2018 and 2017

Brian at Roebling Road, January 2018

                                          2018 REVIEW

2018 wrapped up another year of NMS, and we're going to say it was our best year yet. Brian led the way as NMS driver of the year as part of Team Coronautski's Class C win in the Lemons race at CMP in the fall, and kept busy all year with  an HPDE at Roebling Road, and tons of other events.Robert made his Lemons race debut, and with Team Altima finished mid pack in B class at the same event, did an HPDE at Pocono, and managed to visit both the Philly and the NY auto shows. Here's the highlights: 

Brian and the NMS Miata had a good two day weekend driving HPDE 2 at Roebling Road, with Brian having completed some safety upgrades over the winter, which now makes the Miata much safer for road racing. Racing seats, harness, and various suspension upgrades all came through this first event with no issues. The time on track should also be a good warm up for the Lemons race at Barber.

Brian and Team Coronautski had another great Lemons experience, this time at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. Despite some serious engine issues, the team pulled off an amazing engine repair late Saturday night, and stayed on track all day Sunday to take 4th place in C Class despite losing track time when the head gasket blew and caused other problems near the end of Saturday's racing. Here's Brian's epic blog post on the weekend: Lemons Race   Look for Team Coronautski to return to racing later this year too. 

Also in February, Brian and the South Carolina Region of the SCCA were auto crossing, with Brian co-driving Luke's awesome Corvette in the pro class. Everyone in Pro uses their PAX time for standings, so we'll just say that Brian's first time in the Chevy resulted in 7th in class, while Luke was higher up the standings. Look for big improvements from these guys during the rest of the season as they work towards also getting some top RAW times. 

Brian and the NMS Miata are at Road Atlanta for a weekend of HPDE with the NASA folks. Along with a group of other drivers from South Carolina, there seems to be a lot of Miatas getting on track this year. 

Up north, the New York Region of the SCCA has published their autocross schedule for the year, so we've added those events to our NMS schedule. Look for some NMS North action starting in April if the snow melts by then!

Brian and several of the Lemons team were at Charlotte Motor Speedway for an SCCA Track Night in America, so they enjoyed an afternoon of lapping on the "Roval", using a lot of the banked oval and then driving the infield track (turning both left and right) for several sessions. Not a competitive event, but great fun handling their cars in a great setting.

Robert finally drives into action on April 29th with the NY Region, placing 4th in Street Touring out of 14 drivers, and 13th Overall on PAX out of 63 drivers. Not bad on a wet day. 

Once again in NY it was raining, and once again the NMS FIAT took 4th place in the Street Touring Class. We tried some different tire pressures, had 7 clean runs out of 8, and ended 16th on PAX out of 50 drivers. 

Robert attended the BMW Ultimate Driver Experience at Met Life Stadium, and in his group of 20 put down the fastest autocross time...except for hitting one cone! The 530e was a blast to drive, and the X2 was a hoot and a half with all wheel drive, even though the NMS driver managed to slide it a bit sideways on a wet spot. Three driving events and three wet days, seems to be a pattern up north! 

Just a short note here, NMS North took on the world in the Codemasters official Formula 1 online racing for 2018, and finished WAY back in the pack. I mean WAY back, like #1151 out of 1253. Better luck next year slowpoke! And yes, one of the computer races was on a wet track!

NMS-North returned to action on June 10th at the Nassau Coliseum, and didn't do much in the tough Street Touring class (7th out of 19), but in a day with 128 drivers, took 21st overall on PAX time and 29th on RAW actual time. No trophies or prize money, but a fun filled day with tons of other car crazy folks. 

Brian and Luke O'Hara returned to autocross action in Luke's 02 Corvette Z06, with Luke edging out Brian and the two of them taking 6th and 7th on RAW time out of 112 drivers at Myrtle Beach! 

The NMS Miata returned to autocross action in Charleston on the 15th, and we hear it was a fun course...Brian had fun by finishing a fine 2nd in Cookie Class (run what you brung), and 11th on RAW time out of over 100 drivers!  Here's the RESULTS

Hey, it was hot, the FIAT Abarth drove in an autocross and survived, took a lot of photos and shot some video. It was fun, but it was HOT! Results are not good, but I finished in the top half on RAW time at least, so, again, it was FUN and HOT! Out of 101 drivers, there were 50 Novices!

On the 11th the FIAT headed to Pocono and spent the day on track with NASA Northeast doing High Performance Driver Education with an instructor. Combined with riding in the instructor's car, driving in the wet and dry, it was an awesome day! With six 20 minute driving sessions, and three more riding sessions, several classroom instruction sessions, well, how much fun can you cram into about 11 hours, plus seeing a simultaneous car show going on at the same time! To get 120 minutes of driving in autocross would probably take a few decades!

Believe it or not, we don't have any results to mention in September! Other than a lot of work on the Coronet, and the Lemons Race being moved to November thanks to Hurricane Florence, well, we were working real jobs and prepping for the new race date. 

The fall season in October found the NMS squad pretty much waiting for November and the Lemons race at CMP! NMS-North skipped the last few autocross events in New York, and worked on getting prepped with Lemons gear such as a new helmet visor, new ear buds for the race radio, and getting the safety gear ready. NMS-South assisted with ANOTHER Coronet engine transplant, so at the first weekend in November we'll see Team Coronautski in their third Lemons race, and hopefully with no more engine over-heating issues. Hey, maybe there's a Lemons race at the North Pole that would help prevent heat build up in their 70s Hooptie!  

NMS is happy to announce that driver Brian Nixon, and the rest of Team Coronautski won their class at the 24 Hours of Lemons race "Southern Discomfort" held at Carolina Motorsports Park on November 3-4! Besides winning the class, they finished 16th overall! In just the team's 3rd race with the mighty Dodge Coronet, and on just their 3rd (or is it 4th) motor in the past year, the team managed to run the full 14 hours, minimize pit stops, and easily take the C Class victory, and the prize money of $600 in nickels! The rest of NMS also raced in Lemons for the first time, and Robert Nixon and Team Altimate Driving Experience managed to finish 44th out of 80 total cars, despite losing the last 2 hours due to a major electronics issue. 

Brian and friends hits Road Atlanta for another weekend of HPDE track experience, and survives a lot of rain, and still manages to have a lot of fun. Before the month is over, the Team Coronautski gang manages to buy another Miata and start prepping for a full 24 hour race in 2019, so stay tuned for that adventure!



                                       2017 REVIEW

In 2017, Brian drove in several different classes in the South Carolina Region autocross season, but mostly focused his 2017 season on the Lemons race, where Team Coronautski finished a fine 22nd place overall out of 66 teams in their first endurance race. On top of all that, he's been involved with two cars that were heaps of junk that now run and rallycross!

Farther north, Robert finished 10th overall (out of nearly 200 drivers) in the Tidewater Sports Car Club. He locked up 1st place in the HS class, so that's three class titles in a row (against very few other drivers!) In only 3 events with the Old Dominion Region of the SCCA, the FIAT placed 27th overall out of 72 drivers.

-Brian really came flying out of the starting gate in 2017, taking an outstanding 5th overall from 103 drivers with the SCR in Darlington! RESULTS

-You probably think of sunny weather when you think of Virginia Beach, but in March you would have been WAY OFF! On a wet, chilly, 37 degree morning, the NMS FIAT competed in HS with the TSCC for the first time in 2017, and while 3rd in HS sounds slow, it was also good enough for 7th overall PAX out of 43 drivers, which makes this the best ever showing from the FIAT! Managing to spin out on 2 out of 4 runs puts Robert in the lead for NMS Spinner of the Year! Maybe it will warm up in April! RESULTS

-It did warm up, and the NMS FIAT was back at Pungo with ODR, this time in the dry and without the snow! Only 2nd place in HS class, but overall 13th PAX out of 46 drivers, so another reasonable finish. RESULTS

-Brian and Robert were both at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw SC for the NASA "Sinko de Mayo" weekend, which saw both drivers practicing their driving skills on track in 9 sessions over the two days. In addition to driving the NMS Miata, Brian took a turn behind the wheel of the Lemons car (70s Dodge Coronet), which is now on schedule to enter a race in the fall. Some work on that car in between track sessions included new brake calipers up front, and various other tweaks to the suspension.
-Later in May, the FIAT returned to autocross with TSCC and took it's first HS class win of the year, and a pretty good 11th overall out of 61 drivers. A short experience up on 2 wheels failed to lower the best time, so NMS plans on remaining on at least 3 wheels the rest of the season. RESULTS
-Driving a friend's 2001 Mustang, Brian took a solid 2nd place in the Classic American Muscle (CAM) class with the South Carolina Region at Myrtle Beach on the 28th, which was also good for 26th out of 78 total drivers in PAX time, so right on the top 33% .  RESULTS

-The month kicked off with both NMS drivers competing in different events in SC and VA. With the ODR back at Pungo, Robert and the Abarth finished right in the middle of 36 drivers on PAX (18th). Lots of fun, great weather, cool cars, hanging out with friends, only car in HS, so I guess that counts as an HS class win. RESULTS
-On the same day in Charleston SC, Brian co-drove a 2006 Pontiac GTO with Greg Hunt in the SCR CAM class, with Greg taking the win and Brian 2nd out of 6 drivers in the class, and 27th PAX and 26th RAW time out of 116 total drivers!
-Back at Pungo with the TSCC, the NMS FIAT battled 73 total drivers in high temps and humidity on the 18th, and grabbed first in the HS class over 3 other drivers, and 21st overall on PAX time. RESULTS

-The South Carolina Region is taking the entire HOT month off of autocross this year. Farther north, Robert drove with the TSCC on the 16th at Pungo, and seemed to have a good day, and has now moved up to 15th overall (unofficially) in the club championship, as well as 1st place in the HS class.

-Robert took another HS class win against no one with the ODR, and has now moved up to 22nd out of 72 competitors overall on the year. RESULTS
-And then...the heat came back! With the TSCC on the 20th, it was hot and humid. The NMS FIAT had to settle for 3rd in HS, and a reasonable 20th overall PAX out of 69 drivers. There are three more TSCC events this year, so NMS is still holding 1st in HS, and shooting for top 15 overall, currently in 12th for the club championship.

-After months of work on the Lemons car, Brian and his team mates competed September 16-17 at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw SC, and took a great 22nd overall place out of 66 cars/things that drove laps on Saturday and Sunday. Brian's hour and a half on track on Saturday saw him maintaining 17th overall  for Team Coronautski in the 72 Dodge. Despite the team losing the last 90 minutes of the race on Sunday due to a clutch failure, the motor and transmission held up! A bad tire was repaired! A clogged fuel filter and pump were replaced overnight! The damaged front suspension and tie-rod were fixed/bent back into shape over night, and they kept running almost all of both days! The team is planning to return to another Lemons endurance race in February at Barber Motorsports in Alabama, so stay tuned!
-Back up north at Pungo, Robert took another win against no other entries in HS, so has now clinched the class title for the year with the Tidewater Sports Car Club. His 15th overall PAX on the day from 50 drivers also keeps him solidly in 12th for the club title, putting him just ahead of his goal of 15th for this year, so could top ten be in sight?
-On the same day at Midway in South Carolina, Brian and the team of Datsun B210 owners finally got the car running in Rally Cross (autocross on the dirt), but after finishing a few runs by another driver, we believe that the radiator has failed before Brian got behind the wheel. This should be an easy fix, so we anticipate seeing some more Datsun action in the near future.
-Brian finished off the month on the 30th at Darlington with the NMS drive of the year to take 2nd place overall in PAX, plus 2nd in Pro class for autocross with SCR. Thanks to a previous arrangement of "I'll autocross if you learn to SCUBA dive", special guest artist Ashley Hammer drove the NMS Miata in Novice class too! Way to go Ashley, our NMS Rookie of the Year!    RESULTS

-NMS-North wrapped up their season with another HS win, and 16th overall PAX on the day out of 40 some competitors. A little damp drizzle early in the morning made the first run a bit of sideways fun, but another great event with our friends with the Tidewater Sports Car Club. Our totally unofficial, back-o-the-napkin calculations now show the FIAT in 10th overall for the club championship.  RESULTS
-NMS-South on the same day hit the Rally Cross competition in Midway SC in the awesome Datsun B210. Somehow the Datsun held up to 4 drivers making multiple runs all day long, with only minor suspension issues after all the punishment! RESULTS

-On the 11th Brian was in Charlotte to autocross with the Central Carolina Region, and drove with a friend in a Hyundai for Seat Time Only (STO), so no official placing.
-Brian then joined in on the debut of another Rallycross car, the "Dirty Probe" on the 12th, which saw the Ford Probe survive a ton of runs by five different drivers, with Jason Rucker taking the class win. Not bad for a dirt cheap car recently brought back to life with a new belt, new windshield, and some gas! RESULTS
-Despite missing the final event in November with the TSCC, the season long results show the NMS FIAT in 10th overall PAX with the Tidewater Sports Car Club! After finishing 20th last year, and 29th in 2015, this is good jump up the standings for the Italian! TSCC Class Winners

-Brian wrapped up the autocross season in fine style on December 2nd at Myrtle Beach, taking the win in HS behind the wheel of the Probe GT, and breaking into the top half of the field by finishing in 38th on PAX time out of 80 drivers. RESULTS    Check out our Driving Schedule page for the South Carolina Region events scheduled for 2018! We wrapped up the year in our end-of-year blog post list of our top ten events of 2017: 2017 TOP TEN

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