Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Michael Schumacher: "Life is about passions. Thank you for sharing mine."

It's a huge relief to read today that Michael Schumacher's condition is improving. It would be devastasting for a remarkable life lived on the edge of adhesion to end like this. Keep up the fight, Michael, one more race to win!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

McLaren Vs. Bike: Revenge of the Bike

McLaren 12C Vs. BTCC Honda Civic Vs. Superbike Honda Fireblade? Makes no sense at all. But fun to watch even if it were just for the sound and well... comparing speed at the apex!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Watkins Glen’s Mystique

Every time I talk to drivers about tracks they'd like to go to, Watkins Glen inevitably comes up in the conversation. Some say it’s because it’s so fast. Or flows well. Or because it’s long. Whatever the reason, it’s undisputable that The Glen has that certain je ne sais quoi, mystique, reverence that you need needs to experience for yourself to truly understand.

Tips on driving the Glen

One of the advantages of driving a long track with many passing zones like the Glen is that you can have a large group of cars or even combined run groups on it at a time without causing any trains. You can get 4 hours of seat time per day with some clubs – enough to start running out of brakes and tires and still not be able to wipe the grin off their face.

Spring is a beautiful time of year at the Glen. The drive up there is gorgeous and the area is peaceful. There is also a lot to do nearby -- it’s a bit more spread out than Tremblant but the area offers a decent variety of food: from fast food restaurants, an authentic German restaurant, wineries, to an upscale lakeview dining experience at the Harbor Hotel. The Watkins Glen State Park is worth a trip and it starts right in the center of town. Sailing or renting a boat or a kayak on the lake is a great option too, as is visiting the Corning Museum of Glass. The popular hotels fill up fast that time of year, so make sure to book yours ahead of time.

How can the road leading to a fiercely fast racetrack be so peaceful?

Best of all, see if you can uncover Watkins Glen’s  mystique and share your experience with us. Oh, and remember to bring a spare set of brake pads. It’s fast, remember? Very fast.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Santa Is on His Way!

The good news: Santa is on his way and will get here well before midnight!
The bad news: His sports car has no space for toys...
The solution: we get to take the kids out for rides in it?!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Isle of Man TT - A Compilation of Crashes

Absolutely amazing footage from the Isle of Man race! 
1:12 - the difference between life and death in a split second!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Steel Wheels, 15x10: Possibly the Funniest Craigslist Post Ever!

Ezra Dyer of Automobile magazine and The New York Times' Wheels blog is possibly the most original, genuine, and funny automotive writer today. He has won nearly every automotive journalism trophy there is, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, when a Korean translation of his Dyre Consequences column caused Kim Jong Il to laugh so hard that he renounced Communism. His recent attempt to sell the The Finest Wheels Ever Made By Humankind on Craigslist make him the leading contender in the Steel Wheels category of the 2013 Pulitzer prize. Here's why:

Steel Wheels, 15x10, The Finest Wheels Ever Made By Humankind - $80

I have for sale four steel wheels and chrome center caps. They are 15 inches in diameter and 10 inches wide. Their circumference (15 x pi) is 47.142 inches, so you should be able to go to any tire store and say, "What'ya got in 47.142 circumference?" There are plenty of tires in that size, but these wheels were most recently fitted with a set of 31 x 10.50 SharkClaw Terrain Molesters. I can't speak to the compatibility of anything else.

This type of wheel is colloquially known as a "steelie," but you can call these stealies. Because at this price, what I'm offering you is tantamount to larceny. And not the petty kind. This is grand theft. Black steel wheels in this size usually sell for $60 to $80 each, and I'm asking $80 for all four.

Why, you ask? Well, the Buddhists have a word called "nekkhamma" that loosely translates as, "renunciation"--the forgoing of that which incites lust and therefore impedes enlightenment. I'm not into that. It just happens to be your good fortune that I need $80 to put toward the calf implant I have on layaway. Right now I've just got the left one and I walk in big circles.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Humps for the Next 1/2 Mile?!

That's a lot of humping...
Not sure if we should be excited or scared...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Porsche Carrera Cup at Nürburgring-Nordschleife

So much fun to watch! I really wish we could get the Porsche Carrera Cup series on TV Stateside. It's amazing how much these cars move around on the 'Ring's uneven pavement!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Race Accident - Who's To Blame?

Hat Tip to Brian C.

This accident happened at a Road Atlanta race school. 
Who do you think is to blame?

Correction: The accident happened at a race, not a race school.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Incredible Overtake at Bathurst Lotus Trophy

Three in a row at the esses entry at Bathurst! 
This is not something you see every day!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Official BMW M3 / M4 F80 / F82 Specs, Pictures and Videos

Love the reduced 3,300 lb weight but really wish they still offered a mechanical limited slip. The new Active M's "Control unit links up with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system and also takes into account the position of the accelerator pedal, the rotational speed of the wheels and the car’s yaw rate" It looks like the Ultimate Driving Machine does not need drivers any more...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

22 Car Pile-Up On Frozen Highway (time lapse)

We have faster, safer cars and still don't know how to drive them. How can so many "drivers" have no clue about the road conditions around them?! Wisconsin of all places... The nut behind the wheel is still the weakest link in the car.

Monday, December 9, 2013

New Kid on the Block: the BMW M235i Racing

BMW Motorsport is adding an M235i Racing to its customer racing range. At a price of 59,500 Euros plus 18% VAT (or approximately $90k), it is considered an affordable entry-level racing model. Wonder if we will ever see it Stateside.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Danica Patrick Face Beats the Manning Face!

Wait, it's legal to make fun of Danica Patrick!? Will Jay Mohr have to spend the rest of his life in a high-security prison? I think the Danica Patrick face beats the Manning face that you will see again in the playoffs...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Rolex Daytona 24 Hours - First Stint Onboard with Sean Edwards

"In honor of Sean Edwards' birthday, I wanted to post his in car video from the 2012 Daytona 24 hour start. I'm in the EBay CTF car. Jordan Taylor is in the Autohaus Camaro. Van Overbeek in the Patron Ferrari and the red Ferrari is Giancarlo Fischichella. Really fun stint. RIP Sean."

Ryan Eversley

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Most Comprehensive Write-up on Thompson Speedway

This is the most comprehensive write-up on Thompson Speedway to date. It's well worth 5 minutes of your time. I have mixed feelings about the track and some concerns about its safety features but hey -- nothing beats having a track within an hour of Boston!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Very Cool Formula 1 Video!

This is a very cool Formula 1 video with fantastic editing! There are lots of exciting images but the ones from Spa really move me on a different level!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thank You for the Entertainment, CNN!

"Having the engine in the middle of the car means it's more agile and turns more quickly than a car with the engine in the front or in the rear."

Everyone got that? Good, now you don't have to wonder any more why your front or rear-engine car turns so slow.

I'm Almost Done Building the Race Car

Hat Tip to Chris C.


Monday, December 2, 2013

First Time Ever Eye-Level Camera in a Formula 1 Car!

This is as close as any of us will ever get to driving an F1 car. 
It's amazing how low to the ground you sit and how limited the visibility is!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

R.I.P. Paul Walker and Roger Rodas

This is all that remained of the red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by World Challenge driver Roger Rodas and “Fast and the Furious” star Paul Walker. They both died this Saturday, November 30 when Rodas lost control of the car and wrapped it around a tree. The Porsche burned down (footage was captured on camera, easy to find on Google).

Some thoughts:
  1. This is very unfortunate. By all accounts, Paul Walker is one of the most likable Hollywood actors: good-looking, successful, humble, 8.3 million Likes on Facebook (picked over a million more just today).
  2. The story makes for big headlines and you are likely to see "Fast and Furious Star Dies in Fiery Crash" on the front page of every major news site.
  3. It is hard to understand how an experienced race driver like Rodas could lose control of the car like that in broad daylight on a dry road. There might have been a mechanical or some distraction around (the accident happened very close to a charity event the two friends were organizing). It's safe to say from the wreckage that they must have been going very fast for a car to get wrapped around a tree like that.
  4. The Fast & Furious sequel has already grossed Universal Studios $2.4 billion and it has become its biggest franchise of all time. A movie that started a subculture has turned into a mainstream series. A young actor who dies James Dean-style will make the series ever more popular. 
R.I.P. Paul Walker and Roger Rodas

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A V8 Mazda Miata? Hell, yeah!

Hat Tip to Jake W.

It'll fit! Oh, it will fit. It will just hurt a little...

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pastor Maldonado in the Simulator

Hat Tip to Mark D.

I swear I've seen these same shunts from Maldonado in real races!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Name That Caption (No. 81)

Hat Tip to John B.

Yanking a wiener on the side of the road?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

A V8 Sings "Waltzing Matilda"

Race car drivers can be good musicians too! Here is a V8 singing Waltzing Matilda - Australia's most popular song, its unofficial national anthem.

And here is a rendition by Slim Dusty from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, so you compare the two. I like both but will have to take the one from the V8 for my road trip collection!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The 2013 Racing Season Is Over!

Today's F1 race at Interlagos, Brazil marks 
the end of the racing season. 
Unfortunately, this is all the racing we have left 
between now and the 2014 Rolex 24 in January:

The Rolex 24 can't come soon enough. We'll be there to cover it again.

Friday, November 22, 2013

To Err on The Side of Error - Part I

As hard as we try, we don't always get it right. Yes, automotive journalists in general are fairly astute individuals. We read newspapers. We study trends. A lot of times we even scribble notes at events in order to remember things. All of this comes in handy when our job calls upon us to use this insight and cast a prediction of the auto industry. A good amount of time, we hit the nail right on the head. Other times? Well, that's what this article is for.

Predictions regarding the automobile industry have been around since the beginning of the automobile. News on new technology was, and always has been, a hot topic of automotive discussion. The ability to stay ahead of the competition is similar to a war tactic: predict the guy's next move and beat him to it. What we are going to discuss here is the ability to get things completely wrong. Astonishingly so.

The 1954 Ford Atmos used hand grips for steering
it had a radar screen, and the driver sat in the middle.

For the most part (sadly), safety is one of the things that comes from governmental regulations. While most manufacturers had innovative safety programs, it was government mandates that made items standard, such as a three point seatbelt, airbags, and traction control. Of my research in this, airbags stood out due to the consumer's stubbornness to accept them. These little balloons of safety have been responsible for saving untold numbers of lives, but there were growing pains associated with their public acceptance.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Of Turbulence in F1 Cars

Look at the turbulence comparison between the Red Bull and the Ferrari.
Is it any surprise then that the Red Bull is so much faster?
Adrian Newey's magic at work!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quick Takes on the 2013 United States Grand Prix

Most interesting part of the 2013 US Grand Prix?
The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders of course!

There were 135k spectators total over the 3-day weekend. The Circuit of the Americas' total capacity is 120k and most of the grandstands looked far from sold out. The customary fan celebration on the front straight after the race looked very tame compared to Montreal and especially Monza.

Loved watching Jay Leno in the McLaren P1 around the track. He was not especially fast but he makes up for it by being funny as always. That was a thinly veiled ad by the way -- admit it, Jay, even you could not turn down an offer to drive a P1 around COTA! Is it a coincidence that the Forza 5 ads looked like a McLaren infomercial as well? I think not - that's McLaren's PR machine hard at work. In a season where they've had one of their worst showings in their storied history, they'll need all the PR they can get!

Leigh Diffey in the Vettel interview: "How do you stay so humble and grounded?" What a joke, Leigh -- you cannot possibly be forgetting that Vettel is a selfish whiner who's been a total ass on a few occasions even to teammate Mark Webber. You should be ashamed of yourself for asking a question like that just to kiss up to him.

Loved Sam Posey's narration - Vettel is like Senna and Schumacher who "... all believe that destiny called for them and them alone to win!" That's more like it, Diffey.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Great Article on Mario Andretti!!

I really enjoyed this WSJ article on Mario Andretti. It gives us a great insight into his personality and background. It's so easy to forget that he was the last American to win a Formula 1 race... Wonder if a talent like him could ever make it all the way to the top like that today...

As a teenager, he was working in a gas station when he and his brother hatched the idea to build a race car from a Hudson Hornet. They borrowed $500 from the bank and got fake IDs. (They were 19 at their first race; the legal age for racing was 21.)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Name That Caption (No. 79)

Let's see if these Camaro drivers can mud wrestle their way out of trouble.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

evo Car of the Year 2013: Part 1

Hat Tip to Dave S.

This video is really well put together by sports car enthusiasts
who actually know how to drive and call it like it is!

2013 Car of the Year finalists: 
 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
Audi R8 V10 Plus
Mercedes SLS Black Series
Porsche 911 GT3
Alfa Romeo 4C
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Porsche Cayman S

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Name That Caption (No. 78)

I can't help it, I like breakdancing so much, 
sometimes I spontaneously start doing it in the middle of a race.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bump Drafting: Good for 3 Seconds a Lap in a Stock Miata!

Hat Tip to Logal L.

How do you find 3 seconds a lap in a stock Miata? Well, simple enough: find another Miata driver willing to bump draft you the entire lap! Who needs horsepower when you have bump draft Miata buddies!

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Biggest Fear!

I think most of us can identify with this!
There will be some real bargains to be had after we're gone!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hey James Allen, How About a Real Explanation?

So everyone is wondering how Vettel's race pace can be so much faster than anyone else's in Formula 1, including teammate Mark Webber driving an identical car. Even James Allen is trying to grab some attention on his site with a headline like Analysis: How Does Sebastian Vettel Find the Speed?

Vettel has found a way in terms of balancing and driving his car, to extract close to the maximum consistently in qualifying, but then to push hard on heavy fuel at the start at the same time as maintaining the life of the tyres over a longer period. It’s about not sliding the tyres too much, being precise with the steering in those sub 130km/h corners, being precise with the throttle on corner exit to avoid wheelspin which also overheats the tyres.

So this is it then, just being precise with the steering and preserving the tires?! I bet every driver (well, except for Hamilton perhaps) takes good care of their tires. Why is a super smooth driver like Jenson Button not the fastest then? An entire article devoted to how Vettel does it and this is the only meaningful "insight"? I really expected more from James Allen. Much more: Does Vettel lean on the fronts? Does he compress the braking zone? Does he get on the throttle early but more gradually? Just throwing a time chart like that doesn't explain how he does it and an F1 insider like James Allen should know that very well.

11/8/2013 UPDATE
Peter Windsor breaks it down further for us. In the end, so much of it is about what we always tell first-time autocrossers: "Look Ahead!"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Name That Caption (No. 77)

Whatever it takes to find the fastest line through the turn!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lamborghini Turns 50 Coverage on 60 Minutes

Lamborghini Turns 50 was a fantastic segment on this weekend's 60 Minutes. Very educational and fun to watch -- it's well worth 12 minutes of your time if you have not seen it yet. Now, if host Scott Pelley's pink shirt could only make up for his utter lack of driving skills... Even Lamborghini test driver and instructor Mario Fasanetto had trouble keeping up a straight face!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Tips for Achieving Optimal Weight Distribution

Q: What's the best way to even out the weight 
from front to rear in a front-heavy car?
A: Putting in the biggest-ass exhaust silencer known to man!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Video and Top 20 Times from BMW CCA Boston Event 8

FTD run by Hank Wallace in the '95 E36 M3

Top 20 drivers out of 100 at the event

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A 1:15 NHMS Lap with Telemetry in an E36 M3

BMW E36 M3
3,000 lb race weight
BFG R1 225/40/17 tires
Driven by Nick DeRosa

Monday, October 28, 2013

Joke of The Year!

If you had sex 365 times, in 12 months, 
and then melted down the rubbers to make a tire...
What would you have??


Works the other way round too:

Hat Tip to Frank S.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Coexisting in The Fast Lane

Hat Tip to Ted T.

We would coexist so much better if you stayed in the slow lane, thank you!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Are Minivans Embarrassing?!

These are the top Google search items taking users to OneHotLap today. Yes, minivans can be very embarrassing and confusing but every once in a while, you can find one that will really embarrass your sports car.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Autocross Video from BMW CCA Boston 2013 Event 7

I love this camera angle for studying how the steering inputs impact the car. The Z4 M Coupe is a handul to drive on street tires but so much fun! It looks like the car spends a lot of time at aggressive slip angles but the fast steering allows you to correct it easily and keep it close to the cones at the limit. It's also very easy to throttle steer it. This run was good for a Top 10 overall out of 96 cars at the event with the top 4 times going to cars on r-comps.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Most Confusing BMW Vehicle

Hat Tip to Brian S.

A debadged BMW dealer-owned Honda minivan turned BMW, turned M car, turned Ring Taxi? I need to sit down for a minute and scratch my head some more...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2013 Award for Best Camo in a Rally Car!

Hat Tip to Jamie M.

Yes, it's in there. You have to look closely.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ross Bentley's Instructor Series: #10 - The Mistake Of Avoiding Mistakes

I am thrilled to share that world famous performance coach, race car driver, author, and speaker Ross Bentley has put together a series of instructor-focused articles exclusively for OneHotLap. Here is today's eye-opening Part X in the series --

#10 - The Mistake Of Avoiding Mistakes

Have you noticed that the more you try to avoid making a mistake, the more likely it is that you’ll make it?

The last I looked, making a mistake on a race track could be costly. That's why we want to avoid them, right? We don't want to damage our cars, ourselves, and our bank accounts. So we do all we can to avoid making them. As an instructor, one of your main objectives is to keep your students safe, and that means reducing or eliminating mistakes from behind the wheel.

And that's a shame. Why? Because mistakes are such a great learning experience. They should be, at least. But when we make a big deal about not making mistakes, we not only restrict the opportunity to learn from them, we often make things less safe. Huh?

Monday, October 21, 2013

COTA Orientation Program Run by a Dream Team of Instructors

Learn how to drive COTA from a dream team of instructors - now that would be a great birthday present! Let's hope they will do more of these sessions in the future. Here's the full press release and contact info:

SVRA’s CoTA Track Orientation Program Brings In Big Knowledge To Help Competitors Get Up To Speed, FAST!

Five of the best professional racing instructors in the country to present CoTA course familiarization program, as part of SVRA’s commitment to driver safety and enjoyment.

With over five-hundred historic racing entries confirmed at Circuit of The Americas, SVRA will host a “supercharged” version of their well-received Track Orientation Program Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013. The program consists of briefings and on-track sessions.

SVRA Chief Instructor Peter Krause will lead an all-star team including “Speed Secrets” author and coach Ross Bentley, renowned racing coach Peter Argetsinger, Grand-Am race winner and coach Tom Long and Grand-Am racer and coach Jason Hart. All possess intimate knowledge of this challenging racetrack and will present comprehensive, course-specific training for over seventy-five SVRA entrants.

“The fact that few competitors have had the opportunity to drive this incredible track, coupled with the particularly challenging nature of this course, has made this SVRA offering very attractive to competitors,” said Krause. “Tony Parella, the owner of SVRA, wants us to make sure we deliver the best possible program. With the knowledge, experience and communications expertise present in this team, we know this program will be of great value to SVRA racers.”
·         Peter Krause, SVRA Chief Instructor since 1994. Professional Racing Coach and Performance Analyst
·         Ross Bentley, Author of Speed Secrets, Professional Racing Coach
·         Peter Argetsinger, Professional Racing Coach and Instructor
·         Tom Long, Professional Sports Car Racing Driver/Coach
·        Jason Hart, Professional Sports Car Racing Driver/Coach

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Things to Avoid at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Hat Tip to Val M.

Things to avoid at New Hampshire Motor Speedway: hitting the very rough curbing, which has huge holes at some key turns: going up the hill at the trackout after Turn 3, at the inside of Turn 8, and at the trackout after turn 11b. Here's a map of the track to help you identify these problem areas:

Areas with holes in the curbing highligted in red

The rim above was bent by a very unfortunate car which tracked a bit wide and hit the hole coming out of Turn 11b. Both the front and rear passenenger side rims and tires were severely damaged - a small but very costly mistake!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Freaked out Is OK But Why Hide It?!

Hat Tip to Krystian M via Autoblog

What could be safer than rally legend Walter Röhrl driving a street car on a closed course, right? German TV host Barbara Schöneberger got totally freaked out and the best part is, tried to HIDE it! Yes, hold on tight to ... the seat belt and turn the other way so the driver won't be able to figure it all out! Mwahahahaaaa!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Story of the Michelin Man

Hat Tip to Adam B.

Here's a fun read about the story of the Michelin Man from a site that understands logo designs all too well. Now, if Michelin could only come up with a street tire that Rivals the Dunlop Star Spec...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

In Memory of Sean Edwards

Porsche Motorsport driver Sean Edwards died in the passenger seat at a private training session at Queensland Raceway near Brisbane, Australia today after his 20-year-old student crashed into a tire wall and the car caught fire. So strange that Sean Edwards was one of the drivers who helped pull Niki Lauda from his burning car in Ron Howard's movie Rush... This video is a great way to remember him for what he did best - driving in the rain!

Best Ad for a Nurburgring Race Car Rental?!

Hat Tip to Hristo S. via Carbuzz.com

Is there a better ad for RentRaceCar.de than a man jumping out of one of its GT3s at the 'Ring and puking his guts out? Brilliant!