11th Mar2016

One More Day

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah 2015 Round 6 Sunday Michael Chandler Photography-18

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
10th Mar2016

Fire In The Hole!

by Michael Chandler

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

4 Days

by Michael Chandler

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*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
27th Jul2015

NASA Utah Round 5: The Main Course

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Round 5 of the NASA Utah season took the racers, corner workers, fans and assembled media back to the West course, where things were fairly routine… Until they weren’t.  We’ll get to that in a bit.  We have some news from the TT groups!

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TTB is turning into an episode of Best Motoring International, where we have S2000s battling the Toyobarus/Subiyotas!  The podium spots were held by two S2000s and a BRZ, with the BRZ of Toby Crawford occupying the bottom spot.  Dave Wann and his rice patty hat were in second, and the mysterious Michael Forsythe and his… general mysteriousness took the win in his silver S2000.

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Greg Valdez got Lelantos back out on track after *rolls 20 sided die* she fell into a mysterious vortex.  Thankfully the trip to all parts unknown didn’t have any adverse affect, because he took TT1 by a solid four seconds over a face we haven’t seen in a minute on these hallowed pages:

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The J and P in JDP Motorsports,  Jordan Priestley showed up in a black Corvette and ran pretty quick times.  Quicker than a certain silver Camaro?  One can only speculate…  Anyway, back to the folks who got gold medals/bottle openers.

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Earning another win for the fellows from Stuttgart (shield, not star) was Robert Rathbone in TT2.  He managed to beat Shawn Larson (in an Evo I haven’t seen, but appreciate the existence of), and Rhett Panter (who didn’t spin this time!).  This puts him… 800 points ahead for the season.  It’s a bit early, but we here at CAM feel safe in declaring Robert Rathbone your 2015 NASA Utah TT2 champion!

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Darin Beaudoin topped the podium in TT3 in his Evo X, ahead of the Focus-less Alex Whetman and James Pasquier’s 911.

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Todd Green is happy because he got himself another TTE win!  He’s giving the thumbs up, I swear.

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And Lex Luthor stand in Derek Wolthoff exhibited dominant behavior in TTU, and beat out Joe Sim in the Turbo Labs NSX.  And that neatly wraps up Time Trial, on to something else!

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The podiums in both of the day’s races looked identical, so Mr. Biner won himself some gold medals in Super Formula.

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And former 15 year old phenom Bruno Carniero got himself another couple of wins in Formula.

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As you can see, thee Formula competitors took the podium ceremony extremely seriously.

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Welcome to Thunder: where an old Sprint Cup car battles a 997 Cup car, and nobody bats an eye!

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In GTS4 Byron Smith battled… Well, that’s not the right word.  His competition consisted of a Spec E30, which was not really much competition.  Regardless, Byron got himself another win and I got to ogle his E90 a bit more.  Everybody won.

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GTS5 featured a battle of two Tatum Racing 996s: the #41 of Darrell Troester and the #66 of Chris Vivolo.  As is illustrated here, Darrell took the win over Chris.

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It was another battle in GTSU, but despite his best efforts Les Long could not chase down the TW Racing Audi R8, he did look good trying to chase him down though.

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You learn something new everyday, and on Saturday I learned that Spec E46 #1 exists as a thing and #2 they are grouped in Thunder.  The lone Spec E46 competitors were Natasha and Aristotle Balogh, and those are some strong names.  Natasha won, but I think we’re all winners for having read their names.

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Bob Evans, and his Ford Fusion Sprint Cup car took the win in ST1.  At this point, it’s getting to be less and less of a Sprint Cup car and more of a Trans-Am car.  We support this 100%.

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Travis Tidball was utterly quick, so four and a half seconds quicker on his fastest lap than the next ST3 competitor was on his.  Word on the street (Instagram) is that Travis’s car might be looking different come the next round…

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Super Unlimited could’ve been an insane three way shootout between Joe Sim’s turbocharged NSX, the old Pirelli World Challenge Skull Candy Altima Touring Car helmed by Lara Tallman, and the Evo of Jeff Kearl.  What ended up happening was Jeff running away with it, finishing a lap ahead of Lara, and three laps ahead of Joe.  We now go to the podium ceremony, previously recorded:

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He may have been dejected, but he’s the only one with a picture on the podium.  Let that be a lesson to you folks: you skip the barbecue, you miss out on free food and beverages and the opportunity to get sweet ass pictures with your medal on the podium.

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The Lightning race was red flagged, and the course cleared after an incident in turn two of the green flag lap involving Gus Stribakos in the 888 Porsche, David Sherman in the 5 Spec Miata, Ben Lamberson in the 916 Audi Quattro (this was his first wheel to wheel race, fyi), and Greg Troester in the 518 Porsche 944.  The result of the carnage was Gus Stribakos potentially writing off his car and conceding the GTS3 championship to Bill Noblitt, David Sherman losing his points lead in Spec Miata and probably having to find another Miata to Spec-ify, Greg Troester having to replace at least a control arm yet still being in the fight for Spec 944, and Ben Lamberson having to dig into his parts car to get his car back on track for Sunday’s race.  Everyone BUT Ben was sidelined for Sunday’s race, and he finished second to Todd Green.  Thankfully everyone was alright, physically at least.

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Hopefully we’ll see everyone back out there this season.

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Blake Troester piloted the McDonald’s/Makes and Models Porsche 944 to a win in GTS3.  By the way, what’s with the McDonald’s livery?  I am mystified, and hungry when I see it on track.  I need answers!  Or wild rumors, either or.

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In other 944 news, Douglas Turnquist put his atop the PTB podium.

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Todd Green took the win in PTE on Saturday.  On Sunday he held off Ben Lamberson’s freshly repaired Audi.  On Saturday he called Ben up to the podium, which was touching.  However, Ben already had himself a souvenir from the day…

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A souvenir grab for a lucky fan!

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Matt Williamson took advantage of the fracas and emerged with his first win of the season!  He’s up to third place in the points standings, and could hop into second if David Sherman is out for the upcoming race weekend.

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Arthur Golebiowski took yet another win in Spec Z, with Tom Kaminski in second.  In other news: the sky is blue, and the sun rises in the east.  Seriously guys, stop being so consistently good and good consistently!  I mean, it makes writing this stuff up and getting the photos super easy, but I would like to say “in a stunning upset” or “the bridesmaid finally becomes the bride” or some other colloquialism.

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And finally: we had Spec E30! And in Spec E30 we had a winner: the Ameritastic car of Natasha Balogh rode the waves of sweet freedom to the win.

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And as we wave goodbye to another NASA Utah weekend, we can look forward to the next race weekend.  August 7-9 to be exact, with a WERC 6 hour endurance race starting at 5:30 on Saturday.  Endurance racing!  Into the night!  YOU’D BE MAD TO MISS OUT ON THIS!!!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
07th May2015

NASA Utah 2015 Round 2: Let’s Make A Toto Reference

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 2 Saturday-26

Words by Michael Chandler, photos by Michael Chandler, Michael Wells and Gavin Pouquette

Some things are inevitable: death, taxes, and one rain soaked NASA Utah event.  Nobody died, everyone had paid their taxes (probably), but it did rain.  A lot.

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But here’s the thing: it wasn’t raining all weekend.  In fact, for the Saturday races, everyone qualified in the dry.  Well, everyone except Madison Snow.  He ran in the dry, and then the UIS Snow Racing Porsche 911 went back in the trailer.  BUT! But, McKay (the younger one) was not averse to running in the rain, nor was he averse to annihilating the field.

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McKay came out in an IMSA Prototype Lights class car, and proceeded to eek out a 7.4 second win over Ian Lacy in the first Super Formula race (which was dry) and ran away from Terry Biner by a staggering 1:36 in the second!

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The second race was utterly drenched.  Nobody was going to be able to utterly dominate, unless they’re name was Ayrton Senna, and we’re never going to see that level of genius for many years.  However, there is a young Brazilian who drove extremely well in the rain.  If you’ll direct you view to the right side of the picture above, you will see him lurking in the mist.

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Fifteen year old phenom Bruno Carneiro took both Formula class races, an impressive feat considering that the second race might as well have been held in a swimming pool.  For those keeping track, Bruno has won three of the last four Formula races.

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Speaking of tin tops, let’s talk TT.  Greg Valdez, pictured here on race slicks and with a completed wrap, is taking to TT1 like a fish to water.  He took the overall wins on both days of the weekend, while Shawn Murphy kept it close both days, but could not out run Greg.

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Alex Whetman’s Focus of Doom narrowly defeated Travis Tidball’s C5 Corvette on Saturday, and beat up on Matt Guiver on Sunday.  Guiver was in the freshly completed Us Against One Clothing E36 BMW M3.  Speaking of Us Against One Clothing and Alex Whetman, they put our name and logo on a shirt with a picture of the FoD on it.  Head on over, pick up a shirt (or several) and support some good local dudes.

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In TTB, AKA Spec 86, someone in something that is called a GT86 in places that aren’t America won the class on both days.  That someone is Toby Crawford, and that something is a Subaru BRZ.

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TTE was missing Ben Lamberson, and his championship winning Audi, so that opened up a path to victory for another competitor.  On Saturday Joe Schubert took a stroll down that path, and on Sunday long time rival Jeb Brown took the win.

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And in TTU an Audi (TW Racing) beat a couple of Hondas (the Turbo Lab NSX and Rhett Panter’s Integra) on Saturday, and on Sunday tried its hand at being an S1 Quattro. It did not go well, but it still won TTU.

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And playing by himself in TT2 was Robert Rathbone in his 911 GT3.

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The Lightning group is getting big.  More and more Spec Zs are emerging, which means the field is growing.  On Saturday there were 8 cars in the field, and 7 on Sunday.

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Arthur Golebiowski took advantage of the wet conditions, which caused an untimely spin for Chad Aalders (who, according the the results sheet, only did three laps. But did he make them count!) to take the win on Saturday.  On Sunday the weather was better, and the Lyfe Motorsports Spec Z (piloted by Cole Powelson) narrowly denied Arthur of a weekend sweep.  The margin of victory on Sunday? .305 seconds.

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In Spec Miata, David Sherman swept the weekend in the #44 Carpenter Motorsports Miata.  Ignore what the windshield says!  It was David I tell you!!!

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GTS3, PTC, PTE, and 944 Spec had one competitor each.  They were Bill Noblitt (#644, GTS3), Ed Mineau (#221, PTC), Todd Green (#58, PTE), and Otto Silva (#21, 944 Spec).  I would say they need more in class competitors, but they’ve taken to making the drivers in the bigger classes really work on the track.

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Saturday’s and Sunday’s Thunder races could not have been more different.  Just look at it!  Saturday’s affair was rain soaked, while Sunday’s could not have had more perfect weather.

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The weather didn’t matter to John Scarlett, he took wins in GTSU on both days.  On Sunday he had the TW Racing Audi R8 LMS breathing down his neck, his margin of victory was a mere .144 seconds.  That wouldn’t be really surprising, that R8 LMS is a fast car, but it is insane considering that Derek Wolthoff started the race from the back of the grid!

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ST3 was a classic Chevy vs. Ford battle.  On Saturday the Mustangs dominated the podium, with Gary Free in the Towne Storage FR500S standing on the top spot and Madison Milgard in second in one of the brand new Ford Performance Racing School BOSS 302 FRS Mustangs.  Sunday was all about the bowtie, with Travis Tidball in his C5 Corvette taking top honors and Joe Bogie in second in his fifth generation Camaro.

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Super Unlimited was won on Saturday by Joe Sim in the Turbo Lab NSX, which as a Honda fanboi at heart, was awesome to see.  On Sunday Byron Smith put his BMW on top of the podium.

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Mike Mielke in the super truck that can, did win ST2 on both days of the weekend.  Should the Silver Streak be detuned so it can compete in a more populous field?  Should it be tuned UP to compete in ST1?  Personally, I like it where it is.  So long as it remains on track.

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On Sunday we had Dan Worley in his Tatum Racing prepped LSx powered Porsche 944 competing in ST1, and Chris Vivolo was out and about in the #66 Porsche 911 in GTS5.  Both were the lone competitors in their classes, and both were Porsches.

And that’s all she wrote.  The next race weekend is fast approaching, the 16th and 17th of this month in fact.  The racers will be hustling around the East course, which features Miller Motorsports Park’s signature turn and the most dramatic elevation changes on the entire track.  Come, join us, there might be cookies, and there will definitely be some great racing.

Saturday Gallery

Sunday Gallery

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag and their respective owners.
16th Oct2013

NASA Utah Round 6

by Michael Chandler

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Nationals were only a month behind them when the Miller locals returned to the west track for Round 6 of the NASA Utah season.  It was also three weeks before the season ending endurance race.  That led to some of your favorites taking the weekend off.  They still came out to instruct HPDE and hang out, but their chariots were still.

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But that doesn’t mean the track was empty.  Cole Powelson was out in RaceCo’s new Porsche, Todd Ainsworth was out in his STi in ST2, George Smith hustled his flying banana C5 Corvette to a win in the Super Unlimited class and first place overall in the race, and Park got a few runs in in his Vette as well.

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Oh, and Jason Smith raced Roger Miller’s World Challenge Mustang.  More on this humbling experience in a later post…

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STR1 went to Bob Evans in the Snickers, EA Sports Ford Fusion.  He battled with Jason for a good chunk of the race, but he left him behind when they encountered traffic.  Passing Jason got him into second overall.

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Again the Spec Miata/GTS guys were out with the bigger, faster guys.  While Jason and Bob had a good battle going, there was a dog fight happening at the front of the herd of Miatas.

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Todd Green and Mike Ferrara were never out of the other’s sight the whole race!  They might as well have tied their cars together, thats how close they were.  After an epic battle, Mike emerged the victor.  They might not be as fast as the open wheel or ST cars, but they fight just as hard if not harder than those other classes.

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Speaking of open wheel, the shorter track kept them closer than usual.  There weren’t any dirt drops or wheel touching, a la the Japanese GP, but the closeness brought action.

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This is Dave Wann.  He ran a 1:49.75, and did the best pirouette of the day.  Kudos to you Dave, kudos.

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I see you race a Z32.  I too like to live dangerously.  And if I remember right this either placed or won TTC.  You don’t see a lot of Z32 300ZX’s out on track days, which is a shame because, as our friend here is demonstrating, they can do some serious work.  They’re also such handsome vehicles.

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You don’t see too many Z cars out in general, at least out on our little ribbon of tarmac.  370z’s are pricey, and S30s are gorgeous and more people would rather do them up and then take them to shows instead of the track.  Hopefully seeing that Datsun go will bring a few more out.

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Here are some random photos from the HPDE session.  Nothing too crazy to report, just some guys getting in some supervised laps.  Anyway, thats what happened in a rather light day.  We’ll be out there for the season ending endurance race on the 26th, and we’ll do a photo dump ahead of that.  We’ll see you there!

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Words and Photos by Michael Chandler.

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