Podium Finish for Showtime Audi in XGT Leaves Thwaits Wanting More
Sebring, FL - March 2, 2020
- The 2020 Trans Am presented by Pirelli Championship season got underway March 1 with a competitive visit to Sebring International Raceway this weekend which paid dividends for Ken Thwaits and the No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Audi R8 LMS Ultra who garnered the XGT Masters award on race day. On a sunny and clear early Spring day, the Tennessee driver notched a podium third place finish in the inaugural race of the new XGT class and ninth overall in the combined TA/XGT/SGT/GT race - finishing ahead of some of the traditionally quicker TA cars.
The session results prompted Ken to comment, “I’ve been getting my skills back after a long winter lay off. It's funny how I thought a 2:10:00 lap was pretty good around here and now we go out to the final qualifying session and we post a 2:06:7 which is amazing. I’m just thrilled. It’s been great! ”
In the race itself on the bumpy Sebring circuit to which the thoroughbred Audis are perhaps not ideally suited, Ken slipped from P2 to P3 by the checkered flag but while he pronounced himself satisfied enough with the weekend’s workout for the team, he was naturally hungry to climb a place or two on the podium when battle is rejoined at Atlanta for the next round of the XGT Championship.
“We had a good run this week at Sebring,” stated Ken, “Our team worked their tails off to provide a fast and reliable race car.” Speaking in the Florida sun on Sunday afternoon, beating the competition next time was at the front of his mind when he added, “We battled hard in qualifying with Erich and Marc. We battled hard in the race today but came up short. We just didn’t have the race pace today.”
Getting the car to go quicker is on everyone in the the Tennessee team's mind, “All of us on the team have been texting and calling each other with ideas of how to make the car faster for Road Atlanta in a few weeks. We didn’t win this battle but will come back stronger. I’ve got a great core team of hard workers that want to win. I want to win races and Championships and so do they.”
The action on the track at Road Atlanta is coming up at the end of the month, March 28 and 29 when battle is rejoined and the Showtime Motorsports team will definitely be well prepared. Unfortunately, the gremlins kept the second Showtime Audi, the No. 15 Franklin Road Apparel Audi R8 LMS Ultra due to be piloted by Kevin Long off the track at Sebring but we anticipate that the second car will be back for Atlanta.
Our season has come to a close and I am happy to finish the final championship race Optima's Search for the Ultimate Street Car Invitational in 2nd place. It was exciting after day one and we were battling with the series front runners for the lead. Day two led to an engine malfunction and an incredible job of our team for getting a new head on the engine and running a couple of laps in the final session to secure 2nd place. Many thanks to Ronnie Soliman, Thomas Lesperance, Bruce Raymond, and Jon Thwaits for getting the car back on the track in record time.
We had a season with many ups and downs and this final race was no different! Many thanks to Jimi Day, Cam Douglass, and Jim Mcllvaine for creating such a great series!
I want to thank JJ Furillo of Ultimate Performance for being a great partner in getting our cars dialed in to winning form!
Thanks to #Pennzoil, #Wilwood, #Centerforce, #MTIracing, #Detroitspeed, #Forgeline, #Raymondsperformance, #RSmotors, #OGracing, #Mastmotorsports, #airaide, #spectre, #JRIshocks, #Pacsprings, #Ultimateperformance for all the support this season.
Looking forward to racing our new C5 Corvette and continuing on with our EVO next season and looking forward to more reliability!
Ken Thwaits swept the GTL class at Optima's Search for the Ultimate Street Car at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He won all 4 competitive portions of the event (Design & Engineering, Autocross, Speed Stop, and Hot Laps), in his Showtime Motorsports.net Mitsubishi EVO.
We had a great time and good result at the USCA OPTIMA Batteries Search for the Ultimate Street Car Association round #5 race at Pikes Peak International Raceway this weekend. We ran our EVO that had a brand new look this weekend and we're thrilled with how it performed and especially its reliability! We finished 2nd (99 points) in AutoX, 2nd (99 points) in Speed Stop, 3rd (98 points) on the road course, and I don't know where we placed overall in Design and Engineering but it was down the list and we received 83 points for a 479 point total for the weekend! A huge THANK YOU to Bob Boileau for being the hostess with the Mostess! PPIR is a great facility with a laid back attitude that fits our event perfectly! Thank you Jimi Day, Brian Mason, Adam Hanna, and the rest of the USCA crew for toughing out the warm weather and running a great event. Congrats to Rich Willhoff for the GTL/Overall win! Rich is legit and put on a clinic for the rest of us! Congrats to Jordan Priestly who got his win in GT and to Jake Rozelle for his GTV win. We will continue with the EVO at Charlotte and will continue to improve the car as we try to battle for the overall win and the all mighty yearlong quest to solve the elusive D&E rubiks cube! Thanks to AIRAID Detroit Speed Centerforce FORGELINE Mast Motorsports Ultimate Performance Pennzoil Wilwood Evolution Dynamics MTI Racing JRI Shocks
Successful weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park - NJMP! We put the Evo in exhibition and focused on the Camaro. We took first overall in the Lingenfelter Performance Engineering Design and Engineering Challenge, first in the Detroit Speed Autocross, and first on the Falken Tire Road Course Time Trial Challenge, which gave us first place overall in the GT class. Thank you to OPTIMA Batteries for putting on an awesome event and all of our sponsors...
Pennzoil Raymond's Performance Ultimate Performance AIRAID Centerforce® Clutches #DetroitSpeed FORGELINEMast Motorsports PAC Racing Springs JRi Shocks #FranklinRoad#becausestreetcar #driveOPTIMA
Great weekend in Las Vegas racing with the Ultimate Street Car Association. We spent a lot of time on the podium which is always a great way to end the weekend. Ken Thwaits took 1st place overall in the GT Class.
We are extremely pleased with the out come of the first USCA event atThunderhill Raceway! The whole weekend was a grind but we did not give up. Ken Thwaits drove the 2014 Z28 until he could drive no more and earned 1st place in the GT class!
We couldn’t have done it without the help of our sponsors: Raymond's Performance, Pennzoil, Detroit Speed, AIRAID, PAC Racing Springs,Ultimate Performance, FORGELINE, Mast Motorsports MTI RacingBFGoodrich Tires Showtime Promotions #FranklinRoad. Thanks toOPTIMA Batteries for making this event memorable and we are looking forward to the next one! #becausestreetcar #driveOptima
2015 OUSCI has come to an end. Congratulations to all the competitors. Ken Thwaits finished 5th in the autocross, 8th in the speed stop,and 7th place overall. Cody Mason also had a solid performance in the Z28 this weekend. He finished 18th out of 84 competitors.
Very exciting weekend in Plymouth, WI. Highlights from the weekend include a tour of the Snap-on Tools facility in Milwaukee, the Nascar Xfinty Series race on Saturday, and Ken Thwaits winning an invite to the OUSCI in his RS built Evo IX RS!
Ken Thwaits drove the black Z/28 in the GT class, and debuted the new EVO in GTL that Ronnie Soliman and the RS crew built for us! Thwaits finished 2nd in both classes!
Ken Thwaits won the LingenfelterDesign and Engineering Challenge and took 4th overall in the GT class. Thank you to OPTIMA Batteries for putting on a great event and Raymond's Performance and Ultimate Performance for all their hard work. We'd also like to thank our sponsors Spectre Performance AP Racing AFCO RacingDetroit Speed Mast Motorsports GOODAero, LLC PAC Racing Springs JRi Shocks FORGELINE Royal Purple OG Racing and Speedway Motors
USCA Michigan International Speedway has come to an end. Ken Thwaits took home the Lingenfelter Design and Engineering award and placed third on the Falken Tire Road Course Challenge.
Congratulations to all the winners for a hard fought battle and also our very own Ken Thwaits for placing third in the Lingenfelter Design and Engineering challenge, and third in Falken Tire Hot Lap event!
The second Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car event in the books...
Congratulations to Ken Thwaits for second place and Ryan Matthews for first! Also, thank you to Ultimate Performance for helping tune our cars, and Raymonds Performance for keeping them running.
Ken Thwaits was the winner of the GT class during the round 1 event of the OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car at Thunderhill Raceway Park.
70 drivers came out to compete, adding up to over 2600 combined laps over the weekend!
Bret Voelkel (Ride Tech Owner) running the Showtime Motorsports Z28 on the 2015 USCA ThunderHill autocross.
Ken Thwaits finished first in the GT3K class (over 3000 pounds) during the inaugural Ultimate Street Car Association (USCA) Series season, earning an invitation to the 2014 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI).
"The GT3K class was by far the most-competitive of the three classes, with close to 200 competitors entering events throughout the season and more than 150 of those entrants finishing events and scoring points toward the season-long standings. Had Thwaits not finished the Pittsburgh event and failed to score any points, seven drivers would've caught and passed him in the USCA points standings! As it ended, Ken's podium finish kept him on top of the standings, holding off Bryan Johnson, who had three great finishes in the final five events and Kyle Tucker, who finished just 2.5 points behind Johnson.
So how did Ken end up running multiple cars and qualifying for the OUSCI in two different vehicles? "It happened by chance and out of necessity," says Thwaits. "After Texas, I contracted with Bruce Raymond of Raymond’s Performance to build us a Camaro 1LE to compete in more of the USCA events. At the same time, I took delivery of a new Z/28 and had Lingenfelter Performance Engineering build us an engine for the Z/28." The Raymond's crew continued to work on the 1LE, but the Z28 was fast right out of the box, so Ken hopped behind the wheel of that car and went to work." - See more HERE
The 2015 Ultimate Stree Car Association season includes...