14th Oct2016

2016 TresDuro: Tres Means Three Part 1

by Michael Chandler

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-61

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-198

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-257

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.

 

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-210

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-146

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-150

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-351

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-211

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!

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-59

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-353

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-352

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-202

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-141

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-292

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!

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-69

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!

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-356

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-298

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-215

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-302

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-157

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-159

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-231

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-72

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-78

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-306

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-218

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-156

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-228

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-222

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

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-219

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-220

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.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-221

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.

 

Off
14th Jun2016

Showers In The Vicinity: NASA Utah Round 4 TT Results

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 4 TT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1-2

After a week of blistering heat, and the sun beating down upon those who dared venture out into its rays; the Saturday that followed was different.  Not the opposite, as that would be cloudy, with freezing temperatures and frozen precipitation falling and accumulating everywhere.  No, this was different.  It was colder, but not cold.  It was cloudy, but there were glimpses of blue sky.  There wasn’t frozen precipitation gathering on the track, but there were “showers in the area.”  At least that’s what my phone told me as I was trudging back to my car to get my rain gear, in the midst of a sudden, intense shower.  But while I was playing chicken with the weather behind the armco, on the tarmac were drivers dueling the clock.

NASA Utah Round 4 TT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-5

After months of being behind the wheel of Paul Mitchell, and in the garage working on his car, Todd Green finally got the blue car race ready.  And it was quite the debut.  He took home a pair of wins on the day, but for our purposes we’ll focus on the 1:45.34 lap time that secured his TTE win.  I’m not sure what he’s done exhaust wise, but the car sounds rowdy!  So much so that I was caught off guard when he came down the back straight.

NASA Utah Round 4 TT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-6

Jeb Brown was out and about in his Miata, when he wasn’t instructing.  Between imparting knowledge and trying to stay dry, Jeb managed to lay down a 1:54.032 in TTD.  That was good enough to hand Trever Pope his second place finish in the last six race days.

NASA Utah Round 4 TT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-4

I noticed a gorgeous, gray 911 as I was walking through the Day Garages.  The golden class and number stickers leaped off the paint, and the car stood out amongst the BRZs and 3 Series that sought shelter in the garage with it.  I knew I had to keep an eye out for the car when it was on track, and good thing I did.  Joe Evers drove the widow maker to a win in TTC, laying down a best time of 1:49.2.

NASA Utah Round 4 TT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-3

For the second time in… well ever, we had an Aerial Atom running competitive laps.  Very competitive laps.  Steve Marx came out of nowhere, and drove his high downforce jungle jim to a win in TTB.  How fast can some tubing with a motor strapped to it move?  His best lap on the sub-par day (weather wise) was 1:43.389.  Not bad for something that is completely, and utterly insane.

NASA Utah Round 4 TT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1-3

It was a battle of the BRZs in TT3, as has been the norm for the majority of the season.  Despite there being what would appear to be better cars in the class, it’s been Mike and Andy dueling for the top two spots all season.  This day saw a third competitor cut into their dance.  Despite his best efforts, James Pasquier couldn’t out run Andy, who put up a 1:39.227 in the ever changing conditions.

NASA Utah Round 4 TT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

In his usual fashion, Alex managed to elude me all day.  He eluded me everywhere, except when he was on track.  Despite all of the witchcraft happening under the hood of the Focus of Doom, he could not escape my lens.  I managed to catch him as he was on his way to a win in TT2.  His best time of the day was a staggering 1:35.303.  Amazing, considering that he’s in a home-brewed, front wheel drive, big turbo Focus.  To put that into perspective: he was faster than a Noble, a Porsche Cayman GT4 Club Sport, several 911’s, and Wade Hall’s Mustang which puts down enough power to alter the Earth’s rotation.

NASA Utah Round 4 TT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-7

Front wheel drive has certain advantages in adverse conditions.  Having the weight of the engine over the driven wheels helps to keep the rubber on the tarmac, and not sliding across the water on top of it.  It has some disadvantages too (understeer, having the driven wheels also doing the braking AND steering), but like Alex and his Focus, Zack Serna has tamed those disadvantages.  He took his supercharged, K series powered Civic hatchback to brave new heights and set a time of 1:40.995.  It held up to the rain, the wind, and the charging Noble of Kam Urquhart.

NASA Utah Round 4 TT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

Speaking of Porsche Caymans, one was atop the TTU ladder.  I say “one” because there were two running in the same group.  Both sported prime numbers, and both were white.  According to the results on My Laps (what I’m going off of, because that’s all I’ve got at the moment) the #11 car was the winner, laying down a 1:36.963.  This is where things get tricky.  Greg Warnock is on the list as the winner, driving the #11 car.  As you can see in the photo above, Jeff Kearl drives the #11.  Greg has the #07, and in a weird twist is also third in TTU (in the #07 car).  Now, they could’ve very easily hopped in the other’s car.  Or there could be some other mix up, I don’t know.  Either way, one of them won and the other came in third, with Wade Hall sandwiched in the middle.

And there it is, a comprehensive and wordy review of Saturday’s TT action.  We’ll be back with Thunder and Lightning coverage, and a gallery of some of the rooster tails that were kicked up as the rains were falling, later this week.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
27th Apr2016

Before The Storm: NASA Utah Round 2 Time Trial Results

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

Not everything was run in the rain.  A good chunk of the TT sessions were run in the dry, cool air which allowed the drivers to set some good lap times.  Good times like the 1:39.675 James Pasquier laid down to take the win in the largest TT class of the day, TT3.  He was the only TT3 driver to set a time in the 1:30’s.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-2

TT1 saw the return of David Gilliland.  Unfortunately I didn’t see that triumphant return, but I did see him in the Lightning race.  He threw down a 1:38.821 in the first session of the day.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-3

Shawn didn’t blown anything up, or set fire to anything!  Hooray!  He did rip a coupler on his intercooler piping, but that didn’t stop him from lapping the West Track in 1:36.742 and taking the win in TT2.  By the way, he still calls his Subaru a “street car” because it has a full interior.  It has a full rollcage that makes a lot of that interior useless ballast, but he seems to enjoy it.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

David Bradshaw went out in the first session and threw down a 1:45.668, which held up all day and got him the TTB win.  Again, missed that session but caught the Lightning race.  Here ya go Dave.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-7

TTD was a one man show.  That man being Trevor Pope.  He ran a 1:49.481 in the second session.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-4

PAUL MITCHELL was atop the TTE ladder, with a 1:46.946 and Todd or Matt or Alex or whoever behind the wheel.  The official results sheet says Todd Green, but in case that was wrong I have officially covered my bases!

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-6

And finally, in TTU, Brendon Stewart graduated to the Huracan and put down a very respectable 1:30.142!  He was the highest placing Makes & Models driver on the day, but all of the Makes & Models drivers finished on the podium in their respective classes.

And there you have it for TT.  Tomorrow we return with our final group: Thunder!  Prepare for Thunderdome puns, clouds, and rain photos.

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

 

23rd Mar2016

Moving Up!

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah 2016 Round 1 Wednesday posts CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-2

Toby Crawford jumped up to TT2/ST2 from TTB.  What’s different?  More power, more tire, and soon: a roll cage!

27th Jan2016

Subiyotas!

by Michael Chandler

ISS 2015-71

They pulled in together, they parked together, and they wandered around together.  Such is rolling into and attending a car show

24th Oct2014

Tresduro: NASA Utah’s 2014 Season Finale

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-26

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Every year for… many years NASA Utah, and MPRA before them, have thrown an endurance race to close out the season.  Normally it’s the standard X amount of hours in a row, on a track that has the corners in the same places as the lap before.  This year things would be different.  Very different.  Not mind blowingly, life alteringly different, but still different.  There would still be an endurance race, but not all in a row.  It would run on the Outer Loop… and the East Course… and the West Course.

NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro Open Wheel CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-12

That’s right baby!  Dynamic track!  Basically here’s how it would shake out: All the HPDE groups and TT would run on the Outer Loop only, while the race group and the open wheel guys would jump between all three configurations.  If you remember the Pirelli World Challenge races from a couple of months ago, then this track switching concept isn’t so foreign.  They ran the World Challenge GT races on the Outer Loop, Spec B and Miller GT Challenge on the West Course and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West guys got the East Course.  What was foreign, and I can’t stress this enough, was having the same group of competitors running three different track configurations on the same day for the same race!  Well, technically it wasn’t all the same race, but the drivers’ times in each race would be combined and whoever had the best time would be the class winner.  Speaking of which, let’s stop talking about the track thing and talk about racing!

NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro Open Wheel CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

The Open Wheel guys were in the same boat as the Race Group: three different tracks, three races, one time to decide a winner.  In Formula Troy Duffin and Steven Costello continued their season long battle, but at the end of the long day there had to be a winner.  And that winner was Troy, who completed 34 laps in the allotted time compared to Steven’s 33.  In Super Formula it was the the #11 Rodizio Grill sponsored car of Terry Biner running away with the class win, leaving Steve Burns and John LaBrie to duke it out for second.  In what can only be described as driving feats never seen since the days of Juan Manuel Fangio*, Steve Burns defeated John LaBrie!

*Not really true at all, but both John and Steve had really good drives in their races

NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro HPDE 3-4 TT CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-4

It was time for the TT competitors to take to the track after the Open Wheel drivers vacated it.  Their four sessions held weight because, while the season points chases were over for everyone else, this was a points event for the TT drivers.  While some people had wrapped up their season titles (more on that in another post), some people were still fighting tooth and nail for theirs.  People like Shay Campbell and James Pasquier, who pitted their Porsche 911s against some ST3 competitors and a healthy chunk of the Spec Z field.  Despite finishing in 14th, five spots behind James and scoring 5 points less than him, Shay locked up his TT3 points title!  Meanwhile, at the front of the TT3 crowd, Travis Tidball took the win.

In TT1 the guys of TW Racing put their Audi R8 LMS atop the podium, and solidified their championship.  However second place in the class was up for debate.  If you remember, Shawn Murphy ventilated the engine block in his WRX STi which sidelined it for the remainder of the season and seemingly opened the door for Smith-Burke Racing to leapfrog one of our favorite Wyomingans… Wyomingites?  Whatever, Shawn needed to hold off the C5 Corvette, so he did what any enterprising man with a willing girlfriend would do: he used her car for the last two events.  He didn’t win, but he scored JUST enough points to hold off the Data Motorsports backed Corvette to stay in second place.

NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro HPDE 3-4 TT CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-3

In TTE Ben Lamberson put used all 127 horsepower his Audi could muster to beat Steve Larsen, and cement his title.  TTU was missing it’s most notable competitor: the Lyfe Motorsports/Wild Schick Racing R35 GTR was in California doing some testing, which left the class wide open for Rhett Panter to win.  TT2 was won by David Bradshaw, and Josh Bennett took home the win in TTB.

NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-57

And we finally arrive at the Race Group, the other group that would take on the perils of driving three different tracks over the course of one race day.  It also had some interesting driver line-ups, including George Smith piloting a Miata with Les Long, Derek Wolthoff driving Brendon Stewart’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, and…  Well, there’s no easy way to say this…

NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-143

PPPAAAAAAAUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLL MMMMIIIITTCCCCCCHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which was driven by Matt Guiver, Todd Ainsworth, Alex Whetman and Todd Green.  That mighty team could only muster a third place finish in E3, behind Allan Anderson (who slid around Wind Up, but it’s cool because he has a Corolla so he knows what he’s doing) and David Sherman. NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-59

In E0 we saw No Whammies (Travis Tidball) hit big money and stop atop the podium, ahead of Travis Williams in the #22 Discount Tire FR500S Mustang and Good Guy Gus Stribakos in the 888 Porsche.

NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-69

In a class by himself, literally, was the Idaho Mountain Touring Porsche 911 in E1.  Let’s take a moment to appreciate how pretty it is.  Ahhhhhhhh.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-26

ES.  The Big boys.  You know the Names: TW Racing, Big Bob Evans, Dandy Dan Worley, Steve “Mister” Burns and “Mister En Fuego” Brendon Stweart.  They were all fighting for the victory.  The gritty field went wheel to wheel and door to door all day! Except when Brendon broke a suspension component.  That sidelined him.  And Bob blew a tire in the last race of the day, so his day ended early too… But when they were running, they were threatening to take away podium finishes from other drivers!  In the end it came down to two teams: the TW Racing crew had adjusted their R8 LMS so Allen Turner could fully exploit it’s advantages, while Tatum Racing had the LSx powered Porsche 944 tuned to peak efficiency for Dan Worley.  Who would emerge victorious?

NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-80

In the end the Audi proved too much for the Porsche, and TW Racing took home the class and overall victory.

In the end, we all took home a victory.  Over the course of the season we saw drivers snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and overcome devastating events.  We saw camaraderie and good natured competitiveness, and most importantly: everyone at the end of the day could walk away uninjured.

And so ends the NASA season.  On behalf of me and the staff here at CAMautoMag, I would like to say thank you to Matt Guiver, Dave Kizerian and Dan McKeever for the awesome season, the track workers for the thankless and tireless jobs they do to make the racing happen, and especially to the drivers.  Everyone from the HPDE 1 drivers, all the way up to the Super Unlimited class drivers and everyone in between.  We do this because we have the same passion as you guys, and since we can’t get out there and drive with you guys (yet!) the next best thing is to come out shoot some photos and say some nice words about what you’re doing out there.

We’ll be at the Awards Banquet on November 22, where we’re looking forward to seeing everyone!  We will also have things for you to purchase if you so choose.

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

 

 

27th Jul2012

It Plays: Subaru BRZ

by Michael Chandler

Subaru BRZ
Most of us have seen a Subaru BRZ on the road by now, but how many have been modified? I’m not talking about tinted tails or stickers, I’m talking lowered on Volk Racing wheels modified.
Lowered BRZ
Obviously I’m leading into this edition of “It Plays”. Brody, the owner of this BRZ doesn’t mess around. You’ve no doubt seen his white WRX track car in our coverage of Lap Battle. That car has been HEAVILY modified, but Brody swears he enjoys the gas mileage on this car too much to get crazy with it.

BRZ on Volk CE28N
And you can’t blame him for not modifying it too much when he has a track car(WRX) to play with, and a weekend car(DR30 Skyline) to enjoy.

Slammed Subaru BRZ
So far the car is just being enjoyed with some Volk Racing CE28N wheels, Tein coilovers, tint, and a modified 3rd brake light. It’s looking just right.

BRZ Fender

Words and Video by Trent Bray, Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com

21st Jun2012

$30K Check: Scion FR-S

by Trent

Scion FR-S CAMautoMag

You could see this one coming from a mile away, couldn’t you? The world is in a storm created by the Toyobaru twins. It’s an intriguing car with RWD, a Boxer-4 with adequate power and a relatively low entry cost. What’s not to like? This car isn’t made for big, smoky burnouts. It’s made to fuse the driver with the road, and although they are virtually identical, the front fascia on the Scion FR-S looks nicer and more aggressive in my opinion.

Scion FR-S Toyota 86 Subaru BRZ

The potential of these cars is undeniable. You’ve no doubt seen our coverage at the track with Brody’s white Subaru WRX in Lap Battle. Well, he already has his white BRZ lowered on Volk Racing wheels, and saying that I like it is an understatement.

I wouldn’t throw lots of power at the FR-S, just a few bolt-ons, as to not upset the balance and character. I wouldn’t scrape the ground with it’s low-ness. I would drive it and enjoy it like it should be enjoyed, connecting corners in the canyon.

-Trent Bray

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com

13th Dec2011

The CAM Journal: The Subaru BRZ is coming!

by Michael Chandler

Subaru BRZ CAMautoMag

 

With a scant five and a half-ish months until the release of the Subaru/Toyota lovechild, let us take a look at what I like about the BRZ: the one I’m signing up for.

Likes:

Let’s start with the numbers we care about: the two-liter, direct-injection flat four will produce around 200hp and 170lb/ft of torque. It will be backed by either a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto, but not a trick twin clutch unit. It’ll be the same trans that the IS350 has: conventional planetary automatic with paddles shifters on the steering wheel. More on that later… It also weighs around 2700lbs, which is 500lbs less than a WRX and 200lbs more than a Miata (which makes 30hp less).

The price isn’t too bad either, around $25,000. That’s right in line with the Miata Touring (middle of the range Miata). A 370Z starts at $31,000, as does a BMW 128i, and an IS250 is $35,000.

It’s been designed to be a true driver’s car. Low-slung boxer four, shoved as far back as they can, ABS and stability have been tuned to limit electronic intervention, and a power to weight ratio of 12.5 lbs per hp.  Hell, the press release is hitting the right notes.

Dislike:

Ok, 200hp is nice but Subaru has made a name by force feeding air down the gullet of their flat fours.  Where’s the turbo?  For a little over $22,000 I can have a Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T, which makes a little more power. For about $27,000 I can get a 300hp 3.8L Genesis Coupe. Not bad options…

The automatic transmission option is pretty weak. This is a sports car, why not give it a twin clutch unit?  Or how about making another transmission like the one in the LFA’s?

It looks good, but it’s not aggressive enough. Now this would be a problem, but thankfully Subaru is ahead of us and built a bad ass GT300 racer!

 

Verdict:

Yeah, I’m in. I’m in before the STI version comes out. It’s an affordable, naturally aspirated, rear wheel drive option in a segment where the Miata has been king for… Well, ever. Are there cheaper options available? Cheaper AND more powerful, but while I like the Genesis Coupe I don’t feel a connection to it.  I’ve got a Subaru now, and while it’s somewhat sketchy (worlds fastest massage chair!) it’s mine and I love driving the thing. I’m loyal to the stars. That might make me definitely makes me biased, but to hell with it. Sign me and my bias up!!!

-Michael Chandler

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com