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11 Jul, 2017

Race report: Pope dominates at the Glen!

Veteran hotshoe and Flatout Arrive and Drive client Stephen Pope, pictured here (center), is still smiling after a dominant weekend at Watkins Glen: 2 poles and 2 wins in the ITA class!

We’ll come back to Stephen, but we have a whole bunch of racing to catch you up on …

June 2-4 we visited New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Lightning circuit, renting Miatas to Nai Nan Ko, Erik Beck, Rick Miller and Seth Mansfield. All four racers ran strong on both Saturday and Sunday.

June 13 found us doing a one-day test at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The idea was to get track time for some Richard Childress Racing Xfinity Series drivers who will race at Mid-Ohio later this season. With Chris Cook instructing, future NASCAR stars Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, and Ben Kennedy wrung out our Miatas. Check out the group shot at the end of this post!

That test was on a Tuesday. To indicate how busy the crew’s been, those same four cars were transported, inspected, serviced, transported again, and ready to race June 16-17 at Lime Rock Park. Just ask renters Kurt Schmid, Wendy Cappola, Ray Kobs, and Ryan Duke, all of whom had excellent weekends at the Rock. What a jam-packed event that was: Doug Fisher also raced, as did Linda Lemelin, Stephen Pope, Hugh and Craig McHaffie, the Peter Tonellis (both Senior and Junior!), and Joe Stadelmann (who won everything in sight in his 944!).

Because we’re gluttons for punishment, we also dispatched a crew to Road America that weekend to support our favorite Pacific Northwesterners, Whit Gregg and Amy Mills, at the legendary June Sprints. Naturally, Amy and Whit raced hard and did well!

Next it was on to an SCCA Majors event at Watkins Glen, June 22-25. Hotshoe Eric Thompson brought both his Celica All-Trac Turbo and his Miata—and was rewarded with an STU win in the former and a fourth-place SM finish in the latter. Craig McHaffie earned an incredible come-from behind STL victory on Sunday (check out his in-car vid!), and Hugh got the feel of his new MX-5. Amy and Whit had excellent weekends; Amy qualified sixth both days in the stacked SM class, running at the sharp end of the field from start to finish. Linda Lemelin was with us again, and company president Nick Leverone ran Doug Fisher’s Flatout-built car and grabbed a pair of podiums. The Tonellis drove both their Miata and a new Toyota FRS we’re developing for them (actually, Flatout is building a trio of FRS/BRZs for the family, and we’re excited—these cars are fast!).

Here’s that Craig McHaffie in-car:

After a much-needed weekend off, we trundled to Road America for another test for the Richard Childress Racing guys. Then it was straight to the Glen again for SCCA Regional and Pro-IT racing. As noted, Stephen Pope absolutely tore it up. James McCann was quick, and it was great seeing old pals Keith Hammitte and Anne Lamport Hammitte in their BMWs. Joe Stadelmann put together another strong event, while Leverone ran one of our rental Miatas for another pair of podiums.

You can imagine how much work goes into all this. Huge thanks to Andrew Burke, Evan Consolazio, Adam Desrosiers, Dave Goulet, and Jody Leverone for tireless work at both the shop and the track. Also, help us welcome new guys Kyle Santos and Cory Bentley to Team Flatout—we’ll be telling you more about them soon!

L to R: Flatout’s Andrew Burke, RCR’s Daniel Hemric, Flatout’s Adam Desrosiers, racer and coach Chris Cook, RCR’s Brandon Jones, RCR’s Ben Kennedy, Flatout’s Dave Goulet.

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26 Jun, 2017

Worth a thousand words!

We’ll have full race and event reports for you soon, we promise! But until then, just a few random shots from our past few weeks at Road America, Lime Rock, and the Glen. Everything from a classic podium shot to Adam and Dave trying to catch a mouse in the RV  … enjoy!

 

 

 

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6 Jun, 2017

Mid-season form!

Boy, have we been busy. What with split weekends at Pocono and New Hampshire Motor Speedway; the never-ending search for power, as demonstrated in this photo; and prep for upcoming races at  Road America, Lime Rock and the Glen (three of our favorite places!), it’s hard to squeeze in a blog post – apologies!

Suffice it to say the Flatout Motorsports machine is rolling along, stronger than ever (and indeed with new team members we’ll tell you about soon), helping clients achieve their dreams – whether that means earning an SCCA Competition License at age 80, diving into a national pro series, or tackling the Runoffs at Indy.

More soon!

 

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9 May, 2017

Fantastic weekend at Palmer Motorsports Park

Weather aside, we New England racers are a fortunate group, with several new race tracks having recently joined old standbys New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Lime Rock.

Palmer Motorsports Park has quickly become one of our favorites, and the SCCA Regional races held there May 5-7 showed why, with a family atmosphere, much fun, and a bunch of great stories like these:

Keith and Ann Hammitte were excited to be back behind the wheel of their BMWs after taking a year off. The amazing husband-wife team always kick butt and have fun!

Joe Stadelmann, veteran racer and longtime Friend of Flatout, enjoyed running his Porsche 944 with the FOM team. After many years of doing all his own work, Joe is now taking advantage of our Arrive & Drive services. And guess what? Joe swept the podium, winning the ITS races on both Saturday and Sunday.

Doug Fisher, pictured here, laid down killer qualifying times keeping him in the front of the field in both STL and SM. Doug finished in the top 8 in both classes Saturday and Sunday, waging tight battles all over the track.

Company prez Nick Leverone ran our Number 00 rental car on Sunday, starting last and finishing 2nd in both SM2 and SM.

Craig McHaffie set the STL track record on Saturday in his Flatout-built MX-5. He ran away from the field, leaving nobody any chance! Unfortunately, on Sunday he fought a failing gearbox that ended his race early.

John Williamson, 80 years old (!), used to autocross back in the day and decided he wanted to get his competition racing license. John was absolutely thrilled with how much fun he had on track, and consistently dropped seconds off his lap times! Before going out for his first qualifying session, John sliced his finger open. No worries, though: Flatout’s Jody Leverone wrapped it up on grid, and when John emerged after the session, he was all smiles!

Ray Kobs, a first-time renter, enjoyed a fun test day, learning Palmer in the rain on Friday. The practice proved successful, with a great day of racing on Saturday! Like John, Ray kept getting quicker and quicker … and thanks to New England Region SCCA there were lots of cars on the track for everyone to race against!

Big thanks to everyone who crewed: Nick, Jody, Adam Desrosiers, Dave Goulet, and Nick Ustin. The meat of the season is upon us – we’ll barely come up for air until November!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19 Apr, 2017

Leverone, Kicera double up at VIR!

At the Hoosier Super Tour race weekend held April 14-16 at Virginia International Raceway, you could say Flatout Motorsports did okay.

If you were prone to understatement.

Company president Nick Leverone, running STL, and national Spec Miata hotshoe Tyler Kicera, who has teamed up with Flatout, took two podiums apiece in highly competitive fields. Well done, gents! Check out some post-race interviews with the winners: Leverone is here and here, Kicera here and here.

Arrive-and-drive client Amy Mills also put together a fantastic weekend, as did our other clients – in one SM race, Amy notched a top-20 finish after starting 31st!

For much more on the event, check out MazdaSpeed’s report.

With the weather up here in the north improving, we’re migrating like the geese. Much good racing to come in the near future!

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10 Apr, 2017

News release: Flatout joins Global MX-5 Cup program!

Here’s some big news – we’ll simply quote from our friends at MazdaSpeed Motorsports. You can find the entire release here.

Flatout Motorsports has been renting cars to customers since 2003, and has expanded into a full-service prep shop. Now, with a customer interested in the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, the team is looking to its next challenge.

“We have a customer, Matt Koskinen, who’s bought a Global MX-5 Cup car and wants to run a full season in 2018,” explains Nick Leverone, one of Flatout’s principals and a darn good shoe himself. “To facilitate us taking care of his car, we worked out a deal to get a couple of rental cars.”

Koskinen plans to do a few races in 2017 in preparation for a full-season run next year. Spec Miata racer Tyler Kicera, the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour champion for the last two years and the 2016 NASA Eastern States winner, is also planning on running MX-5 Cup in 2018, and will be joining the team as a driver and coach for this season.

The plan is to run the MX-5 Cup races at Indianapolis and Road America, and perhaps Toronto as well. But Flatout doesn’t intend to let the cars sit around, and aims to rent them out for SCCA races in Touring 3.

Leverone, whose partners in Flatout include Andy Bettencourt, Hugh McHaffie, Attilio A. Albani Jr., and Steve Ulfelder, has also been doing well in 2017 racing an NB Mazda Miata in SCCA’s STL class. He split wins with Danny Steyn at Sebring, and the team took wins in both races at NOLA and COTA.

“My teammate Craig McHaffie had his first Majors win at COTA on Sunday,” Leverone says. “We’ve been developing that car [a 2008 Mazda Miata]. We built that car for Grand-Am in 2008, and Hugh and I ran that for a couple of years, [although we] never did a full season. The car kind of sat around. We converted that car to STL and it has been getting quicker and quicker. Now I think it’s one of the dominant cars in the class.”

If you’re interested in joining Flatout for some MX-5 Cup races, or renting a car for Touring 3 or Spec Miata, contact us! And here’s a terrific article (complete with a video shop visit) detailing how Global MX-5 Cup cars are built.

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30 Mar, 2017

Flatout battle in Texas!

Yee haw! At a late-March SCCA race at the Circuit of the Americas, Flatout hotshoes Craig McHaffie and Nick Leverone had one of those 11/10ths, last-lap duels that remind us all why we love motorsports, with Craig taking the STL race. For an entertaining 3 minutes, check out Craig’s in-car video here.

 

 

 

 

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21 Mar, 2017

Flatout alum is going big!

How quickly they grow up! We remember JT Coupal when he had trouble getting around the paddock because stick-shifts were new to him (seriously – he came to us from karts, and he barely had a driver’s license!).

JT immediately began running up front and winning in his Flatout-built Spec Miata, and so we’re not surprised that his racing career is progressing. This year, he’ll be running the Pirelli World Challenge in an Audi RS3 LMS.

As befits a cool up-and-coming racer, JT’s got a cool website where you can learn more about him and follow his exploits. Check it out here!

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17 Mar, 2017

Winter Series – fun in the sun!

Kicera, Leverone and Mills lined up at NOLA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots to catch you up on, so let’s get to it!

Homestead-Miami Speedway, SCCA Major, Jan. 5-8. Whit Gregg, Joe Schubert, and Hugh McHaffie all drove. We welcomed Tyler Kicera to the team, too; he ran the 89 rental in SM. Tyler’s one of the nation’s fastest Miata pilots, and we’re always looking for ways to make our cars faster. He’s already proved invaluable! Company president Nick Leverone finished first Saturday and second Sunday in STL. Hugh took 3rd Sunday, and Whit enjoyed a double-dip weekend. In SM, Tyler finished 10th Saturday and 9th Sunday, with Nick 11th and 15th.

Sebring, SCCA Majors/Hoosier Super Tour, Jan. 12-15. In STL, Leverone finished 2nd Sat by .015 of a second to our friend Danny Steyn, then won Sunday. Craig McHaffie finished 4th both days, while Tim Estes was 5th in his RX-7. Matt Koskinen, running the T3 class in his 2016 Mazda Global Cup car, had some teething problems: a blown transmission in testing, a battery malfunction that kept him out of race 1, and a broken motor mount that ended his weekend. In SM, Nick finished 11th and 15th. Sunday was a rough race – it seemed Leverone got hit by everyone, and we have no idea how he got back to 15th! Amy Mills was 33rd and 39th in the stacked field. Whit was 45th both days, Craig 43rd and 35th, and Joe 66th and 57th.

Sebring, SCCA Cabin Fever Regional, Feb. 11-12. Craig McHaffie overcame some problems to win Sunday’s STL race – well done! Amy Mills finished 6th and 3rd; renter David Quinlan took 8th and 6th; and Whit, Hugh, and new renter Matt Williamson (welcome!) all had strong finishes battling each other – on Sunday, Whit took 9th, Hugh 10th, and Matt 11th. Good intramural stuff! In SM, Amy finished 4th and 3rd, David snared a top-10, Whit took 11th and 10th, Hugh had a 12th and a DNS, and Matt came in 19th and 16th. Spec Miata was 46 cars deep – amazing for a regional!

NOLA Motorsports Park, SCCA Majors/Hoosier Super Tour, March 3-5. As we blogged recently, Leverone took both STL races, setting a track record, while Craig came in 3rd and 2nd. Once again, Whit, Joe, and Hugh went at it hammer and tongs. In SM, Tyler Kicera qualified 3rd on Saturday; he wound up in the top 10.  Amy, Whit, Joe, and Hugh finished well and had fun races. Everyone enjoyed the track. In Sunday’s race, Mills had a great qualifier but got spun early. Tyler was 5th and Leverone 11th.

Next up? Texas, for a big weekend at Circuit of the Americas. Then spring kicks in and we’re off to New Jersey Motorsports Park for an SCCA driving school, followed by an SCCA Majors events at VIR April 13th-16th and the NJMP 12-hour the following weekend.

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13 Mar, 2017

It’s good to get noticed

Flatout Motorsports was launched in 1992 (wow, it feels weird to write that!). In our early years we waxed and waned, but we’ve been a constant presence on the U.S. roadracing scene since 2001, when we campaigned our first RX-7 in SCCA’s ITS class.

Lately, it seems, our cars and drivers have been turning up on a lot of podiums, at tracks from sea to shining sea. One gratifying result: the racing world is focusing some attention on li’l old us.

The video presented here is Exhibit A – company president Nick Leverone being interviewed by the SCCA after his recent Super Tour wins (avec STU track record) at NOLA Motorsports Park. And you can see Exhibit B here, as Nick makes the Mazda Motorsports writeup of the same event.

Speaking of writeups: We owe you one! We’ll check in later this week with full results of our Winter Series exploits.

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