MotorSport Sunday: Team POS Racing
Sunday, April 10, 2011 1 Comment
Welcome again to Motorsport Sunday! Last week, we brought you the tale of Bill Caswell, a rally driver with an unstoppable passion for what he does. He won the recent LeMons race in the Bay Area. Well, he couldn’t have done it without the race team that brought him to the event and the $500 car he raced to the finish. I got the chance to speak to J. Farina (yes, he goes by his first initial) of team POS Racing about a number of important topics.
J. Farina is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and now resides in San Diego aka Mexican Food Heaven. He’s been working on cars pretty much his whole life, so the man knows his way around the team’s car. How did he manage to get into this amazing sport? Well, in 2004, he started racing. He had trained in Rallycross, which is pretty much a track-based version of rally. He decided to open up a shop to, you know, make a living and whatnot, and if it brought more opportunities to indulge the sport he worked so hard at, why not? Well, he failed to start a racing career, but failure breeds ideas. So, he did what any other self-respecting man would do: J. rallied the troops (pun totally intended) and formed a team with a couple of friends. That’s probably how I’ll end up getting into it, too. Wrecked Racing? Hmm…
Anyway, so the team is three full-time members plus a rotating fourth chair. J. describes it as a bit of a Spinal Tap situation, which cleared everything up for me. Bill Caswell was one of those drummers, I mean, drivers.
So, how in the hell do you make a racecar for $500? Well, first you need to get a car for free, or damn near it. J. was lucky enough to get one in exchange for tearing parts out of it for a friend. For the race, safety parts don’t count against your total, so airbags, rollcage, and anything else that keeps you from dying when you crash (it’s not a question of “if,” but “when”) is totally okay. Besides that, they did the work themselves with parts from the junkyard, which never really amounts to much, and a couple hundred on shocks.
Oh, and the most fascinating part of the car is easily the rear wing. Remember I mentioned it being a bit like a robot? Well, that’s what happens when sharing crazy ideas with an electrical engineer on your team. They bought a $20 wing from the local ricer shop and attached it to two window motors. It’s operated by buttons installed on the steering wheel to make it pop up on turns and flatten out on straightaways. If you know anything about cars, most vehicles that have something like that are either ridiculously expensive (like the $1.5 million Bugatti Veyron or the new VW Beetle for some reason). These guys managed it for less than $100. Awesome.
In the past, POS Racing has dealt with some catastrophic brake failures, and some overheating issues, but since then the issues have been solved, as can be seen by Caswell’s win.
As always, we need to know what a man like J. does and drinks on a regular basis. Well, he’s a pretty obsessed Steelers fan. That’s okay, we forgive him. As far as beer goes, being from Pennsylvania, he loves his Yuengling. I was lucky enough to try it while I lived in Pennsylvania for a month. Yeah, it’s everywhere over there, but I haven’t heard anyone mention it since then. Glad to know I wasn’t crazy. It’s pretty damn good. Otherwise, he sticks to Stella Artois and Stone brews since he lives in San Diego now, which I actually just tried this last week (the hype is well deserved). He prefers the Russian Imperial they offer. It’s 9% ABV.
If you want to catch POS Racing, they’ll be doing a couple of LeMons races in California in August and November. We’ll probably be there to witness the shenanigans.
Big thanks to J. Farina for his time and pictures!