Friday, December 31, 2010

Why Wax?

By: Jake

Thanks to Dave's immaculate automotive hygiene his sleek Honda S2000 CR was printed on page 60 of the Feb. 2011 issue of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine. Illustrated as the poster child for SCCA's new hit class Street Touring R, his roadster was captured mid-run at the 2010 SCCA Solo National Championships. Team Hamfist will no longer be mocking him for his endless waxing - unless he comes to a race with a Brazilian Wax.

Sunday, December 12, 2010 - A Hamfist Racing Top Pick!

By: Jake has been added to the preferred favorite websites for Hamfist Racing readers and drivers. If you poke around on their website you may recognize one of the writers on MotoIQ from the glory days of Sport Compact Car Magazine - Dave Coleman. SCC was an inspiration for Hamfist Racing and it's comforting to know, despite hard times for magazine business, witty, intelligent and hilarious writers like Dave still serve the motorsports community with their words of wisdom.

Recommended articles/columns from MotoIQ:
The Ultimate Guide To Suspension Handling
Project Sipster

Monday, November 15, 2010

Right Coast Time Attack

By: Jake
Whoever said East Coast car culture doesn’t compare to West Coast was flat out wrong! Although the Super Lap Battle and Redline Time Attack have all but banished east-coasters from competition, Real Time Attack is on board to provide nail-biting stopwatch glory for Atlantic born hot shoes. With promises of extensive media coverage, real prizes, and timing transponders for the 2011 season, Real Time Attack is filling the time attack void here on the east coast. Their demo event held at Raceway Park’s road course Nov. 7th, 2010 was packed full of die-hard racing enthusiasts sporting everything from track-capable street cars to caged wheel-to-wheel, race-ready machines.
Honda Challenge drivers from the Northeast came out in full force including the Lo Buk racing fleet of featherweight Hondas. Both weighing in around 2000lbs with driver, the ’85 CRX was packing a D16A6 motor sourced from the desirable ‘91 Civic Si, while the ’84 Civic hatchback utilized an Integra LS B18B. Honda Challenge drivers Zephyr and Stephanie Belski, having recently tied the marital knot at NJMP Thunderbolt circuit days before, chased down one another throughout the day.
This sport doesn't just bring the grassroots competitors to the table. There were several Porsche 911 Turbos in the mix running in the exotic-class. Equally exotic, but not nearly as costly, the field was packed with custom built, forced-induced Honda chassis from Civics to S2000s. A supercharged S2000 - some of you may recall this car won the 2010 NOPI/HIN Gymkhana competition at Raceway Park - driven by instructor R. Santos, ran blistering fast lap after lap on Hankook RS-3 tires.
The dual clutch transmission experts at South Side Performance showcased Jeremy Rohcos’ 540 whp Mitsubishi Evolution X MR. Having recently competed at the 2010 Ultimate Track Car Challenge held at V.I.R. by Grassroots Motorsports, South Side Performance was back on track looking to tackle the apexes at Raceway Park’s road circuit. The car’s GT35R turbo was breathing well, sucking sub-50 degree air in the early sessions. While blowing exhaust flames, Jeremy literally blasted past fans through the showcase banked left-hander, all the while his BC Racing coilovers and Toyo R888 tires made clipping the apexes seem effortless.
Concerns of the track itself were stifled when drivers realized the circuit's technical nature is both safe and exciting. The course is not much shorter than the famed Lime Rock Park and faster cars were clocking a puckering 140 mph on Raceway Park's main straight. Track safety is always a big concern and despite the rumors the circuit has sufficient run off in many places. Raceway Park reports a stellar safety record for it's in-house HPDE program, stating that since the track's opening in 2008 there have only been two minor incidents, in neither of which anyone got hurt.
As promised the media presence was in place. Fueled Magazine, Local Scene Media (LSM) and were also on site to showcase the event. All in all, many drivers were pleased with the demonstration and are planning their return for the 2011 competition season - but not before making the requisite off-season tweaks to their track monsters. Keep posted at for details on the 2011 season schedule.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Historic Hack.

By: Jake

Long before I realized a 1:25 scale diecast replica STi wing would meet the rule requirements for SCCA Solo class STU, I envisioned and created a one off, custom spoiler for the Subaru STi. The spoiler was sleek, subdued, OE looking and best of all it bolts directly to an OEM STi trunk, covering all 17 existing holes punched out by the OEM whale wing. The reason I never ran this wing extensively was because a wingless trunk was much more "sleeper" and lighter! For SCCA classing purposes, doubleside-taping the tiny replica wing at the race kept the rule-nazis quiet. I thought I would share my original custom spoiler with the rest of you here. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

2010 SCCA Solo National Championships and beyond...

By: Jake

The dust has since settled and the SCCA Solo National Champions stand alone in glory. It was incredible to watch , and compete against , the 2010 SSM champion 3-Rotor RX7, (which sports what seems like every functional go-fast part conceivable) as it devoured the courses in record time at the hands of Erik Strelnieks. Even more astonishing was watching the Thompsons' RX7 run in its transient development stage (chassis tuning and weight reduction were prevalent but the powertrain was as virgin as that Mary chick I keep hearing about). The car posted podium worthy times at the hands of Carter Thompson. Undoubtedly, Super Street Modified breeds the best of the best in tuning and in driving.

As I was merely a sophomore at Nationals, I continued to discover new hurdles and small glories of national championship competition. A new season, a new class, and a new tire. There was a lot to learn this year. Afterward, like many others, I've been pondering how to improve the car setup in the off season and formulate an attack plan targeting a Solo National Championship.

Perhaps a blessing in disguise; the Hamfist Racing SSM RX7 had the unfortunate pleasure of popping an apex seal at the last NNJR-SCCA autocross of the season. I assure all she'll be back stronger and faster than ever. Despite the overwhelmingly popular trend of bastardizing Mazda RX7s with V8s (blaspheme), her surgery will include a Wankel heart transplant to boot - details coming soon.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PREPARATION-H.amfist 2010

By: Jake

It's that time of the year again. The SCCA Solo National Championships and ProSolo Finale are eminent and everyone is scrambling to finish their last minute projects to ensure every last thousandth of second is cut on the vast concrete of Lincoln Airpark. The Hamfist fleet is no different. This year only the SSM RX7 and STR S2000 are making that 13o0 mile blast to corn country.

Each ride has undergone ritualistic last minute corner balance and alignments. The S2000 got fresh differential oil, a fender liner trim, other general maintenance, as well a fresh set of shaved ______ tires (make will remain top-secret until race day).

Dave at Speed One (formally KDR Performance) strapped the RX7 to his trusty dyno and eeked out every last bit of power from the 1.3 liter rotary engine, upping the turbo pressure to 1.2 bar. The end result was 377 whp and 311 wtq. Then to shed some weight off the cars' hind quarters, the RX7 went on a diet at Speed One. The OEM fuel tank was hacked in half, minimizing the amount of gasoline required to race without starvation issues as well as dry tank weight. The car can now race with a mere 3 gallons in the tank. Sadly, the weight savings were offset by a gargantuan custom dual-element APR wing. The wing is a prerequisite to winning an SSM title at Nationals - the last 5 year's worth of champions were in big winged FD3S RX7s. Hopefully the added rear downforce will allow early application of the throttle out of turns and overall increased grip. The wing elements themselves were doners from an APR GT wing, however all the mounting hardware and risers were custom built by Dave Corsaro at his Johnson Scale workshop. Hours upon hours of precision measuring, cutting, drilling, and fitting had gone down without a hitch during this custom install until the inevitable 2:30am mistake occurred. In a state of utter exhaustion and frustration the wing was put on hold for another day. Remember kids, don't use power tools at 2:30am.

See you autocross fanatics in the field of dreams. Hope your last minute preparation went smoothly.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hamfist Racing @ Meadowlands Autox Footage

The first video comes to us compliments of John Torres of He did an excellent job capturing multiple angles on Corsaro's S2000 earlier this year, so I begged him to throw his camera rig and video skills my way. Thanks John! (note: the RX7 gets on 2 wheels at the 58 second mark!)

The second video is from PalsoMedia and includes myself, Yury, and certifiable hamfist, Chris Travis, in his stock black S2000.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

New 2010 Sponsor for Jake's RX7: PARK-IT

Hamfist Racing's RX7 picks up a sponsorship from PARK-IT. PARK-IT Management is a family owned and operated parking facility management company with over 35 years of experience. There are plenty of locations in New York City that can accommodate parking needs. Please visit for contact information, rates and locations. Thank you for supporting a Hamfist sponsor!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sea of Cones : A Documentary About Autocross by Stephen Chiang

Sea of Cones : A Documentary About Autocross from Stephen Chiang on Vimeo.

Historic STU DC ProSolo Video Uncovered -- Heart Wrenching Loss 0.001 seconds

By: Jake

It took about a year to recuperate from this heart wrenching loss at the 2009 DC ProSolo. Below are my STU runs from the fateful weekend. I walked away from that race 0.001 seconds from first place in class (the smallest measurable margin in the sport).

Friday, June 11, 2010

Capital Punishment in DC: Northeast Divisional Championship

Some drivers can do more with less. Co-founder Dave Corsaro is one of those drivers, having regularly dominated classes like HS in a street tire shroud Honda Fit, AS on a Toyo R888s, and STR in a stock sprung S2000. Despite his reputation for hamfisting the competition with under-prepared cars, Dave decided he was going to show the autox community what he could do behind the wheel of a "fully" prepared vehicle. His STR Honda S2000 was blessed with some air freighted coilover suspension from Japan's top performance parts manufacturer, HKS. Secondly, running the wrong rubber this year was out of the question. Dunlop made it easy for him to outfit his new 18x9 SSR wheels with the right treads (no pun intended).

A midnight-last-minute corner balance and alignment at Johnson Scale, in the great tradition of team Hamfist Racing, tied up all the loose ends. That weekend the car was rolling down I95 on it's competition rubber to make a run for the divisional championship in Washington DC. Needless to say, everything came together beautifully. By day one he had over 1.5 second lead. Day two was no different, sweeping a field of eight STR driver gunning for the championship. Dave Corsaro had won his first Divisional Championship, Congratulations! Next stop Nebraska.

2010 SCCA Northeast Division Solo Championship Results

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wrench, Weigh, Race... 2010 SCCA Dixie National Tour

By: Jake

It was 4:30am, I was covered in garage grime from head to toe, and had a meeting for work in less than four hours. I had never felt better! The car was reassembled and the off-season improvements were complete. As an "e-mechanic", this was the longest project in which I had ever entrenched myself. It was rewarding to say the least.

The ambitious goal for 2010 was to build my RX7 for Super Street Mod (SSM) class from it's current state as an ASP car. The rules are very flexible in SSM, but my imagination and innovation is limited. I ended up simply improving on what I had, not yet going for the pre-requisite upgraded turbos and/or motor swaps.

My off-season goal was three fold; 1) Lower under-hood tempertures to optimize the factory turbos, 2) Lower overall mass towards SSM minimum weight 2500lbs, 3) Make it grip.

To address the temperature issues the car got a new thermostat, larger intercooler, custom insulated intake & intercooler piping and ducting, heat-wrapped 3" downpipe & midpipe, and a new OE radiator fan.

The car diet started with the rear end. A used Greddy titanium catback exhaust, weighing only 7 lbs, replaced the heavier Racing Beat Dual tips, saving approximately 20 lbs. '93 RX7's twenty gallon fuel tanks have notoriously weak baffles and mine broke late last season. To fix this issue a '95+ spec fuel tank, which has reinforced and re-engineered baffling, was installed. This enables the car to be run below a quarter tank without fuel starvation issues. Net fuel weight savings of approximately 60 lbs. To counter all the rear end lightening - and make room for the aforementioned intercooler - the mini Deka battery was relocated from the engine bay to the hatch directly over the rear axles.

Next on the agenda, make it stick so hard that the asphalt rips out of the ground it was laid over. What better place to start than with the tires? Second hand rubber in the form of 295/35/17 Hoosier A6s were snagged up off a corvette owner for a song. These black donuts were shoe horned onto a set of 17x9" wheels that I had laying around. Final fitment was made possible by 0-60 Magazine, thanks to a borrowed fender-roller out of their project car garage, also know as "The Gayrage".

The final stages of the "grip" improvements came from a corner balancing compliments of my '09 National Championship co-driver, and fellow hamfist, Dave Corsaro. The night before leaving for the 2010 Dixie National Tour we put the car on scales at his workplace, Johnson Scale. Not famous for their automotive application, Johnson Scale handles general weighing, force measurement, material testing, and scale inspection, calibration, service and scale rentals. Perhaps they just found a new market niche. By midnight we had the car at a perfect 50:50 cross weight, however not without incident. We spent about 2 hours adjusting perches and deciphering nonsensical corresponding weight changes. It wasn't until Dave scratched his head and murmured with deep concern "I should have been taking better notes" that helping hand Elena discovered our major blunder. The left-rear and right-rear scales were placed at the right-rear and left-rear corners, respectively...

To be continued...

Jake - 59.XXX - Run 1 Day 2 Dixie National Tour (Spin)

Jake - 59.XXX - Run 3 Day 2 Dixie National Tour

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

VOTE: Hamfist RX7 for GRM Ultimate Track Car Challenge Invitation


Please take a minute and rate my RX7 5 stars at CarDomain for Grassroots Motorsports Magazine Ultimate Track Car Challenge. To rate the car, please use the following link. After you go to the link, click "Rate this ride".

I promise, if I get into the GRM UTCC, I will drive the wheels off the car. This car has been built for track performance and reliability (as much reliability as one can expect from a FD RX7). I've spent countless hours in the off season trying to tie up all its loose ends hoping to create a highly capable autox and track contender. The car may be set up fairly conservatively (by some standards), but I hamfist any car I get behind the wheel of and generally embarrass machinery that should be much faster with driving skill and budget mods.


HamfistRacings 1993 Mazda RX-7

HamfistRacings 1993 Mazda RX-7

HamfistRacings 1993 Mazda RX-7

HamfistRacings 1993 Mazda RX-7