King Motorsports / Mugen Mid-Ohio World Challenge Results
Date: August 14, 2003 11:37
King Motorsports Press Release
Sullivan, WI -- King Motorsports has won multiple professional championships in other series in the past. When they started out the World Challenge season at Sebring International Raceway they were very excited about their first season in the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Series. With the drivetrain being developed by Mugen, King Motorsports turned out at Sebring with a beautiful brand new Acura RSX. Three laps into the first practice session an unavoidable pitlane incident severely damaged the car.
Just five months later fortunes have changed for the King Motorsports effort. Becoming only the third team to win a race in the 2003 World Challenge Touring season the team from King Motorsports, including ace driver Bob Endicott, were able to develop a race winning machine in only their sixth race event. "It feels very-very good," commented Endicoitt, a two time professional champion. "The whole team (King Motorsports and Mugen) have been working so hard on this car, and at every race something has always gone wrong. This weekend all the hard work paid off and everything came together."
The King Motorsports Acura RSX placed in the top three in all the practice and qualifying sessions. On lap five of the race Endicott took the lead and the team went on to a dominating victory over BMW factory driver Bill Auberlen. "Bob was on fire from the first time the car rolled on the track at Mid Ohio," added King Motorsports owner Scott Zellner. "Right out of the box we were on pace. Bob got around some of the other competitive cars early in the weekend and Bob was able to stay ahead of them even though they were bouncing off of the curbs. That is when we knew we had a real shot this weekend."
King Motorsports races with the support of Mugen, American Honda, ProDrive, Pagid, and Moton. With four races remaining on the schedule Acura sits only twelve points behind BMW in their bid to repeat as the Touring Car Manufacturer's Champion. After the excitement of the race victory died down we had a chance to catch up with race winner Bob Endicott. Below is a short Q&A with the two time professional champion:
QUESTION: From the lowest low to the highest high. Through no fault of your own, you started the season out with a very unlucky pit lane incident that demolished the entire Mugen sponsored King Motorsports Acura RS-X. Now just five months later you have developed the car into a race winning machine. How does it feel to rebound so quickly?
Bob Endicott: It feels very-very good. The whole team (King Motorsports and Mugen) have been working so hard on this car, and at every race something has always gone wrong. This weekend all the hard work paid off and everything came together. From the first lap on the Thursday test day I could tell that the car would be running up front in the race. To be honest, I had a hard time even deciding what I wanted to change on the set-up. The car was that good !
QUESTION: The World Challenge Series is known for its high level of car development, yet King Motorsports and yourself have been able to develop the RSX into a winning car in such a short time. What people and partnerships made that possible?
Bob Endicott: Mugen has competed at the sports highest level in F1. The engine development program for the RSX benefits from what Mugen learned in F1. What impresses me the most is how hard they work to continue to improve the engine package between each race. King Motorsports has been building race cars and chassis forever. They know exactly what they are doing. We needed time to adapt to the spec tire used in WC TC, and to optimize what is allowed to be done with the front splitter and rear wing. They too, always find a way to make something better between races. Every time the car comes to another race, something will be different. Always little improvements here and there.
QUESTION: As a driver you have tasted success in various different professional and amateur series. How does this first victory in the World Challenge series factor into your career accomplishments?
Bob Endicott: I have to say that winning this race tops my list. WC TC is the most competitive series I have ever raced in. If you are just a little off, you move back 10 positions on the grid. The racing is so tight, I think there are five to ten drivers that could win at any given race. I think I will remember this win for a long time
QUESTION: Where do you feel the King Acura RS-X's recent performance increase has come from? Is the engine program coming on-line? Have you found handling enhancements?
Bob Endicott: The horsepower has always been there. We found we were losing oil pressure in the longer corners which was causing us some reliability problems. Once that was solved, the engine has been very good. We have been working with the shock valving and spring rates, and at Mid Ohio we found a setup that really helped the car. We also spend a lot of time setting the car up for the long run in the race. At Mid Ohio it never lost its balance, and was able to run strong at the end
QUESTION: The Mid Ohio track is well known as a handling circuit. Will the King Motorsports Acura RS-X continue to perform well at the next circuit, Road America, which is known as a power track?
Bob Endicott: The Mugen engine makes very good power at the upper end of the RPM range. If the gear ratios work out to be as good at Road America as they were at Mid Ohio, power will not be a problem. Handling is underrated at Road America. All of the straights come after mid or high speed corners, and there is one very long high speed turn. Getting the car to work in the corners at Road America is more than half the battle. King Motorsports is right down the road. This is their home track and they know what to do to get the car to work here.
QUESTION: As mentioned earlier, World Challenge is well known for its high level of car development. Are there any untapped areas on the RS-X that you think you can improve to keep pace in the series?
Bob Endicott: A race car is never done. Right now we need to work on getting the car down to the minimum weight, which will be even more important now that we have to carry the "rewards weight" from our win at Mid Ohio. I have this gut feeling that it is going to rain at Road America and we need to make sure the windshield wiper will work well at higher speeds. Lots of little things can be done, everything helps. And in WC TC even a small improvement can make a difference.
The Mid Ohio race will initially air at 9:00 p.m. (EDT) Friday, Aug. 22 on Speed Channel. The next race for the King Motorsports effort will take place on August 23rd at 4:40 PM on the Road America race course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Last edited by Tuan on
August 14, 2003 11:54