MPTCC ’14 Round 2: Spring Mountain

MPTCC '14 Round 2: Spring Mountain 

by Martin Gonzales

The second race weekend of the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship presented by Motul was a much further drive than the usual SoCal events the series is used to participating in. This time around the MPTCC was taking a road trip to Nevada! But we're not talking about the bright city lights and nocturnal lifestyle of Las Vegas. No sir. The MPTCC was heading to lavish Pahrump, home of Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club!

The first race of the 2014 MPTCC season was not kind to some of the teams, as we saw two cars go down for the count. Series newcomer Patris Essaei was experiencing some bad misfiring issues that were ultimately traced to a faulty ECU. While MotoIQ Project Infiniti G20 racecar finally decided enough was enough and blew a head gasket. Apparently boosting a higher than normal compression SR20 (10 to 1), albeit with really low boost, just isn't a good long term road racing set up. The road to Spring Mountain was going to be a tough one for Project Infiniti G20 Racecar and team MotoIQ. 

Now many of you may think that because this is MotoIQ we should be able to swap blown engines with ease. Yes we have the tools and know how, but there is still one very key component that we lack the most…time! Not only are we bringing you content on a daily basis(almost), but we still need to keep the lights on around here…and that usually takes priority over our own race car projects. So as we bring you the recap and results of our third and fourth races of the MPTCC season, let us take you through the brief tale of how the MotoIQ race team actually made it to Spring Mountain first.


With the amount of water the Infiniti's SR20 was spewing out the exhaust when we drove it back on to the trailer after the first race there was no doubt the engine had to come out. Thankfully we've gone through a few engines in our 7+ years of running the G20, so removal is relatively simple and pain free. Minus the turbo goodies of course. The hardware and lines are just a PITA!
Once the oil was drained and the head was off…we verified what we unfortunately already knew had happened. I'm no oil expert, but that is definitely not a good look for the Motul race oil we run.

Bummed and dreading the amount of work that needed to be done to get the G20 back on the road, we did what any other racer would do…we went out for a drink! With over 30 years of SR20 experience under our belts no way we couldn't get this thing back up and running on time. After all, we had over 6 weeks before the Spring Mountain Race. Right? Wrong!!! In the blink of an eye 4 weeks had sped by and we hadn't even touched the engine or gone through our SR20 graveyards to find a good block and head to use for our rebuild. Crap! 

With less than two weeks before we had to hit the road we needed to find a solution, and fast! So while hunting around in the SR20 forums Classified sections for a miracle in the form of a mildly built low compression engine that someone may have given up on…we found the next best thing. A running race car! Were we seriously going to remedy our problem by buying another FWD SR20 powered handling monstrosity….YES! It was just too good of a deal to pass up and now Steve and I may be able to “compete” against each other. “I wouldn't say I wouldn't go fishing with the man. All I'm saying is, if he comes near me…I'll put him in the wall.” Stay tuned for possible carnage in the near future! lol.


Say hello to the new MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship race machine! The #37 is a 1998 Nissan 200SX SE-R. Why did we do this? Because it was cheap, we knew its history, and we're familiar with the chassis. With two weeks left before race-wars….err….MPTCC Round 2, we needed something we could get running quickly with zero learning curve. 

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