The Fastest Design Studio in the East is…… Designer Night at the Races™ #29

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.

The Team from Lacks have sponsored 29 straight events

The Team from Lacks have sponsored 29 straight events and gave up their seats so late arrivals could race – Thank You

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,

Lacks' premium metal finishes were on display

Lacks’ premium metal finishes were on display

hang out with former classmates, friends and the competition

General Motors and Ford - this is as friendly as it gets

General Motors and Ford – this is as friendly as it got

and even get to kick some butt on the track.

IMG_7171In addition to the title sponsor Lacks, Bunkspeed brought their new imaging software that was simple stunning.

A designer tests out Bunkspeed's newest software

A designer tests out Bunkspeed’s newest software

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.

F-Main 2nd Place Jeff Chiu from Lacks, winner Ai Keskeny and 3rd place Keisuke Sakamoto, both from Toyota

F-Main 2nd Place Jeff Chiu from Lacks, winner Ai Keskeny and 3rd place Keisuke Sakamoto, both from Toyota

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.

GM, Toyota and Hino grab the trophies in the E-Main

Alberto Formento of GM finished second, Osamu Watanabe finished 3rd and Shin Numoto of Toyota finished 1st and grabed the trophies in the E-Main

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.

Race winner Garen Nicoghosian of Ford gives the thumbs up as

Race winner Garen Nicoghosian of Ford gives the thumbs up as Robert Hunwick and Adan Rabinowitz of Toyota complete the podium spots

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

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C-Main 2nd Place Kazunari Abeby and winner Miljan Jevremovic both of Toyota and 3rd place Yoshihiro Hara of Hino

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.

That's not Jim Smithbauer on the left as a Ford teammate accepts his trophy

That’s not Jim Smithbauer on the left as a Ford teammate accepts his 2nd place trophy, David McCall of Ford in the middle was the run away winner and Deyan Nimov of Chrysler fills out the podium in 3rd

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.

1st Place Micah Jones of GM, 2nd Place Vlad Kapitanov of GM and Ryan Blodi of Ford in 3rd Place

1st Place Micah Jones of GM, 2nd Place Vlad Kapitanov of GM and Ryan Blodi of Ford in 3rd Place

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.

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POSITION STUDIO BEST PARTICIPATION GRAND TOTAL
1 GM 20 16 36
2 Sponsors 12 14 26
3 Ford 14 10 24
4 Toyota 1 20 21
5 Hino 1 12 13
6 Chrysler 4 8 12
7 Nissan 1 6 7
Team GM wins again

Team GM wins again

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.

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For the full results and hundreds more pictures be sure to visit our page here.  

http://www.supplierconsultants.com/designer_night_2013_04_mi

About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of CarFriend.me 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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