Racing season is well under
way. All of the Kryderacing prepped cars have been very active. We have
competed in SCCA Driver Schools, SCCA Regionals, SCCA Nationals, NASA’s
Open Track Challenge, and The Tire Rack One Lap of America. There has also
been a considerable amount of testing going on. There is also a lot of
news about the changes at Nelson Ledges Road Course.
SUMMIT POINT NATIONAL
It was cold and miserable. The first SCCA Northeast Division of the year is traditionally held at Summit Point Raceway. Weather is always a big issue. Neither Bill Pintaric (GT-4 Nissan 200SX) or David Pintaric (T-1 Corvette) had ever been to Summit Point. Everyone arrived at the track on Thursday so we could be ready for a test day on Friday. It was cold, but thankfully dry when we unloaded and set up in the paddock. Friday opened with light rain and temperatures in the 40’s.
This was Bill’s first National race with his new Nissan. He sat out the morning rain sessions and experienced a mechanical problem in the afternoon. Everything seemed okay by Friday night but he had had very little track time. Saturday’s first session was also short. The problem we found on Saturday probably contributed to the issues experienced Friday. Everything worked as it should in the Saturday afternoon qualifying session and Bill qualified second in class. He improved his lap times during Sunday’s race, but still wound up second. Not bad for his first National with the new car and at a new track. By the way, Sunday’s weather was dry, but the temperature barely made it to forty. There were some snow flurries during Bill’s race.
David practiced during the
morning sessions on Friday. Both sessions were in the wet and he made the
(wise) decision to set out the afternoon sessions since the track was still
damp. Practicing Friday in the wet paid off on Saturday morning when his
first qualifying session was also in the wet. He set fastest time. Not
too shabby for someone who had never been to the track before. The afternoon
session was in the dry and David dropped back to fifth on the grid. That
was still impressive. Sunday’s race saw him immediately move into fourth,
and then take third during the seventh lap. The battle for the lead was
only about three seconds in front of him and it looked as if he had a chance
for the win. But then things started happening. A big slide into the last
turn damaged his tires. After two pit stops he salvaged ninth place. A
very promising start to the year, but with only a single point to show
David’s second National was at Gingerman on April 24-25. Again David qualified well (fourth). But it didn’t take long for things to go wrong in the race. As they entered the first turn, one of the American Sedan cars decided it wanted to occupy the same piece of real estate as David’s Corvette. David found himself knocked off course. Things didn’t improve much after that, but he did manage a sixth place finish.
Bill Pintaric did not compete at Gingerman, but one of his cars did. Matt Miller, who runs the day-to-day Kryderacing shop operations, had made a deal with Bill to convert his old Datsun 510 from GT-4 to G-Production and try it in a few Nationals. This was Matt’s first SCCA National. He brought the car home in fourth.
Gary Martz was also competing
for the first time in 2005. While Gary does most of his own preparation
work, we have assisted him frequently over the years and enjoy the relationship.
Gary is always competitive, but Gingerman wasn’t his day due to transmission
NELSON LEDGES NATIONAL
The Mahoning Valley Region
hosted the May 15-16 National at Nelson Ledges. Not only did we have all
of our National level cars running, but Sandi was busy being Race Chairman.
Matt qualified second in his second National and probably would have finished
second except for what appears to be a miscue with the electrical switches.
He still finished fourth in GP. David qualified second in T-1, but failed
to finish the race when there was a failure in the torque tube. Fortunately
the problem happened late in the race so he was still credited with a seventh
place finish and three points in class. Bill Pintaric was the hero of the
weekend. He qualified quickest of the GT-4 cars, lead every lap, and won
his first National event.
The changes to Nelson Ledges
Road Course are starting to pay off. The entry for the National was up
noticeably from the past several years. What makes this increase even more
impressive was it happened with competition from a National at Grattan
(Michigan) on the same weekend. The track repaving, even though partial,
had a huge impact on lap times. Ten lap records were set. Last year the
official first sub-minute lap was run. This year three Formula Atlantics
raced below that record and eventually lowered the record to a mid-58.
The new registration building was a surprise to many. Not only was it nice,
clean, and in great shape, it included a/c, heat, electricity, and plumbing.
The walkways to it were finished in gravel and decorative stepping stones.
Once inside the paddock, one of the noticeable changes was the new Kryderacing
gas tanks and pumps. Both unleaded and leaded race fuels are offered. These
visible changes are only a small part of everything that is happening.
Brother and sister Scott and Kerrie Lane are now running the track and
putting a lot of work into it. Last year Scott attended the Mahoning Valley
Region membership meeting and announced his plans for Nelson Ledges. He
and Kerrie had recently taken over following John McGill‘s retirement from
managing the facility. Scott laid out his visions, but strongly stated
one item had not changed: the track was still working with the same miniscule
budget. He hoped the changes they were making would increase attendance
and help finance further improvements. The next time you see Scott or Kerrie,
make sure you tell them what you think of their efforts to date.
OPEN TRACK CHALLENGE
This was the third year for this NASA sanctioned event. The previous two years have featured the idea of running on “seven tracks in seven days”. This year the program was shortened to five days for a variety of reasons. (Note: there was an overwhelming demand for a return to seven days in 2005.) The basic idea of the event is to run four twenty-minute qualifying sessions at a track during the course of a day. There are a variety of classes and similar classes are grouped together to minimize speed differentials on the track. At the end of each day, the fastest three lap times for each competitor are totaled, compared to other competitors, and points are awarded in class, division, and overall. Any on-track wheel-to-wheel racing is usually detrimental to turning the quickest lap time and most competitors work towards getting a lap with no traffic concerns.
As in the previous three years, Russ Wilson and Reed teamed up in Russ’s Kryderacing prepped 1991 Corvette ZR-1. In 2002 they finished second to Paul Mumford and his Viper. Last year they dropped to third behind a Mosler and a Viper. This year found them back in second behind, what else, another Viper. The old ZR-1 seems able to beat all the newer Corvettes and some of the Vipers, but there always seems to be one car which is out of reach.
The class they run in requires the car to be driven on the highway between events. We seem to have developed a caravan of drivers and crew over the past few years. Russ usually did the highway driving of the ZR-1 while Reed joined Tyler (Russ’s son) in the Suburban. In addition, Walt Minato was somewhere nearby in his Canepa modified all-black Suburban. Most of the time there wasn’t a lot of crewing needed at the track, but it was nice to have the manpower when necessary.
The 2004 event started at the club course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The track has been enlarged since the previous year and lap times were slightly over two minutes. The first day results were a forecast of what was to come. Reed finished behind the Rossi Viper GTS. Day two found us at Willow Springs. We finished third (behind the Viper and a Corvette Z06), but probably were lucky to have done that good. The car did not run right for all but the first run. It was missing badly and the “check engine” light would appear. We checked and changed everything we could handle at the track. Nothing helped. Following the event we visited a local repair shop. They determined a spark plug was defective, replaced it, and we were on our way. It seemed like an awfully easy fix and we were a little embarrassed we had not found it ourselves. But the problem did seem to be gone, at least
for a little while. The third day found us at Thunderhill, the car was running okay, and we returned to our second place finish routine.
The next day we visited beautiful Sears Point. Reed had raced there a dozen years ago, but most of the place was unrecognizable. We opted not to run in either of the morning sessions because it was raining. The afternoon was dry, but our final session was cut very short following a competitor’s blown engine and resulting clean-up. Reed had posted some quick times early in the last session and they held up for a first place finish at this track. During the day we started to notice a return of the engine “miss”, but it was never bad enough to trigger the “check engine” light or put the engine into a “limp home” mode.
The final day was at Buttonwillow. After the morning runs we were comfortably in second place but the “miss” was becoming more noticeable. The power steering cooler also developed a tiny crack and leak. We could have run in the afternoon, but decided to park the car. The victory banquet was held at the track and we walked away with a nice Second Place Trophy in the Touring One Class. We also ended up third overall in the Touring Division and ninth in the Overall Standings (both Touring and Unlimited classes combined).
We are already talking about
2005. The organizers of this event are somewhat concerned about the future
because car counts were down a little this year. If you are interested
please look up the event on the internet (www.opentrackchallenge.com).
This is a fantastic event. It would be a shame for it to disappear.
2004 THE TIRE RACK CANNONBALL ONE LAP OF AMERICA PRESENTED BY CAR AND DRIVER
Wow. What a title. After returning home from the OTC, Reed got one day of rest before setting out for this event. This was the eighth time he has competed in it and the fourth time with John Bender. It was also the first time he did not drive a Corvette. John had been one of the first persons to purchase a Cadillac CTS-V. Mallett Cars (www.mallettcars.com) had done some preparation work (before John ever had a chance to drive it). Chuck Mallett plans on offering a “Hammer” version of the car through Cadillac dealerships and John’s car was one of his test beds. The engine was upgraded to around 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, different wheels and tires were fitted, alternate shocks were installed, revisions were made to the exhaust, and several other changes were done. Because the car was so new, Chuck could not do everything he wanted. There simply wasn’t time, and besides, it was important to keep the car reliable for the upcoming 6000+ miles of highway and track driving during the One Lap.
This years One Lap was an extremely long event. It started with a wet skidpad competition at The Tire Rack headquarters in South Bend, Indiana (Friday). During the next week we visited Heartland Park near Topeka (Saturday), Pikes Peak International Raceway (Sunday), Infinion Raceway near San Francisco (Monday), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Tuesday), Pueblo Motor Sports Park (Wednesday), Hallett in Oklahoma (Thursday), Road America in Wisconsin (Friday), and returned to The Tire Rack for a dry skidpad competition on Saturday morning.
We competed in the Luxury Sedan class and ran seventeen competitive events along the way. There was another CTS-V in our class along with (two each) BMW M5’s, Audi S4’s, and AMG Mercedes Benz models. Perrenial class winners Roy Hopkins, Adrienne Hughes, and Nancy Becker and their M5 were once again the car to beat in the class. Our CTS-V was a total unknown. Our only experience driving it was getting to South Bend. There was less than 900 miles on the odometer when the event started. Our lack of testing became a liability immediately.
The car itself was great and Mallett’s preparation was flawless. But any new car has a few “bugs” and ours was not immune. The first problem was an indication of very high oil temperature. This turned out to be a sensing unit problem associated with the first couple of cars out of the factory. We were told which wire to pull to disconnect the sensor without causing another issue. The biggest problem was the inability to turn off the Stabilitrak system. This is a terrific safety feature that senses instability in the car and tries to make corrections, regardless of the driver’s input. For example, if the car started to spin out this system would sense it and try to put the car back on a straight path by slightly applying the (inside position) rear brake. The system, like traction control and ABS, adds to the safe control of the vehicle and is highly recommended for normal driving. But, when the driver is on a racetrack and intentionally tossing the car around the system needs to be turned off. Under racetrack driving conditions it and the driver are often working at odds with each other. Cadillac recognizes these vehicles will be used for track events and has installed a way for the driver to disable the systems if so desired. Unfortunately, our system and that of the other CTS-V had locked them selves “on“. They refused to be turned “off”. We believe it was due to the wheel and tire changes affecting the tire pressure sensors. We made numerous phone calls and several people spent four days trying to turn the system off or disconnect it. All efforts failed until we were told of a relatively easy to reach, but obscure, plug to disconnect. It wasn’t until the Las Vegas event we were able to run without the Stabilitrak. We then could attack other issues such as minor adjustments to the alignment and air pressures.
By the time we got to Hallett we were getting comfortable with the car and battling for second place finishes at each event (Roy and his M5 were consistently winning and had a huge points lead in the class). After the morning event at Hallett we were in a three car battle for third place in class. In second place behind Roy was one of the Audi’s and he was not going to be caught for position unless he messed up on track. Which he promptly did that afternoon. Much to our surprise, at the end of the day we were within striking distance of second.
In the morning at Elkhart Lake we finished second to the Audi’s fourth. Lunchtime found us tied in points with the Audi and the second M5 was not too far behind. Another top contender in the class, Tony Swan’s AMG, had a fuel starvation problem in the morning and was no longer a factor in the points chase. Tony’s problem should have been a hint, because we experienced a similar problem in the afternoon and finished poorly. But the Audi once again failed to finish. We left Road America still tied for second, but now with the M5.
The final day was a simple
skidpad run at The Tire Rack. When the M5 showed up with lots of camber
cranked into its wheels we were worried. But the CTS-V recorded a .941g
run to easily defeat the bimmer and secure the Second Place Trophy. In
hindsight, the Cadillac was a terrific car and we might have been able
to challenge Roy for the victory if we had done any pre-event testing.
The preparation done by Chuck Mallett gave us a significant edge over the
other CTS-V (which wasn’t totally stock in itself). And the car was incredibility
comfortable during the long runs between events. The big question now is
what do we run in 2005?
MAHONING VALLEY REGION DOUBLE DRIVERS SCHOOL AT NELSON LEDGES
April 16-18 was a busy weekend
for us. A large turnout of 50 students was in attendance. Sandi was Race
Chairman for this “first ever” attempt at a double Driver’s School, Bill
Pintaric was Chief Instructor, and Matt Miller was not only maintaining
two Kryderacing vehicles, but keeping an eye on a couple of others as well.
Bruce Keillor was going to school in the Nissan NX2000 and Alan Schultz
was in the Nissan 240SX. Both of these Kryderacing prepped cars compete
in the ITS class. They and their drivers performed flawlessly during the
STEEL CITIES REGION DOUBLE REGIONAL AT NELSON LEDGES
The first two events in the
2004 Kryderacing Regional Championship Series were held during the weekend
of May 22-23. The turnout was approximately 80 cars, which was a significant
increase from this event in 2003. This increase is at lease partially due
to the track improvements. Bruce Keillor switched from our NX2000 to his
own ITC class VW Rabbit. We had done some of the prep work on it during
the winter months. Alan Schultz switched from the 240SX he used at the
Driver’s Schools to the NX2000. His reason was that Bruce just seemed to
be having such a great time in the car at the school. Both drivers finished
both races and completed the two race requirement needed to move from a
Novice License to a Regional License.
UPCOMING KRYDERACING ACTIVITIES
June 5-6 Mid-Ohio National (Bill Pintaric - GT4 Nissan 200SX, David Pintaric - T1 Corvette, Matt Miller - GP Datsun 510, Gary Martz - EP Mazda RX-7)
June 12-13 Nelson Ledges Double Regional (Bill Schauer - ITS Nissan 240SX, Alan Schultz - ITS Nissan NX2000)
June 19-20 BeaveRun National (same as Mid-Ohio National)
July 3-4 Mid-Ohio Double Regional (Alan Schultz - ITS Nissan NX2000, Mike Olivier - SSC Honda Civic, Reed Kryder - ITS Nissan SX240, Matt Miller, ITS Mazda RX7)
July 10-11 Watkins Glen National
(Bill Pintaric - GT4 Nissan 200SX)
Keep up-to-date with all Kryderacing activities by visiting our website.