26th Jul2017

NASA Utah Round 5 Gallery

by Michael Chandler

Hey look!  A ton of Round 5 photos to look at.  Photos you can look at, and buy if you’d like to.  We’ll be out at the Enduro, come slap hands and grab one of the last few stickers!

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22nd Jul2017

NASA Utah Round 5: Warm Mornings

by Michael Chandler

Who doesn’t love a warm morning?  Just hearing “warm morning” conjures up images of eating half a cantaloupe while wearing a terry cloth polo shirt, while telling the neighbor kid that you do love a warm morning, despite the fact that it’s 3:30pm.  Thankfully the NASA weekend didn’t have any of that weirdness, nor were the mornings warm.  Well, the one I was there for was hot.  I slept in on Sunday, and managed to get there when it was just getting hot enough to ruin people’s attempts at fast laps.  Thankfully there were some people who only needed to have one good lap.

TT1 saw David Bradshaw in his Lyfe prepped 996 Cup Car set a personal best (1:37.601) on Saturday!  The personal best was only good for second place, because Rhett Panter came down in his crazy widebody S2000 and ran a 1:36.389.  David was not defeated though, he came back on Sunday and took the class win on Sunday.

Shawn Murphy ran a 1:32.976 on Saturday and 1:33.865 on Sunday.  Both of his times, in his TT2 car which he drives on the streets because Wyoming is still calling plays out of the 1887 playbook, were good enough to win TTU.  Imagine what this thing could do if he pulled some weight out of it…

Speaking of TTU: Mike Kresser ran unopposed in the class all weekend.  He threw down a 1:33.567 on Saturday, and a 1:33.872 on Sunday.  He also bought a couple of the super stylish CAMautoMag shirts, a thing you should also do.

John Calvin bagged another TT3 win on Saturday, with a 1:42.706.  Say what you will, a Mustang can be very competitive.  A point which we’ll come back to later.  Something that’s always going to be competitive, granted it’s not some hair-brained project that’s constantly trading hands, is a boosted E36.  Coincidentally that is what Geoffrey Crockett happens to drive.  He laid down a 1:42.758 on Sunday.

I managed to miss both of Nam Yoon’s TT4 winning laps, so I’m using a photo from the last time NASA was on the West track.  Anyway, he ran a 1:40.150 on Saturday, and a 1:39.425 on Sunday.

Front wheel drive hatchbacks seem to be the platform of choice for TTC.  Eduardo Acurero, in his monster CRX, took the win on Saturday with a 1:44.392.  John Butcher, in his tried and true Mini Cooper S, collected the win on Sunday with a 1:49.435.

Trever Pope took home both TTD wins on the weekend, but didn’t collect any tires from the class’s contingency program.  Why?  There wound up not being enough drivers in the class.  How?  Some of the other competitors self DQ’d because, if I’m remembering correctly, of something to do with the tires they were running.  I’m not 100% sure, and I know I will be corrected.

I don’t remember seeing Todd Green’s blue Miata over the weekend, but I do remember seeing ol’ Paul Mitchell turning laps.  Knowing the following: Todd regularly drives Paul, he’s driven Paul more than the blue car this year, and he’s made Paul easier and better to drive recently; it’s easy to come to the conclusion that Todd was driving Paul in TTE all weekend.  Regardless, Todd took the win on both days.

Now on to something where the drivers have to string together multiple, successive good laps instead of just one perfect lap.  And we’ll start in the Lightning group, and with GTS2 where a pair of Porsches split the weekend’s wins.  On Saturday Adam Heller, Boxster driver and all around nice guy, beat out Mark Boschert, the only Spec Boxster driver and probably a nice guy, for the win.  On Sunday Ed Mineau, in his black 911, beat our Mark for the win.  

Darren Jorgensen, proud owner of some CAM slaps, spent the weekend beating up on his fellow Rearden Racing teammates and M235i Racing drivers in GTS3.  He beat Steve Marx (#44) on Saturday, and Andrew McCubbins (#13 with the sweet rookie stripe) on Sunday.  

Carter James was a man on a mission.  He knifed his way through the Spec Miata field on both days, and had a nice little battle with Matt Williamson on Sunday.  He duked it out with Andy Moench on Saturday.  He even went to so far as to try and get into some fights with some of the other classes.  

Tom Rogers sold his E30!  I know, I was just as shocked as you all must be.  I’ll give you a minute…  Ok, anyway, he bought an E36 and stepped up to ST4 with the intent of dethroning Blake Troester!  OVERTHROW THE BURGEROCRACY!  Unfortunately he didn’t do that in the first outing with the new car, because Mayor McCheese has that Porsche dialed.  Jennifer Gannett couldn’t topple the Burger Civil Servant on Sunday.  

Only one Thunder Roadster, which is probably for the best because I don’t think we could handle another insane battle.  Brian Trapnell took Joe Sim’s roadster out for some competitive laps.

I don’t know where Perry Needham came from, or what he’s doing when he’s not on track, but he’s on a tear this year!  This weekend he swept 944 Spec by edging out Greg Troester on Saturday, then hanging a lap on Greg on Sunday.  Is he some sort of savant?  A hot shoe who decided to trot out the wrong 30 year old Porsche?  We demand answers!

Spec Z had their own run group again!  It was only on Saturday, but they made the most of their solo track time.  Richard Fitzgerald and his new livery qualified first, and looked to go wire to wire.  Then Arthur Golebiowski and his *throws dart at a map of Eastern Europe* Moldovian magic came up and took the lead!  And then there was a battle for the rest of the podium.  Tom Kaminski and Chad Aalders set their sights on Richard.  Tom was the first to get around him, which was pretty uneventful.  Then Chad had his go, and I proceeded to lose my mind as I watched it unfold.

Richard spun on the outside of turn 5, naturally leading to the rest of the turn being open for Chad to drive through.  And then Richard, while still sliding through the turn, started to come down towards the inside!  As you can see, it was pretty close.  Chad managed to take the position without taking any damage, and Richard got himself going again and finished in fourth.

Sunday saw Cole “He’s not Kyle” Powelson run away from the field in a car that had a destroyed CV boot, which could’ve led to catastrophe.  Thankfully it didn’t, but still.

And now on to the fastest group, the Thunder group.  And we start with a car that ran in the Lightning group: Darren Jorgensen’s Turner Motorsports built, Rearden Racing prepped M235i Racing.  A car which can be best described as an in-betweener.  There was no inbetween in GTS 4 though, because he swept the weekend.

GTS3 is on the Thunder results sheet for Sunday, and Andrew McCubbins was out in the group for the race.  So following that logic, we can safely say that he did take GTS3.  Or at least he did, until I get a correction!

Despite dealing with some issues related to it being borderline unbearably hot, George Smith brought out his Corvette in ST1 trim and held off the Ginettas for the win on Saturday.  Sunday saw on one Ginetta, and a lone yellow car.  Not George’s Corvette, but David Bradshaw’s 996 Cup car.  Frank “The Tank” Gannett got himself a redemption win, after being thwarted the day before.

ST2, aka the battle for Makes & Models supremacy, saw Brendon Stewart sweeping the weekend.  He got himself into a pretty good battle with Darren Jorgensen both days, but the old Evo couldn’t quite get around the brand new BMW.  Toby, in the Pink Ribbon Racing BRZ, was dealing with fueling issues and traffic.  Notably the Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs and Andrew McCubbins, who took a very wonky line through turn five all day.  Sunday was a bit better for him, but he still lost to Brendon.

Speaking of those FPRS Mustang BOSS 302FRSs, one got itself a win on the weekend!  And was really messing with a lot of the other drivers.  The blue #85, driven by William “Big Bill” Johnson, was not only the fastest Mustang of the day, but managed to finish 11th overall, just behind one of the GTSU competitors.  Those cars can be really competitive with the right driver and right setup.  We had another highly competitive E36 take a win on Sunday, the Us Against One Clothing M3 held off a pair of the FPRS Mustangs to collect another win for the Minion Mobile.

Both of the 911 GT3Rs were out on track for the first time in a long time.  Al Tiley, who had himself a little get together with the Makes & Models Huracan Super Trofeo last month, was back out in his GT3R!  Always good seeing Al, really nice guy.  He swept the weekend in GTSU, dominating a bunch of 911 Cup cars of various generations.  David Donner in his GT3R, a car that has challenged the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, took home both Super Unlimited wins on the weekend.  He wasn’t really challenged by Les Long, in the #496 911 (which I hear has a four liter engine, which is AWESOME), but he didn’t dominate like Al did.  

And there it is!  The round 5 weekend in 1500-ish words.  No long winded, flowery wrap up, because we have the 6 Hour Enduro coming up quick!  August 4-6 is Round 6 AND THE SIX HOUR ENDURO!!!  Registration information, the schedule, and some general information (IE garage rentals and camping, and gate fees) are up on the NASA Utah website.  And keep checking it out, because more info will be posted!  We’ll be back next month!  Buy a shirt!

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19th Jun2017

The Rest of the Round 4 Photos

by Michael Chandler

Write-up coming… Eventually?  In the meantime, here are the photos from Sunday.  Enjoy the gallery, buy stuff so I can keep coming out and covering the races (also so I can replace the pants I ripped hopping fences this last round), and stay tuned for the write-up.

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*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
16th Jun2017

Not All of the Round 4 Photos

by Michael Chandler

Here are 236 photos from last Saturday. As soon as I get out of work (shockingly, I have a day job), I’ll get through the Sunday photos, and do the write up.  In the meantime, enjoy these photos.  Also, buy some prints so I can buy better equipment to take better photos with more pants.

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*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
22nd Jul2016

NASA Utah Round 5: The Melty Way

by Michael Chandler

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It was hot.  Very hot.  So hot, in fact, that some competitors ended up being less than competitive because of it.  Andy Moench’s and Mike Bratsch’s TT3 cars were feeling the heat, as were some of the Spec Z cars.  Greg Warnock’s E92 M3 racecar succumbed to overheating issues, but he just hopped into his Cayman GT4 Clubsport and got some more laps in.  I mean, who doesn’t have a back up race car in this day and age?  Speaking of Greg’s race…

THUNDER

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That’s where we start our coverage.  Surprisingly, it was pretty drama free.  At least from where I was.  We had one GTS3 competitor, and that was Mayor McCheese himself: Blake Troester!

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Byron Smith was back!  Unfortunately for him, Darrell Troester was still there.  He finished a lap up on Byron, and claimed another GTS4 win.

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Despite going spin cycle early in the race, Gerry Shear (who gets it) got everything straightened out and took home a GTS5 win.

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NASA Utah’s own BFG, Bob Evans, took the Snickers Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup High Downforce Prototype to the top of the podium in ST1.

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J.R. Smith, proving that good things can be made better with the addition of an LSx, claimed another ST2 win.

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Benevolent Overlord Matt Guiver hopped in the Minion (or banana mobile) and out drove five of the Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs.  Five!  That’s a lot of Mustangs to beat out.

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In the Super Unlimited class, Pirate Supreme Les Long threw down some blistering laps and took home the class win.  Could he take home the overall win?

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Well, no.  Makes & Modesl had their Huracan Super Trofeo back on track, and Derek was a man on a mission.  Despite rising temperatures setting off alarms, he managed to claim the GTSU win AND the overall race group win.  Speaking of that white, German/Italian super-weapon…

TIME TRIAL

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Brendon Stewart hopped in the driver’s seat for the TT sessions and threw down a best time of 1:35.580 to take the TTU win.

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TT1 saw a few Vipers.  Definitely not a bad thing, especially given the news that FCA will be killing the big snake after 2017.  Topping the podium was one of those snakes, the one driven by David Gilliland.  He slithered around the East course of UMC in 1:41.8.44

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Shawn Murphy wasn’t there that long on Saturday.  He had a wedding to go to.  I suggested someone Facetime him in, but that one didn’t fly.  My brilliant idea didn’t fly, but Shawn did.  And in the crowded combined session to boot.   His best time in his “street car” was 1:40.988.

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As mentioned earlier, Andy and Mike’s cars were feeling the effects of the heat.  The heat didn’t seem to be a problem for James Pasquier, and his reliable as the sunrise 993 911.  He set his best time in the last session of the day!  Clearly we should all get 911’s, and be immune from heat.

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Darin Beaudoin barely escaped the day with a win in TTB.  He had Stephen Martin hot on his heels.  Stephen posted a best time of 1:47.795, which was so close to Darin’s time.  Darin, in his Honda Miata, posted a 1:47.760.

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For those keeping score at home, Porsches have claimed five wins on the day so far.  After this, they will have claimed six.  Max Dufford, in his Boxster, ran a 1:48.977 in TTC.

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Todd Green, listed in the #60 which I don’t have a picture of nor even see, took home the win in TTE.  He posted a best time of 1:47.335 in the second TT Storm session.  I don’t have a photo of that car, but I do have a photo of the mythical beast that is L’oreal! I MEAN PAUL MITCHELL!!!  Speaking of things that you could hear about later…

LIGHTNING

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Things got a little spooky, then kinda violent.  Some Spec Miata drivers got too close coming out of Release, and one spun.  Later in the race: a couple of Spec Z drivers got together, sending one into the dirt.  Aside from those events, and another Spec Z losing an engine over the course of the race which left the car stranded at pit in, the race was fairly straightforward.  Let’s start with Spec Miata, where Chris Bond returned!  He took home with win, and managed to stay clear of any sort of shenanigans.

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Otto Silva wasn’t the only 944 Spec driver this weekend!  He was still the winner, but he wasn’t alone!

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We haven’t had any open wheel races this season, which has meant that the usual drivers have been doing other things to occupy their time.  Apparently one of those “other things” for Troy Duffin is getting a hold of a Datsun 510 racer.  He brought it out this weekend, and took home the win in PTE.

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Here we see the GTS2, PTB, and Thunder Roadster winners, all at once!  Tom Rogers got himself a win in GTS2, Nathan Rohner in his RX7 (which was originally built as an autocross car) got another PTB win, and JD Stull took the win in Thunder Roadster.  This was JD’s first race, and it was great seeing him out in competition.

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We had one, lone GTS1 competitor: Steve Burns.  He and Chris Bond had a solid battle all race, which was great to watch.

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And in Spec Z, we had the #42 DXDT car, driven by David Askew, atop the podium.

PHEW!  What a day!  On to some miscellaneous stuff:

  • Todd Green usually dominates PTE, except this race.  Why?  Because he had a dead battery.  He got a push start, but ended up being two laps down.  Wouldn’t know it by the way he drove.
  • The Spec Z that lost an engine was the #46 DXDT car, driven by James Burke.  It was smoking on every downshift from what I heard from some of the other drivers
  • It was Kyle Schick who wound up in the dirt.  Can’t quite remember who hit him though, but I do have footage of the contact!
  • I ran around and slapped some CAM stickers on to some competitors cars.  If you’d like one, shoot me an email and have some space on the passenger side of your car clear.
  • For those of you who want to purchase photos: go to here

And that is that!  We’ll be back for Round 6, and the 6 Hour Enduro on August 6.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
15th Jun2016

THUNDA! NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder

by Michael Chandler

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The rain stayed away for the qualifying AND race for the Thunder group.  It was an incredible turn of luck, and something some of the drivers didn’t see coming.  We aren’t used to luck when it comes to weather!  Because of the poor weather, some of the drivers packed up and called it a day.  In my opinion, they missed out on one hell of a race.

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Darrell Troester took home yet another GTS 4 win.  He valiantly battled himself, and through sheer grit and determination he defeated himself to take home the win.

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I had to ask myself several questions during the race, but the only one that really is relevant right now is “When did they start running GTS3 cars in Thunder?”  I asked myself that, because Jeff Burton was out in his Cayman S, a GTS3 car, with the Thunder Group.  I let it go rather quickly, which was good because I watched Jeff drive a solid race, and take home the win.

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ST3 was a quartet of Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs, and Todd Ainsworth in the Us Against One M3.  Not good odds for the banana mobile, and things shook out accordingly.  A Mustang did win, and it was driven by a repeat winner, but it wasn’t Frank Gannett.  It was Dan McKeever, in the most evil looking BOSS at the school.

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Out of nowhere (maybe Colorado?  I have no idea) came a man in a small British car with a Toyota engine.  Bob Schader, said man in tiny car, managed to harass some of the ST3 field during the race.  Why would he do such a thing?  Because he was the only guy in ST2.  Thanks for coming out Bob, and for putting on a show.

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Sorry Bob, and occasionally George, but my favorite ST1 car was BACK!  Dan Worley and his glorious Porsche were out and running!  He was alone in ST1, but he was out there!  Man, I love that car.

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If I tell you that a 996 GT3 Cup car beat a 911 GT3R, you’d call me crazy.  And for good reason.  The old Cup cars are still great, but the GT3R is a different beast altogether.  That first statement would be crazy, but it happened!  Or so says My Laps!  Listed as the class winner in GTSU is Mark Brouse, driver of the above pictured 996 GT3 Cup car.  How did he do that?  He ran the full race, and the Air Power GT3R didn’t.

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SU was a four way deathmatch.  The R8 LMS Ultra driven by Kristian Boodoosingh faced off against Les Long and his 997 Pirate mobile, and a pair of E92 M3’s.  This was the Euro fan boy race of the day!  The only thing missing from the German fight was a Mercedes.  In the end Kristian in the R8 took home the win, after battling to get around Les.  Can we do that again next month?  Please?

Speaking of next month, there’s a race weekend next month!  It’s taking place on July 15th, 16th, and 17th on the East track.  Join us, won’t you?

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
27th May2016

NASA Utah Round 3 Bonus Gallery

by Michael Chandler

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LOOK OVER THERE!

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A bunch of bonus images from the last NASA Utah round!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
17th May2016

Where They Stand: Race Group Standings

by Michael Chandler

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Two rounds down, and a third quickly approaching, now is a good time to take a look at the points standings.  Today we’re going to look at the Thunder and Lightning groups, and we’re going to start in GTS2.  In the above photo, we have the class leader Chris Haunold.  He’s currently 90 points ahead of Ed Mineau, and 110 ahead the other guy in the picture: Tom Rogers.

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Consistency is key, and in GTS3 Mark Reichman has consistently finished in second place in both of the races he’s run this season.  Fortunately for him, he’s the only driver to run both races. With 180 points, he’s 80 points ahead of both Jeff Burton and Doug Turnquist.

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Nathan Rohner is still the only PTB driver.

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PTE is a very tight race, with Ben Lamberson nipping at the heels of Todd Green.  Only 35 points separate the two, but I wouldn’t count out Randy Cummings.  He’s a late comer to the class, but he had some solid finishes at the last race weekend.  He’s 205 points down, BUT if Todd and Ben have a few missteps he could be right in this thing.

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Spec Boxster is a thing, and Mark Boschert is in the lead.  He’s also the only driver in class.  But just look at that Boxster!  Sharp.

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Spec Miata is looking to be a hotly contested class.  Currently less than 100 points separates the class leader, Chris Bond, from 4th place, Craig Shane.  Call the cars whatever you want, but this class is going to be one to watch all season.  Don’t be surprised if we see the top of the class get shuffled several times.

Spec Z is the tightest race in the Lightning group, with Arthur Golebiowski a mere 10 points ahead of Tom Kaminski.  The gap from first to 5th place is 43 points!  That means everyone in the top 5 has to be on their game every race to have a chance at knocking Arthur off the top spot.

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Russ Timmons is by his lonesome in GTS5.  Someone buy a 997 911 and join him.

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Darrell Troester is barely holding off Byron Smith in GTS4.  The gap was cut from 110 to 10 last race weekend when Darrell no-showed, which let Byron claim an easy class win.  How will this shake out?  Only time will tell!

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Us Against One Racing, comprised by any number of your favorites (Todd Ainsworth, Alex Whetman, Grimace), is clinging to a 5 point lead in ST3.  5 points!!!  That’s currently the tightest race in any of the race group classes!  Figuratively glued to the banana yellow bumper of the M3 is Frank Gannett in the #93 Ford Performance Racing School BOSS 3o2RS, and James Harrell is right behind him in the #87 FPRS Mustang!  This is ridiculous, and also fun.  So let’s keep this up.

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J.R. Smith is the lone ST2 driver.  Someone buy a… something and join him.

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Bob Evans is atop the ST1 ladder in the Snickers Ford Fusion.  We gotta come up with some more sponsors for him.  I want to put at least three back slashes in when I write about his car.  Let’s figure this out, people!

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Super Unlimited is being dominated by the Air Power GT3R’s.  They currently have a 225 point lead, and four consecutive wins in class.

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And we finally arrive at GTSU, where McKay Snow (smile damnit!) is atop the field that includes a few Super Trofeo spec Lamborghini Huracans and a the other 911 GT3R.  He’s 30 points ahead of the Makes & Models Huracan ST, which may or may not last.  The Makes & Models team is figuring out that Lamborghini, and McKay may get called up for a ride this season.  He’s got the talent, and people need drivers.  Either way, prepare to watch a battle in the unlimited class of the German Touring Series.

CORRECTION: Arthur Golebiowski is currently leading the Spec Z championship, not Chad Aalders.  The article has been changed to show Arthur in the lead.

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18th Apr2016

It’s Monday, So Let’s Look at the Race Group Standings

by Michael Chandler

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But at least it’s race week!  With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the point standings look:

In Super Unlimited the leader is the #41 Porsche of Air Power Racing.  Easy to do when you’ve got a very recently campaigned 911 GT3R.

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Spec Z has DXDT racing in the lead, with Arthur Golwbiowski and Tom Kaminski hot on their heels.  Right now only 55 points separate first in class from last.

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The one, and only, Chris Bond is in first in Spec Miata.  I would keep an eye on Matt Williamson, second in class, this season.  He could very well come up and take the season title.

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Dan McKeever and one of the Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs are holding onto first place in ST2, with the Us Against One Clothing team hot on their heels.  Noticeably absent is Mike Mielke, last year’s champion.  Will we see him this season?  Only time will tell.

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ST1 is being dominated by Bob Evans, in a car that I like to say is a rejected high downforce NASCAR prototype.  Somebody needs to join Bob, preferably someone in a Chevrolet.

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Todd Green is holding off Ben Lamberson in PTE, proving that Paul Mitchell is more powerful than the Lord of the Rings.

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By the power of spinning Doritos, Nathan Rohner has locked down PTB.  Someone, anyone, I beg of you: build a Z car and face off against Nathan.  We need that classic battle to play out, for the good of humanity.

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McKay Snow is on top in GTSU, with Makes & Models and DXDT Racing in a tie for second place.  With Makes & Models fiddling around with a new car, and DXDT getting into the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series, this one could belong to the kid.

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Darrell Troester in his white 996 GT3 Cup car have a commanding lead over Byron Smith in GTS4, but don’t expect the chasm to grow.

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GTS2 has a pair of classic 911’s atop the class, but Ed Mineau has a 110 point lead in his black Porsche.

And that’s the current standings in the various classes in the Race Group.  In another post we’ll look at the TT standings, but right now digest the race group standings.  Come out this weekend, and be able to look at the battles on the West Track and say to yourself “Oh, this has championship implications”.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
16th Mar2016

NASA Utah 2016 Round 1: WE’RE BACK BABY!

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

WE ARE BACK BABY!  YEAH!  And it feels so good to be back!  It’s great seeing old friends, new faces, and the odd professional driver showing up out of nowhere.  The season opener took place on the East track on a brisk early Spring day.  The wind and clouds came and went, and the rain threatened but barely did anything on Saturday.  Speaking of barely doing anything on Saturday, there wasn’t any Open Wheel racing.  And there won’t be until next month.  Oh but that wasn’t the only change.  There were a few new chassis, and one big change in the Lightning run group…

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The Spec Z’s were absent, for they were sent up to the Thunder run group.  It was a fitting move in my eyes.  The Z’s were much faster than the Miatas that occupied a healthy chunk of the field, they have a more comparable pace to the ST3 field than they do the GTS2, 3 or PTE or B fields.  The move made the Lightning field a much tougher place to be, nobody was going to be knifing through the field.  The top 5 overall had a representative from each class, two from Spec Miata.  The GTS2 representative was Ed Mineau, taking 4th overall and getting himself a sweet gold medal in the process.

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Here we see the battle-worn 007 Spec Miata of Chris Bond, who is no stranger to the top of the podium.  He took the opening race ahead of Matt Williamson, who is in the red on white Miata that appears to be tied to Chris’s bumper.  I rag on Miatas (and S2000’s, but that’s for a different reason), but these guys battle hard every weekend.  They’re slow hairdresser’s cars, but this might be some of the tightest racing you’ll see during a race weekend.  There were nine entries in Spec Miata, and they all finished on the lead lap.  Who else finished on it?

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Mr. Todd Green in PAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLL MMMMMMMMMIIIITTTTTCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!  He took the win in PTE and also in TTE, all while driving America’s favorite Miata.  Well, maybe not America’s but we’re gonna change that!  Probably not, but we love that damn thing for reasons we don’t fully understand.

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The Overall, and PTB, winner was one of the oldest things on the track.  It was also the only thing powered by angry, spinning Doritos!  Nathan Rohner went wire to wire in his RX7.  Is there something to these rotary powered vehicles?  Will someone else dip their toes into the PTB, or any, waters with a rotary powered vehicle?  Come on!  The Lightning group is just begging for a naturally aspirated FC!

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The TT group was massive!  A total of 32 drivers were divided among 8 classes.  All those numbers equal fun for almost everyone!  One of those people who had “fun” was Brendon Stewart.  You remember him: drove an Evo that caught on fire once, put the fire out and won some races with it, drove a BRZ pretty quick one time.  Well, he got some seat time in the Makes & Models R8 LMS.  It’s an old chassis, and Brendon isn’t as comfortable in it as Derek Wolthoff is; but, he still managed to put down a 1:36.636 and take the win in TTU.  Will we see more of him in the R8?  I’m hoping so.  I’m interested to see what he’d do in a big boy car.

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Speaking of big boys, we had a little celebrity pop in!  By “celebrity” I mean someone who has turned laps in a high level professional series recently, and by “pop in” I mean he ran one session and almost out ran the TTU R8 LMS.  The who is Robert Thorne, formerly of K-Pax racing and currently rated as a Silver driver by the FIA.  He showed up in an S2000 with 315 width tires on all four corners, a crazy V mount setup, and a slightly open glove box.  Despite the glove box situation, he laid down a staggering 1:36.691 on his way to an easy victory in TT1.  Feel free to drop by any time Robert, just let me know so I can have the Supra ready for your inspection.

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Shawn Murphy pulled some power out of his former TT1 STi and made the drop to TT2.  This puts him in a class with Toby Crawford and the Pink Ribbon Racing BRZ (which jumped up from TTB) and Jennifer Wolthoff’s 911 GT3, neither of which are slow cars.  How did he do against them?  Well he ran a 1:38.925, Toby put down a 1:42.673, and Jen ran a 1:47.662.  Shawn might be on to something here…

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Andrew Moench, another TTB transplant, came out swinging in his first TT3 event.  He came through the dust cloud, and walked right to the top of the podium with a blistering 1:47.599!  Way to go Andy!

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With all of the BRZs/FRS’s out of TTB, I’m going to declare TTB the S2000 And Occasional Other class.  Laying down a time that would’ve been good for a win in TT3 was Michael Forsythe in his silver S2000.  He was sharing paddock space with Robert Thorne.  There was a third Honda with them, and I declared that he was the only one doing it right!

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Damn right a Civic coupe with a B series was doing it right!  Shawn Larson took the win in TTD with a 1:54.054.  Was his time significantly slower than his paddockmates?  Yes.  Was his margin of victory as large as the other two?  No.  Was he rocking a set of Falken Hanabis?  YOU BET!  And for the reason, he was doing it right.

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Rally E30!  Some of these shots were taken during the second TT session, which took place after someone dumped a ton of fluids at the top of the Attitudes.  This made for some sweet dust clouds, and some not so sweet off track excursions.  Tom Rogers didn’t go off track, but he did kick up some sweet dust clouds.  He took TTC with a best time of 1:50.779.

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It’s time to talk about the Thunder group, and specifically the newest additions to it: the 9 car Spec Z field. Last season it was Arthur Golebiowski holding off the rest of thefield, but now a new challenger has appeared. The DXDT Racing Spec Z, with James Burke behind the wheel, claimed the first win of the season in what’s sure to be a growing field.

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Todd Ainsworth, purveyor of the title sponsor of the Bavarian banana mobile, hopped into the US Against One Clothing BMW M3 to do battle with “Dandy” Dan McKeever in one of the Ford Performance Racing School BOSS Mustangs. Alex was good, but Dan was better and collected a gold medal.

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Darrell Troester brought out his trusty 996 chassis 911 GT3 Cup car to battle Byron Smith, and his trusty BMW 330i. Byron finished off the lead lap, and Darrell brought home the win for himself and Tatum Racing.

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Big Bob Evans in the #88 Snickers Ford Fusion clocked a best lap of 1:35.289 en route to a victory in ST1. Bob was alone in the class, and I’m hoping next month he’ll have a dance partner.  Come on, who wouldn’t want to line up against that beauty?

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The shiny and new Makes & Models Huracan Super Trofeo found itself starting the race in 3rd overall, and 2nd in class between the DXDT Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra and the UIS Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. It’s a development year for the Makes & Models crew, and the Snow’s have their signature red, white and silver 911 dialed in better than everyone else. The young Mckay Snow took the tried and true car to P2 overall, and first in class.

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We finally arrive at the Super Unlimited class, where the cars are both super and unlimited. Or something like that. This is where we saw a pair of World Challenge Touring Car prepped 370Z’s face off against George Smith’s yellow C5 Corvette, and the brand new (to them) 911 GT3R out of the Air Power Racing camp. If that super wide Porsche looks familiar, it’s for good reason: Effort Racing campaigned that car in Pirelli World Challenge last season, and won the championship with it. Things are looking promising for the new owners, as David Donner went wire to wire in P1 AND had the fastest lap of the race with a 1:32.206!  GTSU and SU are going to be very interesting to watch this year.

And there you have it. If you didn’t make it out, you missed some crazy action. Fear not, next month the drivers will be back. April 22-24 the West Track will play host to Round 2 of the 2016 NASA Utah season. If you’re remotely interested, come out!  Support your local racers!

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