March 10-11, 2018 - Willow SPRINGS - NASA Super Touring RACE
We're back! The 2018 race season has begun, and we have already competed in two race weekends with the #57 Pacific Auto Recycling Center Corvette. Before the season started, Jim Tway took the car over to Khole at American Heritage Performance to install a new SCCA GT-2 legal L-76 engine. What’s a L-76? It’s a LS2 short block with LS3 heads, offered in Pontiac G8 and some trucks. Why? We heard good things from some east coast colleagues. Khole came through and we gained 45 rwhp from our previous build, even with the small SCCA mandated flat plate restrictor. For those interested, American Heritage Performance is going to start stocking full race built L-76's. Feel free to contact us for more details.
NASA Race Recap
Team PARC will be campaigning in both the SCCA Grand Touring GT-2 series and the NASA Pro Racing Super Touring series this season. We headed to Willow Springs first for the NASA race, with Jim Tway competing in Super Touring 1 and Robert Hall in Time Trials. Robert delivered wins both Saturday and Sunday. In the race group, Jim put the PARC Corvette on the front row in qualifying. However at race time, he got caught out in the rain. Jim managed a couple laps before spinning off course in the soaking wet conditions. On Sunday, Jim did put Team PARC on pole position. After losing a position early, Jim recaptured the lead and held off the P2 BMW and P3 Nascar for the win.
SCCA Race Recap
A week later, we returned to Willow Springs for the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour, with Robert Hall competing in GT-2. On Saturday, we had deju vu. Robert put the Team PARC Corvette on the front row, missing out pole position by .06 seconds. And once again, rain starting coming down in buckets on grid, just as the pace car took the field out. Robert managed a lap, before retiring the car. On Sunday, Robert qualified 3rd in the 13 car GT-2 field. He would lose a position at the start, but had an epic drive back up to 2nd place in the race.
Here's the Sunday SCCA race highlight video:
Next up is Buttonwillow in April for an SCCA U.S. Major GT-2 race. Until next time.
- Jim Tway
July 30-Aug 1, 2015 - Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway - NASA Super Touring - Western States Championships
On July 30th, we took the PA Construction Corvette to Laguna Seca Raceway for the Western States NASA National Championships. The format for this championship event was spread out over three days. Jim piloted the race car in the Super Touring 2 race group, where NASA scheduled a qualifying session, two heat races and a championship race for the weekend. Robert drove the car in Time Trials, which was scheduled for three sessions per day.
Robert absolutely dominated the weekend in Time Trials 2. We had decided that we would use Saturday’s sessions to develop the car. This strategy was also to help Robert get more familiar with the track, as he hadn’t been on Laguna Seca in years, and never in a high horsepower car. That said, Robert went home Saturday leading TT-2 by 0.5 seconds, while only running on old tires. Sunday morning's session was prime for a fast lap. Cool temperatures usually equate to higher horsepower and better grip, compared to a later afternoon session. We put on good tires for this session. When it was all said and done, Robert had bested his previous class leading lap by almost a second, running a 1:35.1. Nearest competitor was 1:36.5. By the end of the day, Robert’s morning lap would hold up bringing home Robert and the PA Construction Corvette’s first national title.
Here’s his championship winning lap:
The Super Touring 2 class saw an impressive 13 entrants. As you may recall, the last time Jim turned some laps at Laguna was in the back of an ambulance. Nonetheless, Jim was able to place the car 5th at the end of qualifying on Friday.
Starting from the 3rd row for the heat race, Jim was jumped by a turbo Miata, he thinks the same one Auto Club Speedway earlier this year. He couldn’t tell because it drove by him so fast. Jim was able to slip past a fellow Corvette driver, Lee in turn 2, but Lee returned the favor in turn 11 right before the straight. On lap 2, the turbo Miata decided to puke its engine contents all over the track, severely obscuring the windshield of Jim’s car and almost sending him off in turn 4. A few corners later, another Corvette driver Evan, had is engine shutdown and Jim was able to slip into the 4th spot. So we were two laps into the race and things were going great. Jim settled into a groove but was losing sight of Lee in 3rd. Jim’s pace begin to slow allowing the 5th place Amir, driving a Toyota turbo Supra, reel him in. By mid race Amir had caught up to Jim’s rear bumper and started challenging him for the position. They had a great back in forth for the last 8 laps, with Jim holding on to 4th.
Race-Keeper video from Friday's heat race:
Jim complained the car was pushing terribly during Friday heat race, so he spent the morning making suspension and aerodynamic changes. This was the start of a face palming moment later that day. With the changes made, Jim started the Saturday heat race in 6th, based on fast lap from the previous heat race. At the green flag, Jim was able to out maneuver Amir for 5th. They went side by side all the way into turn 5, but Jim had inside position and was able to take him leading up the hill. Jim then moved into 4th, when Evan’s engine shut down for the second day in a row. Jim now had Chuck, running 3rd, in his sights. Jim made a few good runs on him going into turn 2, but couldn’t complete any of the passes. By mid race, Chuck and Jim had reeled in Lee running in 2nd. Chuck took Lee to the inside of turn 2, and Lee looped the car, allowing Chuck and Jim to move up into 2nd and 3rd respectively. About this time, Jim’s tires went away and Chuck pulled a good gap and they would finish that way. Click below to see Saturday's heat race.
After the two rounds of heat races, Jim had garnered enough points to put the PA Construction Corvette in 3rd for the main event. He was still complaining the car wasn’t turning well. We were about to make some more setup changes when we noticed the front tires we received from Hoosier were incorrect. Cue face palm. They had sent us hard compound tires for the front, and soft compound (sticky) tires for the rear. This explained all the understeer Jim experienced in the heat races, but not in practice when he was testing with older, but correct compound tires. While very upset with himself for not noticing this earlier, Jim was very relieved to know the car had the speed to podium, and maybe even give Bill, who put the car on pole, a run for the top step.
All this would be for not. The car decided to not start on grid for the main event Sunday. Jim was helpless and had to watch the entire grid drive by him onto the track. Turns out we were bested by a $0.50 resistor in the ignition system. Sometimes that is racing.
Congratulations to Bill Brinkop, Chuck Matthews and Lee Ariota who all finished on the podium in that order. It's been a quick season since getting the new PA Construction Corvette together. We have one more NASA series race at Buttonwillow in October, followed by the Pacific Coast Road Racing Championship at Auto Club Speedway. Jim is already at work getting the car ready, having already ripped all the GM wiring harnesses out of the car, vowing to not be stopped by a ten cent part again.
- Tway Motorsports
May 16-17, 2015 - Auto Club Speedway - NASA Super Touring
The weekend of 5/16/2015, the PA Construction Corvette piloted by Robert Hall and Jim Tway took down the Auto Club Speedway Super Touring 2 (ST-2) lap record with time of 1:44.945. Robert placed 1st in Time Trials TT-2 class on Saturday. And on Sunday, Jim swept the Time Trials TT-2 class and ST-2 Race in an epic battle with a last lap pass.
Robert grabbed the wheel for the morning’s first Time Trial session. Robert ran some great laps, but came in early high engine temps and noting a terrible push. It didn’t take much investigating to discover the problem. The front end splitter was completely shredded, and bent up blocking the radiator inlet. We reviewed the video and discovered the nose splitter let go going through the chicane at turn 10. Turn 10 is known by drivers as the non-chicane, due to that turn not being coned off and drivers cutting the corner running through the curbing. We were just kissing the bottom of the nose running off that curb every lap, and eventually ran out of material. Here’s video of the splitter self jettisoning:
We missed qualifying tending to the damage. Jim swapped out the splitter with a spare, while also raising the ride height on all four corners for more clearance. All repaired, Jim started the race at the back in P9. On the start, he got a decent jump and picked off a few positions in lap 1. Slowly and surely, Jim had moved his way up to P3 by lap 6, and was reeling in the leaders by a couple seconds a lap, setting up for hopefully some last lap heroics. However, the spare splitter had other plans as it disintegrated in turn 1 a few laps later retiring the car. Here’s the full Race-Keeper video of Saturday’s race:
Saturday was rough, but Robert walked away with a win in Time Trials, and Jim broke the Super Touring 2 lap record in the race before he retired.
Out of spare splitters, we went to Home Depot for “race supplies”. Jim fabricated and installed a new splitter from Home Depot’s most exotic composite. He also went ahead and changed all the aFe Power/Pfadt shocks to full stiff hoping to solve the splitter contact issues through turn 10.
Through the first two Time Trial sessions the splitter showed no signs of wear. Confidently, Jim headed to qualifying and put the car in P2, just 0.060 seconds behind the pole sitter Stephanie Cemo.
At the race start, Jim got a great jump and vaulted into the lead. Pole sitter Cemo was able to take back the lead on lap 2 with a good run onto the oval. Over the next ten laps, Jim was glued to the bumper of Cemo. He made a couple pass attempts into turn 1, but both were well defended by Cemo. Cemo in a newer C6 Corvette Z06, had much more torque in her 6.2L V8, and that was apparent coming out of corners. Our later model C5 Corvette has a smaller 5.7L V8, but we had much better stopping power with our Essex AP Endurance kit, and made up our time in the braking zones. The last two laps it was clear Cemo was braking earlier and Jim started looking for an opportunity. Heading into turn 9 on the last lap, Jim caught Cemo napping and took the inside braking line, claiming the lead at last, and holding on to victory.
Sunday's Race-Keeper video from Jim’s in car:
By the end of the weekend, we had swept both days in Time Trials and took home a win and a track record in the Super Touring race group. A newly designed splitter has already been installed and we are ready to head north to Sonoma for round 4 of the Western ST2 Race Series next weekend.
- Jim Tway
April 16-17, 2015 - Buttonwillow Raceway - NASA Super Touring Races
The weekend of April 18th marked the first race for the rebuilt PA Construction Corvette. Quick summary, we took home a 4th place and 3rd place finish in ST1 racing, which included a pole position award and a hard charger award (most positions gained from start to finish). In Time Trials, we took home a 2nd place finish in TTU (unlimited class) and 1st place finish in TT1. And most importantly, the car was driven back on the trailer Sunday night.
This offseason, the Corvette went through a comprehensive rebuild aimed at creating a reliable but also, no excuses build for NASA Super Touring 2. The build included a forged LS6 motor with custom cam and headwork from American Heritage Performance. We added aFe Power Tri-Y headers to help with the power band and put on some Trackspec Hood Louvers to handle all the additional heat. Additionally, Tway Motorsports installed all the aero and suspension updates from Pfadt Controls, as well as adding a 4 stage dry sump to increase the longevity of the motor.
Our game plan was to run in the Super Touring 2 race class, an 8 to 1 wt/hp class. The car makes a little more power than needed for ST2, so we detuned it a bit on the engine dyno. However, we discovered the Friday before that the engine wasn’t running correctly on that tune. Instead of heading home, we opted to run in the higher ST1 race class, which is 5.5 to 1 wt/hp, where our unrestricted engine tune was working fine. We would be hilariously out gunned in horsepower, but at least on track.
To my surprise, we were able to put the car on pole for the Saturday race with a 1:49.4. Seems the rest of the ST1 field was sandbagging in qualifying. After a snafu at pre-grid, part our fault for showing up late with only 1 minute to spare, we had to start at the back of the field. But not only the back of the ST1 group, the back of the BMW Club race group, who took a second green flag about 45 seconds behind our group. This sucked, but made a great opportunity for Robert to work on his racecraft. Buttonwillow is not an easy track to overtake. Starting from DFL (dead f*#^ing last as we like to call it), Robert moved the PA Construction Corvette from 33rd place up to 15th place overall, and finished 4th in Super Touring 1. It was great accomplishment.
Sunday morning, we experienced an electrical gremlin with the throttle body and missed qualifying. We traced it to either a bad connection or the throttle control computer getting heat soaked. We would start DFL in ST1, but at least with within the correct group, first green flag. The pole sitter set down a qualifying lap of 1:46.7, 3 seconds faster than any lap we put down all weekend. P2 through P5 had all set qualifying times in the 1:50’s, so expectations were to fight for a podium step. The green flag fell and it was futile trying to beat the higher horsepower cars to the first corner. P4 and P3 were converted Nascar Trucks. Lots of power, no grip. I had to focus on my corner speeds to get around them. It took 2 laps to clear both of them, but by that time, P2 and P1 had checked out.
Best I could do was get within 3 seconds of P2. I pushed hard, but the over drove the car a bit causing the tires to go away. I had to back off to ensure our 3rd place finish.
Our first race weekend in the books. The car ran great on track, albeit the electrical issue and tune. Both have been sorted out already. Thanks to all our sponsors for the support to get us on track and be successful. We now have our sights set on Auto Club Speedway on May 16th and 17th!
- Jim Tway