26th Jul2017

NASA Utah Round 5 Gallery

by Michael Chandler

Hey look!  A ton of Round 5 photos to look at.  Photos you can look at, and buy if you’d like to.  We’ll be out at the Enduro, come slap hands and grab one of the last few stickers!

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22nd Jul2017

NASA Utah Round 5: Warm Mornings

by Michael Chandler

Who doesn’t love a warm morning?  Just hearing “warm morning” conjures up images of eating half a cantaloupe while wearing a terry cloth polo shirt, while telling the neighbor kid that you do love a warm morning, despite the fact that it’s 3:30pm.  Thankfully the NASA weekend didn’t have any of that weirdness, nor were the mornings warm.  Well, the one I was there for was hot.  I slept in on Sunday, and managed to get there when it was just getting hot enough to ruin people’s attempts at fast laps.  Thankfully there were some people who only needed to have one good lap.

TT1 saw David Bradshaw in his Lyfe prepped 996 Cup Car set a personal best (1:37.601) on Saturday!  The personal best was only good for second place, because Rhett Panter came down in his crazy widebody S2000 and ran a 1:36.389.  David was not defeated though, he came back on Sunday and took the class win on Sunday.

Shawn Murphy ran a 1:32.976 on Saturday and 1:33.865 on Sunday.  Both of his times, in his TT2 car which he drives on the streets because Wyoming is still calling plays out of the 1887 playbook, were good enough to win TTU.  Imagine what this thing could do if he pulled some weight out of it…

Speaking of TTU: Mike Kresser ran unopposed in the class all weekend.  He threw down a 1:33.567 on Saturday, and a 1:33.872 on Sunday.  He also bought a couple of the super stylish CAMautoMag shirts, a thing you should also do.

John Calvin bagged another TT3 win on Saturday, with a 1:42.706.  Say what you will, a Mustang can be very competitive.  A point which we’ll come back to later.  Something that’s always going to be competitive, granted it’s not some hair-brained project that’s constantly trading hands, is a boosted E36.  Coincidentally that is what Geoffrey Crockett happens to drive.  He laid down a 1:42.758 on Sunday.

I managed to miss both of Nam Yoon’s TT4 winning laps, so I’m using a photo from the last time NASA was on the West track.  Anyway, he ran a 1:40.150 on Saturday, and a 1:39.425 on Sunday.

Front wheel drive hatchbacks seem to be the platform of choice for TTC.  Eduardo Acurero, in his monster CRX, took the win on Saturday with a 1:44.392.  John Butcher, in his tried and true Mini Cooper S, collected the win on Sunday with a 1:49.435.

Trever Pope took home both TTD wins on the weekend, but didn’t collect any tires from the class’s contingency program.  Why?  There wound up not being enough drivers in the class.  How?  Some of the other competitors self DQ’d because, if I’m remembering correctly, of something to do with the tires they were running.  I’m not 100% sure, and I know I will be corrected.

I don’t remember seeing Todd Green’s blue Miata over the weekend, but I do remember seeing ol’ Paul Mitchell turning laps.  Knowing the following: Todd regularly drives Paul, he’s driven Paul more than the blue car this year, and he’s made Paul easier and better to drive recently; it’s easy to come to the conclusion that Todd was driving Paul in TTE all weekend.  Regardless, Todd took the win on both days.

Now on to something where the drivers have to string together multiple, successive good laps instead of just one perfect lap.  And we’ll start in the Lightning group, and with GTS2 where a pair of Porsches split the weekend’s wins.  On Saturday Adam Heller, Boxster driver and all around nice guy, beat out Mark Boschert, the only Spec Boxster driver and probably a nice guy, for the win.  On Sunday Ed Mineau, in his black 911, beat our Mark for the win.  

Darren Jorgensen, proud owner of some CAM slaps, spent the weekend beating up on his fellow Rearden Racing teammates and M235i Racing drivers in GTS3.  He beat Steve Marx (#44) on Saturday, and Andrew McCubbins (#13 with the sweet rookie stripe) on Sunday.  

Carter James was a man on a mission.  He knifed his way through the Spec Miata field on both days, and had a nice little battle with Matt Williamson on Sunday.  He duked it out with Andy Moench on Saturday.  He even went to so far as to try and get into some fights with some of the other classes.  

Tom Rogers sold his E30!  I know, I was just as shocked as you all must be.  I’ll give you a minute…  Ok, anyway, he bought an E36 and stepped up to ST4 with the intent of dethroning Blake Troester!  OVERTHROW THE BURGEROCRACY!  Unfortunately he didn’t do that in the first outing with the new car, because Mayor McCheese has that Porsche dialed.  Jennifer Gannett couldn’t topple the Burger Civil Servant on Sunday.  

Only one Thunder Roadster, which is probably for the best because I don’t think we could handle another insane battle.  Brian Trapnell took Joe Sim’s roadster out for some competitive laps.

I don’t know where Perry Needham came from, or what he’s doing when he’s not on track, but he’s on a tear this year!  This weekend he swept 944 Spec by edging out Greg Troester on Saturday, then hanging a lap on Greg on Sunday.  Is he some sort of savant?  A hot shoe who decided to trot out the wrong 30 year old Porsche?  We demand answers!

Spec Z had their own run group again!  It was only on Saturday, but they made the most of their solo track time.  Richard Fitzgerald and his new livery qualified first, and looked to go wire to wire.  Then Arthur Golebiowski and his *throws dart at a map of Eastern Europe* Moldovian magic came up and took the lead!  And then there was a battle for the rest of the podium.  Tom Kaminski and Chad Aalders set their sights on Richard.  Tom was the first to get around him, which was pretty uneventful.  Then Chad had his go, and I proceeded to lose my mind as I watched it unfold.

Richard spun on the outside of turn 5, naturally leading to the rest of the turn being open for Chad to drive through.  And then Richard, while still sliding through the turn, started to come down towards the inside!  As you can see, it was pretty close.  Chad managed to take the position without taking any damage, and Richard got himself going again and finished in fourth.

Sunday saw Cole “He’s not Kyle” Powelson run away from the field in a car that had a destroyed CV boot, which could’ve led to catastrophe.  Thankfully it didn’t, but still.

And now on to the fastest group, the Thunder group.  And we start with a car that ran in the Lightning group: Darren Jorgensen’s Turner Motorsports built, Rearden Racing prepped M235i Racing.  A car which can be best described as an in-betweener.  There was no inbetween in GTS 4 though, because he swept the weekend.

GTS3 is on the Thunder results sheet for Sunday, and Andrew McCubbins was out in the group for the race.  So following that logic, we can safely say that he did take GTS3.  Or at least he did, until I get a correction!

Despite dealing with some issues related to it being borderline unbearably hot, George Smith brought out his Corvette in ST1 trim and held off the Ginettas for the win on Saturday.  Sunday saw on one Ginetta, and a lone yellow car.  Not George’s Corvette, but David Bradshaw’s 996 Cup car.  Frank “The Tank” Gannett got himself a redemption win, after being thwarted the day before.

ST2, aka the battle for Makes & Models supremacy, saw Brendon Stewart sweeping the weekend.  He got himself into a pretty good battle with Darren Jorgensen both days, but the old Evo couldn’t quite get around the brand new BMW.  Toby, in the Pink Ribbon Racing BRZ, was dealing with fueling issues and traffic.  Notably the Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs and Andrew McCubbins, who took a very wonky line through turn five all day.  Sunday was a bit better for him, but he still lost to Brendon.

Speaking of those FPRS Mustang BOSS 302FRSs, one got itself a win on the weekend!  And was really messing with a lot of the other drivers.  The blue #85, driven by William “Big Bill” Johnson, was not only the fastest Mustang of the day, but managed to finish 11th overall, just behind one of the GTSU competitors.  Those cars can be really competitive with the right driver and right setup.  We had another highly competitive E36 take a win on Sunday, the Us Against One Clothing M3 held off a pair of the FPRS Mustangs to collect another win for the Minion Mobile.

Both of the 911 GT3Rs were out on track for the first time in a long time.  Al Tiley, who had himself a little get together with the Makes & Models Huracan Super Trofeo last month, was back out in his GT3R!  Always good seeing Al, really nice guy.  He swept the weekend in GTSU, dominating a bunch of 911 Cup cars of various generations.  David Donner in his GT3R, a car that has challenged the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, took home both Super Unlimited wins on the weekend.  He wasn’t really challenged by Les Long, in the #496 911 (which I hear has a four liter engine, which is AWESOME), but he didn’t dominate like Al did.  

And there it is!  The round 5 weekend in 1500-ish words.  No long winded, flowery wrap up, because we have the 6 Hour Enduro coming up quick!  August 4-6 is Round 6 AND THE SIX HOUR ENDURO!!!  Registration information, the schedule, and some general information (IE garage rentals and camping, and gate fees) are up on the NASA Utah website.  And keep checking it out, because more info will be posted!  We’ll be back next month!  Buy a shirt!

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18th Jul2017

Round 5 Teaser Gallery

by Michael Chandler

Still working through the photos, but here are a few to tide you over until the big gallery is done.

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16th Sep2016

NASA Utah 2016 Round 7: The Penultimate Round!

by Michael Chandler

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It was a crowded weekend, and it was a good weekend.  We had the good ol’ boys and the plucky series from California joining our local heroes: the NASA Utah drivers, crew, and hangers on.  We’re going to start our recap of the races, at least Saturday’s races, in the Lightning group.  Specifically in the GTS2, where Chris Haunold drove like a madman to take the win.  He didn’t have to drive like a madman to do so, because he was all by his lonesome on that day.

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Papa SMurf is wise, but Papa Smurf also has had some issues with his Smurf mobile.  This Saturday it was some unintended three wheel motion that sidelined the blue Miata, but thankfully Todd Green has access to the legendary, mighty, and all powerful Paul Mitchell.  With the noble steed betwixt his thighs underneath him, he secured himself the win in PTE.

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In a tight Spec Miata race, Chris “three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel” Bond somehow held off Matt Williamson.  Matt was on a mission the whole race, but couldn’t get anything to stick.  So great to see this race happen.  I’ve been telling you people to watch Spec Miata!

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Our lone Thunder Roadster entrant, JD Stull, ran a solid race and turned a fastest lap of 2:16.545.  Not too bad.

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944 Spec has a new driver!  Otto and Sam have a new challenger: Greg Troester, and he made his presence known by taking the class win by over nineteen seconds!

We’ve now come to Spec Z, which was insane.  Not because it was a close race, but because almost everyone felt the need to test the off-roading prowess of the Nissan 350Z.

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There were a lot of Z’s covered in dust at various points in the day, and plenty had some after the race.

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Speaking of, Arthur Golebiowski took the win.  He dominated, because that’s what he does.

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Jeff Burton, in his Cayman R, hung a 50 second lead on Mark Reichman to take the GTS3 win.  Now, we need to have a chat Jeff.  You seem like a nice enough guy, but you need to do something about the looks of your car.  It’s too understated.  Hear me out!  Throw a classic Porsche livery on there.  Not Matrini, not Rothman’s, definitely not Gulf.  No, you need the Pink Pig.  Think about it…

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Anywell, in GTS4 we had Byron Smith and Darrell Troester battling it out.  Unfortunately, Byron retired from the race.  Having the win in hand, Darrell kept getting good laps in.  His best time in the race was a 2:03.079.

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ST1 had the closest finish of the day, and maybe of the season.  Bob Evans and Michael Eifling had a close battle all race, with neither one giving an inch.  Bob, being cagey, got the nose of his Sprint Cup Ford Fusion JUST ahead of Michael’s C5 Corvette at the line.  Bob’s margin of victory was .045 seconds!  This battle was good enough for Bob to win Racer of the Day honors at the barbecue.  Recognizing the hell of a drive Michael had, Bob decided to give the award to Michael.  It was a great act, but not without a touch of Bob-ness: Dave Kizerian made the announcement that Bob was giving his award to Michael, Michael came up and gave Bob a hug.  Bob, while still hugging Michael, spun 180 degrees.  They let go of each other, and Bob began making his way back to his seat… with the award still in his hand.  He gave it to Michael, but it was a fun little sequence.

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Despite not having a splittler, due to it coming loose and disintegrating during an earlier TT session, Toby Crawford took home the ST2 win.

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Todd Ainsworth, in the Minion mobile, defended himself against a herd of Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs in ST3.  He held of the colorful ponies, and got himself the win.

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We had a new challenger in Super Unlimited.  Well, a new car.  Steve Burns hopped in this former Trans Am Mustang, and went toe to toe with the likes of the Makes & Models Huracan ST, the Air Power Racing 911 GT3R, and Swamp Thing.  He did well in the new car, beating out Swamp Thing for the class win, and coming in P2 overall.

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In P1 overall, and setting a new class record in the process, was Derek Wolthoff in the Makes & Models Huracan ST.  He ran away with the race win, with a 29.990 second gap over second place.

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Lyfe Motorsport had a few drivers out in some Porsche Cup cars.  In the yellow 996 Cup car was David Bradshaw, who took TT1 with a best time of 2:06.481.

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We had a dramatic upset in TT3!  Mike Bratsch, taking advantage of James Pasquier’s absence and Andy Moench being a new daddy (congrats buddy!), ran a fast lap of 2:09.044 and got himself a shiny new piece of hardware.

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We had some Miata on Miata violence in TTB!  Darin Beaudoin, in his white S2000, faced an attack from Nam Yoon, in his white S2000.  Less than a second separated them, but in the end the affable Darin got himself another win.  Does this win prove that the S2000 is the ultimate TTB machine?  YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE!

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Max Dufford, in the wrong-from-a-purist’s-POV-but-right-from-a-physics-stand-point Porsche, ran a 2:16.078 en route to a TTC win.

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Trever with an E Pope took home another TTD win, and hit the kerbs in the Attitudes like they owed him money.

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Pictured above is Papa Smurf, winning PTE with a best time of 2:15.343 and before he drove a wheel off of the Smurf mobile.

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In the second of the Lyfe backed Porsche Cup Cars was Mike Kresser.  He was driving it in TTU, and took home a win with a 2:01.452.

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This f*ckin guy.  I mean, seriously.  Shawn Murphy set a TT2 record last month AND became the first Subaru to break the 2 minute mark on the Outer Loop, and now this month he breaks his own record by over half a second.  Is it not good enough for you Shawn?  WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE HAPPY?!?  But seriously, this is a hell of a feat.  He didn’t just break his own record by a little but.  The .6whatever it is he broke it by, is a a decent margin.  And this is still a “full interior street car”.  Imagine if it were lighter…

And that’s that.  We have one more round coming up, the legendary TresDuro!  Keep October 7, 8, and 9 open, because there will be multi track configuration racing on Saturday, and FULL TRACK MADNESS ON SUNDAY!!!  You best be out there.

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17th May2016

Where They Stand: Race Group Standings

by Michael Chandler

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Two rounds down, and a third quickly approaching, now is a good time to take a look at the points standings.  Today we’re going to look at the Thunder and Lightning groups, and we’re going to start in GTS2.  In the above photo, we have the class leader Chris Haunold.  He’s currently 90 points ahead of Ed Mineau, and 110 ahead the other guy in the picture: Tom Rogers.

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Consistency is key, and in GTS3 Mark Reichman has consistently finished in second place in both of the races he’s run this season.  Fortunately for him, he’s the only driver to run both races. With 180 points, he’s 80 points ahead of both Jeff Burton and Doug Turnquist.

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Nathan Rohner is still the only PTB driver.

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PTE is a very tight race, with Ben Lamberson nipping at the heels of Todd Green.  Only 35 points separate the two, but I wouldn’t count out Randy Cummings.  He’s a late comer to the class, but he had some solid finishes at the last race weekend.  He’s 205 points down, BUT if Todd and Ben have a few missteps he could be right in this thing.

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Spec Boxster is a thing, and Mark Boschert is in the lead.  He’s also the only driver in class.  But just look at that Boxster!  Sharp.

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Spec Miata is looking to be a hotly contested class.  Currently less than 100 points separates the class leader, Chris Bond, from 4th place, Craig Shane.  Call the cars whatever you want, but this class is going to be one to watch all season.  Don’t be surprised if we see the top of the class get shuffled several times.

Spec Z is the tightest race in the Lightning group, with Arthur Golebiowski a mere 10 points ahead of Tom Kaminski.  The gap from first to 5th place is 43 points!  That means everyone in the top 5 has to be on their game every race to have a chance at knocking Arthur off the top spot.

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Russ Timmons is by his lonesome in GTS5.  Someone buy a 997 911 and join him.

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Darrell Troester is barely holding off Byron Smith in GTS4.  The gap was cut from 110 to 10 last race weekend when Darrell no-showed, which let Byron claim an easy class win.  How will this shake out?  Only time will tell!

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Us Against One Racing, comprised by any number of your favorites (Todd Ainsworth, Alex Whetman, Grimace), is clinging to a 5 point lead in ST3.  5 points!!!  That’s currently the tightest race in any of the race group classes!  Figuratively glued to the banana yellow bumper of the M3 is Frank Gannett in the #93 Ford Performance Racing School BOSS 3o2RS, and James Harrell is right behind him in the #87 FPRS Mustang!  This is ridiculous, and also fun.  So let’s keep this up.

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J.R. Smith is the lone ST2 driver.  Someone buy a… something and join him.

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Bob Evans is atop the ST1 ladder in the Snickers Ford Fusion.  We gotta come up with some more sponsors for him.  I want to put at least three back slashes in when I write about his car.  Let’s figure this out, people!

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Super Unlimited is being dominated by the Air Power GT3R’s.  They currently have a 225 point lead, and four consecutive wins in class.

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And we finally arrive at GTSU, where McKay Snow (smile damnit!) is atop the field that includes a few Super Trofeo spec Lamborghini Huracans and a the other 911 GT3R.  He’s 30 points ahead of the Makes & Models Huracan ST, which may or may not last.  The Makes & Models team is figuring out that Lamborghini, and McKay may get called up for a ride this season.  He’s got the talent, and people need drivers.  Either way, prepare to watch a battle in the unlimited class of the German Touring Series.

CORRECTION: Arthur Golebiowski is currently leading the Spec Z championship, not Chad Aalders.  The article has been changed to show Arthur in the lead.

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