in Fontana, CA. Though the full event report has not been posted yet, the results have.
Monday, May 31, 2010
in Fontana, CA. Though the full event report has not been posted yet, the results have.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
If Christian Lavieille’s Proto looks like Nissan to you it’s because it is Nissan. Properly modified and adjusted by Team Dessoude but still powered by VQ 40 V6 engine. From the very beginning of a rally Lavieille was on a winning string fighting side by side with Novitskiy. But in the third stage Russian lost his way and with 50 minutes loss his chance to win seemed faint. In the half time of the race J-L Schlesser grabbed the second place only some tens of seconds behind Lavieille and with fine advantage on third Eric Vigouroux.
Steadily driving Italian Maurizio Traglio with Nissan Pathfinder had to withdraw during the fourth stage while he was sixth in general ranking. Schlesser’s teammate Francois Lethier crashed heavily in the same stage and the car caught fire. His co-pilot Jean Marie Lurquin was badly burnt and transported to hospital in Benarous. More unexpected problems surprised two of the leading three on the penultimate stage. Eric Vigouroux experienced transmission failure which dragged him down to tenth. Lavieille was caught speeding and with 30 minute penalty he lost the first place which was in possession of J-L Schlesser. Thanks to Vigouroux’ problems Novitskiy was back on podium.
The last special stage with 133 kilometers against the clock was way too short for Lavieille to fight the victory back. He lost to Schlesser by ten minutes. And with the same time difference he defeated third- placed Novitskiy. Ronan Chabot, former T2 class ace, switched to T1 SMG Buggy and finished fourth. Pascal Thomasse (MD Buggy) on the fifth was one position worse than last year. Eric Vigouroux used the last stage the best he could and improved his position to sixth overall. Ludovic Leluop (Toyota HZJ 80) as the fastest Tunisian pilot finished eight.
Nissan has a very strong position in T2 class (production cars) and just like in Abu Dhabi these cars dominated the race. Two Russians Artem Varentsov and Andrey Ivanov driving Toyota faced the family duo of Laurent and Joseph Rosso representing Team Dessoude backup-ed Nissans. Except the first stage Laurent Rosso was undisputed ruler of Tunisian dunes. He won five out of six stages and finished tenth overall with huge advantage on the second Varentsov. And as history repeats third has been Joseph Rosso.
Chilean Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez won the motorbike category beating all the big machines with his Aprilia 450 RXV.
Romain Souvignet from Team Casteu team won Enduro Cup on his Sherco 450 Rally.
Polish Rafal Sonik won the quad category riding Yamaha 700 Raptor.
Yves Fromont won Wildcat Trophy and Elisabete Jacinto the truck category on her big blue MAN.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
"The Matech Ford GT No.5 of Romain Grosjean and Thomas Mutsch won an eventful Championship Race in Brno.
Second was Czech driver Tomas Enge and Darren Turner in the Young Driver Aston Martin No.7.
Peter Dumbreck and Peter Krumm claimed the final podium position in their Sumo Power Nissan GT-R.
The Hexis Aston Martin No.10 of Jonathan Hirschi and Clivio Piccione was fourth ahead of the Vitaphone Maseratis of pole-sitter Andrea Bertolini/Michael Bartels and Enrique Bernoldi/Miguel Ramos.
Nicky Pastorelli/Dominik Schwager rounded out a successful weekend for the All-Inkl.com Lamborghini No.38 with seventh place.
The No.13 of Stefan Rosina and Marc Hennerici flew the flag for Corvette in eighth place followed by the Hexis Aston Martin No.9 of Frederic Makowiecki/Stephane Sarrazin with the Swiss Racing Nissan GT-R of Karl Wendlinger/Henri Moser claiming the final point for 10th place.
It was the second race win and 25 points for the Ford GT pair after taking the spoils in the opening race in Abu Dhabi."
Friday, May 21, 2010
Brand new ones even!
Still made in Mexico, the Nissan D22 pickup, better known as the previous generation Frontier here in the U.S., is being donated in a lot of 30 to Haiti to assist with the recovery efforts there. Given the truck's durability they should be around for years--if they don't fall into criminal hands and become a technical with a .50 cal mounted in the rear. Still, its a nice gesture on Nissan's part and likely better than just giving cash...
"Nissan Motor Company has just announced that a shipment of 30 D22 pickups have arrived in Haiti, as part of an initiative instigated with the United Nations World Food Program and William J. Clinton Foundation, formed by the 42nd President of United States. The D22s, assembled at Nissan's facility in Cuernavaca, Mexico, are related to the 1998-04 Frontier sold in the U.S. and Canada. The trucks will be used to haul food, aid and supplies in the burgeoning effort to rebuild the shattered country. The donation of the trucks, in response to a request from former President Bill Clinton, is a further expansion of existing Nissan relief efforts in Haiti.
“I’m pleased Nissan has answered our call for trucks to aid our recovery efforts in Haiti,” said President Clinton. “This generous donation will be critical in ongoing efforts to mobilize food and other needed supplies, and I’m thankful for Nissan’s leadership in demonstrating how the private sector can help the people of Haiti ‘build back better.”
Carlos Ghosn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motor Company Limited, added. ” When the Clinton Foundation contacted us, there was no question we’d help. Everyone at Nissan was eager to take action, and I know that our employees at Cuernavaca, Mexico, are especially proud that the trucks they have built in the Americas region are directly involved in helping the people of Haiti to rebuild their lives and their country.”
The trucks are each marked on each door with a special message of hope from Nissan Mexicana employees, “Nissan: Dans les rues d’Haiti pour vous aider!” Translated from the Haitian French dialect, it says, “Nissan: On the roads of Haiti to help you!”
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
For those not familiar with the model, or the brand, the Duster is the first SUV build by Dacia – a sub-brand of Renault (which owns Nissan). It is built in Dacia’s home-market of Romania.
Nissan already has a rather significant crossover and SUV presence in North America and has just added the Juke to that list. The Duster, however, is a true SUV with an optional 4×4 system and real off-road capability. In Europe it is offered with a diesel powerplant only making 105-hp and 266 ft-lbs of torque. And while the Nissan SUV lineup is quite full already, the Duster could fit in under the current Xterra model and really take the fight to Jeep.
Monday, May 17, 2010
One of the advantages of English being the most widely spoken (geographically, not numerically) language in the world is that you will find all sorts of little articles written in English about things you are interested in, in all sorts of nooks and crannies across the globe.
Example: Here is an article on the top 10 most influential rally vehicles in Ugandan history!! Now that's obscure! Great news is that the list is topped by a Nissan and includes other Nissan/Datsun models as well. I will have to dig deeper and try and find some more pictures of these vehicles raging through the forests and dirt roads in the home of the mountain gorillas...
Friday, May 14, 2010
First race: Rally TT Serón (13. - 14. March)
Economical recession which hit Spain, affected also national cross country rally championship. Some companies such as Fedima (tires) and Öhlins (suspension) provided reasonable technical support in order to allure some more competitors and they succeeded. In the middle of March forty six crews lined up at the start line including two buggies.
The prologue was surprisingly won by Salvador Segura Asensio with Nissan Patrol. Last year winner Jose Francisco Gonzalez de Haro (Mitsubishi Pajero) was eleventh. Plenty of water and mud affected the race sometimes in a curious way. Francesc Selga’s prototype had no windscreen and very soon the cockpit was flooded. In a low temperature the crew was not able to finish the stage.
Almost half of a starting field failed to finish the rally. From twenty four of classified crews Manuel Plaza Perez (Isuzu D-Max) was the fastest. Jose Antonio Hinojo Lopez with production class Toyota Land Cruiser took the second place. Manuel Angel Garcia Gimenez (Bowler Wildcat) has always been among the top five and finished third.
Three out of five Nissans managed to cross the finish line and all of them were Patrol GR model. The prologue winner Segura Asensio occupied fifth, Jose Augusto Gonzalez Abellan fifteenth and Miguel Angel Manzanal Lopez twentieth place.
gallery on 4x4digital.com
Second race: Baja Almanzora (17. - 18. April)
Almost fifty vehicles gathered in the city of Huercal Overa for the second race of a national championship. Leader of a current ranking Manuel Plaza Perez (Isuzu D-Max) was there as well as 2009 winner Jose Francisco Gonzalez de Haro (Mitsubishi Pajero). Reigning production class champion Francesc Termens had replaced his Mitsubishi with a brand new T1 prototype based on Merecedes ML.
Jorge Gaig (Mitsubishi Pajero) quickly occupied the first place and held it for the whole first day of the race. The fastest man of the prologue Joan Rodriguez (Nissan Navara) lost a little but still managed to stay in top five. Muddy terrain became an inevitable obstacle for many and eighteen crews left the race before Sunday.
On Sunday Francesc Selga (Herrator Tomka) and Francesc Termens (Mercedes ML Proto) were the main challengers for Jorge Gaig. But their effort didn’t bring the wished result. On Termens’ proto throttle cable broke and the beast stood still. Selga lost his position after a series of punctures had chased him. That was the right time for Rodriguez to take back the second place. The third Enrique Reyes (Mitsubishi Pajero) leapt on a podium from the seventh place and was the fastest of production class vehicles.
gallery on 4x4digital.com
Thursday, May 13, 2010
But he won't be there...
I said last year after the New England Forest Rally that Pastrana would be getting bored of the lack of competition in Rally America and whether that is true or not, the fact remains that Pastrana is choosing to leave the series at perhaps the critical point of the season to head to Australia in order to participate in the Nitro Circus, motorcycle stunt shows there.
His absence will make it realistically impossible for him to win the season championship and puts Antoine L'Estage and his '09 Mitsu Evo X in command and if he can follow through, would result in the first non-Subaru to win the Rally America series (Richard in '05 drove an Impreza STi as did Pastrana in his championship years). Furthermore it makes the small team of Bill Bacon and his '06 Mitsu Evo IX poised to move into 2nd place on the season.
Ken Block, with one win and two DNFs in his new Ford under his belt sits back in fifth overall and ready to leapfrog the highest ranked remaining Subaru of Dave Mirra should he bobble just a bit. One year ago the Impreza's of Pastrana, Block and Mirra were filling the top five results of each event...a year later?? Not so much.Subaru Rally Team USA driver Dave Mirra will be the lone team entry in this weekend's 2010 Oregon Trail Rally based in and around Portland, Oregon. A previously scheduled engagement with the Nitro Circus Live tour in Australia precludes Subaru driver Travis Pastrana, the 4-time defending Rally America National Champion, from competing at the Oregon Trail Rally. Mirra currently holds 4th Overall in the 2010 Rally America National Championship standings while teammate Pastrana sits in 2nd having won the last round of the series, the Olympus Rally, late last month. Pastrana will headline Nitro Circus Live in Australia this month, a series of stadium based events that will feature action sports stars performing never before seen tricks and stunts in a spectacular live action format.
Monday, May 10, 2010
So the first network broadcast of offroad short course racing in 2010 is in the bag.
Though some previous LOORRS rounds have been shown on Speed, this past Saturday marked the return of LOORRS racing to network TV and the first time for short course (in recent memory) on CBS with previous CORR racing on NBC and TORC on ABC in '09.
Viewers have been relatively positive in their opinions of the broadcast and the late afternoon (on the East Coast) time slot would seem to have been properly positioned for the sport's more mid-western/western roots.
That being said, ratings for this broadcast have not improved over those seen in '09. The 0.5 rating generated on CBS this past weekend again translates (for those of you who haven't read my older posts on this) 1/2 of one percent of all the TV "households" in the U.S., which, given that there are approximately 115 million TV "households", equates to 575,000 households viewing the LOORRS broadcast.
As always using my conservative estimate of 1.1 actual individual viewers per "household" this should equate to roughly 633,000 actual viewers of the LOORRS broadcast. While nothing to sneeze at, these figures are pretty static right now as the last five short course broadcasts, whether on ABC, NBC or CBS or whether TORC or LOORRS have all generated either a 0.4 or 0.5 rating. You have to go back to the very first TORC broadcast of '09 (June or July I believe) to find a 0.7 rating that bucks this trend.
On the positive side of things you can see that the LOORRS event did out draw the AMA Supercross broadcast and ESPN Sports Saturday. As a point of reference the two IRL events broadcast on ABC so far this year have generated a 0.6 and a 0.7 rating, well within reach if SOMEONE would promote the sport!
ESPN Sports Saturday 5/8 ABC 4:00-6:00pm 0.4
NBA Lakers-Jazz: Game Three 5/8 ABC 8:15-11:00pm 4.4
NCAA Women's Gymnastics (taped) 5/8 CBS 3:00-5:00pm 0.7
LOORRS: Speedworld Off Road Park (taped) 5/8 CBS 5:00-6:00pm 0.5
MLB: (Yankees-Red Sox, 82%) 5/8 Fox 3:00-7:00pm 2.4
NASCAR Showtime Southern 500 5/8 Fox 7:00-11:00pm 3.9
Global Golf Adventure: Bermuda (taped) 5/8 NBC 1:30-2:00pm 0.6
The Players Championship: Third Round 5/8 NBC 2:00-6:00pm 2.5
"NBA Countdown" 5/9 ABC 3:00-3:30pm 1.6
NBA Celtics-Cavaliers: Game Four 5/9 ABC 3:30-6:00pm 5.1
Monster Energy AMA SX: Year In Review 5/9 CBS 5:00-6:00pm 0.3
Heads Up Poker Championship (taped) 5/9 NBC 12:00-2:00pm 1.1
The Players Championship: Final Round 5/9 NBC 2:00-7:00pm 3.3
Friday, May 7, 2010
in the U.K. at least...the FX30d is a 3 liter 6 cyl. turbo diesel getting 31 mpg and costing 52,000 pounds ($76,000) before you add in all the British VAT taxes and such (coming soon to a United States near you!!). While the price seems high, its only marginally higher than the petrol burnign version and well worth the upgrade. I am not sure exactly what diesel engine Infiniti chose to put in this FX but it bodes well for putting a nice Mercedes diesel in its next generation given the recent tie-up between the two companies.
The first diesel model in the two-decade history of Nissan's luxuryu brand, Infiniti, is on sale now. The FX30d uses a 235bhp three-litre V6 turbo diesel engine which gives combined fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 31.4mpg and 238g/km, figures which are considerably better than those of the petrol models in the FX range.
The FX30d fits in with Infiniti's new trim level structure of (reading from the bottom up) GT, S, GT Premium and S Premium. It's priced from £45,150 to £51,730, making it only a few hundred pounds more expensive than the FX37 petrol, while also being substantially cheaper to run.
As well as being the only diesel in the range, the FX30d is also the first Infiniti of any kind to be sold in Europe with Lane Departure Prevention. This system not only warns the driver of nearby vehicles but takes active steps to prevent him or her steering into them regardless. It can be over-ridden by using the indicators, or switched off completely.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The first loser of the race was till then undefeated Campos. An electronic problem had been switching his engine into the safe mode and didn’t allow him to finish. On a short prologue some locals were faster than top drivers but most of them lost their positions in progress. Barbosa (Mitsubishi Racing Lancer Turbo) felt a chance to retrieve a win lost in a previous race. Surprisingly it was Rui Sousa (Isuzu D-Max Proto) who managed to set the fastest time in the half time of the race. Moniz da Maia (BMW X3 CC) improved his position notably but was still far from a leading position. Lino Carapeta (QT Wildcat 200) was on the twelfth position but his time was about to come.
Rui Sousa lost a turbo and dropped out not only from the fight for the first place but even from the race generally. Barbosa had been leading for more than 100 kilometers when whole pack of difficulties befell his car. Thirty kilometers to finish his originally 15-minute advantage was reduced to just three minutes on the second Nuno Mutos. Portuguese driver had been performing flawlessly with his production group Isuzu D-Max until the left rear tire decided to go on its own. Lino Carapeta fully utilized misfortunes of his rivals and surprisingly won the race. Barbosa thus lost second win in a row at the very end of the race. The third place went to Paulo Sousa (Mitsubishi Pajero) best placed Nissan was that of Ricardo Porém of the fourth place.
Photo: Manuel Cordeiro for maistt.blogspot.com
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
The Nissan GT-R of Jamie Campbell-Walter and Warren Hughes, which originally placed third, was awarded the victory in the Championship Race at Silverstone after penalties were handed out to the first two cars over the line.
The British duo had finished behind the Aston Martins of Young Driver pair Darren Turner and Tomas Enge and Hexis Racing's Thomas Accary and Frederic Makowiecki in an eventful second round of the championship.
But in an astounding turn of events, the Turner-Enge No.7 Aston Martin DB9 was excluded from the results by the race stewards because the underfloor skid plank on the flat bottom of the car was worn beyond the permitted minimum thickness.
The second-placed car of Accary-Makowiecki was given a 15-second time penalty for not serving a drive through within the required three laps during the race.
The decisions mean that the Hexis AMR No.9 is still classified second, behind the Sumo Power Nissan GT-R. The Reiter Lamborghini of Jos Menten and Frank Kechele moves up to third.
It means that Campbell-Walter and Hughes now find themselves the proud owners of the RAC Tourist Trophy.
For how long remains to be seen as the revised result is provisional and subject to an appeal by the Young Driver AMR team.
On hearing the news of the stewards' decision, Hughes said: "We were happy with third and then we were told it might be second so to get the call to say we won is incredible.
"I was actually giving the trophy envious glances during the press conference, thinking it would be nice to have my name on there, so this is a great result for us. I’m genuinely delighted to have the win as this is a great result for the championship.”
Campbell-Walter added: “For a British driver it’s a massive honour to win the Tourist Trophy and to be the guys who take the first FIA GT1 win for Nissan is incredible.
“I have to express my condolences to Darren and Tomas though as they did a great job today and it can’t be nice to have this taken away from you as a driver.
"When I won the FIA GT race in 2000 here at Silverstone I was presented with the Tourist Trophy but my name was never engraved on it as it wasn’t an official Tourist Trophy meeting.
"I feel like I’ve won it for a second time now but this time my name will go on there so that’s great. This is a fantastic result for Nissan and for the Sumo Power team.”
The competition of the second round was stronger thanks to three-time national champion Miguel Barbosa. A newly developed Mitsubishi Racing Lancer powered by a 2-litre turbo petrol engine is supposed to be ideal for this kind of races. Then there were two YSER Racing Team crews of Filipe Campos and Bernard Moniz da Maia. Rui Sousa’s intention was to test new set-up of his Proto. Baja TT Terras d’el Rei (20. - 21. March) was different to other races. It consisted of just one special stage.
But this one was 320 kilometers long and raced non-stop which was demanding for machines as well as for men. Barbosa was leading the field when health problems occurred and he lost his position. This was a chance for Campos to maintain his overall lead and he used it well. Also da Maia leaped over Barbosa and took the second place. Decent performance was provided by two prototypes of DePieres Team. Unfortunately, Miguel Farrajota didn’t finish because of malfunction of his Proto RAV4 (derived of Toyota, of course). Henrique Silva has adopted French BMW Trio which you may know from Dakar. Even though he crashed close to the finish line he was able complete the rally on twelfth place.
Photo: Luís Marques and Manuel Cordeiro for maistt.blogspot.com