I’m all about setting goals and setting BIG ones. Goals that will stretch you, make you learn new things and make you do things that you never thought you’d do before. When I started working with race karts, one of the things that I did was sit down and think about some long terms goals for myself, when it comes to racing. Of course there are those standard ones. “Win a race. One day win a class title”, but that’s pretty standard stuff.
If I’m going to do something, I need to have a big goal. What I call a ‘stretch goal’. Basically, a “you’re going to do what?!” goal. So I’ve decided.
A crucial thing about motorsport, both at a club and at a professional level is the level of preparation that it takes from both the driver and the equipment to be successful. Leaving a ten-cent bolt loose, or forgetting a tool, can be just as tragic for a race weekend as a driver not being properly ready physically.
This time-lapse video from Carlin Motorsport just gives an example of how much work it takes them to get ready for a race weekend.
I’m just winding down from a practice day at the kart track, and I’ve just been thinking about why I enjoy going to the track so much.
It’s more than just the speed, or the different racetracks. The most important thing that keeps me coming back to the track are the people. It’s what a good friend of mine called to “the racing family.”
Anthony from OversteerTV.net, recorded a podcast about our Pikes Peak Trip, (which ironically we wrote about on an entirely different site. ;)) . It just went live a few days ago. We covered Pikes Peak, and spoke a bit about StartingGrid.
Thanks so much for sharing this with us!
Every car guy has their favorite engine note. Whether it’s the V12 of a Ferrari or the roar of a WRC car. This video from Honda has got me thinking. What’s your favorite engine note?
Leave a note in the comments, tweet me (@relaxeddriver) or leave a note on our Facebook page and let us know.
Unless you’ve been hiding a rock for the last few months, you’ll know about the upcoming Ron Howard movie – “Rush”. I’m super looking forward to seeing the dynamic between James Hunt and Nick Lauda shown up on the big screen.
Drift King Bear – by John Kimball
Artist, racing driver, martial arts pal of Starting Grid, John Kimball has made another cool piece of automotive art. He created this picture for his nephew’s birthday. It’s the Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya, in teddy bear form, drifting a Miata.
We’ve featured John’s work before: His GT40 and 767B were cool, but not quite as awesome as Drift King Bear.
Who else wants this as a T-shirt?
For more of John’s art, visit his Tumblr page.
Now I know this doesn’t have much to do about cars, but this is so awesome, you need to know about this. The project has been called “Red Bull Stratos”, and it is insane!
Felix Baumgartner is attempting to break the speed of sound in freefall by jumping from a space capsule, at a altitude three times higher than what commercial jets fly at. The air is so thin at that altitude, 40 seconds into the jump he should hit 690 miles an hour.
Things should get started in around 40 minutes or so. Check out the live stream as he progresses. Wishing you massive luck, Felix.
Check out more about Red Bull Stratos here.
Update: 10:30pm- The countdown is underway!
Update: 10:43pm- Mission aborted due to gusty winds. We’ll try and cover more when it happens…
10/10/2012- Update: Meteorologist Don Day has confirmed that a Thursday launch will not be possible. The next weather window opens on Sunday October 14th at 6:30 AM MDT.
Update: 10/14/2012- 10:48: Launch going well. OMG, he’s about to leave the capsule!
My girlfriend and I rarely have the same weekends off, because of our jobs, but this weekend it worked out. So this afternoon Lisa and I went to the LeMay museum in Tacoma. We’d never been there before, but had heard a lot about it. It was exciting to see what cars were being shown!
Below is a quick slideshow of some of our favorites, both inside and parked in the car park. (Again, sorry for the crappy resolution.)
My top two were the Jaguar XJ220 and the A1GP Formula car that was mounted on the wall. We would have taken more photos, but something in the museum was interfering with our cameras and messing with the resolution. I missed taking a picture of a Lotus 35, and a few other classic Indy race cars because of that…Grr.
Fun fact- We also learned that many of the cars are swapped out every three months, so we’ll be going back soon.
John has been sending us an amazing flood of pictures and videos from last week’s JAE meet on our Facebook page. I keep saying that John’s footage has helped us feel like we were at the meet too.
However, this footage from Broken Media has really put the icing on the cake. John’s Starlet is featured here too!
Thanks again, John! Totally ace.
We got these photos from John Pattison, one of our ‘resident Starlet owners’ on our Facebook page of his trip to the JAE (Japanese Auto Extravaganza) over in the United Kingdom. We love attending organized meets like these, especially when the weather is super-nice, so thanks for John for sharing and making us feel like we were there!
From what we hear about the typically gloomy UK weather, it sounds like the JAE guys lucked out with the sunshine.
“The show is a 3 day even allowing like minded people to get together and camp have a beer and catch up. There are attendees from Europe as well as the UK.” – John P. It’s always interesting to see how different people take to modifying their cars, and having three days to check it all out gives you plenty of time to sample all of the styles available.
These are just a sample from John, and I’m hoping this post will guilt him into letting us share more.
With all the modifications you can do to your automobile, it is very hard to stand out in this day and age.
What hasn’t been done? What has been done too many times? What makes your ride unique?
Bright green wheels are nothing new but this one really stood out to me and he has a fish as a hood prop.
In case some of you did not know, August 8th was “International AE86″ day. There were meet and greets taking place all over the world. This is one of the things that brings all of us car people together. You can do a search and you will find coverage of this international event from all parts of the world.
This is Northern California’s coverage presented by Slide Your Ride and Performance Options. The location was at Toyota of Oakland.
Two links to blogs that covered the event
Fkn’ Famous and Life Blasters
Most of you will probably be thinking right now… “Oh great. He’s changed the site again.” But actually it was worse than that.
We got hacked. That’s what happened. Properly. They went in, and wrecked the backend code that made the site load properly. Once I figured it out, I was like this for a few minutes…
Oh, I was super-heated…
Rather than trying to reconstruct the mess, I decided to put the site on ‘light mode.’
I’m still trying to fix a few things, but I made sure that all of the posts work, and all of the links are still active, That’s all I’m going to do for a little bit.
New posts are still coming. They’re just going to look a bit different for a bit.
We’ve all seen ‘Wagon Attack’. A video about a guy who buys a Honda Civic wagon for $1000, and has a blast blazing through the dunes of Michigan. Besides just being awesome , the ‘lesson’ behind the movie was how older cars can have a much higher fun value/dollar ratio than the modern equivalent.
As car people, the film raises a point worth considering. We all know that there are cars for sale that are ’diamonds in the rough’. On the other hand, we’ve all been guilty of looking at the new Scion FRS, and wondering what that would be like to own. (Tell me you haven’t done that at least one time!)
Especially when approaching a new project, the question should be asked; “Is purchasing an older car actually worth it?” Here are just some points to consider.
- The purchase price for an older car now is relatively less expensive than the modern counter-part- Obviously, because the car has already properly depreciated before you’ve gotten your hands on it.
- Most of the technical troubleshooting older cars have been done by people before you- When you have an older car, you can rely on other people’s prior knowledge working on the platform to help you get ahead of known issues. That can be super helpful, especially if you are a do-it-yourself type when it comes to auto repair.
- The money saved on purchasing an older car can be put into upgrading it- If you’re like me, and can’t leave a car well enough alone, you find yourself wanting to personalize it to make it more ‘yours’. If you find yourself a deal on an older car, you can take that money to put into finding upgraded parts.
Now of course there are some downsides, but it’s just something to think about…
I’m loving this Mercedes AMG F1 jacket. It’s pretty slick, and the neutral colors mean that you could wear it with alot of different types of gear.
Not good news! Jeremy Clarkson, during a South African radio interview, mentioned that there will be no new Top Gear episodes until 2013. Presumably this is because everyone in the UK will be busy with the Summer Olympics. I am highly disappointed by this. Until the summer olympics (purposely not capitalized to show disdain) includes driving events and curling, they may as well be just another track and field competition. When was the last time a track and field competition forced the cancellation of something as important as watching three middle aged men cock about with cars?
Courtesy of TopGear.wikia.com
Wait a tic. What if the Top Gear guys are not making any new episodes because they are doing the opening ceremonies? Surely this is what is happening, it’s the only thing that makes sense. There will be an elaborate display of synchronized Reliant Robin tumbling and camping trailer destruction amid a backdrop of a symphony of internal combustion orchestrated by Maestro Stig.
Whew, I feel better now.
via Final Gear
Photo credit: Edmunds Inside Line
Fiat popularity is experiencing a groundswell in North America with sales growing each month. The diminutive scamp 500 is the only model currently on sale here in North America and is available in an array of flavors, from econo grade Pop to chic Lounge and jaw droppingly fun Abarth. In the next year or so, Fiat will be adding this car, the Panda-esque 500L, to its North American line up. I predict the 500L will sell well as Fiat does a really good job building four door hatch/wagon things. The thing that mystifies me is why is this car disguised?
It has already been revealed in all its Panda-like glory to the public at the Geneva Motor Show. Could they be trying to hide the differences that the North American version will have? Perhaps, but this car appears to be a Euro-spec 500L due to the lack of amber and red side reflectors. To add fuel to the mystery, this car was parked in the garage of the building that houses Edmunds Inside Line‘s offices in Detroit. What’s going on here? Is Fiat just teasing us while they prepare a special edition Abarth 500 convertible for me to buy?
More pictures after the jump. Caution: awesome Italian interior styling ahead.
Feature post written by Joey Sim
Just a little slide...
For those of you that haven’t had a chance to come out to an autocross event, you probably don’t know what you’re missing out on. There are many things that make it a great experience: the competition, the intensity level for the entire time that you spend on track and, most importantly, the camaraderie of your fellow autocrossers. The people who I’ve met out on the track have, persistently, turned out to be some of the nicest, friendliest, and helpful people that I’ve ever met.
The friendships that I’ve developed over my eight years of autocrossing have left a lasting, positive impression on my life. It might sound a little melodramatic but these people have become a family to me over the years. We all share the same addiction. More than any one individual, the community has been there for me whenever I’ve been in need. If I had personal drama that I needed to talk out, these people were there for me. They’ve offered an ear, or a hug or a guiding hand (sometimes even with a beer in it!). Through these friendships, I got what has to be a rare opportunity for a poor twenty-something college student; I got the chance to drive Godzilla!
Seattle’s Book-it Repertory Theatre has adapted for the stage Garth Stein’s book “The Art of Racing in the Rain”. This book is close to the hearts of racers and dog lovers for its truthful description of what the life of the average racing driver is like narrated eloquently and knowledgeably by a dog named Enzo. This production has successfully captured the intensity and emotion of the book and added a colorful and humorous personification of Enzo in the form of David S. Hogan. Mr. Hogan is a man who is clearly part dog for his ability to capture the movement, attitude and elegance of a dog with touching eloquence and humor.
One would normally think staging a play with a canine narrator would prove problematic. This has proven to not be the case, as this adaptation by Myra Platt has split narration duties among the members of the cast. Enzo the dog remains the primary storyteller describing the tale of his human, Denny Swift’s journey through marriage and fatherhood and the heartbreaking crises of life amid a backdrop of the ups and downs of a racing career. This play had the audience laughing, crying and cheering for Enzo and Denny. A great book has been made into a great play.
The Art of Racing in the Rain runs through May 13 at Book-It Repertory Theatre located at Seattle Center. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Book-It website.