In the late ’80s Dave worked for Tom Gloy who ran a Riley & Scott-built GTO Mustang, and also worked on some IMSA privateer teams, like Dauer from Germany who ran a limited schedule with a couple 962C models. Former F1 racer Thierry Boutsen was one of the team’s drivers.
“I got married in 1990 to Lisa, and am still married to same wonderful woman for the last 21 years, but needed to find employment were I wasn’t traveling so much.” So Dave went to work for Penske racing in Mooresville, North Carolina in 1991. “I worked in the engine shop as a cylinder head specialist doing NASCAR stuff. We worked seven days a week, but after a few years was pretty bored with it and wanted to get back to sports cars.”
“In 1994, I started a shop in Mooresville (NC) on Hwy 150,” Dave continued, “I shared space in the center building with Greg Clark who was running a NASCAR Busch Series team with Stanley Tool sponsorship. We both shared the lease and Ralph Brawley was the property owner. In 1995 the Busch team lost its sponsorship and I took over the lease for the whole building starting Brown & Slayton for Drew Slayton, who was a former crew chief with many big teams including Interscope and the Whittington brothers.”
“We stayed there until December 1999 and moved once again to a larger facility in the Mooresville Motorsport Park which was the ex-Rahal/Gloy Icehouse Craftsmen truck facility. That shop became Carolina Speedwerks, where we had the opportunity to prepare an AGT Camaro for the 2000 24 Hours of Daytona. The car was based on a Benco full tube frame chassis with a 366 cubic inch Chevy NASCAR type engine, but I decided to change the front end. We were able to build and race this car in less than two months at Daytona because we had a lot of experienced guys in the shop, including Tim Cowell, formerly with Rousch Racing. For qualifying I used 1.75 lift rockers, but for the race went to a 1.5 lift rocker for durability. This car had about 700 hp, and did very well. Well enough to take 1st place in the AGT class, a major accomplishment for all involved indeed. We ran the entire season, finishing second, only losing it on the last race.”
Dave continued to campaign the car. “In 2001 we ran the Camaro once more, but on a limited race schedule with Andy McNeal driving. But in 2002 we did not race on a National level; we did mostly HSR and PCA club race events, maintaining club cars.
The year 2003 brought another shop move up to Thomasville (NC) and a name change to Speedwerks. “While at Speedwerks, we built a 3.6 twin turbo 914 for driver Andy McNeal. We raced this car for a number of years, developing and refining it along the way. The 914 was putting out approximately 800 peak horse power. We had a lot of success with this car with a 110 class wins and 55 overall wins. We once almost beat a 962, owned and driven by Don Style, only losing by a few car lengths.” In 2006 Speedwerks built a Mazda to race in the Grand-Am series. This RX-8 was unique to the other Riley-built Mazdas in the field in that Dave’s design incorporated a Porsche torque tube from a 944. “The first year we brought it to Daytona and went through tech inspection, we had a lot of strange looks and questions from the officials, but it’s totally legal and runs competitively.”
Dave moved once more to his current location in Lexington in 2009, now named RennGruppe Motorsports, maintaining many Porsche Club of America (PCA) club race cars and two race car collections with some seriously nice cars in them. RennGruppe is currently developing a VW GTI race car for a new support series, building a radical 1953 Bent window 356 with a multi-link suspension and 3.6 engine, and is continuing what Dave likes best – engine building – getting historic engines shipped from all over the world for him to rebuild. “The only one I haven’t done yet is the 12-cylinder 917 engine. Yet.”
Dave says from a mechanic’s perspective, “The opportunity to work on what many consider the best there is – Porsche. Well-built, proper, done correctly, the highest quality and standards. What also makes what I do so great are really the people in the PCA, with the same interest in these great cars that I have, many of the same customers have been coming back since 1994.”
This was originally published in the December 2011 edition of Tobacco Roads, the official publication of the Carolinas Region, Porsche Club of America. Louis Scalzo serves as Historian and Tom Morgan as Editor of the monthly newsletter. For more information, visit Carolinas PCA and RennGruppe Motorsports.