Sullivan, WI -- Scott Zellner, owner of King Motorsports, talked recently of his company's entrance into World Challenge racing. Having support from Mugen and Bob Endicott in the Driver's Seat, you must be very excited about your chances for...
Sullivan, WI -- Scott Zellner, owner of King Motorsports, talked recently of his company's entrance into World Challenge racing.
Having support from Mugen and Bob Endicott in the Driver's Seat, you must be very excited about your chances for 2003. Tell us a little about what you expect of the 2003 season:
Scott Zellner: We are indeed very excited about upcoming race season! I think our first goal is to be as competitive as possible. The Speed World Challenge series is super competitive with many strong teams and excellent drivers. To be able to run up front with all these guys will be an accomplishment all in itself. Beyond this getting Rookie of the Year for Bob would be very cool!
The parts that you develop for the Acura RSX, will those parts be made available as tuner parts to customers of King Motorsports?
Scott Zellner: Yes- all the parts we develop and well as all the drivetrain products Mugen develops will be available at www.kingmotorsports.com We will also to showcase our newest project cars and products at each Speed World Challenge race. Promoting Mugen and the Acura RSX as the premier sport compact tuner combination is a high priority
It has been a while since King Motorsports has competed in sprint racing. Do you think it will be difficult to take your Championship endurance racing formula and adapt it to the sprint racing formula of World Challenge?
Scott Zellner: At first-maybe, but we are quick learners! Laughs! Seriously though I think with Bob's abilities and our experience in many different race formats that the adjustments will come quickly. Last year the GAC series turned into a 3 hour sprint race format which was great practice!
What are the strong and weak points of the new Acura RSX?
Scott Zellner: At this point I think the engine is the strong point. The new K20 series engine is powerful as well as durable. The weak point is the strut suspension. We have spent a ton of development time with the Mitchell suspension program in learning where to relocate the suspension pickup points. I think we finally have it to the point where the suspension does what we tell it to do rather than the other way around. Of course if you ask me this same question after the first race I may have something completely different to say!
How important was it, from a technical standpoint, to get Mugen on board as a partner with King Motorsports in this project?
Scott Zellner: The involvement of Mugen was the key to this whole project. Mugen has embraced this program wholeheartedly. They have designated a complete design and testing team for the development of the K20 Speed World Challenge spec engine. In fact some of the designers were part of the Mugen F-1 engine design team. When we have meeting you can feel the excitement they have towards this program. It's quite infectious! So far we are hearing quite encouraging numbers from Mugen. But I really can't go into that now! Laughs!
With the first race on March 14th, how is the car coming along? Was the car built from a street car or from a bare shell?
Scott Zellner: Our car was a real street car. It's number 00037 I think. We began construction in early December. As with all projects of this magnitude everything takes longer than you originally planned for. We are starting to feel the time crunch, but it's all coming together nicely. Everyone involved with the team has really stepped up to meet the challenge. Tim and Chad in our fab shop have done an outstanding job on the chassis. Bob has done a great job working with suppliers and Marsha keeps tabs on the invoices flying all over the place. In addition to this I need to thank our corporate partners: American Honda Motor Co., Moton Suspension, Prodrive, H&R Springs, Pagid Brake Pads, and of course Mugen Co., Ltd. Without the help of all these folks we could not have made this program possible.