22nd Jul2017

NASA Utah Round 5: Warm Mornings

by Michael Chandler

Who doesn’t love a warm morning?  Just hearing “warm morning” conjures up images of eating half a cantaloupe while wearing a terry cloth polo shirt, while telling the neighbor kid that you do love a warm morning, despite the fact that it’s 3:30pm.  Thankfully the NASA weekend didn’t have any of that weirdness, nor were the mornings warm.  Well, the one I was there for was hot.  I slept in on Sunday, and managed to get there when it was just getting hot enough to ruin people’s attempts at fast laps.  Thankfully there were some people who only needed to have one good lap.

TT1 saw David Bradshaw in his Lyfe prepped 996 Cup Car set a personal best (1:37.601) on Saturday!  The personal best was only good for second place, because Rhett Panter came down in his crazy widebody S2000 and ran a 1:36.389.  David was not defeated though, he came back on Sunday and took the class win on Sunday.

Shawn Murphy ran a 1:32.976 on Saturday and 1:33.865 on Sunday.  Both of his times, in his TT2 car which he drives on the streets because Wyoming is still calling plays out of the 1887 playbook, were good enough to win TTU.  Imagine what this thing could do if he pulled some weight out of it…

Speaking of TTU: Mike Kresser ran unopposed in the class all weekend.  He threw down a 1:33.567 on Saturday, and a 1:33.872 on Sunday.  He also bought a couple of the super stylish CAMautoMag shirts, a thing you should also do.

John Calvin bagged another TT3 win on Saturday, with a 1:42.706.  Say what you will, a Mustang can be very competitive.  A point which we’ll come back to later.  Something that’s always going to be competitive, granted it’s not some hair-brained project that’s constantly trading hands, is a boosted E36.  Coincidentally that is what Geoffrey Crockett happens to drive.  He laid down a 1:42.758 on Sunday.

I managed to miss both of Nam Yoon’s TT4 winning laps, so I’m using a photo from the last time NASA was on the West track.  Anyway, he ran a 1:40.150 on Saturday, and a 1:39.425 on Sunday.

Front wheel drive hatchbacks seem to be the platform of choice for TTC.  Eduardo Acurero, in his monster CRX, took the win on Saturday with a 1:44.392.  John Butcher, in his tried and true Mini Cooper S, collected the win on Sunday with a 1:49.435.

Trever Pope took home both TTD wins on the weekend, but didn’t collect any tires from the class’s contingency program.  Why?  There wound up not being enough drivers in the class.  How?  Some of the other competitors self DQ’d because, if I’m remembering correctly, of something to do with the tires they were running.  I’m not 100% sure, and I know I will be corrected.

I don’t remember seeing Todd Green’s blue Miata over the weekend, but I do remember seeing ol’ Paul Mitchell turning laps.  Knowing the following: Todd regularly drives Paul, he’s driven Paul more than the blue car this year, and he’s made Paul easier and better to drive recently; it’s easy to come to the conclusion that Todd was driving Paul in TTE all weekend.  Regardless, Todd took the win on both days.

Now on to something where the drivers have to string together multiple, successive good laps instead of just one perfect lap.  And we’ll start in the Lightning group, and with GTS2 where a pair of Porsches split the weekend’s wins.  On Saturday Adam Heller, Boxster driver and all around nice guy, beat out Mark Boschert, the only Spec Boxster driver and probably a nice guy, for the win.  On Sunday Ed Mineau, in his black 911, beat our Mark for the win.  

Darren Jorgensen, proud owner of some CAM slaps, spent the weekend beating up on his fellow Rearden Racing teammates and M235i Racing drivers in GTS3.  He beat Steve Marx (#44) on Saturday, and Andrew McCubbins (#13 with the sweet rookie stripe) on Sunday.  

Carter James was a man on a mission.  He knifed his way through the Spec Miata field on both days, and had a nice little battle with Matt Williamson on Sunday.  He duked it out with Andy Moench on Saturday.  He even went to so far as to try and get into some fights with some of the other classes.  

Tom Rogers sold his E30!  I know, I was just as shocked as you all must be.  I’ll give you a minute…  Ok, anyway, he bought an E36 and stepped up to ST4 with the intent of dethroning Blake Troester!  OVERTHROW THE BURGEROCRACY!  Unfortunately he didn’t do that in the first outing with the new car, because Mayor McCheese has that Porsche dialed.  Jennifer Gannett couldn’t topple the Burger Civil Servant on Sunday.  

Only one Thunder Roadster, which is probably for the best because I don’t think we could handle another insane battle.  Brian Trapnell took Joe Sim’s roadster out for some competitive laps.

I don’t know where Perry Needham came from, or what he’s doing when he’s not on track, but he’s on a tear this year!  This weekend he swept 944 Spec by edging out Greg Troester on Saturday, then hanging a lap on Greg on Sunday.  Is he some sort of savant?  A hot shoe who decided to trot out the wrong 30 year old Porsche?  We demand answers!

Spec Z had their own run group again!  It was only on Saturday, but they made the most of their solo track time.  Richard Fitzgerald and his new livery qualified first, and looked to go wire to wire.  Then Arthur Golebiowski and his *throws dart at a map of Eastern Europe* Moldovian magic came up and took the lead!  And then there was a battle for the rest of the podium.  Tom Kaminski and Chad Aalders set their sights on Richard.  Tom was the first to get around him, which was pretty uneventful.  Then Chad had his go, and I proceeded to lose my mind as I watched it unfold.

Richard spun on the outside of turn 5, naturally leading to the rest of the turn being open for Chad to drive through.  And then Richard, while still sliding through the turn, started to come down towards the inside!  As you can see, it was pretty close.  Chad managed to take the position without taking any damage, and Richard got himself going again and finished in fourth.

Sunday saw Cole “He’s not Kyle” Powelson run away from the field in a car that had a destroyed CV boot, which could’ve led to catastrophe.  Thankfully it didn’t, but still.

And now on to the fastest group, the Thunder group.  And we start with a car that ran in the Lightning group: Darren Jorgensen’s Turner Motorsports built, Rearden Racing prepped M235i Racing.  A car which can be best described as an in-betweener.  There was no inbetween in GTS 4 though, because he swept the weekend.

GTS3 is on the Thunder results sheet for Sunday, and Andrew McCubbins was out in the group for the race.  So following that logic, we can safely say that he did take GTS3.  Or at least he did, until I get a correction!

Despite dealing with some issues related to it being borderline unbearably hot, George Smith brought out his Corvette in ST1 trim and held off the Ginettas for the win on Saturday.  Sunday saw on one Ginetta, and a lone yellow car.  Not George’s Corvette, but David Bradshaw’s 996 Cup car.  Frank “The Tank” Gannett got himself a redemption win, after being thwarted the day before.

ST2, aka the battle for Makes & Models supremacy, saw Brendon Stewart sweeping the weekend.  He got himself into a pretty good battle with Darren Jorgensen both days, but the old Evo couldn’t quite get around the brand new BMW.  Toby, in the Pink Ribbon Racing BRZ, was dealing with fueling issues and traffic.  Notably the Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs and Andrew McCubbins, who took a very wonky line through turn five all day.  Sunday was a bit better for him, but he still lost to Brendon.

Speaking of those FPRS Mustang BOSS 302FRSs, one got itself a win on the weekend!  And was really messing with a lot of the other drivers.  The blue #85, driven by William “Big Bill” Johnson, was not only the fastest Mustang of the day, but managed to finish 11th overall, just behind one of the GTSU competitors.  Those cars can be really competitive with the right driver and right setup.  We had another highly competitive E36 take a win on Sunday, the Us Against One Clothing M3 held off a pair of the FPRS Mustangs to collect another win for the Minion Mobile.

Both of the 911 GT3Rs were out on track for the first time in a long time.  Al Tiley, who had himself a little get together with the Makes & Models Huracan Super Trofeo last month, was back out in his GT3R!  Always good seeing Al, really nice guy.  He swept the weekend in GTSU, dominating a bunch of 911 Cup cars of various generations.  David Donner in his GT3R, a car that has challenged the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, took home both Super Unlimited wins on the weekend.  He wasn’t really challenged by Les Long, in the #496 911 (which I hear has a four liter engine, which is AWESOME), but he didn’t dominate like Al did.  

And there it is!  The round 5 weekend in 1500-ish words.  No long winded, flowery wrap up, because we have the 6 Hour Enduro coming up quick!  August 4-6 is Round 6 AND THE SIX HOUR ENDURO!!!  Registration information, the schedule, and some general information (IE garage rentals and camping, and gate fees) are up on the NASA Utah website.  And keep checking it out, because more info will be posted!  We’ll be back next month!  Buy a shirt!

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14th Oct2016

2016 TresDuro: Tres Means Three Part 2

by Michael Chandler

German Touring Series 2

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Five cars took the grid for GTS2, not a bad number.  We had some familiar faces show up back on track, and another 911.  Never a bad thing.  Unfortunately my favorite Porsche model didn’t take the top spot, BUT my favorite Boxster did.  Adam Heller in the 09 Emotive Boxster took home the win in all three races, and walked away with some shiny hardware.

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In second place is Tom Rogers, in his E30 3 Series.  The old #160 was dead reliable, as far as I could tell, and finished each race on the podium.  Quick side note: I don’t know why I want to, but I have this strong desire to spell Tom’s name with an H.  Thom instead of Tom.  No reason why, but I just really want to do it.  Anywell, Tom ran well all day, and all season.

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Getting himself the only medal that is man-made (gold and silver are naturally occurring, mankind had to figure out how to make bronze), was Chris Haunold.  I’m pretty sure he keeps chatting me up at the events, but I’m not 100% sure.  If it is, you’re a pleasant fellow.  If it isn’t, then there’s a pleasant fellow roaming the paddock and making small talk.  Neither is a bad thing.

Pro Touring E

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The sky is blue, the sun rises in the east, and Todd Green (aka Poppa Smurf, aka the unofficially official corrections department of this fair website) won himself another PTE medal.  It wasn’t easy, the blue car was willing to go fast, but it made Todd work for it.  The hard work paid off, and Todd got himself some more hardware.

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Troy Duffin in his Datsun 510 (still packing an L series engine and drum brakes in the rear) was your second place finisher in the class.  It’s good to be shooting photos of Troy again, takes me back to when there was NASA sanctioned open wheel racing at our weekends.  Good times.

Rounding out the podium was Team Slap Hands in the #158… car?  I shot 4600 photos over two days, and I don’t have a #158, which (according to MyLaps) only took part in the first race.  I do have some photos of a #58, which was around the cars that the Team Slap Hands car supposedly did.  Who is the #58?

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PAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLL MITTTCCCCCCHHHHHHHEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.  Speaking of MyLaps, guess who didn’t run the race that produced this photo opportunity? Yeah, so good ole Paul (who had a rotating cast throughout the weekend) either took home third, or fifth.  Regardless, Smilin Joe Sims is listed in 4th. UPDATE: Yeah, it was all Paul Mitchell.  The 158 and 58 are one and the same.  The Timing and Scoring system doesn’t like having the same number with multiple drivers in a class, hence this whole confusion.

Spec Boxster

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Spec Boxster is still a thing, and it’s still occupied by one man.  One hero: Mark Boschert.  He wasn’t all by himself though.  His pace on two of the three races kept him close to either the GTS2 cars, or the PTE field.  On East he outran the Spec Miatas by a few seconds, but trailed the slowest Spec Z by over four seconds.  Boxsters are cheap, people!  Come on!  Someone else grab one, and get in on some spec racing!

Spec Miata

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It was Williamson and Bond vying for the class win.  By taking the first two races, and finishing second in the third, Chris Bond earned himself a much deserved martini.  It was close though, Matt Williamson kept close in those first two races, just like he did all season.  The TresDuro was a microcosm of the entire Spec Miata season, and it was awesome to watch.

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Matt Williamson was knocking on the door all season, but he couldn’t get over the hump.  I’m telling you, next season he’s going to clear that hump.  Spec Miata is an old class, but it always breeds great drivers and good racing.  Next season, spend some time watching Matt Williamson fight for the crown.

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Craig Shane finished the day in third.  He’s a grinder, he was the only Spec Miata driver to start every race this season!  That’s sixteen races!  Craig is a lot like the Miata he races: dead reliable.  Craig deserves some sort of award for his reliability.

Spec Z

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You guys remember when Spec Z was just three cars?  I do.  You know how many cars took to the tarmac for this year’s TresDuro?  16.  Man how this ridiculousness has grown.

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Topping this ridiculousness was Arthur Golebiowski, one of the OG Spec Z drivers.  Doing this for two and a half years gives you some skills and insight, and Arthur has all of those things rolling around his head.  His average margin of victory was over six and a half seconds in the TresDuro, which begs another question: what does he think about while he’s all by himself at the front?  Is he like Kimi Raikonen, dreaming of his next nap?  Kittens?  Arthur is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, strapped into a silver 350Z.

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Not an OG, but definitely a long time Spec Z driver, Chad Aalders took home second place!  Chad spent most of his day battling another OG, and looking longingly at Arthur’s taillights.  Well, I’m not so sure about that last part, but he spent a fair amount of time looking at the back of Arthur’s car.

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Rounding out the top three is Tom Kaminski.  He spent plenty of time in his retro liveried Z battling Chad, and chasing down Arthur.  Tom and Arthur having been battling it out with each other since 2014, and I hope they keep it up for years to come.

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Speaking of blasts from the past, we had a Thunder Roadster field!  JD Stull came out swinging, and took the win in all three races.  Normally I’d stop the Thunder Roadster writing at that, BUT THERE WAS ANOTHER THUNDER ROADSTER!

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Yes, there was another!  Jihn Han, coming out of nowhere, took home some hardware.

And there it is, the round up of the Lightning group.  Looking for the Thunder and/or Time Trial write ups?  I’ve got separate posts for them.

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31st Mar2014

NASA Utah Round 1: Time Trial

by Michael Chandler
NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (105 of 105)

Smith-Burke Racing setting their second record of the day!

Paul McGarvey in his second run group and second Miata

Paul McGarvey in his second run group and second Miata

 

Many TT drivers had moved up to the road racing classes, and several had not completed their off season builds yet. Absent was everyone’s favorite Wyoming local, TT1 Champion Shawn Murphy, but he came down to visit and show his support and supply NASA Utah’s own Matt Guiver with a well deserved malty beverage. Smith-Burke racing ran fast laps in both the racing group and the time trial group.  Paul McGarvey joined the Vette with his V8 powered Miata, but Paul was one man splitting time between two different classes, while J.R. Smith and James Burke could split seat time.  Hard work paid off and the Vette managed to break Danny Popp’s four year old TT1 track record with a 1:58.09.

Greg Valdez

Greg Valdez

Scott Corsetti chasing down Josh Miller

Scott Corsetti chasing down Josh Miller

In TT2 Greg Valdez picked up right where he left off at Nationals last year.  His 2:04.356 was more than enough to take the win over Scott Corsetti’s 911 turbo. Greg repeated his victory on Sunday. Both TT2 drivers were good sports and spent a great deal of their day instructing new drivers in the HPDE program.

NASA Utah Round 1 TT CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (12 of 14)

Trip Hunter

NASA Utah Round 1 TT CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (11 of 14)

Corry Perkins

NASA Utah Round 1 TT CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (6 of 14)

John Carver

TT3 saw new and old Porches battle a Corvette and a WRX wagon.  Rookie time trial driver Trip Hunter took the class win in his Martini Liveried Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS, posting a 2:11.793, 2.8 seconds ahead of Corry Perkins’s 911.  Rounding out the podium was John Carver, who put his black and silver Corvette in third with a 2:15.329.  Josh Miller drove his WRX wagon to a fourth place finish (2:16.879), and James Pasquier posted a best time of 2:18.657 in his yellow 993 chassis 911, the oldest, but perhaps classiest, car in the field.

Kyle Schick

Kyle Schick

Reigning TTU Champion Kyle Schick was learning how the RaceCo/OS Giken/Ohlins Racing/VP Fuels/AMS GTR handled in rear wheel drive configuration.  2:04.185 was his best time during Saturday’s sessions.

Will we see Shawn Murphy next round?  Will Trent Smith get all four wheels of the GTR spinning together?  Can there possibly be more Porsches on track?  Find out all of this and more next month! The next race weekend is April 25-27 on the West track.  Registration is open and we look forward to seeing everyone return for Round 2 of the NASA Utah racing series

Words by Michael Chandler and Matt Guiver.  Photos by Michael Chandler

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