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Rear View Mirror 7/23/12

John Schommer
Monday, July 23, 2012

What a week it was in racing: Formula One, IndyCar, the American Le Mans Series, Formula Drift in Seattle, and your weekly installment of what’s happening in the world of Forza. This is a look back on the weekend that was, and we call it Rear View Mirror.


Formula Drift—Throwdown—Round 5 Evergreen Speedway, Monroe, WA 

Man, there is nothing like a day at the races to get your automotive fix. I spent Saturday at Evergreen Speedway checking out the Formula Drift Throwdown event. The drift racing competition was wicked-awesome, the scene was spectacular, the ladies were in abundance and my media access pass had me checking out every aspect of the event. There were the pits, both pro and amateur, a huge vending area that included all the biggest names in tires and performance, the stands, which were packed to capacity, and a huge StanceWars-like car show.


All day I was roaming from one end of the Speedway to the other in the hot summer sun, capturing as many moments as I could and schmoozing with the crowd and proprietors. I even got my photo taken with drifting legend Daigo Saito. There was certainly enough excitement to fill an entire Rear View Mirror. But alas, it was a busy week in racing in all its glorious forms, and that’s a good thing. The pictures I took try and convey the essence of the event, I hope they make you feel like you were there.


By the end of Saturday it was Vaughn Gitten in the Monster Energy/Falken Tire Ford Mustang who took his second consecutive victory and the lead in the Pro Championship Points Standings. Second place was hard fought and won by RyanTuerck in the Team Retaks Nissan 240SX. Third place went to Rhys Millen in the Hankook/Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Genesis Coupe.


I took home a burnt up, entirely spent Hankook drift racing tire that I believe was from one of Rhys Millen’s preliminary runs. I hiked that thing all the way across the fairgrounds. Free used tires were in abundance. Mine is in my garage now as a trophy of my participation in the event. What fun!


Here is a link to some personal photos of the event.


Here is a stream of much of Saturday’s competition.




American Le Mans Series—Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport 

After a late race caution, the pack bunched up, this made for close competition in P2 and GT. In P2 Conquest Endurance and their Nissan powered Morgan did a valiant job of fending off Level 5 Motorsports to take the win. It was a tight battle with every turn another opportunity and every bit of slower traffic providing a chance to challenge for the lead.


In GT, the already close battle between the Flying Lizard Porsche, Corvette Racing, and the Extreme Speed Motorsports Patron Ferrari became literally nose to tail. The racing was fierce, the Porsche hugging every corner exit, pulling ahead slightly, only to lose the advantage gained at every corner entrance due to the #3 Corvette’s superior braking. All the while Johannes van Overbeek, competing in his 100th ALMS race, lurked at the ready to pull the trigger on the Ferrari’s well-balanced power and grip. On the final lap with only a few turns left, Jan Magnussen tried to make his move on Flying Lizard, which left the door slightly open and van Overbeek forced his way into second, trading paint and gently nudging the Corvette aside.


This video covers the final portion of the race including the pass I describe and the battle in P2. Have a look for yourself.




In P1 it was Muscle Milk all day, even after suffering a time penalty. The team was just unstoppable and the Dyson Racing Mazda’s merely chased their ghost.


For full coverage of all five class winner’s check out the ALMS site.


Formula One Hockenheim 

Despite a chaotic start in which Felipe Massa’s car’s nose was destroyed, littering the first turn with debris which sliced some tires and made a huge mess, the 67 laps at the Hockenheim ring were full of clean racing, until the end at least.


Ferrari and Fernando Alonso owned the lead and the win making Alonso the first three time winner of 2012, despite being under constant pressure. Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel dueled for second and Vettel snuck into second with only a lap left. Afterwards Vettel was assessed a time penalty that put him in fifth for leaving the track to gain an advantage. Button got bumped to second and Kimi Raikkonen joined the podium. Button’s team also set a new world record for shortest four wheel change pit stop.


Check out this video capturing the speed and precision of Jenson Button’s pit crew.




IndyCar—Edmonton Indy 

An animated and ecstatic Helio Castroneves took a long-sought-after win in Edmonton at the airport-based track, edging out Takuma Sato by less than a second. Sato was followed by Penske team mate Will Power in third.


Canadian Alex Tagliani held the lead for 49 laps but ended up fifth. Will Power fought his way from 17th after incurring a ten-spot grid penalty for upgrading their motor to the latest Chevy Spec. It seems Will Power likes to fight his way through the pack anyway, so why not run with the latest upgrades?


The 75-lap race was caution free, which hasn’t happened in an IndyCar street/road race since 2007 in Portland.



It’s a rare week that there isn’t a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, but the world of NASCAR is its own soap opera with drama and national headlines so here are a couple tidbits to get the NASCAR fans through the week.


The U.S. House of Representatives voted down a bill that would have banned the spending of U.S. tax dollars on sponsoring race teams such as the National Guard #88 driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Read the full story here. Give me your opinion on this in the RVM thread: Should taxpayer dollars be spent on NASCAR sponsorships and the like?


AJ Allmendinger will have his “B” sample tested after testing positive in a random drug test June 29. He is sending his own toxicologist to the test. His initial sample tested positive for “a stimulant.” The likelihood of the “B” sample testing differently is statistically minimal. What do you folks think of this? Should Allmendinger just sit back and take his punishment? Is this all a waste of resources? Talk about it in the RVMthread.


Featured Club--4zCC Forza Community Club 

This week’s featured club personifies the love of Forza and was created with only the purest of goals. Crazeeangel presented his club to RVM and the leader of the club, C4nnon Fodder, sums it up nicely:


"On starting to play Forza motorsport 4 I was enthralled by the idea of creating a club so me and my freinds could hang out and share cars and ideas within the club garage. Then it occured to me that this kind of idea opened up all kinds of avenues within the game and community that we enjoy so much. I wanted to create a club where people could gather from all walks of life and culture and share their love, not only for vehicles but also for art, tuning, technology, competitions etc. but still something was missing in the idea. Then it hit me like a sledgehammer, we needed to not only share this enthusiasm with all the club members but to try spread the club out into the community of letting people from the community into our club to share their ideas and enthusiasm too. The name was the easiest part of the process and a no brainer of The Forza Community Club"


Here is a link to their thread in the Clubhouse.Check ‘em out!


Would you like to see your club featured in Rear View Mirror? Post about them in the RVM thread.


Community Bounty Madness—Fuelish Fred Drives the Leaderboards Wild 

The hullabaloo that phREDESIGN’s return to the Community Bounty has created has reached epic levels of excitement and, in some cases, frustration. It has also logged more play time than any community bounty on record.


In addition to the hunt for unicorn rewards, the desire to see Fred wearing a luchador mask and the gear of his hated Boston Red Sox has raised the roof with clamoring Forza fanatics everywhere. But Fred says, “It ain’t gonna happen, I made sure of that, and my hands are still sore!”


Fred is a painter, but the boy can drive, laying down an all-up respectable time in the 1:05 range and keeping him around the top 1,000 mark of the approximately 40,000 participants. Fred needed to be pushed outside of 5,000 on the leaderboard to face the punishment. His community bounty ends tomorrow at 8 a.m., which is your last chance to get your time in. Check out the mega-thread for more.


MoshPanda’s Drift event and Gymkhana video 

Formula Drift had me all caught up in the drift scene of the real world, but drifting in the world of Forza goes on every day. themoshpanda, called out a Forza 4 drift tournament put on by SCS Spitsy NL that is going on right now. Check out their thread for the standings. Mosh is in the top 16.


Here is a video he made that sports some of his drifting skills. Pretty sick stuff!




Motoring Unlimited Open House 

Follow the right things on Facebook and you just might get invited to incredible events. Such was the case this last Friday when I attended an open house at Motoring Unlimited as they revealed their latest project, a Mercedes Benz CLK 6.3 Black Series Time Attack car.


They also care for some ultimate cars. Look for them as a future Heavy Metal Affliction story and thanks to Motoring Unlimited for inviting me to their debut of this quarter-million dollar track car. Check out the photos featured above to get a glimpse and post your thoughts on this infinitely awesome car in the RVM thread.


Stance Wars Video 

For those of you that dug our Heavy Metal Affliction feature on Stance Wars 2012, or if you’re in the custom rides and hip car culture, the folks that brought us Stance Wars have published a video that summarizes the event to some fresh beats and thumpin’ bass. 

Stancewars 2012 from MKippen Photography on Vimeo.


My new sig by Seps1974 

Check out my new sig, created by community member Seps1974. I feel like I have truly stepped into the realm of forum manhood, so lookout for me now! Thanks Seps!




What are they thinking? 

The first time I heard this ad, I wasn’t sure it was plugging a male enhancement product or the shakeweight and I’m still confused. Are they serious with this campaign title or am I just a childish male who needs to mature?


See for yourself and let me know what you think? Post in the RVM thread.