AI West 2003, California Speedway
AI West 2003, California Speedway
NASA Weekend, Mach 7-9, 2003
Maximum Motorsports #22 Wins First AIX Race of 2003!
The opening race of NASA's American Iron West Championship Series at California Speedway in Fontana was a great success. The weather was perfect, and California Speedway is a superb facility with NASCAR caliber paddock, garages, pits and spectator areas. And there sure was plenty of action! Spectators and competitors could choose from the American Iron West Season opener, NASA's High Performance Driving Event (HPDE), a car show and vendor areas.
American Iron race Reports
The course used was identical to the one used by the American Le Mans Series and other pro groups. The 18-turn, 2.8-mile course included nearly a mile of the 14-degree banked oval section of the track. Some racers saw speeds of 165 miles per hour and beyond as they rocketed into Turn 3!
Saturday's race started behind a beautiful new Mustang pace car provided by Galpin Ford. When the green flag dropped, John Lindsey in the AIX Maximum Motorsports #22 made a bold move from 6th to 3nd position, tucking in behind Bruce Griggs in AIX and Vageli Karas in AI. Griggs and Karas battled for the lead, while just a few car lengths back John Lindsey held off AI racer Kevin Chambers. Cunningham in AI was slowly gaining on the 4 front runners, with Tim Gilpin (AI) holding a very steady AI 4th place. Lindsey's consistent driving paid off when he got past both Karas and Griggs as they went off-course in separate incidents. Just a few minutes later, Ed Varon hit a tire wall in turn 18 and rolled his Mustang coupe. Ed was fine and walked away from the incident thanks to the stout roll cage in his car. The race ended under the red flag with John Lindsey securing the AIX win in his MM Mustang, followed by Griggs and Milby. The AI cars finished with Cunningham taking the win, followed by Chambers, Karas, and Gilpin.
Sunday's race began with the lead pack flying into Turn 3, where a bumper rub between Milby and Lindsey sent Milby into a spin and Lindsey off course.
Lindsey recovered from a series of tankslappers in the grass, but not before the entire pack thundered by him. The lead pack of Griggs, Karas, Cunningham, Chambers, and Gilpin pulled away smartly from the rest of the field. Tim Gilpin stayed close to the front, while Lindsey worked through the entire field to get back near the front. When the checkered car fell at the end of the race, Lindsey had taken his car to second place in AIX, and Tim Gilpin of Brothers Performance took his MM suspended Mustang to a third place finish in AI.
The winners for the weekend all received beautiful trophies from Galpin Ford, presented by the lovely Elise from Mustang World. Points were accrued toward contingency prizes offered by series sponsors Maximum Motorsports, Brothers Performance, BBK, Toyo Tires, and the other NASA American Iron sponsors.
The Car Show & Vendor Booths
The Orange County Mustang Club hosted a car show, with nearly a hundred Mustangs and other classic Fords proudly displayed by their owners. Check it out here...
MM set up a booth in the Vendor area, where a continuous stream of people had the opportunity to pick up and inspect all the products we manufacture. Our sales and technical staff were there to answer questions about K-members, Torque-arms, Panhard Bars, Coil-over kits, our new line of StopTech Brakes and much more. The centerpiece of our display was the eye-popping yellow Project Mustang GT from Popular Hot Rodding. The 2002 Mustang was set up on jack stands, wheels off, and mirrors on the ground, for easy viewing of all the MM suspension parts.
MM had two cars running in the HPDE for spectators and visitors to get a taste of what a Mustang can do on a big track. A lucky few got some thrilling laps with Tom Wilson in the 5.0 Mustang and Super Fords open track project car. Prepared with our Maximum Grip Box, this car has been featured in several magazine articles detailing the build-up of this street-driven, track-capable car. The 265 RWHP, 3600 lb., air-conditioned street car pegged the speedometer while it blasted around the banking at California Speedway, clocking a best time of 2:00! Not too shabby, considering Saturday's American iron Extreme winner (John Lindsey in the MM-equipped #22) turned 1:50s. And the 5.0 Mustang striped car is no trailer queen ? Tom drives it to and from all events.
A Special Thanks
To other event sponsors: 5.0 Mustang and Super Fords magazine, Brothers Performance Warehouse, BBK, Cobalt Friction Technologies, Orange County Mustang Club and Toyo Tires.