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Rear View Mirror 11-13-17

John Schommer
Monday, November 13, 2017


Welcome to this edition of Rear View Mirror, where every Monday you can always find the latest racing highlights and commentary on what is going on in the racing world.


Now, let’s take a look at who won, who didn’t, and how it all went down.


NASCAR Phoenix

There was a lot of disappointment for fans on both ends of the NASCAR spectrum and without a doubt some excitement too. Fans of youngster Chase Elliot saw his hopes fly away, as Matt Kenseth overtook him with just nine laps left. Elliot needed the win to make the final four. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who also needed a win to stay in contention, fell out when his right front tire blew out and sent him into the wall and back to the garage for a 39th place finish.


Kenseth has had a 51-race losing streak, and doesn’t even have a seat for next year as he will be replaced by Erik Jones. While congratulations are in order and the win is deserved, it is hard to not think of Kenseth as a spoiler, but that’s racing right? After a mediocre 16th place finish at Phoenix, Brad Keselowski captured that coveted fourth seat at the final four table when the series finale embarks at Homestead. He joins Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick.


To Elliot’s credit, he did get some sweet payback on Denny Hamlin as well as second place at Phoenix. “I’m happy to race guys how they choose to race me, and that’s the way I see it,” Elliot said. Hamlin put Elliot into the wall a few weeks back in Martinsville that prevented a possible victory for Elliot. Hamlin had led 193 laps at Phoenix, before a slight nudge from Elliot changed his race for the worse.


You can watch that incident below.



Formula One Brazil

Even the greats make mistakes. This was proven by the unstoppable champion Lewis Hamilton when he crashed in the first qualification session at Turn 6 in Brazil. After starting the race from pit-lane, Hamilton obviously had something to prove. And surely he wanted to close the door of opportunity for Sebastian Vettel if at all possible. Prove it he did as Hamilton and his W08 slithered through the field, decimating all until he got to third place Kimi Raikkonen.


The Finnish Ferrari driver was able, with much effort, to hold off Hamilton and allow a Ferrari double-podium. Vettel was first by 2.7 seconds ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. However, even though Hamilton’s tires had given up the fight, had this been a 72-lap race rather that a 71-lap race, it’s likely we would be looking at another Mercedes double-podium.



FIA World Rallycross Championship – South Africa

The 2017 FIA World RallyCross Championship came to a fantastic close with the final at the first-ever South African event. With all 12 rounds now wrapped up, a new champion, Johan Kristofferson was crowned after a season of impressive performance. Kristofferson made it to 11 of 12 finals and won a tremendous seven of the 12 events.


When you consider the field of drivers racing on these mixed surface courses in Rallycross supercars, the feat is that much more amazing. WRC greats like Sebastien Loeb, Petter Solberg and Toomas Heikkinen are set against road-racing legends like Mattias Ekstrom – who took second in the championship. Stunt driving icon Ken Block competed for his first full season this year and, despite strong efforts, placed ninth at the end of the year. (Thanks to the guys at Hoonigan for the super cool photos of Block doing his thing on track!)



24 Hour Endurance – COTA

With nine classes of both professional and amateur race drivers competing in a field of 41 cars – ranging from Honda Civics to the latest Porsche 911 GT3s – over 24 hours, you know there is going to be a lot of action. The final round of the Championship of the Continents series took place at Circuit of the Americas. It was the first time the series has raced here.


Over the course of the season and its European Championship, the 24-Hour Endurance series has hit Dubai, Spa, Silverstone, Imola and more. The list of drivers is deep, and borrows from many racing disciplines. Winning in Texas after completing 609 laps after 24 Hours was the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R driven by Danial Alleman, Ralf Bohn, and brothers Robert and Alfred Renauer.


You can watch the majority of the race if you have the time in these two clips.


Part 1



Part 2



Cars with the Coolest Names

It’s hard to argue that the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante is not one of the coolest car names ever. It was cool enough for James Bond’s nemesis in Thunderball, Emilio Largo, to name his luxury hydrofoil after it. That beautiful Italian masterpiece – the car, not the boat – is just one of the cars Road & Track fans suggest as the coolest car names ever.


Based on a post that discussed how cool the GMC Typhoon name was fans came up with this list of 35 cars, new and old that they thought was cool. Spoiler alert, the GMC Typhoon didn’t make the list. I can’t decide whether the post with all the suggestions or the actual results is more interesting. You may not have even heard of the Oldsmobile Jetfire and it’s pretty obvious why the Dodge Dart Swinger didn’t make the list, but it’s a fun exercise.




Come take a drive with me tomorrow starting at 1 p.m. Pacific on Mixer and Twitch. In addition to proving just how awesome a drifter I am becoming – alright maybe “awesome” is a pretty strong word for my growing slideways skills – we will tour some new events in #Forza7.


If you watched Mechberg on #ForzaFriday you may have already seen the new #Forzathon events in Forza 7, plus new Rivals (Dan Greenawalt Bounty Hunter), and new Hoppers. Some of you have probably already set some times. Well, tomorrow is my chance, and you can bet that I am going to impress. Again, I may have gone too far, but it will be a good time, that at least I can guarantee.


Thanks to Red Bull Media for the Formula One photo and the FIA World RX group photo.