The Fastest Design Studio in the West is ….. Designer Night at the Races™ #28

You have to read all the way to the end to see who ended up winning the Fastest Design Studio in the West as we are not going to spoil it with a comment here.  The Sponsors came into the evening in the lead which means that BMW Designworks has the inside track to taking home the R/C Car provided by series sponsor F1 Paintlab.  But Nissan and Mercedes sent a bunch of hot shoes to the K1 Speed facility in Carlsbad to try and knock them off the throne.

DSCN0111This is probably a good time to again thank our sponsors – without their support the events would not exist.  Lacks Enterprises provides metal finished trim components for the exterior and interior of automobiles.  They have sponsored every one of the 28 Designer Night at the Races™ that has been held since the first event at Dromo 1 in Orange California in March of 2006.

Chris Menniger from Lacks welcomes the racers

Chris Menninger from Lacks welcomes the racers – Chris managed a great finish in the B-Main

Bunkspeed offers 3 dimensional software for many different industries including automotive.  They have been a sponsor since last year and are committed to supporting the event for the remainder of the year.

David Randle from Bunkspeed

David Randle from Bunkspeed

Purple Platypus also came on board last year and provides rapid prototyping machines and services to southern California.  Middlecott Design just came on board for these events.  They are a new Design Studio in Detroit and are available to help with those small projects auto studios never seem to get around to.  Finally, F1 Paintlab provides the trophy you are all fighting for.

Curt Chan from Purple Platypus

Curt Chan from Purple Platypus

The final evening in California was a Nissan and Mercedes affair along with Hyundai, whose podium finish the night before in Irvine allowed them to send a representative to Carlsbad.    And the B-Main podium was filled with Nissan in all three positions.  Ryan Campbell managed a great win after losing the lead at the beginning of the race and regaining it.  He was followed across the line by Matt Struble and Joel Baek.  However, none of the finishes in the B-Main challenged BMW Designwork’s leadership in the week of racing.

B-Main Result:  2nd Matt Struble, 1st Ryan Campbell, 3rd Joel Baek - all from Nissan

B-Main Result: 2nd Matt Struble, 1st Ryan Campbell, 3rd Joel Baek – all from Nissan

The final title came down to the A-Main.  With the number of people that attended the event Nissan had moved into third place, just ahead of Honda and just behind BMW.  But Mercedes had placed 3 drivers in the A-Main and had a decent shot at the overall championship as well.

DSCN0186Mercedes started 3 drivers in the top 5 and it looked like their home track would give them a huge advantage in the race over Nissan’s 3 drivers.  Sung Paick started on the pole but unfortunately drew a slow kart and it was apparent from the start Mercedes hopes were diminished.  Randy Rodriguez from Nissan jumped from 2nd on the grid immediately into the lead and ran unchallenged through the entire race.  Thomas Nishida from Mercedes ran third for much of the race and finally moved into second a couple of laps from the end while also truning the fastest lap of the evening.  Carsten Guenther from Mercedes also moved up and finished in the final trophy position.

A-Main Results:  2nd Thomas Nishida/Mercedes, 1st randy Rodriguez/Nissan, 3rd Carsten Guenther/Mercedes

A-Main Results: 2nd Thomas Nishida/Mercedes, 1st Randy Rodriguez/Nissan, 3rd Carsten Guenther/Mercedes

In the end the championship came down to the second Nissan driver.  If he finished at the back of the field then BMW would win the trophy.  But Yukihiro Mae was the hero of the evening.  His 5th place finish put Nissan ahead for good and earned them the title of the Fastest Design Studio in the West.


Nissan 25 12 10 47 12 59
Sponsors 25 10 2 37 18 55
BMW 25 10 8 43 8 51
Honda 12 10 8 30 15 45
GM 18 15 1 34 7 41
Mercedes 18 12 4 34 4 38
Tesla 18 1 1 20 9 29
Hyundai 18 1 1 20 8 28
Toyota 4 2 1 7 5 12
Mazda 1 1 0 2 6 8
Volvo 1 1 1 3 4 7
Kia 1 0 0 1 2 3
Fisker 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ford 0 0 0 0 0 0
Oakley 0 0 0 0 0 0
VW/Audi 0 0 0 0 0 0


A full list of results and points can be found here.

Pictures will be posted here as soon as they are available.


About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, partner in The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and serial entrepeneur. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 30+ years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the Sports Car Club of America, spends time working on his numerous project cars and supports many local charities.
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