Thursday, February 26, 2015

This Radical Turns on A Dime!



This is the new RXC Spyder featuring a 3.0-litre 440bhp variant of Radical's V8 engine, coupled to a seven-speed paddleshift transmission. It's an incredibly fast car and just amazing to see how fast it can change direction at high speed!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Canada, Eh?

I took this video on Rt. 35, just North of the U.S. - Canada border on my way to Montreal earlier this week. Sun at its peak for the day, still -2 F, strong winds, -24 F realfeel with the windchill, and a massive snowdrift on the road. You have to stay very alert driving in these conditions!



On a side note, once you see the weather firsthand, this video starts making a lot more sense:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sunday, February 15, 2015

When You See A Cop...

Hat Tip to Mark V.

"This never happened to me", said no one ever.
Looks just like my M Coupe's brakes at the end of a track session.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Top Gear to The Rescue!



This is probably the last crew I'd want to see at my door if I were having a heart attack and needed to get to the hospital ASAP!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Head 2 Head - GTR Vs. Z06



It's very cool to see telemetry for the GTR and Z06 side by side. The Z06 corners a bit better going into a turn and mid-corner but the GTR has much higher exit speed as it can put the power down earlier. You can tell that it mostly maintains its speed advantage on the straightaways - good enough to pull off a faster lap than the Z06!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Oldie But Goldie - Hot Rod Lincoln by Commander Cody



Great driving song and the lyrics are hilarious! They are worth re-posting below. 

NOTE: Be careful where you get your lyrics from. The song's lyrics posted Here were apparently copied by someone who was absolutely clueless about cars. I found at least 7 hilarious mistakes that gave it out, how many did you find?

HOT ROD LINCOLN

BY COMMANDER CODY AND THE LOST PLANET AIRMEN

My pappy said, "Son, you're gonna' drive me to drinkin'
If you don't stop drivin' that Hot Rod Lincoln."

Have you heard this story of the Hot Rod Race
When Fords and Lincolns was settin' the pace.
That story is true, I'm here to say
I was drivin' that Model A.

It's got a Lincoln motor and it's really souped up.
That Model A Vitimix makes it look like a pup.
It's got eight cylinders; uses them all.
It's got overdrive, just won't stall.

With a 4-barrel carb and a dual exhaust,
With 4.11 gears you can really get lost.
It's got safety tubes, but I ain't scared.
The brakes are good, tires fair.

Pulled out of San Pedro late one night
The moon and the stars was shinin' bright.
We was drivin' up Grapevine Hill
Passing cars like they was standing still.

All of a sudden in a wink of an eye
A Cadillac sedan passed us by.
I said, "Boys, that's a mark for me!"
By then the taillight was all you could see.

Now the fellas was ribbin' me for bein' behind,
So I thought I'd make the Lincoln unwind.
Took my foot off the gas and man alive,

I shoved it on down into overdrive.

Wound it up to a hundred-and-ten
My speedometer said that I hit top end.
My foot was blue, like lead to the floor.
That's all there is and there ain't no more.

Now the boys all thought I'd lost my sense
And telephone poles looked like a picket fence.
They said, "Slow down! I see spots!
The lines on the road just look like dots."

Took a corner; sideswiped a truck,
Crossed my fingers just for luck.
My fenders was clickin' the guardrail posts.
The guy beside me was white as a ghost.

Smoke was comin' from out of the back
When I started to gain on that Cadillac.
Knew I could catch him, I thought I could pass.
Don't you know by then we'd be low on gas?

We had flames comin' from out of the side.
Feel the tension. Man! What a ride!
I said, "Look out, boys, I've got a license to fly!"
And that Caddy pulled over and let us by.

Now all of a sudden she started to knockin',
And down in the dips she started to rockin'.
I looked in my mirror; a red light was blinkin'
The cops was after my Hot Rod Lincoln!

They arrested me and they put me in jail.
And called my pappy to throw my bail.
And he said, "Son, you're gonna' drive me to drinkin'
If you don't stop drivin' that Hot... Rod... Lincoln!"

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Video of The New Porsche Cayman GT4 on Track!



The Porsche Cayman GT4 is the most exciting sports cars introduced in the past few years. Watching it on track is inspiring and the technical specs below are mouth-watering: Porsche added more of everything and took some weight out! It's amazing to think that the latest 911 GT3 does not come with a manual any more but the Cayman GT4 does. This alone makes it the purest modern Porsche you can buy in my book!

Engine
Engine layout Mid-engine
Number of cylinders 6
Displacement 3.8 l
Horsepower 385 hp
@ rpm 7400 rpm
Torque 309 lb.-ft.
Compression ratio 12.5 : 1
Performance Manual
Top Track Speed 183 mph
0 - 60 mph 4.2 secs

Transmission

Manual Gearbox 6-speed manual with dual-mass flywheel and self-adjusting clutch

Body
Length 174.7 in.
Width (without mirrors) 71.5 in.
Height 49.9 in.
Wheelbase 97.8 in.
Drag coefficient (Cd) 0.32
Curb Weight 2,955 lbs
Permissible gross weight 3,616 lbs
Luggage compartment volume front/rear 5.3/9.7 cu. ft.
Fuel tank 14.26 gal.

Price
MSRP $ 84,600.00

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Legend of The Upside-Down Flagger

Have you heard the one about the Sebring 12 Hour Corner Marshal who tried to retrieve equipment
which fell into a tire stack and ended up inverted... and well, truly 'stuck'? Quick action on the part of his co-worker (enabling him to breathe by holding his legs upright) until a rescue team arrived, made this merely an embarrassing but amusing incident. It occurred just past the halfway point and resulted in the longest safety car period (7 laps) of the 2006 Sebring 12 race.

Turn 10: Control, 10, yellow
Control: Go 10
10: We have a worker in the tire wall
Control: Tell him to get back behind the wall
10: We can't - he's stuck upside down in the tire wall.
Control: Full Course Yellow

Here's the back story --

The same core group of flaggers work Turn 10 at Sebring's 12 Hour race each year. They are a colorful bunch, mostly from the Northeast area, and have worked together for years. They have a bit of a reputation for shenanigans, and even the racers are somewhat aware of this rep. Back in 2006, the Turn 10 crew is in action during the race. Being a 12 hour race, they have several shifts of flaggers that get switched out every hour or two. So one of the flaggers, we'll call him "TF", is making his way back to his station, and is attempting to crawl or walk over some tire wall. His scanner, typically clipped on a flagger's belt, falls off and down inside one of the tire bundles. "TF" attempts to reach down into the tire bundle and quickly grab the scanner. However, his grip on the tire bundle slips, and he ends up falling head first into the tire bundle. Ever try to get out of a stack of tires when you're wedged head first beyond your shoulders? Your arms are locked to your sides and you ain't going anywhere. Well, this is where "TF" found himself. The race group was under a local yellow, and there was a natural gap where it was safe to quickly swap out a worker.

Courtesy of motorsport.com
Well, one of TF's fellow flaggers goes out and tries to help TF out, but he's stuck good and he can't get TF out. Eventually they have to call it in before racing gets going back to full boil. Control hears the call of a worker is stuck in the tire bundle, but they can't correctly interpret the issue initially. Eventually Control gets the idea of what's going on, and the decision is they need to send the safety crew to the scene. This caused a FCY while the Safety Crew now responded and attempted to get TF out. Imagine the broadcast crew trying to explain this one. They may have actually mentioned the reason on TV.

Of course, the crowd that hangs out at Turn 10 is famously rowdy and apparently a legend among the Sebring 12 Hour fans in and of themselves. Even the Safety Crew guys are getting a good chuckle out of the incident. One of them developed a new hand signal that flaggers in the Northeast joke about: take your index and middle fingers and make a peace sign. Take your other hand and wrap your fingers around the fingers not part of the peace sign on your other hand, like a stack of tires. Now wiggle your peace sign fingers = legs wiggling in the air in a stack of tires.

Apparently there's a side story in this Sebring race. Driver Gunnar Jeanette decided to play to the rowdy Turn 10 fans during the parade laps earlier in the day for driver introductions and decided to moon the Turn 10 fans. The IMSA sanctioning body was none too pleased with his shenanigans, and according to one of the flaggers telling the TF story, Gunnar was fined $10K. That by itself would have been the big story to remember for the race... if it weren't for the Legend of The Upside-Down Flagger...

TF did not handle this incident well. Later in the season, someone decided to make a cake for his birthday and present it to him at Lime Rock. The cake featured... a figure upside down in a small tire bundle. Well, the flaggers in attendance thought it was a hoot, but apparently TF saw it and turned right around and left, and his wife, a fellow flagger, also was steamed and left in a huff. Supposedly they didn't return to work an event for 2 full years! And that's a shame because people who have worked with TF and his wife say they are both excellent flaggers.

There's a bit more to the story (isn't there always?).

According to the 'official' report, the trapped marshal stated that he went 'tire diving' because he had dropped his radio scanner into the stack.

As related in a follow-up briefing on the incident by the marshal-colleague who first responded on scene however, the following was reported:

1. TF dropped his IMSA pen (a 29-cent item) into the stack.

2. When initially bending down to retrieve the pen, his credential (SCCA hard card) broke free from its tether and also fell in (raising the stakes significantly!).

3. Now truly motivated, the marshal more aggressively wiggled himself further in, in the forlorn attempt to reach the ground inside the stack where the pen AND credential now rested, ultimately tipping himself in, and upside down with one arm extended into the stack trying to grasp the lost items, and his other pinned tightly at his side and behind him. (all this while the top competitors negotiated the turn at ~130 mph).

4. The first responder-marshal was about 100 yds away on the same side of the course when the incident first developed, and looking up track, away from his mate. He was finally signaled by the cross-track corner captain ('Observer' to those elsewhere), and his attention drawn to the plight of the 'stuck marshal' - it was later estimated at about 2 minutes between the incident time and when the would-be rescuer reached the scene.

5. Upon his arrival, the rescuer reported that he heard 'intense but muffled mumbling' from within the tire wall (apparently loud enough to be heard OVER race engine noise!), and found the precise location due the violent 'peddling' of the 'trapee's' legs in the air.

How many rescue workers does it take to extract one upside down flagger from a tire?

6. It was immediately realized that the victim's stomach had effectively sealed him into the tire stack, and he was therefore deprived of oxygen. One can imagine it was rather dark in there too, not to mention thoughts of the sorts of creepy stuff which might dwell inside.

7. Picture this: According to the account, the rescuer climbed on top of the tire stack and placed the victims ankles on his shoulders, and pulled on the victims belt in an initial vain attempt to extract him, but he succeed only in slipping off the victims trousers (another point in favor of coveralls?).

8. At this point, the rescuing marshal realized that he was not equal to the task of effecting a rescue single-handed, but was able to 'break the seal' of the victims belly around the top tire, thereby admitting at least some fresh air to the invertee's 'Tire Chamber'.

9. The victim and responding marshal remained in this position until Emergency Vehicles arrived on scene, a period of several more minutes.

The Ferrari (just behind the front bumper of the ambulance) almost took out the ambulance a moment before the ambulance took a right to get behind the tire wall. And why did they call a tow truck? Answer: because they had to pull him by his tows.


From a Turn 10 insider: Turn 10 (the incident location) at Sebring has a very strong group of spirited spectators from around the world who have camped together for years, and set up a temporary community. In fact, the previous night, several of us accepted an invitation from the denizens of Turn 10 to attend their annual slide show, which was a real treat - many pictures of last year's event... plenty of good beer, and attractive women, one of whom found it useful to announce the show's intermission by standing in front of the screen and exposing her (well-proportioned) bare chest - I did mention that the Turn 10 group was 'spirited', didn't I?


Turn 10 at Sebring: Legendary

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Increasing Reliability in The Off-season

To anyone familiar with BMW CCA Club Racing, Eric Heinrich is a household name. Eric is the 2010 BMW CCA Club Racing National Champion (E30 M3 Touring Car), 2011 SCCA Jim Fitzgerald Rookie Of The Year, and he holds numerous BMW CCA and SCCA track records. Today we dig in deep into fitness prep and reliability in the off-season.

Increasing Reliability in The Off-season

I’m not talking about the car here.

The off season is here, and most people are spending time bantering and bench racing on the interwebs, making racing plans for the upcoming season and prepping their car a little more.  A couple areas people overlook are prepping the mind and prepping the body.  Don’t forget to keep that nut behind the wheel nice and tight! There’s a few ways to do this. This article will spend a little time on prepping the body for your upcoming track season.  As always, before you start a regime of exercise, nutrition and fitness training, it’s important to talk with your physician to make sure you are in good health and not putting yourself at risk of injury.

For anyone from the weekend occasional autocrosser to the HPDE student, from the instructor to the SRS BZNS racer, all of us can use a little more strength, fitness, endurance, and flexibility.  Let’s look at some well known pros as examples: Bill Auberlen and Randy Pobst. Both are extraordinarily successful professional race drivers, and both are exceptionally fit. Bill is strong and muscular, whereas Randy is lithe and fit. Although I haven’t spoken directly with them on this, I am confident that both of them would agree that being strong and fit is an important part of their success.  I’m not going to preach one particular style of exercise over another – and as much as I like to rag on crossfitters, the reality is it’s all excellent, if done properly. That last part is crucial, and given the average age of your typical weekend warrior track junkie is not in the 20’s, careful attention to proper warm up, technique and form is crucial. Ligaments and tendons are not as flexible and are more injury prone than they once were, and the older you get, the longer it takes for the body to recover.  Hoisting a small weight the wrong way can tweak a small inner shoulder muscle called the supraspinatus – a muscle that can take a long time to recover -and in the meantime will make any type of a pressing movement with your chest or shoulders painful and difficult to do.   Now wait a minute, why would you do presses if you’re a driver? Shouldn’t you be doing lifting exercises?  The answer is you should be working the whole body. Take a second now and lift your left hand up as if you were in the driver’s seat and holding the wheel at 10:00 with that hand.  Now put your right hand on top of your left and while holding your right hand in place, push with your left arm up against your right hand as if you were turning the wheel. Pay attention to which muscles are working on your left side – feel that?  Those are your deltoids.  If you’ve screwed up your shoulder as a result of poor form while doing shoulder exercises, you’re going find your shoulders getting tired sooner during a session on track.

That’s just one example. Let’s take a minute now and think about the muscle groups used by us track nuts. So what type of movements do we do at the track? We lift heavy toolboxes off the ground and into trunks and up onto benches. We lean down and pick up wheels, crouch down and hold them out in front of us to mount them. We jack up cars, we carry wheels and tires around, we push cars and heavy rolling toolboxes in and out of garages and trailers. In the car you have to hold your head up against g-forces, and even if you’re strapped in tight you still have to turn the wheel. You also have to be a contortionist to get in and out of the car and strap in – especially if you need to get out of a car that is on fire. Track driving is exhausting, and as you can see, you use your whole body, and to perform at your best you need to have muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility.

The next few articles will touch on lifting weights for strength and muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness and endurance, flexibility, and mental acuity, because having the greatest skills in the world won’t help you if you are out of breath, unfocused, dehydrated and tired. 

Next week:  Picking things up and putting them down.


More about Eric Heinrich

Sponsors: BF Goodrich TiresElephantMotorsports.com, AST-USA Suspension, D-Force Wheels, Stop*Tech brakes, Pagid RS brake pads. Per Eric, "Marc Feinstein at German Performance Service in Brighton, MA preps the car and is my race engineer. With all the experience he has from being at TMS and being the race engineer for Black Swan, he is a huge asset and a big factor in my success. And my wife Beth of course - anyone who knows her or has met her understands what a super person she is."

Photo credits: Neil Halin and Phil Royle