The Snail Performance Time Attack Team will be at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway this weekend "January 12-13 2013" with NASA AZ running Time Trail and the UMS Tuning Time Attack Series. For more info on where the party is going to be check out NASA AZ.
While staring at this blank screen for a while trying to figure out where to start when talking about the 2012 season for the team, so much comes to mind that it is hard to decide what to mention first. Between Global Time Attack, filling in months with NASA AZ events, and closing the year visiting the various trade shows around the country, we have certainly seen our own ups and downs as a team both emotionally and financially. I think it is safe to say, that in 2012, the Snail Performance team increased their brand recognition, and had a great time along the way.
Having been committed NASA drivers for many years, we began the year just as gung ho as any year previous with goals of topping both the Time Trial and Ums Tuning Time Attack Series podiums at each event. As we pushed ourselves and our cars harder than ever before, it was clear to see this was not going to be as easy as it is said. Arizona as a region does not have the opportunity for open testing days which leaves only NASA weekends for testing. This proves difficult when combined with 15-20 sessions that are scrapped if one thing as simple as an intercooler coupler pops. With these frustrations aside, our first main event of the year came with the always popular NASA AZ Night Event and Modified Magazine Tuner Shootout at Firebird International Raceway. Little did we know at the time, this may have been the last year for the shootout or any event to be held in this venue.
The event started out great with a solid start on the Dyno event and AutoX. As Time Attack practice went on times looked promising. Unfortunately a dying transponder failed to make it back onto the car before the official timed session. It wasn’t until we came off track we realized the mistake. Luckily they allowed us to rerun immediately, however hot Arizona ambient, underhood, and tire temps meant our best times were behind us. None the less, we went on to the last event, the drag races. With a new clutch in the car, we were unaware how it would respond to being launched. This would be our downfall, as nothing would provide a solid launch, including throwing our drag racing ringer in the car, Travis Barnes. In the end low points in the drag and emissions testing left us with a 3rd place overall finish. Not bad at all and our best finish in the shootout yet.
With the shootout in the bag, we looked to the rest of the year and put our focus on Global Time Attack. The April Buttonwillow Raceway GTA event was hot to say the least, and the team finished with a 2nd place finish in both Unlimited AWD and Street AWD. As a team we were excited with our finish. Markos Mylonas, fed up with standing by decided this would be the last event he would miss and looked into making plans for the next team GTA event. Unable to make the immediate following events due to budget and distance, the team set their sights on Texas Motor Speedway. With family in the area, we couldn’t wait to get to Texas and enjoy the new venue.
The travel time from Phoenix to Texas Motor Speedway is a 16 hour drive towing. The Wednesday before the event, we closed the shop and headed straight for Texas. We arrived the next day around lunch to an open infield and the GTA staff setting up.
As promised, this would be our first event fielding 3 cars, and with the special guest Dale Barnes running his daily driven Mustang GT, we ended with 2 enthusiast class cars, and of course the Street and Unlimited AWD cars. When the event was over, the 4 team entries finished with 4 podium finishes. Dale Barnes took 3rd place Enthusiast RWD. Markos Mylonas finished 2nd Place Enthusiast AWD. Taylor Wilson finished 1st place Street AWD. Travis Barnes finished 3rd place Unlimited AWD.
On the way home from Texas, the 16 hour drive turned into an almost 22 hour drive. The team caravanned with their 3 rigs alongside Tony “Hawt Kawk” Szirka of UMS Tuning and Mike Warfield of GST Motorsports. Despite overheating trucks, pepper here and there, and a few hoses in places that will remain unspoken, the group managed to survive the drive back, some doing the whole stint fueled on Energy Drinks, Hawaiian BBQ, candy, and driving the last few hours with heads sticking out windows enjoying the midnight air.
Global Time Attack Buttonwillow / Super Lap Battle was planned for the last event of the year. A last minute offer to have our unlimited class 2003 Subaru WRX as a featured vehicle in the Turbo by Garrett booth at the SEMA show cut the deadline to have the cars ready by 2 weeks.
Already with big plans for the last event, the team hustled and spent the final weeks before the show at the shop day and night preparing. After many long nights, some self-taught welding, and sleep deprivation reminding us that plastic is not a great grounding contact, the car was finished on the dyno just in time to be pulled into the trailer and driven to Las Vegas. We made a number of great contacts and some new relationships for the 2013 season while at the show that are very exciting!
With the hard parking out of the way, half of the team hustled back to Arizona to pick up the rest of the cars and make their way to Buttonwillow Raceway for the final event of the year. Markos Mylonas was especially excited as this would be his first experience on this amazing race track. The weather was perfect and each car ran flawlessly, just as they had all year long. There’s something to be said about returning from every event during the season only needing an oil change to prep for the next event.
Markos learned the track very quickly holding down 3rd place Street AWD for the most of the day. It was only during the last session of the day his time was overtaken. Considering the mild modifications of the car, and significant underpowered disadvantage, we are excited to see very fast times from Markos next season. Taylor Wilson was able to hold onto 2nd place Street AWD for the day. With times only slightly quicker than past visits, some changes are in store for this car in the off season. Travis Barnes, testing his newly designed splitter, found 3 seconds over past visits which yielded him a 2nd Place Unlimited AWD finish.
With such a successful year for a group of ultimately, privateers, we are very excited to see what next season has in store for us. We want to thank all of our sponsors who have helped us this year including Lic Motorsports, Whiteline US, Turbosmart USA, Turbos Direct, and Wheeldude.com. We are also excited to welcome Turbo by Garrett ( #TurboLife) to our family for the 2013 season.
After such a great season filled with awesome memories, it saddens us to announce, our team will no longer reside in one state. Team Principal, Unlimited Driver, tuner, and most of all brother, Travis “Sauce Bauce” Barnes will be moving to the Northern California Area. Travis is the reason this team exists, and it will not be the same having him 800 miles away. We will do our best not to let the distance change anything that has become expected of our small family and still have a full schedule planned for 2013. While it does not seem like a great distance, and is only a quick Southwest flight away, he will be missed in his absence and we hope to one day have him home in Arizona again. If not, everyone’s selling their homes and we are just going to have to move to California. Don’t test us, we will do it!
Now with 2012 out of the way, we look toward 2013 with our first event at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway with NASA AZ. You can catch all of the coverage from this event as well as the rest of the team’s season at any of the outlets below. Keep up with the latest modifications, trials and tribulations, and team victories all year long! Be sure to keep up to date with the team!
Photos By: Amanda Gift of Snaps Studio
Photos By: AFL Photography
Photos By: Forward Motion
The Snail Performance team is proud to announce our partnership with Turbo By Garrett for the 2013 Season. We are very excited to have their support and look forward to representing with the best turbos on the market! #TurboLife
Be sure to keep up with all the updates this year through each of the links below.
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Turbo By Garrett
Facebook / Twitter (#TurboLife)
The Snail Performance Unlimited AWD Subaru WRX in the Turbo By Garrett Booth at SEMA 2012. Big thanks to Yukio Taira looking forward to the 2013 Time Attack Season with Turbo By Garrett.
Go and check out the write up that Dave Stevens from Forward Motion did on Markos' 06 Wrx.
Last week Global Time Attack traveled to Texas Motor Speedway for Round 5 of the series. With the middle of the year lacking in West Coast events, we decided to pack up the team and head down to the state where building signs are the size of trucks and sweet tea flows like water. Now, anyone who has ever driven through Texas knows that once you hit the border, to be prepared for endless hours of zero scenery. Regardless, Wednesday after the shop closed, we loaded up the trucks and trailers and set off for Fort Worth Texas. The plan was to drive straight through until we hit the track and that we did. About 16 hours later we found ourselves on the infield paddock of the gigantic Texas Motor Speedway. After unloading the cars and making a few laps on the pit bike we headed in search of food and sleep.
As with all Global Time Attack events drivers are split into A and B groups. B Group drivers would start the day Saturday and break the track in. Markos Mylonas, new to the Enthusiast AWD class and special guest Dale “Bauce of the Sauce” Barnes in Enthusiast RWD were first up from the team to head out on track. Normal configurations of this track include the roval however for this event the 1.3 mile 8 turn track would be utilized. In true Noah Levy fashion I threw my arm out and began taking times. In his first few laps Markos was turning mid 43 second lap times which with nothing to reference we had to assume left room for improvement. Next up to run was the A group. Travis Barnes and myself strapped in and went out on the benchmark of Mylonas’ 43 second time to see how the classes would space themselves. Travis had a relatively easy session while I found myself off in the dirt in my second lap. Combined with a burst PCV line and oil everywhere I came off track with some repair needed. A quick trip to the parts store had the car fixed up and ready for the next session.
Friday Ended with most times stacked right in the 40-42 second mark for multiple classes. Each of the team’s drivers had some improving to do on Saturday. Both Markos and myself found ourselves within tenths of a second with the Evo’s from Evolution Dynamics in our respective Enthusiast and Street Classes. Travis was sitting in 2nd place Unlimited AWD with time to cut on track. Special guest Dale Barnes was sitting in the 50’s and looking to improve his time. Considering he has never been on track before, let alone in his 2011 Ford Mustang with a few Whiteline compliments this was not bad at all.
Saturday was the last day to make magic happen. The team continued bettering their times throughout the day. Markos’ chase behind the Evolution Dynamics Evo X was proving more difficult than he thought. Every time Markos improved; ED found a way to do just the same. Curious to the cars full potential, Travis handed the keys to the Snail Racer to Jeff Westphal, driver of the GST Motorsports Impreza L. Travis then used the data provided to improve a few seconds off his time. Unfortunately by this time Tony “Hawt Kawk Sriacha” Szirka from UMS Tuning had worked out all the bugs in his EVO, including installing a new oil pump, water pump, and gear shift linkage repair. His times were extremely competitive in the recently revamped EVO VIII and Travis was unable to match his times. After watching in car video of Westphal in the Snail Racer I found a few placed to improve my own times. In the afternoon session I set out to improve my times further. Despite a number of “unofficial” times my transponder died on track and I had no data for the session. Dale also continued to improve and dropped his times in the 49’s.
When the final session presented itself, each of us on the Snail team were out to secure our finishes. Dale Barnes deciding to do one last session for “fun” and trimmed a solid 3 seconds from his time to secure 3rd Place Enthusiast RWD. Markos continuing to chase the Evolution Dynamics EVO narrowly missed his success and a tenth of a second would mean 2nd place Enthusiast AWD. Equipped with two transponders so as not to miss my times once again, I went out and secured a 40 second lap good for 1st place Street AWD. Travis went out and gave it all he had but was unable to match the sheer power of the UMS Tuning EVO and finished 3rd Place Unlimited AWD. In the end it was four of four Snail cars with podium finishes and champagne in hand. Each of the cars drove back onto their trailers and are ready for the next event which we will call a success.
With Global Time Attack Round 5 over, the trek back west began which meant GTA Afterhours Truck Attack was to begin. With Snail, UMS, and GST we had 5 Trucks hauling back west. That is until GST ran out of gas and the UMS tow rig became unhappy. Musical trailers occurred on the side of the road and we were back on the road. 20 hours later we arrived back in Arizona with only hours before each of us had to open the doors to our shops. Mike Warfield in his Australian English British something confusion decided to keep driving on to California.
We want to thank everyone that continues to support the Snail Performance Team. Thanks to Whiteline Flatout for providing the best in grip activating suspension components. Turbosmart USA maintains all the teams boost needs. LIC Motorsports is the go to for analysis and suspension perfection, along with supplying some of the best Subaru Specific components on the market. Wheeldude.com makes sure the team rolls in style with the latest shoes for each car. Finally, we welcome Turbos Direct for building and supplying the team with the best turbos on the market.
Next up for the team is the Global Time Attack Season Finale at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Bakersfield California. We only have a few busy weeks before the event. Until then, be sure to stay up to date with all of the coverage from Global Time Attack Texas found online.
Global Time Attack's Recap from Rnd 5 of GTA at Texas Motor Speedway. John "NADS" Naderi of course was showed in champagne and wash off by a big bucket of cold water. Big thanks to all of our sponsors for helping us make this event awesome: Turbosmart USA, Whiteline USA, LIC Motorsport, Wheeldude.com, and Turbos Direct.
GTA Recap Round 5
Big thanks to Noah and Adam over at LIC Motorsports for all of there help and advice on setting our cars up for Time Attack. With out them we would not be where we are today. You can check out their post about our win's at Global Time Attack in Texas and the current LIC products we run on our Time Attack Cars at the link below.
Supported Team Snail Performance podiums big at GTA Texas!