For those not in the know, M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Mich. is a little bit of an anomaly as far as circuits go. The 87-acre motorsports park, which encompasses a 1.5-mile road course and reportedly the world’s largest community of private garages, happens to sit in the middle of a neighborhood—which if you know anything about race tracks and neighbors is an arrangement that is pretty rare. In fact, if you wanted to you could even live on site in one of M1’s exclusive condos.
It’s an ultimate enthusiast experience for car people who live and breathe motorsports. And a few weeks back, M1 hosted the 2019 edition of Motovicity Distribution’s Speed Ring, an annual time-attack and enthusiast event now in its fourth year. The competition that began in Southern California has become a staple of the Midwest, and fans have responded very positively, filling the place up for SR to get some exceptionally close views trackside and in the competitor paddock. It probably didn’t hurt the event was free to spectators, too.
A few dozen entries were on hand spread across four classes, each run group broken down by drive layout (AWD, RWD, and FWD) as per usual time-attack standards. In the elite Unlimited category, Richard Boake navigated familiar territory in the AWD Can-Jam STI, laying down blazing laps to be the Speed Ring’s fastest for a third consecutive year; his 1:03.769 didn’t break the record orbit he registered in 2018, but he was more than a second up on Andy Smedgard’s Evo at 1:04.783. James Houghton, a name familiar to FWD records, was pulling triple duty at Speed Ring, with rides in three groups; the Canadian driver finished third in his Unlimited AWD Northern Speed Racing Evo with a 1:07.004 and went uncontested in Unlimited FWD in the NSR Integra, clocking a 1:05.283 in the DC2. Houghton also had the winning lap for Street FWD in a Civic Type R with a 1:13.858.
Tyler Pappas in the TySpeed M2 was fastest in Unlimited RWD, but only just; his 1:11.205 was tenths away from David Calzada’s 1:11.764 in his Mazda Miata. Bob Meyer piloted his Corvette to third in U-RWD with a 1:13.152
It was an all-‘Vette sweep of the Track Modified RWD podium, Jeremy Swenson muscling his Chevy to victory with a 1:07.464; Jason Harding took second with a 1:08.924 and Eric Fleming third with a 1:09.072 lap. Michael Puglisi was fastest in TrackMod AWD, turning a 1:09.558 in his Evo, followed by Ronnie Soliman’s 1:11.805 in his Mitsubishi and Scott Molitor’s 1:13.768 in a Subaru 2.5 RS. There may have been only two cars in TM-FWD but they kept it interesting, Chris Boersma in the K-Tuned Civic with a 1:10.008 just barely eclipsing Andrew Stittle’s 1:10.881 in his Suzuki Swift.
Shawn Krebsbach was fastest in the Street Modified class, registering a 1:09.838 in his AWD group Mitsubishi Evo; Eric DeWitt in his STI was 0.8 back with a 1:10.647, and Sally McNulty took bronze in her STI with a 1:12.070. In SteertMod RWD, Alexander Moss was the class of the field, logging a 1:10.685 in his S2000 roadster, followed by Shilun Wu and his Mustang in second with a 1:12.879 and Jeremy Boysen’s Cayman in third with a 1:13.154. Street Class’s Austin Hertel with a 1:13.378 from his Z34 was almost a second up on his closest challenger, Chris Neuman and his E46, to win RWD, while Josh and Thomas Halka won Street AWD in their WRX with an orbit of 1:13.486.
Although this event was about time-attack, it offered a drifting sideshow, which seemed to be a crowd favorite. Three-time Formula DRIFT champion Chris Forsberg was giving ride-alongs in his V8-swapped “Flama Negra” Infiniti M35, as was the Can-Jam Forester-based “Drift Taxi.” We also spied FD Pro 2’s Riley Sexsmith and his NV Auto BRZ, which we hear was laying down fat lines of tire smoke. Dig into the photo gallery to see how everyone got down at this year’s Motovicity Speed Ring.