Most of you know about our unfortunate luck at the 2011 running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. A wasted head gasket left us just a little over a mile from the summit. I sat on the side of the highway and just out my window and up to the left, there was Olympic hairpin. The last turn before the finish line. It hovered over me like a black cloud of failure. Whatever…it took me all of ten seconds to get over it and start thinking about what we’re going to do in 2012, and beyond.
So, my good and happy racing friends, you all are going to be among the first to hear my plans for 2012 and 2013. Here goes…
The engine and trans will be rebuilt over the next few months. Dent Sport Garage (DSG), home of Bill Washburn’s 240RS Maxi E2, will be assembling the new bullet. Parts will be sourced through our sponsor, Alamo Autosports. A few things on the car that have been bugging me will be re-engineered; but the basic configuration will stay the same this year, so we can get the car to its new driver ASAP.
New Driver!? Yup. Fatman Racing‘s own Anthony Perez (my crew chief in 2010 and 2011) will drive the Pink car at the 90th running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 2012. He’s been doing really well in the SCCA and he’s a true student of the science of making a car handle. True Story: After our day one practice, he looked at the tires and gave me the full rundown on what the car was doing, and what we needed to do to go faster. The next day we met our tire sponsor, a thirty-year tire engineering veteran and he proceeded to tell me exactly what Anthony had told me the day before. Yeah…Anthony just gets it.
We’ll be on the hunt for a crew chief that speaks Nissan race-car in order to let Anthony focus on the enormous task at hand.
OK, in the title of the post you probably noticed the word “Cars”. Here’s the other big news:
This weekend I’m driving down to Huntington Beach to pick up the new Pink Car. A 1997 240SX. Dubbed 240LSP2. “LS?” I’ll give you one guess what the P2 is going to be powered by. Let’s break down the name real quick: 240=it’s still a 240, LS=the LS2 power-plant, P2=Pink Car 2…240LSP2. Kinda corny, but I like it.
This will be a two year project, that I hope to be testing by March 2013 and ready to compete in the 2013 running of the Hill Climb. It will compete in the Pikes Peak Open class (not Unlimited, just Open…some get confused), or, if the Time Attack rules are modified to allow engine swaps, we’ll run it there. We’ll see.
I can already hear the Nissan purists condemning me for my choice of motor. Don’t even bother. My goal is to have fast and go fun (I know what I said). Criss-crossing brand names doesn’t mean all that much to me (unless you throw a name at me like Yugo…then I vomit a bit). I love, love, love the Nissan 240SX body style and I love the feel and sound of American muscle. The first motor I ever built was a small block Chevy, and I stuck it in a 85 S-10 pickup. So, I’m essentially going back where I started by sticking a motor somewhere it doesn’t belong.
There is another major component to this project that I’ll talk about later, if the feasibility study currently underway comes back with some positive results. I’ll let you all in on that once we get more data.
Well, there it is. In 2013, Fatman Racing will be a double-barreled Pink shotgun, aimed right at the summit of Pikes Peak. Come follow along as we make our way through these concurrent projects. I’ll be posting here, as major news warrants, and you will also be able to get more in depth details and photos at the all new Fatman Racing website.
– Ken Stouffer