Overwhelming Mustang Car Show

This past Sunday I stopped by my local Bass Pro Shops parking lot to check out the 28th Annual San Antonio Mustang Club Charity Car Show, Benefiting “Dare to Live”.  It could be best described in 1 word – WOW!

The AER Racing Team @ SA Mustang Car Show - Pano2

There was such a variety & quantity that I could not justify taking specific car model pix – there were just TOO many to look at & choose from.  One person I asked said there were over 400 entries registered!

SA Mustang Car Show - Pano6

As you can see, my best photographic contribution to this blog were a number of panorama pix I stitched together.  I this way I hope to share with you the grandeur & huge scope of this event.

SA Mustang Car Show - Pano4

As usual, click to enlarge & then click to amplify even bigger.  I purposely left these images big so you can see some of the many vehicles’ details…

SA Mustang Car Show - Pano3

I was able to get a cursory review of most of about 2/3’s of the cars in a quick hour (unfortunately I could not stay longer).  My only complaint was that the cars were parked in the lot within the size of a normal parking space, with only about 2 to 3 feet between each vehicle.

SA Mustang Car Show - Pano5

That size constraint did not do justice to the beauty & uniqueness of all these vehicles.  But then, the organizers were probably restricted to the spaces they had available.  I estimate they took up almost 1/3 of the total parking lot.

SA Mustang Car Show - Pano1

I hope these panorama shots give you some idea of what you missed.  Make plans to visit the 2010 version next year.  Raceing Ready is tentatively there already…

Dan

2010 Genesis Coupe R-Spec Available!

It’s finally here – the The 2010 Genesis Coupe R-Spec!

The New 2010 Genesis Coupe R-Spec - Emblem shot

Well, it’ll be at SEMA by the beginning of next month & available in dealerships soon…  I did a toe dipping test drive  about this car’s “cousin” last summer.  I liked what I experienced then & this will be better for us racer types!

New & Hot, the 2010 Genesis Coupe R- Spec

The New 2010 Genesis Coupe R-Spec - at the Chicago Show

Hyundai Debuts a tuner’ s High–Performance Blank Canvas:
The 2010 GENESIS COUPE R-SPEC

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec, which we’ve been eagerly awaiting since the launch of the 2010 Genesis Coupe, will debut at SEMA and, more importantly, is now arriving at dealerships.

The tuner-friendly R-Spec deletes all the convenience features we don’t want or need, giving drivers a lighter, less expensive vehicle ($23,750 MSRP). It also features the Track model perfomance equipment, such as a tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, Brembo brakes, and a Torsen LSD. It also gets a set of front strut camber adjustment bolts.

And, of course, it only comes with a six-speed manual transmission.
See? Hyundai gets it.

Click here to read the detailed specifics & the official press release.

So, check it out – coming soon to your local Hyundai dealer.  It’s tempting as it’s more track ready, without the extra features ‘foo-foo’, & it’s $3000 cheaper!  Hmmm, I wonder if the manufacturer’s warranty covers track racing events’ wear & tear?  That would be an interesting owner’s manual read…

Racing Ready may check this out at a different dealer…or not!

Dan

HPDE Info & How To Prepare – Next Steps

Autocross is fun & inexpensive.  It’s a great way to begin to learn the limits of your car.  But there’s more – a LOT more!  To truly learn what your car is fully capable of, and to help you see where you can improve your preconceived driving limits, you will need to decide to make the commitment of doing a HPDE (high performance driver education) event.

Your car...Our track!

Autocross is the racing equivalent of dipping your toe into the waters of real track racing.  You CAN get really serious about it, but, you’ll really need to move beyond to learn the next step about car control.  You see, it’s difficult to learn (& harder to remember) what you & your car are experiencing in only 5 to 8 autocross runs that are less than 1 minute in duration.  You do have the opportunity to walk the course a few times, but the course looks SO much different at speed.  Even pre-running the course at 85% during course setup as an Eventmaster doesn’t really help much.  I know, I’ve been there – I surely plan to do it again!

With all this said, autocross is a great venue for starting out, if your true goal is actual racing.  It gets you teased into the racing groove; also it’s a small financial & time investment.  But it only seems to whet the appetite (at least for me).  I’ve seen so much more on television & in person at the track of Harris Hill Road (H2R).

To truly learn more about racing lines (e.g., to learn how to utilize the concept of the corner apex to your advantage), car control, & handling at speed, HPDE’s are the way to go.

The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) sthis story:

My First Day at the Track

After much prodding from my friends I finally committed to going to my first HPDE at Thunderhill. Not only was this my first HPDE, it was my first time ever on a road course. I’ve been to a couple autocrosses but that’s it. Other than that, I’ve had no real racing experience. So, this being my first time, I was really nervous…click here to continue

I have found some good DE (Diver Education) documentation at regional Porsche Club of America (PCA) organizations.  I am not an owner, nor a proponent of the Porsche marque.  But you can say that I do lust from afar.  To make this point more valid, this past week, Porsche sent me a very nicely packaged Porsche 911 GT3 informative booklet (to call it a brochure does not suffice).  It’s a striking mini-volume about a dead serious true race-based 911 that is still streetable – sigh!  And just the other day I received a mini hard bound book showing luscious images of the new Porsche Panamera (plus a Porsche keyfob-like USB drive – interesting)!

The PCA seems to be one of the most serious racing enthusiasts organizations.  They want their marque’s owners to truly learn to appreciate the use & full capabilities of their Porsche vehicle.  This is accomplished through regional DE’s

Porsche Driver Education - TrackEvent

The information I provide here is mostly on the behalf of the Hill Country Region Porsche Club of America (HCRPCA) & the Lone Star Region Porsche Club of America (LSRPCA).
[These articles are copyrighted by these regions of the Porsche Club of America.]

This information features these 2 tracks in South/Central Texas:

I have started to autocross, but I know I’m not yet ready (both my car, Karlino, & my personal self including budget) to do the HPDE thing.  But I know that eventually this is where I’m aiming for.  To help you, dear reader, on this racing path of discovery, I’ll share with you what I’ve been researching:

These are a series of website links & documentation, served up in bite sized pieces.  You can bookmark & save as favorites for your future reference.  BTW, you don’t need a Porsche to participate, but that would surely be nice (especially a 911 GT3)!

Racing Ready knows that the HPDE commitment is a necessary next step to:
“Go from wannabe racer to successful racing competitor!”

It’s all part of working on improving the nut behind the wheel.  🙂

Dan

Super Lowered Datsun Shakotan S30 240Z

This recently came across my blog radar – I thought it could be of visual interest, but NOT AT ALL something one should consider doing for a true competitive modification.

Yuta's Low Low 240Z

To contrast & show you how a proper 240Z should look like & be setup, here’s a shot of Rick’s autocross machine, taken just last Sunday.  This was originally a 1972 Datsun 240Z that he has modified into an FP 280Zautocross campaigner .  This Datsun, with some engine rebuilds (& many other modifications), has provided Rick good competition in both South/Central Texas and in national autocross events, too.  Rick is also the President of SPOKES.

Rick's #197 FP 280Z (nee 240Z)

This is something different.  This extreme lowered Shakotan (super low down) S30 240Z is very reflective of the SoCal car culture…  Here are ALL the details & many more lowered & slammed pictures, by Antonio Alvendia – check it out at Motormavens.com… and put some comments there if you like (after you also make some comments here, below).

Last weekend at the Japanese Classic Car Show, the Showa car lovers that gathered in Irvine California for this year’s event were treated to a sensory overload of Japanese nostalgic cars of all sorts – from Skylines to Corollas to rotaries to Hondas to Datsuns… Oh, the Datsuns!

Yuta's Low Low Low 240Z

Here is what the original owner (Yuta) wrote in his blog, in reaction to the car blog world’s reaction:  Thanks MotorMavens!

Thank you to Antonio at Motormavens for an awesome article and taking amazing photos of my car!

Oh, you speak English...? - Yuta's blog!

Racing Ready appreciates the variety of car cultures out there – this example is just one of the many facets, even if it’s WAY out there!

Dan

Plus Weekend Events & Mazdaspeed3 Driver

This was a busy weekend with beautiful weather suitable for motorsport-related activities.

Saturday (yesterday) some plans changed.  But I was able to be involved in 2 events:

  1. I experienced Hill Country shifter karting
  2. I immersed myself in the 3rd Annual Simpson Car Show
    [More later in subsequent posts…]

Sunday’s activity was the SPOKES 2009 AutoX #10.  As is normally the case, it took place at the San Antonio Raceway parking lot.  I decided not to compete due to whacked alignment issues on Karlino’s rear end.  I was able to get back into blogger mode, taking a bunch of pix & talking to some new autocross participants.  There were about 114 competitors signed up for this event, with 106 entries competing!  They ran 3 heats of 6 runs per heat.

Grid overview...

There were some new folks out there, both spectators & competitors, along with a whole bunch of Novices.   One of my co-workers (Jason, that’s him competing last month in his Mazdaspeed 3, below) & I inspired some other co-workers to come to check it out, but they didn’t show.  We’ll see what their excuses at work Monday…

Close-up of Jason @ speed - courtesy of Antonio Morano Photography

This was only Jason’s second event & he did well.  He learned from others & encouraged even newer Novices to have experienced folks do instructive ride alongs with them.  It was good to see someone I encouraged really getting into the sport & wanting to help others.  Jason’s car, a 2008.5 Mazdaspeed 3 is very competitive.

Jason discussing autocross technique...

MSM3 cockpit

Jason waiting by his MSM3 while observing the course

He’s done only a few modifications, but they’ve been very effective:

  • Cold air intake
  • Turbo back exhaust
  • and upgraded Nitto Neo Gen tires on the front stock wheels (he’d already run the the tread of the factory stock front tires)

Jason @ speed !

As usual, there was a good variety of competitors’ cars running today…

Mostly Miatas here, others marques were elsewhere...

Racing Ready is ready to invite more new participants…

Dan

Annual Team Simpson Car Show, Plus Weekend

I’m looking forward to the Annual Team Simpson Car Show & Open House, tomorrow at the Simpson Racing Products World HQ, just northeast of New Braunfels, Texas.

Simpson Race Products signage

Annual Team Simpson Car Show

Simpson Car Show on October 17, 2009 at 11-4. We will have a car show, lots of door prizes, games for the kids and blow out prices on select products. We are also planning a food drive to support our local food bank. If you bring a donation you will be entered to win a autographed helmet from Tony Stewart or Tony Pedregon.

If you know of anybody that would like to display car at car show please have them contact Tina Creswell at 800-654-7223X111 or Candace Ritter at X146, or by email at tcreswell@teamsimpson.com critter@teamsimpson.com.

The Simpson World Headquarters is located just NE of New Braunfels, TX, off Highway 35 – their address: 328 FM 306, New Braunfels, TX 78130

BTW, this is just a quick weekend preview update post & you can’t say this was a last minute announcement.  I’ve had it on the Racing Ready Calendar for a couple of weeks now.  There’s more there now, I just included additional events … keep checking it every few days!

More Simpson trivia, here’s a cool picture testimonial that was sent to Tina Creswell at Team Simpson!  Nothing more sincere than this…

Tina Creswell Simpson Testimonial

I may also swing by Harris Hill Road, just a social visit to see what’s new.  It’s just 15 minutes up the “street” from Simpson.

Sunday will be Auto #10 for SPOKES at the San Antonio Raceway lot.  I won’t be competing.  Karlino had a bad whack against a curb a couple of weeks ago (Miatas aren’t meant to fly…).  The alignment has been partially restored, but replacement left rear control arms are forthcoming.

Karlino's alignment being checked... :-(

Karlino gets his first oil change (& tire rotation) tomorrow.  That’s my excitement for the weekend.  I’ll have to return to work next week just to rest.  Racing Ready is spending weekends gathering more future blog article data.

Dan

Motorsports Reporting, A Growing WWW Trend

There has been a small, but consistently growing voice in the support of amateur motorsports racing.

Motosports Reporting

It’s probably already been happening for quite some time.  But since I’m relatively new to this reporting experience, I’m seeing the growth firsthand as I surf for blog interest.  I started this blog in June of 2008 & I have personally seen the interest grow locally and Internet-related sites & forums become more frequent and available in number.

More people, average folks like you & me, are looking to enjoy racing in a personal way.  That is, couch racing is just not cutting it anymore.  As an interim step to actually getting out there and racing, the World Wide Web has been a phenomenal outlet and resource of good & available information.

I’ve had access to the Internet since 1994, at a blazing 14.4 Mhz speed!  Don’t you just miss those good ole dial-up days?  NOPE!  In those days, starting on CompuServe, I was just getting into basic e-mail with classmates.  Also, doing some IT-related searching for school studies with a handful of techie friends.  I had no clue what a forum was, although I had heard of people getting on bulletin board services.

Fast forward to today…

The Internet has continued to pleasantly surprise me as to what information one can find.  Being of a curious nature, I’m always looking up more stuff than I had intended on whatever primary search I had started.  Dedicated, multi-useful websites, forums and blogs are flourishing, dedicated to the amateurs’ pursuit of actual, hands-on autosports.  Thus, allowing you to more easily “Go from wannabe racer to successful racing competitor!”

Here’s a short, partial list of blogs, forums, websites & among other multi-source site I’ve found and that have also found Racing Ready – go ahead, review at your leisure:

  • Saabs United (formerly known as TrollhattanSaab.net).  This is Swade’s Saab enthusiasts’ blog.  I started reading his blog since the late Spring of 2007.  At the time I was “blog clueless”, but Swade inspired me to actually think I could do this blog thing myself…
  • Miata.netTHE resource site for inquiring Miata owners (just don’t try to promote anything…)
  • OnTrackDriver – a well-rounded autosports forum – Racing Ready is part of their RSS feed
  • DriversMeeting – a new social network site for people that choose to spend their quality time on race tracks
  • FullSolo – a great autocross participant site whose time ended TOO SOON!  Still great content to review there…
  • AutocrossForum – a grassroots autocross forum with a variety of articles dealing with the sport
  • North American Motorsports Pages – a thorough resource of USA-based race tracks – well done!
  • MyRacer – following the content of RACER Magazine, a different racing point of view
  • SCCAForums – a leading online discussion community for racing enthusiasts
  • Mulsanne’s Corner – a very interesting, insider’s point of view reporting of ALMS race cars & the Petit Le Mans Series
  • SpeedSecrets – they offer Services & Seminars (along with documented information) for driver development, training, and a driver coaching service
  • DrivenDaily – a blog colleague documenting the exploits of his 240Z rebuild, among other automotive-related content

Racing Ready is a small, but growing part of this www motorsports trend…join in & comment!

Dan