28th Apr2016

The Race For The Auld Mug: NASA Utah Round 2 Thunder Results

by Michael Chandler

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

It’s just not a NASA Utah season without at least one rainy day.  Conveniently,  Mother Nature decided to bring the rain for round two, and so the annual NASA Utah Regatta was under way.  If you’ve been a loyal reader this week, or if you’re not blind, you’ll have come to the conclusion that this is the Thunder Group write up.  These guys, in their high horsepower and high downforce cars, got lucky and qualified in the dry!  But the photo above is from lap one of the race on Saturday, which is clearly not dry.  A some of the field packed it in when the rain began falling at lunch time, which led to a total of ten entrants in the race.  Let’s talk about those brave sailors, and how they finished.

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

Byron Smith was the lone GTS4 entrant, and completed 11 laps in the rain.  He had a best lap of 2:00.717, and took home a gold medal for his troubles.

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

Russ Timmons made an appearance in his orange and chrome 997.  Always enjoy seeing that car on track.  Russ was alone in GTS5, so he could have completed less than the 7 he did and still would have taken home a medal.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 Thunder winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-6

We had a couple of rookies in ST3!  Both Frank Gannett and James Harrell were both out in Boss 302RS’s from the Ford Performance Racing School.  Frank, in the black #93 Mustang, didn’t do anything meme worthy on Saturday and took home the win.

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

ST2 was another solitary car field, and that man was J.R. Smith.  He, and the nobles steed that is the E36 M3, ran 11 laps en-route to a class win.

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

So, I only heard that Air Power Racing had both of the former Effort Racing 911 GT3Rs, but I needed confirmation before saying something like “holy f&#king ass crackers!  Air Power has both of the Effort cars!”.  On Saturday I got that confirmation, because both cars were out for qualifying.  David Donner went out in the #41 car as the lone Super Unlimited entrant, finished on the lead lap, and ran a 1:43.699!  In the rain!  In one of the widest 911s I’ve ever seen!

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 Thunder winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-4

As mentioned earlier, wonder kid Madison Snow was out in the UIS Huracan.  And since he has significantly more experience in said platform he dominated the GTSU field.  He took the win by 18.603 seconds, and his fastest lap was near-as-makes-no-difference a full second faster than Derek Wolthoff’s in the second place Makes & Models Huracan.

The GTSU and SU competitors were ridiculously fast for being in the rain.  The Thunder group races are going to be bleeding speed from every pore this season, and we can’t wait to see what happens when these guys are let loose on the Outer Loop of Full Track!

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