Within the racing community, the better you get at your job, the more dangerous you become to the overall process, but not in the context that your performance will degrade or you would become irresponsible. It means you become more likely to perform your tasks by rote than by working from a pre-described, documented process. As you learn more about a specific operation or function, it becomes too easy for the team to become completely dependent on your performance. Let me explain. Within the framework of any race team, there are various people who are in charge of various systems and sub-systems of the car or the operation of the team. Depending on the size of the team, this may be a very specific area such as transmissions, brakes, engines, bodywork, suspension, rear ends, tires, logistics, and even the exercising of the team’s supply chain. On a smaller team, one person may have to wear many hats and take charge of multiple related or unrelated components or sub-systems of the … [Read more...] about Organized Approach – Racing is a Process
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A snaking bolt of heat lightning screwed itself into the ground with a grudge, the flash illuminating the interior of the truck I was driving. The thunder took a minute to bounce off the far wall of the canyon and back across the moonscape right outside of Reno, Nevada. I drove on. In the distance was a shimmering horizon of gleaming glass and white rectangular boxes that seemed to hover over the dust. The chain of trailers was the only clue to the existence of Top Gun Raceway in Fallon, Nevada, and John Calvert’s Stock Eliminator Cobra Jet Mustang was waiting there for me to drive it. Up until that exact moment, I thought I had earned the creds to drive the beast in competition. Roy Hill had tried to bring me to tears in his driving school, Funny Car champion Jack Beckman had shown me how to look past the horizon on a 9-second Pro Gas blast, and even Bob Tasca III had schooled me on how to tiptoe through the 133⁄8 inches between the start beams. I was no virgin in … [Read more...] about 2010 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet – Part II
Pete Brock not only transcends racing, he transcends transcendence—how’s that for a lead to an interview? Each one of his careers could be a book by itself, he’s had quite a few, and they’ve been all over the place—but they’re all places hot rodders would like to be participating. Brock was the youngest GM Design hire in its history, a Shelby America driver, the designer of the Daytona Cobra, a successful factory racing head with Datsun and his BRE Racing enterprise, a leading manufacturer of hang gliders, a design teacher, author, and photojournalist. Can there be much more in him at the age of 78? Sure, he’s currently manufacturing the trickest race car trailers around. That’s an intimidating resume, but you needn’t be turned off; like you, Brock considers himself a hot rodder at his core. We sat down with him to fill in some blanks around his time at Carroll Shelby’s testing the Cobra, designing and building his Daytona … [Read more...] about Take 5 With Pete Brock
Visiting a chrome plating shop conjures up images of giant buffing wheels, bubbling vats and parts dangling from wires, and while all of those things contribute to the overall process they are just the tools used to achieve great chrome plating but like any tool, they are only as good as the people using them. Steve and Sheri Tracy have built their company around a team of people who genuinely care about what they do and it shows in the finished product. Steve initially became involved with Advanced Plating (Nashville, TN) while he was a Pro Stock motorcycle racer. He and Sheri became employees at that time, then partners and finally, almost 30-years ago, they became the sole owners of the business. Since that time Advanced Plating has gone from a local chrome plating shop to a national and international company supplying some of the finest chrome plating in the world. Now everyone knows hot rods and music go hand in hand and that is particularly true at Advanced Plating, as they also … [Read more...] about Best of the Best Shops: Advanced Plating
Mahindra & Mahindra today announced the launch of SmartShift, a technology enabled load exchange platform. SmartShift will act as an exchange platform for cargo owners and transporters, enabling them to work with each other. Cargo owners (both businesses and individual users) can access the SmartShift service through a mobile app (available on Android), the website or the dedicated call centre. M&M says it is launching SmartShift following over 2,000 hours of consumer research done over a year. Speaking at the launch of SmartShift in Mumbai, Dr Pawan Goenka, executive director, Mahindra & Mahindra, said, “At Mahindra, we regularly challenge conventional thinking and create disruptions with our unique product and service offerings. SmartShift is one such idea that was seeded by a young team that has now been charged with growing this service offering independent of existing Mahindra businesses. SmartShift is a digitally enabled, value added service that would benefit … [Read more...] about Mahindra logs into digital marketplace for intra-city logistics
When you look back on 2015, which storylines spring to mind? The world’s first climate-change accord? Caitlyn Jenner? Donald Trump? The discovery of ice mountains on Pluto and water on Mars? The NFL’s Deflategate? Likely yes to all and plenty more, but in Automobile land we’ll also remember the sale of almost 17.5 million light vehicles in the United States—an all-time high besting the previous mark, set in 2000, by almost 70,000. It wasn’t exactly a surprise. Favorable economic headwinds, the return of, ahem, relatively cheap gasoline, exciting new technologies, and most crucially, a full slate of intriguing automotive offerings sent a record number of consumers into showrooms. But enough about last year: Say hello to the new vehicles that have either just debuted or will shortly. Do they have what it takes to drive the market toward another sales benchmark? Numbers through the first half of 2016 indicate, yes, indeed they do. Sections $200k+ $50k to … [Read more...] about New Cars for 2017
Audi has launched the Q3 Sport in India, priced at a rather mouth watering Rs. 24.99 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). This makes the Q3 Sport the most affordable Audi in India. To come to this aggressive price point, Audi has ditched the award winning quattro 4-wheel drive system in lieu of channeling power to the front-wheels. The Audi Q3 Sport uses a detuned version of the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine which produces 140 BHP of power and 320 Nm of torque (between 1750-2500 RPM). This is the first luxury car to use a manual transmission (6-speed) this decade (in the last decade, Mercedes-Benz used to offer the C-Class with a 6-speed manual gearbox). The Audi Q3 Sport returns an ARAI certified mileage of 17.32 km/l. Bookings of the Audi Q3 Sport are open now and you can book yours online via Audi’s online booking process at ‘bookmyAudi.in’. The first 10 online bookings of the Audi Q3 S edition will win a special off-road style package. Deliveries will start by the end of … [Read more...] about Audi Launches Q3 Sport Priced At Rs. 24.99 Lakhs [Live]
Around this time every year, the who’s who of the world of heritage cars heads to California, specifically to Monterey Bay. It’s a week-long celebration of classic and vintage cars, with the grand finale being the Concours d’Elegance, held at the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links. The breathtaking location overlooking the Pacific Ocean will play host to around 200 of the rarest and the most beautiful pieces of automotive art in the world. And this has been going on since 1950.This year is special for us. As you’re reading this, around 15 glistening examples of some of the finest cars which were once owned by India’s royalty are being given the spit-and-polish treatment (collectors say the cars are being ‘pebbled’) in anticipation of the Concours tomorrow — which is always held on the third Sunday of August. This is the first, and perhaps the last time, in the history of Pebble Beach that there is a special Cars of the Maharajas … [Read more...] about Indian entries at Pebble Beach – Hit the Beach!
Some claimed yesterday that David Hester’s views of a government-issued Panther are more desired than his discussion of D.I.Y. engine mods. You ask for it, you get it today. How’s that for service? Also, be judicious with your comments about his prose. David may be a rookie writer, but he’s a seasoned cop, and he knows where to find you. In any case, I’ve seen a few police reports in the past, and Dave’s way with words definitely beats them all.My cellphone begins to bleat a mere three hours after my head hit the pillow. I shake the cobwebs from my head and listen to an excitable 3rd shift sergeant inform me of a criminal act requiring the immediate attention of the Special Victims Section detective, yes, pronto, never mind the pre-dawn hours. Quick shave. Quick shower. Quick peck on the cheek of my sleeping wife. Then out into the cold for the forty minute drive from my home into the sleeping city.My G-ride awaits, a 2007 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor … [Read more...] about Night Flight Of The Silver Ghost.
For over a decade now, Kia has slowly but surely been moving toward doing the impossible —transitioning the brand image from “subprime, budget, shady, and non-desirable” to “a slightly Buick-ized version of Hyundai.” In order to do this, Kia dealers have always relied on the one factor in their favor, which is the ability to sell on price. While the MSRPs on Kias aren’t too far off the competition, the stores have historically dumped new inventory at prices well below the sticker. Looking at an Altima? Why not try this Optima at $3,000 off instead?Of course, when you operate this way, it makes it difficult for salespeople and managers to make any money, since there’s little to no profit in the deal. For over a decade, Kia has offered sales staff what’s known in the business as a “spin” every time they sell a new car — they can call into a number or log on to a website and enter a VIN-specific code for a … [Read more...] about Bark’s Bites: Kia’s New ‘Spin’ on Compensation Might Mean a Change in Direction