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|Richard & Kevin repeat as ITC enduro champs||Monday, November 12, 2007|
|After the craziness of the ARRC sprint races it's nice to pull the old Civic out of the trailer and run the enduro just for fun. As the name implies the race is more about enduring a three hour race by not spinning off the track and just keeping the car running.
Dick qualified the car early Sunday morning with only a 2:01.757. He went out with the fuel just a bit too low which caused the car to cough in the hard corners due to fuel starving. Kevin had to start the race in 55th position out of 56 cars. He kept improving his times and turned in our best race best lap of 1:52.857 which was 2.6 seconds faster than our race winning lap time of last year. Kevin stayed out for about 1 hour and 10 minutes which was longer than all the other cars. He was probably in the overall lead before he brought the car in to the pits for fuel and a driver change. We made a tactical error by staying in for 5 minutes instead of the required 4 minutes before Dick took the car back out. Dick continued to improve his times until he was eventually turning in times just a couple tenths slower than Kevin's fastest lap. After an hour and 20 minutes Dick brought the car back in for the second stop which we did in the required 4 minutes. Kevin took the car out for the final stint but was behind the lead car in our class by 1 minute and 30 seconds with only 20 minutes left in the race. We were determined to just run a consistant race and see what happened. Just then the lead car, an 84 Civic driven by John Fine and two other drivers came in for another pit stop. They were having problems with the engine and could not find the problem. Our 1985 Civic continued to run perfectly and we took the checkered flag some seven laps in front of the second place car in Improved Touring C. We completed 89 laps and finished in 30th place which was ahead of 25 cars that were in front of us at the start.
Dick and Kevin had won the ARRC Enduro race for the second year in a row in thier oldest race car. They want to thank Dennis Delaney who was their only crew member that stayed for the enduro race. There is no way they could have won without him. Hopefully they will be back next year to defend thier back to back wins.
|Brian runs 2nd before having car trouble||Monday, November 12, 2007|
|Brian qualifyed 7th in a field of 20 ITS cars with a 1:42.533 which was 2.1 seconds faster than he qualified last year. The ITS cars were paired with 4 ITR cars, 8 SPU cars, and 3 ITU cars which were all pretty fast and comparable to the ITS group. At the start of the race Brian had a good start and was running ahead of Tom Rogers and Kent Thompson in their Mazda RX7s. Rob Huffmaster grabbed the lead and never relinquished it. After about 10 laps, Brian felt a drag on the car especially in the left corners. He couldn't hold off the Mazdas and fell behind in 4th place. There was no one even close to him in fifth so he tried to limp the car to the finish. Unfortunately on the last lap the left rear wheel bearing gave up the ghost which put the car in the gravel trap on turn five. Brian was so far in front of the rest of the ITS pack that even though he didn't take the checker flag he finished in front of 11 other ITS cars to finish 9th with a lap time of 1:41.445 which is over three seconds faster than he ran last years race. The podium was made up of Rob, Tom & Kent in their RX7s. Brian drove great and up until the wheel bearing went the car ran great. It was bad to have the car die on the last lap, but we all decided it was better than dying on the first lap. Brian had a wonderful time driving on one of the best tracks in the country and he wants to thank his fans Wendy, Keith, Ron & Donna and his crew Dick, Kevin, Sam & Dennis for a great weekend.|
|Kevin takes 5th at ARRC||Monday, November 12, 2007|
|In the final practice session on Thursday Kevin noticed his clutch slipping when he entered 5th gear on the back straight. We quickly got a spare clutch from Tom Fowler of OPM and proceded to remove the transmission from the Integra. Four hours later we checked the fit of the clutch and it was not correct. At nearly nine Friday night we were on a mission to find a clutch that was the correct one. We ordered one from Auto Zone which was supposed to arive between 8 & 9 Saturday morning. Dennis was waiting at the store at 8 am but it didn't arrive until 10:30. We missed the morning qualifying session but were hoping to make the 2:00pm afternoon session. At 11:00 am we began installation of the new clutch and had the car ready to run at 1:15pm.
Kevin went out and turned sucessively quicker laps until the car finally coughed due to low fuel in turn 10A on the lap that put him in 4th place for the session and 5th overall (1:43.016). The pole was held by Joe Moser with a 1:42.605. Behind Joe and in front of Kevin were AJ Nealy, Bob Moser, and Bowie Gray.
At the start of the race the flagger threw the green flag very late. This bunched up the field and created a very dangerous situation in turn one. There were a dozen cars in a very tight space so Kevin pulled outside to avoid the carnage. He ended up in 10th place after the first lap so proceded to pick off cars one by one to work his way back to the front. He finally got past Amy's big engine and started advancing on AJ Nealy who was in 3rd. Just then he started experiencing clutch slippage on the straight again. The cheap Autozone aftermarket clutch just couldn't hack it. For the next 10 laps, Kevin and Amy went back and forth as the clutch continued to get worse. Fortunately there was no one close enough to take Kevin out of 5th place. The podium saw Joe in 1st, Bob in 2nd and AJ in 3rd. The CRX's are not only impossible to beat on the tight twisty courses but they're also too fast to catch on a horsepower track like Road Atlanta.
|Kevin wins both days at WOR Games||Monday, October 8, 2007|
|Dick was unavailable to race this weekend so Kevin and Ian went to Mid Ohio with thier ITA cars to run one more time before the ARRC. On Saturday Kevin qualified 2nd behind Jan Reif in his Integra. Ian qualified his CRX 4th behind Goran Pesevski in his CRX. At race time it was about 90 degrees which is a bit warm for October in Ohio. Jan took the lead at the start but Kevin passed him going into turn one on the second lap. When they came around again Jan was back in first. Kevin passed Jan again in turn one on lap seven but Jan repassed him again by the next lap. Kevin followed Jan for 8 laps before passing Jan on the outside of turn 6. The two Integras went side by side all the way through turn 13 before Kevin pulled in the lead. All this time Goran was close behind in 3rd and Ian was in 4th. Jan followed Kevin for the rest of the race. He was having difficulties with his transmission. They were shown the "1 to go" sign on the start of the 16th lap. By mid lap Jan thought he was too far back to catch Kevin so he backed off. When they came out of the carousel they were both surprised to see the "1 to go" sign still up. Apparantly the two girls in the flag tower either didn't know who was winning the race or they just wanted to see one more lap. Jan was upset that he had backed off since thier was now another lap left to catch Kevin. Kevin looked at his fuel gage and didn't think he had enough left for one more lap. Sure enough, half way though the carousel on the last lap Kevin's engine cut out completely. After he gathered the car and straightened it out, it restarted and propelled him to the checker flag. In impound the car weighed just 4 pounds over the minimum weight. Third was Goran and 4th was Ian in thier CRX's.
On Sunday Kevin took the pole position since Jan had problems which put him in 9th place on the grid. Ian was in 2nd and 3rd was Mark Rushbrook in a Saturn. The race was uneventful for Kevin as he took the lead and maintained a nice cushion in front of 2nd place thoughout the race. Jan surged up through the field to get into 2nd place which forced Kevin to step up his pace to maintain about a 5 second lead. 3rd was the Saturn and Ian took 4th. We were very thankful to have Sam Meyers as our crew chief to keep Kevin and Ian out of trouble and man the radio.
|A Very Wet but Fun Weekend||Monday, September 10, 2007|
|Kevin drove the Integra and Dick drove the 85 Civic at the Ohio Valley Region Autumn Classic last weekend. Dick hadn't raced since June so he was anxious to get back out and have some fun. Kevin needed to test his car to see if the extensive repairs we made would get the Integra handling like it used to. Of the two qualifying sessions and the two races we were fortunate to have at least one session on dry track to test the car.
Saturday morning it wasn't raining but the track was soaked from the Friday night rain. Both Kevin and Dick went out on race tires and slid around quite a bit. Kevin qualified 6th overall and 2nd in class to Goran Pesevski in his CRX who was on the overall pole. All five cars that qualified in front of Kevin were on rains or intermediate tires for qualifying. By Race time after lunch the track was dry so Kevin was anxious to see what the Integra could do. He was on the outside of row three surrounded by Miatas. When the green flag dropped he had a lot more torque than the Miatas so he decided to go outside to pass. About halfway around he was forced off into the grass. When he tried to go back on the track he found the hole had filled with more Miatas. He went the entire length of the front straight with at least two wheels in the grass. When he finally got back on the track he found himself in 11th place and Goran was way out in front. He methodically picked off the Miatas and several ITA cars to get back up to Goran by about the 8th lap. He then dogged Goran to try to find a good place to pass. Unfortunately Kevin had to pass Goran 3 times in the last race at Mid Ohio so Goran had learned where the Integra was most likely to pass him and he positioned himself in the perfect spots to prevent it. Goran did a great job of driving the car with no mistakes to stay in front of Kevin and take the win. Third place was taken by Rick Jarrett in his Civic, and fourth was Steve Colletti in his Integra. Kevin was very pleased with the way the car was handling for the FIRST TIME THIS YEAR.
In the damp Saturday qualifying session Dick actually turned in a lap 2 seconds faster than Kevin but qualified 2nd in ITC behind Keith Hamilton in his 86 Civic and just in front of Bill Shearer in his CRX. Three more ITC cars were further back in the pack. Dick had a good start to get up to Keith and race him door to door up to turn six where the Weber carb coughed as usual and let Keith take the lead. Before too long the fast Fiat driven by Shawn Hobbs passed Dick and went to challenge Keith for the lead. For the rest of the race Keith and Shawn battled for 1st & 2nd and close behind Dick and Bill battled for 3rd & 4th. The finishing order ended up Shawn, Keith, Dick and Bill with all 4 cars having a very fun race. It was great having six ITC cars to race with like the old days.
Just after dinner Saturday night it started raining and it poured hard all night and didn't even stop until nearly 2pm Sunday afternoon. This time Kevin set his car up for the wet conditions so no one came with 3 seconds of his qualifying time. His race was marred with several full course yellows (Miatas.....), so he only got about 5 green laps. Even so his margin of victory was over 25 seconds. Second place was Matt Downing in his Civic Si Sedan, and third was Goran Pesevski in his CRX.
Dick put on his rains (9 year old tires) and qualified 4th overall but 3rd in class. He tried a couple times to pass for 2nd but couldn't make it stick. He slid sideways through most every corner and actually went off the track into China beach as he was catching Keith for 2nd place. When Dick hit the gravel he gunned it and managed to drive the car though and out of the gravel and back onto the track and still finish the race. The finishing order this day was Bill, Keith, Dick and Shawn with Bill way out in front and Shawn quite a ways back. Rain races are great fun............if you survive them.
|Brian Breaks the Mid Ohio ITS Track Record||Monday, August 13, 2007|
|Brian went out Saturday morning for qualifying and placed 2nd behind Rob Huffmaster and in front of Kristian Smith in thier Mazda RX7s. In Saturdays race Brian finished third behind Huffmaster and Smith while both of them broke the track ITS record. Smith finished first and turned in the fastest lap time.
Sunday morning Brian put on some new Hoosiers and started the qualifying race in 3rd. Brian continued to get faster, caught up to and passed Rob for 2nd, and reeled in Kristian but there wasn't enough laps left to pass him for the win. In chasing the two Mazdas Brian clicked off a 1:42.588 lap time. That was nearly 1 1/2 seconds faster than his previous best and a faster lap than had ever been run by any other ITS car at Mid Ohio.
Brian started 2nd in the main race later on Sunday and was threatening for the lead until his fourth gear started to pop out and eventually wouldn't go in at all. Brian limped the car for the rest of the race using 3rd and 5th gears while maintining some very respectably lap times. Brian finished 3rd overall and is looking forward to the ARRC race in November at Road Atlanta. We still have a few things we want to do to the Prelude to make it faster and we are still about 65 pounds over weight.
|Kevin pushed off the track by Amy||Monday, August 13, 2007|
|This was the first Improved Touring Festival held at Mid Ohio. It was touted as being the "Mid Season" championship for IT cars. The format consisted of a 35 minute qualifying session Saturday morning, a 25 lap race Saturday afternoon, a 15 lap qualifying race Sunday morning where each car was gridded based on his fastest lap in Saturdays race, and a 25 lap race Sunday afternoon based on each cars finish in the morning race. Points were awarded for each race to determine the overall finishing position for the weekend.
Kevin and Ian's ITA cars were in run group 1 along with ITC and IT7. Bright & early Saturday morning Kevin went out for qualifying. The car was still not handling quite right even after we did so much work on it the week before. Kevin turned in a time to put him in 7th place of 24 ITA cars. In the race, he finished 5th but his best lap put him back in 7th for the start of the qualifying race on Sunday morning. After making some more adjustments to the car it was running and handling better. Kevin started the race in 7th but was quickly running with cars at the front of the pack. In the 7th lap Bob Moser passed Greg Amy in the esses as he swung very wide. Kevin followed Bob on the inside of turn seven as Amy was almost off the track on the right. Knowing Kevin was there Amy decided to shoot all the way back to the left of the track to try and block Kevin. When Kevin realized that Amy wasn't going to stop his charge across the track he locked up the brakes to try to avoid the collision. This contact was not just a bump when a car drifts into another. Amy's car hit Kevins Integra so hard it send him spinning off the track and into the guard rail where the impact actually broke a dozen or more welds and buckled the subframe. Amy's car straightend out and continued in the race. Kevin limped the car back to the paddock.
As we were trying to see if the Integra could somehow be repaired before the race we heard this call over the public address system. "Kevin Ruck please come to the tower to see the chief steward and bring your license". Apparantly Kevin's good friend Greg Amy had the balls to submit a protest against Kevin even though he was the cause of the accident. To make matters worse the genius chief steward, before talking to Kevin, before talking to any other drivers, before even talking to corner workers, or even looking at any in-car video, had already decided to penalize Kevin...based solely on Amy's accusation. After Kevin showed him the video and told him his side of the story, the Chief Steward decided that Kevin and Greg should work out the issue by themselves. You can see Amy's in-car video on his web site. It shows him swinging wide right and then quickly back to the left where he impacts Kevins car. You can also see Kevin's in-car video which shows Moser passing Amy and Kevin following him down the left side of the track going straight for turn eight. You can then hear and see Kevin lock up his brakes before the Amys car comes out of nowhere to hit Kevin and spin him off the track. Thank goodness for in-car camera to keep people honest. You look at the two videos and you decide.
The first four places in Sunday mornings ITA race were Joe Moser, Jon Marhefka, Bob Moser, and AJ Nealy in their CRX's. Ian finished 7th.
The first four places in the main race on Sunday were Bob Moser, Joe Moser, Jon Marhefka, and AJ Nealy in thier CRX's. Ian finished 8th. Yes, these are the same CRX's that were horribly mistreated by adding 110 pounds to thier legal weight a year ago while they gave 115 pounds to the Integras.
|Ian takes his first overall checker.||Monday, July 30, 2007|
|Kevin and Ian went to Gingerman both wanting to test some changes they had made to their cars before the upcoming IT Festival at Mid Ohio. If that was the goal then it was a very successful weekend.
Ian wanted to test repairs and chenges he made to the fuel system after a faulty fuel pump put him out of the race in his last outing. He was happy to see his CRX run extremely well. It is now ready for the new engine which is being built and will be installed before the IT-Fest.
Kevin wanted to test repairs and modifications to the Integras suspension targeted at gaining more control over the handling of the car for different conditions and tracks. After running the car at two extreme limits of setup, he finally learned how to get the car loose......at a CRX track.
On Saturday both cars went out for qualifying with different setups and varying degrees of track experience. Joey Moser qualified 1st, Kevin 2nd, and Ian 3rd. Bob Moser blew his engine on the first green lap of qualifying. The Integra wasn't running well and was difficult to start. At race time it wouldn't start at all. After many hasty checks and changes we finally found the problem in a bad igniter in the distributor. By the time we got it changed the race was in its 4th lap. Kevin went out anyway and did some testing on the car. He ending up passing every car on the track except Joey and Ian. Joey finished 1st, and Ian 2nd in their CRXs, and Steve Lin in his Sentra finished 3rd. Kevin finished 11th but did not finish DFL.
On Sunday the Integra was back to running well so we tempered a new set of Hoosiers in the qualifying session. Kevin ended up 1 1/2 seconds slower than Joey and nearly 4 seconds faster than Ian. Ian was 3 1/2 seconds faster than the 4th place car. What a spread out field! Since the field was so spread out and it was such a nice safe teack for testing, Kevin decided to try the maximum setting on the car to find out what it would do at the limit. He also put on some older tires to save the good ones for the IT-Fest. After two years of trying he finally succeeded in making the Integra loose - and at a CRX track! Unfortunately it was a bit too loose. He spun the car around twice on the first green lap which put him at the very back of the run group. While charging back to the front he took it off in Turn 5 on the 4th lap for a little John Deere driving. After finally catching Ian in lap 12 he spun the car just after he made the pass which put way back again. Four laps later he caught Ian again and made a pass for the lead but locked up all four tires in turn 3. The old tires had finally gave up the ghost. At that time he decided to just finish the race and be happy with 2nd place and no damage to either car. Joey pulled off with an overheating engine earlier in the race to leave a well deserved win for Ian.
|Two More Wins at Road America||Monday, June 18, 2007|
|This is the one time a year that Dick gets to race the Integra while Kevin is at the Formula One race in Indianapolis. Dick was lucky to have an awesome crew - Dennis Delaney as crew chief and Sol & Adam Ruck as crewmen, an awesome car, great fans - Lyle & Connie Conrad, and pretty much great weather.
On Saturday morning we neglected to fill the fuel can on the way to the track and we found that the track only sold race gas of 110 octane which we can't legally use. So we had no choice but to go out for qualifying with a low amount of fuel in the car and hope they didn't weigh us after the session. Our laps continued to get quicker up until the fourth hot lap when the car cut out in turn five due to low fuel. That left us qualified 2nd behind Tim Burns in his CRX in an ITA field of 7 cars and 7th overall. At the start of the race Dick tucked in behind Tim Selby in his ITS Mazda down the straight into turn one to pass the CRX. Dick pulled out to a pretty healthy lead until he came up on a slow lapper car on the back straight just as the yellow came out. He had to follow the slow car until after the incident in Canada corner. That allowed several cars to close the gap on the Integra. For the next several laps Dick raced with an ITR BMW while pulling away from the CRX until he finally let the BMW go. With one lap left his lead was about 12 seconds so he slowed down and cruised to the win. In impound the crew was very relieved to see the weight of the car with Dick was exactly the legal weight of 2595 pounds. Too close for comfort!!
On Sunday Dick had plenty of fuel and he once again studied the videos of Kevin's laps at Road America to try to shave off some lap time. He did just that and captured the pole position for ITA and was once again 7th overall. Somehow a Miata qualified ahead of Dick and a couple more just behind. Burns in the CRX was 2nd in ITA and 13th overall. A T3 BMW Z4 jumped Dick at the start and turned into him as he came along side. Well Dick wasn't about to back off so he held his ground and his position going through turn one. For the next couple laps Dick passed and was passed by a couple Miatas numerous times before a full course yellow came out. At the restart Dick pulled away from the Miatas but Tim in the CRX was right on his tail. In the 9th of 10 laps Dick was trying to run well enough to keep the CRX at bay when he forgot to shift into 4th gear in the carousel. About half way through the turn the engine hit the rev limiter and cut out. Dick quickly figured out the problem, shifted into 4th and motored down the back straight with the CRX still close behind him. After that Dick drove a perfect last lap to win the race by just .3 seconds over the CRX. Tim Burns went on to win every Great Lake Division ITA race this year ........ except for the two that Dick won this weekend. Kevin was glad to hear his dad won both races on fathers day weekend and he was even more glad to hear his car was still intact.
|Kevin & Brian Both Take Second||Monday, June 4, 2007|
|Kevin in the Integra and Brian in the Prelude were in the same run group this weekend at Mid Ohio. Kevin qualified 2nd in ITA behind Joey Moser in his CRX, and Brian qualified 2nd in ITS behind Rob Huffmaster in his RX7. The race on Saturday was only a qualifying race which meant mostly nothing. Brian spun the Prelude early in the race and spent the rest of the time passing cars and catching back up. Kevin stayed with Joey & Rob until they both pulled off the track. Kevin took the checker flag for ITA and for the run group. Brian finished 1st in ITS and 4th overall.
The real race on Sunday was longer than normal at 25 laps. Kevin after finishing 2nd behind Joey complained that the car was not handling right. Even though Huffmaster was going as fast as he could and trying to break the track record, Brian kept the Prelude close to him and finished the race just 3 seconds back. This is the first time Brian ever kept the Prelude close to Rob. Rob was the easy winner of the ITS race at the ARRC last year and is without a doubt the fastest ITS car in the country. With a little more development we're going to take a shot at beating the RX7.
|A wet weekend at Grattan||Tuesday, May 29, 2007|
|We woke up Saturday morning to sprinkles on the RV roof. Ian & Kevin were in run group 2 so we broke out the umbrellas and installed the rain tires on the cars. Kevin put on his brand new Hoosier Intermediate rains that we had never run before. He also was wearing the new Isaac head & neck restraints for the first time. Qualifying was fun with over a dozen high powered Corvettes and Camaros that did not like the wet conditions. Kevin took the pole in ITA and qualified second in the run group. He stated that even after the track started to dry the tires never got greasy and stuck very well. Ian qualified 5th in ITA. By race time it was still overcast but the track was dry. Kevin thought starting in the front row that a couple Corvettes would pass him before turn one. Actually about 4 Covettes passed him before the start/finish line and 9 passed him before turn one. After they were gone he just had to stay in front of Alex McDonald, Steve Sancricca, and Ian in their CRX's. He did that and they all finished in that order. Kevin finished about 20 seconds in front of Alex in 2nd place. The new engine was good, but the changes we made to the suspension allowed Kevin to ride the rails though the S turns and the bowl like he never could before.
Dick was in run group 5 in the 85 Civic S, so by the time he went out to qualify the track was pretty much dry. He was using the newly tuned DGV carb, the new Traqmate data system, and new Isaac head & neck restraint for the first time. The car was cutting out in Turns 3, 6, and 8 which are left turns but running strong everywhere else. Dick took the pole from Shawn Hobbs by .2 seconds but was moved to the back of the group because his transponder was not working. The ground wire had popped out when the Traqmate was installed. Dick had a great start and motored past several cars to first place in class. Unfortunately, he could not hold off Shawn in his Fiat so he finished 2nd in Class in front of Jon Schneider in his Rabbit.
Sunday morning instead of a qualiying session they held a 7 lap qualifying race based on your fastest race lap on Saturday. Kevin started 11th. However, it was raining again so Kevin methodically passed all but one of the Corvettes in front of him to qualify for the front row for the race again. We think he bruised more than a few egos of the Vette boys. Ian did very well in the rain as well and qualified 3rd. Of course at race time it was sunny and beautiful so Kevin had to once again experience the blur of cars passing him on the straight before turn one. That probably repaired most of the Vette egos. Kevin drove a very smart, consistant race to take the win by over 10 seconds in front of Alex. Steve took 3rd and Ian finished 4th after hitting a goofy NASCAR looking Camaro that originally sent Steve spinning and then checked up right in front of Ian. In addition to damaging the bumper and hood, the crash pinched off one of the radiator hoses and overheated the engine. He blew a head gasket just as he passed the start/finish on the last lap.
Dick had decided earlier that he was going to run the DGV on Saturday and the DMTR carb on Sunday. He went out for the qualiying race and the engine felt strong and did not cut out in any corners. Unfortunately at the end of the pace lap the car started sputtering and would barely run so Dick pulled off the track. After getting the car back to paddock he found a small bug in the float chamber of the first barrel which was blocking the flow to the main fuel jet. After removing the "bugs" from the car, he went out for the race and again started last. After another great start, Dick surged up to right behind Shawn who was in first place. He dogged Shawn for several laps before the engine started to fall off. It got worse and worse until it was barely running. Dick finished the race but DFL. Some how the DMTR fouled a spark plug even though it was tested and tuned on the dyno with a wide band O2 sensor. Obviously we have more work to do with the DMTR but it runs well when it runs.
All in all it was a great weekend. Kevin and Ian got to have several fun sessions in the rain, and two great races in the dry. Dick got to see once and for all how the car ran on the two Weber carbs. Dick & Kevin got to experiment with the new Traqmate system, and with the new Isaac systems which were both excellant. And Laddie the race dog enjoyed getting soaking wet and meeting Alex & Lisa McDonald's dog Maggie. It seems rain or shine we always have a fun time at Grattan.
|A Great Shakedown Weekend||Monday, May 7, 2007|
|The first race of the year is always a nervous time, but this year was worse than most. The Integra had a lot of work done to it, including re-installing the power steering, new aluminum pullys, a new oil cooler, a new header and exhaust, and an updated program for the ECU. The Prelude just a week ago was a basket case. It got all new bearings, new aluminum pullys, a new aluminum pan, a new exhaust header, modified cooling circuits, a new ECU program, a new rear brake bias system, and was put on a diet. The diet consisted of new NASCAR bars on both sides of the car, a new dash bar inside the dash, a new sun roof cover, new exhaust pipes, and removal of lots of systems and harnesses that were not being used. In total we removed 151 pounds from a car that had already been stripped to a race car years ago. In addition to our two cars, we assisted Ian Green with the build of his new CRX. Using many parts from his old CRX this was a completely new car. Needless to say we had a lot to check out at the track.
The Prelude was in group 3 with 7 other ITS cars and a few AS, T1, GT1 cars. Brian promptly went out Saturday morning and took the ITS pole by more than a half second over the track record holder Tim Selby in his very fast Mazda RX7. Although the Prelude was just as fast as the Mazda in the straights, the suspension is not yet tuned like it needs to be to enable Brian to match Tims experience in driving ORP for the whole race. Brian finished 2nd way ahead of the 3rd place car.
Kevin & Ian were in the next run group with 6 other ITA cars, along with a BG, and 4 SRFs. Kevin took the pole quite easily but was not as fast as his track record. Ian qualifyed third behind a RX7. Kevin raced pretty much by himself the whole race and would have been bored except for the time he kissed the wall in turn 15 coming onto the front straight. The bump left only minor damage to the car and the drivers ego. Ian had a more interesting race. The RX7 was quite fast but he couldn't go two laps without spinning. The race for second came down to Ian and Mat Downing in his Civic. They passed each other several times before the Civic started scooting all over the track with a loose steering rack and Ian pulled away for good to take second.
On Sunday Brian took over a second off his qualifying time but lost the pole to Selby by .07 seconds. The race was similar to Saturday with Brian staying close but not being able to catch the Mazda.
Kevin took the ITA pole by several seconds and ran just fast enough in the race to stay well in front of the battle going on for 2nd place. Ian qualified 3rd just a couple tenths behind the RX7. Matt Downing unfortunately ran off in turn 15 and hit the wall in qualifying and could not race. The race between Ian and the RX7 was fun to watch. At first the RX7 opened up a sizable gap and everyone thought it was goin to be boring, but Ian reeled him in as he learned the track and what his car could do. The last 7 laps had Ian attempting passes on the RX7 at least twice per lap but he could not make it stick. This track definitely favors the higher horsepower RX7 over the nimble CRX. On the last lap, Ian timed his approach through turn 15 so he would not have to check up behind the RX7 going onto the straight. It worked as he finally got in the RX7 draft. Ian pulled out to pass as they were approaching the start-finish line and they were so close none of us could tell who took 2nd place. The official transponder timing showed Ian winning by .011 seconds, but the T&S people all had the RX7 winning officially by about 8 inches. Either way it was a great race by both drivers.
It was a beautiful weekend with lots of crew and fans - Brian's fiance Wendy and his mom & dad, and Kevin's mom and dad. On Sunday the beautiful weekend was capped off by a visit from Drew Ryne Ruck who got to see his very first race by his Uncle Kevin. Uncle Kevin won the race and gave the trophie checker flag to his nephew.