Thursday, October 5, 2017

World Racing League @ Brainerd International Raceway

***Videos to follow***
9/30/17 and 10/01/17 World Racing League revisited Brainerd International Raceway for two endurance races, 8 hours on Saturday and 7 hours on Sunday.  I was racing with FlatLine Performance, a 1995 Honda Civic with a base Inetrega swap, no VTech, and a welded front differential.

Saturday I started, we got gridded last.  I had a great start and got three places before the 3rd turn!  I came in after a few laps because of low power, turns out the throttle cable was coming undone.  Went back out for another 20 laps or so, and limped the car in with a busted axle.  In 22 minutes we swapped it, threw another 5 gallons of gas in and I went back out.  Turns out the shifting to 5th gear in this car before turn to costs at least a second in lap times, but adds about 15 minutes per stint.We had to swap rear tires do to the driver side rear tire having extensive wear on the outer edge.  The tire change went wrong and the wheel fell off one lap later!!  DOH!!!   We managed to get 3rd in class.

Sunday it was cold and rainy.  Used tires on all four corners defiantly hurt our lap time and driver confidence.  Our 2nd driver came in with a bad axle, this time the swap only took 14 minutes!  Due to the rain, and 10 second per lap slower times (less fuel consumption) we were able to stretch our stints to do only three driver changes.  I came in for a 5 gallon splash during a full coarse caution, and finished out the race doing something like 63 laps in 2.5 hours.

We used my tow rig.

Even with an independent rear suspension it still hoists a leg!  :)

3rd place Saturday out of 5, and I think 11th over all.

2nd place in class, 9th overall IIRC.

Last second attempted pass and pull out by BlueSky Racing (Dave Kapon) VW GTI

Monday, October 2, 2017

SCCA - Fall PDX--Drive or Volunteer!


Volunteer or Drive like a PRO without worrying about getting a ticket!
Sign up for the Oct 14th PDX-Performance Driving Experience

Register now, whether you are a driver, instructor or a volunteer!

You had a blast this year! Now is the time to get the classroom and experience to continue your growth!

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
Or register below
Sign up NOW for the Saturday, Oct 14th PDX at Dakota County Technical Center -- Space is limited, so don't wait!

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

Register at: remember to use the referral code when signing up for membership!

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


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Audi is sick....

My daily driver Audi A4 is sick.....I was playing musical cars (moving cars around in order to work on stuff), went to move the Audi, and I hear was sounds like lifter tick, which is normal for about 30 seconds if the car hasn't been run in a week.  Except it doesn't stop.....then about 5 minutes later I see smoke coming out the tail pipe.  <SIGH>  Something is wrong, and it probably needs a new motor.  

I am putting it up for sale, if it doesn't sell I will put a used motor in it.  I just don't have the time to deal with another project now, and I am at the point where I need a daily driver I can JUST do gas/oil/tires on, so I can concentrate on other projects.

Beater street Miatas......

The quarter million mile Miata is dead!  At just over 255,xxx miles, the motor decided it had enough!  MAYBE it had something to do with the fact four different drivers did 30+ runs at the O'Reilly Auto Parts/QA1 Summer Nationals Auto-x (hosted by SCCA-LOL).  <shrug>  The next day driving over to the other side of the cities, I coasted to stop light, and noticed I could hear the motor "ticking".....I drove to my parking spot, put the clutch in, I could hear the motor hunting at idle while sounding like a sewing machine.  I opened the hood, came back in an hour, confirmed the oil level was good.  Started it up, it sounded horrible, hunted, and quit. what......the shell is "clean"...for a '97 that lives in MN and has 250k on it...but clean enough to warrant a motor swap?  meh......we will see. I went shopping and purchased another Miata from an auction.   This one was purchased sight unseen (pictures only), I was told it runs but not drives.  It is a 1997 with 136k on it, it lived in Texas until 2015 when it moved to MN.

I discovered it had zero resistance at the clutch 1st step to replace the clutch slave cylinder, only to find out the hose also had a leak.  Charged the battery, attempted to start it, and only the flashers would go off, spent an hour removing the aftermarket alarm. 

First start up, and it sounded really clicky and didn't get any quieter after 2 minutes.  Did front brakes, blead the brakes, vacuumed it, swapped the driver seat, pulled out all the wet trunk carpeting, removed "hot air ghetto intake and put the OEM air intake back on.  Took it for a test drive....not to noisy, power seems decent, brakes felt horrible.  Got to the gas station 2 miles away and I can see a bit of smoke coming out of the tail pipe (this is no good).  However, I did wash the engine bay a bit before working on it, and it is covered in oil so....who knows.

Did the rear brakes and found the passenger side caliper wouldn't slide, had to use a BFH to remove it from the car, turns out the sliders were bone dry.  Removed the valve cover (the gasket was dry and brittle), squirted some Mystery Marvel Oil around each lifter, and few ounces down each spark plug hole.  New valve cover gasket, PCV.  We will take it for a drive tonight, wash the motor off some more, change the oil and re-access.

Closing a chapter.....

With a very heavy heart, it is the end of an era for me.....The GTI is going to a new home.  It hasn't moved since late 2012, and I just don't see getting time to deal with it.  It only needed a motor swap.  I purchased this car back in 2001.  It was my first "big" purchase.  It was the car that led me down the very slippery slop of Motorsports and auto-mechanics.

This car was involved in street racing (back before I knew about legal auto racing), hundreds of auto-x events, so many track days and time trial events.

Monday, July 31, 2017

race car is pretty again!

This is an old item I never posted about but.....  
I had an accident last fall....sent the car off to Maaco Richfiled.  Got the car back eventually.  It isn't ready to go, but at least it is pretty again.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Street Machine Nationals 2017

Got the course setup Thursday night, and did some testing with the quarter million mile Miata!

Looking for people to help with the O'Reilly Street Machine Nationals Auto-x. We will are in the "bigger lot" next to the grandstands. People to help with gridding, timing/scoring, cone shagging, tech inspection, loaner helmet duty etc. Volunteers get fun/practice runs, water, free admission to the event; work two 4 hour shifts and SCCA-LoL will buy your next PDX entry!

Send an email to Jim Gillen ( -be sure to put "SCCA - Vol this weekend" in the subject line) and let him know the dates/times you can volunteer.

Friday: 11am-5pm; Saturday: 10am-5pm; Sunday: 930am~noon

Friday, July 7, 2017

O'ReillyStreet Machine Nationals Autocross onJuly 14-16, 2017

SCCA We Need Your Help! Please Volunteer:

Track Night America on July 12th at DCTC  (work 2 and drive 1 for FREE!)
O'ReillyStreet Machine Nationals Autocross on
July 14-16, 2017 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul Minnesota

The Street Machine Nationals Challenge Autocross (formerly known as "Car Craft") is back and we need your help!  This is another way we generate funds for SCCA, and it's critical we have the staffing to make the event successful.  It's fun, easy, and a great way to spend a couple hours with cars.

The Street Machine Nationals - the ultimate horsepower party. Participants (hot rod, muscle car, street machine and street truck enthusiasts) come to display their performance cars for the weekend and may compete in the Autocross.

You must be at least 16 years of age to work this event. Register now, space is limited. Why not give back to SCCA while enjoying your passion?

Send an email to Jim Gillen ( and let him know the dates/times you can volunteer. Volunteers get to drive the course before or after their shift if they wish!

Thank You!
We run some awesome cars through a really fun course...and this event helps SCCA-Land O' Lakes Region raise funds for driver and member growth.  Join us!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

ChumpCar @ Autobahn Country Club (Joliet IL.) 6/3 & 6/4

Autobahn Country Club is a very nice facility.  It is three tracks in one (plus karting and an auto-x area), it has a north track which is 1.5 miles (9 turns), a south track at 2.1 miles (15 turns), and they can be combined for a total of 3.1 miles long (19 turns).

This race was unique, Saturday's 12 hour race was held on the "south track" for the first eight hours, then at 5pm, the pace car went out and collected the field while track staff moved barriers around to reconfigure the track to be the full course.  Checker flag was at 9pm.  Sunday's race was on the north track.  That is three tracks one weekend!  Sweet!

Twenty 27 teams showed up for this ChumpCar race.  We arranged our pitstop (fuel fill & driver changes) around the 5:00 track change over.  We knew there would be many laps of full course yellow.  I went in for my 2nd stint at 5:00, at this moment, IIRC, we were first in the "A group (the 1.9l and under class) and 13th over all.  Green flag restart on the full track, and about 30 minutes in I get black flagged for a smoking car.  Turns out the rear differential got so hot that it was cooking out the gear lube!  We swapped the smoldering hot differential in about 1.5hrs, much of that time was due to having to pull the stub axle cups out and put in the spare, and waiting for them to cool down to less than scalding temperature.  Got the car back on track with about an hour left.  We took 15th over all, 3rd in class, IIRC.

Sunday the first driver goes out, and in about an hour the transmission is stuck in gear!  It comes in on the tow strap, after looking at it; we decided to pack it up and head home early.


My 1st race stint in the 50 Shades of Blue Miata w/ ChumpCar World Series & Pure Speed Drag Racing Experience 6/3/17 at Autobahn Country Club South course. From the video I spend from minute 27 to minute 43 attempting to get around the same E30, be the judge is this guy being a complete @sshat, really strange defensive lines, or just clueless on a line. My own critiques are not being aggressive enough with passing and the car, my line needs tweaking, and carrying more speed through most of the turns. On the flip side 1.5 hours of the car never leaving the tarmac! :) Thanks Ross Luken for the drive.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend Racing at Brained Intl. Raceway

Harvey West Memorial Day Double Divisional/Double Run-Offs Qualifying

Here are pictures by Jerry Winker from the same race last year....

Cheap Track time that is VERY Newbie friendly!

Dakota County Technical College

Track Night in America will run once a month at the designated tracks, with the schedule typically beginning at 4 p.m. Participants will get three 20-minute sessions for a $150 entry fee. Paced laps will be open and free to all attendees each Track Night. The events are open to the general public over the age of 18, with a valid driver’s license.

For the Month of May- Receive a $25 discount on YOUR hometown track experience from your friends here at KONI. By using discount code- KONIimproved2017 when registering for your event. Just enter the code during checkout and you will receive $25 off your registration immediately! The code is good for one use, per user. Find your event today here:
The fastest way to get on track, Track Night in America is split into three experiences based upon a driver’s comfort and skill level.

Rookies will get extra attention from the gate through their on-track sessions in the KONI Novice Experience, ranging from help removing loose items in the car (like floor mats and unsecured tire jacks) to coaching and follow the leader paced laps during their sessions.
Intermediate and Advanced participants can skip much of the pre-track minutiae by going online in advance to fill out tech sheets and complete a drivers’ meeting that reviews Track Night basics. Those participants will also have access to top-flight SCCA instructors and event staff for additional on-site questions and help.

About KONI
As a part of ITT Motion Technologies, KONI develops, manufactures, and markets high performance shock absorbers for many types of private and commercial vehicles including street and racing cars, trucks, buses, RVs, and military vehicles as well as railway rolling stock. ITT Motion Technologies is the world leader in the development and production of brake pads and friction materials for the transport and automobile industry.

SCCA Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack is a non-competitive, entertaining, easy and inexpensive way for nearly anyone who loves cars or motorsports to get on a racecourse in their own vehicle during weeknights. All that is required is that participants be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license and have access to a helmet and street car in good working condition. The cost is never greater than $150 per event, and no previous on-track experience or SCCA membership is required. Drivers are slotted into Advanced, Intermediate or the KONI Novice Experience group so on-track activities remain fun for all. Everyone gets three 20-minute sessions on course, as well as feedback from SCCA driver coaches on site.

Learn more at

Never Driven on Track? Track Master? Doesn't Matter!

Only $125 to come drive with us!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ice Racing 2/12

The track is 1.09 miles long.  The lake ice is quite smooth, but we'll need to work down through a bit of hardened snow.  Snow banks are big enough to be noticeable, but not so big that people should be getting stuck in them much.  Start finish will be at pit exit near the red marker.  Pit entrance is at the green dot.  The track is counter clockwise.  Looks like good weather for ice racing!