May 8, 2016
Traveling Great Distance to Go Fast at Loring
Brevon Scott of the Cayman Islands made his second visit to the former air base at Loring in Limestone, Maine for the Spring Event. Scott bested his summer of 2015 speed by 19 mph with a 251.8 mph run. Scott was accompanied this year by his friend Ceyron Powell.
The times turned in by the Islander were second to Hussain Al-Sowaigh’s 255 mph in the mile. Al-Sowaigh gets the long distance award having traveled from Saudi Arabia.
Scott had this to say about the trip and the travel from Florida with Al-Sowaigh. “Hussain and I use the same tunner/engine builder in Florida, a guy named Paul at Blais Cycle (Dania Beach near Miami Beach). When I came to Maine in July he called me when I was on the way back and asked me how was the track compared to Texas.”
“I told him it was 100 times better than Texas. He then made the trip up in September and really liked the track also. This year he pitched the idea to me that we could travel togther to the events and split the travel expenses.”
“He’s not from Cayman Islands, he’s from Saudi Arabia. We just meet by running into each other at Blais Cycle a few times.”
Scott plans to get with his Florida tuners at Blais Cycles and if the bike is ready will back in July with 260 miles per hour as his goal.
Drag Racer Tries Land Speed Racing
Michael Vaughan acquired his 1979 Trans Am 10 years ago from a seller who had the car in storage after engine modifications did not work out. Four years ago Vaughan began campaigning the red Trans Am at drag races and car shows.
The Firebird features a 455 Pontiac engine bored to 462 cubic inches. Vaughan estimates it produces 450 horsepower. It has a Turbo 400 automatic transmission with a 10 bolt posit action rear end. The red paint is original as is the interior.
“We predominately drag race it,mostly at New England Dragway (Epping, New Hampshire), Lebanon Valley Raceway (Lebanon, New York), and this year for the first time at Oxford Plains Dragway,” said Vaughan.
According to Vaughan the car has run 111.53 mph with an ET of 12.022 seconds in the quarter mile.
Vaughan was accompanied to Loring by his wife Justine and father-in-law Phil Thain Senior. Thain has been influential to his son-in-law primarily because of his background in drag racing.
Thain drag raced in the 60’s and 70’s making New England Dragway his racing “home”. Living then in Malden, Massachusetts he campaigned a twin engine dragster called the Fugitive. He also held the Fuel Altered B class record at Epping for a long time at 197 mph in 7 seconds.
Thain, now semi-retired owns PT Engines LLC in North Berwick where he specializes in engines for commercial fishing boats. Vaughan is a truck driver for Shaw’s Supermarkets.
This is a quote from www.fastestpontiacsever.com page featuring Vaughan, “Michael Vaughan and Phil Thain Sr; Just a couple of old guys trying to have fun. Trying to keep the car as old
school as we can, go as fast as possible, and still be able to drive it to and from the track. With time, and money
we will be making improvements with the hopes of moving down in the ET clubs.”
Vaughan made an open invitation to Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac (BOPS) owners to join him at Oxford Plains Dragway August 20 for the first Battle of the BOPS. In addition to the drag racing he would like to see fellow BOPS owners to be a part of an impromptu car show at the event.
I was unable to attend the Saturday events due to a prior commitment and am unsure of how Vaughan made out at the event. I will attempt to get that information when available.
One of Racing’s Characters
Jimi Heyder of Vermont is one of those people that provide spice in motorsports. His personality, though a bit coarse, exudes a charm that makes you want to like him and listen to some of his tales all the while wondering if any of those same tales may have acquired some height.
I met Jimi on Friday at Loring as he was going throughout the motorcycle tech inspection line with his 250 cc Heyder/Suzuki. He was livid about not being allowed to compete at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in June.
This was to be his twentieth race up the 14,000 foot mountain located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was to race the electric Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) motorcycle, however, the entry was not accepted. The race organizers said they were cutting back on motorcycle entries. Heyder figured that may have had something to do with the deaths of two motorcycle racers in recent years.
Heyder said he was likely going to race in Europe instead after being asked to ride for an undisclosed team across the pond.
Heyder runs a shop in East Randolph, Vermont specializing in custom builds, bodywork, racing, painting, procurement, and transportation of cars and motorcycles.
Bryan Searles Racing (BAS) and JRT Customs Tune Up at Thundering Valley
Bryan Searles traveled with another kart racing team from the County, JRT Customs from Caribou to try out his new Junior Champ Kart at Thundering Valley Saturday. The practice sessions gave all four karts a chance to test and tune in preparation for the season openers at not only Spud Speedway but an assortment of central and southern Maine venues.
BAS Racing and JRT Customs had planned to race the next day at Richmond Karting Speedway, however, rain forced postponement of the scheduled points race.
Up Date on Maine Man Featured in Career Episode
I received word from Travis Elliot, who I featured in my career episodes last spring, about his latest ventures with Roush Industries in Livonia, Michigan. Elliot you may recall was the team leader for the University of Maine at Orono’s Formula SAE effort in 2012-2013.
My students and I had the opportunity to assist the UMO SAE team with some minor fabrication and a toured their facility. Elliot from Mount Vernon, Maine now living in Ann Arbor, Michigan was the contact person at the campus.
Upon graduation he went to work for Honda USA in Ohio then landed his current job at Roush Industries where he was the front and rear suspension engineer for the new medium truck that went into production in 2015 (F650/750).
Elliot said, ” I was the front and rear suspension engineer for the new medium truck for Ford (F650 and F750) that went into production last year. It is the new main fleet large vehicle for U-Haul and was voted best new medium truck of 2015! ”
“I am a chassis design engineer and I’m working on another (larger) truck program for another customer (sorry can’t say who).”
We wait in anticipation to see what the young man will be coming out with next. He is a good example of a young person who set his mind on working his way into the motorsports world. Though not currently involved with racing, that is one of Elliot’s career goals.
Chaparral Camaro a Thing of Beauty
For me a race car is often much better looking than street cars. Maybe it is the raw simplicity of function. Sometimes it is it’s singularity of purpose. I was reading one of the several motorsports newsletters I subscribe to when lo and behold there was an article on the 1970 Camaro that was raced in the Trans Am Series.
The Camaro was a newest version released in 1970. Roger Penske driver Mark Donahue won the 1969 Trans Am title in a Camaro, however, they were lured over to the American Motors camp in 1970 to run the AMC Javelin leaving Chevrolet in a bind.
The search narrowed down to the Smokey Yunick team based out of Daytona Beach, Florida and the JIm Hall Chaparral team in Midland, Texas. Hall was chosen by Chevy and received three body shells to build the cars from. Only one of the original Camaros still exists.
The Chaparral Camaro was a change from the mid-engine race cars that Chaparral was known for. Although the Camaro was out powered by the Mustangs and Javelin Ed leslie put the car on the pole at Mid Ohio and Vic Elford won at Watkins Glen.
The car finished in the top 10 in every race. The final points standings had driver Jim Hall in sixth. In addition to Leslie, Elford, and Hall the car was also driven by Joe Leonard.,
Until next week…
Let’s go racing.
Soli Deo Gloria