Schnitz & HTP Ready for MiRock Opener

April 16, 2010
Courtesy of HTP Performance
Multi-time AMA Dragbike champion Ryan Schnitz is leading HTP Performance into the spring season with a number 1 Real Street qualifier at Rockingham and a Grudgement Day win at Virginia Motorsports Park, both aboard the two-time MiRock Real Street championship-winning 2007Suzuki GSXR1000. Keith Thompson rode the GSXR to those titles and continues to gain ground onboard the nitrous-huffing HTP Pro Street Hayabusa.

MiRock Superbike Series season opener at The Rock

“For the track conditions, I was somewhat pleased with Rockingham,” said HTP Performance builder/tuner Cecil Towner III. “Ryan got some seat time on the Real Street bike and sat on the pole for his first race ever with HTP.”

“Friday’s testing was my first day on the Real Street bike,” said Schnitz, an NHRA national event winner. “We made six passes and were somewhat comfortable on the bike. HTP has put together a great bike that requires very little maintenance, but it’s definitely powerful and, at 62 inches, is real easy to wheelie anywhere on the track, which it did! But on Saturday we had a great first qualifying pass (7.90), with good air and a nitrous tune-up that fit my riding style pretty well. Sunday was pretty disappointing when we spun in the second round of eliminations, but all-in-all we had a great first outing on the bike!”

Keith Thompson went 8.63 On Friday’s qualifying run. The bike was a bit too fast and the HTP team is looking to dial things in by the next round.

Rockingham was also the first time out for HTP’s Crazy 8’s program, led by veteran racer Wayne “Ubware” Robertson. “Ryan and Keith Thompson got a lot of seat time on our 8.88 bikes, but unfortunately our 8.88 bikes are way too fast!” said Wayne. “Ryan and Keith both went 8.63, so now we have to slow them down! Hopefully we can figure that out by Maryland.”

“The 8.88 bikes were really fast in Rockingham and we had a difficult timing slowing them down,” agreed Schnitz. “Wayne was on top of everything the entire weekend and had the bikes prepped and ready for each round, and also found time to cook for the crew. Big thanks to Wayne!”

“Both of our Crazy 8s bikes are stock motored, stock clutch ‘08 Busas, but we’ve gone at two different angles with them and made them equal,” said Robertson. “Both run Michelin tires from Western Power Sports at 20 pounds in the rear and 40 in the front, Motul Motor Oils, EK non O-ring chains, and NGK plugs. Gearing is the same on both bikes with, of course, Vortex spockets.

“But Keith is a 175 pound rider, so we have a 66 inch Adams Performance arm on his bike, a stock ECU that’s been flashed by Cecil on VP MR12 fuel, and it makes 207 at the rear wheel. Keith’s bike has a 6-over tail section and runs an HTP carbon fiber airbox with no filter.

“Ryan’s bike is 64 inches with all ‘Busa plastics. The only thing not stock ‘Busa is the seat pan. It’s got a license plate, inspection sticker with insurance, and you and your girl can ride it to the motel at night. It’s got a Brock’s map that he and Dave O. made at Maxton a couple years back on VP MR12 fuel with a BMC filter, Worldwide Bearings, an intake cam on exhaust, and makes 212 at the rear wheel.

“Rockingham was the first time on streetbikes for either of these guys in a while and many years, like a decade, for Ryan to be on a Suzuki. Ryan started out in the 8.70’s and soon ran a 8.664 at 157.76. Tripped us out! The next weekend at VMP we ran MRX01 in this bike and sprayed a 30 shot in second gear and ran two back-to-back 8.498 at 169.32 and pressure down 8.489 at 165.95.

“KT started in the 8.70’s at Rockingham and by Saturday night ran a 8.664 at 156.70. KT’s best 60 foot was a 1.349 and 330 of 3.645. His last pass on Sunday he ran an 8.63.”

The HTP team is fielding not just one, but two Pro Street bikes this year. “My Pro Street bikes gave me a fit in Rockingham!” said Towner. “With this crazy winter we had we weren’t able to do any testing, and I didn’t want to start out the season tearing a bunch of stuff up. The track was so bad there that I wasn’t willing to hurt anything, so I parked them.”

Grudgement Day

The next date on the calendar was an easy one for HTP, the first of four scheduled Grudgement Day races at HTP’s hometrack, Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie. “KT made his first full pass on the Pro Street bike at VMP and went a 7.63 at187 with a very mild tune-up designed to just get down the track and collect data. Our other rider, Lavar ‘Lil’ Charlie’ Delee, made a pass right after KT with the same tune-up and went a 7.63 as well. Both bikes came back with good data showing me that we have our nitrous and Motec combinations dialed in, so now we just need to get some more test passes in.

“Since Lavar only had grudge bikes to race on Saturday, I entered him in the Pro Street Shootout and he lost to Barry Henson first round. Barry went a 7.41 and Lavar went a 7.43 and the bike didn’t shift into fourth gear. The bike still had a very mild tune-up in it and had a decent eighth mile time of 4.81 at 160, so he was on a .30 pass. Hopefully, with some more hard work and testing, we can make some noise in Maryland at the end of April.”

Ryan Schnitz is feeling comfortable on his HTP Real Street Bike. On Friday’s first qualifying pass Schnitz ran a 7.9. While still needing some adjustments, Schnitz and company feel good about the first outing.  

Schnitz put the Real Street GSXR to the test at VMP and eventually nailed some exceptional results. “We tested all day Friday and could only run 8.0’s at best,” said Ryan. “But I was getting more comfortable on the bike and starting to leave more aggressively, more like my typical riding style.

“After reviewing the runs on the Datalogger and reviewing the nitrous graph, Cecil and I decided to change the nitrous tune-up to better complement my style on Saturday. It really seemed to work and we ran a best of 7.81 at 184. The bike was stable and smooth the entire pass. We lost some traction as the track warmed through the day, but still ran 7.90’s.”

Good enough for the race win. “Ryan finally got some more seat time on the Real Street bike in Virginia and is starting to get comfortable on it,” said Towner. “There is still more left in the bike and we will be trying to go .70’s here soon.”

“The new Penske rear shock is really working well for us and we’re excited to start really playing with it now that we have some consistent riding,” said Schnitz. “I’m really excited to get back on the bike and continue the momentum we have.”

“We are lucky to have two of the very best on a hand clutch in the world on the same team,” said Robertson. “It is worth the price of admission to come watch these guys ride these five bikes at the Mirock and Grudgement Day races, and maybe we could just show up at an AMA event, too.”

“I’m proud of my team!” finished Towner. “Having the first Real Street bike in the 7’s last year with KT, and now my goal is to have the first Real Street bike in the 7.70’s with Ryan.”

HTP Performance races next at the Spring Bike Classic & Swap Meet at Maryland International Raceway in Budd’s Creek on April 24-25, 2010