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Blazing through Baja
Testing the new BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tire

Jeff Glucker October 23, 2014 Featured, Reviews

BFGoodrich KO2 Lede

The names covering the walls clue me in to the fact that I’m somewhere special. My off-road naivety has me in the dark as to the placement of the actual dot on map that is my location. Still, the names… I recognize them. Walker Evans, Parnelli Jones, Rod Hall, and many other names can be seen scattered on the walls, the ceiling, pretty much everywhere inside this bar. The bar is a part of a larger facility known as Mike’s Sky Ranch, and if you’re a fan of off-road racing then I’ve arrived at your Mecca.

The day started in Ensenda, Mexico, which is a beach town situated on the Baja Peninsula. It’s also the starting point for the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 off-road races. For me, it’s the starting point of a trip designed to show me about a new tire; the BFGoodrich KO2. It’s a journey that will show me how tough the tire is, but also give me a bit of insight into how amazing and wild the world of off-road racing can be.

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Podcast: Episode 80 – Diesel Driving Death March

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Myself and Blake Z. Rong head into the Podcast Business Office to prattle on about cars. The main topic of the evening is Rong’s recent participation in the Audi A3 TDI Mileage Challenge. He was tasked with driving from Albuquerque, New Mexico to San Diego… on one tank of diesel fuel. That’s 824 miles of driving required. That’s damn near impossible, but two teams managed to pull it off.

From there the talk moves to the recent Motor Press Guild Track Day event, where I got seat time in a variety of vehicles out at Willow Springs.

Click on past the break to listen up…

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Dodge Viper: More charm needed for this snake?

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The Dodge Viper returned to the world in 2013 and everyone… kind of went, huh. That’s a bit of a surprise considering the styling is excellent, the V10 makes amazing noise, and the performance capability of the car is higher than that of most drivers that will climb behind the wheel.

Still, it’s priced a bit high in its 2013 and 2014 model years, and the sales are sluggish. Dodge has decided to fix that for 2015 with a massive price drop and a minor power bump.

We’re curious what would make the car sales figures so flat though, as this seems like something that fans of the well-to-do fans of the brand would be snapping up. Is it simply a matter of a car being priced too high?

Pretty much… yes.

[Disclaimer: Dodge loaned us the Viper for a few days, and included a tank of gas. I believe I used one tank for each day I drove the car... worth it.]

2014 MPG Track Day: Driving Impressions

Occasionally, we here at Hooniverse have the privilege of access to some fantastic automobiles. Any time where I am invited to attend an actual track day, and when my real job wife will let me dedicate the time to go, I am all for it. Being the new member to the Hooniverse team, this was my first major event so I was walking around in a giddy fashion when I saw the list of offerings that were to be given to us.

I packed up my gear and headed from San Diego to Willow Springs Raceway to meet up with Jeff and Rob for this years MPG Track Day. Driving just about everything that was available to us, I will give you my quick impressions of a few of the good and bad about some of the vehicles in attendance.

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Quick Spin- 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

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This past week a number of your humble hosts attended the Motor Press Guild’s 2014 Track Days event, where we got to wrap our hands around the wheels of some of the coolest cars debuting at the moment. One of the most sought-after rides – one that literally had a waiting list to drive – was the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C, the car that relaunches the venerated Italian brand here in the U.S..

I managed to get on that list and take the car out on the track at the Streets of Willow and I’m now back, with a crazy grin still stuck on my face, to tell you what it was like. … Continue Reading

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

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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)

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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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Podcast: Episode 79 – A regular podcast

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I’m once again joined by my podcast partner in audio crime. Blake Z Rong has returned from doing famous automotive journalist activities so we have lots to chat about. Additionally, we fall back into the old format of starting with a bit of new car news before digressing into, well, basic insanity.

Hop the break and let your ears explore the space…

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Under The Hood Episode 2: Speed Academy Preps a Scion for Targa Newfoundland

Tim Odell October 14, 2014 All Things Hoon, Featured

Following on after Valvoline’s visit to my driveway, they rolled up to Speed Academy to watch Peter Tarach and Dave Pratte work on the Scion FRS they’re prepping for Targa Newfoundland. Just keeping an eye on the background shows you these guys have great taste in projects. Checking out their site tells me they get more done in a week than I do in a year of wrenching. Though something about day jobs and shops and skills and having assistants over the age of five might contribute to that. Nevertheless, these guys also clearly “get it” with the satisfaction that comes from pouring work into a car to see it transformed to something new. Anyway, check out the video or pay them a visit.

BMW i3 and i3 Range Extender: Existential Review

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Have you ever wondered how arts reviewers manage to get away with saying what they do? Every time I pick up one of the London newspapers I spend time reviewing the reviews section, purely because I’m fascinated by opinion. What on Earth gives a person, particularly a non-artist, the right to judge on “how good” a new art installation, performance or recording is? Who’s to say that one idea is any more valid than another?

Of course, cars are a lot less subjective than art. For anybody who has ever taken an interest in driving it should be painfully obvious when a car fails, wholly or in part, to do its job competently. Or indeed when it excels. But sometimes the line between car and art becomes blurred. The BMW i3 has come along and established itself in a hitherto unoccupied slot in the vehicle-roadspace continuum. It’s a new idea, and I found it kind of tricky to get my head around.

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