Dates for 2021 driving season are live on the Member Website! Check it out for the full schedule of Member track days, race date, racing schools, and teen driving programs!
A team of MMC Techs were recently certified to run the Porsche Integrated Workshop Information System (PIWIS), a factory diagnostic tool used by Porsche dealerships. The PIWIS system is now available at MMC, allowing our techs to perform a multitude of diagnostic and repair functions on your Porsche track and street vehicles.
The MMC team went through a rigorous background check and Factory Porsche Technician Training to gain the certification.
Beginning this season, MMC will be introducing new run groups which will result in a more streamlined, more understandable method of grouping members with similar driving experience. The Club will be moving away from the idea that levels are a reflection of the quality of a Member’s driving. Instead, it will reflect experience level and where Members fit, from a safety point, at this time in their driving life.
Members will be notified of their assigned run group prior to the start of pre-season. For more information on how the run groups will be structured, please see document provided here.
Moving away from two-day driving programs, MMC will be offering a redesigned three-day High-Performance Racing School for the 2021 season. The new program, meant to help Members expeditiously and comprehensively move towards their learning curve, will help foster an appreciation of the art of high-performance driving. Participants will be taught by Dennis Macchio, MMC’s own track director and one of the leading instructors in the US, along with several of MMC’s top instructors.
The goal of this new curriculum is to build upon and expand the driving skills of drivers, in a methodical and systemic approach. The program picks up where the individualized approach leaves off, and helps the driver build a solid foundation for race craft. Self-teaching, self-dependence, and an analytical approach are concomitant goals, and an important step- whether your goals are fun, safety, and a higher level of skill, or an eye towards eventual competition.
Over the three days, school participants will engage in massive amounts of track time behind the wheel of a fully-prepped Porsche Cayman PDK, along with class discussions, ancillary exercises, and group critique. Simple and advanced race line theory, technique, vehicle dynamics, psychology, ocular driving technique, the art of braking, efficient use of track time, mistake management, and safety are among the many topics covered, with a goal of developing systems and methods for continued improvement as solo drivers.
Graduates become solo drivers at MMC Member days, and are eligible for all competition-related, and advanced programs. Participants must be 18 years or older, or have a valid driver’s license, but participants as young as 13 may be eligible with prior approval from MMC’s track director.
For a full list of available Racing School dates, please visit our website.
New condos with a trackside view are currently under construction at Motor Club Estates. The condos each offer spectacular views of MMC’s South Course, two-car garages, and access to on-site amenities including an indoor pool, a full gym, and a lounge with two race simulators. To appeal to the car lover in all of us, garage ceiling heights are 12-feet, so there’s enough room for two lifts and two additional cars.
Completion is scheduled for later this summer and units are still available. If you’re interested in learning more, contact MMC Member and 2018 GT Champ, Mike Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEVERAGING HIS LOVE OF MOTORSPORTS FOR A GOOD CAUSE
When speaking with Brian, it’s quite clear he treasures the time he spends with his two sons, Brian Jr. and Johnny. Lucky for Brian, he gets to bond with his sons over two things that are near and dear to his heart- motorsports and the Kids for Kids Foundation.
Brian is a founding board member of the Kids for Kids Foundation. Kids for Kids is a community of friends, families, and colleagues raising money for organizations that support children and families struggling with medical challenges. Each year the organization holds a variety of fundraising events such as golf tournaments, a winter ball, Family Fun Day, clay shooting events, and Racing for a Cure which Brian has hosted at MMC for the past three years.
For the Kaminskeys, Kids for Kids has become a true family effort. In 2012, Kids for Kids Junior was established for kids ages 5 – 18 years with intention to raise funds through activities like dance-a-thons, bake sales, car washes and school-based events. Brian Jr. is currently vice president and Johnny serves as secretary of the Kids for Kids Junior Committee, and they are responsible for starting the Long Island chapter. “Being part of Kids for Kids, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing so many great events and achievements. I have to say the greatest achievement for me personally is watching the next generation, ‘our children,’ share our passion of giving back and compassion for others. I’m so proud of my sons and our Junior Committee.”
It is no doubt that Brian and his sons have their fun at MMC, but their favorite day each year at the Club is the Racing for a Cure event that Brian hosts in support of Kids for Kids. For the past three years, Brian has hosted the fundraiser, a Team Challenge style event, with all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His 2020 event alone raised over $225,000 which was done with the generosity of his sponsors and event participants. While his sons have always been involved with this event, this year they were able to recruit the help of teens from MMC’s Varsity Racing Program founded by Aurora Straus. In fact, the teens challenged participants to rat race and drag race competitions. Participant bought tickets to go head-to-head with the teens who, by the way, only lost a few of the challenges. This alone helped raise $5,000.
This year’s 4th annual Racing for a Cure event will be held at MMC on Monday, October 11. For any Members interested in attending the event or getting involved with Kids for Kids, please visit the organization’s website at kidsforkidsnyc.org.
Why did you choose St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as your beneficiary?
St. Jude is an amazing organization. Not only are they caring for children with childhood diseases, but they also lead the world in research and the quest to find a cure for childhood cancer. I’ve had the opportunity on multiple occasions to visit the hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. I look forward to this trip every year. Visiting the hospital and spending time with the children is both a humbling and inspirational experience. It costs $2.1 million per day to run the hospital which is funded 100% by donations. Witnessing, first-hand, the hardships that these children and families go through battling these terrible diseases gives you a true appreciation for the work of St. Jude and the amazing staff and doctors. The fact that no family is ever handed a bill really motivates us to do our part and help this wonderful organization and families.
Tell us about the Racing for a Cure event.
It’s an action-packed day that gives participants the opportunity to experience a taste of MMC. The Club uses structured Team Challenge events where drivers get to go on track and participate in various driving events, utilizing the MMC fleet. We end the challenges with a team karting enduro race which is always a big hit. What is unique about this event is the Ferrari experience. Participants get to ride shotgun with drivers from the Ferrari Challenge team in 488 Challenge race cars, as well as other rare Ferrari race cars. This past year, in addition to the Challenge cars, we were fortunate to have a Ferrari FXX, (thanks to Alfred Caiola, MMC Member and part of the Kids for Kids family), 599XX and two GT3s on track. Tickets are sold throughout the event and rides are given at the end of the day to cap off the event.
What will be new for the 2021 event on October 11?
In addition to the event on the 11thh, we’ve rented the track the day before, so guests can get one-on-one instruction in their own vehicles. Plus, we’ll have special Corse Clienti cars for guests to take exclusive rides in.
How many people typically attend?
Usually about 50. We hold on-track competitions and then a reception in Collector Car Gallery. This year, we’ll open it up a little bit more, if COVID allows.
What made you join MMC?
It was the motorsports club environment. The Club is a great place to come with family and friends and have fun. Plus, I liked the idea of my boys growing up in the world of motorsports.
Did you have track driving experience prior to MMC?
Yes, but after joining, I saw the Ferrari Challenge team practicing and I said, “how do I do that?” It was then that I got involved in the Ferrari Challenge series. MMC gave me the opportunity to accelerate this journey. From there, I went on to race in the SRO series with the GT3 Ferrari. I was fortunate to be part of One 11 Competition with my teammates and fellow MMC Members, Alfred Caiola and Chris Cagnazzi, and we were able to achieve multiple podiums. I also participate in Ferrari’s Corse Clienti program where I drive the 599XX and a 2003 Michael Schumacher F1 car.
Have your sons found a love for motorsports as well?
My boys have always had a passion for motorsports and were always with me at the track. Both started out doing quite a bit of karting at the Club. My oldest son, Brian did the Teen Camp where he learned to drive Miatas, Porsches and BMWs. From there, he was fortunate to be a part of the first Varsity Racing series. He’s planning to do both Varsity sessions year. He will also be attending the Masters Camp. My youngest son, Johnny, signed up for his first Teen Camp this coming summer and as has his goals set on Varsity, as well.
Dwight has a modesty about him that would never tell you he had recently won his class in the biggest race in America. He’s a true “gentleman” driver.
Dwight joined MMC in 2014 and in the years to follow would go on to complete MMC’s Radical Schools and Racing School. His first racing experience outside of MMC began when he joined a few fellow Club Members in club races and Radical Cup races, and in 2018 he joined the Pirelli World Challenge.
In only his second year competing in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, Dwight and his Era Motorsport team finished in first place. He attributes the win to his team’s hard work and cohesiveness, with the “team” being more than just the drivers.
Dwight has recently returned from Dubai where he competed with Era Motorsport and Jota Sport in this year’s Asian Le Mans Series. The team won the LMP2 pro-am class, but with a limited turnout in class due to Covid-19, Dwight likes to look at this as preparation for the European Le Mans, which he’ll be running this season.
Q & A WITH DWIGHT
How many times have you raced in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona? Twice. I raced it in 2020 and finished 3rd. That was my first IMSA race and my first LMP2 race. Last year, I was still getting up to speed in the car, an ORECA 07, which we received not long before the race. I am faster in the car now but last year it was a nice consistent run and because of that and the team doing a good job we have a very good result for where things were.
How was this experience compared to last year’s?
Different. It was very exciting. This year there were three cars on the lead lap in the last hour, so it was a real race at the end. That was really interesting.
This year, we had about 50 cars on track at the same time. A lot of cars, a fair bit of contact and incidents that caused full course yellows. Last year the field was a bit smaller.
What did you think of the competition in the LMP2 Class?
It was a pretty big field which makes it more fun. There were people to race wherever you were positionally. There were some good bronze drivers from Europe and Canada to race. In IMSA, LMP2 is pro-am, so you have to have a bronze driver in each car. For our team, that was me.
Were you able to get rest or sleep between stints?
Not usually. You get out of the car and you might only be out of the car for a couple of hours. You can cool off, have something to eat, but it’s hard to sleep. You need to be back to the pits early in case you need to go back on track sooner. In the end, you’re actually up for 36 hours because the race doesn’t start until the afternoon.
I finished my last stint at 3am. Being the bronze driver they usually have you qualify and then start off the race. Having started the race it’s easier to be the first driver to finish. The longer the race goes, the dirtier the track gets, so some teams try to finish the bronze driver earlier if it works out. Even when done I stayed up all night to watch as we seemed to be in contention.
What kept you going throughout?
The excitement of the race. I think when it gets to just before dawn that sleep deprivation hits the drivers the most. It’s a long day for everyone, the whole team.
How many hours were you behind the wheel?
Just under 5. I was in the car three times.
What were the most exciting highlights from your stints?
In the first stint, I made contact with another car and broke a dive plane. It wasn’t really anyone’s fault. I thought they were clear in front of me, but then they didn’t accelerate. When I came in after that stint, we put a new front on the car. That can be changed pretty fast.
Then, going into turn 5 in middle of night, I was hit from behind by a GTLM car. They were right behind me as we were in traffic. They probably locked up. The car was ok though.
That first run at night, I double stinted the tires and later in the race I triple stinted a set. You usually do that a bit at night when it’s cooler. You can feel the tires going on you and the change in grip level is getting less and less. Makes it interesting because you have to manage that.
We also had some small but quite worrisome electrical gremlins. There were times when the other drivers had to full reset the car on track. They would lose a little time and have to try to get it back then.
What was it like to win?
The team did a great job. One of the fun things about a long race is it’s very much a team. I think the crew was just as happy as I was at the finish. Anyone on the whole team can blow the race by making a mistake. It’s kind of cool when it comes together, everyone worked really hard and was really happy.
What are the chances for competing again next year?
I haven’t decided yet, but it’s really fun. It’s not the track per se, it’s that it’s 24 hours and you drive all night. You have weather and cold temperatures at night and you’re running a car for 24 hours, so it all adds up to make it super interesting.
What are your racing plans for this year?
I’ll race with Era Motorsports in the IMSA series and European Le Mans series. The next race is Sebring 12 Hour on March 19. The plan was to drive some of the European tracks for the first time, but then we decided to do Daytona and Sebring and it sort of went from there. My schedule will be kind of packed this year.
What would be your ultimate racing dream come true?
Coming from someone who started when they were older, I would say that Rolex 24 would be it. Another one would be to win or podium in class at Le Mans which would be pretty tough. There is a pro-am class now for these cars, so it is not inconceivable, but for now I’m thinking about Sebring.
Getting the call to race in the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona was a dream come true – a dream that Stevan and his late brother, Sam, had always had for Stevan. Heading into the race with emotions and adrenaline running high, Stevan, an MMC pro instructor since 2012, focused on advice he had been given before going out. All you can do Is control the stints that you drive. You can’t control other drivers on team, and can’t control other cars, so just do the best you can do in your stint, and that’s all you can do. And that’s just what Stevan did.
The team’s car, a Duqueine M30-D08, took a hit 15 minutes into the race causing them to lose 5 laps, but they were able to get those 5 laps back. By the end of Stevan’s first hour and 45 minute stint, he moved his team in 2nd place. We lost another 6-7 laps later in the race due to an incident in the pits while I was sleeping. It was a bummer to wake up ready to go for my final stint and see we had lost a lot of ground. I had to give it my all and knew anything could happen.
Stevan and his Muehlner Motorsports team went on to finish the Rolex 24 in third place in the LMP3 class.
Q & A WITH STEVAN
How many times have you raced in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona?
This was my first time. It happens once a year at end of January, and it’s the biggest sportscar event in America.
How did you wind up racing in Rolex 24?
The previous week, I had an IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Dayton with Robillard Racing in the LMP3 class. Our team did not have a good showing. We had good speed and I had the fastest lap of weekend, but Joe Robillard (MMC Member) got taken out early on, so we ended with a DNF. As I was heading back to NY after the race, I got a call from the owner of Muehlner Motorsports. The owner called to say they had one spot left for Rolex 24 and asked if I wanted to do it. I had worked with Bernie, the owner, a few years ago so it was awesome to get a call from him as I knew that he trusted me to perform with three very, very good teammates.
What was this first experience like?
When I knew it was happening, it brought back memories of my little brother. I was pretty emotional. We did practice sessions with three other drivers, so you don’t get a lot of time to drive, and it was emotional at first. But I knew I had to focus and get to work. I was there for a reason.
Was it as special as you thought it would be?
Yup! It has been a long time coming. I laugh because I’ve always thought I deserved to be in that paddock and the quality of drivers is fantastic with the best drivers from all over the world. Indy, Formula 1, NASCAR. Anybody who’s anybody has been to this race. I’ve always wondered in the back of my mind “Can I do this? Can I compete with these guys?” I was excited to know that I could run with the best out there and can’t wait to do it again.
What did you think of the competition in the LMP3 Class?
I thought it was extremely high, but certainly what I expected. All of the classes in the series have really great drivers, really great teams with good strategies, so we knew we’d have to work really hard to get on the podium.
What was it like to be ahead of some well-known, experienced racers that you’ve followed?
Great. My second stint was during the night and I was in a battle with an extremely well-known driver for 45 minutes. The part that was exciting about that is the car had been damaged earlier and we lost a lot of straight-line speed that we had in practice. This made it harder to drive.
What are the chances for competing in this race next year?
I haven’t thought about it. My priority is to Robillard Racing. If any IMSA Weathertech comes up I’d be interested, but for now I’m focused on the IMSA Prototype Challenge with our next race being on March 13.
Were you able to get rest of sleep between stints?
Yes. For the first stint you’re wide awake and I was in 2nd place when I finished my stint, so there was no way I was going to sleep through that. We had an RV and we were forced to go there for food, water and rest. I slept after my 2nd stint so I was rested up for the 3rd which was right around sunrise.
What was the most exciting highlight from your stints?
Certainly, the battle I had during the night. We still had 12 hours of the race left. There was an understanding with the other driver that he wanted to get around me, but we weren’t going to risk the cars. Because of the length of the race, everyone was tamed down 5% or so, but it was cool to be involved with a lot of extremely good drivers who have been at it for a long time. It was exciting that I deserved to be a part of that.
What kept you going throughout?
A Rolex watch. No, for me, I programmed my mind that I have a job to do. I’ve never done that many hours in a race car of that type. Obviously, you must be somewhat fit for that stuff. You can mentally overpower the fatigue because there’s a lot on the line.
How many hours were you behind the wheel?
6 hours, each driver had to do at least 4.5 hours.
What are your racing plans for this year?
I’m participating in the IMSA Prototype Challenge with Robillard Racing, and I’ve got my MX-5 Cup team which has five full-time cars this year. One of the drivers is Justin Piscitell (MMC Pro Instructor).
What would be your ultimate racing dream come true?
To win the Rolex 24. First-ever race in this series and to finish on the podium was a big accomplishment, but I was frustrated because we had the pace and strategy to win. I’d also like to drive Le Mans 24 one day.
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