WRPM 2014 Race Update
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WRPMotorsports Driver Willie Phee Finished 4th in PTB and 6th  in HC2 at the NASA Eastern National Championship Race held at Road Atlanta on August 31st  In just the second outing in the WRPMotorsports Acura TSX Willie Phee would finish 4th in PTB and 6th in HC2 at the Eastern region NASA National Championships held at Road Atlanta Raceway in Braselton, GA.   “It was a good weekend especially with the previous results I had with the car” said Phee. “The team was able to sort out the electrical problems and we ended up switching to a different ECU to try and get the engine tune more consistent.” The format for the NASA National would consist of a qualifying race on Friday and a second qualifying race on Saturday to set the grid for the Championship race on Sunday.  He challenge for Phee would be that the qualifying races for the two classes he would be running were back to back on Friday and the Championship races on Sunday would be the same way. Phee would end up qualifying 5th in PTB and 10th in HC2 for the two Championship Races. The first Championship Race would be Honda Challenge and traditionally Honda Challenge uses a standing start.  Phee was schedule to line up in the 10th starting spot but made the decision to start at the back of the field.  “I had only done a couple of standing starts in the car so I decided to start at the back just to be safe. Plus I had a really difficult time with the spec Toyo tires all weekend, the car just never seemed to have decent grip.  It seemed like the back end would just slide everywhere”.  “The team mounted a camera in the wheel well to see what the tire was doing in the corners and as it turned out the tire had a significant amount of side flex. Plus with the PTB race schedule immediately after the Honda Challenge race I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to change tires and refuel the car if I ran to the finish of the HC race.”  Phee would make a good start and move up a few positions over the course of the 19 lap race running as high as 8th at one point but would pull off on lap 14 in order to prepare the car for the next race. At race end Phee would be credited with 11th place. However due to technical infractions the top five cars were disqualified and Phee would be officially listed in 6th place.   Ironically had Phee completed the full 19 lap race his finish could have been as high as 3rd In the PTB Championship race Phee would start 5th in a car that was classified for PTC. “The race officials asked me and one other PTC car to move up a class so they would have enough cars to compete for the Championship”.  “What a difference different tires make, I was using an older set of Hankook tires for the PTB race and the car responded beautifully”.  “It was amazing how much better the car felt even with the older tires on it compared to the Toyos”.  Phee’s lap times in the PTB race were nearly two seconds faster on older tires. Phee would go on to finish in 4th  position in a car that was clearly not up to the performance standards of the class, however Phee did manage to put his car into 4th in class.   The next race is scheduled for November 1-2, 2014 back at Road Atlanta for the SCCA American Road Race of Champions.   The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA and OPM Autosports.  Photos by Chris Schutze of Finish Line Productions at   http://www.finishlineprod.net/  WRPMotorsports Driver Willie Phee Débuts a New Acura TSX at the NASA Road Atlanta Event on August 2nd and 3rd  WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would have mixed results over the weekend as electrical gremlins would affect the car all weekend.  “It’s never a good idea to shake down a new car at a race but we had no choice as this was the first weekend we had to test the new car” said Phee.  “This entire weekend was about testing the car and running enough laps to qualify for the NASA National Championship race at the end of the month”.  Phee would indeed run enough laps to qualify and in spite of the problems over the course of the weekend Phee would finish 1st in Performance Touring “C” class in both races and finish 2nd in both races of Honda Challenge 2.  The Friday test day would be the first time Phee would drive the car since it was built. The first session was just about riding around and getting a feel for the car. The car was set up fairly soft and as the speed increased it was clear that the suspension needed to be stiffened up and the ride height needed to be raised.  “The first session started out well but the car developed a misfire about half way through the session. When I got the car back to the paddock it turned out the car had a bad cam sensor”. In the second session the car wouldn’t run below 3,000 RPM and start intermittently cutting out above 5,500 RPM. “The crew traced the problem to the AEM ECU so we hooked up the stock ECU and the car seemed to run fine. Unfortunately the car was down on power since it was tuned with the AEM ECU” said Phee. Over the course of the weekend the crew would replace the alternator, the kill switch, the battery and would switch back to the stock ECU.  Over the weekend Phee would gradually improve his lap times and continue to work on suspension settings.  “As I got more comfortable in the car and the lap times started dropping I started bottoming out the car in several of the faster corners so I knew we needed to stiffen up the suspension and raise the ride height”.  “I definitely think the car has potential, we just need to get the engine electronics sorted out and continue to work on the handling and suspension settings” said Phee. In both races on Saturday and Sunday Phee would complete enough laps to qualify for the NASA National Championship Race and gain some valuable seat time to help learn more about the car.  The next race is scheduled for August 30-31, 2014 back at Road Atlanta for the NASA Championship Race.   The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA and OPM Autosports.  Photos courtesy of Kim Dunbar Steyn at  http://www.adeptstudios.com/  and Bill Vanderford
August 29-31, 2014 – Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia
August 2-3, 2014 – Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia
Race Results
Race Results
July 12-13, 2014 – Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia
WRPMotorsports Driver Willie Phee Kicks off the 2014 Season with Four Podiums in Four Races at the July Road Atlanta Regional Race.   WRPMotorsports driver Willie Phee would finish 2nd in both Carolina Pro Cup Series Races (CCPS) and 3rd in both SCCA ITA Regional Races. Phee would qualify on the pole for the Saturday ITA race and 2nd in class for the  CCPS Race.  “It was great to get a pole and a 2nd place start after being out of the car since the September races last year at Barber Motorsports Park” said Phee. In race one Phee would be unable to start from pole position due to some last minute changes suspension settings on the car and would start last on the field.  “The team wanted to make some changes and unfortunately I was late to the grid and ended up catching the tail end of the field as they were entering turn 10.  I knew I would have to be patient and try to work my way through the field but ended up getting hung up a couple of times in turn 10 with slower traffic” said Phee.   Phee would end up finishing 3rd in class and 12th overall after starting last in the 27 car field. In the afternoon 45 minute CCPS race Phee would start 2nd in class and 3rd  overall.  The CCPS race format was different from the Pro-IT format that the Atlanta Region normally runs in that it included a mandatory 2 minute pit stop. “The pit stop added an element that required a strategy of determining when the best time to pit would be. I decided to pit whenever traffic became an issue and caused my lap times to increase” said Phee. “It actually worked out and when I caught lapped traffic I was able to make my pit stop and come out ahead of the 2nd place car”.  Phee would go on to finish 2nd in class and 3rd overall at the end of the race. For the Sunday races Phee would qualify 2nd in class and 12th overall for the ITA race, and 2nd in class and 5th overall for the CCPS race. At the start of the CCPS race Phee would maintain his 5th place position for the first 5 laps but dropped back to 10th by lap 7.  “I was keeping a good pace and had the leaders in sight but I missed a couple of shifts and that dropped me back.  I decided to go ahead and make my pit stop on lap 8 and would try to make up some time with a clear track” said Phee. Phee would end up dropping back to 23rd after the pit stop but would eventually fight back to 2nd in class and 2nd overall. In the afternoon ITA race Phee would move up to 2nd in class for the first 4 laps and would have a good battle with his team-mate for the rest of the race.  “I had a good jump on the start and made up a couple of positions but got hung up with a slower ITS car for most of the race. I had a faster pace through the turns but the ITS car had much more speed on the straights. That allowed my team-mate to get by me when I got balked in turn 10 on lap 5” said Phee. Phee would finish just behind his team-mate for 3rd in class and 8th overall.  “Overall I’m really happy with 4 podiums in 4 races, especially after not being in the car since September of last year.  It would have been nice to start on pole for the first race but the team decided that we needed to make some changes prior to the start and we were just late to the grid.  Next time we’ll have all the changes sorted out early enough to avoid that problem in the future” said Phee. The next race is scheduled for August 2-3, 2014 back at Road Atlanta for the NASA Championship Qualifier.   The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA and OPM Autosports.  Photos courtesy of Motorsports Photography by Clark McInnis http://cmcinnis.wordpress.com/  
Race Results
WRPMotorsports Driver Willie Phee would start on pole, set two track records and claim first in two out of three races during the ARRC Championship weekend held at Road Atlanta on November 1st and 2nd    Third outing in the WRPMotorsports Acura TSX and Willie Phee would start on pole for both of the CCPS races, set a track record on Friday and lower the track record on Sunday. Phee would also lead the Championship ARRC race before retiring with electrical problems on Saturday.    “The performance of the car improved considerably and it was great to get two wins and two track records over the course of the weekend.  I was also pleasantly surprised to lead the ARRC Championship race for the first few laps” said Phee. “The team was able to make significant improvements in the suspension during the test day which really help me to get more comfortable in the car.” Friday would start out with two ARRC qualifiers, a CCPS qualifier and the first of two CCPS Championship races. Phee would end up qualifying third in class and fifth overall for the Saturday ARRC Championship race and 1st in class and second overall for the CCPS Championship race scheduled for later in the afternoon. The format for the CCPS race included a mandatory two minute pit stop during the 45 minute timed race. Phee would hold on to first in class and second overall until lap six when he would inherit the overall lead when the leader mad his mandatory pit stop.  Phee would continue to lead overall until lap 19 of the 22 lap race.  A full course caution would come out on lap 11 for five laps and would bunch up the field erasing Phee’s overall lead.  “When the double yellow came out I hadn’t made my pit stop yet so it effectively allowed everyone to make up the gap I had” said Phee.  Phee would make his pit stop on lap 19 and would drop back to 14th overall but still finish first in class. “It was great to have such a strong first race of the weekend, I think if I hadn’t been caught out by the double yellow I had a good shot at the overall win” said Phee, “plus setting the track record in ITS for the CCPS race was something that surprised me”.  Saturday’s ARRC Championship race would start at 9:30 so it was very important to get some heat in the tires as the early start would be in lower temperatures than the previous day’s race.  With his fifth overall qualifying position Phee would line up on the inside and at the start would move into third going into turn one and into the lead going into turn six.  Phee would hold the lead for the next four laps, drop back to second until lap six when the car started to lose power.  Phee would hold on to a strong third until lap nine when the exhaust header broke and the car started to misfire. “It was relay disappointing the go from leading the race to dropping out on lap 10.  The car felt like it was losing power about five laps into the run and when the header broke I knew I was finished” said Phee.  “Once I got back to the pits the crew diagnosed the power issue as a failing alternator.  Sunday’s race schedule would start with qualifying for the second CCPS Championship race with the race start at 3:00 that afternoon.  Phee would again qualify first in class and second overall.  For the start Phee would line up on the outside of row one and lead the pack through turn one.  Phee would lead the first five laps and make his mandatory pit stop early in the 45 minute timed race. Phee would rejoin the race in 13th  place and steadily move up as the other competitors made their pit stops.  At the end of the race Phee would again finish first in class and set another lap record for the ITS class. “After getting caught out in the Friday race I knew I was going to make an early pit stop just in case there was another full course caution” said Phee. “I was also surprised at setting another lap record having just set the record on Friday, but I guess the conditions were right and I certainly was getting more comfortable in the car”. That concludes the 2014 race season, so now it’s time to work on setting up the car for the 2015 season that will start in March at Virginia International raceway.  The next race is scheduled for March 7-8, 2015 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, VA.    The WRPMotorsports team is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Sparco USA and OPM Autosports.  Photos by Clark McInnis of Motorsports Photography    http://cmcinnis.wordpress.com/
November 1-2, 2014 – Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia
Race Results