Tag Archives: Harris Hill Road

VooDoo Racing – Versatile Performance Miata

I met an interesting Miata owner/racer, with a specially setup Miata, who drove all the way up from Corpus Christi, Texas.  This was John, at that SEA Track Attack HPDE (high performance driver education) event way back last May at Harris Hill Road (H2R).

John's 1995 Mazda Miata on H2R grid, discussing racing line strategy with friend Jim

VOODOO nameplate base of the Mazda Miata rear deck spoiler

Rear view of John's 1995 Mazda Miata - check out that racing spoiler & diffuser!

John’s Miata is a 1995 model that has been modified to “play” in one of the NASA Time Trial classes.  This is based on power to weight settings per each class.  He participates at these types of events at MSR Houston (north of Houston, TX) & Motorsport Ranch (at Cresson, TX – SE of  Fort Worth), among others.  John is definitely committed to this, as he drives (no trailer for him) to all these events.

The cockpit of this racing, but still street legal, 1995 Mazsda Miata

John makes do on his trips in his somewhat stripped out Miata interior.  Corpus Christi, is in South Texas – that’s at least a 5 to 7 hour drive, respectively, to these 2 tracks.  He even participated at an event at VIR (VIRginia International Raceway) – yes, with this Miata!

At MSR Houston they have Track Day events.  Here’s a Spec Miata (not John’s car) doing a lap at speed on that track:

As you can see, John’s Miata is not stock, but it’s not a Spec Miata, either.  Here’s a general overview of his car’s modifications & additions:

  • simple suspension with KYB shocks
  • upgraded anti-sway bars
  • handcrafted front splitter (above 100MPH it really helps with the stability – it’s simply aluminum plate)
  • handcrafted rear wing & diffuser

Another more direct shot of that rear deck racing spoiler & diffuser!

  • Link Engine Management system – a standalone control of engine ECU

Link Engine Management, the dash mounted ECU controller - John can make changes on the fly!

  • turbo

The engine bay of this street legal, but racing capable, 1995 Mazda Miata

John’s friend Jim’s RS32 car is in the shop.  So, at this day’s event, he was occupied with advising John, to assist him with performing better on the track.  With the changing weather on this day, that was helpful.  John was well prepared – he had both dry & wet track tires.  He was able to drive at speed in all track conditions.

Dry track tire/wheel combo - Toyo Proxes RA1/15" alloy wheelWet track tire/wheel combo - Dunlop Direzza DZ 101/15" painted alloy wheel

VOODOO Racing Solutions (VRS), John’s business, does motorsports enthusiasts suspension, turbo & engine work.

VOODOO Racing Solutions - John's Automotive Performance Specialty Shop

Here’s another business endeavor John is involved in…

VOODOO Garage - Clothing Co. Another related business of John's

These are some of the numbers John’s Time Trial Miata can achieve – these are NICE:

  • @ 9lbs boost 205 WHP / 190 foot pounds of torque
  • @ 11lbs boost 238 WHP / 218 foot pounds of torque

Here’s visual proof of some of those numbers!

John @ speed !

Locally, John & his friends like to compete in autocross at Waldron Field, an old airstrip, north of Corpus Christi.  Also, in addition to all the above, John participates in REDLINE Time Attack track events.  Below you can see his proof!

John showing some track "history" & the livery from REDLINE Time Attack Competition

Racing Ready is impressed by John’s amateur racing enthusiast “resume”!  He is an inspiration to all of us, wannabes racers or otherwise.  We need to focus, as John does, to counter-attack our many other time & life commitments holding us back from completely pursing our racing dream.

Thanks, John, and keep on racing!!!

Dan

H2R Crew Goes AutoXing, Plus – Part 2 (Miata)

Here’s just a little bit about the second car brought by the one of the members of the Harris Hill Road (H2R) crew. It had been at least a year since Eric Beverding, Operations Manager at Harris Hill Road, had autocrossed.

He brought along his dark grey 2008 Mazda MX-5 (Miata) with only 3k miles on it.  I did a ride-along with him on the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5 course.  It was the first time I had experienced the NC Miata chassis.  It was very tight, quiet & controlled, & even a little roomier.

Eric had a great time, followed by the H2R After Hours party…

All had a good time, as well as numerous lead & follow hot laps.

Racing Ready is hot on good laps, too

Dan

H2R Crew Goes AutoXing – Part 1 (Autobianchi)

I’ve written many posts here about Harris Hill Road (H2R) in conjunction with their road course track & related events.  At the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5, Bo Rivers & his crew came to autocross with 2 very different cars.

The first car is a fun little car I consider as a sort of the automotive equivalent of a mascot of H2R, the 1974 Autobianchi A112 Abarth.

This fun little car is always the center of attention, wherever it goes.  There was no exception of this at the SPOKES Autocross #5 event.  This Italian thoroughbred is all stock & very clean.

The only slight modification was cutting the front coil springs a bit to lower it.  Also, Bo described for me their solution to control the rear suspension travel.  They were not able to source a rear anti-sway bar that would work with the transverse-mounted single rear leaf spring.  Bo came up with the idea of a rear anti-sway strap, the $5.00 solution to cure the roll problem.  It looks just fine & works as intended.

I did a ride-along through the SPOKES SMA autocross course with Pierce.  It’s a fun handling car.  One secret is that you have to continually “row” through the gears to keep within the torque band (and also deal with FWD handling issues).

At the H2R track, they have an ongoing competition with the Autobianchi.  Members can compete for the Autobianchi record & bragging rights.  What is done is you take the car out on the course in one direction.  Then after completing 1 lap, you turn around & take the car around the track in the opposite direction.  The cumulative time is posted on the wall of the H2R Club House, for all the see & admire…

Racing Ready enjoys fun vintage competition cars – tomorrow will be the 2nd car…

Dan

Fun Corvette Takes Hot Laps at H2R – Part 2

There was another enthusiastically driven Corvette at the SEA Track Attack at Harris Hill Road.  Bob’s been an active participant this past year that I’ve been documenting regional amateur racing.  Bob has brought his head turning Lister Replica Racer to many past autocross & HPDE (high performance driver education) events.

At this event Bob did not disappoint, bringing his 1999 FRC (Fixed Roof Coupe) Corvette C5.  There is an interesting tie-in from yesterday’s featured Corvette – Bob’s Corvette was previously owned by Jeff.  It was interesting to see them compare notes.

Unlike Jeff’s Corvette, which is relatively stock, Bob’s car has a number of significant modifications & upgrades, some completed by Bob & some by Kevin.  Here’s what’s noticeably different from stock:

  • MTI Racing Stage 1 Engine Upgrade – to allow better/freer breathing & improved throttle response (This car was dyno’d at 420HP, measured at the wheels!  Jeff did this when he was this car’s owner.)

  • the suspension has been completely changed out with that of a Z06 Corvette (Bob completed this over the past winter off season)

One of the “highlights” of this event was a mid afternoon heavy rain & lightening storm.  Bob did just fine in the morning, but was not happy to venture out on the track while it was still drying.  Due to the design of the H2R track, by Bo Rivers, the track was pretty much dry within an hour.  Dedicated Hoosier racing slick tires made the damp running laps an adventure Bob did not want to participate in.  He was able to venture back out on the dry, but green, track later and had more fun.

Bob really enjoys responding to his “racing Jones” on weekends.  It’s great that he is also able to balance this fun activity with his time with family & career.  Also, believe it or not, Bob has been able to get 32MPG on the highway – sounds like you can have your cake & eat it, too!

Racing Ready is dedicated to following & documenting those responding to their racing urges.

Dan

Fun Corvette Takes Hot Laps at H2R – Part 1

Jeff is a tried & true Corvette enthusiast.  I met him & his car at the SEA Track Attack event at H2R.  I was introduced to him by fellow SASCA member, Bob, the Lister Replica owner I’ve written up here.  That red Corvette that Bob was campaigning on this day was originally owned by Jeff.

Bob so missed the power of the car that he sold to Bob, that he later purchased this 2004 C5 model Corvette that he brought with him to run hot laps at H2R.

Kevin has only upgraded a few items on his Corvette:

  • the shifter
  • higher performance aftermarket brake rotors & pads
  • but the engine & the remaining drivetrain are stock

This car is part of limited edition run, #572 out of 2025 built.  The series is – Commemorative 24 Heures Du Mans 2 GTS Wins.

Jeff enjoyed his morning laps.  Since he had Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, the wet laps were actually challenging fun, as well.

Jeff appreciates the availability of the Harris Hill Road track & its high caliber, smooth surface.

Racing Ready is there to capture your racing moments.

Dan

Highly Regarded Vintage Racer(s) at H2R

Awesome vintage cars show up at the darnedest places.  At the April 2009 The Drivers Edge event at Harris Hill Road, I saw a RHD (right hand drive) 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype.  The owner said he wasn’t quite sure if the year was correct.

Here’s the serial number for those curious & knowledgeable to research & check out.

The owner was busy & not talkative, so I just took pictures.  Therefore, I have no story at all on this beautiful racing relic of the past…sorry.  But, I just couldn’t keep these pictures of this treasure to myself.

The owner said that this classic racer was a handful to drive, compared to modern racers, but 3 times as fun. 🙂

Also of note at Harris Hill Road is vintage of another sort – the rolling chassis/body of H2R’s 24 Hours of LeMons Bo River’s Special.  This “prepared” Toyota Corolla is for sale & posted on Craig’s List.  No, the motor is not for sale as it was the best part of that rolling racebed of technology.  That motor is being preserved for some other project, I think…

There is never a question of racing equipment variety at Harris Hill Road.

Racing Ready is always on the lookout for it!

Dan

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…

Dan