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November 2009
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Formula Drift Pro-AM Nationals 11.23.09 Irwindale, Ca

November 28th, 2009 by john

CTO was busy as usual for Pro-AM Nationals at Irwindale Speedway as the top amateur drifters test their skills to see who’s got what it takes to earn they Professional Formula Drift license for the 2010 season. Drivers and cars came from all across the country to try and earn their rights to make it to the big stage next year.

This is Logan from Work Wheels USA, giving us our traditional umbrella girl pose….

Here he is being an umbrella girl for Matt Powers, Formula Drift Pro Driver.

Thanks Jack for coming out to help CTO on a busy day, the help is always appreciated. Mike Essa sighting! He’s got some pretty big plans lined up for the 2010 season, in a new V12 powered BMW! Best of luck to Mike in 2010.. a big supporter for CTO in the past few years.

Plenty of Pro Formula Drift drivers made it out to show their support to the up and coming amateur drifters. Here is Joon Maeng, one of the nicest guys in the world.. little did he know Judge Andy Yen was critiqueing his CTO Photo from behind!

Mickie Frial on the left, and Luke Pakula were able to earn they Pro license through the Just Drift / Top Drift series 2009. For those that wish to test their skills in competiion, this series seems very promising for 2010. Contact us for details on how to compete and earn a FD license for 2011!

Drivers were drifting their hearts out. Look as David Blunt (Red BMW E30) got gangster on the wall on the inner bank. John Rusakoff (Light Blue AE86 Corolla) was killing it on the entire course all day.

Really close tandem action through the day! Congrats to the winners of this event.

1st- Ian Fournier
2nd- Mike Pollard
3rd- Chelesa DeNofa

And all of the Pro-AM competitors that earned their FD License through this event for 2010:
1 Mike Pollard
2 Ian Fournier
3 Nikolay Konstantinov
4 John Russakoff
5 Brad Hettinger
6 Chelsea DeNofa
7 Charles Ng
8 Jeff Abbott
9 David Blunt
10 Russell Walker
11 Keith Wong
12 Ameen Rizvi
13 Cyrus Martinez
14 Stewart Leask
15 Keith Arreola
16 Derek King
17 Victor Moore
18 Tommy Roberts
19 Roland Gallagher

And a big thank you to Formula Drift for having us out there to help all of our Grassroot friends!

Posted in citytireonline.com, CTO, Customers, Drift Support, Formula D, Hankook | No Comments »

Redline Time Attack Rd8 by Carl

November 19th, 2009 by ctonews

I love racing Porsches. Ok there I said it, like nobody knew that. But I will elaborate, here’s why I love it:

It’s all about the feel inside the car, while driving. Alright, I admit it doesn’t hurt these cars look really good and fast on track, but going back to the core, it is about the feeling.

Driving a car like this, I have a pretty big engine mounted all the way in the back, in a comparaby small car. The engine is pushing the whole vehicle in front of itself. The front end gets pretty light, the behaviour with that weight in the rear can get a little fierce, but with the right touch it just gives a huge pleasure to keep it in check, to control a car like this.

Upon applying the brakes (Endless ME20 pads in my case), the car squats wonderfully in the rear, and more than any other car, it feels like throwing in an anchor and then reeling in, or actually, hanging on to that rope.

It is really notorious how slightly reduced grip in the rear tires, make that “rope” feel a lot slipperier, the feedback is absolutely instant. S-turns is not a chapter for the faint hearted, but with the right tricks, feel, setup and technique, the car will shoot through pretty fast… Over the limit it will be a handful to sort out, and not very fast.

The engine note (not the exhaust part) from the flat 6 is exceptionally notorious and it has a quality feel and sound to it that make me want to repeat it over and over again, for hours. Only sad part is that that Turbo is so powerful you really don’t get to stay in the sweetspot between 6000 and 7000 rpm too long. In a Boxster you’ll get to listen a long time, which sometimes is more enjoyable to be honest. A trained ear will easily detect the sound of a Porshe form any other car.

It’s a powerful beast, in a stylish suit. Purpose built, with performance to surprise and scare most people, and it has that special feeling – it is engineered and designed for the true driver to never want anything else. I got to tell you, once I started racing a Porsche back in 2001, it was where my passion found “home”, when it comes to motorsports and racing.
Auto Club Speedway, Sunday Nov 15; City Tire Online and Hankook Tire had hooked me up with tires so I could head out to do a competitive shake-down and to gather some data for next year’s Redline Time Attack season. – BTW how do you like the paint job of the GT2 aero? Done by PAC Autobody and Paint, Wilmington.

Already at the time of the drivers meeting, it was clear that it was a really good turn-out, very well done by the organizer to attract so many drivers. Mostly street class cars – that class was packed(!), but also a large amount of modified cars. Unlimited starting list looked a little sparse compared to the other fields.

The Modified AWD which my car is currently classified for, was a lot bigger and more competitive now than when I visited Redline at Buttonwillow at the beginnning of the year (that time I took 5th with far from full size tires). The class is now full of Mitsubishi Evo, Subarus and Nissan GTRs, with a varying degree of HP, weight reduction measures, aero etc. A true builder’s racing class.

On my end, I started out to bed-in the brakepads and feel out the setup as the tires got up to working temperature. The ME20 brake pad compund proved itself very strong for full on race pace, always good initial bite and friction and very easy to modulate.

Tirewise, the only DOT approved tire Hankook could find for the 12×18 GT2 wheels on short notice was Ventus R-S2. This is a very good performance tire indeed, however not a full R-compound in comparison to some other brands used in my class with down to half the threadwear rating, but this is what I had and I was decided to make the best from it!I had prepared the car with a number of adjustments, to suit the track and the tires.

I had stiffened up the front swaybar setting to counteract the otherwise expected oversteer. I also removed the usual 1mm negative toe (toe out) since I would not need crisp turn in, this would come by itself due to tire balance. In the 4WD Turbo the car needs a lot of front grip on corner exit to not start pushing, this would also be better with no toe out. I lowered the rear ride-height a bit from an aggressive sprint setting and I was conservative on the camber angle in front since I currently don’t have adjustable camber in rear (this will come). Also rear wing got a few extra degrees. The results was… a very good starting point.
Lining up for pre-grid: Mod class has some very very serious racecar builds, as well as performance cars with various amounts of track preparation. It was obvious that I was down on power within my class. With appr 500hp you would think the car would be pretty fast – but some of these Mod AWD cars have absolutely astonishing HP numbers. Pretty crazy to see.

I kept working on the setup as the day went along, and at the end the car got really well balanced. Compared to a modern Porsche racecar on slicks, it is still pretty moderat – tires play a huge role as does the weight of the car, so there is a lot of potential for improvement.

With the R-S2 performance street tire I recorded steady state G-forces of 1,15G through turns (the banked turn 1,6G). This winter I will get some efficient upgrades done, to reach a higher grip level. Photo: Larry Chen

With the setup changes and the able support from Hankook to optimize tire pressure and temperature build-up, my laptimes went from consistent 1.51,7, via 1.50,0 (Time Attack 1), to 1.49,2 (afternoon practice).

I my 2nd Time Attack session I didn’t post a better time, two cars got into some type of incident and the session was restarted when I had hit 1.49,6 on my way to ideal tire temperatures for my third lap. I didn’t have enough gas though to do more than 5 laps (warm-up, 3 TA laps, cool down lap), so even though I gave it a shot I just had to roll into the pits when the engine started cutting out due to gas surge.

Not much to say about that, my final position in Modified Class AWD was 8th.

It was a sheer pleasure to put the car through its paces and working on the setup. Pushing hard drivingwise and gathering a lot of information on the data logger are the main things to have done going into the winter break. It gives a clear picture regarding exactly which upgrades to the car that will make the biggest improvements.

Thx City Tire for support and photos (all expect marked “Larry Chen”), thx Hankook for support and tires!

Posted in AIT, citytireonline.com, CTO, Hankook, Misc, Racing, Suspension | No Comments »