This event held by the Southern California division of the National Auto Sport Association was held at the new expansion of the Spring Mountain track in Pahrump NV.
When I say new I mean it, they where still constructing garages as we where driving on the freshly paved track.
I was here to start the NASA program to get a racing license. This is a four step process where you advance to the next level only by being signed off by an instructor. This is the only way to advance to the next level of club racing in this part of the country. I would be paired with an instructor for the whole day, this was good as I could always use a refresher course. This also was a race weekend for the different classes of NASA race cars.
The Race classes where Spec30/spec 3 which is all BMW’s from the 80’s and 90’s, Honda Challenge which is just like events I have attended in the past but with much more serious cars, American Iron which is for all the Mustangs and Camaros, and finally Touring class which is for everything else that doesn’t fit into the others.
Touring class has many different levels based on the performance of the car and mods done to it. Cars like this Saturn SC2 race in the touring class E3, it seems to be very competitive judging by the championship stickers on the side.
Don’t let the beat up looking cars fool you these guys came equipped with the best looking rigs staffed with full race teams to help do everything from swap tires to full engine rebuilds right in the pits.
The race teams make the parking lot their home for the weekend, with BBQs and trailers to rest between sessions. Having a crew of people that work for you or share the same goal would be an advantage at any race.
Other than the cars that where there for the HPDE training like my self, all the cars were all full blown race cars with cages and fire suppression systems. This Z3 was packing a secret weapon for it’s touring class competitors….
An LS V8 motor out of a Corvette, the motor more than doubled it’s factory horsepower rating.
One other series that was running was the Pacific Tuner Class sponsored by MotoIQ. This class is based on a power to weight ratio. The class gets a lot of press due to it being sponsored by a popular webpage devoted to tuner cars. This Acura Integra is the current points leader and last years champion.
One special car that I was happy to see was the Twins Turbo Supra. The 3.0 2jz turbo motor make about 750 whp and weighs about 2800lbs.
This car had a fiberglass body and large amounts of tube framing. Check out www.Speedhunters.com for a full break down of all the specs.
The Classes would battle wheel to wheel after a few practice sessions to get acquainted with the track layout. The layout used the front stretch of the old track and first big corner before entering a new expansion which had two long straights, perfect for high horsepower cars.
The wheel to wheel racing did have it’s consequences for this car. The Honda Challenge series for NASA is a lot more hard core than I thought it would be. The cars are rode hard and put away wet, I don’t think I could beat up the Integra like this. If I wanted to get this serious I might have to find a beater civic and build it from there. I want to find a series that can offer some notoriety, but still use a car that doesn’t need a trailer to get to the track.
This was the first race for the Acura with the new exhaust. The first impression is that it is loud when uncorked, and that I wasn’t able to feel the weight loss. The car needs the same thing I have been saying for a year, more power. I did run a 2:58:46 but because I never run the same course every time I go to Pahrump. I have no way to know if that is faster than last time.
I did get to use my GoPRo for the first time. Watch for the rocks that the race groups spilled on the track that ruined my line on the last few corners. I wish the officials would have cleared the track during the many down times we had throughout the day. I never have had this problem before.