On Tuesday we introduced you to the Toyota GT86 rally car built by Nameless Performance, a 2WD car designed to battle the AWD juggernauts and get itself on the overall podium at the top level of North American rally competition. Today we're back with the brains behind the bonkers machine.
Unfortunately driver Will Orders messaged me last night saying he was called in to work today (probably putting a new suspension in a Touring Car Masters car, we'll reschedule him for a later date), but Jason Griffith and John Hoyenga, the owners of Nameless, are here to answer your questions, be they about the car, rally, the company, the partnership with Cosworth, what cars they may want for future product development, or anything else.
First a little bit about our guests. John Hoyenga's professional life started shortly after high school as a welder, welding truck boxes for Pro-Tech. Following Pro-Tech he did a stint at an automotive performance company called Extreme Turbo Systems where he learned performance automotive fabrication, then moved to Kärcher. After two years at Kärcher he was promoted to the engineering department, despite not having a formal engineering degree. Six months later he left Kärcher to pursue his dream with Nameless.
Jason Griffith's first college degree was, as he puts it, "useless." After graduating college he went to work for an ad agency as a creative director, spending his free time pulling parts of cars at the junkyard and wrenching on BMWs. When his wife was offered a job in Portland Jason took it as the chance for a fresh start, enrolling himself in a CAD program and a CNC machining program at Portland's local community college. He completed both programs in a single year, then got a job at the Life Flight Network, where he worked his way into the engineering department. After Life Flight came US Digital, a robotics component company, where he became the engineering director. Unable to suppress his inner Jalop any further he sated his need to work with cars by jumping over to CorkSport Mazda Performance, where he worked until partnering with John and creating Nameless.
The car, as you read on Tuesday, is a masterpiece of madness, designed to do things no rear wheel drive car has ever done in Rally America competition. The Nameless boys have already called their shot by claiming it could win outright at the Empire State Performance Rally, the only all-tarmac rally in the country. It is also the ultimate "coming attractions" billboard for all Toyobaru owners, as Nameless intends to make a consumer version of everything they put on the race car, from subframes to intakes.
And now it's time for you to ask them whatever you want, or pressure them to develop parts for your car (if you have an ST you really should do that, they're interested in EcoBoost but need a push), or offer them a sponsorship deal so they can take it to the AWD boys next year. Give them your best questions, or you worst questions, or if you're McMike ask them about their choice in Batshit Babes. They're all yours, have at it.
UPDATE: Jason and John had to leave but if you want to get in touch with them directly you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Big thanks to the two J's for stopping by. We'll try to get Will Orders and Toni Feaver in at a later date to give their upside-down Australian input as well!