AP Racing Brakes Enable Last-Lap Pass for the Win at Auto Club Speedway07.14.2015
PA Construction’s C5 Z06 has been winning races, TT's, and setting lap records on their Essex Designed AP Racing Endurance BBK. A couple weeks ago, Jim Tway and Stephanie Cemo had an amazing race battling for the lead. Check out the incredible last lap pass (at the 20:00 minute mark). Even after missing a shift heading onto the bowl, Tway was able to repeatedly reel the leader in under braking and make the pass stick. Below is what Jim had to say:
The weekend of 5/16/2015, the PA Construction Corvette piloted by Robert Hall and Jim Tway took down the Auto Club Speedway Super Touring 2 (ST-2) lap record with time of 1:44.945. Robert placed 1st in Time Trials TT-2 class on Saturday. And on Sunday, Jim swept the Time Trials TT-2 class and ST-2 Race in an epic battle with a last lap pass.
Robert grabbed the wheel for the morning’s first Time Trial session. Robert ran some great laps, but came in early high engine temps and noting a terrible push. It didn’t take much investigating to discover the problem. The front end splitter was completely shredded, and bent up blocking the radiator inlet. We reviewed the video and discovered the nose splitter let go going through the chicane at turn 10. Turn 10 is known by drivers as the non-chicane, due to that turn not being coned off and drivers cutting the corner running through the curbing. We were just kissing the bottom of the nose running off that curb every lap, and eventually ran out of material.
We missed qualifying tending to the damage. Jim swapped out the splitter with a spare, while also raising the ride height on all four corners for more clearance. All repaired, Jim started the race at the back in P9. On the start, he got a decent jump and picked off a few positions in lap 1. Slowly and surely, Jim had moved his way up to P3 by lap 6, and was reeling in the leaders by a couple seconds a lap, setting up for hopefully some last lap heroics. However, the spare splitter had other plans as it disintegrated in turn 1 a few laps later retiring the car.
Saturday was rough, but Robert walked away with a win in Time Trials, and Jim broke the Super Touring 2 lap record in the race before he retired.
Out of spare splitters, we went to Home Depot for “race supplies”. Jim fabricated and installed a new splitter from Home Depot’s most exotic composite. He also went ahead and changed all the aFe Power/Pfadt shocks to full stiff hoping to solve the splitter contact issues through turn 10.
Through the first two Time Trial sessions the splitter showed no signs of wear. Confidently, Jim headed to qualifying and put the car in P2, just 0.060 seconds behind the pole sitter Stephanie Cemo.
At the race start, Jim got a great jump and vaulted into the lead. Pole sitter Cemo was able to take back the lead on lap 2 with a good run onto the oval. Over the next ten laps, Jim was glued to the bumper of Cemo. He made a couple pass attempts into turn 1, but both were well defended by Cemo. Cemo in a newer C6 Corvette Z06, had much more torque in her 6.2L V8, and that was apparent coming out of corners. Our later model C5 Corvette has a smaller 5.7L V8, but we had much better stopping power with our Essex AP Endurance kit, and made up our time in the braking zones. The last two laps it was clear Cemo was braking earlier and Jim started looking for an opportunity. Heading into turn 9 on the last lap, Jim caught Cemo napping and took the inside braking line, claiming the lead at last, and holding on to victory.
By the end of the weekend, we had swept both days in Time Trials and took home a win and a track record in the Super Touring race group. A newly designed splitter has already been installed and we are ready to head north to Sonoma for round 4 of the Western ST2 Race Series next weekend.
~ Jim Tway