S2ki Visits Spring Mountain Raceway…
Pahrump, Nevada: Here in the middle of nowhere, in a city where gambling and prostitution are legal, some members of S2ki found something even better to do, they hit the racetrack.
The newly expanded Spring Mountain Raceway just outside of Pahrump Nevada proved a formidable challenge. At 3.8 miles in length, the full road course is one of the longest and most demanding in the United States. With 22 major turns and a few extra surprises thrown in, the track is harsh to both car and driver.
The weekend began with a driver’s meeting bright and early Saturday morning. There were more than a dozen S2000s in attendance, including S2ki head Erik Petersen (cthree), Hoda Cup contender Richard Laifatt (rlaifatt) in his track prepped street S2000, Go Fast Lab co-founder JP Kleinhaus (Ludedude) was there, as were moderators Mike Trinh (Backcracker), Kelvin Yong (HunterEZ), and Karim Hussein (krazykarim). It was the first track day in memory when every available (US) color of the S2000 was in attendance, there were New Formula red, Spa Yellow, Sebring, Silverstone, Berlina, Laguna and Suzuka blue, and Grand Prix white, were all present. (I saw a Rio at the hotel in Pahrump, but I’m not sure if it made it to the track or not) Track owner (Insert name) welcomed the group with a brief explanation of the improvements under way at Spring Mountain Raceway. Their desire is to make it a destination resort for motorsports lovers. There will be hotels, condominiums, restaurants, the Radical racing school and the Spring Mountain Corvette racing school, golf, swimming and a host of other activities in addition to the huge road course that can be configured in a multitude of ways. When asked for an explanation of the course, JP described it this way:
“You go out in the desert there about half a mile, then you drive around for a few miles, then you come back.”
This proved to be an apt description as the long winding track is both disorienting and difficult to memorize. Many a driver was seen with a perplexed look Saturday morning as they returned from their first sessions, but by the end of the day, the overall confidence level had begun to build, even as fatigue set in. As the day ended, the drivers returned to their hotel rooms far too tired to partake in the local revelry. (Well… most of them, anyway)
Sunday started with a bang as some of the fastest times of the weekend were turned in right in the first session. Sunday afternoon’s time attack was one of the most exciting in recent memory, with S2000s taking the top five places in the All Motor 2 category. (This is for all production cars with normally aspirated motors between 2 and 4 liters) The winner was Richard with a blistering time of 2:06:xx and the battle for second was very close with Raymund (raymund) edging out Aaron Chung (Nimbus) by just under a second. Fourth went to Kelvin with a very fine performance. (Your author rounded out the top five on what turned out to be corded tires.)
Most of the top contenders in the S2000 Challenge Series were present as this was a points event, and the competition was fierce. The Modified class was hotly contended with a bit of a change in the standings by event’s end. Raymund managed to maintain his lead although he only attended Sunday’s event, but Aaron leapfrogged over your humble author into second place with a fine performance both days.
Three time Modified champion Richard took first place in the Production category both days and quickly established himself as a contender in the class, even as a part time competitor. (Richard’s first priority is SCCA’s Honda Cup in which he races an entirely different S2000) Kelvin also performed well both days, and gained significant ground in the Production class chase, but fearless leader Erik’s (cthree) outstanding performance proved that he’s finally shaken off the cobwebs and is back at full speed.
Stock class leader Ray Saeni (rsaeni) was in Florida “on business” this weekend, which gave his arch rival Mark Tiberi (Dragonheart) a chance to gain ground in their battle for Stock class bragging rights. Mark was up to the challenge with a fine performance Saturday, but tire concerns unfortunately kept him out of Sunday’s competition.
John Wurth (fluxen) summed the weekend up thusly: “The new track additions are great. Spring Mountain was always a not really worth the drive track from LA, now it’s absolutely worth it.”