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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Racing

AutoShopperBlog Personas For Mozilla Firefox!

On: Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 9:48AM | By: John Welch

AutoShopperBlog Personas For Mozilla Firefox!  test 1-1

We know you love reading the AutoShopperBlog on a daily basis, not because you have to, because you want to. With that in mind we have developed a way for Mozilla Firefox users to stare at their favorite AutoShopper photography instead of finishing those dreaded TPS Reports. These "Personas" work only with Firefox , are free, and feature as much racing hooliganism as we can fit into a 3000x200 rectangle. A very kewl way to spice up your browser that doesn't involve unicorns or Japanese animation or blinged-out Escalades that are so off-center you can see only half of one massive chromed wheel.

The next three Personas bring our total to six, and feature content that again spans the AutoShopperBlog's exploits during 2009 and 2010. We have some Sebring, some Lake Mirror Classic, and some RedLine Time Attack, all prominently featured on this blog over the course of the last year. Venture inside the post for AutoShopper Mozilla branding worthy of the finest desktops . . .

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; Sports Car Weekend

On: Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 11:55AM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; Sports Car Weekend test 1-1

The two premiere North American road racing series took to Canadian tracks this weekend, with mixed results. Both the American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Grand Am Series ran their second to last races, ALMS at Mosposrt in Ontario, and Grand Am at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal. Both race courses are stunning, and feature heavy doses of history and elevation change. Mosposrt offers some of the best downhill straights in North America, bettered only by Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca. It’s no Spa Francochamps, but its damn close. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has one of the best hairpins anywhere in the world, the turn 10 complex. This is spectator heaven, at the bottom of a hill and set up so that it can be surrounded by race fans. Truly an excellent piece of track engineering.

Both races were entertaining, in their own way. The Rolex Grand Am race was disappointing because it is the last race before the season ender—at the dreadfully boring Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. The ALMS offering was bad for several other reasons. I've actually had serious nightmares about the ALMS folding or turning into a series dominated by GT cars. The bad and the ugly aren't going to help me sleep . . .

Driver Swap For Corvette At Mosport

On: Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 4:51PM | By: John Welch

Driver Swap For Corvette At Mosport test 1-1

Corvette Racing is used to winning everything, with relative ease. That was the case during the better part of this century, when GT1 was viable and the team dominated all comers with their C5 and C6.Rs. Switching to GT2 (now simply 'GT') has caused a few wrinkles in the yellow-and-black armor, and Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing Director, is doing the best to win with what he has. Namely, new cars, in a new class, but veteran drivers, all of which are consummate professionals.

They nearly took the GT2 crown at Le Mans this year; if it wasn't for Anthony Davidson and his over enthusiastic prototype piloting. Though not racing for position, or even in the same class, Davidson's Peugeot punted the GT2-leading Corvette ZR1 off the track following the Mulsanne Straight, totally uncalled for. This incident is indicative of Corvette Racing's GT2 campaign as a whole; supremely promising, but with severe setbacks. Only one win to show, the 2009 Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport, does not properly illustrate the effort the team has put forth. Dynamic rules in GT1 allowed carbon brakes, relocated engines, and full-floor diffusers, not so in GT2. The GT2 Corvette ZR1 is a totally new car, with half the prowess of the old C6.R. And it hasn't worked too well so far.

With this in mind Fehan is shaking up his driver pairings. No one is losing their job, as Corvette Racing employs four of the best drivers in the world. The team is simply rearranging its line up, separating Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin. Gavin will pair with Jan Magnusson, as they did for endurances races during the 2004-'06 seasons. Johnny O' Connell and Beretta will drive together for the first time, but again, these are total professionals; there should be no serious hassle with the driver change.

Rob Partelo and Winner's Circle Racing

On: Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 10:04AM | By: John Welch

Rob Partelo and Winner's Circle Racing test 1-1

Diving head-first into local motorsports, our sister-site, AutoShopper.com has sponsored a local circle-track stand out, Rob Patelo and Winner's Circle Racing. Tonight you have a chance to meet the team and drivers at the Pinellas Park Boys & Girls Club's Grand opening, tonight, from 5:30 until dark.

Pinellas' new Boys and Girls Club is located at 7790 61st Street N. Pinellas Park. Rob will have his late-model Chevy Impala on hand as well as his son Cole's Mini Cup Car. The Winner's Circle Team will be handing out AutoShopper.com freebies, and will be taking donations for the United Way and Boys and Girls Club. If you are in the area stop by say 'Hello', enjoy the machines and grab some AutoShopper.com swag!

Winner's Circle is a full service used car dealer, located at 4242 54th Avenue North, Saint Petersburg, FL 33714, they can be reached at 727-526-0046. With over 95 vehicles available, they have your transport needs covered. Offering full warranties, buy here pay here, and guaranteed financing, Rob is also buying cars. Search their AutoShopper.com ad for some stellar deals!

The AutoShopperBlog will be covering Rob's races, but you can meet him tonight from 5:30 to dark. One more time, here is the address:

Pinellas Park Boys & Girls Club

7790 61st Street N.

Pinellas Park, FL 33781


Drayson Racing Wins At Road America!

On: Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 4:10PM | By: John Welch

Drayson Racing Wins At Road America! test 1-1

Some American Le Mans Series races have larger starting grids than others, an unfortunate fact of life for Scott Atherton and the rest of the people tasked with promoting the Series. On weekends that aren't Sebring or Road Atlanta, however, the prototypes that do show up do their best to entertain and astound. This weekend, set in the rolling hills of  Wisconsin, was no different.

The prototypes filling out the LMP category of the race were all seasoned teams, ready to race. Except for one, Intersport Racing. The Fields came to Road America without an engine seated in the rump of their aging Lola chassis, a motor being a fairly important component of motor racing. The Autocon Team, also campaigning a privateer Lola, lent the Intersport a fresh AER engine, though the car wasn't ready for any of the practice sessions or qualifying. An already dismal six-car LMP class was essentially reduced to five cars.

As the race got underway, it became clear that these five cars were determined to put on a good show, as Autocon driver Johnny Miwlem used his turbo-supplied thrust to take the lead from Lord Drayson before the second corner. Drayson dropped another three positions before the end of the lap, obviously going easy on his Lola coupe to ensure that it was still in one piece for his hired shoe, Johnny Cocker. For the moment, the LMP battle involved four cars: The Autocon Lola, Highcroft ARX-01c, the Cyto-Sport Porsche RS Spyder, driven by factory pilot Timo Bernard, and the Dyson AER-Mazda-powered Lola coupe.

RedLine Time Attack 2010: Japanese Metal And Everything Else

On: Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 3:00PM | By: John Welch

RedLine Time Attack 2010: Japanese Metal And Everything Else test 1-1

Here we have all of the images the AutoShopperBlog couldn't squeeze into other posts regarding the RedLine Time Attack Series event at Sebring Interantional Raceway last weekend. There were many more pictures that didn't make the cut, either because they were of cars we have fully covered, or my finger was in the way . . . whichever.

Here we have more than few GTRs, Evos, MINIs, BMWs, Scions and Porsches. This race was a blast to cover and hopefully will return next year. I wouldn't mind a slightly overcast day, though; I'm still peeling face skin off in sheets.

If you have any questions about any of the vehicles in these pictures, feel free to ask them through the 'comments'. Enjoy!

RedLine TimeAttack 2010: Time Trials And Tribulations

On: Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 4:45PM | By: John Welch

RedLine TimeAttack 2010: Time Trials And Tribulations test 1-1

Racing is as much a game of managing attrition as it is who travels the furthest, in the fastest time. The RedLine Time Attack Series displays this edict with force; featured in this article are two cars that should not have been running on Sunday morning, August 15th. Both cars were on track and one of them came away with several trophies. Mind you, the autos in question started life as production cars, designed to haul humans around in relative comfort at less than insane speeds. Neither has stuck to their intended nature, rather both vehicles are now fire-breathing, asphalt-shredding Time Attack warriors. Wow, too much? Perhaps, but I do love my toothy, pompous adjectives.

Neither of these beast is a purpose-built race car. Neither features any sort of modular design, no quick release hard points on either chassis. Both are very badass, and both took a hell of a beating before Sunday's full-on Time Attack. First up we shine the spot-light on Jay Stoops and his stoopifying (uhg, kill me) Nissan 370 Z. Prepared by Forged Performance, this is the first truly built 370 I've had the pleasure of laying eyes on. A well thought out race car, this Nissan has several interesting bits hidden under its bonnet. It is also serviced by an incredibly resilient crew, as evidenced by the tale of woe and suspension obliterating hardship you will soon read.

The other vehicle in this write-up suffered from arguably worse mechanical malfeasance. The Turn-In Concepts Subaru WRX Sti, driven by Tony Weisenhahn, had no business operating under its own power Sunday morning. The black carbon scar blanketing the Subies' hood vents told me everything I needed to know: catastrophic engine failure of one kind or another. Just how catastrophic, I was soon to find out.

Turner Motorsports To Utilize BMW M3 in 2011

On: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 4:50PM | By: John Welch

Turner Motorsports To Utilize BMW M3 in 2011 test 1-1

It’s no secret that I dig on BMWs, or that I happen to have a soft spot for the Turner MotorSports M6 that runs in the Rolex Grand Am Series. The visceral appeal of this car is immense, from its darkish yellow color to its kitten-eating engine note.

Next season Turner will upgrade its car with M3 bodywork, all but putting an end to the racing career of the BMW M6. In celebration of this slightly homely design The AutoShopper is giving the M6 an early send-off with its own image gallery.

Taken from the 2010 Rolex 24 and Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona, these images were not used in the original AutoShopper coverage of these events. 9 pictures to commemorate a faithful beast, the Turner BMW M6 . . . enjoy!

SSC To Debut the 2nd-Generation Ultimate Aero TT Next Month

On: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 4:32PM | By: Chris Weiss

SSC To Debut the 2nd-Generation Ultimate Aero TT Next Month test 1-1

Shelby Supercars has been gnashing its teeth ever since Bugatti broke the world speed record last month. The American manufacturer is nearly ready to unveil its next-generation Ultimate Aero TT--a car that it's hinted could top the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's 268-mph world record. After some planned private showings, the company put up a teaser website this week, indicating that the official debut will happen next month. Unfortunately, no specific date or time are given, but at least we know there are just a few weeks left.

SSC's site includes only a background teaser photo of the Ultimate Aero--a picture depicting a more rounded nose. The information offered is also kept to the barest of minimums. Here's the full breadth of the site: "The Next Generation is Coming Soon...", "September 2010" and "Because Life Begins at 250." Then there's some contact info for media and general inquiries. And my email got bounced back when I attempted to contact the media email. It's not much to work with, but at least we know when we'll be seeing more--in a general sense of the term "when."

The latest SSC saga began just days after the Veyron Super Sport rolled its way into the record books. The company released a statement congratulating Bugatti and turning attention over to its upcoming Aero.

RedLine TimeAttack 2010: Chris Rado And World Racing

On: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 2:25PM | By: John Welch

The BUSINESS! test 2

Before we delve into Chris Rado and his World Racing team’s disappointing weekend, there is a little story I have to tell. Standing in the paddock of Sebring International Raceway, wondering just how hot is was outside, I put down my Canon, wiped my forehead and simply observed the World Racing crew for a few moments. I had spent the last twenty minutes taking as many revealing images of Chris Rado's outrageous Scion tCs as I could, and had yet to actually see Mr. Rado himself. Out of the corner of my right eye I noticed a hauler door open and a fire-suit clad Rado step out into the unnerving Florida sunshine.
I've met a few race drivers in my time, NASCAR guys mostly, and it took all of my limited self-control not to strut right up to Rado and start yakking at the guy as if we had grown up on the same street. Rado inspected his "tame" Scion, the Super Modified FWD contender you see in most of the images accompanying this post; he displayed a scrunched forehead, a serious posture. I decided perhaps it might not be the best idea to bother him at the moment. After 30 seconds of discussion with a crew member, Rado, completely unaware that I was spying on him harder than a jilted Astronaut spies on her fantasy crewmate, displayed true sportsmanship like I have never seen in a race paddock, professional or otherwise.

Without touching either of his own cars, Rado walked over to one of his litany of air compressors and began assembling a hose and air chuck. A flat-black and red Honda Accord pulled up to the left of World Racing's pits, and it's driver, Sean Yearwood, threw the Honda into 'Park' (I know it’s a manual, how do you use that cliché without ‘Park’?) and gingerly climbed out of the Super Modified FWD-class Accord. That is the most important part of this entire story, Yearwood and his Honda compete in the same class as Rado and his be-winged Scion tC. Direct competitors . . . and Rado was actually helping Yearwood out, allowing the Honda driver to use his equipment and spending his own time and energy to make sure the compressor hose was long enough and that the tank was full of air. Never have I seen a racer help his competition out so thoroughly, going out of his way to make sure Yearwood ran his best time, and the fans were entertained. I decided that this act of selflessness had earned Rado a reprieve from my badgering, and did not approach him.

Okay, now that I've gotten that off my chest, we can focus on World Racing's insane Scions, Rado's bad racing luck, and the images that accompany his trip to Sebring, Florida.

Koenigsegg Agera: Another Potential World-Record-Breaker?

On: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 9:10AM | By: Chris Weiss

Koenigsegg Agera: Another Potential World-Record-Breaker? test 1-1

Koeniggsegg is developing its Agera supercar, which it's expected to put into production this year. A successor to the CCR--a previous world fastest production car record holder--may be challenging the current world's fastest car--the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport--and the next-generation Shelby Supercars Ultimate Aero TT for the coveted title. According to Top Gear, the company's leader, Christian von Koenigsegg expressed some interest in vying for the title.

Last month, over July 4 weekend, Bugatti driver Pierre Henri Raphanel drove the 1,200-hp Veyron Super Sport to a blistering, record-shattering 267 mph. Unlike the unofficial 253 mph mark Bugatti had set in 2006, Bugatti made this one stick, with the Guiness Book of World Record staff on hand to put the run in the books.

While achieving the world speed record is a huge accomplishment, it puts a pretty big target on the back end of the Bugatti. Days after the feat, Shelby Supercars teased its own upcoming Ultimate Aero TT, indicating that it plans to give Bugatti a run for its money.