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:

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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.
25th Nov2013

NASA Utah Round 7 Enduro

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-9

The NASA Utah season ended with one final race, and for those who stuck around got their money’s worth.  A series of endurance races were run, concurrently, with one ending two hours in, another at four hours and the final big daddy race ending after a staggering SIX hours!  Once again Travis Williams, Jason Smith and Todd Ainsworth entered the six hour race; however, Todd joined up with NASA Utah director Matt Guiver and Spec Miata hot shoe Todd Green in a Miata, while Jason and Travis grabbed Alex Honing to pilot the #22 Discount Tire/Innovative Garage/Asea/CAMautoMag FR500S.  This is a story about these two teams…  For the most part.

NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-8NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-20NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-43NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

They were by no means the only warriors out on the track that day, nor were they the only ones competing in the six hour race.  However the field was small.  Almost criminally small.  At the end of the six hours only five cars crossed the line.  After two hours Bob Evans had burned enough gas to make his weekend worth while, after four hours the #25 VP Racing Fuels Mustang took top honors.  The final two hours left the #503 Towne Storage/RaceCo FR500s, the #22 Discount Tire/Innovative Garage/Asea/CAMautoMag FR500S, the #58 Miata of team Green/Guiver/Ainsworth, the #13 Miata (which was driven by a lone madman!) and the #54 BMW 3 Series.

The lack of partners made dancing hard, but endurance races are not won with heroics on the track.  They are won and lost in the pit stall!

NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-68NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-69 NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-71 NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-72

This is where we join the #22.  Travis took the first stint, and did well.  He didn’t wrap his exhaust around an axle, nor did the clutch mysteriously die.  It was a solid effort.  Travis came out (with the hope of OP Anderson) and Alex hopped in.  While he was adjusting the Mustang to him and vice-versa, the crew was hard at work fueling the car.  All went smoothly.  The car took all the fuel it could and Alex took off without incident.

NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-79

With the car away and everyone in the garage it was time for Travis to relay information to Jason.  Quick aside, I had been snapping photos of Travis from the moment Alex pulled away.  Problem was Travis wasn’t wearing his hat.  I’m fairly confident he would’ve been hatless for a bit longer if he didn’t notice my large self (clad in a bright orange vest mind you) going nuts with my camera.  Anyway, I had forced Travis into a hat and Jason was explaining something with his hands when the team received some troubling news…

NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-81

During the stop, while the car was drinking in its necessary fluid, some of the fuel had spilled.  This was a problem and required some sort of punishment.

NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-88

And so it came to pass that Alex would come in to top off and then sit in the penalty box for five minutes.  It was EXCRUCIATING.  It was only five minutes, 1.3% of the race, but it was five minutes of NOTHING.  Five minutes of hearing your fellow competitors lap you.  Three hundred seconds of scheming on how you’re going to make up the lost laps.  And then they send you off.

NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-92

And away he went.  While the #22 was dealing with penalties and a herd of Jasons, the #58 was dealing with a slight issue of their own…

NASA Utah Round 7 enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-91

I went over to their garage to see what was keeping them off the track.  I wandered in, said hi to Matt and Todd and watched as they (along with Todd Green and Alex Whetman) tore at the motor.  I became curious, and began inching towards the open engine bay.

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The valve cover was off, I could see that much.  Beyond that I couldn’t tell what they were after.  I asked Matt, who after saying hi to me and asking how I was (he’s such a courteous fella!) told me that THEY BROKE A CAMSHAFT.

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Not sure how they did it, or where they got the spare bump stick from, but they broke one and managed to replace it.  They then stuffed Todd into the car so he could go forth and conquer!  Wait, no not conquer…  Well, he went out and raced and by god did he race!

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They didn’t win their class FYI, but you try telling them they didn’t put on one helluva show!

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Back in the #22 things were race-y as well.  Alex put the moves on the lone BMW going into turn one and held the position.  Passes are great, as are hot laps, but unfortunately they eat tires and fuel.  So after draining the fuel cell as much as he could, Alex came in for tires, fuel and a driver change.

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The car was brought into the garage for servicing so more things could be done at once.  Both right side tires were swapped for fresh (ish) rubber as the car was being fueled.  Alex climbed out, relayed information to Jason, then got out of the way.

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Jason hopped in and zoned out.  While there was a flurry of activity around the car he remained in a state of calm.  After the car received its last drops of fuel Jason fired it up, back it out of the garage and headed for the track itself.  Soon after his departure the team was hit with ANOTHER five minute penalty.  As per the rules of the class they could only add ten gallons of fuel to the car per stop.  They added more than that.  Jason was told to come in and sit in the penalty box…

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Back on the track it was becoming obvious to everyone that the race was winding down.  At this point all everyone wanted to do was bring their cars home in one piece and celebrate a race well run and an amazing year of racing.  But there was still some time on the clock…

 

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The drivers hustled around the outer loop in the fading light for a little while longer, which led to dramatic pictures for myself.

And then the checkered flag dropped

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Much to the dismay of some…

The drivers made their ways back to the pits, where congratulations were shared, hugs were given and team photos were taken.

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Some worked out…

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…while others worked it!

Winners were declared, and awards and prizes were given out.  Hands were shaken and we all agreed that we would come back and try to do this again next season.

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And so ends the NASA Utah season.  Well, there was a banquet but we didn’t go, but that’s beside the point.  It was an amazing year for everyone involved.  A lot of new people came out and got involved, and tragically we had to say goodbye to someone who wanted to keep pushing forward.  We look forward to the 2014 season with optimism, knowing that those who organize and run the events want the same things we do: more people participating in racing in a safe manner and good times doing what we love doing.

We here at CAM would like to thank all of those who have raced, organized, and helped out the racers and organizers and us this season.  In no particular order, we say thanks to:

  • Roger Miller and Matt Guiver
  • Cole, Pete, Trent and everyone at RaceCo
  • Jason and Tyler at Innovative Garage
  • George, Ryan, Dave, TJ and Jonny at Ziptie Dynowerks
  • Greg Valdez
  • Shawn Murphy
  • Kyle Schick
  • Michael Wells
  • Brendon Stewart
  • Todd Green and the rest of the Spec Miata racers
  • Sally McNulty
  • George Smith
  • The staff of Miller Motorsports Park
  • All of the NASA Utah staff
  • Anyone who came out this season to support their friends and loved ones as they raced or went through the HPDE program
  • You, the readers
  • The racers, because without you we’d be standing around a ribbon of tarmac in the middle of cattle country.

We will be back next year for the 2014 NASA Utah season, we hope you join us and we especially hope to see you at the track!

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

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

 

 

 

21st Oct2013

Ferraris in a Parking Lot

by Michael Chandler

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This was… a year or so ago I guess.  I never really caught any details of this, but it was some Ferraris in the parking lot of an Italian restaurant.  The lot was blocked off to traffic, but there were plenty of people wandering through.  So, naturally, I wandered with them.

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And it wasn’t just Ferraris hanging out.  Someone brought out a Ford GT and an old Pontiac GTO rolled in as well.

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After unsuccessfully talking to the people there I left.  I still have no idea what this was about, or if it’s ever happening again, but it was cool to randomly stumble across it.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
16th Oct2013

NASA Utah Round 6

by Michael Chandler

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Nationals were only a month behind them when the Miller locals returned to the west track for Round 6 of the NASA Utah season.  It was also three weeks before the season ending endurance race.  That led to some of your favorites taking the weekend off.  They still came out to instruct HPDE and hang out, but their chariots were still.

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But that doesn’t mean the track was empty.  Cole Powelson was out in RaceCo’s new Porsche, Todd Ainsworth was out in his STi in ST2, George Smith hustled his flying banana C5 Corvette to a win in the Super Unlimited class and first place overall in the race, and Park got a few runs in in his Vette as well.

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Oh, and Jason Smith raced Roger Miller’s World Challenge Mustang.  More on this humbling experience in a later post…

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STR1 went to Bob Evans in the Snickers, EA Sports Ford Fusion.  He battled with Jason for a good chunk of the race, but he left him behind when they encountered traffic.  Passing Jason got him into second overall.

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Again the Spec Miata/GTS guys were out with the bigger, faster guys.  While Jason and Bob had a good battle going, there was a dog fight happening at the front of the herd of Miatas.

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Todd Green and Mike Ferrara were never out of the other’s sight the whole race!  They might as well have tied their cars together, thats how close they were.  After an epic battle, Mike emerged the victor.  They might not be as fast as the open wheel or ST cars, but they fight just as hard if not harder than those other classes.

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Speaking of open wheel, the shorter track kept them closer than usual.  There weren’t any dirt drops or wheel touching, a la the Japanese GP, but the closeness brought action.

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This is Dave Wann.  He ran a 1:49.75, and did the best pirouette of the day.  Kudos to you Dave, kudos.

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I see you race a Z32.  I too like to live dangerously.  And if I remember right this either placed or won TTC.  You don’t see a lot of Z32 300ZX’s out on track days, which is a shame because, as our friend here is demonstrating, they can do some serious work.  They’re also such handsome vehicles.

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You don’t see too many Z cars out in general, at least out on our little ribbon of tarmac.  370z’s are pricey, and S30s are gorgeous and more people would rather do them up and then take them to shows instead of the track.  Hopefully seeing that Datsun go will bring a few more out.

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Here are some random photos from the HPDE session.  Nothing too crazy to report, just some guys getting in some supervised laps.  Anyway, thats what happened in a rather light day.  We’ll be out there for the season ending endurance race on the 26th, and we’ll do a photo dump ahead of that.  We’ll see you there!

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Words and Photos by Michael Chandler.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
16th Sep2013

NASA National Championships

by Michael Chandler

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NASA racers and support crew swarmed Miller Motorsports Park between the 4th and 8th of September for the NASA National Championships.  Every class of NASA sanctioned racer were out there, along with your humble reporter/photographer.  Well, the teams were there the whole time.  I, unfortunately, only made it out on Friday the 6th, but I brought you pictures!  And results!

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Us Against One Clothing printed up some stickers for the locals to run if they chose to.  The locals weren’t going to roll over and make it easy for the out of towners to win.

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The American Iron (AI), American Iron Extreme (AIX) and Camaro Mustang Challenge (CMC) guys were taking advantage of the Full Course layout by doing what Camaros and Mustangs do best: go fast in a straight line.  There were plenty of straights for them to wring their pony cars out.  The AI and AIX classes were dominated by Mustangs that made the trip to Miller Motorsports Park from as far away as Ohio!  But it wasn’t all Mustangs (well, the winners were all piloting Mustangs) or out of towners.

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Gary Free in his RaceCo prepped, South Towne Storage sponsored FR500S took fourth in AIX, besting two other competitors.  Corey Weber and Todd Davis brought out some classic American wheels to compete with.  Weber took fourth in AI while Davis took tenth.

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TTU, 1, and 2 were dominated by the home team.  Kyle Schick ran a blistering 1:55 to take TTU, while Shawn Murphy and his full interior STi took TT1 with a 2:03.  Smith-Burke Racing took TT2 by two tenths of a second!  Their 2:01.039 was just barely quick enough for the title, while Greg Valdez missed out on the podium by four tenths.  He still managed to out run a twin turbo 911 and a 911 GT3 by four and six seconds respectively.

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George Smith took the fight to the STR-1 crowd and emerged with the title in the JDP Motorsports/Smith Marketing Services C5 Corvette.  Corvettes appeared on the podium in ST2 (won by Smith-Burke Racing), ST3 and SU, with outright wins in ST2 and 3!

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SU field was the most exotic.  A pair of  prototype-esqe cars, a pair of Thunder Roadsters, a Viper, a Honda S2000 and a Corvette all vied for the title, but when the checkered flag dropped the #7 Elan DP02 of Jon Van Canegham emerged victorious.

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Also, the Brits were represented.

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Spec Miata was arguably the most action packed field.  Most of the packs were at least four cars deep, and dueling pairs of Miatas and lone Miatas were more the exception than the rule.  Blinkers were left on, doors were smashed, it was one of the more fun groups to see tear it up.  When the dust settled Matt Schultz climbed atop the podium.  He represents the NASA Northwest region.  The best the hometown crew could do was 13th (Chris Bond, 007).  Can’t win them all…

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If Spec Miata was the most action packed, most fun group to watch; then the GTS group was the prettiest.  Porsches and BMWs running hard lap after lap.  The sight was glorious, and the noise was epic!

Out of a possible twenty-eight championships, MMP locals took six.  Nearly one quarter of your NASA National Champions call Miller Motorsports Park home…  Well, not literally, but you get my drift.  The number could’ve been more just as easily as less.  Brendon Stewart’s Evo was still in pieces, Jason Smith sold his very quick Civic, Travis Williams’s FR500S was still down from the endurance race, and I’m not sure where Dave Dingman disappeared to.  Sally McNulty’s WRX was dealing with a bad head gasket, Jordan Priestly was doing support work for some of the drivers.  Those are six locals who could’ve competed for, if not taken a championship.  And we’ll just gloss over the Snows and John Potter, because we know how well they usually do.

The championship trophies may have been handed out, but the racing isn’t over for the season.  The final two events are in October: 4th-6th on the West track and 25th and 26th on the Outer Loop.  Still plenty of good times to be had, and for the TT guys, faster laps since it *should* be cooler out.

A full list of winners, placers, show-ers, just missed its and also rans can be found here.  BUT since you’re here, I present you with a list of the Champions, their class and their home region:

  • Alec Udell, American Iron, Texas
  • John Miksula, American Iron Extreme, Midwest
  • Aaron McSpadden, Camaro Mustang Challenge, Texas
  • Matt Schultz, Spec Miata, Northwest
  • David Schotz, TTB & C, Arizona
  • Sonny Watanasirisuk, TTD, California-Southern
  • Jason Kohler, TTE, Great Lakes
  • George Smith, STR1, Rocky Mountain
  • Michael von Quilich, Super Touring 1, California-Southern
  • Team Smith-Burke Racing, Super Touring 2, Utah
  • Kenneth Smith, Super Touring 3, Great Lakes
  • Jon Van Caneghem, Super Unlimited, California-Southern
  • Tyler Palmer, 944 Spec, California-Southern
  • Dick Hunter, GTS2, Texas
  • Tony Colicchio, GTS3, California-Northern
  • Michael McAleenan, GTS4, Northwest
  • Peter Spencer, GTS5, Utah
  • David Schotz, PTB, Arizona
  • Dennis Holloway, PTC, California-Southern
  • Need Speed Orozco, PTD, California-Southern
  • Jason Kohler, PTE, Great Lakes
  • Walter Carlos, PTF, California-Southern
  • David Dirks, Spec Z, Rocky Mountain
  • Shawn Murphy, TT1, Utah
  • Team Smith-Burke Racing, TT2, Utah
  • Christopher Mayfield, TT3, Rocky Mountain
  • Kyle Schick, TTU, Utah 

And there you have it.  See you in a a few weeks, and because I told them this is where to look, here’s a picture of this AIX Mustang:

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-Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

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