12th Sep2017

Modern Classics in the Paddock

by Michael Chandler

Most of my shots at a NASA Utah weekend come from things happening on the track, and this past weekend was much of the same.  However, there were a ton of awesome cars just hanging out in the paddock.  I mean, all of the cars are awesome, but you don’t usually run across a Ford GT just hanging out.  

That was the case here.  I was shooting two other cars (they’ll be in a later post, because they’re legit classics), when I saw a red and white Ford GT out in front of the DXDT garage.  Naturally, I finished what I was doing and then high tailed it over to the early 2000’s domestic supercar.  Al Tiley, driver of the Air Power 911 GT3R, came walking up as I was finishing my shooting.  We had a chat, expressed our enjoyment of Road America, then he hopped in the GT and drove off.  Can’t argue with the man’s taste in vehicles.

Who doesn’t love an early Lotus Elise?  People who have cold, dead hearts.  This adorable little guy was just hanging out, looking like an aggressive guppy.  

In addition to sporting some aggressive aero, it was also packing a Honda K-Series motor.  Oh, and it’s also from Idaho.  Pretty sweet.

There was an F30 generation 330i Xdrive WAGON out in one of the HPDE groups.  This made me excited, but not as excited as another 3 series in a different HPDE group.  We’ll get to that one later, but in the wagon’s group was this 911 GT3.  

Naturally, I snagged some photos of it.  Then I figured I’d never see it, but it appeared behind the grand stands as I was getting ready to head up into them.  Out hopped the driver, a guy who introduced himself as Knight, and his instructor: Integra hero Tyler Mikesell.  After the race, I came out of the grand stands and ran into Knight.  He said he threw the APR wing on the car because he felt he needed more down force in the rear.  

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14th Oct2016

2016 TresDuro: Tres Means Three Part 1

by Michael Chandler

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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.

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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.

THUNDER

German Touring Series Unlimited

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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.

 

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
Off
14th Oct2016

2016 TresDuro: Tres Means Three Part 3

by Michael Chandler

Time Trial C

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With a total time of 7:24.302, Max Dufford claimed a big TTC win.  Having to drive three different tracks in one day, including one that nobody has driven on in a couple of years, is a test for anyone.  Max rose to the occasion, and drove his Boxster to the limits set forth by the modifications allowed in the rulebook!

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Taking home a shiny piece of silver neck wear was Rod Kujaczynski. Still rocking a RaceCo decal, but sans cowboy hat, Rod’s total time was an impressive 7:29.662!

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Bringing home the bronze was Joe Evers, with a total time of 7:30.852.  Three medals went to three people who drive German cars.  Coincidence?  I THINK NOT!

Time Trial D

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Trever “with an E” Pope managed a combined time of 7:53.343, not too bad for running around in a more practical Miata.  Trever is one of the many drivers who helps out, and instructs the HPDE drivers.  The young up and comers, or older up and comers, can learn some things from Trever.  He may be alone in TTD, but he’s consistent and he doesn’t get caught up trying to run down someone in a faster class.

Time Trial E

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Piloting his trusty Mazderati, Tyler Nisonger threw down a total time of 7:41.375.  As you can see in this photo, Tyler saves weight by only having one door mirror.  These are the little things that separate the winners from the “also ran” crowd.

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Erick Gerday also ran, but wasn’t an “also ran”.  His combined time of 8:02.322, while not stellar, is nothing to sneeze at.  Explore the limits of the rulebook a little bit, and get some more seat time, and Erick should start knocking seconds out of that time.

Time Trial B

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Darin Beaudoin, the goofy fella in the best Miata ever, took home the TTB gold.  How?  NO CLUE!  But I do know he waved at me on one of his out laps.  Did I get a picture of it?  NOPE!  Blame Andy Moench.  He was ahead of Darin on track, and waved at me first.  Quick PSA: If you’re going to wave at a photographer do it on an out lap, a pace lap, or a cool down lap.  Don’t do it when you’re trying to set a flyer, or mid race.  It’s one of those things that’s cool for the two of us, but will be infinitely embarassing if I have to write “and as they waved at me, the accidentally dropped two tires off track, which caused them to spin, which got them stuck in the sand trap”.  Ok, with that out of the way we can move on.

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Jan Gerday, running both TT and Spec Z, had a combined time of 7:32.775.  Running six total session in the same car is quite the feat, and it’s validated when you get a medal at the end of the night.

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Another Z getting a medal.  The 350Z is a useful tool in a racing situation, if you know how to use it.  And Justin Jones knows how to use it.  His 7:38.607 was six seconds off the pace of the Spec Z driver Jan Gerday, but eight seconds ahead of fourth place finisher David Muskovitz.

Time Trial 3

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James Pasquier was back, after some noticeable absences in the recent past.  The lack of a doctor’s note notwithstanding, James’s combined time of 7:06.328 got him another gold medal to add to the sizable pile.  I assume it’s a pile.  What I’m trying to say is James wins a lot.

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In a stunning upset, Mechanic Mike Bratsch beat out Andy Moench!  This after Mike helped Andy fix his car between sessions.  Sponsored by crippling instruments of debt, AMEX credit cards, Mike pounded out a 7:08.188.  You can’t drive fast enough to out run your debts Mike.  You just can’t.  Sounds cryptic, but really is absolutely meaningless.

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Andy Moench, with a car fixed by the skilled hands of Mechanic Mike, drove slower than Mechanic Mike.  He did drive all of the sessions, and he wasn’t that much slower than Mike.  His total time was 7:09.727.

Time Trial 2

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Shawn Murphy continued to set records.  He reset his record on the Outer Loop, and took over the East and Full track records.  His car still has a full interior, and he drives it around on the streets.  His total time was 6:37.029.  It was the fastest of the TT drivers.  His car, and how fast it is, hurts my brain.  I don’t understand it, I never will understand it, and I’m ok with that.

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Finishing in second place was Jenn Wolthoff in the Makes & Models Porsche 911 GT3.  Her total time was 7:09.621.  I understand that time, and how fast that car is.  There is no witchcraft involved in it.  Just good, clean, wholesome, pure, unadulterated speed.

Time Trial 1

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TT1 had two drivers who drove in all three races AND all three TT sessions.  And they did it in different cars.  David Gilliland hopped out of his Spec Z and into his Viper T/A.  His 6:58.015 was deserving of a gold medal at the barbecue.  I agree with the decision to give him a gold medal.

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David Bradshaw was a nother Spec Z driver who was jumping between cars all day.  He would jump out of his Spec Z, get some feedback on his race, then hop into his 996 Cup car for a TT session.  Then out of the Cup car, feedback, into the Z, and race.  His game of musical cars didn’t hurt his times, as he ended up with a 7:03.08.

Time Trial Unlimited

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Mike Kresser got himself a gold medal, after playing musical cars like his Lyfe teammate David Bradshaw.  Mike drove like a man possessed and posted a total time of 6:48.304.  Not too bad for a guy with a bad back and another race car to drive.

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Greg Warnock, and his widebody M3, came up just short against Mike’s 997 Cup car.  His total time was 6:58.414.  Again, not bad for someone who was pulling double duty all day.  And if you’re someone who says “I hate flares!”, then you haven’t seen this car turning laps.  It needs those flares to cover the massive slicks it uses to grip the tarmac.  You don’t hate flares, you just hate useless and/or ugly flares.

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Rounding out the top three is James “1000% not Jordan” Collier.  Less than two seconds separated him from Greg.  James’s total time in his Viper ACR was 7:00.335.  Notice how a lot of the photos are with the headlights on?  That’s because they got way behind schedule at some point.  So far, in fact, that the final TT session got underway AFTER sunset.  I made the most of it, and got some very cool pictures.  The corner worker at Tooele Turn had a brief, but loud meltdown.  We were all out of our comfort zone, corner worker.  But we survived.

And there it is, at least for TT.  Looking for Thunder and/or Lightning coverage?  I’ve got them in separate posts.

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

 

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12th Aug2016

The Utah 6 Hour

by Michael Chandler

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It was the beginning of the best ten days on this year’s calendar.  Acting as the meat in a sandwich where the delicious bread is a Salt City Drift event and Pirelli World Challenge, and the condiments are a NASA Utah weekend, was the annual Utah 6 Hour.  Now a staple on the NASA Utah calendar, the Western Endurance Racing Championship stop provides a unique opportunity for the drivers and fans to drive into the night, and see nothing but lights piercing the dark Tooele night.  And if you were out around turn 5 around 10:30-11, you would’ve seen me with a string of LED lights strewn about my torso.  I was easily identifiable, for safety!  Anywell, let’s talk about who took home a trophy!

E0

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Lyfe Motorsport was out with one of their own Spec Z’s (the Towne Storage Z) and supporting the #99 DLG Racing Z.  Showing that 350Z is life, the Lyfe backed teams finished 1-2 in E0!  The Towne Storage Z completed 147 laps in the 6 hours, with the DLG Z four laps behind them.

E1

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In E1, completing 153 laps in the allotted time, was the #65 E46 BMW of Strom Motorsports.  It was the teams second win of the day, having taken the win in the GTS5 class during the Lightning sprint race earlier.

E2

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The Fit is fucking go!  The #12 Honda Fit of Honda Performance Development completed 143 laps in 6:01:09.257, and probably had to stop for fuel once.

E3

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It was a battle of the Miatas in E3: the mighty and legendary Paul Mitchell versus the bug-eyed RJ Racing Miata.  I mean bug-eyed in the nicest way.  Look at those lights!  Those lights lit the way for 147 laps, and lit their way to victory.

ENP

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The ENP had one entrant, the Valkyrie Autosport Elan NP01.  Despite the teams best efforst, the little prototype went behind the wall after 29 laps.

ES

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This was a battle: the TruSpeed Autosport 997 Cup car versus the Makes & Models Huracan Super Trofeo.  A tried and true chassis versus a sprint race car.  WERC class leaders one win away from clinching their championship versus a team with multiple regional championships under their belt?  If you’ve been paying any attention to how these posts go, you know that by seeing the picture of the TruSpeed car that they won.  Not only did they win the Utah 6 Hour, they locked up the ES Class championship.  Congratulations to them!

ESR

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Now we arrive at the car I was most excited to see running.  Toby Crawford, driver of the Pink Ribbon Racing/Makes & Models Subaru BRZ, told me that there was a Ginetta G57 at UMC and that it was racing in the enduro.  It was the Ryno Racing team, sponsored by Design Masonry.  The G57 is based on Ginetta’s LMP3 design, and is probably a lot the same.*  The big difference is that the LMP3 spec Nissan engine, rated at 420bhp, has been replaced with a Chevrolet LS3, which makes 150 more horsepower than the LMP3 engine.  I was excited to see and hear the 900kg prototype tearing through the night, but unfortunately the car was retired after just 72 laps.

And there it is, another six hour race in the books!  I’m already looking forward to next year.  A tremendous shout out to all the race officials, corner workers, and safety crew for sticking it out until midnight.  A big thank you to the family, friends, and well wishers who came out and watched the race and cheered the teams on.  And all of the congratulations to all of the drivers and crew members for racing in the longest race on the NASA Utah calendar!  There were over thirty cars entered in the race, and they all took the green flag.  It was, as always, an amazing experience.

We can’t wait for next year.

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

 

07th Mar2016

Morning Everybody

by Michael Chandler

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*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
19th Feb2016

Have Another Wallpaper

by Michael Chandler

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*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
19th Feb2016

It’s Like Looking In A Mirror

by Michael Chandler

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After the checkered flag fell on the legendary and historic Tresduro, I swung by the Makes & Models GP garage.  I said congrats and all that, and they gave me some “refreshments”.  After some discussion of the LeMons livery on Ben’s Audi 90, we all decided to head over to the barbecue.  On the way over I stumbled upon an impromptu photo shoot, featuring these two Porsche 911s.  Naturally, I couldn’t help myself.  I snapped a few photos of these pretty cars.

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So, I don’t really remember too much about the black GT3.  I know it ran, but I don’t remember which group it was in.  It IS a black GT3 though, so let’s just bask in its glory.

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I’m fairly (65-75%) confident the white one belongs to someone from Makes & Models.  Or it did.  I know Jenn drove a white 911 GT3 last season, but beyond that…  Anyway, I rolled up, got some killer shots, and made my way to the place where there was free food.   What better way to end a race season?

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