of him and finish the race.”

Pace had come close to winning a Championship, which is what made his victory all the more meaningful.

“I got my first championship, finally,” he said. “This is great. I had a second and a third the last two years and I was able to come up here and get the win.”

Thunder Roadster GTR


John Spain

When John Spain says the cars in the Thunder Roadster GTR class are equal, he’s not kidding. The top three finishers in Sunday’s Championship race were separated by .639 seconds, but it was Spain who crossed the finish line first.

“This class, these Gary Tinker cars, Toys by Tink, they’re all about parity,” Spain said. “We’re all equal and it’s all about the driver. I’ve been running with these guys for about four long years and it takes a long time to get to the pointy end of the field. They’re great drivers. Maybe this year is my turn, but I don’t think it will happen next year. They’re great guys and a tough field.”


Qualifying Heats up at the 2017 NASA Eastern States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires

Published on October 22, 2017 20:26

Sebring, Fla., Oct. 22, 2017 —The battle for starting position picked up another notch on Saturday, as the second qualifying races in each class were held for the National Auto Sport Association’s Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires at Sebring International Raceway.

While grid position may not have much impact on some of the smaller classes, the difference between starting on the first row or the fifth row in one of the 30-plus car fields could be the difference between finishing on the podium or not.

The qualifying races determine the starting grid for Sunday’s Championship races, held at the famed 3.74-mile Sebring track. More than 200 entries representing 10 of the National Auto Sport Association’s 15 regions are competing this weekend.

Spec Miata


Selin Rollan

An incident right at the start of the race led to a quick red flag. At the restart, Selin Rollan jumped out to a several-second lead and was able to hold off a hard-charging Jim Drago for a .113-second victory.

“It was tough out there,” Rollan said. “I knew he was there the whole time. I was looking out my mirror as much as I was looking out the windshield.”

Rollan said he caught a bit of the incident at the start in his mirror.

“I’m glad I wasn’t involved in that,” he said. “I heard some missed shifts on the right side, I was lucky I was on the inside lane. It’s good to get a win, but this isn’t the big race. That’s tomorrow.”

American Iron


Bruce Byerly

Bryce Byerly won one for the Ford group, after Michael Patterson won in the lone Chevrolet in the field on Friday. Byerly improved his best lap time by half a second and went on to post a 3.351-second victory over Patrick Wehmeyer, with Patterson taking third.

“It was a great race. It was pretty exciting,” Byerly said. “It was pretty clean. It was a great day at Sebring.”

American Iron Extreme

Robert Shaw was the only competitor in the American Iron Extreme race, so he’s out on the track to have fun, which he did by posting a fast lap of 2:21.118, which is more than 1.1 seconds faster than he was in Friday’s qualifying race.

Super Touring 1

Dmitri Goliakov

Dmitri Goliakov had some issues Friday, but made up for them with a solid run on Saturday and claimed the ST1 class by an impressive 27.03 seconds. Goliakov showed the value of consistency at Sebring, as he had the second-fastest lap in the field, but ran away with the victory.

“It was good race out there,” he said. “Tomorrow should be a good one, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Super Touring 2


Firouz Haghighi

It was a bit of a haul for Firouz Haghighi to get to the Eastern States Championships, because he made the trip from Texas. But he’s certainly glad he did, because he not only took the ST2 class victory, but he also got to see Sebring International Raceway for the first time.

“It was a great race,” Haghighi said. “This is my first time here, I’m from Texas, and it’s a great track. I really like it. It’s such a historic track and a great event.”

Super Touring 3


Kevin Harvey

Kevin Harvey is having a great time at Sebring, although it probably doesn’t hurt that he won both qualifying races in the ST3 class. The key to winning at Sebring isn’t all that different from winning anywhere else, he said.

“You just have to run a smart race, hit your marks,” Harvey said. “You have to run smart the first couple of laps and stay out of trouble, and after that, you just hit your marks from then on. That, and manage traffic. That helps all the way through.”

Super Touring 4


Stephen Pearce

Stephen Pearce drove his Honda S2000 to victory in the ST4 class, showing a solid 1.9-second improvement from his best lap time on Friday. He won the race by 11.84 seconds.

“It felt good out there,” he said. “It was a great race. Tomorrow will be exciting. I’m looking forward to it.”

Super Unlimited


Bryan Putt

After Bryan Putt and Charles Wicht crossed the line finish line together on Friday, Putt didn’t take any chances on Saturday, racing out to the lead and posting a solid victory in the Super Unlimited class. Putt’s lap of 2:04.26 was more than 1.6 seconds faster than he was Friday.

“It was a good day,” Putt said. “I was able to get on it and the car felt really great, and I was confident. After the first lap, I got enough of a gap where I could focus in for two laps before we hit any traffic. Tomorrow’s a long race. The LMP3 car is really fast, so I’m going to have to work.”

NP01

Charles Liniger

Charles Liniger evened things up in the NP01 class with a victory in the second race, when his competition had some car problems. Saturday also was much better for Liniger from a time standpoint, because he shaved 1.4 seconds off his best lap on Friday.

“Today was a good day,” Liniger said. “I was finally able to find some speed. I knew the car could do it. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

German Touring Series 4

Robert Ferriol

When you show a margin of victory that reads 26.127 seconds over a talented field of GTS4 drivers, you know you’ve done something right, and Robert Ferriol turned in an impressive performance on his way to the win. He’s still looking for improvement before Sunday’s Championship races take place.

“It was a good race,” Ferriol said. “The traffic really didn’t bother me, but I’m going to have to get a little more grip there in the back.”

Spec E30


Scott McKay

Starting and winning a race from pole position is a rush, but the races in which you have to fight your way forward, those are special. Just ask Spec E30 racer Scott McKay, who started from fourth position, took the lead and survived a caution period and a late race charge from three-time Spec E30 Champion, Sandro Espinosa.

“I had the lead when it went yellow after starting from fourth by making some aggressive early moves, but the better drivers in this field are right behind me. Some strong drivers finished second and third,” McKay said. “It’s easier to chase somebody than it is to drive out front. The guys in the back, they just have more energy and more motivation. When you’re out front, all you have is nervous energy. The guys behind me were certainly doing a better job of catching me than I was doing of getting away. Luckily the race was just short enough today.”

944 Spec


Kyle Kimball

Sometimes what it takes to win a qualifying race in the NASA Championships is a little opportunity, the guts to take advantage of it and the speed to hold it. 944 Spec racer Kyle Kimball saw his chance to snare first place and he jumped on it.

“I got a really great start and Jason Stanley got sideways going into Turn 1, and he screwed up all the other people in front of me, so by Turn 2, I made the pass for first place and I was able to keep it there for the rest of the race,” Kimball said. “The restart was as good as I could have hoped for. I put some cars between me and the guy behind me and just kept it that way for the rest of the race.”

German Touring Series 1

Clarice Lee took the default victory once again as the only car in her class and was fairly consistent with her times between Friday and Saturday.

German Touring Series 2


Scott Blair

Scott Blair gave himself a little breathing room in Saturday’s victory in the GTS2 class. After winning by 1.895 seconds on Friday, he won by 6.5 seconds on Saturday.

“On the start I passed a couple of cars in the next class up,” Blair said. “Then, I guess it would be Turn 4, someone lost it, and I was able to just scoot by and he slowed everyone up behind me. I was able to get a few good laps in and then make sure I didn’t see anyone in my mirror.”

Blair was looking forward to Sunday’s 45-minute Championship race.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “It’s going to be exhausting, I just hope I’m not starving by the end.”

German Touring Series 3

Roberto Crescencio

Roberto Crescencio captured the GTS3 class by .172 seconds over second-place finisher Michael Camus. There was a 22-second gap to the third-place finisher.

“Michael has the pace,” Crescencio said. “It’s very difficult for me to keep up.”

Crescencio said it’s going to be difficult to win a 45-minute race, but he’ll be there ready to pounce if the opportunity presents itself.

“I wish I could say I could win on true pace, but I’ll need him to make a mistake.”

HPD Honda Challenge

Robert Paszkiewicz

Robert Paskiewicz raced to a comfortable 17-second victory to win his second-straight HPD Honda Challenge qualifying race.

“I’m trying to save it for tomorrow and just be out there trying to have fun,” he said.”

Paskiewicz wasn’t too concerned with weather forecasts that are calling for thunderstorms roughly 30 minutes after the completion of the final race.

“The weatherman can be right or wrong and he still has a job,” he said. “The only thing we can do is hope for the best.”

Performance Touring C


Aaron Michelet

Aaron Michelet may be racing against faster cars – having jumped up to the PTC class while racing a PTD car, but he was able to make it two for two with a 2.104-second victory over Michael Globe on Saturday.

“I got lucky on the first lap,” Michelet said. “Traffic helped me out and he (Globe) kept catching me and was gaining half-a-second a lap.”

Michelet said it would be great to bring home the Eastern States Championship.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s what my dad and I have been working on, to try and win this year,” he said. “Moving to PTC just for this event, we knew it was going to be a challenge, but it would be an even greater win if we were able to come out with it.

Performance Touring E


Tyler Harrell

After not being able to race Friday, Tyler Harrell made up for it with a victory in the PTE class, as he pulled out a squeaker, edging Brian Henderson by .216 seconds for the victory.

“It was good,” he said. “Yesterday I didn’t run in the race. I had a hub blow. We got here early this morning. I went out in warm-ups and was a couple seconds off. On the start I kind of got in front of him and held him off the whole race. This is my first time here and it’s a blast.”

Spec E46


Jeff Bennett

Jeff Bennett and Jason Adams battled all race long, but it was Bennett who was able to win the sprint to the finish line and come away with a .204-second victory.

“It was a lot of fun,” Bennett said. “It was a tremendous battle between me and Jason Adams. He got caught up in a caution at the end of the race and I had more momentum. If he hadn’t had that little slowdown, I don’t think I would have gotten him.”

Spec Iron

Carmine Pace

Carmine Pace and Robert Miller had a great battle in the Spec Iron class, with Pace taking the .661-victory over Friday’s winner.

“It was great,” Pace said. “I started second and fell in behind Miller again. I was able to stick with him the first couple of laps and passed him on the third lap and from there it was try to make sure I didn’t make many mistakes and hold him up behind me. We were neck-and-neck all race long. The last few laps I was checking my mirrors. Tomorrow’s going to be a blast. We’ve been going at it all weekend long.”

Thunder Roadster GTR


Gary Tinker

Gary Tinker likes to win, but he also likes the thrill of close competition, which is why he loves competing in the Thunder Roadster GTR class, and why he wasn’t as pleased with his 24-second victory as one might think.

“I got away from them a little bit, so it wasn’t as exciting,” he said. “I was able to get some traffic in between them and me.”


Racing Begins at the 2017 NASA Eastern States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires

Published on October 21, 2017 21:16

NASA’s top race teams took the first steps toward the coveted Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires, with the beginning of the qualifying races on Friday at Sebring International Raceway.

Spec Miata

Jim Drago came out on top in a four-man battle that saw several lead changes and plenty of good, clean racing up front in Spec Miata.

“It was a fun race,” Drago said. “The guys I was racing with, I think we’ve all raced together for seven or eight years. Todd Buras, myself, Danny Steyn and Selin Rollan have all battled. All of us raced really hard and I don’t think any of us ever touched. I didn’t know if I was going to finish first or fourth.”

American Iron

Michael Patterson is a bit of a lone wolf, competing in a Chevrolet Camaro, while all of his competitors are driving Mustangs, but he turned in a pretty dominant performance Friday to take the victory.

“The one Chevy versus 10 Mustangs, I can’t complain,” Patterson said. “This is my first time here. I practiced it yesterday and learned a little more this morning and put it on the pole for the race. The race went off without a hitch. I kept it on the track. Some of my competitors didn’t.”

American Iron Extreme

Robert Shaw was the only one of the four who had entered the Championships to make it to the track, giving him a default win today, but not taking away from the fun he was having.

“I’m trying to get some more AIX guys out,” Shaw said. “I think COTA is going to do it next year.”

Shaw still has goals when he’s on the track, even if he’s competing by himself.

“I just pick some guys who look mean and evil; I love the Cup cars, I love the Corvettes and whoever is fast, that’s who I try to stick with.”

Super Touring 1

The battle in ST1 was a good one, between Franklin Futrelle in his Elan NP01 and Brian Goldburg in his Panoz GTS, but it was Futrelle who crossed the finish line 1.067 seconds in front.

“We knew it was going to be an interesting race,” Futrelle said. “There was about .8 or .9 seconds separating the whole field during qualifying. It was a little more intense than I thought it would be for a qualifying race. We had an interesting start with an incident.

“I managed to get the lead on the restart and hold off the guys for the last four or five laps. I’m happy for the Elan guys and happy to showcase this car for the ST1 class. It’s a great start to the weekend. It’s great weather and great people at NASA, who always make it fun and that’s the most important thing.”

Super Touring 2

Ken Mantovani took the checkered filed in his 2003 Corvette Z06, finishing 2.669 seconds ahead of Scott Argow in a solid battle for the top spot in the class.

“It was interesting,” Mantovani said. “In the beginning, it was a little hairy. A couple of cars went off track and then we had that incident up on the wall with the Mustang. Other than that the rest of the race was pretty clean. It was good clean racing.”

Super Touring 3

One of the first things any new driver learns about Sebring International Raceway is that talks of its bumpiness are not exaggerations. Kevin Harvey learned that a few weeks ago, but still enjoyed himself on his way to a 5.805-second victory.

“It was a great race,” Harvey said. “We put together a great car for this event. Four weeks ago is the first time I came here. This is a driver’s track. Every time my head hits the roll bar, I think ‘Yeah, there’s bumps.’”

Super Touring 4

Todd Buras had just wrapped up a grueling battle in the Spec Miata class and then climbed into another Miata for battle in the ST4 class and came away with an impressive 10-second victory in Friday’s qualifying race.

“It got really hot and sweaty,” Buras said. “It was a good race and the field is completely different. The difference between this car and that (Spec Miata) car is night and day.”

Super Unlimited

Bryan Putt looked unstoppable in his Mazda-powered Elan DP02 during the morning qualifying session, but Charles Wicht had other ideas in the qualifying race. The two diced back and forth all race long, taking advantage of traffic when possible, or having trouble getting around slower cars. Finally, in a last-second sprint across the finish line to take the checkered flag, Bryan Putt emerged victorious by a fraction of a second.

NP01

The No. 51 NASA NP01 of Tom Hahn and Jay Aranha turned in a solid performance and notched a best lap of 2:21.319 on its way to an impressive victory.

“It was awesome,” said. Arahna. “It was super amazing and a lot of fun. The traffic was fine. Hopefully we’ll keep it up and try to best the track record we just laid down.”

German Touring Series 4

Robert Ferriol took the class win in a highly competitive race, but wasn’t about to rest on his laurels, having some things he wants to do to the car before returning to the track.

“I think the track was a little warm toward the end of the race,” Ferriol said. “The back of my car started to let go a little bit, but it held out. For tomorrow, I’d like to find some more grip in the back. We’ll probably play with pressures and sway bars to see if we can get a little bit more.

Spec E30

Scott McKay was able to outlast 32 other drivers and take the victory in the highly competitive Spec E30 class, winning by a margin of 1.627 seconds over Carlos Mendez.

“There was a good race going on and I had a nice lead and then a yellow flag came out and I had to give it all back and do a restart,” McKay said. “You get into a championship race and get all fired up and it takes more out of you then you realize.”

944 Spec

There was some close competition in the 944 Spec class, where Dan Piña was able to fend off Robert Keller by a little more than a second to take the class victory.

“It was a lot of fun,” Piña said. “It was a lot of work. We caught up to the E30s faster than I thought I would. Bob Keller and I had a great scrap. It was a battle. That last lap was a real scrap.”

German Touring Series 1

Clarice Lee may have been the only car in her class, GTS1, but the resident from nearby Winter Haven, Fla., made sure she enjoyed herself out on the track, despite several accidents during her group.

“The flaggers are doing their job really well,” she said. “Sebring is my home track. I’ve been driving here for seven years and racing for about three.”

German Touring Series 2

Scott Blair was able to take the victory in the GTS2 class by 1.913 seconds over Aaron Nash in yet another competitive race.

“It was a tough race,” Blair said. “I’m trying to get in the rhythm and get ahead of the track. I’m trying to stay clean out there, be smooth and stay consistent.”

German Touring Series 3

Michael Camus posted a nice victory in the GTS3 class, using consistent driving to take the checkered flag.

“It was a great race,” Camus said. “I pulled out pretty well on everybody and the yellow flag got me stuck behind a Honda. At the restart everybody got such a great run on me.”

HPD Honda Challenge 2

Robert Paszkiewicz captured the victory in the HPD Honda Challenge 2 class, his first time racing in a few months and he was definitely grateful to be back behind the wheel.

“I haven’t driven since May and this is a great track,” Paszkiewicz said. “I like this track a lot.”

While Sebring is notorious for being demanding on both the car and the driver, Paszkiewicz said he and his car have a great relationship.

“We take care of each other and work together as a team,” he said.

Performance Touring C

Aaron Michelet grabbed the win in the PTC class, facing off against some quality competition.

“It was tough, especially going up against the MX-5 Cup car,” Michelet said. “I love Sebring except for the million elevation changes on a 3.74-mile course. It was really good racing. I had fun.”

Performance Touring E

Brian Henderson earned the victory in the PTE class by turning in some strong lap times and being consistent throughout the race. A yellow flag made Henderson work a bit harder down the stretch to preserve the win.

“It was a little tricky on the restart – I didn’t get that great of a start, but it all worked out,” Henderson said. “It was a good race and a lot of fun. I’m running Spec Miata, too, so it’s going to be a great weekend.”

Spec E46

Broderick Bauguess had never raced at Sebring International Raceway before, but he was able to take the class victory by more than 10 seconds.

“It was fun,” Bauguess said. “It’s a lot different than it looks on TV. On TV it looks a lot wider than it is. It’s my first time ever here. I just watched a lot of video from pro guys. It seemed to help a little bit.”

Spec Iron

Robert Miller is a tough customer in the Spec Iron class and he crossed the finish line first in Spec Iron, a NASA class that features identically prepared Ford Mustangs. However, during a caution period, NASA officials disqualified Miller and second-place finisher Carmine Pace for reckless driving while the emergency vehicle flag as out. That gave the win to Patrick Roof.

Thunder Roadster GTR

John Spain captured a narrow victory in the Thunder Roadster GTR class, winning by 1.378 seconds over Mike Rea.

“It was a lot of fun,” Spain said. “I love racing with these GTR guys. It’s been a long road to get to the front of the pack because there’s a lot of really good racers. It’s the most fun you can have in a racecar – GTR".


2018 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires Event Details Announced

Published on October 19, 2017 22:03

Napa, CA., Oct. 19, 2017 - The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) is excited to announce that the organization's premier Championship events, the Western and Eastern States Championships, will return to a single event format for the 2018 NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires.  This event is scheduled to take place at the world famous Circuit of the Americas facility in Austin, Texas on September 13-16, 2018. The Circuit of the Americas will host the 2018 United States Formula 1 Grand Prix just one month after the best NASA competitors from across the nation enjoy four days of intense competition at a track regarded by many as one of the most challenging in the country.  

"We're thrilled to be taking the NASA Championships to Circuit of the Americas in 2018" said Jeremy Croiset, NASA Director of Business Development. "We're giving our competitors the opportunity to compete on the same track, pit in the same garages, and fight for their chance to win a NASA Championship at the same facility that will host the biggest racing stars in the world from the Formula 1 championship just one month later. It just doesn't get much cooler than that!"

"We're proud to continue our commitment as the presenting sponsor of the NASA Championships," said Marc Sanzenbacher, Sr. Manager Motorsports, Toyo Tires USA. "It is an opportunity for us to support grassroots racing, showcase our race-winning Proxes tires, and gather real-world data for our product development team.  The return to a single event format in 2018 will bring the best amateur racers together for what is sure to be an exciting weekend of racing"

"We look forward to hosting NASA's premier Championship event at our world class facility in 2018" said Eric Paradis, Vice President of Business Development, Circuit of the Americas. "The visit to our facility is one no one ever forgets and we expect that everyone will enjoy a truly memorable experience during the event that will last a lifetime". 

 

About Toyo Tires

Established in 1966, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. represents the innovation, quality, performance, and excellent service that Toyo Tires has delivered worldwide for more than 70 years.Toyo offers a complete selection of premium replacement tires for nearly every make and model including light trucks, SUVs, high performance cars, and luxury vehicles, as well as commercial trucks. Many of these tires are built here in the United States at our state-of-the-art factory in Bartow County, Georgia.

 

About Circuit of the Americas

Circuit of The Americas — The premier destination for world-class motorsports and entertainment in the United States. Set on 1,500 acres in the rolling hills just outside downtown Austin, Circuit of The Americas has hosted the biggest names in racing, action sports and music since 2012. At its heart is a 3.41-mile racetrack that was designed to challenge the world's most exacting competitors while providing a thrilling spectacle for audiences

The 20-turn, counterclockwise circuit takes advantage of the naturally undulating landscape, including an intimidating 133-foot hill at Turn 1 that must be seen in person to be believed. It is home to the only Formula 1 race in America — the UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX.


About NASA 

The National Auto Sport Association was formed in 1991 with the premise of delivering high-quality motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing venues throughout the United States. NASA has created programs that allow owners of racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full performance capabilities of their cars in a controlled professionally managed environment. NASA offers many different programs that will allow you to enjoy motorsports on a number of different levels, including our High Performance Driving Events (HPDE), Rally Sport, Time Trial, NASA-X and Competition Racing programs.

 

NASA Membership

NASA members are entitled to enter and participate in any NASA event across the country, and membership includes an array of benefits, including vendor discounts and a subscription to NASA’s online magazine, Speed News. Members will also receive an official membership hard card that will identify them as part of the organization and a welcome packet that includes more information on the many benefits and programs available to NASA members. While participating at events, all NASA members are covered by a uniquely extensive insurance policy, which includes General Liability, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, and Excess Medical coverage. Best of all, membership is only $45. Refer to www.nasaproracing.com for member information.

 

NASA Thanks Our Partners

NASA would like to thank its National sponsors for their continued support: Toyo Tires, Hawk Performance, and Winding Road Racing. We also want to thank Mazda, Honda Performance Development, Nissan, and Ford Motor Company for supporting our members. We greatly appreciate those companies that offer our racers contingency support, including Toyo Tires, AST Suspension, BFGoodrich, Ford Racing, Maxxis Tires, Traqmate, Hawk Performance, Honda Performance Development (HPD), Hoosier Racing Tire, MAZDASPEED, Nissan, Frozen Rotors, P2R Power Rev Racing, Spec Clutches, Sampson Racing Communications, Winding Road Racing, Tilton, Whiteline, Supertech Performance, Fuel Lab, AKG Motorsports, Maximum Motorsports, and G-LOC Brakes.  NASA competitors can also get discounts from Mazda, Honda Performance Development, APR Performance, F.A.S.T., Metal MC2 Conditioner, Tire Stickers, ProMotive, HotelStorm, FR.Sport, Jongbloed Racing Wheels, Racing Fire Systems, Fuel Safe, Avis, Konig, Winding Road Racing.

 

NASA at a Glance 

    NASA was founded in 1991 on the premise of providing motorsport competition programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full-performance capabilities of their cars in a safe and controlled environment. 

    NASA has more than 14,000 members in 15 regions.

    Key events include the NASA Western States Championships presented by Toyo Tires at Thunderhill Raceway, Oct. 6-8, 2017; Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires at Sebring International Raceway Oct. 20-22, 2017;  and the season culminating NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance, Dec. 1-3, 2017.

    Each NASA Championship event will run 30 race classes and nine Time-Trial classes during the event.

    NASA runs over 150 events each year encompassing over 250 races, including the association's Rally Sport and Time-Trial program.

    Manufacturer partners include Mazda, Honda, Nissan, and Ford Motor Company.

    NASA Management: Jerry Kunzman, Executive Director; Ryan Flaherty, National Chairman; Jeremy Croiset, Director of Business Development; Dave Ho, Business Operations Manager.


Fact Sheet for the 2017 NASA Eastern States Championships

Published on October 17, 2017 22:45

Napa, Calif., Oct. 17, 2017 — The fourth annual NASA Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires is set to go this weekend. To make following it all easier, we’ve put together a fact sheet so you can follow your favorite NASA racing classes no matter where you are.
 
What: NASA Eastern States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires
 
Where: Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida.
 
When: Oct. 19-22
 
Online Resources
 
Media Guide
https://goo.gl/448KfC

Event Coverage Page at NASA Championships Website:
https://nasachampionships.com/east-event

Live Video Coverage at Livestream(Follow the channel):
https://livestream.com/nasa/east-2017

Live Timing will be available exclusively at:
https://racehero.io/orgs/nasa

Latest Championships News will be posted to:
https://nasaspeed.news/race-coverage/nasa-championships

Like us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/nasaproracing

Follow us on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/nasaracing

Follow us on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/nasaproracing

Full coverage in November issue of NASA Speed News:
https://drivenasa.cld.bz/
 
Prize money:
https://goo.gl/pLHCyw
 
Entries list:
https://nasachampionships.com/2017-nasa-eastern-states-championships-entries/

2017 NASA Eastern States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires Attracting Nation’s Top Amateur Drivers

Published on October 13, 2017 00:12

Napa, Calif., Oct. 12, 2017 — The fourth annual NASA Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires is receiving entries from across the country, which will ensure strong competition October 20-22 at Sebring International Raceway.
 
In American Iron, Mike Patterson is coming in from the NASA Texas Region to compete for the top spot in one of NASA’s signature racing classes. Patterson finished third at the Eastern States Championships in 2014 and sustained car damage last year the day before the Championships race, and didn’t make the starting grid.



Patterson has more than 100 NASA wins, multiple regional championships and 11 wins this year alone. American Iron is dominated by the Ford Mustang in regions all over the country, but Patterson is hoping to put his owned-since-new 1999 Chevrolet Camaro on the top step of the podium.
 
“The car took a while to transform from a glorified street car, so to speak, into a competitive American Iron car,” Patterson said. “I run the car on a pretty limited budget and it took a while to accumulate and acquire the right parts for the car to make it go fast.”
 
In 944 Spec, NASA Southeast’s Jason Stanley is hoping to follow up his 2016 Championship with another at Sebring International Raceway. Competition in 944 Spec will be hot this year, with more than 15 cars taking the grid.


 
Stanley has never driven at Sebring before, so he’s been watching video of pro races to pick up race craft and technique, and driving the track on a simulator.
 
“I have an iRacing setup with Sebring on it, which I’ve turned a bunch of laps on in other cars like the Mustang,” Stanley said. “Usually whenever I go to one of these National Championships events, I pick a momentum car like a Miata or a Solstice and I just turn a bunch of laps to try to get a good estimation of line and how I can carry apex speed through the corners.”
 
For competition in GTS3, NASA Florida’s Randy Mueller is busy prepping his car, tuning it and adjusting weights for the class. 2015 was the last year Mueller competed in a NASA Championships event. Mueller said he’s replacing worn parts and setting the car up as he would for every race weekend.


 
“There are some new names on the entry list with a variety of cars that I don’t recognize, so that makes it exciting!” Mueller said. “At an event of this caliber, it is always energizing to see what everyone brings to the table. I am also equally as excited to seeing how my teammate Michael Camus measures up as I am to race myself. He has been on a steep learning curve and has progressed amazingly fast. I believe the competitors in his class are going to have a tough competitor to deal with.”

2017 NASA Western States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires – Event Coverage

Published on October 12, 2017 00:14

Watch as NASA drivers compete in the 2017 NASA Western States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires at Thunderhill Raceway Park. Lots of race action from Spec Miata, 944 Spec, Spec E30, Spec E46, American Iron, Super Unlimited, Super Touring, NASA Prototype, Honda Challenge, German Touring, Legends, Thunderoadsters, Performance Touring, and Time Trial series.

2017 NASA Western States Championships - Spec Miata

Watch as drivers of Spec Miata compete in 2017 NASA Western States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires at Thunderhill Raceway Park

Watch All Videos

Drivers Clinch Titles at the 2017 NASA Western States Championships

Published on October 10, 2017 22:22

Willows, Calif., October 10, 2017 — Culminating a full season of racing, the nation’s top amateur auto racers earned titles in 18 classes on Sunday at the NASA Western States Championships presented by Toyo Tires at Thunderhill Raceway Park.
 
A wind-fanned grass fire during Sunday morning’s practice session delayed the start of the Championships until the afternoon. Drivers had to contend with wind gusts up to 70-mph on the 3-mile-long road course.
 
More than 150 amateur drivers representing seven states competed at the 12th NASA Championships, which featured a deep and talented field of competitors. The NASA Eastern States Championships will be held at Sebring International Raceway, October 19-22.
 
“All our drivers put in a lot of hard work this year just to get to the Championships, and they drove their hearts out this weekend,” said Jeremy Croiset, NASA Racing’s director of business development. “Championships are earned, not given, and our guys definitely earned their place in the record books this weekend.”
 
NP01
 

 
Brian Lock admits he was a little nervous going into the NASA Prototype race because his car was just a tick faster than his competitors, despite winning the qualifying races on Friday and Saturday. A setup tweak made the difference and Lock won his second consecutive NP01 Championship.
 
“It’s great to defend the title,” Lock said. “This year winning both qualifying races and the feature race was great. This year was a little more complete for us.”
 
Spec Miata
 

 
Teen Mazda Challenge driver Nick Sommers crossed the finish line first with a 5.4-second gap over Littlehale, but officials later determined the 18-year-old Sommers had jumped the start, and awarded the Championship to Littlehale.
 
The class had the deepest field of the weekend, with 29 cars running on the road course.
 
“The officials were already looking into the start, and requesting videos from us,” Littlehale said after the decision was rendered. “It feels pretty good to win. We worked really hard for this weekend.”
 
Sommers said the strong winds made racing a challenge.
 
“The wind was a big factor and it made every lap different,” Sommers said. “The car was very twitchy. It was just a hard race to control and stay consistent.”
 
Spec E46
 

 
As one of NASA’s newer racing classes, Spec E46 is in growth mode. The class this year brought more cars to the Championships event than last year. That’s good because four of them were DQ’d after the race, one of which was Marco Gallaher, who passed the leader Michael Shawhan under yellow on the white-flag lap. 
 
“I was sitting behind this 944. I couldn’t pass because it was yellow, and then he passed me, so I celebrated the rest of the lap,” Shawhan said. “He had the race won. He had the pace on me. If he had just waited till after the last flag, he would have easily won it. The only chance I had to win the race was traffic. I did not have the pace.”
 
Spec E30
 

 
Larry Fraser had to work hard to earn his second Western States Championship after a dyno violation during Saturday’s qualifying race required him to start on the back row. It didn’t matter because Fraser methodically chased down 14 Spec E30 competitors to take the lead about midway through the race.
 
“My approach was to get to the front as fast as I could,” Fraser said. “I wish I would have been starting up front a little more to make it a little easier, but it was definitely a hard-fought race.”
 
American Iron
 

 
Chasing gremlins earlier in the week, Ryan Walton didn’t know what to expect when he hit the track for the Championship. The team corrected the problems by setting the K&N-sponsored Mustang up to handle the corners that Walton was having problems with in qualifying.
 
“We struggled the whole week,” Walton said about the qualifying races. “I tore a splitter off twice, went off the track a bunch of times. We pretty much had a second-place car. They were quicker than us but at the end we got it together when it counted.”
 
944 Spec
 

 
John Pentelei-Molnar won his second Championship in two years, but he dedicated the victory to his identical twin brother, Steve, who had spent the morning fighting a grass fire that broke out on the back half of the Thunderhill Raceway track. His brother serves on one of the Thunderhill safety teams.
 
With his brother watching, Pentelei-Molnar diced through traffic to pass Marcelo Vine with three laps left in the race to earn the victory.
 
“We’re talking about New York City traffic out there, no different than the taxis out there,” Pentelei-Molnar said, later adding, “I knew if I got in front of Marcelo and didn’t make any mistakes that would be it.”
 
Honda Challenge 4
 

 
Rob Krider knows how to win. He proved it at last year’s Western States by winning Honda Challenge 4 in a car he built specifically for that event. Early in 2017, when the rules changed and certain parts of his car didn’t meet the requirements, he changed the car again and brought it to Thunderhill to throw down — and took home his second consecutive Honda Challenge 4 Championship.
 
“This was a very sweet Championship for us because last year they made a bunch of rule changes based on my car’s engine management system,” Krider said. “So, my feeling was, fine, we’ll put a stock computer back in it and still kick everybody’s butt, and that’s what we proved today.”
 
Super Touring 1
 

 
Ronald Swenson earned his second Championship after spending the entire race fending off challenges from George Smith, who pressed Swenson to make a mistake.
 
Swenson started from fourth place, but by the time they completed the first lap, it was Swenson’s race to lose. Smith and Swenson finished within 1.2 seconds of each other.
 
“I had to maintain my pace because I had George on my tail the entire race,” Swenson said. “It was good fun.”
 
Super Touring 2
 


Wiping the champagne from his eyes, Skip Rebozzi smiled as he talked about his first Championship and what it means to him.
 
“I’m thrilled. I love NASA,” Rebozzi said. “I’ve been running with NASA since 2005, but it seems we’re always somewhere else when they run Champs.”
 
Rebozzi led from start to finish and never looked back by putting some significant distance between himself and second-place finisher Drew Wadolny.
 
“The car was flawless. It ran really good,” Rebozzi said. “We worked on the handling all weekend long to make it better and better.”
 
Super Touring 3
 

 
Scott Smith had scored enough points in the qualifying races to start from pole, but when it was time to take the green, conditions were nothing like he’d experienced all weekend, and his tire choice ended up working against him in the early going.
 
“It was super windy out there and everybody else was on a different tire than I was. They were able to have grip right away. I got passed by three guys by Turn 3,” Smith said. “But then, it was just a matter of being methodical and staying with them, and one by one, the people in front of me spun or slid off and I was able to get those positions back. Basically, the wind blew everybody off the track in Turn 1, Turn 10 and Turn 1 again.”
 
For the whole race, Smith trailed Brett Strom, who crossed the finish line first, but a post-race DQ for being underweight handed Smith the win and the Championship.
 
Super Touring 4
 

 
For David Schotz, winning the Super Touring 4 Championship was bittersweet. He had hoped to match up with Austin Newmark, but Newmark was late getting to the starting grid. They were both running lap times consistently in the 1:55s.
 
That late start made a big difference as Schotz held on to beat the hard-charging Newmark by 3.46 seconds. Schotz knew Newmark was late getting onto the track but that he couldn’t let up.
 
“I really do feel horrible,” Schotz said. “We race locally together and he’s a fast kid. He’s the reason my car is this fast. He’s made me step up my game considerably this year, so I really do feel for him.”
 
German Touring Series 2
 

 
Paul Geddings made history at the Western States Championships, piloting a Mercedes-Benz to its first Championship win in German Touring Series 2. The victory almost didn’t happen as Geddings was chasing problems and wasn’t able to shake it out.
 
“We had problems with the car all weekend,” said Geddings, who also won his first Championship. “We didn’t get to run on either of the two qualifying races because we had problems with the clutch, so we were working on it for three days. I was just so glad the thing held together.”
 
Super Unlimited
 

 
Brian Frisselle completed something of a “triple crown” in his Super Unlimited Norma chassis with a resumé, which now includes a 2016 Eastern States Championship, 25 Hours of Thunderhill overall win in 2015 and now the Western States Championship in 2017.
 
Frisselle watched as Jon Van Caneghem got a quick jump at the green flag, but Frisselle quickly passed him to build a 23-second lead.
 
“I’m so happy for the team. They deserve it,” Frisselle said. “They’ve given me a rocket ship so many times, I’m happy to bring it home.”
 
Masters
 

 
James Laughlin credits his wife and crew chief for making the right call on setting up the racecar for the windy conditions to bring home the victory.
 
“She made a good call—the tire pressure and setup on the car to help with these windy conditions,” Laughlin said. “It worked out perfectly.”
 
Laughlin battled with Dave Allen for about seven laps, but pulled away to victory. The group is tightknit, competing in 10 to 12 races a season.
 
“I love running up here at Thunderhill,” Laughlin said. “It means an awful lot to win this.”
 
Thunder Roadsters
 

 
Thunder Roadster is a tight class, so when one racer captures the Championship, the whole group celebrates. It was Brian Gibson’s turn to celebrate on top of the podium in 2017.
 
“I’m just as happy to see someone else win as they are to see me win,” said Gibson, noting that the drivers in the class have raced together for years. “It feels good, really good to win.”
 
Performance Touring E
 

 
Robert Dietz came to the track not expecting to win a Championship in a rookie season. But there he was atop the podium, celebrating the victory with a champagne hose-down.
 
“I expected to come out and watch some fast guys and learn a lot, so to come home with any hardware is just a treat,” Dietz said. “Obviously we had a small class this year, but it was a great learning experience and great competition in general with the other classes.”
 
Time Trial Recap
 
NASA Time Trial is another component of NASA Championships racing in which drivers compete for the fastest lap time rather than track position, as in racing. In Time Trial competition:
 
TTU: Jon Van Caneghem - 1:41.280
TT1: Isaac Bouchard - 1:51.339
TT2: Monsuru Tony Ibraheem - 1:57.453
TT3: Matt McIntyre - 1:53.820
TT4: Dave Schotz - 1:53.344
TTC: Bryce Kliewer - 2:03.622
TTD: AJ Gracy -  2:00.876
TTE: Clay Schoen - 2:12.947
TTF: Josh Buckwalter - 2:20.453
Details and Information

NASA Western States Championships event information page: https://nasachampionships.com/west-event/

For additional information and photography, please contact Brett Becker at brett@drivenasa.com or 805-850-8310. More details can be found at nasaproracing.com or nasachampionships.com.

To qualify for the NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires, NASA competitors must compete in and score points in five regional races around the country. 

Qualifying Ramps Up for the 2017 NASA Western States Championships

Published on October 07, 2017 21:52

Willows, Calif., October 7, 2017 — The race is on for the NASA Western States Championships presented by Toyo Tires, with teams slugging it out during Friday qualifying at Thunderhill Raceway Park.

To determine the starting grid for Sunday’s Championship races, teams are running qualifying races on Friday and Saturday. More than 150 teams, representing seven states, are competing this weekend on the 3-mile-long track.

Spec Miata



Nick Sommers has a lot riding on the weekend as he looks to secure the Teen Mazda Challenge Championship and the chance at a $100,000 Mazda Motorsports scholarship. Sommers has been nearly unbeatable this year in Spec Miata and he showed why on the Thunderhill track as he out-paced second-place finisher Tristan Littlehale.

“I’m not holding back anymore,” Sommer said. “I’ve been points racing for the second half of the season and now I’m just trying to go all-out and win everything I can right now.”

Spec E46

With just three races under his belt in his BMW E46, Marco Gallaher says his racecar still has a lot left in it, which could be bad news for his fellow Spec E46 competitors.

“I knew we had a very strong car coming into the weekend. We did a lot of testing, so I knew we could come out here and be competitive,” Gallaher said. “My approach is that I want to be clean, consistent, just put down some hard laps and try not to look in my mirrors.”

Gallaher knows that second-place finisher Justin Ross and third-place finisher John Borchelt will be pushing him hard over the weekend.

“They’re definitely giving me lots of pressure and staying in my mirrors, staying on my bumper,” Gallaher said. “They’re not going to make it easy for me.”

Spec E30



Starting in third place, Larry Fraser clawed his way to the top of a 15-car class to take the checkered flag. Fraser wants to keep adding points on Saturday to secure pole position for the Championship.

“I got Sylas right on the first couple of turns. I just raised the tire pressures so my car would come in a little earlier, so I could try to get him on the start and then just try to hold the lead,” said Fraser, who was running lap times a little slower than second-place Sylas Montgomery. “Sylas is good, he’s a good kid. It’s really hard to defend.”

American Iron 



Cory Weber, the defending American Iron champion at the Western States Championships, was able to take advantage of an early mistake by Ryan Walton to cruise to victory in Friday’s qualifying race.

“Ryan Walton and I were having a great race for the first lap, and then he had a big off on the back side of the Turn 9 hill, and messed up the nose of his car really bad, so that kind of compromised him a bit, and I was able to get around him,” Weber said.

944 Spec



Patience is a virtue, as Marcelo Vine learned in 944 Spec as he spent the first few laps of the race trailing John Pentelei Molnar, who later drove off course in Turn 3 leaving Vine all alone in first. Pentelei Molnar held onto second place.

“He was pretty close and keeping up with me, and it got really slippery, so I think I just held it better than he did, and then he just disappeared from my mirror, and then he was pretty far back,” Vine said. “We’re so close, so after that it was pretty much over for him.”

Super Touring 1

George Smith used to race at Thunderhill, but that was a long time ago. He learned enough while competing in Friday’s qualifying race that he was able to capitalize on the mistakes of his main competitors, then hold them off to take the win. 

“The Porsche and BMW were in front of battling it out, and I was learning a lot being behind them, watching the battle and staying close,” Smith said. “The Porsche went off in Turn 2 and something happened with the BMW a lap or so later and so I was able to bring it home in first place. I’m still learning the track. This is my first event with the bypass, which I thought would be a lot easier, and it’s not easy. You’ve really got to be careful maintaining the throttle or you can go around real easy going over the top of that.”

Super Touring 2

Sometimes a little luck on the track can go a long way. Just ask Skip Rebozzi, who nearly went from leading the race to almost not finishing. He had an issue with his clutch pedal and his car nearly came to a stop on Turn 15.

“The clutch pedal got stuck behind the clutch stop, which I reached down with my foot and kicked it off and I was able to keep going,” Rebozzi said. “You need a little luck, because I thought I broke the transmission. I got lucky and was able to figure out what it was.”

Super Touring 3

Brett Strom is trying to pull double-duty this weekend by running two classes, but his focus is on Super Touring 3, where he is running a loaner car from Audi Sport. Strom was trying to pace himself during the race as the front-wheel drive car goes through tires faster than previous cars.

“I can run a couple really fast laps in this car, but it will burn off the front tires, so I have to pace the race,” said Strom about Friday’s 30-minute race. “The other guys are running a little lighter car, so they can keep the tires a little longer. A 45-minute race will be interesting toward the end for us.”

Super Touring 4



Super Touring 4 is a new class in NASA for 2017, and Austin Newmark is trying to win the inaugural Western States Championship in the class.

“We were fighting some consistency issues with the car most of the year with the new class,” Newmark said. “Getting the car squared away takes a lot of work. Starting off, Percy Howard was pretty fast and it looked like we were starting to pull away from the field and then I saw that the S2000 came up into the mix and we had a nice little battle going for first, second and third and unfortunately the S2000 had an incident and after that I was able to pull off a win.”

German Touring Series 2

Doug Young knows that any car in the class can win it this weekend and that his driving skills will be put to the test. GTS2 competition is tight and Friday’s qualifying showed it, but Young came out on top. 

“In Turn 4 we were bunched up again as we went over the hill and it felt like chaos,” Young said. “We were all so close together. That’s what so fun about this class is how close the racing is. We had a good battle.”

German Touring Series 3

Waiting for his car to get weighed after winning the GTS3 qualifying race Friday, David DePillo had two goals—have fun and keep the car intact.

“We’re doing a team approach this weekend. We have one driver in ST3 and myself in GTS3, so we’re splitting the time,” DePillo said. “It’s a relatively new platform. We’ve raced it about four or five months now, so we’re starting to work out the bugs.”

DePillo turned a 2:04 lap time, bettering second-place finisher Paul Turner by nearly 3 seconds. 

NP01


 
Some of the tightest racing during qualifying Friday came in NP01, which is NASA’s most evenly matched class. Brian Lock was just a half-second faster than Team SISU Motorsports as the NASA Prototypes battled for 13 laps on the track. 

“It took me a few laps to get by Jamie (Florence). I thought I was going to get him on the inside of Turn 2, and he made great move to hold me off inside of 2 and got to the inside of Turn 3,” Lock said. “That was about it for about three laps, and I could see that we were more or less even. He maybe had a tenth on me here and there in one lap or another. It all came down to traffic.

“He got really held up in 8 and I was able to come from far enough back, and I don’t think he expected me and I was able to get by him in 9 and from that point on neither of us were quick enough to make a pass without traffic, and it was kind of smooth sailing after that.”
 
Super Unlimited



Team Davidson Racing took first place in the qualifying race, posting lap times up to 2 seconds faster than three-time Super Unlimited champion Jon Van Caneghem. A veteran of the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill, Team Davidson racing will be sitting in the top spot for Saturday’s qualifying races.

Honda Challenge 4



When there are not as many cars in a given class, Rob Krider had to find competition anywhere on the track he could get it.

“I ended up having an out-of-class race with a lot of GTS2 cars, and that made it interesting because I’m faster than a lot of them, but not by a ton,” Krider said. “It was pretty dicey. Those Beemer drivers, they’re aggressive and they drive really well, but we were very gentlemanly together. The plan for tomorrow is we’re going to change the tire size to see if we can change our gear ratio for a little bit more mph and more grip. If we like it we’ll keep it for Sunday, if not we’ll change it back.

Masters 

It’s a fine balance on how much testing to do especially if there is a mechanical problem. Jim Laughlin found that while getting laps in Thursday during testing.

“I had a problem earlier in the day, a spark plug ripped out of the head, so I didn’t have any practice this morning, Laughlin said. “So it took me a couple of laps to get my bearings and get used to it out there because I didn’t even finish one lap earlier today. The car started feeling good and everyone worked well with the traffic, so it was fun.”
 
Thunder Roadsters 

Thunder Roadster offered some of the tightest qualifying times on Thursday. Just 0.639 seconds separated first-place finisher Tom Boyd and second-place finisher Brian Gibson.

“My car was loose all day and both my competitors gave me a heck of a race,” Boyd said. “I can’t believe I pulled it off in the end. We were right there together the whole day. We’re all such close competitors, it’s fun no matter who wins. But I plan on winning tomorrow. I come out here to win every race. Hopefully I win tomorrow and definitely hope I win on Sunday.”

Performance Touring E



Robert Dietz had never raced Thunderhill Raceway Park, but you can add him to the list of fans of the track. It certainly doesn’t hurt to win Friday’s qualifying race.

“We started and there was this great pack. So, we’re all dicing it up having fun and everyone spread out a bit. I just wanted to have some fun and enjoy the race,” Dietz said. “There’s not a lot of us out there, so I’d rather finish with the car in one piece than push it too hard when I’ve got some space on everyone behind me. The car felt good and we made a lot of engine changes between August and now, but I’m running good, feeling good.”
Details and Information

NASA Western States Championships event information page: https://nasachampionships.com/west-event/

For additional information and photography, please contact Brett Becker at brett@drivenasa.com or 805-850-8310. More details can be found at nasaproracing.com or nasachampionships.com.

To qualify for the NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires, NASA competitors must compete in and score points in five regional races around the country. 

Follow All the Racing Action Live From the 2017 NASA Western States Championships at Thunderhill Raceway

Published on October 04, 2017 20:29

Racers, fans and family – this year we will have ample amount of options available to you in order to follow all the action LIVE from the 2017 NASA Western States Championships at Thunderhill Raceway Presented by Toyo Tires. Make sure to Like Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Instagram and Twitter. Check all the links to Live VideoLive Timing and Social Media below.

Event Coverage Page at NASA Championships Website:
https://nasachampionships.com/west-event

Live Video Coverage at Livestream(Follow the channel):
https://livestream.com/nasa/west-2017

Live Timing will be available exclusively at:
https://racehero.io/orgs/nasa

Latest Championships News will be posted to:
https://nasaspeed.news/race-coverage/nasa-championships

Like us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/nasaproracing

Follow us on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/nasaracing

Follow us on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/nasaproracing