Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Plan it and they will come

  Great motivational video from Rob, from super speeders, to get you to plan your own road trip and get out and drive.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saturday Morning Motorvation - Start your engine(s)

 This week's Saturday Morning "Motor"vation features music to any petrolhead's ears.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday Morning Motorvation - 1973 Porsche

   This edition of Saturday Morning "Motor"vation comes to us, once again, from Petrolicious with their 1973 Porsche 2.7 RS Race Car for the streets

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saturday Morning Motorvation - BMW M1

  This week's Saturday Morning "Motor"vation comes to us from Petrolicious and their short video featuring the BMW M1. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Morning Motorvation - Porsche One Direction

  This week's Saturday Morning "Motor"vation comes to us from Porsche Motorsports and their drivers training in only one direction.  They have a pit crew to handle everything else for them.  This is especially true at the Nurburgring during the 24 hour race.  When the cars come into the pit lanes, they enter either parrellel to the track or with the front pointed slighting inward because of the tight space and number of teams doubled up on the limited garages.  The pit crews will always lift the car on dollies and spin it pointing facing at an angle out for a faster and safer pit row exit.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Porsche Congratulates Audi for 2014 Le Mans and promises Rematch

This just released video, from Porsche, is a total class act.  Porsche graticously congratulates Audi on their victory, recognizes the hard work and successes of their teams and most important to us, confirms their return to next year's race.  Only three hundred and sixty days to go.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race: The 24 Hours of Nurburgring Viewers Guide

    First ran in 1970, the 24 hour race at the Nurburgring is one of most famous auto racing events in the world.  This fame comes from not only the location, the infamously long and notoriously dangerous track but also from the party atmosphere and impromptu camp ground/village that forms along the track.  Because of the extreme length of the track and it's meandering path through woods and villages, it's extremely assessable to the average race fan.  There is no requirement to purchase expensive tickets to sit near the track (like in F1), for the Nurburgring, one can simply walk through the woods and stand at the fencing a few feet from the edge of the track.  Of course, this accessibility has backfired during the past ten years as more and more spectators fill the edges of the track and stake their claim.

  This year, the homemade grand stands, tents and elevated platforms were popping up more than ten days before the start of the race.  As the crowds grown in size, the competition for prime viewing areas increases.  It is still entirely possible to show up on the day of the race and catch the action and the majority of the spectators are accommodating and accepting of others, a visit must be prepared for the large crowds and traffic.  During the tourist days and even the VLN races, it's fairly simple to park along one of the roads or parking lots and find a spot along the track, during the 24 hour race it's a completely different scenario.

  In addition to the spectator areas being jammed pack, the track will be completely full as well.  More than 200 hundred cars will take to the 26 kilometer course at almost the same time.  The speed differences between the classes of cars varies greatly and the tight track leads to some rubbing and crashing.  Only the best drivers are able to keep their car running at full speed and on the track when it's empty, add hundreds of other cars trying to do the same and it's guaranteed chaos.

  In addition to staking a claim track side, tickets are available to enter the F1 Grand Prix circuit section of the course.  These relatively inexpensive tickets give you access to the grand stand seating area and also the in-field viewing area.  This year, BMW is a major sponsor of the race and have arranged multiple activities and displays centered around their M Series cars.  The in-field area will also be completely packed with the drivers, support teams and their vehicles along with various food and merchandising vendors.

  If you are unable to travel to Germany to watch the race firsthand, there are a few online viewing options available.  http://www.24h-rennen.de/en/live will be broadcasting the race and there are numerous other websites and video streaming services to catch the action.  Unfortunately there are no televised broadcast coverage of the race stateside. 

 The only European racing available on TV in the US will be the F1 Austrian Grand Prix which will be a great race, just not as epic as the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

http://www.24h-rennen.de/en/live Live streaming of the race, in English

https://www.facebook.com/24hNurburgring This is the official Facebook page for the race, in German but between Facebook's translate option and Google translate, you can decipher the posts

Monday, June 16, 2014

F1 Austrian Grand Prix

This coming weekend will be another big one for motor sports.  In addition to another 24 hour race (Le Mans last weekend, Nurburgring this weekend) Formula 1 is back at on the track.  The teams are back in Europe for the Austria Grand Prix on 22 June.  The Austrian circuit is a 4.325 kilometer course with nine turns.  The race will consist of 71 laps, covering a total distance of 307.020 kilometers.

  There is no doubt that Lewis Hamilton will be pushing again hard at this one.  Despite his four wins in a row at the start of this season, he failed to take first in the last two races.  In Monaco, a month ago, he was beat out by his team mate Nico Rosberg and had to settle for second. During the last race, the Canadian GP, vehicle problems forced him to retire from the race early.

  The action starts on Friday, 20 June with two practices, followed by practice 3 and qualifying on Saturday afternoon.  The race kicks off on Sunday 22 June  at 2pm Austrian time (8 am for those on the US East Coast).  NBC Sports will broadcast the practice, qualifying and pre-race shows on Friday and Saturday.  The race will air on NBC Sporsts on Saturday morning.  

Michael Schumacher out of the hospital

According to the "Michale Schumacher (MSC) Facebook page, the official spokesman for the driver, "Michael is no longer in a coma and has left Grenoble Hospital. His further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye."
  It's great to hear that he is out of the coma and going through some more rehabilitation, we hope for the best for him and his family and continue to support him  We also hope that everyone, especially journalists/paparazzi continue to honor and respect the family by leaving them alone and not violate their privacy just to get a story.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

24h Le Mans - Less than ten minutes to start

  In less than ten minutes, the 82nd running of the 24 hours of Le Mans will kick off.  This year will be an epic battle between Audi and Porsche among all the other classes of cars.  You can catch all the action on Fox Sports or at 24h-lemans.com

Saturday Morning Motorvation: Father's Day Edition - The Norton Project

Since tomorrow is Father's Day, we thought this would be the perfect Saturday Morning Motorvation.  Unfortunately, because tomorrow is Father's Day, you probably won't be able to put together anything this cool for your dad by tomorrow.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

F1 Canadian Grand Prix

The practice and qualifying are completed and there's only a few hours left till this one kicks off.  Should be a great race and since it's in North America at a 'normal' time.  NBC Sports Network coverage kicks off at 1:30 pm this afternoon, thirty minutes before race time.  Just switch over to NBC at 2 for the live race coverage.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

24 Hours of Le Mans App for IPhone and Android

Look's like a great way to catch all the action, especially for those of us on this side of the Atlantic without full TV coverage and limited streaming options.

24 hours of Le Mans App

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Michelin x Porsche Le Mans Documentary: We Are Racers - Ep 1

This year's 24 hours of Le Mans is only a few week's away and Porsche continues their hype.  We are all looking forward to watching them and see how this race shapes up.  They are definitely prepared for the race but with Le Mans, anything can happen.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Grand Theft Auto Prank by fouseyTUBE

Crazy prank but I have to wonder why the guy in the backseat remained so calm about the whole thing.  I think a lot of people would have really started to fight this guy or try to choke him out when he was driving.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

F1 Canadian Style - A Visitors Guide

  Today was one of the most historic circuits on the F1 season but the next race will be the first chance to see the action here in North American.  In just 14 days, June 6 to 8, the teams will be at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada.

  The circuit was originally constructed in 1978 and has hosted just about every form of motor sports since them.  The layout utilized for F1 is a 4.361 kilometer course with 13 turns.

  Tickets are still available (http://www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca/home) and are anywhere for $45 dollars for a general admission on the practice days to $560 for a three day pass with seating in the Grandstand 1.  Several packages include seating in different locations for the practices and back in the main grandstand for the race but those packages are going quick.  There are also several high end hotels offering room and ticket packages but some of these are well over $2,000.

  At the Monaco Grand Prix, Team Mercedes continued to dominate but the real action was between Lewis Hamilton and Nico  Rosberg.  The tense between the two started during the qualify and a move by Rosberg that prevent Hamilton from completely what was on track to be his fastest lap.  Because of this Rosberg took pole position and Hamilton came in second.  Rosberg ran an error free race and kept the lead from start to finish.  It will be interesting to see how this inter team rivalry continues into Canada.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Monaco Grand Prix primer

The Monaco Grand Prix has been run since 1929 and is, by far, the most popular on the F1 circuit.  The extravagance of Monaco coupled with the thrill of F1 through the middle of the city of Monte Carlo makes for a very unique and expensive atmosphere. The track layout consists of very tight turns and drastic elevation chances making it one of the most dangerous on the modern F1 schedule despite the slower speeds on the course.  The course itself is 3.340 kilometers long and the cars will complete 78 laps for a total distance of 260.520 kilometers. One of the most dramatic parts of the course is the tunnel, creating blind spots when the drivers eyes are forced to adjust from daylight to darkness and back again. And let's not forget all that beautiful engine noise reverberating through the tunnel.  Just a quick search of youtube will show how popular this tunnel is for super car owners.  Although it's just as dangerous, as can be seen by the recent misplacement of a very expensive car while attempting re-create that exhaust reverberation.  But the sounds will be a bit different this year as the new smaller and quieter F1 engines (1.6-litre V6 turbo engines vice the old V8) this year are so quiet, the announcement speakers are drowning out the engines.
  For those luckily enough to be in Monaco this weekend, getting a good view of the track can prove to be an expensive undertaking.  Almost every balcony of the surrounding buildings will be full of race fans, many of which paid top dollar for the privilege of renting the balcony during the race.  For those enjoying their Memorial Day weekend back in the US, there are a few online and televised viewing options.  Several of the teams will have live streaming coverage from various points but the most comprehensive coverage will be on NBC Sports Network.  Practice #2 aired at 8 am on Thursday morning and qualifying will be at the same time on Saturday.  The live race coverage starts and 7:30 on Sunday with several opportunities to watch re-broadcasts later in the day.
  Lewis Hamilton, who posted the fastest overall time in practice for his Mercedes team, will be the one to watch four.  He has won the last four F1 races and is an obvious favorite to win this weekend as well.  If Hamilton pulls off a five win he will virtually guarantee his overall victory for the season and preventing any excitement for the remaining races.  Despite his successful year, the tight and dangerous track offers plenty of opportunities for any of the teams to seize victory.

When to watch:
Thursday, May 22 - 8:00 a.m. -- Monaco Grand Prix - Practice #2 (NBCSN)
Saturday, May 24 - 8:00 a.m. -- Monaco Grand Prix - Qualifying (NBCSN)
Sunday, May 25 - 7:30 a.m. -- Monaco Grand Prix - Race (NBC)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Wilmington Cars & Coffee - May 3rd

The next Wilmington Cars & Coffee event will be held on May 3rd at Chili's (819 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403). Come out and get your weekend started right with free coffee, doughnuts and most importantly lots of cool cars and petrol heads.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

E-Bay find of the day - Mint 1992 Dodge Viper

Although we've never been the biggest fans of the Dodge Viper, you really can't knock it's unique styling and high power.  Today's E-Bay find of the day is a 1992 version located in Middleburg, North Carolina, which the seller says was number #176 of 200 built.  The most amazing part about this over twenty year old V-10 is the extremely low mileage, just 3,045.  Yes under four thousand miles in twenty two years, that works out to an astonishingly low 152 miles per year. Several of the accessories are still in the original factory packaging and the original bar code from the assembly plant is still on the window.  Like all vipers produced that year, this one is red with soft vinyl top and grey leather high back bucket seats.  The original MSRP on these vipers was only around $50,000 but because of the limited number produced almost all sold for significantly over that price.  Check out the photos below and find the original e-bay listing here.  Act fast, as there are only six days left on this one and it's gaining a lot of interest.

Saturday Morning Motorvation: Vintage Porsche

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kim gets his cars back

After fighting with US and New Zealand law enforcement for more than two years, Kim Dotcom will be getting his cars back. He is a big petrol head and has quite the collection as well.  In celebration, here is his ring video.

F1 - A guide for Americans

    F1 has always had a large following in almost every country but the united States.  The lack of races in the US  and no American teams or drivers has contributed to this. If you want to be an F1 driver, you probably need to be the son of rich European parents. There are a few exceptions to this (Senna) but even those probably had very wealthy parents and started racing go karts while still in diapers. But just because you won't be a millionaire driver yourself, you can still enjoy F1 (Quick joke - How do you become a millionaire race car driver? Start with a billion dollars.) It's like NASCAR but better because the cars are faster and they turn both left and right. No,  not really but that just emphasizes the stereotypes that keep gear heads from enjoying all forms of racing. In order to bridge the gap, let's start with the basics to understanding F1.

  The season;  The 2014 season started on 14 March in Australia and finishes on 23 November with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.  There are a total of 19 races scheduled, each in a different country.  While eight of the races are in Europe, there is one scheduled for the United States from 31 October to 2 November in Austin, Texas.  There have been discussions and rumors of a race in New Jersey but it doesn't look like that will ever happen.

  The tracks;  The majority of the races are held on purpose built circuits but there are a few still held on public roads which are temporary converted into race tracks.  The most famous of which is the Monaco Grand Prix.  This is also one of the most prestigious events in the F1 calendar and the expense and extravagance surrounding this event is beyond belief.  During practice runs, many of the drivers have unofficial agreements to leave as much rubber on the road as possible in order to burn off the layer of filth left by the previous night of partying.

Grand Prix De Monaco 2014

  The cars; The single seat, purpose built, open wheel cars are the fastest multi-turn circuit racing vehicles in the world. On the faster tracks, the cars reach speeds over 200 mph and up to 5 g's of force in turns.  During the race, cars will make several pit stops to change tires and make basic repairs.  Since 2009, there is no refueling during the race.  An F1 pit stop is an incredible coordinated event involving upwards of 30 people and should take less than two seconds for the top teams.

Sebastian Vettel

  The teams and drivers:  There are a total of eleven teams for the 2014 season.  Mercedes, Red Bull,
Ferrari and Lotus are the most popular and well known.  The top drivers to keep an eye on this year are Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.  Vettel, racing for Red Bull, has won the championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.  He is one of the most successful F1 racers of all time.

  Where and when to watch;  CBS Sports Network airs most of the races live and frequent replays the following day.  The replays are extremely helpful unless you want watch live in the middle of the night.  Just make sure if you are watching the replay to avoid spoilers on Facebook.

Bernie Ecclestone
  Bernie; While not critical to understanding F1, no guide would be complete without mentioning Bernie
Ecclestone. Bernie, who is now 83 years old, became a key player in F1 for many years, turning it (and himself) into billion dollar industries. He is a very savvy businessman but may soon be a prisoner in Germany.  His trial started on Thursday, 24 April 2014 in Munich.  The charges, of bribery and incitement to breech of trust, stem from a 44 Million dollar payment to a German banker named Gerhard Gribkowsky to facilitate the the sale of F1 Group to a buyer of Ecclestone's preference.  Gribkowsky has already been found guilty and is serving an eight and one half year sentence.  If convicted, Ecclestone, even if only receiving a fine, would be forced to finally step down from F1.

Hopefully that's enough to get you started.  We'll be posting throughout the season and providing a few more guides on the car details and drivers as the year goes on.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Morning "Motor"vation: Boxster GTS

Here's your weekly dose of "motor"vation, courtesy of Porsche and their newly announced Boxster GTS.  Look's like they are finally starting to let these mid engine machines stretch their legs.

Friday, April 4, 2014

2015 Porsche 911 Turbo S Review: Video Game Fast - XCAR

Great review of the current Porsche 911 Turbo and history on the evolution of the turbo in the Porsche line up.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Car Show Visitors Guide AKA getting all up and in those fancy cars

  If you've ever been to one of the public days at the Paris, Frankfurt or Detroit Auto show, you know first
hand just how hard it is to get up and personnel with the high end cars.  I've had the opportunity to visit a few of the major auto shows and have developed a few tricks to make for a more enjoyable experience. Here are my top tips;
Crowds at the IAA Frankfurt 2009

Press Days - If you have the chance to go during a press day vice public, definitely do it.  There are obviously ways that an average guy could get into one of the press days, but for most it's not practical.  If you are able to get in during a press day, you will find a much smaller crowd, no barriers and easier access to the vehicles.  The manufactures want to make sure the press gets the best photos, videos and impression of their vehicles.  Most of the major manufactures will also hold press conferences during these days and freebies.
Frankfurt 2011 Crowds at the Mercedes Demo

Plan your trip - This is especially important if press days are not an option.  Hit up the show's website, print the floor plans, exhibition hall layouts and all the info you can.  If you are patient and can avoid opening day you will save yourself some frustration.  After reviewing all the info, develop a solid list of the top cars you want to experience and where they are located.  If you can purchase and print tickets online, do so as this will save some precious time and get you ahead of those less organized than you.
Porsche GT3 RS Premier at Frankfurt IAA

Dress the part - While you should dress practically for a long day of standing and walking, you also need to have a look of money about you.  It might be tempting to go with the running shoes and track suit for comfort but dressing like that will get you no where with the reps at the booth.  You also do not want to over dress as they will see right through this as well.  The key is to dress like you have money, will be comfortable throughout the day but also that aren't trying to impress anyone.  Avoid running shoes, hiking boots and stick with some simple leather shoes.  A nice button down shirt with dark blue jeans or slacks will complete the look and depending on the weather a simple sport coat or leather jacket will complete the look.  Don't forget to ditch the timex digital watch for something a little more upscale as the details matter.  Make sure the wife, girlfriend or kids that are with you also dress the part.  The kids can be another great tool to help get past the booth bouncer and up close with the car.

Just an average day at the auto show, Frankfurt 2009
Day of the show -  You'll want to get there about thirty minutes before the gates actually open and make sure you have your plan all mapped out.  The goal is to be one of the first to the cars you are most interested in.  Don't get distracted by the booth babes next to the new Honda, keep pushing straight to the Aston Martin or Lambo booth. The average visitors will simple go for stand to stand, you want to get out ahead of them.  When you do arrive at the booth of your dream car, step right up with confidence and ask to take a closer look.  The "bouncers" manning the velvet rope are just there to keep the rift raft out, not high class potential buyers like yourself.  It helps at this point if you know a little more than average about the product and can ask at least one technical question.  Once past the bouncer, there will be multiple employees eager to show you their newest cars.  Take your time, ask questions and play the part.  Don't forget to act a bit indifferent about the whole affair or they may become suspicious.  Feel free to take a few photos as well, just don't make too big a scene out of it or ask the employees to take them for you.

After finishing with one of your dream cars, head straight to the next one and you'll still be ahead of the crowds.  If you plan your trip out correctly within the first 60 minutes of being at the show, you'll have already been up close and personnel with the Astons, Ferraris, Lambos and Porsches before the swarming masses have descended.

Once the crowd's start to build at the super cars, you can transition over to checking out some of the not so expensive options or even call it a day.  By mid afternoon the area surrounding the super car booths will be a complete shoulder to should mass of people anyway.

Wilmington Cars and Coffee Saturday 5 April

The next Wilmington Cars and Coffee meeting is this Saturday 5 April.  The event will be going from 9 am until 12 and featuring free donuts, coffee, free raffle for discounts and prizes.  Chili's is also offering a discount to all participants.  This will be the first Cars and Coffee of the spring and they are expecting a large showing of over 300 cars from all makes, models and years.

Monday, March 31, 2014

E Bay Motors; Find of the Day, Aston Martin V12 Zagato

Here's our random ebay motors find of the day.  One of only two Aston Martin V12 Zagato's in the United States, this model was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original DB4 GT Zagato.  This is a rare opportunity to own a very limited production hyper car for a low low price of half a million.  Even if this one is way outside of any of our price ranges, it's still worth the look just for those photos.  Check out that headliner, and those seats.  If any of you do decide this is the car for you and that you have a half million or so dollars burning a hole in your pocket, feel free to invite us over to help with the pre-purchase inspection. We promise not to drool too much.  Check out the full listing here with all the photos and info. Just make sure to act fast, the auction ends on 9 April.

A Visitors Guide to the Audi Museum and Forum in Ingolstadt, Germany

 The Audi Museum, located in the town of Ingolstadt in Bavaria, Germany was opened in 2000 and is co-located with one of their main assembly plants. This is also the same location where many new Audi's are delivered to their owners.  Any American Audi owner will be intimately familiar with this facility if they selected the European Delivery option.  I had the change to visit this museum a short while ago and though I'd take a moment to share my experience to help others interested in going.  Before visiting, I checked out the official website as well as some blogs but didn't seem to find all the info I was looking for and hope this post answers those questions for others.
  The closest major airport to  Ingolstadt is Munich, which is approximately 70 kilometers and an a little less than one hour's drive away.  Once outside of the city limits of Munich the highway (autobahn) leading to Ingolstadt will have those famous circular white signs with three gray diagonal lines indicating an unrestricted zone.  If you are unfamiliar with those signs or driving in Germany the best thing to keep in mind is stay to the right.  If you are not passing, get out of the left lane.  Those HID daytime running lights may look really far behind you, but believe me, when they are moving two times your speed, will be on your rear bumper in seconds.   On these unrestricted sections of the autobahn, most cars in the middle and left lanes will be travel around 120 miles per hour (around 200 KPH) but there are always a few that will be closer to 180 mph (290 KPH).    Don't bother trying to catch them or keep up with them and just get out of the way.  German drivers are not competitive like American drivers and do not feel slighted or superior based on their highway speed.  If there is slower traffic in front of you, just be patient as they will move over to the right as soon as possible.  Do not attempt to pass them on the right or you could end up paying some hefty fines in addition to the scorn of all the drivers on the road.
  Once at the museum, there is a small outdoor parking area and a larger parking garage accessed through an underground entrance.  A small parking fee is charged for utilizing the parking area, however when you purchase entrance tickets to the museum, you can have your parking ticket validated.  However, we attempted to use this service during our visit but ended up stuck at the exit to the parking lot because our ticket would not raise the gate.  It took a quick run back to the parking payment machine with euro in hand and a few honks from the cars waiting behind us to finally get the gate open.
  While slightly smaller and older than the Porsche, BMW or Mercedes Museum, the Audi facility is worth a visit especially if you are a fan.  Some of the highlights of the museum include the history of the four rings and the Auto Union,
  After touring the museum, it's worth taking a few extra minutes to head into the building located to the left of the museum.  This is the Audi Forum, where a large percentage of new vehicles are delivered to their owners.  It's an interesting site seeing all the new cars lined up under the bright lights ready for their owners.  A mildly amusing game can be made of trying to pair the new car with the guests in this area.  Is it the young 20 something guy with wife and kids in tow picking up that new RS7 or the 60 something retiree and his wife.  The Audi shop is also located in this building and has options for every buyer and price range.  All the standard branded items from pens, hats, jackets to model cars are available.  While the prices were similar to what is found in the Audi catalogs from any stateside dealer, there were a few discounted and discontinued items available during our visit.
  While there are factory tours available, we were not able to take advantage of that opportunity during this visit or find out much information about booking a tour.  Maybe next time.
  The museum is open Monday through Sunday 9 am to 6 pm with a 4 Euro entrance fee.  Check out their official website here.