Thanks to our great event sponsors like Lacks Enterprises, a bunch of designers and spectators came together in Novi, Michigan to test Detroit’s newest karting facility. While the layout at JD Karting Center was a bit tight for the competitive racing we saw, the spectating area was top notch and almost 80 people got to witness bumps, bruises and backmarkers. This was also the largest event we have ever managed as many of our sponsors gave up their seats to give the late registrants a chance to compete.
In the end the teams from Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hino, Nissan and Toyota “slugged” it out to find out who is the Fastest Design Studio in the East. For those who have never had the good fortune to attend, Designer Night at the Races™ is an evening of competition and camaraderie where automotive designers can come together to see the industries’ latest innovations,
hang out with former classmates, friends and the competition
and even get to kick some butt on the track.
With such a large group we ended up with 6 heats. In the F-Main sponsor Jeff Chiu from Plastic Plate (a division of Lacks) lead almost the entire race but a last lap accident lapping slower traffic handed the win to Ai Keskeny of Toyota. Keisuke Sakamoto set the fastest lap at 25.221 en route to finishing 3rd and made the podium a Toyota sandwich.
The E-Main was another wreck fest as racers from Chrysler, GM, Hino, Toyota and event sponsor AACS battled it out. Toyota managed their second win of the evening as Shin Numoto pulled out a 3.6 second win. Alberto Formento of GM may have run the fastest lap at 24.373 but he barely edged Osamu Watanabe from Hino for 2nd place as only 0.315 seconds separated them as they crossed the line.
In the D-Main someone other than Toyota finally won a race. Garen Nicoghosian from Ford beat out a pair of Toyota drivers for the top spot. In second was Robert Hunwick and third was Adam Rabinowitz while the fastest lap was set by Brad Palmer of event sponsor AACS in 5th place with a 24.576.
Toyota won their 3rd race of the evening as Miljan Jevremovic edged teammate Kazunari Abeby by only 2 seconds for the win in the C-Main. Yoshihiro Hara of Hino completed the trophy positions a further 1.5 seconds behind. Bregt Ectors of GM had the fastest lap in fourth with a 24.250 after fighting his way up from the last starting position
The B-Main was great because another Design Studio got to take home a trophy as Deyan Ninov of Chrysler finished 3rd. Jim Smithbauer of Ford ran a tight race with Deyan to finish second a couple of seconds ahead of him. But David McCall of Ford ran away with the race by running the fastest lap at 24.127 and built up a 16 second lead by the checkered flag.
The A-Main included the normal cast of characters as GM made up for the fact that it hadn’t trophied all night by placing 6 drivers in the top heat race. Micah Jones of GM ran the fastest lap at a 23.743 and led every lap from start to finish for the win. He was followed closely by Vlad Kapitonov, also of GM, who crossed the line only 1.5 seconds behind him. Ryan Blodi finished 3rd for Ford.
As with the past several Detroit events the Team trophy was never in question as GM continued their domination and retained the title of the Fastest Design Studio in the East. The sponsors managed a great second place finish even considering the number of race seats they gave up. 3rd place was Ford, followed by Toyota in 4th thanks to their massive participation. Hino, Chrysler and Nissan rounded out the 7 positions. GM got to keep the great trophy provided by F1 Paintlab.
Many thanks again to our sponsors Lacks Enterprises, Bunkspeed and Middlecott Design. While the racing may have been a bit too intense at times, the smiles were plentyful it seemed everyone had a great time.
For the full results and hundreds more pictures be sure to visit our page here.