Wednesday, March 31, 2010



Update your bookmarks :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kenny Chieu's 2010 RTA campaign

I'm proud to announce for the 2010 Redline Time Attack season, I'll be partnering with KINOD Collective as the title sponsor for my Toyota MR-S. We've been in talks for the past several months work dreams into reality, and the reality is quite dreamy. Please follow this link to Linhbergh's blog.

We'll be announcing updates as they come. Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

le nu

with round 1 of time attack just a month away, a fresh start as well as a fresh look will be decided.

the blank slate.

check back soon :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

redline time attack SEASON FINALE @ Auto Club Speedway

I would like to apologize for such late posting of results. It's been a very tough couple of months getting everything situated for the coming time attack season.

On November 15th, I visited Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for the season finale of the 2009 Redline Time Attack. It was my first time ever on the large half-oval + infield track. It was a very tough course to conquer as it tests the power of the car as well as braking and handling all at the same time. It was really hard to say I had any advantage at all. On the front straight and along the oval (turn 1 & 2), the car struggled to achieve 115mph being the top speed. Braking was also a concern mainly on the guitar head where lots of speed was carried through a chicane while trying to target a very late apex. Here's a clip of how slow my car was, just to give you an idea of how slow it was :/

Here's the video of my best lap. May not be very clean, but it was enough to put me in 5th place of Street RWD. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spring Mountain, Round 7 RTA

It was 9pm Friday, the night we set sail to Pahrump, Nevada. My car loaded up on the trailer and ready to do it's job 300 miles away in the middle of b.f.nowhere. Sean's car, still in a world of mysterious noise making. We made our way to Charlie's shop to put forth our best efforts to remedy the Honda motor. After about 4 hours, the head was taken apart and put back together. When everything was seemingly ready, we fired it up. Four hours of work, for nothing. The noise was still there. Sean threw in the towel.

With Sean out of commission, his spot on the trailer was given to my friend Chris Chen driving a 09 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. With his car on the trailer, We finally made our way towards our destination. We drove aimlessly for 3 hours until we got to the 127. This route is almost 100 miles of open nothingness. The previous 3 hours of channel surfing on XM radio had to stop, so we stumbled on something just epic. Hauling ass with this Chevy Silverado pulling 2 cars while over the mountains only gave a hint of daylight, the theme music for Superman 2 comes on. I felt like a super hero who just got an emergency call. Nothing beats "Cinemagic" on XM.

After all the super hero business was taken care of, we made it to Spring Mountain just in time to begin registration. I was disappointed that I wasnt given my #151 and instead was handed #295. I thought we were assigned numbers for a reason. Another lame thing is they put me in the beginner run group for it being my first time at Spring Mountain. We set our pit area next to fellow trackhq members Hido, Frank, and Charles. It's always great to have such good friends at the track! Later, I spotted Manly Kao filling up his Lotus with fuel so I went to say hi. His car looked more amazing than ever. He told me about 70 lbs he was able to get rid of in his car. Soft top instead of hardtop, cut gaping hole in his trunk and rear clam, removed numerous other things. The one thing that amazed me most was his idea of a passenger seat. He replaced the stock seat with a super light weight go-kart seat. Hella sneaky bending the rules.

I went out on my first practice session with the beginner group. This track is a labyrinth! Because this track has so many options and configurations available, there were certain road markers and berms that are quite misleading. I recall one of the turns having a blind 4-way intersection. Yep, I drove straight past the turn. The first session alone there were about 3 black flags. They should work on putting just a sectioned yellow flag rather than closing the whole track simply because a car spun off track.

Temperatures at the track exceeded 100f. This played key to traction and engine health. Using Castrol Syntec 0w30, the oil temperature went up to 250f. At that temperature, oil becomes dangerously ineffective on its lubricity. As temperature of the oil rises, oil pressure also drops a fair amount. It's a good thing I installed the gauges to mind me when to heed caution.


I should tell you about the Spring Mountain complex. This place is more of a resort than anything I can compare it to. The newly built club house features ammenities found at most major country clubs. Spa, swimming pool, gym, you name it. The luxuries ooze out even to the public restrooms. In which, you will find gold trimmed high quality tiles lacing the walls. Atop of that is a shower that has hot water. With this place in existance, hotels become unnecessary on your next trip to Spring Mountain.

Towards the end of the day, I was given the opportunity to drive Frank's Hyundai Accent. The $9000 fwd bugulgi-mobile is nothing to laugh about. In fact, the only person who should be laughing is the person driving it. Frank's stock class econobox was the most fun I had on the track all weekend. You can throw it into corners and floor it and it responds with such nonchalance, you can't help but laugh at the top of your lungs. It brings so much joy!

As the sun began to set, we packed our equipment and headed to the Best Western to check in. The lobby smelled of horrid yesterday. Cristina noticed the free cookies that looked like they were sitting for over a week. During check-in, I asked the cashier if they offered a student discount. They were able to give us a AAA discount. Just a word of advice, always ask for a student discount. I jumped in the shower as soon as I got to our room. I took a quick nap when Charles called. "Hey Kenny, come to the track! We're having a couple of drinks and hanging out with Manly". Why the hell not? I grabbed my bottle of freshly chilled Johnny Walker Black Label and we headed out.

On the road to the track, Cristina and I noticed the billboards for the gentlemans clubs along the side. We joked of there being race cars at the brothels and as we passed by one, we saw a couple of RTA cars there. We lol'd. The first thing I noticed when we got to the track was Manly smoking a cigar while drinking wine. What a classy man he is. I counted heads and noticed Frank was missing. Turns out Frank was KO'd in his passenger seat. According to Hido, he was drunk before they went to buy drinks :p The guys tried waking up Frank by poking him, but all he did was leaned forward and fell right back on the seat. This part of the night was a blur to me after about 5 shots of Black Label. But miraculously I somehow ended up back at the hotel. Thanks for driving for me babe!

5:45am. The alarm goes off, waking us from our refreshing long nap. My body rejuvenated, but my mind forgets there is a race. I've never had two days of racing before. MY mind still in state of oblivion, I got dressed slapped myself back to reality. Our hotel offered us free breakfast. Typical american stuff like bacon, eggs, and sausage. Cristina and I had our favorite, Waffles! Fresh from the waffle maker!

A brand new day at the track, a different mentality. This was the day I would make it or break it. Everything had to be be on script. The first practice session was called out for Street Class at 9am. This session is used for qualifying, a way to find out where you are to grid. My mind was already in race mode and diving for the top. But just 2 laps into it, the track went into a full black flag situation. A car had dropped oil all the way through turn 2 and 4 which calls for immediate cleanup. The mess caused by the oil spill closed the track for over an hour. Disappointment spread like SARS through the paddock. As soon as the track was clean, Street Class was called out again for practice. Little did we know, it was our second session they were announcing. I chose to sit out for the practice. While Cristina and I were sitting underneath our tent, a dark shadow cast over us. Wind began to gust as if we were in the middle of a tornado. Cristina hung to our canopy for dear life as I did the same to make sure she did not fly away. We realized after the dust settled that it was the media helicopter flying less than 30 feet above our tents. Aside from shaking everything in our pit, there was no damage done to us.

I recalled the oil temperature from the day before and decided it would be best to change it out. Without a drain bucket, I began to crank out some ideas MacGyver would be proud of. I used some trash bags to line a spare wheel we had and used that to catch the oil. As I mentioned earlier, Spring Mountain has EVERYTHING... Including a 200+ gallon oil dump. World class this place is.

So lunch time was called. Cristina, Charles, Frank, and I walked over to "Big T's BBQ" tent for some good eatings. Charles and Frank ordered a bratswurst and a hotlink. Originally Cristina was going to get a hot dog but saw that there were other things, but not sure what they were, for the same price. She says, "hotlink? whats that? I wanna see what it is before I order it". As Charles and Frank got their order, Cristina looks to Charles and says, "Charles! let me see your hotlink!". I couldn't help but to laugh at at what she'd just said. Baby, it's ok... you're awesome :) Any way, the food was great! Four dollars for a bratswurst, chips, and a drink. Can't beat that deal!

With our stomaches full good old fashioned tailgating, we crawled back into our drivers seat and proceeded for the first time attack session. Street Class always seemingly the biggest group of cars, namely because most of the competitors drive their every day cars to compete. I was positioned behind a brand new Lancer Ralliart to my disappointment. I chose to run the warm up lap extremely slow in order to not run into the back of this vehicle. By the green flag, I was roughly 10 seconds behind him. The first lap was not as clean as I had hoped for so I went around to run the second lap. The Lancer in front of me became closer and closer to the sight. It was clear that I was faster. I pushed hard to catch up to him by the back straight, a clean open space for overtaking. Coming to the hairpin by the back straight, My focus leaned towards overtaking, rather than braking. Coming into the turn way too hot, I ran off course, completely throwing away a perfect lap for me.

After the first time attack session, I decided to let my car rest for a couple hours. There's just no need to beat on the car in a practice session risking it all for nothing. Cristina, Charles and I walked over to the Buddy Club tent to hang out with Manly. Manly pulled off a 2:34 in the first attack session, more than 10 seconds ahead of me, which puts him at pole position. I had to worry about the Dsport s2000, Tim Kuo's s2000, and DDM's 370z. At the Buddy Club tent, we just talked a bunch of smack and nonsense. Manly had a lot of helpful tips I was able to use to improve my time. One of the Buddy Club guys started to talk about late night television out of nowhere. Somewhere in there, he started talking about an infomercial about a Vietnamese guy who came from nothing and made it big selling real estate. This guy, Tom Vu, was depicted as a play boy big spender who made it to the top starting from nothing and "you can too if you just come to my seminar". I had to get on youtube to find this video to see for myself what he was talking about.

When I got back to our pits, I noticed Charles' Civic being towed in. His car died on the track and would not turn over. A spark plug wire had fallen out of the distributor but when it was plugged back in, the engine still didn't fire up. Eric Emerson, a Stock Class driver, took the distributor out of his Integra to test, and the Civic fired right up. Just knowing where the problem is, a solution must be found in order to get moving again.

It was about 3pm when the second session began. I was gridded right behind Hido in his S2000. Hido ran a 2:44 in the first session. He's very fast driving his mostly stock s2000. I took some pointers from Hido on the line and where to hit the apexes. With his helpful advice, I went and gave it my best to heed to his words. Both Hido and I had to call it "good enough" after the 2nd lap and pulled into the pits. We got together to collect data. Hido said his best that session was in the 2:46's and that I was closing the gap by at least 3 seconds each lap. All I could do was wait for the results to be posted. In the end, I ended up with a 1:43.086 at the second lap.

With Charles' car still out of commission, we had to sacrifice Chris' spot on the trailer to tow him back. We used my MR-S to pull the civic onto the trailer. Who woulda known a race car could be used this way. After we got the cars all loaded on and ready to go, we headed to the Chevron station nearby to fill up. There, a old man walks towards our trailer and examines our cars. He seemed fascinated by the work we had done to them. As I was ready to leave, he began talking to me.

"What kind of cars are those? Is it them Hondas?"

I told him that one of them was a Honda and the other a Toyota. This guy was just weird. He started talking about other things.

"Have you ever raced them VEE DUBS? Them four cylinder diesels sure are quick. They go faster zero to sixty than them new fangled electric cars. I've got a VEE DUB diesel. I be overtaking going 110 in no time."

Creepy ass motherfucker.

So we all left and got a quick bite at Sonic's. The eight of us (Chris, Amy, Hido, Dave, Charles, Frank, Cristina, and myself) had a great time going over the events of the last two days. As we discussed the line we took on the track, Hido describes his jumping of berms so colorfully by adding DOOSH sound effects. One could not have put it any better than that. Half way into our meal, Charles notices the guy with the VW across from us scratching a coin on the floor like some crazy person. Eventually we just pretended he wasn't there. A few times, we waved down our server for extra condiments and became familiar with them. Hido asked the server girl for refill on his drink and when he got it, he told her "you're my favorite Sonic's girl, ever!". It was his first time at Sonic's :p.

It was about 9pm when we saddled up. Our caravan of 4 was lead by me driving the Silverado towing my MR-S and Charles' Civic. I downed a bottle of 5 Hour Energy. Sean says this stuff works wonders so I gave it a try. Approximately 100 miles on the side route through highway 127. Numerous times I was highbeamed by oncoming vehicles. I still don't know why. One instance, I was going uphill as a semi truck was coming down over the crest. He was about 400 feet away when he started highbeaming me. I responded by highbeaming him back. When he got about 100 feet from me, he flashed me about 20 times in less than 5 seconds, and I gave him the same treatment. I now realized the headlights on our truck were aimed way high. About 30 minutes into the drive, I began to feel fatigue. Several times I tracked the trailer off the asphault and blew up a bunch of dust onto Hido's car. Sorry Hido if I dirtied your car :p

When we got to Baker, we stopped at a gas station to stretch out a little bit. Hido jacked his car up to inspect a noise coming from the rear that he feels may be a wheel bearing. With some jiggling and wiggling, nothing seemed to be wrong. After this quick stop, we set off again but Chris and Hido quickly went off on their own pace. Now the caravan only consisted of The Silverado carrying myself and Cristina and the Hyundai with Frank and Charles. Another hour passes by and I begin to really feel the lack of rest. Breathing became tough and my eyes dimmed down a few times. I had no choice but the pull off as soon as I could.

We stopped in Barstow at a Vons parking lot to take a few breaths. Frank and Charles suggested I should take a quick nap as they went to the nearest convenience store to fetch me another 5 Hour Energy. They came back in 15 minutes with a different flavor of the drink that claims to be more powerful than the ones I had before. Popped that baby in and got back on the 15.

This one seemed to do the trick pretty good. Don't mess with the red bottle EVER. That shits weak!

As we were coming down through Victorville, Manly came flying by with his Frontier towing his Elise at an amazing speed. I couldn't help but text message him, "Time attack on the 15?". Fast on the track, fast everywhere. This man is amazing! Shortly after, a quick detour to drop Cristina off at home and we were on our way to Charlie's shop to meet up with Sean. Here we were able to take Charles' distributor apart and replace the ignition coil and fire his car up. What a life saver! It was almost 3am when everything was taken care of. Charles and Frank treked home to the OC and they both lived happily ever after.

This weekend had been one of the most epic for me in a long time. From the drama of Sean's car, to helicopter almost lifting my girlfriend up and away, to Tom Vu, to the creepy VW guy, every little bit of it is something I can keep with me and remember for a long time. With the help of every single person that made this memorable weekend possible, I can't thank you all enough. Until the next round, the season finale at Auto Club Speedway, Cheers!


extra video

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

preview: Redline Time Attack - round 7 @ Spring Mountain

Just a couple days remaining for the next RTA event. For the first time ever, kenchimsg will venture out to the nether regions of Pahrump, Nevada. Our destination recides a 3.1 mile road course where the corner workers could possibly be corner workers at dusk.

Very little has changed in the performance department of the mr-s. Ichiba 15mm wheel spacers have been added to the rear which increase flushness and rice factor. Because we will be so far from home, I installed an oil pressure and oil temperature gauge in order to monitor the activity. This way I will know when enough is enough.

Aside from those small differences, here is the big news. The mr-s received new livery featuring KINOD, TrackHQ, and Pho Broadway. These are a few of my supporters who have been there every step of the way. The man behind the graphics, Jon Pham of J's Graphics, did an amazing job in putting the design together. Can't thank everyone enough for supporting me!

Come see the car this weekend at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada for the 7th round of the Redline Time Attack's 2009 season.

Friday, July 31, 2009

DTSD2 preview

2 more days...

to get the car ready i needed to do a few fluid changes. i ordered some torco 80w90 for the transmission yesterday and it arrived today but was not what i ordered. they gave me 85w140 (commercial truck grade). i have no choice but to run coastal 80w90 with lsd additive. hopefully it will be enough to handle.

the front end has been raise 1/4" to comply with the banked turns of horse thief mile.

this will be my 2nd time running this HTM. it is said transponders will be included so i will post times when all is done.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Redline Time Attack Rd. 2 results

Round 2 of the 2009 Redline Time Attack took place at "the fastest road in the west"... Willow Springs International Raceway. It is a 2.5 mile track consisting of 9 turns and a 1/2 mile front straightaway.

The events leading up to race day were far from staggering to say the least. My MR-S received new Dunlop Z1 Starspec tires which were purchased from fellow RTA competitor Manly Kao. Along with the new tires, I added 15mm Project Kics spacers at the front of the car to compensate for the stance on 195 tires. On the aerodynamics department, the diffuser received further strengthening to prevent flex at high speed.

photo by cristina g.

This was the first time I had ever driven at Big Willow but I assure you, it looks scarier from the sidelines than it does when you're actually on the track. There were a lot of drivers that day and I believe 60 of which were in street class alone. One practice session we saw almost all the drivers out on the track at the same time, making it hard to produce a clean lap as well as a safe one. On the last lap of practice, I came out of turn 6 and the engine had lost all power. It felt as if the car was on limp mode. I immediately turned off the engine and let it roll all the way back to the pits. Luckily everyone else was already on full alert from the amount of cars on the track.

photo by cristina g.

When I pulled into the pits, I started to diagnose certain parameters that I was able to pull up on my powerfc. First thought was maybe the alternator had been fried but remembering events of a few years back I determined it was not the case. Out of nowhere I blurted out that it could be the MAF sensor. So I took off some panels to access the intake. Behold, the MAF sensor dangling on it's wires! The screws holding it into the pipe had unthreaded itself competely. No choice, it had to be secured with zipties. Slight drama, but it was good enough to run the rest of the event.

photo by cristina g.

My first timed session went very well. I repeated the line I was able to figure out during practice and put them to work as perfect as I possibly could. Turn 1 could be taken faster, around 85mph would be ideal. Turn 2 approached without breaking at all. On turn 3-4, I believe my large rear tires were prohibiting me from utilizing 3rd gear fully. I gained a little bit of courage and dove into turn 8 full throttle. Turn 8-9 is still something I need to work on but I have the concept grasped. On the last lap of the session was when I clocked in at 1:37.835.

photo by the octane report,

A few things I think my car needs in the short run is a slightly larger front splitter, and the front fenders to be rolled to prevent rubbing. Down the line, I would like to get some new coilovers to replace these blown JIC's.

photo by grady nguyen,

Overall an eventfully semi-dramatic successful day. I placed 9th and was 5 seconds away from a podium finish. Next time I come back to big willow, I will prepare a stronger fight.

Thanks for stopping by...

r.i.p armando flores jr.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

1 week til round 2

A week from now, motorsport activity will resume for kenchimsg. First will be next friday, MR2OC event at streets of willow. This event will be tentative for me because my permission has not been granted from work to take the day off. It is one event I would really like to be a part of because of all the great people who I hardly get to see will also be in attendence. We'll have to see.

May 31st marks the day for Redline Time Attack's 2nd round in the 2009 season at Big Willow. Not much has changed to the mr-s for this event. The rear diffuser will receive extra reinforcement to prevent flexing. I just picked up new set of direzza z1 starspecs and will have them mounted next week. Also, to comply with RTA's constant change of rules, I have now a Hans device. Good thing though because I lack medical insurance.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

YouTube video - Building a Formula 1 Car

I just found this today and it is just fascinating. It gives you a sneak peak at the parts development in Redbull's f1 facility in UK.

Great quote from the video by Sebastian Vettel...
"a racing car is never complete. it is constantly being developed."


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Redline Time Attack Rd. 1 results

Yes, a little bit late on this one but results are set. I now found time to bring to you a recap of the event that occurred in Buttonwillow, CA on the 29th of March 2009. Let me take you to the morning of the event.

For the 2nd track day in a row, I was awaken by snoring.

I got on the track at about 8:30am for my first run. This being the first time I've driven configuration 13 ever so I looked for someone to follow. I was passed by a white s13, driven by Matt Johnson, during my warm-up lap. I felt that car would be suitable for me to follow so I did that. In the few laps I tailed him I was able to pick the pace up and become comfortable. The best lap of that practice session for me was 2:08.673. Not bad for first time out I guess. :)

I paid close attention to what the car was doing and pointed out a few problems. In Riverside sweeper, the rear driver tire rubs against the fender. Traveling at speed of about 90mph can be dangerous to have a blowout. In the paddock I rolled the fender using a baseball bat. The job was not so great, not much choice.

The second session I had Sherman coach me on the track. I did not push the car on this run so I could take in everything he was teaching. He warned me of which apexes to hit, which to avoid, what gear is safe. His teaching soon brings results.

There were two time attack sessions. My best time was posted in the latter session about 3 in the afternoon. The weather was looking bad. Wind blew dust all around. The track became a bit dirty with many loose spots. I was second in my pack to grid and this to good advantage for taking. The car ahead of me was faster slightly and behind me was slower by not much. Three laps of clear road and nothing to lose.

The first lap was sloppy. Cotton corners section I lost time due to a drift. Too much throttle applied upset the traction which caused the car to go into a long drift. I controlled it enough to stay on the road and not lose momentum from it but this lap pretty much lost. Lap 2 began and I did better, at least stayed on the road.

The last lap of the day, no looking back. It's all or nothing. So I gave it my best to make no mistakes. Onramp, braking took place a little bit early as to not make mistakes to sabotage the lap. Entrance to the turn was acceptable, only a little oversteer at the exit but acceptable. Cotton corners was a little bit slow on the first 2 but the 2nd downhill turn went 2 wheels off. This was easily 1/2 second loss. Then I had to push harder. Going through bus stop I was pushing pretty hard even through Riverside, which I was still not comfortable with. Lost hills was taken as perfectly as I could. The big u-turn before the slalom section was taken conservatively. Along with that I don't think it was approached properly for the 2nd apex. A few more turns and I finish the lap.

My finishing lap was 2:05.663. Nothing spectacular compared to the rest of the Street RWD grid, but good for first time. Next time I go there, I can probably take off 2 seconds just by driving with more familiarity.

Now here the video of my best lap of the day.

For the parts I had developed for the event, I think they are great. Front splitter helped keep the front stable even in fast speed. The rear diffuser is undetermined. Running mismatched tires did slow the times a little bit but it also aided in exit stability. It neutralized exit oversteer effect which is still apparent.

Next round, I will have more preparation to be more competitive. We will keep you informed of updates. Good day :)

Bonus video...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

building the mr-s for RTA (pt.2)

I've been slow on updating the progress of my preparation. I have now 3 days remaining to finish any preparation. All that is left to do is bleeding brake and clutch fluids. If time permits, I can make the car pretty for the event.

As of this past week, the front splitter was complteted. I coated it with flat black paint and a layer of Varathane clear polyurethane just for some water resistance. The center section of the TRD lip was filled with expanding foam and shaped to the contours of the rest of the lip to keep air from being trapped.

To comply with regulation, a catalytic converter was installed. I chose Magnaflow's spun metallic catalyst for it's small size of only 4"x9". Joseph of Midnight Squad did the welding work on the exhaust which came out beautiful. HE IS TOP CLASS WELDER. Total weight of entire system was less than 10 lbs. The new exhaust installed is very loud. Resemblance of a dc2 with buddyclub spec2 exhaust. My ears bleed.

The last piece to be created was the rear diffuser. Brian and I had spent much time discussing the design of this piece. The old diffuser was better suited to a unmodified bumper and looked rediculous on the modified bumper I installed. Substantially noticable difference is the width, now almost doubled. For now it is sitting nicely, but perhaps during the week I will add more fins.