Corvette, Lamborghini, Porsche, Subaru and Viper win during Whelen US TimeTrial Championship at VIR


Philip Grabow set the fastest time of the weekend

The state motto might be ‘Virginia is for lovers’, but over the past weekend, surely it was for lovers of all high-end and high performance sports cars, as Virginia International Raceway (Alton, VA) played host to rounds 9 and 10 of the 2011 Whelen US TimeTrial Championship.

Sunday also saw George Whelen match his father’s Saturday performance to take the top step of the GT-Unlimited class podium- his first ever win in the US GT Championship’s premier class.

The weekend was expected to be a battle between two different breeds of horsepower- that of boost four-cylinder turbos and big American made cubic-inches. However, a surge of late entries not only gave the VIR rounds of the Whelen USTTC a record number of competitors, but another type of contender. Exotic European thoroughbreds joined the large contingent of American muscle and fast-fours that usually make up the Whelen USTTC ranks, and they certainly made their presence felt.

The bright orange Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera of Jim Booth wowed spectators and competitors alike as the V-10 screamed around the challenging 3.37 mile VIR circuit.
Booth dominated both days of competition in the TT-1 class, posting a 2:06.77 on Saturday before turning up the heat on Sunday to set a 2:04.172.
Interestingly, Booth also participated in his V10 Viper on Sunday but could only manage a 2:05.666, confirming the Lamborghini’s superior price tag over the Viper is indeed warranted.
Booth’s nearest rival was Doug Wind. Given that Wind’s weapon- a Modern Performance tuned turbo Dodge SRT-4- couldn’t be further from the Lamborghini in every way, shape and form, it was impressive that his times were only just over a second slower around one of the longest and fastest tracks in North America.
And while Wind could only manage second place on both Saturday and Sunday, he stamped his authority- albeit only by two tenths on Sunday- on TT-1 championship rival George MacDonald (Viper Competition Coupe), who finished third both days.


George MacDonald finished third both days in TT-1.

And while the strong points haul extended Wind’s TT-1 championship lead, MacDonald has now fallen behind Tanya Mazyk (Dodge Viper) who, all season, has been quietly building a solid points tally.
European might also proved too strong for the turbo fours and American muscle in the TT-2 class.
Alex Reznikov set a blistering 2:04.164 pace on Saturday afternoon in his black Porsche 997 GT3- a time that beat that of Booth’s Lamborghini on Saturday.
It was too much for David Tenney’s Dodge Neon SRT-4, who finished second, and Tim Jelle’s Dodge Viper GTS, who was third fastest in class on Saturday.

Reznikov didn’t match his Saturday pace on Sunday, however it was still enough to fend off the competition. Jelle, however, found nearly two seconds to close the gap, leapfrogging Tenney to take Sunday’s second placed trophy. Tenney finished third.


The SpeedSouth Corvette of David Leonard won Sunday’s TT-Unlimited competition. © NARRA

Again though, the fastest times of the weekend came from the TT-Unlimited class.
Philip Grabow and team from Element Tuning again threw down the gauntlet to the nation’s top tuning houses. On Saturday their heavily modified Subaru STi was the only car on Saturday to break the 2 minute mark, setting a 1:58.890. The fast-four was a staggering 6.5 seconds faster than the V10 might of TT-U championship points leader Carl Kafarowski’s Dodge Viper ACR, who set a 2:05.682- his personal best of the weekend. John Weigel, in another Viper ACR, finished third.

However all was not lost for American muscle, as a new contender entered TT-Unlimited for Sunday.
The Leonard brothers David and Tom, from SpeedSouth Active Power Racing, had brought their Corvette all the way from Pelham, Alabama to compete in the Whelen USTTC’s sister series, the US GT Championship. After blowing a transmission on Friday evening, their weekend looked bleak. However, the hard work of sourcing and overnighting a new transaxle to the circuit, and installing it with their backs in the Virginia dirt, paid off. Not only did they score two podiums in the USGTC, but they took the time-trial series by storm.
With brother Tom racing,


SpeedSouth’s Leonard brothers pose with their Whelen USTTC and USGTC trophies from VIR. © NARRA

David took the helm of the Corvette in the time-trial competition on Sunday morning. In a salute to the might of cubic-inches he ran over one second faster than Grabow’s Subaru, to set a 1:57.643. The time not only meant SpeedSouth was the new top-dog in town but would also take home the first place trophy in Sunday’s TT-U competition.

With over-heating and electrical issues plaguing Grabow’s Subaru, he had to settle for second place, while Carl Kafarowski took the third step of the podium.
And while by 4pm the competition runs had come to a close, Element Tuning had not given up in their quest to extract more from the STi. With the issues fixed, but on a far from perfect heat-soaked afternoon track, Grabow went out for the final session. While slightly bitter-sweet, Grabow showed what the Subaru was capable of, running a staggering 1:55.996- nearly two seconds faster than Leonard’s Corvette.

So while SpeedSouth’s cubic-inches may have taken home the trophy, one could argue the boosted four-cylinder of Element Tuning’s Subaru still reigns supreme in the Whelen USTTC.
All the action from the weekend was captured using GoPro cameras by the Internal Production Group and will be broadcast later this year on GoRacingTV.com, hosted by motorsport television personality Tom Hnatiw. The battle of the countries best engine tuners, and some of the world’s fastest cars in the Whelen US TimeTrial Championship will continue next month at Motorsport Park Hastings, Nebraska as part of the 2011 Super Sports Car Weekend.

Event images, commentary and results can be found at facebook.com/NARRAonline .

New Element Tuning TA Race Car sets Summit Pt TTU Lap Record!

Just as we started to get the new car and myself sorted out our season is over but the new STi is performing better than we could have ever imagined.

New graphics from Speedesign look great. We wanted to do something new and different but keep that mean look the car had in all black. We couldn’t finish completely as the vinyl wouldn’t stick to the unfinished bumpers so we need to get those painted before the whole look is put together.

Rota DPT from WheelDude.com in 18×10 Matte Black hold the Hoosier 285s on very nicely!

New Sparco Circuit Pro Seats, Belts, and Steering wheel from OG Racing and Sparco USA keeping me safe.

One of the single largest and most critical improvements on the car is the Fulcrum Aero wing. John went above and beyond building us a reinforced with with improved double lap joint mounts.

Notice the heim joints for reduced stress on the mounts. The wing is also very easy to adjust because of this mount.

The final race of the NASA Mid Atlantic Championships was this past weekend at Summit Point Raceway. We updated our Element Tuning custom BC ER Series Coilovers with new valving and Swift Springs to increase front roll stiffness on the car in attempt to settle the rear end down under acceleration. We tested this at VIR warming up and ran a 1:59 which would have been good enough for 4th in the UTTC race so things were looking good.

On day one we set FTD breaking the old TTU lap record of 1:16.07 with a 1:15.4 lap but the cold track made it tough to get the heat I needed in my Hoosiers. On day two we tweaked the Fulcrum rear wing for about +45 lbs more downforce with only a 6 hp penalty in drag, dropped tire pressure on the driver’s side, and we adjusted the front and rear clickers on the BC coilovers. With the track temp coming up we were able to set a new TTU track record at 1:14.439!

Enjoy the video, From a 148 MPH Crash To A New Track Record:

Thanks,
Phil Grabow

Element Summit Point NASA TTB Lap record with 08 WRX, 11/08

I actually really love driving my 08 WRX and couldn’t be more impressed with the new chassis. I knew it was fast but not this fast. I was expecting to run in the 1:25s since I was running street tires but a 1;23.8 blew me away. This time is also fast enough to break the current Nasa TTA lap record for Summit Point.

For the chassis I have the Element Tuning custom BC Racing Coilovers setup really well, GT Spec chassis braces, 6 Gun Ball Joints and bump steer kit, front and rear sway bars, Brembo STi front calipers, Dunlop 245/45-18 Z star Spec tires, and rear camber adjustment kit. All I can say is this car’s lap time are a reflection of it’s grip and not the power. The new chassis is impressively stiff and has so much more grip than the previous chassis.

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NASA Octoberfast STi vs. GTR Time Attack Video, 10/09

If any of you haven’t been to VIR you have to do yourself the favor of going. What can I say but this track not only takes skill it takes big %#*! With a beautiful back drop and cool weather it was on!

With largest field of TT cars ever this event had over 35 cars going for the win in various classes. To make this more fun than ever we had 5 TTU cars which means Hoosier Tire contingency would be up for grabs. Sharif with the Forged GTR showed up with slicks and Michael Woods in his Z06 who broke my record at Summit Point would be my biggest competition. A few other Nasioc members were there including Boost Junkie (Dan), MSP608 (Justin), and Martin K.

My weekend started with a retune possibly compensating for a new turbocharger combination resulting in a 40 whp loss over our tried and true GT65 combo. The car was detonating with the new unit so I had to detune it but got it running well.

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