Designer Night at the Races #42 – Honda/Acura takes the Lead

It is only fitting that Designer Night at the Races 42nd Event attempts to answer the classic Douglas Adams question; “What is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything?”.  Duh, its “Racing”.  As much as things change, sometimes they stay the same and in this case as Honda took an early lead in Southern California to determine the Fastest Design Studio in the West.


Honda has a long history of dominating the title.  The 2007-2009 and 2014 Fall West Coast Champions brought 14 members of their Design Staff to defend their crown.  Icon Aircraft and Tesla Motors brought full teams as well to try and upset their plans.  They joined long-term partner Lacks Enterprises and first-time sponsor Autodesk as 3 groups took to the track to duke it out in qualifying.


The qualifying round saw Honda leading the way, followed by Tesla and ICON.  After the group took a break to enjoy the catered meal and down some much needed refreshment.

Our hostess Noreen listens to bench racing from the Honda Team.

Our hostess Noreen listens to bench racing from the Honda Team.

To amp the excitement of the finals, we combined the groups into two races.  In the B-Main each of the three studios occupied a spot on the podium.  Wayne Dickens managed to channel his inner Senna as his best lap was almost a full half second faster than anyone else in the race.  That speed easily translated into a top spot and a 5 second gap to second place.  He was followed by by a pair of Michaels, as Michael May of Honda came across the line a little ahead of Michael Schumann of ICON Aircraft.

That is a winner's grin - Wayne Dickens of Tesla takes the B-Main win

That is a winner’s grin – Wayne Dickens of Tesla takes the B-Main win

Michael Schumann - we have your 3rd place trophy - call us

B-Main: Michael May of Honda, Wayne and Michael Schumann – we have your 3rd place trophy – call us

In the A-Main the qualifying order showed each of the studios with one driver at the front of the field.  Bill Yex was on the pole with a 28.893 lap and was followed by Calvin Liu of Tesla and Dong Tran of ICON.  The race saw a different order as a Honda sweep was averted, as yours truly worked his way from the back of the field to steal the 3rd spot.  Royce Meksilpstith ran a 28.940 lap on his way to a second place finish.  But Bill Yex followed his flying qualifying lap with a 28.832 fastest lap of the night and a win for Honda.


Jessica and Noreen flank the Fastest Designer in Gardena, Bill Yex of Honda


A-Main podium with Royce, Jessica, Bill, Noreen and Frank (L to R)

As past events, the top two finishers from each studio have their points count for the title of Fastest Studio in the West.  On the West Coast points are awarded in the standard Formula 1 method, 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1.  In addition, a bonus point is awarded for each and every person who comes to the event, whether they are racing or not.  DSCN0053

So after the first night the points are as follows:

Top Second Attendance TOTAL
Honda 25 18 14 57
Tesla 15 12 4 31
ICON 10 8 4 22
Toyota 0 0 0 0

DSCN0036We cannot present awesome events like this without the generous support of our sponsors and the dedication and attention of our staff.  We have had 42 events and 42 times Lacks Enterprises has been there for us. 


Chris Menninger from Lacks showcases the Fastest Studio perpetual trophy along with our Trophy Girls

And we welcome Autodesk on board for their first event.

DSCN0124Thank you too to Alison, Jessica and Noreen for your work, and Brian for helping me design the first event all the way back in 2006.

DSCN0091You can find pictures of the event here.

And come back tomorrow for an update from the Irvine Event.

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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