25th Aug2014

NASA Utah Round 5

by Michael Chandler

 

 

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (32 of 191)

Round 5 of the NASA Utah season played host to the Formula 3 PanAm racers, and a WERC 6 Hour endurance race.  Excitement was abound from sunrise to well into the night.  Our man Michael Wells will be providing photos from the endurance race, along with some additional photos from the weekend as he usually does.  Let’s start off with some fiery news on the TT front.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (7 of 191)

It is literary fiery because TT1 National Champion Shawn Murphy’s STi burst into flames on the front straightaway at 140mph.  Thankfully he was unhurt, and the car didn’t suffer too much damage from the impromptu barbecue.  AND despite the immolation of his vehicle, Shawn still took third in TT1!

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (115 of 191)

Taking the TT1 win was Allen Turner, piloting the TW Racing Audi R8 LMS.  Second place was held down by the boys at Smith Burke Racing.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (103 of 191) NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (100 of 191) NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (57 of 191)

Greg Valdez was your TT2 winner, Chad Hess climbed to the top of the heap in TT3, and mad man Todd Green took home the TTE win AND the PTE win, and then drove in the endurance race.  He is insane, and we tip our hat to him.  In TTB and TTD Richard Thiessens and Joel Selman took home the wins.  They were also the only ones in their classes.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (9 of 191)

The Open Wheel regulars were joined by the Formula 3 PanAm drivers for both of the Open Wheel races on Saturday.  Race 1 was won by Javier Echeverria and race 2 was won by Gerardo Garcia.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (184 of 191) NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (190 of 5)

Steve Burns took both Super Formula races, only just barely, while Troy Duffin dominated the Formula races.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (29 of 191)

The Lightning race saw some close, dare I say chippy, racing.  Spec Miata was a hard fought class, along with the ever growing Spec Z class.  Byron Smith, driving the white BMW above, took home the GTS3 win over Gus Stribakos in dominating fashion.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (59 of 191)

Ashley Burt proved his 350Z was more Spec-tacular than the other competitors in class, and was rewarded with a win, and a lame pun.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (33 of 191)

We had a PTA class for the first time in… I can’t remember.  Despite showing up late to grid, Ralph Warren and John Trefethen battled from the drop of the green flag, with Ralph proving his 135i was the superior BMW by less than a tenth of a second.  We would see them again in the Thunder Race.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (52 of 191)

Sam Kapp and Otto Silva continued their season long 944 Spec battle, with Sam taking the win over Otto.  Otto would not let Sam take the win without a fight, as they battled hard until the checkered flew.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (55 of 191)

And in Spec Miata… Umm, well I’m fairly confident McKay Snow took the victory but I’m not sure.  At the time of the writing of this piece, there were no results OR even a class listed in the Saturday results on MyLaps.com.  However, Spec Miata is in the Sunday results, where David Sherman beat out McKay Snow for the class victory.  And Doug Turnquist won PTB on Saturday, by virtue of being the only man in the class.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (145 of 191)

It was an all Corvette front row in the Thunder Race, but only one of those front row Corvettes finished the race.  James Miller and the chop top/Barbie/Swamp Thing/however you want to describe it C4 Corvette went wire to wire, taking the SU class and overall win.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (132 of 191)

David Donner came out swinging in his new livery, and proceeded to take victory in GTSU over John Scarlett.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (134 of 191)

The TW Racing Audi R8 LMS took the ST1 class with Derek Wolthoff at the helm.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (136 of 191)

Chris Vivolo hung an 8.9 second gap on Darrell Troester in GTS4, and collected himself a victory.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (141 of 191)

Travis Tidball rose to the top of ST3, and ran all the way to victory lane!  Well, wherever he was parking because there wasn’t an actual victory lane.  You get the idea.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (112 of 191)

ST2 and GTS5 were one man classes, which were won by Brendon Stewart and Alan Wilson respectively.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (111 of 191)

The Thunder Race group was also filled out by the addition of BMW CCA Club Racers.  In the CM class, Vic Pizzino took his E46 to the winner’s circle; while in BM we saw the 135 battle the 17.  This time the 17 took the win, thanks to some fancy driving by Loren Trefethen.

NASA Utah 2014 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (143 of 191)

JP was won by Tom Bell, and IP was won by James Fluckey.

And that is that.  Sorry this isn’t packed full of my usual wit, or has more photos in it, but there’s a good reason for it!  The day before the event I broke my arm, and since I’m not Wolverine it’s still broken.  I shot the event one handed because I couldn’t really do much with my other arm.  If any of you drivers remember the photographer giving the thumbs up at pit in, it was me doing that.  I don’t usually do this, but I have a gallery of all of the photos from the event (and previous events) on my Smug Mug site.  The bills are starting to accumulate, and I would greatly appreciate it if you guys would take a look and maybe buy a couple of things from me.

Anyway, enough of the sob story.  Here’s the big ole gallery for you guys to enjoy!

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

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

 

 

30th Jul2014

Octane Party

by Michael Chandler

Octane Party 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (7 of 58)

This past weekend there was a little party thrown out at Miller Motorsports Park.  The man, the myth, the legend Zane Miller invited me out to it the night before it was thrown.  Naturally I said yes.  This wasn’t some house party rager, or casual cocktail affair.  This was the Octane Party, and there were tens of millions of dollars worth of racing history just hanging out for all to see.

Octane Party 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (12 of 58)

They emptied the museum and parked the contents on the grass behind the grandstands on Wind Up turn.  Mustangs, Cobras, GT40s and a Daytona Coupe were carefully arranged so everyone could take in the heritage.  They were clearly the bells of the ball, but they weren’t the only classics out on this day.

Octane Party 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (15 of 58)

There was this gorgeous Porsche 914.  The bright orange paint, along with it being the only 914 there, made it stand out among the Audis and lone 911 it was parked amongst.  Another outstanding feature? the 1.7 liter motor has been ditched in favor of a 3.2 liter flat six.  Suffice it to say that this car turns into an orange blur when let out on an auto cross course.

Octane Party 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (28 of 58)

The Dodge Challenger is awesome.  The Dodge Viper is awesome as well.  What happens when you combine the two AND pop a supercharger in there for good measure?  A big ole, fat sack of American kick ass is what!  Ekins Garage built this for Menlove Dodge, a local dealer, and left no detail un-scrutinized.

Octane Party 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (40 of 58)

Who doesn’t love a good rat rod? Chopped, channeled, and rusty is the way we like em.  Also loud, and judging by the lack of anything resembling an exhaust I feel confident in giving this thing the CAM seal of approval.

Octane Party 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (52 of 58)

Are super cars what do it for you? Well here’s an Underground Racing Lamborghini Gallardo that went 225mph, in the rain!  Story goes that the rain began as soon as he left the line for his standing mile run.  There are also some Ferraris in this picture, along with a Lexus LFA.

Are there better ways to spend a Sunday? Yes, but not too many.  We’d like to thank Zane and the organizers of this party, along with Miller Motorsports Park for hosting.  We’re looking forward to the next event Zane has planned, because that guy knows how to host a party.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
17th Jul2014

NASA Utah Round 4 Bonus Gallery

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 4 Michael Wells CAMautoMag (24 of 32)

The Good Dr. Z, that’s Michael Wells, sent us some photos from the last NASA Utah round.  These are all from the Sunday of that weekend, so we have some snaps of the Formula 3 race, along with some snaps of your favorite locals.

Words by Michael Chandler, photos by Michael Wells

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
18th Jun2014

Question: What’s the Oddest Race Car You’ve Seen?

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (124 of 148)

This question came about after I saw this Ranger/Explorer thingamajig make its third lap at Miller. It is one of the weirdest things I’ve seen take a lap (a quick lap at that), and that got me to wondering about odd racers you’ve seen.

Years ago, when GT Live was still a thing, you would see FWD time attack cars with giant wings protruding from the front. Not a splitter, not cannards, a big ole wing. It was very weird, but it did work… Sort of.

So, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen turn a lap in anger?  Show us in the comments. We’ll deliberate and post the weirdest. Weirdest of the weird gets a small grab bag of Hot Wheels, so bring on the strange!

Some ground rules: LeMons doesn’t count. We all love it, but the cars come from the deepest depths of insane people so they’re out. Also, bonus points if you’ve seen it with your own eyes. And post a picture so we all know what it is you’re talking about.

Words and photo by Michael Chandler

*Article is copyright of CAMautoMag.com and its respective owners.

 

29th May2014

NASA Utah Round 3

by Michael Chandler

 

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (90 of 148)

Good news: there wasn’t a monsoon at Miller Motorsports Park over Memorial Day Weekend!  Bad news: … Yeah.  The good weather and holiday weekend brought out a healthy sized field.  The TT class had twenty-one competitors in seven sub-classes, with TT3 fielding nine competitors!

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (65 of 148)

And in TT3 we had a very close battle for the third spot on the podium!  Chad Hess took his Porsche 911 to the final podium spot by a mere 1/1000 of a second over Shay Chappell’s Porsche 911.  Finishing ahead of the tight battle was Josh Miller in second and Travis Tidball in first.

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (7 of 148)

Scott Corsetti edged out Greg Valdez for the win, with Vincent McAllister rounding out the group.

TT1 saw the debut of a new chassis from T W Racing: Among the field of familiar cars was an Audi R8 LMS, which posted the fastest time of the TT field, and took home the TT1 win.  Two seconds behind the Audi was the Corvette of Smith-Burke Racing, and two seconds behind them was the #667 Subaru of Shawn Murphy.  Is this a sign of things to come?  Will we soon see other IMSA GTD class cars competing in TT?  I, for one, welcome our new IMSA overloards and may long should they reign.

Ahem

TTE was a two man race between Ben Lamberson’s Audi and Jeb Brown’s Subaru.  Ben bested Jeb by two and a half seconds.  TTC, TTB, and TTU were all one man affairs; with Richard Thiessens in TTB, Rod Kujaczynski in TTC, and Wild Schick Racing in TTU.

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (145 of 148)

There were two open wheel races this weekend, and this time nobody spun like a top!  The field even lined up, most likely unintentionally, for a very cool photo.  And the racing was a good watch as well, specifically Chris Taylor going through the top of The Attitudes.  He had no quarrel with getting right on top of the curbing!  Unfortunately his placed in third for both Formula races.  The finishing orders didn’t change at all for the classes in either race.  Troy Duffin took first in Formula and Steven Costello took second.  In Super Formula, Terry Biner beat out Ian Lacy both times; however, Ian posted a quicker fast lap than Terry in both races.  Also of note: Ian ran a little over half the laps in each race.

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (46 of 148)

The Lightning group had some close racing, but not necessarily for the Spec Z field.  Arthur Golebiowski ran away from Tom Kaminski and Paul House.  Arthur also ran away from the rest of the competitors in the run group, putting an eight second gap between himself and the next fastest driver.  The next fastest driver was Blake Troester in GTS3, who took the class win over Gus Stribakos who retired from the race with four laps to go.

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (62 of 148)

Spec Miata was a chess match, with Chris Bond looking to make a move on McKay Snow for most of the race.  When an opportunity presented itself Chris took it, and put a 1.3 second gap between himself and the young Snow.  David Sherman finished in third.

PTE was interesting.  Allan Anderson and Todd Ainsworth finished second and third respectively, but Todd Green ran away with the win, and even got his nose in the Spec Miata pack. He was right up there with McKay and Chris.

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (50 of 148)

While Spec Z and PTE had the largest margins of victory of the group, 944 Spec had the slimmest.  Samuel Kapp and Otto Silva might as well have had their bumpers tied together the whole race.  Samuel beat out Otto by 0.137 seconds.  Placing third, a respectable 1.491 seconds behind Mr. Kapp was Greg Troester.

American Iron and PTB only had one competitor each, which is somewhat sad.  Bill Noblitt and his PTB Boxster need a playmate, and Mike Mieke’s Firebird looks so lonely out there.  Someone grab a Fox Body and get out there with Mike, and someone else get cracking on another PTB entry!

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (76 of 148)

After the Lightning came the Thunder, which saw John Potter (Detroit) take the Magnus Racing Porsche out against David Donner in GTSU.  David was a good sport as John hung a 28.277 second gap on him.

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (107 of 148)

GTS5 had Alan Wilson, the guy who designed the track at Miller Motorsports Park, defeating Michael Stevenson while also showcasing a new track design on the hood of his yellow Porsche.

Darrell Troester (the third Troester for those keeping score at home) was competing against people in other classes, because he was the lone competitor in GTS4.

The three car field of ST1 featured three cars powered by big, american V8s.  Unfortunately for Bob Evans and Dan Worley one of those cars was the Smith-Burke Corvette, which walked away from them at a brisk pace.  Bob put the #88 Snickers/EA Sports Ford Fusion in second and Dan retired five laps in.

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (109 of 148)

Bad Luck Brendon had some bad luck in ST2, but not catastrophically bad!  It was more of a puzzling bad.  On lap 11 his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution just stopped running.  No fires, no wheels flying off, no hitting of tire barriers and armco.  It just stopped.  After it was towed to the paddock, and after the race, the car started up and ran again.  Initial speculation was that something over heated, and the leisurely tow off the track allowed it to cool off enough to start working again.  Either way, he took home the class win because he was the only one in the class.

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (91 of 148)

Super Touring 3, aka the Mustaing And Occasional Others class, was deep as usual.  In a class dominated by Ford products, a pair of Corvettes managed to take two fo the top three spots.  Cary Wilson put his black and green Corvette atop the podium, while Travis Tidball parked his blue Corvette in third.  Alex Whetman, through sheer grit, cunning and over boosting, put the Focus of Doom in second.

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (124 of 148)

Super Unlimited was interesting not only because Dave Dingman’s Miata was in the class, and not because of Bob Blizzard’s Ford Ranger looking thing.  The class was won by James Miller in the chop top C4 Corvette, with George Smith in second and Bob Blizzard sliding his way into third.  Wild Shick Racing, which posted the fastest single lap time of the group, finished last after contact with the Smith-Burke Racing Corvette left Kyle with a down right rear tire.  I’ve heard the story from Kyle, and I’d like to hear the Smith-Burke side.

NASA Utah Round 3 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (80 of 148)

It was another good weekend for race fans and organizers.  Hopefully the June event will be an even better one.  If you’d like to come out and race, then go ahead and register!  If you just want to come out and watch some racing and meet some drivers, then that’s a great option as well.  Either way, we look forward to another race weekend and seeing you guys out there!

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
25th Apr2014

Import Spring Showoff 2014

by Michael Chandler

ISS 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (84 of 125)

What once was the UtahHondas.net spring meet has bloomed into one of the, if not the biggest show of the year.  450 cars made it into the pay lot, and into the judging for the various awards, while hundreds more filled the parking lots surrounding the Davis County Fairgrounds.  I popped the top on the Supra, grabbed a camera, and made my way north.  I arrived, made my way to one of the lots, reapplied the top and got to shooting.

ISS 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (5 of 125) ISS 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (6 of 125)

I didn’t quite make it into the paid lot, I ran into Nick Long as he was walking out.  We chatted and saw this bright green Bricklin SV-1 affectionately named “Kermit”.  After staring at what Canada can do we parted ways and I made my way in.

ISS 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (53 of 125) ISS 2014 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (110 of 125)

There was almost everything there: a very clean NA2 NSX, to a Yugo!  A freaking Yugo!  Look at how clean that little communist hatchback is!  The Yugo, for those who don’t know, is a Fiat 127 built by Communists for as little as humanly possible.  Then Malcom Bricklin, the guy behind Bricklin and responsible for introducing Subaru to America, started importing and selling the things as inexpensive transport.  Then some lady got blown off of a bridge in Michigan while driving one and the rest is history.  Now that you’ve had a history lesson, here’s a gallery for you to enjoy.

22nd Apr2014

Catching up with the RBZ

by Michael Chandler

RBZ burnout Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (1 of 1)

When last we saw Clint Stoneham’s RB26DET powered 260Z, it was little more than an old Datsun shell wrapped around a new Datsun body.  But now things have changed.  It’s been tuned, had a cage built and certified, and it finally made a few passes.  After weeks of talking about it, I met up with Clint, Jason Kemp, and Melvin North.  What followed were four passes interrupted by some hunting.

By the time I got there (thanks for cutting me off twice Prius!) they already had the car unloaded and were getting her ready to make the first pass of the day.  After waiting in the staging lanes Clint pulled the orange sled into the burnout box and lit up the slicks.  And then he made his pass which, if I’m honest,  wasn’t exactly stellar.  I’ll spare you the time (i.e. I forgot to write it down), but it was slower than what the car was capable of.  While Clint was making the maiden pass, the rest of us heard something.  We met back in the pits, and the guys got to work.

 

Clint Stoneham RBZ Test N Tune Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (3 of 10)Clint Stoneham RBZ Test N Tune Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (4 of 10)

Out came the laptop, and the theories of what sounded like an ignition problem.  The data logs didn’t show anything, but we all heard it breaking up.  Thinking the spark plugs were amiss, Jason and Clint pulled them and Jason re-gapped them.  Fun Fact: the engine of a car gets hot while making a 1/4 mile pass, and it stays that way for a minute.  Guess who relearned that lesson?  No, not me.  I had my hands full of camera.  With the plugs re-installed and the coil packs back on, we piled onto the side by side and followed Clint to the staging lanes.

 

Clint Stoneham RBZ Test N Tune Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (8 of 10)

Things were better, 10.87 compared to something much slower.  But the ignition was still breaking up.  Jason, who has a 900+whp 2JZ swapped Mk 3 Supra (!), posited that it might be weak coils.  The RB26 and 2JZ are made for a similar purpose, maybe they had similar problems.  Logs still showed nothing, plugs looked great, so it was back in the side by side for another pass.

 

Clint Stoneham RBZ Test N Tune Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (5 of 10)

Clint lined up, burned out, and proceeded to go 10.50.  Still improving, and still breaking up.  Back in the pits I learned that the best time he could post was a 10.00, and the fastest he could go was 135mph.  Anything beyond that would require more safety equipment in the car.  So with that in the air, the guys again started taking the coil packs off the engine and pulling spark plugs.  The original plan was to swap in a set of HKS spark plugs, but Jason noticed something on the cylinder 3 coil pack.  There was carbon tracking, which meant electricity was arcing in the pack itself.  It wasn’t dead, but it was hurting.  Thinking a decrease in cylinder pressure would help, they switched places between the bad #3 pack and the known good #1 pack.  With the car buttoned up, we made our way back to the line.

 

Clint Stoneham RBZ Test N Tune Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (9 of 10) Clint Stoneham RBZ Test N Tune Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (10 of 10)

Before we left, Jason did some slight tweaking.  The boost was turned up ever so much and “a touch of fuel” was pulled out.  “This will exacerbate the problem” said Jason, knowing that some of us only heard that the boost was going up to around 24 or 25psi.  The 4th pass yielded a 10.33, which all things considered is not bad.  Plans were made for another pass and I would have stayed to watch him make a 10.2 pass, but a supercharged Charger SRT8 decided it wanted to break after doing a burnout… then repeat the the burnout/breakdown cycle again after a few cars were waved ahead of him.  Unfortunately I had a prior engagement and had to leave, BUT FEAR NOT! There is another chance for us all to see this thing go for the gusto!  This Friday night, or April 25th if you’re reading this after the event, is the first Midnight Drags at RMR and Clint will be making some passes in the brisk evening air.  I encourage you all to come out and watch.

Clint wasn’t the only fellow running at the Test N Tune.  I snapped some photos of those characters, and included them and all of the RBZ photos in a gallery below!

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
03rd Apr2014

NASA Utah 2014 Round 1 Photo Gallery

by Michael Chandler

As with most events, we took a ton of pictures at the NASA Utah season opener.  Unfortunately we could only stick so many in the actual reports; however, instead of letting these photos hang out on our hard drives we made some galleries so you can see what didn’t make the cut.  It’s broken down like the coverage posts were, (Thunder and Lightning combined groups, open wheel, and then TT) so you don’t have to scroll through a few hundred photos to find the one you want.

Thunder and Lightning:

Cincopa WordPress plugin

Open Wheel:

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TT:

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

 

 *Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
31st Mar2014

NASA Utah 2014 Round 1: Thunder and Lightning

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (55 of 105)

The first NASA Utah weekend of the year brought with it its fair share of action.  From new track records to people driving the wheels off their cars, local hero’s, rookies, and national champs all came out to enjoy Utah regions Round 1.  Over 100 drivers challenged Miller Motorsports Park’s outer loop configuration, and our Thunder and Lightning race group featured well over 40 cars on grid for the start of Saturdays race!

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (8 of 105)

David Donner

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (1 of 14)

Peter Spencer

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (25 of 105)

John Scarlett

The GTS drivers were out in force, and entirely in Porsche 911s.  In GTSU David Donner put his red and white Air Power Racing prepped machine in First place ahead of Peter Spencer and John Scarlett, both also in Air Power Racing machines. 

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (12 of 14)

Roberto Albarran leading the pack

 

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

Alan Wilson

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (10 of 14)

Russ Timmons

GTS5 demonstrated some close racing between Alan Wilson and Roberto Albarran, with Roberto edging out Alan by just under 1 second, despite Alan posting better lap times.  Russ Timmons debuted his beautiful new orange and chrome wrap job to round out 3rd.  Sundays race was another barn burner for these two, Alan was leading a close battle when a daring move in lap traffic, quickly turned into a carefully managed spin, moving him to 2nd, but with Desire supporting over the radio, Alan climbed back into 2nd place, while Mark Brouse finished 3rd.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (11 of 105)

Darrell Troester

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (86 of 105)

Chris Vivolo

 GTS4 was a two man battle between Darrell Troester and Chris Vivolo in their Tatum Racing 911s.  When the checkered flag dropped it was Darrell taking the class win.  Darrell was able to repeat his victory on Sunday, securing a healthy lead for his season.

 

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (93 of 105)

Douglas Turnquist

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (69 of 105)

Bill Noblitt

In the Pro Touring classes it was Douglas Turnquist versus Bill Noblitt in PTB and Todd Green versus his Miata in PTE.  Douglas put his Porsche 944 ahead of Bill Noblit’s Boxster, which retired early due to a mechanical issue.

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (14 of 14)

Todd Green ahead of the Spec Miata group

Todd Green had an exciting Saturday in PTE. After only 4 laps his driver’s front wheel decided it wanted to take a lap off.  It took the hub and brake rotor off into the infield while Todd wrangled the rest of the car to a stop just outside of turn 6. Determined to get back in the game he recruited Matt Guiver and Travis Tidball to sacrifice the E3 Miata sitting quietly in the garage.  Todd worked hard and got his #60 PTE Miata back on the grid in time to edge out Allan Anderson for the class win on Sunday.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (45 of 105)

Chris Bond

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (40 of 105)

David Sherman

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (64 of 105)

Troy Duffin

In other Miata racing news, Chris Bond was your Spec Miata winner, ahead of David Sherman and Troy Duffin respectively.  Rounding out the class were McKay Snow, Paul McGarvey, and rookie Joe Shubert.  David came back with all cylinders firing on Sunday and put down some consistent laps to take 1st place, Troy Duffin clinched 2nd, and Chris Bond had to settle for 3rd.  Larry Carpenter had his hands full keeping cars tuned up for this competitive class.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (50 of 105)

Arthur Golebiowski leading Tom Kaminski into Release

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (44 of 105)

Paul House

Spec Z featured all rookie drivers, in 3 brand new Nissan 350Z Spec racers. Spec racing rules meant the cars were nearly identical, but Arthur Golebiowski, Tom Kaminski, and Paul House drove them very differently.  Arthur wrestled his Strace Z into first, Tom pedaled to 2nd place, and Paul closed the race in 3rd. Arthur even took home a BFG R1 race tire, and $250 from Nissan for his debut race with NASA Utah.  Sunday saw a surprise reversal, Thomas managed to take advantage of traffic to secure 1st place, even though Arthur set a new Spec Z track record with a 2:11.4 his effort was only good enough 2nd.  Paul managed to bring it home in one piece for 3rd. All weekend these three drivers could be found in the paddock discussing strategy, and working on each other’s cars, it’s always nice to see camaraderie in the race grids.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (103 of 105)

Samuel Kapp

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (84 of 105)

Otto Silva

Rounding out the Spec classes is Spec 944, which was the closest racing of the day!  Samuel Kapp in his Eurotonic backed 944 battled with Otto Silva and his orange Euroworks machine.  It was close, but Samuel took the win by .396 seconds after 10 laps on this 3 mile course!

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (9 of 14)

Madison Snow battling Todd Ainsworth

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (4 of 14)

Smith-Burke Racing on their way to setting a new NASA Utah record

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (9 of 105)

Dan Worley sporting a temporary two tone color scheme

Super Touring was a dense field, with the quickest cars and some very experienced drivers at the wheels.  It also featured the widest variety of vehicles. From Alex Whetman’s Focus of Doom to Madison Snow’s IMSA GTD class 991 Porsche that sees action in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.  There are also a good handful of Corvettes, and in ST1 is where we find the 2013 National champ Team Smith-Burke Corvette.  They were competing with Dan Worley and his Chevy LS1 powered Porsche 944.  They came out of the box with a fast pace, opening up a 1:15.701 gap, and setting a new NASA Utah record in the process.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (38 of 105)

Byron Smith

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (4 of 105)

Brendon Stewart

ST2 had old hand Byron Smith in his BMW against rookie Brendon Stewart in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.  Brendon was hoping to not have a repeat of last season’s catastrophic failures and missed races, and things seemed to be working great.  However an incident with the the #33 Skullcandy Team Nissan Altima in Clubhouse turn resulted in a spin, and driver penalties for Brendon.  Determined to learn from his mistake, Brendon found the very small pieces of his bumper, and got the car back together to take 1st on Sunday with a 2:05.4.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (27 of 105)

Cary Wilson

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (15 of 105)

Alex Whetman

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (70 of 105)

Gary Free

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (39 of 105)

Ryan Curl

ST3 was the deepest class with eleven drivers, seven of whom with driving FR500S Mustangs.  Of the Mustang drivers, R. Ryan Curl proved to be the fastest, coming in fifth in class behind Todd Ainsworth’s Us Against One Clothing backed Subaru WRX STi.  Cary Wilson took the class win in his gray C5 Corvette, earning some Hoosier race tires for his efforts, and Alex Whetman’s managed his Focus into second despite a catastrophically failed power steering pump. His effort was good for a contingency award for 1 free BFG R1! Gary Free’s RaceCo prepped Mustang FR500S rounded out the podium in what is shaping up to be an exciting season. Sunday saw Cary once again secure 1st place, while battling a new to him car, Todd Ainsworth drove the UAO STi to 2nd place, and Ryan Curl put down a blistering pace in his Ford Racing school FR500S easily securing 3rd place with a 2:13.9.

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (11 of 14)

Madison Snow in the #13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (3 of 14)

2013 National Champ George Smith

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (80 of 105)

Melanie Snow

SU was the class to watch.  Two IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship Porsches paired off against the two Skullcandy Team Nissan Altimas which see action in Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge.  Also in the fray were 2014 NASA SU National Champion George Smith and NASA Rookie Skip Sasser in Chevrolet S10. The Nissan’s were plagued by problems: the #33 had an incident with ST2 driver Brendon Stewart, while the #34 Nissan had clutch issues which forced them to retire after eight laps. No stranger to the race track, Skip Sasser drove his #38 S10 to a fourth place finish behind Melanie Snow in the #62 UIS Snow Racing Porsche 911.  Ahead of her was George Smith in the yellow JDP sponsored C5 Corvette.  And topping the SU podium in 1st place, Madison Snow. The 2013 IMSA GT3 Cup champion had a commanding lead by the time the checkered flag dropped.  Sunday saw Les Long owner/operator of Air Power racing get behind the wheel of his Super Unlimited GT3, but there was nothing he could do to compete with Madison Snow. Driving hard, Madison managed a record shattering 1:52.0 to secure the win.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (95 of 105)

And so ends a successful opening weekend to the NASA Utah season.  The next race weekend is April 25-27 on the West track.  Registration is open and we look forward to seeing everyone return for Round 2 of the NASA Utah racing series

Words by Michael Chandler and Matt Guiver, Photos by Michael Chandler and Michael Wells

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
07th Feb2014

Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour: How to Spend Your Saturday

by Michael Chandler

CAM goes to COTA 5 19 13 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-19

 

Guys, gals, pets, I’ve found how you will be spending your Saturday afternoon.  You, like me, will be watching the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour race.  Why?  Because where, outside of Forza or Gran Turismo, will you see Fiat 500 Abarths pairing off against SLS AMG GT3s?  Focus Global Touring Cars (tube chassis, V8 powered, lots of awesome) hunting down a Ginetta G50?  Exactly.

There are six classes:

Class A is comprised of current GT3 spec cars.  AF Corse (essentially Ferrari’s sports car team) will be challenging last year’s winner Erebus Motorsports and their pair of SLS AMG GT3s for the class win.

Class B is ten 911 GT3 Cup cars ganging up on two R8s and two Lamborghini Gallardos.  This class has the best team name running in it: Racing Incident, which is running a Gallardo LP520.

Class C is three GT4 class cars: a Ginetta G50, a Lotus Exige Cup R and an Exige S.  Tiny?  Yes.  Awesome?  The Ginetta handles that, and then some.

Class D is 3001cc engines and up, and resembles something you’d see at a track day… in Europe: two SEAT Leon Supercopas, an E46 M3 GTR, an E92 M3, a Daytona Sportscar Coupe (an Australian Shelby Daytona Coupe), and a WRX STi thrown in for good measure.  This will be a fun one to watch.

Class E is full of Fiat 500 Abarth’s run by the same team.  Three adorable little Fiats will try to avoid being killed by everything else on track.  This will be the most adorable class to watch.

Class I is the afore mentioned Global Touring Car spec Focuses… Foci…  Focus?  Whatever.  It’s a lot like Class E, except more fearsome than adorable.

The Race starts in a little less than twenty-four hours from now (at the time this was being written) and you can/will watch the live stream on the race’s website, which features commentary from Radio Le Mans.

UPDATE 1:51PM MST: HQ Holdens race happening for the next hour http://www.bathurst12hour.com.au/live/ Old Holdens!

Words and photo by Michael Chandler

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