Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Drives

Hope this post works when I'm done with it.  Somebody had asked if I raced.  I'm short of experience and cash, so the answer is no.  I have done a little bit of solo-car runs.  Here is an on-board video of me doing autocross at Beaver Run Motorsports (West of Pittsburgh, PA).  Thanks to the track employee who rode along to film.  (video quality is not the best, apologies)

Great Facility up at Beaverun, stop by if you are in Western Pennsylvania. Beaver Run

Some videos

First one we've got for the day is Matt Powers, of Team Need For Speed.  He runs a wildly painted Nissan 240 (the S14 variety) in United States Formula D competition.  This off season he decided that the way to success was an increase in displacement.  Instead of taking baby steps into a slightly bigger engine, he went in head first, choosing to graft in a Corvette's LS7 (7.0l). Dyno vid?  Yeah, dyno vid.

Next is another private venture.  Based off of a Ferrari Enzo chassis, this one off design, known at the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione, was commisioned by a wealthy New York businessman (note the orange license plate).  Look for it in shows and the Nurburgring 24 hour race later this year.  

Kind of a short post, so I'll leave you with some music for the day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fast(er) Cars

One of the problems with being a part of the car community is just what you DO with a fast car.  Back in the day guys would go to the drag strip, and earn their pride 1/4 mile at a time.  The modern modified scene has a heavy influence on drifting, not so much going fast, as getting there in a different way.  European supercars are track bred animals, but who has access to the Nurburgring anyways?  When talking about cars with friends and relatives a comment such at "Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg is putting out a new car, called the Agera, which could break the record of 268 miles per hour." I will typically get the response, "Where will you ever go that fast?"    Every year there are a number of events dedicated to outright speed of cars.  Bonneville Speedweek has been running land speed records since 1912, but they say racing on the salt flat is a different animal from asphalt or concrete.  This week the Texas Mile is running, where car culture comes together to celebrate top speed.  Classic roadsters, exotics, tuners, both race spec and bone stock come out to run the top end without a pesky speeding ticket for it.  They utilize a disabled airport runway and the goal is to post the highest speed possible, one mile from the start line.  Oh yeah this is the fast show. Speedhunters is at the event and will provide exceptional coverage as always.

    5th generation mustang with tape covering areas of turbulent air around the car, giving it a better aero profile.  Behind is the Time Attack series car of Ryan Gates.  Picture by Linhbergh of Speedhunters

Monday, March 28, 2011

Random Music Post

Personally I'm not a big Muse fan, most of their stuff is a bit too synth for me.  The newer stuff is growing on me though.  But there's something about this track that I really, it feels it's something different for sure.  >the guitar part starting at 1:34 is sweet.  Enjoy.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Summary 3/27

This weekend saw the season opening rounds of Formula 1, Indycar, two of the premier open-wheel series.  
-I'll start off with the Formula, who raced in Melbourne Park, Australia.  -Sebastian Vettel of team Red Bull started on pole, and drove away with the win.  He looked unbelievably comfortable running his car hard and fast.  -Lewis Hamilton of McLaren finished in second place, despite damage to his under-carriage received mid-race.  The McLaren lacked pace in pre-season testing, as the team experimented with using the car's exhaust to increase down-force levels in the rear of the car.  -The biggest surprise of the race for me was the third place finish for Vitaly Petrov, the lone Russian in the series, driving for Renault for a second season.  Petrov started out last year with a number of retirement, leading many to suspect he would lose his seat before long.  However he has been progressively improving his driving in qualifying and race situations, including a brilliantly executed start this weekend.  After this performance and the off-seson injury or Robert Kubica in a rally car, Petrov is looking like the number one driver at Renault.  -At last year's season finale in Abu Dhabi one of the most talked about dramas involved veteran Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who was held off by Petrov for a large portion of the race.  Ironically, the situation has repeated itself, with Alonso again finishing fourth, just behind the Russian.  -Vettel's partner at Red Bull Mark Weber struggled in his home race, having been out qualified on Saturday by his team mate and suffering quite a bit of tire wear in the race, landing him in 5th place.  -The second McLaren of Jensen Button finished in sixth place.  Button had a good recovery, after receiving a penalty earlier in the race for cutting the track.  -Rookie Paul di Resta scored a point in his F1 debut after the two Sauber cars were disqualified post-race for illegally sized rear wings.       -Another rookie, Sergio Perez driving for Sauber was the only driver to finish the race with only one tire change.  -Mercedes GP may have had the worst day on the track.  Veteran driver Michael Schumacher retired early due to damage stemming from a tire puncture.  Mere laps later, the younger Mercedes driver Nic Rosberg was hit on track by Ruebens Barrichello in his Williams, leading to Nico's car losing a radiator and rapidly overheating the car out of contention.  
   A Red Bull, two McLarens, and a Ferrari on the pit straight: Photo from

Indycar kicked off their season in St. Petersburg Florida this weekend.  Will Power, the road course champion from last season started on pole at the bayside street circuit.  -Scottsman Dario Franchitti took the win in what looked at times more like a demolition derby that race. -Power fought a long duel with Tony Kannan, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.  -Simona de Silvestro of Switzerland (one of the three women competing in Indycar this year) drove from 17th qualifying spot to 4th place overall, relying on consistency and keeping out of the accidents that plagued the weekend.  -Three cars were eliminated from the race by contact.  Marco Andretti was involved in a six car incident on the first la, leaving him upside down on the track.  -The accidents were not confined to the race either.  Frenchman Sebastian Bourdais, former Champ Car series Winner and current driver for Peugeot in endurance racing had a fiery crash in the morning warmup, leaving his car unable to be repaired in time for the race.  EJ Viso seemed to have an incident every track session.

1st corner contact
First Lap Incident: Photo from Indycar Flickr stream  

-GT1 began the second season of their duel-sprint race format, since taking the high-cost formula out of international endurance competition.  With Matech-Ford and Maserati leaving the series in the off season nobody is quite sure who the stand out performers will be.  Hexis-Aston Martin walked away with the most points with the Nissan GTRs of JR Motorsports coming away in second place.

  Young Driver Aston Martin passing the Marina Hotel: Photo taken from GT1's facebook page

The weekend of April 9-10 will be the next big round of race.  Indycar and Grand-Am will both competing at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, GT1 will be at the Zolder Circuit in Belgium, and Formula 1 will run in heat in Malaysia.

Edit:  Now with Pictures!  


Ok so looking through how this site works I've got a plan together.  I started up a twitter for me to use during a race, for instant updates (short posts) and am going to use this page for results, standings, and opinions (longer posts).  So if you're interested follow me @XPSMcLaren

Opening up shop

I have started this page in an effort to clean up congestion on my facebook page and try to connect with other people with my interests.  I'm a car guy at heart, whether it be stock-road going cars, american muscle, euro exotics, or the modified scene, I take an interest.  I'm also a big fan of the racing scene, Formula 1 being my preference, but anybody who takes it to the track will get my attention.  I'm sure some asides will be made for music as well (because what fun is driving without a soundtrack, right?)