24th Aug2018

Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Utah: A Fond Farewell

by Michael Chandler

Earlier this month, “this month” being August, we had what might be the last Pirelli World Challenge event at Utah Motorsports Campus for a while, if not ever.  Get yourself a sweet souvenir by buying a photo from the event!  With Utah Motorsports Campus being left off next year’s schedule, this event was probably the last time we’ll see the series roll through.  With that knowledge possibly weighing on the locals, they went out and had some solid showings.

David Askew and DXDT racing never left the podium for either of the GT Sprint-X AM class races, finishing first on Saturday and third on Sunday.

Despite only podiuming once, 2nd place on Saturday, Drew Stavely locked down the GTS-X Am championship on the very track where he teaches!  Yes, the Ford Performance Racing School instructor brought home the first championship for Ian Lacy Racing and G3 Racing with their Ginetta program.

Vesko Kozarov must be tapping into the same magic Arthur Golebiowski does, because he was no where near any of the other TC competitors!  He swept the weekend by bus lengths.

Other locals out racing on the weekend were the rest of the G3/Ian Lacy Racing team: husband and wife duo Frank and Jenny Gannet (Frank in the #24 Ginetta in GTS, Jen in the MX-5 Global Cup Car in TCA), and Steve Burns.

Daren Jorgensen was out and about in his M4 GT4 that’s probably been to more bucket list tracks than a lot of you reading this.  The car was shipped to Australia for the Bathurst 12 Hour, and has been doing regular GTS duty all season.

Lumber magnate (…sure?), and purveyor of fine grooming products, Jeff Burton was also out in GTS Am.  

In other news: I fell off a golf cart, almost ran into The Stradman (literally), met Tom O’Gorman, and caught up with friend of the program Ryan Eversley.  I also chatted with the dominant Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai i30n TCR drivers about looking like the locals.  Anyway, here are a bunch of galleries to rifle through.  If you like what you see, you can buy some photos here.






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*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
06th Jul2016


by Michael Chandler


There was some racing happening in Elkhart Lake a few weekends ago!  Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin is home to Road America, a fantastic road course.  This weekend was special, because it marked the return of IndyCar to the historic track.  The crowds welcomed the open wheelers back, and the series announced that they’d be back at the 4.014 mile road course next year.  Pirelli World Challenge ran in support, and Ryan Eversley swept the weekend!  Good job Ryan!  Anyway, Michael Wells was there, and he sent us some photos from the weekend.  Take a look:

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
29th Jan2016


by Michael Chandler

Pirelli World Challenge Ford GP of Utah Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-94

Hey guys, do you ever think there’s anything beyond this whole race car thing?

Well that’s just crazy talk Steve, and frankly it’s some dangerous thinking

Yeah, you’re right.  It was silly of me to think of… running a photo copy hut…

Again with the photo copies…


01st Sep2015

Ford GP of Utah Day 1 Highlights

by Michael Chandler

Pirelli World Challenge Ford Grand Prix of Utah day 1 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-60

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

And now to the highlights from Saturday’s races.  We’ll start with GT, where Johnny O’Connell (man of the people) took his ATSV.R GT3 wire to wire, holding off both of the Nissan GTR GT3s for the win.  Coming in second was JD Davison in the #33 Always Evolving GTR, and in third was Bryan Hoikotter.  Hoikotter is a graduate of the Nissan GT Academy, you know, the thing where hot shoe Gran Turismo players have a chance to become hot shoe race car drivers.  GT Academy drivers have done reasonably well, Hoikotter himself is sitting in third in the driver’s championship at the moment.

Pirelli World Challenge Ford Grand Prix of Utah day 1 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-62

Back to Johnny for a minute.  He’s been on a bit of a dry spell since Canada.  He’s finished in the top ten at the last two stops (Mid-Ohio and Road America), but hasn’t been on the podium since returning from the Great White North.  Not only did he break that four race winless streak, he also set a new track record in the process!  Always good seeing a driver as skilled as Johnny wringing the most out of a new chassis.

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Last year the fans at Miller missed out on seeing the Realtime Racing Acura TLX-GTs.  This year the fans got to see World Challenge legend Peter Cunningham and the people’s champ Ryan Eversley hustle the Acuras around the warm, dusty track.  When the checkered flag flew, Peter held of the Bentley of Guy Smith for 8th and Ryan kept Olivier Beretta (currently second in GT Driver’s standings) behind him for 11th.  I was excited to see the Acuras, and to finally see Ryan drive in person.  He’s a good dude.

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Mark Wilkins, Canadian driver of the Korean sedan making this possibly the most international entry of the weekend, went wire to wire and collected a win in GTS.  The GT/GTA/GT Cup drivers were a little more cautious around the kerbing on the Attitudes, but the GTS guys were more than willing to hit them like they owed them money.  The only people who hit them harder might have been the TC/TCA/TCB guys.  Now, this is where I make a segue…

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Vesko Kozarov, Salt Lake’s own, drove the Skullcandy/Stance Nissan 370Z to a third place finish.  Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, right?  Local guy, on his home track, in a car he’s very familiar with, finishes on the podium.  If that were it, this wouldn’t be much of a story.  More of a footnote really.  However, that third place finish is made all the more impressive because…

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He was also cleaning up in TC!  By Saturday he had already won the first of three Touring Car races of the weekend, and by the end of the day he had collected his second win in the Skullcandy Nissan Altima.  The GTS and second TC/TCA/TCB races were back to back!  That means he drove to third in GTS, took the car back to his spot in the paddock, jumped in the Altima, made it over to pre-grid, then lined up in 8th and drove like a madman to win.  That is my highlight of the weekend: Vesko finishing on the podium in back to back races in two different classes.

Tomorrow we return with more eye candy from the weekend, with more highlights coming on Thursday.  Were you at the Pirelli World Challenge Ford Grand Prix of Utah?  What was your highlight from the weekend?  Share it with us!  Drop it in the comments!  Or post a picture you creeped of me shooting photos.  Either or.

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