Tag Archives: buttonwillow

NEMO Coming to the USA?!

13 Jan

I saw my Facebook timeline blowing up Friday with people talking about the possibility of the famed NEMO Evo coming to the USA to compete in a time attack event.

I remember hearing/reading an interview last year with the owner of the car/team where he mentioned coming to the USA to compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

With the World Time Attack Challenge event being moved to the month of October (which is a GREAT move by Ian and team by the way), I cannot see NEMO competing in the Super Lap Battle/Global Time Attack event in November. WTAC trumps the biggest event USA has to offer at this point in time.

Now, will NEMO compete in another GTA event that is conveniently scheduled around the time of the PPIHC event? That is a possibility. But I’d guess that if NEMO does compete in a time attack event here in the States, that it would be AFTER the PPIHC event, as I can’t see the team owner risking the car/engine/driver ahead of the bigger and more notorious event: PPIHC. It simply isnt’ worth it in my opinion.

Taking a quick peak at the GTA schedule over at http://www.GlobalTimeAttack.com, there isn’t an event between PPIHC and the WTAC event, that would provide enough time for transport BACK to AUS for WTAC.

There is a Redline Time Attack (www.RedlineTimeAttack.com) event taking place at Buttonwillow in the middle part of July. This event could work out for NEMO, and give them a chance to set an official time on North America’s most-famous time attack course. Albeit with the higher ambient temps compared to the typical November SLB weather.

My money is on seeing NEMO compete at PPIHC, and no other time attack events.

I’d say there are also odds on seeing NEMO compete at a time attack prior to PPIHC, but at about a 8:1 chance….

Perhaps there is a slightly better chance at seeing NEMO compete at Buttonwillow in July… at about 6:1

But I just cannot see NEMO competing in the GTA Texas event in September, thereby missing, or at least foolishly increasing the risk of missing,  the WTAC event only a few weeks later…  This is the longshot … 80:1 or some other ludicrous chance.

Would NEMO miss WTAC?  Hell No.

All in all, I think there is a pretty decent chance of time attack fans having their hearts broken by team NEMO when the team chooses not to compete at a time attack event here in the States.

We’ll have to wait and see! 🙂

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Sport Car Motion, A Dominant Force in Time Attack

14 May

I was in San Diego this past week and had an opportunity to stop by the Sport Car Motion shop up in San Marcos. It was my first visit to their facility in the 6+ years I’ve known Loi and the crew there. Sport Car Motion is one of the few teams in the sport of time attack here in the United States that I feel comfortable saying they are dominant and the favorite to win any event they enter. Getting to know guys like Loi Song and working with teams like Sport Car Motion is certainly one of the perks I’ve had over the years. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Loi and the SCM crew in the near future!


Name: Sportcar Motion

Car: ‘98 Acura Integra Type-R
Sponsors: Skunk 2, Kraftwerks, Buddy Club, Toyo Tires, Tein, Rywire, Evasive, Church Automotive Testing. Competition Clutch, Golden Eagle, JE Pistons, Torco, RLC, Gearspeed, Hondata, K-tuned, Enkei, Hasport, RC, Godspeed
Tires: Toyo R-888


(Nikolas): SportCar Motion has been kicking ass and taking names in the time attack scene since the very beginning! The wall at your shop is full of awards from Redline Time Attack, Super Lap Battle and Global Time Attack.  What can you attribute the consistency of your teams performance to?

(Loi Song/SportCar Motion):  Our consistency comes from having a great support system between our own staff and our sponsors over the years. In the beginning there were no sponsors, just our team here at SCM. The hard work between the techs, and our drivers has truly been consistent due to learning what works and doesn’t work over the years. We have found the perfect recipe to winning races powered by Honda K series motors with true off the shelf products that are available to anyone. Trial and error is truly a big part of being successful. Tons of testing time away from the events was critical as well to our success. Also, not being afraid to think outside the box has been a huge help. From duct tape to dryer hosing at the track. When we have had issues mid race, thinking outside the box has truly won us races! Thank you Home Depot haha!

 


And this dominance has come from a range of vehicle platforms, most if not all of them Honda and Acura. Sure, they’ve been similar platforms, but not identical. Have there been any specific challenges that snuck up on you with each specific platform?

K-series motors are pretty straight forward regardless of the chassis really. The challenges we have seen mainly are with the Kraftwerks supercharged setup. That is a completely different ballgame then the N/A K-series engines we have been running. With the additional horsepower, comes cooling and braking concerns. We have spent close to 4 years running the Kraftwerks supercharger K-race kit on both our now retired EG and on the ITR. We have learned a lot about this unique setup, but also still have a ton to still learn about. Other then that, the big challenge has always been what tire to run on what chassis. As we have run both street and modified classes we have also learned a lot about what tires truly work and don’t on the many Honda platforms.

Surely the release and ready availability of the Honda K series of engines has helped from a power standpoint. I can’t recall if any of your 1st place finishes were with a car powered by a B series engine…  Have they all been K Series wins?

Truly, you can build a B-series motor with just as much power as a K-series motor honestly. But, our niche really is in K-series. We have stayed K-series as we have really put a lot of time into learning/perfecting K-series and all the great products available for them now. All of our time attack cars have been K-series. The only winning B-series motor in our history is in 2004-2005 in drag racing with our now retired SFWD EG. The old drag EG now calls Dubai home with its new owner.

 


Are you planning to step into the RWD classes of time attack competition? You’ve dominated FWD competition, especially in the Modified/Limited classes. As a fan, I’m curious to see if you’ll be building an S2000 to chase after Berk and their BMW 135 in Modified/Limited?

You can catch us making an entrance into RWD with an S2000 that we are sponsoring this year in the street class. I have a pretty good feeling that the car will outgrow the street class quickly with our help and be out there with the Modified/Limited guys soon. We’re not taking names yet, but looking forward to being apart of RWD class.

 


You’ve recently moved to a new facility, which I had the opportunity to come and visit you at just this past week. You have a huge following on Facebook, Twitter and forums.It’s great to see you guys doing so well!  You must be happy.

We have been here in San Marcos for 6 years now in this facility. We just recently did some remodeling and hosted an open house. Many people thought we moved. But, we have been here 6 years now. It has been years since the last open house, so we were excited to have everyone here a few weekends ago. We have a huge following in the social media world and also in the printed media world as a huge amount of our work is featured in the many magazines here in the US. Our business is solely based upon the media articles, social media world , and racing now. We do not advertise anywhere. We are very happy with the following around SCM!

 


And I think, besides the reputation that you have with the fans and your customers, you have a great reputation among your fellow shops, tuners and racers in the street performance and time attack circles. That speaks volumes about your company and your leadership of it.

The best thing you can do in this industry is work together and help one another when you can. It has been tough for everyone the past few years with the economy and everything that it has effected. We are always happy to lend a hand to their shops, businesses, etc in the industry. We truly own our demographic, none of the other shops do what we do. This isn’t a competition away from the track, so helping one another truly helps us stand apart from some of the others. Also, when it comes to racing we have always been happy to help other teams as needed. What we are doing is no secret. Wither it is borrowing tools, or needing advise on track setup we have always been happy to help.

 


While I was visiting your shop, we had a chance to speak about the tire situation in time attack these days. Fans will remember the drama over tires in the Unlimited Class going back to 2008-2009. (A situation that played heavily in the decision of mine to allow full race slicks in Unlimited Class) Now it appears there is going to be that ONE brand/model of tire to rule the Modified Class. What are your thoughts on this?

I think that the biggest issue will be sizing. It is very hard to accommodate everyone as there are so many different tire sizes needed between every car. Then if sizes aren’t available, you have to go back to the drawing board and find another size tire that will work and another set of wheels. It gets expensive!  I am fine with the ONE tire as long as it comes in the size we need! =)

 


We also spoke a little bit about rules. That’s a topic that I had to deal with VERY often while running Redline Time Attack. You can never make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time. But I think the biggest issue is consistency. As a team owner, I’m sure you’d appreciate if the rules as they were printed in the rule book were the rules that were applied at the race track.

As many say, rules are made to be broken. This will be a forever ongoing issue. You can not make every team happy, so finding a common ground is the best you can do, and hold the teams to it.


With Global Time Attack heading East for the summer and early Fall, what are your plans to keep the team busy in time attack out here on the West Coast?

We have our hands full here at SCM in the absence of time attack as we are debuting our new SFWD drag car in the next month. The car is just nearing completion, so there is a ton of seat time and testing needed as we have been out of drag racing since time attack took off in 2005-2006. We are very excited to get back out there and stay busy!

We also had a chance to speak briefly about the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championships series. I would love to see an SCM prepped car come out and do battle with the other teams. What can you say about the odds of getting SCM involved in the MPTCC?

I think you may just catch SCM out there with the MPTCC as we have something up our sleeves with something fun, and it is not a Honda! =)

We also reminisced about the MASSIVE event that took place at California Speedway back in 2004. There really hasn’t been anything like it to happen since then. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the event, but you were there.

This event was by far the biggest event I’ve seen at California Speedway to date. I think we could see something like this again in the future if we could get some of the cars from Japan to return again. JGTC was successful because of the atmosphere as well. Having some big name cars out there, along with lots of booths and cars on display for the spectators are what made it so epic.

 


It’s our goal to turn the North American Championships of Speed into an event with that same spirit and enthusiasm. We’d love to have you and the team out there this Decembner taking part in the Time Attack Invitational and the Touring Car Challenge races. Hopefully our fans can look forward to seeing you at there at Auto Club Speedway.

We look forward to this event, and we would love to be apart of it! I think the spirit and enthusiasm will come along with the event when you bring that caliber of cars out there again.

 


I want to thank you for all of the support you’ve given me over the years. It’s truly been a pleasure getting to know you and having some good old fashioned fun at the race track!  Best of luck to you and the team in all of your endeavors this year!

No, thank you Nik. It is great to see that you are still here and doing big things. It is great to see the dedication you have with any events you put together, it has been a pleasure! Thanks again for visiting us here at SCM!!