Random rubbish from the motor sport world

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mitsubishi out of WRC in 2006 and 2007

Well….. fuck

What else can one say? Maybe they will be back in 2008 but you really think so?

So we have just Subaru and Ford next year. Well, didnt Chris Atkinson sign on at the right time?

posted by admin at 7:07 pm  

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

December 10: Rallycross @ Ft. Meade

Recently I purchased and installed a Koyo dual core aluminum radiator for my 240SX because hey, I do race it and overheating is scary and dangerous. I was on the original single core radiator that probably came with the car. This was on Thursday. I gave it a good but mostly legal thrashing for 15 minutes, mainly by keeping it in second gear and near 50. It didn’t go over half, everything seemed to be going well. I popped the hood and found that the larger of the two fans in the assembly I got from a junked Sentra was not spinning. Uninspired, I simply moved the ground wire to another bolt, turned the ignition back on and watched it spin to life. Cool.

Saturday rolled around and I got up early to nab 4 Altima steelies for $30 bucks. Thanks Bob’s U-Pullit! The truck tire place down the street mounted my rally tires for another 30, and I was good to head to Ft. Meade for the night rallycross. Ft. Meade is south of Orlando by about an hour, and it ends up being a 4 hour drive since I live south of downtown Miami by 30 or 40 minutes.

Little floppy green glowsticks taped to about a hundred cones in a grassy field looks amazing.

I ended up in the 2nd running group because I didn’t rush to the booth and I prefered to wait and see what the other drivers did. I’m not super-experinced and sometimes you pick up problem areas and things to watch out for.

After the first group’s runs were over, I dashed out to my car and lined up. The car seemed to be liking the cooler central FL air, I think some of my sensors aren’t what they used to be. I consistently dropped time in my first three runs, which is important.I did think about my fan issue, but they were fine.

More of a MR-2, a Volvo 240s with straight pipes, a prepped Impreza, a 2006 STi owner testing the car out some, a pair of 80s VWs, and a maniac in a modded WRX finished, I lined up again.

I launched, and after bouncing up and down a good bit, I noticed that the cluster lights and radio face was flickering occasionally. The temp gage wasn’t flickering at all. It was heading for the top. Halfway through, I backed off since this car was my ticket home. Back at the staging, I popped the hood and after 10 minutes of futility with fuses and my ghetto wiring, my race was over. Damn. Doubly dissapointing because last time a blown strut forced retirement. Upon review in the morning, the larger fan was physically damaged. It wouldn’t even spin anymore.

Special and most apreciated-ness to Mr. and Mrs. Black, who graciously let us run on the property helped me get the 80 amp fuse I needed to make it home safely. Thanks to everyone who came out, maybe I’ll finish an event at Ft. Meade soon!

Rallycrosses and a track day have brought some important weaknesses in the stock bits:

I need new, stiffer springs. The stockers simply aren’t stiff enough. Any suggestions?

Different struts are required. Again, stiffer. I have an Aussie friend who thinks some rebuildable adjustable Bilsteins would be the answer for a student on a budget (me). His brother runs them on an RX-2 with little fuss.
Even though this sounds like a good idea, I’m open to other ones.

But really, what I need most is a daily driver.

posted by Chris at 1:06 pm  

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Skoda’s situation becomes clear

Well, looks like Skoda is officially – in and out of WRC

Out – They have dropped out of WRC as a first tier manufacturer

In – they have handed over the cars to two teams – one whom is a privateer and driven by Jan Kopeck, the other a second teir team run with Red Bull sponsorship. The Red Bull Skoda team will be run by Austrian Raimund Baumschlager and his Baumschlager Rally and Racing [BRR] Team.

Already confirmed as one of the drivers for the Red Bull Skoda outfit is 21-year old Austrian Andreas Aigner. Aigner has been gaining WRC experience in recent seasons as part of the Red Bull Junior Team. A second driver with international experience will be confirmed shortly.

Both teams will do 10 rounds, Jan Kopeck doing the 10 European rounds while I have no idea what rounds the tier two teams have to do but Red Bull will also do 10. Skoda will use this time to decide wether to retrun to teir one.

Not unexpected and probably the best that could be expected. Who this ‘Internationally experienced’ driver is – worth speculating. Duval wiht his ties to Red Bull springs to mind and of course Colin McRae who proved the Skoda is a damn good car. Roman Kresta and Toni Gardenmeister also I suppose could be there but I say unlikey.

posted by admin at 10:27 pm  

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Stephan Sarazzin resigns for Subaru

Subaru announced Stephan Sarrazin is signed to do 4 rallies next year and be their test driver.

Sarrazin is a Prodrive signed driver in Sports Cars so it makes some sense to keep him for the tarmac events. And he is fast on tarmac. Still, what does this mean, why only four events?

My view is that Subaru are covering the weak link of their team – Chris Atkinson’s lack of experience on tarmac. Sarrazin is no Atkinson and it’s obvious Subaru think Atkinson could be a world champion. He’s potential to win is now pretty clear and with the fact he’s now done a full year, this’ll make it easier for him and hopefully will be steadier. Speed’s no issue. Atkinson will be free to just run on tarmac and do what he can without the pressure of manufacturer’s points scoring.

Very interesting in the end, especially given Ford apparently was after Atkinson to partner Gronholm. We will be following Atkinson with much interest next year

In other news, Duval has been linked to Skoda IF they stay in the championship next year. Certainly there are plenty who want them to stay and I do too. Not just that we need more manufacturers, the Fabia is a terrific little car and in a team better funded would be a world beater. Skoda seem to make a habit of that, make really good cars and not have the funds to run them to their full potential. As McRae proved, the Fabia is worth a shot with in 2006. If Skoda dont do an official team, maybe a good second tier team could grab them?

Lets hope they will be back

posted by admin at 8:41 pm  

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