Gates311.com / AMS Performance / Nitto Tires Evo X – Race Report
Event: Super Lap Battle Finale, Buttonwillow – November 11th, 2009
On November 11th, 2009, Ryan Gates competed for the first time in Super Lap Battles Limited Class with great success. Ryan won Limited class and also set a new class record in the process, the first Limited car to go under the 1:50 barrier with a 1:49.8.
With a long break since the last Redline Time Attack event in Pahrump, Ryan and the Gates311.com / AMS Performance / Nitto Tires Evo X headed back to Chicago and the AMS Performance HQ to run through the car. Nothing was upgraded on the car after the event, but a few maintenance items were changed and the car was refreshed a bit.
One of the first things to be changed were the front brake rotors along with new pads all around. The Girodisc rotors had taken an amazing amount of abuse, lasting over a year on a single set! With general wear on them, they were replaced with a fresh set and new pads. Special thanks to Girodisc for building such an incredible product.
Other minor fluids were changed, but Ryan was confident in the setup so the car was largely untouched, besides some new decals. K&N Filters helped the team out with some awesome new Air and Oil filters before the final events of the season. Their support was a key part to Ryan competing at the Super Lap Finale, and was extremely appreciated!
During Tuesday practice, Ryan drove the car very briefly to make sure the car was up to speed. Immediately the car was turning fast laps and running great. The fresh Girodisc rotors were performing great, as expected. During Tuesday practice, Leh Keen also took the car out to check out an Evo X for the first time. After a few laps, Leh was up to speed and having fun with the car on track. Its quite a different car from Lehs Grand Am Championship winning GT3 Cup, but he managed to still have fun. After the session, Leh, Bryan from JRZ and Ryan had a chat and went over the sessions from the day and made some minor changes to the suspension.
Wednesdays timed practice provide group selection for the day, knowing being part of the fastest group was key Ryan posted a moderate lap of 1:51.1 to get things started for the event. With much left in the car, Ryan was happy with how things were shaping up.
In the first Time Attack session Ryan posted a surprising lap of 1:49.8, the first Limited class car to ever dip into the 1:4X.xx range. With that lap, Ryan was in the lead of the Limited class. Ryan was not happy with his lap, so a much more aggressive second Time Attack session was planned. Early in the second Time Attack session, Ryan was on a cool down lap and made a costly mistake by running over some curbing that destroyed his carbon fiber 3D front splitter. Other minor issues with the car were later found, but without a front splitter Ryan was unable to compete with the car in the current form. Ryan sat out the third and final Time Attack session of the event nervously, knowing there were plenty of capable cars at the event. Luckily, Ryans record breaking time stood and the Limited Class Championship was his. Ryan would like to congratulate Evasive Motorsports and Time Kuo on their amazing time, they also broke into the 1:4X.xx range for the first time, creating some awesome competition!
With less than three days until the Redline Time Attack Finale at Autoclub Speedway, Ryan and the AMS Team worked out a a few of the minor issues on the car but getting another front splitter was not in the cards. Ryan was looking forward to the challenge, but knew it was going to be very tough to compete at such a high speed track.
Ryan Gates would like to thank his sponsors for their incredible support in 2009:
- AMS Performance
- Nitto Tires
- K&N Filters
- JRZ Suspension
- Seibon Carbon
- Forced Performance
- Double Down Motorsports
- Evasive Motorsports