Motorsports Weekend Guide: October 31 to November 2

Eric Rood October 30, 2014 Motorsports


Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend.

  •  Formula One’s U.S. date

  •  NASCAR and NHRA “playoff” weekends

  •  The big-buck sports car racers in Shanghai

  •  A ChumpCar tripleheader

  •  More exciting racing, quite a bit of it televised in the U.S.!

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Drone’s eye view of the Rally America: The future of rally coverage?

Eric Rood October 29, 2014 Motorsports


One of the big problems with performance stage rally has always been that there’s seldom a good way to cover it in a meaningful way for motorsports fans. The races take place on long stages off in the woods and recent fatalities and terrifying near-misses in stage rally have (rightly) relegated  most rally fans who head out to the stages to a few designated spectator areas. Sure, the World Rally Championship flips some serious coin to rent a helicopter for its rallies to give some kind of exterior race footage mixed with onboards, but they can’t keep track of an entire 30-kilometer stage with dozens of competitors strung along it.

But, it seems, Dragonfly Photo has developed an interesting solution: Drones. Mount a high-definition camera to a drone, add someone who knows how to maneuver it a bit, and you suddenly have incredible potential. Imagine what the WRC could do with four or five drones hanging over a rally stage, mixed with a couple of static cameras sending back to a central broadcasting hub. It could be a gateway for live rally broadcast (instead of the weeks-delayed highlights package usually seen), drone laws notwithstanding. Is it possible? Maybe. Will it happen? Don’t bet on it anytime soon.

But stage rally would be a lot cooler if it did.[Follow the jump for Dragonfly's videos from Rally America's Ojibwe Forests and Lake Superior Performance rallies; turn the sound on the video off if you're not way into dubstep, though.]

[Source: Carlton McMillan/Dragonfly Photo on YouTube]

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Halloween Hooptiefest’ preview

Eric Rood October 23, 2014 All Things Hoon


The 24 Hours of LeMons is a strange thing and, from what I can tell, New Hampshire is a strange place. When the local matriculating population aren’t rioting at small-town gourd festivals for wicked kicks, they’re talking incessantly about the weather (and linguistic) curiosity known as a Nor’easter*. ” Anyway, LeMons is headed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend in a dream pairing of strange things and places for “Halloween Hooptiefest,” an annual tradition on the LeMons calendar with ghastly heaps, Halloween-themed post-race activities, and maybe even some crapcan racing.

The Northeaster should be cleared away in time Saturday’s green flag, probably leaving a soaked paddock but the circuit’s “roval” course—the only such kind of track left on LeMons’ schedule—dry by the time racing begins. As usual, then, the misery should be concentrated in the paddock. Follow the jump to see who has and hasn’t a chance as Hooniverse previews yet another 24 Hours of LeMons race. Or see the unofficial entry list here if you’re not one of them readin’ types.

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: October 24 to October 26

Eric Rood October 23, 2014 Motorsports



Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. The racing season is starting to slow at last with fewer big races each weekend, although the ones left tend to be one of the final couple rounds and therefore immensely important for drivers and teams seeking championships. This weekend is a good one with the Endurance Cup finale down under and a bit of something for everyone.

  • V8 Supercars on Australia’s Gold Coast

  • Two different FIA rally series running in Europe

  • MotoGP winding down its season

  • BOSS GP being a boss grand prix

  • Some other neat-o stuff

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Racer pulls fellow driver from overturned sprint car

Eric Rood October 22, 2014 Motorsports


Earlier this year, Hooniverse took a peek into the world California’s dirt-oval circuit at the King of the West Series race at Calistoga Speedway with the winged 410 sprint cars. Among those we mentioned were some big names in the tight-knit community: the young phenom Rico Abreu, the deeply rooted Kaeding family (whose long-running California shop builds and services some of Abreu’s cars), and veteran racer Jonathan Allard. Last weekend’s Trophy Cup Sprints at the third-mile clay oval at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California, showed the series at its best and the moment came not from the racing, but from a truly remarkable fraternal racing act.

Shortly after a mid-race restart, Tim Kaeding’s sprint car overturned and flames flashed menacingly; methanol flames are frequently invisible. Rico Abreu—who had started behind Kaeding—was tangled in the crash but stayed upright. As soon as he’d come to a stop, Abreu leapt from his own car to free Kaeding from his racing harness. Allard arrived shortly after as Kaeding rolled onto the dirt to extinguish any potential flames. It’s an incredible sight, captured from two different videos (seen after the jump) and a testament to how racing drivers look after each other. It’s nothing short of heroic.

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24 Hours of LeMons LIVEBLOG: ‘Where the Elite Meet to Cheat’ (Sunday)


Welcome to Day Two of 24 Hours of LeMons’ “Where the Elite Meet to Cheat” at Gingerman Raceway in Southwest MIchigan. Today’s finale of the race begins as soon after the mandatory quiet time ends, which is noon. Engines should fire up then and, after a lap or two to check transponders, racing will begin as soon as possible and run until the 5:30 p.m. checkered flag. If you want to get caught up, read yesterday’s liveblog transcript and then read my weekend preview to see how far off-base I’ve been. You may also find the unofficial entry list and live timing from Specialty Timing handy if you’re following along today. I’m already set up in the Penalty Box’s heavenly confines and ready to bring you, dear Hooniverse reader, the rust-encrusted drama of the 24 Hours of LeMons as it unfolds today.

Want to follow along or ask questions? Leave a comment down below and I’ll try to get back to you as much as I can. Follow the jump for updates and know that this post will be updated frequently throughout the day (race circuit Internet deities permitting) with the newest updates at the post’s bottom.

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24 Hours of LeMons LIVEBLOG: ‘Where the Elite Meet to Cheat’ (Saturday)


Good morning and happy Alaska Day, Hooniverse readers and crapcan enthusiasts. I am live today from the 24 Hours of LeMons Penalty Box at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan, which is hosting the “Where the Elite Meet to Cheat” race. I’ll be posting live updates throughout the weekend with photos and text coming over the following 14-1/2 hours of racing between today and tomorrow. I’ll be doing this all while meting out punishment for poor driving to teams that accrue black flags.

Today’s race begins officially at 9:30 a.m. local time (Eastern time) and ends at 6:30 p.m., making this a long nine-hour endurance test for the race’s first day. Want the low-down on who’s racing? Read my weekend preview that, while perhaps short on the details, should give a feeling for the teams and drivers involved. Or you can just see the entire unofficial entry list here. If you’re still interested, you can follow live timing over on Specialty Timing’s website. If you’re reading this, then I’m already trackside and getting ready for the green flag. Want to follow along or ask questions? Leave a comment down below and I’ll try to get back to you as much as I can. Follow the jump for updates and know that this post will be updated frequently throughout the day (race circuit Internet deities permitting) with the newest updates at the post’s bottom.

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24 Hours of LeMons Year-End Tent Sale Event Blowout!


[Disclaimer: Neither Hooniverse nor the 24 Hours of LeMons is selling these cars. They are being sold by private owners. It's only a headline.] 

Autumn brings about many changes in the year, but perhaps the most important change is that 24 Hours of LeMons teams turn over a new leaf, shedding their cars just as automotive writers toss out so many overwrought story ledes. Yes, the end of a racing season finds LeMons teams moving up, moving on, or sometimes just plain moving, leaving the budding crapcanista to benefit with a reasonably priced, already-built racecar. Of course, “reasonably priced” means different things to different people, but the general agreement among racers is that building a first car with all the required safety equipment requires an investment of at least $3,500. Consequently, a used-hooptie price usually reflects that builder’s investment.

I’m not nearly the used crapcan salesman that Spank Worthington is, but follow the jump for a list of tremendous LeMons cars up for sale right now for you to buy with American (or Canadian, in some cases) dollars to take racing. Or you could just look at them, I guess. Or park them in your yard to drive down property values. Whatever.

It’s time to clear these owners’ lots for next year’s models, so follow the jump to find the crapcan that fills your needs and Save, Save, Save!

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: October 17 to October 19

Eric Rood October 16, 2014 Motorsports


Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. One of the great historic races begins its week-long run to the American border tomorrow while several series wrap up their seasons. Some have already crowned champions and some titles hang in the balance, waiting for the drivers to determine their fates. Read about these and more after the jump:

  • The long Pan-American Road Race

  • No fewer than five season finales

  • Five different crapcan races

  • The least-surprising 2014 champion beginning a three-race victory lap

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Where the Elite Meet to Cheat’ preview

Eric Rood October 14, 2014 All Things Hoon


The 24 Hours of LeMons wraps up its season in the Midwest this weekend with the third and final race in the region at Gingerman Raceway near South Haven, Michigan. Both previous Midwest races have been won outright by teams based outside the region (Maryland’s Speedycop at Gingerman in April and Houston’s Back to the Past at Autobahn in July) so will another marauding band of crapcan crusaders sweep the region at “Where the Elite Meet to Cheat?”

Races at Gingerman tend to be unique among LeMons races for a few reasons. Scheduling conflicts with a neighboring church means no racing before noon Sunday, so Saturday’s race session makes up a good chunk of that time, clocking 9-1/2 hours. That long session time combined with the track’s technical circuit with lots of hard right-hand turns means that brakes and tires—particularly front-left tires—can be mostly used up before Sunday even begins. In case that’s not challenging enough, poor weather often rears its ugly head at Gingerman, where snow has fallen on two race weekends.

At this race, this humble LeMons correspondent will sit on the LeMons Supreme Court for the eighth time and while I’m currently unsure if I’ll be liveblogging as I have in the past, I should be providing some kind of coverage throughout the weekend for Hooniverse. So be sure to check back for that. And be sure to follow the jump where I preview every single car registered for the race (or you can just get that list here).

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