AST Suspension – USA offers its 2012 Motorsports Contingency programs. AST has deep roots in motorsports from the amateur level to the pro ranks. The 2012 contingency programs reflect AST’s commitment to motorsports at every level. Drivers will be able to earn awards, issued in the form of a certificate to be used toward the purchase of AST suspension products or rebuilding services.
Below is a list of the 2012 Contingency programs by sanctioning body. Click on the link to view all rules and directions to submit a racer application.
The first round of the 2012 GRAND AM Continental Tire Challenge at Daytona was dominated by AST Suspension. Teams running AST dampers continued their dominance by taking the top 13 finishing positions in the Grand Sport class (GS) and 7 out of the top 9 positions in the Street Tuner (ST) class. The winners of the GS and ST class were both using AST Suspension.
AST Suspension once again dominated the GS class, taking the top 13 positions and sweeping the podium. The No. 61 Roush Racing Mustang Boss 302R won followed by the No. 48 Fall-Line Motorsports team and the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports took the final the podium position.
AST Suspension occupied 2 of the 3 podium positions for the in the Street Tuner class. The No. 31 i-MOTO Mazda Speed 3 took the checkered flag and the No. 81 Bimmerworld BMW 328i took 3rd place.
Billy Johnson, driver of the No. 61 Roush Racing Mustang lead the final 18 laps of the GS race despite a string of BMW M3s working the draft in the final laps. Pierre Kleinubing, driver of the No. 31 i-MOTO clinched his first win in the ST class by beating the No. 10 Kinetic Motorsports entry by 0.021 seconds!
Brian Hanchey, President of AST Suspension – USA said, “It’s good to be back at the track. We had several top teams mention after the race that the shocks made the car ‘the best it has ever been at Daytona’. I-MOTO’s team manager, Tom Badger, told us he couldn’t be here (in winner’s circle) without us. They have struggled to make the car work for the driver’s, but their last two wins definitely changed that.”
GRAND-AM Continental Tire Challenge teams utilizing AST dampers include: Turner Motorsport,
Roush Performance, Stevenson Motorsports, Fall-Line Motorsports, BimmerWorld Racing, Rum Bum Racing, DeMan Motorsport, CKS Autosport, Subaru Road Racing Team, Starworks Motorsport, Mitchum Motorsports, A.M. Performance, i-MOTO, Trade Manage Racing, BGB Motorsports, Doran Racing, Multimatic Motorsports, Dempsey Racing, Rebel Rock Racing, Automatic Racing, Autometrics Motorsports, CJ Wilson Racing, Rehagen Racing, Vehicle Technologies and Compass 360 Racing.
We are having an Inventory Clearance Sale from now until February 15th to sell all remaining AST 4100 and 4200 series dampers located here in the US and in Holland. This is to make way for the new AST 4150 and 4250 series dampers. The clearance price is $200 below the 2011 prices!
The remaining kits mostly include BMW E36, E46, E90; Honda S2000, and Subaru GD. Some of these are in stock at AST – USA while others are being produced in Holland and will arrive in the next few weeks.
BMW E36 4100
BMW E36 4100
BMW E90 4100
Subaru GD STI 4100
Subaru GD 4100
Honda S2000 (steel)
BMW E36 4200
BMW E46 4200
Get in on this deal before they are gone!
Call us or visit one of the AST dealers for more information!
AST Suspension – USA is proud to announce the new AST 4150 Series Damper. The new design builds on the success with the AST 4100 series damper and the recent wins in GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, including new technology developed specifically for GRAND-AM racing teams.
DDP Technology Piston
Our latest digressive piston developed for GRAND-AM gives drivers and race engineers the best of both worlds. Drivers love the low speed damping response and body control, while race engineers love the “blow off” at high shaft velocities. When the rebound adjustment is soft, the damper curve looks similar to an OEM street shock profile. When the rebound adjustment is hard, the damper curve looks like a race shock!
This “Jekyll and Hyde” personality is exactly what AST 4000 Series customers want: soft street ride and race car track performance in ONE shock – all with the turn of a knob!
Lower Drag Seals
High performance seals are a challenge for any damper. They must balance friction and sealing ability while not impacting shock performance and not leaking; a difficult balancing act! While the seal was originally developed for GRAND-AM road racing, AST is taking our knowledge from the track to the street again. Newly redesigned seals decrease hysteresis in the damper and decrease seal drag over 50%.
Discontinuing Steel Shocks
In 2012, most AST 4150s will come with aluminum shock bodies. Strut bodies will continue to be built from steel, but all shocks will switch to aircraft grade aluminum. Economies of scale have allowed us to switch to aluminum without a large increase in cost of manufacture. For some models, this represents a 50% reduction in the weight of the damper (unsprung weight).
Several new designs proven in GRAND-AM racing will be added to various products on an “as needed” basis. All strut models will receive a new two piece top guide assembly that separates the dust seal assembly from the oil seal/bearing assembly. This two piece design is stronger in compression loading (bottoming out) and side loading (in the turn). Some models will receive weld-on stabilizer brackets which take the guesswork out of setting the stabilizer height and torque setting of the clamping ring.
4150s will be upgradeable to 4250s! Using a modular build system, customers can send their shocks to AST at a later date and upgrade from a 1 Way shock to a 2 Way internal reservoir or remote reservoir system. Some models may only upgrade to remote reservoirs. An upgrade matrix will be published in early 2012.
This year’s SEMA show was as electrifying as ever. AST Suspension – USA had its hands in some of the awesomeness.
Ford Racing ST-R Focus GRAND AM race car
Ford Racing debuted the Focus ST-R, their latest turn key race car. The looks like the road going (forthcoming) Ford Focus ST, but is all race car underneath with a roll cage, beefier brakes, a powerful 2.0L EcoBoost engine and a “tuned” suspension. The “tuned” suspension are 2 way adjustable AST 5200 series dampers, one of the spec shocks for the GRAND AM Continental Tire Challenge series. You can read the rest of Ford’s press release or “Road & Track” magazine’s coverage for the full details.
Capaldi Racing Ford Focus Street Tuner
Capaldi Racing is known around the road racing community as a top notch race shop the builds and campaigns race cars in several different US race series such as NASA, GRAND-AM and the SCCA. At SEMA this year, Capaldi decided to do something a little different by building a Ford Focus street tuner. AST 4100 series single adjustable dampers can be found on the car. The specs of the car can be found on Capaldiracing.com.
LS3 Powered E30 M3
Lurking in the Heatshield Products booth was a 480 hp, fire-breathing Chevy LS3 powered V8 built by Kevin Byrd. Kevin’s “E30 M(LS)3″ utilizes AST 3 way adjustable 5300 series dampers to make it stick on the street or track. Check out Autoguide.com‘s coverage of the car.
Kia Rio 5-Door B-Spec race car
The B-Spec series is a low budget racing class featuring compact hatchbacks with little to no engine modifications. The B-Spec series is currently supported by Kia, Mazda, Fiat and Honda. This Kia Rio 5-door is set up with AST 3000 series dampers (non-adjustable). Check out autoguide.com‘s coverage.
AST Suspension – USA closes the book on their first season as a damper supplier for the GRAND AM Continental Tire Challenge Series. The first season was a huge success, here are the season results, by the numbers.
By the Numbers
27 – of 30 Podium spots won by teams using AST Suspension in the Grand Sport (GS) class
9 – out of 10 races were won by cars on AST Suspension in the Grand Sport class
15 – the number of drivers finishing in the top 20 in the final championship results for the Grand Sport class.
10 – the number of teams running AST Suspension in the top 15 in the final championship results for the Grand Sport class
96 – the car number of the championship winning Turner Motorsport BMW M3
2 - the final championship finishing position of the Compass360 team in the Street Tuner class
Overall, the first season of support to the GRAND AM teams has been a great success. The data and testing alone from working with 16 professional race teams has been extremely valuable. This real world race knowledge helps AST Suspension continue to lead with innovation for street, track and race applications.
To learn more about AST Suspension’s involvement in the 2011 GRAND AM Continental Tire Challenge Series, watch our video produced by GRAND AM.
Once a year, the best autocrossers in North America descend upon the Midwest to compete for the honor to be called a National Champion. AST Suspension – USA has been supporting many of these champions and this year was another successful year.
In most cases, AST dampers won’t fit with stock location springs. Instead, AST dampers must be paired with either 2.5″, 2.25″ or 60mm race style springs (ie-Swift, Eibach ERS, Hyperco, etc.). This means that you won’t find AST Suspension on many stock class cars. Off the shelf Koni and Bilstein shocks are mainly run in these classes. This leaves the street prepared, prepared, modified, street touring and street modified classes for competitors to run AST dampers.
So, who finished at or around the top? (if we missed you, email Brian and we’ll get you listed)
For those of you that have been to the Solo Nationals, it is a huge accomplishment to place in ANY class.
Moton Motorsports Success Story
Matthew Braun had an up and down year until Nationals, losing 4 out of 5 national tour events in Super Stock (SS). He sent us his shocks in August looking for more rebound. He overnighted his shocks to us on a Monday, needing them by Thursday. Due to weather, his shipment didn’t arrive in Plano, TX until noon on Wednesday! We dynoed the shocks, tried 2-3 valving combinations and got them back out the door by Wednesday afternoon and overnighted the shocks back so he could install them on Thursday and test them on a Friday. The results speak for themselves. He took SS by 1.4 seconds
AST 5200 Success Story
Last year, Todd Farris went to Nationals on brand new ASTs with zero minutes of testing. The car wasn’t great out of the box. We did several revalves that didn’t seem to help. So, since we were closeby, we drove down to College Station to test with him in May and decided he needed some adjustments to the installation. AST Suspension – USA president, Brian Hanchey drove the car as well and nothing really felt right. The shocks weren’t doing their job and didn’t seem to respond in the way they should. Finally, we came to the conclusion that the front shocks were bottoming out mid corner. He fixed the mounting points and the car dropped major time. Todd and his co-driver Jeff Stroh drove to a 1-2 finish in C Prepared.
Congratulations to all the AST and Moton drivers at the 2011 SCCA Solo Nationals.
Approximately 2 months ago, AST Suspension acquired Moton Suspension in European court. Since the initial announcement on May 26th, Moton USA headquarters have successfully moved from Atlanta, GA to Plano, TX. The integration of the two shops went very smoothly. Moton parts are self contained in their original cabinetry and will continue to stay separate. Moton Holland has begun production of key parts that were not available at the time of the transition. Current orders are in production and will begin arriving Stateside in a matter of weeks.
Key milestones since the transition:
Moton USA is fully functional and already providing rebuild and revalve service for customers
Moton USA is taking and fulfilling dealer orders
Moton certified rebuild centers across the U.S. and Canada are already ordering/ receiving parts and repairing dampers.
An RMA process and online form has been created for rebuilds/revalving.
New product development has already begun in Holland
Professional teams are signing up for 2012
Additional staff have been hired to meet demand
Contingency programs are in place or will be soon for SCCA Solo, SCCA Runoffs, and NASA Pro Racing.
For product inquiries, please use sales (at) moton-usa.com for more information.
We recently had a conversation with Aaron over at the Winning Formula. He mentioned Nathan’s Evo and the on track success it has had in 2011.
Nathan owns a Mitsubishi Evolution IX (Evo) that has been competing in the National Auto Sport Association’s (NASA) Time Trial A class (TTA) and other Time Attack events throughout the Midwest. Nathan begin tracking his Evo shortly after he purchased it in 2006. After a couple of years of non-timed open track events and driving schools, the urge to buy a transponder and the thrill of competition took over.
For those of you not familiar with NASA’s time trial system, TTA is the second to fastest class with TTU (the “U” is for Unlimited and we do me UNlimited). Now that you know this, you also need to know that Nathan’s Evo is hardly “stock”. In fact, he’s made lots of upgrades to the engine, engine management, drivetrain, wheels/tires, brakes and suspension – he has our AST 4100 damper package. If you’d like to see a full list of upgrades, check out the 2011 setup Nathan’s blog.
Let’s Talk Suspension
Over the winter, Aaron at the Winning Formula and Nathan had several conversations. Nathan said he’s had 4 other suspension setups and each one left him feeling like there was more speed in his Evo with the right setup. Nathan said, “I have constantly been on the lookout for new affordable options for my car to really take it to another level.” Aaron and Nathan talked extensively about his options and finally settled on an AST 4100 series damper package. The reason for this choice was because the NASA TT rules don’t favor remote reservoirs or more than 2 way adjustable shocks and Nathan did not want to get bumped into the unlimited class. Nathan said, “I thought the price was very reasonable for a quality inverted single-adjustable shock.” Aaron helped Nathan pick out the right spring rates and the Winning Formula installed and set up a baseline for testing the new setup once the midwest’s snow melted. The Winning Formula performed the installation, alignment, corner balanced and set the ride height just before the first track day.
On Track Action
Nathan’s first track day with his new AST setup was brrrr COLD – 36 degrees! He ran street tires in favor of his grippy, but heat loving Hoosier R6s. He had several new items on the car in addition to the new AST dampers, so he took it easy, hoping the temperatures would rise. Even with the cold temperatures, street tires and low boost, he was immediately comfortable with how the car handled and was able to push the car to within 2.5 seconds of his personal best! He said, “The new setup was very compliant and predictable from day #1.”
Nathan started off the year with 4 wins in his first 4 events and 2 track records! Since then, he’s gone on to break more track records throughout the Midwest. If you’d like to follow his journey, check out his blog.
If you like videos (who doesn’t), check this out:
Nathan’s immediate goal is to continue development of the car and make a run at the NASA TTA National Championship at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in September. He would also like to compete in the Grassroots Motorsports Ultimate Track Car Challenge in July. To vote for him, create or login to your Cardomain account and give him a 5 star vote. His profile can be found here
AST Suspension – USA sweeps the podium in back to back races. Continental Tire Challenge teams utilizing AST Suspension have finished in the top 3 positions at the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park and this past weekend in the Continental Tire 150 from Watkins Glen International.
At Lime Rock Park, the No. 13 Rum Bum BMW M3 placed first, second place was taken by the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M3 and the final podium spot went to the No. 61 Roush Performance Products Boss 302R. At Watkins Glen International, first place went to the No. 61 Roush Performance Products Boss 302R, second place went to the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R and the final podium spot was taken by the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3.
AST Suspension has adapted their damper packages to a variety of models including, BMW 3 Series, Ford Mustang Boss 302R, Chevrolet Camaro GS.R, Subaru WRX, Porsche Cayman, Porsche Boxster, Honda Civic Si, Mazda Speed 3 and BMW 1 Series.
AST Suspension – USA’s General Manger, Brian Hanchey said, “We really excited to see teams running our damper package have so much success this year. Four of the top five teams in the championship standings are running on AST Suspension.”
Behind the Scenes
AST Suspension – USA relocated to the Northeast from the end of May through the beginning of June for the 5th and 6th rounds of the GRAND AM Continental Tire Challenge. Instead of working out of the shop, the team worked out of the GRAND AM support trailer! It was an interesting week considering the fact that the generator on the trailer went out during the GRAND AM weekend at Lime Rock Park. Since it was a holiday weekend, we had a tough time getting the generator repaired until after the Memorial Day holiday.
We then headed to Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, NY at the end of the Lime Rock race to work on some new valving for some of our GRAND AM teams, to work out our generator issues, build a few sets of shocks and generally get organized for the 6th round at Watkins Glen at the end of the week. Monticello is a first class facility, we left very impressed.
Once at “the Glen,” Stuart worked on some new valving for the Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R. The idea was for them to use it in testing before the next race at Road America; however, when their Camaro was off the pace in practice, they decided to go ahead and use the new package – they finished second, less than 2 seconds behind the No. 61 Roush Mustang. They were pretty happy with the results to say the least!
We are now back in Texas for a few furious weeks before heading to Wisconsin for some fresh cheese and the 7th round of the Continental Tire Challenge.