20th Apr2017

CAMcast: Dodge’s New Slogan

by Michael Chandler

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Welcome back to the basement ladies and gentlemen!  It may be unfinished, and littered with old CRT televisions, but it will always feel like home.  The gang is all here for this week’s episode, and boy is it a doozy!

  • Pizza Dad catches us up on Formula 1
  • Dave and Mike review a curiously optioned BMW
  • Mike goes to a dark place
  • Gavin and Mike talk about ISS
  • Everyone talks about car shows vs car meets
  • Dodge Demon and Jeep Track Hawk
  • Supercars
  • Fast and Furious movies
  • And listener questions!

Thank you for spending some of your week with us, it means a lot that you’re willing to support us as we try to bring you better and more polished content.  You can stream the episode in the player above, or download it here.  If you haven’t, please share this podcast with your friends! Word of mouth is a great way for us to grow.  So is leaving us a review and rating on iTunes, preferably positive and 5 stars.  While you’re there, subscribe to us!  Then head over to YouTube and subscribe to our channel.  We’ve got some cool stuff coming.  And as always, follow us on our social media feeds!

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
14th Oct2016

2016 TresDuro: Tres Means Three Part 3

by Michael Chandler

Time Trial C

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

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

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

Time Trial D

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

Time Trial E

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

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

Time Trial B

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

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

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

Time Trial 3

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

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

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

Time Trial 2

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

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

Time Trial 1

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

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

Time Trial Unlimited

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

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

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

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

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

 

Off
22nd Jul2016

NASA Utah Round 5: The Melty Way

by Michael Chandler

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It was hot.  Very hot.  So hot, in fact, that some competitors ended up being less than competitive because of it.  Andy Moench’s and Mike Bratsch’s TT3 cars were feeling the heat, as were some of the Spec Z cars.  Greg Warnock’s E92 M3 racecar succumbed to overheating issues, but he just hopped into his Cayman GT4 Clubsport and got some more laps in.  I mean, who doesn’t have a back up race car in this day and age?  Speaking of Greg’s race…

THUNDER

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That’s where we start our coverage.  Surprisingly, it was pretty drama free.  At least from where I was.  We had one GTS3 competitor, and that was Mayor McCheese himself: Blake Troester!

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Byron Smith was back!  Unfortunately for him, Darrell Troester was still there.  He finished a lap up on Byron, and claimed another GTS4 win.

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Despite going spin cycle early in the race, Gerry Shear (who gets it) got everything straightened out and took home a GTS5 win.

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NASA Utah’s own BFG, Bob Evans, took the Snickers Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup High Downforce Prototype to the top of the podium in ST1.

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J.R. Smith, proving that good things can be made better with the addition of an LSx, claimed another ST2 win.

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Benevolent Overlord Matt Guiver hopped in the Minion (or banana mobile) and out drove five of the Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs.  Five!  That’s a lot of Mustangs to beat out.

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In the Super Unlimited class, Pirate Supreme Les Long threw down some blistering laps and took home the class win.  Could he take home the overall win?

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Well, no.  Makes & Modesl had their Huracan Super Trofeo back on track, and Derek was a man on a mission.  Despite rising temperatures setting off alarms, he managed to claim the GTSU win AND the overall race group win.  Speaking of that white, German/Italian super-weapon…

TIME TRIAL

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Brendon Stewart hopped in the driver’s seat for the TT sessions and threw down a best time of 1:35.580 to take the TTU win.

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TT1 saw a few Vipers.  Definitely not a bad thing, especially given the news that FCA will be killing the big snake after 2017.  Topping the podium was one of those snakes, the one driven by David Gilliland.  He slithered around the East course of UMC in 1:41.8.44

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Shawn Murphy wasn’t there that long on Saturday.  He had a wedding to go to.  I suggested someone Facetime him in, but that one didn’t fly.  My brilliant idea didn’t fly, but Shawn did.  And in the crowded combined session to boot.   His best time in his “street car” was 1:40.988.

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As mentioned earlier, Andy and Mike’s cars were feeling the effects of the heat.  The heat didn’t seem to be a problem for James Pasquier, and his reliable as the sunrise 993 911.  He set his best time in the last session of the day!  Clearly we should all get 911’s, and be immune from heat.

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Darin Beaudoin barely escaped the day with a win in TTB.  He had Stephen Martin hot on his heels.  Stephen posted a best time of 1:47.795, which was so close to Darin’s time.  Darin, in his Honda Miata, posted a 1:47.760.

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For those keeping score at home, Porsches have claimed five wins on the day so far.  After this, they will have claimed six.  Max Dufford, in his Boxster, ran a 1:48.977 in TTC.

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Todd Green, listed in the #60 which I don’t have a picture of nor even see, took home the win in TTE.  He posted a best time of 1:47.335 in the second TT Storm session.  I don’t have a photo of that car, but I do have a photo of the mythical beast that is L’oreal! I MEAN PAUL MITCHELL!!!  Speaking of things that you could hear about later…

LIGHTNING

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Things got a little spooky, then kinda violent.  Some Spec Miata drivers got too close coming out of Release, and one spun.  Later in the race: a couple of Spec Z drivers got together, sending one into the dirt.  Aside from those events, and another Spec Z losing an engine over the course of the race which left the car stranded at pit in, the race was fairly straightforward.  Let’s start with Spec Miata, where Chris Bond returned!  He took home with win, and managed to stay clear of any sort of shenanigans.

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Otto Silva wasn’t the only 944 Spec driver this weekend!  He was still the winner, but he wasn’t alone!

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We haven’t had any open wheel races this season, which has meant that the usual drivers have been doing other things to occupy their time.  Apparently one of those “other things” for Troy Duffin is getting a hold of a Datsun 510 racer.  He brought it out this weekend, and took home the win in PTE.

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Here we see the GTS2, PTB, and Thunder Roadster winners, all at once!  Tom Rogers got himself a win in GTS2, Nathan Rohner in his RX7 (which was originally built as an autocross car) got another PTB win, and JD Stull took the win in Thunder Roadster.  This was JD’s first race, and it was great seeing him out in competition.

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We had one, lone GTS1 competitor: Steve Burns.  He and Chris Bond had a solid battle all race, which was great to watch.

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And in Spec Z, we had the #42 DXDT car, driven by David Askew, atop the podium.

PHEW!  What a day!  On to some miscellaneous stuff:

  • Todd Green usually dominates PTE, except this race.  Why?  Because he had a dead battery.  He got a push start, but ended up being two laps down.  Wouldn’t know it by the way he drove.
  • The Spec Z that lost an engine was the #46 DXDT car, driven by James Burke.  It was smoking on every downshift from what I heard from some of the other drivers
  • It was Kyle Schick who wound up in the dirt.  Can’t quite remember who hit him though, but I do have footage of the contact!
  • I ran around and slapped some CAM stickers on to some competitors cars.  If you’d like one, shoot me an email and have some space on the passenger side of your car clear.
  • For those of you who want to purchase photos: go to here

And that is that!  We’ll be back for Round 6, and the 6 Hour Enduro on August 6.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
18th May2016

Where They Stand: Time Trial Standings

by Michael Chandler

 

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Now it’s time to take a look at the Time Trial standings.  There aren’t nearly as many classes in TT, but there are plenty of close battles.  Like TTE!  Paul Mitchell, the most fabulous Miata of them all, sits atop the class with Tyler Nisonger 40 points behind.  How is this going to shake out?  Well, back in third is Ben Lamberson.  He’s 70 points down, but definitely not out.  It’s a long season, and that’s not an insurmountable gap.

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Trevor Pope is sitting atop TTD, riding high on three straight wins.

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TTC didn’t have a single competitor last weekend, so Tom Rogers is still leading the group.

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New Miata owner, and fella with a jaunty last name, Darin Beaudoin is sitting atop TTB, with Adam Hurdman 100 point behind him in second place.

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One of the BRZ/FRS drivers to step up to TT3 was Andy Moench, and he finds himself in first place.  Another driver who made the jump is Mike Bratsch, who currently sits in second place.

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Shawn Murphy and his “street car” are 45 points ahead of the Makes & Models 911 GT3.  The 911 is tied with the Pink Ribbon Racing BRZ, which is getting some fresh new rubber.  Shawn is throwing on some new sideskirts and fender flares for the next round, so this weekend is going to be interesting.

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David Gilliland and his bright orange Viper are leading the way in TT1.  Nice to see that bright, menacing thing running around and winning.

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At the end of the rainbow is an Italian/German race car driven by a collection of talent that used to drive a German race car.  That would be Makes & Models and their shiny new Huracan ST.  They have a 20 point lead over Wade Hall in TTU.  If you were to take in to account the wins Makes & Models scored when they took their old R8 LMS out for Round 1, they’d have a 220 point lead over Wade.  Regardless, Makes & Models is still learning the car while Wade is sharpening his driving skills.  This one could get interesting.

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

 

10th Feb2016

I See You Like To Live Dangerously

by Michael Chandler

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I, too, like to live dangerously.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
20th Jan2016

Dodge Ram Camper Van: Make Your Own Adventure

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Most of us go on vacations, and we enjoy them.  We go on cruises, fly to Vegas, or road trip to a nearby getaway.  My trips last a few days, and I haven’t gone further than Las Vegas in a few years.  A bold few will pile into a large vehicle, and take to the open road for weeks at a time.  And some just up and live in one of those vehicles for months on end.  This is a story about one of the latter.

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The handsome fellow relaxing in the Adirondack chair is Jay.  Jay is quite the character.  He has lived on a boat while he was fixing it up.  He’s done bike races, well into decades when most people would be content to sit at home and reminisce about the life they’ve led.  He’s lived in the desert, and biked on trips that most people would drive.  He also turned a 2000 Dodge Ram delivery van into a pretty sweet home on wheels.

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Jay got to work pretty early.  He says he got cracking two weeks after buying the van, his girlfriend says the stockness lasted five minutes. Regardless, he built this van to live in, and while some people would throw a twin mattress in the back and call it good, Jay didn’t do that.  He couldn’t even really settle on how the interior would look, in the fifteen years he’s owned it he’s changed the interior ten times.  No project is ever done.

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Now, why did he pick a van of all things?  Imagine this: you’re living in Newport Beach, California.  You live in a rather expensive home, in a very nice neighborhood.  One morning, you go out for a run and you see a Class C motorhome parked on your street.  where did this come from? You think to yourself.  It can’t be here all summer, there’s no way.  And yet that monster sits.  Obstructing views and traffic, and generally being an eyesore.  The site weighs on you, your productivity at work falls.  By the end of the summer, you’ve been fired.  You can’t afford your mortgage anymore, so you end up moving to a trailer park in the IE and reminisce about the life you led.  Now imagine that instead of seeing the Class C, you see a bubble top van.  It’s smaller, less garish.  You don’t notice it because it’s a van, and contractors and other professionals drive them.  You don’t get fired, and you continue living happily in Orange County.  That’s why the van, because it’s inconspicuous.

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Running width-wise across the van is a large shelf that could be used as a bench, but is just a shelf.  It holds all the supplies one would need when living out of a home-made camper van, including a broom.  Above the bench/shelf is a pretty sweet little Murphy bed, on which he’s attached some Tibetan prayer flags. Underneath the elevated bed is his Adirondack deck chair, and half a chest of drawers. Directly across from the bed are some hooks, which he hangs jackets, hats and whatever else he wants to on them. It’s a van, were you expecting there to be a distinct lack of storage?

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Jay throws his bike in the back when he heads on his adventures.  And he’s gone on plenty in this van.  He’s put 166,000 miles on the odometer, and those miles taken him to the Pacific Northwest and Orca’s Island.  He’s taken it to California a hundred times, and it’s gone up to Fish Lake in central Utah dozens of times.  Him and his girlfriend, who is my girlfriend’s grandmother (hi Jeanette!), hop into the van, hitch up their fourteen foot trailer, and they spend their summers living in the van and trailer by the lake.  And that trailer hasn’t been spared from Jay’s handy work.  He built a deck for that thing.  Out of wood.  And they bring it with them!

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The van isn’t perfect.  If he could, Jay would’ve picked up a 3/4 ton van instead of the half ton.  And he definitely would have a V8.  The V6 hasn’t exactly been the fuel sipper he imagined it was going to be, especially when dragging that trailer up to the lake.  Overall, it’s been pretty good.  And it’s really hard to complain when you’ve got the door open and you’re enjoying a view of Newport Harbor.

Bonus Images

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
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.
22nd Apr2015

Import Spring Showoff 2015

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

After years of evolution and months of planning, the 2015 iteration of the Import Spring Showoff opened up at the Maverick Center last Sunday.  And much like every year prior, this one saw massive growth.  Over 2000 cars and over 8000 people came to the show!  And in that mass of people and cars there were some seldom seen gems

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Gems like Corbin Lines’s 1986 Dodge Omni GLHT.  Not as highly sought after as the Omni GLHS’s, but still packing all the same goodness, Corbin’s weighs a scant 1980 lbs and makes over 500 horsepower to the wheels!  All that power with that lack of weight makes the car useless on the streets, but a monster on the track.

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There were plenty of FD RX-7s in attendance this year, but none quite as wild as this 2JZ swapped example.  Some call this blasphemous, but the big Toyota mill fits so well under the hood of the sleek Mazda.

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The matte purpley Scion is packing a nice sized Borg Warner turbocharger, a nice wrap (hence the color) and took home the Favorite Scion award.  The red car is well on its way to becoming a challenger for the award next year, sitting nicely on a set of Work Emotion XD-9s.

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Jon Truong’s custom widebody WRX made its debut.  The metal work on the fenders looked amazing, and allows the massive CCW wheels to tuck nicely into the wheel wells.

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Lyfe Motorsport brought out the big guns, and the biggest trailer at the show: their massive four car hauler.  Inside the hauler were the two Spec Z cars they prepped in 30 days (!), a 996 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, and their venerable R35 GTR with it’s new wrap from Envision.  In addition to the cars that had to be hauled to the show, Shawn Murphy drove his freshly wrapped STi down from Wyoming and parked it in the booth.

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A sea of people and cars filled the enormous parking lot, vendors lined an entire row, and plenty of deserving builds drove home with awards.  It was an impressive show on all fronts, and we can’t wait until next year.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
09th Apr2015

It’s a Spec New World

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

The Spec Z field is exploding for NASA Utah, Spec Miata is healthy, 944 Spec provides a solid battle every race, and there’s even a Spec E30 class that has yet to be explored.  Spec racing is a hell of a way for people to get into door to door racing, without having to build something crazy.  The blueprint is right there, all you have to do is follow it.

There are probably a ton of more spec series available, but there are plenty that don’t exist.  They probably don’t exist for good reason, but today we’re going to explore the brave frontier!  Buy your supplies, and prepare to lose half the party to Cholera.  WAGONS HO!

Spec S Chassis

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Drifting is starting to get ridiculous.  700-900 horsepower?  V8s with ridiculously engineered exhaust collectors?  What happened to welding up the diff in an S13 or S14 and getting wild?  It’s been proven that you don’t need rear mounted radiators, hydraulic e-brakes or sequential gear boxes to slide, but looking at Formula D makes one think otherwise.  I think it’s time to change this.  I’ve kicked this idea around with Dave, and we’ve come up with a rough framework for an amazing new drift series: Spec S Chassis.  An entire field of S13s and S14s, all sporting KA24DEs.  The only modifications you can do internally is a hot cam swap (running an exhaust cam in place of an intake cam), and that’s it.  Welded diffs, basic steering angle mods, and coilovers are all you get suspension wise.  You can run whatever tire you want, granted it is the specified size.  Suddenly it’s not who has the biggest budget and most power, it’s who has the skills to boogie.  It’s still judged, but (and since this exists in the minds of a few) there will be completely different judges than in Formula D.

Now, I know Lone Star Drift is trying a budget minded series this season and that’s fantastic.  The drivers have their chose of chassis and can do some modifications (motor swaps like SRs in 240s and such, and engine cooling is open, and suspension is open but no attachment points can be moved), and all the competitors have to run Kenda tires.  You can still petition to have some modifications let in, but hopefully they’re not too lenient with it.  However, if you really want to see who is the best driver, you’d stick them in identically prepared cars and let them go at it.

Super Pursuit

Crown Vic

Travis over at Jalopnik proposed a Spec Panther series/class, and it has all the required legs to be something.  The Panther platform Fords are in abundance and are cheap, and he laid out the rules.  It’s great, and since he came up with it a square almost two years ago I’m not going to bogart his idea.  I’m going to expand upon it, and take it to ridiculous new heights.  Instead of just seeing Crown Vics, Grand Marquies and Town Cars running around, why not expand it to ALL the common and cheap former police vehicles?  Why not?!

Crown Vics, Chargers, Caprices and Impalas are eligible in this series, and they would have to have some of the basic spec requirements (cage, minimum wieght, spec tires, etc).  These cars wouldn’t be street legal, but neither are Spec Miatas or Zs.  The spotlights would be removed, BUT the cars can run light bars provided they’re attached securely.  And each car would have to be painted, or wrapped, to look like an actual police car.  Not 100%, but at least black and white or similar colors to a local municipality.  Who wouldn’t want to see this?!?

WGT: Wagon Grand Touring

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We love wagons.  There’s no shame in that, because wagons are awesome. Unfortunately, with the rise of minivans then CUVs, the humble wagon has started to disappear.  Ford, FCA and GM aren’t making any.  BMW and Mercedes do, but finding one is like finding a unicorn.  This pretty much leaves VWs, Subarus, and Volvo.   And this wouldn’t be the first time a Volvo wagon was out racing! Unfortunately, the Touring Brick would be outlawed.

It would be open to four cylinder wagons, naturally aspirated and turbocharged, so no BMW or Meccedes.  The modifications would be more open for the NA cars, and the turbo cars could carry a weight penalty.  Tires would be spec, but different sizes for the NA and turbo cars.  Cages, obviously and fuel cells.  No roof racks, baskets or boxes/pods.  Having these grocery getters running around would open up some interesting new avenues for competition.  Honestly, some Top Gear-esqe shenanigans like a mandatory pit stop to load the car with groceries would add some hilarity.  Or fastest lap with the most cargo.  The possibilities are endless, like a child’s imagination.

So that’s what I’ve come up with.  How about you?  Feel free to add your ideas, tweaks and your own classes in the comments.

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