Watch An APC Do Donuts In Ukraine

By | April 16, 2014

Ukrainian Tank Doing Donuts

With the high tension in the eastern part of Ukraine, it’s not hard to imagine that some people will find creative ways to blow off some steam. For the driver of this BMD-2, that creative way was taking his 23,000 lb APC out for some donuts in a dusty parking lot.

And damn, can this APC drive do some impressive donuts, especially with a power to weight ratio of just 21hp/ton.

Almost more impressive is the soldier riding the main gun, holding himself steady with one hand and raising his rifle with the other. The Ukrainian version of bull riding, perhaps?

Ford Celebrates 50 Years of Mustang

By | April 16, 2014

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Fifty years ago this week Ford started selling the 1965 Mustang which is often referred to as a 1964 1/2 by Mustang enthusiasts.  When launched, Ford projected sales to fall in just under 100,000 units in its first year.  They surpassed that projection within three months. Ford sold a total of 418,000 during its first model year and 18 months after it’s launch over a million had been sold making it the fastest selling car in history, a record that will likely never be broken.  Little did Ford know what they had just started.

Here we are 50 years later and the Mustang is still alive and kicking.  It is the only pony car to have survived with uninterrupted production.  Not even Chevy’s Camaro can claim that feat since it went on an 8 year hiatus in 2002.  Very few cars have survived 50 years.  That list includes cars like the 911, Corvette, and the original Beetle and Mini Coopers.  Quite a feat.

To celebrate this great accomplishment, Ford is hosting week long Anniversary parties in Las Vegas and Charlotte Motor Speedways.  The events will include car shows, cruises, swap meets, and even sticking a 2015 Mustang on the roof of the Empire State Building.  Many Mustang clubs from the east are driving across America to Vegas to celebrate while clubs from the west are doing the same only ending in Charlotte.  The main events at said venues will officially run from April 16th-20th but expect to see club activities running throughout the month.

Photo by the Author

Racing Blip: 2014 Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase At Long Beach

By | April 11, 2014

Scott Pruett in his #01 Ford EcoBoost / Chip Ganassi Racing takes pole @ Long Beach

Well, it’s the third stop of the season for the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. This stop isn’t quite the endurance race of Daytona and Sebring. Nope this is a “sprint race” by TUSC standards. A whopping 100 minutes of Prototype and GTLM class machine pounding the streets of Long Beach, California in the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase At Long Beach.

Well, despite improvements in the streaming the event over at FansChoice.tv. IMSA/NASCAR doesn’t seem to want to stream a “directors cut” of the event. And it doesn’t appear that they have it on broadcast either??

What I can tell you is that the Ford EcoBoost powered DP cars of Chip Ganassi Racing and Michael Shank Racing took the top two spots for the Prototype category. The DP Corvette of Action Express Racing took 3rd. So what about the BoP (balance of performance) for the P2 cars? Don’t think it really helped. OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan came in fourth.

On the GTLM front, it was #3 Corvette, #55 BMW, #56 BMW. All within 0.307 seconds of each other! In fact, the #3 Corvette Racing set a new qualifying track record for Long Beach!

Despite the growing pains of the newly merged series, the GTLM class is still some damn fine and exciting racing!

What to watch for? This being Long Beach, lots of traffic, congestion, and more then a few wrecks on this high speed street circuit. In fact, think of this as the USofA’s version of Monaco. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the PTC and GTD cars are not making this stop.

How to watch?

Umm. I’ll just let IMSA explain it. Should also check out FansChoice.tv. Or search for your favorite pirate stream.

[photo | IMSA]

 

Weekend Wallpaper: Jim Buell’s MG-TC

By | April 5, 2014

Jim Buell’s MG-TC

Jim Buell’s MG-TC

Reading my earlier articles, you know my history with Morris Garages’ fine products. My ’66 MGB introduced me to the world of endless expense, responsive handling and true performance, not just fire breathing pavement melting straight liners of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciated a raw horsepower display as much as anyone but, to me it seemed guiding a high winding small car down a road course with grace and elegance held more appeal than simply devouring anything in your way  behind the wheel of a Detroit built incinerator.

Looking back at my Tommy Hoan article I found remarkable similarity seeing Dave Holmes wend his way through Watkins Glen’s paddock aboard the Tommy Hoan MG-TC and encountering Jim Buell’s MG-TC at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Both bore 1949 vintage. Both exuded class in beautiful race trim, the top of their race groups. It’s hard to miss a vintage MG out on the track. I couldn’t resist tracking down and talking to Jim, of Blanchard, Idaho, at my 1st race day’s end.

As with many vintage car racers Jim and his wife Lori keep meticulous records and history of their 4 wheeled family member. Jim’s TC chassis, TC9806, came to life September 27th, 1949 at MG’s Abingdon on Thames facility. Originally equipped with XPAG engine #10562, body type B280 in Clipper Blue with Biscuit Interior and Fawn hood, this beauty currently sports a well maintained coat of Kelly green. The MG-TC sported a London Area 3rd Air Force sticker on the center bottom of the windscreen (Windscreen! I feel British just saying it!). Appearing in Monterey, California during 1966, the car appears to have undergone restoration with exception to wood fixtures. Stickers displaying the US Navy’s Post Graduate School as well as date Aug ’66 showed on the license plate.

Teardown 1

Teardown 1

In 1968 Bruce Knipe, a Lieutenant serving at Fort Ord, owned the car, named it “Vicky,” and drove it under a British Racing Green body with black hood.  1971 saw the car become property of Steve Thigpen of California’s Carmel Valley changing color again, this time to bright Kelly green, its color to this day. Jim and Lori purchased TC9806 from Steve in 1987. Driving it mostly to club events for 6 years, Jim then parked the TC until a total frame up restoration began in 2000. Beginning with 2 goals in mind,the restoration first sought a car for continuous use in club events, shows and general touring, presenting the car as originally produced.  Secondly, Jim wanted a car which, without too much work, transitioned to a vintage race car showcasing the TC’s racing heritage. Jim says his TC definitely exhibits a dual personality. Jim rebuilt the entire car touching, he says, fondly, every nut, bolt and screw. He keeps it in full race trim with ability to change it to touring condition and back to race ready as the mood suits him. I’m not sure who has the dual personality here….car or owner.

MG-TC Rebuild 1

MG-TC Rebuild 1

 

MG-TC Rebuild 2

MG-TC Rebuild 2

In addition to learning about the car, Jim gave me a little insight into Rolex Monterey’s Motorsports Reunion event. Participation results from invitation only. Not just anyone can drive up declaring their intention to race. Each year’s field of about 550 cars results as the Governing Body of the Historics chooses from several thousand applicants. Jim feels it an honor to be part of the historically significant car field not once but several times.

MG-TC Rebuild 3

MG-TC Rebuild 3

Jim can’t keep his TC on the road alone. At races, Jim receives much needed support from his entire pit crew including former Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, friend and owner of 40 years’ worth of mechanical experience, Jack Harris, wife Lori and Jack’s wife MaryAnn. They work to keep the car’s soul together. Each TC lap enriches Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s history, gracing the storied road course.

MG-TC Rebuilt

MG-TC Rebuilt

Telling me most MG’s race east coast circuits, I would love to see a head to head meet up between 2 great MG-TC examples. Jim says he’d like to run at The Glen and Lime Rock. It’d be pretty cool to watch Jim in TC8906 and Dave Holmes in Tommy Hoan go 4 cylinder to 4 cylinder.

Rebuild photos courtesy of Jim Buell who also offered input on the article.

See you at the track.

Download the full resolution Jim Buell’s MG-TC*

Weekend Wallpaper is a weekly series featuring the automotive photography of the Daily Derbi crew.  This week’s photo is by Neil Eschenfelder

*Weekend Wallpapers are provided for personal / non-commercial use only. No commercial usage is allowed. By downloading the Weekend Wallpaper, you agree to these terms.

 

In Photos: 2014 NASA Utah Region Round 1

By | April 3, 2014

2014 NASA Round 1

2014 NASA Round 1

What is that you hear in the distance? Did you noticed a slight scent of hot metal and exhausted race fuel in the air? Is it possible that it’s time to go racing again?

Held over March 21-23rd on Miller Motorsports Park’s Outer loop track, NASA Utah Region had their first event of 2014 season. The weekend consisted of HPDE and TT events, featuring an eclectic mix of cars from spec Miatas, street cars, to a TUSC GTD class Porsche 911 Grand America. Throw in some Radicals from a visiting series and some open wheel action and you get the idea of what the weekend was like.

For those curious about NASA, the do offer more then just club racing and HPDEs, they have one of the bigger endurance races out there – 25 Hours of Thunderhill. And they have regional events that cover most of the USofA.

Here are the results of round 1.

And thanks to the staff at Miller Motorsports Park for their help over the weekend!

[photos | Scott Pettett | Mike Gillilan]

FMD: The Ford Sweepstakes Rides Again

By | April 3, 2014

 

You might remember Ford Motor Company for its roll in making the automobile affordable for masses.  The Model T is one of the most famous vehicles ever produced and arguable one of the most influential in history.  What you might not realize is that an earlier Ford built car, a race car, is probably even more important in the grand scheme of things.

Before it was the Ford Motor Company, it was the Detroit Automobile company and it was on the ropes.  Henry Ford had only built 19 or 20 vehicles in the year 1900 and things weren’t looking too good for the DAC.  Out of desperation, Ford realized that he needed to do something to get peoples attention.  He needed publicity.  The car you see in the video above is the Ford “Sweepstakes”.  The original Ford racing car and the car that won the “Race That Changed Everything.”

Enjoy as NASCAR racer Carl Edwards gets a thrill, driving a 113-year-old race car that has no brakes, no seat belts, and cotton corded tires.