31st Mar2014

NASA Utah Round 1: Time Trial

by Michael Chandler
NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (105 of 105)

Smith-Burke Racing setting their second record of the day!

Paul McGarvey in his second run group and second Miata

Paul McGarvey in his second run group and second Miata

 

Many TT drivers had moved up to the road racing classes, and several had not completed their off season builds yet. Absent was everyone’s favorite Wyoming local, TT1 Champion Shawn Murphy, but he came down to visit and show his support and supply NASA Utah’s own Matt Guiver with a well deserved malty beverage. Smith-Burke racing ran fast laps in both the racing group and the time trial group.  Paul McGarvey joined the Vette with his V8 powered Miata, but Paul was one man splitting time between two different classes, while J.R. Smith and James Burke could split seat time.  Hard work paid off and the Vette managed to break Danny Popp’s four year old TT1 track record with a 1:58.09.

Greg Valdez

Greg Valdez

Scott Corsetti chasing down Josh Miller

Scott Corsetti chasing down Josh Miller

In TT2 Greg Valdez picked up right where he left off at Nationals last year.  His 2:04.356 was more than enough to take the win over Scott Corsetti’s 911 turbo. Greg repeated his victory on Sunday. Both TT2 drivers were good sports and spent a great deal of their day instructing new drivers in the HPDE program.

NASA Utah Round 1 TT CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (12 of 14)

Trip Hunter

NASA Utah Round 1 TT CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (11 of 14)

Corry Perkins

NASA Utah Round 1 TT CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (6 of 14)

John Carver

TT3 saw new and old Porches battle a Corvette and a WRX wagon.  Rookie time trial driver Trip Hunter took the class win in his Martini Liveried Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS, posting a 2:11.793, 2.8 seconds ahead of Corry Perkins’s 911.  Rounding out the podium was John Carver, who put his black and silver Corvette in third with a 2:15.329.  Josh Miller drove his WRX wagon to a fourth place finish (2:16.879), and James Pasquier posted a best time of 2:18.657 in his yellow 993 chassis 911, the oldest, but perhaps classiest, car in the field.

Kyle Schick

Kyle Schick

Reigning TTU Champion Kyle Schick was learning how the RaceCo/OS Giken/Ohlins Racing/VP Fuels/AMS GTR handled in rear wheel drive configuration.  2:04.185 was his best time during Saturday’s sessions.

Will we see Shawn Murphy next round?  Will Trent Smith get all four wheels of the GTR spinning together?  Can there possibly be more Porsches on track?  Find out all of this and more next month! The next race weekend is April 25-27 on the West track.  Registration is open and we look forward to seeing everyone return for Round 2 of the NASA Utah racing series

Words by Michael Chandler and Matt Guiver.  Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
31st Mar2014

NASA Utah Round 1: Open Wheel

by Michael Chandler
Troy Duffin leading Steven Costello through The Attitudes

Troy Duffin leading Steven Costello through The Attitudes

The Open Wheel run group had Forumla sharing the track with Super Formula.  Steven Costello and Troy Duffin were the pair of Formula drivers, and in race one Troy retired after four laps.  In race two he did not start, which gave both of the wins to Steven.

Bodee Gay and his repaired Super Formula Mazda

Bodee Gay and his repaired Super Formula Mazda

Dennis Gay

Dennis Gay

Super Formula had drama before race one.  The cold track along with the cold tires on Bodee Gay’s Mazda powered RaceCo prepped car sent him on an off track excursion.  Mercifully there was enough time between that session and race one to button the car back together.  He placed fourth in race one and did not start race two.  Dennis Gay in the #22 RaceCo prepped Mazda took third in both races, posting a best time of 1:54.866 in race one.

Terry Biner

Terry Biner

Steve Burns

Steve Burns

Steve Burns and Terry Biner traded shots in both races.  In race one Terry took first in his Rodizio Grill backed car over Steve’s VP Racing Fuels Mazda by 5.989 seconds.  The positions were flipped in race two, where Steve took the win by 9.313 seconds.

This is a field that, in my opinion, needs to get deeper.  Running one of these open wheel cars isn’t as expensive as you’d think, and the Super Formula cars are running lap times in the 1:55 range.  If getting into one of these bad boys is something you’re interested in then have a chat with the guys at Race Co.  Then go read up on what you need to be able to race with these guys! The next race weekend is April 25-27 on the West track.  Registration is open and we look forward to seeing everyone return for Round 2 of the NASA Utah racing series

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
31st Mar2014

NASA Utah 2014 Round 1: Thunder and Lightning

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (55 of 105)

The first NASA Utah weekend of the year brought with it its fair share of action.  From new track records to people driving the wheels off their cars, local hero’s, rookies, and national champs all came out to enjoy Utah regions Round 1.  Over 100 drivers challenged Miller Motorsports Park’s outer loop configuration, and our Thunder and Lightning race group featured well over 40 cars on grid for the start of Saturdays race!

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (8 of 105)

David Donner

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (1 of 14)

Peter Spencer

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (25 of 105)

John Scarlett

The GTS drivers were out in force, and entirely in Porsche 911s.  In GTSU David Donner put his red and white Air Power Racing prepped machine in First place ahead of Peter Spencer and John Scarlett, both also in Air Power Racing machines. 

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (12 of 14)

Roberto Albarran leading the pack

 

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (1 of 105)

Alan Wilson

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (10 of 14)

Russ Timmons

GTS5 demonstrated some close racing between Alan Wilson and Roberto Albarran, with Roberto edging out Alan by just under 1 second, despite Alan posting better lap times.  Russ Timmons debuted his beautiful new orange and chrome wrap job to round out 3rd.  Sundays race was another barn burner for these two, Alan was leading a close battle when a daring move in lap traffic, quickly turned into a carefully managed spin, moving him to 2nd, but with Desire supporting over the radio, Alan climbed back into 2nd place, while Mark Brouse finished 3rd.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (11 of 105)

Darrell Troester

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (86 of 105)

Chris Vivolo

 GTS4 was a two man battle between Darrell Troester and Chris Vivolo in their Tatum Racing 911s.  When the checkered flag dropped it was Darrell taking the class win.  Darrell was able to repeat his victory on Sunday, securing a healthy lead for his season.

 

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (93 of 105)

Douglas Turnquist

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (69 of 105)

Bill Noblitt

In the Pro Touring classes it was Douglas Turnquist versus Bill Noblitt in PTB and Todd Green versus his Miata in PTE.  Douglas put his Porsche 944 ahead of Bill Noblit’s Boxster, which retired early due to a mechanical issue.

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (14 of 14)

Todd Green ahead of the Spec Miata group

Todd Green had an exciting Saturday in PTE. After only 4 laps his driver’s front wheel decided it wanted to take a lap off.  It took the hub and brake rotor off into the infield while Todd wrangled the rest of the car to a stop just outside of turn 6. Determined to get back in the game he recruited Matt Guiver and Travis Tidball to sacrifice the E3 Miata sitting quietly in the garage.  Todd worked hard and got his #60 PTE Miata back on the grid in time to edge out Allan Anderson for the class win on Sunday.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (45 of 105)

Chris Bond

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (40 of 105)

David Sherman

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (64 of 105)

Troy Duffin

In other Miata racing news, Chris Bond was your Spec Miata winner, ahead of David Sherman and Troy Duffin respectively.  Rounding out the class were McKay Snow, Paul McGarvey, and rookie Joe Shubert.  David came back with all cylinders firing on Sunday and put down some consistent laps to take 1st place, Troy Duffin clinched 2nd, and Chris Bond had to settle for 3rd.  Larry Carpenter had his hands full keeping cars tuned up for this competitive class.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (50 of 105)

Arthur Golebiowski leading Tom Kaminski into Release

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (44 of 105)

Paul House

Spec Z featured all rookie drivers, in 3 brand new Nissan 350Z Spec racers. Spec racing rules meant the cars were nearly identical, but Arthur Golebiowski, Tom Kaminski, and Paul House drove them very differently.  Arthur wrestled his Strace Z into first, Tom pedaled to 2nd place, and Paul closed the race in 3rd. Arthur even took home a BFG R1 race tire, and $250 from Nissan for his debut race with NASA Utah.  Sunday saw a surprise reversal, Thomas managed to take advantage of traffic to secure 1st place, even though Arthur set a new Spec Z track record with a 2:11.4 his effort was only good enough 2nd.  Paul managed to bring it home in one piece for 3rd. All weekend these three drivers could be found in the paddock discussing strategy, and working on each other’s cars, it’s always nice to see camaraderie in the race grids.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (103 of 105)

Samuel Kapp

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (84 of 105)

Otto Silva

Rounding out the Spec classes is Spec 944, which was the closest racing of the day!  Samuel Kapp in his Eurotonic backed 944 battled with Otto Silva and his orange Euroworks machine.  It was close, but Samuel took the win by .396 seconds after 10 laps on this 3 mile course!

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (9 of 14)

Madison Snow battling Todd Ainsworth

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (4 of 14)

Smith-Burke Racing on their way to setting a new NASA Utah record

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (9 of 105)

Dan Worley sporting a temporary two tone color scheme

Super Touring was a dense field, with the quickest cars and some very experienced drivers at the wheels.  It also featured the widest variety of vehicles. From Alex Whetman’s Focus of Doom to Madison Snow’s IMSA GTD class 991 Porsche that sees action in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.  There are also a good handful of Corvettes, and in ST1 is where we find the 2013 National champ Team Smith-Burke Corvette.  They were competing with Dan Worley and his Chevy LS1 powered Porsche 944.  They came out of the box with a fast pace, opening up a 1:15.701 gap, and setting a new NASA Utah record in the process.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (38 of 105)

Byron Smith

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (4 of 105)

Brendon Stewart

ST2 had old hand Byron Smith in his BMW against rookie Brendon Stewart in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.  Brendon was hoping to not have a repeat of last season’s catastrophic failures and missed races, and things seemed to be working great.  However an incident with the the #33 Skullcandy Team Nissan Altima in Clubhouse turn resulted in a spin, and driver penalties for Brendon.  Determined to learn from his mistake, Brendon found the very small pieces of his bumper, and got the car back together to take 1st on Sunday with a 2:05.4.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (27 of 105)

Cary Wilson

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (15 of 105)

Alex Whetman

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (70 of 105)

Gary Free

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (39 of 105)

Ryan Curl

ST3 was the deepest class with eleven drivers, seven of whom with driving FR500S Mustangs.  Of the Mustang drivers, R. Ryan Curl proved to be the fastest, coming in fifth in class behind Todd Ainsworth’s Us Against One Clothing backed Subaru WRX STi.  Cary Wilson took the class win in his gray C5 Corvette, earning some Hoosier race tires for his efforts, and Alex Whetman’s managed his Focus into second despite a catastrophically failed power steering pump. His effort was good for a contingency award for 1 free BFG R1! Gary Free’s RaceCo prepped Mustang FR500S rounded out the podium in what is shaping up to be an exciting season. Sunday saw Cary once again secure 1st place, while battling a new to him car, Todd Ainsworth drove the UAO STi to 2nd place, and Ryan Curl put down a blistering pace in his Ford Racing school FR500S easily securing 3rd place with a 2:13.9.

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (11 of 14)

Madison Snow in the #13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (3 of 14)

2013 National Champ George Smith

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (80 of 105)

Melanie Snow

SU was the class to watch.  Two IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship Porsches paired off against the two Skullcandy Team Nissan Altimas which see action in Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge.  Also in the fray were 2014 NASA SU National Champion George Smith and NASA Rookie Skip Sasser in Chevrolet S10. The Nissan’s were plagued by problems: the #33 had an incident with ST2 driver Brendon Stewart, while the #34 Nissan had clutch issues which forced them to retire after eight laps. No stranger to the race track, Skip Sasser drove his #38 S10 to a fourth place finish behind Melanie Snow in the #62 UIS Snow Racing Porsche 911.  Ahead of her was George Smith in the yellow JDP sponsored C5 Corvette.  And topping the SU podium in 1st place, Madison Snow. The 2013 IMSA GT3 Cup champion had a commanding lead by the time the checkered flag dropped.  Sunday saw Les Long owner/operator of Air Power racing get behind the wheel of his Super Unlimited GT3, but there was nothing he could do to compete with Madison Snow. Driving hard, Madison managed a record shattering 1:52.0 to secure the win.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (95 of 105)

And so ends a successful opening weekend to the NASA Utah season.  The next race weekend is April 25-27 on the West track.  Registration is open and we look forward to seeing everyone return for Round 2 of the NASA Utah racing series

Words by Michael Chandler and Matt Guiver, Photos by Michael Chandler and Michael Wells

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
19th Mar2014

Bad Decisions: Jordan’s 1UZ S13

by Michael Chandler

Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (7 of 33)

If you know someone who is passionate about anything, then you know what they go through to prepare for an event or show or whatever it may be. You see what it looks like when they have all the time in the world to prepare; however, you also see what happens when things don’t go according to plan and the window for preparation is quickly closing. Jordan Collier, the owner and driver of a 1UZ swapped 240SX, was facing the latter. He invited me over to watch/document/occasionally lend a hand while he and his room-mate Trent Dortzbach tried to sort out the idle of the little V8. What happened after that is the stuff of Facebook legend…

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (5 of 33)

When I arrived the guys were figuring out the idle. It was either high, or bounced around. I, for one, was a fan of the bouncing idle, but I was overruled. Eventually the idle was set at “high”, and Trent fired up the car so I could grab some shots of the car shooting fire out of its open headers. Then he stepped on the clutch…

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (8 of 33)

Let me back up. First, you’ve seen this car in this garage before. AND it ran! It was using a broken in clutch disc, until some other things broke and Jordan had to shelve his season. This year he has new things, including a new clutch disc which was VASTLY thicker than his old one. This led to the problem we found.

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (9 of 33)

“It’s not disengaging” Jordan uttered. Trent was on the clutch, the car was in first, and the wheels were not turning freely. Not enough throw with the new disc? That’s the idea we all settled on. This problem led to a series of decisions that became sketchier and sketchier as the night progressed.

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (4 of 33)

DECISION THE FIRST! Does Jordan let the car be, with the new clutch disc in, and hope it gets better with use? Nope, old one has to go in.

DECISION THE SECOND! Do we pull the engine AND transmission, requiring us to drain the gallon of stuff from the 350Z transmission and unhook all the electrics OR do we pull the driveshaft, unbolt the trans from the motor, and just go at it that way? If you know us, then you already know where this goes. With option B selected we went to YouTube to get some direction. And then we faced another decision…

Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (16 of 33)

“Change a U Joint with a Hammer” Clarkson would be proud

DECISION THE THIRD! How do we get the car high enough to do all the crap we just said that we were gonna do? We can’t use the engine hoist, because we need that to swing the engine out of the way. The jack stands aren’t high enough. Jordan and Trent drift, so there’s an abundance of mounted tires…

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (13 of 33) Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (14 of 33)

DECISION THE FOURTH! How are we going to explain this to family members, paramedics and the police? Mercifully it didn’t come to that, but Christ almighty was this a sketchy set up. The front of the car was up on three wheels (a stack of three under each front wheel of the car) and the rear was up on one wheel. Both Jordan and Trent were under the car trying to free that driveshaft, then the transmission.

Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (20 of 33) Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (21 of 33)

A few times Jordan got out from under that car, took a walk to the back of it and muttered “We should’ve just pulled the motor.” In hindsight, we probably should have. But if we did then there wouldn’t have been much of a story.

After fighting with snap rings, pulling the steering column, pulling the engine forward AND tilting it up, and somehow pulling the passenger side header off (which normally requires the engine to come out) the trans was ready to come off.

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (23 of 33) Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (25 of 33)

At this point we had been working on it for three hours. We had crossed the point of no return, which led to some self doubt from Jordan. “We should’ve just taken the whole engine out” he muttered. “I have a sneaking suspicion that the trans will come off and never go back on.” With that enthusiastic quote we reached what would be the final decision of the night.

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (28 of 33)

DECISION THE FIFTH! How exactly are we going to support the transmission? The 4×4 and 2×4 blocks are a bit short and narrow, jack doesn’t really reach that high and there wasn’t a transmission jack available. What we did have was Jordan’s manly strength! Soon enough he was cradling the transmission and carefully getting it out from under the car.

Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (31 of 33)

With that finally done it was time to switch clutch discs and revel in all the room for activities there was under the car! And then we called it a night. The transmission did go back on (eventually), and Jordan took the car for some testing… and sprung an oil leak. At least the transmission was fine.

Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (32 of 33) Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (33 of 33)

Come see Jordan, and maybe his car, this Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park for the first Salt City Drift event.  $6 to get in, $5 for a single ride along in one of the cars OR $20 for an all day ride along pass.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

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