Paul Tracy gives Toronto Mayor Rob Ford the ride of his life at 2 in TO

Rob Ford & Paul Tracy. John R Walker photo.

Rob Ford & Paul Tracy. John R Walker photo.

Last Friday night on social media, Canadian Indycar vet Paul Tracy said: “Giving mayor rob ford a thrill ride tomorrow , think I can make him squeal?”

During Saturday morning’s photo meeting, I kept waiting to hear details about the media stunt but for whatever reason, it wasn’t mentioned, so I kept quiet. I chased down someone in the know and learned that it was due to happen while I was shooting the GT3 Cup podium, so I enlisted the help of fellow contributor to The Garage, John Walker to see if he could make it over. I’m glad I did, because it turns out that Walker was the ONLY shooter on hand for ROFO’s thrill ride with the thrill from West Hill.

Walker tells me that when they got out of the Civic SI, Toronto’s most infamous crack addict said “that was one of the best rides I have ever been on, call me if you need anything” to which PT replied “anything???”

Photo courtesy of John Walker

Another podium for Hargrove in drama filled race

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So many things to write about from the 2 in TO event this weekend, but for now I am going to finish up my day with another post about Scott Hargrove and the Open Road Racing #69.

As was set in qualifying, the front row of today’s race consisted of Hargrove and rival Chris Green in the Pfaff Porsche/Castrol liveried machine. It wasn’t even a single lap before a full course caution came out for the car of Marco Cirone. I’m still not sure what happened to Marco. After what seemed like a dozen laps (although I’m sure it was only five or six), the green flag dropped.

I had moved from turn ten, over to five and wasn’t surprised to see Hargrove appear at the front of the field as he rounded four. I was however surprised to see that Green was missing from the field, until many seconds after the pack went by. I suspected this was not going to be good for the Open Road entry. I was correct.

At the exit of the first turn, the two young guns tried to occupy the same bit of track, and both knew the other was not going to lift. Green lost the battle of wills and got stuffed, which resulted in a stop and go penalty for Hargrove, handing the lead to third place Spencer Pigot.
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World Challenge action at 2 in TO

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It has been a long day, so I’m not going to race report this other than to say that Nick Tandy won in the simply wicked looking new Porsche 911 RSR GT. Awesome machine. I’m not sure whether to be impressed that the Effort Racing machines are sponsored by GOD or dismayed. Let’s face it, you need money to race, so it might as well come from reporters of a fictitious supreme being, right?
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Scott Hargrove wins exciting first race in Toronto

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After a great qualifying run earlier this morning, Scott Hargrove drove the #69 Open Road Porsche to a victory in today’s action packed Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge race in Toronto. In fact, Hargrove had some challenges of his own along the way.

The green flag dropped under the threat of rain, and the track got gradually more slick as the race went on. Rival Chris Green led the first part of the race, before spinning, which allowed Hargrove to take over the lead. All was not smooth sailing, as the Open Road machine spun in turn 9 around the mid point of the race, allowing Spencer Pigot to take over the first spot.
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Hargrove qualifies on front row of GT3 Cup at Toronto

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Honda Indy weekend has finally rolled in to Toronto this weekend and there has been all kinds of action so far. My weeekend started with the Canadian launch of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade on Thursday and has just been crazy busy since then. More about the Escalade in the coming days.

My main focus this weekend is the #69 Porsche of Scott Hargrove in the Porsche GT3 Cup. In this morning’s qualifying session for the first race, Hargrove turned in a 1:12.214 which puts him on the front row alongside pole sitter Chris Green.

Lots more to share, but I need to get out and and shoot the start of the Pirelli World Challenge. More to follow!

Global Rallycross Roars Around Washington D. C.

On the weekend of June 21-22, the third of ten 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross events took place in Washington D.C. The half-mile course was set up outside of RFK Stadium for a cloudy day of racing. This isn’t your usual oval racing – the course featured ten turns, a stretch of gravel to kick up some dirt, a table jump where cars hurl though the air, and a strategic joker lap which can only be taken once – and can help a driver get in front to quickly change the fate of the race. To kick off GRC in DC earlier in the week, Rhys Millen sped around the United States capitol in his Red Bull Hyundai Veloster , and on race day Red Bull skydivers jumped down onto the course before the final.

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Climb Dance revisited

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This weekend is another one of those bucket list times for me. Tomorrow morning, way too early, I am boarding a plane and heading to Colorado to cover the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb. Yup, I’m heading to the Race to the Clouds! Gonna be epic.

I’ll be there with the nice folks from Mitsubishi to learn about their new electric racer. It will be very interesting to see how this Electric Modified class performs.

To get myself a little bit fired up, I thought I would delve into the wayback machine and bring up the classic Climb Dance video that features rally legend Ari Vatanen’s record run up the hill in 1985, flying the wicked Peugeot 405. I still love the bug splat!

Notice that the road is still mostly gravel at this point. In recent years it has been paved to prevent erosion and make the Sierra Club happy.

Wheels on Edge chats with James Hinchcliffe

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As part of the lead up to this year’s Honda Indy Toronto, The Mayor of Hinchtown aka James Hinchcliffe, was in Toronto yesterday doing the obligatory meet and greet with the media. I was otherwise occupied, so I wasn’t able to attend this year, but James Davidson from Wheels On Edge did have a chance to visit with our home town boy.

In the video, Hinch talks about mistakes, bad luck and bumping his noggin before weighing in on Will Power’s crappy attitude and explaining why you need to visit the Toronto race.

Wheels up in 5!

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The latest episode of driver/car feature videos from VARAC focuses on my good friend Emily Atkins and her brother Andrew as they share stories about how they got involved in racing. The partners in Big Brother Little Sister Racing also talk about their machines, a wicked Mustang and a classic Porsche 911.

The highlight for me is the recreation of the classic 911 racing pose, with one front wheel in the air as Emily attacks Mosport’s iconic turn 5.

Sweet Mother of Jeebus – watch this Honda Insight crash at close to 200 MPH!

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I don’t know how I missed this one when it was posted back in November, but this is one of the craziest motorsport crashes I have ever seen, and it involves a rather unlikely subject.

Around my area, the only people who drive Honda‘s Insight hybrid are nuclear plant employees who are still hanging on to their super high mileage, first generation hybrids. The machine you are about to see is not like those cars. The HASport Hondata Insight is a full on land speed record car, capable of speeds in the range of 200 miles per hour!
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