14th Oct2016

2016 TresDuro: Tres Means Three Part 2

by Michael Chandler

German Touring Series 2

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

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

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

Pro Touring E

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

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

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

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

Spec Boxster

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

Spec Miata

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

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

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

Spec Z

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
Off
27th Sep2016

The Land of Wind and Ghosts: SCD Round 6

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Not sure if you guys know this, but it got chilly just in time for this past weekend’s Salt City Drift event.  And I’m not sure if you know about Tooele County, but it tends to be a bit windier out there.  Despite the wind, and the cold there were some brave individuals doing some skids!  Brandon Wicknick came out with the D-Spare hauler, unloaded some cars (including his IS300), then took a nap.  Listen, it’s hard work being America’s Favorite Drifting Ginger.  He deserves a nap every now and again!

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Derrick Lopez was out in his simple S13 hatchback, ripping up the course in his own, quiet way.

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Nick Nengas let his inner street ripper out, and laid down some solid runs in front of the Metro Security SUV.

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That’s a ripper Trevor, that is indeed a ripper.

There was a contest, but I have no idea what happened.  So in lieu of results, here’s a big ass gallery!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Jul2016

Hot Nights in the City: SCD Round 4

by Michael Chandler

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It was another hot one in Utah, but despite the heat, and traffic, and a massive fire that billowed smoke into the area, round four of the Salt City Drift season carried on.

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There was, of course, a competition.  I’m not sure how tandem turned out, but I can say that it did pull some of the drag racing spectators over to the bowl.  That was pretty cool to see.  On the solo side, we had Blaize Potts and his Scoundrel mobile in third.

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Crowd pleaser Hayden Campbell in second.

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And Nick Nengas & Teddy took home another win.  Next event is back at RMR on August 5th.  Come spend an evening in the oval with us!  Here’s a big ass gallery to tide you over

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
08th Jun2016

Drifting in Black and White

by Michael Chandler

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Drifting is a very colorful thing, undertaken by very colorful people.  This is not going to be colorful, because I did some black and white edits of the photos I shot after sundown.  I call it…

ART

It’s a working title, but it’s strong.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
06th Jun2016

Salt City Drift Round 1: It Didn’t Rain!

by Michael Chandler

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Yes!  It actually happened!  There was an organized, legal drift event that went off without fear of rain!  And it was a solid six-ish hours (drivers meetings, loading and unloading of cars, and so forth) of driving!  Of course local hero Brandon Wicknick was there!  And so was Nick Stucky!  Although his banana mobile decided it wanted to plantain.  And Derrick Lopez came out, in an SR20 powered S13 hatchback, that was a lot like Brandon’s.  Just more pedestrian in the looks department.

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Scott Bradshaw and Dane Seering were out in LS powered S13 coupes.  Scott went with a bass boat theme, while Dane went with a general death and destruction vibe.

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We had some friends come up from Southern Utah, and they taught us some valuable lessons: You can link the whole track if you have a twin cam KA in your 240 and have enough lights, and a stock E46 M3 is ready to party as soon as you pull the right fuses.  It wasn’t just a drift event, it was a learning experience.

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Speaking of learning, there were a lot of new faces out there!  It was good to see some guys who weren’t afraid to go out, suck out loud, and seek out answers as to why they suck, from people who don’t.  That’s how you learn kiddies: go, do, suck,, figure out why you sucked, go again, do again, suck a little less.  I hope we see these guys out again, because by the end of the night they made some progress in the right direction!

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We also had our first contest!  Blaize Potts, in his KA24DE powered S13 coupe, finished in first.  Nick Nengas in a virtually stock 350Z finished in second.  Third place was occupied by Hayden Campbell in his E30 BMW.  This wasn’t just a contest for the sake of having a contest.  There are season long stakes on the line!  Whoever has the most points at the end of the season wins a roll cage, or possibly a set of wheels.  Not bad for coming out and sliding with your buddies!

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The next event is June 18th, out at Utah Motorsports Campus.  This is a daytime event, running from 9am until 5pm.  There’s a mandatory lunch break, so you won’t miss out on any driving because you want a burger.  We hope to see all of these (mostly) smiling faces, along with yours out there!

YOU THINK YOU WOULDN’T GET SOME BONUSES?

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*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
26th Apr2016

Lightning In A Water Bottle: NASA Utah Round 2 Lightning Results

by Michael Chandler

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The forecast called for rain, and it did not disappoint.  At times on Saturday the West Track seemed more fit for a regatta then sports car racing, but the brave and/or foolish drivers in the Lightning race group were prepared for the conditions!  Some held it together better than others, while others just tried to hold it together.

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At the top of the field and his class was Arthur Golebiowski.  I’m not 100% sure how he does it, but when the rains fall Arthur seems to wind up atop the Spec Z podium.  He also won himself a hat for being the overall race group winner:

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See? Fancy stuff!

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In the other Spec class, Spec Miata, Chris Bond got himself out of the wet race and into a dry win!  See, in my head I had “got himself out of the wet race and into a dry martini” because James Bond drinks martinis… And Chris’s last name is Bond… And his car number is 007…  There’s a little peak behind the curtain for you.  Anyway, Chris took the class win by 15.580 seconds.

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STUNNING NEWS IN PTE!!! Todd Green didn’t win!  I’ll give you a minute to fix your face

That’s better.  Randy Cummings, also in a Miata, beat out Todd by 9.313 seconds.

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Mid-engined Porsches seem to be the chassis of choice in GTS3, and black seems to be the “in” color.  Jeff Burton, in his Porsche with the engine in a far more sensible place, brought home a win.

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And finally, in GTS2 we had a battle between Chris Haunold in his trusty 911 and Tom Rogers and his E30 3 series.  Porsche vs. BMW!  Bavaria vs. Not Bavaria!  Yuppie wounder vs. Yuppie wounder!  WHO WOULD WIN?!?  Who would emerge victorious in this titanic battle of 1980’s opulence?!?  If you had your money on the man in the Porsche…

TAKE YOUR WINNING TICKETS TO THE WINDOW!  Tom finished on the lead lap, but the margin of victory for Chris was the largest in the entire group: 19.034 seconds.

Where’s the rest of the coverage?!? It’s coming over the next couple of days.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
16th Feb2016

Orky Bork Bork

by Michael Chandler

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Haven’t gone to Meetballs in a while, should probably remedy that… Eventually…

16th Mar2015

Salt City Drift Round 1: Meet in the Midway

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

After months of waiting there was finally organized drifting happening again in Utah.  This past weekend the Salt City Drift weekend opened up at Miller Motorsports Park, specifically in the Midway.  Yes, that strip of pavement between the East Course and the big dirt patch played home to the season opener.

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I ran across this Volvo coupe as I was wandering through the paddock before getting to the course.  I dig older Volvos, especially when they’re rocking the Prancing Moose, but this one was making weird noises.  It didn’t sound like ANY Volvo mill I’ve ever heard, so with Tyler Brown (formerly of Innovative Garage) in tow we went to investigate.

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There’s usually a good reason when a car doesn’t make a sound that’s usually heard coming from that particular kind of vehicle, and the Volvo as no different.  The Swedish mill was ditched for one of the two liter four cylinder out of an S2000.  This F20C  wasn’t doing to well unfortunately, VTEC wasn’t kicking in yo engaging.  This was most likely due to an oil pressure issue, but aside from that it ran.

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The cabin was business like.  The S2000’s digital gauge cluster sat under the cowl instead of the old one, and a home made switch panel sat just under the dash.  The old moose is a work in progress, and I’m hoping the bugs get worked out so it can slide about in the traditional Scandinavian fashion.

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Out on the course something interesting was happening.  As you may or may not know, Nick Stucky left the world of Miata world behind and bought an S13 240SX with a Ford 302 cubic inch V8 swap.  Last week he earned a sponsor in the form of D-Spare Garage, making his friend (and Formula D driver and noted opposition of V8 swaps) Brandon Wicknick his boss, if you choose to think of sponsorship like that.  On Saturday morning, Mr. Wicknick hopped into Nick’s car and took it for some laps.  He took it for a few more laps throughout the day, seemingly trying to figure out what sort of ancient magic was at work under the hood.  He’s probably not going to go twin turbo V8 for this upcoming Formula D season, but there’s a chance (insanely slim, but still) he could do that down the road.

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Meanwhile, on the course people were getting after it, as is the style currently.  There’s a gallery of more people sliding through the key hole, along with more shots from the paddock and grid.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
03rd Sep2013

Western Endurance Racing Championship at Miller Motorsports Park Part 1

by Michael Chandler

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This was going to be an entirely different article.  It was going to be like the old Honda Challenge stuff we did: chronicling the local guys on their home track as the battle the out of towners.  I was going to talk about how Dave Dingman, Todd Ainsworth, Travis Williams and last second addition Jason Smith took the fight to them over the course of the six hour race.  It was going to be heroic and epic and all of those things.

But then their day went belly up.  Here’s how it happened: Dave went out first, and irony found him.  See, Dave pilots the Freeway Mazda Miata we all know and love in the NASA Utah events.  As he was out in Travis’s FR500S Mustang was hit by a (wait for it) Miata.  This prompted the stewardess to tell Travis and Jason that he had thirty minutes to come in and file a report.  If he didn’t the team would receive a five minute penalty.

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After a brief discussion, the team decided to leave him out.  When he came in they’d get his side of the story, top him off with fuel and send him on his marry way.  His side of the story goes something like this: he gave the Miata plenty of room going in to turn one, but closed the door because thats how his line was.  The Miata, seeing that there wasn’t any room, decided to stick its nose in there.  Contact was made, it was the Miata’s fault.  Anyway, the team didn’t have radios so Travis grabbed a white board and a red marker to communicate to Dave that he was to come in.  He scribbled something on the board and ran to the pit wall.

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As it turns out, it’s hard to see red on white as you’re at speed with the sun in your face.  The crew in the next pit stall noticed Travis’s mistake, gave Jason a black marker, and the sign was re-scribbled.  Travis again ran to the pit wall and held the sign.  It worked better that time around, and Dave came in.

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Travis got Dave’s story and explained the situation.  He also made sure Dave stayed strapped in, because if he unstrapped then his stint would be over.  Jason topped off the fuel tank and Todd held the fire extinguisher just in case.  The tank was brimmed after some more conversation, and Dave took off making sure not to abuse the clutch upon his exit.  They weren’t going to leave him out there for too much longer, so I hung around the pits so as to not miss the driver change.

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The professionals at RaceCo were a few stalls down, showcasing the professionalism, enthusiasm for produce and the proper way to kinda listen to someone’s story about something…or whatever.  They were also fielding a FR500S Mustang in the race.  The competition had been meet, and they had watermelon and a canopy in their stall.  More on them later, because Dave was about to come in for the first driver change of team TRADINGWOR’s night.

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Dave out, Todd and fuel in.  Dave took over fire extinguisher duties, while Travis helped Todd get settled in.  Jason, and his Vans, manned the fuel can.  Notes were passed between the drivers and the rest of the team.  I imagine that this is what it was like in the fifties.  All the drivers had other responsibilities and the only time they could communicate what the car was doing or feeling like was when they came in for fuel and fresh rubber.  Except I don’t think anyone would be wearing bright red shoes, but I could very well be wrong.

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Todd left gingerly, but not any harder than you or I leaving a stop light quickly.  Dave proceeded to tell us his story, and show us when the Miata decided to test just how small it was.  He also mentioned that the car felt good, and he wasn’t using the clutch much.  He was rev matching up and down shifts because he wanted to keep the clutch for later in the night.  Remember: it was a marathon, not a sprint.  With that handled, I hopped in the Subaru and made my way to turn one to catch some of the cars on track.

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Miller is a challenging track for many reasons, but one reason I have heard many times is it’s very dusty.  This is because the track is built in the middle of high desert grazing land, which will grow wild grasses and other native vegetation but not a whole lot else.  The track is never going to look like Road America, and that’s not a huge problem.  Willow Springs is in the middle of a desert in the middle of nowhere, and it does plenty fine.  However, that lack of vegetation has one drawback.  That drawback, coupled with the recently constructed motocross track in the infield of the east half of the road course, can become a calamity when it gets windy…  Like it did the whole weekend and pretty much every evening in Tooele county.  Eventually the wind died down and visibility returned to a safe level.

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An HPD backed Fit was out.  They were banking on only having to stop a few times for fuel.  They were also excited by the prospect of being lapped so it would look like they were in the race!  That’s the kind of optimism and creative thinking we like around here.  We also like E30 BMWs with crazy light bars, because who needs lights in factory locations when you have a bunch of really bright LEDs on your hood?  Oh, and there was the very patriotic Factory Five GTM.  Nothing says freedom like a mid-engined LS powered car you can assemble in your garage.

I sent a text to my friend Jenny to inform her that Jason was going to be driving the #22 Mustang.  The pack passed by a few more times before she responded.  Her response was concise and very concerning:

“I knooowwwww It just blew up though! :(”

After seeing that a few thoughts raced through my head: where did it blow up?  Why wasn’t there a yellow flag?  Why wasn’t the safety crew rolling out?  Did I miss them on the track the whole time I was stand on the outside of turn one?  I ran back to the Subaru and double timed it to the pits.

Did the car blow up?  Was Todd horribly disfigured?  Does Travis have to buy a new car?  Where are the night shots?  All of these questions will be answered in the thrilling conclusion!