Finally we can come to an event with less drama…we only changed the suspension and the engines tune since we were last out in Willow Springs in February. The fact that we felt this is such a small change between rounds further highlights just how much we have done to get the car to this place.

A couple weeks before the event we took the #25 to Fontana to see how it runs at this track built for speed. Our car was built to handle, speed was the last priority. We were wonder-ing just how much the lack of power would hamper our ability to compete. We tested a few different configurations and then when Matt brought the car in after the fourth session for an adjustment we saw something odd. The front right tire was hanging at a very interesting angle. Our test day was done. Our aero package provided us the most stable plat-form for the Enduro race and the lack of speed was going to make us work at the sprint races but our lap times were indic-ative of track record lap times. It won’t be easy but we will be competitive if we can fix the car in time.

The suspension the car had come with finally gave up. It no longer wished to be a part of this program. Time to call our friend Ryan of BimmerSpeed who had previously mentioned he may have a MCS 2 way setup available. The shocks were sent to MCS overnight for a quick refresh. Actually MCS came through with a complete rebuild in record time and the week before the race the new suspension was on the car.

Next up was to address our engine tune, we were using a base tune from Epic but it produced a few more HP than we desired and forced us to add weight to the car in order to meet the class rules. We put the car on the dyno and 37 pulls later Randy of Epic had produced a tune specifically for our programs needs. We have detuned the car through a restrictor and the tune to keep us comfortably within the rules while also allowing us to run at our desired minimum weight.

2022 E2/ST5 CHALLENGERacing Schedule & Results
October 2021 ButtonwillowJan 2022 Buttonwillow—ST5 season openerFebruary 2022 Willow SpringsMarch 2022 California SpeedwayApril 2022 ButtonwillowJune 2022 California SpeedwayJuly 2022 NASA Utah

Saturday morning, time to send it.

Nik took the wheel only to find himself on track with near every car in the paddock. Over 100 cars on the track, we weren’t able to see what lap times really looked like, but we did find that the car was very stable and all aspects of the handling had improved. No surprises.

Next session saw Matt Million on track for the ST Qualifier. Matt’s qual session went well, though we would be starting P2 in class. Not a pole position but respectable.

Next up was Nik Romano on track for the nights WERC qualifying ses-sion. Nik put the car on the class pole. This time as we come in to the scales we were also given a ticket to visit the dyno. It seems the sanc-tioning body wants to make sure we are playing by the rules. No surpris-es, we are definitely within spec with both weight and HP.

Saturday afternoon, time to race.

Matt took to the track for the ST5 race. Unbelievably there is another poor start for the field. But we came out ok and the race was run despite the cluster of a start. With a flag to flag victory Matt came out with the class win as well as a new ST5 class record at Auto Club with a best lap time of 1:54.284. We had previously run in the 1:52’s but only race laps count so maybe Nik has a shot at improving the record on Sunday.

Next up is the 3 hour WERC race.

The pits are set up and we are ready to go.

Nik is out first, the plan is to run his session until the fuel runs dry, hopefully we will be able to run a one stop race. At the start, our competition jump to the front, but in short order Nik takes the lead and never looked back. After a couple full course yellows, milage is looking much better than expected. Just about 2 hours later, Nik pulls in to the pits for our fuel stop and Driver change. The crew led by Kevin DeSirello and backed up by David and Dawson Morton the stop was flawless.

Matt takes the wheel 2 laps in the lead and cruises to the win after an early checkered flag is dropped due to a medical emergency in the paddock. Again we are chosen for extra scrutiny by the officials, but of course the car is again legal and Palomar Racing has come out on top of our second WERC race of the year and once again we have a new class record at 1:54.325.

The highlight of the race was the Snacklebox™. Teams and Officials alike all came to admire the splendor that was the Snacklebox™.

Sunday morning, Nik will first run a qualifying race and then the second sprint race of the weekend. At the end of the qual race Nik finishes P1 just ahead of Ryan Bittner with a 1:53.322 to Bittner’s 1:53.344.

As they lined up for the Sprint race at the drop of the green the race start woes continue and we get help up losing P1 at the start. This time Bittner benefits from the start. The two cars put on a show the entire 13 laps of the race swapping positions back and forth throughout. In the end, Bittner pre-vailed and we ended up with a 2nd place finish and a fast lap in class of 1:54.470. Matt’s lap record will stand.
The weekend with the Palomar Racing #25 is overall a success, we leave the weekend first in class in both ST5 and E2. Our challenge is in full swing, and while we aren’t running away with it we are definitely being watched as the team to beat. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this program.

Next up will be an unplanned run at Buttonwillow, running the 13CCW configuration.

Thanks to our Partners for their support

Actively seeking partners in addition to our primary Palomar Solar & Roofing.

Palomar Solar and Roofing
Fast Sideways
Apex Wheels
Bimmerworld
Toyo Tires Motorsport
Motion Control Suspension
Frozen Rotors