Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Two Crashes and One Spin on the Same Street During Mustang Week

Rule #1: if you don't know how to control a car, at least keep the wheel straight when accelerating. Or maybe that stripe got in the way? And did you hear someone from the crowd go "It's alright, dude?" Is this how they encourage the idiot driver after he crashes into random cars on the street during Mustang Week?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

All Electric "Race Car" by Nissan NISMO

So Nissan’s in-house tuning division NISMO has built this race car:

... from this pedestrian electric car:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

If It Isn't Snell Approved - It's a F#cking Salad Bowl!

Picture taken at the 2011 SCCA Solo Nationals

The sticker reminded me this article on helmets is still a great read for anyone looking to replace their helmet in the upcoming season!

Friday, November 25, 2011

How NOT to Run an Autocross Event!! (UPDATED)

Corner workers in the middle of the course just a few feet from gates, one of them even crouching instead of standing, people walking around casually, light poles without any markings (let alone protective padding), and a 3-foot-high curb at the edge of the course mere 30 ft from a fast section. What could go wrong?

And another car is STILL running out on the course almost 20 seconds after the 'Vette's crash. Not a single red flag in sight. Too bad this 'Vette owner ended up paying a hefty price for the organizers' stupidity.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for Having You!

As a performance driving enthusiast, I often have trouble giving sound advice to people looking for help with basic transportation needs. Inevitably, my advice gravitates toward performance options like rear-wheel drive, lighter cars, shorter wheelbase, firmer suspension and wide sticky tires. I end up defending tramlining (tram-what?), blaming factory settings for understeer (which is like a push, right?), and recommending 50-lb sand bags in the trunk of RWD cars on snowy days (this is when I get the “Are you friggin’ nuts, I’m just trying to get to work safely” stare and the conversation drifts back into safe topics like weather and sports.)

Sent by One Hot Lap member EJ

Monday, November 21, 2011

My One Lap of America Wheels Sold!!

Got 2 inquiries on the day after I posted the ad. The wheels went into good hands. The lucky buyer did not know that the wheels come with a certificate of authenticity for participating in the 2005 One Lap of America, signed by both drivers (a valuable collector's item!!)
The OZ wheels on my 325i during the '05 One Lap of America.

Was wondering if anyone would take my ad seriously:

17x8 OZ Superleggera wheels. Used to be silver when new. Probably somewhere in between anthracite and black with all the brake dust baked into them now. Look fantastic if you don't wash them, especially from a distance!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grocery-Getter Gets Busted for Illegal Weight Distribution at the Autocross!!

A BMW 535xi wagon gets busted for illegal weight distribution at the autocross in this video!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nintendo Builds a Life-Size Mario Kart and Luigi Bumble V Kart

According to this Press Release form Nintendo, West Coast Customs "has re-created two vehicles from Mario Kart 7: the classic Mario Standard kart, complete with glider attachment for soaring through the air, and the Luigi Bumble V kart, which resembles a bumblebee and features a rear propeller for underwater navigation."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cooking with One Hot Lap: We Discover the Secret Ingredient to Keeping Your Wheels Clean

After an exhaustive search and experimenting with substances (most of them legal), we are glad to report that we have discovered the secret ingredient to keeping your wheels clean: PAM cooking spray ($2.86 for the 8-oz bottle at Walmart). Empirical evidence showed that if you leave your race pads on the car for 2 months and never wash the wheels, the brake dust still comes off as long as you spray the wheels with PAM before the dust gets there.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crank up the Volume for the Jeremy Clarkson Beatbox!!

I want a ring tone that goes "powerslide, powerslide, powerslide, powerslide..."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lime Rock's Christmas Special: A Grand a Day to Drive Your Own Car!!

Lime Rock Park has published the following press release (I am not making up any of this!)

Press Release (also suitable for Christmas Gift Guides)

A Unique, Unusual Holiday Gift…
How about driving your own car on a world-famous race track?

For $995, you can drive your own car at high speed - with a private instructor sitting "right seat" - on Lime Rock Park's iconic race track.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Record Breaking Run at Pikes Peak 2011

This is the first Pikes Peak run under 10 minutes, which also shattered the previous record by over 10 seconds. Watching the first few seconds from the run reminded me of those car commercials where the advertiser speeds up the footage to "convince" you the car is really fast. "Watch how the Mercedes C class would look at 160 mph if it was going FOUR times faster!!!" Except this run is for real. Totally insane driving and fantastic car control!! And those spectators are just as insane standing only a couple of feet from a car drifting at triple-digit speeds on loose surface!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Viper RT/10: A Fire Breathing Beast!

I read in the news that the 2012/2013 Viper will have a massive 8.7-liter V10 engine! This is refreshing news considering all auto manufacturers are reducing engine size like crazy these days. Even BMW is yanking its high-revving naturally-aspirated V8 out of the M3 in favor of a turbo six. The V10 in the M5 has been pared down to a twin-turbo V8. And Mercedes is replacing its 6.3-liter V8 engine with a 5.5-liter turbo 8.

The new Viper will undoubtedly be slicker, curvier, and somewhat more refined without losing its brazen character. Now that it's owned by Fiat, maybe it will even be like an Alfa 8C Competizione on steroids. But it is unlikely it will duplicate the wild feeling you get from driving the first RT/10 and GTS coupes (circa '96-'02).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Squirrel vs. Lamborghini

The squirrel's tail looks a bit shorter and sits much lower after this 100+ mph run-in with an LP670-4 SV at an Ultimate Lamborghini Experience event. I had a very similar encounter at 140 mph right in the middle of the braking zone for the Bus Stop at Watkins Glen this last September. Ironically, that was the same weekend this squirrel story broke out. Luckily, the squirrel moved out of the way just in time and never got a free haircut from me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

OneHotLap Track Review: Oregon Raceway Park (UPDATED)

East Coast and California track junkies are a fortunate few: They have a ton of good choices when it comes to race tracks. Lime Rock, VIR, Laguna Seca and Thunderhill are just a start.

The number of track choices in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington and British Columbia) on the other hand, is much more limited. For the longest time, it’s been mostly Pacific Raceways (outside of Seattle) and Portland International Raceway. Both tracks are great fun. My preference and home track is Pacific Raceways, as it provides challenging corners with elevation changes. Portland International Raceway has smoother pavement, though. (There is also Spokane County Raceway in Spokane, WA but it's too far inland and hard to get to from the coast.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Excess Speed, Squirrels and Understeer

What can happen in one and a half minutes of driving? My friend Jamie Melhuish is about to find out in his 2011 Mt Philo hillclimb below.

I love it how calm the checkpoint guy looks when the car went off right in front of him at 0:37. No need to get off the chair in a real hurry, it's only 3,200 lbs of metal coming at you really fast. And did you see the squirrel having lunch right in the middle of the road at 0:58? Jamie had to wrench the wheel to dodge that squirrel, which barely moved at the sight of the car. Maybe it's one of this story's survivors who have been trained in performance driving since birth and are totally unfazed by another race car zipping around!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Sideways Blast Through the Snow

This video of Richard Burns in his WRC championship year (2001) is a perfect display of why I love watching rally. Unrelenting pace notes and a barely visible racing line require a level of commitment and trust from a driver rarely seen in motorsports these days, maybe except for this guy: