Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
"Will Power on Pole; Can He Win His Way to A Full Time Ride?"
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Segway, Fisker Electric Options @ NY International Auto Show
Sustainable mobility is not only cute---it can be fast, too.
Top is the GM/Segway collaboration for a two person people mover powered by batteries.
Bottom is the business end of the Fisker hybrid convertible. The manufacturer's figures for their conventional hybrid, gets 0-60 in 7.5 seconds running on batteries alone; 5.1 with the 2.0 liter gas engine working. The company also markets a plug in hybrid.
All of the manufacturers are touting enhanced fuel economy numbers. For the four and six cylinder models, you get specific numbers. For the performance and big V8 engine models, you get a percentage.
As you saw on the last Tweet, Roger Penske and I had a chance to chat as we met near the Cadillac exhibit and the new SRX. "The Captain" is looking over the new models (after all, his Penske Auto Group sells vehicles from most of the manufacturers exhibiting) and was pleased when I congratulated him on his IndyCar team win at St. Petersburg.
Most interesting panel of all will be the Future of Automotive Newsweek panel discussion later this afternoon.
I'll Tweet if there's any neat stuff.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Ryan Briscoe survived a challenge by Ryan Hunter-Reay in the last two laps, to notch his third career win, and owner Roger Penske's third win here on the temporary downtown 1.8 mile street circuit. Justin Wilson was the beneficiary of a first lap incident that punted polesitter Graham Rahal from the lead. Wilson led the most laps, but was caught by Roger Penske's strategy, which put Briscoe in the lead. Hunter-Reay was catching Briscoe, but thought better of a last lap banzai move in the late stages of a caution filled Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The green-white-checker evolved because the last green flag of the race flew on lap 99 (green). The next lap was the white flag lap (100) and then the checker was shown first to Briscoe.
The win is the Captain's 30th victory since Penske Racing joined the IndyCar Series.
We'll blog from the NY International Auto Show later this week...and don't be surprised if you see something about our 800th Road Test somewhere else.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
"Front Row At St. Pete"
Friday, April 03, 2009
American LeMans-- Simon Pagenaud from deFerran Racing is on overall pole with the new Acura ARX02b LMP 1 prototype--101.606 miles an hour around the 1.8 mile course. Third overall and first of the LMP2 cars--Luis Diaz 99.420. The diesel Peugeots and Audis aren't here...so the prototype field is a bit sparse. That said, Pagenaud didn't have a lot of time to get into the Wirth Racing simulator for the ARX02b...so he looked around on the net, and downloaded some games and simulations of the St. Pete circuit, a lot like Denny Hamlin at Pocono in 2006.
IndyCar--Last year's winner, Graham Rahal, set the standard for the IndyCars--his practice run 102.3 miles an hour. The IndyCars sound a bit different in 2009, thanks to a rule tweak that put a different exhaust system on the Honda engines. Also...the ethanol that they use is Brazilian branded, thanks to the demise of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, who sponsored the fueling in 2008 Twenty-two IndyCars took practice times this afternoon. The series will also have a different tire rule for road and street courses for 2009. Firestone, at the behest of the IRL, developed a two tire scheme--primary (black sidewall) and alternate (red sidewall). The rules state that each team use one set of unused ("sticker") primary tires and one set of unused ("sticker") alternate tires for at minimum two laps of green flag racing. The alternate tires share the same construction as the primaries, but have a stickier tread. Firestone Racing Boss Al Speyer suggested that teams who bolt on the red-label Firehawks could gain a half to a full second of speed over use of the primary tires. This introduces some strategies in the management of the tires. But wait, there's more: The teams must declare one hour after final qualifying, what compound (primary or alternate) their car or cars will use at the green flag. If the race is declared a wet race--the rule is suspended.
Danica Patrick still draws crowds in the paddock, not quite like AJ Foyt did in his heyday...we had to squeeze up against the ropes to snap this shot of the crew working on the Motorola car.
We'll rejoin you from the downtown circuit tomorrow. In the meantime, (and I hope you will pardon this point of personal privilege) please keep my neighbors in Binghamton, NY in your thoughts and prayers, as they try to make sense of what happened on Front Street today.