Sunday is here so you know what that means. It’s time for us car fanatics to refuel for the week ahead with another Lazy Sundays! The first video today features another addition to the stable of Mad Mike Whiddett. Known for his obsession with Mazda and their rotary engines, Mad Mike and his team have turned out one crazy dorito-powered (MCM reference there) drift machine after the other, giving each one a nick-name. First there was the naturally aspirated 26B MADBUL RX7, then the single turbo 20B BADBUL RX8, then the twin-turbo 26B RADBUL Miata and HUMBUL RX7. With his latest creation however, he’s stepped into the world of off-roading with RUMBUL, a Mazda Repu B2000 based trophy truck. As you would expect, it’s also rotary powered, this time by a naturally aspirated 13B engine. It only makes around 250hp, but that’s plenty to make this 900kg truck an absolute blast to throw around, as evidenced by Mad Mike’s hoon up the hillclimb course.
America, the land of excess, where enough is never enough. Take this Shelby Cobra replica for example. The owner started with a Ford Coyote V8 swap. The mildly rational gearhead I am would think “435hp is a decent number for a Cobra I guess. Would be perfect with another 50-100hp.” Then a Whipple supercharger was added. At this point I’d be slightly concerned, “640hp+ in a 2400lb Cobra? Sounds like quite the handful”. The owner didn’t think so however. A nitrous kit was thrown in for good measure, taking the power to a whopping 960hp. Traction levels are as you would expect in such a light car with no significant aero to speak of; pretty much non-existant. Still, it manages to outpace many a competitor over the half mile, despite the car writhing around under the power delivery after every gear change. Could the car be faster with a more manageable power band? Definitely, but there’s no denying what you are about to see in this video isn’t epic.
If I ask you to write down what you think is the best sounding race car of the 21st century (F1 cars excluded because there’s really no contest), I’ll see a vast variety of answers. Sound is a rather subjective entity. What may sound glorious to one person may sound “meh” to another. For example, an American will likely prefer the deep rumble of the Corvette C7.R, while an Italian may prefer the high strung bark of the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2/3. Being a Porsche fanboy myself, one would expect that I’m biased to the Porsche 911 GT3R, but I’m not. There’s a car that when I heard it, made me think “well damn”, even when GT3Rs were screaming on track at the same time. That car is the BMW Z4 GT3. It’s powered by the P65B44 V8, the racing version of the S65B44 V8 found in the E92 M3 GTS. The M3 GTS sounds great in its own right but nowhere near as spectacular as the race engine. What makes the race engine so epic is that it has a flat-plane crank, giving it a completely different – and completely savage – tone. Down low, the deep guttural roar would make the uninitiated think it still has a cross-plane crank. Then the revs climb, and a high pitched scream starts to emerge from the rumble. It’s a transition that I doubt I’ll ever get tired of hearing. Now the M6 GT3 with its more subdued sounding twin-turbo V8 has replaced the Z4, but they still pop up in the hands of private owners. The Z4 GT3 in this video, for example, has found a new home in the European Hillclimb scene.
The next video features Sebastian Loeb. The most successful WRC driver in history may be retired from the highest level, but you can’t take racing out of a race driver. He now races for Peugeot in the World Rally Cross Championships and the Dakar Rally. He also campaigns a Peugeot 208 T16 R5 in the national rally championship in Switzerland, where he lives with his wife and children. Based on the in car footage, he hasn’t lost an ounce of the skill that gave him the reputation of being a tarmac specialist. His co-driver in the R5 is none other than his wife Severine. Being a co-driver to possibly the greatest rally driver ever can’t be easy, but she is more than up to the task. Marriage goals?
The final video shows Travis Pastrana’s record breaking run at the Mount Washington Hillclimb. The Mount Washington Hillclimb isn’t as well known as Pikes Peak, but it’s one of the oldest auto racing events in the USA, predating Pikes Peak and even the Indianapolis 500. The event was revived in 2011 after a 12 year hiatus and has been held every 3 years since. One unique feature of the Mount Washington course is that it is still partially a dirt course, while Pikes Peak is now fully paved. Drivers therefore have to take surface changes into account when preparing for the race to the summit. It’s also a very twisty course, with far less high-speed sections than Pikes Peak. Having deacdes of rally heritage as well as a massive presence in Rally America and Global Rallycross however, Subaru were well equipped for the challenge. The 600hp WRX STi hillclimb special piloted by Pastrana set a new record of 5:44.72 up the 7.4 mile course, almost 25 seconds faster than the record set by his Rally America teammate David Higgins, back in 2014. Time will tell if that record generates more international interest and makes Mount Washington a name recognized the world over like Pikes Peak.
That’s it for another week. As always be sure to share the wealth with your gearhead comrades and mark your calendars for another Lazy Sundays next weekend.