WELCOME TO RIVER DAVES PLACE

Palomar Solar Racing

BasilHayden

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Now get back to work and finish my buddy’s house in San Clemente.

Lol, I think San clemente is done, didnt know it was a friend of yours. Need all the work we can get, this racing thing costs $$$, hopefully this year the cars stay in one piece.
 

BasilHayden

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Mike,

Have you figured out your race schedule for the year yet? Hope to run into you guys at the track again this year.

Chuck

As Mike said, lets get you down to a couple VARA races, and we will be seeing you at Luguna and maybe Sonoma, what do you say? Palomar is sponsoring the race at Cal Speedway next weekend, come on over and say hi. I know they are happy to have you spectate, but even happier if you brought a car.
 

TCHB

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Lol, I think San clemente is done, didnt know it was a friend of yours. Need all the work we can get, this racing thing costs $$$, hopefully this year the cars stay in one piece.
I told Greg about you!!!!!!!! Glad it is done.
 

C Ya

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As Mike said, lets get you down to a couple VARA races, and we will be seeing you at Luguna and maybe Sonoma, what do you say? Palomar is sponsoring the race at Cal Speedway next weekend, come on over and say hi. I know they are happy to have you spectate, but even happier if you brought a car.

Hey Andy,

Boy, you guys are starting early this year. I’m not racing until mid-March this year and my schedule may be somewhat limited this year due to other commitments. I did enter both cars in the Historics. VARA doesn’t really attract cars for me to race with my 356.

Congrats on the sponsorship and have fun racing the B sedans, that is a great group in VARA. If I was in town next weekend I would stop by to cheer, but I’m up in Paso Robles beginning Thursday.

Let me know when you’re going out again.

Chuck
 

BasilHayden

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I told Greg about you!!!!!!!! Glad it is done.

Well almost, sent my guy up to San Clemente today for final after confirming this morning, inspector was kind enough to show up at the house to inform us its cancelled! So helpful
 

BasilHayden

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Made it to California Speedway
Should be a great weekend can’t wait to share the track with Mike.

His car looks so good
Here’s to a great year and having fun!
 

RiverDave

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Glad you guys are having such a great time with this Andy! I need to come out and check out one of the races before summer time!

RD
 

mjc

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Is there any racing you do at Chuckawalla? That close enough for me to come out and watch.
 

BasilHayden

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Overdue update

1st race of the season was January and Palomar Solar was proud to sponsor the race in our backyard, gave me a chance to get family and staff to the track to see this crazy hobby we are enjoying so much.

Palomar at ACS.JPG


This was also the first race for me with the new motor, i had been running the same motor that was built last century and was built per series rules for pump gas, lets just say if it made 100hp I would have maybe been exaggerating. The new motor runs on race fuel and has 159hp to the rear wheels, not bad for a single downdraft 2 litre. It made a difference. As such I should be able to run with the pack and not at the back of the field. I doubt I will be in this position all that often but was fun to line up in front of Mike for the qualifying race, but he didnt stay there for long.

Grid07 at ACS.JPG

Grid38 at ACS.JPG

Grid at ACS.JPG

We had a great weekend, and on Sunday both Mike and I started mid pack and had a great race...

38 front ACS.JPG

07 front ACS.JPG

In the end, Mike finished 2nd in the race 1st in class, of course finishing 2nd to the reigning National B sedan championship isnt to shabby. I finished 2nd in class, set the class fastest lap and was only lapped by the same B Sedan champion. Here I am taking the white flag as I was being lapped by Troy Ermish. Given 1 more lap I am sure Mike would have caught me, but to finish in the top 10 was a great feeling.

White07 at ACS.JPG


In the end Mike and I with Roxie and our crew chief Kevin Desirello.

Family at ACS.JPG

So much fun
 

BasilHayden

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Last night we went to the Annual Awards banquet at the Chino Planes of Fame museum, very cool place fyi. They definately give us plenty of time to get ready for the awards, thanks to one of our new friends there was a very good craft whisky to pass the time. This is amazing stuff btw. I was there looking forward to seeing Mike recognized for winning the class championship. Despite our challenges last year, he had built such a large points lead he was almost unreachable and I was proud to see him honored.

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At the end of the night they are giving out awards like Driver of the Year, Rookie of the year, and Hall of Fame Awards. Out of the blue Mike and I hear our names, Spirit of VARA award winner for representing what VARA is. The recognition for all of our travails last year and not wanting to lay down and tap out was truly not expected. This really is a cool award that is passed around year after year, to have our name added to the trophy was humbling.

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They could have told me I needed a fork lift, its made of solid marble, thank God I drove the Raptor last night.

Proud to do this with my little brother Mike with the support of my amazing wife Roxie.
 

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RiverDave

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That is bad ass Andy!! Congrats!

I like the spirit award more than the championship award!

RD
 

BasilHayden

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Any day at the track is better than the office
Wait this is work, the new marketing program
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BasilHayden

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Great weekend, as only racing can be, we must be sick.

The 38 Black roadster - ran great Friday test, maybe a clutch at the last turn didnt feel right. Saturday morning qualifying, clutch let go. It's parked. Hmm maybe we have another car?
The white 2002 - ran like shit Friday test. Carburetor did not want to play at all. Full throttle in a straigh line was great, in a turn it wouldnt run at all. Full song in turn 8 and it would lift the thottle for me without notice, 112 at edge of the tires and full lift = very fun tail wag. Next issue, why is the footwell full of tans fluid? Must be the bolts we didnt replace when putting in the short shift kit, easy fix. Oops one of the bolts if fully run in prevents 3rd from engaging, not fun in my qualifier, oh well again an easy fix once we shimmed the bolt. Unfortunately carb is still on strike.
The new Silver 73 roadster - was supposed to be a test session on Friday. It hasnt been on a track in 5 plus years. Mike drove it and said its bad fast, more power and better suspension that the black 38.
* My turn, first laps in a roadster. Ok I get it, with the suspension, power, lower weight and twice the tire than my 2002. LOL it is fast! I didnt drive it hard but I plan to down the road. Oh btw my foot got real hot, maybe because Mike lost the exhaust on his shakedown run. After being told I was a woose and dont understand its a racecar with the exhaust running under my foot, we noticed later maybe I was hot because the header was releasing directly on the footwell!
* Last session of the day an oil temp sender failed and was dumping oil, at least it wasnt until pulling in to our pit. So now we have an exhaust issue and an oil issue on Friday evening, at least we don't plan on racing the car right?
* Yikes the 38 is scratched, can we run the 73? Well we found the exhaust in turn 6 later in the day.
1st fix plug the oil sensor for the dummy light, only requires the front of the car to be removed and a trip to Oreily
2nd fix remount the rest of the exhaust, easier said than done, looks like Mike is running in the Saturday race with half the exhaust, now it exits just under his ass, but hey there is a steel floor and an aluminum seat bolted to said floor, how hot could it be? Apparently he doesnt understand its a race car and was somehow complaining that his ass was on fire, I may have reminded him must be the exhaust routed under his ass. Saturday night we get the rest of the exhaust hung, she's ready to go.
* Sunday morning warm up, diff lets go.
3rd major fix, swap diffs between the 38 and 73. Our mechanic Kevin and Mike roll around under the 2 roadsters in 100 degree heat while I watch in amazement, with an hour to spare the car is ready to run.
Sunday afternoon flag race, Mike starts 10th, turns the second fastest lap of the weekend in our group and finished 4th. 1st through 3rd was a wild battle and Mike decided he would either finish 4th and be satisfied or inherit 1st when they took each other out, which did almost happen. Not too shabby for a shakedown session. I started 14th, finished 12th and set my fasted lap ever on the track by a few seconds, the car finally ran a full session placing me 4th of 7 in my class, for an old guy I was satisfied, and to finish this weekend seemed a victory in itself.
* Saturday afternoon we get the collectors round again after being run over and get half the exhaust replaced just in time for the afternoon race. Mike goes from last to 10th in essentially a shakedown run.

Its been a fun year, I have been lax in posting updates, I apologize for lack of pics but I am tired of fighting the site and having to resize everything.

We have run at Auto Club twice; Laguna Seca in the Spring; Willow twice so far, one more in November; went up to Portland this summer; and headed to Buttonwillow in a few weeks. We are having a blast even if it has taken a lot of time away from the river. Maybe Mike will post some pics for me.
 

rcmike

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So, where did the 73 car come from?

Back in April, Andy sent me an email, subject "interesting". It linked to an auction, no reserve, of a "Datsun racecar".

After some research, we concluded that it had impeccable history, one family owned and raced, since new. We agreed to shoot a bid at it and see what happened. A week later I was driving to Cincinnati.

6 time qualifier to the SCCA runoffs, raced by Col. George Franklin, and his son in law, Dave McDowell.

Col. Franklin, 1969
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Early Dave McDowell

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Big flares, late 80s..
Notice the Cogbill 356 in the background, the Rock Vest car and this car raced the same places at the same times..

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Early 1990s..

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In 2000, Dave did a complete overhaul on the car. He decided due to the compressed racing schedule up north to make it a single color, for ease of repair. He went to the hardware store, bought a can of spray paint and told the shop to make it that color..

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Dave brought it to the runoffs in 2002, then ran it occasionally through 2015. It was prepped to go to Monterey last year, but did not make the trip. Dave decided to sell it, and we got lucky!

Anyway, let's bring it home and get it back on the track..
 

BasilHayden

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Not bad for his first run in the 73


We recieved the car in the Yellow livery, but I knew immediately it had to be returned to the silver it was known for through the years, so first order of business was to fully strip the car, we had new fiberglass made from the molds that came with the car and off to paint it went. You also might note we had to add a bit of a hoop to the roll bar. Mike almost fit under the bar as we recieved it, but my melon was a solid 3 inches above the bar.
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I think it turned out pretty damn good, to say the least
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After the race I received a message from a gentleman who was admiring the cars, his son currently works at the Peterson Museum. "My son Eric later commented that he thought you guys had the nicest put together and historically significant racers there." What a great compliment as we spend a huge amount of time trying to be aware of the historical significance of these Datsuns. I wasn't a Datsun guy in the beginning, but I have come to understand the significance of the marque and certainly am now aware of what these cars mean to those who are Datsun crazed. Its possible that we have 2 out of 10 of the most significant Datsuns currently being campaigned on the historic circuit. In their era they are easily 2 of 3. In fact these were the cars that shaped their classes from D production to GT3 until they were petitioned to be moved into E production in the late 80's.

To think that the #73 originally went to the SCCA Nationals first in 1969 and finally its 6th and last visit in 2002, its a special car.
 

BasilHayden

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As the Meme says, 2020 (0) Stars Do not recommend. That is what the 2020 season felt like for us at Palomar Racing, but we still made the best of it.

We planned to campaign the Datsun's and BMW in our regular west coast VARA series as well as a few trips to play on some of the world class tracks around the country. On the schedule we had Laguna Seca, Sonoma, Mid Ohio, Road America and COTA in addition to the regular rotation of Cal Speedway, Willow Springs and Buttonwillow.

Well we made it to Cal Speedway, Willow Springs and Buttonwillow. But the rest of the year was a cluster. Laguna Seca was planned for May, but cancelled due to the Rona, rescheduled to Decemeber and thanks to Gavin we are cancelled again. Sonoma was scheduled for April, but cancelled due to the Rona, then at the last minute rescheduled and run when Gavin wasn't looking in July :p. Mid Ohio and Road America were scrapped due to Rona uncertainty but then a chance to run Laguna Seca popped up in August and we took it, good fun was had. Early November we loaded up a couple cars and Mike headed to Austin, Tx. Roxie and I met him there, what a track and what an event in the middle of the country melting down.

Mike as always put on a show


and I had a great run as well winning my class
PalomarPit.jpg


We didn't know it but this would be our last run of the year.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the track...I am scanning Bringatrailer on morning while sipping my coffee, bad idea guys. But every once in a while it works out. Yesterday morning a truck arrived from the east coast.

1968 Ginetta G16 #001, This English Sports Racer is one of the sexiest cars I have ever seen. One of 7 cars built, Car number 1 of 7 and the only one to make the trip to the US. Powered by the same BMW M10 in my 2002 though putting out 225hp and the car weighing a mere 1,000lbs with monster slicks she will run with some amazing company. These cars actually made the transition from the sports racers of the early sixties and bridged to the Can Am cars soon to follow.


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BMW Lester Owen M10.jpg


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Can't wait to get this sexy beast on the track early next year. We will try to keep our adventure updated...
 

HotRod82

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As the Meme says, 2020 (0) Stars Do not recommend. That is what the 2020 season felt like for us at Palomar Racing, but we still made the best of it.

We planned to campaign the Datsun's and BMW in our regular west coast VARA series as well as a few trips to play on some of the world class tracks around the country. On the schedule we had Laguna Seca, Sonoma, Mid Ohio, Road America and COTA in addition to the regular rotation of Cal Speedway, Willow Springs and Buttonwillow.

Well we made it to Cal Speedway, Willow Springs and Buttonwillow. But the rest of the year was a cluster. Laguna Seca was planned for May, but cancelled due to the Rona, rescheduled to Decemeber and thanks to Gavin we are cancelled again. Sonoma was scheduled for April, but cancelled due to the Rona, then at the last minute rescheduled and run when Gavin wasn't looking in July :p. Mid Ohio and Road America were scrapped due to Rona uncertainty but then a chance to run Laguna Seca popped up in August and we took it, good fun was had. Early November we loaded up a couple cars and Mike headed to Austin, Tx. Roxie and I met him there, what a track and what an event in the middle of the country melting down.

Mike as always put on a show


and I had a great run as well winning my class
View attachment 945588

We didn't know it but this would be our last run of the year.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the track...I am scanning Bringatrailer on morning while sipping my coffee, bad idea guys. But every once in a while it works out. Yesterday morning a truck arrived from the east coast.

1968 Ginetta G16 #001, This English Sports Racer is one of the sexiest cars I have ever seen. One of 7 cars built, Car number 1 of 7 and the only one to make the trip to the US. Powered by the same BMW M10 in my 2002 though putting out 225hp and the car weighing a mere 1,000lbs with monster slicks she will run with some amazing company. These cars actually made the transition from the sports racers of the early sixties and bridged to the Can Am cars soon to follow.


View attachment 945581 View attachment 945582

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Can't wait to get this sexy beast on the track early next year. We will try to keep our adventure updated...

Oh man, that thing is sexy. The only problem with that car will be trying to keep the bugs out of your teeth from the huge grin on your face. I avoid bringatrailer and racingjunk for exactly this reason.
 

C Ya

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Andy,

Looks like you guys had a blast at COTA. It is certainly on my list. I was bummed about LS being canceled in December, but that’s been par for the year. I’ll catch up to you guys next year. I haven’t even thou about a schedule for next year yet.

BTW Mike, nice run in the Roadster, including the spin...😂😂

Chuck
 

Taboma

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As the Meme says, 2020 (0) Stars Do not recommend. That is what the 2020 season felt like for us at Palomar Racing, but we still made the best of it.

We planned to campaign the Datsun's and BMW in our regular west coast VARA series as well as a few trips to play on some of the world class tracks around the country. On the schedule we had Laguna Seca, Sonoma, Mid Ohio, Road America and COTA in addition to the regular rotation of Cal Speedway, Willow Springs and Buttonwillow.

Well we made it to Cal Speedway, Willow Springs and Buttonwillow. But the rest of the year was a cluster. Laguna Seca was planned for May, but cancelled due to the Rona, rescheduled to Decemeber and thanks to Gavin we are cancelled again. Sonoma was scheduled for April, but cancelled due to the Rona, then at the last minute rescheduled and run when Gavin wasn't looking in July :p. Mid Ohio and Road America were scrapped due to Rona uncertainty but then a chance to run Laguna Seca popped up in August and we took it, good fun was had. Early November we loaded up a couple cars and Mike headed to Austin, Tx. Roxie and I met him there, what a track and what an event in the middle of the country melting down.

Mike as always put on a show


and I had a great run as well winning my class
View attachment 945588

We didn't know it but this would be our last run of the year.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the track...I am scanning Bringatrailer on morning while sipping my coffee, bad idea guys. But every once in a while it works out. Yesterday morning a truck arrived from the east coast.

1968 Ginetta G16 #001, This English Sports Racer is one of the sexiest cars I have ever seen. One of 7 cars built, Car number 1 of 7 and the only one to make the trip to the US. Powered by the same BMW M10 in my 2002 though putting out 225hp and the car weighing a mere 1,000lbs with monster slicks she will run with some amazing company. These cars actually made the transition from the sports racers of the early sixties and bridged to the Can Am cars soon to follow.


View attachment 945581 View attachment 945582

View attachment 945583

Can't wait to get this sexy beast on the track early next year. We will try to keep our adventure updated...

Very cool video of Mike raging the battle with the two "Z's" and this Genetta is awesome. I'd have guessed it was a Lotus. Thanks again for taking the time to share your racing adventures !!
 

rcmike

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Andy,

Looks like you guys had a blast at COTA. It is certainly on my list. I was bummed about LS being canceled in December, but that’s been par for the year. I’ll catch up to you guys next year. I haven’t even thou about a schedule for next year yet.

BTW Mike, nice run in the Roadster, including the spin...😂😂

Chuck
Hope to see you at the track next year!

I was laughing with Mr. Winters in the red Z at the winners circle, that since I had beat him in the Saturday feature, and he had beat me in the Sunday Feature, I decided I had to send it in the Datsun race, because winner of that one took the weekend..

The good news is I knew the driver of the white Z is the chief driving instructor for VARA, and I had spent enough time door to door with the driver of the Orange Z to be comfortable with what they both were going to do..

Unfortunately, the tiny hiccup out of the red car made me lift just too much, and around it went! But SO MUCH FUN!

I don't think either of us knew just how much elevation this track had. Andy and I had so much fun!

Screen Shot 2020-11-24 at 10.15.50 PM.png


.

By the way, the food was pretty good too..

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BasilHayden

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So as you know this train is completely off the rails and out of control. But what fun. Covid has destroyed our seasons, but starting to get back to normal. Our next event will be back to the Reunion at Laguna Seca. In the mean time we just about have 4 cars done and ready for the track. Well waiting on parts from England for the Ginetta but they should be here this week, and my 2002 motor is just about to go back together after we found a cracked block that has been giving us fits.

Keeping these cars together is damn near a full time job, well it is so brought in our mechanic full time. Amazing how much more can get done between 7-5 4 days a week rather than on odd weekends and evenings. Its also easier to talk to the parts houses.

Remaining plan for the year we think is

August Laguna Seca
September Road America
October Sonoma Vintage or Buttonwillow NASA enduro
November Willow Springs and/or Laguna Seca

The Journey-38 Fairlady.jpg


The Journey-07 BMW2002.jpg


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The Journey-06 Ginetta G16.jpg
 

RiverDave

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I don’t know anything about this classic car racing.. but if we wanted to come watch do we just bring our motorhome for the weekend or something?
 

BasilHayden

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That pretty much sums it up, most tracks have motorhome access, some in the paddock, some with hookups.

Downside is only a couple, in the west are places you actually want to go, Laguna Seca is the deal, unfortunately they are sold out for RVs years in advance for the big events. Though I keep asking Tommy to come shoot, someday he will make the trip. I'll find him a spot and the after parties with our group arent bad either.

I'll let you know and someday get you and the family out to the track, its a great family deal.

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C Ya

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Andy,

Great to see an update from you guys. I haven’t seen you at any events this year. I ran two CSRG events, one at LS and the other at Sonoma. I’ll see you in August at the Historics, my 59 Convertible D and 72 911ST were both accepted this year.

Chuck
 

BasilHayden

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Andy,

Great to see an update from you guys. I haven’t seen you at any events this year. I ran two CSRG events, one at LS and the other at Sonoma. I’ll see you in August at the Historics, my 59 Convertible D and 72 911ST were both accepted this year.

Chuck

Look forward to seeing you there. We basically did the opposite, we ran SVRA at Laguna and Sonoma. We are definately bringing the Ginetta to historics, still seeing if we can get the roadsters or my 02 in.

Andy
 

BasilHayden

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Finally getting caught up after our return from Laguna Seca. What an amazing 2 weekends for the Palomar team. We took the Ginetta G16 and couldn't have been more pleased. This car is flat out a bad ass racing car.

LS2021.jpg

When you watch the video remember that those giant killers we are running with are the real deal as are their drivers. In fact the first GT40 is being run by current IMSA driver Gunnar Jeanette. We had been running with them for multiple sessions and it is pretty obvious that they are pretty comfortable with each other.
Our driver Nik Romano is one hell of a shoe and frankly while I of course will drive this at some point, it will never be with this much talent. I hope you enjoy watching these beautiful machines running as they are supposed to as much as I have...


https://www.palomarracing.com/1968-ginetta-g16/

For the most part the run group made sense but there were some who were in the group such as a widebody 2002 Group 2 car, the AMX and a cortina who didnt make any sense.
We also got to share the track with @C-Ya and his 911, great seeing you Chuck.
 

RiverDave

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I don’t understand why when he’s on the brakes he is tapping the throttle on deceleration? Clutch completely engaged?
 

C Ya

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Finally getting caught up after our return from Laguna Seca. What an amazing 2 weekends for the Palomar team. We took the Ginetta G16 and couldn't have been more pleased. This car is flat out a bad ass racing car.

View attachment 1042649
When you watch the video remember that those giant killers we are running with are the real deal as are their drivers. In fact the first GT40 is being run by current IMSA driver Gunnar Jeanette. We had been running with them for multiple sessions and it is pretty obvious that they are pretty comfortable with each other.
Our driver Nik Romano is one hell of a shoe and frankly while I of course will drive this at some point, it will never be with this much talent. I hope you enjoy watching these beautiful machines running as they are supposed to as much as I have...


https://www.palomarracing.com/1968-ginetta-g16/

For the most part the run group made sense but there were some who were in the group such as a widebody 2002 Group 2 car, the AMX and a cortina who didnt make any sense.
We also got to share the track with @C-Ya and his 911, great seeing you Chuck.
Andy,

Great catching up with you guys. Nik is a helluva wheelman and a nice guy! You guys looked like a documentary production crew with all the cameras you had there 😂😂.

Chuck
 

toyaddiction

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I got sucked into this 2 years ago. Its a blast and it seems like you do end up as a full time mechanic. Still alot less than offroad racing. Now I have a BP Corvette, an AP Corvette and a BS 510 that my son is trying to race. He thinks its an offroad car. Costing me a fortune in repairs but we are learning.
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BasilHayden

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I don’t understand why when he’s on the brakes he is tapping the throttle on deceleration? Clutch completely engaged?

It is a Hewland transmission, a true dog box with straight cut gears. In short he isnt using the clutch, he is rev matching as he down shifts. I actually love that shot, it shows just how much he is doing. More than once you catch his hands on the wheel catch the car as it is going sideways as he is dancing on the pedals downshifting. The other part that doesn't necessarily come through is just how hard he is cornering, we are seeing north of 2 G's in the corners and under braking.
 

BasilHayden

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I got sucked into this 2 years ago. Its a blast and it seems like you do end up as a full time mechanic. Still alot less than offroad racing. Now I have a BP Corvette, an AP Corvette and a BS 510 that my son is trying to race. He thinks its an offroad car. Costing me a fortune in repairs but we are learning. View attachment 1043081 View attachment 1043082 View attachment 1043083 View attachment 1043084 .

I believe I recognize the Vettes, the 510 not sure I have seen it yet, but that is certainly Vara at Buttonwillow, maybe this years Vara U? I am struggling to make out that last track, maybe Thundehill? Look forward to saying hi.
 

toyaddiction

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I believe I recognize the Vettes, the 510 not sure I have seen it yet, but that is certainly Vara at Buttonwillow, maybe this years Vara U? I am struggling to make out that last track, maybe Thundehill? Look forward to saying hi.
He has not had a chance to attend the VARA U. It will help a lot. He is basically learning how to drive a stick shift on the track. Getting better but needs the coaching. I don't think he has finished a race yet. Car either breaks or he goes off track. I will be at SVRA Utah, SVRA Fontana and VARA Big Bore Bash in the red Corvette in October and November. It will be the last time we can run Fontana We are going to wait on running the 510 until after the VARA U in January.
 

BasilHayden

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Andy,

Great catching up with you guys. Nik is a helluva wheelman and a nice guy! You guys looked like a documentary production crew with all the cameras you had there 😂😂.

Chuck

So good to see you as well, love your cars,

LOL, Nik has a pretty large following due to his previous racing and his school, fast sideways, where he teaches how to drive "sideways". I actually think the name condones he is trying to teach drifting, actually it is almost the opposite. He shows you sometimes you need to be more than comfortable sideways to get out of bad situations and to keep the car at speed. I truly had no concept that he would get the Ginetta beyond the grip of those huge tires, but his videos don't lie, it is definately "alive" as he calls it. His words, I can putt around like its on rails or I can drive it. The smile on his face after he is done with a great "drive" is just infectious.
 

BasilHayden

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He has not had a chance to attend the VARA U. It will help a lot. He is basically learning how to drive a stick shift on the track. Getting better but needs the coaching. I don't think he has finished a race yet. Car either breaks or he goes off track. I will be at SVRA Utah, SVRA Fontana and VARA Big Bore Bash in the red Corvette in October and November. It will be the last time we can run Fontana We are going to wait on running the 510 until after the VARA U in January.

We will bring something to SVRA Fontana most likely, but they also plan to run next February, fyi. Balance of the year we plan on Road America next month, CSRG Sonoma in October, NASA Buttonwillow Enduro in October, VARA Big Bore at Willow in Nov. Good to be back at the track.
 

BasilHayden

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Road America, the National Park of Speed.

Seemed a bit prentious when I first read that. Let me tell you, what an understatement. Road America is just bad ass fun, and oh so beautiful. 4 miles of track and the entire thing is manicured. I'm talking guys out on mowers damn near every day keeping the grass areas just right. All the concessions building freshly painted, not the junk we get so used to at tracks where its obvious no one has done a movie here recently because everything looks like its falling apart.

It was an interesting weekend of racing, not sure if we will be back with that group or if it was somehow just us not understanding how they do it there. But I know for the right event we will be back, because the track is just that good. Try to get a feel for the elevation changes, they are extreme and so much fun...The Ginetta as usual put on a show, Nik said easily a couple more seconds in the car, as it was he was running away from everyone in the group. Actually quite funny, they didnt really have a group for the Ginetta, seems it was a bit too Vintage for them. So they ran it with Mike and I in the BSedan catch all group. Only 79 cars ran in that group, it was amazing he actually almost got a clean lap.

 

BasilHayden

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Palomar Racing's 2022 NASA ST5/E2 Challenge

Another year brings a new challenge.



2022 E2/ST5 Challenge​

Palomar Racing will campaign a BMW E36 to compete and win in NASA’s very competitive WERC E2 and Super Touring ST5 clas-ses. In addition to the Regional titles we will also run for the National ST5 championship as well as compete for the E2 class title in the grueling 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Our challenge will be formidable, can we win it all…

Western Endurance Racing Championship (WERC) is a NASA series run primarily in the Western US traditionally from California to Utah. The series consists of approximately 6 races ranging for 2 – 6 hours each. Winning a championship will require an ex-tremely reliable car capable of running consistently fast laps. Due to the endurance factor, it will require 2 to 3 drivers to partic-ipate throughout the season and a dedicated team to perform pit stops that are required in each event. Cars are classified to a formula based on the NASA Super Touring series. The E2 class is based upon the rules of ST5.

Super Touring is a NASA sprint series that classifies cars based on a power to weight formula. ST5 has a base LB/HP of 14/1, with penalties and/or bonuses calculated based upon modification factors chosen in the race build. Being a sprint based race series, pace is the most important factor in order to win. The car must be reliable, but it must also be extremely competitive in order to give the driver the chance to win consistently.

The BMW E36 fits Palomar Racing’s vintage background, as most competitors will be in more modern cars; in 2021 more than half the competition was fielding BMW E46’s. Obviously choosing an E36 makes perfect sense, because it will allow us to stand out from the crowd and prepare the car as we intend instead of following everyone else’s formula.

Our driver team is anchored by Nik Romano a previous NASA ST5 class champion, as well as Matt Million a previous NASA E2 class champion as well as previous winner of the 25 hours of Thunderhill. We believe this driving team will definitely give us a very
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1993 BMW E36 built to NASA ST5 specification to compete in 2022 in NASA for the sprint and endurance championship.

Our newest adventure has us chasing a goal that hasnt been done before to our knowledge. We are going racing in NASA and will attempt to win the Regional ST5 championship, the WERC Endurance Chapionship, the National ST5 Championship in Laguna Seca and finally come december the 25 Hours of Thunderhill title.

Last year my Ginetta driver driver through out a what if we...type challenge. Well I bit and since last summer we have been working on building the cars to compete. Yes by end of the year at the Championship races and at the 25 hours we will have 2 nearly identical E36's competing. In the 25 hour races you definately want a back up. In our first weekend this year the car just wasnt quite finished, it looked amazing, but we had yet to put the S52 motor in the car and as such we were running 40 hp down from our max allowed in class. Being as we spec at a mere 200hp in our class, being 40 down was huge but we still came out of the weekend 2nd in class. Well the call was made and in went the new motor 2 days before the first big weekend.

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We are ready for our first true race weekend with the car we had designed last summer. On the schedule we have 2 ST5 races and a 3.5 hour WERC enduro with NASA SoCal at the fastest track in the west, Willow Springs.

Friday practice went ok, lap times were very good but we had a huge problem with understeer. One of the current compromises on our backup car here is the shock package is just a street set. They just aren’t up to the task but it’s what the car came with so we were dealing with it. One thing we didn’t really think about was that most of the day we were using our backup wheels that were 17×9, same tires but ½” narrower wheels than our new forged race wheels from APEX. After lunch we decided we needed more data so we chose to burn a new set of TOYO RR’s on the correct 17×9.5” APEX EC7R wheels.

What a difference. Immediately the car became much more balanced, still a trend towards understeer, but nowhere near the dump truck push the boys were fighting earlier. Time to rest and get ready for a big day Saturday.

Saturday Morning practice went very well, the car is ready for a 12 hour day, we hope.

@MattMillion goes out first for the Saturday ST5 qualifying on yet another fresh set of Toyo’s and finally got some clear track on lap 7 where he lays down a 1:30.577, good for a pole position in class. Perspective is good here, the current “official” track record for ST5 was set last year at a 1:34.475. That’s right almost 4 seconds off the “official” record. We knew we were going to set a number but to actually do it makes it real. Again I like perspective, our veteran and driver coach Nik Romano should actually should have had the record that he set in 2019 with a 1:32. Anytime you can crush a time set by someone of Nik’s caliber you have done something special.

Another tire swap and @NikRomano goes out for the Enduro qualifying session in E2. Well how about a 1:30.151, but even more importantly a pole position in a class that is stacked. Also in class was Moorewood Creative who qualified P2, HQ Autosport in P3 and Technik Competition in P4. This is starting to look like an epic day.

In the afternoon @MattMillion runs his ST5 race and after a Million Dollar aborted start he runs away from the pack and finished P1 in class with a best lap of 1:30.619. Other than the misunderstanding at the start it was a flawless race. First win of the year for Team @Palomar_Racing.



No Time for rest, we have less than an hour to the start of our first WERC Enduro. Time to change tires, set up a pit and get ready. Good News race start is delayed by about 30 minutes, we used every one of them as we scrambled to have all that we needed behind the wall for our first enduro. At 4:30 cars roll off the grid and its time to race. In the first few laps we remind our starting driver, @NikRomano, to turn on his driving lights. Uummm we have a problem, the switch IS on. Uh Oh, this will be interesting. 3 hours in the dark with a pair of apex lights and mini floods set as pre apex lights, no real driving lights, basically stock lights with a bit of extra apex vision, this is going to be fun.

An hour and 10 minutes in of the scheduled 3:30 and the fuel light is on. We are P2 and on the same lap as MooreWood Creative, last years 25 Hour championship team. Time for our first pit stop, did I mention we ran out of time and never got to practice. Yes, lets practice on track because it is time to see what we can do. 2 jugs of fuel in via our new dry break system from @Hunsaker, then a front left wheel change, that’s right more @Toyotires RR rubber is needed. No mistakes of substance, a respectable stop with a driver change to @MattMillion and we go back out with just about an hour and 25 minutes of the race behind us, just over 2 hours to go.

In a few laps, in comes MooreWood Creative but they do fuel only. Back out on track and we are down a lap. Respectable but a bit depressing because we don’t know how we can make up a lap, both cars are turning 1:32’s. We are running a sprint pace just to stay even with each other. Just about an hour later and in comes MooreWood again just before us, again no tire change, fuel only. Our fuel light was on as well and we are stretching it as much as possible. We are ready for another tire change but during fueling we look at the tires and make the call to send it, there will be no tire change this stop. We join the track just behind MooreWood, exactly a lap behind and the decision is made to push them as hard as possible. For the next 30 minutes there is less than a car length between the cars. An Epic battle and folks are feeling the excitement. If nothing else we are here to race and we are definitely a part of this race.
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Turn 9! MooreWood sent it wide in 9 and almost loses the car. Out of the dust comes the #25 with @MattMillion moving past our competition. Still technically behind but now we are gaining on them. About 5 laps later and we have cut the margin to just under a minute, but time is running out. They are coming in the pits! In goes 1 jug of fuel to the MooreWood car and then it happens, they throw a jack over the wall! Shortly thereafter we pass them while they are in the pits and we are in the lead, but how much time is left and do we have the fuel to make it? By my calcs we can go up to 12 more laps and we believe the race should end in less than 8. Well we only had to wait 6 more laps until the Checkered flies and we had done it, WE WON!

Thank God the checkered Flag flew, not sure we had much more left in our left front tire. Numerous competitors mentioned our Toyo RR’s may have been sending sparks for laps, I don’t know how they could have thought that.

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Second goal of the day achieved and time for some celebration. After a very late dinner we go a couple hours of sleep and then back at the track in the morning for the Sunday races.

A short practice Sunday morning by @NikRomano to make sure our mismatched set of the best 4 tires remaining in the trailer will make the cut and its time to qualify. Without the fresh rubber Nik did what was needed, put down a 1:32.2 and took the pole.

Finally the last race of the weekend and we are ready, we even managed to get our live stream running and even had folks watching it, we will be working on this for the future. At the drop of the flag Nik was off and never looked back except to let the prototypes past him. We were actually 5th quickest car on track with a 1:31 led by 2 prototypes and a pair of ST2 cars. At the drop of the checkered we took a deep breath and let it soak in.

3 poles, 3 wins and 2 track records. I’m not sure how often we can achieve this kind of weekend, but someone told me, winning is fun. My thoughts, just being lucky enough to be able to do this is fun, but Winning definitely is pretty damn good. After our second weekend we are in 1st place in both classes.

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I am so thankful to the entire Team Palomar Racing and to all those who are helping us achieve our challenge. So here goes…Thanks to my wife Roxie for letting me pursue this foolish goal, to my brother Mike for bringing me back to my passion of racing and helping me set a plan, to Kevin Desirello for all the sweat and blood given to build these cars our first unfair advantage, to our crew chief Blair Geil for helping me herd the cats and give us direction in our first true racing effort, to Dave and Jr for joining us on the crew and just getting it done, and to our unfair driver mod that just plain sets us apart form the competition with the “Veteran” Nik Romano and the “Rookie” Matt Million. We are working on sponsors, so far we are getting help from and want to say thanks to Apex Wheels, StopTech brakes, CounterSpace Garage brake pads and BimmerWorld; we look forward to expanding these relationships. We also plan to lean heavily on our contingency sponsors Toyo Tires, MCS Suspensions and Frozen Rotors for their continued support.

Lastly I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my company Palomar Solar and Roofing for giving me the ability to put together this marketing program. Which did in fact spur a couple discussions regarding Solar in the paddock.

Our goals and plan are definitely aggressive, but we plan to “Back it Up”

The car will only get better, suspension upgrades as well as a cleaner tune has been added since Willow. The team will become even more solid, and well what can we say about that driver mod. We will be strong

Next up is Cal Speedway next weekend. Saturday will see a practice, qualifying, a sprint race as well as our second Enduro starting at 4pm. Sunday will have another qual session and the second sprint race of the weekend. Come on out if you are looking for something to do.
 
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