It was an action packed weekend at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois this past weekend. *Redline Time Attack came into town as a whisper and went out with a bang, literally. *From blowing wind and rain to blowing motors, the weekend of June 12th and 13th kept everyone on their toes. *THMotorsports was their to engage in the fun, and we are here to bring you the story and pictures.
The THMotorsports team worked all week to get our STi up and running, but was not able to finish it in time for the track day. *Not to worry, we ferociously prepped our autocross RX-8 for some track duty. *Switching tires, swapping brakes, adding sways and getting alginments was the name of the game. *Saturday morning rolled around and we loaded up the trailer, we were quickly bound for Joliet, Illinois. *The weather appeared grim, and there was a constant threat of rain. *Upon arrival at the track everything to seemed to work in our favor. *The 8 was running well, and felt good after a few shakedown laps. *Around 1PM central time, the skies opened, and the track was closed due to lightening strikes.
Following the rain delay, we attacked the track. *After about 3 hot laps, the car seemed to be hurting. *Back into the pits, the Mazda died in the paddock and we could not get it running again.
Diagnosis: *Cracked rotary housing
The rain continued, and the dark weather reflected our emotions. *Nonetheless, we weathered the storm (har har) and decided to return the following day with a bolt on STi to run in enthusiast class.
After a little rest (or was it unrest lol), Sunday morning rolled around and we found ourselves facing a less than favorable weather forecast. *The morning carried over into the afternoon, and our STi was carrying some great speed through the course, nipping at the heels of the 3rd place AWD time for enthusiast class. *Mother nature just didnt want this weekend to finish without leaving her footprint, and again we were in a rain delay.
Following lunch, the track was left extremely wet, the street and enthusiast classes were sent out to try and dry off the course. *What started as a normal track day quickly turned into a drift session. *Crowds gathered as drivers displayed their car control in less than favorable conditions. *Evening was quickly approacing, and so was the super session. *About 8 cars from several classes decided to run in the super session, which would later prove to be one of the biggest spectacles of the day.
You'd think they were playing mario kart out there! *As the grid filled up with everything from the TopSetup CRX to the Cobb Tuning GTR, fans anticipated quiet a spectacle from these drivers on a track that mimicked an ice arena. *Going into the first turn the Fischer piolted MX-5 spun casuing traffic for the Cobb GTR and the Turn In concepts STi. *This was the least of the MX-5's problem, which later spun out on the main straight kissing the guard rail and taking out the Redline timing machine. *This was later followed by an intense crash by the Autobarn Mazdaspeed 5 (Yes a turbo minivan OMG) putting it into some haybails. *Then session ended under a black/checkered flag, and crews quickly attended to their cars to assess the damage.
Overall, the weekend was quite an eye opener. *There was a great showing from many of the franchise teams, and it was great to finally put some screen names with faces. *Regardless of the troubles the THMotorsports team faced, we still had a great time. *Good luck to all the teams and the next event, and we hope to see you in Sebring!
Check out the rest of the pics here