Monday, January 31, 2011

The Future Of The Greening Of Diesel - Meet The VW XL1

The Future Of The Greening Of Diesel - Meet The VW XL1

This month saw the unveiling of a very efficient, logically useful, polymer technologies expanding, 313 mpg on a gallon of Diesel fuel, two-seater car.

Meet the Volkswagen XL1 which was debuted at the Qatar motor show. The car, which has been dubbed by VW as the world's most economical car, features an 800cc TDI two-cylinder diesel engine linked to an electric motor (emitting just 38 grams of carbon dioxide per mile).

One might think that this engine is way too small, but the performance of this torque-strong Diesel approach delivers acceleration from 0 to 60mph in 11.9 seconds ... and a top speed of 99mph which is good enough for any large metropolitan area freeway system.

The VW XL1 gets an additional advantage due to a reduction of weight (just under 1,753 pounds) based upon a newly patented approach for the manufacture of the Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) parts called the Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) process.

Further weight savings were made through the extensive use of lightweight materials that include magnesium for the wheels; ceramics for brake discs; and aluminum for dampers, steering system and brake calipers.

The Volkswagen XL1 is expected to make its commercial debut in Britain and Germany in 2013 with no present plan to introduce this ground-breaking 12 foot long (just under four meters) and 3 foot 10.46 inch (1.18m) tall (the same size as a Volkswagen Polo - and sits lower off the ground than a Lamborghini sports car) green machine to the United States/North American marketplace.

... notes from The EDJE

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Names Former Fairfax High School Student As Chairman

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, is located at 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Bldg. 3A, in Pomona, California 91768, USA. It houses a collection of memorabilia, automobiles and motorcycles related to the sport of hot rodding. Among other exhibits are one of A.J. Foyt's Coyote Indy Cars, Kenny Bernstein's first dragster to reach speeds in excess of 300 mph (480 km/h), the Bob McClung helmet and photo collection, a collection of Indy 500 credentials and artifacts from early events in the history of land speed records and hot rods. Temporary exhibits have also been created to honor participants in hot rodding including Vic Edelbrock, Don Prudhomme, the 1932 Ford, Track Roadsters, Parnelli Jones and the So-Cal Speed Shop. In 2008, the Museum began hosting a special exhibition dedicated to Gale Banks and his contributions to the sport of drag racing. The exhibit is entitled "Banks Power: The First 50 Years." The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. except on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks

Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Names Former Fairfax High School Student As Chairman

On December 20 2010, Speed Shop Founder and Hot Rod Icon Alex Xydias wthe as been named Chairman of the Board of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California located at the LA County Fair Grounds, Pomona.

Born in Los Angeles on March 22, 1922, Alex Xydias developed a love of customizing cars early in life. Alex' first hot rod was a '29 roadster he drove to Fairfax High School.

By the time WWII came along, Alex had built two more hot rods, one a '34 coupe and the other, a beautifully customized '34 cabriolet which he found in the lower basement garage at the Ambassador Hotel (now the location of a Taj Mahal of a school complex) in Los Angeles.

The So-Cal Speed Shop Team makes the cover of Hot Rod magazine, 1949, & The So-Cal Speed Shop 'Belly-Tanker' today on display at the 60th Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance 2010. Image Credit: Federico de California

He is most remembered for starting the first dedicated speed and custom parts shop for remaking cars to look good and go fast which he established the minute he was out of the military, in Burbank, California after the world war ended. In 1946, Xydias opened the So-Cal Speed Shop in Burbank, CA and established the So-Cal Speed Shop Racing Team. The Team received countless accolades but perhaps none greater than for The So-Cal Special Streamliner, one of the first hot rods to go over 200 mph and featured on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in January, 1949.

Image Credit: The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California

“It’s a great honor to be elected as Chairman,” said Xydias. “My longtime dear friend Wally Parks had tremendous vision and passion for the sport. As Chairman, together with the other board members, I’ll strive to continue Wally’s legacy to develop a museum that is vital to the motorsports community.”

Alex Xydias and board members Thomas K. McKernan, Dave McClelland, Peter Clifford, Gary Darcy, Wayne McMurtry and Steve Gibbs will oversee all Museum activities including the planning and growth of Museum exhibits, fundraising and the popular NHRA Hot Rod Reunions. They will guide, support and advocate for the mission and vision of NHRA Motorsports Museum.

Control central and the Media Center behind the starting line at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks

We all look forward to what new exhibits Alex and the board he heads will bring to the museum in 2011. Make sure to drop by the next time the NHRA runs at Pomona for the 51st annual Kragen O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals Thursday - Sunday, February 24-27, 2011 at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California.

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, January 6, 2011

ALMS 2011 Broadcast Agreement Embraces New Media In The Mix

Turn 11 and the beginning of the front straightaway along Shoreline Drive at the 2010 Toyota Grand Prix event in Long Beach, California. Here the American Le Mans Series #16 Mazda Dyson Racing car begins another lap while hugging the wall that defines the outside of the track. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

ALMS 2011 Broadcast Agreement Embraces New Media In The Mix

The American Le Mans Series presented by Taquila Patron (ALMS) in announcing its new multi-year broadcast media deal with ABC/ESPN and its overall content portals affirmed its intention to remain at the technological leading edge and intersection of presentation and fan communications interaction.

The original announcement released on January 3, 2010 while somewhat complete, needed a little more than a press release to fully expose what plans for the 2011 season and the future of event broadcast and communications the ALMS plans to roll out to the potential consuming public - from the casually interested all the way through the fan ladder to the fully immersed.

The agreement and schedule released in the original announcement gave hints at a whole new way the ALMS is wishing to approach racing series event broadcasts, fan interaction and sponsor timeshare access to a specific target market.

This is one of the areas where the partnership of the ALMS with Intersport, an award-winning media and marketing agency, begins to pay dividends. The innovative deal put together by this partnership involves televising the world’s premier sports car series over several ABC/ESPN programming and media platforms, including ABC, ESPN2 and The event content for each platform or communications portal will be tailored to appeal to the attention and interest level in each potential fan and consumer ... and potentially on an international basis as well. The feeling going into this agreement was always to be able to have an integrated media approach, where the ALMS, in concert with the extensive production capabilities of the 25 year old Intersport, in order to get the most out of, arguably, the most extensive yet integrated sports media broadcast and media properties organization available on the scene today.

Television broadcasts, either through tailored production packages and/or live transmission, will always be the medium where one reaches the core fan due to ease of access and availability of audience. For example, ABC TV national broadcasts for sporting events reach an audience of about 115.9 million. Unfortunately, this portal can be characterized as one that has little patience for events that, by definition, last longer than 2-3 hours, or about the content size of other major sporting events. When ABC is not available, ESPN2 will take over the tailored production broadcast duties and be able to reach an estimated 99.7 million sets.

The 100% live broadcast duties will be handled by the relatively new, New Media portal on the web, which has a broadband broadcast potential reach equal to that of the more well known cable broadcast outlet, SPEED Channel (confirmed in a conversation between Intersport and SPEED) at about 65 million users. The additional beauty of having a web portal for content delivery is the added benefit of content on demand. If one cannot be available for the live broadcast of the race or event, one can run the file on demand in order to experience the whole event.

Further, there will be opportunities to develop and expand the communicative reach through the connection of social media platforms found throughout the web. Corvette, Audi, BMW, Porsche, and other car enthusiast forums will soon have the opportunity to directly interface (possibly through RSS and other New Media digital broadcast feed concepts) upon which to share timely information.

MPG's Dean Batchelor Award - Since 1995, Motor Press Guild’s annual Dean Batchelor Award has recognized “the journalist judged to have produced the single piece of work which best represents the professional standards and excellence demanded by Dean Batchelor during his life as an editor, writer, and chronicler of the automotive industry.” In more recent years, the “DBA” has expanded to single out awards in four disciplines: Articles, Audio-Visual, Books and Photography. The winner of each receives the MPG Best of the Year award in that category, while one of those winners is chosen for the overall Dean Batchelor Award. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2009)

Another nuanced capability of this partnership and agreement will have the 2011 ESPN telecast package include a two-hour documentary-style broadcast from the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix in September - a race through the city’s inner harbor area streets - produced by Intersport’s Emmy-award winning production team (a recent honored production includes the 2009 Motor Press Guild's Dean Batchelor Award winning documentary - Keith Cossrow and Bennett Viseltear, "Truth in 24"). ALMS’ association with Intersport began in the 2010 season. Intersport previously produced two docudrama-style race broadcasts which told the story of the Series’ events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Mid-Ohio, and highlighted its many storylines and colorful personalities.

One can listen to Wednesday`s media call (where The EDJE asked questions related to social media and new media content broadcast sharing schemes) with executives from the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron and Intersport, along with representative sponsor executives, team owners and drivers. A transcript is also available for reading.

The 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón will open at the 59th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 19. Visit the American Le Mans Series’ online schedule for information on tickets and area accommodations.

ALMS race start at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where the cars run for six hours, starting in the afternoon and ending to the flaring lights of fireworks launched over the track into the night-time sky at the bridge near the start/finish line. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón 2011 broadcast Schedule
(All TV times reflect the Eastern Time Zone)

Friday, March 18 Live Qualifying
Saturday, March 19 10:15 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday, March 20 ABC 12:30-2 p.m.

Long Beach
Friday, April 15 Live Qualifying
Saturday, April 16 Live Race Coverage
Sunday, April 17 ESPN2 5-7 p.m.

Lime Rock
Friday, July 8 Live Qualifying
Saturday, July 9 Live Race Coverage
Sunday, July 10 ESPN2 1-3 p.m.

Saturday, July 23 Live Qualifying
Sunday, July 24 Live Race Coverage
Sunday, July 24 ESPN2 10 p.m.-12 a.m.

Friday, August 5 Live Qualifying
Saturday, August 6 Live Race Coverage
Sunday, August 7 ESPN2 10 p.m.-12 a.m.

Friday, August 19 Live Qualifying
Saturday, August 20 Live Race Coverage
Sunday, August 21 ABC 4:30-6 p.m.

Friday, September 2 Live Qualifying
Saturday, September 3 Live Race Coverage
Sunday, September 11 ABC 4-6 p.m.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Friday, September 16 Live Qualifying
Saturday, September 17 Live Race Coverage
Sunday, September 18 ESPN2 1-3 p.m.

Road Atlanta
Friday, September 30 Live Qualifying
Saturday, October 1 Live Race Coverage
Sunday, October 2 ABC 4-6 p.m.

... notes from The EDJE

Saturday, January 1, 2011

For 2011, It's Still A Chip On Penske's Shoulder In The IRL

Target Chip Ganassi IndyCar Championship Series transporter fleet as it sits proudly in the paddock at the 2010 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

For 2011, It's Still A Chip On Penske's Shoulder In The IRL

Now that open wheel motorsports racing fans have been treated to what could happen when competing factions join and meld together for the last three years, what do they have to look forward to for the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Championship Series 2011 season? Well, more of the same.

Cream always rises to the top, gold dents when one bites into it, angry jihadist Muslims always find a way to put a damper on everyone's party, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West ... just as teams fielded by Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske will always dominate the racing action on oval, street and road courses in premiere American open wheel automobile racing.

Many had hopes that the union of ChampCar and IndyCar 2008 would deliver a chance at diversity where more teams and drivers would have a better shot at creating racing history, but alas ... this hope was as ill fated as Tony George holding down every major executive position in the IRL including running the track the series was named after.

Having the gravitas of this dueling giant pair of immovable forces, when one looks at the path they cut really isn't so bad once one looks at the quality of the results. Just look at the incredible 2010 run a former ChampCar budding star, Will Power, had with Roger Penske just to be reeled in by one of the best racing pairings in modern open wheel racing of Dario Franchitti driving for Chip Ganassi.

In 2011, if past behavior is the best predictor of future results ... we all be uttering "Three-Peat" at seasons end.

Team Penske drivers Ryan Briscoe (P5), Helio Castroneves (P4), and Will Power (P1) as they field questions in the post Firestone Fast Six qualifying press conference. While no Target Chip Ganassi drivers made the "Fast Six" in qualifications, in the race Scott Dixon (qualified in P8) registered a P4, right behind Will Power's P3 ... the only Penske driver to finish in the top six positions. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

This excerpted and edited from SPEED CHANNEL -

INDYCAR: Penske’s Thorn
Looking back on these past 42 years, several people have tried to draft Penske into the fast lane, but there has only been one constant thorn in The Captain’s side.
Robin Miller | Posted December 29, 2010 Indianapolis, IN

Roger Penske began fielding cars at the Indianapolis 500 in 1969 and during this time span The Captain has amassed 153 wins, 12 championships and made a record 15 trips to Victory Lane at Indianapolis.

He also built a template for success and re-shaped the business model for motorsports.

Looking back on these past 42 years, several people have tried to draft Penske into the fast lane. Bobby Hillin and Rick Galles damn near went bust trying to keep up with R.P. in CART and billionaire John Menard threw good money after bad trying to catch The Captain at 16th & Georgetown.
But, throughout CART’s heydays, The Split and unification; during the engine, car and tire wars; from taking a chance on equipment to being stuck with spec racing, there has only been one constant thorn in The Captain’s side.

That would our boy Chip Ganassi.

And while there’s no denying the Chipster can be a pain in the ass to a lot of people on any given day, he’s accomplished what nobody else has been able to pull off.

His IndyCar team has pulled alongside of Penske’s.

In a horse racing form, they would be coupled: 1 and 1A.

Since 1994, the year Target/Ganassi Racing scored its initial victory, it’s almost a dead heat.

Chip’s drivers have 79 wins, seven championships and three baby Borgs from winning Indianapolis.

Team Penske’s stats are 73 victories, four titles and five Indy 500s.

Ganassi and Target have been partners since 1990, while The Captain had Marlboro for the better part of 20 years.

Helio Castroneves returns for his 12th year with R.P. and Scott Dixon is back in the saddle for his ninth consecutive season at Ganassi’s.

Tim Lombardi, Tom Wertz, Clive Howell and Rick Rinaman are lifers at Penske just like Ricky Davis, Barry Wanser, Julian Robertson, Scott Harner and Mike Hull for Ganassi as both organizations breed loyalty.

If a driver is hired at either place, winning is the only option.

“I don’t know that Chip’s goal was to be like Roger but, let’s face it, Roger is the model for success in this business,” said Hull, the managing director who joined Ganassi in 1992.

“Chip is fueled by the passion of winning and the passion of having comparison. Both of them are from the same competitive mold.”
There is no denying that The Captain is one of the smartest people on this planet and his work ethic is second to none. He builds up companies, resuscitates others and knows how to keep customers and sponsors satisfied. Racing is how he unwinds.

Ganassi lives and breathes motorsports, from his IndyCar and Grand-Am headquarters in Indy to his NASCAR shop in Charlotte. Pittsburgh is his home but racing is his family.

“The biggest difference between them is that Roger runs his empire from Monday through Thursday and follows his passion from Friday to Sunday,” continued Hull. “Chip is focused on racing from Monday to Sunday.

“I always hear that Chip gives us the resources to succeed but the resource is the mindset and culture we’ve been fortunate enough to develop. Chip is all about building for tomorrow and the future. It’s all about staying power.”

Staying up front with Penske has proved to be almost impossible during the past four decades. But he can’t shake Ganassi.

Nothing better illustrates this like 2010. At Indy, Castroneves and Will Power qualified 1-2 but the Ganassi team never concerned themselves with qualifying, and Franchitti totally dominated the race. Power was the class of the IndyCar season but lost the title in the finale when Dario and Dixon delivered a psychological blow in qualifying before sealing the deal in the race.

It was the second straight season that a Ganassi driver (Franchitti) had overtaken a Penske driver in the last race to win the championship.

While many have grown tired of the same two teams winning everything, and nothing is going to change drastically until those new cars/engines arrive in 2012, Ganassi and Penske have evolved into one of the best rivalries in sports.

Make no mistake: The Captain still casts a long shadow but the ‘ol Chipster is standing right in it.
Reference Here>>

Look for just more of the same in 2011 - but does anyone think it will be different in 2012 with the new choices in chassis, aero body forms, engine, and tire combinations? My bet would be on hearing "Four-Peat" at the awards dinner by the end of the year.

... notes from The EDJE