Falls Church Mechanic Races What He Wrenches
Tim Minor is a throwback. You are as apt to find him under his Ski Motorsports F2000 car as driving it. At the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 11, Minor, 52, put a lock on the F2000 Championship Series with two races yet to run.
He not only works on his own car, he out drives better funded racers less than half his age from Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico and Canada. Minor is all about cars. “I work on them all day and at night, I work on my race car. And I’m having a blast.” He has owned Automotive Specialist Center, a Fairfax auto repair shop since 1995. His first race was at Summit Point Raceway just outside of Charles Town, West Virginia back in 1988. This is no middle age crisis.
“It is cool to bring the title back to Summit Point where it all started for me. I guess I’m greedy. I want to win both of the Summit races to put a cherry on top of this dream season.” Tim has seven wins and seven pole positions thus far in 2013. “I had to be a bit careful as we got close to clinching. I couldn’t afford to get knocked out of a race.” Minor has nothing to lose at Summit. “I won’t lie. We took it one race at a time but tension builds along with the points. Now we can have fun.”
F2000 cars have a top speed of 140 mph and run at road racing venues including Watkins Glen, Lime Rock, Road Atlanta and Virginia International Raceway. The series is an eclectic mix of aspiring stars and experienced veterans. Last year’s champion, Robert LaRocca, hailed from Venezuela and his car was prepared by a crack professional team out of Miami. LaRocca went on to race in Europe in 2013. In 2011 the champion, Remy Audette was from Quebec. Minor not only brought the title back to the USA, he did it in a made-in-the USA Citation chassis. “Most of the cars in this series are made in England,” says Tim.
In 2012 he bought his car from his current crew chief, Eric Langbein, who had built it but didn’t have time to run it. “We thought it was a better mousetrap. It took us over a year to fine tune it but we are on the right path now. We think there is more to come. And I feel like my driving is better than ever. We are a tight little team and we are very focused,” said Minor.
They race rain or shine. At Mid-Ohio, Minor started from Pole only to slide off on a super greasy track on the second turn. He fell to last place yet battled his way back to finish second. It was a championship moment. “Never give up,” said Minor. Clearly, he hasn’t.