Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What to watch this Weekend (Aug 22nd - Aug 28th)

  • Retro Car Kings. A cool documentary on the top retro car builders of Japan. Thursday @ 10pm - 11pm (VelocityHD) new; multiple replays all weekend
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Belgium; from circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Practice. Friday @ 8am - 9:30am (NBCSN(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Belgium; from circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Qualifying. Saturday @ 12pm - 2pm (NBCSN(HD)) same-day delay
  • The Worlds Most Expensive Rides. Marathon. Satuday @ 1pm - 8pm (VelocityHD) great replays
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Belgium; from circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Race. Sunday @ 7:30am - 10am (NBCSN(HD)) live
  • Top Gear (UK). Sydney Special Monday @ 9pm - 10pm (BBCAmerica/BBCAmerica HD)
  • Motorweek. Lincoln MKZ. Tuesday @ 8pm - 8:30pm (VelocityHD) 
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Tuesday @ 10pm - 11pm (VelocityHD) new
  • Wheeler Dealers. Aston Martin DB7. Wednesday @ 9pm - 10pm (VelocityHD) new
  • Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans. Episode 1 - Actor/Racer. Wednesday @ 10pm - 11pm (VelocityHD) new
We have a great weekend ahead; it's chock full of must-see specials and F1 action from Spa. When we last left off, we had a showdown in Hungary...

Hamilton takes pole in qualy, Vettel comes in second. Sound familiar? Webber had DRS problems prior to the start of the race and gets moved back on the grid. Red Bull Racing use this opportunity to start on primes rather than the softs. Unlike previous races Hams starts from pole and gets a solid start. After the first turn though, Massa and Rosberg come together with Rosberg getting the worst of it. Hams never does gets the opportunity to run away from Vettel after his great start and his purple laps still result in Vettel hounding him, albeit back a couple car lengths. He finally gaps Vettel by over a second on lap 6.

Hams pits on lap 10 for primes and comes out behind Button. Vettel and Grosjean battle it out through lap 11. Meanwhile Raikkonen is up Alonzo's ass, fighting for third. It looks like Kimi's softs are done based on the numbers. Grosjean stays out to take 1st position, but Vettel goes in on lap 12. Vettel comes out behind Button in 7th (hams already passed). Vettel's Redbull is beginning to over heat while he's in traffic. Webber is still out, and is now leading in lap 15 on the primes. His pace has stayed high. more than likely he'll go onto another set of primes and finish on the softs.

At this point in the race it becomes apparent that Vettel has front wing damage...not sure where he got it. Now he has the same KERS problem Webber had before the race that docked him grid spots. His engine is overheating too, which may be affecting KERS. Grosjean is all over him like a cheap suit. Hams, away from the fray is going purple.

Sutil unfortunately retires on lap 20; hydraulic leak and problems in the pit change. Grosjean is taking so long to get by Vettel's crippled car that Alonzo has caught up with him. Webber is still out with decent times in lap 22, but Hamilton is reeling him in from 2nd. Button, in 3rd, is quite easily holding his position. Webber pits before lap 24, going back on another set of primes. Vettel finally finds a way past Button, then Grosjean bangs by to capitalize, but goes off course a bit in doing so. Alonzo slides past as well before the door closes. Button happened to take a small hit from Grosjean and pits for a new front wing and softs while he's in there.

At this point Hamilton is gapping the field by 13 seconds. Grosjean pits on lap seems it was precautionary due to the contact with Button to avoid a possible puncture, which allows Alonzo takes over 3rd position. Remember the pit cameraman who got slapped with Webber's wheel back in Germany? News is he suffered a few broken bones. The new rule is that if a team lets a car go from pit and a tire comes lose in the pit, they'll be docked ten grid positions on the next race.

Vettel is slowly reeling Hamilton in, getting a second back from the ~13 sec lead during lap 31. Hams hits the pit on lap 32 for another set of primes and rejoins behind Webber and Alonzo in 4th position. Massa goes in for tires, primes again, back out in 10th. Vettel still has vibration in the front end, due to the damaged wing, but the team assesses that he'll lose too much time with a swap. Vettel eventually pits but returns to the circuit behind Webber, again, in 6th position. Then, the biggest story of the race is written; Grosjean, in my opinion, gets shafted by the stewards after passing Massa with barely two wheels off the road. For some reason, that escaped most eyes, they served him with a drive through penalty (lap 39), essentially ending his chance of winning the race. This appeared to be a makeup call for the earlier contact with Button, but even in that situation he appeared to have completed the move and Button moved into him.

Hams is now running in 1st, Webber right behind, followed by Raikkonen and Vettel. Raikkonen comes into pit on lap 43, returning in 6th. Webber stopped once only, within three seconds of hams, lap 43. By lap 48 Vettel is in second, ~15 seconds behind Hams. Grosjean stops on lap 48/70 for primes, rejoining the circuit ahead of Massa in 8th. Hams stops on lap 51 for primes and comes out in 3rd behind Webber, but quickly uses lap traffic to pass him. It's clear he wants this win. At this point in the race Webber still needs to run a set of primes, but it appears he's holding off on them until his last stop of the race.

Vettel holds a 8 second lead on Hamilton in lap 53, but he's one stop down to the Petronas AMG. While it appears Seb is setting up for a patented qualy-lap finish to try chasing down Hams after inevitably giving up the position, Hams appears he's going to try to finish out the race with this set of tires. Vettel comes in on lap 56 for primes, which was surprising as I thought he wanted the edge on grip that the softs provide. I believe Webber's consistently quick lap-times on the primes may have influenced the decision.

Vettel gets back to 4th, trying his damnedest to reel in Raikkonen, even going purple on lap 57/70. All the major players are staying out until the end of the race at this point except for Webber. Webber finally comes in on lap 60, hoping he can run qualy laps til the finish on the softs. He gets out of pit right behind Vettel, which I hoped would turn into fireworks; Webber goes purple on lap 61. Vettel is laying rubber in the attempt to chase down Kimi, seemingly priming him to fall victim to Webber's advances. By lap 64 Webber has brought Vettel within an 8 second gap.

Raikkonen's tires are starting to go off in lap 65. Next thing you know Rosberg retires in a heap of smoke in lap; engine blew, fire out the back. With three laps to go both Redbulls get successive 'fail 22 fail' alerts across the radio from the pits; while suspicious at the time this didn't turn out to affect their race outcome. After a bit less drama than expected, the race finishes out as they sit. Hams takes his first win as a driver for AMG Petronas, while Raikkonen gets on the podium again, extending his GP points scoring streak. Vettel finishes in 3th, Alonzo in 4th and Grosjean in 5th, putting in a hell of a race given the drive through penalty. Raikkonen seemed to be low and fuel, shutting it down right past the finish line. The current standings at the halfway point of the season: Vettel, Raikkonen -38, Alonzo -39, Hamilton -48, Webber - 67.

This weekend should be interesting, as Spa is one of the most challenging tracks in the world. Suspension setup will be key and this may fall into Lotus' hands. Make sure to tune in and enjoy your weekends.

Video hosting courtesy of SirMarioJr.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Car Pron: Audi RS6 v Mercedes CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake: Super Wagons (CHOC)

Chris Harris brings back the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake to put it heads up against the new Audi RS6. I don't really see any losers here.

Video courtesy of Drive.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Orbital Dreams: Paintless Dent Repair on a Porsche 911 (DriveClean)

Larry of AMMONYC continues to address the restoration needs of his recently acquired Porsche 911. As all cars grow older and are used, panel dings are an unfortunate part of life. The good news is that if the paint surface isn't broken, you can typically repair the impact to good as new with the aid of a skilled paintless dent repairer.

Video courtesy of Drive.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Neo-Vintage: I Drive New York (Petrolicious)

This short film from Petrolicious should serve as motivation for everyone. There shouldn't be anything keeping you taking your classic driver out for an enjoying excursion (besides repairs -- ahem). I've never felt so fortunate to be able to park on my own property.

Video courtesy of PetroliciousCo.