I have always lived my life by this little saying. “Life is not about arriving to a grave in a well preserved body but rather sliding in sideways, out of breath screaming Holy Sh*t, What I ride!!!” Well this is the only way I can describe the most recent AKA Rally.
The 2008 AKA Rally almost didn’t happen because of high gas prices and the uncertainty of the economy but when SpeedTV along with several other sponsors decided to join, the AKA Rally when forward with full force.
Once I found out about SpeedTV filming six (6) episodes about the AKA Rally, I decided to contact a few of my sponsors to see if they wanted to come on board with this rally. I first contacted Cody at LoveFab, needless to say, he was more than excited to work with my NSX (Team Allstars). We worked out an agreement and a week later I dropped my NSX off for the LoveFab Turbo treatment.
Although this was a great system and I was excited to have it installed, we would only have two weeks to put it in and test it out before the Rally started. Cody assured me it wouldn’t be a problem seeing how he could shut down his shop for a few days and install it. That would take about 3-4 days and he would have another 10 days to test and tune the system.
A few weeks later, I went back to pick up the car and I absolutely loved it. I drove it back to Atlanta and while driving back home, Cody with LoveFab would call or text to see how the car was performing. When I returned home, I had to remove my audio setup from my trunk so I could put our luggage in as well as installing all of my new electronic devices to prepare for the rally.
I installed a new Garmin GPS Device along with hard wiring the V1 with remote display. Another perk for this rally was all participants got a Laser Star Laser Jamming system which also needed to be installed. I also mounted the two way radio above my head so I could communicate with the other drivers. I had one week to neatly install everything before leaving for New York for the start of the rally. I finished Saturday morning about 3:30am and at 7am, my co-driver Brian Ledvora (ExoticMD) and I were off to NY.
The additional of the new LoveFab turbo system was great. I was able to find a few spirited runs against an Evo IX, a new GTR and a Z06. I beat the Evo and was very close to the GTR, the Z06 beat me but I wasn’t too upset seeing how we only had the boost at 4ft lbs. Cody and I both felt it was safer to run only 4 lbs of boost seeing how I was going to be running at different ambient temperatures and different altitudes for over 6,000 miles. Once I would return, we would re-adjust my boost to 8-9lbs and then I might walk all over that Z06. One thing I didn’t consider with this extra boost were my brakes. With all of this new power, I would need to stop faster. I hadn’t replaced my brake pads in some time and while traveling to NY, when I would stop for gas, I could start to hear my pads starting to squeak.
We arrived in NY later that evening (about midnight) and most of the other drivers were out front waiting for us. (Actually socializing but out front waiting for us sounds much better) We had a day of rest before starting the Rally on Tuesday morning; so on Monday, my only mission was to find brake pads for the front and rear of my car. Once again Cody from LoveFab would call or text to see how the car was doing and at that point, I told him about the brakes situation. He said if I needed any help, please do not hesitate to contact him regarding the reinstallation of the pads. Brian and I drove all around NY and found front ceramic pads without a problem but for some reason, we couldn’t find a shop or store that stocked the rear pads for the NSX. Many shops offered to have them there within a day or two but at this point, we were leaving out in less than 18 hours and I needed rear pads in hand and time to have them installed. I was finally able to find a shop who could order them now and I could pick them up about 5pm that Monday.
Later that night, we had our kick-off party for all of the drivers but I had to cut it short seeing how I still needed to install the brake pads. Typically installing brakes aren’t a problem but I forgot the caliper pistons on the NSX need to be rotated as they are pushed back in and I didn’t have that tool with me. I managed to make it happen and by 2am I was in the bed. (Remember I only slept 3 hours the night before)
The next morning we woke up at 6am to make the 7am drivers meeting. At this time, we found out our beautiful friend Bobbie was going to join us and run on the rally. She would ride in several different cars and hopefully have some seat time in the NSX.
7:30 hits and all of the cars are off. We had a great assortment of cars this year including several C5s, C6s, GTRs, 996, Cayanne Turbos, M3s, M5s, Porsche Carrera GT and a highly modified Ferrari 360. I left in the pack with the CGT and Ferrari and M5. We were doing great for about 25 minutes until our navigation told US to go one way and told THEM to go another.
Well it turns out they didn’t make the correct turn and we were the ones they were following. (Chasing). We were running great but when I was shifting, I was getting a puff of smoke in between gears. I called Cody and he said as well as some of the other drivers on radio, I might running rich and the excess and fuel was being dumped into the exhaust thus creating the smoke but when I pulled over for our first gas stop, when I checked the oil, it was a bit low. I tapped it off and continued to watch the oil level as we traveled to our first stop, Columbus, Ohio.
When we got to Ohio, (about 5pm) Brian and I checked the oil again and it was two quarts low again. I knew something was wrong so I called Cody again. He asked me to pull the air filter off of the turbo housing and to our nightmare; the turbo blade had play in it. This turbo was gone! Without hesitation, Cody jumped in his car with another turbo and drove 8 hours to our first checkpoint in Ohio to install the new turbo. All of the other drivers were giving my their condolences when they heard my turbo was blow but when I told them LoveFab was coming to replace it…TONIGHT, they couldn’t believe it. The only instruction I got from Cody was to remove the turbo, intercooler, muffler and wastegate so when he got there, reinstallation of the new turbo would only take an hour or two.
The amazing thing about these Rallies is the amount of help I get from the other drivers when a person is down. Without hesitation, I had three other drivers get their tools helping me jack up my car and removed what needed to be removed. They found pleasure in it and when I also forgot to get oil and a filter around midnight, another driver let me take out their pristine Porsche Cayanne Turbo S to get it. Regardless of what speed you are going or whoever comes in first into each city, moments like this are what makes the Rallies are all about!
Cody arrived about 2:30am and to his dismay, he got a speeding ticket going 79 in a 70mph zone at 1am on a deserted road. What I also realized was he was driving his Monster Beast 900+hp NSX. I asked him if he wanted to rest and we can get up at 6am to work on the car but he insisted we should get it over with and change our the turbo at that moment. It is not like I am tired enough (having only 6 hours total of sleep for the past 2-3 days) but we had to do what we had to do. I was his assistant for this moment seeing how we had the car on jack stands in the parking lot with only flashlights to help us see.
Well Cody really does know these cars. We had the new turbo system in less than one hour and in about another thirty minutes, we had the oil changed and the car put back together and started without a hitch. Once that was complete, we decided to rest. At 7am, we all woke up; I drove the car while Cody tuned it with the AEM FIC and we still made it back to the hotel in time for the drivers meeting.
When we pulled back into the hotel at 7:50am, the other drivers couldn’t believe Cody had done it and even more so they were really impressed with his car. We all tried to convince Cody to run the next leg with us to Cedar Rapid, Iowa but I think that ticket got the best of him and he didn’t want to risk it anymore. I hugged and kissed Cody, (not literally) quickly packed my trunk and Brian and I were off on our next leg!
Our run to Cedar Rapids was good. I was able to get on boost a few times and the car was flying. I even picked a race with one of the Ferrari and M5 and walked away from both of them without a problem.
Now this is the power I was expecting from a turbo system. It turns out at NO FAULT AT ALL of Cody’s; Precision sent him a bad turbo from the start. I wasn’t upset at all, rather I was impressed and I couldn’t stop talking about how someone (Cody) could care so much about a customer to drive to where I was to fix my car. I know if I was further away it wouldn’t have been so easy but regardless, Cody now has a friend and customer for life.
After Cedar Rapids we went to Hasting Nebraska to run on Motorsports Park Hasting (MPH) for the day and that itself was a blast. The final race consisted of the highly anticipated GTR vs. Z06 vs. ZMCoupe vs. M5. Although many people made fun of the GTR for being too tall or too heavy, it excelled on the track as if that is where it was built for each and every corner.
Once we left Hasting Nebraska, we drove to the beautiful, gorgeous, breath taking Moab, Utah.
Words cannot describe how beautiful that town is. To top everything off, we spent the afternoon white water river rafting down the Colorado River surrounded by the scenic backdrop. Later that night, we just sat under the stars to mingling in an environment we wouldn’t typically be.
The next day we went to Salt Lake City planning on running on the Bonneville Salt Flats but at this time of the year, they were under water. (About 3 feet) When we found out the Salt flats were cancelled, we would just continued onto our last leg of the Rally…Las Vegas!!! And still Cody is calling or texting twice a day to check on me and the car. The car was running great so off to Las Vegas we go!
The Beautiful Bobbie driving the NSX
Well on the way to Las Vegas, we got word the Ferrari was trying to break some personal speed records on the back roads; I heard rumors he was topping 180mph. Nights prior he would come to the hotel with photos and proof that he was getting out of tickets when he was in the triple digit speeds. He would even brag and show us picture of officers with his car smiling yet no tickets. I couldn’t believe it but later I found out that the driver of the Ferrari had an international drivers’ license and since he knew the points wouldn’t transfer, he didn’t care about getting caught. Well on the last day, Ferrari driver came out of a construction zone in Nevada (about 100 miles from the finish line) passing the chief of police in his personal car at about 140 mph. The chief called ahead to the highway patrol to catch this Ferrari.
The NHP waited for him to come into view and “instant on” the radar detector and clocked him at 147mph. Needless to say the Ferrari owner pulled over thinking he could just smile, show them his international drivers license, take some pictures and go on his merry way…WRONG! The chief of police pulled in behind them and insisted that NHP arrest this guy now! They ended up looking up his information and found he actually has residence in Los Angeles so they indeed arrested him and his bail was set at $2,200.00. He was tied up in the system for about 4 and arrived in Las Vegas about 6 hours later than everyone else.
All in all I had a great time. The NSX performed INCREDIBLE. Everyone admired how my NSX sounded under WOT which I was concerned about seeing how I took off my favorite Taitec LWGT exhaust. With my NSX being one of the oldest cars there, it was also one of the most favorite. I am still glad I own my NSX and with the new LOVEFAB treatment, I feel I can now compete with 95% of the cars on the road.
The AKA Rally will be on SpeedTV sometime this fall so please keep an eye out for the LoveFab NSX Turbo!
Again I would like to thank Cody at LoveFab for incredible Customer Service and a great turbo system!!!
Thank you Cody!
Here is a short AKA Rally Video