Arie Luyendyk Jr. injured in wild TORC crash

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While some race car drivers are happy to pursue the dream in one series or another, real racers can often be found spending their personal time racing other types of cars. Those guys tend to be the ones that compete in different series at the same time and when the paying rides in one series dry up, they head to some other form of motorsport. They race because they have to in order to fuel their passion. It would seem that Arie Luyendyk Jr. is just one of those guys.

The son of Indycar legend Ari, Arie Jr. is best known for his stint on the popular television series The Bachelor. Lately, Luyendyk Jr. has been playing in the dirt at the wheel of a TORC racing truck. The series was in Primm, Nevada last weekend and the hunky racer had a massive roll in his Gunk sponsored truck. The impact broke Luyendyk’s collarbone, but fortunately he was fine otherwise, being awake and even Tweeting out pictures of himself from the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
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Onboard Audi S1 video will blow your mind

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Back in the mid-Eighties, the Group B days, there was a video floating around about the series and Audi’s involvement. Chances are that you have seen bits of it that are now mashed-up with other stuff in modern YouTube videos. The flick featured lots of incredibly cheesy 80s Euro synth tunes and fantastic footage of the most fearsome cars ever built, complete with flames and jumps. Also on tap was a decent amount of in car footage, something we didn’t see too often at that time.

There was one particular scene that featured the fancy footwork of one Walter Rohrl. That scene is what taught me how to left foot brake, heel and toe downshift and the near dead art of double clutching. I pretty much wore out the VHS tape because I watched it so many times. It was great footage for the time, but modern action cameras are so much better than what we have now.

Ride along with Polish rally driver Josef Beres during a hill climb last year in his Audi S1 Quattro Group B car. While we don’t see any foot action, the sound is utterly fantastic and gives a small glimpse into what it must have been like to rally these monsters back in the day.

Source: YouTube via Motorsport Retro

Crazy Leo enjoys successful first WRC event in Portugal

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Crazy Leo Urlichich, the Canadian rally driver who came by his nickname thanks to his wild driving style, has successfully completed his first ever WRC event, in Portugal. Taking part in a driver search program called the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy, saw the fan focused driver trading his signature orange and black Subaru for a front wheel drive Ford Fiesta.

Saying that the competition at an FIA World Rally Championship event is stiff would be stiff is somewhat redundant, but the DMACK Fiesta Trophy itself features some tough competitors including Max Vatanen, son of rally legend Ari Vatanen.
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Intern Todd goes to St. Petes Indy

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At last weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Indycar team owner and long time racing fan, David Letterman turned Intern Todd from the Late Show loose in the paddock with a camera on his tail. Hilarity ensues.

IMSA updates “competition procedures” but is it enough?

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While I have known to be a bit of a crotchety guy in the last couple of years, for some reason my overly critical attitude doesn’t often make it into my writing. Not sure why, perhaps I just like to give people the benefit of the doubt rather than throw hard working people under the bus. With the announcement that IMSA is making some procedural changes, perhaps the time has come for me to weigh in on the disaster that is the Tudor United Sportscar Championship.

First off, I must say that I was excited about the so-called merger of the American Le Mans Series and Grand Am, even if it was a not so thinly veiled buyout situation. There are some pretty talented people on both side of paddock, so I was anticipating that they would pull it off.

Two races in, the organizers have done many things well. I was at the Rolex 24 and the crowds were truly impressive, certainly much larger than last year. From what I have heard, the crowds at Sebring were equally large. The field is jam packed full of top level teams with some spectacular machinery. Two of the biggest problems in auto racing these days seem to have been overcome. While there was limited television coverage, depending on where you live, the online stream of Sebring was better than any television coverage I have ever seen, even though it did seem to crap out for an hour or so around the 11th hour.

The problem is that the things the series has screwed up are equally as fundamental as having fans and competitors, so much so that they could very well be starting to lose both already. [Read more...]

Honda ‘s Mean Mower officially named World’s Fastest Lawnmower

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Boys will be boys. Give them something with wheels and an engine and they will try to make it go faster or race it. Put some resources behind them and the fun can get serious really quickly. That pretty much sums up Honda’s Mean Mower. I can imagine the board meeting at Honda when someone said “hey, let’s build the World’s fastest lawn mower.”

The Stig has driven it. It has been featured in countless publications and web videos. Now, Honda’s creation, officially known as the Mean Mower, has set a new Guinness World Record for a lawn mower. 116 mph!
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The Mayor of Hinchtown flops off track in St. Pete’s too

Friend of The Garage, James Hinchcliffe had what can only be called a rough weekend in St. Pete’s, as the Andretti Autosport team battled computer problems throughout the entire race.

The race car was not the only flop in the Mayor’s weekend!

Source: Hinchtown on Instagram

Watch a GT3 driver crash at the Nurburgring

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I had a conversation with the organizer of an upcoming motosport series yesterday who commented that they have had one time visits from Porsche drivers who don’t stick around because they don’t like being humiliated by guys in Honda Civics. Today’s first video is kinda like that.

This morning, Bill Caswell from BUILD RACE PARTY posted a video from the infamous Nurburgring, where a Porsche 911 GT3 driver got a taste of why Sir Jackie called the place The Green Hell.

Caswell is in the black forest preparing for his first ever race at the ‘Ring, this weekend. The driver, who you may recognize as the guy who took a Craigslist BMW, converted it to a rally car and competed in the WRC Mexico a few years ago. Caswell has enlisted the help of Robb Holland, an American who races in the BTCC in an Audi S3, to help bring him up to speed. While touring the track in a Ford Focus RS, Holland catches up with a GT3 which is clearly being over driven. It isn’t too long before we see the Porsche driver put two wheels off and then a few corners later he stuffs it into the Armco. What is really cool is that Holland calls the off well before it happens!
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Pro-Am Ice racing in Thunder Bay

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A couple of weeks ago, I shared a video of some ice racing action in Minden, Ontario. Some may think that the Minden Fairgrounds are the only place in Ontario to have a bit of Winter racing fun, but they would be wrong. Minden is where the Southern Ontario crowd goes to play. Further to the North, the Thunder Bay Autosport Club hosts a very active series on the ice each year. My buddy Russ Bond came across this video of a weekend back in 2004 when he and a bunch of Ontario racing personalities went north for some fun on the ice.

Source: YouTube via Painkillerz

Watch Don Garlits cackle a Hemi inside the shop

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As a young kid, life in my house revolved around sports car racing, which sort of explains my passion for racing, but it also kept me away from the Hot Rod scene. Of course I loved the cars, any cars, so I was glued to the TV for any sort of racing that might be on. There was lots of drag racing on the tube in the Seventies, so I came to know and love names like Garlits, Prudhomme and Muldowney. I came, like many other fans, to regard Big Daddy as the most important figure in drag racing. A living legend.

Last Summer, I had the chance to speak with Garlits by email leading up to a visit to his shop and museum in Ocala, Florida. Don wasn’t going to be there, but he hooked me up with his assistant, Chris Bumpus, who was going to give me a tour of the corner of the museum that most visitors don’t get to see: Garlits’ race shop.
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