September 2, 2018
In pursuit of “World’s Fastest Corvette”
I believe the world’s fastest production bodied Corvette is the Vinson & Allison machine at 278.52 miles per hour (mph) at the five-mile Bonneville Salt Flats. Northwood, New Hampshire’s Jason White wants that title and plans to do it on the mile and a half at a future Loring Timing Association event. His 267.422 mph speed set Saturday goes a long way toward accomplishing that goal.
Since setting the LTA fastest speed for cars at 258 this summer at the Maine Event in July, White has added an improved air intake and 100 horsepower nitrous shot. The record speed this week did not have the full nitrous shot.
From 267 mph to 60 mph
With incredible horsepower being the “Big Show” at the speed trials typically, I noticed there were several low displacement bikes looking for speed at or near the speed limit on County roads.
One such racer is Brendan Malone, Suffield, Connecticut whose goal was to run 70 mph in the mile. His racer is a 1972 Suzuki TS50 moped which he rescued from the trash heap when his neighbor was throwing it away.
Malone, an automobile technician by trade, got the bike running which allowed several of his nieces and nephews to learn how to ride a motorcycle. That was fine until they outgrew the bike. Malone wondered what to do with his Suzuki moped.
Land speed racing seemed to be on Malone’s mind as he grew up in Suffield. He and his buddies would drive to Lebanon Valley Dragway in Lebanon, New York for some organized drag racing. This plus his land speed racing interest plus being inspired by the movie “The World’s Fastest Indian” got him thinking about racing the Suzuki.
“I did not know there were actually standing mile events that did this,” said the 39-year-old Malone. “In my head I only pictured Bonneville. Someone said, ‘I think there’s a place in Ohio that does land speed racing'”.
Malone said,” I first raced at Loring last fall at the Harvest Event. Before that I was racing only with the East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) at Ohio. When they moved the race to Arkansas, I went to one event (a 22 hour drive from his Connecticut home). Unfortunately I seized the engine and got no records. It was a long trip with no rewards.”
He ran the stock engine for a couple of years and figured, “If you can’t beat them join them” swapping the stock Suzuki engine and transmission with a 1999 Aprilia RS 50 engine and transmission.
“I found somebody selling a used engine,” Malone said. “[The engine swap} increased my speed tremendously by 18 mph!”
Malone’s Suzuki/Aprilia runs the altered class. He set his personal best at Loring in 2017 at the Harvest Event, 68.6 mph. His goal this year was to get to 70 mph. Though that goal was not met (he ran 67.4 mph) he will definitely be back in 2019.
Looking toward that goal he said, “I’ve got a lot of options. I have got many carburetor setups, sprocket changes, etc. Yesterday I tried a little bit here; a little bit there. Then I would make a run and went with what works. What you think on paper is going to be different when tried. Anyone who is going to try something like this is going to learn on the fly. I plan on doing this for a very long time.”
Malone is married to Gena who does not like to go the speed trials since watching her husband makes her nervous. She is, however, completely supportive of her husband’s efforts.
50 ccs has got him hooked
While driving home from checking out Loring Timing Association session Thursday, I met Douglas and Carol Binder from Ithaca, New York. They were just arriving at the venue with their racer strapped to the back of their Chevy Volt similar to how one might carry a pedal bike.
The next day I looked them up at the LTA event. They were getting ready to leave and take a leisurely drive along Maine’s scenic coast on their way home to New York. Electrical glitches and broken parts ended their record-setting attempt.
Binder, an electrical engineer who works with computers, said, ” I have been dabbing with bikes since the 70s. I decided in 2015 that I wanted to pursue a question I had in the late 70s: how fast can I make a moped go?”
“I bought a 1977 Puch Maxi 50cc single speed moped and started preparing it for land speed racing. That fall I set a speed of 61.2mph at ECTA. I continued to develop the bike and this spring made an inertial dyno out of an old large electric motor and three 45 pound free weights to help quantify my changes.”
“I made the fairing after learning how to do Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) on a computer to evaluate different designs. I also had to learn how to do the fiberglass work. It seemed to gain me 3-4 mph.”
“Today (Friday) I set a speed of 62.9mph. For most of the day, this was the fastest time for the two 50cc bikes. Soon after I packed my bike up, my friend and competitor (Brendan Malone) set a time of over 63 mph, but that wasn’t on a single speed moped.”
“I came to Loring after Wilmington Ohio was shut down but I really enjoyed Loring. Great people and lots of runs. I’ll be back.”
Ryan Messer, Harvey, New Brunswick, is youngest winner of McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250
Ryan Messer, only 19 years old, became the youngest person to win Speedway 660’s biggest event, the 18th annual McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 Sunday evening. Messer is in only his second season in the Pro Stock Division at the Geary Woods, New Brunswick track.
Messer, driving the family owned RYAN Motorsports Pro Stock, led 17 laps finishing ahead of Steve Halpin, St. John, N.B. and third place Lonnie Sommerville, Barnesville, N.B. The win netted $15,850 the biggest purse and biggest win of the young man’s racing career.
Former Spud Speedway racers Ian Rasmussen, New Denmark, N.B. finished tenth and Robert Tomlinson, Arthurette, N.B. placed twelfth.
More about Messer’s win in a future episode of UpNorth Motorsports.
Ride with a Pro at Club Motorsports
Unfortunately when I am a passenger in a race car or small airplane my stomach gets queasy. Such was the case when I had the privilege of being chauffeured at high-speed around Club Motorsports’ new 2.5 mile road course in Tamworth, New Hampshire. My chauffeur, track supervisor for Club Motorsports, Jason Brackett, Lyman, Maine.
I fought the queasy feeling and enjoyed the high-speed three lap tour of New England’s newest road course. Brackett showed me the line and how one would drive the course at racing speeds. I am unsure of our speed, though I am quite certain we were over the century mark on the fastest sections of the track.
The road course 40 feet wide with a mix of long straightaways, left and right turns both uphill and down. My favorites were the right hand turn 6 after the back straight. Turn six lead to a steep downhill left turn 7 followed by a tight turn 7 which lead to turn 9A and B before heading back up hill.
The series of turns reminded me of a giant version of the “Corkscrew” turn Laguna Seca in California. I was pressed down in my seat as we flew down the hill and hugged the apex at 7 with Brackett losing no time at all accelerating at 8 where maximum g forces occurred. Who needs a roller coaster ride when you have a guided tour with Brackett?
The track was finished July 21, 2016 when the road and karting track were paved. Oh did I mention there is a kart track?
The track required 900,000 cubic yards of cut/fill. 150,000 cubic yards of ledge was drilled, blasted, and processed for gravel all which was used on site. Over 7 miles of drainage was added to keep the track from pooling during rain events.
Almost a mile of special safety fence was installed and five miles of three-high guard rail. Areas needing more protection features tire wall made from over 25,000 tires. Spare replacement tire wall is kept in a maintenance lot for quick access.
Brackett told me that the 28,500 tons of asphalt was a special mix requiring the local asphalt processing plant to learn how to make the motorsports mix. A special high temp polymer required more heat than a typical mix. This caused the plant to actually catch fire a couple of times during the learning process.
You notice immediately this special asphalt while on the track. It is more grippy and does not have the soft look of a typical Department of Transportation mix. Brackett noted that it has held up well over the past two winters.
The track was designed to FIA Grade 2 certification standards for safety though the track has no plans to host an event of that magnitude. A state-of-the-art timing and video system is in place.
After three laps, Brackett brought me to the highest point on the support vehicle access road. We had a stunning view of nearby Mount Chocorua as well as the surrounding Sandwich and Presidential Mountain range. Made me want to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch, at a race track no less.
A few days before I visited the track Dodge had rented the track to debut some of their 2019 SRT lineup. I notice the massive black marks on pit lance indicating that trip was not for static display only.
I wished I was going to be in the area the next week when the folks from Dodge returned to the track for use of the cars by journalists.
Track Supervisor Jason Brackett
When I heard Jason’s name the first time and learned he was from Hiram area, I wondered if he was related to the Brackett’s that race at Oxford Plains Speedway. As far as I could determine those folks might be distant relatives.
A Massabesic High School graduate, Brackett attended the Sanford Vocational Technical School while in high school. Upon graduation he went to Wyotech in Blairsville, Pennsylvania majoring in Basic Mechanics and High Performance Engines and Fabrication.
It may be that owning a 1985 VW GTI in high school may have influenced his job selection after graduation from Wyotech. He went to work for a Audi dealer and moved later to Florida to work for Champion Audi. He worked for the same group who were racing the Audi R8.
Brackett spent about thirteen years working in various capacities for VW Audi Porsche. When his dad, Scott, was diagnosed with cancer, he moved back to New England, settling in the Concord, New Hampshire area.
He went to work for Tim McLean at TJM Motorsports/Dahlback Motors. Brackett worked in conjunction with Hans Dahlback, who lived in Borlange, Sweden. Dahlback who passed away in 2017 at 58 years of age, was known for his 500-800 horsepower cars.
Brackett was working on the side as a journalist for My Life at Speed. He did a story about Club Motorsports and picked up some of their work such as photography and writing. He slowly worked his way into a job as the Memberships and Partnerships leader with Club Motorsports in 2015.
“What does a typical day at Club Motorsports look like as an instructor during the race season”, I asked Brackett while we were talking in the classroom in the five acre paddock area?
“I will see a range of students from members who have never been on a race course before all the way up to people who race professionally in the Trans Am Series”, replied Brackett.
He gives instruction in the classroom then they get on the track. “I like to do a ‘lead/follow session’. That way they can visually see the line.”
“After that I like to go ‘right seat” with them. That way we can fine tune what they saw. Do not want them to be ‘herky jerky’.
“I remind them not to rush into the corner. Most new drivers I find are not using the brakes hard enough. They underestimate what their car can do.”
“The most common question I get is, ‘ Is the car going to flip’? I remind them that unless it catches on the edge, you will just spin”
Brackett can be reached at Club Motorsports simply by emailing him at jason@ClubMotorsports.com.
Brackett has been married to Jennifer for eight years and has two children Arwen (4 years old) and Ella (11 months). He makes the 35 minute commute from their home in Hiram, Maine.
Let’s go racing,
Soli Deo Gloria