Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Me Want...

The brother of famed WRC driver Colin McRae (Alister McRae) owns/operates his own company that is racing around the world with its focus on the annual Dakar race. In '09 he ran what he calls the McRae Enduro (V-6 diesel powered in '09, listed as a V-8 diesel for '10) with the 4 cars on his team (all running McRae Enduros) finishing 39th, 40th, 88th and a DNF. In '10 Alister plans on running a 2WD car powered by a snowmobile engine of one sort or another and with a CVT engine...if it is as cool looking as these pics--I want one. The press release says you can have one for the Dakar for 110,000 Euros (assuming this includes all support and such) and to purchase one outright, ready for Dakar but minus the support is 65,000 Euros which equates to $91,000 to buy one outright or $154,000 to run one in the Dakar with full support...
Press Release:

"It’s an all-new car, to meet the FIA’s new regulations for Lightweight 4x2s," explains McRae’s Commercial Director, Christopher Bibb. "Since bringing 3 out of 4 cars home on our Dakar debut, we’ve been working on upgrading the McRae Enduro with V8 diesel power, and this wholly new car for this wholly new FIA category. "The new FIA category and this car are solutions for the difficult economic times we live in" continues Bibb. "But it’s something we have been working on for quite some time: we were testing in Tunisia last Summer."

The new car is a single-seater and targets, among others, bikers seeking to move onto four wheels. Meeting newly introduced T1 regulations for lightweight cars, the McRae 4x2 weighs around 600kg in Dakar trim and is powered by a 140hp liquid-cooled snowmobile motor.

"The FIA and the ASO have worked remarkably quickly to get the new regulations in place for Dakar 2010. And the response from drivers, riders and potential sponsors has been extraordinary" comments Alister McRae. "Firstly the Dakar-ready price of 65.000 Euros makes sense right now, but it’s when people experience just how fast, fun and capable the car is that they decide they just must have one."

Innovative, fast but inexpensive, the single-seat machine comes with all navigational equipment and as such is ideal for the biker seeking to move onto four wheels; the young driver moving into FIA Baja and Cross Country events; or even the experienced Dakar driver seeking to remain competitive, have great fun, and finish - all on a tight budget.

"For others’ it’s the sheer simplicity and lightweight nature of the machine that’s so seductive. CVT relies on a Kevlar reinforced drive belt. If you don’t have a gearbox, you can’t break it", says Bibb "CVT is lighter, boosts fuel efficiency and delivers peak torque at all times - which means it works in very soft sand. The result is that we can benefit from the high performance and legendary reliability of Japanese motorcycle engine technology."

One of the first Dakar entrants to select the new McRae 4x2 is former MotoGP star Jurgen van den Goorbergh: "This car is just the most fun; more than any other car I have ever tested! It comes so close to the drive-ability of a bike, that it will suit my driving style. The suspension and sheer speed it produces over bumps and in the sand is amazing. Meanwhile the sensation of being your own navigator, like being on a motorbike, gives me a new challenge to push myself to the limit."

"In testing in the Sahara, it simply didn’t get stuck until I did something silly", says Dutch Dakar veteran and ProDakar team manager Chris Leyds. "And when we managed to get it stuck, it’s so light the driver can simply lift the front and walk the car sideways. There is no need for expensive on-board jacking systems, we use an exhaust-inflated air bag."

Chris Leyd’s ProDakar team is offering turn-key Dakar rentals from 110.000 Euros. "We have sold quite a few cars, but we will be offering six 4x2s for rental. We are keen to cater for the former motorcyclist wanting to switch to four wheels. Too many motorcyclists leave the sport because, until now, cars have been either too expensive and or too boring to drive! You better believe the McRae 4x2 is a wild ride, but it’s also close to the true spirit of Dakar: one man and his machine against the elements."

The new McRae 4x2 is a bespoke mid-engined chassis concept, based on the successful Rage Motorsport product. Rage manufacture the chassis behalf of McRae Enduro Limited. The new McRae 4x2 will be formally unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, in England July 3, and a number of machines have been readied to take part on Baja Espana.

Technical Datas

- Single-seat, 600kg
- 140hp 4-stroke snowmobile power
- CVT driveline
- Reiger dampers
- Brembo brakes

- From 65.000 Euros Dakar-ready

- Available to rent for 2010 Dakar from 110.000 Euros in association with Chris Leyds

Vehicles are available direct from McRae Enduro Limited: Contact Christopher Bibb +44 77801 191329 or as a complete Dakar package via ProDakar contact Chris Leyds +31 6537 08656. Cars can be tested in England or Holland by arrangement.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Inglorious Bastards Trailer...

As a fan of Quentin Tarentino's since Reservoir Dogs but disappointed in his recent efforts, I have high hopes for his upcoming film Inglorious Bastards. Kind of an updated Dirty Dozen it looks to have his usual quirks, violence and humor. Someday someone should sit down and watch this generations best directors WWII films as it seems they all return to WWII as a touchstone of sorts--Spielberg, Lee, Eastwood, etc. with each putting their own style on the same period/history...

Most BADASS 2nd Gen Xterra on the planet?!?!

OK...if anyone knows of a 2nd Gen Xterra that looks more badass than this, I'd like to know...rolling on a set of new Goodyear MTRs and becoming a full class 7S race vehicle, this is a radical departure from class 3100, stock-mini, racer that it once was...It has been a long time in the making and the top notch craftsmanship shows...hopefully it will be making its racing debut later this year...More pics and info likely to be released in the next few days...Any questions regarding its build can be directed to Dave Blakely at the Team Xterra Racing website...

Edit to add more pics...
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nissan Holding its Own--LOORRS

I should have posted this earlier in the year but kept pushing it off...Nissan is doing surprisingly well in the new Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS). Basically the replacement for CORR (which collapsed under its own weight in '08) the LOORRS is one of two short course racing series vying for the top rung. Without factory support and using older trucks Casey Currie, Jon Probst, Jimmy Stephensen and Todd Cuffaro are all performing solidly in their respective Nissans. Out of the first four races Casey Currie has two third place finishes and is 4th overall in the standings, Jimmy Stephensen is 5th in the standings and Todd Cuffaro has one third place finish and is in 6th overall. Right now these races are being filmed and broadcast on a number of channels including Speed and VS. Check them out if you get the chance!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lazlo Palik Keeping Busy...

Continuing to run well after his 21st place showing at this year's Dakar, Lazlo Palik and his South African built Nissan Navara finished in third place in the recent Baja Eurocarpatican. Held in Eastern Europe (Carpathian Mountains) and impacted by large amounts of rain, the Navara held its own in the slop and mud, perhaps not the best terrain for a vehicle more designed for the open expanses of the Dakar series.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

MMA is a Joke...

Guess this post falls under the "other" part of NISMOSTUFF...

For the life of me I have never understood the attraction of any of the MMA events/persona/leagues, etc. I first watched MMA back in the early 1990's when the UFC was on its first few events and the only rule was that there was no eye gouging or hair pulling. Shots to the nuts were legal if I remember correctly and the fights were, for the most part, bloody, short and entertaining to me as a college kid seeing them for the first time. I quickly grew bored of them however as the participants always broke down into one of two categories--either the lean, submission using martial arts specialist or the hulking, juiced up neanderthal who would pummel you into unconciousness...great...what wonderful suspense and depth this provided...
While my (and many others) interest quickly waned, the UFC and MMA in general repackaged and reprocessed themselves into something that would be more palatable to the politicians and more marketable to the ignorant mainstream...and boy have they succeeded...
Now as a "sport" marketed towards those young, white, male adults who grew up watching the WWF now have something to "graduate" to when they tire of bad acting and scripted brawls. You see, the UFC, Tap Out and the rest of the MMA scene came along at just the right time when white, male America was hungering for a new "sport". Young white males had long ago lost a great deal of their interest in sports like basketball, boxing and football as they lost ever more ground to highly skilled and motivated African Americans. Hockey?? Canadians and Swedes (plus the U.S. remains a largely WARM country). Baseball?? Too slow for the video game age. Golf and tennis?? For the country club elite.
So where is the average to below average intellect white boy to look for his sporting heros?? Why a sport dominated by white athletic castoffs and also rans fueled by steroids and meth. Make no mistake about it, MMA is a sport rife with drugs of all kinds as its high "white trash" quotient makes sure of. Nowhere is MMA more popular than the meth lab trailer parks and prefabbed houses of white slums and welfare petitioners. And here it has bloomed.
Finally, white American males have a sport they can call home again. Sure, there are some black MMA fighters, fewer if you discount the international ones, fewer still if you count the successful ones. But one of the reasons MMA has continued to be popular in white, GED America is its high turnover rate of champions...If there is a black champion, chances are he will be defeated in a fight or two by a white fighter who will then be in turn defeated by another white fighter another fight or two later...Which brings us to another problem I have with MMA...its complete lack of skill...
In any sport, the cream of the crop will rise to the top and dominate. You see it in golf with Tiger, in tennis with Federer and Nadal, in baseball with Pujols and Bonds (steroids included, he was the BEST of his generation), in football with Brady and Tomlinson, in boxing with Jones Jr. and Ali and so on and so on. Where there is skill involved, as in evolution, the best will survive and dominate the lesser skilled. Where is this in MMA?? Nowhere. It is a revolving door at the top of the sport with no one individual dominating his sport in general or in his own weight class. When everyone has the same skill level, no one has any skill.
Dana White (ironic name, no?), the sociopath in chief of the UFC, is a lot dumber than he seems to me...he is the perfect example of what MMA and the UFC are and have become. He is a white guy who failed at boxing and was run out of town by the Boston Southy crews and somehow lucked into managing a sport that was at the right place at the right time to take advantage of his own and white, male america in general's poor self image. He props up that image now with false bravado, barely intelligible tirades and personal threats. He's like Vince McMahon without the business sense or humor.
So why do I write this?? Well, when I saw that on 6/13/09 48 year old Ray Mercer (former heavyweight champion in boxing) knocked out former UFC heavyweight champion, 33 year old Tim Sylvia (failed football player and boxer, steroid user and all around white trash) in seven seconds. Thats seconds. The fight was emblematic the big stupid joke that the entire sport is. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise...and if they don't agree?? Just tell them to explain the picture at the top of this post which is of the three founders of the "Tapout" line of clothing---worn by white morons everywhere and hiding the large homosexual undercurrents of the entire sport that most of MMA's fans are trying to hide...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nissan Sentra SE-R on Rally Podium Again...

Dan Brosnan put into another solid performance at the USRC's Rally Tennessee event back on 5/23 and 5/24. In the USRC's Open 2 class, Brosnan's SE-R ended up in 2nd place for the weekend (and 9th out of all 24 entrants), 5 seconds behind Brad Morris and his Mitsu Lancer. Following up his first place finish at the earlier Rally New York, Brosnan sits solidly in first place for the year in the national standings, though five more events remain. It is unknown if Brosnan will be entering the rest of the rallies.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weekend TORC Ratings...

Ahhh...the weekend TV ratings for off-road racing. The first short course event broadcast on network TV in '09 (LOORRS and TORC previously broadcast on Speed and ESPN2 and more difficult to find ratings for) was this past weekend. The overall ratings are pretty good as far as I'm concerned as it garnered a 0.7 rating, meaning 0.7% of the 114.5 million households with TVs were tuned into the TORC broadcast or simply--Approximately 802,000 households in the U.S. watched the TORC event. Just how many people that actually equals is unknown. If you conservatively figure that each household represents 1.1 actual viewers (as you know at LEAST one person in each of those households was watching the event but don't know just how high the number of actual viewers in each household might be) then the 802,000 households means at least approximately 900,000 individual Americans saw the TORC broadcast.

Though these rating pale in comparison to events like the NBA finals or Tiger's comeback win at the Memorial PGA tour event, TORC outperformed higher profile and more expensive events like a WNBA game (women's basketball) and LPGA event (women's golf), though TORC did lag behind a road running event (Prefontaine Classic) on NBC. All in all, not a bad start...lets see how it progresses from here.

Overnight ratings for sporting events on broadcast.


NBAMagic/Lakers Game 2Sun., 6/7/098:00 PMABC9.9/-
NBANBA CountdownSun., 6/7/097:30 PMABC2.7/-
WNBAShock/SparksSat., 6/6/092:30 PMABC0.6/-

  • The 9.9 overnight for Sunday night's Game 2 of the NBA Finals was off 3% from last year's 10.2, but marks the second-highest overnight for a Game 2 in the NBA Finals since '04.
  • ABC drew a 0.6 overnight for Shock/Sparks on Saturday afternoon, down 33% from a 0.9 for Sparks/Mercury in '08.

PGAThe Memorial, Final RoundSun., 6/7/092:30 PMCBS3.6/9
PGAThe Memorial, Third RoundSat., 6/6/093:00 PMCBS1.9/5
PGA"The PGA Tour: Playing With A Purpose"Sun., 6/7/091:30 PMCBS0.7/2
LPGAState Farm Classic, Final RoundSun., 6/7/094:00 PMNBC0.6/1
LPGAState Farm Classic, Third RoundSat., 6/6/093:00 PMNBC0.5/1

  • Tiger Woods' win at The Memorial drew a 3.6 overnight on CBS Sunday, up 100% from last year's 1.8, and the highest overnight for the final round of The Memorial since '04.

TennisFrench Open, Men's Final (Federer/Soderling)Sun., 6/7/099:00 AMNBC1.8.5
TennisFrench Open, Women's Final (Kuznetsova/Safina)Sat., 6/6/099:00 AMNBC1.4/4

  • Roger Federer's record-tying 14th Grand Slam victory was not a huge hit in the ratings. The 1.8 overnight for the Men's Final at the French Open is even with last year, and down 18% from a 2.2 in '07.
  • The French Open Women's Final drew a 1.4 overnight on NBC Saturday morning, down 22% from last year's 1.8.

Horse racing
Horse racingThe Belmont Stakes, Race SegmentSat., 6/6/095:30 PMABC5.0/-
Horse racingThe Belmont Stakes, Total CoverageSat., 6/6/095:00 PMABC4.3/-

  • The race segment of The Belmont Stakes drew a 5.0 overnight on ABC Saturday, down 52% from a 10.5 last year, when Big Brown was going for the Triple Crown. The 5.0 marks a 43% jump from a 3.5 in '07, the last year there was no possibility of a Triple Crown winner.

NHLPenguins/Red Wings Game 5Sat., 6/6/098:00 PMNBC2.6/5
Track & FieldPrefontaine ClassicSun., 6/7/092:00 PMNBC1.2/3
RacingOff Road Racing, Traxxas Torc Truck Series (taped)Sun., 6/7/095:00 PMABC0.7/-
OtherJeep World of Adventure (taped)Sat., 6/6/095:00 PMNBC0.5/1

Monday, June 8, 2009

240SX Skyline Swap...

Ahhh...a really nice 240SX funky colors, no giant wings...just beautifully done style and performance.  Of course its out of SoCal and it was done by an engineer (why didn't I take more math in school!?!?!).  It is a 1993 240SX with a Skyline engine transplant (its 3rd engine) and a TON of other high end aftermarket parts.  Take a gander and read....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Robby Gordon wins Baja 500...

Taking his Monster Energy Chevy into the Baja 500 winners circle yet again (making this his 5th class victory in the Baja 500) Robby Gordon proved to be the fastest offroad driver in the world yet again.  Though pressed hard by BJ Baldwin a late flat for BJ sealed his fate.
Also of note was the 2nd place finish in class 3 by an old school Land Rover and class wins for an LX570 in Stock Full and a Honda Ridgeline in Stock Mini.  Its nice to see people using some creativity and trying new vehicles out there. Nissans decided to show up for this or any SCORE race so far this year.  SOMEONE has got to get out there and begin running one...
Well done RG and gas on!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

GM Has Buyer for Hummer Brand...

GM announced this morning that is has found a buyer for its Hummer brand.  The details are scant stating only that there is a buyer and that U.S. manufacturing jobs and dealerships will be saved while its South African plant will be closed.  Though I have never been able to stand the H2 and its bloated, overly large, too heavy, underpowered design, both the original H1 and recent H3 have been capable and attractive off road vehicles.  My guess is that the buyer for Hummer is an American company of one sort or another as the previously rumored buyers (Tata and various Mid-East enterprises) would likely shutter most U.S. operations in a money saving effort.  Perhaps, in the longer run, this may mean a return of some funding for Hummer stalwart racer Rod Hall as well.

Edit to Update:  Turns out I was wrong.....WAAAAY wrong...the buyer of Hummer is not an American company.  It is instead Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd.  Try fitting that on the rear hatch of an Hummer!!  STHIM for short is a Chinese company with a focus on heavy duty machinery and highway/bridge components.  Though it states on its website that it is a "private" company, I have a hard time believing that ANY Chinese company is truly 100% private.  Be that as it may...I wonder what a communist Hummer may look and perform like??  Additionally, this is likely only the beginning of China coming into the U.S. and buying up our assets.