Redline Track Events: Round 1 Race Report – Willow Springs Raceway
By Laura Heng
Redline Track events kicks off their racing season with a cornucopia of racing events in a single weekend at Willow Springs Raceway in Rosamond, CA. Spectators were able to feast on a buffet of different disciplines of motorsports with the four different racing events running simultaneously. The Redline Pro Track Challenge is where the high dollar machines came out to do battle for a chance to win a part of the massive $250,000 prize purse being offered and the Redline Pro Time Attack is the traditional time attack we are all familiar with. The MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship (MPTCC) which is a half hour wheel to wheel race with a vast array of cars competing on the same racing surface. And lastly we had the Lotus Cup series which is a manufacturer supported series that featured their own time attack and wheel to wheel race.
Saturday’s practice started off with a fair share of mechanical related drama. Joon Maeng’s Lucas Oil S13 drift car was fresh off the boat from its trip to Panama for a drift exhibition. With only a few days to prepare the car for road racing duty the crew decided to play it safe and turn the power level down to a conservative 350hp which is over 100hp less than their usual power level. The SR20DET powered S13 was running some really quick lap times during practice when a small fluid leak caused a flash fire in the engine bay. As the fire spread and engulfed the entire engine bay the heat coming through the firewall was so great that Joon thought his driving shoes were melting to the bottom of his feet. Joon ended up fighting the fire alongside the track safety crew and this was the resulting BBQ’ed engine bay. Joon was one of the front runners to win the MPTCC event before the unfortunate incident and we are confident that he and his crew will rebuild the car to be even better than before.
|During Saturday's practice sessions Joon Maeng was clicking off very consistent lap times and was the number one threat to the mighty Berk Technology BMW 135i.|
|Joon played double duty as racecar driver and firefighter when a glowing hot turbocharger started a massive engine fire. Thankfully Joon was unhurt but his SR20DET motor will require a major rebuild.|
Our glorious leader of MotoIQ Mike Kojima also had a rough weekend racing with his Nissan Sentra dubbed the Dog II. The Dog II is normally an ultra reliable car that has seen plenty of wheel to wheel races. This weekend the car would blow off a power steering hose that nearly started another engine fire. Chris Marion from KW Suspensions and Phil Tran from Berk Technology went to work on the car. With the help of Phil’s slender Asian hands they were able to refasten a bolt that had worked itself loose.
|Our glorious leader Mike Kojima made it back out on track after the power steering failure and near engine fire only to find a mystery piece of metal in the combustion chamber and a broken ring land.|
|Phil Tran from Berk Technology works his slender Asian fingers around a very hard to reach bolt and resecures the power steering fitting. Mike Kojima asseses the damage and cleans up the flammable power steering fluid with his not so slender fingers.|