Category Archives: Motorsport

Presenting a selection from the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Boston visiting my cousin and her husband.  While I was up there, I revisited the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline just outside of town.  I hadn’t been there in more than 4 years, so I was excited to come back and see what had changed.  Here is a selection of what was at the museum at the time I was there, including a 1953 Corvette, a prewar Bugatti four-door cabriolet in beautiful shape, a Mercer runabout, a selection of classic racers from the 50s and 60s, and a pristine Corvette Stingray in the back room.  The museum has a smorgasbord of prewar cars on display both upstairs and in the family’s personal collection, located in the basement.  This is definitely a great place to go if you like smaller car museums with an eclectic and ever-changing display set.  Enjoy the photos. Continue reading Presenting a selection from the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA.

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In truth, I find racing boring these days….

Sebastian Vettel in Formula One
Sebastian Vettel in Formula One. Image courtesy of http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/

I have been asked more than a few times why there isn’t more motorsport coverage on Mind Over Motor. The title says it all. I think racing in our modern era pales in comparison to racing of old. Every single genre of auto racing, from Formula One to LeMans to Rally to NASCAR has been totally watered down over the years, and it has gotten to the point where it has not only lost the excitement, but also any semblance of relevancy to people in the real world.

Continue reading In truth, I find racing boring these days….

Alfa Romeos from the paddock at Laguna Seca

Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Race Car

There were a number of truly righteous Alfa Romeos occupying the paddock at Laguna Seca during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this year. When it comes to vintage cars, Alfas are definitely among my personal favorite. They are some of the sexiest machines around, and back in the day, Alfa Romeo was a serious racing contender… before all of this Fiat Group hierarchy, everyone bow down to Ferrari, nonsense.

The Alfas in the pit lane were among the creme-de-la-creme of Alfa Romeos. We saw a Tipo 33/2 Race Car (pictured above), a TZ, a TZ2, and a very race prepped Giulia Spyder. For context, Alfa Romeo made just 112 TZs, and a scant 12 TZ2s. I’m not sure on the number of Tipo 33/2s that Alfa produced, but I’d bet it’s within the range of the TZ models.

Italian cars are able to make any setting look good. Enjoy the photos.

Continue reading Alfa Romeos from the paddock at Laguna Seca

Porsche 911 GT1 and Two 935s at Laguna Seca

Porsche 911 GT1
Porsche 911 GT1

While out at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion we were treated to a fabulous display of Porsche racing cars, one 911 GT1 and two 935s, including the famous 935 Moby Dick. Just seeing these race cars sitting in the paddock is incredible, but getting to see them in action out on the track was beyond any describable form of excitement. Enjoy the photos and the video.

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Oh The Motoring Irony!

How much longer will this be a familiar sight?

It goes without saying that Audi owns Le Mans; both figuratively and sort of literally.  The eleven overall victories certainly cement the figurative bit and the constant ‘Quattro’ this and ‘Quattro’ that plastered everywhere seem pretty literal if you were to ask me.

So it came to little surprise to me when Porsche unveiled their new 2014 LMP1 racer a mere week before the 2013 Le Mans race.  The motorsport world had been fast approaching what was seeming to be (and was) yet another overall victory for Audi on the La Sarthe circuit, and Porsche wanted everyone watching to remember that in one year they would be returning to the track to defend their honor (and their sixteen overall victories).

However, while watching a portion of the 1998 Le Mans race on YouTube, I had a revelation of just how ironic this impending on-track battle between the two marques actually is.  Yes, you read that correctly, ironic is the perfect word to use to describe the 2014 24 Heures du Mans.

So, we start the beginning of this ironic, frighteningly Star Wars-like (more on that later) story with the Audi RS2 Avant.  In the early 1990s, Audi engineers decided that they wanted to mix their expertise in building sensible cars with a bit of eye-popping performance.

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Too Much Tech In Racecars?

#4 Corvette at the Sebring 24 Hours
#4 Corvette at the Sebring 24 Hours, courtesy of Motor Trend

If you watched the 2013 Sebring 12 Hour race, you already know that Corvette won.  If you didn’t watch the 2013 Sebring 12 Hour race, the vibrant, yellow Corvettes with the brutal and grunty V8 engines won the 61st edition of the 12 hour endurance race held in Florida every year.  However, if you watched the race, you also know that in order to win, Corvette Racing had to endure some nerve-wrecking technical difficulties rather early on in the event that forced the #3 Corvette Racing car to retire.  Luckily, the #4 team was able to look past the problems of their sister car and provide an exhilarating final few hours on their march to victory while ‘Vette Racing lovers slowly but surely recovered from their mini heart attacks.

It also, however, caused me to think a bit about the growing change in the complexity of racing cars.  And unfortunately, not all teams have been able to overcome non-driver-error technical difficulties like Corvette Racing did, resulting in disappointment among the team’s fans and racing lovers alike (let alone the team itself).  With that being said, I asked myself: ‘Is there too much technology in today’s racing cars?’

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Ferrari F458 Italia GT

458 Italia GT - Image by James Boone

 

Ferrari is back in the Rolex Grand Am Series, and just in time for the 50th running of the 24 Hours of Daytona!  Ferrari has competed in 47 of the 49  day long classics, and has 15 class victories, 5 of which were overall victories around the 3.56 mile course that runs through part of the NASCAR super speedway and then down in the infield for the road course section of circuit.

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Fire Breathing…. Mazda??

When I look at the Grand Am GT class manufacturers, and I think about which of these would more than likely spit flames out it’s exhaust pipe like a dragon, Mazda and their RX8R is not what comes to mind.  I think of Chevy and their big V8 engines in their Corvettes and Camaros.  I also think of BMW and their V8 in the M3.  Porsche, not so much, I think of them as too refined to have fire.  Mazda, hah, no way!!  They use a 3 rotary engine (2 in the street going RX8)  and they scream like a crotch rocket on steroids.  Certainly not what comes to mind when you think of a fire breathing dragon!!  A dragon roars, not screams, but nonetheless, the Mazda is the one car in the entire field that  puts on a fireworks show.

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American Red Cross 250 – Grand Am Racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park

GT Traffic on Lap 1

It’s a shame that pole positions and laps led do not count for championship then maybe the #10 Suntrust Dallara driven by Max Angelilli and Ricky Taylor would be closer in the points race for the Daytona Prototypes with the #01 Telmex BMW – Riley of Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett.  As it stands now, such is not the case; and with nearly a .500 winning percentage, Pruett and Rojas have a considerable lead in the champions points standings over the second place Suntrust car.  On Sunday, July 24th, the history seemed to repeat itself.  Ricky Taylor put the Chevy powered Suntrust Dallara on the pole and somehow Pruett managed to put his Telmex BMW Riley on the top step of the podium. Continue reading American Red Cross 250 – Grand Am Racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park