Tag Archives: H2R

Strictly European Autosport Track Attack

Today was the Strictly European Autosport Track Attack @ H2R (Harris Hill Road).

Like all HPDE (High Performance Drivers Education) events, this one was well attended & well run.  Harold, a very active member of the Strictly European Autosport club coordinated & facilitated this event.  There were drivers & cars driven (or trailered) from Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin & all points in between.

There was a good variety of cars participating, and not all were “strictly European”.  All the drivers I spoke to were very friendly & honestly interested in Racing Ready.  I think I may have established the basis for some good future alliances.

Be sure to click on these images to enlarge - lots of details!

I found some unique cars & associated stories that I will be documenting here for your learning & enjoyment.  I came across some interesting people & car histories.  Continue to come back here & read more…

One thing different about today’s event was the weather.  In the mid afternoon a heavy rainstorm passed through with very nearby lightening.  Some of the guys went out on track right as the rain changed to a lighter drizzle, many changing to street (grooved, not slick) tires.  Some wanted to see how their car handled in the wet – the consensus?  It was not exactly a fun challenge to experiment with.

As is usual, the folks at Harris Hill Road were wonderful hosts for this event.  In addition, the lunch that was part of the event was catered by Milt’s Pit BBQ – a wonderful South/Central Texas plate of brisket, sausage, potato salad & beans, with refreshing ice tea.

Racing Ready is hungry for more of these kinds of events…


Performance SpeedTech, Keeping You on Track

Performance SpeedTech provides a very useful service to The Drivers Edge events.  At the recent The Drivers Edge high speed driving awareness school at H2R, their trailer was noticeably present on one side of the Harris Hill Road parking lot.  At first I wasn’t sure if this was the trappings of a super prepared student driver participant, or what.  So, I asked.  I ended up speaking with AJ Peterson, the Manager of Performance SpeedTech.

Performance SpeedTech provides a variety of services & other items, mostly responding to break/fix situations, to get the student’s vehicle back on the track in a timely manner, not specifically as a pro-active purchase outlet.

  • Hoosier tires, properly mounted & balanced
  • Performance Friction Brakes, with pads & rotors
  • Motor oil & other vital fluids for your performance car
  • Arai helmets
  • Cool shirts (they actually cool you under your racing suit!)
  • Race shoes
  • A variety of colors of racer’s tape
  • …and other items & services

Performance SpeedTech makes available these services at each of The Drivers Edge events, every month there is one.  They also are the resident on site pro shop at MotorSport Ranch, near Cresson, TX (just southeast of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex).

AJ is the Performance SpeedTech Sales Manager.  He has an extensive racing support background, working as a lead mechanic in the Trams_Am series.  He also specializes in Moton and JRZ shocks, as well as Stack Data Acquisition.  Here’s his PST business card.  Go ahead & give him a call if you want to take your competion car to the next level.

AJ explained that at these events, people don’t come by the trailer to simply buy stuff.   They are there for triage.  Their service is to respond to situations which decommission a car’s proper use, such as replacing a destroyed tire or spent brake rotors & pads.  Later they get referral jobs & follow-up business from drivers to better tune & balance their cars for the next high speed event, at their race shop.

Their mobile operation is quite complete.  They get things done properly that are absolutely needed by the weekend racing learner.  During the week they also tweak race car setups & alignment analysis.

Racing Ready wants to hook up a cooperative agreement with the likes of racing performance companies like Performance SpeedTech.  It is something I would like to work toward.


The Drivers Edge School at H2R

This report, about a recent The Drivers Edge school event, demonstrates that Racing Ready is revitalizing its approach – to provide information & resources for the reader to become a successful racing competitor.  This 2-day drivers’ school took place over the April 18-19, 2009 weekend at Harris Hill Road (H2R).

The Drivers Edge is a respected, affordable, high speed driving awareness experience, well-organized since 1995.  In this environment an amateur driver can learn & work at his pace to grow his “at speed” driving abilities.  There is both classroom instruction & plenty of track time.  Based on a driver’s experience (or a lack thereof), the student driver is placed in run groups by color.  Green, Blue, Yellow or Red – from inexperienced novice to those advanced enough to be ready to race.

The Novice & Intermediate students always start out with an instructor in the car (the vehicle is student provided).  You really have to prove you have learned the appropriate skill within your group, before you can advance to the next color group.  In this way you are building on a stable foundation of skill & demonstrated abilities.  I was told that many students are able to progress at least one run group level over the course of a weekend school.

I met and spoke with Rick Schwalenberg, The Drivers Edge President & founder.  Although he was very busy, he graciously took the time to visit with me.  He explained the basics of the  teaching/learning process that one goes through with The Drivers Edge.  He even proudly acclaimed that this is the only school that starts off Sunday morning with a prayer/church service.  This is a good indication of the sincere foundation Rick & this school is based upon.  Here’s what he has to say:

“Our events are presented in a fun and challenging way, with the most important element being safety. Our passion to teach performance driving is what keeps the customers coming back for more. Our goal is for everything drivers learn here to translate into better, and ultimately, safer driving everywhere—on the street and the track. God has truly blessed us with The Drivers Edge.”

Although I arrived late at this session (after attending SPOKES 2009 Autocross #4) I was quite impressed by the organization and professional attitude of the instructors and the way things were being run.  This was their first teaching event at H2R.  It sounds like they enjoyed working at this venue and will be back.  The following week there were going to go through a lessons learned review to improve the next school they conduct at H2R.  They also teach these same 2-day driving courses at other Texas road tracks, such as:

  • Texas Motor Speedway
  • Motorsport Ranch
  • Texas World Speedway
  • Eagle’s Canyon Raceway

This, obviously, is a Texas-based performance driving school.  But there are others throughout the States (and also internationally), teaching at this same professional level.  I plan to find out more of them to profile here.  This is all part of getting this site to be a well-rounded reference the the up & coming amateur racer.

Racing Ready enjoys the sport & skills learned through participating in autocross, but the next big step is participation in HPDEs (High Performance Driver Education events) like those put on by The Drivers Edge.  We need more of this!


P.S. – In talking with Rick, I told him that I’d like to become an instructor.  Without hesitation, he enthusiastically asked me to send him my teaching/racing creds!  Well whoops, I forgot to include the word someday…  I happily told him I’d take a raincheck on his offer.  Something to push forward to… 🙂

Nissan 350Z Racer Quest Continues

Yesterday, I started the description of Steve’s 350Z Touring edition Nissan sports car.  Little did I know he & his car were at the first event I attended & blogged about – small world.

Steve provided me plenty of information.  Let me logically present it to you here…

Steve’s racing bug bit when he started bracket racing in the 1/4 drag in Ennis, TX – at age 16.  He was on a team called Relentless Racing.  He says straight line racing is fun, but the real driver’s skill is in the curves.  I can’t agree more; I’d like to add that the curves need to go in both the left & right directions!

This has been Steve’s first full year doing autocrossing with both the SPOKES & SASCA clubs.  I’ll quote Steve some more:

My first event was a crash course to how to class your car properly. My second autocross for spokes I got first in Novice. My 3rd event I got first in Novice at SASCA. Then I won first a second time for SPOKES and another for SASCA, so I was kicked out of the Novice class for both groups.

Ludicrous Speed Racing is a team of guys that have given me valuable insights on how to drive. Ed (a newer Nissan 350Z), Wei (2000 Honda Prelude SH) , Shane (2000 Subaru 2.5RSC Impreza), and Jay (2003 Corvette Z06) are helping me through my first year. Those guys are great!

In the 2009 racing season Steven will be racing in B Stock for a company in Austin called Flocasts.  This company will be offering a website for autocrossers and car enthusiast a place to post their videos (sounds like a great future cross promotional opportunity!).  He will be traveling across America to promote grassroots motorsports and hopefully give local racers a place to gain national recognition.

Steven started at Harris Hill Road as a part-time corner worker last summer.  Once the business gained some traction, the management recognized his spirit & passion, and he was moved up to the track coordinator position.  Steven also does billing paperwork during the week.  In addition, he currently attends Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, as a management major with an entrepreneurial focus (a future business racer).

He says H2R has been a great place to work (boy, am I jealous!). Steven continues saying that Bo Rivers and Eric Beverding are the coolest bosses you could imagine to work for.  The laid back environment and positive attitudes make for a fun place to spend his days.

Autocross is where Steven plans to get his start.  Eventually he wants to move up to Pro Solo and Solo2 Nationals in the SCCA.  He also plans to compete in NASA time trials and super lap battles.  Steve finishes by saying:

After that, who knows! All I want to do is race, and race I do!

Here are some more details of Steven’s ride.  He’s added a Sparco Harness Bar that’s given him the added benefit of increasing the car’s chassis stiffness – he was both surprised & impressed.

In the “go” department he’s installed a K&N cold air intake FilterCharger, and a Cobb Tuning system.

One thing I enjoyed about Steven’s car was the throaty roar of its exhaust.  He’s put in an Invidia exhaust system.  It had the unique sound of a big angry cat, purring with a vengeance!  Very unique – it made you turn your head to see what was coming…

As to other improvements under the car, this past spring Steven went though a series of progressive modifications: D-Spec Tokico Adjustable Shocks (helps to better control the factory induced oversteer), Ground Control coilover springs & Eibach springs, upgraded swaybar, Cryo Rotors, Hawk Performance Plus brake pads & more.  Unfortunately, he warped the rear rotors at this autocross on 11/23/2008.

Steven adds:

Thanks for the site.  I appreciate the opportunity for exposure, I need all I can get (me too!).  It gives me something to do in class, and a heads up on the competition!

Racing Ready really appreciates Steven’s enthusiasm.  It would be great to partner up with him to help promote his cross-country racing experiences with Flocasts next racing season.


P.S. – Here’s the subsequest meeting information with Truong.

Nissan 350Z Owner On A Racer Quest

Steven is an upcoming racer with a plan.  I met him at the CBR PCA event at H2R back on 11/8/2008.  We talked briefly about his working at Harris Hill Road, being a student at Texas State and his autocrossing & track driving his 2003 Nissan 350Z Touring edition.

Quoting from the team website of Ludicrous Speed Racing that he’s a part of:

This is my 2003 Nissan 350z touring edition.  The touring model just means that I get all the luxury features, but no cool Brembos or STM.  This is my first year in autocross, but I plan to continue in TBS for the 09 season.  This car sees a lot of track time not only in autocross, but at Harris Hill Road and SAR.  The car handles great thanks to the Tokico D-spec 16 way adjustable shocks.  I also have a Nismo intake and Tanabe GF springs but I can’t use them just yet.  It ran a 13.6 at San Antonio Raceway.  My best lap time so far at Harris Hill clockwise is 1:38.6.  Future mods are Cobb tuning front swaybar, Tanabe exhaust and eventually some nice tires and rims.

These images were taken at Harris Hill Road in the winter & spring of this year:

I have a significant quantity of more pictures & information about Steven’s ride & his future goals in racing.  I will continue the next post with all this about Steven & more about his 350Z.  Stay tuned for more about Steven’s quest…

Racing Ready thanks you for your patience.  So tomorrow, for the rest of the story.