Mechanic roars to speed record

A local mechanic sets a new track record at the Mission Raceway.

Alex Pate

A local mechanic set a new track record at Mission Raceway last month.

Alex Pate, 27, sped around the 1.7 mile racetrack in just 1:04:817, a fraction of a hundredth of a second behind his qualifying race.

He also beat his own record of the year before.

In 2011 – competing for the first time in more than 10 years – Pate set a new track record during the ICSCC Labor Daze Classic at Mission Raceway with a time of 1:06:082.

The formula style cars are capable of amazing speeds, and are equipped with a motorcycle engine.

Pate’s top speed at the 2012 event last month was  201 kmh, enabling him to shave nearly two seconds off his previous track record in the In the Canadian Federation of Autosport Car Club-sanctioned event.

“The cars are capable of 240 kmh with a longer straightaway, like the one at Pacific Raceways in Washington,” he says.

Pate is a crew chief for the Firman West Cars race team. His teammates let him drive on race day as a birthday present. “And he gave them the track record,” according to his dad Walter, who runs a Cloverdale-based company called Maximum Overdrive Software with son Jamie specializing in scoreboard software.

Pate keeps his driving skills sharp with a race simulator and by racing online. The simulator is a pretty common driver training tool, with iracing.com’s being the most widely used, he says.