The Long Beach Grand Prix was the most anticipated event of the year. Being one of the few cars with a stock block, making a measly 400 hp, we made sure everything else was in tip-top shape. The car ran well on the first day of the event. We qualified First and our driver, Robert Walker, felt comfortable with the car. The brakes, which Robert mentioned felt a bit soft during the laps, eventually gave out on his last lap of the session. We spent the next day flushing the brakes and changing the pads/rotors, and the problem was resolved. We managed to hit a lap time of 1:32.932, a second faster than Thursday's practice. Things were looking great. Being underpowered on a fast course, we were still pulling lap times right up there with the Unlimited 500-plus whp cars. We couldn't wait until the final time attack day.
Come Saturday, the final race day, we were pumped and knew that if we didn't run into any problems, we had a shot at placing First. Before the race, the car was running well; suspension was properly dialed in and brakes were working. Unfortunately, after one warm-up lap, we did not see the car come around again. Since Long Beach is a street course, many apexes were set up with bolt-in berms. With the massive amount of downforce generated by the Voltex aero, the front splitter literally scraped the ground during hard cornering. Call it bad luck; our splitter just happened to catch the slight crack in between the berm and concrete. So off came our splitter, and it decided to take the oil filter with it. Within five seconds, our engine seized and oil spilled all over the track. It was a real disappointment that we couldn't finish the race. We took it as a possible sign to finally build the motor and compete at a higher level.
Currently, a 2.3L stroker kit is in the works along with other go-fast parts. We hope to get the car running again soon and be able to get some testing done before the final Super Lap Battle event at Buttonwillow in November.