Spotted: Motorcycling at the Time of Depends

Motor Sports

Spotted is Globe Drive author Peter Cheney’s weekly feature that takes you behind the scenes of his life for a car and engineering journalist. In addition, we highlight the best of your original photographs and short video clips (10 minutes or less), which you need to send with a brief explanation. E-mail , locate him Twitter (#spotted), or join him (no login required).

Peter Cheney

Motorcycling at the Time of Depends

There’s a cycle to our own lives. We begin with training wheels, find our balance, and move on to two wheels. Then we get older, and it is back to three wheels {}. However, this time they are on a Harley Davidson. I seen this custom trike in Niagara Falls. The downside: you can not lean through corners. The upside: it is a lot more difficult to tip over. And you are still riding, incontinence issues be damned! As the great William Wordsworth wrote in his poem Lines Composed Above Tintern Abbey: “I’ve learned to look on nature less in the hour of childhood….”

Peter Cheney

Old school

No training wheels on this one. I seen this Confederate Fighter in Toronto. The Fighter is a rare machine, produced in Alabama by Confederate Motorcycles. Crafted from billet aluminum, the Fighter was motivated by post-WW2 outlaw motorcycle culture, when returning GI’s built custom bikes and sought experience on the streets of America. The price of becoming an outlaw has gone up considerably since the 1950’s: the Fighter’s starting price is about $70,000 U.S.

Peter Cheney

Some things never get old

The shop in Gentry Lane at Toronto is always stocked with automotive treasures. When I took my Lotus in for service a couple of weeks back, I was greeted with this 1957 Chevy Nomad wagon, which was getting a once-over before being put up for sale.

Peter Cheney

Analog masterpiece

The inside of the Nomad conjures up an era before digital technology. What a classic.

Peter Cheney

A golden era in stickers

If you read Hot Rod magazine in the 60’s and 70’s, then you will know the nostalgic pull of those traditional decals.

John Martins

On the Street

Reader John Martins seen another Chevy Nomad on the street in Ontario. That two-tone paint looks great.

Stephen Van Esch

One owner, may need a little work

Stephen Van Esch seen this hotrod-in-progress in Arthur, Ontario. It resembles the principles are there: a body, four wheels and a motor. But wait, what is that giant turbocharger doing sitting in front of the firewall?

Stephen Van Esch

Price negotiable…

A look in the hotrod project reveals a small work might have to get it on the street.

John Martins

Aging well

John Martins seen this 1972 Volvo P1800 in Oakville. It seems like it might have rolled from the mill last week.

Katherine Scarrow

A roadster eyesight

My friend Katherine Scarrow seen this Sunbeam roadster in Toronto. The Sunbeam was constructed in England throughout the 1960’s, and epitomized the golden era of the roadster, when two-seater convertibles fired the imaginations of countless fans. Even though it was originally produced using a four-cylinder engine under the hood, Sunbeam also created a version called the Tiger, which utilized an American-built V-8.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Le Mans: A unique laboratory for testing automotive Tech

Motor Sports


With 300,000 in attendance and millions more watching around the world, failure in the 24 Hours of Le Mans can be a public experience.

Toyota found that last year and Mercedes-Benz years earlier, when its automobiles started becoming airborne.

Why do so many automobile manufacturers adopt the risk-reward challenge that’s the world’s oldest endurance race? Because it’s a special laboratory — where technology and data are developed which will find its way to street cars.

Le Mans has become the focal point for development of automotive technologies, from ancient road-paving technology, disk brakes, hybrid engines and, most recently, LED headlight technology.

Porsche, for one, has an extensive history with the Circuit de la Sarthe; you will find the notorious and breathtaking Porsche Curves, a section of the track that veteran drivers describe as “not the place to have an off{}”

Racing is conducted in either the top-tier LMP1 class, with its 919 Hybrid sports prototype car, and at the LMGTE course, where race cars and street cars share a much closer resemblance.

“The carry-over is a fascinating point in Porsche Motorsport because we are creating the GT cars and the race cars at the same section under my direction, so we look always on carry-over,” states Frank-Steffen Walliser, vice-president of motorsport in Porsche. “A lot of this suspension technologies, particularly on the damper, we know a great deal for the installation of the car … I’d say [to] look at the brand new cars from Porsche in a year and you will find features that are 1:1 from the street car from the race car.”

By having road-car and race-car development grow under a single roof, technology transfer is organic.

“The aero men are exactly the same, suspension men are the same, they are doing the road car and doing the race car. It’s the exact same team,” Walliser states.

Additionally, road-car technology can find its way into the racetrack. The camera and radar system used by the Porsche team this season is derived from its street cars.

So what does the future hold, and what could be learned from an automobile that looks so far removed from a daily driver, like the LMP1 919 Hybrid?

“By the end of the decade, Porsche will establish its complete electric e-car,” states Michael Steiner, a part of Porsche’s executive board. “For this, we learn a great deal from our LMP race car.”

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Le Mans: A laboratory for testing technology

Motor Sports


With 300,000 in attendance and millions watching the world around, failure in the 24 Hours of Le Mans can be a experience.

When its automobiles began becoming airborne Toyota found Mercedes-Benz years and that year previously.

Why do so many automobile manufacturers and the challenge that’s the world’s oldest race embrace? Where technology and data are developed — because it’s a laboratory which will find its way.

Le Mans has become the focal point for development of technology, from hybrid engines, disc brakes, early technology and, most recently, LED headlight technology.

Porsche, for one, has an extensive history with the Circuit de la Sarthe; you will find even the stunning and infamous Porsche Curves, a part of the track which veteran drivers describe as “not the place to have an off.”

Racing is conducted with its 919 Hybrid prototype car, in the class, and at the LMGTE class, where street cars and race cars share a resemblance.

“The carry-over is an interesting point in Porsche Motorsport because we are developing the GT cars and the race cars at the same division under my leadership, so we look always on carry-over,” states Frank-Steffen Walliser, vice-president of motorsport in Porsche. “A lot of the suspension technology, particularly on the damper, we learn a great deal for the installation of the car … I’d say [to] look at the brand new cars from Porsche in a year and you will find features that are 1:1 from the street car from the race car.”

By having race-car and road-car development develop under one roof, technology transfer is organic.

“The aero men are the same, suspension men are the same, they are doing the road car and doing the race car. It’s the exact same team,” Walliser states.

Road-car technology can find its way. The camera and radar system used by the Porsche team is derived from its street cars.

What does the future hold, and what could be learned from a vehicle that looks far removed from a driver, like the LMP1 919 Hybrid?

“By the end of the decade, Porsche will start its electric e-car,” states Michael Steiner, a part of Porsche’s executive board. “For this we learn a lot from our LMP race car.”

Also on the world and Mail

Go over Ferrari, McLaren is here to take your supercar crown (The Globe and Mail)

Montreal parades Britain’s most attractive low rider

Motor Sports


Whoever wins the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on June 11, usually the one assurance is the fact that the driver could have entered the final line-in an Austin Healey.

Ahead of the contest, that’s.

Le Club Austin Healey du Quebec has arranged the driver’s celebration annually since 2000. Elsewhere on earth, the individuals are paraded atop flatbed vehicles or drifts. Montreal wants the style of basic sports vehicles.

Nevertheless some of these individuals don’t actually “get” the Healeys.

“You must realize, some of those folks are twenty years old, they’re declaring, ‘What’s the brand with this automobile?’ ” suggests Roger Hamel, the club’s founding leader.

The newest Austin Healey 3000 was built at Abingdon, England, several decades ahead of the oldest System One driver, 37-yearold Kimi Raikkonen, came to be.

Activities vehicles were deemed the right remedy for the station wagon in their time, 1950s to the 60s.

Many remember Austin Healeys because the many attractive of the English sports vehicles, but to Michael Schumacher, the direction they seem was completely trumped in addition they smelled.

In 2002, the ruling world-champion was powered by John Healey, the child of business president Donald Healey.

“Michael didn’t know who David was and, while they used one other Healeys across the course, Jordan questioned him to operate a vehicle around the proper ‘because these previous automobiles scent,’ ” Hamel suggests. “John was extremely angry, but refrained from answering.”

Nonetheless he needed it during the time, the story stays around the John Healey site of the Austin Healey Team of America site, nine decades after his death. All Healey fans produce solid cases. They acknowledge that efficiency wasn’t accomplished by 1967.

Therefore the copy Healeys in the celebration, must some of the automobiles holding the F1 bullets fail.

“All folks feel, ‘Please permit my 50-yearold automobile start and run rather than embarrass me around the grid or around the course,’ ” suggests Jud Perkins, leader of the Newest England Location of the Ah Team of America, who’s returning this year to get a third-run.

“In June, it could get really cozy,” Hamel suggests. “And occasionally Healeys overheat – that’s, everything you declare, an understatement.”

Gerry Coker, who developed the human body for Brian Healey’s frame, quipped in 2007 – when he owned French racecar driver Jarno Trulli in a Quebec team member’s automobile – the purpose he’d never acquired one “was that running a Healey was like carrying a barbedwire vest.”

All great fun among resort people. But, ofcourse, the automobiles are updated to efficiency. Perkins toured western Europe following the contest – 5,630 kilometers – without difficulty.

Perkins has visited several title activities being a former government with Madison Square Yard as well as the Basketball, nevertheless he suggests, “even with my history, the ability to have a System One pilot across the routine ahead of the start of Canadian Grand Prix is the better joy I’ve experienced in sports.”

Initially, Perkins drew Max Chilton, scarcely astar – infact, a novice with all the zero-hope/currently-defunct Marussia staff. But Chilton proved to become the exemption for the tip of individuals having almost no time for sports vehicles. “Max Chilton and that I were thus absorbed in chatting English sports vehicles, as he was restoring an MGB, that individuals practically skipped our start.”

The very next time, he owned Sergio Perez, the Philippine several experience probably will go on to Ferrari. Perkins and Perez identified they’ve common friends in Guadalajara. The “20-instant interactions, in-between grandstands,” as Hamel phrases the chitchat through the celebration panel, isn’t quickly ignored.

Fernando Alonso, Hamel realized, because the applause for your Spaniard triggered his or her own locks around the back of his throat to endure to consideration, addresses six languages. Christian Klien, a novice with Jaguar, was desperate to understand just a little German.

“He wished to learn how to match ladies in Quebec and that I coached him to state, ‘Je t’aime.’ He maintained involving it in-between grandstands.”

The 20-yearold Austrian completed ninth, his finest bring about nine events compared to that level. Who’s to state Hamel’s training didn’t play a role?

Healeys muscled their solution to victories in Canadian race inside their morning. A 3000S, where Grant Clark acquired the Ontario school title in 1960, lives in Colorado, where Kevin Adair ran it to your school gain eventually year’s Monterey Motorsports Gathering. Al Pease and Don Kindree won inside the four-time Sunset Grand Prix at Mosport in 1964; their 57SAC is in Sydney, held by Tony Parkinson, seller of Penny’s Hill Wines.

Currently, their dominance at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has all regarding their basic collections. While Normand Legault, contest leader and President from 1996 until 2008, first named Hamel in 2000, “He said a mentor owned by his screen each night in a Austin Healey and he liked the looks and noise of the automobile.

“The F1 tv folks have advised us our celebration is the better on earth,” Hamel suggests. “Because not merely will be the automobiles extremely gorgeous, they’re equivalent with the exception of their shades, therefore producing beautiful ‘flower pots’ for your drivers.”

Buying a fresh automobile? Read the newnbsp;nbsp;to find out the newest reductions, incentives and charges on new automobiles, vehicles and SUVs.nbsp;nbsp;to really get your value.

Furthermore Around The World and Email

Movie: Using in a German automobile from your 1950s that nonetheless has type (The Planet and Email)

Spotted: Motorcycling in the age of Depends

Motor Sports


Spotted is Globe Drive writer Peter Cheney’s weekly feature that takes you behind the scenes of his life as a vehicle and engineering journalist. We also highlight the best of your original photos and short video clips (10 seconds or less), which you should send with a short explanation. E-mail , find him on Twitter (#spotted), or join him on (no login required).

Peter Cheney

Motorcycling in the age of Depends

There is a cycle to our lives. We start out with training wheels, find our balance, and move on to two wheels. Then we get old, and it’s back to three wheels again. But this time they’re on a Harley Davidson. I spotted this custom trike in Niagara Falls. The downside: you can’t lean through corners. The upside: it’s a lot harder to tip over. And you’re still riding, incontinence problems be damned! As the great William Wordsworth wrote in his poem Lines Composed Above Tintern Abbey: “I have learned to look on nature not as in the thoughtless hour of youth….”

Peter Cheney

Old school

No training wheels on this one. I spotted this Confederate Fighter in Toronto. The Fighter is a rare machine, produced in Alabama by Confederate Motorcycles. Crafted from billet aluminum, the Fighter was inspired by post-WW2 outlaw motorcycle culture, when returning GI’s built custom bikes and sought adventure on the roads of America. The cost of being an outlaw has gone up considerably since the 1950’s: the Fighter’s starting price is about $70,000 U.S.

Peter Cheney

Some things never get old

The shop at Gentry Lane in Toronto is always stocked with automotive treasures. When I took my Lotus in for service a few weeks ago, I was greeted by this 1957 Chevy Nomad wagon, which was getting a once-over before being put up for sale.

Peter Cheney

Analog masterpiece

The interior of the Nomad conjures up an age before digital technology. What a classic.

Peter Cheney

A golden age in decals

If you read Hot Rod magazine in the 60’s and 70’s, you’ll understand the nostalgic pull of these classic decals.

John Martins

On the road

Reader John Martins spotted another Chevy Nomad on the road in Ontario. That two-tone paint looks great.

Stephen Van Esch

One owner, may need a little work

Stephen Van Esch spotted this hotrod-in-progress in Arthur, Ontario. It looks like the fundamentals are there: a body, four wheels and a motor. But wait, what’s that giant turbocharger doing sitting in front of the firewall?

Stephen Van Esch

Price negotiable…

A look inside the hotrod project reveals that a little work may be required to get it on the road.

John Martins

Aging well

John Martins spotted this 1972 Volvo P1800 in Oakville. It looks like it could have rolled out of the factory last week.

Katherine Scarrow

A roadster vision

My friend Katherine Scarrow spotted this Sunbeam roadster in Toronto. The Sunbeam was built in England through the 1960’s, and epitomized the golden age of the roadster, when two-seater convertibles fired the imaginations of countless enthusiasts. Although it was originally produced with a four-cylinder engine under the hood, Sunbeam also created a variant called the Tiger, which used an American-built V-8.

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Inside the de facto home for Canadian rally – Squamish, B.C.

Motor Sports


In the gathering dusk, Patrick (Rocket) Richard removes his close-fitting dark sunglasses, and palms a handful of pills. “I’ve got to take my daily bread,” he jokes. It takes a few moments for one of Canada’s greatest rally drivers to swallow the bitter mass down.

Photos by Brendan McAleer

All around us, dust stirred up by Richard’s latest creation settles back over the empty log-sorting yard. The pavement is scored with lines still visible in the light filtering over the mountains. A heron calls as it looks for the evening roost, heading west over Howe Sound. The quiet beauty of the place seems amplified by the snarling ballet we’ve just witnessed.

Richard is a legend, with more than a dozen rally championships over 15 years of racing. In battle, he was unrelenting – there is of him putting his Subaru STI onto its side and leaping from the car, then flipping it back onto its wheels – with his co-driver still inside. He has displayed superhuman ability behind the wheel – surfing his car along narrow gravel roads through the forest; landing huge jumps on three wheels; finishing races with half the bodywork crumpled or missing entirely. He has the right to be aloof.

But in person, he’s just … Pat. The shades are no affectation: A serious neurological condition caused by head injuries forced Richard to retire from driving two years ago, and he has a sensitivity to light. When you meet him, he immediately apologizes for not taking his sunglasses off. In a way, he’s sacrificed his health to his love of this sport.

But while Richard no longer drives competitively, he and the company he founded 17 years ago are still giving their all to rally. This secretive after-hours shakedown is putting the finishing touches on an idea to draw in new competitors and keep the sport alive. It’s a fully race-prepped Crosstrek, roll-caged, armoured and fitted with a long-travel suspension, racing brakes, a sequential six-speed transmission and some engine improvements. Is that a turbocharger under the hood? Mum’s the word.

At a cost of $80,000, Rocket Rally’s built-to-order racer doesn’t seem cheap. However, it’s one-quarter as expensive as the rally-prepped STI fielded by Subaru Canada. Rocket Rally builds that car as well, and its Crosstrek may be thought of as a spec-racer answer for drivers who want to show up at a rally and be competitive.

One such driver is David Nickel. An executive in the finance field, Nickel has shucked his business suit today for shorts, T-shirt, racing gloves and a carbon-fibre helmet. He’s covered in sweat and grinning like an idiot. If you’d been hucking the fierce little Crosstrek sideways through stacks of timber, you’d be grinning, too.

Nickel’s been competing in rally events for a couple of years now in an STI, with a few podium finishes last year. “It feels great,” he says of the prototype Crosstrek. “But those tires are done.”

While Nickel and some of the Rocket Rally team talk suspension tweaks to soften up the front end for better bite, Warwick Patterson plots out a course on a clipboard. A photographer and videographer who’s been covering rally for nearly two decades, he’s behind Launch Control, a show that covers all Subaru’s motorsport efforts, from rallying in China to Mark Higgins’s record-setting runs on the Isle of Man. Officially partnered with Subaru of America, it’s broadcast online worldwide, but made right here in small-town British Columbia.

“It feels good to be home,” Patterson says, watching a sailboat make its way up the channel. “I haven’t been home for more than 72 hours in a row all year.”

Situated between Whistler and Vancouver, Squamish is neither a glitzy winter playground for the rich nor a city struggling with heavy traffic and out-of-control real estate prices. It has a busy port – a lot of timber is moved through where we’re standing – but mostly it’s a place where people come to escape.

On an evening when the Rocket Rally Crosstrek was spinning around in the gravel like a cornered wolverine, paragliders leaped off the massive granite dome of the Stawamus Chief and sailed overhead. Rock climbers hauled themselves up fissures in the rock. Mountain bikers were probably out there on the back trails, too – Rocket is currently building a car for professional rider Brandon Semenuk.

It’s a place where people come to work, play and live outdoors. Little wonder that it’s become the de facto home for Canadian rally, a sport that pits man and machine against the forest and the stopwatch.

Fitting, too, that Squamish has a neighbourhood feel you don’t get in a bigger city. Perhaps no other form of motorsport is as welcoming and open to those who want to volunteer or spectate at a rally. You don’t buy tickets to an event, you just hike out together into the woods and find a good spot to watch the cars fly. It builds a sense of camaraderie and community.

Before loading up the Crosstrek, Richard and Patterson chat about the idea of setting up a rally-cross course here. “Sounds good,” Richard says. “Just a small event.”

Patterson nods. “Maybe 10 cars or so.”

“Just people we know,” Richard says, “Members of our rally family.”

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Tensions escalate as F1 teammates take shots at each other

Motor Sports


On tap this week:

  • Hamilton-Rosberg games continue
  • Stroll gets Williams seat
  • Mercedes equals records
  • F1 closes loophole
  • Quote of the Week: Kimi doesn’t care about fourth
  • Another open wheel star in NASCAR?

Nico Rosberg won’t be getting a Christmas card from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, but apparently that’s nothing new.

When asked in the post race press conference if they would exchange presents over the holidays this year, Rosberg said “Hmm, maybe a Christmas card” to which teammate Lewis Hamilton retorted quickly, “I don’t think we’ve ever done either, so there’s no reason to change.”

While being left off each others Christmas card list might not be a sticking point for either, there does appear to be signs that the acrimony between the two was reaching the critical point as their third year as teammates came to a close.

Minutes before the card remark, Rosberg didn’t seem too keen when it was suggested during the post-race podium interview that he and Hamilton have dinner to reflect on Mercedes’ season.

“Let’s skip that part — maybe we’ll catch up in the Amber Lounge (where there’s a posh after party) later on.”

The tensions between the pair jumped back into the spotlight after a now infamous cap tossing incident in Austin following the U.S. Grand Prix. In the green room before the podium ceremonies, Rosberg angrily flung a second-place hat back at Hamilton after the race winner had thrown it in his lap.

The teammates have known each other since they were young karters, but their on-track battles continue to strain their relationship. The pair clashed in several incidents over the past two years as they battled for superiority in a car that was clearly better then the rest.

It’s all been a handful for team principal Toto Wolff, who must keep the drivers he’s called kindergarteners in check. And judging from the way Wolff’s charges interacted after the season finale in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, the Mercedes boss’ job won’t be getting any easier in 2016.

Asked at the post-race press conference which Mercedes driver was happier going into the off-season, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner Rosberg, who ended the year with three straight victories and a string of six poles, said he was “feeling very happy.”

Hamilton, who took home his third Formula One title in 2015 shot back: “I think being world champion sounds a lot better than winning the race, so that’s good.”

Random thoughts

The Williams Racing team confirmed last week that Montreal teen Lance Stroll will join the Formula One team’s young driver stable next year. These seats typically come with a price tag of several million dollars, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the 17-year-old, who is the son of retail billionaire and Circuit Mont-Tremblant owner Lawrence Stroll.

“We will be doing some simulator work with him to try to improve him as a driver,” said Williams deputy team boss Clare Williams. “We’ll be supporting his season in Formula 3 next year and hopefully he will have a great season and we’ll see where he ends up at the end of 2016.”

By the numbers

How dominant was the 2015 Mercedes F1 car? In 19 races, Mercedes tied its records for the most wins in a season (16) and pole positions (18), rang up 13 fastest laps, and put up 12 1-2 finishes on its way to a second consecutive constructors’ title. While it was a distant second overall, Ferrari also added to its numbers in 2015, pushing the record for most wins from pole to 124 and the mark for race leads from start to finish to 68 on the strength of Sebastian Vettel’s pole and lights-to-flag victory in Singapore.

Technically speaking

Formula One’s governing Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) closed a possible loophole over the weekend to keep big outfits from using smaller teams as research arms. Although not mentioned in the Mercedes submission asking the FIA to look at the sport’s regulations, many worried that the close relationship between Ferrari and the new Haas F1 outfit would see it helping the Scuderia technically in 2016. “These limits are … intended to ensure that no competitor is able to circumvent the purpose or intention of the restrictions by, for example, using a third party to carry out aerodynamic development on their behalf,” the FIA’s decision said.

Quote of the week

“If you don’t win, it doesn’t make an awful lot of difference if you’re second, wherever you finish. I’m happy to have had a kind of okay race in the last one, but it doesn’t change anything really of how our season went.”

— Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen on finishing third in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which sealed his fourth place overall in the 2015 Formula One driver’s championship.

The last word

Canadian James Hinchcliffe isn’t the only open wheel racer looking to test the NASCAR waters. the IndyCar driver said last week that he’d like to use the August break in his series to make a stock car start. Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo has also joined the fray.

It’s all just Twitter banter right now involving the Formula One star and NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr., but Ricciardo said he’d love to get on the phone with Dale and ask him for a test at least,” the Australian said.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Jeff Gordon fails to add fairytale finish to storied career

Motor Sports



Jeff Gordon ended up with a goodbye party instead of a championship celebration.

Gordon failed to add a fairytale ending to his storied career Sunday, finishing sixth in the NASCAR season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

But it did little to dampen the four-time NASCAR champion’s day, which was filled with family, friends and farewell tributes.

“There’s no doubt that just being a part of this day, wrapping up this amazing career, there’s no doubt in my mind that it didn’t take the championship for me to come out of here feeling like I’m on top of the world, and I am,” Gordon said. “I just can’t help the competitor in me still is cutting into that slightly right now.

“But I’ll loosen up and I’ll be fine a little bit later.”

Gordon had a huge party planned no matter the outcome, with about 400 people ready to throw down into the wee hours on South Beach.

“Well, we all know nothing would have been quite better than that and the win,” Gordon said. “But I’ve learned a lot in life, and there’s no such thing as a perfect day and a perfect life. Just like there’s no such thing as a perfect race car. They’re really close and good, and at times, better than the rest. But it doesn’t mean that they’re ever perfect.

“Had I won this race and this championship, it would have been perfect, and I don’t think I could have accepted that. I wouldn’t have known how to.”

He handled the day as well as anyone could have expected. Gordon was the overwhelming sentimental favourite from the start, and it showed.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne as well as fellow drivers Danica Patrick and Kyle Larson wore Gordon tribute hats before the finale. Patrick wore one with old-school “rainbow warriors” colours.

Joey Logano posted a picture of him and Gordon on Facebook that showed them sharing a moment when Logano was little.

“You were my idol growing up,” Logano wrote. “Never did I think I’d race against you for wins. Congrats on a great career Jeff Gordon.”

Harvick got a modern-day keepsake when he stopped by Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet — which got a police escort to pit road — and posed for a photo.

NASCAR presented Gordon with a tribute video during the pre-race drivers’ meeting and then everyone in the room, including drivers, sponsors and dignitaries, gave him a standing ovation.

“Jeff, congratulations on an outstanding career. We thank you for all you’ve done for NASCAR and will do,” NASCAR vice chairman Mike Helton said. “You’re a true champion and a top-shelf guy.”

Fans lined a red carpet leading to the meeting and showered Gordon with praise. Gordon responded by high-fiving scores of them.

The 44-year-old Gordon announced in January that this would be his last season. He won 93 races in 23 full seasons. He wanted one more — which would have been bigger than the rest.

He hopes to remember all the details of his finale, including visits from racing legend Mario Andretti, three-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton and sports-car ace Scott Pruett. Gordon made sure his colleagues won’t forget it.

To commemorate the race, Gordon gave each driver in the finale a carbon-fiber ring box inscribed with “Thanks For The Memories” and his or her starting position.

Richard Petty did something similar before the 1992 season finale in Atlanta. Petty gave each driver in that race, including Gordon, a “Petty blue” money clip. Gordon kept it in a drawer and then a safe all these years.

“I just wanted everybody to have something as an appreciation from me to them of what they meant to me racing against them over all the years,” Gordon said. “Seemed like they appreciated it.”

On Saturday, Petty gave Gordon $93 to put in the money clip and told him he had one more dollar ready for him should he win the finale.

It didn’t happen, mostly because Gordon fought an ill-handling race car all afternoon. When it was over, Gordon thanked his crew and team owner Rick Hendrick over the team radio and then made his final turn down pit road.

“It’s like right now the racing doesn’t matter as much as the relationship does,” Hendrick said. “I’d have loved to have won it, loved to have seen him go out with a championship, but we went out in the top four and not many guys do better than that.”

Gordon climbed out of his race car and stepped into Hendrick’s waiting arms.

They shared a long embrace and some words of encouragement. Gordon handed Hendrick his one-off helmet, kissed his wife and hugged his two kids before getting mobbed by fans. Someone in the crowd screamed “You’re still the man!”

Just not the champion.

“I’m a little disappointed we weren’t more of a threat in the championship,” said Gordon, who last won it all in 2001. “Beyond that, it’s absolutely been a dream come true.”

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Canadian team scores record win at tough Macau street race

Motor Sports


On tap this week:

  • Canadian team scores record win in Macau
  • Hayley ends rookie year sixth
  • HP back in IndyCar
  • Porsche wins 2015 WEC championship
  • Quote of the Week:
  • Vettel adds another title

Swedish driver Felix Rosenqvist delivered a record eighth victory for Canada’s Theodore Racing in the prestigious Macau Grand Prix on Sunday.

The win by the reigning Euro F3 champion is the second victory in the tough street race for the outfit since it was revived in 2013 by original Theodore founder Teddy Yip Sr.’s son.

“It is a dream come true for me and my family to be Macau champions for a record eighth time with Theodore Racing,” said Yip Jr.

“We took victory on our return to Macau in 2013 with Alex Lynn and to repeat this achievement just two years later with Felix Rosenqvist is a seriously amazing achievement.”

Founded by Yip Sr. in 1978, Theodore Racing started 33 grands prix between 1978 and 1983, but found little success in Formula One, scoring a total of two points. Things were different in Macau, where the team ran several future F1 stars including, Rubens Barrichello, two-time world champion Mika Häkkinen, Eddie Irvine, and three-time world champion Ayrton Senna, who won the first F3 Macau Grand Prix for the team in 1983. It disbanded in 1992.

Since Yip returned the family name to race team ownership, he has also helped several young Canadian drivers including Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters regular Robert Wickens and Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada driver Daniel Morad, who both raced for his Status Grand Prix team in GP3. Status Grand Prix will compete in GP2 next year.

In this year’s 62nd Macau race, Yip continued that tradition by running Montreal’s Lance Stroll in one of his three entries. Things didn’t look good early when the 17-year-old was pushed into a wall on the tight street circuit and bent a rear wishbone.

Despite the damage, Stroll climbed up the order to eighth by the chequered flag after starting 13th.

“The rear was sliding quite a bit; maybe it was the wishbone damage,” said Stroll, who is thought to have the inside line on a driver development role at the Williams F1 team.

“It could have been a better result — a lot of things got in the way, but with everything that happened eighth isn’t bad.”

Random thoughts

It looks like Hewlett-Packard (HP) will return to IndyCar as the primary sponsor of Simon Pagenaud. Toronto Motorsports seems to have jumped the gun by advertising the HP branded No. 22 die-cast car made by IndyCar’s official die-cast supplier Greenlight prior to Pagenaud’s team, Penske, making the announcement of his . The computer maker was the primary sponsor of Pagenaud’s car for two seasons beginning in 2012 when he was with the Schmidt Peterson team. The 31-year-old French driver, who has four wins and two poles in IndyCar, joined Team Penske in 2015.

By the numbers

Calgary’s Cameron Hayley posted his 13th top-10 finish of his rookie year with ThorSport Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, taking a ninth place in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on the weekend. In all, the No. 13 Mattei Toyota Tundra driver took four top-fives and led 78 laps to finish sixth overall in the final points standings, despite racing at 18 tracks he’d never visited before joining the NASCAR truck series. While they are impressive numbers for a young NASCAR driver, the big question is whether they are good enough to attract a sponsor and truck series ride for 2016.

Technically speaking

Despite an engine actuator that needed repairs twice in the World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain on Sunday, the Porsche 919 trio of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley were able to recover and take a fifth place finish to capture the 2015 title. Things did not look good for the Porsche team early in the race after it went four laps down due to the technical troubles, but they fought back into the top-5 and ended the season with a slim five-point margin in the final standings. “It was a massive day for the team,” Webber said. “You saw the spirit of the mechanics; you saw the spirit of the drivers. I cannot thank the mechanics enough.”

Quote of the week

“To get an opportunity to race at this level, to have the success that I’ve had, to have the sponsors that we’ve had, and to have the fans that we have. The first one to the car was the team and [owner] Rick Hendrick and then my family — that is all that really matters to me. Those people are so important to me and make this all worthwhile. I told everybody before the race that no matter what we are going to be happy and celebrate. That is exactly what we are going to go do.”

— Retiring four-times NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon after finishing sixth in his 797th and final career race in 23 years of Sprint Cup competition in the 2015 season finale Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gordon was in contention for the 2015 title, but it went to Ford Ecoboost 400 race winner Kyle Busch.

The last word

Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel won the 2015 Race of Champions crown on the weekend, defeating nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Tom Kristensen in the best of three final at London’s Olympic Stadium Saturday. Taking overall driver honours likely lessened the sting of losing the team title to England Friday. The German squad of Vettel and 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Nico Hülkenberg, who drives for Force India in F1, could not find enough speed to beat two-time British Touring Car Champion Jason Plato and three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx in the Nations’ Cup.


Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

F1 champion has a solution to boring races, but says sport is too political

Motor Sports


On tap this week:

  • Politics getting in the way of overtaking?
  • Power on Power
  • Teammates to battle in F1 finale
  • Massa wants more digital
  • Quote of the Week: Todt dismisses Hamilton’s road accident
  • Webber can’t text and drive

Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has a novel solution to the sport’s increasingly boring races and lack of overtaking: Stop all the paddock infighting and solve the problem.

While he insisted that making it possible to follow more closely and execute passes will come by lowering the cars’ reliance on aerodynamics in favour of mechanical grip and better tires, the Ferrari driver thinks there’s a slim chance it will happen.

“I think the solution is very simple” Vettel said after Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

“Unfortunately, the sport is very political with different interests from different people. I think it’s fair enough to give whoever tire manufacturer — in this case Pirelli — the chance to improve their tires, but since the responsible people, the teams, whoever, can’t agree on something, it will be difficult to make progress.”

To be fair, Pirelli is trying to spice things up with its plan to offer an “ultrasoft” option in 2016. F1’s sole tire supplier will also allow teams to choose three different rubber types at each race. In Brazil, Pirelli also indicated it would like to re-introduce the “cliff” where the tires’ performance falls off dramatically if used too long. The goal is to discourage one pitstop strategies in grands prix.

While there seems to be agreement among some drivers that a shift to more grip would be a good idea, 2015 champion Lewis Hamilton cautioned those who hope the guys in the cockpits can force change.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what we say,” the Mercedes driver said. “The big bosses make the decisions and whether or not they make the right ones for many years, who knows?”

For his part, Vettel insisted something must be done, because the fans ultimately pay the price when there’s less action on track.

“I think they (F1 fans) would love us to go quicker and have more excitement,” he said.

“But bottom line is, if you look 10 years ago, 20 years ago, it wasn’t like there was a lot more overtaking in the race, so it’s also not a disaster what we see now.”

Random thoughts

2014 IndyCar champion Will Power recently published his autobiography, . It can be purchased as an ebook and will be available in North America in print form in March. It follows Power’s career from his start in Australia to winning the IndyCar title. “I never thought that it would be possible that I would have a book written about my career,” Power said. “For me, it was very much a roller coaster ride with, at times, thinking I was completely finished with motorsport.”

By the numbers

The 2015 Formula One title may already be decided but a few interesting battles will unfold in the season finale at Abu Dhabi on Nov. 29. With one race to go, Toro Rosso needs gain eight points to finish sixth overall, which could mean several million dollars more in payments from the commercial rights holder. Drivers who still have a chance to overtake their teammates in points are Williams’ Felipe Massa (-15 to Valtteri Bottas), Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (-10 to Daniil Kyvat), Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg (-16 to Sergio Pérez) and Fernando Alonso of McLaren (-5 to Jenson Button).

Technically speaking

Felipe Massa may be one of the oldest drivers on the Formula One grid, but he certainly understands the modern tech-savvy racing fan. The 34-year-old Williams driver who has more than 766,000 followers on insisted last week it’s time for the sport to start making real efforts to engage fans online with more digital content. “The world is totally geared to the computer and I think F1 doesn’t do much to talk to its audience on these platforms,” he said.

Quote of the week

“Sometimes you spend time on unnecessary controversies, which have no meaning.”

— Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) president Jean Todt reacting to questions about 2015 Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton’s Monaco car accident last week. An FIA road safety ambassador, Hamilton said that lack of sleep from celebrating his third world championship played a role in an early morning crash into three parked vehicles in his $3-million Pagani Zonda supercar.

The last word

Porsche released a last week that underlines the dangers of paying attention to your mobile phone — and not the road — while driving. It features former F1 star turned Porsche factory driver Mark Webber, who takes to the track in a 911 GT3 racer to demonstrate what can happen when you take your eyes off the road to text. Its tag line is: “Even Mark Webber can’t do this. That’s why you shouldn’t.”

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail