With the week before the Modified Tuner Shootout becoming such a blur, it is difficult to decide where to start when talking about the work that was done. It began Wednesday, the 30th of March at 7PM. Taylor’s motor was sitting on an engine stand and the 2003 WRX Snail Racer rested in the garage waiting for one of many turbo applications to be selected and put on for the weekend race.
We got right to work on the Snail Racer after having finally decided on a boost application. After just a few short hours the car came to a roaring start and was ready to do battle with the other racers come Saturday. After buttoning up a few last things, the Snail Racer was loaded into the trailer and the second project of the night was underway. It was now 2:00 AM and we loaded Taylor’s motor into the back of the truck and made the trek down to TAYKO Garage to install the freshly built Snail Performance motor into the 2009 WRX. It took only a few hours before the motor was in and besides some small parts, was ready to fire. The team took a quick break for some much needed rest while Taylor finished the last of the installation. By 8:30 AM the car was waking the neighborhood for the first time since last season and ready to be tuned. The team packed up both cars and headed down to Snail Performance Tuning headquarters. Within a few hours both the Snail Racer and the Snail WRX Hatch were ready for the weekend. Only one last thing was left to be done as the Snail WRX Hatch was dropped off at AZ Auto Graphics for its overnight installation of the Snail Performance livery.
Friday morning we headed down to UMS Tuning for the dyno portion of the Modified Tuner Shootout. The dyno testing went well considering the Snail Racer’s engine was a little tired from all the racing, but we were happy with the results. We cannot speak about the results of the day so be sure to pick up the August issue of Modified Magazine to see how the Snail Racer stood up against the other competitors. We stayed at UMS for the rest of the day meeting and greeting everyone at the event and watching the rest of the cars run on the dyno. Travis was interviewed by John Naderi from Action Live Media at the dyno to give everyone a quick rundown on the car. After all was said and done at UMS Tuning we packed up and headed down to Firebird International Raceway for the 1/4 mile drag portion of the Modified Tuner Shootout. Being back at the drag strip was an interesting change as I (Travis) had not been down the ¼ mile in years. However, it took only one sprint down the strip and I regained my old confidence and showed what the Snail Racer was capable of. It took all 3 runs to get a pass we were happy with but all was well as the car was still in one piece. After the drags it was time for Beer Time Attack qualifying sponsored by AFI Turbo.
Saturday morning we got to the track and had the Snail Racer ready to go for the Modified Tuner Shootout Auto Cross event. I took it out for the practice and the first timed lap. I then gave the reins to Markos Mylonas, driver of the Snail Performance RS, to take over for the last two runs. Markos did pretty well for his first time auto crossing the car and for not having a lot of seat time with it. Once the auto cross was over it was time to get the rest of the Snail cars ready for the NASA AZ night event. This year’s event was going to be awesome as we were going to be running Firebird’s West track in the morning, followed by Firebird’s Main track that afternoon/night. Later that night the UMS Tuning Time Attack Series Round 4 was set to be underway. Taylor, Markos, and Jerome hit FIR West track. This was Taylor’s first time back on track this season. With a freshly built motor there were some kinks to be worked out but soon the car was running like a champ and ready for the Main course. Thanks again to Chris from Race Photo Labs for loaning some parts to Taylor from off his personal photography mobile. Jerome and Markos’ cars were running fine so they kept hitting the track and getting faster throughout the day on FIR WEST.
I got to take the Snail Racer out on FIR Main for a slow run to get a feel for the track before practice opened up for the Modified Tuner Shootout participants. When practice opened up I hit the track to start learning the Continental tires that they supplied us with for the event. After a few laps and adjusting the tire pressures I got the hang of them and was ready to go for the Modified Tuner Shootout Time Attack. Later we all gridded up for the Time Attack for the shootout, the car was running great allowing me to set a pretty good lap time. Finally all the competitors were brought together to get the results from the Modified Tuner Shootout. Once again, we cannot talk about the results; let’s just say we are happy how everything turned out. Just make sure you pick up a copy of the August issue of Modified Magazine to get all the results.
Later that night is was time for the UMS Tuning Time Attack Series. We had over 30 cars signed up to run the event. Snail had all four cars back in action for TA. I place first in TA-C and first Overall in TA while also setting the new UMS Tuning Time Attack TA-C track record with a 1:05.849. Jerome ran a 1:08.186 for 4th place in TA-C. Taylor pulled off a 1:09.321 putting him in first place for TA-B and also setting a new UMS Tuning Time Attack TA-B track record. Markos ran a 1:17.449 in TA-A in his Subaru RS (Markos wants to add: “26:1 power to weight”) “no turbo ;( soon to be changed though”.
So to sum it all up, the NASA AZ Night Event, Modified Tuner Shootout, and UMS Tuning Time Attack Series were an awesome time and we all can’t wait until next year. Big thanks to all the guys at Modified Magazine and Continental Tire for providing all of us with tires for the event. To top off the night AFI Turbo restocked up on beer for the Beer Time Attack finals. It was great meeting everyone the list is too long to list everyone but you know who you are. Hope to see you guys at the next event. We are planning on going to the next NASA AZ/UMS Tuning Time Attack Series Round 5 at Inde Motorsports Ranch May 7-8 followed by Willow Springs International Raceway for the first Global Time Attack Event on May 21-22. Hope to see everyone there!