In Photos: 2014 Energy Solutions Utah Grand Prix

By | October 5, 2014

2014 Energy Solutions Utah Grand Prix

2014 Energy Solutions Utah Grand Prix

On September 12~14, Miller Motorsports Park hosted the last two rounds of 25th annual running of the Pirelli World Challenge. Everything from Fiat 500s, Honda Fits, to Audi R8s, Ferraris, Porsches, Aston Martins, Cadys, Corvettes, and why not, let’s throw in some Lamborghinis and Bentleys to the mix!

With some of the drama and politics that are happening in other series, Pirelli World Challenge has seized upon some of that frustration from teams and has stepped up and expanded their game to include machines similar-in-spec to GT3 class cars. With migrated teams mixing it up with established teams in a multi-class sprint racing format, this makes for some exciting racing!

Also racing that weekend was NASCAR K&N series, United States Touring Car Championship, Pirelli GT3 Cup, and unique to MMP, the Miller GT Cup.

Results of weekend.

So, enjoy some pictures from the weekend!

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the broadcast of the GT race

Lastly, we would like to thank the fine folks at Miller Motorsports Park for their help over the weekend!

[photos | Scott Pettett | Jason Porter | Neil Eschenfelder | Mike Gillilan]

Racing Blip: 2014 Petit Le Mans

By | October 3, 2014

Action Express Racing

Action Express Racing

Well, this is it! The LAST race of the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is here. This stop is in the outskirts of Atlanta at a track called Road Atlanta. This is the 17th annual Petit Le Mans. And how do you send off the last race of the season? How about a 10 hour race sound? Well, that’s what we get!

Leaving out some of the politics and rumors floating around, here are some things to look for at the race.

In the P class. With Extreme Speed Motorsport sitting out this race and prepping for a stint in World Endurance Championship, there’s really only one P2 car to give the DP cars some heat on the track. That would be Oak Racing with their new Ligier JS P2. With the DP cars with an apparent performance advantage, I expect Oak to be more of a torn in the sides of the DP cars eyeing for the season championship. That being said, the No. 5 Action Express Racing took pole during a double red-flagged qualifying session with a solid 1:14.508. Oh..and the DeltaWing comes back, sporting some new changes to it.

GTLM – The No. 911 Porsche RSR with Nick Tandy driving, took the pole. This makes the 11th pole winner this season. That is what makes this class so exciting. 11 different pole winners for 11 different races! Questions remain, will Corvette break their slump? Will BMW finally show it’s strength? Will Porsche take the manufacture’s trophy? What about Ferrari being 1/10 of second off pole? Viper? It should be a VERY eventful race.

GTD – Gotta hand it to Aston Martin, TRG, and James Davison. Forth pole in a row! This will be a very exciting race as well. Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, Viper, Ferrari, and BMW all vying for the winner’s circle. About 0.6 secs separates the top 5 cars!

How to watch the race? The race program starts 11:00 AM EDT on Saturday (10/4) and all of it will be streamed live over on IMSA.com – no geo limitations – FINALLY.

More details on how to watch can be found here. (ed note, updated link)

The every handy dandy spotters guide.

And here’s a preview of Petit Le Mans

[photo | mike gillilan]

Project: Pony Up -Part Two

By | September 29, 2014

Project Pony Up

It has been a few months since our last Project: Pony Up update so it is overdue.  The project was set aside for a little while until I was able to find time to put into it again.  In the last update the old 302 had come out of the car and the engine bay painted.  In this update, the new motor and transmission has been pulled from the donor car and I’ll be going over the things that will need to be done to it before it can go into its new home.

Ford 5.0

The new motor is a 5.0 V8 from a Fox Body Mustang.  It is far from stock with its aluminum Edelbrock Performer heads, E303 cam, and Edelbrock Performer upper and lower intake manifolds producing roughly 325 hp at the crank.  The transmission, a stock T5 5-speed manual transmission used in Mustangs in various forms from 1983-2010, this one is from a 1991 GT and is known as a T5 World Class which is rated for up to 300lb/ft of torque and is fitted with a Steeda short shifter.

Borg-Warner T5

The first thing that will have to be done is cleanup.  This motor was so leaky that under normal driving I was having to add a quart of oil every other week and add coolant even more often.  There is so much oil on it and it has to go!  After cleanup, the engine will be torn down and the gaskets will be replaced.  The oil pan and timing cover are notorious for leaking.  The block will then get painted black.  Next will be converting the double sump oil pan for a front sump Canton T-Pan, oil pickup, and a windage tray.  While we’re at it the clutch will be replaced with a King Cobra clutch kit and the bellhousing will be modified for a hydraulic clutch instead of the old cable clutch setup.  A clutch pedal has already been installed but we will go over that in a future update.  A new gas tank has also been installed that is designed for fuel injected conversions.  Fuel lines will need to be routed and then it will be done to the most difficult part of the project, the wiring harness.  The harness will be plug-and-play but will need to be gone over to see what wires need to be lengthened, shortened, or removed completely.

Project: Pony Up Parts

Once all that is done, the car should be able to be fired up and back on the road!  Once the new clutch is broken in and the motor proves to be problem free, it will be taken to a local shop to be dyno-tuned to see what kind of numbers it puts down and also to get the most out of the ECU.  In the coming weeks, we will bring you updates in more of a how-to style so you can see how to do everything we do along the way as well as giving you a chance to voice opinions, suggestions, and questions about the project.

Photos by the Author

NASCAR Announces 2015 Rule Changes

By | September 23, 2014

NASCAR in the RainNASCAR is almost taboo for us at The Daily Derbi.  Most of us aren’t the biggest of fans and would rather watch sports car racing like Tudor Sports Car Championship that are featured in our Racing Blips.  Today, NASCAR announced new rule changes for 2015 that will have a huge impact on the series, some of them so big that we had to share.  Of the 60 new rules, here’s what you need to know.  The biggest goal of the new rules is to increase the safety of everyone involved as well as slowing the cars down.  Rules for the cars will include the following:

-Reduction of horsepower to 725 via tapered spacer
-Roller valve lifters to replace flat valve lifter
-Lower rear differential gear ratios targeting 9,000 RPM
-Rear spoiler adjustment to 6 inches high (2014 height: 8 inches)
-Optional driver adjustable track bar
-38-inch wide radiator pan
-Minimum vehicle weight drops 50 lbs. via ballast reduction (2014 weight:  3,300 w/o driver)
-Updated qualifying formats for all tracks

Private testing is now banned and is only allowed at Goodyear/NASCAR events where teams are invited.

The biggest announcement is racing on road courses, such as Sonoma and Watkins Glen, will now be allowed in the rain with rain tires, wiper blades, a defogger, and rear flashing lights.

The other changes include various items such as new parts approvals and automated pit lane officiating.

The press release from NASCAR can be found here and more info on the rules can be found here.

Racing Blip: 2014 Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas

By | September 19, 2014

Oak Racing Ligier JSP2 HPD

Oak Racing Ligier JSP2 HPD

Well race fans, we are now at the penultimate race of the season. This time IMSA/TUDOR takes us to the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas. F1 fans will know COTA as the home of F1 racing in the USofA. And this weekend, fans of endurance racing are in for a treat. Not only is IMSA/TUDOR racing, but also the World Endurance Championship makes a stop at COTA as well. That will make for nearly 9 hours of racing from some of the finest drivers and marques from around the world. Audi, Toyota, Porsche, BMW, Corvette, Dodge SRT Viper, Aston Martin, Ferrari, etc, etc..all will be racing on one of America’s newest race tracks.

Today’s IMSA/TUDOR qualifying brought out some interesting changes. First change came in the form of a switch up in the cars of the Prototype class. Gone is one of the Extreme Speed Motorsports P2 cars, off playing with the big boys in WEC. Also the loss of Oak Racing’s P2 Morgan / Nissan, replaced with a Ligier JSP2 powered by HPD. Second big change, Porsche North America bringing in a 3rd Porsche 911 RSR to help with the manufacture points in GTLM class.

What to watch for:

In P, the continuing battle between P2 and DP cars. With Oak taking the top spot by a handy margin during qualifying, imagine the points leading DP cars will be going all out for the new Oak Racing P2.

In GTLM, again, this has to be the finest sports car racing out there right now. The Porsche factory team came out STRONG, as did the No. 92 Dodge SRT Viper. In fact, it was Porsche – Viper – Porsche in the top 3 qualifying spots. Corvette and Ferrari seemed to struggle during qualifying. They just weren’t on the pace for some reason. Tough one to call, but that is what makes GTLM some GREAT racing!!

How to watch the race on Saturday @ 12:30pm ET:

IMSA has some changes to streaming and broadcast again, so I’ll just point you to their website.

As always, the handy-dandy spotters guide.

And a sizzle piece from IMSA’s YouTube Channel.

[photo | IMSA]

In Photos: 2014 NASA WERC Round 4

By | September 6, 2014

Start of the WERC

Start of the WERC

On the evening of Aug. 16th, starting just after 6pm, Miller Motorsports Park and NASA Utah hosted the 4th round of the WERC – Western Endurance Racing Championship. A six hour endurance race meant to give those, willing to step up to the challenge, an excellent chance to prove your ability has a driver, as a team, and just how solid your car is.

This is also one of the few events at MMP that runs into the night. And at 6 hours, running into the night it did. And much like the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the only lights on were on pit row. As this race was running on the outer 3.1 mile loop, this means the vast majority of the race was ran in total darkness. Time to fire up those LED light bars to help drivers see into the night

As with many endurance races, cars fail and fall to the wayside. When the checker flag dropped just past midnight, only 4 cars were left standing.

Taking the overall win was Wild Schick Racing in their ES classed Nissan GTR. Followed by the E3 classed Mazda MX-5s from RJ Racing, Snow Storm, and finally Paul Mitchell.

And you can find more information NASA’s WERC series at their site.

And results of the this year’s Round 4, can be found here.

Thanks to the staff at Miler Motorsports Park for their help covering this event!

[photos | Chance Hales | Neil Eschenfelder | Mike Gillilan]