15th Jun2016

THUNDA! NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder cover Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

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.

NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

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.

NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-5

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.

NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

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.

NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-6

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.

NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-7

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.

NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-3

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.

NASA Utah Round 4 Thunder Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-4

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.
17th May2016

Where They Stand: Race Group Standings

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 Lightning Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

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.

NASA Utah GTS3 Points Leader Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

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.

NASA Utah2016 Round 1 teasers Old Rotary Michael Chandler CAMautoMag -1

Nathan Rohner is still the only PTB driver.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-4

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.

352A5112 (Medium)

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.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 Lightning Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-2

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.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 Thunder winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

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

NASA Utah2016 Round 1 Saturday Winners Michael Chandler CAMautoMag -17

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!

NASA Utah ST3 Points Leader Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

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.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 Thunder winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-3

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

NASA Utah2016 Round 1 Saturday Winners Michael Chandler CAMautoMag -16

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!

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 Thunder winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

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

NASA Utah GTSU Points Leader Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

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.

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