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MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship presented by Motul, Round 1 & 2, Willow Springs International Raceway

by Clint Boisdeau

The first MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship presented by Motul was an interesting start to my 2015 wheel to wheel race season.  The combination of scrambling to get Project Civic EF ready enough to race(If you missed Part 3 of Project EF, check it out here),  the predicted rainy weather in the forecast, and new unproven setup changes put a significant amount of stress on my shoulders.  The added factor of being on a provisional race license and rookie status with the sanctioning body NASA (find out more about how to get your race license with NASA) left me in a mindset of "Finish without incident" above all else.  The more positive aspects going into the opening rounds was that the competitors in the field mostly consists of friends so the likely hood of a bonehead maneuver causing contact or a wreck was lower, and Willow Springs International Raceway is my favorite local track.

The imminent rain for the weekend deterred some competitors from showing up, as well as car builds not getting completed in time.  This left Martin Gonzales in MotoIQ Project Infiniti G20, Justin Taylor in the Rockstar Garage Honda S2000, and myself to brave the wet, cold weather and slick track surface.  To all of the competitors and crew's surprise though, the Saturday morning's warm-up and qualifying sessions were dry and partly sunny.  Such conditions gave us hope for dry racing later in the day.  

 

Justin Taylor hit the ground running during the warm up session not only lapping at a solid pace on heat cycled tires, but also keeping his line smooth and clean despite the cold surface temp.  The Rockstar Garage S2000 was relatively unchanged setup wise from last year, so getting into a quick rhythm wasn't difficult.  
Minor setting adjustments between warm-up and qualifying was all Justin and his crew needed to do for the S2000 to run at potential.  The new 2015 MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship presented by Motul number decals look quite sharp.  The additions of Motovicity Distribution and ARP Racing Products as series sponsors really complete the package. 
Justin navigating race group "A" traffic with the goal of a respectable qualifying time.  His wheel to wheel experience paid dividends by getting around the mixed field of cars for clean laps. 
The hard work paid off for Justin Taylor as he secured pole position and "Motovicity Top Qualifier" for Saturday's race day at a lap time of 1.35:724.
The warm-up session for myself was exactly that.  So many aspects of the car's setup had been changed since the Buttonwillow test day in Part 2, and I never had Project EF on "Big willow".  Taking it easy ended up being a huge deal since half way through the session, my right front upper camber arm slipped and I lost all static negative camber sending me off the exit of turn 1. 
Seeing as how the EF's alignment was adjusted shortly before the race weekend, I ruled the slippage under a lack of sufficient torque on the bolts.  But alas, after we readjusted the camber setting and verified proper torque spec, my qualifying session was hosed by the camber arm slipping in the exact same manner.
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Comments
azmidlyf
azmidlyflink
Friday, March 20, 2015 8:09 AM
Balance looks predictable. Congrats on the weekend.
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 2:21 PM
Scary line by that grey/orange H4 CRX early in the race (lap 2?) through T9....

Congrats on race one guys! Sorry I couldn't make it.
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 5:09 PM
@Steve Rockwood,

Scary in what sense? the closing speed on exit?

You gotta make ACS, not up for negotiation LOL
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 6:40 PM
Never turned into apex and ran out of track with big closing speed. Watched a lotta guys end up off there and all over the place.

Lol, yeah, gotta make ACS for sure.
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 7:16 PM
@Steve Rockwood, the CRX in front of me or me? only person who missed the apex was him.
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 3:49 AM
You have a grey/orange H4 CRX? :)

He drove in his mirrors through that whole complex because you came up fast in T8.
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 7:43 AM
@Steve Rockwood,

Sorry mis read. I shouldve just past him in 8
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 8:52 AM
Yeah, but you had just went off in T6 the lap previous, your car is properly set up (total basket case on cold tires), and you were ahead of #73 comfortably. You did right. :)

That CRX just gave you a pucker moment due to odd driving. Happens. Besides, who knows how he would've handled a T8 pass anyway.
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