Back in November I had attended Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow, not to cover the event, but more or less just to hang out with friends and chat about racing. It’s nice to reserve my local events for spectating and socializing rather than work, however there were a few cars in attendance I wanted to grab a couple photos of.
At the last VTEC Club event I attended (which admittedly due to time constraints was quite awhile ago), Kristian and I met Juan Rodriguez, the owner of this EM1. It was the first time we’d seen the car at any event really, and as soon as I saw it towards the back of the paddock at Buttonwillow it immediately caught my eye; for a few reasons.
The S2000’s that are backed by Ballade Sports are, no doubt, among some of the best looking in the paddock. The Southern California tuning shop has consistently chosen quality parts to adorn their shop and customer cars with. Carving a niche out for themselves by shadowing a very Japanese style of automotive tuning, they’ve proven time and time again that often times less is more. It should come at no surprise then, that they’re also among the best performing; their flagship S2000 is a perfect example of this.
With all the running around and traveling I’ve done for the busy holiday I almost forgot I had a couple more shots from the final round of VTEC Club to post up. After chatting around the paddock area, and bouncing from the beginning of the straight to the end, Duane approached me and asked if I wanted to head over to Cotton Corners. I gladly accepted because I don’t get to go to the infield at these events too often. It’s nice to get a different perspective when photographing track events. As a result though, most of the on-track shots in this post will be from there and may be a little repetitive.
It never ceases to amaze me; the successes of hard working people. The last VTEC Club USA event took place last week, and it’s given me a chance to reflect on the entire season, and everyone that’s been involved in the project all the way from the conception phase. The individuals who saw the need to fill a missing niche in our world of motor sport, and took the steps to achieve just that. Even those who had the foresight to see what type of community could be created from a series like this are probably surprised at the outcome. Starting a new series from the ground up, albeit hosted by a well-known name (Extreme Speed), takes a lot of work and to have it explode in popularity overnight is a testament to how well it’s been organized. Duane Bada, ‘Tom Attack’, Kristian Wong, Matt Rojana, Yuta, Amir, the sponsors, the media partners, and everyone else that has been involved in making the series what it is deserve a huge thank you from anyone who has participated this season. I’m definitely looking forward to next year, but first, for the last event of this year, we head over to Buttonwillow Raceway Park one last time for Round 5 of Season 2.
This past Thursday, Global Time Attack, in conjunction with Super Street, held the Super Lap Battle event at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. SLB is the last event of the GTA series and as usual, the most looked forward to of the season. Teams from all over North American arrived with hopes of breaking records and clinching titles. This was the first time I’ve attended SLB in quite some time, and it was interesting to compare it to the events I’ve been going to both here and in Japan. SLB is a two day event, and it’s much more expensive than your run-of-the-mill track event, so you know that those competing are putting everything they have to be on top; not to mention the cost of those traveling across country. It all makes for a very vibrant feeling around the pits and on track.
Behind most cars, there are stories to be told. Some are your ordinary, every day type of stories that happen to the majority of people. I’m sure we all have lot’s of memories that are centered around our vehicles; but I doubt that they are quite as intense as the story that surrounds this particular S2000. Why? Because this one was at one point engulfed in flames. Has your car ever been on fire? Didn’t think so. This beautiful S2000 belongs to Nhan Doan, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Wekfest LA, where he was showing his car for the day. I liked his car so much I asked if he wanted to snap a few pictures for NDF after the show. He happily obliged and around 5 or so we headed to Ballade Sports, where he was to drop off the car for a new tune that week. I was hoping to have the new website up by now, here, and have this post as a sort of ‘kick-off’ of the new layout, but as you can see it seems to be taking me longer than I thought. So, good news for all the fans I suppose, you get it early! Click past the break to learn more about this true fighter of a S2000.