Lazy Sundays is here again, which means it’s time to sit back and savour another collection of automotive awesome sauce. Well start this week with the culmination of the Hoonigan female driver search, which we featured in Lazy Sunday #12. If you watched that video in it’s entirety, you would have seen that the winner of the competition was Off-Road and Motocross racer Sara Price. By winning she earned a drive for Fiat in their 124 Abarth rally car, at the Mount Washington Hillclimb. She showcased the raw speed and talent that won her the competition during the practice day, being third fastest in her class despite running the course for the first time. Unfortunately luck wasn’t on her side on race day, as an overheating issue put her 124 Abarth into limp mode near the top of the mountain. A real shame as her sector times indicate she was well on the way to a podium finish, plus the issue came on the gravel section of the course, where her Off-Road background would have been an asset. Still, she persevered and completed the course,a feat in itself, and finished a respectable 6th in class. It may not be the ideal start, but I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store next for Hoonigan’s newest recruit.
The next video comes from the Finland leg of the World Rally Championships. If you are one of the people who stopped following the WRC (the competition had admittedly gone a bit stale over the last few years), trust me when I say, you absolutely HAVE to catch up on this season. The first thing you’ll notice is that the cars are far more agressive. New revisions to the rules have brought the cars the closest to the legendary Group B days that they’ve ever been. A larger, 36mm restrictor has increased power to 380hp. In addition, the minimum weight has been lowered by 25kg and an extra 55mm increase in allowable width has given manufacturers the ability to develop some aggressive aero packages. Altogether, this has resulted in the fastest WRC action we’ve probably ever seen, as well as the closest competiton, with the first 4 rounds each having a different winner. This video features highlights from the ongoing Rally Finland 2017. Finland is the perfect place to show off the ability of the new WRC cars, with it’s high speed gravel courses and massive jumps. Hopefully these new cars serve as the catalyst to bring the WRC back to its glory days.
The next video comes from the drag strip. I enjoy watching high profile, record breaking drag cars as much as anyone else. However, what I really like are unique builds that work unexpectedly well, whether it’s an uncommon car or a crazy swap, or a combination of both as in this video. What we have here is a second generation Mercury Capri, Mercury’s (much cooler looking in my opinion) version of the Fox Body Mustang. Under the hood lies a modern Ford Coyote 5.0L V8, force fed by a massive Vortech YSi supercharger. That setup is good for 1000hp at the rear wheels, delivered by a T56 Magnum gearbox. The Capri leaves the line very cleanly for a 1000hp car with a manual gearbox, thanks in no small part to the owner’s awesome driving (check out the in-car at 2:45). Watch as it destroys the Stick Shift class with ease.
The next video also features mastery of the manual gearbox, this time from the Nurburgring. With Dodge discontinuing the Viper after this current generation, die hard Viper enthusiasts wanted to give the name it’s last hurrah. So via crowdfund donations and sponshorship from Kumho and Prefix Corporation, among others, they bought two bone-stock Viper ACRs and took them to the Nurburgring to try to set a record. The driver chosen for this task was Dominik Farnbacher, who set the ‘Ring lap time in the previous generation ACR. That car did a 7:12.13, the 10th fastest time for production cars. In the latest ACR, Farnbacher set a 7:03.45. To put that into perspective, that’s just over 5 seconds faster than the Nissan GT-R Nismo. That lap time makes it the fastest American production car, the fastest RWD production car and the fastest manual gearbox equipped production car around the Nurburgring. What’s more, that’s not yet the official time. They reckon they can be faster and plan to have another go this week. This should be interesting.
Our last video addresses a question that eventually comes up in any car enthusiast community; “Do you need to throw a ton of money into a car to be considered a car guy?” Here we have three people from different areas of car culture, giving their take on what it takes to be a car enthusiast. While their ideas are slightly different, the consensus is the same. What car you drive or how many modifications you make doesn’t really matter. Rather, it’s things like the smile your car puts on your face when you drive it or just look at it, the care you take when you clean or tinker with it, and the experiences you have with it, that make you a car guy. That applies to us here in Barbados as well, despite the fact that the cost of cars and car parts here is ridiculously high, not to mention the unreasonably high asking prices for some cars that should be affordable (AE110s and 111s are not worth 10-14 grand in 2017. There, I said it.). If you’ve found a car you genuinely enjoy and take care of it accordingly, then congratulations, you’re a car guy.
That’s it for another Sunday. I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s collection. As always, be sure to look out for another Lazy Sundays in 7 days time.