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Insider Report: Russian fighter jet buzzes highway

Published September 4, 2012

Imagine you were driving along that long and boring stretch of the 401 between London and Windsor, when suddenly you were woken up by the sonic blast of a speeding fighter jet coming toward you at an insanely low level.

That is exactly what happened to the Russian driver below as she was driving along the Route Volgograd. At first appearing as a speck in the sky above the highway, the Sukhoi Su-24 fighter blasts towards the camera car at what looks like just a few metres above the highway.

Back to life with Depth of Speed

As a teenager in the early ’80s, I was lucky to have a couple of buddies who had a rotating fleet of first generation VW GTIs. We worked hard to build the original pocket rockets into even more serious autocross machines using tuning parts that were popular in Europe at the time, ordered in through a local speed shop. The awesome little cars were dead simple to work on, just perfect for a bunch of guys with nothing more than high school shop class training.

Joel Erkkinen bought a $400 Rabbit in 2008 and with the help of the Minnesota Volkswagen community he learned the ins and outs of building a great car from nothing. From a roller with no floorpan to the wide body, turbocharged terror you see above, Erikkinen did everything himself. As his first effort at building a car, it has to be said that Erikkinen can be confident that his passion and enthusiasm has helped him create an incredible machine. Add in the talents of Depth of Speed creator, Josh Clason and you have five minutes of VW heaven.

Depth of Speed: Back To Life from Josh Clason on Vimeo.

Real race car made with 3D printer!

For a techie guy, sometimes I have my head in the sand when it comes to new stuff. The existence of the 3D printer is just one such thing. My kid started Grade 9 last week and while joining him at the orientation day, I was blown away by the 3D printer they have in the classroom for the graphic design class. It looked like a pretty cool device to say the least, but then this morning I came across this article over at Jalopnik about a Formula SAE car that was built using a 3D printer!

Called Areion, the car was built by a Belgian engineering student group called Formula Group T. Weighing in at just 280 kg, Areion features a body shell that uses a unique textured surface that was made possible through the use of the 3D tech. The panels all have mounting clip and attachment points fabricated right into the piece. If you have ever wondered if the Formula SAE program really is based on innovation, Aerion is a rolling example of creative use of modern technology.

Now if I can just get my kid to use the one at his school to make a new, lightweight hood for the race car build we are about to embark on!

Ultra rare Porsche 959 crashed on Montreal’s Mount Royal

The entire story behind the photo above has not yet come through, but early details suggest that this Porsche 959 is one of two in the Montreal area. The road where the 959 ended up clobbering a light post climbs up Mount Royal and has a 40 km/h speed limit. For those who don’t know, the 959 is not just a 911 with a body kit.

Just 200 of these Über sophisticated machines were built, exactly the number that Porsche needed to homologate the car for international competition. Porsche’s first AWD car, the 959 was considered the most technologically advanced Porsche of all time. There is no way that a car of the 959′s stature should conceivably lose control at 40 km/h, but …. downhill bicycle riders are known for racing down the hill at crazy speeds, and on occasion have been know to cut off motorists. Likewise, the climb is a favourite haunt for local enthusiast drivers, who ignore the speed limit on their way up the hill. It is conceivable that a combination of these activities may have contributed to the crunching of this quarter million dollar collectible! You can read more at MontrealRacing.com.

ALMS and Grand-Am gearing up for merger

Auto racing in North America has long been rife with politics that have divided the sport. The most visible to the mainstream observer has been the Indycar vs. Champcar battle that thankfully came to a close in recent years. To describe the politics between SCCA and IMSA would take much more space than I have here and these days we also have seen the emergence of NASA south of the border. In 1999, IMSA formed the American Le Mans Series to replace the IMSA GT Championship. The Grand American Road Racing Association was formed in the same year, with the launch of the Rolex Sports Car Series the following year to replace the United States Road Racing Championship. Confusing? You betcha! To make matters even more confusing, Grand-Am was purchased by NASCAR in 2008.

Recent years have seen declining entries in the prototype classes of both series as some manufacturers have pulled out, while the GT classes of ALMS have been populated by privateers. Several car makers have remained active in the Grand-Am GT classes. This decline in numbers really wasn’t good for competitors, organizers and most of all, the fans.

Over the weekend at the Baltimore race, John Dagys at SPEED was tipped off by several manufacturers, competitors and series representatives that a deal was in the works to merge the two series. When asked, the big bosses at both series denied the claims. The news is expected to be made public on Wednesday. ALMS recently extended their contract with European governing body ACO for another year that will see them compete under their banner until the end of 2013. Read more over at SPEED and keep your eye on Wheels.ca and we’ll keep you up to date as more details become available.

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