Sunday, March 31, 2013

Exotics Racing photo dump

I will post a more detailed write-up on Hooniverse. In fact, I'm trying to finish writing multiple posts for Crasstalk and Hooniverse as I won't have regular access to the internet for a few weeks. Soon, my posts will be more sporadic. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram, as I will try to communicate more there.

The cars were parked under a tent because of the bright Las Vegas sun. Thus, the photos turned out sorta crappy. Participants can sit in all of the cars without supervision, except the Aventador and the McLaren. Here is the Turbo S.

Here's my ride, the 430 Scuderia.



Scud again.

I literally looked at the gauges twice during my entire driving experience. Thankfully, there were little red lights on the steering wheel telling me when to shift.

This was my drifting ride, a Z06 Corvette. Rudy Ibanez was the driver. They go through two to three sets of tires every day.

Here I am, not crapping in my pants.

Before we drove, we got to ride in a Cayenne for two laps to familiarize ourselves. They had a Cayenne and a Cayenne GTS. I rode in the regular Cayenne and it was fun. We all thought we were going to roll over because the SUV was so top heavy. There were five of us in it and we weighed on average 200+ pounds.

The place was fairly packed. I was surprised by how many people there were. And there were a lot of Brazilian tourists.

I drove "home" in this, my mom's Beetle. I had the urge to just floor it in the parking lot.

Young Richard Hammond photo

I'm reading Richard Hammond's memoir On the Edge. It's pretty interesting and he seems like a down-to-earth guy.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Peng Liyuan at Tiananmen Square

Here is the Chinese First Lady singing to the troops at Tiananmen, right after the massacre. How patriotic.

My power progression

2010: Acura TSX (200 hp).

2011: VW Phaeton (330 hp).

2012: Aston Martin Vantage S (430 hp).

2013: Ferrari 430 Scuderia (508 hp). By the way, I just watched the video of my drive with on-board telemetry data. I took it up to 112 miles per hour on the 5th/final lap.

At this rate, I will be driving a Veyron in 2018.

Carspotting: BMW E9 3.0CS

Saw this on the way home today.

Carspotting: Mercedes W203 wagon

What do you think about this wagon? I thought I would never get a Mercedes, especially a C-class. But this looks pretty sharp, especially in red. It's easy on fuel and is utilitarian. Are they reliable? Any fun to drive at all? RWD and AWD versions seem to sell locally from $8,500 to $14,000. I assume they were all equipped with slushboxes in America.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Mission accomplished

5 laps in a Ferrari 430 Scuderia. I have a video but I will burn it as I sucked. Alonso and Massa have nothing to worry about.

There were a lot of Brazilians there.

2 laps with Rudy Ibanez drifting in this Corvette Z06. I was just like this girl, except with more cursing.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Drug store run

Number 1 goal: Reaching the Darien Gap.
Number 2 goal: Avoiding filthy Central American public squat toilets at all costs.

2012 Volvo S80 3.2

As I approach 40, I should just emulate a Nordic factory boss and get an S80. I sat in a 2012 model yesterday. They were asking $28,900 for it.

How Mark Webber must feel

See Rubens Barrichello.

See also Austin Powers.

China's First Lady sings about liberating Tibetans

Get ready to be angry. Just read the lyrics.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lexus SC300 MT search update

A local Lexus dealership had one with 224,000 miles for sale late last week. But the ad failed to mention price or post any pictures. I called them on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and finally got a hold of someone yesterday. The car is no longer for sale. The dealership is starting its own racing team and is converting this SC300 into a racer. The guy I spoke with told me that he didn't even know Lexus made a car with a manual transmission until he saw this car.

If I see this Lexus at a future LeMons race, I am going to be furious.

My bus route

This is roughly my route. My tentative itinerary:

Day 1: Land in Guatemala City at around 11 a.m. Check-in at the Marriott. This is basically Fort Knox, and it's popular with State Department folks and desperate Americans trying to adopt Guatemalan babies. I will hire a cab driver to take me to buy my bus ticket and to stock up on provisions. Because I only travel with one carry-on bag, I cannot carry razor blades or liquids (toothpaste, hand sanitizer, water, shampoo, etc.) on the plane.

Day 2: Leave Guatemala City, cross border with El Salvador, spend the night in San Salvador at cheap motel adjacent to bus station. Due to the security situation, there are no overnight buses. So I have to spend the night in a spartan motel room.

Day 3: Leave San Salvador, cross borders with Honduras and Nicaragua, spend the night in Managua. Same security situation. If I am on schedule, I may take a day off and spend it in the colonial lakeside town of Granada.

Day 4: Leave Nicaragua, cross border with Costa Rica, arrive in San Jose.

Day 5: Leave Costa Rica, cross border into Panama, arrive in Panama City.

Day 6: Hang out in Panama City.

Day 7-8: Take a local bus to Yaviza in the Darien Province. This is the end of the North American segment of the Pan-American Highway. Snap a photo. Return to Panama City.

Day 9: From Panama City, take a bus or train to Colon. Ride on a boat through the Panama Canal from ocean to ocean.

Nothing is set in stone, but this gives you a pretty good idea. I have my plane tickets and will make a reservation at the Guatemala City Marriott. Everything else will be done on an ad hoc basis.

Top Gear Interceptors

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Musharraf returns to Pakistan

I want to say he is putting his life at risk, but is he even relevant enough to be assassination-worthy?

Kubica Canary Islands crash video

This guy needs to find a nice, safe office job.

My bus reading

Another few weeks and I am off! Here are the books I'll be bringing for the long ride. Also, here is an article about Colon, Panama. I will be going to this town on the Atlantic side of the canal to begin my journey through the entire length of the canal.

2013 24 Hours of LeMons at Sears Point photos

A more detailed write-up will be on Hooniverse. Here is a preview.

All of the Alfas produced great sounds.

This 1994 Volvo 940 had a pretty smart suspension upgrade because it was passing everybody in the corners.

It seems FC RX7s and Miatas were the most popular donor vehicles.

This Prius is powered by a Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine. And it's chain-driven. It had to pit often and did not sound good after Lap 1.

A lot of obscure British cars, including this Austin America.

This W126 turbodiesel was my favorite. It was big, shiny, and cool. Plus, you could hear the diesel chatter from miles away. It was not fast.

I can't tell what this Jeep was originally.

Telstar Logistics drove this Volvo wagon. It was not quick either.


Ray and Scott from Hooniverse brought two twin-engined Toyotas from Utah. They were awesome.

This W140 coupe may have the largest gross vehicle weight.

Another shot of one of the twin-engined Toyotas.

The guy in the middle had chiropractic adjustments to his neck, right then and there.

These two had trouble getting the engine into their E30 BMW.

There were two V12s racing. This XJ12, and a BMW 850i.