Last weekend was NASA’s big HyperFest race event at Virginia International Raceway, and Factory Five was well represented! Five Challenge Series drivers raced during the weekend, and customer John K. also drove his race-prepped GTM.
Challenge Series driver John George has posted a full recap of the event and has shared a bunch of photos and videos. Check it out below!
John wrote: “What a great weekend had by all! At the track Jim Schenck, Mike Tuck, John Kabacinski (GTMR), Eric Kostamaa, Jeff Whitney, Austin Nally (instructing/HPDE4) and I. Also visiting and staying in the RV was Dave Riha, former FFR Challenge Racer, my sister Ana, her husband Gerard, my Mom and Dad, Mihaela and John.
Friday weather was very interesting, raining one second, then sunny, back to rain, repeat. This caused havoc on all wanting to run test/tune with many opting to stay off the ever changing racetrack. I had rain tires and decided to weather the weather (no pun intended) and was running good when all on my own, spun and went off-track hitting a metal barrier in turn 3 backwards. This caused quite a lot of damage on the rear of the car! With broken fiberglass, bent metal, things needed mending, with the help of Jim and Dave and others we proceeded to straighten what was bent, and put back all the parts. Functionally everything was intact with the car, just cosmetic damages. It really shows the strength of this chassis to take a hit like that and only bend a couple of bars supporting the trunk floor. Working late into the night and early Sat AM the car was ready for practice Saturday morning!
Challenge Series racer Eric K.’s car sits in the pits waiting to go out and race.
Saturdays weather was nothing like Friday, sunny, 75-80deg, perfect to go racing. Qualifying had me on pole, followed by Jim, Eric, Mike and Jeff. Jeff’s car has not had the engine upgrade done yet, still pre-2012 power levels, and was getting valuable track time on VIR. The race started frantic as usual, starting in the first green wave based on time, saw me jump to the lead and hold it till the checkered flag. Jim 2nd, Eric 3rd, Mike 4th (was in 3rd but decided that going off-track and letting Eric have 3rd was better!) and Jeff 5th. Jim if had a couple more laps he would have passed me as my car bobbled for fuel at the end of the race. Fuel pickup issues still plagued me since last time, the new Holley Hydramat installed before the event did not solve my issues so research still must be done. After the race we had a nice sit down dinner with grilled meats, great time had by all.
Sunday brought another beautiful day with qualifying in the morning and race early in the afternoon. Jim’s car sprung a fuel cell leak after qualifying so he was forced to retire the car before the race. Qualifying had Jim on pole, followed by Eric, me, Mike and Jeff. My qualifying was hectic as my oil filter was loose leaking fluid and I had to go back into the pits to tighten the filter. John K. qualified ahead of Jim but decided better to not race as his transmission was having difficulties getting into 3rd gear with a transmission rebuild past due.
The race was long and saw me in the lead by turn 1, winning the race with Eric 2nd, Mike 3rd and Jeff 4th.
Looking forward for the next race at MidOhio June 5-7, 2015. Its shaping up to have great attendance by fellow FFR challenge drivers.”
Challenge Series driver Jeff W.’s #99 is ready to go.
Austin N’s Challenge Car (instructing/HPDE4)
Factory Five customer John K. raced his GTM during the weekend event.
John George gets ready to go out for the next race session.
Factory Five Director of R&D Jim Schenck gets ready to head out onto the track.
John heads over to pit lane for the start of the race.
John George (left) and Jim Schenck (right) have been racing together for more than 10 years.
John was in a minor accident during qualifying and worked over night to get the car ready for the morning.
The Factory Five community is always ready to lend a helping hand.
John’s car is ready to head out onto the track the next morning.