14th Aug2016

Pirelli World Challenge at the Grand Prix of Utah GTS Race 2

by Michael Chandler

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The madness that is a Pirelli World Challenge GTS class race has risen and fallen.  This race had all the staples of a great race: close racing, plenty of passes, near misses, and some not misses.  The field, which features everything from the GT4 spec KTM X-Bow up to the almost too powerful Camaro ZL1.  In the end, one driver would rise to the top.  Stand on the highest step, and therefor have the strategic advantage in the champagne spraying that happens at every podium event.  That man is Scott Heckert.

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Scott, in the lone Sin R1 GT4, overtook Brett Sandberg (#13 KTM X-Bow GT4) and held off Nate Stacy (#14 Ford Mostang BOSS 302S) at the beginning of the race, and held on to the lead for the rest of it.  A late race full course yellow, brought on by the #29 Ginetta of Harry Gottsacker colliding with the #46 Lotus of Scott Dollahite, cut Heckert’s massive lead down to nil.  However, on the restart, he built back that lead, as Nate Stacy and Brett Sandberg battled each other for position.

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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.
14th Jun2016

Showers In The Vicinity: NASA Utah Round 4 TT Results

by Michael Chandler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
27th May2016

NASA Utah Round 3 Bonus Gallery

by Michael Chandler

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LOOK OVER THERE!

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A bunch of bonus images from the last NASA Utah round!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
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.
28th Apr2016

The Race For The Auld Mug: NASA Utah Round 2 Thunder Results

by Michael Chandler

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It’s just not a NASA Utah season without at least one rainy day.  Conveniently,  Mother Nature decided to bring the rain for round two, and so the annual NASA Utah Regatta was under way.  If you’ve been a loyal reader this week, or if you’re not blind, you’ll have come to the conclusion that this is the Thunder Group write up.  These guys, in their high horsepower and high downforce cars, got lucky and qualified in the dry!  But the photo above is from lap one of the race on Saturday, which is clearly not dry.  A some of the field packed it in when the rain began falling at lunch time, which led to a total of ten entrants in the race.  Let’s talk about those brave sailors, and how they finished.

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Byron Smith was the lone GTS4 entrant, and completed 11 laps in the rain.  He had a best lap of 2:00.717, and took home a gold medal for his troubles.

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Russ Timmons made an appearance in his orange and chrome 997.  Always enjoy seeing that car on track.  Russ was alone in GTS5, so he could have completed less than the 7 he did and still would have taken home a medal.

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We had a couple of rookies in ST3!  Both Frank Gannett and James Harrell were both out in Boss 302RS’s from the Ford Performance Racing School.  Frank, in the black #93 Mustang, didn’t do anything meme worthy on Saturday and took home the win.

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ST2 was another solitary car field, and that man was J.R. Smith.  He, and the nobles steed that is the E36 M3, ran 11 laps en-route to a class win.

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So, I only heard that Air Power Racing had both of the former Effort Racing 911 GT3Rs, but I needed confirmation before saying something like “holy f&#king ass crackers!  Air Power has both of the Effort cars!”.  On Saturday I got that confirmation, because both cars were out for qualifying.  David Donner went out in the #41 car as the lone Super Unlimited entrant, finished on the lead lap, and ran a 1:43.699!  In the rain!  In one of the widest 911s I’ve ever seen!

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As mentioned earlier, wonder kid Madison Snow was out in the UIS Huracan.  And since he has significantly more experience in said platform he dominated the GTSU field.  He took the win by 18.603 seconds, and his fastest lap was near-as-makes-no-difference a full second faster than Derek Wolthoff’s in the second place Makes & Models Huracan.

The GTSU and SU competitors were ridiculously fast for being in the rain.  The Thunder group races are going to be bleeding speed from every pore this season, and we can’t wait to see what happens when these guys are let loose on the Outer Loop of Full Track!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
17th Mar2016

We’ve Got A Few Questions

by Michael Chandler

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  1.   Who are you?
  2.   Where did you come from?
  3.   Where have you been all our lives?

Photo by Gavin Pouquette

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
11th Mar2016

One More Day

by Michael Chandler

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*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
08th Mar2016

Time to Head Into The Sunset

by Michael Chandler

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Solid work today everybody.  Let’s do it again tomorrow!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
04th Mar2016

There’s A New Gymkhana Video Out

by Michael Chandler

As of 9:44 PM on March 3, Gymkhana 8 has over 7.5 million views.  Feel free to give it some more.

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