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Insider Report: Chrysler exec blasts The Donald on Twitter

Published November 5, 2012

Although they don’t all get quite as ornery as Paul Tracy, Canadian racers have a reputation for saying exactly what they think. You can add Canadian auto execs to the list of public figures who won’t take any umm, crap from anybody. If you haven’t already, meet Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Chrysler’s SRT Brand.

Real estate magnate and TV personality Donald Trump got into a bit of political mudslinging on the first of the month, when he tweeted: “Obama is a terrible negotiator. He bails out Chrysler and now Chrysler wants to send all Jeep manufacturing to China–and will!“, echoing a comment made earlier by Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Normally considered one of the “nice guys” of the auto industry, Montreal-raised Gilles responded sharply with a tweet of his own, telling Trump: “You are full of s—!” Perhaps realizing his response might be a bit rash for the CEO of a major auto manufacturer, Gilles later tweeted: “I apologize for my language, but lies are just that, lies.”

Not long afterwards, Chrysler group Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne sent an email to staff, saying in part: “I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,”

Leave it to the Canadians to call nonsense when they see it!

Excuse Generator for racers

Like competitors in any arena, most racers are full of excuses when things aren’t going their way. Just to keep the excuses fresh, the folks at Turn Zero have created a fun little excuse generator just for racers. Head on over and check it out. You’ll find some classics like “I was trying not to overheat my brakes” to a few more personal reasons!

Global Rallycross final event at SEMA. Block burns & keeps on driving

The final round of the 2012 Global Rallycross Championship wound up at SEMA and the action was hot. Extreme driving star, Ken Block, was the class of the field, taking the lead in qualifying and leading every lap of competition, until things got even too hot for him. A technical failure caused a fire inside Block’s Ford Fiesta, which brought his event to an end. Ever the showman though, the in-car video below shows that Block continued driving well after the fire erupted.

When the smoke cleared, Tanner Faust had won his second consecutive event, which allowed him to clinch the Championship just 10 points ahead of Brian Deegan.

Watch a freight train hit a water truck

A Utah construction worker, on his lunch break, decided to grab a video of a passing train for his four-year-old, who is a train buff. James Wood caught more than he bargained for on camera, when the train slammed into a tanker truck that was crossing the tracks. Shutting off his phone, Wood ran to the truck, expecting the worst, only to find the two men inside were completely unscathed.

This is a very visual reminder of why drivers should keep their eyes and ears open when crossing train tracks!

Snake and Mongoose movie trailer

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but growing up in Willowdale, in a sports car racing family in the ’70s, I had no real life expose to drag racing and hot rods. What I did have though was television. I lived to watch weekend broadcasts of NHRA drag racing, where nobody was bigger than Big Daddy Don Garlits. The floppy body funny cars always caught my attention, largely because of two guys in Mattel sponsored cars: Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom McEwen, also known as The Mongoose. I always saw them as rivals, but now I know they were more than that, they were best friends and closest enemies.

There has been lots of buzz about the Ron Howard film Rush, which is certain to be a monster hit in theaters, not to mention in the living rooms of motorsport fans, but this is the first time I have heard of Snake&Mongoose. While it may not have the budget that Rush has, it looks like the producers have hit their mark with some of the racing details. Let’s hope the story is as good as the real thing!

Snake&Mongoose first trailer from Wayne Holloway on Vimeo.

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