08th Apr2016

The CAMcast Episode 1: Steven Costello

by Michael Chandler

It’s back: The new and improved CAMcast! We’re starting out the new podcast with a conversation with one of the most interesting people you’ll meet at Utah Motorsports Campus: Steven Costello.  You may only know him as one of the Formula drivers, but there’s so much more to this soft spoken fellow.  Have you heard of Tom Walkinshaw Racing?  He worked there during the IMSA GT days, when they were campaigning Jaguars in the GTP class.  Are you familiar with Formula 1?  He worked for Ligier F1 in the 90’s.  Remember either of these stories?  He did the restorations on those.  There are so many great stories in this episode, I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did recording it.

We’ll be back next month with another episode.  Until then, let us know what you think.  If you liked it, tell your friends.  Feel free to use #CAMcast on Twitter and Instagram to let us know that you’re listening!

04th Apr2016

Coming Soon: The Guy Who Did This

by Michael Chandler

Brabham F1 Restoration-7

I sat down with Steven Costello, the soft spoken fellow who races this:NASA Utah 2014 Tres Enduro Open Wheel CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-19

If that’s all you know about him, prepare to have your mind blown.  Go ahead and Google Tom Walkinshaw Racing + IMSA GT.  That’ll give you a glimpse into what is coming in the first episode of the CAMcast

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
05th Jan2015

Tooele Historics: Brabham F1 Restoration

by Michael Chandler

Brabham F1 Restoration-5

Out in Tooele, at a shop at Miller Motorsports Park, is a man breathing life back into a pair of F1 chassis.  They aren’t ground breaking achievements in the sport, they’re a pair of chassis that more often than not finished poorly or failed to qualify.  They were made by a historic name, during an uneventful time in their history.  They are a pair of Brabham chassis, a BT59 and a BT60, and they’re being restored by Steven Costello, a man who knows more about putting these together than any of us ever could.

Brabham F1 Restoration

I say he knows more about this because he does.  He has had a long career in motorsports, both driving and turning wrenches.  In the nineties he was one of a handful of Americans working as mechanics in Formula 1.  He was employed by Equipe Ligier, and now he’s using those years of knowledge to bring yet another Brabham chassis to life for Race Co.

Brabham F1 Restoration-11

These chassis were bought at auction by a pair of brothers.  Included in their purchase were all manner of spares, fasteners, and paperwork including spec sheets for individual practices, qualifying sessions and races.  The brothers plan to race these things, against each other, at Miller upon their completion.  When I stopped in on Halloween Steven had the BT59 on stands, with the Judd V8 mounted.  It was looking like a race car, while the BT60 was still in pieces.  The 59 was more complete, but still nowhere near done.  It was waiting on some components to be shipped back from being rebuilt.  You can’t easily find some of these parts, and you can’t just drop it off at your local shop to be rebuilt or tackle it yourself with your handy dandy socket set.

Brabham F1 Restoration-4

And some of the parts had to be sent off for inspection.  Those suspension arms you see next to the blue tote?  They were x-rayed to ensure they weren’t cracked.  And they aren’t powder coated.  It’s a special compound that you see on every major open wheel car, because it’s lighter and doesn’t hinder inspection processes.

Brabham F1 Restoration-14

Speaking of lightness, do you see all of those containers?  They’re full of fasteners.  Fasteners made of titanium.  This is a back marker team.  A team that finished 9th in the Constructor’s Championship in 1990, and was doing so bad in the first half of 1991 that the FIA made them pre-qualify for races in the second half of the season.  And they outright failed to qualify twice!  They finished 9th in the Constructor’s Championship behind a struggling Lotus, and then collapsed.

Brabham F1 Restoration-7

After a team collapses things go up for sale.  Sometimes the people who buy the team’s assets use them in their own attempt to race.  Others buy the big, showy pieces (engines, cockpits, nose cones, spoilers, etc) and display them or piece together a shell of a car for display purposes.  And sometimes a privateer buys them, and takes them to a place that has experience with rebuilding old chassis, in an effort to bring them back to life so they can go race them.  Thankfully those brothers took the latter route, and took them to a great shop who brought in an extremely knowledgeable man to bring them back to life.  Hopefully we’ll see the cars back together, out pairing off with the BT60 chassis Race Co already restored this year, in our own historic gathering.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
31st Mar2014

NASA Utah Round 1: Open Wheel

by Michael Chandler
Troy Duffin leading Steven Costello through The Attitudes

Troy Duffin leading Steven Costello through The Attitudes

The Open Wheel run group had Forumla sharing the track with Super Formula.  Steven Costello and Troy Duffin were the pair of Formula drivers, and in race one Troy retired after four laps.  In race two he did not start, which gave both of the wins to Steven.

Bodee Gay and his repaired Super Formula Mazda

Bodee Gay and his repaired Super Formula Mazda

Dennis Gay

Dennis Gay

Super Formula had drama before race one.  The cold track along with the cold tires on Bodee Gay’s Mazda powered RaceCo prepped car sent him on an off track excursion.  Mercifully there was enough time between that session and race one to button the car back together.  He placed fourth in race one and did not start race two.  Dennis Gay in the #22 RaceCo prepped Mazda took third in both races, posting a best time of 1:54.866 in race one.

Terry Biner

Terry Biner

Steve Burns

Steve Burns

Steve Burns and Terry Biner traded shots in both races.  In race one Terry took first in his Rodizio Grill backed car over Steve’s VP Racing Fuels Mazda by 5.989 seconds.  The positions were flipped in race two, where Steve took the win by 9.313 seconds.

This is a field that, in my opinion, needs to get deeper.  Running one of these open wheel cars isn’t as expensive as you’d think, and the Super Formula cars are running lap times in the 1:55 range.  If getting into one of these bad boys is something you’re interested in then have a chat with the guys at Race Co.  Then go read up on what you need to be able to race with these guys! The next race weekend is April 25-27 on the West track.  Registration is open and we look forward to seeing everyone return for Round 2 of the NASA Utah racing series

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

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