Monday, June 22, 2015

NASA @ BIR July 4th weekend with Trans-AM

Should be a good event....Trans-Am will have about 40 cars.
If you are interested in learning the basics of High Performance Driving, or simply want to drive your car on a racetrack in a controlled and professionally staffed environment, then NASA’s HPDE is for you. NASA HPDE gives drivers a chance to test their skills and learn from NASA's cadre of experienced instructors in a venue designed for safe spirited driving far away from the risks present on the street. Our HPDE program has become the standard for the 'open track' industry and features multiple skill levels to ensure that drivers are able to enjoy a safe and fun day at the track. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Ok...not really Motorsports related...well maybe...keep reading
Elio Motors came to visit Minneapolis this past May.  I have been reading about them for a while and was truly excited to see the prototype in person.

For those of you unfamiliar with this car go google it...but until then, here are the high-lights:
-84mpg!!!  87 octane (representative said the ECU might adjust to more octane aka more power and MPG)
-0-60 in under 10 seconds
-two 6' plus people will fit in it tandem
-Traction control, ABS, cruise, A/C, and stability control
-Will meet CAFE emission standards in all 50 states
-Will meet crash test safety standards

Just that list alone in my opinion makes this car a no-brainier.  As 90% of the time I am driving solo.  Supposedly there is a computer repair place (something like Geek Squad, but not) and a security firm have already placed orders for these.  Why wouldn't they?!?  When a company has a basically one adult driving around all day.

I do wish it had a bit more cargo space, other pictures on net show the rear seat folded down and a full set of golf clubs in the hatch & back seat.  Other than that most of the time anything I transport can fit in the back seat and back seat floor.  The trunk/hatch is designed to fit a bag that normally fit in an airliner overhead compartment.  Rumor is an aftermarket company already has a trailer hitch designed for it.  I can totally see having a small enclosed trailer in tow, much like that behind many motorcycles.  The representative said something about voiding transmission warranty, blah, blah, honestly I tuned that part out!  There is no spare tire, one gets a can of "Fix-a-flat".

Much like the smart car, and some other uni body cars, the frame is basically and exo-skeleton, or a roll cage?  Wait what?  Roll-cage?  Hmmm......  The motor is designed to break away from the frame and fall under the car, much the same way newer Subaru's do.  The theory is it saves the driver's legs.

Officially this is licensed as a motor-cycle, has the US DMV has defined cars as having 4 wheels.  That being said, Elio Motors has gotten exempt for the helmet law in all but 2 states.  However one still needs to have motor cycle endorsement, which is odd but whatever.  Getting a motorcycle endorsement is EASY!!!!  It is all INEXPENSIVE!  The classroom session is like 1/2 a day or a couple of evenings, the written test is easy, I highly recommend taking the 'day on the bike' class instead of taking the 'behind the wheel test' as the day on the bike class is cheap, easier than taking the test, and it is good practice especially if one has never been on a bike.  So don't let this stop one from buying an Elio!

The motor is a completely brand new design.  It is a 0.9L three cylinder motor.  It is rated at 55hp and 55 lbs of torque.  Unofficially, the dyno charts are showing 60hp.  Considering the car is expected to weigh in at roughly 1250lbs, the performance numbers should be really good.  The compression ratio is a really high 12.5:1 (most cars, especially pre-2012 are under 10:1).  There is a some advanced swirling of inlet stream into the combustion chamber and pistons, along with valve timing to achieve this.  

Coil overs?!?   Not on the base model; but wait, base model?  Rumor is that roughly a year after release there will be a sports car version!  Coil overs, and turbo charger!  Now we are talking!

Even if the turbo makes 20% more HP, that would be a mere 11hp (I think we can call that a really conservative number) , that is enough to move it from 22lbs/hp to 18.9lbs/hp (assuming we go with the stated 1250lb curb weight) which puts it close to sport compact territory.  Let's say that this performance version costs and extra $1200, aka 20% (probably a safe up charge when going from a base to performance model), making it a whopping $8000!  Oh darn!, a brand new sporty car than can out drag race what 40% of the cars you see on the road?  Let's not forget MPG goes down on sporty cars right?  Well, turbos don't usually but, that is a whole another conversation...just for rough math let's say mileage goes down by 20%, that brings us down to a mere 65mpg....again, OH DARN!

Now I am thinking this could be the next race car....think about it...."Spec Elio"!  Twenty of these things on the same race track at once!  Unfortunately they are not legal for SCCA Solo, as the rules say something about having to have 4 wheels or some such non-sense.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Harvey West Memorial Day Classic 2015 on

Harvey West Memorial Day Classic 2015 on

This will be the first race for me in Spec Miata.....I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't a bit nervious!

There is a 45 minute endurance race on Saturday.  Strongly debating about running it, and also running both classes, Spec Miata & Spec Miata Tire; it costs more, but twice the amount of races!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

World Racing League @ Brainerd Intl. Raceway 5/2 & 5/3

Drivers' Meeting.  Many thanks to the The Four Firkins for providing kegs of both Surley and Indeed beer!

21 cars entered.

Failed front rotor that costs us roughly 10 minutes on Saturday.  We still managed to get 1st place in GP3 and 7th overall.

Sunday it rained on and off.

Due to a lighting storm, the race was actually red flagged (stopped) for 40 minutes.  During which time the cars where brought onto pit lane and no work could be done.

Saturday night we changed the driver side rear wheel bearing as it was showing signs of going bad.  On Sunday that same bearing failed roughly 6 hours in, the inside bearing, inner race fused itself to the stub axle.  It took us only roughly 20 minutes to swap the rear bearings and stub axle, but it probably kept us from getting 2nd possibly 1st place.

Sunday's results, 3rd in GP3 & 10th overall.

Racin': A family sport.

A few more of Jerry Winker's pictures on FaceBook  same pictures and a good write up!

*More pics and info to come*

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SCCA Land O' Lakes Threading Thin Ice RallyCross

3/29/15 @ Rice Co. Fairgrounds, Fairbault MN

Join us as we begin this 2015 RallyCross Season and bring back our Treading Thin Ice event after a multi year hiatus. We have a new , BIGGER venue this year at Rice County Fairgrounds in Faribault with plenty of area to go fast and throw some dirt around. Come out and play in the dirt with us!

Register here:

Want more information about SCCA Land O' Lakes region RallyCross events, check out our website:

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m Registration is open
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Tech is open
9:30 a.m. Drivers Meeting
10:00 a.m. Runs begin
~ 4:00 p.m. Wrap-up meeting and awards

Rice County Fairgrounds
1814 2nd Avenue NW
Faribault, 55021


All competitors must have a valid driver's license.
Helmets are required for all participants and passangers. Helmet must meet the latest or two immediately preceding Snell Foundation Standards (SA2010, SAH2010, SA2005, SA2000, M2010, M2005, M2000, K2010, K2005, K98), SFI standards 31.1, 41.1, 31.1A, 31.2A, 41.1A, 41.2A or british spec BS6658-85 type A/FR are acceptable.
All competitors must be either full SCCA members or buy a weekend membership.
All competitors are required to work the course as a condition of their entry.

Classes are Stock, Prepared, and Modified and then each class is divided up into FWD, RWD, and AWD. See official rules for car classing.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

SCCA Tech Day/Open (Sunday April 19th) at West Side VW in St. Louis park.

SCCA Tech Day/Open (Sunday April 19th) at West Side VW in St. Louis park.
Road race cars receive their technical inspection for the year.  Usually doughnuts, coffee, pizza, and soda is provided.  Lots of bench racing and socializing.

Performance Driving Experience @ DCTC April 12th


Registration is OPEN for the
April 12th PDX-Performance Driving Experience


Discover the secrets race car drivers know to drive faster and safer while avoiding the "average (and more careless)" drivers who cause accidents.

Want more details?  Click here

Sign up NOW for the Sunday, April 12th PDX at Dakota County Technical Center -- Space is limited, so don't wait!
Whether you are an Instructor, Volunteer, or Driver you'll have fun! 

If you are an experienced SCCA driver you CAN  be an Instructor.

Register at:

Classroom and Driving Instructors are available to help participants drive more effectively.

This is your chance to get on track and master car control.  Classes available for beginner through advanced.

Need more information?  Go to for the schedule/supps and tech form

or call Kathy at 763-241-8010


World Racing League @ BIR 5/2

The World Racing League returns to Brainerd International Raceway for the Intercomp Speed Festival. This event will be run in our Twin 8-Hour Enduro format with the green flag set to drop at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. Click the link in the "Find Tickets" section to register (Fast-In Registration ends April 25th Save $150) or click this link for the "Race Info" pdf

Auto-Cross 2015