19th Jun2017

The Rest of the Round 4 Photos

by Michael Chandler

Write-up coming… Eventually?  In the meantime, here are the photos from Sunday.  Enjoy the gallery, buy stuff so I can keep coming out and covering the races (also so I can replace the pants I ripped hopping fences this last round), and stay tuned for the write-up.

Find us on social media, subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
02nd Feb2017

Double Pizza Double Feature: The CAMcast

by Michael Chandler

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the CAMcast!  This week we have the entire crew in for some of the episode, but we still bring some news, opinions, and an unhinged rant or two.  We talk everything from the Rolex 24 at Daytona to how we’d change and enforce emissions standards.  It’s quite the episode.

 

We’re on iTunes!

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
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
25th May2016

NASA Utah Round 3: We’re Drowning in Z’s

by Michael Chandler

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There were fifteen entries in Spec Z on Saturday.  15!  The other Lightning group classes, combined, had eighteen cars.  It’s safe to say that we’re drowning in Spec Z’s.  Anyway, on to the coverage!  And let’s begin in Spec Z, where Arthur Golebiowski was fighting off four other drivers for the top spot in the championship.  None of the four drivers, nor Arthur, took the win.  It was James Burke who won the day.  Yes, James Burke and that delightful accent of his took P1 in class and overall in the group.  Yeah, I called his accent delightful.  Have you heard him speak?  Best accent on the grid!

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In the next largest spec class, Spec Miata, Bond, Chris Bond took home another gold medal.  He’s still holding to the top spot in class, but Matt Williamson is still hot on his heels.

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And in the loneliest spec class, Spec Boxster, Mark Boschert turned some solid laps.

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We got some 944 Spec action!  Samuel Kapp held off Otto Silva and took home the win in the all Porsche class.

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Nathan Rohner took home another win in PTBrrappp.  Seriously, this thing was shooting fire going into turn 1.  Someone join him!

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Todd Green, in the mighty Paul Mitchell, ran away from Randy Cummings in PTE.  Here we see Todd next to Dave Dingman, 4th in Spec Miata, going into turn 1.  Todd, or at least Paul Mitchell, took home the win in TTE as well.

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Jeff and Blake had a new running mate in GTS3!  It was Bob Boileau, in a BMW Z4!  Good job Bob, solid work.

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I don’t know why, but I have this weird urge to insert an H into Tom Rogers’s name.  Call him Thom.  Don’t know why.  Anyway, Thom and his BMW took the win in GTS2, a square 26.159 seconds ahead of Chris Haunold and his Porsche.

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Somebody buy a BRZ and challenge Trever Pope.  He’s alone in TTD, and could use a friend.

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Darin Beaudoin and his dirty, drifty Miata grabbed the TTB win.  If anyone is getting sick of me calling S2000’s Miatas, I have bad news for you: I’m not stopping.  AND NEITHER IS DARIN!!!! MAUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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James Pasquier piloted the Porsche of my dreams to a win in TT3 over some BRZ’s, and a friendly guy in a Subaru.  Seriously James, I want your 911 or a reasonable facsimile!

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Alex Whetman and the Focus of Doom, which I did not strap a camera to, came out of wherever it is they hide and took the TT2 victory of Shawn Murphy, his new flares, and his weird desire to go off-roading.  We’ll hunt down the elusive Alex and stick a camera on the Focus at Round 4!  Or whenever.

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Jordan Priestly was out and about in the 2016 Camaro development mule.  He then decided to DQ that car, and jump in Michael Eifling’s Corvette.  And in doing so winning TT1.

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We finally come to TTU, which was a bit different than usual.  As you can see, this isn’t Wade Hall’s Mustang, nor is it the Makes & Models Super Trofeo Huracan.  This is, however, Brendon Stewart, and it is a Makes & Models car.  It also was the fastest TTU car of the day.

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Speaking of 996 Porsche 911’s: Darrell Troester collected a GTS4 win with his 996 Cup Car!

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In ST3, and *just* in front of whatever CA Sport car was coming out of Release, was Frank Gannett.  He brought home another win in the black Ford Performance Racing School Mustang.

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JR Smith piloted him E36 BMW to a solid ST2 drive, which got him a gold medal.

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George Smith ran his Corvette in ST1 trim, which meant he was down on power.  Normally this wouldn’t be much of a problem, except ST1 had a five car field.  And Bob did some more aero modifications to the Snickers car (that’s a story in and of itself).  Despite all of that, George took home the win!

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Les Long broke out his 997 Cup car, which I’ve heard rumors about.  Rumors that make me want to know more about the car.  Anyway, Les and the pirate Porsche took home the SU class win.

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Mckay Snow, and his determined look, claimed a GTSU victory.  Frankly, it would’ve been more surprising if he didn’t win.  The big story in GTSU is the lack of the Makes & Models Huracan ST.  Unfortunately, the Huracan met the wall during an earlier practice session.  Things were broken, but Derek was ok.  The car?  Well, that’s TBD.  When I saw it, it didn’t look so bad.  Then again, I grossly underestimate how bad things look to repair.

And that’s that.  Another NASA Utah weekend in the books.  Join us for the next race weekend, June 10-12.  They’ll be on the West track, where things can get interesting.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
01st Feb2016

Corvette Goes 1-2 at Daytona!

by Michael Chandler

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Oliver Gavin in the #4 C7.R nosed ahead of the #3 C7.R driven by Antonio Garcia by .034 seconds to take the GTLM win at the Rolex 24!  We don’t have a photo of either of them, but here’s George Smith in his equally yellow C5.  Like Oli and Antonio, George has won his fare share of races and championships.

27th May2015

NASA Utah 2015 Round 3: Fetch Thine Umbrellas!

by Michael Chandler

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Words by Michael Chandler.  Photos by Michael Chandler and Michael Wells

The unusually wet spring Utah has been experiencing has meant that there were two consecutive rain soaked round of the NASA Utah season for the first time in…  Well, ever.  Mercifully the rain wasn’t as heavy as the second round, and it had let up by Sunday.  So without further ado, let’s get to the winners!

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In Spec Miata, David Sherman led the suddenly surging Spec Miata field to a win on Saturday, and Daniel Williams kept fighting the good fight and took advantage of the sunny Sunday weather to win on Sunday.  Will he sell on Monday?  Your guess is as good as mine, but I doubt he’ll be letting go of his silver NB.

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Spec Z on Saturday was wild.  Tom Kaminski was chasing the eventual class leader Arthur Golebiowski like a man possessed.  He was coming around Clubhouse Turn at full opposite lock, which probably didn’t help close the gap but it looked very cool.  Meanwhile, Kyle Schick (6th in class) had another scary moment in Clubhouse.  He spun out, but managed to slide off the racing line.

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As mentioned earlier, Arthur Golebiowski took the win on Saturday and the #98 of Team Askew Motorsports ran a tight race and took home their first win of the season on Sunday!

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Bill Noblitt battled Gus Stribakos in GTS3, and took the win in his mid-engined Porsche on both days.  Say what you will about the Boxster, but that car in the right hands can do some pretty awesome things.

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Paul Mitchell, guided by the steady hand of Todd Green, navigated the rain and took the win in PTE on Saturday.  Paul wasn’t done for the weekend, but he was done in PTE.  GTS2 had a competitor on Sunday: the Team CA Sport BMW 3 Series.  We need more lots of things out on track, and E36s are one of them.

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While we’re all familiar with Todd Ainsworth’s new ST3 E36 M3, we’re not familiar with the red E36 M3 pictured above (but below Todd’s).  Turns out the red car is driven by one of our favorite Corvette drivers: George Smith.  Where is the Vette?  Beats me, I didn’t see much of George so I couldn’t ask him but it spent the weekend running around in ST2.  There it ran into something the engineers who created the M3 never imagined it would be competing against: a pickup truck.

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Mike Mielke can wheel in that truck!  Hopefully this season we’ll see some epic, and frankly strange, battles between the super truck and George’s new M3.  Because who hasn’t wanted to see that?

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Travis Tidball got himself a wing to go along with his fancy new (for this season) bodywork!  He also got himself a pair of wins out of the weekend.  The car was back on the dyno at JDP Motorsports to verify its power-to-weight ratio after some questions were raised during the weekend.  The results?  The car is ST3 legal.  The C5 Corvette: ruining people’s race weekends since 2001!

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A big surprise was seeing Brent Holden running in with the NASA Utah guys and gals instead of with the Pirelli World Challenge crew up in Canada.  No matter, he had an impressive showing in his Global Motorsports Group Audi R8 LMS Ultra and took wins in the Super Unlimited class on both days.

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On Sunday he battled the TW Racing R8 LMS, and you know what?  The older LMS got around the Ultra!  It was an amazing battle to watch!  However, an untimely penalty forced the TW Racing R8 into the pits to serve out its penalty and cut the fight short.  How did the GTSU class R8 fare in it’s class?

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Not well, unfortunately.  The 911 GT3 Cup cars of Alan Wilson and Les Long took the wins on Saturday and Sunday respectively.  The Air Power Racing prepped Porsche of Les Long is currently tied for first in the season’s points race with the TW Racing Audi.  How will this back and forth battle play out?  Hopefully we’ll see more tight battles between the two as the season plays out.

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More Porsches battled in GTS5.  On Saturday David Lockwood notched another win for the Air Power Racing camp, while Darrell Troester picked up a win for himself and Tatum Racing on Sunday.

Have I told you that I really like the E90 3 series?  Because I like the E90s, especially in race trim.  Conveniently, Byron Smith drives a race prepped E90 AND he won the GTS4 class.  That confluence of events allowed me to express my opinion on the E90.  Moving on…

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TT1 is being dominated by Subarus.  On Saturday, Shawn Murphy in the Lyfe Motorsports STi took the win over Ziptie Dynowerks STi of Greg Valdez by less than a second.  On Sunday the roles were reversed and Greg beat out Shawn, but the margin of victory was smaller: only .33 seconds separated the two!

TT2 is ruled by the iron fist of Robert Rathbone, and his authority is enforced by his 911 GT3.  All those who oppose him will be laid to WASTE!!!  Well, not really… at all.  He is currently running away with the TT2 championship.

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Alex Whetman is a bad, bad man in a bad, bad Focus.  He took TT3 on both days, earning his 4th and 5th wins on the season. He also had the fastest TT times of the weekend.  Not just TT3, ALL of TT.  By the way, buy the shirt.

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In the sea of FRS’s and BRZs, what rises to the top?  A Honda S2000.  Dave Wann took TTB  on both days, and is right in the thick of things in the class.  We don’t have a shirt to promote here, or anything really.

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Paul Mitchell ladies and gentlemen!  The intrepid Miata won TTE on the weekend, but that’s not the story here.

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Jeb Brown and Ben Lamberson are continuing their battle from last season, with Jeb currently leading Ben by a mere 70 points.  Was this little update necessary?  Eh, probably not.  But would you look at that picture!

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Fresh off their win at Global Time Attack, Lyfe Motorsports brought out their R35 GTR on Sunday AND!… Did not post a time during a TT session.  They did post the fastest time of the day (1.31.803!) during the Thunder group practice that morning. The TW Racing R8 LMS did post times during TT sessions.  Did it on both days.  It’s fastest time in the class was a 1:40.763, but that wasn’t the fastest lap it did over the weekend.  In the Sunday Thunder Group race, they posted a 1:33.825!

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McKay Snow was out again in the Patron Elan DP02, racing in Super Formula.  He took both races in commanding fashion.

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Formula saw Troy Duffin take the first race of the day with young Bruno Carneiro in second.  In the second race, they swapped podium places: Bruno won, and Terry took second.  At the end of the day, the young Brazilian clings to a twenty-five point lead in the class.

And there you have it.  If you’re doing rain dances, stop it!  Round 4 is also on the East Course, and the Lucas Oil Offroad series will be dropping by the off road course at MMP as well.  Come out, bring an umbrella (and possibly a winter coat.  You won’t be laughing when it snows three and a half feet!), and take in a full weekend of all sorts of racing!

Saturday Gallery

Sunday Gallery

Michael Wells Gallery!

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

 

07th May2015

NASA Utah 2015 Round 2: Let’s Make A Toto Reference

by Michael Chandler

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Words by Michael Chandler, photos by Michael Chandler, Michael Wells and Gavin Pouquette

Some things are inevitable: death, taxes, and one rain soaked NASA Utah event.  Nobody died, everyone had paid their taxes (probably), but it did rain.  A lot.

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But here’s the thing: it wasn’t raining all weekend.  In fact, for the Saturday races, everyone qualified in the dry.  Well, everyone except Madison Snow.  He ran in the dry, and then the UIS Snow Racing Porsche 911 went back in the trailer.  BUT! But, McKay (the younger one) was not averse to running in the rain, nor was he averse to annihilating the field.

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McKay came out in an IMSA Prototype Lights class car, and proceeded to eek out a 7.4 second win over Ian Lacy in the first Super Formula race (which was dry) and ran away from Terry Biner by a staggering 1:36 in the second!

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The second race was utterly drenched.  Nobody was going to be able to utterly dominate, unless they’re name was Ayrton Senna, and we’re never going to see that level of genius for many years.  However, there is a young Brazilian who drove extremely well in the rain.  If you’ll direct you view to the right side of the picture above, you will see him lurking in the mist.

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Fifteen year old phenom Bruno Carneiro took both Formula class races, an impressive feat considering that the second race might as well have been held in a swimming pool.  For those keeping track, Bruno has won three of the last four Formula races.

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Speaking of tin tops, let’s talk TT.  Greg Valdez, pictured here on race slicks and with a completed wrap, is taking to TT1 like a fish to water.  He took the overall wins on both days of the weekend, while Shawn Murphy kept it close both days, but could not out run Greg.

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Alex Whetman’s Focus of Doom narrowly defeated Travis Tidball’s C5 Corvette on Saturday, and beat up on Matt Guiver on Sunday.  Guiver was in the freshly completed Us Against One Clothing E36 BMW M3.  Speaking of Us Against One Clothing and Alex Whetman, they put our name and logo on a shirt with a picture of the FoD on it.  Head on over, pick up a shirt (or several) and support some good local dudes.

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In TTB, AKA Spec 86, someone in something that is called a GT86 in places that aren’t America won the class on both days.  That someone is Toby Crawford, and that something is a Subaru BRZ.

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TTE was missing Ben Lamberson, and his championship winning Audi, so that opened up a path to victory for another competitor.  On Saturday Joe Schubert took a stroll down that path, and on Sunday long time rival Jeb Brown took the win.

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And in TTU an Audi (TW Racing) beat a couple of Hondas (the Turbo Lab NSX and Rhett Panter’s Integra) on Saturday, and on Sunday tried its hand at being an S1 Quattro. It did not go well, but it still won TTU.

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And playing by himself in TT2 was Robert Rathbone in his 911 GT3.

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The Lightning group is getting big.  More and more Spec Zs are emerging, which means the field is growing.  On Saturday there were 8 cars in the field, and 7 on Sunday.

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Arthur Golebiowski took advantage of the wet conditions, which caused an untimely spin for Chad Aalders (who, according the the results sheet, only did three laps. But did he make them count!) to take the win on Saturday.  On Sunday the weather was better, and the Lyfe Motorsports Spec Z (piloted by Cole Powelson) narrowly denied Arthur of a weekend sweep.  The margin of victory on Sunday? .305 seconds.

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In Spec Miata, David Sherman swept the weekend in the #44 Carpenter Motorsports Miata.  Ignore what the windshield says!  It was David I tell you!!!

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GTS3, PTC, PTE, and 944 Spec had one competitor each.  They were Bill Noblitt (#644, GTS3), Ed Mineau (#221, PTC), Todd Green (#58, PTE), and Otto Silva (#21, 944 Spec).  I would say they need more in class competitors, but they’ve taken to making the drivers in the bigger classes really work on the track.

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Saturday’s and Sunday’s Thunder races could not have been more different.  Just look at it!  Saturday’s affair was rain soaked, while Sunday’s could not have had more perfect weather.

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The weather didn’t matter to John Scarlett, he took wins in GTSU on both days.  On Sunday he had the TW Racing Audi R8 LMS breathing down his neck, his margin of victory was a mere .144 seconds.  That wouldn’t be really surprising, that R8 LMS is a fast car, but it is insane considering that Derek Wolthoff started the race from the back of the grid!

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ST3 was a classic Chevy vs. Ford battle.  On Saturday the Mustangs dominated the podium, with Gary Free in the Towne Storage FR500S standing on the top spot and Madison Milgard in second in one of the brand new Ford Performance Racing School BOSS 302 FRS Mustangs.  Sunday was all about the bowtie, with Travis Tidball in his C5 Corvette taking top honors and Joe Bogie in second in his fifth generation Camaro.

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Super Unlimited was won on Saturday by Joe Sim in the Turbo Lab NSX, which as a Honda fanboi at heart, was awesome to see.  On Sunday Byron Smith put his BMW on top of the podium.

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Mike Mielke in the super truck that can, did win ST2 on both days of the weekend.  Should the Silver Streak be detuned so it can compete in a more populous field?  Should it be tuned UP to compete in ST1?  Personally, I like it where it is.  So long as it remains on track.

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On Sunday we had Dan Worley in his Tatum Racing prepped LSx powered Porsche 944 competing in ST1, and Chris Vivolo was out and about in the #66 Porsche 911 in GTS5.  Both were the lone competitors in their classes, and both were Porsches.

And that’s all she wrote.  The next race weekend is fast approaching, the 16th and 17th of this month in fact.  The racers will be hustling around the East course, which features Miller Motorsports Park’s signature turn and the most dramatic elevation changes on the entire track.  Come, join us, there might be cookies, and there will definitely be some great racing.

Saturday Gallery

Sunday Gallery

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag and their respective owners.
03rd Apr2015

NASA Utah Round 1 In Motion

by Michael Chandler

Video by Gavin Pouquette

Seeing the photos and reading the write ups of the NASA Utah events are one thing, but seeing the car actually moving is another thing entirely!  For Round 1 we brought out Gavin Pouquette to shoot some video, and cut it together so we can show it to you all!  And without further ado, here it is!

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

 

 

18th Sep2014

2014 Utah Grand Prix Day 2

by Michael Chandler

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 NASCAR Pro Series K&N West Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (2 of 35)

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

No time for pleasantries, let’s get right to it! The day opened up with the second Touring Car class race of the weekend, and while nobody attempted to climb over anybody else there was still some close racing.

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 TC Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (4 of 33) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 TC Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (5 of 33)

Nathan Stacy came into the Black Rock hairpin too hot in the #14 TSG/Ford Racing Motorsports Development Group Ford Fiesta, opening the door for Brian Price to drive the #51 Unlimited Racing/RP Performance Honda Fit right on through.  Unfortunately their battle was for third place, Johan Schwartz used the Schwartz to put his Garrett Racing/Drive4Diabetes Honda fit on top of the podium, with Andrei Kisel in the #57 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com Mini Cooper taking home second place.  Despite his third place finish, Brian Price took home the Driver’s Championship for the B Spec Class!

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 TC Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (32 of 33) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 TC Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (21 of 33)

TCA was an in house battle, with Jason Wolfe and Nik Jonsson battling for the class win.  Jason Wolfe in the #36 Wolfe Trucking/Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup squeaked out a first place finish over Nik Jonsson in the #38 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup.  The margin of victory was .003 seconds!  Rounding out the podium was Jason Cherry in the Autism Society of America/Avpro Jets/Purposeful Architecture Shea Racing Mazda MX-5 Miata.  Jason Wolfe’s narrowest of narrow victories cemented his Driver’s Championship.

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Touring Car wasn’t nearly as hotly contested as TCA and B Spec was, but that’s not to say it was completely devoid of action.  Steven Doherty in the #94 Skullcandy/Nissan/GT Academy Altima Coupe fired off a 1:38.411 lap on his way to victory, which was better than the existing track record!  No slouch himself, Michael Pettiford in the #41 Go4It Racing Schools/ Hawk Brakes Pontiac Solstice turned a 1:38.693 lap; however, he could not overcome the lead Doherty had.  Fred Emich, #30 Emich Racing/Emich Volkswagen Jetta GLI had the same problem of an insurmountable lead, but he still parked the Jetta on the podium.  The 4th place finisher would end up taking home the Driver’s Championship: Michael DiMeo in the #71 Grand Alarms/Compass 360 Racing/Children’s Tumor Foundation Honda Civic Si.

The Touring Car classes in World Challenge didn’t garner as large of crowds as the GT classes did, and that’s a bit of a shame in my opinion.  Sure the cars aren’t as fast or as flashy, but the racing is just as good, and just as competitive as it is in the senior circuit.  If you ever get the chance: find a good seat, settle in and watch the entire field go nose to tail and try to get around each other.

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 Miller GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (14 of 35) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 Miller GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (31 of 35)

Next on the docket was the Miller GT Challenge group.  The twenty car field consisted of eight of your favorite locals in the title class, nine United States Touring Car Championship drivers, and three USTCC GT drivers.  In the UTSCC field it was a battle of BMWs, with Jason Alexandridis in the #22 Perfromance Technic M3 beating out another M3, this being the #12 of Beau Borders, for the class win.

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 Miller GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (34 of 35) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 Miller GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (15 of 35)

In the GT field it was two manufacturers vying for the win.  Unfortunately the #34 GoGoGear.com BMW of Larry Bani retired, relegating him to third place.  Finishing ahead of him was the #16 Red Star Racing BMW of Daniel Akhromstev.  Sitting atop the heap was the #98 Honda S2000 of Andrie Hartanta.

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 Miller GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (26 of 35) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 Miller GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (8 of 35)

And finally in Miller GT we saw a three way battle for first place.  Derek Wolthoff in the #08 Makes And Models/TW Racing Audi R8 LMS battled Cindi Lux in the #5 Lux Performance Dodge Viper SRT and Cole Powelson in the #23 AMS Performance/OS Giken/RaceCo Nissan GTR.  The battle raged for twenty-five laps, but nearing the end of the race a piece of the GTR’s under tray came loose and caused them to fall off the pace.  Cindi and Derrick continued the fight, but by the time the checkered flag came down it was Derrick who was in front by 4.7 seconds.

On a side note: Cole Powelson has been a friend of the site’s for many years.  Today he announced that he would be leaving his position at RaceCo to create a new opportunity for himself in motorsports.  All of us here wish him the best of luck going forward, and we can’t wait to see what he ends up doing.

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On to the Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTA/GTS race, where championships were on the line!  Well, at least in GTA and GTS, the latter of which is where we begin.  Lawson Aschenbach in the #1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 needed to hold off Jack Baldwin and Mark Wilkins to claim his Driver’s title.  Fortunately for Lawson, and unfortunately for Mark, the prior race’s incident between the Kias left Mark looking up from third place in the standings, and 17th in the race.  Drew Regitz, #02 TRG-AMR Aston Martin GT4, battled with Lawson all race long, but Lawson pulled eeked out a .461 second lead by the drop of the checkered.  Jack Baldwin, in the #73 RESET-MD/GTSport Racing Porsche Cayman S took the class win by nearly a second over Lawson, but the win was not enough for Jack to claim the Driver’s Championship from Lawson.

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 World Challenge GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (7 of 117) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 World Challenge GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (101 of 117) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 World Challenge GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (1 of 117)

Less than 100 points separated the contenders for the GTA Driver’s championship, and Michael Mills (#41 Effort Racing Porsche 911 GT3R) secured his championship with his hard fought third place finish in the race.  Marcelo Hahn in the #0 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 narrowly took second place in the race behind the #54 Black River Caviar/Black Swan Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Tim Pappas. It was Pappas who ran away from the field, and finished with a three second finish over Hahn.

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 World Challenge GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (8 of 117) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 World Challenge GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (95 of 117) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 World Challenge GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (22 of 117)

The GT class featured a podium completely devoid of Driver’s Championship contenders.  Andy Pilgrim, #8 Cadillac Racing CST-V.R, would finish fourth in the driver’s standings but his third place finish in the race secured Cadillac’s Manufacturer’s Title over Audi.  The top of the podium was decided by less than 1/4 of a second.  Robert Thorne in the #6 K-PAX Racing Mclaren MP4-12C GT3 traded blows with Ryan Dalziel in the #31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3R, but managed to hold off the Porsche at the line.

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 World Challenge GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (82 of 117) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 World Challenge GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (106 of 117)

The real battle to watch was further down the pack.  The fight for positions 6-7-8 featured your top three Driver’s Championship contenders.  Unfortunately, the incident at the beginning of the previous day’s race that left Skeen with a broken axle pretty much secured the title for Johnny O’Connell and his #3 Cadillac Racing CTS-V.R.  Second place in the championship was still up for grabs, and Anthony Lazarro battled Mike Skeen tooth and nail for it.  Unfortunately for Anthony and the crew of the #61 R.Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, Mike knew the score.  His 23rd place finish the race before narrowed the gap between himself and Lazarro, so he had to outright beat him in the race or at the very least keep him close.  The Hawk Performance Audi R8 LMS Ultra ran well, but not well enough to keep the Ferrari behind it.  The 3.2 second gap, at first glance, would seem to vault Lazarro into second place; however,  Skeen only finished two places behind him.  The gap was not enough, and Mike Skeen maintained his second place.

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 NASCAR Pro Series K&N West Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (1 of 35) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 NASCAR Pro Series K&N West Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (32 of 35) Utah Grand Prix Day 2 NASCAR Pro Series K&N West Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (4 of 35)

Finally on the day was the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race.  The Home Tracks series are the entry level series in the NASCAR system.  Do well enough there, and the potential to move into the Camping World Truck Series arises.  From there it’s Nationwide series, and finally the Sprint Cup.  Could one of these drivers be the next rising star? Who knows, but your third place finisher is the series’s Rookie of the Year.  James Bickford put the #6 Sunrise Ford/Eibach Sprint/Lucas Oil Ford on the podium and secured the ROTY honors.  Second place belonged to Bickford’s teammate Dylan Lupton in the #9 Sunrise Ford/Eibach Sprint/Lucas Oil Ford.  Taking home the win was David Mayhew in the #17 MMI  Services/Ron’s Rear Ends Chevrolet.  Two races are left in the season, and Lupton is withing striking distance of Driver’s Points leader Greg Pursley.

And so that ends our weekend at the Grand Prix.  It was quite the two days.  Below are galleries with far more photos in them, neatly divided up into their respective series.  We hope to see you again at next year’s Utah Grand Prix, or at the very least on the 27th of September for NASA Utah Round 6.

Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTA/GTS

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West

Pirelli World Challenge TC/TCA/TCB

Miller GT/USTCC

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

 

 

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