12th Aug2016

The Utah 6 Hour

by Michael Chandler

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It was the beginning of the best ten days on this year’s calendar.  Acting as the meat in a sandwich where the delicious bread is a Salt City Drift event and Pirelli World Challenge, and the condiments are a NASA Utah weekend, was the annual Utah 6 Hour.  Now a staple on the NASA Utah calendar, the Western Endurance Racing Championship stop provides a unique opportunity for the drivers and fans to drive into the night, and see nothing but lights piercing the dark Tooele night.  And if you were out around turn 5 around 10:30-11, you would’ve seen me with a string of LED lights strewn about my torso.  I was easily identifiable, for safety!  Anywell, let’s talk about who took home a trophy!

E0

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Lyfe Motorsport was out with one of their own Spec Z’s (the Towne Storage Z) and supporting the #99 DLG Racing Z.  Showing that 350Z is life, the Lyfe backed teams finished 1-2 in E0!  The Towne Storage Z completed 147 laps in the 6 hours, with the DLG Z four laps behind them.

E1

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In E1, completing 153 laps in the allotted time, was the #65 E46 BMW of Strom Motorsports.  It was the teams second win of the day, having taken the win in the GTS5 class during the Lightning sprint race earlier.

E2

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The Fit is fucking go!  The #12 Honda Fit of Honda Performance Development completed 143 laps in 6:01:09.257, and probably had to stop for fuel once.

E3

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It was a battle of the Miatas in E3: the mighty and legendary Paul Mitchell versus the bug-eyed RJ Racing Miata.  I mean bug-eyed in the nicest way.  Look at those lights!  Those lights lit the way for 147 laps, and lit their way to victory.

ENP

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The ENP had one entrant, the Valkyrie Autosport Elan NP01.  Despite the teams best efforst, the little prototype went behind the wall after 29 laps.

ES

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This was a battle: the TruSpeed Autosport 997 Cup car versus the Makes & Models Huracan Super Trofeo.  A tried and true chassis versus a sprint race car.  WERC class leaders one win away from clinching their championship versus a team with multiple regional championships under their belt?  If you’ve been paying any attention to how these posts go, you know that by seeing the picture of the TruSpeed car that they won.  Not only did they win the Utah 6 Hour, they locked up the ES Class championship.  Congratulations to them!

ESR

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Now we arrive at the car I was most excited to see running.  Toby Crawford, driver of the Pink Ribbon Racing/Makes & Models Subaru BRZ, told me that there was a Ginetta G57 at UMC and that it was racing in the enduro.  It was the Ryno Racing team, sponsored by Design Masonry.  The G57 is based on Ginetta’s LMP3 design, and is probably a lot the same.*  The big difference is that the LMP3 spec Nissan engine, rated at 420bhp, has been replaced with a Chevrolet LS3, which makes 150 more horsepower than the LMP3 engine.  I was excited to see and hear the 900kg prototype tearing through the night, but unfortunately the car was retired after just 72 laps.

And there it is, another six hour race in the books!  I’m already looking forward to next year.  A tremendous shout out to all the race officials, corner workers, and safety crew for sticking it out until midnight.  A big thank you to the family, friends, and well wishers who came out and watched the race and cheered the teams on.  And all of the congratulations to all of the drivers and crew members for racing in the longest race on the NASA Utah calendar!  There were over thirty cars entered in the race, and they all took the green flag.  It was, as always, an amazing experience.

We can’t wait for next year.

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

 

27th Apr2016

Before The Storm: NASA Utah Round 2 Time Trial Results

by Michael Chandler

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Not everything was run in the rain.  A good chunk of the TT sessions were run in the dry, cool air which allowed the drivers to set some good lap times.  Good times like the 1:39.675 James Pasquier laid down to take the win in the largest TT class of the day, TT3.  He was the only TT3 driver to set a time in the 1:30’s.

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TT1 saw the return of David Gilliland.  Unfortunately I didn’t see that triumphant return, but I did see him in the Lightning race.  He threw down a 1:38.821 in the first session of the day.

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Shawn didn’t blown anything up, or set fire to anything!  Hooray!  He did rip a coupler on his intercooler piping, but that didn’t stop him from lapping the West Track in 1:36.742 and taking the win in TT2.  By the way, he still calls his Subaru a “street car” because it has a full interior.  It has a full rollcage that makes a lot of that interior useless ballast, but he seems to enjoy it.

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David Bradshaw went out in the first session and threw down a 1:45.668, which held up all day and got him the TTB win.  Again, missed that session but caught the Lightning race.  Here ya go Dave.

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TTD was a one man show.  That man being Trevor Pope.  He ran a 1:49.481 in the second session.

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PAUL MITCHELL was atop the TTE ladder, with a 1:46.946 and Todd or Matt or Alex or whoever behind the wheel.  The official results sheet says Todd Green, but in case that was wrong I have officially covered my bases!

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And finally, in TTU, Brendon Stewart graduated to the Huracan and put down a very respectable 1:30.142!  He was the highest placing Makes & Models driver on the day, but all of the Makes & Models drivers finished on the podium in their respective classes.

And there you have it for TT.  Tomorrow we return with our final group: Thunder!  Prepare for Thunderdome puns, clouds, and rain photos.

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