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Hello,
My name is Jason Rhoades and I'm an autocrosser. I've been competing in the big SCCA National-level autocross events for several years. In that time I've had good success in tuning and driving cars - in the 5 trips to the National Championships the cars I've competed in have finished 3rd, 1st, 10th, 1st, and 1st - myself as a driver, I finished way back the first year, then 4th, 10th, 3rd, and 1st. For those of you who know how tough the SCCA National Championships can be, you can see those are pretty good finishes. Some of the cars I've competed in are the Honda S2000, a Honda Civic, a 650+hp modified Z06, a modified Nissan 240sx, and most recently, my Dodge Viper.

The Viper competes in the sport's premier class, "Super Stock". When I chose the Viper, the other hot cars in the class were the Porsche GT3, Lotus Elise, and Corvette Z06. In the Stock category, we are only allowed to improve a few things on the car - we can change our OEM tires out for R-compound, DOT-approved race tires like the Hoosier A6 or Kumho V710. We can also change our front sway bar, shocks (must keep stock springs and ride height), cat-back exhaust, and we can replace wheels, but they must be the same diameter and width as stock, with offset within 1/4". You can also adjust alignment, tire pressures, and change fluids.

Something very interesting happened late in our race season this year - the 4.2 V8-engined R8 was allowed to run in Super Stock! At first I was disappointed, because I had worked very hard to make my Viper a top dog in the class, and the R8 is a much faster autocross car than the Viper, or any of the other "old" Super Stock cars. The R8 has superb balance, great power and gearing, and its trump card is its AWD system. In autocross, the speeds are very low, so we're always in second gear, where the ability to apply power to the pavement is critical. At the track, something like a Viper or Z06 can stretch its legs a bit and put some distance on the R8, but at the autocross, the Audi is going to dominate.

Instead of wallowing in what will be a sure loss in the Viper, I thought I'd reach out to the R8 community to see if anyone would be interested in making a go at a 2009 Super Stock National Championship with me. What I'm looking for is somebody with a 2008 or 2009 R8 with the 4.2 V8. Preferably the car would have the base 6-speed manual transmission, and be optioned out as light as possible. The fancier transmissions may help on track, but in autocross we stay in second gear all the time, so they just add weight. A car that already has a lightweight exhaust would be great too - weight is the enemy! Ideally also, we'd have 2 sets of stock wheels, with at least one of those sets being 18".

The plan is we'd take the car to Lincoln, Nebraska for several days in early September. We would perform an alignment on the car to optimize its autocross performance. We would equip the car with Hoosier A6 R-compound tires for the dry, and if the weather looks bad (where the R8 will REALLY dominate), we would wrap the 18" wheels in Hoosier Radial Wet R-compound tires.

There is a practice course they'll have set up on site, on the same surface, which we can run several times in the days before the big competition runs. Here, we'll fine-tune the alignment and tire pressure setup. The Championship itself is a 2-day event, September 8 and 9. Each day, we get 3 runs on an autocross course, with the best time from each day added together - the driver with the lowest cumulative time, wins. And believe me, the R8 sure can win! :)

Here's what I can offer the potential R8 owner interested in attacking Nationals with me-
1. Enclosed trailer transport from your home to Lincoln, NE, and back. This will keep the miles put on your car to a minimum, ensuring the car doesn't get dirty or harmed in transport and that it has a safe and secure place to park while we're there. I live in San Diego so this will really only work if you're somewhat between me and Nebraska.
2. I will purchase one set of brand new Hoosier tires for the car. The tires will still have the vast majority of their life left when we're done, which you can enjoy for months to come at your local autocrosses.
3. I will help set up your R8 to the best of my ability. The cars I've set up have an excellent record and pedigree for winning.
4. I'm a big believer in data acquisition, including video. I will equip us with a state-of-the-art DL1 GPS-based data acquisition system from Race-Technology, and an in-car camera system from ChaseCam. With this technology, I can help teach you about autocross and general performance driving. Here is an example autocross video in my Viper from a couple weekends ago, using the ChaseCam video, with DL1 data overlay:
Using this technology (which won't require any modification to the car itself), the interested R8 owner would receive a great education in high-performance driving and setup. Autocross is a fantastic venue to learn what one's car is really capable of. The only way to learn the limit is to go past it a little - on a high-speed track, doing so can be very dangerous, but at the autocross, there is nothing to hit save for some rubber cones. Autocross teaches you car-control skills that you can use not only in your R8, but in any car you drive, in any situation.

Overall I think this is a fantastic opportunity for someone interested in experiencing the huge performance their R8 is really capable of, and improving themselves as a driver. If you are interested or have questions, please feel free to contact me through this site or by replying here.

Thanks so much for your time! :cool:
Jason Rhoades
[email protected]
 

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No......................................................................
 

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Even if I was on the same continent, nooooo ;-)
 

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Are you the same Jason that wanted to ride along with me in my R8, at Buttonwillow Dec '09 ????? I would have taken you for a ride but I broke a wheel early on in the day. Look for me 1-31-10, and I'll give you a spin... Lighter stronger wheels with stickier tires and MORE downforce this time around. :cool::cool::cool::cool:
 

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Now that I realize there are painted lanes too, I'm DOWN for it !!! Better than NO tracking !! :D And Jason left his card with me. On it is a pic of his AWESOME TRICKED-OUT VIPER. No wonder he wants to borrow an R8...Vipers are terrible handlers.I can't wait to show him how the R8 can be driven by me. \"/
 
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