Words and photos by Michael Chandler
The 2016 NASA Utah season came to an end this past weekend. I know, I’m sad too. But instead of the usual, conventional, “one track configuration for the entire weekend” business that we’ve seen at every other weekend this year; Dave, Matt, and Momma NASA (Cheri Miller) had something special for the end of the year. Instead of running the Outer Loop, or the East track, or even the Full track, they arranged it so the drivers could race on ALL THREE IN THE SAME DAY!!! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the TresDuro.
IT’S BACK, BABY! Just like last year, and the year before; BUT, unlike last year, they were blowing the dust off the gigantic Full track. To the best of my knowledge, the last time the Full track was run was two years ago. I should probably explain how one wins the TresDuro, since it has been a year. It’s pretty simple for the race groups: you qualify once, and start the first race from that position. Where you finished in that race is where you start the next race from. Where you finish also gives you points. Driver/team with the most points at the end of the third race wins. For TT: they take your fastest times on each track, add them together, and person with the lowest overall time is the winner. Got it?
It’s been a hot minute, but the drivers managed to drive the track without getting lost or forgetting which configuration they were driving! However, the weekend wasn’t without incident. That incident, while unfortunate, provides a convenient segue into the actual race coverage.
German Touring Series Unlimited
Taking home the win in GTSU by a mere 5 points was Makes & Models, in their Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo 620-2. Their main competition throughout the day was David Donner, in his Porsche 911GT3R. You know, the other Effort Racing car that showed up at Air Power Racing at the beginning of this year. David had the pace to run away with it, but a broken axle in race 2 served up the win to Makes & Models. The TresDuro would hinge on the third and final race. The Lamborghini was on the pole, and Les Long’s 997 Cup car was starting from second. And then this happened.
This is video of the start of the third race, shot from Michael Eifling’s ST1 Corvette. It was uploaded by Brendon Stewart, driver of the Makes & Models Huracan. FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve known Brendon for many years, long before he was working and driving for Makes & Models. Makes & Models has been friendly with us, we have stickers on the Huracan and a few other Makes & Models cars. That said, it’s pretty clear Les makes a move to the left to keep the Lamborghini behind him. Then as the Lambo starts moving to his right and passing him, he moves to the right and pushes him West pit out. The result of all of these moves was the Huracan spinning out in turn one, and having to rejoin at the back of the field. Despite that, Brendon fought through the field and finished second.
5 points behind Makes & Models was David Donner. It’s been a few rounds since we’ve seen him at UMC, but he’s been spending that time wisely. He’s very in tune with the 911 GT3R, and showed INSANE pace in the first race. Good God was he flying! David, I’m begging you!: come out for more races! I’d love to see you, David Lockwood, Derek, and the DXDT guys have an all out death match (not really a battle to the death, but you know what I mean) one NASA weekend. Do it for me, do it for the children, do it for America! Or England if your James Burke.
In third place, with 255 points, was Les Long. He narrowly edged out David Lockwood for the final podium spot. Les is a really good driver, but I’m not used to seeing him drive as aggressively as he did on Saturday. From what I’ve seen over the years, he is most definitely not a dirty driver. Just an aggressive driver, something we typically enjoy. While he may be at fault for the incident at the beginning of the third race, I think he just got caught up in the heat of the moment.
Super Touring 1
Being alone in a class has advantages sometimes, and Michael Eifling took full advantage of being the sole ST1 driver. He took the fight to Robert Gardner, in the orange Jagermeister Porsche, and they had amazing battles all day long. Good on ya Michael! Thanks for not just turning laps, and taking the easy win. Also, thank for bringing Buddha!
Super Touring 2
ST2 started the day with two competitors: JR Smith in his Porsche Boxster, and Toby Crawford in his Subaru BRZ. By the end of the first race, there was only one. The head gaskets in Toby’s BRZ let go, allowing the man, the myth, the legend that is JR Smith to take the win.
Super Touring 3
ST3 had a field of 5 cars: four of the Ford Performance Racing School BOSS 302 FRSes and the Minion mobile, the UAO Clothing M3. I know I saw Alex in the car on Saturday, so I’m going to say it was he who won the shiny, not chocolate filled gold medal for ST3. I’m sure I’ll hear about it if I’m wrong, but until then: congratulations Alex! UPDATE: Todd Ainsworth also drove on Saturday. Matt Guiver probably wasn’t in the car on Saturday, so we can rule him out. So congratulations Todd and Alex on the win!
In second place was Frank Gannett. Frank the Tank has been pounding away in that Mustang, and doing a damn good job too. Hopefully we see Frank in a different chassis next season, preferably one that doesn’t belong to the fine folks at the Ford Performance Racing School.
Rounding out the podium was Josh Williams, in the #85 FPRS BOSS 302 FRS. It’s in my favorite color, which makes it the best looking Mustang they have at the school. Ask for it by name!
Super Unlimited also had a five car field, but unlike the ST3 field there wasn’t a dominant model in the field. There was; however, a dominant team: CA Sport. They represented four of the five cars, the fifth being George Smith’s Corvette. It was also a rather diverse field: the aforementioned Corvette, a PWC TC Class 370Z, a widebody E92 M3, and a pair of Cayman GT4 Clubsports. It was one of those Caymans, the #41 driven by Andrew Smith, that took home the win.
Chasing Andrew was Davis Warnock, in the #70 CA Sport Cayman GT4 Clubsport. It was really fun watching these two cars duke it out for first place, and mix it up with some of the other classes. And the new liveries look great.
Locking out the podium for CA Sport was Lara Tallman in the 370Z. Hey! I just noticed that it has one blue mirror! I like that. And also congratulations to CA Sport for locking out the podium! That quite the feat, especially considering who all could’ve run in the class and taken a spot on the podium.
And there you have it for Thunder! Looking for Lightning or Time Trial? I’ve got those in their own posts, so you don’t have a 3000+ word article to rifle through