9/13/08: Ryan Gates WINS the 2008 NASA TT-A National Championship and sets a new track record at Mid Ohio in the AMS Sponsored Evo X!
Please visit www.Gates311.com for more info on the car.

This accomplishment wouldn’t be possible without the great support of AMS Performance, Robispec, Girodisc, Exedy USA and Darkside Engineering!
I really appreciate all of the support guys, the car has been awesome and you guys and your parts deserve alot of the credit! Thanks again!

My fastest lap of the weekend: 1:31.7
New Lap Record: 1:33.6
Previous Record: 1:33.8
Tires: Hankook C71
330whp/345wtq (stock intake)

-Ryan Gates
www.Gates311.com

Story of the weekend:

After a last minute test session at B.I.R. in MN the weekend before NASA Natl’s, I was all set to head to Natl’s. I headed AMS on the way to Ohio to have a fresh tune on the car and to make sure everything was perfect. After a few tweaks and a new set of plugs, Chris @ AMS had the car running perfect! I picked up a Motive Bleeder from them to keep fresh fluid in the car while at Natl’s. After a bit of chatting I headed off to Mid Ohio!

I made it to Mid O early so that I had a test day to learn the track before the times sessions actually started. Being there early was a HUGE help, the track is kinda tricky, but super fun. I picked up the track pretty fast, by the last lap of the first session on my NT01’s I had run a 1:34.6. Not fast, but I was just learning the track on an old set of Nitto’s before putting on the Hankooks The next session I headed out on the fresh Hankook C71’s and was blown away. I haven’t run truly sticky tires on this car yet, and wow, they are fast! I picked up almost two seconds just with these tires, I’m sure it helped knowing the track a little better, but tires played a main role. I ran a 1:32.7 on my Traqmate, a whole second faster than the TT-A Track Record! I was super pumped. For the last session of the day I really pushed it. I only ran 3 laps, but I jut wanted to see the fastest I could run………a 1:31.7! TWO SECONDS faster than then current TT-A track record!

Heading into Thurs I was very excited to see how things would play out. First session of the day was just a practice to get our grid spots for later Timed sessions. I ran a 1:32.9 on the cold track on my 3rd lap and pulled in. After the session I had 2 new C91’s mounted and headed out for the first official timed session of the weekend. I went out there just to scrub them in, preparing for the last session of the day with c91’s all around. I ran a 1:33.6 while taking it slow to break the tires in. After that session, I was weighed and re-teched to make sure I was legal. Came out at 3,543 #’s, over my weight by 43 #’s just to be safe.

Last session I headed out thinkin I’d run really fast with the C91’s all around. I only ran a 1:33.3. I was kinda surprised so I pulled off to check everything. I forgot to check tire pressures after having the front C91’s mounted Hot temps were 46 and 45. The rears were around 38 where I wanted them. I was bummed but hoped for good weather and one session on Friday to get a better time.

There was some controversy on Thurs night, the TT leader was convinced my ECU controlled boost was also an “Aftermarket Boost Controller”. He wanted me to take an extra 4 points and bump me to TT-S. I was pissed, but thanks to Chris @ AMS’ wonderfully thorough email and a nice chat we had the issue cleared. BUT there was another issue. My exhaust setup didn’t meet there rules and I had to add a point, bumping me out of TT-A. I had the setup cleared by my Midwest TT Director, but the Natl guys said that didn’t matter, they read the rules differently. In the end, they were right, and I let it go.

So….its Friday morning, it’s pouring rain and Im over points. I only needed to lose 1 point to make it back to TT-A. I figured a stock intake would be the easiest way to get the point back, running 110 oct ruled out the stock cat. Buschur had a stock intake that I picked up, but didn’t have an extra MAF adapter or BOV pipe. So I called AMS in an emergency and they luckily had what I needed, PLUS an HKS drop in filter. They overnighted everything to me and all was well….except it was still pouring on Sat morning.

I installed the intake with a positive attitude about the weather, I was just praying it’d change for at least 1 session on Sat. After the first soggy session, we had a few hours to kill so I left the track in my truck to go hang out at the mall close by. 2.5 hours later I head back to the track. It had stopped raining, but was still drizzling. About an hour before my 2nd session it had stopped raining and was lightening up. By the time the session came, the track was 80% dry and I was pumped to at least get a shot to redeem myself.

With the stock intake, the car ran very rich and was super doggy. It was 12mph slower on the straight and was running 9.5:1 AFR’s ughhh. I ran a 1:34.8 and was PISSED. The C91’s were spent and the car felt really washy out there I had to have the car dyno’d again (only made 330whp) and have the C71’s remounted before the last session.

Luckily it stayed dry and I was excited for the final session. I went out and just calmed down and drove. I warmed up for two laps and went for it on the 3rd lap….and ran a 1:33.6!!!! Good enough to win the Championship and set a new official track record! I wanted to smash the record like earlier in the week, but the car running the way it was just wasn’t possible.

Overall had a great weekend, lots of fun and a great track! Everyone was very cool to compete against. Congrats to Jesse White and Ed Nazarian for their 2nd and 3rd place’s in TT-A respectively.

I’m really looking forward to really pushing the car much further now that the Natl’s are over. Watch out for a MUCH lighter/faster Evo X soon Goodbye 3,500 #’s and 350whp Thanks again for everyone for their awesome support. I am happy to prove that an Evo X isn’t a bad car, and also that an Evo can’t compete in TT-A (was told that by multiple people on EvoM, NASA TT’ers and even Robi!) Also, notice the brake ducts? Yea…sweet! Let me know if you Evo X owners would like more info on them.

-Ryan

Here are some photos from the weekend:

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