Gates311 / AMS Sponsored Evo X – Willow Springs Race Report

Event: Redline Time Attack! Willow Springs – May 30th-31st, 2009

A Tough Weekend

After weeks of preparation, I made the solo trek from the AMS Performance headquarters in West Chicago, IL to Willow Springs Intl. Raceway in Rosamond, CA for Round Two of the 2009 Redline Time Attack! Series.

Upon arriving to the track late Friday afternoon, I set out to run a few test laps with the new setup on the car, that included a prototype AMS Turbo kit, an AMS built rollbar, AMS Carbon headlights, a Carbonetic Triple Carbon clutch and a new Voltex front lip. The car ran beautifully for a total of 3 laps, until the test day was shut down. Heading into the Saturday practice day with Redline, things were looking positive.

Saturday morning arrived, and the track was green at 9:00 a.m. for the first practice session of the day. I was one of the first on track, but after two short laps the car’s ABS system and S-AWC system randomly failed. Entering Turn 3, unaware of the issue, I was hard on the brakes and spun the car while locking up the brakes. No damage occurred, but I immediately headed into the pits to check the issue.

After looking over the car, no solution was found, but the check ABS/S-AWC lights were gone. I headed out for the 2nd practice session with a positive attitude. Unfortunately, the car still wasn’t running correctly. After completing a warm up lap, I resumed full speed. That same lap, while running hard thru Turn 9 the car lost all power causing the steering to lock up along with the engine shutting off. Luckily, I was pointed straight and was able to coast off track.

After being towed into the pits, I searched for the cause of the problem. Over the next 7 hours, I tried everything possible to get the car to start to no avail. With the track was closing, I headed back to the hotel confused and hoping for a solution before the Time Attack sessions on Sunday morning.

Back at the track early Sunday morning, I was on the phone with AMS President, Martin Musial, desperately trying to figure out the problem. Unfortunately, the cause of the problem (electrical?) couldn’t be found in time to compete in Sunday’s Time Attack sessions. Trying to salvage something out of the weekend, I was able to get the car moved into the front of the spectator area so the car was still in front of the public eye all day.

So after a 30 hour drive, I was only able to complete a total of 5.8 laps on track, none of which counted for any points in the Time Attack. Looking forward, the main focus is to get the car back up and running before the next Redline Time Attack! at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL on June 20th-21st, 2009. We’re confident the car will be back to 100% and will be in even better condition than ever before the Autobahn event. Look for plenty of very strong finishes in the near future.

I would like to thank the following sponsors for their incredible support in 2009:

  • AMS Performance
  • Nitto Tires
  • K&N Engineering
  • JRZ Suspension
  • etnies
  • Carbonetic
  • Girodisc
  • Seibon Carbon
  • Forced Performance
  • Double Down Motorsports
  • Evasive Motorsports
  • Voltex

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