Once again Surgeline Tuning and young driving ace, Cameraon Benner, have charge to the forefront of the Northwest Region SCCA IT-E class. The annual Rose Cup, held at Portland International Raceway, in Portland, Ore. is an extravaganza of SCCA club racing that brings together the most talented drivers on the West Coast for a weekend of fierce and competitive driving.“We went into Rose Cup anticipating the presence of several hotshots from California, but they never showed. Without the threat of a 600+whp NSX, a win looked within reach,” said Cameron.Since the last outing, Cameron and Surgeline Tuning had done much to tweak Cameron’s car to make more power more reliably and to increase grip and improve overall handling.“Rose Cup weekend served as the proving ground for the suspension and wheel tweaks that we made since the May regional,” said Cameron. “The Hoosier R6′s took a bit of getting used to but once i got used to the grip, and learned to manage my left front tire throughout the race, the tires provided some awesomely consistent times. Paired with the adjustments to rebound and stiffer front springs, a functioning differential controller really allowed the car to rotate under trail braking.”In addition Cameron, with the advice of local racers, altered his line through crucial portions of the track to squeeze a few more seconds out of his car.“The new line allowed me to shave around 8/10′s off my previous best time,” said Cameron. “Going into the weekend my previous best time at PIR was a 1.25.5, by the end of Rose Cup my times were at lowest a 1.22.2 and consistently in the 1.23 range.”Keep in mind that the COBB GTR ran a similar time of around 1:22 at Subiefest2 held on the same track.
The race itself was a testament to the development that had gone into the 2006 STI racecar. The previous races Cameron struggled to keep pace with some of the other drivers and cars in his class, without increasing hosepower, Cameron was able to walk away from his compeitors putting two to three seconds a lap on second place.
What’t more, the Rose Cup has a much larger field than other races as well as a more diverse field. While the IT-E class features cars that run in the 1:23 range, the GT1 and Trans AM classes would be sharing the same session and some of these cars can dip below a 1:10 lap time. It would prove to be an exciting weekend indeed.
“I decided to use the larger field to my advantage,” said Cameron. “Many of the stock cars can’t run a hot lap until about three laps into the race because they must heat the tires. I picked off as many of them as i could to use as traffic between me and my competitors, a tactic that helped me secure a large gap initially. There were some issues with Intake temperatures early in the weekend, a problem that was solved when Tim retuned the car in the late night hours back at Surgeline.”
The result of all this tweaking was a poll position and 1st place in both of the weekend’s feature races. This gives Cameron a solid lead in the points for the season.
“The weekend was unfortunately capped off by an incident involving me and driver of the Blue Porsche 935, Monte Shelton,” said Cameron. “We connected in turn 8 as i was trying to overtake; i miss judged the line he was going to take and grazed his tire.”
Despite this, the damage was minimal and in no way hampered Cameron’s run to victory. The car is already back in fighting trim and Cameron is planning on doing more upgrades to make his car more competitive for Subiefest 4 set for late October.
Â photos courtesy of Cameron’s Dad