National Auto Sport News
Published on March 15, 2021 17:29If you’re like most NASA racers, you’ve dreamed of racing at Daytona International Speedway your whole life. Now’s your chance to live the dream!
Registration for the 2021 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires opens today at 9 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. That's noon on the East Coast! Early registration secures you the best grid spots for Friday morning warmup.
Published on February 04, 2021 16:30
The world’s most affordable closed-cockpit prototype racecar just got better.
The newly revised NASA Prototype, dubbed the NP01 EVO, has been enhanced to offer higher horsepower, more grip, durability and refinement.
The NP01 EVO now makes 210 horsepower, an increase of 25 horsepower over the first-generation NP01. Even with increased horsepower and a redline raised to 7,300 rpm on the 2.0-liter Mazda MZR power plant, there are no changes expected for the engine-refresh interval.
Read More - https://wp.me/p7uRXS-6Xt
Published on February 03, 2021 17:33In a changing of the guard for the Western Endurance Racing Challenge series, the National Auto Sport Association has named Peter Hopelain the new series leader, replacing longtime series leader Neil Daly.
“Neil Daly was instrumental in helping the WERC series grow and prosper, and we’re grateful for the time he devoted to the program’s success,” said NASA National Chairman Ryan Flaherty, adding that Daly will remain involved with the series as the WERC team adviser. “Now that he’s decided to move on, we’re looking forward to what Peter Hopelain can deliver for the series.”
Published on October 08, 2020 16:14
Ask racers about their bucket list of tracks, and it’s a safe bet Daytona International Speedway is one of them.
National Auto Sport Association drivers will be able to check The World Center of Racing off their lists when the 2021 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires heads to the iconic venue, Sept. 16-19, 2021.
Published on May 08, 2020 17:50
We hope this message finds you and yours safe and healthy in this challenging time. We wanted to send word to our racing drivers with some news that could potentially change your plans for the 2020 racing season.
After much consideration and unanimous approval from NASA management, we are saddened to report that we will be canceling the 2020 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires, which were scheduled to take place Sept. 10-13 at Utah Motorsports Park. We did not arrive at this decision lightly. There are a number of factors that ultimately led to this conclusion, but one of the most daunting was the uncertainty around travel restrictions. Those travel restrictions, which may or may not be extended through September, will have a profound effect on our event and could potentially result in not being able to adequately staff our event to provide the level of professionalism NASA members have come to expect from their NASA Championships experience. In light of this unacceptable risk, the only prudent action was to cancel the 2020 running of the event.
This change will allow regions to explore any changes they feel will improve their remaining 2020 seasons. It also will permit NASA members to focus singularly on their regional Championships as we all get back to racing! We can’t wait to see our NASA family again, and as soon as it’s safe to do so in your local region, we will. Our thanks go out to our loyal NASA family as we all look toward the brighter days that lie ahead.
Published on May 02, 2020 03:42
This article has been updated as of May 21, 2021.
When we finally return to the racetrack, NASA events, as you once knew them, will have changed. Our safety protocols on the racetrack are the finest in the industry, and with the advent of the coronavirus, NASA must rethink the way we conduct our events, for the safety of our drivers, crew, staff and track personnel.
We at NASA are going to do everything we can to keep our people safe, but inevitably many of the new safety protocols will be the responsibility of NASA members. With your participation, with your help, we as an organization will be able to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Whitehouse.gov Opening America guidelines at all times or risk being shut down again.
These program changes are set forth as minimum guidelines for all NASA Regions and NASA members to meet. Participants who refuse to comply with these policies will be asked to leave the event upon first offense.
- NASA Covid-19 protocols may be overridden by local or State regulations or individual local track policies. In that case, those regulations and policies will be adhered to.
- When the term “unvaccinated” is used below, it includes individuals who are not two weeks post vaccination with the J&J vaccine or the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and those who have not recovered from Covid-19 in the prior 90 days.
General Member Protocols
- Unvaccinated participants should wear a cloth mouth and nose face covering or other non-venting PPE mask when in public areas such as at meetings, Driver Info and Registration, vendor areas and food lines, photography viewing areas, pregrid, fan stands and track viewing areas, “communal” rental garages, and vehicle tech inspection. Drivers do not need to wear a mask or face covering while in their vehicles.
- Unvaccinated participants should continue to maintain 6 feet social distancing. Face coverings are not a substitute for physical/social distancing.
- Vulnerable individuals to COVID-19 (those greater than 74 years old, and those with serious underlying medical problems such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, chronic lung disease and asthma, or immunocompromised state) should take extra care to protect themselves, such as RNA vaccination or strict social distancing and protective (KN95 or N-95) masking if unvaccinated. Non-vulnerable participants need to understand that there is risk of bringing the virus home from any event and should take extra caution to isolate from vulnerable individuals once back home.
- Participants who are sick or coughing should not go to the event and will be required to leave.
NASA Staff Protocols
- Unvaccinated NASA staff working indoors or outside potentially in close proximity to participants or other staff members should wear a face covering or mask.
- Race control and timing shall be restricted to essential personnel only.
- Any lines that may form during the event for participants or staff should be planned for ahead of time to allow 6-foot distancing guidelines for the unvaccinated. This can include the lunch line to order food, driver info, etc.
- In-car instruction will not be a required part of NASA HPDE curriculum until further notice.
- HPDE Students that want to request in-car instruction may do so through the region hosting their respective event.
- Students who wish to ride alone can request on-track instruction through lead-follow.
- HPDE1 will require the first session on each event day be “paced” by 3-plus instructor vehicles. This “pacing” is intended to control speed for the first session, allowing HPDE1 students to familiarize themselves with the track.
- Unvaccinated participants and Tech inspectors should wear masks and allow six feet social distancing when in crowded areas.
- Unvaccinated participants and staff should wear masks and allow six feet social distancing when in crowded areas.
We very much look forward to welcoming all NASA members back to the track for their fun filled adrenaline packed weekends!
Published on April 02, 2020 20:20The National Auto Sport Association is pleased to announce the creation of two new racing leagues it will host on iRacing. The inaugural 2020 season will have two leagues with 10 races per league that run every other Tuesday night through August. Additionally, there will be up to $13,000 in cash prizes available to Pro League drivers as well as real life contingency prizes. Long time NASA partners Toyo Tires and Hawk Performance have kicked in to pay out contingency dollars in each of our new Sim Leagues. These “real dollars” will help our virtual racers get back on track with NASA as soon as we can safely host events. Additionally, Competition Motorsport has stepped up to provide each inaugural league winner with a OMP TRS-E racing seat. Lastly, each 2020 league winner will get a free entry to any NASA event of their choosing providing a true racing ladder for sim-to-reality racing. Contingency rules for each program will be published shortly.
Read More - https://nasaspeed.news/columns/nasa-news/nasa-launches-inaugural-sim-racing-leagues-on-iracing/
Published on March 16, 2020 23:20As our nation and our world plot a path through the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) is working with state and local governments, facility managers, and medical professionals to ensure that the safety of our members comes first. We are actively consulting with both scientific and medical professionals to better understand the risks present and we will use that guidance to determine an appropriate course of action over the coming months.
Read more - https://nasaspeed.news/columns/nasa-news/nasa-statement-on-covid-19/
Published on March 09, 2020 17:45
For the 18th consecutive year, Toyo Tires has been named the official tire of the National Auto Sport Association.
New for 2020, Toyo Tires has revised the payout structure to provide more awards than ever before. In open-tire classes, payouts now include section widths from 305 to 345, with increased payouts all the way to third place for regional and Championships competition! Open tire classes include AIX, Super Touring, German Touring Series and all Time Trial classes.
Published on January 28, 2020 00:53The National Auto Sport Association is pleased to announce that the Hawaii Rally Sport Association will be organizing the newest NASA region for the 2020 season and beyond. The NASA Hawaii Region initially will focus on continuing HRSA’s successful rallycross series, but will expand into other areas of motorsport as new facilities are built in the Hawaiian Islands. “We are happy to be able to offer NASA programs to our friends in Hawaii,” said John Lindsey, NASA’s General Counsel. “We look forward to growing the sport and also helping however we can to get more facilities built in Hawaii for enthusiasts to enjoy.” https://nasaspeed.news/columns/nasa-news/nasa-announces-newest-region-in-hawaii/
Published on January 20, 2020 17:56
Published on September 21, 2019 16:15Racers, fans and family - this year we will have ample amount of options available to you in order to follow all the action LIVE from the 2019 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. We plan to have lots of driver interviews, live drone coverage(weather permitting), plenty on track cameras, and in-car cameras(in some race classes).
Published on September 19, 2019 14:38
In keeping with its tradition of moving the NASA Championships to a different track each year, the National Auto Sport Association has announced that the 2020 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires will take place Sept. 10-13, 2020, at Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele Valley, Utah.
NASA pioneered the idea of moving its Championships event from year to year, and it has chosen to return to the Utah Motorsports Campus, a facility that welcomed the NASA Championships in 2013, 2010 and 2009 when it was called Miller Motorsports Park.
“Utah Motorsports Campus is a world-class venue,” said NASA Vice President, Jeremy Croiset. “From the track layout to the paddock and all its facilities, Utah Motorsports Campus provides the proper scale and grandeur for the NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires. We love racing there, and we thrilled to be going back to Utah in 2020.”
2020 also marks the 15th anniversary of the NASA Championships, an event that grows in scale every year. Utah Motorsports Campus is an ideal place to hold the biggest event on NASA’s racing calendar.
“We are thrilled to welcome back the NASA Championships,” said Dixon Hunt, UMC Senior Vice President. “NASA is always great to work with, and we’re looking forward to another fantastic NASA Nationals weekend for the drivers, teams and fans.”
Published on July 23, 2019 16:37
The Team Racing Endurance Challenge (TREC) is a new NASA enduro series that focuses on fun and lots of track time — and you don’t need a competition license to be part of the action.
Anyone with a driver’s license can participate in a TREC race. Minors who race with NASA are also eligible to participate. Cars are classed using a combination of time brackets and base classing listed in the TREC rules, and all vehicles compete on tires marked with treadwear 180 or higher by the manufacturer. This new series is a definite departure from the typical NASA competition event with a heavy emphasis on fun above all else.
“NASA’s High Performance Driving Events have introduced thousands of people to the joys of driving their cars on track,” said NASA Vice President Jeremy Croiset. “Now, with our new TREC series, drivers with little to no experience can get in on the fun of wheel-to-wheel endurance racing with a professional sanctioning body like NASA. This new program establishes a new pathway for people to attain a NASA Competition license.”
Drivers who complete four TREC events may apply for a TREC license qualifying them to participate in the fastest TREC class. Anyone with previous racing experience may apply for a TREC license. Those who holds a TREC license and successfully complete six TREC events will be eligible to apply for a full NASA competition license.
TREC events will be offered in various NASA regions in the latter half of 2019 with many additional regions coming online for the 2020 season. Check out #DRIVENASA Community for updates when new TREC events are added to the calendar. You can also contact your local NASA region to find out when their first TREC event will be.
Published on July 19, 2019 20:30
NASA members nationwide now can take advantage of a singular source for Toyo competition and Hoosier DOT Tires, with excellent pricing and expedited shipping.
In an agreement that stretches to the year 2021, all NASA members will be able to take advantage of TrackDayTire.com’s enormous inventory and technical support team focused solely on helping members extract the most from their competition tires on the track.
“NASA members will have direct access to tires and up-to-date inventory in a one-stop shop to redeem their Toyo Bucks, HPDE Awards, and get their tires quickly and efficiently,” said NASA Vice President Jeremy Croiset. “It’s a multiyear contract, which demonstrates a firm commitment to NASA and its members.”
Here’s how the Trackday with Toyo Tires HPDE program works. NASA HPDE drivers who move from HPDE1 to HPDE2 get $100 in Toyo Bucks good for any Toyo Proxes tire, except for RR models. When moving from HPDE2 to HPDE3, drivers get $200 in Toyo Bucks good for any Toyo Proxes tire, except for RR models.
Drivers moving from HPDE3 to HPDE4 get $300 in Toyo Bucks good toward any Toyo Proxes tire, including RR models. Drivers who graduate from HPDE4 to Time Trial competition earn $600 in Toyo Bucks good toward any Proxes tire, including RR models.
All tire sizes that Toyo offers are included in the Trackday with Toyo Tires HPDE Program. No other sanctioning body, track-day organization or tire manufacturer offers such a program to HPDE drivers.
You can find all the details on the Trackday with Toyo Tires HPDE Program HERE.
To get started, visit: TrackDayTire.com
Published on April 03, 2019 18:18
Contingency prizes are a big part of amateur racing. Now, drivers in NASA’s HPDE program can take advantage of contingency prizes, too.
NASA’s new HPDE Awards Program lets drivers who advance from one HPDE level to the next to collect awards good toward the purchase of Hawk Performance brake pads.
“NASA is the only sanctioning body ever to offer contingency prizes for track-day drivers,” said NASA Vice President Jeremy Croiset. “With this new program, people who drive their car to and from work, and to and from the track, can take advantage of this great new contingency awards program.”
Here’s how the HPDE Awards Program works.
Drivers advancing from HPDE1 to HPDE2 earn a 25 percent discount off any Hawk Performance pads. When a driver advances from HPDE2 to HPDE3, the discount increases to 30 percent. From HPDE3 to HPDE4, the discount increases to 35 percent, and those who advance from HDPE4 to Time Trial get 40 percent off.
“Hawk Performance loves being involved in the grassroots racing scene, and is very excited to help welcome new racers through the HPDE program,” said Lindsey Nikolai, Marketing Manager for Hawk Performance. “We love helping novice racers as they develop into better racers and learn how important their brakes are to their growth.”
A NASA National sponsor for more than a decade, Hawk Performance offers pads and rotors for thousands of high-performance applications, and even more for daily-driven vehicles, from pickups and SUVs to sedans and motorcycles.
This program is available beginning immediately for NASA HPDE drivers, who can look forward to more prize announcements in the near future. For details, click HERE.
Place your orders directly at www.HawkPerformance.com.
Published on April 03, 2019 18:16
NASA racers interested in getting a jump on the competition can register beginning Tuesday, April 9th for the 14th annual NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which takes place Sept. 18-22, 2019.
For the sixth time since NASA held its first Championships event in 2006, the NASA Championships are returning to Mid-Ohio, home to such marquee races as the IndyCar 200, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Acura Sports Car Challenge.
“Mid-Ohio is a track racers love. It has everything from long, fast straightaways to corners with tricky elevation and camber changes, and lots of opportunities for passing,” said NASA Vice President Jeremy Croiset. “It’s a great facility for our Championships event.”
The last time NASA was there was in 2012, and it was a fantastic event, with tons of great racing on track and the paddock life you’ve come to expect at the NASA Championships.
“We look forward to welcoming some of the country’s best amateur racers back to Mid-Ohio next September for the NASA Championships,” said Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President Craig Rust. “Crowning national champions in over 20 race classes is going to provide a great ending to our 58th season of racing in 2019.”
Published on March 14, 2019 21:24
Designed to be a driver development program and the first rung on the ladder to professional sports car racing, the NASA Teen Mazda Challenge has grown even more for the 2019 season. More drivers. More cars. More competition. New for 2019, the TMC has unveiled a new logo to be used for drivers’ suit patches and windshield banners, which will help identify the cars on track.
Drivers as young as 13 who wish to take their karting careers to the next level can sign up for the Teen Mazda Challenge and capitalize on the benefits and contingency prizes it offers.
“Teen Mazda Challenge isn’t necessarily a replacement for karting, but it is a great way to build upon the skills these young drivers learn in a kart,” said NASA Vice President Jeremy Croiset. “This is a one-of-a-kind program that can help drivers from age 13 to 20 line up with competitors from across the country to show they have what it takes to climb the motorsports ladder. That said, if drivers want to continue karting and also race in Teen Mazda Challenge, they can do that, too. The prize packages are the same for all TMC drivers.”
Mazda Motorsports will make each regional TMC champion eligible for nomination to the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, which is typically held each November or December. The grand prize is a scholarship valued at $100,000 applicable to a season of racing in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. The nominations will be based on regional points standings at the end of the TMC season on October 13. In addition to the opportunity to earn the MRT24 scholarship, Mazda Motorsports also offers contingency awards for each region. Visit MazdaMotorsports.com for contingency awards information.
“We are proud to partner with NASA, Toyo and Hawk in Teen Mazda Challenge to provide a unique opportunity to young drivers interested in trying their hands at sports car racing,” said David Cook, Business Development Manager for Mazda Motorsports. “Running with Spec Miata, this high-visibility series provides a proving ground of tough competition that can help propel drivers in becoming professional racecar drivers. Sports car racing offers some of the best odds for becoming a career pro driver, and TMC is certainly one of the best places to start or continue that journey.”
NASA Driver Advancement Scholarship
NASA will offer each TMC regional champion complimentary entry fees for a full season in Spec Miata racing for 2020 in any NASA region where there are at least three (3) TMC Competitors in each race. The significance of this benefit is that if a competitor doesn’t win the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, he or she can return to competition in the Teen Mazda Challenge the following season to further develop his or her skills and get another opportunity to advance to the Shootout. These scholarships will be tallied after each NASA region has completed its full season of racing.
Toyo Tires Ron Cortez Memorial Award
In honor of TMC founder Ron Cortez, who passed away in January 2018, Toyo Tires created this unique rewards program. TMC regional competitors finishing in the three podium positions in their regions will be eligible for $1,000, $500, $300 in direct cash benefits to assist them with attending the NASA Championships. This will be open to all TMC competitors in all regions who run the five required races that make them eligible to race in the Championships.
These positions will be tallied according to regional points standings July 1, to give drivers a chance to prepare for the Championships September 18-22 at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course in Mansfield, Ohio.
In addition, Toyo Tires awards the top finishing TMC competitor at the 2019 NASA Championships with $2,500 regardless of overall finishing position.
Hawk Performance Benefits
The top five finishing TMC competitors at the NASA Championships will be eligible for $400 in product certificates that will assist them in purchasing brake pads for the season.
More details may be released as the season progresses.
Published on March 05, 2019 21:11
For the 17th consecutive year, Toyo Tires has been named the official tire of the National Auto Sport Association.
“We’re proud of our long partnership with Toyo Tires,” said Jeremy Croiset, Vice President, NASA. “We have worked hand-in-glove with Toyo Tires to develop this new 2019 program, which rewards NASA competitors with generous contingency awards while providing unparalleled support throughout the race season.”
Offering the deepest tire contingency payout plan in amateur sports car racing, Toyo Tires and NASA also have streamlined the processes for claiming contingencies. Competitors in spec tire classes now fill out one annual registration form with four photos of each side, and the front and rear of their cars with the required decals, then submit claim forms online as their race season progresses.
After the successful debut of its contingency program for open-tire classes in 2018, Toyo Tires will offer the same prize package to competitors in classes where there is no specified tire again in 2019.
Now, competitors in open-tire classes need only submit the four photos of the front, rear and sides of their cars, plus one of the Toyo Tire mounted on the wheels, and geotag the photos. Claims are done online the same way as competitors in spec tire classes. Geotagging instructions are explained in a link on the claim form.
The Toyo Tires contingency plan also includes a revised payout structure for endurance racing events, with prizes determined by the length of the race and the size of the tire. The newly announced Spec Enduro class has also been added to the list of classes eligible for contingency.
“Offering best-in-class products and a segment-leading contingency plan is part of our long-standing tradition at Toyo Tires,” said Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager of motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “We want NASA competitors to know that we stand with them as they go for the win and hope this enhanced contingency program provides the support they need.”
These programs are available beginning immediately for NASA competitors. For complete details on the Toyo Tires Contingency Program please visit prizes.drivenasa.com.
Published on January 28, 2019 20:33
Building on the success of its updated Super Touring rules structure, the National Auto Sport Association is excited to announce that it also will adopt Super Touring rules for its endurance racing series across the country.
That means the new endurance class rules will apply to the Western Endurance Racing Challenge series and will also be eligible for NASA’s new Team Racing Endurance Challenge that debuted in 2018. Existing endurance classes will equate to the new ST classes as follows:
ESR = SU
ES = ST1/ST2
E0 = ST3
E1 = ST4
E2 = ST5
E3 = ST6
NASA has also created a subset of E3 called E3S. The “S” stands for spec and will include NASA’s most popular spec classes: Spec Miata, Spec E30 and 944 Spec.
“The new class rules provide a clear long-term strategy for our enduro classes to grow and offer greater levels of competition and parity as we expand our enduro program around the country with the new TREC series,” said NASA Vice President Jeremy Croiset. “We’ve adopted our ST rules because they are the fastest growing classes in NASA, and they include virtually all makes and models of cars allowing practically any competition vehicle to race with us — in sprints and enduros.”
The change to a single rule set ensures NASA competitors will enjoy far better class parity while also allowing for NASA to conduct more thorough technical compliance should the need arise. The new rules complement NASA’s high standards of safety and professionalism to provide competitors the safest and more well organized place to race while providing even greater value for their endurance racing dollar.
For the latest rules, visit: https://www.nasaproracing.com/rules
Published on January 02, 2019 19:10
The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) is proud to announce Competition Motorsport (CMS) as the new Official Motorsports Equipment Supplier of NASA for 2019. As a leader specializing in premier motorsports equipment, NASA members will be able to take advantage of CMS’s extensive knowledge and industry-leading customer service with a massive selection of motorsports gear and equipment. Through this partnership, NASA members are immediately eligible for an exclusive Members-Only discount program providing special discounts on motorsport products from the most popular brands. In addition, Competition Motorsport will offer other programs unique to the industry that will benefit all NASA participants and allow them to save money all year long! CMS created a special announcement video that includes more details on the new program that can be viewed here.
“We’re extremely excited to forge this new partnership with NASA beginning in 2019,” said Maelstrom Kiewiet, CMS Vice President of Business Development. “Our mission is to connect with the NASA racing community using our extensive product knowledge and expansive product selection from the most popular brands in motorsports to ensure NASA members have what they need when they need it. This partnership will enable us to provide NASA members with exclusive programs and product offerings unrivaled in the motorsports community.”
“We’re privileged to welcome Competition Motorsport for the 2019 season”, said Jeremy Croiset, NASA Vice President. “They’ve quickly established themselves as a leader in the motorsports equipment industry and I believe their combined industry-leading customer service and wealth of knowledge will be a benefit to all our fantastic NASA members. This new partnership program with Competition Motorsport brings even more benefits to NASA membership, as it launches unique programs and exclusive offers available only to NASA members. We look forward to working closely with CMS to bring those benefits and programs to the NASA community.”
Competition Motorsport will provide a comprehensive NASA Membership Benefits Program to all NASA members beginning in 2019. All NASA members are eligible to sign up and save on every item they order at https://competitionmotorsport.com/ (tires excluded). This program is available beginning immediately. For complete details on the 2019 NASA Membership Benefits Program, please visit: https://www.nasaproracing.com/benefits
Published on October 11, 2018 22:26
Continuing the trend of moving its National Championships to a new track each year, the National Auto Sport Association is excited to announce that the 2019 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires will continue as a singular event set to take place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Just two short weeks ago, NASA hosted its largest Championship event in the company’s 28-year history with nearly 500 competitors taking part in the historic event at Circuit of The Americas. The 14th annual NASA Championships will take place at the track where it all began, where NASA held its inaugural championships back in 2006. Mid-Ohio is a track renowned among drivers for its nuance, its ever-changing weather and for Midwestern hospitality.
“I still remember our first Championships event at Mid-Ohio,” said NASA Vice President, Jeremy Croiset. “We took in all the feedback we received at our Championships event this year and ultimately decided to return to the singular Championships event format. The 2019 Championships will be our sixth time at Mid-Ohio, and it’s a track racers love. It has everything from long, fast straightaways to corners with tricky elevation and camber changes, and lots of opportunities for passing. It’s a great facility for our Championships event.”
The 2019 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires is scheduled to take place Sept. 18-22, 2019.
“We look forward to welcoming some of the country’s best amateur racers back to Mid-Ohio next September for the NASA Championships,” said Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President Craig Rust. “Crowning national champions in over 20 race classes is going to provide a great ending to our 58th season of racing in 2019.”
When more information becomes available, it will be posted at nasachamps.com.
Published on September 19, 2018 17:04
The official results from Time Trial competition at the 2018 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires are in. Time Trial drivers from across the country competed at the Circuit of The Americas Sept. 14-16 for the top honor of being the fastest of the fast. Here’s a breakdown of the 2018 NASA Time Trial champions.
No. 256 Timothy Bidwill was competing in Super Touring 1 and TT1 at Circuit of The Americas, and he won the ST1 qualifying race in the rain on Saturday. Bidwill also posted the fastest lap time in TT1 in his Porsche GT3 Cup car by more than 2 seconds. Bidwill’s lap time, a 2:21.431, also was the second fastest in all of Time Trial this year at the NASA Championships.
Running the only Lotus Exige S at the NASA Championships, No. 119 Kevin Fennell took the big win in TT2 by more than a second over his competition. In a class comprised predominantly of high-horsepower cars, Fennell proved that lighter is better by laying down a scorching 2:23.648 at the 3.4-mile track.
No. 61 Paul Costas has won his class in every Time Trial he has entered in the Texas Region since 2014. At the NASA Championships, he was driving a Corvette rather than the Camaro-bodied Trans-Am chassis he has been driving, but that didn’t seem to matter. Costas bested his competition by nearly 2 full seconds and came within .200 seconds of the faster TT2 class winner.
Shaun Webster drove his No. 38 Team Edge Motorworks BMW to a TT4 Championship and took second place in Super Touring 4, the racing class equivalent to TT4. Webster beat his closest competitor, which also was his teammate, by just over 1 second to take the TT4 Championship with a 2:29.248-second lap.
No. 33 Bryce Kliewer came all the way from Colorado to take on the best TT5 competitors in the country — and became the best TT5 driver in the country, beating his rivals by nearly 4 seconds, a huge gap in NASA Time Trial. Piloting his BMW 330i with the ZHP package, Kliewer ripped a 2:34.945-second lap time, securing his place on the top step of the podium.
In TTD, Marcelo Vine scorched his nearest competitor by more than 8 seconds, a margin nearly unheard of in NASA Time Trial. Vine laid down a 2:42.920-second lap time in his Porsche 944 on the last day of competition to take the TTD Championship.
Chris Kopitski has had a string of bad luck at Championships events in recent years. Mechanical troubles had kept him out of the running, but in 2018, Kopitski’s car was firing on all cylinders. He not only captured the TTE Championship with a lap time of 2:40.706, but also won the Championship in PTE, the racing class equivalent to TTE.
TTU is the run-anything, bring-anything class in NASA Time Trial. No. 176 Troy Messer brought his Chevrolet Corvette to take on some of the fastest cars in NASA competition. He came away with the TTU Championship, notching a win over Brian Faessler in his high-power Ford Mustang.
Published on September 16, 2018 17:03
In a little over a month, Formula 1 will be racing at Circuit of The Americas, but the weekend of Sept. 15-16, it was all about the NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires. The record number of attendees, more than 450 competitors, came from NASA regions all across the country to race at a track many drivers and even race fans have placed high on their bucket lists.
“There’s no better place than COTA to bring back the combined event as a single NASA National Championships,” said NASA Texas Regional Director Will Faules “COTA Vice President Eric Paradis has been totally instrumental in not only getting NASA Texas regional events here, but also putting on this huge National Championship. I’m really pleased with how the event turned out, and we’re grateful for everyone at COTA for helping us make it happen.”
The weekend of racing was packed with the kind of competition that only a singular national championships event can bring. Here are the big winners from the 2018 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires.
Michael Lapaglia had to wait a few minutes to enjoy his first National Championship until officials sorted out a protest that was ruled in his favor.
The Southern California resident outdueled Michael Patterson and Corey Weber to earn the checkered flag. Lapaglia celebrated with his family who traveled to Austin, Texas to watch him compete.
“Corey and Michael had a tough time keeping their tires hooked up out there, and I tried to focus on that and was able to put down clean laps,” said Lapaglia, who has been racing with NASA for a year. “I just focused on myself and I’m stoked to win a National Championship. It’s unbelievable to say that.”
American Iron Xtreme
Brian Faessler was feeling snakebit Sunday morning when his car broke during a Time Trial session about 40 minutes before the Championship race. His father, Paul, loaned him his Ford Mustang, and the younger Faessler drove it home to a National Championship.
Faessler was going to run in Super Unlimited, but by swapping seats with his dad and running in American Iron Xtreme, he had to start at the back of the group. It didn’t matter as Brian Faessler finished ahead of second-place finisher Robert Shaw for the checkered flag after some very close racing before and after the restart.
“It feels good to finally have some good luck,” said Faessler of Cincinnati, Ohio. “I’ve usually had pretty bad luck here at the Nationals, so it feels good to finally bring a Championship home to Paul’s Automotive Engineering.”
Super Touring 1
In his first time running at the Circuit of The Americas, Mark Burt is going home with more than memories. Burt can call himself a National Champion after winning the Super Touring 1 race.
Burt had a rough Saturday, completing just one lap in the rain-soaked qualifying race as he watched Timothy Bidwill capture pole position. What a difference a day can make with a dry race track.
“The top three or four got bottled up in Turn 1 and a couple of guys got taken out and it was basically given to me at that point,” said Burt, who lives in Orange City, Fla. “I was just trying not to make a mistake. Keep it smooth, keep it going, tires down.”
Super Touring 2
The start made all the difference as Chad Gilsinger brought home his first National Championship as he slipped by Todd Clarke for the victory.
Gilsinger and Clarke were battling all weekend, with Clarke getting the better of Gilsinger in qualifying races heading into Sunday’s final race.
“It really came down to the first turn, honestly. I had a really good start. I knew Todd (Clarke) was a lot quicker than me, so I had to get as big of a gap as I could,” said Gilsinger of Marysville, Ohio. “I was able to get by a lot of the ST1 cars, which he ended up having to battle through a lot, and then with lapped traffic you really just had to be aggressive to get by him or else you get held up too much.”
Super Touring 3
Running just the fifth race of his career, John Hyer went into the Circuit of The Americas hoping to just finish the weekend. He’s going home as a National Champion with a large first-place trophy to prove it.
“I drove 16 hours to get here, we just wanted to do it as a bucket list kind of thing,” he said. “I wanted to gain more experience and compete with the best in the nation.”
Hyer said four or five cars were battling it out for the first couple of laps when he found himself around 15-time NASA Champion David Schotz, who finished in third in the race that was black flagged because of an accident.
Super Touring 4
Setting the fastest lap time in Friday qualifying got Andy Kwitowski a good spot on the grid for the qualifying race, and he managed to take pole for Sunday’s Championship race, too. It’s Sunday that counts and that’s when Kwitowski got the job done in a race shortened by a red flag due to a wreck.
“It just kind of went to plan. Starting P1, I just wanted to create a little gap, so I pushed it a little extra hard on the first two laps, built a gap,” he said. “The front tires were going off a little bit, so it just became a management thing and I just watched the rest of the field and maintained the same gap throughout. Unfortunately, we stopped short again. It’s bad to see another bad wreck like that. We were steady all weekend long. Everything worked out just the way we wanted it to.”
Super Touring 5
Calling it one of the most exciting races in his 19 years of racing, Nik Romano won a thrilling Super Touring 5 race to win his first National Championship.
Romano started on pole, but lost the lead quickly to Charles Buzzetti. Romano was in second-place on the last lap when he did what he called a “Days of Thunder” moment by diving in to get past Buzzetti and holding him off for the last stretch to win the championship.
“Charlie and I were going at it for the entire fricking race,” Romano said. “I was in second on the last lap. I gave it to him earlier, I missed third gear coming out of one of the hairpins and I was about ready to turn the car right and run into the wall and end it right there, I was so pissed off at myself. Just kidding.”
When defending Western States National Champion Brian Frisselle started having trouble with his car, it opened the lane for James Devenport to earn his first NASA National Championship.
“Obviously, the defending champ had some issues,” Devenport said. “We’ve never run against (Frisselle) but we wanted to. That thing is a rocket ship. We do it in corners and brakes, they do it on a lot of horsepower. Unfortunately, they broke so we didn’t really get to see how it played out.”
Second-place finisher Jimmy Casey was able to narrow the lead to 1.6 seconds but Devenport was able to hold on.
Sunday’s National Championship was three years in the making for Jeremy Croiset, who was consistently the fastest driver all weekend in NPO1.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled with this weekend,” said Croiset, who sat in his car soaking up the victory. “It’s a pretty big personal triumph simply because I’ve been working toward this event for three-plus years and to see it all come together, everybody to have a good time, I can’t say enough about this NASA crew, the staff, all these racers that come here to make this event happen and I’m proud to be part of that.”
A slow start didn’t stop Croiset who won the race by 5.3 seconds over runner-up Sam Mangiamelli.
Kevin Jander has been a man on fire in Camaro-Mustang Challenge this weekend at the NASA Championships. After scoring the fastest time in Friday’s first qualifying session and winning Saturday’s qualifying race to nab pole position, Jander still had to prove himself through 45 minutes of hard racing.
“The cautions made things fairly interesting, and with the full-course caution, once we got grouped back up and did the restart, we were right at the back of the Spec E46’s and it was a bit tough navigating the traffic,” Jander said. “It was a good race. There was a little bit of frustration with some of the out-of-class cars, but I managed it and managed to get around them and everything ended up well.”
Rocking the old-school Miller High Life logo on his car and racing suit, Tim Barber was celebrating the good life in Spec E30. Barber continued his strong performance from earlier in the weekend to pull a 5.9-second victory over Sylas Montgomery.
“I hope the wrap on the car and the suit gets a lot of press because it was a big waste of money,” he said with a laugh.
Montgomery pushed Barber most of the race but found himself caught up in lapped traffic. “Sylas kept getting screwed by lapped traffic, to be honest with you,” Barber said. “But that’s racing.”
Jason Fraser had never driven the Circuit of The Americas, but spent plenty of time on a simulator to prepare for the weekend. The homework paid off for Fraser, who took home the National Championship in the deep and competitive Spec E46 group.
Fraser posted his fastest laps of the weekend on Sunday morning before heading into the Championship race. The simulator proved invaluable to learn the turns and the nuances of the 3.4-mile track.
“I’m not a rookie, but I’m newer to the road racing stuff,” Fraser said. “This is the first road racecar I ever built, I ever raced. I came from NASCAR—circle track stuff—so I feel I had that expectation coming in. We had plenty of practice time. The way I look at it, if I can’t figure this place out in three days, I don’t deserve to win.”
Spec Miata Deux
Tim Barber was the only two-time National Champion over the weekend after winning Spec Miata Deux and Spec E30. By winning the second chance race in Spec Miata, Barber took home a $2,000 check courtesy of Toyo Tires.
Barber didn’t make it into Saturday’s 60-car Spec Miata race because his rental car had issues cutting in and out before they corrected the problem. Once the problem was fixed, Barber pretty much led his race from start to finish.
Asked what it was like running two cars in hot and humid conditions in Texas, acknowledged it was tough especially the last race of the weekend.
“I didn’t throw up in my helmet, that’s what I can tell you about that. I kind of wanted to,” Barber said. “It was warm, I started getting a ripping headache half way through that one. I had my hand out the window just trying to cool off.”
Performance Touring D
Racers often talk about the NASA spirit when it comes to sharing parts and racing knowledge. Brett Westcott knows firsthand as a fellow competitor let him use his car, which he powered to a National Championship in Performance Touring D.
“We’ve been trying for five years and we only get it done when my car doesn’t work and a fellow competitor lets me use their car,” Westcott said with a laugh. “It’s that spirit of NASA, right? It’s the racers that will do anything, they’ll give you their extra car, they’ll help you set it up, they’ll throw their own tires on it.”
Westcott, who ran the car for the first time Saturday afternoon, had to adjust from driving a front-wheel-drive car to a rear-wheel-drive racecar.
“The thing is dialed in, it’s a really good car,” Westcott said. “They’re not really that different. Slipping is slipping.”
German Touring Series 2
Kerry James didn’t necessarily have the speed to stay with his fellow competitors, so he considers himself a little lucky to win a National Championship. Late in the race, the three front runners got tangled up in the Esses and spun off track.
That moved James from fourth to first. Doug Young and Will Choice were close behind at the checkers. Waiting to go up on the podium, James said winning a championship was surreal.
“I didn’t quite have the pace of the three in front but I was staying with them and then hoping that something would happen and they would come to me,” James said. “In the end it did.”
German Touring Series 3
Roberto Crescencio had such strong qualifying races that it didn’t seem his car needed any changes going into the German Touring 3 series National Championship.
He kept the setup on the car, but decided to swap his front windshield for a Lexan windshield. The change proved to be the difference as he beat second-place finisher Jeff McGuinness.
“I put it on for today only,” Crescencio said of the windshield. “I guess it’s not a secret anymore.”
Crescencio’s victory on Sunday was redemption for last year at the 2017 Eastern States Championships where he fell short of a championship.
German Touring Series 4
Michael McAleenan’s lead toward the end of the GTS4 race was more than 30 seconds. So, when he saw the red flags come out due to a crash late in the race, he was thinking about the possibility of a green-white-checkers finish that could jeopardize the lead he’d worked so hard to establish. When the black flags came out and he returned to the paddock, he knew his lead — and his win — were safe.
“I was worried we were going to bunch up again and have to restart,” McAleenan said. “Gerald Lowe and the guys at Lowe Group Racing put the car back together. They rebuilt the front end of the car and it was almost perfect, so I’m pretty happy with the result after that. They did a great job and everyone hustled. Our other teammates did well in GTS3, so this session went a lot better for us.”
Honda Challenge 2
Winning his second Championship in a row, Robert Paszkiewicz led from Turn 1 on the first lap until the finish. But his fellow competitors in the 16-car field made him earn the victory.
“This one I had to work for, so I’m really happy,” said Paszkiewicz, who won the 2017 Eastern States Championships. “I couldn’t ask for more. I don’t think I’ve driven this hard in a while now.”
Paszkiewicz held off Christopher Michaels of Glen Burnie, Maryland, who trailed by 1.453 seconds. Brian Shanfeld of Raymond, Ohio placed third.
Honda Challenge 4
Few drivers had as good a weekend as Rob Krider in his Acura Integra, winning every race he competed in during the weekend. Krider was so dominant, he led every race from flag to flag in the seven-car field.
“We have a sign in our shop that says that champagne is victory at the track but races are won weeks before in the shop,” Krider said. “All we did this week was shine our cars. We just polished them in garage 18, it made all the difference.”
Krider has two Western States Championships but considers Sunday’s victory the top prize.
“That’s junior varsity,” Krider said of his Western States titles. “I wanted to win the Nationals, so I got it done today.”
Tom Kaminski knew he needed to bring his A-game if he had a chance at beating Daniel Williams in the Spec Z National Championship race.
“Dan is an excellent driver. This is the first time I ever raced with him. I just kind of know his pedigree,” said Kaminski, who celebrated his championship after the race. “I kind of knew going in that if I lose focus one or two times, it’s done. I got that in my head at the beginning and was full bore, 100 percent and I just tried to run as aggressive as I could. The car held together so I’m happy.”
Traveling from Utah for the race, Kaminski considers it a victory their trucks and trailers didn’t break down on the trip to Austin.
“I’m just so glad we made it here,” he said. “We all kind of have older trucks, rigs and trailers. I’m so happy my car even made it.”
Thunder Roadsters are the smallest, lightest cars that race in NASA. They’re also among the fastest, but they take a light touch to drive well. Gary Tinker had just the right touch in Sunday’s Championship race. He found his way to the front and held on the for the win.
“I didn’t lead all of it. I got passed quite a few times. They worked me real hard,” he said. “It was back and forth for the first few laps. By lap three, I kind of burned my brakes up, which made me a little bit faster. I was just trying to save the tires and not slide it through the corners, and that eventually paid off for me. That’s why at the end of the race I had cool rear tires and I could just walk away.”
Post-race inspections resulted in a disqualification of Marcelo Vine, who led the entire race. That DQ meant that second-place finisher Charlie Buzzetti was bumped up for the win and the Championship in 944 Spec, a class he’s won twice before.
“It’s my first time here. The track is pretty tough. It takes a bit of time to get comfortable with it,” Buzzetti said. “There are high-speed corners, slow-speed corners, really demanding esses that have a decreasing speed as you get deeper and deeper into them. It’s really difficult to have the car under control in that area, because you want to be as fast as you can, but too fast and you’re going for a big ride.”
Performance Touring E
Chris Kopitski’s luck hasn’t been the best at National Championships in past years. His car always seemed to be plagued by mechanical gremlins at the time when they were most unwelcome. You know, when he’s racing for a Championship. This year was different. Kopitski notched the fastest lap in PTE qualifying on Friday and went on to win the qualifying race on Saturday. That put him on pole position for the race, a position he never relinquished.
“It was unbelievable. I couldn’t have asked for a better start in this perfect race all the way through,” Kopitski said. “I missed a couple of apexes and missed a shift about three quarters of the way through the race. Other than that, it was flawless. This has been a long time coming. I’ve been waiting for this. I’ve been trying so hard to get this Championship. I’ve had mechanical issues every year, but this year I finally pulled it through, and this car is capable of so much more than this. It feels great. I’m on top of the world.”
Published on August 14, 2018 17:00
IRVINE, Calif. (Aug. 14, 2018) -- Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, Mazda’s Spec Miata (SM) has grown to become one of the most popular and competitive classes within the Sports Car Club of America and National Auto Sport Association. The low-cost, high-excitement platform has drawn thousands of racers, and that will continue with today’s announcement that Mazda Motorsports and Penske Racing Shocks have teamed up to produce a new, spec shock package to enhance the SM racing experience in the coming seasons.
In a recent dry- and wet-weather session at Carolina Motorsports Park, pro drivers Joel Miller, John Dean and Randy Pobst tested Penske’s race-engineered shocks head-to-head with offerings from several other brands over four days. Four different versions of the Mazda Miata were tested, and runs were made on Toyo and Hoosier tires. Test drivers didn’t shy away from curbing, running the cars to simulate qualifying and long runs. In all, 72 different combinations of driver, damper and tires were tested.
Results show the new Penske shocks to be similar in qualifying lap times compared with shocks currently used by the SM field. But on overall pace, particularly starting on the fifth lap, the Penske product showed brilliance. And on 30-minute to hour-long runs, where the current spec’s lap times slowed by three-plus seconds on the high-wear track surface, the Penskes never fell off to even two seconds compared to qualifying lap times. An in-depth look at the test findings is available at the Mazda Motorsports website.
“The Penske Racing Shocks package is a major step forward for Spec Miata, upgrading the cars from an underdamped street shock to an uncompromised race piece intended solely for the track,” Pobst said after testing. “The shocks allowed the tires to maintain more grip because the suspension worked properly, rather than constantly crashing down on the bump rubbers. With every car, driver, tire and track condition, the Penske provided superior control."
Miller and Dean added that the Penske shocks had a ride quality that was very, very good. The damper had great compliance and soaked up exit curbing, and did not skip the car. Tire life had a predictable, linear and subtle fall-off because of good compliance. Tires also had a large window of operation and never gave a knife-edge feeling at stint’s end.
Josh Smith, Mazda Motorsports Technical Specialist, noted that the “street shock” currently used in SM is not entirely ideal for racing. The off-the-shelf shock, while cost-effective, was not initially designed to handle the spring rate on race cars and sometimes has trouble “dampening” movement. This causes the suspension to bottom out, which impacts wear-and-tear on other components of the car, including tires, hubs, bearings and subframes.
“The Spec Miata community will receive tremendous value from the new Penske shock in terms of drivability, consistency, improved areas of compliance, longevity, and great long-term value for the cost,” said David Cook, Business Development Manager for Mazda Motorsports. “This new shock doesn’t raise the performance of any single SM generation car over another. What it does accomplish is to enhance the SM platform as a whole, and bring in a shock partner interested in servicing customers with trackside support and contingency awards.”
According to Aaron Lambert, Penske Racing Shocks Director of Competition, another round of testing and honing of the new shocks will be conducted next month. But ultimately, Penske Racing Shocks will provide an offering that competitors -- novice or pro -- can drive consistently. With the new shock comes a new upper mount that uses a spherical bearing and a new bump stop designed specifically for the application. Issues caused by riding on bump stops will be eliminated, and stress to other parts minimized so a race car’s longevity can be maximized.
The new shock price will be set at $198.74 apiece, with the complete upper mount/bump stop kit retailing at $249.90. Parts will be available exclusively through Mazda Motorsports with a total cost for conversion; including four shocks, top mount, bump stops and lower spherical mounts for less than $1,050. Unlike the current Spec Miata shock, the Penske will be tamper-proof, and rebuildable through Penske at $100/shock. It is recommended that shocks be inspected by Penske after 100 hours of track use to determine whether a rebuild would be valuable.
“Penske Racing Shocks is the world leader in suspension technology and proud to be the majority supplier in F1, NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA DPi, NHRA Pro Stock, and now Spec Miata,” Lambert said. “With such a rigorous schedule, high volume of competitors and demand for equality, the Spec Miata series is a perfect platform to show off performance, reliability and repeatability, which is why Penske Racing Shocks is honored to be part of this racing class.”
Both NASA and SCCA have approved the new Penske shock for SM competition beginning Jan. 1, 2019. It is anticipated the new shocks will be available starting November 2018 through Mazda Motorsports. The new shocks will not be immediately required for NASA or SCCA competition. Both sanctioning bodies will communicate with competitors at a later date regarding a sunset timeline for the shock package currently in use.
About Mazda Motorsports
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24) program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy (#MRTI) is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.
About Penske Racing Shocks
Penske Racing Shocks is the world leader in suspension technology. Penske Racing Shocks strives to supply the latest technology to all forms of auto racing, and is the major supplier in the world’s largest markets. From asphalt road racing at its highest levels in F1, NASCAR or IndyCar; to dirt tracks across the USA, Penske Racing Shocks is the industry leading manufacturer. More champions choose Penske Racing Shocks over any other brand. The engineering staff and industry leading technical support of Penske Racing Shocks has led to numerous championships in all forms of motorsports.
NASA was founded in 1991 on the premise of providing motorsport competition programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full-performance capabilities of their cars in a safe and controlled environment.
The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA's activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.