10th Oct2019

The Slow Burn

by Michael Chandler

Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life

Marc Anthony, or someone else

That’s a saying a lot of people try to live by, but nobody ever looks at the other side of the coin, or reads too much into this very similar, but darker quote:

You’ve got to find what you love, and let it kill you

Kinky Friedman, not Charles Bukowski

That’s pretty fucked up if you think about it: there’s this thing that you love, and I mean LOVE, and you’re going to let it kill you because that’s how much you love it. That’s some cult level shit right there. Sometimes you just want to do something because you love it, not make it a job nor let it dose you with rat poison every day for the rest of your life.

Lately I’ve been unable to sleep a whole night through. I’ve got heartburn all the damn time, and I spend a healthy chunk of my work day mornings dry-heaving because I’m afraid I’m going to get to work and immediately get fired. I shouldn’t, because everyone at work likes me, and I’m doing a good job, but I still have that feeling of doom wrapped around me every morning. And I mean EVERY MORNING. For the last few months I’ve been having little panic attacks before I get in the car to drive to work, and occasionally when I’m walking into the building.

The day job isn’t the only thing that has got me feeling not super great. Heading to the track to shoot photos has started to feel like a chore. Not because I don’t like shooting, and seeing some of your bright, smiling faces, but because it’s starting to feel like a job. Not the “this doesn’t feel like work!” job, or the “he died doing what he loved” job, but “Shawshank Redemption is on TNT for the 1000th time, I guess I’ll throw it on…” type job. I like Shawshank, but it’s not my favorite movie, nor does it really stir up any passion in me. Heading to the track, be it for NASA or a drift event, is starting to feel like Shawshank: not the worst way to burn a weekend.

Don’t get me wrong: I still love going to a NASA weekend or a drift event. I get to see my friends, and watch them shred. Normally, for me at least, the chore feeling pops up towards the end of the season, and it’s a “it’s been fun, but I’m ready to take a break” kinda feeling. This year was different. Shooting has been feeling like a chore since before the Enduro, and it’s been feeling like “this again? Well, let’s try and do better this time around.” Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing this for a decade, which it may very well be. Burnout is a real thing, and I know we’ve all felt it. But maybe it’s got more to do with those day job morning feelings than it does me burning out.

My dad is one of the big reasons I’m into cars and motorsports. When I was a kid, he would wax poetic about his favorite car, the 427 Shelby Cobra, and would talk about how nice it was that he got to watch the Indianapolis 500 every year for his birthday. The long weekend from school was just the cherry on top of the cake. We would watch IndyCar and CHAMP Car races on the weekend, and those moments got me to where I am right now.

But it hasn’t always been sunshine and lollipops. My dad has struggled with depression and anxiety. Most of the time he’s been on top of it, but there have been some times where he wasn’t. Those were very dark and scary times that I’m not going to get into here. He’s struggled with it, and I have too.

I feel sad some of the time, but I don’t know why. I’ll focus on really dark thoughts, or really awful memories. I’ll just want to lay around and not do anything, and let my brain go to those dark places. Sometimes I’ll get myself on a task of some sort, but then get distracted. Then get distracted from the first distraction… and then again. It’s real easy to run around in the metaphorical weeds and be distracted when your brain really, REALLY wants you to stay in full time panic mode, or dive into a pit of despair and misery.

What’s worse is I know that this isn’t good. It’s not good for me, or my friends and family, or you out there wanting to see whatever content CAM creates. But here I am, putting on a brave face and doing the things that are expected of me, whether they bring me joy or not. Not all the things I want to do, but just the things people have come to expect of me.

I took a mental health day. I told my managers that I was “sick”, and that I wasn’t going to be making it in to work today. They told me to feel better, which I know they mean sincerely. Then I grabbed my phone, and saw this from Tommy at WTF1. Turns out today is World Mental Health Day, and he shared a story about Damon Hill and mental health. I recommend reading it, it’s a good story that pushed me over the hump and got me to write this.

What I’m dealing with isn’t something you just “get over”. You have to put in work. I’m going to find a therapist and start seeing them regularly, and I’m going to be more open about my feelings with those who care about me. I keep myself fairly closed off, which isn’t helping the situation. And I’m going to find ways to keep the fires burning, which will probably mean our NASA and drift coverage will change. It probably won’t be the massive galleries, with little to no context, but it could be the massive galleries WITH context. Or smaller galleries, because I do get excited about doing the live streams that Matt, Dave, and Jason set up for some of the NASA weekends this year, and those take away from my shooting time. Who knows what the future will hold? I don’t know, but there will be a future.

You never know what someone is going through until you ask them. If you see me out there, ask me how I’m doing. And if I just say “fine” or “not so bad, you?”, push me on it. I’ll do the same for you if you want me to. Check up on your friends, support foundations that are trying to reduce the stigma around talking about mental health, and most importantly: don’t keep it in. Talk about how you’re feeling, let your friends and family know how you’re doing. Thanks for reading this. We now return to our regularly scheduled shenaniganry.

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

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20th Dec2018

CAMcast 154: The Year That Was 2018

by Michael Chandler

The last CAMcast of the year is here!  Gavin sticks around to reminisce with Zack, Brandon, Trent, Dave, and Mike about the highlights of the year that was 2018.

We also get into Alex Crane’s Track/Daily/Crush, which features no vehicles at all!

Thanks for joining us this year.  We sit around and chat because we enjoy it, we record it and release it because we think you’d like it too.  See you in 2019!

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

Find us on social media, and be sure to subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, our YouTube channel, and on Patreon!

The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners
06th Dec2018

CAMcast 150: Follow The Racing!

by Michael Chandler

CAMcast 150 is here! And we do precious little to celebrate it!  Mike, Dave, Trent, and Zack test the limits of the basement’s circuitry, and answer the important questions facing us in these divisive times: Would you rather have a Ferrari Certified F430 with the F1 gearbox, or a 997 GT3?  And what racing series/traveling automotive dealy would you follow if money was no object?  THESE ARE THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, PEOPLE!!!

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

Find us on social media, and be sure to subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, our YouTube channel, and on Patreon!

The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
05th Jan2017

CAMcast: 2017 Races to Watch

by Michael Chandler

The CAMcast crew managed to survive those last, rough weeks of 2016, and are back in this new year with a new podcast for your ears!

In this episode Dave, Gavin, Brandon, and Me (me being Mike, sorry for all the coughing) tell you what races to watch this year, where to find them, and we ramble on about some other stuff.  It’s mostly the racing stuff though.  Give us a listen!  You can stream the episode here, get it on iTunes, or download it here.  

We mention some YouTube channels where you can watch races either live, or after their air date.  Here’s a brief list:

  • WorldChallenge TV, home of Pirelli World Challenge
  • IMSA Official, IMSA on YouTube
  • IMSA.tv, IMSA streaming on their own page
  • NISMO TV, The place to watch SuperGT, and Blanpain Endurance and Sprint races.  Also a bunch of cool Nissan stuff.
  • Climb Dance, a short film of a Peugeot 405 T16 GR climbing Pike’s Peak in the 80’s

And there you have it, more goodness for your ears, and things for you to do during the year.  We’ll be back next week!

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19th May2016

The Way It Were: Why Nothing Is Ever As Good As It Was

by Michael Chandler

Datsun 260Z 2+2 feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1


A few years ago Niki Lauda suggested that for F1 to be more exciting, they needed to go to wider tires and bigger wings and lots more horsepower.  Basically, turn the clock back to when he was racing.  He’s not the first person to suggest going back to “the old ways”.  When the new turbo motors came out, everyone complained and wanted to go back to the V10 era.  Was the V10 era that much better?  Were the 70’s the peak of F1?

Salt City Drift July 18 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-4

People in drifting have some thoughts on the current state of the sport as well.  There was a time where 500 horsepower was considered a lot, and the steering mods you needed were rack spacers and modified knuckles.  Now the top Formula D cars make around 800 horsepower, completely redesigned steering components for crazy amounts of angle, and over fenders on over fenders to cover the tires because the steering mods have pushed the wheels so far out from their original location.  But were the lower power, simpler days so much better than today?

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Back in the day, you could fix damn near any car with nothing more than a socket set and a bucket of carb cleaner.  The bodies were made of steel, and they were designed by guys with slide rulers and very little understanding of aerodynamics.  Modern cars are massive compared to the old cars, and the technology is so deeply embedded in every aspect of them that working on them is nearly impossible.  But were the old steel bodied classics better than the stuff you can drive off a dealer’s lot?

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Well… No.  Modern race cars are demonstrably faster, more efficient and safer than their old counter parts, drifting has graduated from “a bunch of idiots in a parking lot” to a legitimate motorsport, and modern cars are faster, safer, more efficient, and better equipped than the designers ever thought cars could be.  When Niki Lauda won his first World Championship in 1975, he turned a 1:26.40 lap in qualifying.  In 2011 Sebastian Vettel ran a 1:13.556.

With more knowledge and data, the Formula D cars are moving through the courses faster and making more tire smoke.  Couple that with the amount of angle the drivers are using going through the corners, and you have something far more interesting to watch than what was happening in 2007.

Modern cars are heavier and bigger because they have more stuff in them.  Stuff like multiple air bags and other safety equipment, infotainment systems that play your Pandora stations and read your text messages to you!  In 1975, a V8 Camaro 13 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway.  A 2016 Camaro does 16 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway.  The humble Corolla went from 21/33 forty-one years ago to 28/37 now.  Modern cars of all varieties are demonstrably better.  But why do we keep holding up examples from the past?  In my opinion, it’s a familiarity issue.

Let me try to explain this with an analogy.  Michael Jordan is the best basketball player I’ve ever seen.  I say this because I watched him for more than a third of my life.  I saw him win multiple championships, MVP awards, and even a gold medal.  Now if you were to ask someone ten years younger than me, they probably wouldn’t say MJ was the best.  They’d probably say Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James, or even Steph Curry is the best.  Why?  Because they watched them at their peaks, like I did with Jordan.  That hypothetical person grew up knowing only an old MJ and young, rising talents in LeBron, Steph and Kobe.  Now replace MJ and LeBron with an AE86 and a new FRS/BRZ.  The Corolla was amazing, but that’s not the hero car for the new generation.  It’s legendary, and they know about the old Corolla; but, the FRS/BRZ has been around since some of these kids became aware of cars and their coolness.

Same with F1.  Some people came into the sport WITH the turbo V6s, and have no idea about the previous eras.  There are countless hoards of people out there that are convinced that to have a fun drift car you need a high horsepower 2JZ or LS, all of the Wisefab you can get your hands on, and as much fender as one can fit on a car.  And let’s be honest, spending an hour in stop and go traffic in a car with weak A/C, a semi-functioning tape deck, and an ever falling fuel needle isn’t as good a place to be as a car where you can throw it in D, crank up the A/C, listen to your Spotify playlist of choice, and not having to stop for gas at every exit.  It’s easy to look at the past with rose colored spectacles, but you can’t deny that things are better now than they used to be.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch this and then this.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
05th Apr2016

Are You Craving Some Racing?

by Michael Chandler

Pirelli World Challenge Ford GP of Utah Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-169

I missed the F1 race (How about Haas, eh?), and the 24H series race at Silverstone.  I’m not too torn up about it, but I’ve got a hankering for some racing!  Today I listened to some highlights of the Silverstone race on Radio Le Mans, but I want to watch something damnit!  What to do?  Well, there are a number of options available.

The 24H Series has all of their races on their YouTube page, and the fine folks at NISMO have a ton of races on their page as well.  Is DTM more your flavor?  You can watch every race and qualifying session from the 2015 season!  If judged motorsports are more your flavor, you can check out the 2016 D1GP and Formula D events, with English commentary on the D1 stuff by Alexi from Nori Yaro, over on the Scrapeddd YouTube page.

There’s a lot for you to watch, and I’m conveniently showing this to you in the middle of the day… Hmm, I wounder what could ever come of this…

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
02nd Nov2015

Tresduro 2015: The Final Chapter

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah 2015 Tresduro Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-75

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

After ten years, and countless races from such series as the American Le Mans Series, Grand Am Rolex, Ferrari Challenge and NASCAR, the final chapter of the racing history at Miller Motorsports Park was written by the locals.  The last official race on the track was the final race in the 2015 NASA Utah season: the Tresduro.  What was a season ending endurance race has now become a winner takes all, three session day, with races held on three different configurations of the track.  On this day, the drivers would race on the Outer Loop, the East Track, and for the first time in years the Full Track.

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The fields were huge.  For the first time that I can remember, the all HPDE spots sold out.  The amount of cars in the HPDE 1, 2, and 3 groups were staggering.  And the TT groups were equally huge.  So large that they had to split the group up for the second timed session.  TTC, D and E would run with the HPDE 4, and the rest of the TT group would be out there afterward.

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TTE had four competitors, all in Mazdas.  Tyler Nisonger, in the On Point Supplements Miata, ran away with the class win.  His margin of victory was 23 seconds!  The gap between Hal Mortimer (#77 Mortimer Family FB RX-7) in second place, and Kelly Fisher (#19 Pro Tint/PT Auto Sales Miata) was only 10 seconds.  A dominating win for Tyler.

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TTC was occupied by one man.  One lone competitor in a BMW.  His name: Tom Rogers.  His car: an E30 BMW 325i.  His trunk was black, but the small spoiler on the decklid was red.  And he won gold.

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TTB was the deepest TT group.  Dave Wann in his S2000 battled Toby Crawford and his supercharged BRZ all day.  Toby’s added boost kept Dave within his sight, but Dave kept his better Miata just out of Toby’s grasp.  Dave walked away with another win on the season, and closed the book on a championship winning season.

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TT3 was down a competitor, since Jonathon Tapia did not return this season after his devastating wreck, but was still stacked with talented drivers.  With a twelve second margin of victory, James Pasquier took home a gold medal to hang on the wing of his 993 911.

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The lone TT2 competitor was Robert Poirier, in the only V8 powered car on the time sheets: the Black Diamond Development Mustang.

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Shawn Murphy, fresh from Lyfe Motorsport’s trip to World Time Attack in Sydney, Australia, came out swinging at Greg Valdez.  They traded blows in their Subarus (metaphorically, I’ll go ahead and say that Shawn would probably wreck Greg if they went full Days of Thunder), but a blown coupler put Shawn at a disadvantage for the third session.  Not being able to run at full boost allowed Greg to eek out a win.

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Formula series champion Bruno Carniero was not driving at the Tresduro.  He was at the track, but he was getting ready to go to China and compete in a Formula 4 race.  He finished on the podium if you’re curious.  In the formula races at the Tresduro, it was a one man show: Troy Duffin took home the final Formula class win awarded at Miller Motorsports Park.

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John LaBrie battled Steve Burns all day in Super Formula.  John managed to hold off Steve in each of the three races to end the day atop the podium.

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There was one Race Group.  For the final event, the powers that be combined the Thunder and Lightning groups into one, massive and competitive herd of cars, 38 deep.

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GTS2 was a battle of Porsches.  Heller and Miller’s Boxster duked it out with Chris Haunold’s 911, and the first generation Boxster took down the 911.  This may be a first for the oft slighted chassis, but hopefully not the last.

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GTS 3, 4 and 5 were all (unfortunately) occupied by one driver each.  GTS 3 saw Carol Nichols drive her Cayman to the land of golden bottle openers disguised as medals.  Byron Smith took his BMW to the promised land in GTS 4, and Gerry Shear collected a win for the Air Power Racing GTS 5 class 911.

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GTSU was full of drama.  In the second race, on the East Course, David Lockwood in the #42 Porsche 911 Cup Car collided with the Makes and Models R8 LMS in the first turn of the first lap of the race.  This contact ended both of their days.  In the final race on the Full Track, McKay Snow made contact with George Smith and guaranteed that the DXDT Racing R8 LMS Ultra would take home the victory.

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Ben Lamberson was the lone PTE driver.  Unfortunately he had no slicks, so he was on some 200 tread wear summer tires that somehow lasted all day!  Unfair advantage?  Perhaps…

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Spec Miata was a five way battle.  After the dust settled, Allan Anderson emerged holding the gold medal.

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Spec Z was, yet again, another massive field.  There were ten cars in this one field alone!  Arthur Golebiowski was battling all day.  Arthur managed to dispatch his competitors, earning a hard fought victory.  On another note, look at Tom Kaminski’s door!  That’s the most perfectly placed tire mark I’ve ever seen.

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Michael Eiffling battled Big Bob Evans in ST1, and managed to top Bob for the top podium spot.  Despite this victory, Bob towered over Michael.  Short of making Bob stand in a hole, he will tower over everyone.

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Yet another ST2 race saw Mike Mielke as the lone competitor.  And yet again, I’m not complaining about seeing his truck on track mixing it up.  There needs to be another ST2 truck.

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ST3 was the second deepest field with 8 cars.  Travis Tidball cracked his differential housing wide open, and retired early.  Travis Williams was out in the old, reliable #22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang FR500S, but old and reliable wasn’t enough to win.  No, the win would belong to the Us Against One/Spherion E36 M3.  Todd Ainsworth’s choice to jump into a BMW has proven to be a fortuitous one, and sharing seat time with Alex Whetman has payed dividends as well.

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George Smith’s Corvette has been around for a while.  He’s competed in it from the old MPRA days, all the way through this past event.  And despite having contact with McKay Snow, George managed to take home the final Super Unlimited win awarded at Miller Motorsports Park.  It was fitting that one of the old guard took home the last victory.

And there it is, the final race at Miller Motorsports Park.  I know you may have been expecting some long love letter to Miller, with some race highlights sprinkled in.  A love letter will be coming later, but this post was about the last race day at our home track as we know it.  Ladies and gentlemen, it has been an honor to bring you these write ups and galleries.  I’m glad that you’ve liked them as much as you have, and I look forward to bringing you more from Utah Motorsports Campus in the coming years.

Until then, this has Michael Chandler from Miller Motorsports Park.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
09th Apr2015

It’s a Spec New World

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-144

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

The Spec Z field is exploding for NASA Utah, Spec Miata is healthy, 944 Spec provides a solid battle every race, and there’s even a Spec E30 class that has yet to be explored.  Spec racing is a hell of a way for people to get into door to door racing, without having to build something crazy.  The blueprint is right there, all you have to do is follow it.

There are probably a ton of more spec series available, but there are plenty that don’t exist.  They probably don’t exist for good reason, but today we’re going to explore the brave frontier!  Buy your supplies, and prepare to lose half the party to Cholera.  WAGONS HO!

Spec S Chassis

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 2 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (28 of 56)

Drifting is starting to get ridiculous.  700-900 horsepower?  V8s with ridiculously engineered exhaust collectors?  What happened to welding up the diff in an S13 or S14 and getting wild?  It’s been proven that you don’t need rear mounted radiators, hydraulic e-brakes or sequential gear boxes to slide, but looking at Formula D makes one think otherwise.  I think it’s time to change this.  I’ve kicked this idea around with Dave, and we’ve come up with a rough framework for an amazing new drift series: Spec S Chassis.  An entire field of S13s and S14s, all sporting KA24DEs.  The only modifications you can do internally is a hot cam swap (running an exhaust cam in place of an intake cam), and that’s it.  Welded diffs, basic steering angle mods, and coilovers are all you get suspension wise.  You can run whatever tire you want, granted it is the specified size.  Suddenly it’s not who has the biggest budget and most power, it’s who has the skills to boogie.  It’s still judged, but (and since this exists in the minds of a few) there will be completely different judges than in Formula D.

Now, I know Lone Star Drift is trying a budget minded series this season and that’s fantastic.  The drivers have their chose of chassis and can do some modifications (motor swaps like SRs in 240s and such, and engine cooling is open, and suspension is open but no attachment points can be moved), and all the competitors have to run Kenda tires.  You can still petition to have some modifications let in, but hopefully they’re not too lenient with it.  However, if you really want to see who is the best driver, you’d stick them in identically prepared cars and let them go at it.

Super Pursuit

Crown Vic

Travis over at Jalopnik proposed a Spec Panther series/class, and it has all the required legs to be something.  The Panther platform Fords are in abundance and are cheap, and he laid out the rules.  It’s great, and since he came up with it a square almost two years ago I’m not going to bogart his idea.  I’m going to expand upon it, and take it to ridiculous new heights.  Instead of just seeing Crown Vics, Grand Marquies and Town Cars running around, why not expand it to ALL the common and cheap former police vehicles?  Why not?!

Crown Vics, Chargers, Caprices and Impalas are eligible in this series, and they would have to have some of the basic spec requirements (cage, minimum wieght, spec tires, etc).  These cars wouldn’t be street legal, but neither are Spec Miatas or Zs.  The spotlights would be removed, BUT the cars can run light bars provided they’re attached securely.  And each car would have to be painted, or wrapped, to look like an actual police car.  Not 100%, but at least black and white or similar colors to a local municipality.  Who wouldn’t want to see this?!?

WGT: Wagon Grand Touring

Kawaii RWD Forester Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-11

We love wagons.  There’s no shame in that, because wagons are awesome. Unfortunately, with the rise of minivans then CUVs, the humble wagon has started to disappear.  Ford, FCA and GM aren’t making any.  BMW and Mercedes do, but finding one is like finding a unicorn.  This pretty much leaves VWs, Subarus, and Volvo.   And this wouldn’t be the first time a Volvo wagon was out racing! Unfortunately, the Touring Brick would be outlawed.

It would be open to four cylinder wagons, naturally aspirated and turbocharged, so no BMW or Meccedes.  The modifications would be more open for the NA cars, and the turbo cars could carry a weight penalty.  Tires would be spec, but different sizes for the NA and turbo cars.  Cages, obviously and fuel cells.  No roof racks, baskets or boxes/pods.  Having these grocery getters running around would open up some interesting new avenues for competition.  Honestly, some Top Gear-esqe shenanigans like a mandatory pit stop to load the car with groceries would add some hilarity.  Or fastest lap with the most cargo.  The possibilities are endless, like a child’s imagination.

So that’s what I’ve come up with.  How about you?  Feel free to add your ideas, tweaks and your own classes in the comments.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
05th Jul2012

NASA Racing Round 4

by Trent

While Lap Battle featured the debut of two long awaited cars, the NASA races had two incidents where the drivers were forced to retire.  The iron cross Miata burst into flames and the #75 Air Power Racing Porsche 911 began leaking fluids.  The driver of the Miata was unhurt as was the driver of the Porsche.

The fields for each group were rather small.  I do believe something about Wednesday might have contributed to this, but I’m not 100% sure.  Despite that the racing was still top notch.  The little Cutrubis sponsored Miata was holding its own against the APR Porsche, which was quite a sight.  The next event will, hopefully, have a larger field, more battles on the track and less retirements.  See you on the 28th!

Cincopa WordPress plugin

-Michael Chandler

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com

05th Apr2012

The Happy Couple: a pair of Subarus

by Trent

Couples do things together. Some buy matching outfits, others try to take an interest in the other’s hobby, and some build a pretty bad ass pair of Subarus. I’d like you to meet Sally and Shawn, and they are the latter.

Sally and Shawn have been coming out to Lap Battle from Wyoming for a little while now, and we’ve been able to see their cars change with each event. Sally drives the hawk-eye, while Shawn drives the blob-eye. While they do race together, they’re technically not in direct competition with each other; because, they’re in different classes. Sally has a legitimate car Shawn has a legitimate race car. Allow me to demonstrate the differences:

Under the hood Sally has a lot of bolt-ons you’d see on cars that never see track time. COBB Tuning intake and SF intake bring fresh air to the bigger VF39 turbocharger. A STi top mount intercooler (fitted with a Forge Motorsport blow off valve) helps cool down the pressurized air, while an Invidia cat-less downpipe channels the spent gasses into a Greddy Ti-C catback exhaust. A COBB Accessport watches over the whole operation, as a Walbro 255lph keeps the two and a half liter mill with all the fuel it needs and a Saikou Michi oil catch can gathers all the gunk and keeps it from screwing things up.

Shawn has gone with a different plan: build it better. He tore into the engine and tossed the OEM pistons, rods and bearings with offerings from Manly and ACL respectively. 1000Cc injectors from Injector Dynamics and a Bosch 044 fuel pump replace the smaller factory units, while the TGVs have been outright deleted. An 83mm KS Tech cold air intake feeds the AMS 900X rotated mount turbo kit. The compressed air flows through an APS front mount intercooler and into a ported and polished throttle body. Keeping the inside of this monstrous motor cool are a Koyo radiator, a custom oil cooler and an AquaMist water-methanol injection system. An Integrated Engineering surge tank ensures that there won’t be a fuel starvation issue, while a Fluidamper makes sure the engine doesn’t shake itself apart.

Harvey Epstein, of TheBoostCreepLTD, tuned both cars. Sally made 267awhp, while Shawn (who did everything except the tune and engine build) made 453awhp. What’s almost 200whp between boyfriend and girlfriend?


Both Shawn and Sally are on coilovers: Shawn with his BC Racing BR’s and Sally with her TEIN Monoflexes. Sally is packing a TEIN front strut tower bar to help stiffen up the front, and a Cusco piece out back to do the same. Kartboy subframe lockdown bolts and a COBB rear sway bar round out the chassis aids Sally has chosen to employ. Shawn is rocking a set of Whiteline swaybars, along with their Anti Lift Kit. Kartboy end links have been installed, and the knuckles have been converted to 05 STi units for good measure. Both cars had their race alignments and corner balancing work done at Innovative Garage

At first glance it would appear that the happy couple are on matching wheels, but if you look closer you’ll see that they’re just on similar sets. Shawn’s are a set of Work Emotion CR-Kais wrapped in Toyo RA-1s, while Sally is on a set of Drag DR-31s shod in Nitto NT-01s. Shawn’s are an inch bigger in diameter so as to fit the StopTech ST-60 big brake kit. A set of Carbotech XP12 pads fill the calipers and Motul 600 fluid runs through the stainless steel lines. Quantum brake ducts keep the massive brakes as cool as they can. Sally’s set up is no slouch: Hawk HPS pads out back are in the OEM calipers, and HP Plus pads are in the Brembo calipers she sourced in the front. Castrol SRF brake fluid provides the hydraulic boost needed to reel the car in.

Both cars have carbon fiber hoods, splitters and big wings; however, while Sally is rocking a STi rear wing, Shawn has a massive Kognition piece. Shawn’s hood is a Kaminari unit without a hood scoop (because of the front mount you see) and Sally’s is a Seibon OEM style piece, complete with big hood scoop (because of the top mount you see). Sally has an APR splitter and FUNKtion canards whereas Shawn has a custom splitter (made from a “Welcome to Wyoming” sign) and no canards.

Both interiors feature Sparco seats (Pro 2000 for Shawn, Evo for Sally) and six point harnesses. A set of Autometer gauges inform Shawn of all that is important, while an Innovative Motorsport vent mounted boost gauge tells Sally about how boost she’s cramming in to her motor.


They say that the couple that plays together, stays together and coming out to the race track once a month definitely counts as playing in my book. We look forward to seeing them at Lap Battle, and where ever else we run into these crazy kids and their pair of Subarus


-Words and Photos by Michael Chandler, Video by Trent Bray

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