Last year I had the opportunity to dip my feet into the Spec Miata world driving someone else’s car. Our partnership plan was to build an all-out Spec Miata ’99 (the car to have in that class) during this past offseason. To accomplish this, we estimated approximately a cost of $16,000 in addition to 165 hours of work by an SM Guru. The labor hours are not included in that cost and I’m sure it’s on the low side as that didn’t even include painting the car. Yes, building a nationally front running Spec Miata quickly adds up beyond the $35,000 mark. Crazy! The stars just weren’t aligning – Continue reading
Track flags represent a vital way for the track to communicate important messages to drivers. For track day events such as high performance driving events (HPDEs), their meaning is pretty straight forward. When looking at them from a competitive wheel-to-wheel event perspective, you need to gain a better understanding of how to react to these messages. Don’t think this section is just for the first time track driver. In some circumstances, knowing how to further interpret their meaning can provide you a competitive advantage in a race. Continue reading
John Neisbitt’s article “A Driver’s Guide to Protests” provides extremely valuable information in the event you need to protest another driver. Even for experienced drivers, filing a protest is often a daunting task and something we try to avoid. At some point in your racing career, it might become necessary to file a protest. I recommend that you not only read this, but also print a copy and put it with the gear you bring to the track. I know that I will!
Filing a protest is seldom a happy chore. However, it is often the best or only way to right a wrong. The protest process is not complex, but it does have some hard deadlines. It is a good idea to come to the track armed with a bit of information. Here is a short explanation Continue reading
When weather reports hint at the prospect of rain, many drivers cringe. Yet there is another set of drivers who perk in anticipation, and begin their best rain dance rendition. I’ve literally found myself transformed into a kid after a wet track session jumping in puddles with a big smile. However I didn’t always have an adoration for driving in the rain and was a bit fearful of it. I believe that once you have a better understanding of how to approach driving on a wet track and embrace it, you will come to truly enjoy it if you don’t already.
The purpose of our driving technique section is not to replace other fantastic resources out there, but instead to supplement them. While some of the information in our articles overlaps with what you may have already read, there is undoubtedly value to hearing a different perspective or simply reinforcing techniques.
For a while I’ve put aside doing any type of driving technique articles for multiple reasons including the fact that I’m not a paid pro driver. Although I’m not a paid professional racer, I’ve managed to do quite well for myself and Continue reading
The CTS-V is as a luxurious vehicle, with massive amounts of power on tap. While the Cadillac brand had traditionally been thought as a car for a much older subdued driver, the CTS-V is anything but that.
The car is full of sharp angles, folds, and interesting details such as the unique headlight design, grill shape, and vertical tail lamps. I found myself taking time to visually explore the Continue reading
When designing the FR-S and allocating where the relatively small build budget should be directed, the focus was on the important aspects of a true enthusiast’s car. Beyond the sporty aesthetics of the car’s exterior, it was critical that the car handled well and is fun to drive out on the track. And to capture the true essence of a sports car, it needed to be rear Continue reading
Over the years, GM has repeatedly displayed a disturbing tendency to release “almost great” products (e.g. great cars with ‘meh’ interiors, great engines but cheap suspensions). Or they save the quality stuff for late in a cars lifecycle, which gets canceled before the car that realized the models potential is released. Think Pontiac Fiero, for example. It’s maddening to watch. Too many managers, poor up front budgeting, in-house power struggles and bad marketing decisions have repeated this sad song over and over. When GM was “Bailed out” recently, there were many internal changes. Legacy costs went away, management deadwood was sliced off, and seeds for a rebirth were planted.
After seeing the new Corvette (7th generation, or “C7”) up close in person and spending nearly unlimited time one-on-one with the chief engineer, and the directors of the interior and exterior studios responsible for the design, it appears those seeds are bearing fruit. Continue reading
Most production cars have an oil system consisting of a sump (commonly referred to as the oil pan) which houses the oil supply, an oil pump with a screened pickup, and internal passages in the block to provide pressurized oil to bearings, cams and the like. Sometimes oil is sprayed under pistons for cooling purposes. On its way to the oil gallery it passes through a block mounted filter, and on certain high performance engines, it can be routed to an external cooler. Generally capacity is 5 or 6 quarts. This system is considered a “wet sump” as the oil is housed and pumped from the same sump.
In a dry sump system, several components are added. The oil pan is reshaped and capacity is reduced to about half of the standard pan. A pickup is located which is attached to a scavenge pump to ‘vacuum’ any and all oil from the pan, and send it to a Continue reading
In the Fall of 2011 we were able to sit down with Duncan Dayton, owner of Highcroft Racing, to gain a better understanding of just what it’s like to run a top-notch professional race team and what steps someone would need to become a part of a similar team (article can be read here). At the time little did we know that our second article about Highcroft Racing would involve the closing of one door – their Honda relationship, and the opening of another door – the DeltaWing project.
The below article by Chris Harris takes us on a closer look, including some laps around Road Atlanta. Great video, awesome sound, and an amazing piece of technology. Enjoy.
Mitsubishi describes the Lancer Evolution as an “ultra-high-performance luxury sports sedan”. When we hear the term “ultra-high-performance luxury sports sedan”, the first cars that come to our mind are significantly more expensive cars like the
On the surface, the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali is a capable workhorse being able to haul 1,500 pounds in the truck bed. It’s also capable of towing a maximum amount of 9,400 pounds. However, that’s just the beginning of the Sierra 1500 Denali’s story.
I’ve towed with an array of vehicles ranging from very basic to much more luxurious ones such as the Sierra 1500 Denali. Instead of merely trying to reach the destination while feeling anxious to get there and be out of the truck as soon as possible, the Sierra 1500 Continue reading
It has now been several years that I’ve owned a fancy, expensive data system that cost $865 for the recording system plus another $300 for a dash display. Don’t get me wrong, it’s extremely robust and a powerful tool in the right hands. In fact, that’s a big part of the issue that I have with it. I’ve learned the hard way that although you may collect a lot of data, it’s meaningless if you don’t know how to interpret it. Like most of you, I don’t have a data geek at events to analyze the data then communicate its meaning to me. I did make attempts including purchasing a 120 page book on the subject, paid for some in person coaching on how to use it, but to be truthful I don’t have the required dedication to learn how use it properly. I didn’t find it simple or fun. For Continue reading
When the Camaro first went on sale in 1966 for the 1967 model year, Chevy really needed a car to compete against the extremely successful first generation Ford Mustang of the mid 1960’s. What the Camaro ended up doing was more than just stealing a few sales away from Ford. They Continue reading
A Celebration of BMW & Lime Rock Park’s History
The M3 Coupe Lime Rock Park Edition has officially hit the roads and track. If you’re not familiar with this edition, it’s based off the iconic BMW M3 Coupe and production has been limited to 200 copies. On the surface it may seem just like a BMW M3 Coupe with orange paint and a few options added to it, but there’s much more behind the story. Who better to speak with and learn more about it other than Skip Barber, owner of Lime Rock Park, as well as an automotive enthusiast who purchased one?
The Lime Rock Park edition was constructed on the foundation of the iconic BMW M3 Coupe with enhancements selected through collaboration with Skip Barber and Lime Rock Park. To Continue reading
After testing a 2011 GTI, we were very impressed with the car. One of our editors even bought one. Yes, the GTI is a great daily driver that feels like a car costing thousands more than it does, but we found ourselves wondering what the car would be like with more power, a sportier suspension, and more luxurious features. Fortunately, we were given the opportunity to test the 2012 Golf R.
The Golf R is the replacement to the Golf R32 and comes with a turbocharged 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine instead of the Golf R32’s 3.2 liter VR6. Improvements over the R32 include more Continue reading
On October 18, 2012, Chevrolet announced that the seventh-generation Corvette will debut in Detroit on Sunday, January 13, 2013. To kick things off now, Chevrolet released the new Crossed Flags logo for the new 2014 Corvette.
“The all-new, seventh-generation Corvette deserved Continue reading
In years past when I heard the Hyundai name, the perception that came to my mind was cheap. Although this may not have been true of the manufacturer, it was my assumption. I admit to being a believer of the saying “perception is reality.” While I recognized the manufacturer had made great strides, I never really found myself looking into the vehicles they had to offer. The previous version of the Genesis Coupe slightly intrigued me, but still not enough to look into it further. However, with the styling and performance updates the 2013 Genesis Coupe received, all of this changed.