Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Monticello Motor Club NARRA USTTC 2012

By: Jake

This video coverage of the NARRA Monticello race gives some great exposure to the NASA Northeast TT regulars, including Scott Mandel, Ben Lesnak, Alan Cohen and Thai Diep.

Friday, August 10, 2012

World Time Attack Action at Eastern Creek Raceway, Sydney Austrailia

By: Jake

During the first day of action at the World Time Attack in Sydney Austrailia, the Nemo Racing Mitsubishi Evolution IX seems to be running away with the event. The car blasted a 1:25.74 second lap, more than three seconds faster than the previous record holder and world champion, Tarzan Yamada and the Cyber Evo. The 900 all-wheel horsepower Nemo Racing Evo is playing in it's backyard representing the Austrian contingent at the event. Appearing more like a fish than a car, the Nemo Racing Evo (appropriately named car, possibly after Nemo the animated fish) is the most radical time attack car Hamfist Racing has ever seen. By tomorrow a champion will be crowned. Our money is on Nemo.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hamfist Racing SSM RX7 Wins Toledo ProSolo & Takes Atlantic Zone Championship! Next Stop Nebraska...

By: Jake

Toledo Express Airport (Photo By Brian Stone)

High Pressure Performance SSM Mazda RX7  (Photo By Brian Stone)
At the Toledo Express Airport traction was high but emotions were even higher. After years of preparation, the Hamfist Racing Super Street Modified (SSM) RX7 was ready to be pitted against the High Pressure Performance RX7 of the Thompson family at the 2012 Toledo ProSolo. Many believe the Thompson's RX7 is the most highly developed SSM car in the country. They would be right to think so. Their RX7 had been dominating SSM competition across the country during the 2012 Solo National Tour and ProSolo series. Carter Thompson has tallied multiple wins over Erik Strelnieks' 3-Rotor, three time SSM national championship, Jungle Cat Racing RX7. With Carter's track record, my goal going into the event was to just keep up. The anxiety reached a paramount as SSM drivers approached the start line for competition Friday. I was excited, yet fearful, to see how the car would shake out in comparison to the Thompsons' creation.

High Pressure Performance SSM Mazda RX7
At the start of competition Friday, adrenaline built up so strongly in my body that I proceeded to jump the lights and get disqualified for three of my four runs, putting the car in last place. The raw times were suppressed in the results, which merely displayed "RL" indicating the disqualification from a red-light start.

The next morning the competitors conceded they dug through the raw data online and found my times were at the top of the class. My confidence was buoyed by my scratch time performance from the previous day. With dwindling anxiety and increased familiarity with the start line traction, I was able to blast out of the hole with green lights laying down lap after lap of blisteringly fast times. One lap, most notably, was into the 26.XXX second realm which raised eyebrows across the event. This performance on day two posted me solidly in first place over Carter Thompson, Brian Johns (former ES National Champion), and Dan Chadwick (RX7 guru and 2009 SSM National Champion).
Charles Berger
The day was a success but tomorrow I would need to improve lap times further to lock in the win. Later that afternoon I received a call from my family with heart sinking news that my grandfather passed away. He led a long life, raised a great family - including my mom and two twin aunts - and pursued his dream, successfully becoming a professional artist and illustrator. I will miss him and my grandmother greatly.

For most of the weekend, I was able to keep my family in my thoughts. However any autocross racer can tell you, the moment the clutch is released going into a sea of cones, there is only one clear and concise goal dominating every action in your body and ounce of concentration in your mind. That goal is driving perfection. It is this surreal experience of absolute concentration and physical precision that motivates racers to continue in this sport. Life may be scary, sad or confusing at times. For a racer, driving is an escape, a meditation, a moment of clarity.   

Hamfist Racing SSM Mazda RX7  (Photo By Jane Rabatoy Quinn)                                
At the starting line Sunday for final SSM class competition runs, the tree began flashing... Yellow. Yellow. With that second yellow flash of light, my minded raced with compassion and grief towards the loss and pain in my family. Yellow. By the third and final yellow my mind went completely blank. My right foot pushed the gas pedal to the floor-pan and my left foot lifted off the clutch towards to the sky! The rotary powered Mazda tore off the starting line with the fury and power of my entire emotional state. I was able to pull off the ultimate class win with dueling 26 second lap times on both left and right courses.

Below is the uStream video from Sunday Heat 3 competition runs. The action between Carter and I begins at the 1:25:00 mark

SoloMatters Features 2012 Devens National Tour & Hamfist Racing!

Video By: SoloMatters

By: Jake

The front right wheel lifts substantially around the 1:23 second mark in the video. The Hamfist Racing SSM Mazda RX7 finished 1st Place in class by over 5 seconds at this event!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ken Block: Gymkhana 5

We all know Ron Zaras is the real hot shoe behind the Monster Ford Fiesta!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tri-Point Engineering Front Sway Bar and Video's from NYR SCCA

The new Tri-Point Engineering front sway bar was installed on the Hamfist Racing SSM Mazda RX7. The bar was set to full stiff to try and settle the rear end of the car, which has plagued the RX7 with tail happy unpredictability since the front tire size was augmented to 315/30/18. First impression: The car seems to have worked well. The front body roll was significantly reduced yet the car pivots on turn in very sharply. The car took FTD overall 93 drivers at the July 7th 2012 Solo race event at the Nassau Coliseum. The fastest lap was a 52.9XX second lap. Here are a couple of videos from the morning heat runs (not the fastest lap). The surface was full of rocks and gravel. Warning, this video contains adult language, a terrible camera mount, a dirty rear windshield and dismal 1htz sampling rate for the GPS. Parental consent is advised. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2012 SCCA Devens National Tour Music Video - By: Steve Segius

Steve Segius made a great music video of the Devens National Tour event featuring the Hamfist Racing Mazda RX7! Enjoy.

SCCA Devens National Tour 2012 Music Video from Steve Seguis on Vimeo.

Happy Belated Father's Day from Hamfist Racing!

This is a Super Street Modified class La-Z Boy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hamfist Racing - Sports Car Magazine Media Exposure

By: Jake

Team Hamfist Racing had an impressive performance at the Washington DC SCCA ProSolo. To read the full event write up, click here for the article by Dave Corsaro. Sports Car Magazine July 2012 issue has official results printed on page 89 (seen above).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Epic 3800sqft Garage Build

By: Jake

Visit Garage Journal to read about this epic garage. You are looking at a 3800 square foot garage with a luxuarious one bedroom suite in the two story stone tower. Dream well.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Hamfist Wedding

By: Anonymous Rotorhead

A successful marriage can learn a lot from Car Racing.

You should promise each other that you will not be fair weather racers, but venture out together in the cold and the rain. Only by braving the storms and treacherous conditions as a team, will you reap the joys and appreciation when the sunshine arrives.

And if you think there is a winner in this race without the love and assistance of a pit crew, forget about it.

You should not only enjoy new challenges and adventures, but also appreciate the same old tracks you know and love.

Take care of each other. A well oiled engine will run smoothly even under extreme stress.

Like the race car you rely on, both of you must treat your marriage with care and support.

Be attentive, check your tire pressures regularly - say I love you every day.

Be sure to learn something new on every lap and may the excitement you feel at the start line be with you always.

Wishing you all the best in the greatest endurance race of your lives.

Monday, April 30, 2012

'Rinse and Repeat" - Hamfist RX7 Build Updates

By: Jake

Above Photo By: Perry Aidelbaum
View more autocross action photography at

The old 3 inch exhaust was prone to leaks at almost all the flanges, and despite a highly upgraded cooling system, the RX7 still had heat issues that needed to be addressed. In the never ending battle to chase away rapidly moving molecules of unwanted heat energy away from the sensitive turbo wankle power-plant, the car went back under the trusty knife of Speed1's top fabricator, Jordan.

Armed with various pieces of 4 inch wide exhaust components, Jordan alternated glances between the star-like fire of his welding arc and the schematic exhaust plan devised by yours truly during work hours - everyone at my office assumed the drawing was a plumbing schematic for a work related construction job.



The final product was a masterfully sculpted 4 inch turbo-back exhaust that afforded the ability to swap the axle-back assembly between any combination of muffler, down-turn, and high-flow catalytic converter through the use of v-bands. No more running from Chief of Sound at SCCA Solo Tours and Pros. The car can go from uber-hush sleeper to fire-blowing dragon simply by turning a couple of nuts. Quite possibly the most rewarding function of the end product was that the exhaust no longer leaked! Exhaust leaks were an issue that plagued the old 3" system from the manifold back to the rear axle and constantly left any passenger in a state of despair and disgust - especially in traffic.

The OEM radiator orientation had forced hot air onto every crucial component in the engine, including the intercooler, intake pipes, intake manifolds and turbo to name a few. A "V-Mount" intercooler/radiator assembly is the fix for this oversight by Mazda engineers. Jordan modified the radiator and intercooler orientation with custom brackets, mounts, coolant lines and intercooler pipes. Now the radiator expels heat underneath the car rather than on the intake components and the intercooler can breathe free via an enormous reverse scoop fabricated into the hood.


Sporting a "cooler" setup and an exhaust my leg could pass through, the car was strapped to Speed1's dynojet for a fresh tune. Attempts to regulate boost via the Apexi PFC failed. The boost controller hardware in the PFC has been known to fail so we quickly swapped to a Greddy Profec electronic boost controller, which managed the wastegate function with ease. The car spun the rollers with 370whp at 1 bar of boost pressure. Before we could pour xylol into the gas tank for a high-octane / high-boost (20 psi) dyno pull, the dyno computer crapped out. After repairs were made to the dyno, we returned for the final test and tune, where the car laid down 424whp at high boost. The changes to the set-up from the previous year yielded 40 whp pick up on a Dynojet. 

Before finalizing the high boost map, Elena and I tested the car at a Philly SCCA Test & Tune event. Here is a video of my fastest lap that day.  


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why You Should Run The 2012 SCCA Devens Solo National Tour

Registration for the Northeast Solo National Tour event is now open. The event is being hosted by the New England Region at one of the greatest runway sites in the country, Fort Devens, Ayer, MA. Come see where you rank with some of the best in the country. Register now HERE.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 DC Pro Solo: Kicking off the season at FedEx Field

By: David Corsaro

What a way to start 2012!

Almost the entire Hamfist Racing crew attended the DC Pro Solo this past weekend. As always, this venue never disappoints. From the drag start on the hill, to the heavy off-camber turns, combined with different levels of grip throughout... it's quite the challenge and worth every waking second to be a part of.

Road Tire classes were the very first cars on course. Thankfully, everyone gets four morning runs and four afternoon runs so any advantage or disadvantage is basically negated at the end of the day on Saturday. Same can't be said for Sunday though.

RT classes are lumped together for Pro Solo competition this year. What this means is that RTA(all-wheel-drive), RTR(rear-wheel-drive) and RTF(front-wheel-drive) cars use their respective Stock class PAX index to determine the finishing order. In my opinion, I do not think it is fair for all-wheel-drive cars to compete against the other drivelines in a Pro Solo format, especially at DC. It was an up-hill battle(sorry I had to) for anything not spinning all four wheels at the start.

I ran pretty well on my first four runs and waited in impound for the co-drivers to finish their runs. I enjoyed an early lead in the morning but that quickly disappeared, and had me instead trying to catch a 2011 WRX all weekend in PAX. Looking over that pesky Subaru in impound I noticed that they were using 265mm wide Dunlop Star Specs on an 8" wheel.

Since these new RT classes have a lot of unknowns as to what tire sizes are optimal on whatever sized wheels, no one really knows just how big is too big. I immediately thought to myself " I am buying new, wider tires as soon as I get home", as I still had last year's 245mm Star Specs on my car. I ended up finishing second out of twelve in class, just behind Andrew Barrette who took first place driving Ken Johnson's Subaru.
That's the last time I show up with stock struts/shocks and old rubber.

I would also like to thank Steven J. Farkas, owner of SJF Performance, for the perfect alignment. Not only was it spot on, but I also picked up 2mpg having the wheels pointed straight this year as I don't believe rear toe out is needed with street tires, yet.

Jake finished first in SSM driving the RX7 and went to the second round in the Super Challenge. Jake is currently looking to Home Depot for sponsorship as he just loves that store and the color orange to boot.

Grant and Rob took the Boss Miata to second and fouth place finishes in E Stock. They are definitely a force to be reckoned with this year as they appear to have just the right amount of wedge dialed in now.

Master Yury battled his way nicely in STU and finished third, just over a half second out of first. I asked Yury about his lunches(no that's not misspelled) over the weekend and he said they felt good. I am trying like hell to get him to go to more events!! :-)

Elena™(Tiny Muscles) wheeled her way to a sixth place in a very tough Ladies 1 class.
I would like to see her get her milkshake eventually as Chick-Fil-A dissed her on Friday. You don't mess with a woman piloting a 425whp RX7. You just don't.

I also would like to congratulate our neighboring Philly region member Mike Fineberg for winning the Super Challenge at the 2012 DC Pro Solo this weekend! That is no small feat, as he bested several National Champions on his way to the top. Way to go Mike!
Here is a video of his winning runs: CLICK HERE
Like every other event we go to there are soooo many laughs and good times we will always cherish. I already can't wait for the next one!!

New for 2012: SCCA's Road Tire classes in Solo

By: David Corsaro

For years, SCCA members have voiced their opinions regarding tire allowances in Stock classes. Most of the grumblings stem mainly from those who are just fed up using expensive rubber with a short competitive lifespan on cars with the least allowances in Solo. I emphasize 'competitive' because the window for peak grip is very early and narrow in the life of a typical R-compound autocross tire.

While I do not support removing R-compound tires from Stock classes(that is way worse than upsetting the apple cart... more like setting the orchard on fire), I do feel that the Club should provide an outlet for those who need their concerns addressed. It's by far not a perfect solution, but at least one the SCCA can hone in on and gauge the direction it needs to go in order to keep members happy and most importantly, generate new memberships.

The new classes are as follows:

Road Tire AWD (RTA)
Road Tire FWD (RTF)
Road Tire RWD (RTR)

I will be supporting two of those classes this season using my 2010 Mitsubishi Evo X SE in RTA, as well as my 2012 Toyota Yaris SE in RTF.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thanks Park It Management!

    By: Jake
    The team at Hamfist Racing appreciates all of it's sponsor support. We would like to take a moment to recognize Park It Management for their continued support in 2012. Park It Management is a locally-owned and operated business that has been parking cars throughout the Metro New York Area for more than forty years. They are real New Yorkers...not a national chain. They train and employ local residents to provide the highest level of professionalism and customer service for our many parking lots and garages. At Park It garages, they treat all customer's cars as if their garages led directly into their own driveway.With multiple locations in Manhattan and elsewhere, we are able to accommodate your special needs:
    * Long-term storage of iconic vehicles
    * Special-events parking
    * Photo and Film Shoots
Here is a list of their locations. Please support garages that support Hamfist Racing!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

2012 SCCA Solo Season Goes Hot

By: Jake
This morning the green flag is waved at South Georgia Motorsports Park starting the 2012 Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Tour "Road to Lincoln" with the Dixie National Tour event. Announcer comments and real-time scoring can be enjoyed courtesy of Chase Cam at the links below. Super Stock, Street Touring R, Street Touring X and, my favorite, Super Street Modified will be among the most hotly contested classes.

Friday, March 2, 2012

NASA Northeast 2012 Time Trial Season Updates

Time Trial Racers,

NASA Northeast is excited to announce the Time Trial program is changing for the better in the 2012 season, including MORE TRACK TIME, MORE CONTINGENCY SPONSORS, SUPER-SIZE OPTIONS FOR RACERS/INSTRUCTORS, MORE COMPETITION, and SMOOTH OPERATIONS. Keep reading for more info.

For starters, every competition day that TT is combined with either HPDE4 or Instructors, Time Trial drivers will have an added 15-Minute TT-Only Session - typically toward the end of the day/afternoon. This means TT competitors will get an additional 15 minutes of quality track time each day over the HPDE4 or Instructors. This is our response to the TT driver comments expressed in 2011 on how to improve the program and help TT drivers get the best bang for their buck. This format will allow many drivers to set new track records and fast laps.

We also have new pricing ($50/weekend) for Instructors and Racers who wish to Super-Size their weekend with TT racing (see registration page to get super-sized). We hope this pricing structure will bring increased participation from the Instructor and Racer groups. Our goal for the 2012 season is to create a steady TT Only run group with 25+ drivers every weekend. We expanded a lot in 2011 and hope to explode in 2012, but we need your help and participation.

Our comprehensive list of NASA contingencies are available at We are especially pleased to announce the Hoosier Tire Contingency Program for NASA competitors is back in 2012. The program will award each open tire class with up to 3 free tires per race. This generous contingency program continues on with Hoosier's fantastic support of NASA competitors. The program is for all open tire class competitors at each regional NASA event (each day is it's own TT race event). Other new additions and noteworthy TT sponsors include Goodyear Racing Tire, Mazdaspeed (championships only), Yokohama, Hawk, AST Suspension and Toyo Tires!!!!!!

Our timing and scoring department will be posting results a minimum 15-20 minutes BEFORE the following TT run session. Having results posted faster and in advance of the next session will allow drivers to access their competitive position and properly stage in the grid lanes. Grid staging protocol has been formalized this season. TT drivers will be allowed to grid in the staging lanes in qualified order (fastest to slowest based on previous lap times) 10 minutes BEFORE HPDE4 or Instructors will be allowed in the lanes (assuming a combined run group scenario). This protocol has been discussed in detail with the Grid Chief. They will be looking for your "TT" designation on front bumpers to allow you in the lanes, so make sure it's there. NASA officials will be using the pace car for all session turnovers (not just Race Groups). This will formalize the TT pit out process particularly when pitting out with HPDE4 on the tail end of the staging lanes. More details on this to follow.

This season we will offer official TT Log Books. Log Books will be available at Tech/ Registration at our 2012 opening event, April 21/22. TT Log Books are required if you plan on doing an annual tech OR if you plan on going to the 2012 NASA National Championships. Drivers without annual tech / Log Books will be required to drive-thru tech each event.
Please remember to renew your TT Licenses, or other qualified NASA competition license, online for the 2012 season through "Member Login" at If you need to apply for your first license (HPDE4 drivers moving to TT), please print an application from here complete it and email or fax 212-242-0055 to me asap. The 2012 TT Rule Book & Classification Forms are now available online at

EVERYONE must complete a 2012 Classification Form (even if nothing on your car changed since last year). Please email or fax 212-242-0055 your 2012 Classification Form for my records asap. I prefer to have these on file before you get to registration. I will not be happy if you ask me for a blank form Saturday morning, the day of the race.

Please make sure you have your class and number on all 4 sides of your cars (eg. "TTR 199") and make sure you have at minimum two(2) NASA RACE stickers on each bumper (and one on each side if you are running for contingency prizes). If needed, I will have NASA RACE stickers for sale ($1 or $2 each if I recall) on site at registration.

Drivers, you MUST communicate your transponder and class/number information with Timing and Scoring Director Mike Torricelli at IF you: a) are new to TT this season, or b) are Super-Sizing from a Race Group, or c) your transponder changed, or d) you need to change your race number

I am looking forward to a great season with many new and familiar faces!
NASA Northeast
Time Trial Director

Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 SCCA Meadowlands New Jersey National Tour Canceled

By: Jake

The 2012 Meadowlands National Tour event was canceled due to scheduling conflicts with the NY Giants - damn Champions think they can bully the SCCA. An addition to the 2012 National Tour schedule, to satisfy northeast drivers, will be hosted by NER SCCA at Fort Devens Air Base in Ayer, MA. This is unfortunate for many NYC area racers looking for a relaxing event close to home. On the plus side, Fort Devens site has super-high-grip asphalt and the total length of the course is over a mile - not including the added distance from squiggly turns and slaloms. See you at the fort, soldier.

For complete 2012 National Tour event information visit: SCCA