14th Oct2016

2016 TresDuro: Tres Means Three Part 1

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

The 2016 NASA Utah season came to an end this past weekend.  I know, I’m sad too.  But instead of the usual, conventional, “one track configuration for the entire weekend” business that we’ve seen at every other weekend this year; Dave, Matt, and Momma NASA (Cheri Miller) had something special for the end of the year.  Instead of running the Outer Loop, or the East track, or even the Full track, they arranged it so the drivers could race on ALL THREE IN THE SAME DAY!!! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the TresDuro.

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IT’S BACK, BABY!  Just like last year, and the year before; BUT, unlike last year, they were blowing the dust off the gigantic Full track.  To the best of my knowledge, the last time the Full track was run was two years ago.  I should probably explain how one wins the TresDuro, since it has been a year.  It’s pretty simple for the race groups: you qualify once, and start the first race from that position.  Where you finished in that race is where you start the next race from.  Where you finish also gives you points.  Driver/team with the most points at the end of the third race wins.  For TT: they take your fastest times on each track, add them together, and person with the lowest overall time is the winner.  Got it?

It’s been a hot minute, but the drivers managed to drive the track without getting lost or forgetting which configuration they were driving!  However, the weekend wasn’t without incident.  That incident, while unfortunate, provides a convenient segue into the actual race coverage.

THUNDER

German Touring Series Unlimited

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Taking home the win in GTSU by a mere 5 points was Makes & Models, in their Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo 620-2.  Their main competition throughout the day was David Donner, in his Porsche 911GT3R.  You know, the other Effort Racing car that showed up at Air Power Racing at the beginning of this year.  David had the pace to run away with it, but a broken axle in race 2 served up the win to Makes & Models.  The TresDuro would hinge on the third and final race.  The Lamborghini was on the pole, and Les Long’s 997 Cup car was starting from second.  And then this happened.

This is video of the start of the third race, shot from Michael Eifling’s ST1 Corvette.  It was uploaded by Brendon Stewart, driver of the Makes & Models Huracan.  FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve known Brendon for many years, long before he was working and driving for Makes & Models.  Makes & Models has been friendly with us, we have stickers on the Huracan and a few other Makes & Models cars.  That said, it’s pretty clear Les makes a move to the left to keep the Lamborghini behind him.  Then as the Lambo starts moving to his right and passing him, he moves to the right and pushes him West pit out.  The result of all of these moves was the Huracan spinning out in turn one, and having to rejoin at the back of the field.  Despite that, Brendon fought through the field and finished second.

 

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5 points behind Makes & Models was David Donner.  It’s been a few rounds since we’ve seen him at UMC, but he’s been spending that time wisely.  He’s very in tune with the 911 GT3R, and showed INSANE pace in the first race.  Good God was he flying!  David, I’m begging you!: come out for more races!  I’d love to see you, David Lockwood, Derek, and the DXDT guys have an all out death match (not really a battle to the death, but you know what I mean) one NASA weekend.  Do it for me, do it for the children, do it for America!  Or England if your James Burke.

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In third place, with 255 points, was Les Long.  He narrowly edged out David Lockwood for the final podium spot.  Les is a really good driver, but I’m not used to seeing him drive as aggressively as he did on Saturday.  From what I’ve seen over the years, he is most definitely not a dirty driver.  Just an aggressive driver, something we typically enjoy.  While he may be at fault for the incident at the beginning of the third race, I think he just got caught up in the heat of the moment.

Super Touring 1

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Being alone in a class has advantages sometimes, and Michael Eifling took full advantage of being the sole ST1 driver.  He took the fight to Robert Gardner, in the orange Jagermeister Porsche, and they had amazing battles all day long.  Good on ya Michael!  Thanks for not just turning laps, and taking the easy win.  Also, thank for bringing Buddha!

Super Touring 2

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ST2 started the day with two competitors: JR Smith in his Porsche Boxster, and Toby Crawford in his Subaru BRZ.  By the end of the first race, there was only one.  The head gaskets in Toby’s BRZ let go, allowing the man, the myth, the legend that is JR Smith to take the win.

Super Touring 3

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ST3 had a field of 5 cars: four of the Ford Performance Racing School BOSS 302 FRSes and the Minion mobile, the UAO Clothing M3.  I know I saw Alex in the car on Saturday, so I’m going to say it was he who won the shiny, not chocolate filled gold medal for ST3.  I’m sure I’ll hear about it if I’m wrong, but until then: congratulations Alex! UPDATE: Todd Ainsworth also drove on Saturday. Matt Guiver probably wasn’t in the car on Saturday, so we can rule him out.  So congratulations Todd and Alex on the win!

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In second place was Frank Gannett.  Frank the Tank has been pounding away in that Mustang, and doing a damn good job too.  Hopefully we see Frank in a different chassis next season, preferably one that doesn’t belong to the fine folks at the Ford Performance Racing School.

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Rounding out the podium was Josh Williams, in the #85 FPRS BOSS 302 FRS.  It’s in my favorite color, which makes it the best looking Mustang they have at the school.  Ask for it by name!

Super Unlimited

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Super Unlimited also had a five car field, but unlike the ST3 field there wasn’t a dominant model in the field.  There was; however, a dominant team: CA Sport.  They represented four of the five cars, the fifth being George Smith’s Corvette.  It was also a rather diverse field: the aforementioned Corvette, a PWC TC Class 370Z, a widebody E92 M3, and a pair of Cayman GT4 Clubsports.  It was one of those Caymans, the #41 driven by Andrew Smith, that took home the win.

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Chasing Andrew was Davis Warnock, in the #70 CA Sport Cayman GT4 Clubsport.  It was really fun watching these two cars duke it out for first place, and mix it up with some of the other classes.  And the new liveries look great.

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Locking out the podium for CA Sport was Lara Tallman in the 370Z.  Hey!  I just noticed that it has one blue mirror!  I like that.  And also congratulations to CA Sport for locking out the podium!  That quite the feat, especially considering who all could’ve run in the class and taken a spot on the podium.

And there you have it for Thunder!  Looking for Lightning or Time Trial?  I’ve got those in their own posts, so you don’t have a 3000+ word article to rifle through

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

Hi Frankey

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-8

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
05th Oct2015

NASA Utah Round 7

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

It was a wonderful weekend at Miller Motorsports Park, or so I’ve been told.  I missed out on Saturday because my car decided it didn’t want to have any oil in it, but I made it out on Sunday!  And Sunday was a day where at least on championship would be decided.

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The GTSU championship was a tight battle between Les Long of Air Power Racing, and Derek Wolthoff and Allen Turner of Makes & Models.  A second place finish for Les and a fourth place finish on Saturday for the Makes & Models team seemed to have tighten up the race.  Fortunately for the R8 pilots, Les parked his 911 GT3 Cup on Sunday.  Les’s absence allowed the Derek to wrap up the title!  He took first place over the upstart DXDT Racing team.  All was well, until he rechecked his math and realized that he actually had it locked up on Saturday.  He’s a racing driver, not a mathematician!  Congratulations to the Makes & Models team for their GTSU Championship.

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Shawn Tatum took the win in GTS4 on both days, and has been alone in the class since August.  Does that matter?  Not when his Tatum Racing prepped Cayman looks that good.

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The GTS5 results were the same on Sunday as they were on Sunday: Darrell Troester, in his 996 GT3 Cup car, held off Karsten Nossack, in the Nossack Food Group 996 GT3 Cup car, for the win.

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Dan Worley took home ST1 wins on both days, and had one hell of a battle with Matt Guiver on Sunday.

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Mike Mielke claimed a win in ST2 on Saturday, but didn’t start the race on Sunday.  I’m not sure why…

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Damnit Mike!  Put the steering wheel back on the car!!!

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Travis Tidball, in the JDP Motorsports/RaceCo/DigiCert Corvette Z06, out drove the field of Mustangs (and pair of M3s) to collect a pair of wins on the weekend.

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And in SU, Jeff Kearl had to deal with some hot hands on Saturday.  Madison Snow brought out the UIS 911 GT3 Cup car, and Vesko Kozarov was out in an M3.  Jeff beat the both of them, and earned himself a win on Saturday.  He was the lone SU competitor on Sunday, but after Saturday’s battle, he earned himself a free pass.

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You can’t throw a stone without hitting a Spec Z car in the paddock these days.  It’s insane how fast this group has grown!  On Saturday there were 13 cars in the field.  13!!!  I remember vividly when there were only a handful of cars in the class.

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Arthur Golebiowski continued his season long battle with Tom Kaminski on Saturday, with Arthur taking another win.  Way down in 12th was the #22 Lyfe Motorsports Z.  It only completed 4 laps.  Sunday the tables were flipped!

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And by “flipped” I mean Cole Powelson won, and spawned the hashtag #ColeonPole.  Nothing was really flipped beyond the #22 climbing out of the bottom of the standings…  Don’t know why I said that, I’m sorry.

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Jim Miller and his Boxster cleaned up in GTS2 all weekend.

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Mayor McCheese, AKA Blake Troester, out dueled Carol Nichols for the win in GTS3.

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The Unfair Advantage Audi (still not sure what the advantage is) claimed PTE wins on Saturday AND Sunday, a feat that can only be accomplished on a weekend.

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The #54 Spec E36 collected a pair of wins on the weekend, but with two different drivers at the helm.  Saturday was Jeff Kearl’s win, and Sunday’s victory belonged to Rhett Longman.  “Rhett Longman” sounds entirely made up.  I’m gonna need to see some ID…

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Tyler Dahl had a battle with Allen Anderson in Spec Miata.  When the dust settled, Tyler emerged victorious.

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Greg Valdez and Shawn Murphy wrote another chapter in their TT1 battle.  This weekend they traded victories, with Shawn winning on Saturday and Greg on Sunday.

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TT2 belonged to Rhett Panter on Saturday, then he punched a hole in his block.  Not bad considering that motor had 5 years of good, hard use on it.  With Rhett on the trailer, Sunday was all about Robert Poirer and his red Mustang.

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Travis Tidball took TT3 both days, because why wouldn’t he?

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What’s this???  Brendon Stewart making a return to the NASA Utah competition???  You bet your ass it is!  And he made his homecoming quite the spectacle.

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He didn’t burst into flames, he didn’t slam into a wall, he just took TTB in a FRS with some coilovers, slicks, heavy wheels and fresh OEM brake pads.  Seriously, just the parts I mentioned.  Toby Crawford has a supercharger in his BRZ, and Dave Wann is in the best Miata ever: a Honda S2000 built to TTB spec.  Brendon may be some sort of savant behind the wheel.  I want to see him in a TTU car, see what happens.

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Kelly Fisher took the win in TTC behind the wheel of the ProTintUtah.com GTI.

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It’s not quite a Mazda, and it’s not quite a Maserati, but it’s good enough for Tyler Nisonger to win TTE.

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Lyfe Motorsports focusing their efforts on the World Time Attack Challenge GTR and Spec Z efforts has left a vacuum in TTU.  Their only consistent competition, the Makes & Models Audi R8 LMS, rose to the top spot, but behind them are a host of occasional others.  On this weekend, the Makes & Models crew took home the win (and championship) on Saturday, while Wade Hall and his obscenely powerful Mustang claimed a gold bottle opener on Sunday.

And there we have it.  This was the final points weekend for Thunder and Lightning, and we’ll discuss the champions in a later post, but suffice it to say everyone earned their class championship.  The next, and final, event is the legendary Tresduro!  Last year the drivers ran on the Outer Loop, East and West tracks all in one day.  This year is a bit different.  They’re still running on the East and West tracks, but this year they’re going to be running on the Full Track!  And for TT and Open Wheel, this will be their last chance for points.  The second annual Tresduro is happening on October 24!  Be there and watch the last event at Miller Motorsports Park!

31st Mar2014

NASA Utah Round 1: Time Trial

by Michael Chandler
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Smith-Burke Racing setting their second record of the day!

Paul McGarvey in his second run group and second Miata

Paul McGarvey in his second run group and second Miata

 

Many TT drivers had moved up to the road racing classes, and several had not completed their off season builds yet. Absent was everyone’s favorite Wyoming local, TT1 Champion Shawn Murphy, but he came down to visit and show his support and supply NASA Utah’s own Matt Guiver with a well deserved malty beverage. Smith-Burke racing ran fast laps in both the racing group and the time trial group.  Paul McGarvey joined the Vette with his V8 powered Miata, but Paul was one man splitting time between two different classes, while J.R. Smith and James Burke could split seat time.  Hard work paid off and the Vette managed to break Danny Popp’s four year old TT1 track record with a 1:58.09.

Greg Valdez

Greg Valdez

Scott Corsetti chasing down Josh Miller

Scott Corsetti chasing down Josh Miller

In TT2 Greg Valdez picked up right where he left off at Nationals last year.  His 2:04.356 was more than enough to take the win over Scott Corsetti’s 911 turbo. Greg repeated his victory on Sunday. Both TT2 drivers were good sports and spent a great deal of their day instructing new drivers in the HPDE program.

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Trip Hunter

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Corry Perkins

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John Carver

TT3 saw new and old Porches battle a Corvette and a WRX wagon.  Rookie time trial driver Trip Hunter took the class win in his Martini Liveried Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS, posting a 2:11.793, 2.8 seconds ahead of Corry Perkins’s 911.  Rounding out the podium was John Carver, who put his black and silver Corvette in third with a 2:15.329.  Josh Miller drove his WRX wagon to a fourth place finish (2:16.879), and James Pasquier posted a best time of 2:18.657 in his yellow 993 chassis 911, the oldest, but perhaps classiest, car in the field.

Kyle Schick

Kyle Schick

Reigning TTU Champion Kyle Schick was learning how the RaceCo/OS Giken/Ohlins Racing/VP Fuels/AMS GTR handled in rear wheel drive configuration.  2:04.185 was his best time during Saturday’s sessions.

Will we see Shawn Murphy next round?  Will Trent Smith get all four wheels of the GTR spinning together?  Can there possibly be more Porsches on track?  Find out all of this and more next month! 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

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