14th Oct2016

2016 TresDuro: Tres Means Three Part 3

by Michael Chandler

Time Trial C

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

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

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

Time Trial D

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

Time Trial E

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

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

Time Trial B

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

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

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

Time Trial 3

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

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

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

Time Trial 2

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

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

Time Trial 1

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

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

Time Trial Unlimited

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

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

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

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

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

 

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24th Mar2016

JJ Got Some Flare…s

by Michael Chandler

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As I was walking around the paddock, I came across a familiar vehicle.  It was JJ Askwig’s FRS!  And it has some new curves and shoes.

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He rang up Robert Kochis, another noted FRS owner, at Mod Bargains and scooped up a set of Rocket Bunny V1 flares.

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He cut the fenders, color matched the new flares, then riveted them on.  To fill the new, massive fender wells, JJ picked up a set of Forgestar F14s.  It was already a great looking car, and now it looks a lot meaner.  Always love seeing this car, can’t wait to see it again.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
29th Feb2016

New Year, New You

by Michael Chandler

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Remember JJ’s Turbo FRS?  It was pretty bad ass, but things they are a changing.  He’s got some new wheels for it, and to fit them he’s cutting up the fenders. What do those new wheels look like?  Well, they’re probably round, and if he’s cutting up the fenders then they’re probably wide.  Beyond that, we don’t know; HOWEVER, we do know what JJ did before, so we know they’re going to look good.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
05th Feb2016

Goodbye Scion

by Michael Chandler

Tuner Scion xB

Toyota finally axed Scion, the brand that was supposed to be youth oriented, but ended up selling to the same people who normally buy Toyotas.  It’s sad that this news came after the success of the FRS and the introduction of the iA, which is basically a Mazda2 with an extra set of doors.  We can sit around and complain, pitch ideas of what could have been done, and/or point and laugh; OR, we could remember the good times.  Good times like Nik Preusser’s first xB.

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Or Fredric Aasbo’s tC

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Or the FRS we saw at last year’s WERC 6 Hour race.  Let’s remember the good times people, and rejoice that the Scion lineup is getting shoehorned into Toyota’s.

27th Jan2016

Subiyotas!

by Michael Chandler

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They pulled in together, they parked together, and they wandered around together.  Such is rolling into and attending a car show

10th Jun2015

The People’s Champ: Scion FRS

by Michael Chandler
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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

This matte metallic blue Scion FRS has a small pedigree.  Well, not really small: it won the Favorite Scion award at the last import Spring Showoff meet which is impressive considering how prolific the FRS has become.  If you hadn’t seen the car before then, it’s ok.  I had only seen it once before the show.  Seemingly out of nowhere, we have a new champion of the people.

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JJ, the fella who owns this, bought it new in May of 2013 with all of 11 miles on the odometer.  Like any good, sensible person, he began modifying it.  Like most people, he decided it needed more power.  The usual power adders were thrown on,  but naturally aspirated just wasn’t cutting it.  He needed more.  He needed a turbo.

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And that’s exactly what he got!  The Borg Warner 6258 EFR turbocharger came in a kit from Treadstone Performance, which also included an intercooler, hot and cold pipes, the exhaust manifold and up pipe (both of which he had ceramic coated), and a 265lph in tank fuel pump.  Because you can’t just cram additional air into the engine without adding more fuel, JJ threw in a set of 770cc Deatschwerks fuel injectors.  He also grabbed a billet diverter valve from Treadstone, to relieve excess boost pressure.  Additional cooling, specifically for the oil, is provided by a Mishimoto oil cooler.  The whole affair is run by an EcuTek reflashed ECU, which had the wick turned up by Jesse at FNP.  The kit was installed, and all the maintenance is done at Paradise Performance by JD Youngblood and Matt En.

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When you add over 100 horsepower to any car, you should probably address the clutch.  JJ wisely did so, and had JD and Matt throw in a stage 3 segmented ceramic clutch from Competition Clutch.

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Rounding out the power and usability adders, and providing a nice segue to start talking about the other aspects of the car, is a 3″ straight piped exhaust from Simple Performance.  As you can see, the exhaust sticks out a bit.  Not an insane amount, but enough to be noticeable.  And it’s also got a bit of carbon fiber wrap on it.  An odd place for carbon fiber, but it’s not the only carbon fiber on the car.

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The side skirt extensions are carbon fiber, and they’re custom.

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As is the Metallic Blue wrap.  JJ dropped the car off at Justin’s Tint, where the man himself wrapped the car.  The freshly wrapped Scion was taken to Luxe Auto Spa where it was coated with CQuartz FINEST ceramic surface protection, and also had the brake calipers color matched to the wheels and the hats and hubs blacked out.

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Before the wrap, JJ had a ChargeSpeed front lip and rear spats installed.  Not as loud as the Rocket Bunny kits, the ChargeSpeed pieces accent the car without becoming the focus of the car.

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The 18×9.5 Enkei RS05RR wheels also provide a nice, yet not overly distracting touch to the car.  Wrapped in 265/30 BF Goodrich Comp 2 tires, they fill the wheel wells nicely.  The TEIN Monoflex coilovers reduce the wheel gap, while also being great coilovers that make an already stellar handling car handle better.

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JJ has more plans for the car, the most visible is a big APR spoiler that will match the curve of the rear of the car.  Until then, we’ll have to be content with the car that the voting public loves

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
14th Nov2014

SEMA Shots: Stay Crushing FRS

by Michael Chandler

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Words by Michael Chandler.  Photos by Michael Chandler and Joey Harrington

I saw a lot of people complaining that every car at SEMA was sporting a Rocket Bunny kit.  There were a ton of cars sporting the kit, because it’s the popular kit. It’s also because in the last couple of years there have been more kits released for more chassis.  Before the craze hit, you could get a kit for the modern Nissan S Chassis (S13, S14 and S15) and the Toyobaru twins.  Now you can get the kit for the afore mentioned chassis, the NSX, R35 GTR, FD3S RX7, and E36 chassis BMW 3-series.

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But before all that the only kits you saw were on the FRS/BRZ, and before everyone at SEMA had one there were only a handful.  Four to be exact at the 2012 SEMA Show.  Three belonged to big companies, and one was in the hands of Robert Kochis.  He poured every last cent into his build, and even Muira-san came over to help fit the kit.  It was an intense build that begat the Stay Crushing brand.

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Since then we, and thousands of other people, have seen the car progress and the Stay Crushing brand grow.  At this year’s show, after some drama getting in to it, we got to see the 2014 version of the car.  This year it had the V2 Rocket Bunny kit, and accompanying canards.  It was also sporting a prototype Big Country Labs wing, which is ridiculous and obnoxious and perfect for this car.  Almost any car for that matter, but that’s neither here nor there.  We’ll eventually get around to doing a full on feature shoot, but in the meantime go support him!  Buy a sticker and a shirt!

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

 

24th Oct2014

Tresduro: NASA Utah’s 2014 Season Finale

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Every year for… many years NASA Utah, and MPRA before them, have thrown an endurance race to close out the season.  Normally it’s the standard X amount of hours in a row, on a track that has the corners in the same places as the lap before.  This year things would be different.  Very different.  Not mind blowingly, life alteringly different, but still different.  There would still be an endurance race, but not all in a row.  It would run on the Outer Loop… and the East Course… and the West Course.

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That’s right baby!  Dynamic track!  Basically here’s how it would shake out: All the HPDE groups and TT would run on the Outer Loop only, while the race group and the open wheel guys would jump between all three configurations.  If you remember the Pirelli World Challenge races from a couple of months ago, then this track switching concept isn’t so foreign.  They ran the World Challenge GT races on the Outer Loop, Spec B and Miller GT Challenge on the West Course and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West guys got the East Course.  What was foreign, and I can’t stress this enough, was having the same group of competitors running three different track configurations on the same day for the same race!  Well, technically it wasn’t all the same race, but the drivers’ times in each race would be combined and whoever had the best time would be the class winner.  Speaking of which, let’s stop talking about the track thing and talk about racing!

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The Open Wheel guys were in the same boat as the Race Group: three different tracks, three races, one time to decide a winner.  In Formula Troy Duffin and Steven Costello continued their season long battle, but at the end of the long day there had to be a winner.  And that winner was Troy, who completed 34 laps in the allotted time compared to Steven’s 33.  In Super Formula it was the the #11 Rodizio Grill sponsored car of Terry Biner running away with the class win, leaving Steve Burns and John LaBrie to duke it out for second.  In what can only be described as driving feats never seen since the days of Juan Manuel Fangio*, Steve Burns defeated John LaBrie!

*Not really true at all, but both John and Steve had really good drives in their races

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It was time for the TT competitors to take to the track after the Open Wheel drivers vacated it.  Their four sessions held weight because, while the season points chases were over for everyone else, this was a points event for the TT drivers.  While some people had wrapped up their season titles (more on that in another post), some people were still fighting tooth and nail for theirs.  People like Shay Campbell and James Pasquier, who pitted their Porsche 911s against some ST3 competitors and a healthy chunk of the Spec Z field.  Despite finishing in 14th, five spots behind James and scoring 5 points less than him, Shay locked up his TT3 points title!  Meanwhile, at the front of the TT3 crowd, Travis Tidball took the win.

In TT1 the guys of TW Racing put their Audi R8 LMS atop the podium, and solidified their championship.  However second place in the class was up for debate.  If you remember, Shawn Murphy ventilated the engine block in his WRX STi which sidelined it for the remainder of the season and seemingly opened the door for Smith-Burke Racing to leapfrog one of our favorite Wyomingans… Wyomingites?  Whatever, Shawn needed to hold off the C5 Corvette, so he did what any enterprising man with a willing girlfriend would do: he used her car for the last two events.  He didn’t win, but he scored JUST enough points to hold off the Data Motorsports backed Corvette to stay in second place.

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In TTE Ben Lamberson put used all 127 horsepower his Audi could muster to beat Steve Larsen, and cement his title.  TTU was missing it’s most notable competitor: the Lyfe Motorsports/Wild Schick Racing R35 GTR was in California doing some testing, which left the class wide open for Rhett Panter to win.  TT2 was won by David Bradshaw, and Josh Bennett took home the win in TTB.

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And we finally arrive at the Race Group, the other group that would take on the perils of driving three different tracks over the course of one race day.  It also had some interesting driver line-ups, including George Smith piloting a Miata with Les Long, Derek Wolthoff driving Brendon Stewart’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, and…  Well, there’s no easy way to say this…

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PPPAAAAAAAUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLL MMMMIIIITTCCCCCCHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which was driven by Matt Guiver, Todd Ainsworth, Alex Whetman and Todd Green.  That mighty team could only muster a third place finish in E3, behind Allan Anderson (who slid around Wind Up, but it’s cool because he has a Corolla so he knows what he’s doing) and David Sherman. NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-59

In E0 we saw No Whammies (Travis Tidball) hit big money and stop atop the podium, ahead of Travis Williams in the #22 Discount Tire FR500S Mustang and Good Guy Gus Stribakos in the 888 Porsche.

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In a class by himself, literally, was the Idaho Mountain Touring Porsche 911 in E1.  Let’s take a moment to appreciate how pretty it is.  Ahhhhhhhh.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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ES.  The Big boys.  You know the Names: TW Racing, Big Bob Evans, Dandy Dan Worley, Steve “Mister” Burns and “Mister En Fuego” Brendon Stweart.  They were all fighting for the victory.  The gritty field went wheel to wheel and door to door all day! Except when Brendon broke a suspension component.  That sidelined him.  And Bob blew a tire in the last race of the day, so his day ended early too… But when they were running, they were threatening to take away podium finishes from other drivers!  In the end it came down to two teams: the TW Racing crew had adjusted their R8 LMS so Allen Turner could fully exploit it’s advantages, while Tatum Racing had the LSx powered Porsche 944 tuned to peak efficiency for Dan Worley.  Who would emerge victorious?

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In the end the Audi proved too much for the Porsche, and TW Racing took home the class and overall victory.

In the end, we all took home a victory.  Over the course of the season we saw drivers snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and overcome devastating events.  We saw camaraderie and good natured competitiveness, and most importantly: everyone at the end of the day could walk away uninjured.

And so ends the NASA season.  On behalf of me and the staff here at CAMautoMag, I would like to say thank you to Matt Guiver, Dave Kizerian and Dan McKeever for the awesome season, the track workers for the thankless and tireless jobs they do to make the racing happen, and especially to the drivers.  Everyone from the HPDE 1 drivers, all the way up to the Super Unlimited class drivers and everyone in between.  We do this because we have the same passion as you guys, and since we can’t get out there and drive with you guys (yet!) the next best thing is to come out shoot some photos and say some nice words about what you’re doing out there.

We’ll be at the Awards Banquet on November 22, where we’re looking forward to seeing everyone!  We will also have things for you to purchase if you so choose.

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