Redline Time Attack 2010 Season Opener

BUTTONWILLOW, CA – The season opener of the Redline Time Attack series, held at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, kicked off to a very eventful weekend! With a test and tune session held on Friday, practice sessions held all day Saturday, and two rounds of practice on Sunday, crews had their hands busy making adjustments to their vehicles to make the quickest times.

HB Speed’s Jon Drenas and Danny Heng were still unsure if the team would compete as the 2008 Mitsubishi Evolution X was still strapped onto the dyno finishing up a tune on Thursday night! Trying to squeeze every little bit of additional power from their Forced Performance “Red” turbo-charger, the team swapped out the stock exhaust manifold with a tubular exhaust manifold from CBRD Speed Factory and also made the switch to Deatschwerks 1500cc injectors! Wrapping the tune up that night, the decision was made to run in the season opener early Friday morning via text message.

Now that the decision was made to run, the team had to make sure the car would comply to the new rule changes made to the Redline Time Attack Street Tire Class rules. The first pressing issue: ride height. The lowest part of the car had to clear a 3.5 inch bar. Thankfully, the team had a few 2×4’s sitting around the shop which was used as their reference point. As it stood, the Evo’s front end would not clear this minimum height, and the exhaust flanges would need to be fastened and secured as they dipped below the mark.

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With the help of MODE Racing’s Billy Brooks, the team was able to raise the car, re-align the suspension, and lift the exhaust system in order to successfully pass a 2×4 bar underneath the car. It was now time for the team to pack their bags, roll a 55-gallon drum of E85 onto a mini-trailer, and make the caravan drive up to Buttonwillow. However, during the drive up (yes we DRIVE the car to the events), the HB Speed Evo X lost a splitter mount along the highway, forcing the team to think about how to resolve that issue over the course of the weekend ahead.

Having brainstormed throughout the night, the team made their way over to the track and checked into a pit. Garaged next to StopTech and RobiSpec, the team was quickly greeted with some warm smiles and familiar faces.

Thanks to COBB Tuning Motorsports and their large trailer, Jon was able to fabricate another splitter mount to replace the mount that fell off. With the splitter installed, canards secured, the team made their way over to the Redline Time Attack trailer to wait in line and get the car inspected. The car weighed in at 3,450lbs and immediately failed the inspection. The front splitter nuts and bolts prevented the metal bar from successfully sliding underneath the front end of the car. Danny Heng made a dash back over to the pit and grabbed a few wrenches in an attempt to tighten the nuts and bolts of the front splitter and regain some ground clearance. It seems the last chance effort paid off, and the bar successfully cleared the front, middle, and rear of the car! However, the car failed inspection yet again, as the APR Wing did not meet the standards set by Redline Time Attack. The car made its way back to the pits, and work began to fix the issue. Billy Brooks came to the rescue yet again to re-drill new holes into the fins of the wing, now making the car pass tech inspection.

With the wing now adjusted, the car made its way back over to tech inspection and finally received the pass. Practice sessions were already underway, and the team felt the car should at least have some time on the track to make sure any other adjustments wouldn’t be necessary. Jon lapped around Buttonwillow Raceway, with Domo riding in the passenger seat, and Danny Heng recording lap times, the team felt that the car was fine and no adjustments would be needed. Finally, a break! Saturday’s practice sessions were now over, and it was time to head back over to the motel.

Sunday morning’s festivities meant driver’s meetings, and two practice sessions before the actual Time Attack. Jon took the car out initially, hoping to get a better feel on the track and shave off some much needed time. Turns out with a slight adjustment by turning off the “ASC Nanny”, the car handled much better and was more responsive around the track. Clinching a 2nd place qualifying time, the team made their way back into the pits to remove the MXP muffler and install their cat-pipe to be compliant to race regulations.

Thanks to Enthusiast AWD Class driver Shannon Lew, HB Speed was able to get a little bit more grip by going to a 255 wide Advan AD08 Tire, instead of their 245 wide AD08. Jon was underway bringing in a 2-minute lap time. Good, but could have been better. The car seemed to only boost 24-25psi, and with the cat-pipe being the only change, the problem was easily diagnosed by the pit crew of two. With less than two hours away from the second and final Time Attack session, the team scurried through the pits searching for a new catalytic converter to swap into their fouled cat-pipe. Thanks to the help of 7’s Only, a local shop located on the track, Jon was able to weld on the new (smaller more restrictive) cat, re-install the cat pipe, and get the car back out onto the second and final session.

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Knowing that there was a significant power loss from the cat pipe, Jon  went for it. The first lap bringing in a 1:58.1, we were already underway with a very competitive race against the clock. Jon decided the new ride height could easily handle a little dirt/rally action during the third lap while passing COBB Tuning’s Cameron Benner, and despite kicking up a dust cloud and having his teammates skip a few heart beats,  pulled away from the cloud and still managed to bring in a lap time of 1:59.8! Exciting racing, capped off by an exciting weekend! HB Speed and Jon  secured the lap time of 1:581 and used that to a 2nd place Street Tire AWD finish!

Steven Ruiz, driver of the StopTech Mitsubishi Evo X placed 1st with a time of 1:57.5 and Cameron Benner, driver of the Cobb Tuning Motorsports Subaru STi placed 3rd with a time of 1:58.9.

HB Speed would like to thank CBRD Speedfactory, KW Suspension, RobiSpec, Deatschwerks, Yokohama Tire, Forced Performance, and Cobb Tuning, and most of all Shannon and Lilly for allowing Jon to race this weekend and Kick some butt!

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