Driven and Blessed Oct 12, 2018 track day

Itching for a track but don’t want to spend a lot of money? The friends at Driven and Blessed have you covered! Some of my track friends started a track event company, because most track events are expensive. Average prices ranging $350-$1200 depending what track you go to and how many days. Driven and Blessed want to offer track days that are cheaper, but also safety in mind. The only requirement is you must have at least one track event experience prior to joining. That way, people are familiar on how passing and flags work. Once the track bug hits you, then you’ll be itching for the next events!

Untitled

To sign up checkout:

http://www.facebook.com/drvnblsd/

 

 

Advertisements

Topak Racing road trip Part 2

Untitled

After the two day drive to California, I had a couple of days to do some sight seeing things before my track event. So the first day I thought I would hit up some iconic car scenes. This is LA and the car capital of the word. That morning I drove my M3 to Angeles Crest Highway.

DSC_0665

Its a popular road for driving and car photoshoots…. Matt from the YouTube channel The Smoking Tire often reviews cars there. The views are nice and not much traffic depending on what time you go.

DSC_0662

There was mutiple spots where people used the overview as a skid pad. Makes a cool back drop for pictures.

DSC_0659

DSC_0660 DSC_0668

I also brought my dog Lambo with me, and probably his first time in California. I adopted him 2 years ago.

DSC_0673 Always getting in the shots. DSC_0677

After driving around Angeles Crest, we hit up some famous Fast and Furious locations.

Untitled

The famous “Tuna no crust” shop. I bought a couple of lotto tickets here because if I won, I can say I won it from Torretto’s shop! Unfortunately I didn’t win.

Untitled

Then not to far from the grocery store was “I live my life a quarter mile at time” scene. Got lucky with parking because they  had street cleaning going one meaning, it was illegal to park on the side of the street.

Untitled

Next stop was Mooneyes. For those you that doesn’t know Mooneyes, its Japanese owned shop that specialized in the 1950s era of hot rodding. They sell anything related to hot rodding, and they participate in some races too. It kinda has the 1950s vibe walking in. I don’t own a hot rod but the culture is cool. Since there wasn’t any M3 specific part, I bought some stickers for my garage.

Untitled

EAS (European Auto Source) is a shop more tailored to my M3. Unfortunately we came at a bad time, and no cool cars in the shop. I didn’t come empty handed though, I got more stickers!

Untitled

Lambo was pretty much tired and slept once we got beck home. My wife was arriving that night but ended arriving early morning because of several flight delays. But finally I picked her up 2am at LAX airport. We where too tired to do anything just wanted to sleeping because we had more touristy things to do later that morning.

Untitled

First stop of the day, we went to this little dog friendly cafe shop. The coffee and food were great! We bought some treats for Lambo and our other dog friends back in Houston.

Untitled This cool little Toyota parked next to us.

Untitled

First tourist stop was the Hollywood sign. Now if you put the Hollywood sign on the Google maps or any other GPS, it will take to Griffith Park. But you won’t be close to the sign. Its set up like this because the residents that live near the Hollywood are tired of the tourist passing in the neighborhood. Here is the site that helps you getting closer to the Hollywood sign:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/34.105252,-118.3212538/3390+Deronda+Dr,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90068/@34.1176391,-118.3296411,15z/am=t/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3215988!2d34.1283703!3s0x80c2bf752411c711:0x7893c2b9fb1feae7!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c2bf7599bcb519:0xf1febdae8b82a0a2!2m2!1d-118.3193!2d34.129921!3e0

Untitled

If you are lucky you find a parking space you can park close the sign with a short hike. But if you are not able to, then be prepared for a long hilly hike. There is actually another trail that would take behind the Hollywood sign but it was getting hot and I didn’t want my dog to suffer a heat stroke.

Untitled

Untitled The next stop was Griffith Observatory. This was where La La Land was filmed at also. I’ve been to LA a few times before, but its actually my first time visiting the touristy parts. Im usually at the beach, or checking out car shops haha.

Untitled

The LA skyline, you can see the smog too. But comes with the territory when living in a big city.

Untitled

We the made our way to Malibu. The roads going was just beautiful and the weather was significantly cooler with the sea breeze. It a good place to get away from the LA congestion.

Untitled

Another famous film spot is Neptunes Nest. This was where Brian said to Dom “I don’t need handouts….” Awesome food but not dog friendly unfortunately. We ended up ordering take out and ate the beach. Couldn’t really complain.

Untitled Untitled

By night time my brother was tired driving in LA traffic and called it a day. My wife and I went out to catch up with Francis, our old college friend. He took us to this cool Ramen place. I forgot the name but the place was packed.

Untitled Untitled

Untitled

After dinner, Francis took us to “Urban Lights.” Its located near the art museum and best time to go is late at night to avoid the crowds. The setting made a perfect place for portraits.

Untitled

Untitled

Francis took us to another beach where Chester from Linking Park lived at. Unfortunately is was too dark and too cold to take a photo. By that time we where all tired and headed home. I had to get some rest because the next day was track day.

Stay tuned

https://www.facebook.com/TeamTopakRacing/

http://www.abrhouston.com

https://www.facebook.com/drvnblsd/

Topak Racing road trip Part 1

Last year I won a track pass from PPCE (Pinoy/Pinay Car Enthusiasts) at one of their car meets. It was a track pass for Topak Racing in California, hahaha. Being from Houston, I didn’t really actually think I was able to use this, but thankfully my wife allowed me go. Just so happened the track weekend event I signed up for was on my birthday. So last month my brother and I went on a epic road trip to California. This was a bucket list I’m glad I was able to do. Thank you Revo and the guys at Topak Racing the opportunity to come track with y’all!

Untitled

The issue was how would a get there? I was thinking maybe I can make the arduous drive in the M3 and stuff all my track essentials in the back, but then I got worried if something bad happened along the way. Thankfully my friend, Mervyn, was kind enough to let me borrow his newly acquired Toyota Tundra… Special shout out to him because without the truck I would have driven the M3 on a 4k mile journey. Thanks again Mervyn!

Untitled

The hardest part, in the beginning, was how to load up the M3 on to the trailer…. The trailer is low car friendly but Im slammed and the ramps was too steep. Thanks to my friends Jon, Mike and William for letting me borrow their ramps and blocks of wood, I was able to get the M3 loaded up.

Untitled

I also want to thank my buddy Nate for letting me borrow his axle straps and tie downs. First time loading a car into a trailer was a lot of trial and error. Most the time was just trying to figure out how to properly load the weight and strapping the car. I think it took me about 2 hrs to get the M3 loaded and secured on the trailer. But it does get easier after your first time.

Untitled

First stop on the California road trip was El Paso. My brother tagged along as my co-driver. Making a trip to California is tough on your own and I recommend having another person to share the driving hours. To give some perspective on how big Texas is, it took us 14hrs to reach El Paso from Houston! The Tundra was just a beast towing my M3 and ate the miles like nothing. We where pretty decent on fuel economy averaging 14MPG.

Untitled

We stayed overnight at El Paso in a little cool AirBnb spot. Tired from driving we walked to a pizza restaurant and filled our appetite. I noticed El Paso is really cheap, Im guessing because of the desert life?

Untitled

The next day we woke up super early to drive the rest of the way to California. I would say the most difficult part was passing Texas, because it just soo big and felt like you are in the twilight zone of a never ending road. Once you start passing state lines then you feel like the trip is shorter. New Mexico was a quick trip, then Arizona, and finally California.

Untitled

When doing road trips, especially long journeys, it best to fill up and find a station when the fuel tank is half full. There was parts of the highway where you won’t find gas for miles. The Tundra has 25 gallon capacity and averaging 14mpg, it wasn’t too terrible.

Untitled

Props to the guy driving this air-cooled Beetle. The morning was cool but by the afternoon it would get over 100 degrees hot.

Untitled

Untitled Untitled

Some of the hills in Arizona and New Mexico got hillier but with the Tundra 10,000 lbs towing capacity, it pulled the M3 like it wasn’t there. Such a great tow rig for a 1/2 ton truck.

Untitled

Finally crossing the California border, just another 3hrs before we hit Los Angeles.

Untitled

Untitled

California is geographically an awesome place. California has desert, mountains to ski, and beaches to surf. You could experience all of this in one day if you wanted to. I thought that was pretty cool.

Untitled

We finally hit Los Angeles and made it to our AirBnb spot. I chose to stay in the LA then somewhere near the race track, because I love the city life, and my wife would be flying in from Houston. I know she wanted to check out all the tourist attractions. That will be for part 2.

In the meantime…. when in California, you got to have In and Out burgers.

Untitled

Yeah I know its not a great shot, but its about the experience and journey.

https://www.facebook.com/TeamTopakRacing/
http://www.abrhouston.com
http://www.txtrailercountry.com

Streets of Willow video

This was my only video I had at Streets of Willow. I left my Go Pro on between the session which died because of the desert heat. I had a spare battery but only to find out it wasn’t charged. As the sessions went on I managed my quickest lap on the 3rd session with 1:32.5xx. For a first timer, I would say that is a decent lap time. But, just for comparison, MotorTend timed a 2015 Mustang GT (stock) and managed a 1:24.29 with Randy Pobst as the driver. The pro level difference is high and one day I hope to achieve that driving level. You can only master proper technique with seat time.

This video I gave my brother a ride along, and it was his first time attending a track day. Let’s just say he was impressed, shocked, and scared at the same. After the first session, he didn’t want another ride along. But he sure made a great pit crew helper. Brother: “Man, I didn’t know you can drive like that.” Me: “I was only going 70%, I’m still trying to figure out the course.” Im no Randy Pobst but hearing words like that makes me want to focus more to master my craft.

https://www.facebook.com/TeamTopakRacing/

http://www.abrhouston.com

 

M Gruppe Skid Pad Fun

Small quick video of me at the skid pad during M Gruppe track day. We only had one go at this, becuase we were running short on track time with all the cars lined up. This was probably my favorite part of the day becuase drifting is fun! Skid pad teaches you the how the car behaves over the limit of grip and it might look easy but its tricky. There are some parts of the area where a light tap on the gas causes the rear end to come out faster then other areas. If you get it right, it wont feel like you are fighting the car and you can control the car’s angle with throttle inputs.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmichelle.w.imler%2Fvideos%2F10213082489233948%2F&show_text=0&width=560

http://www.abrhouston.com

Hong’s Track Inspired G37S

DSC_0644

Being a car guy I do have different types of friends to like to enjoy their cars…. I have friends the like to track em and Im that type of person also, but that doesn’t mean I have friends only in that circle. I have my other friends that just like to modify cars and enjoy them in the streets. Here is my friend, Hong, and his track inspired G37S Sedan.

DSC_0643 DSC_0649

I met Hong a some years back when I first moved to Houston. We met though friends that were also into cars. Back then I was into the stance scene with my GTI and Miata, and Hong drove a purple Altima on 20″ heavy ass Vossens haha. Times have changed, and for the better.

DSC_0648

After graduating college and making some money, Hong bought a new and stock G37S. The car was originally black but as the years went by it went though many changes till what you see now.

DSC_0651 My friend Joseph Shih face on Hong’s big wang from Steet Faction. Have the same sticker on my brake lights.

DSC_0659

Volk TE37 in OG gold is such a classic wheel. Besides the BBS RS this is my other favorite classic wheel. Track proven and looks great.

DSC_0658 DSC_0654 DSC_0657

Hong’s interior is mostly striped making the original 5 seat occupancy for 2 people. When doing highway pulls or loop runs, weight matters. Or just be more race car lifestyle.

DSC_0668

DSC_0715

The lucky charm is a nice touch to the almost bare essential interior.

DSC_0667

Yes it auto but the shifts are crisp and smooth. But what I really like, is the super JDM Key’s Racing steering wheel. Vertex, and Nardi are pretty common wheels I see in car show but Key’s is just another level.

DSC_0689

The quality of the wheel is luxurious and I can tell it would match my Narita Dog Fight racing gloves. Puts you in the mood to go fast.

DSC_0706

The rear end with the chassis mount Street Faction wing has very aggressive set up that matches the rest of the cars theme.

DSC_0709 Being from Texas… Tacos is life. DSC_0705

Glad I live in the city becuase you get cool photo shoots that kinda grab the city life and atmosphere.

DSC_0696 DSC_0699

DSC_0718

No lift, full throttle.

DSC_0712

Build Breakdown:

Exterior:
Custom Headlights Carbon Fiber front lip Carbon Fiber side splitters Carbon Fiber rear spats Carbon Fiber Vis Racing rear diffuser Carbon Fiber Duckbill trunk Carbon Fiber Roof wing Custom Cerulean Blue Autoflex Coating StreetFaction GT Wing

Lighting:
Retrofit Source LED fog lights Retrofit Source 5000k HID

Wheels and tires:
Michelin Pilot Super sports 245/45/18 Front Michelin Pilot Super sports 245/45/18 Rear Volk Racing TE37sl 18×9.5+22

Brakes and suspension:
StopTech slotted rotars 355mm front 350mm rear StopTech stainless steel brake lines BCracing coilovers Cusco upper strut bar SPL titanium rear camber links SPL rear toe rods SPL front upper control arms Stillen front sway bar Stillen rear sway bar

Performance:
Stillen gen III air intakes Stillen headers Gates Racing Belt Motordyne Art Pipes Motordyne cat back Ecutek Tuned

Interior:
Corbeau Forza Seats Corbeau four point harness Custom Harness bar

Miscellaneous:
Carbon Fiber Radiator cover Carbon Fiber Battery cover Carbon Fiber Fluid cover

Backyard Auto

http://www.abrhouston.com