, As I rolled back in I continued my paddock quest and all was still quiet… Yet I noticed a slumped figure in a chair outside of the UMS camper. Sure enough it was long time friend and BBQ badass Justin McClanahan. I want to take this time RIGHT now to set things right with my boy Justin. Back in March when we shot the UMS EVO for its “Nerd's Eye View” Justin was the person that prepared the car, removed all the pieces, jacked it up and in general busted ass so that we could take pictures. I completely FORGOT to thank him so now, here… THANKS JUSTIN! I snuck out the camera to take a picture of Justin crashed on the chair outside. What was he doing? Why tending the SMOKER of course; over 20lbs of pork shoulder had been trimmed and rubbed and placed to smoke for 20 hours and he sat out there hours on end making sure it was right.
Justin manned the smoker all night and day. Over 20 hours and a case of heat stroke later some wicked dry rubbed pork shoulder was pulled off this bad boy.
As we conversed we took in some of the other cars starting to roll in. M3's, a GT-R, NSX, Mercedes AMG, some serious hardware was showing up with the Shift S3ctor crowd. For the Pro-Am series Global Time Attack partners with Shift S3ctor (SS) to put on events. SS does an HPDE while GTA has sessions for Time Attack during the event. The format works well as it brings out people looking to drive their cars at speed and also gives them exposure to the sport of Time Attack. One of the cars that interested me was the HRG Porsche Boxster. The team brought out this purpose built wheel-to-wheel racing machine for the weekend to see how they stacked up against the TA crowd. Also out was the RaceCo GT-R and it was great to see this car surface again. Unless you have been under a rock you will remember the Cobb GT-R and how well it did in the world of Time Attack, well Kyle noticed that too and acquired that exact GT-R. He is working on its development to get it back to its winning ways. As the cars rolled in the asses rolled out of bed. Chuckwalla has campers hard parked with generators in the paddock and you can rent them by the night. And yes, it reminded me a bit of a pikey commune with all of the “caravans” about; twas quite a shame that none of them were perrywinkle blue! As we convened for the drivers' meeting they went through the schedule as well as the normal do's and dont's. The word of the day was hydration as it was supposed to be 118 EFFING DEGREES! Those who say it's a dry heat? FUCK YOU; that shit is hot as balls!
The grid Saturday morning. Some serious hardware showed up to battle it out with Father Time.
On Saturday the track was ran clockwise and as the first session approached the teams were prepping their cars. JDM fresh was busy pulling their sleeping bags off of the spoiler of their Miata while Travis installed the splitter on the front of the Snail WRX. If you recall the nice version 2.0 was donated to the Road Atlanta corner workers in a rally cross escapade. To ensure Travis would have some front grip version 1.0 made a re-appearance! Several of the TA cars did not go out in the A.M. and I was rather surprised by this. My opinion was that the first two sessions of the day would provide the best conditions to set a fast lap due to the blazing sun cooking the track. After going out for a few laps Taylor Wilson in the Snail WRX wagon came back in with an issue. As it turns out the coupler on the turbo outlet did not like the power and heat as it split itself in half! Taylor went to work on the hot mess and applied some thermal wrap around the new coupler to provide some heat isolation; after safety wiring the new coupler and wrap in place the fix would prove to last all weekend. Also during the first session I would hug the wall to give my ear to the HRG porsche. The flat 6 made love to my ears and I could not stop smiling as it roared past the wall. Eric Oviatt was piloting the Stuttgart special very quickly around the track and not just for 2 flying laps! He would stay out nearly the entire session! Clearly this is a wheel to wheel endurance car and clearly it has the reliability factor down; could it hold up in the battle against the seconds? Regardless I knew I had to place my GoPro and external mic in that car to get some video and most importantly AUDIO! In addition to the exhaust note I also took in the build details; at first glance one might mistake it for a Cayman based on the hard top and body lines. Fact is that the hard top is a one off piece created by hand at HRG.
Eric Oviatt in the HRG Porsche Boxster came out to run with the Time Attack crowd! Normally a wheel to wheel car they came to see how they stacked up against the competition and the clock.
Another car that sounded beastly was the C63 AMG being driven by Michael Essa… Yes that's right, the recent Formula D winner was out in another German machine; this time to attack time! Also out in session one was the RaceCo GT-R, it was great to see the car back in action and it was clear they were shaking the car down in anticipation of running more events.
Michael Essa came out in the beautiful GSR Mercedes C63 AMG. The car belonged to a friend who would come out on Sunday to try their hand behind the wheel at Chuckwalla.
Kyle Schick in the RaceCo GT-R. This car originally belonged to COBB Tuning and was driven by Brian Lock. Kyle is sorting the car out and is making changes to improve it as well as have it better suit his driving style.