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Jim Tway Motorsports on Fire in Round 2 of SCCA Majors at Inde Motorsports Ranch

2014 started well for Jim Tway, with two wins, a pole and class lap record in the SCCA Major Conference opener at Auto Club Speedway.

2014 started well for Jim Tway, with two wins, a pole and class lap record in the SCCA Major Conference opener at Auto Club Speedway.

"This season started out well, with two wins, a pole and class lap record in the SCCA Major Conference opener at Auto Club Speedway," said Jim Tway. "The highlight of the event was racing hard against my competitor and friend Bill Brinkop (top-dog from Northern California). It was a good preview of what we hope to see later this year at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Laguna Seca."

After laying the radiator down for better cooling Tway discovered Spectre's universal line of air intake components was a perfect fit.

After laying the radiator down for better cooling Tway discovered Spectre's universal line of air intake components was a perfect fit.

The SCCA's first West Coast Major was held at Auto Club Speedway's roval course where Tway Motorsports entered the Spectre backed P.A. Construction Corvette into Touring 1, a class that hadn't run since 2012. It was a statement making race for Tway as he dominated the event, pulling out to a 10 second lead by lap-3. Tway won outright by over 35 seconds, earning the victory lap and champagne.

The second round of the 2014 SCCA Majors was contested at Inde Motorsports Ranch in Willcox, Arizona, and Tway was once again on fire, both figuratively and literally. With two laps to go, and holding another commanding lead, Tway's motor gave up the ghost in dramatic fashion.

"I got hot quickly. Fire was shooting up through the hood and into the cockpit, as well as 50-feet out the back of the car. I was doing close to 100 mph. Spectators from the tower said they felt the heat. My fire system and safety gear worked perfectly. I didn't have one singed hair."

With only two laps remaining and holding a commanding lead, a fireball erupted from the rear of Tway's Corvette ending his clear path to another victory.

With only two laps remaining and holding a commanding lead, a fireball erupted from the rear of Tway's Corvette ending his clear path to another victory.

"We lost either a rod bolt or had a rod failure," Tway explains. "By mid race I had a huge lead, so I started short shifting to save the motor, but I guess the motor was terminal at that point. Before the race, I had the heads and valve-train completely rebuilt by the experts at Superior Automotive in Placentia, California. The motor had almost three years of track use and it was time, a precautionary measure to rebuild the top end. But I didn't rebuild the lower end. I was able to run almost five years out of the previous motor, so figured I was still good for another two. Wrong! When the rod let go, it punctured two fist sized holes on either side of the block, instantly dumping seven quarts of oil on the headers and igniting the fire."

Tway received his Novice license in 2011 with Cal Club's Super School at Buttonwillow Raceway in Kern County, California. He had been running Time Attacks and Time Trials for a few years at that point, so he already felt comfortable on a track at speed. The school however put him through actual race scenarios with starts, overtaking, two wide and even three wide through corners, to prepare him for real racing. "Needless to say I was hooked and couldn't wait to start racing," he adds. "I went on to win my first race the very next day, and many after."

"I converted my showroom Touring Corvette to a Super Touring class car last year. The more open rule set allowed me to finally ditch the stock airbox. At the same time, I laid the radiator down for better cooling. Consequently, all the ready to bolt-in air intake products on market wouldn't fit. With Spectre's universal line of air intake components, I was able to piece together a custom solution that bolted right in. Spectre's engineering department even did some air intake calculations to ensure I had good enough airflow to keep my 450(rear-wheel) horsepower V-8 happy."

Tway Motorsports' next race is tentatively the SCCA Major Conference race at Buttonwillow Raceway on April 25th. The uncertainty exists because the car is still being rebuilt after the fire. "The fire related damage was minimal, only losing a few wires and scorching the rear bumper markers and vinyl tow hook, but the short block and front bumper were complete losses," Says Tway.

"Superior Automotive is rebuilding the heads. Luckily only a few valves were bent along with some slight dome damage, all easily repaired. The front end was wiped out when we hit the drainage ditch pulling off. My L5 Motorsports wide body fenders survived, but my Wasp Composites splitter did not. Bryan at Wasp already fabricated us a new one and it will be installed when our new bumper is back from paint. Fingers are crossed we'll make the event, as this is the last local qualifier for the SCCA Championship Runoffs."

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