Team Viper West
Willow Springs Viper Days
Hi everybody...sorry for the delay in posting our official results. These results have been available at the web site (http://www.viperdays.com) for some time now. I thought I'd add some color to the otherwise boring statistics.
Besides graduating some 20 rookies from our driving school, we had an awesome turnout for the SOLO (best lap time)competition. This competition is open to all Viper Days graduates. You can go through our school on Saturday and when you get "signed off" by our instructors you are free, at your option, to have a transponder placed inside your car and we record your lap times for the remainder of the event. We compare your lap times to those of other competitors who have entered the same car class. We award gold, silver, and bronze medals in each car class.
We had 34 of 40 drivers choose to compete in the time trial competition. An executive summary of what happened is provided below.
Willow Springs is touted to be the fastest road course in the western United States. This is measured by average speed. As an example, when Jeff altenburg set the track record at Spring Mountain in Pahrump last month, his time equated to an average speed of 77 MPH. When Erik Messley established the new track record for Vipers at our Willow Springs event, his time equated to an average speed of 107 MPH. If you can imagine driving 30 MPH faster around an entire road course, that's an awesome difference! With few exceptions, all our drivers, including rookies, had average speeds of around 90 MPH or higher! Here are the results:
PROFESSIONAL: Erik Messley drove Ron Levi's GT-3 Viper to a new Viper lap record of 1:23.62 for an average speed of 107.63 MPH over the 9 turn 2.5 mile circuit. Erik was approaching Turn 1 on the front straight in the 170 MPH range (I believe he has 3.55 gears). The high-pitched sound of those 10 individual throttle bodies as he blips the throttle to complete his heel-toe downshift into 4th gear is still ringing in my ears. His car sounds like no other out there! We only regret that John Hennessey didn't bring his yellow Venom 650 for Jeff Altenburg to challenge Erik with. If Junior had his White Chaos 03 car there, it would have been even greater. Rumor has it that the battle of the Titans will actually take place on VOI Monday, April 26 at the 2.5 mile road course inside of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. John Hennessey told me he'd have all the necessary safety equipment, including full roll cage, fire suppression system, kill switch and window net so Jeff Altenburg could run in the door to door race! Junior is apparently doing the same, and Sean Roe (IMSA Supercar veteran) is throwing his hat into the ring with his newly prepared World Challenge Viper. And wouldn't you know, Bobby archer is planning on getting a ride as well. This will be the greatest all-Viper door to door race that has ever taken place anywhere on the planet. You shouldn't miss this one!!!
UNLIMITED: Ritchy "Muzzy" Marziale is still waiting the return of his Coupe motor from Caldwell Engineering, so he's running his bone stock 96 roadster with headers and Hoosier street tires. The result was a gold medal in the Unlimited Division with an excellent time of 1:31.94. Skip Thomas has his car undergoing a total makeover at Auto Form, so he hopped in my competition mofified coupe for the first time ever and with no practice turned a 1:33.35 which was good enough for the silver medal. Jim Becker rounded out the Unlimited Division with a 1:37.14 and the bronze in his roadster.
COMPETITION MODIFIED: The coupes were much faster than the roadsters in this division. The class of the field was Chris Pennington who ran a spectacular 1:29.62, the fastest amateur time of the weekend and way good enough for the gold. I managed a 1:32.34, edging out Johhny "Yuma" Weigel's 1:33.60 for the silver medal. Aswin Suri took his second consecutive gold medal in the roadster class with a 1:41.99 and Daryl McClendon (a rookie) took the silver with a 1:54.06.
STREET PREPARED: The coupes ruled again in this division. Each division has its hero, and Paul Mumford definitely assumed the position at this race. His previous motorcycle race experience on this same track paid off big time with an incredible 1:31.43 (look out Bob Woodhouse!) for the gold. Rick Helgren had a very respectable 1:35.87 for the silver and just edged out Dave Sutch's 1.36.14. The roadsters put in a fine showing as rookie Ron Jones turned a 1:42.20 for the gold. Chris Omen is progressing very quickly and turned a very fast time in only his second event driving his 93 roadster to a 1:44.50 and the silver medal. This was his first experience with a race radial. The G-Force tires saved him several seconds in lap times versus the XGT. Lou Blanchard (an ex-cop) got the bronze with a 1:51.87.
SHOWROOM STOCK: Coupes prevailed over the roadsters again. Plain and simple, Les Quam is going to be very difficult to beat this season. He turned a marvelous 1:34.98 in a stock coupe. That's damn near as spectacular as Paul Mumford who ran in street prepared with better tires. The battle here was for the silver where Said Abu Qartoumy surprised everybody in his beautful GT2 with a 1:39.44. Doug Dye secured the bronze with a very good 1:40.58. I rode with Doug and I can tell you he is a marvelous driver who is extremely smooth on a set of Pilots. I can't imagine what it feels like in Les Quam's car! In the roadster class Dan Crotty won the gold with a 1:44.45. Bryan Morford took the silver with a 1:48.19 and rookie Al Roberts took the bronze with a 1:58.63.
That's all for now and thanks for your patience.