Turbo Tim and his time-attack Cadillac ready for Gridlife 2018 at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois.
The 2018 racing season is turning out to be highly productive for our Tim Beek. In his modified Cadillac ATS-V, Tim began the season on April 8 at Gingerman Raceway by completing a course in 1:43.9 — almost nine seconds faster than the year before in his Honda S2000 in 1:52.6.
And his times have only gotten better. On May 13 at Gingerman Raceway, Tim completed the course at 1:39.6, on his higher boost setting.
“Which is ridiculously fast,” Tim said.
There are not too many drivers can get into the 1:30s. Of the top 10 fastest laps recorded at Gingerman Raceway, only ten have managed to get below 1:39.
And at Gridlife Midwest 2018 in South Haven, Tim took home the second-place prize in the street class portion of Track Battle Bracket Series, which he completed in 1:40.8.
Much of that improvement occurred when Tim switching platforms from the S2000 to the ATS-V.
For a performance car, the ATS-V is pretty stock looking, but there’s a lot going on under the hood — about 470 to 600+ horsepower to be exact.
This makes the ATS-V one of the most powerful in the time attack circuit but also one of its heaviest. The ATS-V tips the scales at 4,000 pounds. The average course racer weighs between 3,000 to 3,4000 pounds.
“The average car is a compact to a performance coupe or small sedan,” Tim said. “I have the only Cadillac in time attack. I have the only luxury car that has a full OEM stock seats and interiors.”
ZZP acquired the ATS-V over the winter to test and develop new performance parts — which now includes ZZP cold air intake, trailing arms, downpipes, tune, and camber bolts. ZZP is also working to develop performance springs for the platform.
But just to show that more than the car wasn’t the only improvement, Tim went back to Gingerman on June 20 with his S2000 and completed it with a personal best — 1:49.1.
“So, I ended up three seconds faster with the same car,” Tim said.
Despite his outstanding performance so far this season, it’s only Tim’s second year running course races. Last year was the first time Tim was introduced to road course racing through fellow ZZP racer Ryan Derrick. Prior to that, Tim was primarily experienced in peak performance and drag racing.
“After the first time, I was immediately hooked,” Tim said. “Absolutely hooked. I did three more road course events that year. All the credit goes to Ryan Derrick for talking me into it. I definitely thoroughly enjoy the road course over drag racing now.”
Tim’s goal now is to pull off 1:37 at full power at Gingerman, but he may not have the chance to do so before his next scheduled race, which will be at the next Gridlife event at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois.
“I’m just going to go there and hope I do well, which I should,” Tim said.
Certain courses are more inspired for turns and others are more about power, and there’s a happy mix of them between the time attack events.
The Autobahn Country Club is a little more focused on corners and not as much power, Tim said, so this track does not cater to the ATS-V because that will favor a power course over a lot of tight turns.
But if he does well enough to qualify for Gridlife South in Atlanta this August, that track will cater to the ATS-V’s strengths because it’s more of a power track, Tim said.
“I dominate when it comes to power,” he said. “Everybody else is making, on average, 100 to 200 less horsepower, so that’s a pretty huge advantage.”
The Atlanta track has a straightaway where the ATS-V can see upwards of up to 150 to 160 miles per hour.
“That will make up a lot of ground really fast,” Tim said. “There’s going to be guys that top out at 120 to 125 because that’s just how fast their car goes.”
With one of the most powerful cars out there, Tim said he feels optimistic about future races.
“This is only my second year of racing and I’ve seemed to have picked it up quicker than average,” he said.
However, he credits his performance with what he learned from racing instructors and encourages others interested in picking up course racing to do the same.
“Even though I was a good driver before the instructors I had made me a lot better,” he said.
Over the weekend, Tim traveled to another Gridlife Time Attack event, this time at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. While Tim did not make the podium, he came very close.
Unlike other Gridlife events, such as Gingerman, Autobahn is split up into 3 different course configurations and Tim has not driven any of them in his ATS-V.
On Saturday, Tim completed his best time on the northern portion of the course at 1:11.9, which placed him 5th in his class. He finished the south course at 1:37.1. For the full course, he finished 2:44.6, which placed him 4th in his class.
Other factors, including blistering heat, a crowded track, tight turns, and other course hazards added seconds to Tim’s time.
The ATS-V didn’t change at all from the last event, aside from a new set of wheels, but Tim intends on adding some larger-ticket items to his build before the next race, including a new suspension system currently under development.
The next Gridlife event is set to take place at the Road Atlanta race track in August. Tim awaits to hear if he will be participating in that event, but if he does, the Atlanta track, with fewer sharp turns, will play to the ATS-V’s strengths.
Although Tim didn’t take home any trophies, there’s plenty of people raving about his driving and his car and another good opportunity to show what we do here at ZZP.