16th Jan2017

Some World Challenge News

by Michael Chandler

It’s the off season for the Pirelli World Challenge, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening.  Far from it!  You know that, but you might not know the details.  So, to that end, I’m gonna bring you a few news items of note.  Things to look for when the series comes through in August.  

Thing The First: DXDT Racing’s New Car

DXDT will be running a new Mercedes AMG GT3 in five Sprint-X and three regular sprint races this season.  Hooray shiny new car!  They’ll start the season at Virginia International Raceway April 28-30, then they run the rest of the schedule.  That’s definitely something to keep an eye on.  They’ve done great in the Super Trofeo series, and last year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca they went 1-2 in the GT Cup class in Sprint X.  To be honest, I’m more interested in hearing this thing at full tile than I am in seeing it.  Why? Have you heard the AMG V8’s?  There you go.

Thing the Second: Panoz Has a GTS Program

Yeah, Panoz is back in GT racing.  With Tommy Milner at the helm, Panoz will have a two car, full season GTS effort.  The car will be the Avezzano GT4, pictured above.  What the hell is an Avezzano?  It’s… It’s that blue car up there.  Details of the street car include a 450 horsepower, 6.2 liter V8, a six speed manual.  Not sure how those will change when it enter the series, but it will enter with full carbon fiber widebody, splitter, sideskirts, and rear diffuser.  The only announced driver is Ian James, who has A LOT of experience in many different types of cars (including previous stints with Panoz).  In addition to running the PWC effort, Milner is on hand to develop the car into a proper GT4 car; although, Panoz hasn’t made a homologation request to the GT4 geverning body: the SRO.

Thing the Third: Magnus Joins PWC

YES, Magnus is leaving the IMSA WeatherTech series and will be running a TWO car effort in PWC.  Formerly Twitterless and current team owner John Potter will drive one of the Audi Sport customer racing R8’s, and an as of yet unnamed Audi Sport customer racing supplied driver will be in the other.  They’ve won Rolex 24 races (one in a Porsche and one in an Audi), Sebring, and a couple of Tequila Patron North American Endurance championships, along with plenty of class wins.  They’ll be running the regular sprint races, along with the SprintX races.  More importantly, a fan favorite joins an incredibly fan friendly series, which means we all win.

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01st Feb2016

Magnus Racing Takes GTD Win

by Michael Chandler

Fall Enduro cover-1

Remember when Magnus Racing was just a humble outfit in a garage at Miller?  Me too, and then they won Daytona!  Then they stayed pretty much the same, just changed digs.  This year, in a new Audi R8 LMS GT3, they took their second win at the historic race.  Here’s a photo of the old Magnus 911 at a MPRA race (Miller Park Racing Association, super OG stuff) back in 2011, the year before they took their first win at Daytona.

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.

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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.

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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.