With only two weeks into the month of November, it has proven to be a very busy month for the Snail Performance team. Just weeks after Subiefest wrapped up; we pulled the motor out of the Snail Racer due to leaky head gaskets. Time was running out to have the racer ready for Super Lap Battle as SEMA was quickly approaching. With days to spare, the motor was back in the car and ready to be buttoned up, however a quick trip to Las Vegas put a hold on completion. SEMA proved to be quite the event with the guys from LIC Motorsports, DB Tuned, and many many others, however that’s another story.
Snail Performance returned to Phoenix just three days before the departure for Super Lap Battle. Following a last minute phone call, Snail driver Travis Barnes was invited to participate in the Import Tuner Magazine Evo vs. STI shootout. This was very exciting for the team, not only because of the participation, but also because this day would be used as a shakedown for the Snail Racer. The final touches were put on the Snail Racer with just enough time to fire it up and load it into the trailer for the 9 hour drive to Buttonwillow Raceway.
Monday night rolled around the Snail Team was heading west to Buttonwillow Raceway. Having decided to drive through the night, arrival occurred early Tuesday morning. After camping out for the rest of the night, we awoke just in time to see the gates open at Buttonwillow Raceway. The trailer was unpacked and we were ready for the Import Tuner Magazine Evo vs. STI shootout. With street classing being a must for the event, the Snail Racer was equipped with 265/35/18 Continental Tire provided Extreme Contact DW tires. With only a few laps under his belt, driver Travis Barnes quickly found a groove on track and started to turn it on, pushing the car to the limits of the tires. This proved to be successful as the Subaru STI’s ended victorious over the Mitsubishi Evo drivers taking the overall shootout win.
Early Tuesday morning, the Snail Team was awoken by fellow Arizona driver Tage Evanson making laps around the Snail Performance trailer. With tech having been completed the previous day at the shootout, the Snail Racer was ready to compete against the other cars in the Super Lap Battle Limited AWD class. It was a beautiful day at the raceway, perfect for a turbo car looking to stretch its legs. The Continental Tires were swapped out for a stickier set of 275/35/18 Nitto NT-01 tires and it was time to race. With the added grip, the 479 AWHP of the 2003 Subaru WRX Snail Racer came to life. Now with some experience on the Buttonwillow Raceway 13CW configuration, driver Travis Barnes was able to show the potential of the Snail Racer. With each lap, consistency of both driver and car were proven.
In the end Snail Performance finished in 4th place Limited AWD, and 25th out of a 42 car pack, turning a fast lap of 1:59.652. Having never competed at Buttonwillow, Travis was pleased with his time; however ideas are already in the works to shave seconds off this time. With the last out of town race of the year complete, the Snail Team focuses its efforts on the season finale of the UMS Time Attack Series at Phoenix International Raceway. With each driver still in the running for podium contention, hopes are high for a successful event.
The Snail Performance Team would also like congratulate Sierra-Sierra Enterprises for shattering the Buttonwillow Raceway track record by running a 1:41.046. UMS Tuning for finishing 3rd in Unlimited AWD with a 1:53.086. Tage Evanson for his 1st place finish in Unlimited FF with a 1:51.653. Phil Robles aka "K Sport Cowboy" took 3rd in the K Sport Integra Type-R in Unlimited FF with a 2:00.146. Gabe Ortega finish 3rd in Limited FF with a 2:03.633.