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Performance Autosport Racing: A Year In Review 2012

November 20th, 2012

Words by Kevin Adolf
Performance Autosport

At the end of the 2011 NASA race season, all members of PAS Racing had learned a lot about what it takes to build, maintain, and grow this race team. We had learned more than we had ever thought throughout just one season and in those short 8 months we took a street car and race by race turned it into a championship-winning Mustang.

For 2012 we knew we needed to go bigger and better. We had our initial season under our belt and it was time for the training wheels to come off. With all our success in 2011 getting noticed, in stepped our new main sponsor and partnership with Vaughn Gittin Jr’s company, Mustang RTR. A new design for the PAS Mustang and a new future was born in the very beginning of the race season.

Not only was the look of the PAS Racing machine a big hit with everyone, but with new support from Kenny Brown Performance Suspension and Moton USA we continued racking up wins and lap records. The partnership between the two worked very well and throughout the season we learned how to make the car work better and better between VIR and Summit Point.

Part of the complete redesign of the PAS American Iron racecar also included picking up some new faces and sponsors to the mix as well as getting a clean start from one of our loyal sponsors from 2011. Moss Muscle was new to the PAS Racing program in 2012 and helped promote the effort all season long while building a great relationship with PAS as not only a race team, but a local shop and installer. HRE Performance Wheels took our beat and battered R40 race wheels and gave them a facelift by checking them all over, giving them a clean bill of health, and a new color to go with the new look. These wheels are absolutely bulletproof race wheels. HRE is the “industry standard” for a reason.

We can’t say enough on how tough and reliable these wheels have been. No matter how hard driver Chris Cobetto is on them, they just keep rolling on. Rub them down the side of another Mustang at 80mph. No biggie. Hop them over curbing at 130mph. Not a problem. Slide them into a gravel trap backwards at 100mph. Don’t care. Well, the crew cared…that was a lot of gravel removal. But the wheels shook it off, didn’t bend or gouge or break and balanced out perfect every time. You can’t ask for better!

All season long we had absolutely reliable brakes from the combination of Baer 6R calipers and Hawk race pads. Cobetto’s confidence in the braking system of this Mustang went through the roof as he punished pads and rotors all season long hauling this car down into the corners, even out braking some much lighter competitor’s equipment. The amazing support from Baer and Hawk is a partnership PAS racing is looking forward to continuing into 2013. We love their products and incredible support!

Throughout the 2011 season we had issues with a mysterious power loss and thankfully between our good friends at Ford Racing and a new friend we were tipped off on by Vaughn Gittin Jr., we finally got all the problems ironed out. After being put on the dyno at almost every single race that we won, we were never over our horsepower limit and never under weight. 100% legal, 100% of the time. We had some amazing battles with all the guys in the Mid-Atlantic Region and have the battle scars and broken GoPro cases to prove it!

We also had some fun in 2012 for all our fans. Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chris Cobetto went head to head on track to settle the dispute between what is faster: Drift or Grip. The video went viral and definitely made for some interesting conversations. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here by clicking on the screen shot below:

We even had some time between races to meet up with JR at a Mustang show/drift demo to check out what he does and show off the car to some that don’t get to make it out to the track. That was a lot of fun to be there and support Mustang RTR on all sides, street, drift, and road racing!

When it was finally time to pack everything up and head to Mid-Ohio for Nationals we were determined to come home with a victory. The entire PAS Racing team was heavily motivated and ready to battle, but as always the Ohio weather had other plans. Arriving with minimal testing time ahead of us, what we really didn’t need was rain. And rain was what we got. The time we had on track in the dry we were making big changes to see what worked and what didn’t and we were making great progress as the lap times were dropping lower and lower. Then of course on race day, it rained.

All our work went out the window, the rain setup went on the car, and with a decent starting position, overall things were still looking promising. As luck would have it though during the race the PAS Mustang RTR had some rear contact from a competitor and was forced off into the land of no return at China Beach. Not able to drive out, we lost two laps down to the leader, but in his competitive nature Cobetto wasn’t about to pull in. Instead, even while battling for 16th place Cobetto put on some of the best racing of the whole race stealing some TV time from the lead pack while dicing it up way in the back.

The car returned back to PAS a little beat, bruised, and pretty filthy, but we left nothing on the table and had no regrets. The amount we learned throughout the entire 2012 season is even more than we could imagine after doing for a full season. Each weekend taught us something. Each win got us closer to our goal. Each time we got a call from a sponsor congratulating us it made us push harder.

At the end of the 2012 season we won 10 out of 12 points races and clinched back to back Mid-Atlantic Region American Iron Championships. We reset our own lap record at VIR with a 2:05.834 and ran even FASTER than this during qualifying in October. I can assure you 2013 will be even bigger, better, and faster! We already have a few things in the works…it’s going to be a good year!


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