Dave Cynkin Willows Springs report 2004-01-03

San Diego auto racer starts 2004 on the Podium. WILLOW SPRINGS RACEWAY, JAN. 3, 2004-- 3rd Place finisher of the opening round of the 2004 SpeedTrialUSA.com (STUSA) Challenge Cup race series was San Diego resident Dave Cynkin, driving a Mazda ...

San Diego auto racer starts 2004 on the Podium.

WILLOW SPRINGS RACEWAY, JAN. 3, 2004-- 3rd Place finisher of the opening round of the 2004 SpeedTrialUSA.com (STUSA) Challenge Cup race series was San Diego resident Dave Cynkin, driving a Mazda SpecMiata racecar. The podium finish came as a surprise, as this was only Dave's third wheel-to-wheel auto racing event, and he was piloting a new racecar that'd been completed in December. The event was held at the Streets of Willow racetrack in Rosamond, CA.

The Streets of Willow racetrack, a road racecourse at Willow Springs International Raceway, is commonly run clock-wise, but for the first STUSA Challenge Cup race of 2004, racers had to adapt to a new racing line, running the circuit counter-clockwise. Additionally, the course was run including the additional "Bowl" section which was added , a 180-degree turn with banking that's entered at high speed off of the back straight. One more twist to the scenario came in the form of (3) back-to-back 5-lap "sprint" races, rather than the usual 20- or 30-minute single race. After the Checkered Flag waves, ending the first race, the pace car immediately comes back out to lead the field around to the starting line to get the Green Flag and a rolling start to Race 2, same for Race 3. Each successive race starts with finishing positions of the previous one, so passing and moving up through the field is an urgent matter. The field was comprised of Mazda SpecMiata, Acura Integra GSR, Honda Civic and CRX, and Nissan 240SX racecars. The SpecMiata's were the only cars running stock motors, and were out-gunned by more than 100 horsepower compared to some cars on the starting grid.

When asked about his experience in the STUSA Challenge Cup race, Dave said "It was a very technical track, and true to what I'd been warned, it was really tight for passing--especially in Turn 1 on the start! We were all so closely packed, that I thought for sure there would be a pile-up, but it set the tone for some great, close racing. With a new car and nearly two years since my last track event (Dave took time off to add a new little racer to the Cynkin household), I was nervous before the start, but after we got rolling, it all came together well. The race was run counter-clockwise, so anyone who'd run here before was in for a completely new race line, and with only a single practice session before qualifying, it was an exercise in quick learning. There was some exciting passing, especially after working my way toward the front--fellow SpecMiata racer Dave Levy and I swapped positions quite a few times and had some really close racing. The back side of the track, although hidden from spectators' views, was where the real action was--there were some thrilling exchanges taking place exiting the banked "Bowl" turn and in the tight left-handers. Knowing that I was underpowered in the SpecMiata, I had to make moves in those tighter areas in order to get a headstart on the front straight before drag-racing faster cars into Turn 1. It was a great event, lots of fun and excitement. The organizers were nice people, and there were some very fast cars out there. I'd like to thank my friend Preston Kaenel for helping me finish building the car, Rush Motorsport for their excellent service and preparation, and also Sparco safety equipment and Team Dynamics wheels for their support. I didn't have any expectations coming into the race, so finishing the day on the podium spraying champagne was a nice surprise, and a terrific start to the racing season. Next stop is California Speedway at the end of January for the SCCA SoPac Region season opener. The field will be larger, and the competition should be intense. There are some very talented drivers in SCCA, so as a newcomer, I'll be in the underdog position for sure. Again, I'll come into it without expectations, but I'll drive my best. Afterward, I'll search for marketing partners and sponsors and compete in 2 or more different racing series during 2004."

Dave is owner of Image Factory, an advertising and graphic design firm, based in San Diego, CA. Image Factory specializes in Automotive Industry and Auto Racing marketing campaigns. Clients have included: SEMA, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW), HRE Performance Wheels, ASA Wheels, MHT, InTrax Suspension Technology, Group 5 Motorsport, Nology, Rod Millen Motorsport, Protomotive Race Team (World Challenge), Ryan Hampton (USF2000, IRL, etc), AWR Racing, PHC Industries (O.E. supplier to Ford, GM, Chrysler), and others. Automotive companies interested in Image Factory services can visit a contact page at www.ImageFactory.us

Dave has pursued auto racing involvement in SCCA Solo2, POC and PCA time trials, go-kart endurance racing, and most recently completed building his first dedicated racecar in December of '03, a 1994 SpecMiata. His love of automobiles and racing leads to continual involvement with automotive endeavors on and off the track. Dave hopes to reach his potential and bring new talent to GT road racing through hard work, diligent training and focus. His long-term goal is to race GT-3 racecars at famous road courses in the U.S. Dave is married to wife Shannon, and has a 3-year-old son, Li'l Dave, and a 9-month-old daughter, Ashley.


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Series Road racing
Drivers Ryan Hampton , Rod Millen