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Categories: Videos

USF1 Announces First Driver, Decidedly Not American

On: Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 12:20PM | By: John Welch


Jose Maria Lopez test 2

So, USF1 has named their first driver, Argentina's Jose Maria Lopez. Former Renault F1 test driver and GP2 stand-out, Lopez has dominated Argentinian saloon racing for several years, whatever that's worth.

Hope for an American driver piloting the American grand prix car in 2010 is all but lost; Speedtv is reporting that British driver James Rossiter is a shoe-in for the second seat at USF1. Press release from USF1's website inside the post . . .


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

On: Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 2:34PM | By: John Welch


The Good The Bad and The Ugly test 2

GM is selling so many CUVs they can't make enough of them;

Opel is forced to close a plant in Belgium;

and Toyota just keeps trying to murder us with floormats . . .


Gearing Up for the Rolex 24, Pt. One; Ganassi/Felix Sabates Racing

On: Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 3:21PM | By: John Welch


Rolex Grand-Am Series test 2

As I write this, 9:18 a.m. January 21st, 2010, there are nine days, six hours, eleven minutes, and thirty seconds until the green flag is waved at the 2010 Grand-Am/Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Ok, twelve minutes and fifteen seconds. Fourteen. Thirteen. Twelve . . .

The Grand-Am Series, stalwart road racing series owned by the France family, has been dominated by Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates Racing and Gainsco Racing over the past several seasons. Both of these teams are switching to new engine manufacturers for 2010 (though technically, Gainsco is going from a Pontiac to a Chevrolet V8; I'd be surprised if this isn't anything more then an exercise in 're-badging' . . . ) while Ganassi is moving from Lexus to BMW. Much more intriguing in my opinion.

The 'Shopper dives into the Ganassi squad in this post, with further Rolex 24 previews to come . . .


NAIAS, New Models, And A Rant On Acronyms Used As Words: Ford Edition

On: Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 1:42PM | By: John Welch


NAIAS, New Models, And A Rant On Acronyms Used As Words: Ford Edition test 1-1

Ford has been on a surprising roll lately. Anyone who has spent time in a Five Hundred or Ranger recently could safely assume that the FoMoCo is dead in the water. Not the case, not even close. Allan Mullaly, Boeing-Mender extraordinaire, has lent his cost-cutting, product-consolidating skills to the Blue Oval, and in three years they have gone from also-ran to a recurring nightmare in the Toyoda house hold. (Using Toyota's proprietary hybrid technology against them; brilliant!).

So, along comes 2010 and with it the most exciting new product from Ford in a long time. A new 5.0 liter V8 (now with four-lobed bang-sticks riding in it's aluminum heads) for the Mustang, a new 6.2 for the SVT Raptor, and, most importantly (volume-wise), a new Euro-centric Focus . . . not to mention Lincoln updates and the frighteningly kewl Scorpion diesel. Mosey inside the post for all the gory details . . .


 

F1 Update, New Teams And New Regulations

On: Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 1:19PM | By: John Welch


F1 Update, New Teams And New Regulations test 1-1

You gotta love it when "the man" takes one on the chin. In this case, "the man" is Bernie Ecclestone and the Euro-racing elite. Ecclestone has been very open about his feelings regarding the four new teams entering F1 in the 2010 season. Specifically, he doesn't believe some of the teams will make it to the grid; more specifically, he does not believe USF1 will make it to the grid.

Well, how's that crow taste Bernie? Not only is USF1 the obvious leader as far as the new teams are concerned, they appear to be one of the most well prepared teams, period! First, we go over the new "Sporting Regs" and how they will affect the look of the car, then we will update you on each new team on the grid . . . assuming there is anything to update .. .


Sebring Fast Approaches . . .

On: Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 12:48PM | By: John Welch


12 Hours of Sebring 2009 test 2

Ahhh, the Florida air is thick with the stench of high-octane diesel and burnt rubber. The sounds of several hundred pistons pumping in unison is filling the crowd's ears and the excitement is as palatable as the paté being served at the Audi press tent. This is Sebring in March- physical, tangible magic.

The Twelve Hours of Sebring has been held on a reclaimed B-17 runway in the middle of Florida (literally) since the end of the second World War. The worn asphalt has witnessed some of the greatest battles waged outside of the hedgerows of Normandy. To put it simply: La Sarthe, eat your heart out.

Last year's race saw an epic showdown between German and Franc, VW and PSA, Audi and Peugeot. Acura intended to join the fight, but the ARX-02a was hopelessly out-matched in this war of diesel-powered titans. A small gas-powered V8 was a knife compared to the V10 and V12 European gun-fighters. Several videos depicting the beginning, middle and end of the 2009 12 Hours of Sebring inside this post . . .


Mercedes SLS So Awesome It Hurts!

On: Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 3:23PM | By: John Welch


Merceds Benz SLS AMG test 2

Yes yes , I know, I know! This is the second post in a row with a video kyped directly from a competing website. It happens to us all the time; check the date on this post, and then the date on this one. Yeah, exactly. That same thing has happened many times since the 'Shopper Blog went live in September. I'm not mad at all, just pointing out that we are not the only shameless thieves.

This, my friends, is the best audio I have found of the Mercedes AMG SLS. Eff Jay Leno and his weirdness; these videos are here to celebrate the SLS, in all its glitteringly perfect glory . . .


Top Gear Tests The LFA; JD Installs Drool-Bucket In Cubicle

On: Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 5:54PM | By: John Welch


Top Gear Tests The LFA; JD Installs Drool-Bucket In Cubicle test 1-1

I like fast cars and I like comic strips. Combine the two and you've got me pretty smitten. Cell-shading has been used in many video games and movies to create an 'illustrated' feeling for real-life video. Top Gear has taken the idea to new heights with its review of the Lexus LFA.


Ford Takes The Fight To Chevy; New Power For Mustang On The Way

On: Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 3:16PM | By: John Welch


Ford Takes The Fight To Chevy; New Power For Mustang On The Way test 1-1

The Ford Mustang has always been a desirable car. Not a good car per se, but certainly desirable. From the compact proportions of the Fox-body cars to the muscular quarter-window dogleg found on SN-95 Mustangs, there were always things to like about the modern Mustang. In 2005 Ford decided that the car deserved an influx of 'cool'. The consumer climate at the time was arguably as fertile for Ford as it was in 1965. Having the intensely popular "pony-car" market to yourself (GM killed the Camaro/Firebird in 2002, and there was no offering in the sub-thirty grand price range featuring a V8 and rear-wheel drive . . . from any manufacturer!) is one thing, but Ford placing itself on the leading edge of 2005's retro-styling trend was sheer genius. The Mini was selling like Copenhagen at a Marine BX and Ford had learned many lessons on how not to produce a retro car from the ill-fated 2002 Thunderbird.

Using this knowledge and the market reports from Mini, among others, Ford redesigned the Mustang and pooped out a serious winner. Ford took the car racing. They won . . . everything. Grand-Am, Euro GT3 and 4, even the Shelby Cobra began to rack up victories in the Speed World Challenge GT division.

For 2009 the Mustang was updated with smoother exterior styling and a niffty one-piece dash. The car is nice looking, but as usual the powertrains offered in the non-Cobra models left something to be desired. Still, the Mustang was able to take comparison test wins from the Camaro and Challenger despite being down nearly 100 bhp to those to cars. Ford hath conquered, but there is no rest for the wicked.

For 2010 the Mustang GT gets the power it has been sorely lacking, in the form of a high-tech DOHC beast affectionately named "Coyote". To those of us occupying real estate in Central Florida, the engine is called, simply: "Five-Oh" . . .


Wild Racing Updates; F1, SuperGT, Danica Practice

On: Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 2:11PM | By: John Welch


Schumacher returns! test 2

We haven't really ever mentioned the Japanese Super GT. That is a bad move on our part. There's a first time for everything!

Also, the two biggest-deal racers in the world, (arguably) Michael Schumacher and Danica Patrick, both made news in the last few days; we cover it all inside the post . . .


Lutz Takes The Wraps Off Of GM's Near Future Product

On: Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 3:47PM | By: John Welch


Maximum Bob Lutz test 2

Another day, another boring, useful-information free press conference from GM. The world has to be getting as sick of this as I am . . . has this blog even reported on anything other than GM in the last month? Yeah, I guess we have, but not much damnit!

Anyway, the esteemed Mr. Bob Lutz gives us small morsels of info regarding the next Malibu and its cousins, assuming anyone cares . . .