Thursday, February 5, 2009

USF1 Team Rumor.....

This picture was taken at a party in Indy during one of the recent USGP races. I made all the races until there were no more. Peter Windsor and I were at the Speed party in this shot. Peter still does the driver interviews for F1 at the end of every race...check the latest rumor....not sure I am biting on this one but I am already a fan if it happens!!

Here is a link to the logo:

F1 »

New F1 team set for 2010 – Made in USA?

Despite the fact that motorsport worldwide is reeling from the current global credit crunch, it has been revealed that a new Formula 1 team could be set to take to the grand prix starting grid in 2010 – made in America.

German website has reported that the new squad – called USF1 – has been in the offing since last summer, with at the helm former Williams and Ferrari team manager Peter Windsor and highly-respected IndyCar technical and design guru Ken Anderson, whose cars have triumphed in no fewer than five Indianapolis 500 races and claimed four IRL crowns.

Having in the past worked alongside such F1 luminaries as Nigel Mansell, Carlos Reutemann and John Barnard, Windsor now plies his trade as an esteemed journalist and television pundit. The 56-year-old is well-known in the States by dint of his commentary for SPEED TV. Anderson previously featured in F1 with Ligier and Onyx back in 1989 and 1990 respectively, and has also worked with success in NASCAR circles, with Haas/CNC Racing.

It is claimed that the new team – which began to take shape following the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix and is said to have received the blessing of the sport's commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone – will be unveiled to the public before the end of this month, and hopes to be ready to make its Formula 1 debut as early as 2010.

USF1 will allegedly have its base in the heart of NASCAR country in Charlotte, North Carolina, with an agreement in place to make use of the new Windshear wind tunnel in the Deep South state. There could also be a European headquarters in Bilbao in Spain.

Other rumours, meanwhile, suggest that Anderson – who is understood to have attempted to purchase the defunct Super Aguri outfit last year – is formulating a bid to buy-out Honda F1.

It is claimed that Anderson's goal in the USF1 project is to provide a showcase for both American drivers and technology. The last US-born driver to compete in the top flight was Scott Speed back in 2006 and 2007, whilst the only American drivers to have lifted the world championship laurels have been the late Phil Hill in 1961 and Mario Andretti in 1978. The sole time an American driver and American car have run together as a combination was Dan Gurney in his Eagle more than four decades ago.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Parting Shot from a Nice Day at the Track

As you look over my MINI you can see the green grass of the the grounds at VIR. Every time I think of VIR I think of a country club setting. This place is just awesome. Look over the bridge and you can see the new brick condos. (click the picture to enlarge it) That's a place for the ultimate in race track living.

Until next time, I'll see you down the road.

98 Octane Baby...

As I walked by the fueling station I noticed the yellow octane sticker on the pumps. That is some strong medicine! I used to run 103 in my 1974 MG midget. This liquid is sort of like rocket fuel!

Just a Random Photo

As the title of this post says this is just a random photo I caught with my pocket camera as I was walking the paddock area. There were some nice cars here and it is always fun to walk through the garage area to see how racers move their equipment and work on cars at the track. Now if I could play some audio for this picture it would be the sweet song of a Porsche at full throttle.

A Couple of R32 GTIs...

I am just back from VIR and I thought I would share a few sights from the trip. This weekend VIR held the three day Koni Challenge.

I really like these cars. This is some serious horsepower in a small package. I stuck my head inside one of them all all you could smell was leather. Very nice.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

PL Newman

Paul Newman. I knew the day would come when he would be gone. He was reported to be sick months ago and was looking rather thin now for the last couple of years. I never met him but I saw him from a distance several times. I met his racing partner of many years, Carl Haas in Indianapolis at the US Grand Prix. I should show you that photo sometime.

This morning I was chatting with a list of friends from around the world as we watched the Formula One Grand Prix qualifying live from Singapore. A friend of mine from Canada told me via a chat message that Paul has just died. Bummer.

In the picture above you can see the red, white, and blue Oldsmobile with Paul driving in 1990 at the F1 USGP in Phoenix. His car usually said "PL Newman" He never really liked anyone to know who he really was. He was an awesome driver and from the local talk on this day he had his pal Tom Cruise in tow for the weekend. They were just hanging out for the weekend watching F1. He had a chance to drive in this warm-up race and went for it. And he was good at it. I took this 35mm print with my old Pentax ME Super from my seat that day.

I don't have much to say about Paul that the media hasn't already said. I will say I love the fact he was good at what he did no matter what is was. He lived well and was true to his friends and family. He gave his time and money to the greater good. A true mentor, I never met him in person but I will never forget him.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Red Bull P1 in Monza.....

It's been a bit slow on the MINI adventures lately. Sorry I have been VERY busy with all my interests! I never stop. I only slow for corners to hit the proper apex in life.

Ok it is no secret I am a Ferrari Formula One fan. Always have been, always will be. I watch every practice, qualifying, race, you name it...and I have the tape and dvds to prove it..9 USGPs to date attended and here is hoping for a return for F1 to the US in 2010...oh yeah..sorry I have a Nick Heidfeld hat to wear at BMW events as he is my next favorite. If I had not been a Ferrari fan since I flew my red flag in Phoenix in 1989 I would be a BMW fan.

Back to the title of this post....I was... naturally visualizing a Ferrari 1/2 finish at the Italian Grand Prix!
What I got was a Ferrari P1 finish alright, except it was the Red Bull chassis with a Ferrari engine! Well. My numero uno sports drink I buy by the case and drink once a day whether I need it or not...they win! Formerly known as the Minardi team they have NEVER won a race. Well it rained, Sebastian Vettel leads from the pole and beat everything on the track! Well I would have bet BIG money against that outcome.

At any rate...I have to say Congratulations to the Red Bull team. You earned it. A historic finish and well done. Cheers Dietrich Mateschitz! (That's him in the middle of the picture)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Nice End to a Fine Day...

The parking lot down the street in Elon at the Piedmont Ale House. Great fried pickles and fried green beans! The local micro brews and Euro-offerings were not bad either....this is a great place made even better with your MINI friends there.

And the Cake was Served....

What a nice cake...there was so much great food at this event I would have to fill the page with the descriptions. When MINI owners throw a party they throw a party....

The Burgers and Hot Dogs Were Grilling....

Mark sporting his best burger cookin' style...

The Banner Was Posted...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Cat makes a Getaway...

I saw several dogs at the event, some with some nice clothes and a really cool Bulldog...but I didn't see any of them actually driving a MINI....

Snoopy Checking Out the MINIs

Snoopy is giving us the once over from the sky! Our cigar smoking canopy was setting up the smoke screen so I am not sure what he saw....

UFO Photo?

Here is another picture of the parking lot at the blast this afternoon. If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can see the small object in the sky behind in our group of MINIs. No it's not a UFO, it is the Met Life blimp!

The Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club August Blast...

The line-up in the parking lot today at Springwood Park in Burlington, North Carolina.
The Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club was having a Club Blast and it was a good one...someone said there were almost 100 cars there. I really lost count in the afternoon...

Here is a link to the Newspaper article in the Burlington Times....

Monday, May 19, 2008

John Force!!

The NHRA legend. John Force. This guy is the nicest person on the block. His team brought the car they had just raced in Bristol and several drivers. They had all barely slept but they signed everything in sight and John kept everyone entertained with his personality. I can't say enough good things about him. He is the man. I am a big fan of his, as a driver and most of all as a real person. You rock dude.

From John's web site...

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Now that he's driven in his 500th NHRA race, won his 1,000th round, made his 201st final round appearance and celebrated his 59th birthday, all within the last three weeks, John Force acknowledged Wednesday that he may be ready to take the final step in his recovery from career-threatening injuries suffered last fall in a 320 mile-an-hour crash.

"Every race I'm feeling more comfortable in the car," proclaimed the 14-time series champion. "The car's gotten better. I'm better. I think we're ready to win again."

Racing Girls...

Rock....Ashley Force. Fresh in from Bristol.

I Ran Into.....

Tony Stewart today at work....fresh off his helicopter which landed right in front of our building from Charlotte.

Oh my MINI was parked about 30 feet from all the action...with the sun shade on the dash and under the shade of a nice tree....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Miles of MINIs

The MINIs look like they stretch for miles...this was the line-up for the group picture in front of the dam. It was raining for the panaramic five foot photo...but we did it anyway. Nothing like getting wet for a picture of your car.

20 MPH?

In a MINI? Not.


There was a car show and this car was my favorite.

Mr. Clean

"Mr. Clean" sits adjacent to the car washing station. I must have washed my car five times in four days. Between the rain and the bugs it was tough on the old boy. Should I mention the complimentary products we used to wash our cars? Awesome personal favorite is a product called 'Slick." I left with several bottles of these products. They Rock.

Deal Em'

Did I mention there was fun to be had at the Second Annual MINI Monte Carlo Night?
Thanks to all from the PittStop MINI Club....

It's Monte Carlo Night!!

Can you tell it's Monte Carlo Night?

Inside the casino is setup and we are ready for some fun!

To the Rescue...

Here is the culprit. The Fire Department got the situation under control and electricity service was restored many hours later...

Where there is Smoke...

Not a good sign. I was standing by my car as Sumpter, who works for Dan at Grassroots Garage, installed an engine damper on my car. Suddenly we hear what sounds like fireworks in the distance. Then we see smoke. On my radio I was told balls of electricity were flying down the wires behind the houses on the side of the mountain. With all the wind we were having at the time this was not a good thing. The nearest fire department was quite a ways down the road.

A Pair of Vintage MINIs

I thought these cars were so cool I stopped just to capture a picture....

On the Tree of Shame in Deals Gap

This bit of a MINI was spotted on the "Tree of Shame" in Deals Gap.
Remember you can click the picture to make it larger.

The Most Photographed MINI of the Weekend

This is what happens when you drive hard and roll your car. I must say when this fellow drove through the village he got a round of applause! He was all the way from Canada!! This image is a testimonial to the structural integrity of these cars. Other than a bad windshield the car survived the altercation with the embankment and the resulting roll pretty well.

Checking Out Fontana Dam

Fontana Dam, the view from down below. I just thought this was a cool picture...

Stoopid Girl Working on My MINI

It didn't take long to make it down to the giant venor tent and start flashing my cash.

Here I am getting an install from the seller of MINI eyes. Nice job Stoopid Girl! Here are links to her sites:

Early Arrivals into Fontana Village

On Wednesday afternoon we arrive into Fontana Village and the place is pretty quiet. Just the calm before the storm of hundreds of MINIs inbound for adventure.

On the Way to MOTD 2008...Black Mountain, NC

Another year, another MINIs on the Dragon. We had a small caravan this year out of Clemmons, NC and we collectively decided to stop at a very nice local pizza place in Black Mountain.

After a really nice lunch we all decided to stretch our legs and visit some very cool local shops. This place has that old small town feel and the shops are worth visiting for some really unusual stuff. This picture shows a view back down one of the streets.

The Mobile Version of Grassroots Garage

A picture of one of the best MINI mechanics in the USA. Dan Zipkin. We are lucky to have him so close to us in North Carolina. Here he is seen in action installing yet another supercharger pulley. He must have installed a truckload of pulleys this weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The MINIs on show

Some of the clubs members had several cars on display. Here is a shot of two of them. There were quite a few MINIs there, my only comment is we needed more room to park them. This place is not small and it was packed with cars! I have this event on my calendar for 2009.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Favorite Car.

The inside of the engine compartment of a red Austin Healy Bugeye Sprite. What a nice car! I have always liked these cars and I owned a MG Midget myself. One day I need to dig some pictures of my car out...In the mean time I have to stay away from these cars, if one were to come up for sale I might be tempted to pull my wallet out.

Uh oh.

So much for the tire dressing!

Line 'em Up.

A whole line of classics with the bonnets up. There were so many cars at this event there is no way I can post all the pictures. This was a lot of fun.

A view across the hill...

Looking back at the large building that houses the gift shop, a huge tasting room, and other things you can see the music shell on the hill. This building will be the stage for some awesome music this year. Take a look at the schedule...these people have most of the classic beach music bands that ever hit a stage....I will be back. Soon.

Shelton Vineyards...Beautiful in the Spring.

I have seen the vineyards in California but there are no vineyards that exceed this place in layout and beauty. As I came through Dobson for my first visit to this area I was stunned at the large entrance gates and the detail in the landscaping. I am a landcaping nut myself and this place reminded me of some of the best I have seen. I thought I had arrived at Biltmore! Nice job folks!

Had Your Pork Chop Sandwich Yet?

On the way to the vineyards we stopped by Mount Airy.

This is a very nice town I really enjoy walking around in.

The Snappy Lunch is the place to get your pork chop sandwich. Just remember it closes at 1:15 sharp on Saturday!

On the way to Shelton Vineyards!

As I motor down the road on my way to the British Car gathering at Shelton Vineyards I picked up a bit of a caravan of really three nice English automobiles. I captured this picture in the western edge of Rockingham County from my driver mirror. I thought it was cool that we just casually met on a country road.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


You have to understand something about my car. It lives a protective life. I watch the weather constantly and if there is a chance of rain my car stays in the garage. That is the temperature controlled garage. I never let it get dirty and it has only been driven in the rain once when I got caught in the rain at the Dragon run last year. At this point the car even still has the new car smell in it..well this trip I was made fun of for my "pristine MINI." OK by me I like my cars in like new condition baybe. SO I finally named my car. He is now "Mr Clean."
As we finished our day at the Hickory Tavern for some fine British Ale and great food this picture was taken in the parking lot by some MINI paparazzi...Not to matter...I was out in 30 degree weather the next day washing Mr. Clean and detailing the fender wells...All is good...

A detour....

We continued our ride through a bunch of twisty roads and through a mountain pass. We tried to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a short stint but the road was closed due to snow. So we changed the planned route and had to detour. Our leader was using google maps on his Iphone. I asked him on our radio frequency if he was lost. He said trust me and I did. The next thing I know we are on a frozen dirt road! OMG. There were all kinds of people making comments on the radio like..."if I had known we were going four wheeling I would have brought my WRX!!" "Don't look now, he has a gun." "I swear I hear banjo music." As I crossed a bridge of hand-hewn trees I prayed the weight of my car would not break it. Rifle Range Road...what a story.

Now our trip has become the Ned Beatty Classic" adventure canoe trip / world rally championship training run...

All Lined up on Stone Mountain....

All the MINIs lined up in the parking lot. We paused to stretch our legs, chat, and take a few pictures. The park ranger rolled though and smiled at our pack of cars. Everyone loves the MINIs.

Yes it Was a Bit Cold...

A picture of me with my layers on to keep the cold way....Love my Ferrari F1 team coat...that is one warm coat.

The GPS View....

My view of the GPS while cruising the area around Stone Mountain....I love my Garmin Nuvi 360. Remember you can click the picture to enlarge it for reading..

Surrounded by Deer....

There were deer everywhere in the Stone Mountain area. They were all over the side of the road. I counted over twenty in one field alone...

Headed to Stone Mountain, North Carolina

The MINI line headed for Stone Mountain last Saturday. It was a cold day. We started in Winston-Salem with about 20 MINIs. We had a nice twisty route up to Elkin and into Stone Mountain Park.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Headed Down the Mountains Back Home....

As we headed home..some of the gang went to the winery, some went to the Woolwine Festival..and we had a bit of fun on the twisties...although there was some slow traffic in front at times the roads are is a link to a short video of one of the runs...