Thursday, June 23, 2011

What to watch this weekend (June 24th - June 26th)

  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Europe; from Valencia Spain. Practice. Friday @ 8am - 9:30am (SPEED/SPEEDHD) live
  • Motorweek. 2012 Mazda5 and 2012 Honda Civic. Friday @ 8pm - 9pm (Discovery's HD Theater) replays
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Friday @ 9pm - 11pm (Discovery's HD Theater) replays
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Europe; from Valencia Spain. Qualifying. Saturday @ 8am - 9:30am (SPEED/SPEEDHD) live
  • 24 Hours of Nurburgring. Saturday @ 10am through Sunday @ 10am (AudiTV webcast) live
  • Rolex Sports Car Series. Road America 250. Live from Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Sunday @ 12:00pm - 2:30pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Europe; from Valencia Spain. Race. Sunday @ 12pm - 2pm (FOX/FOXHD) same day delayed broadcast
  • Top Gear (UK). Season 16 Christmas Special. Jezza, Hamster and Captain Slow travel through the Middle East, emulating the path of the three wise men. Monday @ 9pm - 10:20pm (BBC America/BBC America HD) great fukin replay
You know what pisses me off? Not one (1) of my hundreds of cable channels is covering the 2011 24 Hours of Nurburgring. While the Le Mans 24 Hours is the benchmark for endurance races, as I stated not too long ago, the Nurburgring is the benchmark of facilities, in the world, for developing automobile suspensions and driving dynamics. It's where countless world dominating sports cars are battle tested and proven on an annual basis. It's where supercars throw down the gauntlet for lap-time supremacy. But the annual endurance race held there isn't important enough to be televised in this country, because US-based manufacturers can't (or won't choose to) make money off it. The point of this rant is that US Auto manufacturers are wrong by igging the (road) racing fans of this country and they're effing it up for everyone of our ilk. This years 24hrs of Nurburgring will have a Lexus LFA competing, a factory race-spec VW Golf competing, the Ferrari/Paninfarina P4/5C competing, the second iteration of the GT3 R Hybrid competing as well as many other great story lines. For missing out on this action live I say fck you Speed TV, FOX Sports and CBS Sports. You heard me. Thankfully after scouring the net I found that Audi TV will be streaming this great endurance race live. Oh yea, there's a F1 race this Sunday too...with shtty, abridged, FOX coverage. Ugh.

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Orbital Dreams: Single Stage Pain(t) service Pt.2

The following day I got a new orange pad out and went about applying sealant. Griot's Garage One Step Sealant is an all in one for those short on time, having both polishing and sealing properties in one go. This stuff is cake to remove with a fresh microfiber towel and the residue doesn't go everywhere like polish does (white powder). Sealant is different than wax in that it bonds with the paint surface rather than sit on top as an additional layer. The protective benefits of sealant lasts longer than wax, but doesn't look as good buffed or repel liquid as well as wax does. That said, I went with a two staged plan; wax on top of sealant.

To the naked eye in low light, a sealed and a waxed car look relatively similar. In sunlight, however, the waxed surface has much more depth. Wax is also slippery to the touch. After finishing my sealant application I let the car sit for 18 hours to let the sealant set, then the following day got my wax on in my tight garage.

The finished product is below. Color depth is great and even everywhere; there are still some minor scratches/chips and imperfections, but I'm happy given my paint is far from perfect(able). I could've done more than one coat of wax, but this took 3 afternoons with everything else I had going on. The good news is that I can easily wash and apply a couple more layers of wax without all the prep I had to do previously with a whole...I think I'll do that. While silky smooth, I could still leave a finger print on the paint surface. When you can't leave a finger print anymore, your job is done.

I can't wait for the next rain.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Orbital Dreams: Single Stage Pain(t) service Pt.1

The one gift and curse of this car since purchase was the paint. I've never had a single stage paint job on any car, except for the grey hatch's original factory uni-black paint job which was definitely a different animal all together. This car does a great job of cleaning up well especially due to how bright this color comes off in daylight, but due to both it's color and lack of clearcoat, is quick to oxidize once the temps warm up.

The worst thing on single stage paint is the water spots; with the almost tropical weather that sporadically occurs, in the Mid-Atlantic area, during the arrival of summer is a real pain. Strong sun, broken up by a quick and hard rain, then the sun back out as strong as ever. I get pink polka dots all over the paintwork when this has happened. I noticed this for the first time last year after getting the car setup in for H2oi. I the car parked on my driveway and after a flash rainstorm, water dripping off the side of the house onto the trunklid burned spots into the paint. I had remnants of wax on the car at the time, but not much. Well a few weeks ago it flash rained on a hot day and I got them on the roof, decklid and a little on the front hood too. I got a few days off for Memorial Day and decided to put some work in.

After washing and drying thoroughly I took some before shots for reference; check out the blotches. The only thing you can do to remove these spots is polish the paint down to get to deeper, better paint, then do a better job than me to protect it going forward. The tools for this job were all Griot's Garage products; there are plenty of options out there as many of you know, but since I've bought plenty from GG over the years I decided to invest in their orbitals, pads and products. Machine Polish #2 (light scratches/moderate oxidation), One step sealant (includes mild polish) and Best in show Wax was the lineup. I could've gone coarser with the cut, but not knowing how thick this paint is and being somewhat limited with time, I stuck with this combo to get a solid level of protection for the summer.

After claying the surface clean I started polishing sections of the car starting with the hood. I had a couple scratches and etched paint spots I went at with hand polish first to see what areas would need more effor than others. I also taped off all the trim and wiper arms to keep from having to clean those up later. GG polishes get hard to remove quick so you want to wipe residue off while the polish is still liquid. After a couple passes on each panel I called it a day.

The color was substantially better, but it was completely vulnerable outside, so I put it in the VIP room for a controlled environment. Thunderstorm watch was on the forecast...

Quick Vid: BMW M3. 25 Years.

BMW looks back at the original M3.

Video courtesy of BMW.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Web Entertainment Intro: I Love Bass (

I've been aware of I Love Bass for what feels like a couple years now; I first became aware of them through show coverage of UK events with their watermarks. I later found myself checking out vids on the I Love Bass vimeo channel and saw this vid. I held onto it until a good opportunity to use it came up and now it has. For those who don't know, I Love Bass is a crew of car enthusiasts based out of Northern Ireland and is now part of the ROTL web entertainment listing. Without further adieu, here's a compilation vid of this crews first year of action under this banner. Enjoy.

I Love Bass - Our first year from I Love Bass on Vimeo.