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.
15th Jun2016

THUNDA! NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder cover Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

The rain stayed away for the qualifying AND race for the Thunder group.  It was an incredible turn of luck, and something some of the drivers didn’t see coming.  We aren’t used to luck when it comes to weather!  Because of the poor weather, some of the drivers packed up and called it a day.  In my opinion, they missed out on one hell of a race.

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Darrell Troester took home yet another GTS 4 win.  He valiantly battled himself, and through sheer grit and determination he defeated himself to take home the win.

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I had to ask myself several questions during the race, but the only one that really is relevant right now is “When did they start running GTS3 cars in Thunder?”  I asked myself that, because Jeff Burton was out in his Cayman S, a GTS3 car, with the Thunder Group.  I let it go rather quickly, which was good because I watched Jeff drive a solid race, and take home the win.

NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

ST3 was a quartet of Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs, and Todd Ainsworth in the Us Against One M3.  Not good odds for the banana mobile, and things shook out accordingly.  A Mustang did win, and it was driven by a repeat winner, but it wasn’t Frank Gannett.  It was Dan McKeever, in the most evil looking BOSS at the school.

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Out of nowhere (maybe Colorado?  I have no idea) came a man in a small British car with a Toyota engine.  Bob Schader, said man in tiny car, managed to harass some of the ST3 field during the race.  Why would he do such a thing?  Because he was the only guy in ST2.  Thanks for coming out Bob, and for putting on a show.

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Sorry Bob, and occasionally George, but my favorite ST1 car was BACK!  Dan Worley and his glorious Porsche were out and running!  He was alone in ST1, but he was out there!  Man, I love that car.

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If I tell you that a 996 GT3 Cup car beat a 911 GT3R, you’d call me crazy.  And for good reason.  The old Cup cars are still great, but the GT3R is a different beast altogether.  That first statement would be crazy, but it happened!  Or so says My Laps!  Listed as the class winner in GTSU is Mark Brouse, driver of the above pictured 996 GT3 Cup car.  How did he do that?  He ran the full race, and the Air Power GT3R didn’t.

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SU was a four way deathmatch.  The R8 LMS Ultra driven by Kristian Boodoosingh faced off against Les Long and his 997 Pirate mobile, and a pair of E92 M3’s.  This was the Euro fan boy race of the day!  The only thing missing from the German fight was a Mercedes.  In the end Kristian in the R8 took home the win, after battling to get around Les.  Can we do that again next month?  Please?

Speaking of next month, there’s a race weekend next month!  It’s taking place on July 15th, 16th, and 17th on the East track.  Join us, won’t you?

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
11th Jul2014

Mercedes AMG Petronas, Suspension, and a Man in Lederhosen

by Michael Chandler
mercedes-amg-petronas-previews-the-2014-malaysian-grand-prix-78898_1

Photo Credit: Daimler AG

As has been reported by many people (many, many, many people) the FIA is looking to ban the front and rear interconnected suspension system.  Why did they do this? Well, first I need to explain exactly what it is first.

Basically it is a system that keeps the cars’ ride heights as stable as possible, using hydraulics and witchcraft.  Technically it is only supposed to work to keep the front and rear ride heights as similar as possible through the corners.  TECHNICALLY.  One team (definitely not Mercedes AMG Petronas) has accused another (probably Mercedes AMG Petronas) of advancing the system to also work left to right.  According to Charlie Whiting, FIA race director, the system’s primary use is now aerodynamic, which makes the whole system illegal for everyone!

formula-one-world-championship-4566

Photo Credit: Force India

Well sort of.  Mr. Whiting views the system as illegal, but it hasn’t actually been banned yet.  The teams have an opportunity to push the ban to the start of the 2015 season, but that’s probably not going to happen.  For the ban to be pushed back there needs to be a unanimous vote, and that’s not going to happen.  Force India doesn’t use a FRIC system, so if it’s banned they don’t lose anything, and if someone violates the ban and is excluded from the results Force India could definitely benefit.  Caterham and Sauber could close the gap between them and Marussia, who are on the bleeding edge of suiting the system to their car.

Who looks to lose the most from the ban?  Well, according to lederhosen model Valtteri Bottas

“Yes! Maybe some teams could be more affected than us, I would say.”

So there you have it.  Mercedes could come back to the pack (in Germany of all places) because their suspension control system will be banned because at least three teams have no reason to not ban it.  And also a Valtteri Bottas quote to boot.

The German Grand Prix will be happening on July 20 at Hockenheim.  You can watch it on CNBC starting at 6:00 AM (Mountain), or on the internet somewhere. The choice is yours.

Words by Michael Chandler, photos as credited.

 *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.
16th Sep2013

NASA National Championships

by Michael Chandler

NASA Nationals Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-106

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.
25th May2012

Photo Friday

by Trent

While out on assignment covering Bimmerfest, I stopped in Las Vegas to shoot this beautiful Lotus Evora. It is for a personal project, but I had to share.

Lotus Evora
1920×1080 Download(Right-click, Save As): Lotus Evora Wallpaper

Black Lotus Evora 1920x1080
1920×1080 Download(Right-click, Save As): Lotus Evora Wallpaper

-Trent Bray

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com

13th Apr2012

Cars and Coffee Irvine 04/07/2012

by Trent


While in Long Beach covering the Formula Drift event, I made the wise decision to wake up at 5am and go to the Irvine, CA cars and coffee event. It is a car guy rite of passage. I talked briefly with Michael who was visiting from Chicago and came out to see the cars too. This is unlike your ordinary cars and coffee(unless you live around Irvine of course), the cars are rare and exquisite.

We also teamed up with [func-shun] to bring you this video.

This place had heavily modified GT-R’s, sure. But does your cars and coffee have a Vector M12 or Spyker C8?
Vector M12
Spyker C8
On this occasion, Porsche was the featured marque to honor the late Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche. This gave them a special section of parking right by the coffee. And there were no shortage of Porsches.
Porsche 911 Butzi Porsche
997 Porsche 911
Porsche 911 GT3RS
Porsche 356
And since pictures are worth a thousand words, and I’m a man of few, I will let the pictures speak the rest of the story.
Lotus Evora
E9 BMW 3.0CSi
Blacked out Ford GT
E30 BMW M3
Ferrari 430 Scuderia
Ferrari 458 Italia
Ferrari 330 grille
Aston Martin Vantage
Bentley Brooklands Coupe
Individual Throttle Bodies(ITB)
Spyker C8 in California
Spyker C8 interior
Lamborghini Countach interior
Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series
Audi R8 V10
Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca
Mercedes-Benz 190SL
Mercedes-Benz 190E Evolution
Mercedes-Benz 190E DTM
Dodge Viper Laguna Seca
Original Fiat 500 Cinquecento
Ferrari 512TR Testarossa
Line of Nissan GT-R R35's
Huge V8 motor and blower in van
BMW X6M modified
Yellow Nissan GT-R
Modified Toyota Supra
Clean NA2 Acura NSX
Want wallpapers? Leave a comment telling me which picture you want and I’ll include a wallpaper for you in a future Photo Friday update.

Words and Photos by Trent Bray
*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com

23rd May2011

The $30K Check – Lotus Elise

by Mustangjohnny

Lotus Elise

Hello friends! It is I, Johnny, back from the dead with an all new $30K check article. After a two month absence, I am ready to write!
For this installment of the 30K check I will take a little different approach. Instead of looking at older Supercars that need a lot of homework and maintenance, we will look at a somewhat newer car that has a reputation of being quite bulletproof. I give you the Lotus Elise. (more…)

10th Nov2010

Doc Would be Proud: Twin Turbo Lotus V8 DeLorean

by Trent

It’s hard not to reference the classic ‘Back to the Future’ series when you see a DeLorean. Unfortunately for Ham, the owner of this one, it’s all too common. Getting to that elusive 88mph is quite the burden in a standard DeLorean with it’s anemic V6, but Ham used a modified Twin Turbo Lotus V8 he had lying around to help give it a push. Needless to say, going beyond that 88mph limit is a slight press of the right pedal away.

CAM Twin Turbo Lotus V8 Delorean (more…)