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Rear View Mirror 3-13-17

John Schommer
Monday, March 13, 2017


So yeah, it rains a lot in the Seattle area. In fact, it might be the one thing the world knows Seattle for; well rain and hopefully music. Seriously though, we have had enough rain to ensure the reservoirs are full and then some. This Saturday was my first track day in my 911, and it was raining (of course). No matter though, I adapted to the grip levels and learned a lot. My favorite thing I learned? I’m fast and my car is well-suited for me.


There were some other guys from Turn 10 out there as well and we all had a really good time. Here are a few shots of our cars, below. You can check out the album I posted on the Johniwanna Facebook page for some more shots of the other cars in attendance.



There was real racing going on around the world and car shows too, so let’s get on with this edition of Rear View Mirror.


Indycar Grand Prix of St. Petersberg

Statistics and strategy paid off for Sebastien Bourdais in St. Petersberg. Conveniently, St. Pete’s is also where he lives, effectively making this his hometown race. After crashing during Saturday’s qualifying session, Bourdais started the race at the end of the pack in 21st. This was his first race back with his old team Dale Coyne Racing and being able to turn Saturday’s failure into a victory was the perfect combination of luck and skill.


Bourdais’ team had chosen to pit on the early side of the pit window; they knew they had about a 30 percent chance of catching a caution at the right time. Then on lap 37 Mikhail Aleshin bumped into Tony Kanaan leaving some debris on the track. In the spur of the moment, IndyCar Race Control called a full-course caution. When Bourdais emerged he was in second place.


While Bourdais was elated and made the best of it with a car that was performing well, James Hinchliffe, who was leading when that caution came out, summed up the rest of his race by saying, “That pretty much put us in the toilet right there.” He went on to discuss the full-course caution call with race officials after the finish. Potential rule changes could avoid such a shuffle that heavily impacted drivers through no fault of their own.


It’s likely that Bourdais and Dale Coyne Racing were pretty happy with the result. Fellow Frenchman Simon Pagenaud traded the lead with Bourdais but settled for second. Scott Dixon was shuffled down the grid by the same caution but managed to work his way back to third place by the final 110th lap.



WRC Rally de Mexico

So far there have been three rallies with three different winners from three different manufacturers. That’s a far cry from the last couple years of Volkswagen and Sebastien Ogier’s dominance. Quickly recapping, Ogier in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta won the opening rally in Monte Carlo, Jari-Matti Latvala in the new Microsoft Toyota Yaris won in Sweden, and now Kris Meeke in the Abu-Dhabi Citroën took the Rally Guanajuato México.



Nothing was decided in this rally until the end when Meeke finished the final stage. The Citroën driver had a 37-second lead to work with, giving a fair gap between his car and Ogier’s. Then, an unexpected off dropped Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle into a festival area full of fans and cars. Meeke was apparently disoriented and slung dirt around as he weaved among parked vehicles looking for the road and a parting in the hedge back to the stage.


In the end, Meeke would squeak by with the victory, Ogier took second, Thierry Neuville and his Hyundai i20 came in 39.6 seconds later. Delays caused by a blocked fuel filter cost Neuville dearly.


This video shows Meeke’s off and subsequent running around:



NASCAR Las Vegas

It may seem unlikely but Brad Keselowski is in the points lead, even after finishing fifth in Las Vegas. Consistency has paid off for Keselowski, and the new stage-based point system paid off for race winner Martin Truex Jr., who is the first driver to win all three stages in the new system. That puts Truex Jr. on the board with the most playoff points but currently in fourth place. This is confusing to me, but I know we have a long way to go for it to start making sense.


During the race, Keselowski started out strong, leading much of the first stage (65 of 80 laps), and challenging Truex Jr. near the end of the race before something in the #4 gave in and he slipped back to fifth. Kyle Larsen and Chase Elliot followed Truex Jr. at the finish and sit just above him in the points.


As Keselowski slipped back, Joey Logano got into Kyle Busch and Busch slid hard into pit road on the final lap. Busch fell back to 22nd and instigated a pit-road altercation that left Busch with a highly publicized bleeding forehead. Despite Busch’s emotions obviously running high, a look at the replay doesn’t show anything more than aggressive driving at play on Logano’s part. But that’s NASCAR for you.



PNW Springmeet XXX Root Beer Spring Fling

There was rain here too, but that didn’t prevent a good showing of VWs both air-cooled and water-cooled at the Sunday car show. The incredible 1962 VW Bus we featured in Heavy Metal Affliction was there. It was the third time it had ever been driven in the rain since being restored.


We were going to drive “Orange Krush” – my 1974 VW Bug – but I realized at the last minute the fan belt was out of whack. Then, we were going to drive the “Yellow Submarine” – my 1982 VW Camper – but the battery was dead. So we drove my 1980 Ford Fiesta (“Old Man Tan”). Ok, he’s not a VW, but he is a German Ford at least.



There is also an album of photos on my Facebook page from the Spring Fling if you care to take a deeper dive.


London Classic Car Show

The London Classic Car Show (LCCS) was held this week and our own Dzero4 from the Forza community got a chance to visit the awesome cars on hand. Here’s his report from the show.


“As you walk in the LCCS you are greeted by the unmistakable smell of oil, leather, and gasoline, and you know you're in petrol head paradise. Countless Aston Martin's, Lamborghini's, Chevrolets, and even the first-ever Ferrari 250 GTO to race (now valued at $49 million) are on hand. You can’t miss the 'Grand Avenue,' which is a road running through the event where cars parade through, sorted by body style. There were the greatest coupe's, shooting brakes, race cars, and others. Occasionally, a driver would rev their motor, filling the place with the most amazing sounds.


“I could probably go on for hours about this event. We walked around for about six hours and hadn't even covered half the show. It left us rushing through the latter half much faster than we wanted to.”


Check out the video Dzero4 made below or scope the photos he took on his Flickr.



Catch me tomorrow on the Tuesday Stream with Johniwanna on Beam and Twitch. We will continue to explore the awesomeness that is the Duracell Car Pack and Tamo Racemo. There will be adventures in sending love letters in Rivals and possibly begin hunt down those elusive bonus signs and danger points as a group. I hope to see you there.