Beginning a motorsports effort is always a series of baby steps, each one building upon the last until the ultimate goal–in this case, creating a true multipurpose motorsports vehicle–is reached.

For NISMO Stuff Racing, those baby steps began over eighteen months ago in Oak Ridge, TN, where the Nissan Frontier was purchased, and took a significant step forward over the recent July 9-10 weekend.

After competing in the SCCA’s New England Region Rallycross series and finishing 2nd in class for 2010, NISMO Stuff Racing planned on taking its program to the next level in 2011. With the full stage rally build complete in early July, it was time to get some real competition under its belt.

Rather than falling keister over teakettle into a full-on stage rally, NISMO Stuff decided upon a more conservative approach, hoping to work out any easy fixes at the New England Hillclimb Association’s 2011 Okemo I event.

As the only entry in the S6 class for the Okemo hillclimb, out of the 55 entries on hand, the weekend was less about competing against anyone else and more about pushing the vehicle and its driver to their current limits to see if either would break. Neither would…

Showing solid progress over the course of the weekend, the NISMO Stuff, four-cylinder Frontier saw its run time drop from 3:38 to 3:24 through a learning curve that led to a number of revalations for NISMO Stuff driver Dan Spalinger, ‘It turns out that, yes, it is possible to drift the rear end of a pickup truck riding on General Tire A/Ts through a turn’. Vehicle wise, not a wrench needed to be turned nor a system modified.

‘Running the vehicle at or near the rev-limiter for every moment of competition and yet having nothing fail was a great confidence booster’ said NISMO Stuff driver Dan Spalinger, as the team’s next baby step will involve much greater distances, times and rougher terrain.

NISMO Stuff Racing will undergo one more test competition at the Okemo II hillclimb event in early August and then be prepped for its first full stage rally event at NASA Rally Sport’s Black River Stages event in Harrisville, NY on the weekend of September 23-24. With preparation and consistency, even baby steps can get you where you want to go.

About NISMO Stuff Racing:
A privateer effort helmed by Dan Spalinger and based out of Southern New Hampshire. The effort possesses the goal of utilizing the current Nissan Frontier platform to create a multipurpose race vehicle capable of being run in stage rally, hill climb, desert and additional series.

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