24th Jan2017

Mitime Extends UMC Management Agreement, BUT…

by Michael Chandler

Yesterday, Utah Motorsports Campus dropped a press release.  There was some good news, and some bad news in there.

The Good News

Utah Motorsports Campus, Inc. (the subsidiary of Mitime that was managing the track) will be managing the track throughout the entirety of 2017.  Yay!  That means all of the events we all were looking forward to will be happening.  Hooray!

The Bad News

Citing the “unexpected legal challenges”, “ongoing legal challenges”, and the strengthening US Dollar against the Yuan has led to Mitime to withdraw from negotiations to purchase the facility.  Basically the Cartwright lawsuits have delayed this whole process so much that Mitime lost money waiting around to buy the track.  HOWEVER, they have said that they’d be willing to come back to the table if the county can get the legal issues handled.  So there’s a glimmer of hope.

TL;DR

There’s going to be a 2017 season, 2018 is up in the air though.  You can read the full press release here.  We’ll be out there in 2017, and hopefully we’ll be out there in 2018.

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16th Jan2017

Some World Challenge News

by Michael Chandler

It’s the off season for the Pirelli World Challenge, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening.  Far from it!  You know that, but you might not know the details.  So, to that end, I’m gonna bring you a few news items of note.  Things to look for when the series comes through in August.  

Thing The First: DXDT Racing’s New Car

DXDT will be running a new Mercedes AMG GT3 in five Sprint-X and three regular sprint races this season.  Hooray shiny new car!  They’ll start the season at Virginia International Raceway April 28-30, then they run the rest of the schedule.  That’s definitely something to keep an eye on.  They’ve done great in the Super Trofeo series, and last year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca they went 1-2 in the GT Cup class in Sprint X.  To be honest, I’m more interested in hearing this thing at full tile than I am in seeing it.  Why? Have you heard the AMG V8’s?  There you go.

Thing the Second: Panoz Has a GTS Program

Yeah, Panoz is back in GT racing.  With Tommy Milner at the helm, Panoz will have a two car, full season GTS effort.  The car will be the Avezzano GT4, pictured above.  What the hell is an Avezzano?  It’s… It’s that blue car up there.  Details of the street car include a 450 horsepower, 6.2 liter V8, a six speed manual.  Not sure how those will change when it enter the series, but it will enter with full carbon fiber widebody, splitter, sideskirts, and rear diffuser.  The only announced driver is Ian James, who has A LOT of experience in many different types of cars (including previous stints with Panoz).  In addition to running the PWC effort, Milner is on hand to develop the car into a proper GT4 car; although, Panoz hasn’t made a homologation request to the GT4 geverning body: the SRO.

Thing the Third: Magnus Joins PWC

YES, Magnus is leaving the IMSA WeatherTech series and will be running a TWO car effort in PWC.  Formerly Twitterless and current team owner John Potter will drive one of the Audi Sport customer racing R8’s, and an as of yet unnamed Audi Sport customer racing supplied driver will be in the other.  They’ve won Rolex 24 races (one in a Porsche and one in an Audi), Sebring, and a couple of Tequila Patron North American Endurance championships, along with plenty of class wins.  They’ll be running the regular sprint races, along with the SprintX races.  More importantly, a fan favorite joins an incredibly fan friendly series, which means we all win.

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17th Nov2016

Mustang GT4: A Pony for the World’s Racers

by Michael Chandler

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Seeing a Mustang racing at an IMSA or World Challenge race isn’t a surprising sight.  Seeing one racing in Europe, duking it out with the emerging GT4 cars (M4 GT4, Cayman GT4 Clubsport, McLaren 570 GT4) is about to become a reailty.

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Multimatic, the people who build the racing Mustangs and all of the Ford GTs, took a new Shelby GT350R, and made it so it could play in Europe, Asia, anywhere that is adopting the new GT4 rule set.  Places like IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (GS class) and Pirelli World Challenge (GTS/G4).  The car retains the 5.2 liter flat-plane crank V8, but mates it with a 6 speed, paddle shifted transmission.  It has dampers, lower control arms, and rear stabilizers bars that will take the abuse of the different series it’ll be seeing.

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It even comes with an FIA compliant roll cage.  And a fancy switch panel!  

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It also sports revised aerodynamics, complete with words of caution.  Expect to see the car storming around in the coming years.  And if you’re thinking of getting into GT4 racing, take a look at this slice of Americana

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10th Nov2016

Hiroyuki Hasegawa, Co-Founder of HKS, Dead at 71

by Michael Chandler

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Hiroyuki Hasegawa, co-founder of legendary tuning company HKS, has passed away at age 71.  The company released a brief statement, which contained no specific details of his death.

Founded in 1973 by Hasegawa and Goichi Kitigawa, and with an investment from Sigma Automotive, HKS has been one of the premier tuners in the world.  Crafting everything from one of the fastest R35 GTRs in the world (pictured above), to outright drag racing monsters, top speed machines, and even developing a Formula 1 engine, HKS cemented itself in the lexicon of those who know about speed and craftsmanship.  

A former Yamaha engineer, Hasegawa worked tirelessly to develop and release his first aftermarket turbocharger kit in 1974.  From there his company developed many turbo kits and upgrade kits, eventually developing electronic devices that would become staples in the tuning world: boost controllers and turbo timers.  HKS has been involved in all levels of motorsport, from D1GP to JGTC, Formula 3 to drag racing.  Demand became so great that the company expanded into the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom, and Thailand.

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20th Oct2016

A Record Breaking Weekend

by Michael Chandler

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There were twenty-two record broken at the TresDuro.  22!  Here’s everyone that broke records, and what records they now hold.

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Adam Heller GTS2 records on the Outer Loop and the Full Track.

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Todd Green: PTE Records on Outer, East, Full, and TTE record on Full.  Todd actually holds all the lap records for PTE and TTE, but he broke the Outer, East, and Full records at the TresDuro.

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Arthur Golebiowski: Spec Z record on Full Track

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JD Stull: Thunder Roadster records on Outer, East, and Full.

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Mark Boschert: Spec Boxster records on Outer, East, and Full.

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Derek Wolthoff: GTSU record on the Full Track.  He also holds the record for the Outer Loop, but broke the Full Track record at the TresDuro.

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Shawn Murphy: TT2 records on Outer, East, and Full.  Bettered his record on Outer three weeks in a row.

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Andrew Moench: TT3 record on Full.

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Max Dufford: TTC records on Outer, East, and Full.

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Makes & Models: TTU record on Full.

For those curious, Super Formula open wheel cars hold the outright fastest lap records on East (Ian Lacy), West (McKay Snow), and Full (John LaBrie).  Ryno Racing’s Ginetta G57 (an LMP3 based car) holds the record on Outer.

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09th Jun2016

Where They Stand: NASA Utah TT Group

by Michael Chandler

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Follow me on this: America loves a winner.  Paul Mitchell is a winner.  America loves Paul Mitchell.  Boom.  Todd Green/Paul Mitchell is atop the TTE standings at the moment, with Tyson Nisonger 60 point back.  Will we see a long and violent battle between the two?  Probably long, not really violent.  I’d describe it as tenuous, if you made me pick an adjective right now.

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Trever Pope is still cleaning up in TTD.  He’s up 325 points, and is probably happy that I spelled his name correctly.

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Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the post: the current TTC points leader, MR. TOM ROGERS!  He’s barely holding off Kelly Fisher, who is only 5 points behind.

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TTB is led by this nerd in his Miata.  Guess Darin got a little drifty in the early sessions on the last Saturday race day.  Guess who didn’t get any pictures of that?  ME!  But I did throw my Yi Action Cam (GoPro’s cost money!  Money I don’t have!) into his lap, right before he went out for his last session on that same Saturday.  Listen, the fewer questions you ask about that last part, the better.

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Andy Moench is still leading TT3, ahead of another FRS/BRZ/GT86/whathaveyou driven by Mike Bratsch.  I’d keep an eye on James Pasquier.  He’s currently in fourth, but he’s won the last four events in a row, and that 993 911 of his is looking mighty quick.  And sharp.

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Shawn Murphy, and his new fender flares I really want him to keep white, are leading TT2.  He’s ahead of a Beetle and yet another BRZ.  Oh, and Alex fixed the FoD, so prepare for things to get weird.

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Coming in hot is TT1 leader David Gilliland.  He’s 75 points ahead of Jordan Priestley, and will have to deal with a Noble this weekend.  Or so the internet rumor mill tells me.

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And in TTU we have Makes & Models sitting atop the heap, with Wade Hall and his monster Mustang coming on quick.  As you may remember, the M&M Huracan did a little off roading, and didn’t fare so well.  Brendon then went out in a 996 911.  Late last month, they picked up Maverick and Goose: a pair of Audi R8 LMS Ultras.  Will we see them this weekend?  Is the Huracan going to turn some laps in Mad Max form?  Answers to those questions, and more questions, will be revealed this weekend at Utah Motorsports Campus!

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09th Jun2016

Where They Stand: NASA Utah Race Group

by Michael Chandler

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As we’re on the eve of Round 4, I feel it’s a good time to see where everyone is in the championship race.  Starting in GTS2, we have Chris Haunold 175 points ahead of Ed Mineau and 185 ahead of Tom Rogers.  Chris has the benefit of running five of the six races, while Tom and Ed have only run in six combined.

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GTS3 is a much tighter race, at least after three rounds of action.  Jeff Burton is hanging on to a 5 point lead.  Right behind him is Blake Troester, and right behind him is Mark Reichman.  A mere ten points separate first from third.

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GTS4 is…  Well, it’s not pretty.  Darrell Troester is running away with the class, up 210 points on Byron Smith.

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Russ Timmons is still the one, and only, man to beat in GTS5.

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And sitting atop the top GTS class, GTSU, is McKay Snow.  Mark my words, I will get a candid shot of you smiling!

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We had a PTF entry at the last event!  It was Joe Sim, in some God awful Ford Escort.  Thankfully Unfortunately, I missed getting a shot of that… vehicle, so look at his NSX instead!

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PTE is being held down by Todd Green in the mythical beast that is Paul Mitchell.  I’m assuming Todd was driving here, more people keep coming out of the woodwork to tell me that they also drive Paul Mitchell.

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Nathan Rohner is the one, and only, man to beat in PTB.

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Still only the one Spec Boxster.  Someone join Mark Boschert, will ya
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Chirs Bond has what has to feel like a comfortable lead.  He’s up 75 points in Spec Miata, with Matt Williamson in second.

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Somebody from DXDT Racing is leading in Spec Z.  The #42 car is listed in first place, with Arthur Golebiowski in second, and Tom Kaminski in third.  Fun Fact!: There have been 18 Spec Z’s that have scored points this season.  18!!!!

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ST3 is still being run by a driver in one of the Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs.  That driver being Frank Gannett.  He’s up 195 points on Todd, or Matt, or Alex, or maybe some guy named Bill? in the Us Against One Racing M3.

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JR Smith is the one, and only, man to beat in ST2.  Wasn’t there a pick-up truck last year?

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ST1 is where Bob Evans, and the new NASCAR Sprint Cup High Down Force Test Vehicle, holds court.  He’s 175 points clear of George Smith, who won both races last weekend.

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And Air Power Racing is… only up 70 points in Super Unlimited?  Math checks out…  Well alrighty then!  Looks like SU could be ridiculously interesting!

There you have it folks, how the racers in the door to door race classes are doing.  Check back in a little bit to see how the Time Trial standings are looking.  If you’re thinking that they’ll look like words and numbers with some pictures mixed in, you’re right!

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03rd Jun2016

We’re Drifting TONIGHT!!!

by Michael Chandler

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YYYEEEEAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!  It’s finally happening!  From 5pm until midnight, see local heroes, Scoundrels, some Not Very Good guys, and whoever else shows up slide around the bowl at Rocky Mountain Raceways.  It’s gonna be a hell of a time, and you should come out to it.

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Originally I had planned on writing a long post about how you can’t set out to create an underground scene, and that something can’t be underground if you create a public Facebook event for it, then invite a ton of people to said “underground” event.  And I was going to say something about how the street scene, for better or worse, will never die.  And in a way, it shouldn’t.  I was also going to throw out a “Golden Ticket”, but I didn’t work out the logistics and I have a sneaking suspicion that whoever’s car wouldn’t pass tech.  Such is life in the mean streets.  But instead of an 800+ word column, you get this sub 300 word invite to come join us tonight!

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Who knows?  You might come away with an awesome prize!*  To review: Tonight, Rocky Mountain Raceways, 5PM until Midnight, in the oval.  Be there, you babies.

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

*You’re not getting a damn bumper, or any big car parts.

18th May2016

Where They Stand: Time Trial Standings

by Michael Chandler

 

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Now it’s time to take a look at the Time Trial standings.  There aren’t nearly as many classes in TT, but there are plenty of close battles.  Like TTE!  Paul Mitchell, the most fabulous Miata of them all, sits atop the class with Tyler Nisonger 40 points behind.  How is this going to shake out?  Well, back in third is Ben Lamberson.  He’s 70 points down, but definitely not out.  It’s a long season, and that’s not an insurmountable gap.

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Trevor Pope is sitting atop TTD, riding high on three straight wins.

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TTC didn’t have a single competitor last weekend, so Tom Rogers is still leading the group.

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New Miata owner, and fella with a jaunty last name, Darin Beaudoin is sitting atop TTB, with Adam Hurdman 100 point behind him in second place.

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One of the BRZ/FRS drivers to step up to TT3 was Andy Moench, and he finds himself in first place.  Another driver who made the jump is Mike Bratsch, who currently sits in second place.

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Shawn Murphy and his “street car” are 45 points ahead of the Makes & Models 911 GT3.  The 911 is tied with the Pink Ribbon Racing BRZ, which is getting some fresh new rubber.  Shawn is throwing on some new sideskirts and fender flares for the next round, so this weekend is going to be interesting.

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David Gilliland and his bright orange Viper are leading the way in TT1.  Nice to see that bright, menacing thing running around and winning.

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At the end of the rainbow is an Italian/German race car driven by a collection of talent that used to drive a German race car.  That would be Makes & Models and their shiny new Huracan ST.  They have a 20 point lead over Wade Hall in TTU.  If you were to take in to account the wins Makes & Models scored when they took their old R8 LMS out for Round 1, they’d have a 220 point lead over Wade.  Regardless, Makes & Models is still learning the car while Wade is sharpening his driving skills.  This one could get interesting.

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

 

17th May2016

Where They Stand: Race Group Standings

by Michael Chandler

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Two rounds down, and a third quickly approaching, now is a good time to take a look at the points standings.  Today we’re going to look at the Thunder and Lightning groups, and we’re going to start in GTS2.  In the above photo, we have the class leader Chris Haunold.  He’s currently 90 points ahead of Ed Mineau, and 110 ahead the other guy in the picture: Tom Rogers.

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Consistency is key, and in GTS3 Mark Reichman has consistently finished in second place in both of the races he’s run this season.  Fortunately for him, he’s the only driver to run both races. With 180 points, he’s 80 points ahead of both Jeff Burton and Doug Turnquist.

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Nathan Rohner is still the only PTB driver.

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PTE is a very tight race, with Ben Lamberson nipping at the heels of Todd Green.  Only 35 points separate the two, but I wouldn’t count out Randy Cummings.  He’s a late comer to the class, but he had some solid finishes at the last race weekend.  He’s 205 points down, BUT if Todd and Ben have a few missteps he could be right in this thing.

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Spec Boxster is a thing, and Mark Boschert is in the lead.  He’s also the only driver in class.  But just look at that Boxster!  Sharp.

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Spec Miata is looking to be a hotly contested class.  Currently less than 100 points separates the class leader, Chris Bond, from 4th place, Craig Shane.  Call the cars whatever you want, but this class is going to be one to watch all season.  Don’t be surprised if we see the top of the class get shuffled several times.

Spec Z is the tightest race in the Lightning group, with Arthur Golebiowski a mere 10 points ahead of Tom Kaminski.  The gap from first to 5th place is 43 points!  That means everyone in the top 5 has to be on their game every race to have a chance at knocking Arthur off the top spot.

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Russ Timmons is by his lonesome in GTS5.  Someone buy a 997 911 and join him.

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Darrell Troester is barely holding off Byron Smith in GTS4.  The gap was cut from 110 to 10 last race weekend when Darrell no-showed, which let Byron claim an easy class win.  How will this shake out?  Only time will tell!

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Us Against One Racing, comprised by any number of your favorites (Todd Ainsworth, Alex Whetman, Grimace), is clinging to a 5 point lead in ST3.  5 points!!!  That’s currently the tightest race in any of the race group classes!  Figuratively glued to the banana yellow bumper of the M3 is Frank Gannett in the #93 Ford Performance Racing School BOSS 3o2RS, and James Harrell is right behind him in the #87 FPRS Mustang!  This is ridiculous, and also fun.  So let’s keep this up.

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J.R. Smith is the lone ST2 driver.  Someone buy a… something and join him.

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Bob Evans is atop the ST1 ladder in the Snickers Ford Fusion.  We gotta come up with some more sponsors for him.  I want to put at least three back slashes in when I write about his car.  Let’s figure this out, people!

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Super Unlimited is being dominated by the Air Power GT3R’s.  They currently have a 225 point lead, and four consecutive wins in class.

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And we finally arrive at GTSU, where McKay Snow (smile damnit!) is atop the field that includes a few Super Trofeo spec Lamborghini Huracans and a the other 911 GT3R.  He’s 30 points ahead of the Makes & Models Huracan ST, which may or may not last.  The Makes & Models team is figuring out that Lamborghini, and McKay may get called up for a ride this season.  He’s got the talent, and people need drivers.  Either way, prepare to watch a battle in the unlimited class of the German Touring Series.

CORRECTION: Arthur Golebiowski is currently leading the Spec Z championship, not Chad Aalders.  The article has been changed to show Arthur in the lead.

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