Limited Class RWD
Despite not being attuned with his spirit animal, Tyler McQuarrie was able to focus his energy into a seriously impressive lap time of 1:48.038, not only setting a new Limited RWD record, but also earning him the fastest time of the day. The Platte Forme a.g. M3 proved its worth at Buttonwillow this year, as the gilded Bavarian made its way around Buttonwillow largely without issue until the turbocharged power proved too much for the differential, sadly preventing Tyler from setting a faster time, which he assures us is possible. Not wanting to leave well enough alone, the Platte Forme a.g. team is promising more power and more aero for next year’s time attack season; we can only hope that Tyler will have found his spirit animal by then, whether it be a wolf, an eagle or a platypus.
Coming in under the radar, Adam Knapik with Knapik Racing is proving to be a contender. Knapik wheeled the SR20DET / Garrett GTX3071R powered 1995 Nissan 240SX to 2nd place in Limited RWD with a smoking fast 1:50.152. The car suffered some undisclosed engine issues before the event, limiting full power output and then succumbed to a blown coupler, leaving the car undriveable for the last two sessions of the day. Next year with a finished aero package and a healthy engine, the boys at Platte Forme a.g. better have something up their sleeves to stay ahead of the curve.
Finishing 3rd place in Limited RWD in the RaceWerkz Engineering E92 BMW M3 was Cody Kishel with a time of 1:53.639. Menacing the competition throughout the day in a nearly stock looking car, Kishel, with his previous experience in Redline Time Attack, was not surprised that the RaceWerkz M3 ended up on the podium. With BMW’s securing 6 podium finishes at this year’s GTA / SLB finale a shot across the bow has been sent squarely in the JDM crowd’s direction for RWD classes.
The Powerhouse Amuse S2000’s spec sheet placed it firmly in the underdog category, with a distinct lack of power when compared to the other heavy-hitters in the Limited RWD class. Couple the low power with a transmission that opted to convert itself from a 6 speed to a 4 speed mid-race and you’d expect to find a “DNF” next to Ricky Kwan’s name, but due to a fair amount of driver skill and tenacity, the S2000 found itself just shy of the podium. The team managed to set a 1:54.565 time, even though the car seemed to be trying its best to keep itself in the pits. During the off-season, the Powerhouse Amuse team is planning on disciplining the temperamental, yet eye-catching S2000 and building it into the ultimate streetable track car.
Tom Tang, owner of the Blacktrax Performance / CT Engineering / TunerPlayground / Hankook Tire 2005 Honda S2000, aka “Irene”, had a trick up his sleeve for the finale this year. That trick was 3-time Honda Challenge National Champion, Graham Downey. Downey put down the fastest naturally aspirated time of the day, a 1:56.274 good for 5th place in Limited RWD. Tang has decided 215whp will not cut it for next year, so a new cage is going in, full widebody aero package, bigger brakes, wheels, tires and a fresh, stroked F2.4L engine built in-house by Blacktrax. Testing should start in March!
Derrick Lee and the A&J Racing crew traveled all the way from Richmond, BC to profess the second coming of the sports car, known to us mortals as the Subaru BRZ. Knowing full well that the BRZ is destined for greatness in the automotive world, A&J Racing developed their car using T1R components to show how potent the little Toyobaru/Subieyota twins can be with relatively minor modifications. Considering that the BRZ was severely outgunned when compared to other competitors in the Limited RWD class (this car was still largely stock in the engine department, though an extra 20 naturally aspirated horsepower are planned for next year) and still had most of the comforts of a full interior, its 1:58.820 result is truly impressive. Repent all ye non-believers, for the sports car has returned.
Not many drivers would use the terms unbelievably excited, awesome experience and pretty dismal when describing their driving experience, but Kevin Parlett isn’t your average driver. Parlett made the trip all the way from Charlotte, NC for his first event at Buttonwillow and was in for a surprise. On his second lap, he had minor contact with another driver that tweaked the aero, bodywork and alignment. A few minutes with a hammer later and the SOHO Motorsports / Turbo By Garrett 2005 Inifniti G35 was back on the track, but finishing with a time of 2:03.165 was fairly disappointing for the team. Parlett and co will take the car back to the shop and improve upon the setup with data gathered from Buttonwillow in preparation for Road Atlanta in May. Hopefully no hammers will be involved at that event!