Tag Archive: road racing

A second video from the in-car on John Baucom’s #86 Baucom Motorsports/Roadraceparts.com Mustang


Mosport Trans Am 2012. Footage from John Baucom’s #86 Baucom Motorsports/Roadraceparts Mustang.


For the past several years we have had the pleasure to be involved in the Trans-Am Series.

Baucom Motorsports Trans-Am Mustang

Baucom Motorsports Trans-Am Mustang sponsored by Roadraceparts.com

We are proud to announce that we are once again partnering with Baucom Motorsports as they contest the 2013 Trans-Am Series crown. John Baucom who drives the car is a veteran competitor in the series and we look forward to helping him achieve mutual success in the coming year.

As both the team owner as well as the driver John knows the value of reliability and service. And in his words : “As a professional racer I push my car to the limit.  RoadRaceparts.com provides the parts and knowledgeable service to keep my car and team in top condition.”

The series opener will be March 3 in Sebring Florida. The 11 race series will compete at some of the classic road racing courses in both the US and Canada.

Please visit us on the web at http://www.roadraceparts.com or contact us by phone at (804) 921-0902.

So, its almost the middle of February now, and the racing season is just about to get started. Now before anyone gets too excited I know that in some of the warmer climes they have already done a few races.

Baucom Motorsports Mustang

John Baucom and the Baucom Motorsports Mustang. You may recognize the name on the hood.

So what are your plans for the year? Are you going to compete this year, and if so to what extent? Seems like quite a few cars have been built over this past winter. If reports are accurate there were quite a few TA2 cars built. Whether all on them will race in the Trans-Am remains to be seen. Certainly there are other venues that they could be raced in. In addition at least two chassis builders are building cars which could be eligible to compete in either SCCA GT1 or Trans-Am.

Both of these are good signs and maybe it means that either the economy is doing better or people have gotten tired of sitting on their money and are going to come out and play again. We intend to put forth a stronger effort this year than we did last year on multiple levels.

BTW: before I forget, I spoke with a professional chassis builder last week about his plans. He is going to submit drawings of a new chassis to a sanctioning body. Why is that news? Because currently there is only one approved chassis for the class. I wish him well, he does good work and competition is always good.

Dont forget to give us a call or email if you need anything for your car. Check us out at http://www.roadraceparts.com. If you dont see what you’re looking for we are constantly adding stuff. Brake Caliper seals and kits for Alcon and brembo will be added today, Performance Friction in the next little while.

Safety Spring for Centerlok type wheel nut. In stock today

Safety Spring for Centerlok type wheel nut. In stock today required in the Trans-Am series. Their price $10.00 each. Our price $9.50


The has been a fairly interesting thread over on the GT1DA.com website recently. In the forum section an individual posted that, in essence, it was time for the SCCA’s GT1 class to be returned to the amateurs. That the class had been hijacked by the Trans-Am racers and had become so skewed that no amateur had a chance of winning. In the article he, to my surprise, named Tony Ave and Jim Derhaag as being the main perpetrators of this theft.

While I found it a little difficult to follow, it appears that he had three main complaints with the rules. One. The weight breaks were such that you had to have a 358 engine to compete. Two. The cost and complexity, of adjustable sway bars. Thirdly. The cost of a three link rear suspension, where the upper link extends up into the driver compartment.

Then, in a move that I really dont understand, he complained about the cost of a HANS device and the requirement that it be made mandantory. These were all items which he suggested should be rescinded for the good of the sport and the financial well being of the competitors.

Now I have no idea how you feel about this matter, or if you even care. To me however it appears to be so same old argument. “Racing is too expensive for the average competitor, and something needs to be done about it”. And you know that is correct. However, there is no turning back, once the technology is out there you cant do a Vulcan mind meld and force people to unlearn it. Short of that its probably a thing where if you cant afford it, you need to look for an alternative.

I do think that the SCCA and similar groups should examine ways to reduce the costs to the competitors. At the same time we dont want GT racing to become a spec series. If you really want to see out of control costs look no further than Nascar. There with basically a spec car series, teams are spending increasing amounts for really small returns. Why? because in a spec class it only takes a small advantage to seperate the winners from the losers.

In GT road racing, we are fortunate to have vintage racing. There the older cars can still be competitive with their peers long after their time of glory has passed them by. Maybe instead of trying to keep the times from changing, those who would advocate that, should give vintage a try.

But to quote Dennis Miller: “thats only my opinion. I could be wrong”.


As many of you the V8 StockCar Series has been around for, I believe 9 years. That makes it one of if not the longest consecutively running road racing series in this country. As I mentioned we will be doing a series of articles on all the respective classes in this series.

But before that I want to give a shout out to their season opener next weekend at Sebring. If you get the chance, get down there and check it out. They put on a good show. I’m upset because I want to see the tube frame Falcon that Tommy Riggins built!

Crane Cams V8 StockCar Series kicks off 2012 at Sebring

The Crane Cams V8 StockCar Road Racing Series will kick off its’ ninth season at Historic Sebring International Raceway February 11 & 12 running with the Central Florida Region SCCA. The Sebring event will be the first round of the “Winter Heat”, with round two the following week at Palm Beach. Some thirty plus competitors in our four classes are expected to compete for points, bragging rights, and prizes. The Porterfield Enterprises V8 GT-1 classes features some outstanding drivers and machines such as four time series champion Dave Machavern in his Heritage Motorsports, Tommy Riggins built, silhouette 1963 Ford Falcon, multi time V8 Series winner Charles Wicht in his Rocketsports Corvette, Larry Beebe in a Tony Ave prepped ex Trans Am Mustang, Ray Webb in a Riggins Chassis Corvette, V8 winner Robert Borders in his C6 Corvette, George Prentice in his winged Monte Carlo and more.
The LG Motorsports V8 GT-2 class should be a battle between the Goldin Brothers ex Grand Am Rolex Mazda RX8 driven be Keith Goldin, Ed Braswell’s
ex World Challenge Corvette, and the giant killing Mazda RX7 of Bill McGavic. The Goldin Brothers’ Mazda was constructed by Tommy Riggins and competed for a number of years in Grand Am, including several Rolex 24 appearances. Braswell has a very fast Doug Rippie Built Corvette and he will be tough on his home course. McGavic led the class points battle most of last year, but was unable to make the ARRC championship race costing him a chance at the title. Despite being way underpowered compared to the big bore cars in the class, McGavic cut competitive lap times using the nimble handling and great brakes of his lightweight racer.In the Howe Racing V8 GTA class, 2011 Champ Randy Walker will be on hand in his brand new Howe Racing built Camaro. V8 StockCar rookie of the year Cameron Lawrence will be bring out his Mike Cope Racing prepared Impala. Cameron has been competitive at every track he has raced at during the past year and grabbed a podium finish in the TA2 class at the Trans Am finale at Road Atlanta. Georgia’s Ricky Sanders is entered in his PitBoxes.com Monte Carlo and he will make some noise. Alabama’s Bobby and Roger Reuse will fly their beautiful new ARP bodied Camaro’s and either is fully capable of taking the win. Veteran stock car road racer John Goodson will have the only Ford in the class in his 2010 Ford Fusion. Newcomer Mike Wilson will bring out his ex ASA Delco racer to test the the 12 hour circuit. Hall Robertson returns in his #62 Farner Barley & Associates late model type Monte Carlo. The spoiler in this class this weekend could very well be Tony Ave, the reigning SCCA Trans Am Champion, who will shoe the #167 Boden Masonry Monte Carlo owned by Larry and Debbie Beebe.

In the PitBoxes.com V8 SPO class Paul Breehne will debut his Ford Mustang, actually the same championship winning chassis from last year rebodied and prepared by Mike Breault at PMS Motorsports. Expect a good battle between Breehne and Lee Arnold in his Impala late model for the class honors.

In addition to the Crane Cams V8 Series points event the weekend will also feature the Nordic Camaro Cup. The Camaro Cup is a European Professional series that includes Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnusson and Grand Am driver Nic Jonnson in tube frame Camaro’s similar to our V8 GTA cars.

The Sebring weekend will be a spectator event and non SCCA members will be admitted for a very nominal charge.
The following weekend the series will move to Palm Beach International Raceway with the Historic Sportscar Racing group as will the Camaro Cup Series.

The V8 Series thanks it partners, especially our new title sponsor Crane Cams. Other partners are:

SCCA, Porterfield Enterprises, LG Motorsports, Howe Racing, PitBoxes.com, GoPro, RaceTalkRadio.com, Sunoco, Hoosier, Goodyear, FiveStar, RaceCar Engineering, RacingJunk.com, Roehrig-Enders, GrassRoots Motorsports Magazine, SafeRacer

First let me say I do not know Patrick Head at all. Therefore I am absolutely not qualified to speak about him, and I wont. That said I have followed his career indirectly as it pertains to Williams F1.

Years ago as I  followed F1, Williams wasn’t my favorite team for a number of reasons, then in the era of Michael, I saw them as somewhat of the villian against my hero in his Ferrari. Lately however I have found myself increasing pulling for them as their fortunes have flagged. Maybe its that root for the underdog thing. And of course, because Patrick head and Frank Williams “were” Williams, I was rooting for them as well. But now he’s moving on to other pursuits, the alternative energy field, I understand. And that caused me to think a bit. (always a dangerous habit of mine at best).

In all those years, I bet not once did the crowd cheer for Patrick Head, or any of his peers. They are not the ones whose name is called in victory circle, who kisses the beauty queen, or unless something goes horribly wrong, gets their name in the paper.

But it is men, and women, like him that have made todays motorsports what it is today. They are the ones who put the speed in racing cars, and for that matter make street cars that at 100,000 miles we think of as just being broken in.

NOT ONE of those hero drivers, and or crew chiefs, can make their car go any faster than the laws of physics allow. AT THEIR BEST they can only come as close as possible to the limits that are imposed by the design. Who was responsible for the straightline speed of the McLaren a couple of years ago? Was it Lewis Hamilton, or the engineer that thought up and pursued the “F duct”? And the  jump in downforce despite the conventional wisdom that the rules had reduced it? Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, or some engineer that created the “blown diffuser”.

So what is the point of all this? Nothing, no more than this. If it wasn’t for the people, like Patrick Head, and the unsung, untold millions before him, we would still be drawing on the walls of caves. And there will be millions after him pushing the rock further up the hill. But for me, I just wonder who is out there tonight working on their dream, the idea that’s going to turn motorsport on its ear. And I hope I’m around to see it.

Scott Murphy at VIR 2008

Just a quick note to announce that the agreement to help provide information on the V8 Stock Car Series. As many of you know this one of, if not the longest consecutively running, non club, road racing series in the country. This will be the ninth racing year, and despite the economic conditions it appears to be stronger than ever. Currently they have four classes, and in addition will be running with the Nordic Camaro Series. These cars, based in Sweden, and featuring at least two ex F1 drivers, promise to put on an outstanding show.

So beginning later this week we will be running an article each week on one of their classes, as well as the rules, car types etc. Race results and links to associated articles will come as appropriate. It ought to be an exciting season.

So I encourage you to check out their website at http://www.v8stockcar.com

Corvette in South America

Trotnow built Corvette

By now I’m sure most people have seen that the Trans-Am Series has released their 2012 race schedule. Eight races with the possibility of an additional two more.

Most of these tracks are at the traditional Trans-Am venues and are in the Eastern part of the U.S. as well as the annual trek to Mosport.

While I am sure that some people are disappointed that  VIR is not on the schedule, all in all it seems like a good schedule.

According to the press release that accompanied the announcement, reducing travel costs was a major goal. And supposedly this was reduced by about 40%. If so, this can only help the teams that continue to support this series.

So now people can begin to finalize their plans, arrange sponsorship, and of course get the cars ready.

I really think that this will be a turnaround year for the Trans-Am. The new mangement/owners group actually has skin in the game. And they have all been involved in it for years, so they know what works and what doesn’t.

One thing that I would personally like to see is more participation by the club racers who normally race at the tracks the series attends. While I know that the intimidation factor is there. Think of what great water cooler conversations it would generate.

So now we know. I look forward to seeing many of you at the tracks this year.

For years now one of the trademarks of a first class SCCA Trans-Am, or IMSA GTO car was the centerlok wheels. Just by a glance at the wheels you could tell who was a serious contender, or a pretender. Generally those wheels were made by BBS, although Jongbloed and a couple of others were occasionally seen.

What was the reason that the centerlok, more properly center knockoffs, rather than the almost universal 5 x 5 pattern wheels were used? Basically there were three reasons.
1. Unsprung weight. The suspension components and hubs were lighter than on an equivalent 5 x 5 assembly.

2. Suspension geometry. Most designers are proponents of the “zero scrub” design. This requires getting the wheel mounting flange as far outboard as possible. In other words a typical three piece centerlok front wheel will have a 1″ or 1.5″ outer rim half. Because of its spindle design a 5 x 5″ wheel has to use a wider outer rim half, perhaps 3.5″ or 4″.
3. Pit stops. With the single nut, the time to change tires was less. Admittedly this was the least important of the three factors.

But nothing is without drawbacks, and this is no exception. The price of a centerlok suspension assembly is far more than that of a 5 x 5. How much, did you say? Well it varies but it is hundreds of dollars per corner. Wheels for the 5 x 5 are far more readily available and at a fraction of the cost. And lastly since most races no longer require pit stops the speed of tire changing is pretty much irrelevant.

I should note that there is a hybrid design, used back in the 90’s by Peerless and a few others that adapted a 5 x 5 hub to use centerlok wheels. This was neither fish nor fowl, didn’t solve the geometry issue, and added about one pound of weight per corner.

So which is the right way to go? Depends on your wallet I guess. If money is the most important thing than by all means go with the 5 x 5. But if performance, and looking the part, are critical than the centerlok is still the way to go.