Thursday, July 14, 2016

Half Way Through the Silk Way Rally and Jurgen Schroeder and His Nissan are in 16th Overalll

In what is one of the longer, more difficult rally-raids the Silk Way Rally is often viewed as a precursor to the Dakar where the big boys come out to play and test their machines.

With Cyril Depres, Sebastian Loeb, Stephane Peterhansel, and Yazeed al Rajhi all present the leaderboard is stacked with potential Dakar 2017 winners.

Jurgen Schroeder and his son Max are piloting their South African built Nissan Navarra V8 across Russia, its former territories, and all the way to Beijing.  They have run well so far with a few navigation hiccups today that cost them some 10 minutes or more and leaves them in 16th place overall and one hour, nine minutes behind the leader, Cyril Despres.  The Nissan shop in South Africa run by Terence Marsh for Red Lined Motorsport has sent some mechanics to assist but otherwise this is a pure privateer effort.

Silk Way Rally Nissan Results through Stage 6

16th  Jurgen Schroeder, Nissan Navara, 1:08:54 adrift
20th  Sergey Uspenskiy, Nissan GForce Proto, 1:36:48
21st  Miao Ma, Nissan Pathfinder, 1:42:08
37th  Sergey Fomin, Nissan NP300 Pickup, 3:14:48
53rd  Rong Zi, Nissan Patrol, 4:45:21

Monday, July 4, 2016

Largest Exposure to Stage Rally in the US in '16 was...the 2016 Supercross Season???

Been meaning to post this for a while but just getting around to it now.  Never saw anyone else in the rally scene mention this so either most rally people in the US don't go to Supercross events or they just didn't think it was a big deal.

When you are involved in a sport that generally attracts a few dozen to a few hundred spectators over the course of a weekend event and there are constant hand-wringing sessions over what can be done to improve the visibility of the sport and get more people at least AWARE of it so there is some potential for new blood to be brought it, getting the sport in front of the eyes of tens of thousands of people in a short period of time is a huge deal.

The setup was pretty simple.  You hop in one of the four seats, the Toyota rep helps you put on a set of VR goggles and off you go with Ryan, racing down some dirt roads, keeping up with dirt bike rider racing the same terrain.  Using VR you can look around the interior of Ryan's Rav4 seeing the cage, gaze out the window at the dirt biker, look across at Ryan, examine all the buttons on the was a REALLY cool experience.

In combination with Ryan Millen and his stage rally Rav4 and Toyota, what you see photos of here went traveling around to the 17 some odd Supercross events in the first half of '16.  With total attendance for Supercross events pushing over 3/4 of a million individuals and a constant stream of people throwing on the VR goggles and riding along with Ryan Millen in the Rav4 down some dirt roads in California, it would have done a Stage Rally organization a great deal of good if it could have partnered with Ryan and/or Toyota to put some kind of "For more info about Stage Rally, go here: XXXX" or "If you want to get into racing cars in the dirt like Ryan and his Rav4 see this: XXXX", etc.  At the very least it could have gotten a lot of eyeballs on the sport and let them know that the sport is out there.

For any rally organizer looking at this...Supercross does have one more event in '16...the season finale at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas in mid October...The opportunity to pull some new eyeballs and competitors/fans into the sport still exists...somebody get on it....

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Now This Is My Kind Of 240Z!

Modified to take on the Peking to Paris rally for pre 1975 cars.  This 240Z was rotisserie restored before being modified to handle offroad roads.  Not some garage queen, this was put on a boat and off to China for a 10,000 mile race that combines TSD and Special Stage style racing with a reported 50/50 mix of offroad/onroad terrain.

The host in the video is a bit of a goober but if you can make it past him, the owner/driver of the vehicle seems cool and down to earth and knowledgable about the history of offroad 240Zs which includes Baja and the East African Safari.  The R&T article and the team's Facebook page are linked to below.  They are currently in the middle of their race passing into Kazan, Russia yesterday and were busy cleaning off the Mongolian dirt.  You can see their progress, trials and tribulations in their posts...amazing that quality internet access seems to be almost EVERYWHERE now...

240Z Peking to Paris page...

Road & Track Peking to Paris 240Z...

Friday, July 1, 2016

Yours Truly on the Nissan Nation Podcast!

Yup...interviewed about the NISMO Stuff Racing Frontier, its history, its present and its future.  Great working with Daniel Grooters (who has his own Nissan racing effort underway) and David Boyd to do this.  Keep up the good work boys!

Scroll down here to play episode 37 of their podcast where my long segment is.

Episode 37 of Nissan Nation Podcast!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hellwig Introduces 2016 Nissan Titan Sway Bars

For lifted and stock height Titans.  Good to see some aftermarket support for the new Titan...hope it keeps coming and gets more varied...

Hellwig Sway Bars for 2016 Nissan Titan...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Top Nissan Finisher at Italian Baja--Diesel Pathfinder

Before being stopped by a stalled engine due to a deep water crossing, Hector Oliveira and the VM Tecnosport team finished 12th in the Italian Baja this weekend.  Prior to the water injestion the team was running in the top 10. Given the Portuguese nature of the team one could expect them to show up at the Baja Portugal event later this year and run the Pathfinder there as well.

45 Entries, 13 Retirements (29% DNF rate), 8 Nissan Entries, 2 Retirements (25% DNF rate)

Nissan results for the event:

H. Oliveira, Diesel Pathfinder--12th
L. Lechowicz, Navara (Frontier) D40--22nd (2nd in T2 class)
A. Rossi, Pathfinder--25th
F. Crozzolo, Navara (Frontier) D40--27th
T. Piec, Navara (Frontier)--28th
A. Abdulla, Patrol Y62--29th
L. Traglio, Patrol Y61--Retired
A. Toro, Patrol Y61--Retired

Italian Baja Website...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

V8 Navara Takes Third in South Africa...

In the Donaldson Cross Country Motor Racing Championship.  This was in Production Class T and driven by Luke Botha and codriven by Andre Vermeulen.  The event (Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race) brakes down into two races, each of near 500km and is a brutal test of some of the best Rally-Raid drivers this side of Dakar.

The Red-Lined Motorsport team consistently fields four or more V8 powered Navaras (Frontiers) in the Donaldson series and also sends a handful of cars to the Dakar the past few years.