If you are not in the know, King of the Hammers is about to crown its next king. This crazy event is described as the “toughest one-day off-road race in the world.” All you have to do is look at all the photos and videos circling the web to know just how true (or perhaps understated) that is. It is pure off-road, desert racing, rock crawling madness. With more than 10 classes of vehicles, there are hundreds of drivers competing in these matches. Continue reading “Champion of the Desert : King of the Hammers 2018”
Where it all began
It all started in late 1976. Before GReddy was GReddy, it was just one man, a racing enthusiast in Japan’s grassroots racing community building his own exhausts. The exhausts performed so well that eventually, other racers started taking notice and urged that same enthusiast to build them their own performance exhausts. Within a year, The Trust Company of Japan was born.
The Thunder Valley Sand Drags were dusty. Dustier than a panhandle bean field during the Depression. Dustier than the room seems to get at the end of Braveheart. Each step and dropped cone sent up a pale cloud above the long field, but a strong, cool, southwest wind cleaned it up for us just as quickly. Saturday was my first rallycross experience, and the racing was so awesome that I didn’t mind a little fesh fesh. I didn’t drive this event, but by the end of it, I wished I had, and I will the next chance I get. You should, too. But don’t.
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There are no curbs, no signs, nothing to hit but cones. And since the average autocrosser tops out at 50 or 60 before having to brake for the next corner, autocross is about the safest motorsport outside of Forza. This is why no one needs a roll cage or racing harness, just a 2010 Snell-rated helmet. If you don’t have a helmet, you can borrow one for free.
I was scheduled to autocross on Sunday, and at 4am on Saturday, I finally got the transmission back into place. My jack proved about an inch too short, and tired muscle had to do the rest. Sleep and money whirled clockwise into a vortex before disappearing into a lost weekend, but I knew at the first orange cone, a long right sweeper, that it had all been worth it. I’m sold. Autocross is always worth it.
If you live along one of America’s active fault lines, it’s never nice to wake up to the ground bumping and surging like those adorable twin babies dancing in their high chairs on Youtube. But if you’re from an older, less shifty/grindy region of the continent, an earthquake is always kindof interesting. It doesn’t change your life, but you’ll be talking about it for days. Continue reading “LA Auto Show 2012: Mild Quaking in SoCal”
It’s a rare thing to encounter a life so full, heroic, and memorable it stretches the boundaries of belief. Most of them, it seems, have been immortalized in film. It’s a rarer thing still to encounter such a life that so few people even know existed. Continue reading “John Fitch: A Movie of a Man”
The 2013 American Le Mans Series ended last month with a spectacular show at Petit Le Mans in Atlanta. It was a fun race, peppered with close battles from the start and in every class. But the most interesting car on the track wasn’t even competing. Flat black and alarming, it looked like a die-cast toy. It looked like it was about to flip over. It looked something like an awesome Batmobile. Continue reading “The DeltaWing’s Conquest of Awesome”
Ayrton Senna. Tony Stewart. Lewis Hamilton. Darrell Waltrip. Jeff Gordon. Kimi Räikkönen. Sebastian Vettel. Mario. What do all these legends of racing have in common? What do they have in common with hundreds of other racing champions from the last several decades? They all started small. Very small. Continue reading “An Inch From the Ground and a Wheel Off the Edge”
Often we associate huge vehicles with more fun. A roller coaster can span an acre or more. An A-10 Thunderbolt was designed around its massive, 70-rounds-per-second, 30 mm Gatling cannon. And frankly, we don’t understand why the Hulk is so angry all the time, since being big and strong enough to turn an entire metropolitan area into a multi-level trampoline sounds like a lot of fun to us. Continue reading “Project Rhino: Small and Mighty”