Vegas Pro-AM Round 2 Wrap-Up

Wrap-up of 2012 VegasProAM Round 2: (This post is photo-heavy, so please scroll carefully!!)

It’s late in April and the temperature is slowly creeping into the triple digits, just reaching the mid 90’s on this lovely Saturday. A brisk breeze travels from the north reminding us that we have arrived at the transition state between spring and summer. To the participants and spectators at Las Vegas Motorspeedway, there’s only one thing roaming in their minds, Vegas Pro-AM Round 2 is “heating up”.

 

40 teams and their drivers drop anchor, prepping for battle, for the heat of competition will ensue in a matter of hours and every minute spent practicing the course correlates to confidence gained. Teams hail from all over the west coast and Pacific Rim, from: Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California and even Hawaii. This is most definitely a west-coast affair. Amongst the plethora of competing teams are the highly experienced group of judges, assessing today’s battles: Ernie Fixmer, Mike Bolanos and Odi Bakchis. Also present is Formula-Drift driver, Joon Maeng with his exhibition Lucas-Oil S13 in tow.

 

The 40 drivers compete their way to the top 16 finalists. Here, Forrest Wang dominates his way through to 2nd place, defeating: Yoshie Shuyama, Alex Villabrille, and another home-town hero, Joshua Guild. Utah’s Brandon Wicknick faces off with Joshua Guild, to take third place overall. Forrest Wang battles Garret Nikolich, also from Hawaii for first place. After numerous heats, Garret Nikolich reign as the contender, taking first place. Both are actually team-members, taking the 1st and 2nd podium. Nikolich and Wang, hailing from Pennsylvania and Hawaii (respectively), now transplanted in Southern Nevada, have built and currently represent their shop: Get Nutz Drift Labs. Garret is now leading the series with 228 series points.

 

The 2012 Vegas Pro-AM season is still ripe and there are plenty of opportunities for teams to overtake the current leading contenders. Several locals we’re rooting for are: Joshua Guild, Robert Strohmeyer and Mark Tecson, all arose from the grassroots of VegasDrift. We wish them and the many local drivers as well as all the drivers from the west-coast good luck, and we will see you all in: Round 3, June 15-16th, here in the neon-jungle. Just be sure you’re ready, for if the heat doesn’t get you, the competition will. BNT out.

 

Additional Photos:
Facebook Album: VegasProAM Rd2 20120 – (124 images)

http://burnnturn.com/?p=146

VegasDrift @ North American Festival of Speed in Las Vegas, NV (11-5-2011)

The pits are full of trackrats just waiting for the first run-group to go out and kill some grade-A rubber

As if the spotlight from this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas, NV wasn’t enough to quench the thirst of one’s automotive indulgence, we are blessed with having been able to gorge ourselves at the North American Festival of Speed (www.speedfest.us & www.facebook.com/NorthAmericanFestivalOfSpeed) with VegasDrift (www.vegasdrift.com) @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway (www.LVMS.com).

Nicholas Dizon of VegasDrift is conducting the driver’s meeting before the bragging-rights competition begins

For the volunteers and workers @ VegasDrift, this is not the normal 9-5 event where the track set-up is a flurry of cones at the back lot of the LVMS’ Bullring. This course/event was cradled at the inside road-course of LVMS! No fluffy orange conies to soften the blow to your driver’s side quarter panel when you oversteer on the long sweeper, nope! Just gravel and pebbles to make the pimples pop on that newly painted bumper and sideskirts you just picked up last week; thus requiring the drivers to have much more respect in following the exceptional line while making the driver experience that much more fulfilling.

Althought this competition was purely for bragging-rights, there were still give-aways to the winners, including a nice new radiator and handful of motor oil. With oil drum prices reaching a new high every week, you can never have too much oil!

As of typical VegasDrift tradition, there are practice and competition hours, but today was all about bragging rights. No Pro-AM license chasers, no podium photographs, just down to Earth drifting: where skills and tires do the talking = the best slice of the grassroots pie. The crème on that pie is the ability to run for 8 long hours with 15 minute breaks in between sessions to relax, re-hydrate, re-tire, eat and then return. Essentially the only thing stopping you from driving constantly is the number of tires you brought along (since they have on-site tire mounting/swapping) and how long your bladder was willing to hold unless you wanted to pull a bad-dog on your pretty Bride-buckets.

Robert Strohmeyer in his newly acquired S13 giving the track a nice sweep-through during the practice hours, I think he’s warmed up!

In the end of the day, the cool breeze and the warm sun paved the way for a great way to end the Vegas Pro-Am season. There’s nothing better than to burn a perfectly good Saturday, in the glory of stretched tire-barbecues surrounded by the great locals and the track’s hospitality. Until next year’s VD season opener, BNT out!

Brandon Wicknick’s result of attempting to manji the long straight on the inside roadcourse, attempting to troll on the black-M3 trailing close behind him. We later asked how he felt about it, he replies, “Totally worth it!”

For more images:
http://gallery.third3ye.net/AutomotiveEvents/Festival-of-Speed-LVMS-11-6-11/Choice-Images/19954002_PvhvkN#1571085568_TbrXS2v

Joel

BNT Coverage of Barrett-Jackson 2011 In Las Vegas, NV!

As fall encroaches on the summer weather of Las Vegas, heat continues to be generated within the confines of Mandalay Bay where the hottest cars were being auctioned at Barrett-Jackson. Here, not only can you view, touch and smell the beautiful vehicles, but you can purchase them as well (so long as your wallet allows it). Several companies also showcase their newest and fastest vehicles in their line-ups and some even allow you to test-drive it on site. How often can you do all of that at one venue?



One of the cars that took our interest was the new Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Coupe. Lamborghini of Las Vegas (in Henderson) was kind enough to showcase the new Bull at Barrett-Jackson. This thing is so low that its height stops right at my waistline and so slick that if looks could kill, a mere glimpse will cut you. The 2012 LP700-4 is armed with a 60 degree V12 engine wielding a max speed of 217 mph and 0-60 countdowns in less than 3 seconds. If there’s a fine line between beastly and Godly, this vehicle doesn’t seem to see it.



As with Vegas party tradition, there’s always that one hottie in the room that your eye cannot miss. At this party, it was the 2009 Mosler Raptor GTR Prototype coupe. Already special, being the first Raptor GTR produced by Mosler, this beastly-creation wields a twin-turbo custom-LS7 boasting 1,200hp as it utilizes two layers of carbon-fiber with Kevlar in the core allowing it to sit at a total weight of 2,350lbs. 0-60 you ask? The Mosler does it in a face-blistering 2.5 seconds. The car sits unrivalled in its own category, much like the wallet it would take to bring her home.


Sailing through the sea of vast vehicles at the staging area can make anyone want to just get out and do some spirited driving. We need our daily dose of speed-fix the same way we need our daily dose of Starbucks and what better place to get our fix than Barett-Jackson’s ‘Ride N Drive’ paddock at the back lot of Mandalay Bay (which is open to the entire public, with or without purchase of any ticket whatsoever).



Be it if you need two-shots of espresso or a caramel latte, choices of flavor here are abundant. GM, Ford and Porsche brought out their several vehicles from their fleet to test drive and ride-in. At Ford, the new Mustang GT350 and GT500, 5.0, and other Mustang badges in its fleet were present, most of which you are allowed to test-drive. The same goes with GM’s lot, where several vehicles such as the new Chevy Volt, Cruze, and the new Corvette ZR1 made its appearance. With the exception of the Corvette ZR1, you can drive almost any of the cars they have available. This includes the new 5.0 Mustang and Corvette-convertible as well as the CTS-V (in coupe and wagon) for the public to try out. However, Ford and GM gave us the watered-down taste of their delectable delights; which was something Porsche booth did not abide by.

Where we sipped on a latte at the Ford and GM booth, Porsche handed out 4 shots of espresso and kindly refilled our cups so long as the line stayed thin. Porsche brought out their new 2011 Cayman and Carrera S for public consumption; allowing for two hot-laps of spirited-driving and a third driven in exhibition by one of their driving instructors. This put us in blissful disbelief in both the cars and Porsche allowing us to drive them in such spirited ways. Imagine being handed the keys to two Porsches, hammering down for at least four laps, asking for seconds, and ending up staying for fourths. That’s how eager Porsche wanted the public to check out their new cars and how eager it made us feel like it’s the next vehicle to take a bite into our wallets in the nearby future.

Amongst the entire commotion of car auctions going on in the spotlight and the little ‘Ride N Drive’ gem hidden in the back lot of glowing buildings of Mandalay Bay, the best part of the weekend was knowing that this entire event was open to the public at hand. To many car guys and gals, this is a huge opportunity to see the newest line of vehicles, coolest cars for sale and participate in test-drives galore. For a mere $15/day (for access to the staging areas and auction) or free (for the Ride N Drive sections), you simply cannot find a better reason to visit Las Vegas. Barrett-Jackson delivers that excitement and the glimmering lights of Las Vegas hosted it this past weekend. We urge you to get off the couch and turn-off the Speed channel (just for a day!) and check the next Barrett-Jackson event near you. You’ll never regret it. And hey, if you see BNT there, don’t forget to say hi!

Joel

Link to photographs of the entire event:
http://gallery.third3ye.net/BurnNTurn/Barrett-Jackson-2011-Coverage/19165479_52fTBv#P-1-16