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Insider Report: 16-year-old girl takes week off school to drag race

Published November 1, 2013

We have an ongoing debate here at Wheels. My 19-year-old daughter began racing karts at the age of 10 and now does the occasional gig as a driving instructor. My boys, who are younger, have both driven karts and the 15-year-old will start lapping in cars next Spring. I believe that involvement in motorsports grooms not only good drivers, but good citizens. Wheels Editor Norris McDonald, on the other hand, is dead set against kids in racing. Sadly, his point was proven not long ago and the comments on the article he wrote about it are rather heated. Still, when I hear about a kid doing something cool in a car, especially a girl, it warms my heart.

Jalopnik ran a story a couple of days ago about 16-year-old Alex Taylor of Arkansas, who took her mom’s drag-prepared ’68 Camaro down the strip and turned a pretty impressive 11-second run in the quarter mile. Alex, a straight-A student, also took a week off school for Drag Week 2013, and helped her dad with the restoration of the beast, which she chronicled on her Facebook page. By the way, her dad won Drag Week back in 2007. Watch Alex on the strip, below.

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Out of control driver 1, New car dealership 0
Having spent over two decades working in new car dealerships, I have seen some pretty strange things. I have seen a customer crashing a service loaner into another customer’s car and I once I was sitting at my desk, when a car came through the wall and sent me across the room. I have even arrived at work to find a bullet hole in a new car sitting in front of a Scarborough dealership. I have never seen an errant driver from the road wipe out the entire front row of a dealership. This Russian video shows a Suzuki Grand Vitara driver who lost control on a turn in front of a Lada dealership and did just that.

Launch Control: Episode 14
About a decade ago, I was channel surfing after an F1 race one Sunday morning when I came across the most incredible downhill mountain bike video footage. It was a World Cup event and had been filmed by a 17 year old Canadian kid named Warwick Patterson. In the coming years, Patterson began working with cars and became known as one of the best rally videographers on this continent and he also became a friend.

During this year’s rally season, the British Columbia resident has been working with the Subaru rally team to create a series call Launch Control which I have shared before here in the Insider Report. The final episode of the season follows the team and driver David Higgins to the final event of the season, where they do battle against Ken Block and his Ford.

This is one of the best North American rally features I have seen to date.


Pursuit of Victory at COTA
By now, chances are that you have seen Barrie, Ontario racer Kyle Marcelli’s victory dance following his win at the Circuit of the Americas. If not, here it is.

Once you stop laughing, you can follow his progress through the weekend at COTA.

On board with a ’62 Ford Galaxie at Mosport

The prototype that Marcelli races is pretty close to the pinnacle of modern racing technology, but not all Canadian racers are at the leading edge of tech. Some, like Malcolm Strachan are happy to get their kicks in some vintage machinery. Strachan races a 1962 Ford Galaxie NASCAR replica that is powered by a 427 ci V8. This thing is all about the history of speed. Ride along in the big Ford a couple of weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

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