Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Gimmick Racing Socks...

Must be a trend...came across these two sets of socks targeted at racing enthusiasts in recent days.

First up are Blipshift's "3 Pedal Socks"for $17 a pair.  They look good for casual or business casual use.  I have one Blipshift shirt already and its quality was solid so I would imagine these socks are near the same.

If you want a pair, you can go here:
3 Pedal Socks...

The second set are Robby Gordon's Speed Energy Drink socks...I like these a tad better as they have a sense of humor about them.  To date they have only sold them at various Speed Energy Drink related events and not over the Internet.  Hopefully if enough people harass Robby Gordon and Speed Energy they will make them available to a wider shopping audience.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ledwidge Lookoff Rally Spectator Stage

Only a few days till we take off for the Ledwidge Lookoff Rally in Nova Scotia.  Its not much but the entry list is up to six entries.  Three 2WD and three AWD.  Hopefully there will be one or two last minute entries to bump this up a bit but regardless we're going to have a good time, see some new roads and meet some great people.  The first day's spectator stage is unique in that it takes place entirely within a quarry and the roads on which it takes place are nice and wide and flat.  These little sprint stages aren't favorable to the NISMO Stuff Frontier sponsored by Bedard Pharmacy, particularly when they appear so smooth.  We'll do our best and look forward to the longer stages of Saturday.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lots of Nissan 200SXs for Sale in New England Right Now

So tempting to get one of these...many look in good condition, a couple are the turbo models with the oh-so-awesome hoods.  All would make great hillclimb, rallycross, stage rally vehicles.  Or at the very least they would make an epic daily driver.

First is a Black, 1986 model up in Hebron, NH.  This one is the most heavily modified with numerous  engine and suspension mods.  It has a KA24DET swap and presently is not really drivable given its blown turbo and bad exhaust.  Body is in good nick but it will take some work and money to really get on the road in a legit fashion.  Price is listed at @2,500

Second is an '87 200SX notchback.  I like the hatch version much better than the notchback and this one is in a decidedly ugly gold color, is an automatic and has evidently had an attempt to turn it into some sort of drift vehicle with a welded rear diff.  It does still have the cool pop-up lights though!  This one is in Plaistow, NH and is going for $1,200 though with the welded diff, it won't really be pleasant to drive on a daily basis.

There is also a 1987 200SX SE-V6 for sale in Southern Maine that would be a nice little car given it has the 300ZX's engine and driveline but the poster doesn't present a picture and says it has a good deal of exterior rust and hasn't been run for a few years.  He's asking for $2,000 which is pretty steep given the many multiple thousands necessary to really get it running again.

There was also a beautiful, manual, turbo 200SX in Providence, RI that I had intended to post here as well as it has been around a few times now but not purchased...alas, its listing has expired.  It was in good shape with no rust, good engine, etc.  The owner stated it needed some new plugs, wires and brakes but otherwise was in fine condition.  It would be the best of the lot so keep an eye open for a relisting.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Next Step in an Improved Towing Experience...

First step was actually obtaining a trailer.  That was done recently.  Now on to sprucing it up and making it more user friendly.

When I got it the four tires on the trailer, 225/75d15s, were all in very good condition.  No real wear of any significant kind.  But given the heavy weight of my race truck on the trailer, frequent poor road conditions, long travel distances, etc. I wanted a couple spares.  So a couple brand new mounted spares we now have.  As long as I'm not heading back to Baja, two spares should cut it one would think.

Then on to how to get the truck ON the trailer.  The prior owner had been using wooden planks to get his smallish car on the trailer and that worked just fine.  I wanted something a bit heavier duty while being light as well.  So it was aluminum ramps that were acquired.  With that the trailer is ready to go to its first event just one week away.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ratings for Mint 400 on NBC 7/12

The Martelli Bros. produced Mint 400 race has now become an annual TV production on NBC.  Its not quite as good (OK, not nearly as good) as watching the event live but it sure beats bass fishing or Bar Rescue reruns.

This year the event which was broadcast on Sunday 7/12 for a total of two action packed hours grabbed a 0.5 rating.  So approximately 0.5% of all the 115.6 million TV households in the country were tuned into the race--though this 115.6 number is an old one from the '13-'14 TV season, the number of TV households in the US likely went up between '13-'14 and '14-'15 so this figure is underestimated if anything.

Based on this year old estimate of US TV households, there were some 578,000 TV owning households tuned into the event.  Figuring 1.1 viewers per household that would put some 636,000 pairs of eyeballs on the 2015 Mint 400.

For comparison, the TV show that came on following the Mint was a broadcast regarding Pastrana's Nitro Circus and grabbed a 0.6 rating.  At the same time over on Fox you had the women's US Open golf tournament which had a 0.7 rating

Of note is that last year's Mint 400 race had a 0.4 rating meaning that '15's ratings were a 25% increase.  Hard to attribute ratings increases in such a small sample size to much but at least it is moving in the right direction.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Nissan and Dos Santos Perform Well at Baja Espana

I hadn't realized until now that Ricardo Leal Dos Santos actually had won a stage at the Dakar in '12 as a Mini driver so its good to see him driving a proper car in a Nissan now.

Entered in his first FIA cross-countrry rally in '15 behind the wheel of a T1 Nissan Navara, Dos Santos picked up a fifth place finish at this past weekends Baja Espana.  A great initial outing and from what I am reading he does plan on contesting Dakar '16.  Dos Santos had a successful Dakar '15 finishing 25th overall and the highest Nissan in the event.  The Portuguese driver has teamed with a Brazilian co-driver and should be getting in some practice in other cross-country rallies the remainder of the year.  Hoping for an even stronger result in Dakar '16...

Doing Things Ass Backwards...

So some five years ago I bought a brand new truck that I turned into a stage rally, hill climb, rally cross, desert racing, all around toy.  At the time I had no vehicle to tow it with and no trailer to tow it on.  Typically its good to have those before embarking on such a path.  In that time I've begged, borrowed and paid for transport of various kinds to and from events and occasionally driven the race truck to and from the event itself just crossing my fingers that nothing bad would happen that would prevent me from driving it home.

I've now finally remedied one of the above noted absences.  My frequent co-driver David Dennis recently had the opportunity to downsize his trailer by buying a lighter trailer from a brother of his that would suit his purposes just his full deck trailer on which we have towed my truck a number of times became available.  So I bought it.  As trailers go she ain't pretty but she gets the job done and with a bit of work can be spruced right up as her bones are solid.  I also like the full deck as while it makes the trailer significantly heavier it also helps prevent frame twisting that I've seen when my 4000 pound truck is put on an open deck. First up for modifications?  A new jack for the front including a nice fat caster wheel attachment to help it pull around my yard with my Pathfinder since I don't have a truck with a hitch...yet.

With the new jack in place next up is a new winch for the deck and some new ramps.  Oh, and if you need something like a new project car towed around and don't have a trailer?  Let me know, she's always available for work if you need her and can provide the vehicle to tow her and your stuff with.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

SandBlast Rally Makes Cover of ADV Moto Magazine

Available digitally or at your local Barnes & Noble its good to see stage rally get coverage in a quality magazine here in the US. With the explosion of Dual Sport riding and motorcycles here in the US over the past few years this is great coverage for NASA's Rally Moto program. Besides the cover there are a number of pages devoted to additional photos and story. Of course everyone's favorite cowboy hat wearing Rally organizer/enthusiast/motorcycle rider made one of the shots...just a glutton for the camera lens...