With the 2017 racing season just about halfway through, PTH has been busy not updating our website and prepping and running race cars. Starting at the inaugural Spring Classic, the new vintage event run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. We ran four cars, including three different flavors of Porsche 911 GTU racers! Tom O’Callaghan in his 1972 911ST, Nelson Calle in his ex-Bruce Jennings 911S, and PTH owner Michael Sweeney in his 1997 993 RSR. Just to show we are an inclusive kind of shop, we also ran Mark Nettesheim in his 1970 Datsun 510 B Sedan.
Calle showed really good speed early in the weekend setting laptimes that would have had him fighting in the top three for the 2.5 liter Trans Am group (despite being the only car on period correct Goodyear Blue Streak tires!). Unfortunately, an issue with the crankshaft on his brand new engine meant that the crank pulley refused to stay put, sidelining him on Saturday afternoon for the remainder of the weekend. That left O’Callaghan to represent the Porsches in the Trans Am group. He did an admirable job, and the silver 911 ran and looked terrific all weekend.
Nettesheim had an eventful weekend in the 510. With coaching and setup from Pacific Throttle House, he gained speed all weekend, ending up as the third fastest out of 12 (!) 510s in that run group. It wasn’t without drama though, as the left rear spring perch punched through the chassis into the backseat area on Saturday morning. The PTH crew got to work, stripping the subframe, hammering back the sheet metal, making a reinforcing plate and welding it all back together. Mark only missed one session despite all this work, so he was pretty happy considering that kind of damage would end a normal race weekend.
Finally, Sweeney, Sr. was feeling under the weather and only ran the 993 RSR on Sunday. It was a strange group, and he ended up racing against a 1999 996 Cup car and two Lola Can Am racers. It made for interesting closing speeds, as the 993 had by far the highest corner speed, while the 800 horsepower Can Am cars would blitz the straights. A nice move around the outside of turn 9 decided the battle in Sweeney’s favor.
With the Spring Classic in the books, Pacific Throttle House went to work prepping for the SVRA Sonoma Historics.