NASA Race Weekend, October 8-9 2005
GTI Cup paddock
The next race of the 2005 season found Shed Racing at NASA's October 8-9
event at Sears Point
in the GTI Cup class.
were 6 cars in class this weekend, with Ron Swett picking up the
driving duties Saturday, and Tom Aiken driving Sunday. Other
competitors included Joe Craven,
Neville, Calvin Wan, Carlos
Suarez, and Dan
Piña. Calvin was driving Dan's car, and Dan was
driving David Piña's car. David had planned on racing, but was
unable to due to a paperwork problem that he wasn't able to sort out in
time for the race. Changes to the race car for this event
included more agressive rear alignment settings, and removal of the
front sway bar to try and limit wheel spin coming out of slower
a problem at Sears Point. A light system was also added to the
dash for the benefit of the video camera, as a poor-man's data
acquisition system. When the throttle is fully open, a green
comes on, when the brakes are used, a red light.
The first session of the day, Ron got off to an shaky start.
Cold tires, a cold track and the alignment changes caught him by
surprise, and he spun in the esses on his out lap, flat spotting the
right front tire. He had to put up with the vibration from the
tire for the rest of the session, but he managed to get his lap time
down to a 2:10.74. Dan was the fastest in the morning session,
with a 2:03.57.
In the qualifying session, Ron improved with each lap, dropping his lap
time to 2:06.9. Dan Piña was on fire grabbing the
pole with a time
of 2:02.941. Right behind him was fast Joe Craven at 2:03.050,
followed by Scott Neville at 2:03.74, Carlos Suarez, 2:04.1, and Calvin
Wan, 2:05.85. Ron wound up sixth on the grid.
earns the pole.
and Joe pass an RX7 at the start of Saturday's race.
The race started well, with Dan passing
an RX7 on the start, and led the GTI field for most of the first
lap. When Dan was coming out of the esses, A RX7 went off the
track to the left exiting Turn 8A, and spun back onto the track,
contacting Dan fairly hard on the driver's side
front wheel in turn 9. The Mazda continued to spin, with his
right rear hitting Dan's left rear. The Mazda continued off the
track to the right, into the tires, ending his day. When
Dan was nearing Turn 11, he noticed two other RX7s coming up behind him
too hot. He heard skidding tires and he stayed wide, which was a good
move, as one of the Mazdas slid by him on the inside, sideways, into
the tire wall. At this point, Dan tried to donwshift, and learned
as a result of the contact with the RX7, the suspension was
damaged, pushing the drive axle into the transmission, keeping him from
shifting gears. Dan pulled his crippled car off the track and sat
out the remainder of the race.
and Kurt Frietzsche sit out the race by the drag strip.
Ron and Calvin had a great battle for fifth place most of the race,
swapping positions several times. Ron had opened a decent
gap over Calvin in lap 8 when Calvin's car started smoking a bit coming
front straight, and then smoking badly as the engine blew up just
before turn 1. Calvin wisely got off the racing line and parked
the car in a safe spot to sit out the remainder of the race. Joe
first, followed closely by Carlos, only 1.2 seconds behind. Scott
Neville finished third, followed by Ron. Best lap times of the
race were Joe 2:02.1, Carlos 2:03.0, Scott 2:03.3, Ron
2:05.9, and Calvin 2:06.0 before his engine expired.
Ron and Calvin battle for position.
Calvin gets a ride back to the paddock.
After the race, David, Dan and Calvin
went to work on the front suspension of the #19 car, and with the
replacement of the lower A-arm and axle, got the car race worthy again.
Unfortunately the #49 car was terminal, with a twisted connecting rod
poking out a roughly 3 inch square hole in the block. The engine
failure was severe enough that debris from the engine hit the fuel tank
and caused a leak.
silver thing is a connecting rod and wrist pin,
seen through a big hole in the block.
Tom awoke Sunday to find himself 38 years old. He got to a
slightly better start than Ron in Sunday's warmup, he didn't go off
until his second lap. He carried a little too much speed into the
esses, and when it was clear he wouldn't make the corner, he went off
straight to the inside of the track before turn 8A. Once it was
clear, he reentered the track in turn 9, and continued with an
uneventful session. Tom's best time was 2:10.01. Carlos was
fastest, with a 2:05.4, followed by Joe with a 2:05.6 and Calvin, who
took over the #19 car with a 2:06.7. Scott skipped the morning
warmup The session was ended early when two idiots in Factory
Five cobras tried to go three wide passing Joe in turn 9, and ended up
trying to move a concrete wall, with predictable results.
checks tire pressures.
Marcus and Scott of Miller
Motorsports showed up Sunday to help out
Tom was faster in the qualifying session, with a 2:07.4 Joe
Craven took the pole with a 2:02.6, followed by Carlos with a 2:03.7,
Calvin with a 2:03.9 and Scott with 2:04.1. To try and
avoid conflicting with other groups, the GTIs opted to start behind the
Spec Miata class, the last group on the grid. The idea was to try
and let each group run their own race, without interfering with each
other. Unfortunately a SU class Porsche and an Audi World
Challenge car chose to start at the back of the grid, and managed to
get in the middle of the GTI race for the first lap.
of the Sunday race
The race start was clean, with
Tom doing his best to try and keep up with the faster rabbits,
gave up momentum when the Porsche and Audi passed off line. He
kept at it, passing a backmarker Spec Miata, and a Pro-Sedan MR2.
In the fifth lap, Tom passed Scott Neville who was off the track
outside turn 7. Scott had a transmission problem, and his car was
stuck in third gear. He managed to limp back to the paddock
Joe won the race, followed closely by
Carlos, then Calvin and
Tom. Carlos had the fastest lap of the race, with a 2:02.63,
followed by Joe with a 2:02.64, Calvin with 2:03.6 and Tom with a
2:07.38. Scott ran a 2:03.7 before he retired.
Tom takes the checkered flag in
When Tom and Ron returned to Ron's house to unload, they found
Shannon, Cindy, Jessica, Jason and Catherine ready with dinner and
birthday cupcakes to celebrate Tom's birthday.
Tired, sunburnt birthday boy
helps with the candle.