Matt Lennen- 1320 Racing

Last week was absolutely crazy.  We blew the motor and trans apart on Sunday 10/30, with the huge MIR World Cup Finals race coming up on the following Saturday/Sunday (11/5-11/6).  Big thanks goes out to:

-ARP for getting us the extra L19 hardware months ago
-Boost Logic for overnighting a fresh downpipe
-Brian Crower for overnighting a new set of Rods
-Elmhurst Toyota for getting us the OEM parts we were missing
-Ferrea for overnighting some replacement valves
-FTI for building a new converter last minute
-Gates for supplying us additional parts back at the beginning of the season
-Justice Racing Engines for getting the new bottom end machined/assembled and repairing the head
-PFSupercars for helping me get some last minute late night issues resolved
-Real Street Performance for overnighting a set of ACL main/rod bearings and some hoodies to keep us warm at the track
-Wiseco for overnighting us a set of Rings, and somehow getting us 4 fresh custom cut pistons to make a complete set.
-And anyone else that I texted/called/annoyed all last week (my apologies)

It was a long week filled with sleepless nights, scrambling to find parts and cleaning up one big disastrous mess.  We picked up the bottom end and head from Justice Racing on Thursday afternoon, from that point on it was go time.  Started putting the odds and ends back on the motor, ran into big problems with the oil pump, got the head on, got the accessories bolted up, did the timing belt, water pump, wiring harness, etc.  Finally had the motor in the car around 2-3pm Friday.  Started hooking up intercooler piping, radiator, wiring – got the transmission bolted up around 6pm.  Going back over all the loose odds and ends around 11pm we found a helicoil on the radiator drainplug was trashed.  Met up with Andre from PFSupercars down at their shop and came up with a temporary solution.  By 3:30am the car was completely back together and ready for some oil, a filter and startup.  Ran into an issue with an oil leak at 4am Saturday, didnt have it resolved until around 6am.  Finally had the car ready to go at 9:30am Saturday.  We loaded up, and went straight down to the track.

All week we had played it off as though there was no chance we could possibly get the car together and make the event.  This worked out exactly as we planned getting everyone at the track talking when they saw us bring the car in.  Arrived at MIR around Noon on Saturday, in time for the 2nd round of qualifying.  We unloaded the car, went up to the lanes around 4pm and pulled off a 9.26@151 right off the trailer, qualifying #1.  That was all we needed to do Saturday, decided to take it easy on the few hour old motor and park the car for the rest of the day.

Sunday the track was plagued with breakage and oil downs.  It was announced that our class would have a 32 car field and thus 5 rounds of eliminations.  We did our first round pass around 12pm, up against a high 10 second S2000.  Decided to take it easy on the car and not hurt anything until we had to, peddled the car at 40% to a 10.3@118 beating the S2000’s 11.5 second pass – advancing us onto round 2.

The event was falling way behind schedule by round 2, which didnt begin until 4pm.  The track tech inspectors announced they would be measuring everyones turbo’s at the scales right after the round 2 pass.  We ended up with a bye run for round 2, so to try to avoid the compressor housing inlet swelling from heat, again decided to just take it easy down the track and ran a 12 second pass.  Turbo measured up legal after the pass and we were on to round 3.

We were called up to the lanes for round 3 around 8:30pm, more than 4 hours behind schedule.  We sat in the lanes for at least another hour and a half waiting for wrecks and spills to be cleaned up.  The sun was long gone and temperatures were dropping, it was now about 38 degrees outside and dew was forming on the track surface.  For round 3 we were up against the 2nd fastest car in the class, running 9.3’s consistently the last few passes.  We’ve had an ongoing rivalry with this racer, so we knew he was going to throw everything he had at us on this pass.  Once the amber lights flashed it was a contest of who could find traction first – we both spun hard out of the hole, and we both were quick to recover.  I managed to inch ahead and win with a 10.0@150 to his 10.2@151, advancing us to the semi finals.

After returning to the pits, an announcement was made that due to the track conditions the event would be ended early with the purse being split evenly between everyone still in the race.  This is a first for this event, and definitely a disappointment, but we’ll still count it as a win.