January 2017 Newsletter

 January 2017

Sports Car Club of America – Yellowstone Region 108  

 Have you been whining about navigating the rutted streets around Billings this winter? Ground clearance has apparently not been a problem for the driver of this gorgeous rig that I spotted in the parking garage recently.
 Meeting Minutes

There are no membership meetings in January or February.

 Spokane Festival of Speed

By the Roving Regional Reporter

The Region received an email late last week from the “Spokane Festival of Speed.” Unfortunately, Montana does not have any road courses, so a trip to Denver or Salt Lake City (both 552 miles from Billings) is the only way to get your road-race “fix.” However, you can shave approximately 11 miles off your haul time by heading west to Spokane on the weekend of June 2-4. The link to the official Festival of Speed website is here

The weekend features a “Test & Tune” at Spokane County Raceway (Airway Heights, WA) a “First Friday” car cruise and show, and SOVREN (Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts) Historic Races on the 3rd and 4th.


 The Test & Tune is open to “all experienced track drivers at the discounted price of $210 for all race entrants.” The registration information indicates that “Priority will be given to drivers holding current competition licenses driving race-prepared cars. Drivers without competition licenses or without race-prepared cars will participate in the Track Day Car group. If a minimum number of entries is not received for the Track Day Car group, the group will be canceled.”


MyT13B’s Corner

From the Regional Executive

Before plunging headlong into 2017, on behalf of the entire Region, I would like to thank Tucker Stewart for his service as Competition Chair. Tucker started participating in Region events while he was still in high school. In fact, Tucker squeezed in an event between his graduation ceremony and his girlfriend’s graduation ceremony! Unfortunately, the press of college, work, and car problems kept Tucker otherwise occupied in 2016. However, Tucker has been an enthusiastic ambassador of SCCA, so we hope we have not seen the last of him. Thanks, Tucker!

We have scheduled the Region’s Year-End Event at the Windmill Restaurant for Saturday, February 4th at 6:00 p.m. Join us for beverages, hosted hors d’oeuvres, and presentations of the Region’s Driver of the Year and Member of the Year awards. Stay for dinner afterward (on your own) and otherwise enjoy the fine company of fellow Region members!

On the home front, I have continued work on “MyT13B” over the off-season. I build a shroud for the cooling fan and also added a duct to the oil cooler. As pictured below, I have added a pop-off valve to the intake system. This addition will hopefully make the boost signal to the “TPS” multiplier let go when I let off the throttle. I also added some additional bracing to the frame for additional strength to make the rear sway bar work better.


 MyT1B’s new pop-off valve.
 Race Notes

From the Competition Chair

I’m Bill Blaquiere, your new Competition Chair. I was born and raised in Harlowton and have lived in Billings pretty much my entire adult life. I have been married to my wonderful wife, Cheryl, for 38 years. We have two adult children and six grand-kids. I enjoy upland bird hunting, alpine skiing, dirt bikes, four-wheelers, autocross, and Corvettes! I am a machinist. In 1997, I started Apex Manufacturing Services; a CNC machine shop.

I started autocrossing in 2016 with my C7 Corvette and was immediately “hooked.” I competed in 11 events, but was torn between keeping the C7 streetable (and unharmed) and wanting to do more modifications. I was impressed with the quickness of some of the small cars like the Honda S2000s, Miatas, Subaru WRXs, and others. Maybe a kit car like the Westfield or Brunton would be fun? Or, should I go with Corvette?? Hmmmm. so many good choices! However, since since I love big V-8 sound and horsepower, I decided on another Corvette–a 2002 C5 Z06!

I am about two months into the build. To date, I have purchased/installed many mods. In the process have learned a ton about the car and autocross rules in general. After quite a bit of research, I decided that the car will run in SSP. Most importantly, I can run Hoosiers!

Super Street Prepared (SSP) class does not allow any internal engine mods, so basic bolt-on mods are all that can be done. I started with an aFe cold air intake, then on to LG Super Pro 1-3/4” long tube headers & X-pipe with Borla S-Type cat-back exhaust. What sweet music it plays! I will have a dyno tune done before the season kicks off to get the most out of these mods.

I found that the stock camber adjustment was not enough to get the negative camber I needed. I want to start with -4 degrees in front and -3 degrees in back. Borg offset Delrin control arm bushings was my starting point along with a Pfadt camber kit. Then I added tubular sway bars and adjustable end links with Koni Sport adjustable shocks to complete the suspension. Now it’s just a matter of time (and tuning) to get all these components to work together in the best way possible……no easy task I’m sure, but I’m looking forward it!

Stoptech slotted brake rotors with Hawk high performance sport/racing pads and stainless steel brake lines should stop the C5Z quite well.

The stock shifter in C5 cars has a ridiculously long throw and quite a loose feel, so after some research I decided on an MGW short throw unit. WOW! What a difference! Shifting is now quick and precise. 

 I will be running 18″ x 10.5″ wheels with 315 Hoosiers at all four corners. I will probably need wheel spacers on the front to get clearance for the wide tires while turning, so with that in mind, I replaced all the wheel studs with longer ones so the spacers can be changed as needed.

I’m currently working on a plan for an aluminum spoiler and front splitter as the finishing touches. 

 The stock seats in a C5 are very poor for performance driving, with virtually no side bolsters and very weak backrest framework–they simply don’t hold you in place at all! I wanted a good driver’s seat, but most of the “racing seats” offered have a very deep bucket design and I was worried that one of those would make it too difficult to get my 6’ 4” 250 pound frame in and out of the car. After a lot of searching, I finally chose on a Corbeau Sportline Evolution X driver seat. I also ordered the optional air-inflatable lumbar support, It’s really quite comfortable and gives me an additional inch or two of head room. The stock steering wheel was also a problem. They are way too big in diameter and are too far forward for me. The leather is quite slippery as well. The NRG 320 mm suede steering wheel with quick-release and 2-inch spacer fit the bill perfectly.


 The Finish Line

From the Webmaster

Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 25th, at the MetraPark carnival grounds. If last year’s event was any indication, this event will be a well-attended and fun event.

We should be getting confirmation back from the Yellowstone Drag Strip for our 2017 event dates shortly. Check the website from time to time for updates. We also have some leads on some new sites.

Keep tuned and see you at the Windmill in two weeks!


 Next Monthly Meeting

March 7, 2017

(Year-End Party on February 4th and no membership meeting in February)

GH&R Law Firm
175 N. 27th Street, Suite 903 
6:00 p.m. 

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