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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Articles From August 2009

Web Review: Porsche

On: Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 10:47AM | By: John Welch


Web Review: Porsche test 1-1

I like to pretend that I'm rich instead of just good looking. I like to pretend that I am able to wake up in the morning, dine on Eggs Benedict and lobster, then trot off to buy any new car my heart desires. In the process of feeding these irrational fantasies, I tend to peruse manufacturer websites, finding out exactly what ultra-expensive vehicles with what ultra-expensive options are available in my area. Most of these experiences are good; the car companies definitely drop a little cash on their websites. However, sometimes the site is clunky, or the interface doesn't provide an option I'd like, etc. This series of posts will leave no stone unturned in the name of finding the best, most informative, most complete Auto Manufacturer Websites. This week's subject: Porsche.


BMW wins GT2 at Road America

On: Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 3:43PM | By: John Welch


BMW wins GT2 at Road America test 1-1

BMW finally made its way to the top of the ALMS podium this weekend, finally taking their first win in the GT2 category. "Big Deal," you say. "I wanna hear about the Corvettes!" you say. "This Hot Pocket isn't cooked all the way!" I hope you just suck it up and chew the ham/ice/cheese in the middle. Also, I'm a Bimmer Nut Case so they will receive just as much attention on this blog as the Corvettes. Is that Hot Pocket tolerable?


ALMS to restructure rules for 2010

On: Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 12:39PM | By: John Welch


ALMS to restructure rules for 2010 test 1-1

In an effort to return to the excellent racing seen between 2006 and 2008 the American Le Mans Series has announced rule changes for the 2010 season. Series President Scott Atherton made the announcement on Tuesday.

“Our sport has always been about evolution, and our plans for 2010 and beyond reflect it. We intend to stay ahead of the rest of the industry. We are the first movers to embrace a value-based new set of classes while at the same time retaining the core elements of what has made the American Le Mans Series the benchmark professional sports car racing series in modern times. The automotive industry is going through radical changes, and the same can be said for most of the motorsports industry. With today’s announcement we are adding value-based opportunities that expand accessibility to a broader base of competitors, manufacturers, and teams,” declared Atherton.

The proposed changes deal with several aspects of the class structure, most notably combining the two top-tier classes, LMP1 and LMP2. Through the magic of "competition equalization" the series will be able to slow the LMP1 cars while increasing the speeds of LMP2, making the distinctly different machines preform much the way they did in 2007. Equalization can be achieved many different ways: adding ballast to lighter cars, allowing less restriction on smaller engines. The idea is to create a situation where the larger LMP1 cars have advantages at certain tracks, and the LMP2s at others. Other interesting additions include a low cost 'spec' prototype class, all participants running the same equipment.

For the entire story, click over to the official ALMS website


Leno turns down Top Gear, then rips them off

On: Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 11:24AM | By: John Welch


Leno turns down Top Gear, then rips them off test 1-1

Jay Leno just won't go away. Not only does he go and steal Conan's thunder by preempting the Tonight Show with his own 'semi-late night' program, now he is blatantly stealing bits. I shouldn't care, I wouldn't care but the program he is stealing from is Top Gear. Grrr. As it turns out, Jay was offered the hosting job for the American version of Top Gear. He turned it down, was replaced with Adam Corolla, and we still have no domestic automotive programing worth watching. My DVR's fast-forward button gets a serious workout trying to watch Motorweek. Sheesh, and don't get me started on the ultra-hokey, extremely antiquated Power Block on Spike TV—four hours of commercials and body work just don't do it for me. Sorry.

 

Apparently Jay is planning some sort of segment where a celebrity is placed in an electric sports car, then made to compete against other celeb's for top lap time. Sounds eerily familiar, if I'm not mistaken Jay participated in just this sort of contest recently, albeit sans electrified transport. Shameful. The real crime here is allowing Top Gear America to flounder. Leno's star power would have surely gotten the show on the air, regardless of what focus groups thought. Instead, he'd rather do "Tonight Show-Lite" and include some poorly planned plagiarism. Sweet. I will give Leno one compliment, his reasoning for not doing the show is pretty sound . . .

 

Source: The L.A. Times


 

Renault allowed to race on Sunday

On: Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 12:55PM | By: John Welch


Renault allowed to race on Sunday test 1-1

A mistake is just that, a mistake. "Mooom, I didn't mean to draw an outline of Road Atlanta on my bedroom wall, in pastels; it was a mistake!" Yeah, right. She didn't buy it either. Apparently the FIA is more forgiving than my Mother.

When last we saw the venerable F1 circus, the moving pictures were coming to us form Hungary, a track named the Hungaroring. Fernando Alonso was making a routine pit stop. Upon being released form the pits Alonso began to notice a bad vibration coming from his right front wheel. Ah, mistakes. As it turns out the wheel was not properly fastened, causing it to come loose and fly off the car. The stewards were not pleased. So upset, in fact, that they banned Renault from the next round almost immediately. Now we're dealing with two mistakes. The next round of Formula One racing takes place in Valencia, Spain, the "European Grand Prix". Telling Spaniards that Fernando Alonso will not be allowed to participate in his home race is about like the University of Florida telling Gators fans that they're benching Tim Tebow during all home games, for any reason. A bad situation from a P.R. standpoint. The best case scenario would be nobody showing up to the track on race day. The worst case, inciting riots.

The FIA certainly knows which side its bread is buttered on, today overturning the suspension. It was made very clear that the sactioning body was not happy with Renault, fining them and giving the team a brutal tongue lashing. They will however allow Flavio's yellow cars on track this weekend.


The entire story can be read at Formula One's offcial website


Saab Deal Final?

On: Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 12:27PM | By: John Welch


Saab Deal Final? test 1-1

Not quite. The Saab/Koenigsegg saga is nearing its end as Koenigsegg made their financial situation a little clearer this morning. If all parties are to be believed, Koenigsegg requires a significant loan from the European Investment Bank, in the name of Saab. This loan could total $413.6 million, and would officially make Saab a subsidiary of Koenigsegg (say it: Co-NeenG-Sag).

Saab has spent much of the last few months reorganizing its business model, cutting inventories and positioning themselves better to meet realistic demand. So, the deal is not final, however, according to Koenigsegg spokespeople it should be cut by the end of the month. GM is less optimistic, predicting final sale by the end of the year. GM has stated it and Saab would continue to share technology and services during a defined time period, which would be managed through licenses and service agreements. And possibly more prominent roles for Saabs in Michael Bay flicks . . .

A full write up can be found from The New York Times


Gems From The International Motoring Press

On: Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 11:42AM | By: John Welch


Gems From The International Motoring Press test 1-1

Indian traffic is so bad a picture of Miami traffic is the only image that accurately depicts the plight of the drunken, BMW piloting public . . .

 

Be glad you live in "Murricuh". We have modern roads that are fairly safe when compared with the rest of the world. Indian bloggers Motorbeam.com are reporting that the release of the Tata Nano will negatively affect India's traffic situation. I wish I could tell you more, but the article is a little vague.


Clarkson doesn't just say nasty things, he also writes them

On: Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 5:18PM | By: John Welch


Clarkson doesn't just say nasty things, he also writes them test 1-1

Unless you live under a rock, (which is entirely possible, I'm not judging . . .) then you have probably witnessed a scene or two of Top Gear. "Uh oh," you're thinking, "Another blog, brown-nosing Top Gear . . . " Not entirely true. Give me a BBC budget and I'll blow up some buses for ya. No problem. I'm not brown-nosing the show, more its presenters. One presenter in particular, Jeremy Clarkson.


Weekend Viewing: How I Wasted My Sunday..

On: Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 5:05PM | By: John Welch


Weekend Viewing: How I Wasted My Sunday.. test 1-1

There was no sports car race, ALMS or Grand-Am. Ahem; there was no televised sports car race. The NASCAR event at Pocono was doomed at eight a.m. Torrential downpours the week prior had left the racing surface soaking wet and "weeping". Even after drying, the track will secrete water from beneath the initial layer of asphalt. It rained again on Sunday and the race was called off by five. Nice. This sort of Sunday will affect my mood for weeks.


The Good The Bad, and The Ugly

On: Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 4:40PM | By: John Welch


The Good The Bad, and The Ugly test 1-1

Baaad Bad Ideas . . .

How many '86 Trans-Ams have you seen with one functioning headlight? Plenty, I'm sure. Pop-up headlights have always been a BAD idea. "Hey, instead of putting normal headlights on our auto, let's equip it with a set of overly complicated pneumatic headlights that will surely fail within the first five years of the car's life!!" I doubt they actually looked at it in that light; but geez, c’mon, why engineer a car with any system that may fail and ruin your ability to drive the car? On top of that, pop-up headlights are horrifically ugly. Fortunately, this pop-up phenomenon is basically dead, but the car industry is not free of bad ideas that will surely cripple certain automobiles over time. Nor is the industry free of gawd-awful ugly design. We explore an example of both...