Here's the team. It goes “Name, day time gig – Team America position”. Did I mention we are short on man power? This car is being built on our free time in the evenings and weekends with the exception of Gary whose company is actually getting paid for the work. All of us other idiots are doing this because…we love it?? I think we're all a little old for that mentality, but there's alway one last hurrah. Oh and I forgot: because Andy is going to treat us like kings while we're in Sydney, right Andy?!?
Gary Castillo, Design Craft Fabrication – Chassis and Suspension Fabricator/Mechanic
Gary is the owner of Design Craft Fabrication and a long time friend of mine. Visit www.designcraftfabrication.com to check out some of the work he's done in the past. As long as Gary has a steady diet of Heineken, some tubes, tube notcher, press brake, English wheel, plasma cutter, and a welder, he'll make anything. The only catch is that being Filipino, we need to sweat him all the time to keep on schedule, but maybe that isn't a Filipino thing this time. What fabricator is EVER on time?
Katsu Hibio, Cosworth, SP Engineering, and WPC – Everythingman
Katsu just did 8 years at HKS USA before they decided to close up and move back to Japan. To keep busy, he's working part time at Cosworth in the build shop, SP Engineering building R35 GT-R transmissions, and part time at WPC doing the surface treatments. Katsu can literally do everything: build, tune, fabricate, wrench, electrical, and most importantly, drink (he's Japanese). And he does it all good (including drinking). Back in 1999, Katsu was at the RH9 shop, RiverTec in Fukuoka, building and tuning Skyline GT-Rs with his quickest customer running a 9.1 ET in the 1/4 mile (0-400m). We asked Katsu right before we started ripping apart the ARK BNR32, “Hey Katsu, what year did you start working on Skyline GT-Rs?” He said, “What was the first year of the GT-R again? 1989 was it?” We all said, “Dayam!”
Tyler Hara – Cosworth USA, Principal Engineer
Tyler's actually the head engineer at Cosworth USA, but he wanted the word “principal” somewhere in his Team America title so being that he is designing most everything that requires any kind of machining, he gets the title “Principal Engineer”. Tyler's extensive knowledge of CAD and familiarity with machining operations makes him a very important part of the team. Tyler also used to drag race (and destroy) his 800+hp K20 + GT42R powered 1996 Honda Civic dubbed “the Golden Nugget”. Fun facts: Tyler was responsible for many filters on a stick (cold air intakes) during his tenure at AEM Induction in the early 2000's and is responsible for designing the Cosworth Subaru EJ25 Inlet Manifold all you Subaru fans know and love.
Kyong Choi – Cosworth USA, Friend and Helper of the Team
You might know Kyong as the Sales Manager at Cosworth USA. He is an avid enthusiast that has worked at other tuning shops and distributors over the past decade. He's owned Hondas, 240SX with KA and SR engines, and now rocks a BMW 335i Sedan. He knows and loves cars, but doesn't have the place to work on one anymore. So he hangs out and helps where he can so he can drink beer and live vicariously through us who will actually be suffering through the late nights and deadlines.
Eric Hsu – Cosworth USA, Team Manager, Engine, and Data Acquisition Guy
This is me. My day time gig is a Product Development Manager for the Engineering Department at Cosworth. Read www.beyondthedyno.com from the very beginning if you want to know more about me, but basically I've been tweaking on cars, engines, and fuel injection for 22 years now starting out in street racing. I will be involved in just about every aspect of this car since I am the driving force behind getting it done and on the podium. I am a BNR32 Skyline GT-R nut and the vision I have for this car is ALMOST the ultimate BNR32 Skyline GT-R that can be built. Keep reading this series for an explanation on the ALMOST parts of it. Fun fact: I will be dead or near dead once WTAC 2012 is over because of this car.
Mike Kojima – MotoIQ.com Boss, Chassis and Suspension Engineer
You motoiq.com fans definitely know Mike. You drift nerds definitely know Mike. You SR20 nerds definitely know Mike. You Nissan nerds definitely know Mike. You suspension nerds definitely know Mike. Wait, almost everybody knows Mike! Mike started out tweaking his own cars in the garage for street racing and then as an engineer at TRD in the late 80's and used to race anything on wheels. Fun fact: did you know Mike holds many patents for mountain bike suspension geometries?
There are members of ARK Design in Japan and ARK Motorsports in Australia that are also helping us out along the way. Perhaps some of them will join us in Sydney and the other subsequent Time Attacks as well.