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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13th Aug2016

Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Utah Qualifying Results

by Michael Chandler

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We’ve got qualifying results for GT, GTA, GTS and Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy!  On pole in GT is Alvaro Parente in the #9 K-Pax Racing McLaren 650S GT3.  As of press time we are not sure what the name of Alvaro’s car is, but we are looking into it!

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Frankie Montecalvo put the #66 DIME Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 on the pole in GTS.  Here he is, running down Brent Holden in the #14 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

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In GTS, the Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 driven by Scott Heckert will be starting on the pole.

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On the overall pole in Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA is Dino Crescentini in the Diamond Class.

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TruSpeed Autosport is showing some class leading speed yet again, as the #45 driven by Tom Haacker is on the Platinum class pole.

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Larry Schnur is starting up front in Platinum M.

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Jensen Keith took the Bob Evans line to the pole in Silver class.

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And in Silver M we have Steve Goldman out in front for the start.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Oct2015

Weekend Round Up October 10-11

by Michael Chandler

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Many things happened this weekend, perhaps you missed something.  Don’t worry, we did too, BUT we’re bringing you the highlights right here!

Craig Lowndes Gets 6th Bathurst 1000 Victory

Steven Richards was also driving the car, but not at the same time as Lowndes.  Lowndes did it without hands for a bit though, so that’s something.  The win in Australia’s great race was Holden’s 13th.  Lowndes’s Red Bull Racing Australia teammate, Jamie Whincup, set a lap record in the closing laps of the race while in 18th place. Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen in the Pepsi Max Crew Ford Falcon finished the race in second, fighting back after receiving two black flag penalties.  Garth Tander and Warren Luff, in the Holden Racing Team Commodore, rounded out the podium.  The first ever all female driver line up of Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie finished the race in 21st.

Mercedes Locks Up F1 Constructor’s Championship

 

Mercedes, as a team, needed to score a total of 3 more points than Ferrari to secure the championship.  Lewis Hamilton winning the race overall helped, Nico Rosberg retiring didn’t.  With Sebastian Vettel in second and Kimi Raikkonen in fifth made it look like Mercedes would have to wait, but then Kimi challenged Valtteri Bottas in a turn and proceeded to punt his fellow countryman.  Kimi, who knows what he’s doing, was awarded a 30 second penalty for this act of Fin on Fin violence. That 30 seconds put him in 8th, and that allowed Mercedes to win back-to-back constructor’s titles.

Patrick Dempsey Won His First WEC Race

 

The Fuji 6 Hour was a wet affair, but Patrick Dempsey and Marco Seefried didn’t seem to mind as they took the win in the GTE-Am class.  The win is Dempsey’s first in World Endurance Championship competition, and was another win for manufacturer from Stuttgart.  Porsche finished 1-2 in LMP1, with the #18 919 Hybrid being ordered to let the #17 of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartly and Timo Bernhard take over the lead.  The reason for the order was because the driver line up in the #17 car has a better chance of winning the driver’s championship.

G-Drive Punts KCMG to Take Lead in WEC LMP2 Championship

Entering the race KCMG was ahead of G-Drive for the LMP2 Championship.  During the race, both G-Drive drivers (Romain Rusinov in the #26 and Gustovo Yacaman in the #28) mixed it up with the lone KCMG entry, driven by Richard Bradley.  Rusinov battled hard, and made contact with Bradley.  The Stewards ruled the contact part of racing for the lead and issued no penalties.  They were both on the lead lap, the #28 of Gustavo Yacaman was a lap down.  After the final fuel stops, Yacaman spun Bradley, which forced the KCMG car to pit for a new tire.  After fighting back to third place, Yacaman then punted the KCMG.  KCMG received a DNF, and Yacaman’s actions are under investigation.  As of now, the #26 G-Drive car holds a 12 point lead over KCMG’s lone #47 car in the LMP2 Championship.

Joey Logano Wins In Charlotte, But This Happened Too

 

Kyle Busch (in the pink #18) kinda looked like he was going to duck into the pits, and Kyle Larson (in the #42) decided he wanted in too.  Busch didn’t get on pit lane, at least not by choice.  Kyle Larson, from high on the track, came all the way down in a gloriously failed attempt to pit.  Larson hit Busch, and the Commitment Cone, and both wound up on pit lane.  Larson managed to not hit the wall after spinning, and they both managed to stay on the lead lap.

Fredric Aasbo Wins in Irwindale

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He had a commanding lead heading into Forumla D’s final event of the season, and he kept it.  The win secured his Formula D championship, his Formula D World Championship, and helped Scion and Hankook lock up their respective championships in the series as well.

And there you have it, all the weekend’s highlights in one place so you can get on with your day.

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

03rd Sep2015

Ford GP of Utah Day 2 Highlights

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

It was a nice morning at Miller Motorsports Park.  The paddock was buzzing with activity as drivers were preparing to go out on track, and crews were readying the cars.  The first group out were the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy, which featured a couple of locals.

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Both Desire Wilson and John Scarlett were driving out of the Air Power Racing garage, and both did well on the weekend.  Desire finished first in Platinum on both days, and John took home first in Platinum Masters on Saturday and second on Sunday.  For those keeping track, with their wins that makes a total of 6 wins for MMP locals!  Could Vesko do some upsetting in GTS and make it 7?

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Unfortunately no.  Vesko did wind up in second though, behind one Mr. Michael Cooper in his Blackdog Speedshop Z/28 Camaro.  With his win on Sunday, and with Andrew Aquilante’s 12th and 10th pllace finishes in the weekend’s events, pushed him to a 107 point lead in the driver’s championship standings.  Seeing a black and red Camaro cross the line 1st at the Ford GP of Utah gave me a feeling of deja vu.

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The two cars involved in the big incidents on Saturday, the Swisher Z4 GT3 and the iRacerCoaching.com R8 LMS Ultra of Drew Regitz, were back and ready to go for the final GT/GTA/GT Cup race of the weekend.  And things were different up top!

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JD Davison…

 

 

 

 

!

 

 

Collected his second second place finish of the weekend.  Guy Smith on the other hand…

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Yes, a previous winner at Miller in the Continental GT3 swooped in, and finished in third.  Third!

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But our guy Johnny took first.  Again.  See, the top spots were different because Guy… I’m not gonna spoon feed you on this one.  Now, to address the fellow with the dog.

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That fellow is Colin Thompson, driver of the #11 Porsche Bucks County/Penn Valley 911 GT3 Cup.  The dog is his dog, which made the trip out from Pennsylvania to watch his owner claim the win in the GT Cup category, and join him in celebrating the win on pit lane.  I forgot the dog’s name, but he was super chill.

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GTA Shook out with a pair of SLS GT3s in the top two podium places, and a Ferrari on the last spot.  Frank Montecalvo in the Bayshore Racing SLS crossed the line first, with Eric Lux’s Rembrandt Charms/Monticello Motor Club SLS following behind.  Eric’s journey to second in class wasn’t easy.  Martin Fuentes in the Scuderia Corsa/Hublot/Samsung Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia kept Eric in his mirrors most of the race, but Eric fought and got around Martin to take home second.

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And there we have it, another amazing World Challenge event in the books.  Opportunities to see cars, drivers and racing like this don’t come up too often, especially in our neck of the woods.  Watching the GT, GTA, GT Cup and GTS cars stretch their legs on the massive front straight, and blast through the high speed corners, then seeing the Touring Cars bang around the track and hit the kerbing and getting air under the tires all in the same day is one of the best ways to spend any day.  With the news that Miller Motorsports Park will become the Utah Motorsports Campus, and that the new ownership is just as excited to keep the racing going at the track, we’re hoping to see more Pirelli World Challenge events at our home track in the coming years.  And we’re hoping to see more of you guys out there too!  Seriously, where can you go from seeing this:

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To this:

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Then see the drivers up close:

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And sometimes personal:

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Before they grid up and take the green flag?:

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Not a whole lot of events are this open to their fans, and feature this diverse a line up.  If you get a chance to, come to the track and spend the weekend watching high caliber racing!

*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
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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!

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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.