Ryan Gates battles alignment problems and takes 3rd @ Redline Time Attack -Willow Springs

RTA Willow Springs…woof.

After a great week of testing at Infineon Raceway, we were all pumped to head to Willow to see how the car would finally stack up with a solid AMS engine package. The car was making great power, enough to actually make it the World’s Fastest Evo X (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5sbhuWG4vI)! With all of the engine issues sorted, things were looking great for the ‘Liberty Grand Prix’ at Willow Springs.

Ryan Gates Time Attack EVO X - 2010 Redline Time Attack  Willow  Springs

During Saturday practice and testing, the car was running great and hitting more than 170mph down the long front straight! Even with 100?+ track temps, the new AMS 900X package was running like clockwork, revving all the way up to 9,500rpms when needed. Oil temps stayed in check, barely getting hot after 5-6 hard laps. I’m happy with the way things have turned out with the new engine package, making 700+whp reliably isn’t easy, but AMS is proving once again why they’re #1 in the Evo world. Thanks guys!

Ryan Gates Time Attack EVO X - 2010 Redline Time Attack  Willow Springs

The one issue during the weekend was chassis setup. The JRZ shocks were great, but the alignment on the car was a bit out of whack. Since we ran the car without a splitter for the Autobahn Country Club, there were some things we did to the alignment to compensate for that. Those changes, in combination with the 3D front splitter and Willow Springs super fast corners, brought up some major issues.

Ryan Gates Time Attack EVO X - 2010 Redline Time Attack  Willow  Springs

The main adjustment was to the rear toe, we added some toe out to help the car with turn in at Autobahn. Since the final session was rained out at Autobhn and Infineon was all about takin it easy, the car was never tested in vein with the rear toe out. It was so unstable that I actually went off track 3 times in the morning session of qualifying on Sunday. I made the mistake of trying to fix things on my own, which only made things 100x worse! I went the wrong with with the Toe arms and ADDED more toe by accident and somehow my steering wheel was now sideways…causing me to run off track twice more in the first Time Attack session on Sunday.

Ryan Gates Time Attack EVO X - 2010 Redline Time Attack  Willow    Springs

Even with those off track excursions, I managed to put down a 1:26.xx laptime, good enough for 3rd in class and about 2 seconds behind 1st place of the Cobb GT-R. I knew there was plenty of time left in the car, we just needed to get the alignment somewhat sorted before the 2nd and final T/A session and I would be fine…or so I thought!

My boys at Evasive and GST were on site at Willow Springs and were cool enough to lend a hand with my alignment ‘situation’. The GST guys borrowed us their toe plates and camber gauge while the Evasive crew went to work under the car to try and get things straight again. One thing lead to another and things just went downhill from there haha. Kel from Evasive did all he could, but without more time he couldn’t get things quite perfect with the setup before the 2nd session. As a last ditch effort, I threw on a brand new, sticky set of Nitto NT01’s hoping to help gain some time. Unfortunately with the steering wheel now facing the other direction, things didn’t get much better. I was unable to better my 1st session time of 1:26.5 and had to settle for 3rd place for the first time in my Redline career. Not very pumped on that, but I guess you need to take the good with the bad and move on.

Ryan Gates Time Attack EVO X - 2010 Redline Time Attack  Willow   Springs

Next up is Sebring International Raceway! One of, if not the most, famous tracks in the US…can’t wait to post some lap times here so people can hopefully understand just how fast this car really is. There are a few upgrades to the car before the event, more details on those later, but rest assured the car won’t be getting any slower haha. I have a few test days scheduled before this event…a PCA Club Race back up in MN at BIR later this month and then the Hotlanta Challenge at Road Atlanta the week before Redline hits Sebring on August 14-15th. I’m excited to see what the car will do after the upgrades….

Ryan Gates Time Attack EVO X - 2010 Redline Time Attack  Willow    Springs

Until then, I’ll be out in SoCal preparing for MOD Day 2010 at MMNA this weekend! If you’re anywhere near the area, make the trip for this event…it’s so awesome. Tons of vendors, free food, and so many cool cars. Come say hello if you make it out, I’ll be under the etnies tent with their huge RV. I’ll have some cool posters there from a recent photoshoot if anyone wants! See ya soon!



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