Last year Last year's UTCC and Hyperfest event ended in a mixed bag. I was so stressed with what happened I stepped away from the car for about four months and didn't feel like updating anything. I'll try to keep this short but since I added nothing in the UTCC 2016 thread I wanted to include some info here. Here are a couple on-track pics from that event: The first day of UTCC, by honestly a bunch of dumb luck, went well. Despite the front of the car's alignment going wonky suddenly not allowing me to turn right very well (more on that later), my turbo manifold heat shield mounts breaking fairly quickly, and the turbo manifold to turbine bolts constantly backing out resulting in lag and burning/melting stuff, we clawed out a 2:01.724. That's pretty slow mind you as the year before I ran a 2:00.1 and I felt I left a bunch on the table back then. I didn't expect anything from those results, and I was still stressing about the turbo bolts and the screwed up alignment (which felt like it was getting worse) since I still had time trials the rest of the weekend. Also, as most of you likely weren't aware, that while there are lots of award categories in the UTCC a Mitsubishi Eclipse fits in very few of them in recent years. The only one I think I even fit in was the Ultimate Production AWD category, but... I had no chance at this as there were these two AWD cars in the mix: (that's something like an 800whp GTR, I actually forget the real number but it was high, with a Nissan Nismo GT3 aero package) (a TTU Evo from another region, I think he said 600+ whp?) So at the end of the day I'm sitting at the awards dinner in the far back with my back to the awards ceremony enjoying my beer, barely paying attention... when I hear "blah blah blah blah JOHN FREUND!" I knee-jerked a "WHAT?" quite loudly, causing a bit of laughter from the crowd. I walked up and they handed me this: I was just laughing for a good few minutes trying to figure out how the hell this happened. It turns out both the Evo and GTR broke! There was a Subaru STi that should be competitive with me but he was still breaking in his car and ended up not being close. I heard the GTR had electrical issues and called in favors with Nissan to get permission to pull parts off the track's GTR pace car (yeah I guess they have that much money and pull) and still couldn't get in a single lap. Lucky me! Honestly I'm not proud, but it's still kind of neat, a nice memento of all the years I've been doing this event Ok so moving on to the next day. The rest of the weekend was Time Trials in the TT2 class with NASA. I had been dealing with the turbine bolts by re-tightening them every session, though they fried the turbo bag and changed my brand new tial wastegate from a bright anodized (and pretty!) red to an orange color from the hot stream of exhaust gas spewing out. Even melted some of the timing cover and blew the melted plastic all over the side of the power steering reservoir. Well in three sessions I forget what I ran but it got slower and slower, back to a 2:04, as the alignment issue got worse. In the very last session of the day this happened: Pretty neat way they get dead cars on a trailer If it's not obvious what happened there, the culprit was this: Yeah. Tire exploded at 130mph on the back straight. Car handled it just fine, nice and smoothly, and I pulled off leaving a huge debris trail on the track I was told later. When the tow truck guy came up to my car I asked sheepishly "Is the fender still there?". He looked down for a sec, back up and said "NOPE!". Damage basically was the entire fender lost, plus the corners of the bumper cover and sideskirt, along with the wiring harness in that area. Here's the car packed up ready to go home: So because of that incident I missed the awards ceremony for that day as I was still out on track with my car. The next day I found out I still somehow won 2nd place in a field of seven cars, winning myself not only a free Hoosier tire but some Hawk bucks: So that was it for 2016 for racing. I didn't post any videos because the times were slower plus some of the key ones somehow were corrupted anyway.