Just like in the world of professional motorsport, club racing has its front runners, its midpack, and its backmarkers. This of course comes from a combination of the capabilities of the car, the skill of the driver, and the amount of time and money the team can spend on racing.
Unlike in the world of pro racing, these factors can vary wildly in club races, leading to huge swings in performance that lead to the occasional hero performance and surprise winner. But for the most part, if you look close enough at a club racing team, you can tell whether they are regular race winners, midfield runners, or backmarkers.
Where does StudioVRM.Racing fit on the grid today? At the time of writing, StudioVRM.Racing is the SCCA club racing equivalent of F1's Scuderia Alphatauri (formerly Scuderia Toro Rosso). Similar to Alphatauri, we are a very small team with a small budget and older hardware. We rely on support from a well-established racing team, which solves some of our more difficult problems and gives us tech as rules and budgets permit. We run a slightly older generation of Honda engines which are nonetheless built and tuned by some of the most practiced hands in the business. And just like Scuderia Alphatauri in 2020, we are firmly in the lower midfield of the SCCA Super Touring Under grid.
You won't hear any excuses from us about why we aren't fighting for wins every weekend. The reality is that neither the car and the driver are not yet good enough to be regular race winners. Don't worry, we will be. It's just that we aren't there yet.
So all that said, who are the other teams that are ahead of us? That is, who are the Mercedes, Racing Points, and McLarens of our class, the ones that we need to beat in to earn silverware in SCCA Super Touring Under? Well here's a quick introduction to one of the stronger competition that we'll have to face in our fight to get to the front.
Mid-Atlantic Club Racing's McLaren Racing - Maximum Attack Motorsports
In 2020, McLaren Racing is known for three things:
- Its history of success in cars with eye-catching liveries
- The strength of its technical innovation and brilliant engineers
- A headline driver that seems to spend every waking minute posting on social media
New Jersey-based Maximum Attack Motorsports happens to be known for those very same qualities. The team boasts a varied fleet of vehicles in a wide variety of disciplines and classes, from a sunburst orange B-spec Honda Fit to an ex-World Challenge touring car. All of this hardware is maintained out of a small but well-equipped garage that gives the team capabilities that rival much larger race shops.
Maximum Attack's impressive performances are due in large part to the ingenuity of Team owner Ed Werry. The team's STU-prepared Civic Si is propelled by one of the most powerful hand-built Honda K24s in the region, with all that horsepower getting to the ground through a no-lift-shift sequential transmission.
This in-car video from their #54 car sums it all up in awesome style:
The other part is due to the sheer speed of #1 driver Greg Amy, a battle-hardened racer and a master of wet weather driving. Maximum Attack likely owes its current notoriety to Greg as well, both for his wild on-track escapades as well as his ability to spend 25 hours per day discussing Touring Car racing on social media.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Much like Bruce McLaren's original McLaren Racing Team, Maximum Attack's main strengths are in their advanced technical capabilities and their ability to build right to the limit of the rules. Having multiple experienced racers on their driver roster only helps accelerate their aggressive R&D.
On the flip side, pushing to the absolute limit does come with its drawbacks. The main drawback being reliability. The team has suffered some unusual and spectacular failures in the past, such as this post-win crash and this fiery start to the 2019 SCCA Runoffs National Championship Feature Race.
That said, we as competitors can't rely on mechanical failures to finish ahead of Maximum Attack's cars. Every time they have to park their car and retire early, they come back stronger and faster at the following race. It's only a matter of time before they are running at the head of the pack - Just like the current-day McLaren F1 team.