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Conway Passes From P17 To Win The 40th Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach

April 15, 2014 1:39 PM

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Andretti Autosport Driver Carlos Munoz Pre-#TGPLB40 Interview

April 9, 2014 7:08 AM

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2014 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race Interview With Scion FR-S #3 Phil Keoghan

April 7, 2014 8:35 PM

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Formula Drift Championships Begin 2014 Season In Long Beach

April 3, 2014 6:06 AM

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Pre-Season, Pre-Race Interview With 2013 IICS Champion Scott Dixon

March 26, 2014 10:49 AM

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Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian Will Have Michael Lewis For Porsche GT3 Cup

March 10, 2014 10:40 PM

Michael Lewis FIA F3.jpgMichael James Lewis is an American Race Car Driver from Laguna Beach, California. Michael's passion for racing is paramount and he enjoys every aspect of his racing career. The Laguna Beach, California native is known for his professionalism, work ethic, and he lives every day for motorsport. Image Credit: MJLRacing.com

Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian Will Have Michael Lewis For Porsche GT3 Cup

After spending several years honing his driving skills in European racing series, American Michael Lewis returns to his home country to compete this season in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. Michael will race in the series' Platinum Class while driving the No. 98 Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car.

With the merger of the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Road Racing into the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship this year, Michael's return to the United States racing scene is timely, as he sees plenty of opportunity to improve his racing skills in this IMSA-sanctioned race series. The IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge is the "opening act" for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with two 45-minute sprint races per event weekend

"This opportunity to race in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama with Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian is the perfect fit," explained Michael Lewis.

Tujunga, California-based Competition Motorsports has won three GT3 Cup Challenge championships, and is owned by Bob Faieta.

Of special significance, Michael and Competition Motorsports have formed a relationship with Curb Records and the Agajanian family for this 2014 season. The official entry for Michael's No. 98 Porsche GT3 Cup Car will be listed as "Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian." The famed Curb Records logo will be prominently displayed on Michael's No. 98 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car as well.

New-Car-ML-2.jpgThe finishing touches were being made on Michael Lewis's Porsche 911 to compete in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at the Competition Motorsports shop in Tujunga, California. Michael and the team travel across the country to the series' first race of the season at Sebring International Raceway on Thursday, March 13. Image Credit: Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian

"I am honored to represent Curb Records and the Agajanian family on my Porsche race car this season," said Michael. "The No. 98 and Curb Records are synonymous with some of the most historic American racing entities, and it's very special to continue that legacy," he added, referring to the Agajanian family's famed Indy cars with the No. 98. "I would like to thank Mike Curb and the Agajanian family for their official involvement."

Michael and the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama will compete in 16 rounds at eight different race circuits during the championship season. Seven of these race event weekends will be held on America's famed race courses, which consist of Sebring International Raceway, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Lime Rock Park, Watkins Glen International, Road America, Circuit of The Americas and Road Atlanta. Canada's famous Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will serve as the eighth track for the series' championship.

Sebring International Raceway will host the first race of the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season in conjunction with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's 12 Hours of Sebring. Michael and the Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian team will arrive at the Florida track for the first of two practice days, beginning on Tuesday, March 10. The following day will be a "Promoter Test Day." Qualifying and the first 45-minute race of the season will take place on Thursday, March 13, with the series' second race scheduled for Friday morning, March 14.

In addition to racing in Florida, Michael is looking forward to visiting the other tracks on the schedule, including Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, in California. "It might sound funny, but I've never gone road racing in my home state of California, and now I get to do that," added Michael.

MJRacing - FIA F3 - Curb Hopping.jpgAs a young, up-and-coming Race Car Driver, Michael Lewis has competed in a diverse number of racing vehicles including Formula 3, Formula BMW, Ford Focus Midgets, Touring Cars, Late Model Stock Cars, Quarter Midgets, & Go-Karts. Image Credit: MJLRacing.com

Last season Michael competed in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, and the previous two seasons he raced in the Formula 3 Euroseries and in Formula 3 Italia, respectively, with Italy's PREMA Powerteam.

The 2014 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series schedule is as follows:

March 13-14 Sebring International Raceway

May 3-4 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

May 23-24 Lime Rock Park

June 27-28 Watkins Glen International

July 12-13 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

August 9-10 Road America

Sept. 19-20 Circuit of The Americas

October 2-3 Road Atlanta

With Michael's return to American racing, a number of his core sponsors, who have helped him both in the United States and in Europe, have returned, showing their commitment to share in his success. "I really appreciate my core sponsors staying with me and supporting me these past several years in my racing endeavors, and I look forward to representing their brands and promoting their companies and products. I am also honored to welcome my new partners."

... notes from The EDJE

Of Further Note:
Michael Lewis' No. 98 Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car 2014 sponsor lineup includes Curb Records, Eibach, Cometic Gasket, ASE, C&R Racing, McKenna Porsche of Southern California, Ed Pink Racing Engines, Buwalda Construction, Laguna Classic Cars & Art, Camisasca Automotive Manufacturing, Inc., Mönik, Performance Racing Tech-Talk, Realatrends Real Estate Services, Inc., RFMS Racing, Burger King, Val Lambros, M.D. F.A.C.S., Surterre Properties, Klotz Synthetics, Coast Fabrication, Racing Electronics, GoPro, Bell Helmets, Racing Goes Safer Foundation, JDR Graphics, Hobie Surf Shop Laguna Beach, and SACdesign.

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K&N PRO SERIES RETURNS TO IRWINDALE!

March 4, 2014 12:17 PM

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Nitto's Healy Takes King Of The Hammers Enduro In 1-2-3

February 22, 2014 8:31 AM

Capture.PNGLoren Healy - The Griffin King of the Hammers is billed as the world's toughest 4×4 race, and above all, the Unlimited 4400 class is the main and most sought after class win that all participants strive to win. Image Credit: Nitto Racing (2014)

Nitto's Healy Takes King Of The Hammers Enduro In 1-2-3

On Friday, February 7th, 2014 in Means Dry Lake area at Johnson Valley, California USA., a 194 mile off-road endurance race was held for the eighth year that has become known as the gold standard for an extreme test in unlimited off-road competition.

The test, first held in 2007, is known as the Griffin King of the Hammers (KOH) and gets its name from the many rock-strewn climbing tracks encountered throughout the course (Claw Hammer Trail, Jack Hammer Trail, Sledge Hammer Trail and the area includes Wrecking Ball Trail, Sun Bonnet Trail, and After Shock Trail -- to highlight a few challenges). The KOH presents an intimidating blend of endurance desert racing that features rock crawling, sand tracks, hard-packed rock trails, near-vertical rock walls, and treacherous ledges.

JohnsonValleyTrailMap - Rough Wheelers - 640px.jpgJohnson Valley is a varied landscape for the off-highway vehicle driver. The South east portion of the riding area offers a large mass of hills known to rock crawlers world wide as the "Hammers." This area is for experts and has gained the attention of off-roaders in recent years through an event called "King of the Hammers" Experts only need apply. Image Credit: The Roughwheelers

Nitto sponsored racer and 2010 KOH event winner, Loren Healy, of Farmington, N.M., took the top winning spot, driving the Unlimited class 4400 #67 Jimmy's 4×4 ATX Wheels/Nitto Tire Ultra4 buggy, finishing the 194 mile race with a total time of 8:03:25. Healy felt, as communicated during a post race celebration on Thursday, Feb, 14 2014 held by Nitto Tire in Cypress, he was successful again because of three main factors.

The main, or #1 factor boiled down to the template philosophy that a steady and even pace with a buggy designed to take advantage of the driver's core strength of obstacle climbing was key. This starting point affected the outcome of the other two remaining factors which aided heavily to the reliability of the vehicle and allowed for an overall quickest conclusion to completing the 194 mile challenge.

IMG_0921 - Nitto Racing's Healy in the Hammers - Nitto Racing (2014).jpgLoren Healy began racing in the Ultra4 series in 2009 and has quickly progressed up the ranks, adding the Ultra4 championship to his racing resume in 2010. Having participated in every Ultra4 competition since, Healy is a regular top finisher in the series since he began racing. Image Credit: Nitto Racing (2014)

"I always enjoyed the adrenaline of going fast in the desert," says Loren Healy. "I wasn't a desert racer to start. I was a recreational rock crawler. When they put them together in Ultra4, I had to try it."

The #2 factor came in the choice of front axle the Ultra4 buggy was built upon. The controversy centers on the performance and reliability of an independent suspension/travel axle versus a solid straight/unitized travel axle. To take advantage of his recreational rock-crawler strength and background, Loren Healy specified a straight axle for his Ultra4 design.

DSC05078 - Ultra4 buggy front axle - Edmund Jenks (2014).jpgLoren Healy's Unlimited class 4400 #67 Ultra4 used Solid Axle's differential covers, kingpin knuckles, forged hubs, and rear end kit to claim his victory. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

"As the sport grows, the technology advances with it. We're lucky in that there are a lot of products on the market designed for desert racing vehicles that work well for us," said Healy. "The biggest game-changer recently has been the introduction of independent front suspension because it's very forgiving. A solid axle car is like a '70s or '80s pick-up truck can handle the horsepower, but when you hit a bump [on the flats], the whole vehicle reacts. There are a few vehicles built in 2014 that now incorporate an independent rear suspension [as well]. It looks interesting, but I want to wait and see whether it holds-up enough to be an advantage.

LOREN HEALY IS THE 2014 KING OF THE HAMMERS - YouTube Video >>>

"Factor #3 came down to reliability. The mechanical will be what it is but the one area where time can be lost is in the choice of the tires. If the tread design is too 'blocky' and not staggered, it does not perform well going the 115 to 120 m.p.h. speeds encountered in the flatter sandy tracks of the KOH course. On the other hand, if the compound of the rubber itself is too hard, grip is not at its maximum and crawling over rock obstacles may have the tires slip and loose grip. Further, the tires need to be able to remain inflated ... a tire change on the track could take over ten minutes and this could mean the difference in finishing first, or something less than first.

Loren Healy choose ATX wheels fitted with custom KOH race designed Nitto tires, designed by Senior Staff Engineer Alan Ngo.

DSC05083 - Post KOH Race Nitto 40x13.50R17 Trail Grappler Mud-Terrain tire - Edmund Jenks (2014).jpgNitto's custom made KOH 40x13.50R17 Trail Grappler Mud-Terrain tire took the abuse from the nearly 200 mile King of the Hammers endurance race, but never lost air. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks

"Having the awesome ATX wheels and Nitto tires that we use, are a huge part of our success and how we race. It's about the confidence to drive as hard as I can knowing that the wheels and tires can take it, without worrying about breaking a wheel or getting a flat tire. Every time you have to get out and change a tire, you're losing positions to whoever is winning the race," he says. "We don't even carry a spare tire. I don't want the extra weight while we're racing and I know they're going to hold up."

DSC05103 - Nitto Senior Staff Engineer Alan Ngo - Edmund Jenks (2014).jpgNitto Tire Senior Staff Engineer Alan Ngo holds the sceptre that was awarded to their sponsored and shod Ultra4 buggy for winning the 2014 King of the Hammers off-road endurance race. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Said Nitto Tire Senior Staff Engineer Alan Ngo, "We modified the design of a standard Nitto 40×13.50R17 Trail Grappler Mud-Terrain tire by adding sidewall grip nobs and softening the compound to allow for a greater level of cohesion for crawling over rock obstacles. This win represents two full years without a tire failure with any of the racers we have sponsored in the King of the Hammers endurance event."

DSC05258 - Nitto Tire Group Photo - Edmund Jenks (2014).JPGThe staff at Nitto Tire United States headquarters in Cypress, California, celebrates with Loren Healy the win in the 2014 King of the Hammers off-road endurance race. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Of the 156 drivers who started the event, just 32 finished the race. Including race winner Loren Healy, Nitto had a total of five drivers complete the event. Finishing fifth was Derek West from Springfield, Mo., in the #4420 Jimmy's 4×4 Nitto Tire Ultra4 buggy. Right behind West was Rick Mooneyham of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, in the #554 Nitto Tire Trick Toys Fabrication Ultra4 buggy.

Also finishing this grueling event were Nitto-sponsored drivers Ben Napier from Sydney, Australia, and Erik Miller of Cumberland, MD. Napier, driver of the #4461 BN Motorsports Ultra4 buggy finished in 16th place, while Miller, driving the #4421 Miller Motorsports Ultra4 buggy came home in 25th place, despite leading a portion of the event.

For Loren Healy, driving the Unlimited class 4400 #67 Jimmy's 4×4 ATX Wheels/Nitto Tire Ultra4 buggy, winning the 2014 Griffin King of the Hammers presented by Nitto Tires off-road endurance event for the second time was as easy as 1-2-3!

... notes from The EDJE

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