Coming off two back to back regional American Iron championships the PAS Racing crew always has a lot to prove when they arrive at the track and the 2013 season was no different. In the off season we made sure we would be as prepared as possible to compete with the ever growing stiff competition that the Mid-Atlantic region attracts. With the vast majority of our competitors jumping from their Foxbody/SN95 Mustangs into the S197 platform we knew the level of competition was going to be raised significantly and we needed to be ready.
One of the largest additions to the PAS Mustang RTR for 2013 was the partnership with Cortex Racing throughout the entire season. Every season so far we have experimented with countless suspension packages, designs, and setups, but we were extremely excited at the possibility to run this very heavy-duty and well engineered suspension system by Cortex. The results absolutely shocked us and every time we arrived at the track we learned a little more about how to tune the suspension to suit the track, conditions, or driver’s needs. The car became more stable in every aspect, more predictable, and most importantly…faster.
For 2013 the PAS Mustang RTR had the full Cortex SLA front suspension, Watts Link, and Torque Arm which gave us an amazing range of adjustability paired with JRi shocks which provided the balance and ability to tune the chassis that we had been looking for throughout the past 2 seasons. The amount of support and technical knowledge that was provided to us throughout the season from Filip at Cortex and JJ at JRi could not be matched and we are very excited to carry this partnership into the upcoming 2014 on-track season.
The suspension wasn’t the only big change for 2013 as we also gave the car a much more aggressive, and much needed attitude change with a change up of the body work and livery. The 2011 body work was face-lifted into a 2013 and with that also came a much more menacing livery update. Ditching the bland white look and going for a matte gray seemed to go over very well with our sponsors, fans, and even competition. We’re very happy with the way the car turned out after picking it up from VBD Graphics who was responsible for transforming the PAS Mustang RTR with their vinyl wrapping skills. Some fresh color matched HRE Wheels to finish off the theme and we had a “new” Mustang RTR racecar!
As the season went on we never stopped learning how to dial in a little more speed here and there and the faster we went the better our Baer brakes seem to work. Our combo of Baer 6R pistons up front and Hawk Performance pads all the way around can’t be beat and has been on the car since day one. This is not exactly a lite car by any means, but these brakes always seem to amaze driver Chris Cobetto each and every time he jumps on them at the last minute to snag that extra tenth of a second. As you can see by this video, they are definitely doing work.
Throughout the season PAS Racing managed 9 wins, 4 pole positions, and managed to run faster than our lap record in practice by a half second at VIR with a 2:05.211. Most importantly all these wins were accomplished while being 100% legal each and every time the car was sent through impound or was put on the dyno after the race.
We also managed to have a little fun throughout the season with our very own No Hurl Challenge when we strapped 3 fans into the passenger seat to see how many G’s this Mustang RTR pulls under cornering and braking!
And our submission for the Hoonigan Friday Burnout Contest.
The 2013 season was a tough one with a steep learning curve of starting all over with new suspension, but as always with the amazing help and support from all our sponsors we managed to take the Mid-Atlantic American Iron Championship for the 3rd year in a row. You’re really going to want to stick around to see what we have in store for 2014 as we already have some plans in the works and will be thinking outside the box compared to the past 3 seasons.
Thanks again to all our supporters, sponsors, friends and family that made the 2013 season such a success. We look forward to more of the same coming soon!
After some very solid battles at Hyperfest, PAS Racing returned to VIR with a fresh setup and ready to throw down for three HOT days at VIR. This July event always proves to be hot on and off the track and this weekend was no different.
On Friday the temps were up as the Grassroots Motorsports Magazine Ultimate Track Car Challenge was under way. Some very fast rides were setting some blazing laps down, but the Performance Autosport Mustang RTR was busy doing some important testing all day. The biggest change for the team and driver was the addition of the Cortex Racing Torque Arm. This would be our first outing with the new TA and we were very interested in seeing how it would affect the balance of the car.
Coming off 2 wins at VIR the PAS Racing Mustang RTR didn’t have too many changes to undergo between races, but it did arrive at Summit Point looking completely different. Between Round 2 and 3 of this season we took the car out to VBD Graphics and had them give this RTR a massive attitude adjustment in the form of a full matte-gray wrap and decal package.
The look was quite a hit at the track and we got compliments the entire weekend. We’re quite proud of it and very happy with VBD’s work. Big thanks to Trevor, Jon, and Wes for their hard work. The guys at VBD can absolutely do great work…give them a shout to see what they can do to your track car: www.vbdgraphics.com
On to the more important stuff of the weekend…the racing. Saturday’s weather was absolutely perfect and the lap times were fast among the entire American Iron field. The PAS Racing RTR was struggling a little bit to find the perfect setup coming from a much faster track like VIR. Summit Point always is a challenge to get the car happy right off the trailer. Some tweaking is always needed and this tweaking came in the form of some texts directly to Filip of Cortex Racing. Within minutes he had feedback and a plan of action of how to make this Cortex-equipped Mustang do what driver Chris Cobetto needed it to do.
The adjustability of the Cortex Racing Precision Suspension pieces on this RTR really did the trick and we went from a very ill-handling, tight racecar to a much more neutral and happy car that Cobetto could pitch around with confidence. HUGE thank you to Filip for his input and support. Can’t ask for more than that!
With a qualifying position of 5th for Saturdays race Cobetto was hoping the fixes were going to work, and they absolutely did. Cobetto slowly worked his way up to the lead throughout the 25min race and found himself out front when the checkered flag was waived in front of Robert Korzen who drove a super clean race the entire time. A win for Saturday was in the bag.
Sunday was a little different. Qualifying was cloudy, colder weather with us placing 2nd to Steven Kent on the pole. The race was a different story. Seems we can’t escape a weekend without some sort of precipitation. The race on Sunday was a wash out. Not until the very end did the rain lighten up, but it was still a race full of sliding around and wipers going on full speed.
The race for the lead between Cobetto and Kent went on for several laps back and forth with them changing positions a few times. At the very end it was Steven Kent who got to the line first with Cobetto placing 2nd.
As always a HUGE thanks to all our sponsors for their continued support:
- Mustang RTR
- CorteX Racing
- HRE Wheels
- Baer Brakes
- Hawk Performance Race Pads
- Exedy Clutches
- OG Racing
- VBD Graphics
- Grassroots Motorsports Magazine
- C&R Radiators
- Rockland Standard Gear
- Ford Racing
After a very humbling start to the season the entire PAS Racing crew knew we had some homework to do and needed to come back strong in March to prove we were going to put this car back out front. Between the damage we sustained and the ABS issue that we were scratching our heads on, the month between the Feb and March event flew by extremely fast.
The next thing we knew it was a few days away from the event and we were running out of time. While at the body shop we took this time to convert the car form it’s original 2011 body work to the more updated 2013 body and we think it turned out absolutely great. We have a full livery planned for this and will be debuting it in a few weeks, so the look for this race was 100% temporary to carry us through the weekend.
Time was tight for what we needed to get done between events and without nailing down the fix for sure on the ABS we decided to go the safe route and installed a strut style Cortex Precision Racing Technology Xtreme-Grip Track front end. With putting the stock engine cradle back in the car we returned the front hubs and ABS system back to stock and it worked perfectly. The custom JRi double adjustable front shocks performed great and complimented the CorteX Watts link out back very well.
When we arrived on Friday we wanted to shake the car out for some test laps since we just had replaced the entire front suspension and still needed to test the ABS system at speed. Everything worked out great and every little change we made to the car made it go faster. So fast in fact that during our last test session driver Chris Cobetto clicked off a 2:05.347, the fastest this car has ever lapped around VIR! The car was happy and we were really looking forward to a full weekend of racing.
Saturday morning was cold, but dry. The track was fast and packed with cars for qualifying. Without getting a full clear lap we qualified 2nd behind Steven Kent. As the green dropped the Thunder group got bunched up with an AI-X car getting a wild ride through the grass. This race proved to be an exciting one with the front 3 cars going nose to tail down the front stretch drafting going into turn 1.
Sunday was a flash back from the February event with weather starting with rain, then sleet, then snow, and back to a mix of all 3 every few minutes. It was absolutely freezing…literally..and the track conditions were horrible. The goal was to stay on track and during qualifying we managed another 2nd place starting position behind Steven Kent. The race was actually quite close as Steven Kent was driving absolutely amazingly in the rain staying out front for many laps until getting into a big slide going up the uphill esses allowing Cobetto to get a run on him going down the back stretch. From there Cobetto stayed out front for the remainder of the race clinching our 2nd win of the weekend!
Huge thanks to Filip at CorteX Precision Racing Technology who scrambled all month long to make sure we got what we needed to get back on track and put the PAS Mustang RTR back up front. And the work isn’t done just yet. The ABS fix is IN and the SLA front suspension will be going back on the car for April at Summit Point which we are really looking forward to. The tight and more technical Summit Point will be a great test for the new suspension.
As always with the February event, weather is the main concern while getting closer and closer to race time. As time drew near the weather predictions looked good, then bad, then worse. Great. Thanks February.
As usual Friday was a decent day. Sunshine and above average temps, but that was just a tease as Saturday brought frigid temps and SNOW. Our test time on Friday was cut short due to an extremely unpredicted brake failure of our ABS going out completely, leaving Cobetto scrambling going into Turn 1 and making contact with a fellow racer. Mechanical failure of this sort is something we definitely did not or could ever predict and we brought the car back to the pits for diagnosing and testing of the ABS system.
This slide resulted in a little bit of front end damage…
As well as a totally smoked brand new Toyo RA-1…
Not exactly the start we were looking for.
This was the first event for our Mustang RTR to wear the full CorteX Racing SLA front suspension as well as rear Watts Link. We were definitely pumped to try out this new setup and dial in the new JRi shocks, but with the issues that popped up right off the bat, going full-tilt-boogie around the track just wasn’t going to happen. The ABS issue was not something we could fix at the track, so we had to make due for the rest of the weekend.
The mix between cold temps and super aggressive brake pads made it nearly impossible for driver, Chris Cobetto, to modulate braking without locking up. If you eased into the brakes they wouldn’t gain temperature and lock up, if you jumped on them hard to get temperature in the pads, they still locked up. It was a tricky situation and it wasn’t worth the risk of hurting our car or someone else’s’ further in the process of testing.
Saturday morning was horrible conditions as predicted. Rain turned to snow, snow turned to slush, and overall it was completely freezing. Literally. We set the car to a full-rain setup, blocked off all the brake ducts in attempt to keep heat in the brakes, and Cobetto went out for some very slow pace laps to further feel the car out. As he was just starting to get comfortable again the car locked up going into Turn 4 without warning and the car slid into the tirewall. Only cosmetic damage in both incidents for us, but its enough to put a damper on the opening weekend of the race season.
After some liberal use of duct tape, stomping the splitter off the car, and throwing some fresh decals on, the conditions were worsening and we decided to skip qualifying all together and would gladly start from the back of the pack. Our car was not the happiest it’s ever been and we are thinking big picture for the season, not just one weekend at a time. In the race we started 6th and finished 3rd after tip-toeing through the snowy corners and iced over straightaways.
Sunday was less wet, but just as cold. Plus windy. With the track being on the dry side it was time for us to salvage what little testing we could get out of this weekend for our new suspension setup. Even though the car was lacking front aero, we knew we wouldn’t be setting a track record, but we still needed to get the important driver feedback to see how the CorteX/JRi combo feels. After qualifying the mood was better. Feedback from Cobetto, even though still obviously not being able to use the brakes nearly as much as he is used to, was very happy with the car in the corners. The car turned in great and he also mentioned that he could jump on the power earlier than ever before and the car seemed planted and willing to do what he wanted. Even with braking WAY before his normal marks and without any front aero whatsoever we still managed to click off a 2:08 which is quite telling to what is to come this season. The fastest AI car in the very same race was only a second faster than us.
For the race on Sunday we started 3rd and finished 3rd after battling for a few laps with Robert Korzen, a fellow CorteX Racing Suspension Watts Link user, that we installed last season. Both races this weekend were won by Steven Kent which puts him out front in points this season already to a solid lead.
2nd place both days – Robert Korzen:
1st place both days – Steven Kent:
Should make for an interesting season as I can promise you PAS Racing is not going to let this bad luck continue into it’s second event. We have some body work to do as well as lots of homework, but rest assured we will be on the attack March 23rd when the green flag drops. This PAS Racing Mustang RTR will have a fresh new look and a determined driver and crew to get back to the TOP of the podium.
PAS Racing has partnered with CorteX Racing out of Sonoma, California to fully outfit the 2013 Performance Autosport Mustang RTR with the highest line suspension they offer.
The PAS Mustang RTR will soon be fully converted to a CorteX Xtreme SLA front suspension with their custom, gorgeous, Competition weight RADIAL-X front spindles as well as K-member.
The rear suspension will consist of the best of the best Xtreme-Grip Watts-Link.
We are taking the adjustability to the next level as we step up into the CorteX Racing world of Mustang suspension pieces.
All these shiney new go-fast parts are going on the car this weekend and we can’t wait to dial the new setup in at VIR at the first event of the 2013 NASA Mid-Atlantic season on Feb 15-17th! More photos of the entire system installed to come.
At the end of the 2011 NASA race season, all members of PAS Racing had learned a lot about what it takes to build, maintain, and grow this race team. We had learned more than we had ever thought throughout just one season and in those short 8 months we took a street car and race by race turned it into a championship-winning Mustang.
For 2012 we knew we needed to go bigger and better. We had our initial season under our belt and it was time for the training wheels to come off. With all our success in 2011 getting noticed, in stepped our new main sponsor and partnership with Vaughn Gittin Jr’s company, Mustang RTR. A new design for the PAS Mustang and a new future was born in the very beginning of the race season.
The week of Nationals is always a stressful one no matter how much you think you’re prepared. We just left Summit Point with a win after testing several different things to attempt to learn a little more about what may work at Mid-Ohio. Our car seems to be very happy at VIR, but when we take this relatively heavy car to the tight and technical turns of Summit Point we definitely have to maximize every advantage this Kenny Brown AGS 4.0 Suspension and Moton coilovers combination give us.
We arrived at Mid-Ohio on Monday Sept 3rd to unload for a long week of testing and qualifying races leading up to the big Championship race on Saturday morning. As predicted, the Ohio weather had a different plan for us as it rained Tuesday and kept us from doing any real suspension tuning. We still managed to go out and do a little bit of work in the rain, but the day was mostly a wash.
Wednesday the sun was out, the track was drying and we were looking for a few dry sessions to see how we stand up to the very tough competition that comes to Mid-Ohio for NASA Nationals. Every session meant big changes to try and make this car as happy as possible on a track we’ve only seen once before, but with an entirely different suspension in every way. Big changes meant trying to maximize our on-track time since our 2 test days got cut to 1, so we had to do what we could with what we had.
The PAS Racing/Mustang RTR crew rolled into Summit Point Friday just as it started raining. Thankfully the rain did not stick around and we ended up having an amazingly pleasant weekend of racing with great weather.
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