Sunday, June 30, 2013

How to Avoid Cracking Your Car's Rotors

Hat Tip to Jeff B.

Most driving clubs have gotten better about providing advice to students but it still baffles me how many people, especially those new to the sport don't follow basic rules on preserving their brakes. Here are a few rules to live by that will help you reduce the possibility of cracking your car's rotors:
  1. Try to stay off the brakes on the cooldown lap. There may be some turns on the track where you'd still have to tap the brakes to slow down but in general, try to use them sparingly.
  2. The cooldown lap alone is usually not enough, especially if you are a fast driver. Take another 2-3 minites of driving around and staying off the brakes after you get off the track and before you park the car. Find out from your instructor if (s)he has time to go over the session with you and tell them you want to drive around for a bit to throw more air to the brakes or drop them off qiuckly if they have to go and then drive around.
  3. Be very careful with water and avoid puddles at all cost while the brakes are still hot. The sudden difference in temperature will easily weaken the rotors and may warp them or even cause cracks to appear or extend, especially if hairline cracks already exist.
  4. When you park the car at your spot, leave the car in gear and do NOT pull up the e-brake. Even if you cooled down the brakes some, they are still hot and using the e-brake will leave pad marks on the rear rotors.
These basic rules will help you have more fun, save you money, and keep you safe.

Ross Bentley's Speed Secrets Weekly is Worth a Look

In this video, Ross Bentley talks about Speed Secrets Weekly, the inbox magazine that features articles from fantastic contributors such as David Brabham, Johannes van Overbeek, Guy Cosmo & Colin Braun. We like it!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Jeremy Clarkson as a Top Gear Host in 1991

Jeremy Clarkson as a Top Gear Host in 1991 - 
Proof positive that more hair is not always better!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Name That Caption (No. 67)

The car would be faster if you take the wheels off,
cut a hole in the floor, and pedal it like Fred Flinstone.

A Really Cool Pagani Zonda R Feature!

As if this car needed any advertising...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Onboard Video from BMW CCA Boston's HPDE at Watkins Glen

I can never get enough of Watkins Glen - what a fun track!

Excellent Discussion on the Tradeoffs Between BRZ and E36 M3

Excellent points all around but the appeal of driving a new car with all its reliability was probably underestimated in the discussion.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

We've Found The Flagger with the Most Perfect Hair!

You have to respect a flagger who gets up extra early in the morning to straighten out her hair before the race starts! This picture gets our vote for The Flagger with the Most Perfect Hair contest!

How Do You Know You Drive a Subie?

And does the radiator double up as a grill?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

One Very Fast Pikes Peak Shakedown

Jeff Zwart Shakes down his 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup prior to this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Curves Ahead = Smiles


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Dog Thought That Ride Was Quite Ruff...

Easier Said Than Done - A Rally Documentary - Official Trailer

Hat Tip to Kamal R.

Easier Said Than Done is a full length documentary about rallying. It features drivers and stories from around the world, with a North American outlook. It was filmed in 8 countries across 18 months and captures some great stories. It's well worth two minutes of your time.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Yes, An Epic Fail Indeed!

How did he know he'd need that license plate?!

Koalafied to Race!

And probably more qualified than some HPDE students I've seen...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Limitations of Formula One's Deep Pockets

With the 2013 season well underway and an established pattern of either winning or losing clear amongst the competitors, one thing that again becomes clear to the racing fan (or at least should) is that there are limitations to what dollars can do to secure a championship. This is not new and remains the truth in spite of the fact that Formula One teams have operating budgets that dwarf the yearly budgets of many of the world’s governments.

A look at two teams in recent history shows this. In 2008 the budget of what was the Toyota F1 team was in the order of 445.6 million dollars. That is more than the famed McLaren team’s budget by 12 million. The significance of this becomes real in that despite throwing what seemed like an unlimited amount of resources at this so desired championship. And with all that money they had not even won a race! McLaren on the other hand had been and is known for winning races, and historically if you threw your money at them, they could have a better than fighting chance at winning. The engineering prowess that those dollars could afford was huge. But that money couldn’t get it done at Toyota. The sub-par driver lineup that was, at least in the case of Ralf Schumacher, who although grossly overpaid was not even to blame though. But this fact is rather symptomatic of a problem with thinking more than anything else. So it seems almost paradoxical  in motorsports where generally speaking throwing money at your team and car is considered the way to do it. Quite jaded for sure.

The Rolex Race at Mid-Ohio in Six Minutes

Great highlights from the Rolex Race at Mid-Ohio!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Top 20 Times and Onboard Videos from 2013 BMW CCA Autocross Event 3

My best morning run of 69.5 (BMW Z4 M Coupe on Dunlop Direzza ZII)

FTD of 66.2 - Mark Dudek in a Porsche 997 GT3 RS on Dunlop Sport Maxx

Top 20 cars out of 106 at the event

24 Hours of the Nürburgring

This video really captures the spirit of the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring. 
Great footage and some incredible sounds!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Yep, Duct Tape Can Fix Anything

We weren't even thinking THAT far when we said duct tape was one of the Top 10 Things to Bring to the Track. We may have to move it up a few spots from No. 5 after seeing this.

A Minivan That Will Embarrass Your Sports Car


532 HP, 460 lb/ft torque, racing suspension, aggressive rubber, big brakes, and the biggest roll cage you're likely to ever see - no, that's not a Porsche 911 GT3. It's Honda's factory-backed effort at this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with IndyCar racer Simon Pagenaud behind the wheel. This is the same minivan that has made a splash at recent One Lap of America events.

If Honda offers this Odyssey in its showrooms, I want one. Take all the race stickers off and it will make the perfect sleeper. Keep the 3 rows of seats and make mine with tinted windows, please.

Adrian Sutil Dance

Hat Tip to Gary R.

Lucky or good - you be the judge.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My Dream Commute!

Hat Tip to Chris D.

Now that's how you drive on your way to work every day!

First Drive: New Porsche 991 GT3

The lack of manual is a deal-breaker for me but aside from that, WOW!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Formula 1, Mario Kart Style!

Formula 1 driver Adrin Sutil borrows one from Mario Kart's Rule Book!

Isle of Man TT Explained

Hat Tip to Gary R.

This is exceptional coverage of the Isle of Man race.
Love it how close they get us to the drivers!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

How Much Is a Reasonably Priced Track-Worthy Car in the U.K.?

I was curious to find out out what used cars go for on England. Say, Red Sox owner John Henry goes to check on his Liverpool team for a few weeks and decides to get something track-worthy that won't require him to trade Dustin Pedroia in order to afford it. I found this very cool Exchange and Mart's used cars in Liverpool website, which is the U.K. equivalent of AutoTrader, except much better.

What I really like about it is that it will give you the number of cars available for each option selected. For example, there are 1,864 automatics and 7,825 manuals but when you select the Coupe body style, it reduces these numbers to 181 automatics and 229 manuals. It's a very cool user interface that makes finding the right car much easier and gives you some insigt into the uniqueness of options you've selected. Looking at the numbers, it's really interesting to see that the manual transmission is far from dead in the U.K. and that stick shifts still outnumber automatics by a better than 4:1 ratio. By the way, MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) is what the Brits call minivans. It sounds much better -- how did we not think of that Stateside?

Blast from the Past: The 2007 Canadian Grand Prix

It's hard to believe it's been 6 years since my first Canadian Grand Prix. It put a smile on my face to think about the fantastic race weekend I had in Montreal that year. Montreal 2007 marked the first F1 race that Lewis Hamilton won. He usually does well in Montreal, let's see if he'll be able to pull off another win today.

The 2007 F1 Canadian Grand Prix

I was lucky to have bought tickets to the Canadian Grand Prix a few months ahead of the race. The event was completely sold out and ticket scalpers were charging more than double the original price for general admission. The major reason? Sensational English rookie Lewis Hamilton had gathered enormous media attention with his pole position and was widely expected to win his first F1 race.

Getting to and from the track was very easy considering the size of the event. The Montreal metro is fast, clean, and safe. Ironically, my son Jason liked the subway so much that he thought it would be cool to have lunch at the Subway restaurant located at one of the main stations. It might have had something to do with the checkered flags all around the restaurant but then again, these could be seen all around the city. We drove 5 hours from Boston to the culinary capital of Canada to go eat at Subway?

The Atmosphere
Some sections of downtown Montreal were closed to traffic and packed with people throughout the weekend. The party’s epicenter was right in front of Jacques Villeneuve’s Newtown restaurant on Crescent Street, which was also closed off to traffic with event sponsor booths on both sides of the entire street. You get free chilled Baileys shots from one vendor and then you can sit in an open cockpit car and try out a Canadian Grand Prix simulation game at Honda’s booth right next to it. I had trouble keeping my F1 car on the track – it was just too easy to spin it at lower speed, although the fact that the wait for Baileys was considerably shorter than the wait for the simulation game might have had something to do with it. The packed streets and bar balconies gave Crescent Street almost a Mardi Gras feel. The sight of women of all ages dressed for a great night out and proud to showcase their (not necessarily race) equipment added flare to the party. By the time we left in the evening, the street looked almost as packed as I remember Bourbon Street on Mardi Gras night. See the picture of the 3 girls? This is how you get hooked on Red Bull.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

Coolest Trans Am Video You'll See Anywhere

It gave me chills to hear Paul Newman singing a few verses 
from his iconic film "Cool Hand Luke". So cool!!

E30 M3 4x4 700+BHP? Yes, It Does Exist!

What an entertaining race!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The DTM Series Defines Close Racing!

One very cool lap onboard Gary Paffett's DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

James Hunt Vs. Niki Lauda - Historic Clash Of The Titans

This is the first episode in the BBC TV series of Clash Of The Titans. This fantastic documentary recounts the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship and the clash between James Hunt and Niki Lauda for the title.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pictures and Top 20 Times from BMW CCA Boston Autocross Event 2

Pictures by Chang Ho Kim

The proper way to flog a friend's car!

 The setup crew hard at work

Remarkable day for cars on street tires taking 1st and 3rd place!

One of the Best Formula 1 Videos You'll See Anywhere

Oversteer, understeer, aerodynamics, engines, this video has it all! I found it incredibly educational and simple to understand.