21st Aug2013

NASA Utah Round 5

by Michael Chandler

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August 10th was an extremely busy day at Miller Motorsports Park.  The Gotham Dream Car Sprint was happening in the Midway, starting at 6pm there was a Western Endurance Racing Championship six hour endurance race, and during the day the NASA locals were joined by some SCCA fellows for some laps!  Exciting right?  You betcha!  However, the arrival of the SCCA guys meant that some of your NASA heroes raced with them instead of in the NASA groups.

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This was most apparent with the open wheel guys.  It was one of the larger open wheel fields in recent memory.  And since this was a SCCA deal, I don’t have the results…  Sorry guys, but I do have more pictures!

Looks like you herped when you should've derped there Bill.

Looks like you herped when you should’ve derped there Bill.

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See?  That kinda makes up for the lack of actual information!

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I’m not 100% sure what these are, but I think they’re Club Ford cars.  Whatever they are, they’re very cool and deserve some time in the spotlight.

I don’t have results for the SCCA groups*, but I do have results for the NASA guys.  With the increase in traffic on track, they split the NASA folks in to three groups:

  • Thunder:  GTS 3, 4, 5; American Iron, Camaro Mustang Challenge, Spec Z, STR1, and ST2, 3 and U
  • Lightning:  GTS1, 2, 3; Spec Miata, Spec E30, Spec 944, and PTB, C, E and F
  • TT:  I’m not explaining this one

Let’s start with the TT group.

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Despite a momentary lack of traction control, which led to a slight off track excursion, Kyle Shick took top honors for TTU in the RaceCo/Envision Wraps GTR with a 1:59.336.  The car is fine, and Kyle was his usual smiling self about the incident at the awards dinner later in the evening.

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The TT1 crown was claimed by Steven Streimer in the Lux Performance/Streimer MotorSports/Natalie’s Estate Winery Porsche 911 with a time of 2:03.395

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Greg Valdez took #lelantos to the top of the heap in TT2 with a time of 2:09.348.  The Ziptie Dynowerks sponsored STi has been getting better over the course of the season.  Fun fact: the wing on the car is wider than Greg is tall.

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The TT3 title was claimed by this fellow: Steve Nagel in the MarVista BMW M3.  His time: 2:09.318.  I would say something witty or funny, but I know nothing about him so I shall refrain.

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Emilio Cervantes and his 949 Racing sponsored Mazda Miata took the TTB crown with a 2:13.901

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Another Miata took TTC.  This time it was Sonny Watanasirisuk with a lap time of 2:17.986

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AND Jay Kidd took first AND last in TTE by being the only competitor in the field.  The Track Speed Engineering Miata put up a 2:20.258.

Moving on to the Lightning group, and more specifically the three Spec classes that were running.

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Dan McKeever took Spec Miata in the #10 Falcon Graphics sponsored roadster.

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Larry Moore took the Spec E30 win in his wild Bavarian coupe.  Quick question: when did red and blue become the official M colors?  This came up while out shooting and nobody had a good answer.

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And Samuel Kapp was deemed the fastest  of the Spec 944s.

The Pro Touring field was pretty deep, featuring privateers and a factory backed effort.  Logically the factory team would be the fastest on the day right?  Allow me to show you why that isn’t really true.

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When you show up in a Fit, you make Miatas look like fire breathing Blancpain series Lamborghinis.  That said, it probably had to fill up once the whole weekend.  It also took the PTF class.

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Andrew Kidd put the #71 Track Speed Miata in the winner’s circle again in the PTE category.  See that Porsche he’s chasing?

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It’s the PTC class winner driven by Ed Mineau!  Eight hundredths of a second separated the fastest laps turned by your E and C class winners.

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And speaking of Porsches, Douglas Turnquist took the PTB win in his non-Spec 944.

In GTS they really turned up the wick!  Well, sort of.  These still are semi-reasonable cars we’re talking about.

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Lee Bohning took the #36 Alpine Autohaus M3 to the winners circle in GTS2.

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Meanwhile, in GTS3, Stefan Sajic piloted his E46 M3 to victory.  In addition to being M3s and winning their classes, these cars have something else in common: red roll cages.  I support that 103%.

And now on to the senior circuit: the Thunder group.

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Mark Smith piloted the Eagle Marine Boss 302 Mustang to victory in American Iron, beating an F Body with a big wing.  However, the General would have his revenge!

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And that came in the form of Joe Bogie taking the Camaro Mustang Challenge win!

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The Spec Z crown was claimed by David Dirks, seen here chasing down a CMC competitor.

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GTS was dominated by Porsches.  Gus Stribakos took his physics defying machine to glory in GTS3.

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Darrell Troester won GTS4 in his 996 GT3.

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And Les Long turned a blistering 1:58.901 on his way to a GTS5 victory!  His time was THIRD fastest of the day!

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ST3 was loudly won by Daniel Wennerberg in the Pure Performance, high visibility BMW.

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Bob beat Skip for the STR1 win.  One of my favorite moments from the day was Matt Guiver, at the awards presentation, asking “Hey Bob, where’s Skip?”  Not sure why, but I enjoyed it.

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And the Davidson Racing team took top honors in SU, the Thunder Group, and on the day.  They won their class by 1:07.978, making second place George Smith (and his fastest lap time 1:57.705) look like he was standing still.

After the NASA guys finished up, the SCCA guys got to turn some laps…

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And this happened.  Spec Miatas might not be the fastest cars on track, but they aren’t afraid to bang! Not entirely sure how, or why, but Tyler Dahl and Glenn Conser were going at it the entirety of the SCCA Small Bore race.

And on a more somber note, this was unfortunately the last NASA Utah event Regional Director Roger Miller attended.  The following weekend he traveled to Kansas City for the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.  He and co-driver Ian James finished eleventh in the race.  Tragically that evening, Roger passed away in his sleep.  Roger was a truly great man, and driver.  His passion for racing was unparalleled, and he wanted to bring more people into the fold and share that passion with them.  He will be missed, but the work he has done with NASA Utah will never be forgotten.

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*If anyone has the SCCA results, feel free to send them over and we’ll get a post up for them

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
19th Aug2013

DRFTUtah Round 5: The Colisioning

by Michael Chandler

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Full disclosure: I showed up late to this.  Very late.  So late that they were closing the box office, but I made it and I managed to not miss a very big thing that happened.  More on that later.

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The regulars were out, giving ride alongs and sliding around in the recently resurfaced k rail penalty box.  Good times were being had by all.

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Even weirdos in weird cars were out getting in on some of the action!

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And then a select few people grabbed some dance partners and made their way out.  Most of the time it was successful, and fun.

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But then Nick had to go a ruin the fun by hitting the poor fellow from Idaho with the LS1 swapped IS300!  By the way, Nick’s Miata is for sale if anyone is interested.  Just throwin that out there…

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There were no hard feelings.  Nothing major was broken on the Lexus, and Nick got in another tandem run.  Without incident!

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This pleased Rob, so he danced.

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Good times were had by all, as is evidenced by this photo where most everyone is posing awkwardly.  Do you want to see these people in person, doing whatever it is they do?  Wait, really?  Wow, was not really prepared for that answer, but ok.  The next event is THIS SATURDAY THE 24TH.  These guys will be there!  And there’s gonna be a car show, and a DJ!

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
15th Aug2013

Track Car in the Making: Tommy’s WRX

by Trent

Track Car in the Making“Race car” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days. Most people start with the motor and then ask the questions later of why they went off course while understeering through a turn. It’s not always about power. Case in point is some of our past feature cars that race regularly and aren’t surpassing 600whp or even 300whp. But the right combination of parts can make a worthy contender.

WRX splitter and canardsTommy brought his Bugeye home one day with the sole intention of making it a streetable race car. It needed to take him to and from the track, but allow him to have fun once he got there. If you couldn’t tell from the first paragraph, he’s largely left the motor alone to make it reliable. Even his future plans are simple and comprised mostly of OEM parts. The only additional power-adders are an HKS Hi-Power Exhaust and custom catted down pipe. Most of the attention was turned to aerodynamics and suspension.

tommywrx-2Now if you ask what Tommy’s favorite part of the car is, he’ll be torn between the broadway mirror(to see those he just passed) or the Voltex rear wing. This was something he was looking forward to for some time. It stands tall to get some clean air as he heads into the high-speed sweepers at Miller Motorsports Park. Helping with the downforce up front is a set of FUNKtion Aero canards and front splitter underneath a Prodrive front lip. Clearing the air from underneath the car is a Voltex-replica rear diffuser.tommywrx-3 As the car gets forced down, it sticks to the line with a set of Enkei RPF1 17″ wheels wrapped in sticky Toyo Proxes R1R tires. Tires are part of the equation, but the suspension is handled by BC Racing BR coilovers and seemingly pointing at the Whiteline catalog and saying “I’ll take all of it”. This was actually planned out more thoroughly than that as his main sponsor Nip N’Tuck Performance went over what he needed. This includes a set of Whiteline Sway Bars front and rear, Whiteline Anti-Lift Race kit, and Whiteline endlinks. tommywrxThe interior is kept functional with a Momo steering wheel, Sparco Pro2000 seat and Takata harness, Autopower 6-point roll cage, and stripped out rear seats and sound deadening. Stopping is currently relegated to Hawk HPS brake pads, but will soon be upgraded. Putting together this car has made it solid on the few shakedown runs he’s made with the car. It will really be tested this upcoming month as he begins his NASA High Performance Driving Events to get a race license. Look for this car in our track coverage soon.

Race WRX panning

Tommy would like to thank:

Dustin for the friendship, sponsorship, and work on the car.

Jason for the long-term friendship, helpful tips and suggestions.

Adam for the advice and recommendations on suspension setup.

Words and Photos by Trent Bray

13th Aug2013

PHOTO: Black Rock at Night

by Michael Chandler

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This past weekend the Western Endurance Racing Championship stopped by Miller Motorsports Park.  Miller has had endurance races, but they were only four hours long and ran during the day.  This, however, was a six hour long race that started at 6pm.  Being a night race, opportunities for long exposures like this one came up as soon as the sun went down.  More photos from this race, the NASA and SCCA races that went down during the day, and the last DRFTUtah event are coming over the next two weeks.

 

Words and photo by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

08th Aug2013

Supercar Invitational 2013

by Michael Chandler

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On July 19 super car owners, guests, on lookers gathered at Miller Motorsports Park for the second Supercar Invitational.  An invitation only event where owners of vehicles such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens and Porsches could get some instruction from NASA instructors then put the hammer down on their own for some hot laps.  Oh, and see the Caterham up close.

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A McLaren MP4-12C, a twin turbo Lamborghini Gallardo and even a Lexus LFA took to the track, wowing fans with their speed and sound. However there was one notable, flamable Italian make missing.  Nobody brought a Ferrari.  Tragically the howl of its flat plane V8 was not heard, but since there wasn’t one in attendance it couldn’t set itself ablaze.  The lack of the melodic Italian was not missed.  Everyone was treated to the scream of the Lexus’s V10 (Toyota’s F1 program wasn’t a total loss!), cracking of the wastegates on the Lamborghini and the subdued rage of the McLaren.

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Some of your favorite NASA drivers were allowed to take their cars out for some track time, and take the supercar owners to school!  Greg’s STi chased down some high dollar vehicles, and nobody knew what was under the hood of the fast S30.  It’s a VQ35DE from a 350Z if you are curious, it sounds amazing and makes the old Datsun move.  Meanwhile Kyle ,when he wasn’t in his street GTR (which now had the same vinyl wrap as his race GTR) was attempting to pace the Caterham SP.300/R in his race GTR, but to little success because the Caterham didn’t seem too interested in that game…  Oh well, hopefully its presence got a few people excited enough to order some so we can see them turn their wheels in competition!

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‘Murican muscle was out in force!  Everything from a previous generation Mustang up to a Corvette ZR1 were taking laps.  The orange and black Mustang kept gaining confidence through out the day, and by the end was hitting the curbing like it owed him money.  The ZR1 was wearing slicks on all four corners, like it should be if it’s going to be whipping around a road course, and made full use of them.  The panda GT500 Mustang sounded like you would expect one to sound: unadulterated rage with some supercharger whine mixed in.  It was glorious.

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Almost as glorious as ze Germans.  Much like France in 1940, they arrived quickly and stayed for a while.  There were a trio of Silver Arrows (none of which were silver, and one of which was driven by a rather impatient man), a pair of R8s and a couple of 911s and M3s of both flavors (coupe and sedan).  Two of the Mercs were packing the machine gun 6.2 liter V8, and had no issue with using the loud pedal.  The R8s howled everywhere they went, and the drop top was a fan favorite amongst the spectators.  The 911s turned fast laps and looked like all fast 911s do going around corners: good.  The M3 coupe was doing taxi service, giving ride alongs (I didn’t go on one…  Kinda regretting that now) while the sedan eventually won an award: slowest speed for the trap speed run.  In his defense, he didn’t know where the finish line was so he let off at the 1/4 mile mark.  Speaking of the trap speed run…

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They had one!  Complete with blonde starter girl!  The winner was, surprise surprise, the twin turbo Gallardo.  But I can say that we were all winners on the day.  Supercar owners got to stretch their cars’ legs and spectators got to see said leg stretching and even go for ride alongs.  There were free drinks and food, which makes any event that much better.  And there was a helicopter too.  Very cool.  And models.  Also cool.  I look forward to next year’s event, where hopefully we will see a prancing horse in addition to the bull, the beetles and the fax machine.

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

01st Aug2013

The CAM Journal: Would you electric?

by Trent

I have been given a lot of grief lately. Actually, hate. Hate is a strong word, right? It’s suitable here. Many people consider themselves car people only if they live and breathe race fuel. Obviously that’s not the case as you can be into cars and only be into the aesthetic aspect. Here at CAMautoMag, we tend to focus on the racing aspect of cars and so many were shocked to find out that I had traded in my petrol-powered vehicle for…a Nissan LEAF.

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You heard me right, a full-electric car. I work from home and my wife stays home with our daughter, for short jaunts around town, this car is perfect for us. So have I jumped off the deep end, I don’t think so. The car is torquey and up to 30-40mph, it feels pretty quick. Sure the steering is numb, but you don’t need an electric car to get that. I still own a V10 Dodge Viper and a turbocharged Honda S2000, and now a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, so I still love cars, but I wanted to try something different.

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In spire of the hate, this car has a legitimate racing pedigree. It won it’s class at Pike Peak in 2011. Nissan developed a full-on race car based on the LEAF to showcase what could be done with it. Nismo even developed a special edition model that is soon to be released that decreases drag and weight on the car. They are dedicating the time now, because there will be a day when electric cars are more prevalent. I’m not saying it’s the solution by any means, but we are trending that way in the short-term.

Can I still have fun with this car over the next 2 years? Well I already have wheels for it, so that’s a start. This car requires a different mindset than a traditional car, and it’s not for everyone, but I think there is great potential in the future for an electric or hybrid performance vehicle. Mitsubishi has toyed with the idea for the next Evolution, Ferrari and McLaren are all-in on hybrid systems in their new supercars, so why is it that I take for all intensive purposes, a Nissan Versa with some batteries, and get hate? I feel that people don’t understand its purpose, but here I am, I’ve jumped in, I’ll let you know if the water is fine over the next year or two.

Words by Trent Bray