As I posted yesterday, this past weekend I was in Daytona watching the Rolex 24 hour race. It was my first time watching the race in person, and thanks to a few MotoringFun.com members who assisted me with tickets and lodging, I was able to watch the race in style from the Daytona 500 Club overlooking victory lane (huge thanks to LgEnf and Deviant!!).
Not only was the entire weekend fully catered (I think I gained about 5 pounds), but the access we had was unbelievable. With full indoor seating looking out at the start-finish line and roof-top seating to check out the entire track, I got a glimpse of how the big wigs watch a race lol. I have to hand it to the Grand-Am series – their fan access is second to none. We were able to be IN the garages during the race while teams feverishly worked on their cars to get them back out. I tried to take as many shots as possible so check them out in the gallery.
Overall, the race was awesome. Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Dario Franchitti took top honors overall in the DP class, while Sylvain Tremblay, Nick Ham, David Haskell and Raphael Matos captured the GT win and finished a respectable 9th overall. Not too shabby for a Mazda RX-8 eh? We actually ended up in victory lane for the GT champs and were so close we got sprayed with champagne! Hope you enjoy the pics – click the link below!
Phew! What a weekend!! I just got back from Daytona where I attended both the Grand-Am KONI Challenge and the Rolex 24 races. I also managed to sneak away from the track for a few hours to hop over to Ocala for an impromptu Sunshine MINIs picnic which attracted almost 100 MINIacs! Look for the picnic to become an annual event after this kind of showing! I am still sorting out photos and video from the weekend, but I did at least get the KONI Challenge photos uploaded tonight (click link at bottom of this post).
Here is a quick recap of the race… The RSR MINIs were doing very well in a field of almost 100 cars. Lap times were about 10 seconds faster than last year and the improvement was noticeable on the track. Unfortunately, both cars suffered flat tires, which relegated them back to finishing 31 and 36. All in all it was a great race and fun was had by all. We even got to hang out with Randy and the RSR crew in the garages where we got the opportunity to hop in the race cars and snap some photos! Special thanks to Randy and team for their hospitality. Looking forward to seeing them at another track soon! I will hopefully have video posted soon as well as photos from the Rolex race.
Here is the official MINI Press Release regarding the JCW rebranding:
Premium quality, racing know-how and MINI feeling are now even more closely united: John Cooper Works continues success story with extended product range and new brand identity.
The roots shared by the names MINI and John Cooper Works reach back almost 50 years. Now a new chapter of their success story has been opened. Under the roof of MINI the entire product range designed for the driver with a specifically sporting ambition will bear the John Cooper Works label. Consequently, John Cooper Works will in future become an integral part of the MINI brand and represent more than ever before the epitome of ultimate driving fun for all MINI enthusiasts. Continue reading John Cooper Works – The Embodiment of Ultimate Driving Fun In The MINI→
Our friends at ALTA Mini Performance are hosting an open house on Saturday February 23, 2008 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. They will have dyno runs, tours of their new digs and even a new MINI Clubman! For complete details, click the photo below! Tell them MotoringFun.com sent you ;).
It’s time again for the Grand-Am KONI Challenge, and this Friday, festivities kick off at Daytona International Speedway. Fresh back from Daytona myself, I can’t wait to see the RSR MINIs hitting the track this week. If you can’t make it to the track, here is a little video from the RSR rest session with Ricky J behind the wheel. Man – I need to get myself a video setup like this!!
Time.com has a cool article listing the 12 most important cars of all time. Of course, the Model T takes top honor for obvious reasons, but you might be interested to know that the BMC Mini took 8th spot:
First car in the world to lie the engine across the vehicle rather than longitudinally. Revolutionary design proved that cars could get smaller óand still be hot. Its technical layout was copied by everybody and is still basically used in today’s small cars. Ten feet long with 10 inch wheels, it handled like a dream.