Wow…..I don’t even know where to start with this but I’ll try to cover as much as I can. I hope you all take the time to read this mini novel I threw together…..so here goes!
The last 3 weeks or so have been CRAZY for Team Ksport. It was crunch time for us to prep our LS1 powered s13.5 and get it dialed in before the event. With our new found driver, Corey Hosford, we were all extremely excited to see what was going to happen at Round 2 of XDC. As many people already know Corey is a Bondurant School of High Performance Driving instructor who approached us not even 1 month ago inquiring if we needed a driver for our drift car program. Our previous driver Jason Beatty is now driving his own personal car during the XDC competition (which is also a LS1 powered s13) so when Corey came around it was perfect timing. We brought our car up to Bondurant where Corey took the car out as is for some shake down runs. Needless to say after watching him go around the track a few times we knew Corey would be right at home.
Hover over pics with your mouse for caption
After Corey’s initial runs in the car it was time to begin all the fine tuning to get the car dialed in more to his liking. There was a lot of work to be done in the following weeks. Not only did we need to get the car set up correctly but we were planning on also doing a completely new vinyl wrap and get all new decals cut to showcase our new sponsors for the 2011 season. At times it seemed like we just wouldn’t have enough time to get everything accomplished but everyone pulled together to help. We spent countless hours at night and on weekends working on the car at Bondurant and Fueled Racing. HUGE thanks go out to Todd at Fueled Racing, Dylan & Nate at Bondurant and Corey’s right hand man Dustin. Also, thank you Jason Beatty for coming out to Bondurant on a Sunday and doing some practice tandem with Corey! Without the help of these guys this event would not have been possible!
We ended up making a ton of adjustments to the vehicle over the course of a couple weeks. Many different alignment set ups were tested & tried out, a new side exit exhaust was custom made, a badass new hydraulic handbrake handle was made from scratch, we uninstalled the old STRI gauges and replaced them with a single ARK Design multi function display, custom shortened OEM spindles by Future Fabrication, all appropriate safety measures were added including new tow hooks front and rear along with a main power kill switch, wider 275/40 tires out back replaced our old 255/40′s, new custom steel crash bar for front end, a brand new front bumper by Extreme Dimensions with paint by Elite Automotive Finishes and last but not least a completely new vinyl wrap and all new decals by Xsell Media.
Thursday night before practice day on Friday several of us were at Fueled Racing till nearly 1am getting last minute modifications done to the car. Gotta love getting home at almost 2am, crashing out around 2:30am and waking up at 6am in order to have the car ready to go at Firebird Raceway by 7:30am!! I know damn sure we were not the only team putting in a late night getting the car ready! It’s all just part of the game when its crunch time and I know many other drifters out there know what I’m talking about.
Friday morning = driver load in and practice day. For myself, Corey & Dustin our morning started bright and early at 7:30 when we arrived to the track. We ran the car over to Bondurant for a quick car wash and then waited for everyone else to slowly roll in. The Team Ksport pit area consisted of Corey Hosford, Jason Beatty, Chris Soehren, George Marstanovic, Chris Vallet and Nate Hamilton had his area set up a few spaces away. Practice went very well with Corey getting more comfortable with the car and the track layout. By the end of the first practice session we’d say he had it nailed down. There was a close call with the rear bumper and clipping point which left our bumper in 2 pieces, but no biggie, that’s what zipties are for!! Later in the afternoon came the tandem practice. Corey seemed right at home and was definitely not afraid to get up close and personal with the other drivers. Unfortunately for our friend Nate Hamilton, his LS2 engine had some issues which later turned out to be damage to one of the pistons and valve contact. Huge bummer for Nate and the 144 crew!!! The 144 crew kept in good spirits though despite the engine failure and they were more than helpful to Corey and Team Ksport. You guys rock!!!
Saturday = Main Event. Practice was set to kick off at 12:30pm. At about 11:45am disaster struck for the Ksport s13. While attempting to change out the rear wheels for another set with fresh tires, two of the rear wheel studs BROKE!!!! We were able to get the car over to Bondurant so we had access to getting the car on a lift to make it easier to work on but disaster struck AGAIN when trying to remove the other lugs. 4 more wheel studs broke!!! At this point everyone was shitting their pants trying to figure out why this happened. Nonetheless, Team Ksport pulled together and got on the phone and ordered new studs from Nissan. We sent one car out to grab the studs and another car to a local Discount Tire to buy another set of tuner style lugnuts that would work with our 5zigen wheels. Within 30 min we were back with the necessary parts to get the car fixed. More issues with some of the lugnuts didn’t make the job any easier though and long story short both rear hubs, rotors and calipers had to come off and we used the entire afternoon right up to about 2:45pm to get the car ready to rock again.
Qualifying started at 3:10pm and it was GO time. We had missed the entire practice session repairing the car but Corey was confident he could get out there and make the top 16. He did just that and qualified 6th! We were more than happy with that considering this was his first actual drift event. George Marstanovic qualified in 1st followed by Forrest Wang in 2nd. Other AZ drivers that made Top 16 were: Jason Beatty, Joe Haven, Vitaly Sopkin, Mike Burns, Benjamin Kunk and Chris Soehren. Not too shabby that 8 of the top 16 cars were all Arizona drivers!
Corey was matched up against another Az driver, Vitaly Sopkin for the 1st round of finals. Corey took the win and moved on to face Alex Pfeiffer in the 350z for round 2. It was definitely a close call but the judges gave the win to Pfeiffer. Overall, Corey Hosford in our s13.5 ended up in 6th place. For being the “nOOb” to this event and coming out of basically no where, Team Ksport is extremely impressed with Corey’s driving for his first event. We can’t wait to see what he can do in future events!! Congratulations goes out to George Marstanovic for taking home 1st place, Alex Pfeiffer – 2nd place and Jeff Jones with 3rd place.
We can’t say with enough words how much we appreciate everyone that was involved in making this first event for Team Ksport possible!! HUGE props goes out to Wayne and Aaron with Xtreme Drift Circuit for all the help with the event and truly making us feel part of the family. We won’t forget any of what you guys did for us and we hope to see you guys again at future events!
Words By: Chris Minshall
Photos By: Chris Minshall & Matt Chandler
Ksport’s pit area was drawing a pretty good sized crowd of people throughout the day on Saturday. Be sure to check out more pics from the event below!