Ed Carpenter–Don’t blink

This past weekend’s Long Beach Grand Prix in a clear indication that the Ed Carpenter Indy team has a lot on the ball.  Ed decided to get Mike Conway to drive the road courses while he and Hildebrand drive the oval at Indianapolis.  Ed has demonstrated his prowess at ovals by qualifying on pole last year, but he’s not going to hold the team back by staging an ego trip. 

This is a unique team in that it is based in Indianapolis as well as being an owner/driver team.  Hats off to Ed, Mike and the whole team.

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The 2014 F1 Season–It’s only the beginning…

Formula One has gone through massive rules changes for 2014, with new engine displacement limits, new aerodynamics limitations, fuel capacity limits as well as fuel flow limits.  Sure turbocharges over the previous naturally aspirated engines, but the displacement is just 1.6 liters and the revs are limited to 15,000.  Oh, and the power is not just from an internal combustion engine, there are energy recovery units (ERS), two of them.  The big word for the power units is torque.  Massive amounts of torque and less grip out of tires that were not designed for the new power units level of torque. 

There have been plenty of complaints at all levels about the noise of the new power units, but the reality is that the sound is fine, just different.  A deeper note that is not as loud, so that the drivers can actually now hear over their radios.  The drivers have a lot more driving to do.  Braking is not just from disc brakes either, the ERS units get some of their electrical power from the energy recovered from braking.  Something else the drivers must adapt to.

The wings in front are narrower and the rear wings have lost some lower elements, but have gained wider slots when the drag reduction units (DRU) are activated, so less drag.  With the change in aero there is a reduction in grip and the drivers must cope with how that reacts to greater torque, especially in the wet.  They are working much harder.

The early races have demonstrated that Mercedes has really found the right combination in the design of their power units, and have dominated the front of the groups including the podium.

Frustration has permeated the RedBull team who’s cars have dominated the last four years of Formula 1.  Sebastian Vetel is desperately working to adapt to the changes while his team mate, Daniel Ricciardo appears to adapted easily and has shown excellent skills and demeanor on the track as well as as in post-race interviews. 

There are controversies with fuel flow that took away a podium from Ricciardo, as well as a 10 grid-spot penalty for him when his pit team failed to get a front wheel mounted properly.  Not a frustrated cry-baby, Daniel presented his signature smile and a positive attitude as the RedBull team appealed the various penalties.  Seb needs to watch out because this guy is doing the job no matter what.

RedBull is likely to start catching up to Mercedes soon as it, and the other Renault-powered teams get their power units sorted out.  Seb has been critical of the double points being awarded to the winners of the final three F1 races this year, if RedBull get its cars sorted, he might just be glad at the opportunity the double points provide this year.

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Spring–Cars & Coffee in Cary

With weather in the seventies and the sun shining down this is the first Cars & Coffee of spring.  While dedicated car lovers have been coming out the first Saturday of each month prior to this, now the weather has become friendly enough for throngs of people to congregate to admire the automobile.


Who can resist the lure of the Viper.


When four cylinders are not enough…


A Packard that exudes decades of class.


The oh so classic Mustang.


Muscle car.


A Corvair.



It was a car that showed what car companies could do if they thought out of the box.


The new Corvette.


There is nothing quite like cars to prompt memories and discussions…


The crowds were loving it.


Acres of eye candy.




An LS engine in a Miata…the modern incarnation of the Sunbeam Tiger.



The classic 2002 BMW.  A car that brought handling to a sedan.


Modern gull wing.



Nothing quite like a BMW with a V12.





Two Jags.


Evo IX – no more from Mitsubishi.



R8 coupe and convertible.




A pair of special BMWs.


A VW with 928 wheels.



Oh what a classic.



A rear-engined Fiat.



A TR6 with a twist.



A Miata with a bikini top.


People and cars.


Boys and their dreams.

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Asleep at the Wheel

Sure we’ve all been there.  Waiting at a traffic light and either realizing that the first person in line has zoned out and doesn’t get going when it turns green – or – being that person that’s first in line.

Here is what some enterprising urban anarchists have done…


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Pulling the Plug on an Icon

It looks like if you wish to own a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution you had better start looking for one as Automotive News reports that it is the end of a long line of Evolutions.  It began in 1992 and was spurred on by WRC competition.  The fabled 4G63 2.0 liter four cylinder engine stayed in Mitubishi’s lineup until the Lancer Evolution X when it was replaced by an all-aluminum block four.


I feel fortunate to have owned two of them and still treasure the Evo IX MR SE in my garage.  It is a true supercar and deserves its cult status. 

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Unreal Memories–Michael Paul Smith

Looking at his photos you will be certain that he discovered a stash of photographs in a shoe box hidden in an attic of an old house that was about to be torn down or perhaps discovered in an old trunk bought at a yard sale, but you would be wrong.

Due to his extraordinary skills at constructing miniatures and incredibly creative photography techniques he has been able to recreate some scenes that take you back to another time and place.

Check out this web site: Michael Paul Smith and be amazed.


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The 4G63

Mitsubishi came up with the most awesome 2 litre 4 cylinder engine ever.  I love it in my Evolution IX but there are plenty of other cars that have maxed this incredible power plant.

How about a 900 hp Evolution VII?

or an 780 hp Evo IX

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