Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What to watch this weekend (Oct 6th - Oct 12th)

  • Formula 1 - Japanese Grand Prix; from the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. Practice. Friday @ 1am - 2:30am (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • Formula 1 - Japanese Grand Prix; from the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. Qualifying. Saturday @ 1am - 2:30am (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • Australian V8 Supercars - The Bathurst 1000. Live from Mount Panorama in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. Saturday @ 7pm - 2am (SPEED/SPEEDHD) live finally!
  • Formula 1 - Japanese Grand Prix; from the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. Race. Sunday @ 2am - 4am (SPEED/SPEEDHD) replay at 3:30pm
  • What's my car worth? Mini-marathon of the current seasons episodes. Sunday @ 1-7pm (Velocity/Discovery's HD Theater) replays
  • Motorweek. 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS. Tuesday @ 8pm - 8:30pm (Velocity/Discovery's HD Theater)
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Porsh-ahhh. Tuesday @ 10pm - 10:30pm (Velocity/Discovery's HD Theater)
  • The Car Show with Adam Carolla. What's efficient? Wednesday @ 10p - 10:30pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
Some great racing action this weekend. Formula 1 brings us another battle from the far east, this time at the famous Suzuka Circuit. While this race will be entertaining as Suzuka is one hell of a track, the king of this weekend is the legendary Bathurst 1000 race. The fact that this race is actually being aired live instead of a 2-3 week delay says it all. With history exceeding 47 years at the current Mount Panorama track (51yrs overall), this is one of the most coveted podiums among race drivers in Australia. While the current V8 Supercars series only allows two marques, Ford and Holden (Chevrolet), this race used to have a wider cast of contenders, including Group A classed Nissan R32 GTRs and Super Touring classed 2litre BMWs and Volvos, during the period when British Touring Car Championship based regulations were in place. As with all endurance races, much like last weeks ALMS Petit Le Mans, it's a war of attrition that tests drivers, teams and automobiles to the utmost limit. The Bathurst 1000 will air at night here in the states and will be followed immediately by the F1 race on SPEED, so if you're a night owl tune in.

Video hosting courtesy of CRDTV

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quick Vid: 2012 Porsche 911 (991/998)

Porsche unveils the all new Porsche 911.

Video courtesy of Porsche.

Video hosting courtesy of WorldCarFans.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Event Recap: H2o International 2011

This years H2o International was one I won't forget too soon, but not for the reasons you might think. I spent more time hanging out with friends this year than I ever have, stayed in a less than fantastic motel on an air mattress, drove my grey car down to the beach for the first time in two years and was under a seemingly constant rain cloud that never ran out of water...and that was just Friday. Outside of the annual socializing, I wasn't sure what to expect from the show this year. The showgrounds were set upon a Catholic School I never heard of and the confirmation of H2oi 2011 taking place wasn't set in stone until pretty late in the Summer. Reflecting on this years VAG weekend in OC, now that a week or so has passed, a few things have become glaringly clear. One, this years show was pulled off as expected and proved again to be the undisputed king of east-coast shows in turnout. Two, this show isn't what it used to be and I don't think it'll ever be as good an overall event as it was before 2010.

In the case you think I'm blaming my lackluster H2oi's experience on the oppressive weather this year, let me elaborate. What has made H2oi so good over the past fourteen years is a number of things (in no particular order); a great and familiar location, familiar staff, an organized show field, cool cars, parking with other cars like your own, judging by peers who intimately know the cars on their docket, laid back environment, ease of parking, seeing slick daily drivers/personal cars on the way out and show regulars. This years show had a sprinkling of what the previous shows brought to the table, but fell short in the majority of other departments. First off, the location was a train wreck; not because it was at a private school, but because public parking and the event/show parking were on two sides of a major road; Racetrack Road (Rt.589). In order to make this work, organizers had Maryland State Troopers and show staff in the middle of said major road, working it as a gate to let people in and out of both event and general parking sides. This directly lead to ~2 miles of backed up traffic coming from Rt.50, due to this major thru-way being clogged up. It took an hour to travel a mile and a half, at 3pm, the Saturday (Big Ass BBQ) before the show. In order to rectify the situation on Sunday, when the patron count would be quadrupled, the local police/signs told people to take Rt.113 and come to the show grounds from the other side of Rt.589. This was a band-aid solution at best.

Back from the dead!
1552's custom shoes for Alexi's Golf
The Quebec based Unix line-up was a good reason to attend.

Learning a lesson from the shenanigans on Saturday we left early enough to arrive around 9am Sunday morning. The car line was short, thankfully, and we all were directed to follow some of the show staff to be parked. Much to my surprise, there were no set rows or sections matching the details on the dash cards that showing participants received through registration, and the staff was just trying to jam cars in wherever there was room. There were lines of cars coming from all directions from within the showgrounds; I was later informed this was because the plan for arranging cars was different depending on the staff you spoke to at any given time. And to add insult to injury, we had some teenage kid that didn't know what the fck he was doing telling us to rearrange our cars every few minutes to squeeze more into a space that didn't exist. Not long afterwards we were notified judges would be working sections of the showfield, instead of the classes they were supposed to judge, since all the sscattered makes would be too hard to track down. Now I'm not a stickler for judging and enjoy a good parking spot more than anything else, but this is a judged carshow and for all those spending countless months building cars to showcase and compete, why would you want someone who knew nothing about your car (or cars in general in some instances) having anything to do with judging it? And don't get me started on the dubstep tent.

My soapbox back in storage now, let me tell you what was good about this years show. For one, it happened. This was a question mark for many regular attendees and vendors, some of which didn't make it in person due to the short-notice planning. Second, there were some cool cars worth showing up for, but you had to search for those that didn't find their way onto Top Dog row or Vendor alley. The Top Dog section was chock full of well built cars including Bynum toys and Alexi's mk3 golf. Alexi's golf, which was fantastic to see finally running after a stint at EuroAutoSource, was crisp-n-clean with some of his family present and dressed to impress. Third, the show turnout as big as last year if not bigger; this was hard to tell by sight given the layout was more compressed than years past. There were a ton of new faces in addition to the several hundred people you see at this event every year. Going forward I think the show needs a bigger and more purpose-built venue; after seeing what happened to traffic and the grass of Most Blessed Sacrament School, I wouldn't be surprised if this won't be a repeat location. Odd as this may sound to some, I think the show needs to slow it's growth. H2oi may have finally gotten too big for its own good. Think Waterfest. VWoA was there with the corporate paddy wagon and I'm sure vendor sales were up all around. But at what cost? H2o International is supposed to be the chill show with cool cars that isn't a hassle to attend; it is now.


Quick Vid: 2011 Porsche 911 GTS review

Autoblogger reviews the 2011 Porsche 911 GTS.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Car Pron Series: Targa Tasmania

Grab a drink, recline your (office)chair and check out this Porsche original series covering the Targa Tasmania Rally.

Leg 1 starting line, Leg 1 race start, Leg 2, Leg 3, Leg 4 and Leg 5 race finish.