27th Mar2017

Racing In The Rockies: NASA Utah Round 1

by Michael Chandler

It feels soo goooood to be back!  Just look at how happy Ty is!  HE’S SO HAPPY!!!  Probably because we’re back to racing, but also because Shawn set another track record.  Speaking of, let’s talk about that

Time Trial

Yes, everyone’s favorite cowboy set another record.  Well, two actually.  On Saturday he went around the West track in 1:34.252, which was a record.  Then on Sunday he pulled a 1:33.639.  Good enough to win TT2, good enough to win TTU on Saturday

David Bradshaw, and his yellow Beetle “Bumblebee” Lyfe prepared 996 Porsche Cup Car took home the win in TT1 with a best time of 1:39.810.  His luck wouldn’t hold into Sunday, as Daren Jorgensen, in the Rearden/Strom Motorsports M4 ran a 1:36.762.

We already talked TT2, so let’s move on to TT3.  On Saturday, John Calvin (theologian, father of Calvinism/Reformed Protestantism, and driver of an orange and black Mustang) turned a 1:45.969 to bring home a win.  Sunday saw another Rearden BMW take home a TT class win, this time it was the M235iR of Andrew McCubbins, an adorable animated teddy bear… Probably.

The 2017 season sees the debut of TT4, replacing TTB.  Mike Bratsch kept his sucking low and pulled off the first win in the new class on Saturday with a 1:45.131.  On Sunday Nam Yoon (not pictured) ran a 1:41.868, and took the class victory.

TTC is still around, having yet to be replaced by an as of yet undeveloped TT5, and had a few competitors on the weekend.  Two to be exact!  On Saturday, with a 1:44.955, Lynn Hodges in the red chrome Lotus took the win over John Butcher.  Johnny boy would get his win on Sunday, with a 1:47.497.

Kenneth Russell, noted bon vivant and man about town, was the sole TTD competitor on the weekend.  Him and his trusty Civic pulled a best time of 1:48.471 on Saturday and, like myself, weren’t around on Sunday.

A pair of hardtop NA chassis Miatas split the wins in TTE over the weekend.  Todd Green, in Ol’ Blue or the Smurf or Babe the Tiny Blue Sports Car, ran a 1:46.473 on Saturday.  On Sunday Tyler Nisonger took the win with a 1:48.074.  

We had a TTF competitor this weekend!  It was one Eduardo Acurero, in a black CRX that would lift the inside rear wheel during hard maneuvers.  Eduardo, as he will always be referred to as on these pages, turned a 1:45.316.  A time on par with the TTC field.  Good going Eduardo!

Rounding out TT is Andrew Smith, who trotted out the Rearden/SilencerCo/FourFoods Group/maybe R&R Barbecue? Audi R8 LMS Ultra and turned a 1:36.606, outpacing even the likes of the UVU Miata.

Lightning

Tom Rogers, Thom Rodgers to his friends and Peruvian officials, beat out Chris Haunold for the GTS2 win on Saturday and Sunday.  Will the BMW-Porsche battle end with the Bavarian car on top?   It’s too soon to tell, but LET’S RECKLESSLY SPECULATE AND SAY YES!

Carl Marx, the great nephew of the legendary Zeppo Marx, in one of the Rearden BMW M235iR’s claimed a pair of GTS3 wins on the weekend.

Troy Duffin, in a cruel twist of fate, managed to get the PTD victory, but lose his gorgeous red Datsun 510.  The car broke loose going into turn one, and as a result damaged some of the rear suspension.  He managed to get the car going again, but only to limp it back into the pits.  I speak for a lot of people who are glad Troy is ok, and are wishing for the car to make a speedy recovery!

Speaking of broken cars, Todd Green’s blue Miata decided to spin a bearing.  It managed to do this AFTER Todd took the PTE win on Saturday.  On Sunday Todd turned to an old friend, one who’s always been there when called upon: Paul Mitchell.  Despite sitting since October, and on old tires, Paul answered the call of his old friend.  After an oil change, Todd ran just over a tenth of a second off the track record on his way to another win.

With a spring in his step, a song in his heart, and a fresh new livery; Matt Williamson took to the track for another year of Spec Miata competition.  Joined by newcomer (to Spec Miata) Andy Moench, who finished second on both days, Matt claimed the first two wins of the 2017 season.

Super Touring 4 was ruled over by benevolent hamburger overlord Blake Troester, aka Mayor McCheese.  Under his stewardship, sightings of the Hamburglar have been greatly reduced, while acceptance of Grimmace is now commonplace.  We salute you, kind mayor!

Our two (for the moment) Thunder Roadster drivers traded wins over the weekend.  Jihn Han took the season opening win, and JD Stull took home top honors on Sunday.  Big Bob Evans has said he’ll be in one of these cars this year, which would be amazing for many reasons.  We hope he hops in soon, but in the meantime we’re more than content with watching JD and Jihn duke it out.

944 Spec was its usual, robust self.  When Otto Silva (Saturday’s winner) and William Kendall (Sunday’s winner) were on track together, they were quite racy.  Otto posted a better fast lap, but not by a whole lot.  This would be a good class to hop into.  944’s are still Porsches, but don’t have any of the astronomical costs of 911’s.  Plus it’s just two guys, it’s not like you’d be jumping into a massive field, filled with fast drivers who are getting lapped by even faster drivers…

Thunder

Normally the Spec Z field runs in the Lightning group, but not this weekend.  No, they were on grid for the Thunder races.  Yeah. the group with the Huracan Super Trofeos, 911 GT3R’s, Cup cars, and other fast stuff.  Despite being a herd of rolling cones (there were 14 cars on grid for Saturday’s race, 11 for Sunday), they had quite the race.  As is tradition, Arthur Golebiowski grabbed the season opener, with Tom and Chad in tow.  Sunday was a different story.  Someone going by the handle of “LYFE Motorsport” hopped into Kyle Schick’s #22 car and took the win.  With Chad and Tom in tow.

GTS4’s dual wins were taken by Darrell Troester, and this leads me to a question: what’s with the Troester’s and McDonald’s?  Do you own a franchise?  Are you forever indebted to Ray Kroc?  What is the deal?  I DEMAND ANSWERS!  Feel free to send them in to [email protected]

He managed to race, and remove his thermostat all in the same day!  It’s the one and only Toby Crawford!  Despite having a wounded car, Toby still went out and ran a full race in ST2, getting a win.

A Minion was spotted running in ST3 on Sunday. I wasn’t there, but it’s on the official results.  It’s actually listed as the winner…  Curious…

ST1 was populated exclusively by Ginetta G55’s.  The little GT4 cars were prepped by Ian Lacy Racing, and driven by Frank “You’re my boy, Blue!” Gannett and Drew Staveley.  Drew took home the wins for the weekend, and now I have to figure out either a nickname or a weird non sequitir for him.

Steve Burns, Texan and driver of a car that barely qualifies as a Mustang anymore, claimed Saturday’s Super Unlimited win.  Jeff Kearl, pictured in a different car from a different round from a different month from a different year, took the SU win on Sunday.

GTSU was a bullfight all weekend!  Except without the cultural relevance, animal cruelty, or goring.  A new Huracan Super Trofeo appeared, fielded by DXDT Racing, and driven by Paul Terry.  It wasn’t one of their cars that they use for the Super Trofeo series, at least this one wasn’t sporting the livery anyway.  They faced off against the tried and true Makes & Models Huracan.  Despite Paul having slightly faster fast laps, he couldn’t overcome the cagey driving of Derek Wolthoff.  The Makes & Models team returned to the shop in Layton with two more victories under their belt.

And there we have it!  The season is off to a rousing start.  The East track is the venue for next month, and the weekend of that is April 21-23.  We’ll be out there, for the whole thing this time!  Come out and join us!

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14th Aug2016

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

by Michael Chandler

PWC 2016 Sunday GTS Race Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

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

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

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Aug2016

The Utah 6 Hour

by Michael Chandler

Utah 6 Hour Michael Chandler CAMautoMag cover-1

It was the beginning of the best ten days on this year’s calendar.  Acting as the meat in a sandwich where the delicious bread is a Salt City Drift event and Pirelli World Challenge, and the condiments are a NASA Utah weekend, was the annual Utah 6 Hour.  Now a staple on the NASA Utah calendar, the Western Endurance Racing Championship stop provides a unique opportunity for the drivers and fans to drive into the night, and see nothing but lights piercing the dark Tooele night.  And if you were out around turn 5 around 10:30-11, you would’ve seen me with a string of LED lights strewn about my torso.  I was easily identifiable, for safety!  Anywell, let’s talk about who took home a trophy!

E0

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Lyfe Motorsport was out with one of their own Spec Z’s (the Towne Storage Z) and supporting the #99 DLG Racing Z.  Showing that 350Z is life, the Lyfe backed teams finished 1-2 in E0!  The Towne Storage Z completed 147 laps in the 6 hours, with the DLG Z four laps behind them.

E1

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In E1, completing 153 laps in the allotted time, was the #65 E46 BMW of Strom Motorsports.  It was the teams second win of the day, having taken the win in the GTS5 class during the Lightning sprint race earlier.

E2

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The Fit is fucking go!  The #12 Honda Fit of Honda Performance Development completed 143 laps in 6:01:09.257, and probably had to stop for fuel once.

E3

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It was a battle of the Miatas in E3: the mighty and legendary Paul Mitchell versus the bug-eyed RJ Racing Miata.  I mean bug-eyed in the nicest way.  Look at those lights!  Those lights lit the way for 147 laps, and lit their way to victory.

ENP

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The ENP had one entrant, the Valkyrie Autosport Elan NP01.  Despite the teams best efforst, the little prototype went behind the wall after 29 laps.

ES

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This was a battle: the TruSpeed Autosport 997 Cup car versus the Makes & Models Huracan Super Trofeo.  A tried and true chassis versus a sprint race car.  WERC class leaders one win away from clinching their championship versus a team with multiple regional championships under their belt?  If you’ve been paying any attention to how these posts go, you know that by seeing the picture of the TruSpeed car that they won.  Not only did they win the Utah 6 Hour, they locked up the ES Class championship.  Congratulations to them!

ESR

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Now we arrive at the car I was most excited to see running.  Toby Crawford, driver of the Pink Ribbon Racing/Makes & Models Subaru BRZ, told me that there was a Ginetta G57 at UMC and that it was racing in the enduro.  It was the Ryno Racing team, sponsored by Design Masonry.  The G57 is based on Ginetta’s LMP3 design, and is probably a lot the same.*  The big difference is that the LMP3 spec Nissan engine, rated at 420bhp, has been replaced with a Chevrolet LS3, which makes 150 more horsepower than the LMP3 engine.  I was excited to see and hear the 900kg prototype tearing through the night, but unfortunately the car was retired after just 72 laps.

And there it is, another six hour race in the books!  I’m already looking forward to next year.  A tremendous shout out to all the race officials, corner workers, and safety crew for sticking it out until midnight.  A big thank you to the family, friends, and well wishers who came out and watched the race and cheered the teams on.  And all of the congratulations to all of the drivers and crew members for racing in the longest race on the NASA Utah calendar!  There were over thirty cars entered in the race, and they all took the green flag.  It was, as always, an amazing experience.

We can’t wait for next year.

*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

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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

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