Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lower Control Arms Now Done...

So the lower control arms are now done.

In combination with the spindles (as seen in an earlier post below) this makes up roughly 2/3 of the custom front suspension parts that need to be completed.

They will be mocked up on a Frontier nearly identical to mine next week to determine the needed build specifications of the upper arms.

Right now I'm contacting a number of shops locally to see where I want the engine cage, which will include the upper shock mounts, to be built.

I again have to thank BTF Fabrication out of Rancho Cucamonga, CA for taking on this project in combination with another Frontier owner out there.  The welds and work are things of art.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

That Didn't Take Long...

 Run away!!!  Run away!!

And that's exactly what the Libyan "rebels" have done every single time they face even limited opposition from Qadhafi's forces.

Yet on the evening of March 28th, 2011 we had Mr. Obama stating:

"We targeted tanks and military assets that had been choking off towns and cities and we cut off much of their source of supply. And tonight, I can report that we have stopped Gaddafi's deadly advance."

Perhaps he should have checked the facts on the ground before opening his mouth as in less than a few hours (if not at the same exact time) from when he uttered these words, Qadhafi's forces were sweeping back any advances made by the "rebels". As the most basic military commander knows, air power can only do so much and it takes actual, physical forces on the ground to take and hold territory. The 18 year old kids "playing", for that is what they are doing, at war on behalf of the "rebels" have no desire to fight and die for their country, they want the heavy lifting to be done by someone else.

Meanwhile, Qadhafi's forces are now adapting to the facts on the ground, changing the look of their forces to more closely resemble those of the "rebels", trading tanks for pickup trucks and uniforms for everyday clothes--yet still maintaining the minor discipline and training they possess and able to conduct operations like the one that occurred today where the army baited the rebels into advancing far down a paved road to the West and then having the Army forces come sweeping out of the desert from the South and cutting off all retreat options, resulting in a predictable slaughter.

The "rebels" in Libya are not the battle hardened forces present in Afghanistan, nor the fervor whipped tribes in Iraq.  Without real ground forces of Western nations or at least some semblance of trained Arabic
armies on hand, the air war will continue to keep mass slaughter of civilians at bay but leave the conflict at a point of being a protracted and draining pinprick.

Pictures above and below of the "rebels" fleeing for their lives over the past two days and giving up any captured ground, since Obama's declaration that we had stopped Qadhafi's forces.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Private Space Firms Hiring... be an engineer and have a hand in creating the future.

Unfortunately I was born without the brain or the patience for learning the hard sciences necessary for such an endeavor.

So it falls to those luckier than I to shape the world(s) to come.  And no finer example of such an opportunity exists than the current and likely future proliferation of the private/commercial space industry.

With the economy in the doldrums and the government cutting back funding to NASA (but not to repaving roads that have been repaved five times in ten years and putting up signs trumpeting their own excess) the private space industry is filling the void and expanding.  Companies like Orbital, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic can't get their hands on enough engineers at the moment and so if you're out there and want to shape where the human race goes next (if it chooses not to wallow at the bottom of its gravity well) then get on board and take advantage of the opportunity to do something truly meaningful.

Me?  I get to sit here and pour over the financials of companies selling vacuum bags on the Internet.  Don't waste the chance you've been given...

Private Space Firms with numerous job openings...

Amazon's Cloud Player and Drive....

I always thought there was something lacking from iTunes and the like.

Can't really put my finger on it.  Maybe it was the lack of packaging, or the fact that once on my computer I'd then have to update my device to move the music over there.  Or maybe it was the fact that every few months a new "player" would come out (Hey, look, its the 12th generation iPod!!) and require me to start the transfer, update process again.

I dunno, maybe that's it, maybe its not.  All I know is that I'm hooked much more quickly to this new product.  The Amazon Cloud Player and Cloud Drive.  Not confined to any one device, anywhere you can get the Internet you can get your music.  Especially handy for me at work.  It stores all you music in the "cloud" and not in any one place that could be deemed as inaccessible from another.  Anywhere I go, I'll have access to my music (though you can use the system to store photos, files and more as well).

And if I need to download the music to a device or to a computer to burn to a CD if I wish?  Its all right there.  I don't know if this is the best solution (it doesn't play nice with some Apple applications for various reasons) but right now, I'm loving it as its cheap and works REALLY simply providing an elegant solution to an ugly problem.
First impressions of Cloud Player by Amazon from Mashable...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Infiniti Gets its First F1 Win!

Not a bad way to start a new relationship.

With the scheduled opening round of the '11 F1 season postponed due to the strife in Bahrain, the first contested F1 race of the year occured in Australia.

Having only in the last month completed a marketing deal that puts the Infiniti brand front and center on every Red Bull F1 car, suit, shirt, hat and more the Australian Grand Prix was also the entry of Nissan/Infiniti into the most prestigious road racing series in the world.

And they really couldn't have picked a better team to hitch their wagon to.

Claiming two of the best drivers in the world ('10 F1 champion in German, Sebastian Vettel and six time winner, Australian, Mark Webber) and the dominant team in F1 in Red Bull, Infiniti stands to get its name and logo in front of literally, hundreds of millions of eyeballs.

For the Australian GP, Vettel took the pole, led the vast majority of laps and won the event by a significant margin putting the Infiniti Red Bull machine on top of the podium while Webber took 5th.  Vettel's defense of his '10 title is off to a great start and Infiniti is looking as one of the best marketing moves in motorsports in recent history as it gears up to sell the luxury brand in Europe where it will compete head to head with Mercedes, BMW and other Euro luxury brands with deep motorsports roots.
F1 Homepage...
Red Bull Racing Homepage...

Baja Italia 2011

This event was last weekend and it was not the best of results for Nissan drivers or vehicles but it definitely produced some nice pictures.

The best finishing "Nissan" is barely a Nissan at all.  The G-Force Proto of Boris Gadasin started out life as a Nissan Navara/Frontier but is now driven by a Corvette derived LS series engine and is almost entirely custom in terms of suspension and driveline.  Gadasin did take the win in the event but I can't really claim that as a "Nissan" win (though I'd like to).

The best "true" Nissan finisher was the 9th (of 50 entries) place finish by car #209 of Mario Ricci, which is an older generation Navara that still runs well.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Build Continues--Spindles Underway...

Not the greatest picture as it was taken by camera phone earlier today during the build of my custom front suspension, but this is the new spindle that will be going on the front of my truck.

Currently being built by BTF Fabrication out in Rancho Cucamonga, CA and designed around a 2WD Nissan Frontier that he has there in house the new front suspension should be completed in the near future.

All these new parts--spindles, upper arms, lower arms, will be shipped to me, where i already have the springs and shocks in house and brought to another fabricator who will create the upper shock mounts/engine cage onto which the shocks will attach and then mount all these custom parts in place of the stock suspension.

The design is meant to be sufficient to withstand the abuse from desert racing and massive jumps typical of those seen at Glamis and elsewhere in the Southwest.  In fact a setup virtually identical to this and also built by BTF is shown on a 4WD Frontier in this months issue of Off-Road magazine and has been substantially tested.  Needless to say, this should be more than satisfactory to withstand SCCA RallyCross, New England Hill Climb and Stage Rally duties.  Can't wait...

Brass Monkey Racing Nissans Return to World Challenge in 2011...

Lets hope there are fewer "limp mode" problems in 2011.  That was the true killer for the team in 2010.  Yes, when running they were a bit off the pace due to suspension issues but engine management problems often kept the Brass Monkey GT-Rs from keeping up with three cylinder Geo Metros (if there had been any racing), in 2010.  Given enough time to sort these problems out (8 months should have been enough) they should run well this upcoming weekend in St. Pete at the opening round.  Press release below:

ANGLETON, Tex. - After missing the second half of the 2010 World Challenge season, Brass Monkey Racing returns with a vengeance in 2011 with its pair of Nissan GT-Rs. The Pirelli World Challenge season starts March 25-27 at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, in Florida.

Brass Monkey introduced the Nissan GT-R to North American racing in 2010, but the season was cut short after five of 12 races; the team electing to focus the rest of the year on development for 2011. The team expects that development will put its pair of orange GT-Rs at the front of the field, battling for race wins, the Manufacturers' Championship and the Driver’s Championship with pilots Tony Rivera and Steve Ott.

Team Manager Rivera, of Angleton, Texas, focused the off-season development on the car’s suspension. “The GT-R is a supercar and tuned to be a world-beater on the street,” Rivera said. “One of the goals of this project has been to utilize as many stock components as possible—more than the other cars in World Challenge GT. While the suspension is well suited for street performance, it didn’t quite translate to the racetrack, at least not in World Challenge. “There were a few modifications that we needed to spend time on in the chassis and suspension department and I believe that the changes we’ve made will really improve the car on the track, particularly with the new Pirelli slick tires.”

Rivera returns for this third season of World Challenge competition. He was the breakout star of the 2009 season, winning his first-career race (Sebring) and adding another victory (Road America) en route to a third-place finish in the Championship driving a Porsche. He will again pilot the #97 Brass Monkey Racing Nissan.

Ott, of Houston, Texas, is anxious to get to St. Petersburg. “I’m looking forward to getting back on the track,” Ott said. “It feels like forever since we last raced [Mosport in May 2010] and I’m excited to see how the changes help us stack up against the competition.” The former Continental Tire and Atlantic Series standout has stayed sharp since May competing in a variety of Club Racing events. Ott will be back in the same, albeit improved, GT-R as 2010, but changes from #96 to #98.

Owned by A.J. Brass and located at MSR-Houston in Angleton, Texas, Brass Monkey Racing would like to thank its sponsors for their support, including Nissan North America, Eurotech Industries Inc., Penske Shocks, AMS Performance and Seibon Carbon. For more information, please visit

Nissan Named Official Safety Car...

of the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge Championships.

The Press Release is below:

Topeka, KS - WC Vision announced today that Nissan will be providing the Official Pirelli World Challenge Safety Car for all 2011 series races. Starting with the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg presented by Pirelli event March 25-27, a specially-equipped Nissan 350Z will provide on track safety support and chase the Sports Car Wars field from the two standings starts of Rounds 1 and 2.

The Nissan 350Z Safety Car will be the first vehicle on scene during any first lap incidents, and will also respond to stalled vehicles on the starting grid. The Safety Car will also support the field for additional laps if conditions are accessible.

The car will be outfitted with the latest in-car video data system from RaceKeeper, to help capture action for the Pirelli World Challenge broadcasts on VERSUS. As part of being the official Safety Car to the series, Nissan will have its Safety Car displayed prominently at each Pirelli World Challenge event.

"World Challenge is a great venue for Nissan to showcase our innovative products, like the NISMO 370Z,” said Ron Stukenberg, Senior Manager, Nissan Motorsports. “We are excited to be part of this emerging racing series."

“We want to thank Nissan for their support of the 2011 Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series,” said Scott Bove, Director of Operations, WC Vision. “This partnership will allow Nissan to display a variety of products at the track throughout the year and provides the series with a vehicle to offer first response support to our drivers on the track. We look forward to Nissan’s involvement as a marketing partner.”

Entering its 22nd consecutive season, the Pirelli World Challenge is North America's top production car-based racing championship. Divided into three separate categories (World Challenge GT, World Challenge GTS, and World Challenge Touring Car), each race features a thrilling standing start, adrenaline filled door-to-door action and world-class drivers. The Pirelli World Challenge features cars from the world's most popular manufacturers – race-prepped versions of the cars driven on the streets. Sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, the series races at North America's premier road and temporary street courses. For more information on the series, visit

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Great Weekend for Nissan at LOORRS Opening Round...

A fantastic way to start off the 2011 Short Course Off-Road season!

Out at the Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, AZ the two Nissans of Jimmy Stephensen and Casey Currie put on a solid effort and got Nissan on the podium in both Saturday and Sunday's events.

Now, first things first.  While the Monster Energy Pro-Lite class Frontier of Casey Currie may hace the Nissan badging and carry factory Nissan sponsorship, it unfortunately is not a Nissan at heart.  Instead it runs a Ford powerplant underneath its fiberglass...

More importantly though is Jimmy Stephensen's "true" Nissan Frontier which does possess a Nissan powerplant AND Nissan fiberglass.  As an added bonus it was Stephensen's Nissan outperforming Currie's Forsan.  Maybe Currie should switch powerplants!

Regardless, it was good to see the Nissan logo out there and competing at the top level of the Pro-Lite class.  On Saturday the top three were Brian Deegan, Chris Brandt and Jimmy Stephensen in third while Currie finished 6th out of the 16 truck field.  On Sunday, Jimmy stepped up his game a bit more, finished second on the day, just behind Chris Brandt and just ahead of Jacob Person while Currie finished 5th in the 15 truck field.

Stephensen comes out of the weekend in 2nd place in the overall standings behind only Brandt.  The next LOORRS (Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series) event will also be in AZ, this time at Speedworld Off-Road Park in Surprise, AZ on April 16th and 17th.

LOORRS Website...
Jimmy Stephensen Facebook Page...
Casey Currie WebPage...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Elon Musk Interview...

Just another reason why I named Elon Musk the NISMO Stuff "Man of the Year" in 2010.

The man thinks big and bold and puts his money where his mouth is.  This brief interview with Time magazine discusses his ideas for the three biggest potential developments for humankind in the next 100 years or so.  If only one of the three happens it will be a big step forward but here's hoping for all three.

Heck, he even has some really nice things to say about California!!  Imagine that!

Elon Musk interview with Amar Bakshi:

Elon Musk is a 39-year-old engineer and serial entrepreneur. At 28, he co-founded popular e-payment company Paypal. He then went on to start SpaceX, the first private company to launch a rocket into space, and Tesla Motors, which builds electric cars.
I recently talked to Musk about inventions he thinks will change the world. You can check out the transcript below and watch part of our Skype conversation, which encapsulates Musk’s particular brand of big, big thinking (in particular, why we should expand human life into space).
Amar Bakshi: What three inventions do you foresee changing the world in the years ahead?

Elon Musk: One of the most important things that I think that will be invented this century, hopefully by SpaceX, is the first (1) fully reusable orbital rocket. It’s the fundamental invention necessary for humanity to expand to the stars and to become multiplanetary.

The cost of fuel is only about 0.2% or 0.3% of the cost of the rocket. In fact, the cost to refuel one of our Falcon 9 rockets is about as much as the cost to refuel a Boeing 747 plane.

However, a 747 can be used tens of thousands of times. And that’s the reason a ticket to London doesn’t cost a half a billion dollars (a 747 is about a quarter-billion dollars, and you would need two of them for a round-trip flight if you didn’t have reusable planes). Now you’re paying a few thousand dollars for the ticket because you can reuse the craft.

(2) Rapid, low-cost, perfect DNA sequencing will have a huge effect on humanity. Human DNA has not yet been completely decoded. The most that anyone has gotten is about 91% or 92%, and that has been with a huge numbers of errors. Trying to read our DNA is like trying to understand software code - with only 90% of the code riddled with errors. It’s very difficult in that case to understand and predict what that software code is going to do.

That’s where things are right now in DNA decoding. There’s a company called Halcyon that’s trying to solve that problem. I’m an investor, and I’m on the Board of Halcyon, but I think if Halcyon succeeds in doing perfect DNA sequencing, it will have a huge impact on humanity.

I should mention another important thing. With DNA, you have to be able to tell which genes are turned on or off. Current DNA sequencing cannot do that. The next generation of DNA sequencing needs to be able to do this. If somebody invents this, then we can start to very precisely identify cures for diseases. It will be a really huge advancement for humanity.

We’ll be able to design treatments specifically for individual people and be able to tell beforehand if certain treatments would result in negative side effects for certain individuals.

There are a lot of people that think (3) viable fusion is not possible. But fusion is the “energy forever” solution. You know all energy in the universe originates with fusion. We get our energy from the sun, so that’s indirect reliance on fusion.

Do I think it will be solved this century? It may not be possible – or at least, not on a commercially viable scale. It’s a very, very difficult technical problem, one of the most difficult technical problems that humanity will ever try to solve. But if we solve it, we will have “energy forever.”

Bakshi: Where do you think these innovations are going to happen? Around the world? Or mostly on the west coast of the U.S.?

Musk: Primarily the west coast of the U.S. It is remarkable how much is invented in California. It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s not necessarily the people who were born in California. It’s just that people come here because this is an environment that is really conducive to invention despite the high taxes and all the constraints that one faces.

I was born in Africa. I came to California because it’s really where new technologies can be brought to fruition, and I don’t see a viable competitor. It’s not to say that California is perfect – far from it. But it’s the least imperfect of any place in the world that I know of for bringing new inventions to mass market.

Silicon Valley has evolved a critical mass of engineers and venture capitalists and all the support structure – the law firms, the real estate, all that – that are all actually geared toward being accepting of startups.

You go to some other part of the world, and you know you can't get a lease because your company hasn’t been around long enough; the law firm won't give you legal advice, nobody will give you funding, you can't find the technical talent you need. But in California, all this has arisen organically.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Signatech Nissan Takes 2nd in 12 Hours of Sebring...

The Signatech Nissan LMP2 car had set the pace in practice all week.

It qualified on the pole for its class by some three seconds.

It should have walked to victory.

But that's the great thing about endurance racing of any format be it road, desert, stage, etc.

It's not purely just the "fastest" car with the "best" driver that wins.  It takes a total team effort, tons of testing, lots of engineering, lots of skill and oh, yeah, a great deal of luck too.

This weekend luck was not with the Signatech Nissan team.  Unquestionably the team to beat, this was still the first event run in anger for the new Nissan LeMans team and it showed.  Two identical gearbox failures due to software problems, not mechanical problems erased leads of 10 and 5 laps at various points during the race and resulted in a second place finish in class and 30th out of 56 overall.  Honestly?  Not many out of the box efforts would be able to finish a race like this--not even close.  Completing 1,073 miles in 12 hours is no joke under any circumstances let alone racing conditions.

A second place at the 12 Hours of Sebring is an excellent way to start the 2011 LeMans season

Nissan Makes Successful Return to International Sports Car Racing at Mobile One 12 Hours of Sebring

The Big Short: A Book Review...

This is the first of Michael Lewis' books that I've read though I've seen The Blind Side as a film and as a sports fan, am certainly familiar with Moneyball.

Mr. Lewis' writing style is comfortable and casual--able to turn complex financial ideas and products into something the lay person can understand.  Credit default swaps, CDOs, hedge funds, derivatives and the inner workings of the financial industry are not simple and are not very "literary" friendly.  Any discussion of the above could easily turn a reader off or put them to sleep in less than two pages.

Its here that The Big Short excels.  Lewis shows a talent for getting at the personalities behind the decisions that brought our financial system to its knees.  Though not a complete picture of the '08 collapse the book does delve heavily into the sub-prime mortgage collapse and why its effects were multiplied many times over due to the questionable financial decisions, products and investments taken by a number of firms.

Specifically the book focuses on a number of firms and individuals who took financial positions (shorts) against what they saw as irresponsible lending to the American public and the investment products created from pools of these questionable mortgages.  What conditions some in the industry saw as going on forever, the players and decisions recounted here, saw early on as being a house of cards.

Truly by the end of the book you understand that investing is a lot more like gambling than Wall Street likes you to think and that its often those who run against the herd that, if they have the courage to do so for a long enough period of time, make the right decisions.

The Big Short contributes a great deal to the casework that will surround the '08 collapse and its understanding.  That being said, Lewis does not delve too deeply into some of the crisis' root causes (the willingness of the American homebuyer to take on far more than they could realistically repay/afford and then a willingness to default on said debt when times grew more difficult), after all, just because you go to a keg party does not mean one has to get drunk to the point of passing out and puking all over the floor--which is exactly what the American homebuying public did.

Nevertheless, the book is as insightful as it is enjoyable and is highly recommended for anyone looking into the reasons and personalities behind the collapse and those who stood up to the headwinds, rightly predicted it and were some of the few who made out financially because of it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dash Complete and Project Retro-Runner Is Home...

 at least for a little while.  The dash and everything came together really nicely and it drives wonderfully.  I will have to adjust the steering wheel to end up straight on when tracking straight but that's a two second adjustment--literally.  So she is runable now but not complete.  It still needs its front suspension done and that is still in the build process in SoCal...but it is DEFINITELY coming together!!

The right side of the dash has been left open for future use for a potential radio and any other items that may need to be added but what you see are the basic kill switch, push button start, button for the horn, key for security, intercom for driver/codriver, red buttons to transmit over a radio (which is not present at present--in a year or so), and the GPS.

These are camera phone pics and were taken on the fly the moment before I took her home so please forgive the limited number of shots and less that ideal quality, etc.

Video From Inside a Car During the Japanese Tsunami

Casey Currie's New Nissan Pro-Lite Debuts...

While it won't see its first "live" racing action till this weekend out in Arizona, Casey Currie, Nissan, General Tire and his other sponsors released the following presser today along with a couple great shots of the new vehicle.  It looks super sharp and we should see this Nissan run near the front the entire year...

Fort Mill, SC – (March 17, 2011) – General Tire announced sponsorship of Pro Lite short-course driver Casey Currie, known for sweeping the TORC champion weekend at Crandon last year and taking home the series Pro Lite title. Currie has signed a multi-year sponsorship with General Tire and will beginning racing on the Grabber LT265/75R16 tires at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series this weekend.

Born into a motorsports family, Currie started racing motorcycles when he was just 5-years-old and trucks at 16. Taking home his first major win in 2003, Currie championed the MDR series in his JeepSpeed truck. In 2004, Currie switched to Pro Truck and Class 1, taking second in Pro Truck at the Baja 1000 and third in Class 1 at the Baja 500. And his podium wins get even more impressive; He took home 2nd overall in the 2008 and 2009 King of Hammers, finished second in Round 1 and 2 of the 2010 M4SX Trophy Kart, and took home the championship win at the 2010 TORC series.

“2010 was a monumental year for me,” said Currie. “I set out to win the TORC series, and that’s exactly what I did. This General Tire sponsorship is the perfect way to start off an even better 2011. I see how hard the Team GT drivers work and I know that the tires they run work just as hard. I’m proud to be a part of this great team and start of the year on the best tires in off-road racing.”

Currie will be debuting a new truck design for the 2011 season at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Race in Chandler, AZ.

In 2011, Currie will race for victories at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series and the TORC series. Stay tuned for Casey Currie win updates at and

For media information, visit or

For more than 90 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing, Chili Bowl, Pro-Pulling, Late- Model Dirt Series, Drag Boat Series, Boost Mobile Tour, Spec Tire of Trophylite and Pro Truck. Team GT supports off-road and short course teams including BJ Baldwin, Carl Renezeder, Rick D. Johnson, Jerry Zaiden/Jason Campbell, Jason/Rich Voss, Scott Steinberger, Ed “Clyde” Stout, Marc Burnett, Kent Kroeker, Mikey Childress, Carey Hart, Josh Merrell, Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg, Jason Ellis, Robby Woods and Jeff “Ox” Kargola.

General Tire is part of Continental Tire the Americas, LLC. ( CTA, based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, is a company of Germany-based Continental AG. With sales of approximately €20 billion in 2009 Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently employs approximately 134,500 in 46 countries.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

12 Hours of Sebring Spotter's Guide...

This is the spotter's guide for this weekend's 12 Hours of Sebring race courtesy of Andy Blackmore Design.

The first page is the one that contains the only Nissan in the event--the #26 Oreca Nissan of Signatech Racing.  They have been at the top of their class in testing all week and look to have a strong effort if they do not suffer any mechanical gremlins.  I'm not familiar with many of the drivers in the LMP2 class with only Ryan Hunter-Reay of the #055 Lola Honda, Level 5 Motorsports team, known to me as an IRL driver and brother-in-law to Robby Gordon.

I am hoping to watch much of the race as it is being broadcast on a number of outlets that will hopefully provide wire to wire coverage.  Info on where to find that coverage at the ALMS link below.

ALMS Homepage...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sumo Power Nissan GT-R GT1 Testing...

Preparing for the upcoming GT1 season is the two car, Nissan GT-R effort of Sumo Power.

With one GT1 win under their belts in their inaugural season of 2010 they are looking for bigger and better results in 2011.  They even have a "sister" team fielding another two GT-Rs that they will be working closely with and increased support from Nissan themselves.  All this fails to mention the addition of a former Formula 1 driver to the overall lineup which should help everyone's learning curve.

Full report on the testing below:

Report and photos: Willem J. Staat

The SUMO Power Nissan GT1 Team tested at Zolder last Thursday. All Nissan drivers were present to do a few laps with the SUMO Power Nissan GT-R GT1. German Michael Krumm went out first, later followed by Peter Dumbreck with the sister car. According to well informed sources the Nissans lapped the 3.977 kms long track in the 1.31. bracket. David Brabham also came into action for the first time. When the Australian saw the GT1 Trophy at the FIA Prizegiving he thought this is something I want to he told the press. The team is being guided by Nigel Stepney. SUMO Power has set up a satellite team where Michael Krumm will share the GT-R with Peter Dumbreck The second car will be driven by Lucas Luhr and Richard Westbrook. The SUMO cars will be driven by Enrique Bernoldi and Riccardo Zonta. Jamie Campbell Walter will share the GT-R with David Brabham. The testing took place 24 hrs. before the Japanese earthquake. A relieved Krumm could quickly twitter that his Japanese wife Kimiko Date, a famous tennis player was OK.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nissan NX2000 Takes 10th at Cochrane Winter Rally

Just another old school Nissan getting it done.

This time its a 1990 Nissan NX2000 of Philip Lo and Marc Lavigne at the 2011 Cochrane Winter Rally in Cochrane, Alberta, held on March 12-13.

The NX2000 has always been a favorite amongst drivers for years and here has made the transition to an excellent Stage Rally vehicle.

Lo and Lavigne finished 10th in the event out of 19 competitors

Cochrane Winter Rally Results...
Nissan NX Wikipedia Page...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dash Painted--Next Stop?? My Garage...

Yup, the paint is now drying--will take a full day to be workable as its a single stage acrylic and not a normal exterior paint due to it not to be exposed to the elements and attempting to keep costs down.

Oh, and yes it is white.  I compromised a bit here.  Truthfully it would have "looked" better had it been a glossy white but the glare would have been too much.  So instead we went with a flat white.  Yes glare may still be an issue but I just could not go with a cheap flat black like everyone and everything else out there.

All that remains in the install of the electronics and she'll be on her way home to my nice dry garage.

Where she'll stay for ohhhh...a week or two or three tops before going back out for her engine cage and front suspension work...

Nissan Claims 2nd and 4th in Opening Round of ABSA Off-Road Championship

With one win under its belt in the ABSA Off-Road Championship in '10, Nissan has shown it is not done yet in South Africa and can still run at the front of the pack despite a lack of manufacturer support since '09.

'11 is getting off to a great start with Thomas Rundle and his Barden Tyre Service Navara finishing 2nd in the opening round while Regent Racing's Terence Marsh and his Navara took 4th and the Regent Racing Navara of Michael Whitehouse finished 9th out of 23 entrants.

Rundle finished less than five minutes behind the winner, Hannes Grobler and his BMW X3, despite two punctures requiring tire changes.

Also of interest is a Land Rover Defender (pickup) that just look oh, so old school and finished 13th, a number of the new Ford Ranger's from the Ford factory effort, using the "world" Ranger that is unavailable here in the US and also some Jimco and Porter buggies.