Redline Time Attack: Round 3 Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV – Round 3 of the Redline Time Attack Series was held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The weekend began early for HB Speed as they were getting parts installed on their 2008 Mitsubishi Evolution X. Swapping out Cosworth MX1 camshafts for GSC Stage 2 Cams and Cosworth Valve Springs, Jon Drenas was simply looking to increase the RPM range and have more top end power. Now if only that was as easy as it sounds.

Before reassembling the heads, the team checked for valve clearance and the exhaust side didn’t seem to sit well. Not having the appropriately sized cam buckets lead to a slight improvisation. The team had a wide assortment of tools and equipment at their shop, in particular, a lathe. The big buckets were attached, and millimeter by millimeter, the team got the right sized clearance that they needed.

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Having improvised and hurrying to fix their clogged catalytic converter at the event in Buttonwillow, the team went with two MilSpec 100cel cats. Changing things up a bit from a single tip, single cat axle back, they decided that two cats are better than one! Definitely a noticeable change in exhaust note, the car was strapped back onto the dyno and it was time to tune the car and make some power. At 511whp and 400ftlb of torque, the car was ready to scream and make its mark on the track!

The team also addressed another important issue with the car, its weight. Opting for two Sparco Evo seats, rails, sliders, and harnesses, driver Jon Drenas and co-driver Domo would no longer flop around while out on the track.

Just like the drive up to Buttonwillow, the drive up to Las Vegas was no different. No, a splitter mount didn’t fall off, but rather an annoying exhaust leak from a blown exhaust gasket drove everyone insane. Thanks to RobiSpec and the guys at FXMD, we were able to borrow some tools and get the car on jack stands to repair that issue at the new FXMD shop.

After checking in and making our way through the maze known as the pits, we found a decent spot and set up our pit area. The splitter was attached, and the car was prepped for tech. Low and behold, the car seemed to have somehow lowered itself from the last event, to now. The driver’s side front end needed to be raised to clear the bar. Knowing what had to be done, the car went out for a practice session, as tech inspection was important only during the timed sessions for Sunday. Driver Jon Drenas needed to get accustomed to the track, as it was his first time out. Following Clint Boisdeau in the Street Class FWD Mini Cooper, Jon was able to find the line and drop lap times. Unfortunately, the tires that were on the car were soaked up in slippery tire shine, and Jon somehow found himself in the Street Tire AWD Drift class. Thankfully, the team brought along an extra set of Yokohama AD08 tires that they were able to mount onto the car, thanks to the Hankook guys.

With the new tires mounted, Jon went out for a second practice session. Things seemed to have been going fine, until the end of the back straight where Jon was found putting the Evo X’s rally height to use once again. Unlike the time at Buttonwillow, the car suffered a bit of front end damage from the gravel and lost the front splitter. Jon hobbled the car back into the pit area, and the team went to work to try and trouble-shoot a splitter situation. Jon seemed a bit down, but the optimistic pit crew went to work and with the help of Kenny Lee and his 2007 STi, they managed to make use of the APR splitter and get it on the Evo.

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Race day is here, and the team knew exactly what needed to be done to fine tune the Evo. The front splitter was re-enforced with Gorilla Tape to eliminate the gaps in between the bumper and splitter. With everything secured and taped up, and the rear end alignment fixed, the car was running smooth. Slapping on the new axleback with the two MilSpec cats, the car screamed down the front straight with 30 pounds of boost pushing the car to over 140mph!

With the likes of Steve Ruiz and the 2008 StopTech Evo X, Cameron Benner and the Cobb Tuning Motorsports 2006 STi, Thomas Smith and his 2005 STi, and 2009 Champion Matt Dennison and his 2006 Evo IX, the competition was looking fierce. With Steve Ruiz having turned in times of 1:47.XXX, and Cameron Benner clocking in times of 1:49.XXX during Saturday’s practice sessions, it was already some tough competition for Jon. As time went on, Jon was able to knock off valuable seconds from his initial clocked times of 1:58.421, down to a speedy 1:50.627. Unfortunately, as time went on, the track conditions were getting more and more deteriorated with rocks and dirt kicked up from the other cars in other sessions.

With the last time session completed, Jon was less than seven tenths of a second shy of the podium with a 1:49.820. Finishing 1st in the Street Tire AWD Class was Steve Ruiz with a 1:47.491, 2nd place went to Cameron Benner with a 1:48.065, and 3rd place to Thomas Smith with a 1:49.181. It was a tough event, but the experience gained will be taken and HB Speed is already preparing for Round 4 at the Auto Club Speedway!

HB Speed would like to thank CBRD SpeedFactory, KW Suspension, RobiSpec, Deatschwerks, Yokohama Tire, Forced Performance, Cobb Tuning, GSC Cams, Sparco USA, Kenny Lee for all the help and support!

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