The S2K Challenge Series is Back!

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Article by Edward Lee (600rr_rocket)

Following the popular demand and almost after two years, the S2K Challenge Series is back as Speed Ventures has revived the challenge. The first 2009 event was held at Buttonwillow Raceway on the #13CW configuration with a strong turnout and 28 participating members  (14 Street, 11 Modified, and 3 Unlimited Class). Prior to the  29/Jan/09 race, a ground-up approach was taken to determine final rules and classifications for the series. Using the old 2006 rules / classifications as a baseline, future participants and other S2KI members provided their comments and feedback on how to improve the system based on recent track performance. The iterative process cumulated into a consensus-based set of rules/classifications finalized just in time for the first event at Buttonwillow. The official 2009 S2K Challenge Series Schedule, Rules and Sign-Up details can be found here.

The S2K Challenge Series is sponsored by 949 Racing, Berk Technology, and Vision Autodynamics and currently in negotiation with several more sponsors.

To say the least, the first race proved to be full of fun and surprises. On early Saturday morning, drivers braved rain, thick fog, and 51 degree weather to get to the track. Visibility was next to nil on the 5 freeway after descending from Grapevine. The heavy fog limited visibility to approximately 40 feet in certain sections.

After initial check-in and driver registration, Speedventures announced it would delay running any sessions in the morning until the fog lifted for safety reasons. This gave a chance for S2K Challenge participants to introduce themselves to each other and mingle while patiently waiting for the sun to burn off the fog. After nearly 3 hours of waiting, Speedventures announced that it would do parade laps at around 10:30am to help clear the water off the track and shortly thereafter, they sent out the Red Group (advanced) for the first session of the day.

After sending out the first session, drama ensued. From the prior days of rain, the dampness caused the off-course dirt to turn the track into a giant mud bonanza. At least 7-8 cars that went off course got stuck in the mud and had to be towed out. Adding to the drama, a car plowed into the wall after the esses and another dumped oil on a large portion of the track during the afternoon.

Because of all the delays, Speedventures decided not to dedicate a Time-Attack style S2K Challenge session in fairness to the rest of the track drivers. Instead, participants’ best lap time during the day (excluding the first session) would count toward the day’s standings.

In Street Class, the excellent turnout was much higher than anticipated. This is great news for the Series, as to attract newer S2000 owners and to get them “hooked” on the thrill of some friendly track competition.

In the highly competitive Modified Class, the field was composed of regular track junkies eager to prove their skills in a time-trial environment. In the small world of HPDE, many of the participants are friends/acquaintances, and the S2K Challenge was finally a chance to put their bragging rights to the test.

As expected, the Unlimited Class had the fewest participants, but nonetheless, a very exciting field to watch. One of the S2000s included a Honda Cup / SCCA ITE car.

At the end of the day, the times were sorted and tallied, and an awards ceremony was held. Podium finishers were given Speedventures gift certificates. Congratulations to all the winners!!! A breakdown of the event results (and current series standings):

Street Class:

1st – Emilo Cervantes (949racing) – 2:06.977 – 10pts
2nd – Dino Antonov (antonov) – 2:09.724 – 8 pts
3rd – Levin Lui (wtfbbqsex) – 2:15.139 – 6pts

4th – Dustin Dessero – (ddess) – 2:15.363 – 5pts
5th – Kenny Tuey (innovation) – 2:16.440 – 4pts
6th – Nam Yoon (vita renovation) – 2:18.022 – 3pts
7th – Filip Craciun (kinchu007) – 2:19.667 – 2pts
8th – Jason Paul (jp555sovl) – 2:25.911 – 1pt

Modified Class:

1st – Mark Tsai (colakitty) – 2:00.549 – 10pts
2nd – Yuyen Huang (jaku) – 2:03.364 – 8 pts
3rd – Michael Tsay (dipstick) – 2:03.493 – 6pts

4th – Si Tang (nsxtasi) – 2:04.541 – 5pts
5th – Edward Lee (600rr_rocket) – 2:04.546 – 4pts
6th – Blue Santamaria (-outkast-) – 2:06.109 – 3pts
7th – William Chen (bellwilliam) – 2:06.495 – 2pts
8th – Kangwoo Park (ted park) – 2:06.533 – 1pt

Unlimited Class:

1st – Rylan Hazelton (krazik) – 1:57.571 – 10pts
2nd – Robert Burch (rob.ok) – 2:00.935 – 8pts

Lastly, the next S2K Challenge event will be held at Willow Springs Raceway (Big Willow) on February 8, 2009…see you there!

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