Élan Motorsports Technologies Claims Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Crown

By Ed Higginbotham
May 21, 2018

This Elan Motorsports Technologies NP01 won the event overall, driven by Franklin Futrelle.
Ryan Passey and his Good-Win Racing HyperMiata didn't put down an official time in the UTCC thanks to an off-track excursion and transponder issues.
Broderick Bauguess claimed third place and fastest BMW in this relatively lightly modified BMW M3.
Justin Crenshaw claimed fastest front-wheel-drive entry with his 400-horsepower Scion xA.
This Exomotive Exocet is powered by a Tesla Model S drivetrain.
Kendall Samuel was awarded the Fastest Subaru trophy by Mach V Motorsports.
John Freund won the Fastest All-Wheel Drive award with his Mitsubishi Eclipse.

VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, ALTON, VA. (May 20, 2018)—They came, they saw, they conquered. Nearly 50 of the country’s fastest track cars descended upon Virginia International Raceway May 18-19 for the Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge Presented by Grassroots Motorsports.

The weather played a huge part in the results as rain fell during every single session. These conditions ultimately rewarded those who could best adapt to the changing conditions.

After a full day of thrills and spills, a victor emerged: Franklin Futrelle and the Élan Motorsports Technologies team took the overall win in their Élan NP01 with a 2:01.083 lap time. It lapped Virginia International Raceway roughly four seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Dan Raver and his Superlite SL-C.

Élan Motorsports Technologies developed the Élan NP01 for a spec road racing class hosted by the National Auto Sport Association. We drove the car after the event–look for a full report in a future issue–and the mechanical grip offered by the chassis can only be described as astounding. (This one, though, was modified a little beyond the NASA spec regs.)

The event again attracted a wide range of track cars–machines like Robert Shaw’s twin-turbo Ford Mustang, Exomotive’s Tesla Model S-powered Exocet, and winged Miatas campaigned by Emilio Cervantes of 949 Racing and Ryan Passey of Good-Win Racing.

Broderick Bauguess came to the event with a mostly stock 2003 BMW M3–the only big changes involved aero and suspension upgrades. The car didn’t feature any major engine modifications and even still used the stock brakes, but Bauguess was able to pedal the car all the way to third place overall. Bauguess, now 21 years old, has been racing cars since he was 14.

Also impressive: Our Fastest Front-Wheel Drive award didn’t go to one of the popular hot-hatches often seen at the track. A 400-horsepower Scion xA driven by Justin Crenshaw barely edged out Brian Tyson’s Ford Focus ST for top honors with a 2:25.199 lap time.

The pre-event favorite for that award was Will Au-Yeung and his 800-horsepower Honda Civic. The week before the UTCC, he set the record for the fastest front-wheel-drive lap at Road Atlanta. However, during his first warm-up lap at the UTCC, an oil line fitting failed and the car caught on fire. Thanks to Au-Yeung’s quick reactions, however, the fire was extinguished and damage was kept to a minimum. However, he and his crew wouldn’t be able to repair the car in time.

The Ultimate Track Car Challenge is an annual competition held by Grassroots Motorsports for the sole purpose of finding America’s fastest track cars. Anyone can enter with any type of car, and there are no restrictions on vehicle preparation. The event has been hosted at VIR for the last 12 years.

Full event coverage will be featured in the October issue of Grassroots Motorsports, including a complete rundown of the entire pack of contenders. You can get your subscription for just $10
right here.

Virginia International Raceway is hidden away in the hills of Alton, Virginia, straddling the border of Virginia and North Carolina. Since its reopening in 1998, VIR has grown to be one of the finest tracks in the nation. The beautiful 17-turn, 3.27-mile course offers complicated curves and elevation changes for the ultimate driving experience.

We’d like to give a big shoutout to our partners who helped make this whole event possible: Tire Rack, Koni, Lucas Oil, BimmerWorld, Mach V Motorsports, AMT Motorsport, SPA Technique, Ford and NASA Mid-Atlantic. Please help us thank them for supporting our community by considering their products for your project.

The Mid-Atlantic Region of the National Auto Sport Association, run by Chris Cobetto, sanctions the event. NASA has been the market leader for amateur road racing in the region for many years.

For complete final standings, visit the official results page.

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View comments on the GRM forums
TheRX7Project Reader
5/20/18 5:22 p.m.

That's a tough break on the Civic. Congratulations to Elan and Franklin Futrelle.

iwannarace New Reader
5/21/18 1:06 p.m.

Would love to see dry weather results. Can we get a redo?

Jaynen UltraDork
5/21/18 2:20 p.m.

Why is the Hypermiata not listed at all in the results? I thought it made at least one timed session?

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
5/21/18 2:40 p.m.

In reply to Jaynen :

In their first timed session they went off track and damaged the bodywork. That off meant the lap time from that session didn't count. They got the car back in order for the third timed session, but it was canceled due to lightning. The did manage to get back on track for the final session on Saturday, but for some reason their transponder wasn't clicking off. So they never registered a time unfortunately. However, they are going to send us their onboard data so we can include that in the magazine.

Jah29 New Reader
5/21/18 7:05 p.m.

How was the NP01 different from the spec car?  Just more power?

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
5/22/18 8:21 a.m.

In reply to Jah29 :

This NP01 was built to be competitive in NASA's ST1 class. This is straight from them: "The introduction of the ST1 class package in 2017 boosts horsepower from 185 to 235 and adds aerodynamic devices such as a ramped front splitter and rear diffuser, increasing the potency of the car."

klodkrawler05 Reader
5/22/18 10:38 a.m.

3rd overall from a stock ish e46 m3? Nice! I'm bias'd but it's nice to see another one punching above it's weight! Even if the wet weather helped in this case.

z31maniac MegaDork
5/22/18 11:11 a.m.

Damn! I hope the 949 crew and Ryan go back next year. Those guys know how to wheel a Miata.

Emilio700 New Reader
5/22/18 12:16 p.m.

In reply to Jaynen :

Many teams had trouble getting the tracks AMB strip to pick up their transponders. Despite being tested and having his transponder about 3" off the ground without obstructions, the loop didn't pick up Ryan's Hypermiata. After Fridays minor off destroyed his entire splitter and damaged the wing, we cobbed up a simple 4" splitter and converted his dual element GT1000 to a single element GT250 foil. In that lower drag/downforce config he did a 1:58.9 in dry conditions on Sunday. Not the cars full potential but at least he finally got some dry laps.



After :(

Emilio700 New Reader
5/22/18 12:32 p.m.

Bullet,  from Supermiata also didn't get any dry laps on Friday qual. Our best being a 2:18.47 in the wet on Hoosier slicks. We went 4 off that session so the time was scrubbed. Our earlier 2:21 on rain tires on a much wetter track was our only official time. We went 1:57.7 on Sunday in dry conditions with the high downforce/high drag aero package. After that we tried removing the end plates from our splitter and trimming the wing flat to our lower drag/downforce config for more top end speed. That was worth 2-3s on the same set of older heat cycled tires with me driving at 8/10ths. With the fresh A7's and a few more laps to dial it up, we're sure tha car had a 1:55 in it. C'est la vie. Next year!

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
5/22/18 12:44 p.m.

In reply to Emilio700 :

Thanks for the updates. I know a lot of people were following you guys. Also, just wanted to say that we really appreciated having you all there and you had such a great attitude all weekend. Hope to see you again next year with a dry track!

T.J. MegaDork
5/22/18 1:44 p.m.

Any Miata that can get a sub 2:00 lap at VIR is badass. Hoping for dry conditions next year to see how things stack up. I suppose everyone else is as well, except for a certain M3 that I doubt would've been all that close to a podium in the dry. That kid must have some real talent. Good job to him and his crew.

iwannarace New Reader
5/22/18 2:41 p.m.

@ Ed Any chance you guys can provide a live stream next year a la World Time Attack from Australia?

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
5/22/18 3:24 p.m.

In reply to iwannarace :

I'd like to see if we can get JG and his mobile live broadcasting studio there next year.

Emilio700 New Reader
5/22/18 4:00 p.m.

Yup, we had a lot of requests for livestream from fans of Supermiata and 949 Racing. That would be cool for next year.

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