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MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on October 3, 2014 Comments (0)

Garret Vreeland’s shot of the winning classic Graber-bodied Packard and the Sports Maserati 350S

We write this on the Monday morning after enjoying an excellent motorsports weekend in Santa Fe. Our lead image is Garret Vreeland’s shot of the winning classic Graber-bodied Packard and the Sports Maserati 350S.

The Santa Fe Concorso is now five years old and we have watched it grow in quality and breadth for the three year we have attended. This is truly a wonderful Thursday evening through Sunday motorsports event. Look for more stories and images of the SF Concorso IndyCar Drivers Seminar, The Mountain Tour, and other events in coming issues.

F1

Alonso

The circus moves to Suzuka this weekend. Alonso obliquely supported our criticism of the Singapore-racing-through-dark-garages-in-the-heat-of- the-night GP by declaring that it will be nice to be at Suzuka, a “real race circuit”. In the wake of the eulogies for the departing Montezemolo, the Italian PR departments are cranking up the ‘Marchionne as Saviour” Machine. F1 is never boring.

Denise McCluggage Reigns over Barren Lands

Cadillac Escalade

Several readers commented how much they enjoyed Denise McCluggage’s recent story about her Range Rover off-road excursion to her family’s ancestral home in Tin Cup, Colorado. If you haven’t read it yet, do—it will prepare you for this week’s story about another large vehicle that dominates its native landscape, the Cadillac Escalade.


Michael Furman photo 1937 Peugeot Darlmat Roadster

Our featured image is by Michael Furman and the car is a 1937 Peugeot Darl’mat Roadster.


Have a great weekend!

Peter Bourassa


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on September 26, 2014 Comments (0)

Ferrari 250 SWB

We are busy winding down September. We attended The Boston Cup last weekend, a maturing event, and this weekend we will be at Santa Fe for their Concorso. 

Ferrari GTO Boston Cup

Several weeks ago we shared an image of our model car collection. We thought it quite typical of what most people have and your responses confirmed that. But several also expressed an interest in knowing what else is available. This week’s lead image kicks off a new series of stories all about model cars entitled Build a Small Collection. Our expert guide for this adventure into the world of building and buying miniatures is constructor Marshall Buck.

Michael Furman image of the hood and mascot of a 1932 Bugatti Royale Type-41

This Michael Furman image is the hood and mascot of a 1932 Bugatti Royale Type-41.

This video of a cluster of Jaguar D-Types racing at the most recent Goodwood Revival graces our homepage. What a sight!

The Weekly Leek European Correspondent, Oofy Prosser, reports on changes to the 2015 schedule. As a result of the recent German High Court decision to turn two blind eyes to B. Ecclestone’s “bribery” and “breach of trust” indictments in exchange for $100M US, a cash flow issue exists at Castle Ecclestone. F1 has announced a new sponsor for the United States GP in 2015.

Singapore GP

The F1 Save the Tires/Save the Fuel GP at Singapore’s $4.5B Marina Bay street and parking garage complex proved two things: First, that Mercedes can be counted on to build the fastest car but fails to consistently field two; Second, nighttime is meant for sleeping. This, the only nighttime event on the F1 schedule, makes sleeping an attractive option. Despite what F1 announcers sitting in an air conditioned studio in Connecticut may say about really wanting to be there, sitting trackside in 100+ degree heat and high humidity is singularly unappealing. The mere existence of this race is galling when one considers the challenging racetracks in Europe and America that could present real tests to F1 drivers and teams before knowledgeable enthusiasts.

No matter what one thinks of the individuals involved or the media hype surrounding their battle for the Championship, Hamilton/Rosberg is the only battle for the title and race after race it is consistently engaging. When one is missing, particularly in this grey-black catacomb of a track, so is the race.

Tudor United Sportscar Championship logo

Tudor United Sports Car Series: Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is arguably the best, and unquestionably the most modern road course in America.

Yet, again, from the only viewpoint that we represent—the spectators—the races at Virginia International Raceway two weeks ago were far more entertaining. The fast and wide Texas track simply didn’t deliver the door handle to door handle competition we saw at the narrower, twisty VIR. As with F1, it matters not a whit to us whether a particular track is the favorite of every driver. Our goal, which may or may not be shared by drivers, is to enjoy close competition. Period. We will have more details next week on this event and the upcoming finale at Road Atlanta.

Tudor racing Porsche

If you are anywhere near Santa Fe this weekend, make the effort to attend their Concorso and say hello.

Remember, if you enjoyed this, please share with a friend.

Peter Bourassa


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on September 19, 2014 Comments (0)

Singapore GP

A flurry of activity in the motorsports world begins with the F1 Singapore GP, otherwise known as Racing-thru-Garages-and-Over-Bridges-in-the-Dark-While-Singaporians-Sit-in-Bars-and-Watch-it-on-TV GP this weekend.


Number 88

MMR Stalwart supporter and uber racer Tom Papadopoulos of Autosport Designs on Long Island will be driving the #88 Prototype Challenge Car with Johnny Mowlem in the final two races of the Tudor United Sports Car Series. This Sunday’s race is from the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Let’s cheer for our pal.


Our Michael Furman image this week is of a modern Bugatti EB-110 SS.


Santa Fe Concorso

Our images this week were taken at last year’s Santa Fe Corcorso events by Garret Vreeland of Santa Fe. You can see more of his work at gritpix.com.

David Hobbs

David Hobbs of TV commentary fame was in Boston last month for a presentation to the Porsche Club of America NE Region, at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. The organizers were kind enough to invite the MMR Community to join them and over 100 people attended. 

Adrianne Ross, editor of The Nor’Easter Porsche Club magazine interviewed David and it is available here.


Car Shows: An Evolution

The world of car shows has exploded in recent years; this week we take a look at where we are today and what will need to be in place for the ambitious new car shows/concours/concorsos to survive.


News of the World

Bernie beat the bribery rap in Germany by enriching Germany’s coffers by $100,000,000. MMR Ace European Reporter, Oofy Prosser, gives you the inside poop in this week’s issue of The Weekly LeekStreaming the Finest in Pale Yellow Journalism.


New England Events: Northeast Enthusiasts have a double treat coming up.

The Boston Cup

September 20-21: The Boston Cup on the Boston Common

Saturday, September 20th | 7:30 – 10:00AM: Lower Boston Common, Charles and Beacon Streets. Yuppie Racing – Cars & Coffee. Stop by, park your car, and have a coffee.

Sunday, September 21st | 9:00AM – 2:00PM: The Boston Cup The Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common.


IFS Ferrari

October 1-2: IFS of Easton, MA Presents Track Days at Thompson Speedway

Two days of Track Time and one hour Fiat Abarth Enduro. Red, Blue, and Vintage Run groups.

John Tirrell of Independent Ferrari Service (IFS) in Easton, MA, invites drivers interested in attending their two day track event at Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT, on October 1st and 2nd to contact John or Keegan at 508-238-4224.

Have a great weekend and share this with a friend.

Peter Bourassa


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on September 12, 2014 Comments (0)

We have turned the corner on summer and many of our favorite viewing activities are either in the final events in their series or already shutting down for the season.

IndyCar is done. NASCAR begins its 10 race Chase to choose a Champion. The Tudor United Sportscar Championship has two weekends remaining. The finale is a 10 hour Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta on October 4-5.


The Boston Cup

The Car Show season winds up in the Northeast with The Boston Cup event on the Boston Common on September 21st. See you there.


In this issue of The Weekly LeekStreaming the Finest in Pale Yellow Journalism, Professor Prosser has scooped the poop on the latest Papal pronouncement. In the best Rocky & Bullwinkle tradition: Don’t miss the next exciting episode of Lewis Whines a New Title! or Papal Palace Promotes Pals!


Sandy (on Assignment) Cotterman visited the Hershey Concourse and her images and story inform this week’s Newsletter.


Michael Furman’s dramatic image of the Porsche 911 GT1 captures the beauty of the beast.

Michael Furman’s dramatic image of the Porsche 911 GT1 captures the beauty of the beast.


F1

In short, the Tifosi (Ferrari fanatics) were disappointed, again. Mercedes dominated, again. The Nico/Lewis battle for hearts and minds continues and many hopes for the future are pinned on the return of Honda engines. As everyone knows by now, Hamilton won and Rosberg appeared to have given it to him. Conspiracy theories abound.

Mark Hughes of MotorSport magazine credits the win more to a difference in driving styles and car set-ups than to a huge driver error under pressure. The podium ceremony was very interesting (who was that animated interviewer?) as were the post race interviews. Hamilton still has a hill to climb and the next six races will be fun for viewers.

Monza in both its original configuration, which included a high banked oval, and its modern configurations of long straights and fast curves has always advantaged the most powerful cars and the bravest drivers. A list of the talented and experienced drivers who lost their lives at Monza says it all: Ascari, von Trips, Rindt, Peterson, and on motorcycles, Saarinen and Pasolini. All among the very best of their times.

At one point, a portion of the banked oval was part of the course. In its later days, it was quite bumpy; its depiction in the film Grand Prix was quite accurate.

Today’s course, even with the new formula’s dumbed down engines, it is still amazingly fast but its challenge to drivers has changed to a challenge for engineers. Where a strong motor and a brave driver were requisites in the sixties, downforce packages, engine mapping, brake systems, brake balance settings and tire management all come in to play now and the engineer’s role dominates the outcome. That is not to denigrate today’s cars or their drivers. Quite the contrary. The Italian GP was a brilliant example of how different teams, dealing with different technical strengths and weaknesses and driver preferences, managed a fast and complex 90 minute race. An analysis of each car’s technical package would go a long way to explain the driver’s finishing position. It is possible to believe that the Monza results, two Mercedes followed by two Williams and two Red Bulls would be the same if those six driver’s names were put into a hat to choose who would drive which car. Could you seriously question the fact that Vettel, who finished sixth would have finished first, had he been driving a Mercedes?

It has been rumored that Ron Dennis is making the rounds of top talent agents to see if he can convince them that their charges can win the Driver’s Championship in a McLaren-Honda next year or the year after. For those of you unfamiliar, only Mercedes and Ferrari enter their own chassis-engine combo. Most teams design, build and develop their own chassis and purchase engines from either Mercedes or Ferrari or Renault. Each component is equally important and to believe that any team (McLaren) will be stronger next year with the advent of a new Honda engine says that engines are their current problem. The reality is that Mercedes (454 Points) Williams (177 points) McLaren (110 points) and Force India (109 points) all have Mercedes engines. What they don’t have is a Mercedes chassis. On the other hand, Red Bull (272 points) is second in the series and has a Renault engine reputed to be 90 horsepower down on the Mercedes and its own Adrian Newey designed chassis. It shares a Renault engine with the Lotus (8 points) and Caterham (0 points). Red Bull, second in the points is well ahead of the Mercedes powered Williams. It has the second best chassis after the Mercedes team and Williams has the next best chassis after Red Bull. For any driver to jump from Mercedes or Red Bull, or even Williams, to any other F1 team with a currently uncompetitive chassis and an unproven engine would be asking him to make a huge leap of faith. McLaren is a great team with great resources but so is Ferrari and both have a long way to go.

If we were building for the future, Bottas and Magnussen would be an interesting base.

Have a great weekend. Please share this with a friend.

Peter Bourassa


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on September 5, 2014 Comments (0)

Alfas

Jonathan Williams

Labor Day weekend produced a most successful Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park and yet was tinged with sadness as a long time participant was killed in a fatal accident, and Jonathan Williams, gracious and talented MMR contributor passed away in Spain.

We pay tribute to Jonathan and reprise one of our favorite JW pieces.

We thank his long time friend Michael Keyser for his help and additional images. 


In this issue’s The Weekly Leek – The Finest in Pale Yellow Journalism, European Correspondent Oofy Prosser reveals that Unilever, recently announced sponsor of the Ben & Jerry USA F1 Team, will fit right in to the F1 scene.


Michael Furman’s Image is entitled La Lance by Francois Bazin and is from his recently released book, Bespoke Mascots with Nicholas Dawes.

Michael Furman’s Image this week is entitled La Lance by Francois Bazin and is from his recently released book, Bespoke Mascots with Nicholas Dawes. It is Volume Two in the Automotive Jewelry series. We will have a review of it for you in the near future.


The Lime Rock Park images this week are by MMR Editor Dom Miliano and will be featured with many others in a forthcoming MMR gallery. As ever, your patience as we process all this wonderful material is greatly appreciated.

Denise McCluggage informs MMR readers about her family history and the perks automotive publication writers once enjoyed, in her story The Re-Discovery of Tin Cup.


Monza logo

This weekend the F1 saga continues at Monza. Always a temple of drama, the high speed track will bring us another chapter in the Lewis/Nico saga. The freshly reconciled duo have been instructed to race hard and play nice. There will be no team orders. Rosberg’s lead in the driver’s Championship points standing, while considerable, is not insurmountable and with seven races to go, there is much drama ahead.


The Boston Cup

A reminder to circle Sunday, September 21st on your calendar as The Boston Cup, New England’s premier concours event, will take place on the Boston Common. This event is free and a wonderful opportunity to introduce the whole family to a rare slice of automotive history.

Have a great weekend!

Peter Bourassa