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Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Racing

Mopar Releases Meanest Challenger Yet, Uhm, From Mopar Itself Anyway

On: Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 1:40PM | By: John Welch


Mopar Releases Meanest Challenger Yet, Uhm, From Mopar Itself Anyway test 1-1


One of the problems with America is that we just can't accept a good thing and then leave it well enough alone. Mopar (Dodge, whatever) has seen its darling baby, the Challenger, hacked to pieces by every tuner from the reputable, Hennessey and Steve Saleen, to the less than reputable.

So, just like last year, Dodge has decided to produce a limited run of 'Drag-Pack' Challengers. Perfect mod's for a slightly hampered muscle car? Or total waste of money and engineering effort? You be the judge, inside the post . . .


Ferrari Kicks The Wounded While They're Down

On: Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 1:45PM | By: John Welch


Ferrari Kicks The Wounded While They're Down test 1-1

Man, Ferrari is an Italian company? Really?! You would never know it based on the complete lack of class they like to display on their blog "The Horse Whisperer" (GAY!). They have made it their business to post a blog that basically eviscerates the four new teams, labeling them everything from soon-to-be 'loyal-vassals' (Campos) to 'Serbian Vultures' which refers to the 5th team, Stefan GP. Youch.

Ferrari, if you have the stones to post this rant, then the 'Shopper will just have to reprint it. Good thing the last paragraph is very astute . ..


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: F1 Test-Days Edition

On: Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 3:04PM | By: John Welch


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: F1 Test-Days Edition test 1-1

Re-fueling ban appears to have leveled the competition;

USF1 is in dire straits;

and Chad Hurley is a ship-jumpin' punk and a half . . .


Fear And Loathing At the Rolex 24, Part 2

On: Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 10:30AM | By: John Welch


Fear And Loathing At the Rolex 24, Part 2 test 1-1

Wet, thirsty, and brimming with manic excitement, I took stock of my current situation. The race (after thirty laps) had calmed into a steady ebb and flow that saw both the Daytona Protoype and GT lead change hands two or three times. It would be a while before the strongest competitors separated themselves from the field. The Ford contingent (Mike Shank Racing, Suntrust/Wayne Taylor Racing) were hanging close to the top four, but it was becoming apparent that the Ganassi BMW/Rileys and the two Porsche flat-six powered prototypes were the class of the field.

Th rain had lessened slightly, and the cold was begininng to set in. We decided it might be a good time to visit the dark green Subaru we had left in the parking lot two hours prior. After assessing what items other people were able to get into the grandstands (backpacks, entire 18 packs of Busch, massive camera equipment) we had a decent idea of what we needed to retrieve from the lowly Legacy. It was time to accessorize, strap loose beers, and a Canon D5 to our chests, and brave the coming night . . .


 

Fear And Loathing At the Rolex 24, Part 1

On: Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 6:02PM | By: John Welch


Fear And Loathing At the Rolex 24, Part 1 test 1-1

Oh muthereffer, did I really name this article in the most cliched, laziest fashion possible? Well, sure I did, but I have my reasons. Namely, "Fear and Loathing at the Rolex 24" is the best possible way to describe the end of my January. It was insane. Period.

First, a little background. The 'Shopper Blog has been around only since September of 2009. Grand-Am (the sanctioning body that plans and executes the Rolex 24) is owned by NASCAR. Combine those two factors and you can imagine how far I got in my quest to acquire Press Accreditation. Not far. It took five calls to Daytona International Speedway just to get somebody to tell me "No!" More on the ridiculously incompetent DIS staff later . . .

So, no credentials available, I figured I would have to wait until Sebring to cut my "endurance race journalism" teeth. Enter: Jane. My better half . . .

Google Chat Transcript:

Jane: "What is that thing you wanted to go to this weekend? I can't remember what it's called"

JD: "The Rolex 24 at Daytona. SIGH."

Jane: "What exactly was 'The Rolex 24' again?"

JD: "A sports car race that runs from 3:30 in the afternoon Saturday until 3:30 Sunday."

Jane: "And you couldn't get tickets?"

JD: "Naw, stupid NASCAR doesn't believe that we are an actual 'media outlet', and the tickets I need are too expensive for the 'Shopper's budget . . ."

JD: "<<--- DEPRESSED"

Jane: "Well, don't be depressed,"

JD (whining like a two year old): "How could I not be depressed?! I wanna goooooo"

Jane: "Because I just bought us tickets . . . "

About a nanosecond after reading that statement, my brain imploded. I couldn't believe it. This is easily the kewlest grrl on the planet, and she gets me! She really gets me! Sneaky effer that I am, I neglected to mention the lack of showers, electrical outlets, and general comfort that are associated with this undertaking. Thankfully, Jane is way tougher than I am and none of that stuff bothered her.

So, got tickets, got coffee, got cigarettes, got a good night's sleep, time to brave I-4, and witness the first serious Sports Car race of the year . . .

 

UPDATE: "PorscheStag" video added at the end of the post . . .


The Rolex 24 At Daytona: The 'Shopper Preview

On: Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 3:15PM | By: John Welch


The Rolex 24 At Daytona: The 'Shopper Preview test 1-1


Twenty four hours is a long time to be driving a car, at part throttle. Wide open throttle, for nearly half a minute, and then brakes, hard, and then full left-hand lock and then full right-hand lock and then full throttle again, three times a lap, for twenty four hours; why, that is just plain stupid.

Or "awesomelybadass", depending how you look at it. The 'Shopper tends to fall into the latter category. If you do too, then maybe you would like to know what we were up to this weekend . . .


F1 2010, Ferrari, And McLaren Launch 2010 Cars First

On: Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 4:12PM | By: John Welch


Sloppy Photoshop Visual Representation Of Historic Corporate ShowDown. test 2

Aww geez, JD's Christmas wasn't in December. No, JD gets most excited (gnashing teeth, sweating bullets-excited,) right around the middle of March. The boiling point will be reached on March 12th, 2010: first day of practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Bahrain GP grid will contain a renewed, Maylasian-flavored Lotus, Richard Branson and John Booth's Virgin/Manor Racing garage-project, Adrian Campos-GP2 owner turned F1 owner, and (covered exhaustively by the 'Shopper Blog) the first American-manufactured F1 car since Dan Gurney's Eagles pounded European pavement in the late Sixties.

As of Friday, January 29th two teams have held public launches of their 2010 contenders; not surprisingly, Ferrari and McLaren are the first out of the gates. Venture inside yon post for all of the angular, massive winged car-stag . . .


USF1; Wiring A Formula One Car

On: Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:22AM | By: John Welch


USF1 Type 1 test 2

USF1 is determined to prove that they are capable of building a proper Grand Prix car. They'll utilize any excuse to produce videos demonstrating the Type 1's progress. Consequently, the 'Shopper will use any excuse to cram these videos down your throat!

Inside the post: Wiring the USF1 Type One Grand Prix car . . .


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 . . .


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 . . .


USF1 Type 1 Breaks Cover

On: Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 12:34PM | By: John Welch


USF1 Type 1 test 2

Here it is, boys and grrls, although it's still a glorified CAD drawing. None the less there are several interesting things going on here, and the livery will NOT be the stars and stripes barfed up all over the Type 1's sinewy flanks. Details inside yonder post . . .