Phew…what a weekend! As sponsoring Phil and his Element Tuning Time Attack Race Car, we had our work cut out for us in preparation for the event. We all knew that there was going to be stiff competition, so we did our best to make sure the car was as prepared as possible.
Aside from getting the front bumper fixed, we added a SYMS rear bumper, Seibon doors, Seibon side skirts, and painted the roof black. Seibon doors also came in just in time, as well as the APR GTC-300 wing and APR front splitter.
With the last-minute work still going on Phil’s car, the rest of us pretty much packed up the entire showroom into a U-Haul truck, along with some flooring and tents thanks to Dan from Prodrive America. We closed down the shop very early on Friday to make sure we could concentrate on getting everything packed up. After about 7 hours straight of work on all fronts, we were finally all packed up and ready to go. Our caravan left the shop here in Kent, WA around 7 pm, grabbed some dinner down the road, then headed off.
The group got separated along the way, with Phil (driving the Time Attack car, no trailers here) leading the first pack and Jonathan and myself switching off leading the second group. We stopped just south of Olympia in hopes that the group would reconvene, but Phil’s group decided to head on straight down to Portland. At this point, Subiesport photographer Nick Parker realized that his camera bag was missing, and after about an hour and a half of phone calls, it turns out a good samaritan had returned his camera bag to the local police station, completely intact. With Nick’s fears alleviated, we continued on down south.
The weather throughout the day in Seattle and Western Washington was gorgeous. Low 70s and cloudless skies led to a starry clear night for most of the way down. However, once we hit about Kelso, the skies opened up and the rain just would not stop. Thankfully, we had switched Phil’s Hoosier race slicks out for the year-old Toyo RA-1s we had sitting in the shop, but eh RA-1s were still no wet-weather tire by any means. It was quite the interesting drive down the rest of the way in the wet, and we finally pulled into the hotel at about 2 am. By 3 am we were all fast asleep, but wake-up time was 5 am to get some breakfast and get down to the track, so the 2-hour rest definitely made for an interesting morning.
I honestly felt like I went to sleep, closed my eyes, and just as I was falling asleep, the alarm went off. After taking a shower and getting the rest of the guys up, we headed downstairs for breakfast. The all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet definitely hit the spot, and we felt energized caravaning down to the track. As soon as we got outside though, the falling rain put a damper on our spirts overall, especially since we knew we had to unload the entire U-Haul in the wet.
We get down to the track right at about 7 am and within an hour and a half, our huge team of helpers got our booth set up, complete with flooring and display cases. Phil was already due for his warm up laps, and I went to take some snaps. Here’s a couple from when all the Time Attack cars were on track at the same time:
The rain just would not stop, so the tents definitely came handy. Here’s how our booth looked…huge thanks to Dan from Prodrive America and Mark from SP Engineering, along with Joe and Jeff from Montana and all of our significant others who helped put it together:
Racing in the rain, Phil had a tough time keeping traction on his RA-1s, but he did well enough to qualify and last through the semi-finals. This gives you a good idea of how much rain was on the track for most of the day:
As luck would have it though, come about 4 pm, the clouds stopped crying and made way for sunny skies, drying the track quickly, but still leaving wet spots. Phil debated on putting on the Hoosiers, but the track was still wet enough that he decided to stick with the RA-1s. Things were pretty tense since both PDX Tuning and GST were posting up fast times, and Phil’s first lap still kept him in 3rd place. By the 2nd lap though, things were dry enough for Phil to push and he had it won by about a second. Here’s a pic of him on the final turn:
Phil didn’t know that he had won yet, so he kept pushing, but the deed was done and we couldn’t be happier. Huge props and thanks to all of the competitors that really came out and gave us a run for our money. Here’s the last two pics from the winner’s circle:
The W1/Prodrive booth had a good day too and packing up the U-Haul again took much less time, with less inventory to throw in. With everything packed up, we grabbed some dinner and then made the trip back up to the Seattle area. It was definitely a bit intimidating to have Phil following me on the highway, but after making my car look like it was standing still as he pulled away from me, I was content in doing the speed limit all the way back to base. Good times for all, and thanks again to Phil from Element Tuning, Dan from Prodrive America, Mark from SP Engineering, Joe and Jeff from Montana, and everyone on and/or connected to the World One team.
Armin @ W1