One Lap of the Web: A rally car drinks beerTue, 11 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
-- Thierry Neuville was somewhere on his way back to the pits after finishing the final stage of the WRC Mexico when his Hyundai i20 rally car sprung a leak: The hole in the radiator was bleeding coolant at a frightening rate. If Neuville didn't make the 33 kilometers back, he would lose his second place standing behind Volkswagen and all would be lost. (Alas, them's the breaks in the sometimes-quixotic rulebook of the World Rally Championship.) Well, lucky for Neuville, his sponsors at Corona had presented him with a massive bottle of beer, which he then proceeded to pour into the radiator. It worked. "I tried to put something on the hole and fill the radiator with water and beer and we came back!" he was quoted as saying. "When I realized we had still 25 kilometers to go, I thought maybe it was the end. Then we stopped the engine and the temperature went down and we thought it was OK." Neuville doesn't drink, but his car took to the cheap Mexican swill just fine -- proving that in rallying and life alike, alcohol is the cause of and solution to all of life's problems. No word on whether Vettel's crew chief intends to run qualifying laps on a potent potable of Red Bull and vodka.
-- "Initial D" is a lifestyle, not a manga, and its Gunma Prefecture is a real place. A heavenly, verdant, mountain paradise of screeching tires, where Mount Haruna stands in for Mount Akina, and Takumi isn't just some dork who's destined to be Forever Alone. It's also dangerous: People die hiking in the Gunma mountains, as temporary Japanese expat Kat Callahan notes. When the mountains look like jagged slabs, the danger doesn't end when you get off the road.
-- McLaren developed the M6B in 1968 as a customer car for anyone ballsy enough to enter Can Am on their own; evolving from the M6A of a year prior, it was the first McLaren powered by Chevrolet V8s. The Shadow DN-4 was driven in 1974 by George Follmer, who said it was "an awful good car. Docile. Quick. It cornered well, and it was slippery, clean, fast." Watch these Chevy-powered legends battle it out at Road America, as a celebration of insane, rulebook-shredding Can Am goodness.
-- Meanwhile, at Road Atlanta, there's vintage racing on a slightly less high-powered, but equally high-strung, scale: At the 2013 Walter Mitty, Jeff Dernhel unleashed a frenetic practice session in a 1974 Mazda RX-3 GT-3 with a Bridgeported 12A rotary, a tube-frame chassis and a sound like a vuvuzela. (Remember those?) Dernhel borrows the RX-3 from his friend Gordon Zadie and promptly destroys everything at Road Atlanta, from a Porsche 911 Carrera RS to a gaggle of 914s to a newer Ford Mustang (not that new, mind you) to a fleet of Corvettes. In Counter-Strike parlance circa 2001, Dernhel was definitely pwning noobs.
By Blake Z. Rong