June 30, 2009

Awesome car sale post: McLaren F1 GTR Long Tail w/ provenance for sale

I actually peeped this fine specimen over on Speedhunters.com a couple weeks back, but I didn't bother re-posting it, well, because I just wasn't in the mood. I've been occupying my scant free time with mad DSLR research, yo, cause a man has to step up his game at some point. So while I was reading reviews over at DP Review, searching various online sites and comparing notes, I just let these awesome pics sit on my desktop. I'm cleaning up said desktop now, so here are the pictures.

The site these were snagged from is also the site selling this fine machine, Bingo Sports. Check out the dream car list here. The price is only on asking, and if ever there is car that proves the old "if you have to ask you can't afford it" adage, this is it. Regular old McLaren F1's go for well over a million to two million buckaroos. The ultra-rare GTR LM (only five sold!) is the street version of this car, which has racing provenance, and is the last of the total run of 28 cars. These were actual real-world GT's and probably what the FIA / ACO had in mind with the GT1 regulations of the mid-90's that lead to the not-at-all real world GT's starting with the Porsche GT1 and culminating with the Toyota GT One.

My buddy Robert used to work for Turner Motorsport, and there was a guy he knew through that who owned not one, not two, but three McLaren F1's, including a GTR. Damn that's awesome. What's more is this guy actually drove his cars. Apparently one was his daily driver, the other was the investment / garage queen, and the GTR was the track toy, which was eventually sold.

I don't know what I would have to do to make that much money, seeing as the whole "being born into it" thing didn't happen, and I hate the whole Wall Street B.S. and the people that work there. Chances are I won't ever own one, but a man can dream. I won't bother getting into the ins and outs of the McLaren F1 and it's derivative, that's what Wikipedia is for, but I figured I'd share these pics. They're not exactly common, and I don't know that many people that go trolling through Japanese websites on a regular basis looking for F1 GTR's.

Anyways, there are some slightly larger versions of these pics over at the Wolfsburg RS Flickr....


June 29, 2009

Video Post: In-car Turner Motorsport footage from Watkin's Glen

I was over on the Eurotuner blog today and saw this video they had linked to from Turner Motorsport. It shows some furiously hectic last-blast end of the race action at the combined class Grand Am / Koni Challenge race at Watkins Glen. You can spot some APR GTI's getting passed, along with most of the other ST field, but the main focus here are the Turner M3's, since all the footage is from inside those cars. Obviously. Anyways, it's makes great use of the fact that almost anyone can afford a decent in-car camera system these days. I think it's amazing, and very cool, that Turner puts the time and effort into releasing this footage to the public for them to watch. does a great job of building the brand and building loyal fans too.

By the way, these cars sounds so bad-ass in this footage it's enough to make me want to buy an E46 M3. Something I never really have thought about before.


June 25, 2009

Finally some VW stuff - My two favorite cars from Dubs at the Beach?

I very rarely get time to go muck about and take pictures of cars at car shows. Pretty ironic considering the fact that I'm typically one of the first people there and last to leave, but that's life, man. I did have a quick chance to go around at Dubs at the Beach and see what was there, and although it was no barn-stormer in terms of attendance, there were some nice cars. I didn't take many pictures, but I did snap a few of the Mk1's.

The first was one of my more favorite cars over the past year or so, this clean, well balanced, and nicely appointed Scirocco...and it has a 1.8t swap. I don't really care if a car like this has a swap or not, in fact if it had a cam'd up 8v I'd probably like it more, but overall this car manages something few Sciroccos do, which is stand up to the best in the more normal GTI and Jetta examples. I'd like to think Scirocco Madness will look this good. How soon? Two years at least, haha. But yeah, the BBS RS wheels, the low-but-not-too-low stance, euro bumpers, small touches and attention to details. Really great stuff.

Scirocco's are one of the only VW's that I think really need dished wheels to look right. Flat-face fitments tend to exaggerate all the wrong aspects of the design, so you can be sure that whatever we decide to fit to our Scirocco, it'll be something with a dish. Probably not expensive or exotic, but well balanced let's say. Moving on: One of my other favorite cars was this old Mk1 Diesel. I would never buy a Diesel like this, but I respect the people that do..it's cool. And clean, and well, what more could you want? Not much.

Anyways, these were two of my favorite cars, there were plenty more with more money, more flash, more whatever, but these are sort of the meat and potatoes of nice old cars for me. Everything you could want, nothing you don't!


P.S. - I just noticed that when combined, these two cars are almost the exact same color as the Falken colors. That's totally bizarre, because I did not even think of that when I was making this post, it was unintentional, I simply noticed when I was doing my after-posting proofreading. What's even stranger is I'm 90% sure that diesel is the original color as well. (if not original paint)

June 24, 2009

Just because: Falken Porsche 911 RSR

Although they've only run one race, I have to say, I think the Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR is the best looking 911 in the ALMS series. I'm not a huge fan of their drift cars, mainly because I'm not a huge fan of the big Mustang and the V8 swapped convertible Nissan Z-cars, but the blue and green really balances well with the shape of the Porsche, and the black wheels give it that street-cred look.

If I had a 911 I'd paint it like this. Actually I wouldn't, because running a car to look like it's sponsored when it isn't is lame. I would drive this car given the chance though, and given than I have no racing license nor experience behind the wheel of any really, really set up racing cars, I won't be doing so anytime soon. A man can dream though. Right now I'm trying to figure out a way that I can go attend the Petit Le Mans this year. I don't see that happening since I have a car show to do that weekend but stranger things have happened.

Falken also has a kick-ass video up on their site right here. They do all their own videos in house by the way. Pretty cool stuff.


June 21, 2009

APR wins again! Sweeney and von Moltke make it two in a row

Once again APR has dominated and come out on top with their second win ever as a team, and second win in a row for the 181 car of Mike Sweeney and Dion von Moltke. Although the top qualifying number 171 of Ian Baas and Josh Hurley lead the majority of the race at Mid-Ohio, electrical problems popped up with only six laps to go, allowing von Moltke to charge ahead and take the win.

The APR Motorsport / BBS team was the one to beat all weekend, and clearly they have really come into their own with the results they've been enjoying. But hard work and commitment are rewarded with results, much as Audi has proved with their Le Mans wins, so it's not really all that surprising. Next up is the home race, or at least home state, for APR, at Barber Motorsports Park on the weekend of July 17th-19th. They're running split classes again for the Koni Challenge...I can't even think about going thanks to Waterfest being that weekend, but if you're down south it would be a great event to attend. Check out the Koni Challenge site for the full run down of the remaining race schedule.


June 20, 2009

Koni Challenge: APR Motorsport locks down the front row at Mid-Ohio

APR Motorsports is on quite the roll. Not only did they just give Volkswagen its first win in over 25 years in a professional road racing series inside the USA, but they've nailed down the pole position at each of the last three races, and locked up the whole front row at the last two. The 171 car of Baas and Hurley sits on pole for this weekend's race at Mid-Ohio, and the 181 of Sweeney and von Moltke are right behind, sitting on the outside of row one. That's got to feel great. I've always said that the only thing lacking from VW's success in the motorsports arena is the lack of commitment and money. Very few teams have had both the money and the commitment to achieve success. It generally tends to be either one or the other. (i.e. all passion and no money, or all money and no follow through)

With APR, VW has found a committed partner in racing. I think it says a lot about APR as a tuning company, compared to a lot of others. Few people are willing to put their company's profits on the line with a motorsports program, but it's also one of the best ways to test and improve your products and knowledge. Racing is expensive business...some may consider the Koni Challenge to be the minor leagues, and compared to the stuff at Le Mans it certainly is, but this is no nickel and dime affair. After an up and down first year you would be excused for thinking that maybe APR would drop out or not fully committee, especially with a faltering economy. Not the case though, and it has payed off. I'm very curious to see if Volkswagen gives APR a little more support next year. Perhaps a few Mk6 GTI bodies in white? That would be very cool, and probably make the conversion from street car to race car a bit easier. After all, the current crop of Mk5 GTi's were just standard Mk5's to start with, so there is a lot of labor involved in stripping them out and making them race ready.

Although the race is this weekend, it won't be broadcast until June 28th at 12:30 on Speed TV. This may mean that results aren't much of a surprise, but hey, it should still be an exciting race either way. It's times like this I really wish I had cable. hehehe. Go APR!


June 19, 2009

Busy weekend - get thee to Mid Ohio!

I don't have a time machine nor an airplane. If I did, I would do one thing, other than the stuff I already have to do this weekend, and that is: Go to the Mid-Ohio Sportscar course. Its is quite the weekend of racing for Volkswagen in the USA. Not only is it the first round in the Koni Challenge since APR won at Watkins Glen, but the Jetta TDI cup is also running as a support series. It should prove to be one hell of a weekend. In TDI cup you'd think I might not have a guy to route for, but you'd be 100% wrong. AJ Nealey is a Maryland local and has been doing pretty well so far, and with past successes at Mid Ohio in NASA, should be able to do quite well. It would be great to see AJ win, and he clearly has some talent behind the wheel given his results from the last year. Check out AJNealeyracing.com for his full bio.

APR is hoping to make it two in a row, and with their cars running strongly in the past at Mid Ohio, there's no reason to think they won't be anything but contenders. With Grand-Am running split classes, same as they did at Lime Rock, it should turn out to be quite a battle without all those pesky Grand Sport class cars getting in the way. Naturally we are pulling for the APR Motorsport guys 100%, and look forward to seeing the 171 or 181 back in the winner's circle this weekend.

For the full run down on the Koni Challenge series, including live timing during practice and the race, check out the Grand-Am site. For Jetta TDI Cup info, go to the SCCA's site, which will give you the info you crave.

I'd have more to say, but I'm late for dinner. More tomorrow!


June 17, 2009

Supernova Rally Team - Vauxhall Nova 1400 Insanity!

I seem to be finding quite the knack for writing about anything except for Volkswagens these days. Not that I don't want to, but when I find something I dig, I want to share it. The videos here are pretty much as awesome as you can get when it comes to privateer in-car rally action. I first started subscribing to the Supernova Rally You tube channel a year or so ago, and these guys, driver Julian Wilkes and co-driver Will Rutherford, are in full on Maximum Attack mode from start to finish. Check out Julian's website, or his driver profile on the BRC Challenge site. I managed to snag a pic from this Flickr account...lots more cool British rally action on there.

Making it all the more interesting they run a 1400cc Vauxhall Nova...fully rally prepped of course, making around 160hp 190hp with a ITB's, full-tilt-boogie race motor, but with such a low weight car it really moves. Well enough that it manages to do quite a number on a 1600cc class Opel Corsa even. Observe...

You can see this action from the outside in this compalation video from the event (also very cool...check out 1:45 for the Nova)

Anyways, it's a car they never sold in the USA, and most of my experience with Nova's is reading about them in the old Max Power magazine from back in the 90's, but it's clear they have some potential. Plus they have boxed fenders so they almost look like little Rallye Golfs, so pretty cool.

I have a feeling I'd probably really like these cars if they were available in the US. Decent looks, lots of aftermarket support, and potential. Good thing they aren't, as I barely have the cash for the projects I have now!


June 16, 2009

Flashback: NATCC - North American Touring Car Championship

I decided to take a trip down memory lane the other day and dusted off some old VCR tapes to see what I had kicking around. I stumbled on the very first North American Touring Car Championship race ever, which took place at Lime Rock Park back in 1996. It's kind of quaint now, but at the time I was so excited about the NATCC. It was a blast to finally have some "real" racing come to the USA.

Looking back on it, it's a little underwhelming. Pretty much all the teams, minus the Pac West / Dodge Stratus team, were bare-bones independent teams. All the cars, minus the Dodges, were imported from various Super Touring championships from around the world. Not a lot of cash, pretty clearly, but to me these cars were amazing. Anyways, I did a little poking around and found some of this on the net. I was surprised actually, as not many people seem to remember the series, but some fairly well known drivers such as Darren Law and Randy Pobst both got their first shot at the big time through this series. Darren in a BMW and Randy in an Accord.

So enjoy the old school-ness. It was pretty cool to look back on these...I wonder where the cars all ended up? Probably hidden in some garages somewhere, 6" of dust on them, most not turning a wheel since the series ended in 1997. I'm not sure where they would be used these days, but it would be cool to see them out and about. Seems a shame. It's also a shame that I had signed posters from most of the drivers from when we went to see the series in Cleveland Ohio, and I'm pretty sure I trashed them a couple years back. Ah well, such is life. At least we have awesome things like youtube so people can post up these treasure trove videos for us to remember.


June 15, 2009

Peugeot wins at Le Mans, and other junk

By now everyone with a brain knows that Audi was unable to continue their amazing winning streak at Le Mans, but that's ok. It was pretty clear from the get-go that the R15 was out-gunned and out-paced by the monstrously fast and (now) reliable Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. The fact the cars were not able to keep up with the Pug's was one thing, but the other hiccups in the program, from fueling problems to overheating, and handling problems to some off-course excursions, well,the R15 just wasn't going to win.

That's pretty much the view that the Audi's had of the Pugs all race.

I suppose I should be bummed about this, but I'm not. Whenever any team / car / brand / whatever is too dominant (I'm looking at you, LA Lakers) it gets boring. The other reason I'm not bumming about the loss is that the R15 shouldn't have won. It was only the second race for the R15, and it was clear that the race condition development that Audi would have done if they had been smart enough to compete in the ALMS series this year hurt them. My suggestion? Aim for a 2010 win and commit to the ALMS. Everyone wins I think. The series, the fans, the manufacturers and the next 24 heures du mans.

The thing I AM a bit bummed about end the results in GT2. Porsche, as my good friend said, stepped on their dicks again and ended up without a single car on the podium, and in fact only one car finished the race in GT, and that was LAST PLACE out of the cars still running at the end. I think this picture of the lone, running at the finish 911 is an accurate portrayal of how the race went for the Porsche GT2 guys...

Really? Really Porsche? The best you can do is last? That has to be some sort of a record at Le Mans, that the only remaining Porsche (not counting the RS Spyder in LMP2) was officially not classified. So not one 911 classified...the car that was running did only 176 laps, the Endurance Asia Team. I quite liked the looks of this car, and I wished they had done better, but that's the way it goes.

Granted, I did say that I was routing for the Risi 430 to win, and in fact it did win GT2, but the main reason I was hitching to the Ferrari bandwagon was because I didn't really have any Porsche teams to get behind. I did like the IMSA performance / Matmut car quite a lot, and was disappointed when the car with Patrick Long went out.

A lot of the 911 RSR's had fuel pump problems, which seems odd to me, as it's a pretty basic system, and for more than one car to have problems to that end it was rather unusual.

Anyways, the race was still a good one in my book. There were some exciting moments out on the track and in the pits, and ultimately we got a pretty good show. I spent the vast majority of the time listening to Radio Le Mans and watching feeds from Eurosport or Speed TV. The internet came through and for the first time in many years I was tuned in for the majority of the race. I think I probably bugged Melody a bit much with my constant, unprompted updates on just what was going on every five seconds, but she did offer her iPhone to check standings when we were out Saturday night, so it can't have been too bad. Just wait until I actually attend the event...I won't stop talking about ever. One day, one day...

Check out plenty more awesome shots from Marshall Pruett at Speed TV's gallery.


June 12, 2009

The first desktop image from WRS, BWM Art Car 320i

In honor of Le Mans, I'm posting up two large, desktop-friendly images from the BMW Art Car post. My favorite, the Roy Lichtenstein Group 5 320i. Finished second in class in 1977. So download and enjoy! I hope to bringing some better, more professional desktop images in the future, but until Josh gets back from Europe this will have to do.

Download the high resolution file 1 here!

Enjoy your weekend...


Download the high resolution file 2 here!

June 11, 2009

This weekend there is only one thing that matters

Le Mans. This weekend. Awesome. Audi and Peugeot have the gloves off and are ready to duke it out to be crowned the king of diesel race cars and winner of the world's greatest race. Qualifying just ended and although Allan McNish was on the pole position initially, Peugeot was able to claim the fastest time with Stephane Sarrazin turning in a 3:22.888 with only ten minutes remaining in the session.

I'm a huge fan of the Audi's as any sane VW or Audi devote would be, but my heart is never really in that fight as much as it is in the slower classes. I love the GT2 spec class, and as much of a Porsche fan as I am, I have to give a nod to the Risi Competizione F430. I've never heard anything bad about the Risi guys, no shady back stories, just hard work and solid results. I was always cheering for them when they campaigned a 333SP back in the old days of the WSC classes at Daytona, so you can bet I'll be paying close attention to them this year.

By the way, be sure to download the Spotters Guide to this year's race. Very cool, and an easy way to keep track of the cars and classes this year.

I have to admit to being a bit of a poor bastard and I don't actually have a cable or satellite TV service with Speed TV or anything like that. Luckily for me there is Radio Lemans.com, plus Speed TV is going to be streaming select feeds on their website during the day. Now if you're like me, the feed at radiolemans.com may not work for you. I have a Mac, with Firefox, with plug ins yadda yadda yadda. No worky. Thankfully there are soutions, namely a direct link to the feed.

Open up Quicktime, open a new URL, and paste this link into the address bar:


Problem solved! Don't forget to go to Speed TV for live video, driver blogs and pictures throughout the weekend. I'd also highly recommend checking up the Midweek Motorsport Listener's Collective on Facebook. It's got a ton of great threads for resources on viewing and watching content online. Plus check out the Radio Le Mans twitter page at twitter.com/specutainment

Now you have no excuse for not keeping up with the most exciting race of the year.


June 9, 2009

Scirocco Madness: No where to go but up

The people...all 12 people....have spoken. They've decided to put Scirocco Madness into a dead heat between Mexico Blue, with black, or white, with blue. Well folks, it ain't gonna be white, because I already own a white car, and I don't want another one. I also think blue accents just wouldn't work on a Scirocco. It is after all, not a 911 GT3. (as much as I wish it was) Anyways, we're getting way ahead of ourselves. How far? Pretty damn far.

As you can see, we've made zero progress forward, and possible have taken steps backwards. Although I am now officially in possession of the title and keys, I found out a few things. First, and of least worry really, is that the front apron was indeed damaged when the "red necks with big machines" moved her. The bumper is tweaked too, and the burnt-out Corrado is trying to mate with her, but she's back against the wall and no one is going anywhere anytime soon.

We contemplated using the forklift to move the carcasses out of the way, but decided a god-knows-how-heavy forklift, uneven ground and a distinct lack of concrete or pavement would basically be the worst idea ever. So there she sits. Her paint had taken a lot of dings, dents and chips somehow, like a very large sandblaster sprayed the car with rocks. We're repainting so who cars, but still, it's annoying.

The other things awaited on the interior. The 16v kit is in place and ready to go...if by in place you mean piled on the driver's seat. The more time consuming fixes will involve the steering column (loose, standard Mk1 fare. In need of rebuild or replacement. Wish I hadn't thrown my old one out now!) and the wiring.

Oh yeah, the wiring. One of the things I was asking Jason when he was giving me the car was "why is this free." He responded that he's getting his money out of it by selling the suspension, oh yeah, and by the way, there may be some wiring problems, which is why it was parked in the first place. Fun stuff. Judging from the wires hanging out below the dash, I can't say I think he's making that up.

Speaking of fun stuff, I got my first fun parts for her. Actually I got these almost a year ago at Waterfest, but there's no way in hell I'm putting these on a street parked car in NYC. One of the best / worst steering wheel and shift knob combos ever made. The questionably awesome 80's Momo Benetton F1 models.

This rare, but not impossible to find set of restored goodness set me back just around $200, and as a fan of the wheel back in the day, I had to pick it up when I found it. I won't feel bad about actually using it since it's been re-dyed, but the color accents should compliment any exterior color I choose, especially Blue or Green, my two color finalists.

Finally, here's the sad, sad Rabbit GTI that will be giving up the last few valuable parts it possesses for der Scirocco. The transmission and suspension bits. This shell is still fairly straight, but the car has been treated poorly and it lacks a title, hence the reason it's been sitting for the last 7 years.

I think the 'Rocco officially needs a name now. It will forever continue to be Scirocco Madness, but she needs a name befitting her soon-to-be-awesomeness. Feel free to drop some suggestions below.