24th Jan2017

And Here’s A Snowy GTI

by Michael Chandler

This weekend I was helping my girlfriend move into her new apartment.  Hooray for a change of scenery!  Unfortunately, we had that monster storm.  I was confident it wasn’t going to be that bad.  They said 1-3 inches!  I can deal with that, even with the sub-optimal tire setup* that’s on the GTI.  Then I woke up, and looked out the window.  

GUH!  That 1-3 inches wound up being over 6.  That much snow would be too much for the GTI, but it wouldn’t be that much of a problem for the Nissan Rogue that was tucked in the garage.  I just had to get it out, which meant moving the GTI, which meant I’d have to clear the driveway of all that snow.  All that heavy, wet snow.  So heavy and wet that it rendered my little snowblower useless.  Normally, I’d have another cup of coffee and fire up the old Playstation; however, I had made a promise, and damnit I was going to keep it!  I grabbed the shovel, and got to digging.

And dig I did!  It was not fun, nor easy, but I did it.  And I saw some of my neighbors challenge the hill that is my street.  Everyone made it, but my God were some sketchy.  Have you ever seen a Mercury Mariner do a tank slapper up a snow covered hill, with a nervous teenage guy at the helm and his scared girlfriend hanging on to anything in the cabin for dear life?  I HAVE.  It’s pretty damn scary when you’re in the killzone, funny in hindsight.  Anyway, I managed to get the GTI moved, the Rogue out, and helped my girlfriend moved.  Expect a weird review of the Rogue here in a little bit, I have some thoughts on that crossover.

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

*All Seasons on the front, summer tires in the rear.  Always have the proper tires, kiddos!

07th Oct2016

The Best Worst Trip

by Michael Chandler

ronda-lotto-tickets

It was cold and dark last night.  In the darkness, surrounded by storage units filled with other people’s stuff, Scott, myself, and a man named Cody pushed Big Ronda onto a U-Haul trailer.  As they were ratcheting the car onto the trailer, I began thinking about something I found the day before.  I went down to the storage unit on Tuesday, and began cleaning it out the refuse that had accumulated in the three years I owned the car.  While cleaning out the glove box I found a receipt and some lotto tickets that never made it across the counter of the convenience store in Franklin, Idaho.

The Powerball jackpot was rather high, but not historic in August 2013.  Being the sort of fellow who thinks that having ridiculous amounts of money would allow me to pursue many of the endeavors I’d like to, and having a GT car in need of a test of its grand touring prowess, the decision was made to head to Idaho and grab some lotto tickets.  I called up Dave, and we made plans to run to the land of Russets.  But first we needed to address one big problem the car had: the lack of speakers.

When I test drove the car, it had a speaker box in the back and some semi-functional door speakers.  When I picked it up, the speaker box was gone.  Dave and I went to a junkyard, harvested some door speakers from a GS300, and proceeded to install them while parked on the street in front of his house.  While installing the speakers, we also plumbed in a fully functional boost gauge.  One that went up to 25psi.  With those installed, we made our way to Tommy’s family’s restaurant: Thai Drift.  We rolled in, showed off the car to Tommy and Trent (who happened to be down there) then made our way back to the freeway.  On that short drive we noticed something: Ronda was making more whoosh pcha noises than before.  While I stepped on it, Dave looked at the boost gauge and let out an excited laugh when the needle hit 15psi and the car hit fuel cut.  That was an issue we’d deal with later, because we were on our way to prosperity!

We stopped at 7-11 in Kaysville before making the final push through Logan and into Idaho.  The clutch felt weird while getting off the freeway, but I just attributed it to the heat.  We grabbed some drinks, popped the targa top off, and got back on the road.  Everything was fine, until we got off I-15.  While merging onto US-91, the clutch pedal stopped doing anything.  It would sink to the floor, and stay there.  I managed to keep the car going, but we ran into some construction on 89 and I killed the car.  I had only ever driven it with a full functional clutch pedal, I could blip the throttle on downshifts, but I had no idea how to drive the car without using the clutch pedal entirely.

It was at this point that I began rethinking every decision I made for the last few months: why did I buy this car?  I didn’t want a mk3, I wanted a mk2.  Something I could slam on tiny wheels, and live out my new found dreams that I saw on Instagram feeds like All That Low, DOHC Research, and Liberty Walk.  Why did I not test the car out on a different drive?  What happens if this car can’t get going again?  Why am I here?  Who am I?  What is this?  Through all of the self-doubt, Dave’s voice came through. He coached me through, and while it was stressful, we made it to the L Tienda.

The radio took a dump on us at some point, so we just had our conversational skills to get us through. So while I went in and spent way too much on lotto tickets, Dave contorted himself and got the radio kicking again.  We then faced an important decision: Head back the way we came, which would take us back through Logan and Brigham City at rush hour; OR stay on the 91 until it ran into I-15.  After some brief discussion, and realizing that there would be a lot less shifting required, we stuck to the 91.  We got on the road, and Dave found what would end up being our soundtrack for the rest of the drive: Sports by Huey Lewis and the News.  The 1983 classic went into the tape deck, and never came out.  The damn thing ate the tape, but kept playing it.  It played both sides, on constant repeat, but refused to eject the tape.  It was on the third play through that I decided to uncork Ronda, and see how 100+mph felt without a roof.

We weren’t stopping until we got to my house, where we would grab the Subaru, and take Dave home.  A friend of mine in Farmington wanted to see the car, and us, but I did my best to convey to her that we could not stop, despite how much we wanted to.  We soldiered southward, and prepared for our final test: the stretch of road between the freeway exit and my driveway.  A harrowing 1.1 mile stretch of surface streets, filled with stop lights, traffic, and people who don’t understand how traffic laws or courtesy work.  Would we have to face each battle, or would luck smile upon us?  Mercifully, we had a favorable drive over that stretch.  We made it to my driveway, where we abandoned Ronda for the Subaru, and made our way back to Dave’s.

That was the first, and only big drive Ronda ever went on.  It was the best drive it could have been.  If it was completely uneventful, it would have been boring, and I wouldn’t have remembered the details three years on.  If it was an abject failure, then Ronda would’ve been gone long ago.  It was exciting, it had danger, humor, drama, no romance though.  I could not have scripted it better, nor would I have wanted it to be any different.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
16th Sep2016

I Don’t Understand the USTCC

by Michael Chandler

ustcc-2016-camautomag-1

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

When I think touring car racing, I think of BTCC or DTM.  A series with a defined rule set, familiar cars built to similar specs, and strong manufacturer representation. When I look at the United States Touring Car field, and peruse the rule book, I don’t really see that.  I don’t see DTM or BTCC.  I see an organized series, with defined rules and multiple classes, but I don’t see a touring car series.  At least in the traditional sense.  And to be honest, I don’t mind.

ustcctumc910michaelchandlercamautomag-8

I’m going to lose some of you here, and I’m ok with it because I think that this is the best analogy for the USTCC.  In Forza and Gran Turismo (although this may have changed for GT, the last iteration I played in the series was GT4), in the campaign/story mode, you have some series where you can basically have a fully modified car racing against stock or lightly modified cars.  I loved those series, because I LOVED lapping alright cars in something utterly stupid.  Stupid like a Daihatsu Storia CX with a turbo so big, it needed a push from a competitor to get going.  The USTCC has a lot of that ridiculousness in it!  The GT class will basically allow you to build something pretty nuts, provided you can stay within some guidelines.  They’ll even let you trot out a kit car or a purpose built race car, like an old V8 Super Car, GT3 Cup car, or a purpose built tube frame chassis.  Granted that the tube frame car has a silhouette of a production based car less than 8 years old.  Because of those rules, we can have the picture above.

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There’s some other interesting stuff about the series.  They have factory support from Honda, Mini and Mazda.  Finishers get cash, granted you’re not in the Sportsman class.  Drivers could win tires if they finish on the podium, and they give out other stuff at random.  I’m certainly wouldn’t complain if I walked away from the race with a fist full of cash and some prizes.  The USTCC isn’t a traditional touring car series, and I don’t know why they call themselves a touring car series.  It’s not really a touring car series, but who cares?  It’s an interesting little series.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
07th Jul2016

Let’s Talk About Top Gear

by Michael Chandler

top gear usa

Words by Michael Chandler

Some things happened while I was out.  Big things.  BBC Top Gear just wrapped up their first season post Clarkson, Hammond, and May; and Top Gear USA has been cancelled.  OH! And Chris Evans was let go/fired/what have you after that first season because of reasons that may or may not include arguing with producers, co-hosts, or a sexual assault investigation.  Whatever the reasons, he’s out and the Top Gear landscape is going to be different in the coming years.

Top Gear USA

Now I want to talk about Top Gear USA first, seeing as how 1. It’s dead and 2. I seem to be the only person who didn’t hate the show and wasn’t glad when it went away.  I’m still trying to figure out why it was so derided.  Was it because it was called Top Gear, but wasn’t the Top Gear everyone was used to seeing?  Was it the lack of studio segments and guests?  Car reviews?  Accents?  They had the films and challenges, which were pretty damn good, and it was arguably the best American car show on television.  Better than the “street racing” or “will they finish the build before the auction??” shows that serve as the other options.

Did it have its problems?  Oh yeah.  I liked the show, but I’m not an idiot.  Despite what it may look like, I’ll acknowledge the show’s flaws.  Here’s how every challenge went: Adam drove some giant American boat like someone with no regard for anything whatsoever, Rut drove something quirky for the sake of it being quirky,  and Tanner would be the boy racer in whatever garbage performance vehicle he could find.  They would deliver mail, make amphibious cars, try out the new crop of police cars, Tanner would win most of the challenges, and he would drive whatever super car the producers declared the “prize”.  Every.  Damn.  Time.  It became SUPER formulaic, and a bit boring, but the hosts gelled.  There were moments of camaraderie and genuine humor, something you’re not really getting from the other shows, with their hyper dramatized premises.

So it wasn’t Top Gear with Clarkson, Hammond, and May.  You know what?  It was never going to be.  Nothing, save for maybe their new Amazon show, will ever be that.  Not even their old show.

BBC Top Gear

Like the rest of you, I watched the whole season.  Unlike some of you, I waited until it was broadcast on BBC America, but that’s neither here nor there.  I watched, hoping that the massive hosting line-up would find some sort of equilibrium, or show signs of something like that.  Instead, we got a series where we barely saw some hosts, too much of others, and an after show which was better than the some of the episodes of the proper show.

I was really surprised by Rory Reid.  He was a superb presenter, one who showed genuine excitement to be driving and talking about the cars.  He also knowledgeable, something that can’t be said about other people on other shows.  And Matt LeBlanc was excellent as second chair.  In my opinion, he was better than Chris Evans.  Evans was too shouty, everything was in capital letters with him.  He was too wacky morning radio DJ, which was only amplified by LeBlanc’s quiet, subdued demeanor.  I felt Sabine was under utilized.  We saw her drive a Corvette Z06, an R8, and an A8… and that’s it.  Disappointing.  We saw Eddie Jordan break a small Mercedes SUV, and play the spoons on a train.  I think that’s about all we need from him.  Honestly I think the show can, and should, go on with Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid, Chris Harris, and Sabine Schmitz.  And The Stig, that’s a given.  There’s definitely enough show for the four of them, and you don’t always need all of them at the same time.  A leaner cast would help the show flow better, but speaking of leaning out to help the show…

Why in God’s name were there two Stars on every show?  And why did that segment drag on for as long as it did every show?  I think that that had to have been either a concession the producers made to get Evans on as host, or a demand he made after he got the job.  Either way, it was awful and I hope they go back to the one star format they had in year’s past.  I did like Jenson Button coming on and driving a McLaren.  Maybe try and do more of that?  You could have Nico and Lewis crash AMG GTs into each other, Kimi fall asleep while driving a 488, and Kevin Magnussen drive an R.S. 01.  THAT is a segment that has some legs.  Tell me you wouldn’t want to see F1 drivers being interviewed while driving a supercar, then having to do a lap in a reasonably priced car.  BAM! fixed part of the show.  If that happens BBC, I expect to see my name in the credits and payment for my services.

 

Top Gear, et al., going forward is going to be different than what we’re used to, different than what we saw this season.  This time next year the old trio will have a season under their belt, and the BBC will have another season of Top Gear in the books.  Will The Grand Tour be what Top Gear used to be?  Will Top GEar find its footing?  Either way, I’m excited to see where this all goes.  What are your thoughts on all of this?  Join the conversation by leaving a comment.

And on that bombshell…

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

 

22nd Jun2016

Let’s Talk About Buying Photos

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah2016 Round 3 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-14

I get a few emails about buying photos from the NASA Utah events.  It’s great that you want to buy photos of you on the track, and I want to help you out there.  Here’s what you do to acquire photos:

  1. Go to my SmugMug page
  2. Click the Browse button on the left
  3. Click on any of the NASA Utah folders
  4. Find the round you drove in
  5. Find a photo of you
  6. Hit the Buy button

NASA Utah2016  Round 3 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-8

Now, I feel as though I need to say a few things at this point to clarify some things

  • Technically you’re not buying from CAM.  You’re buying from me, Michael Chandler.
  • BUT the money you spend on my photos helps me to get out to events to shoot photos of you.
  • I don’t do requests.  If you don’t see a photo of your car there, then there isn’t one.
  • Since my main focus out at the events is to cover the competitive action, I don’t get that many shots of the HPDE groups.  Sorry guys and gals.
  • A good way to get a photo of your car on the SmugMug page, and even the site, is to have a CAM sticker on your car.  I’ve got them, and I’m willing to give them out!
  • A better way is to get your competition license and be competitive.  You don’t have to win everything, just have some battles with someone.

And there you have it.  That’s how you buy photos from me.

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

 

19th May2016

The Way It Were: Why Nothing Is Ever As Good As It Was

by Michael Chandler

Datsun 260Z 2+2 feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

CAUTION: OPINIONS AHEAD

A few years ago Niki Lauda suggested that for F1 to be more exciting, they needed to go to wider tires and bigger wings and lots more horsepower.  Basically, turn the clock back to when he was racing.  He’s not the first person to suggest going back to “the old ways”.  When the new turbo motors came out, everyone complained and wanted to go back to the V10 era.  Was the V10 era that much better?  Were the 70’s the peak of F1?

Salt City Drift July 18 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-4

People in drifting have some thoughts on the current state of the sport as well.  There was a time where 500 horsepower was considered a lot, and the steering mods you needed were rack spacers and modified knuckles.  Now the top Formula D cars make around 800 horsepower, completely redesigned steering components for crazy amounts of angle, and over fenders on over fenders to cover the tires because the steering mods have pushed the wheels so far out from their original location.  But were the lower power, simpler days so much better than today?

JDM Legends Meet August 2015 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-38

Back in the day, you could fix damn near any car with nothing more than a socket set and a bucket of carb cleaner.  The bodies were made of steel, and they were designed by guys with slide rulers and very little understanding of aerodynamics.  Modern cars are massive compared to the old cars, and the technology is so deeply embedded in every aspect of them that working on them is nearly impossible.  But were the old steel bodied classics better than the stuff you can drive off a dealer’s lot?

NASA Utah 2015 Round 6 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-3

Well… No.  Modern race cars are demonstrably faster, more efficient and safer than their old counter parts, drifting has graduated from “a bunch of idiots in a parking lot” to a legitimate motorsport, and modern cars are faster, safer, more efficient, and better equipped than the designers ever thought cars could be.  When Niki Lauda won his first World Championship in 1975, he turned a 1:26.40 lap in qualifying.  In 2011 Sebastian Vettel ran a 1:13.556.

With more knowledge and data, the Formula D cars are moving through the courses faster and making more tire smoke.  Couple that with the amount of angle the drivers are using going through the corners, and you have something far more interesting to watch than what was happening in 2007.

Modern cars are heavier and bigger because they have more stuff in them.  Stuff like multiple air bags and other safety equipment, infotainment systems that play your Pandora stations and read your text messages to you!  In 1975, a V8 Camaro 13 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway.  A 2016 Camaro does 16 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway.  The humble Corolla went from 21/33 forty-one years ago to 28/37 now.  Modern cars of all varieties are demonstrably better.  But why do we keep holding up examples from the past?  In my opinion, it’s a familiarity issue.

Let me try to explain this with an analogy.  Michael Jordan is the best basketball player I’ve ever seen.  I say this because I watched him for more than a third of my life.  I saw him win multiple championships, MVP awards, and even a gold medal.  Now if you were to ask someone ten years younger than me, they probably wouldn’t say MJ was the best.  They’d probably say Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James, or even Steph Curry is the best.  Why?  Because they watched them at their peaks, like I did with Jordan.  That hypothetical person grew up knowing only an old MJ and young, rising talents in LeBron, Steph and Kobe.  Now replace MJ and LeBron with an AE86 and a new FRS/BRZ.  The Corolla was amazing, but that’s not the hero car for the new generation.  It’s legendary, and they know about the old Corolla; but, the FRS/BRZ has been around since some of these kids became aware of cars and their coolness.

Same with F1.  Some people came into the sport WITH the turbo V6s, and have no idea about the previous eras.  There are countless hoards of people out there that are convinced that to have a fun drift car you need a high horsepower 2JZ or LS, all of the Wisefab you can get your hands on, and as much fender as one can fit on a car.  And let’s be honest, spending an hour in stop and go traffic in a car with weak A/C, a semi-functioning tape deck, and an ever falling fuel needle isn’t as good a place to be as a car where you can throw it in D, crank up the A/C, listen to your Spotify playlist of choice, and not having to stop for gas at every exit.  It’s easy to look at the past with rose colored spectacles, but you can’t deny that things are better now than they used to be.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch this and then this.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
02nd May2016

I Love/Hate Watching Racing on TV

by Michael Chandler

A photo posted by CAMautoMag (@camautomag) on

Words, photo and opinion by Michael Chandler

We live in an age where every form of motorsports is available on your TV.  And to be honest, it’s great having it as easily accessible as it is.  HOWEVER, I am going to take a minute to air one large complaint that I have:

The TV broadcasts that we have for the IMSA WeatherTech series are just awful, and Fox Sports is a terrible TV home for the series.  Allow me to explain why these things are so awful.

ISSUE THE FIRST!: The Announcers

Yes, I know what they’re doing is difficult: you’re trying to relate what’s going on in a very fast paced sport to people who might not be that fast paced in their ability to process information.  You have to know who is in which car, where everyone is on the track, and what’s going on in the different classes.  All difficult, but there’s one thing that they don’t do: look for action outside of the lead group or really focus on teams that aren’t big names.  If there’s an amazing battle for 5th, you probably won’t see it.  And if you’re not Porsche or Corvette, we’re not gonna know you’re there.  It’s incredibly frustrating, especially if the leaders are well clear of any competition.  I would much rather see that 5th place battle between some teams and drivers I’m not intimately familiar with.

ISSUE THE SECOND!: The Pit Lane reporters

They’re not as useless as the sideline reporters in a basketball or football game (sideline reporters are utterly useless), they can tell us what happens to a car when it goes behind the wall or what driver is hopping in during a driver change.  They provide some valuable information you wouldn’t get from the announcers in the booth, but the TV crew seems to love trying race for the bottom against the sideline reporters.  They repeatedly ask crew chiefs vague, soft questions; or talk to some corporate fellow in a polo who has no idea what the hell is going on in the race, series, or world in general.  I don’t care what the VP of North American SUV Operations has to say about the “venue”, tell me if the Action Express Corvette DP came in and got a set of scrub tires!  Give me information damnit!  If I wanted useless nonsense, I’d fire up one of the 24 hour “news” networks and tune in for some “news”.

ISSUE THE THIRD!: The streaming

As I’m pounding out this semi-though out rant, I’m listening to the Radio Le Mans call of the Monterrey GP, specifically the Prototype and GTLM race.  I tried to stream the race via the IMSA website, and I was greeted with a screen that said I needed to watch the race on Fox Sports 1, or Fox Sports Go.  I was trying to avoid the FS1 catastrophe, so I went to FSGo.  And it’s the TV broadcast I’m trying to avoid, complete with commercial breaks.  All I want to to is listen the the Radio Le Mans crew call the race, give me information and insight I don’t have, and watch these amazing machines whip around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  I don’t want commercials for La Quinta Inn or the Chevrolet Malibu, I want my racing!  I broke down.  I fired up the Fox Sports stream, muted it, turned on Radio Le Mans, and made a horrifying discovery: the visuals were MINUTES behind the audio.  MINUTES.  There are 120 of those in today’s race!  How?  How is this happening???

ISSUE THE FOURTH!: The TV home

When SPEED became Fox Sports, people rejoiced.  It looked like all the racing we were able to find on our cable boxes wasn’t going anywhere.  Then they announced that there was going to be a Fox Sports 2, and then stuff got shoved onto that.  Stuff like the PC/GTD Monterrey GP race, big chunks of the 12 and 24 hour races, and some races all together.  This wouldn’t be a problem if FS2 was a channel that existed in people’s cable packages, or IMSA wasn’t so insistent on not streaming something on their site that’s being broadcast on this shadow TV network.

And let’s talk about how the IMSA stuff gets shown on TV via tape delay, and that taped race often starts late because of UFC post fight coverage, or FA Cup soccer, or some other niche sport.  I’m fine with both the UFC and European soccer, but when I end up waiting fifteen minutes for my race to start so three talking heads in an empty arena can talk about a fight that ended quite a while ago, I get a bit peeved.

WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?

ABC, NBC, Fox proper and ESPN all have their hands in either Indy, F1, or NASCAR; but, they all split time with those series.  CBS has Pirelli World Challenge, but they pop that onto CBS Sports Network, which is in the outer realm of your cable lineup.  But while it’s way the hell down the channel listings, it has some great racing on it: V8 Super Cars, Blancpain Sprint Series, Stadium Super Trucks.  It’s almost ready-made for the WeatherTech series.  If CBS could/wanted to get their hands on the rights, they could elevate this series to the level it should be.

Unfortunately, that probably isn’t going to happen.  IMSA’s co-founder is Bill France Sr., who founded the redneck rodeo we know as NASCAR.  They’re headquartered at the same place.  If you’ve noticed, there’s a lot of NASCAR races on Fox.  Same with all of the WeatherTech races.  The powers that are would rather negotiate with a long time partner, than try to start a new relationship.

Michael, you simpleton! In July NASCAR jumps to the NBC networks! Oh, I know.  Again, long time partners.  NBC airs the NASCAR Mexican series on their Spanish language properties, and has been for a few years now.  Why bring a third party in, especially one that you don’t have a relationship with at the moment?

So, we’re stuck with this.  Thankfully the audio you can stream on the IMSA site is done by the Radio Le Mans crew, so that’s a bright spot in this sea of floating turds.  And Fox Sports 1 is available on 4 out of the 7 Comcast packages, half of the Dish packages, and 5 of the 6 DirecTV packages, so there’s that too.  Hopefully this gets better, and they stop shoving stuff to FS2 or just allow people to stream the races with the audio they want.

The next WeatherTech Series race is the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic from the Raceway at Belle Isle Park June 3&4.  Qualifying will be on the IMSA site starting on the 3rd at 5:05PM Eastern, and the race itself is going to be aired on Fox Sports 1 on the 4th at 12:30PM Eastern.  That’s 3:05PM Mountain for qualifying, and 10:30AM for the race.

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

 

07th Apr2016

For Those Complaining About Rain

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 6 Lightning CAMautoMag Michael Chandler 2014 (2 of 5)

There’s  40% of showers later in the day.

NASA Utah Round 6 Thunder CAMautoMag Michael Chandler 2014 (28 of 32)

The show is in four days, the forecast is probably going to change between then and now.  It could get worse, but it could get better too.

NASA Utah Round 2 Saturday-144

And if it rains, so what?  First off, they’re forecasting rain showers.  Showers don’t last all day.  Second, it’s PM showers.  I know the show starts at 1, but there are a lot of hours in the PM part of the day.  Third, it’s not like there aren’t ways to fend off the rain.  Umbrellas have been a thing for nearly 2000 years.  Jackets, coats, hats, pants and closed toe shoes are staples in modern American society.  And if you’re going to be there shooting photos or video, I have some great news for you: there are readily available, and affordable products designed to keep your cameras dry.  Hell, I have a bunch so I’ll bring extras.

Don’t fear the rain!  Embrace it!  Revel in it!  I’ll see you on Sunday!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
04th Apr2016

Check Out Lone Star Drift This Year

by Michael Chandler

Now you should always support your local, grassroots series and drivers and sponsors.  They’re the ones who are keeping the fires burning at home, getting the kids involved, and proving that you don’t need a crazy 2JZ or LSx to get wild.  HOWEVER, there is one series we should all pay attention to: Lone Star Drift.  Why?  Because they’re doing some very interesting things.  They have their Street Legal series, which has rules such as:

  • Cars must be full interior, or within 90% of it.
  • Hydro e brakes are not recommended for the series, it is recommended you make your stock e brake setup work.  A well maintained cable e brake setup works fantastic in most cars, and is cheaper than a Hydro.
  • 240sx may have any generation SR20DET that came in JDM models or KA24 motors in the USDM models.  KA24 motors are allowed stock SR20DET injectors and turbo to be installed.
  • IS300 and SC300 may have JDM market 1JZ motors

An affordable series that makes drivers be better drivers, instead of just throwing money at a chassis?  Madness!  Oh, and it gets better.  They ditched qualifying.  Yes, to run in the Lone Star Drift series you don’t have to go through the traditional qualifying system.  What are they doing instead?  They’re implementing elements of the Dejager system that’s being used in Vicdrift in Australia.  Have no idea what any of what I just typed means?  They explain it better than I can, they even have a video to help!

In my opinion, everything they’ve done is awesome.  I think other people should take a look into some of these things, especially the Street Legal series.  I’ve seen a lot of people get buried in builds they think they need to do just to go slide, because sometimes the only exposure to drifting they’ve had has been Formula D.  And as far as the Dejager system goes: getting people who are on the same skill level competing with each other, instead of having the have’s kick in the heads of the have not’s will breed better competitors.

Keep an eye on Texas, they might be on to a few things.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
23rd Mar2016

We’re Going To Try Something Again

by Michael Chandler

WERC endurance race 2015 MMP Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-111

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

As you’ve seen, we can convey the story from a race day or show reasonably well.  We can tell you who won, how fast they went, and maybe give you a little insight on what these guys and gals go through during race day, and the days (and even weeks) leading up to an event.  What we can’t tell you are some of the stories that brought the drivers, shop owners and other personalities into our lives.

You know that Matt Guiver, Todds Ainsworth and Green, and Alex Whetman split seat time in the Paul Mitchell Miata, but do you know how they formed up like Voltron?  Or how they even got into racing in the first place?  Did you know that, before Lyfe Motorsport came to be, Cole Powelson worked at the now defunct Race Co.  Did you know that I used to drive by his house when I was delivering pizzas years ago?  Did you know that Steven Costello restores Formula 1 cars, and has a pretty interesting history relating to Formula 1?  Do you want to know these things, and other things about other people?  Well, we’re going to try and help you out if you answered yes…

We’re bringing back the podcast.  Yeah, we had a podcast, but nobody seemed to enjoy it and producing them was a chore.  This time it will be different!  First off, there won’t be any video accompanying it.  You don’t have to stare at the awkward staff!  Secondly,they’ll be coming out once a month.  I want these, and the rest of the posts you see on the site to be great.  I need time to make them so, hence the once a month schedule.  Could they come out more frequently in the future?  We’ll see, but for now: once a month.  And finally: these are going to be fairly laid back.  There are things I want to know, but I’m not going to force anything because I want them to tell their stories.

This is an entirely new endeavor for me, and hopefully it’ll be something you enjoy.  I’m excited to get going on this, and I hope you’re excited to hear some stories from some of these folks.

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