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Remember The Alamo: Three Texans Return To Pikes Peak

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It’s that time of year again. The mad-crazy dash to rebuild the wicked race car that’s been sitting in the corner of the shop for about a year or two. At least, it is for Pikes Peak veterans Dave Carapetyan and Brianne Corn; and driving new-comer Yuri Kouznetsov.

For those who need need a refresher, two years ago I crewed for Brianne at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) race for the first time. It was a soul-altering experience in every way, and gave me mesmerizing, but also brutally sobering experience of motorsports when co-driver Yuri and driver Jeremy Foley went off-course and tumbled down ~300 feet of rocks and mountain right before my eyes.

I crewed, again, for Dave Carapetyan in 2012. We ran ourselves hard for a week only to have the turbo piping fail under pressure, losing just about all boost through out the run. Racing is a struggle of man, machine, and nature; and rarely do you get to see such a condensed experience of those three outside of PPIHC. 

So lets get down to the party, and meet the crew of Texans we’ll be following this year. 
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HCOTY Nominee: Whitey, The 1993 Impreza That Started It All

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It’s the same color as crack cocaine. And that is fine, because this addiction is good for you — but it is an addiction you cain’t quit. 

Nearly two years ago, Facebook linked a single ad to my page that changed my life. Off to the right was a link to a page called “Rally Texas.” I found that a rally cross was firing up for its debut race, and the course was 20 minutes from my house. At the time, my 1996 Formula had been hit twice in what were basically parking lot accidents, but three-quarters of the car was about to get repainted on someone else’s dime. I thought, “what the hell, why not?” I shot a simple email to Brianne Corn to check out the track, got my first hit of rally-crack, and here we are two years later. 

What is “Whitey?” What isn’t it? It started life as a benign 1993 Subaru Impreza with a wheezy 1.8 and front-wheel drive. Yes. In the summer of ’09, Brianne converted the little car from FWD to AWD, bolted on a hitch, and trailered her Honda XR600R straight up to the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb for her first race on the mountain

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VIDEO: The Last Of The V8′s, Formula One Edition

Last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix marked the end of an era. Since 2006, Formula One has required the “formula” of a 2.4 Liter, 90-degree V8. Eventually limited to about 18,000 RPM, these engines still scream with a demonic wail on course while spitting out around 750 horsepower. 

As a final farewell, the Redbull and Caterham teams removed the RPM restrictors, and let the motors sing somewhere lost in the 20,000+ RPM range.

I can only describe this as truly, amazingly wicked. You want to make this jump,  trust me.

[Source: Car Throttle and Caterham F1 Team]

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Through Our Eyes: Hooniverse Goes to American LeMans Series & World Endurance Championship at Circuit of the Americas

As I drive up to Circuit of the Americas, I roll my window down about a mile before I get to the track. It’s a cool, rainy morning; a nice break from the Texas heat. By the time I finally start to see the Circuit of the America’s Tower peeking from the horizon, I can already hearing the thundering sounds of the ALMS LMP V8s. The rain parted ways just long enough for me to get to the track with my gear, and catch a ride into the heart of COTA. The thundering gets louder, and it’s not the storm above us. Welcome, to the American LeMans and World Endurance Championship weekend.

[What follows is a photographic odyssey of three lensmen taking in the sights at COTA - Editor's Note]

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How to Enter Your Pro SCCA Road Racing Debut a Week Before the Race

If you know Brianne Corn, you know that nothing ever goes quite as planned or happens on time. Let me recap this last year:

  • The day we left for Pikes Peak, we were all still building the STI’s aero bits at Vorshlag before loading it onto the trailer for the 14 hour drive.
  • For the SCCA Rallycross National Championships last fall, we decided with less than three weeks time to build a ’96 Brighton with a 2010 WRX motor and drivetrain pulled  from her rolled Rally Mexico car. Due to several nutty ECU problems, and other developmental problems we weren’t able to race it in time (But it did drive!). She went on to use a borrowed car to dominate the class by 16.8 seconds.
  • During this spring’s SCCA and Texas Rallysport National Challenge, the same car (now a developed and ass-kicking race car) happened to find the only pipe in the tall grass while being unloaded from the trailer after dark… on the night before the race. The pipe was kicked up by the skid plate and sent through the radiator and bumper beam. With help from her brother, we straightened the frame with a pickup truck and a trailer ramp that night. Thankfully a fellow competitor also gave us his radiator for race day. Brianne went on to dominate the rallycross while simultaneously dominating B-Mod in the SCCA Autocross event on the other side of town. Wins were outright in both events, and she earned Top Time of the Day (TTD).

She has an uncanny ability to make the best of a bum situation and come with winning results. 

So, it was really no surprise that a week before her debut pro SCCA race in the Touring Car class, Brianne got a call from her team owner that the car wasn’t going to make the race. Cams and pistons for the custom MX-5 motor arrived 4-6 weeks late. There wasn’t enough time to develop the car to be competitive and then tow it from Connecticut to Texas.

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V8 Supercars is a Strong Series with a Few New Kid Quirks

After years of waiting, Australia’s V8 Supercars has finally crossed the other pond and introduced their fierce touring car series to the US. After a weekend at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, I’ve had a good taste of the action… but they only teased us.

I don’t want to sound disappointed, because that’s not entirely the case, but I stopped keeping track of how many Australians were apologizing  to me for how “boring” it was. And if you’ve followed any of V8SC’s action and saw this weekend’s race, you may see why. It is to no fault of teams or drivers, they put on a helluva show and on pure style alone laid down some of the most entertaining racing COTA has seen yet. Snarling V8s with shotgun-blast shifting, and no fear of contact or regard for curbs as they flew across COTA on two, and at times even on a single tire trying to grasp the track for grip.

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Build, Race, Crash, Fix, Repeat: The Battle-Torn V8 Supercars [Photos]

I’ll admit it, I have a strange affinity for beat up race cars. Battle dents scars tell stories; some of great triumph and success in adverse situations. Other times, fierce disappointment or travesty as things come to an end. I’ll tease y’all with some beat up, taped up V8 Supercars. 

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V8 Supercars Austin 400 Schedule Announced

We’re about a week away from the Austin 400, Australian V8 Supercar’s US debut race. Along with fender-into-fender racing, they bring a full weekend of racing with heats on both Saturday and Sunday. On top of that, V8SC will run the Circuit of the Americas short course, eliminating the back straight from the track. Say what you will, but the short course really does house some of the best and trickiest corners on the track, and keeps the race pack passing the fans more often.

Along with V8SC, our Pike’s Peak racing friend of Hooniverse, Brianne Corn, will be running her Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car debut in the No. 83 Hale Motorsports Mazda MX-5 for the support series leading up to the V8SC races. 

Schedule after the jump.

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Lord Baby Jesus Does Exist, and He Has Given Us the Chevrolet “LS12″


Dear Eight Pound, Six Ounce, Newborn Baby Jesus, don’t even know a word yet, just a little infant, so cuddly, but still omnipotent. We just thank you for all LS-powered V8 swaps you have brought us, but this right here is a second coming of greatness. 

Introduction video after the jump.

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