Kennie Wilden smashes Mosport Trans Am lap record

These days, when we hear of a lap record being broken, it is usually by tenths or hundredths of a second. That is not the case today for the Trans Am series at Mosport.

The existing Trans Am record of 1:17.744 was set in 2002 by Butch Leitzinger in a Chevy Corvette.

Ken Wilden just qualified his Derhaag Motorsports Corvette on the pole with a lap of 1:15.719!

Gotta go. World Challenge is on track!

Things are hot at Mosport already

The May Two Four. Victoria Day Weekend. A sure sign that Spring has arrived in Ontario. The smell of lilacs and racing fuel mix gently in the breeze while the sounds of internal combustion engines threatens the eardrums. Yes, racing has returned to Mosport!
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Ken Wilden to run a Corvette in Mosport round of Trans-Am series this weekend

These days, Canadian racer Ken Wilden is best known as a Ford driver thanks to his efforts in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge where he is the defending Champion. Wilden’s popularity with Canadian race fans however goes back much farther. Wilden won the Canadian Firehawk series and the wildly popular Player’s GM series back in 1992. Later, he moved on to Formula Atlantic and Trans-Am, where he drove for Jim Derhaag. In fact, Ken and Derhaag Motorsports won the Trans-Am race at Laguna Seca in 2000.

This weekend, Wilden will be piloting one of Derhaag’s Chevy Corvettes at the Mosport round of the SCCA Muscle Milk Trans-Am race. Not only can we expect him to be a front runner, but certainly the fans will be cheering hard for one of their long time favorite drivers.

Know the rules

A while ago I told the story of “Sneaking Home” after Steve Ray borrowed Judy’s trailer to get his rolled Honda home.

In 1980 Steve decided to run in the Street Stock class in Ontario Region. His repaired Honda was outdated for the B.F.Goodrich Honda series. Now Steve did not have a lot of money and was almost a throwback to the early days of Region racing. The Honda was his daily wheels, he was unsponsored, drove to and from the track in his car with all gear, parts along with a tent, camping gear and better half. He had a good year and after the last race was the Region Champ, until protested.
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Review: Dodge Challenger R/T

On a rainy day last September, I was enjoying the unique experience of piloting a Dodge Challenger SRT8 at Pocono International Raceway. Exiting the tight road course, I launched the Challenger onto the oval. Getting on the banking at full tilt, the Challenger reached over 125mph, the car sounding like a NASCAR race car itself, before braking hard into a chicane. It was instantly clear this was a car that deserved a closer look, but I wanted to pick the moment-Spring, 2010.

It was worth the wait. The ultimate end to a Monday, a Challenger R/T finished in retina-searing Detonator Yellow was dropped off at my home. Opening the door to the stark, black interior, much to my joy there was a six-speed manual. I quietly thanked God and The Garage’s Founding Editor, Gary Grant for this awesome job. Still, I wondered how the Challenger would work as my daily driver for the next week. Instead of driving flat-out on a race track, I’m schlepping my kid to day care. Read on to see how the Challenger fares!

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Gateway Racing arrives at Mosport with complete support services for racers

I’ve been fortunate to have visited a number of race tracks across North America over the past couple of years. One thing that I always notice is when a track has retail facilities catering to racers. I notice it because most of them support visiting racers very well, and my home track has next to nothing. While there has been a race prep shop in the garages at Mosport for the past several years, it wasn’t the retail focused haven for racers like one would find at Lime Rock.

Earlier this year I was excited to hear that there was a new enterprise coming to Mosport and that my old friend Blaise Csida was playing a major part in it. I wasn’t prepared for the level of transformation that has been made to the dingy old space. From the modern, spacious retail facility to the race shop, the place has undergone a complete transformation.
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Armor All Wheel Protectant in action

I first mentioned Armor All’s new Wheel Protectant a couple of months ago, but wasn’t able to test it as all of our cars still had winter tires with steel wheels. Also, I don’t drive media cars long enough to actually get them dirty. The solution? A friend with a Volvo and a Saab in the garage. Nothing creates more brake dust than European cars!
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A new fleet of race cars in The Garage

For years, every time we’ve been in Buffalo, New York, we’ve driven past this hobby shop and I’ve thought we should stop and snoop around. Finally, we dropped in to Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart this morning. This place is absolutely massive and covers just about any hobby that might turn your crank.

As cool as the rockets and trains were, the boys and I had slot cars on our mind. Good thing too, because they had a well stocked selection of incredibly detailed machines from the 1/43 AFX cars to the big 1/24 Carrera cars. We have a Scalextric set at home, so we were looking at the brand in blue.
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May Muddy Madness, Jeep Style

After ragging on Tom for not getting the 4Runner dirty, I figured I had best show how we do things here in Ontario. Earlier this week we set out on the trail to shoot our video review of the 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. We found what we were looking for!

We’ll share the video next week.

Review: Toyota 4Runner Trail

I am not one that will soon forget the SUV craze that rocked North America-heck, I’ve owned two Land Rovers, so I got caught up in too. The madness has subsided, and the families with two kids shuffling back and forth from school to soccer practice realized a Chevy Suburban was, perhaps, a little overkill. In the place of scores of body on frame, lumbering SUVs, we have seen the rise of their replacement-the crossover.

But wait a second-what about the people car companies had originally intended SUVs for in the first place, before soccer moms (USA) and hockey moms (Canada) went mad for them? Someone who requires a vehicle to drive offroad, and in extreme conditions. Who has a need to tow something a little heavier than a jet-ski. For the serious outdoorsman who demands all of the above, the options are drying up. But at least what is out there is still good, if not great. Enter the all-new Toyota 4Runner. But can the 4Runner offer killer off-road performance, yet still be tolerable as a daily driver? Read on to find out!

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