Tommy Kendall returns to Trans Am


This morning’s news comes out of the Trans Am paddock, where it has been announced that four time T/A series champion Tommy Kendall will be returning to the iconic racing series, at the wheel of a bright green Dodge Challenger SRT in the TA2 category. The first outing for the Miller Racing prepared Challenger will be this weekend at Mid-Ohio.

The timing is perfect to put guys like Paul Tracy, Tony Stewart, Montoya and even Villeneuve in to showroom based cars. Mustang, Camaro, Challenger: all are back (or still) in showrooms. Bring on BMW’s 1 series and Nissan’s 370Z for a bit of nostalgic spice to the group. Run the cars in a showroom stock configuration again so the fans can relate. Think those drivers above won’t add enough excitement? How about bringing in guys like Michael Andretti, Little Al, David Donohue to add in a bit more historic star power? If memory serves, I think Unser may have driven the tubie cars at some point in the Eighties. The time couldn’t be better for auto manufacturers to be involved in a series like this. Indeed they could once again benefit from Win on Sunday….

I wrote those words back in 2008, when the T/A series had just been re-launched after a bit of a hiatus. Six years later, it looks like they are finally beginning to pull the package together.

The T/A folks are understandably chuffed to have the entry in the field for a number of reasons. Kendall spent some time away from the driver’s seat and while he may not offer the immediate name recognition as a driver with a name like Andretti, many younger fans know his personality as a motorsport color commentator and host of a few television shows on Speed, which certainly gives the driver more star power than anyone else in the field.
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Wheels up in 5!


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.

VARAC Celebrates the MG community


A couple of weeks ago I shared a wonderful video from the folks at VARAC about Gary Allen and his lovely Porsche 911 vintage racer. VARAC is keeping the ball rolling with a new episode that again features Allen and his MGB along with David & Evan Holmes and Dave Good.

I would bet that with the possible exception of the Mini, the MG brand is likely the single most popular brand among vintage racers in North America and for good reason.

Check it out.

Throttle off oversteer in action!


Back in the early days of front wheel drive race cars, there were those who felt that front drivers couldn’t be as fast as a rear wheel drive race car. Those were usually the guys who also said that a fwd car couldn’t be driven sideways. The first feeling is somewhat true, otherwise we would have fwd Formula 1 cars by now, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be fast. The second part is utter nonsense as anyone who has ever pedaled a front wheel drive rally car will tell you.

To drive a front wheel drive race car fast, one MUST learn the art of managing the loud pedal and using throttle off oversteer to one’s benefit. Not sure what TOO is? Think about all the stories you have heard about early Porsche 911’s swapping ends at speed when the throttle is released at the wrong time. A front wheel drive car behaves exactly the same way, except that it is more controllable and actually makes a car faster through the corner. Also, unlike a 911, most TOO incidents in FWD cars can be controlled by the application of FULL THROTTLE.
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The anatomy of a NASCAR punt


After I posted the above image the other day, someone suggested that this sequence was just waiting to be turned into an animated gif. A bit of poking about and it would seem that I have taught myself how to create one. So, here you have it: DJ Kennington getting into the back of Stefan Rzadzinksi in the closing stages of the first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race of 2014.


It wouldn’t be NASCAR without a bit of carnage


Earlier this week, I told you about our man Russ Bond’s adventure in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. While Russ made it out more or less unscathed, others were not so lucky.

In the first third of the race, the track went full course yellow when the #22 of Scott Steckly got into the tires, ending his race. I was shooting from the top of turn 4 and could see the clean up efforts taking place in 3, when suddenly the #59 of Ryan Klutt appeared with its back end caved in. When Steckly’s car came by on a flatbed, the front end was all messed up. Coincidence? I haven’t spoken to either driver, so I’m not sure.

Not long after the race went to green flag again, Ryan’s Dad Peter’s #42 lost its hood somewhere. This is not the first time I have shot photos of Peter without his hood.
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Russ Bond has a great first NASCAR race!


Regular readers will recognize Russ Bond from our World’s Fastest Car Review series. He is also the host of the Two Minute Test Drive at the wildly successful Motoring TV. What you might not know is that Bond has been part of The Garage Blog family since before TGB was even thought of. Russ and I were guest hosts on a radio show called Guy’s Garage, a show which steered me towards a second career in automotive media. It’s hard to believe that was 13 years ago!

Collectively, we’ve done some pretty cool stuff over those years, but I’ve gotta say that Rustye entering his first ever NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race might be the coolest.
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Round 2 excitement from the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship


For Round 2 of the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship, the track had dried up from the previous day and drivers were able to battle each other at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park instead of battling Mother Nature.

I can’t wait to see these guys in action next weekend!

Camping World Truck Series test day at Canadian Motorsport Park


I’ve been so busy over at that I didn’t get around to posting this here. Of course I actually loaded the pics, I just didn’t get around to adding any words.

So, a couple of weeks ago, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series folks and a gaggle of media types invaded the brand spanking new events centre at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Fresh off his boot to the nuts incident, Nelson Piquet Jr. was on hand as an “impartial” test driver to lay down some baselines for the teams when they arrive on Labour Day weekend.

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Gallery: Thursday in the paddock at Grand Prix of Mosport

Race fans start showing up at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park today for the Grand Prix of Mosport, but for the teams, the action started yesterday. As the LMP 1 & 2 teams set up their paddock and pit spaces, the support series spent the day testing on track. Me, I spent part of the day wandering with the camera and the rest of it in the press room doing stuff for my gig at Wheels.

Check out a gallery from yesterday after the break.
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