Sunday, August 22, 2010

Winner's Circle at Infineon

All Images Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma - Play By Play | Tweet By Tweet

Infineon Raceway "Tweet Up" just after Knockout Qualifications at the "Wine Country Winner's Circle" in Sonoma. Discussions included Reds? or Blacks? ... from the looks of things in pit lane, 15 of 16 Dallaras have Reds to start the race. Only EJ Viso is on Blacks. Image Credit: FollowAndretti via TweetPhoto
(A Special thanks to Steve Page, President, John and Diana in the Media Center for all their help this weekend.)

2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma - Play By Play | Tweet By Tweet

Qualifications for this last Road/Street circuit of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season had one surprise and the Knockout qualifying structure netted its desired results.

With the top 16 positions having lap times within one-second of each other, the best road drivers in the best equipment ended up at the top ... with ChampCar World Series transition driver standout Will Power setting an IZOD IndyCar Series record of capturing eight poles in one season. Defending Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma champion Dario Franchitti, Power's nearest title rival and last year's ICS season champion, was nearly half a second behind in third.

Will Power as he is presented with the Mario Andretti Road Championship Trophy by Mario Andretti with Jack Arute of Versus officiating. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

The rest of the Firestone Fast Six in the Knockout qualifying session which is usually dominated by Team Penske and Target Chip Ganassi was broken up by a new team with a longtime CCWS transition driver/owner Alex Tagliani of FAZZT Racing qualifying at P4 ... .6786 seconds off of Will Powers' pace which was the fastest lap set by any driver all weekend.

Will Power as he is presented with the Mario Andretti Road Championship Trophy winnings ($50,000) by Mario Andretti with Jack Arute of Versus officiating. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

How the field qualified (** denotes a driver or team that transitioned from the ChampCar World Series)

Pos Driver Team Time Session
1. Will Power** Penske 1m16.5282s Fast six
2. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m16.5652s Fast six
3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m16.9437s Fast six
4. Alex Tagliani** Fazzt 1m17.2068s Fast six
5. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m17.2108s Fast six
6. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m17.3469s Fast six
7. Justin Wilson** Dreyer & Reinbold 1m16.9447s Round 2
8. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m17.1317s Round 2
9. Tony Kanaan Andretti 1m17.3181s Round 2
10. Raphael Matos** De Ferran Dragon 1m17.3710s Round 2
11. Simona de Silvestro** HVM** 1m17.7429s Round 2
12. Dan Wheldon Panther 1m17.8280s Round 2
13. Bertrand Baguette Conquest** 1m17.5238s Group 1
14. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas** 1m17.5186s Group 2
15. EJ Viso** KV** 1m17.6825s Group 1
16. Graham Rahal** Newman/Haas** 1m17.5284s Group 2
17. Takuma Sato KV** 1m17.7112s Group 1
18. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m17.6216s Group 2
19. JR Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold 1m17.7659s Group 1
20. Mario Moraes** KV** 1m17.7532s Group 2
21. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m17.9149s Group 1
22. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne** 1m18.0422s Group 2
23. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m18.3995s Group 1
24. Milka Duno Dale Coyne** 1m22.2980s Group 2
25. Francesco Dracone Conquest** 1m21.2262s Group 1

The track at Sonoma ... Infineon Raceway in the morning. Image Credit: FollowAndretti via TweetPhoto

The following are Twitter entries (140 characters or less) excerpted and possibly edited submitted by people who are following the 2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. A play by play via "Tweet" by "Tweet"!

IndyCarNation Mario Andretti leads the field in the IndyCar two-seater with Stan, the Honda Sweepstakes winner.

TheEDJE Reds? or Blacks? ... from the looks of things in pit lane, 15 of 16 Dallaras have Reds to start the race #indycar

kvracing Moraes in car ready for the race

GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! The 2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma starts!

toomuchracing Green - immediate yellow, Wheldon is upside down

Fieldof33 What a ridiculously shitty start.

kvracing On start of race, Wheldon gets turned upside down before start finish line, he is out of car and walks to safety

99forever Thank God for roll bars

TheEDJE Danica Patrick dives into the pits to top off

pressdog Possibly the fugliest start to a race I have ever seen (link to post-race story).

GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! The 2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma - RESTART LAP 4!

TheEDJE Milka Duno shown the BLACK Flag LAP 5

kvracing On the restart Viso remain 12th, Sato moves to 15th and Moraes 18th. Viso pitting next lap for alternate (red) tires

TheEDJE EJ Viso in the pits to change from scuff Blacks to Reds ... wing adjustment - LAP 6

InfineonRaceway @DanWheldon is OK after accident to start race #indycar

SarahFisher67 Watching Sonoma. Hearing Power say qualifying was the toughest lap of his career reminds me how challenging/intense driving these cars are!

InfineonRaceway Working lap 10: Power, Helio, Franchitti, Tagliani, Briscoe. #indycar

IndyCarNation Hildebrand pits.

indy44 Single file hold your line.

TheEDJE EJ Viso ticks off quickest lap of the race after pitting off sequence

TheEDJE Marco Andretti pits off sequence - LAP 14

Andretti Autosport garage after Knockout qualifications. Image Credit: FollowAndretti via TweetPhoto

Newman_Haas Tough to pass here so people are trying to save fuel big time and hoping to go farther than others on their stints.

deferrandragon Jay: "how's the car?" Rafa: "good." Short and sweet

Several "Off Track" excursions shuffle the order - #77 of Alex Tagliani has flat tire possibly from contact with Ryan Hunter Raey

IndyCarNation Milka Duno #18 was black flagged (by request of the team) due to radio issues

indy44 LAP 20 - P1 12 P2 10 P3 3 P4 6 P5 9 P6 22 P7 37 P8 11 P9 2 P10 78

99forever IMS Radio says the reds are starting to go off for everyone.

paultracy3 Ohhh tag Ohhh tag

99forever LAP 22 - Wilson gets by Briscoe and puts a non Penske/Ganassi car in the top 5.

MikeM_PR @justinwilson22 nice pass for position on Briscoe for P5 now

kvracing Sato just pitted for fuel and black tires

TheEDJE Dixon and Wilson both place Helio Castroneves behind them - LAP 24

IndyCarNation Matos #2 has an on and off after contact with Simona de Silvestro #78, both continued

tomasscheckter @paultracy3 lol

99forever Justin apparently not at all concerned with the tires going off!

curtcavin Power is 10 seconds clear of Dario. #indycar

indy44 EJ and Simona make contact

InfineonRaceway Simona spins, Power in pits on lap 28 #indycar

99forever That spin as Will came in was almost interesting

curtcavin Will's lead was 17 seconds at the pit stop for both drivers (he and Dario)

InfineonRaceway Both Franchitti, Dixon in pits on lap 29 #indycar

FollowAndretti On lap 29... Marco P2, Ryan P9, Tony P11, Danica P18

deferrandragon Impressive to go that fast and save that kind of fuel


YELLOW Flag - Duno off course on LAP 33 - Full Course CAUTION

Full course caution for a spin and stall by Milka Duno #18 in turn 7

BeccyGordon Imagine that... #parkmilka spun!!!

deferrandragon That yellow helps us a bit.

IndyCarNation Pits are open with only Viso and Andretti making stops among the leaders

GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! The 2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma - RESTART LAP 35!

IndyCarNation GREEN! Power, Briscoe, Franchitti, Dixon, Castroneves are top 5 after Viso and Andretti pit

AllenWedge RT: @deferrandragon: What that yellow did was allow the others to see what the back of power's car looks like again His lead was significant

pressdog @indy44 don't worry. It will be back.

YELLOW Flag - Hildebrand off course on LAP 38 - Full Course CAUTION

MikeM_PR Race is halfway @justinwilson22 P6 in fuel saving mode. Full course caution for Hildebrand

GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! The 2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma - RESTART LAP 40!

pressdog Will Briscoe make himself wide to protect Power?

kvracing Back to green flag. Sato is 11th, Moraes is 16th. Viso had to pit again, he has problems with rear

deferrandragon Rafa 10th right where he started

toomuchracing Order LAP 43: Power, Briscoe, Franchitti, Dixon, Helio, Wilson, RHR, Rahal, Kanaan, Sato

indy44 Penske couldn't have planned it any better to have a teammate in 2nd behind Championship contender. Power leads Briscoe by 3,5 seconds

tomasscheckter Will power is probably txting and emailing people now wants to make the most of his weekend minutes. He is in a different world.

IndyCarNation Marco Andretti #26 made contact with J.R. Hildebrand #24 and Mario Moraes #32 in the last few laps.

99forever If we keep it up, we'll have six cars left. LOL RT @formula1blog For crying out loud! #parkMarco

IndyCarNation Lap 45: Power leads Briscoe by 3.2256 with Franchitti, Dixon, Castroneves, Wilson bunched together behind

FollowAndretti Lap 47 or 75... Ryan 7, Tony 9, Danica P1 Marco 18

IndyCarNation Not much separating P2-P7. Could get interesting

BeccyGordon Why did they let her back out??? #parkmilka spun AGAIN... Take a seat my friend. God I wish they'd let @OriolServia drive get car!

kvracing Moraes just pitted for fuel and tires. Rejoins 20th but field still to pit

Power leads the field by 5.1 seconds with 24 laps left

IndyCarNation Briscoe #6 pits from second place | Castroneves in as well

SpeedFreaks So let's be honest. Today's IndyCar race is about as boring as last night's NASCAR race. But why does it appear to be a bit more active?

RaceDrive So the new "stay out of gear until fuel is done" has gone "very" quiet - or did we miss something ? #Indycar

Newman_Haas GR in next time by - Reds out

indy44 Marco and Meira make contact in pit lane.

TheEDJE LAP 55 - All leaders have pitted except for Power and Dixon - RISKY

Newman_Haas Graham is P9 and Hideki is P19

TheEDJE Power in ... Dixon stays out for one more lap

IndyCarNation Power in the pits!

BeccyGordon She spins twice then they send her out in front of RHR on pitlane. WTH????? #parkmilka

TheEDJE Scott Dixon in - Scuff Reds laid out - Power back in the lead

IndyCarNation After pit stop exchange: Power #12 leads Franchitti by 5.9482 seconds with Dixon landing in third

Fieldof33 @99forever Unless Power is driving directly on the rims, I don't think the compound is going to make much difference for Power. :-)

indy44 Power +3.6153 - 15 Laps to go

IndyCarNation 15 left: Power, Franchitti, Dixon, Briscoe, Castroneves, Wilson, Kanaan, Hunter-Reay, Rahal, Matos, Sato, Baguette, Patrick, Lloyd, Andretti

toomuchracing Dixon is chasing Dario closely - and he makes the pass! What's he doing? Dario's their only chance in the title fight

TheEDJE Dixon passes teammate Franchitti causing the #2 in IndyCar Season points to loose position

Newman_Haas To Graham: Helio and Briscoe are on blacks up ahead and are backing people up.

YELLOW Flag - Conquest's Bagette damaged as Viso and Sato are involved on LAP 66 - Full Course CAUTION

paultracy3 Ohh viso ohh viso , why do u do him that way

VersusIndyCar Join the IndyCar Sonoma Race Chat with @kevingraham1280 and @royhobbson right now! #indycar

IndyCarNation This late yellow flag could make for an interesting end to the race.

GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! The 2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Restarts on LAP 69 - 6 LAPS remain

TheEDJE Dixon challenges Power on the restart - pull away from the field

SpeedFreaks Wow, Dixon is giving it all he has for Will Power... this might happen.

TheEDJE Mutoh spins sets up a local YELLOW ... may go Full Course - safety truck on track

tomasscheckter Go dixon go dixon go dixon.

99forever Not the end-of-race battle I was expecting but dang! That's some serious racing we're seeing right there..

AllenWedge wow, commercial with 5 laps to go, thats an epic fail of ESPN type proportions there Versus

TheEDJE Sato takes out Danica Patrick

TheEDJE WHITE Flag - Power out in front of Dixon by six carlengths - Sato holds up Dixon

Versus camera crew head to Danica's area immediately

MikeM_PR Checkered flag @justinwilson22 takes it home in P6

TheEDJE Penske's Will Power wins fifth race of the 2010 season - Leads 73 of 75 laps

Will Power as he pulls into the Infineon Raceway Wine Country Winner's Circle. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

Team Penske team members greet the 2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma race winner, Will Power in the Infineon Raceway Wine Country Winner's Circle. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

FollowAndretti Checkered flag @InfineonRaceway... Tony 7th, Ryan 8th, Marco 12th, Danica 16th. #IZODIndyCar

indy44 Fact RT @paultracy3: The kv team has hit everything but the helicopter today

IndyCarNation Will Power #12 wins the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, Dixon, Franchitti, Briscoe, Castroneves are top 5

IndyCarNation 6-15: Wilson, Kanaan, Hunter-Reay, Rahal, Lloyd, Moraes, Andretti, de Silvestro, Tagliani, Meira

IndyCarNation 16-22: Patrick, Mutoh, Sato, Viso, Dracone, Matos, Duno

Will Power being interviewed while the IZOD IndyCar Chick and the Firestone Firehawk mascot look on at the Infineon Raceway Wine Country Winner's Circle. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

Will Power being interviewed in the Infineon Raceway Wine Country Winner's Circle. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010) Now you know how Dicken Wear as on TV after the Race.

Will Power's winning Penske Racing Verizon Dallara and helmet in the Infineon Raceway Wine Country Winner's Circle. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

A proud Roger Penske (right) greets his driver Will Power (left) after winning the 2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma in the Infineon Raceway Wine Country Winner's Circle. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

Mario Andretti shares a congratulatory moment (and a laugh) with Will Power in the Infineon Raceway Wine Country Winner's Circle. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

Will Power being congratulated by his crew chief, Tim Cindric, in the Infineon Raceway Wine Country Winner's Circle. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

Penske Racing Team as it celebrates Will Power's win at Infineon Raceway. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)

toomuchracing Congrats to Will Power for a dominant win!

Fieldof33 Awwww, Hell Naw!!!! The IZOD Trophy Chick just stood right in front of @speedfreakbash. Kick 'er ass, Bash!!!! :-)

IZOD Trophy Chick with the Firestone Firehawk in the Infineon Raceway Wine Country Winner's Circle. Image Credit: Dicken Wear (2010)
Note: The Firehawk Drives a Mini IRL Kart at most Races, built by Dicken Wear & Competition Engineering.

JSummerton Had a great day! Been fun! Great @IndyCarnation race. Congrats to Will Power. Hopefully will be in there fighting for the wins next year;)

IndyCarNation Power's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma win is his third win from the pole this season.

This is Will Power’s fifth victory of the 2010 season. He previously won at Sao Paulo, St. Petersburg, Watkins Glen and Toronto.

IndyCarNation Power is the sixth different winner of an IZOD IndyCar Series race @InfineonRaceway, have been no repeat series winners at @InfineonRaceway

indy44 Good finish, nice fight at the end between Power and Dixon. Will Power is definitely the King of the Road. Now bring on the ovals!

SFRacing Bring on the ovals @IndyCarNation! We'll see all of you @ChicagolndSpdwy next weekend!

... notes from The EDJE

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Flower Of Scotland Streamliner Wilts At Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Week

The Flower of Scotland is a 1 litre blown fuel streamliner. The streamliner is built to run in the I/BFS class of the So-Cal Timing associations Land Speed Racing at Bonneville on the Salt Flats. Image Credit: RickP, EVO Forum

Flower Of Scotland Streamliner Wilts At Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Week

In one of the more publicized world land speed record attempts to be launched by a team from the British Isles, the Flower Of Scotland streamliner had a design and a plan that looked to have a real shot at the I/BFS record (I = sub 1-litre/ BFS = Blown, Fuel, Streamliner).

Stripped of its bodywork, this streamliner has the look of a rail-dragster ready for an attempt at a speed in the quarter mile. Aluminium front wheels mean the streamliner can only run on Salt which limits other competitive outings, but the Flower Of Scotland was built to do over 300mph in order to break the I/BFS record at 313mph. Image Credit: RickP, EVO Forum

The last, and most publicized attempt at a WLSR by a team from the British Isles was the British Steam Car Challenge (BSCC) effort last year at this time. On Tuesday, August 25, 2009, the BSCC established two world land speed records that had not been officially broken (reset) in over 100 years.

The official world land speed record (WLSR) for a steam-powered vehicle was originally set by the folks that created the Stanley Steamer (127.659 mph), with a specialized racer in 1906, where it sat on a shelf, only to be challenged once, unofficially in the mid-eighties at Bonneville with an adapted public transportation Lear steam engine (145.607 mph), until last summer.

The British Steam Car - Inspiration - on its first record-breaking run with Charles Burnett III on Rogers Dry Lake bed. The first photo shows the Steam Car at full speed on the first pass as it goes by a U.S. Air Force jet taxiing on an adjacent runway. The middle photo has the car through the middle of the second pass where it reached a speed of over 151mph. The last photo shows the British Steam Car as it completes its challenge to break the World Land Speed Record for the measured mile. [ctrl-click photo to launch BBC Video of record breaking run!] Images Credit: BSCC via BBC Video

The British Steam Car Challenge (BSCC) broke the WLSR for a steam-powered vehicle with a custom multiple (12) boiler engine settled into a British Racing Green Bonneville style racer, and after over five years of testing and development, attained two World Land Speed Records and one unofficial fastest top speed were established by the British Steam Car Challenge (BSCC), in the Rogers Dry Lake Bed (Edwards Air Force Base, Mojave, California). 139.843 mph by Charles Burnett III for the measured mile, 148.308 mph by Don Wales for the measured kilometer, and an unofficial fastest top speed ever set for a human-driven steam-powered vehicle of over 155mph set by Don Wales.

The Speed Scotland team and the Flower Of Scotland streamliner as it readies itself for the 2010 Bonneville Speed Week ahead. Image Credit: RickP, EVO Forum

This year, a Scottish team expressed its determination to beat the one-liter engine displacement world land speed record, when it showed up to compete in the Salt Flats of Utah at Bonneville Speed Week held from Friday to Friday on August 13-20, 2010.

The team named 'Flower of Scotland' was driven by 23-year-old Derek Palmer and 35-year-old Rick Pearson and managed by Palmer's father, Derek Sr., participated in the one-liter supercharged category in the streamliner car.

This team has been competing for sometime and won various British and European championships, including the last FIA European Michelin Supertouring Championship in 2001.

Rick Palmer as he sits in the cockpit of the Flower Of Scotland for the first time on the salt flats of Bonneville, Utah. Image Credit: RickP, EVO Forum

The car, which is described as an 'extremely tight fit', involves the driver having to lie flat and slide up the seat to jam his head into a roll cage. The controls consist of only a steering wheel with a CO2 power shift button, two parachute levers, three fire extinguisher levers, accelerator, clutch, and brake.

Speaking to the BBC about the Speed Scotland team, Team Manager Derek Palmer Sr. said 'Flower of Scotland' was packed with advanced technology.

"It is a wheel driven car which drives as a conventional car through the axles, not with a jet engine, and it is 1,000cc. The technology is all in getting the thing to push as little air to the side as possible and for there to be little rolling resistance," The BBC quoted Derek Palmer Sr..

"It is absolutely tiny - the car is only 22in wide and its less than 3ft high so it is the height of someone lying on their back.

It is as small as it possibly can be to make as little a hole in the air as possible," Derek Sr. added.

The Flower Of Scotland as it just about ready for a push and its first run on the salt at Bonneville, Utah. Image Credit: RickP, EVO Forum

This excerpted and edited from postings placed by RickP at the EVO Forum (all times reflected are times posted in Scotland) -

EVO heading for 300mph!

August 14, 2010 12:36 PM | Posted By: RickP

Well its 5am Saturday morning and today we head to the Salt for Rookie orientation and the drivers briefing.....

Tech inspection went well, we were in line around 11.30 and got finished just after 3pm which I'm told isn't too bad as things go...

my responsibilities were just to demonstrate to the safety crews that I knew the exact procedure to walk thru in an emergency, so fire chute 1 (high speed), then chute 2 (low speed), fire bottle 1, fire bottle 2, pop the belts, lift the canopy, wriggle free then fire the final fire bottle as I bailed over the side.

They are mostly looking for a lack of panic and to be honest, after the traditional Promotorsport pit stop which involves me being thrown half way across the pit lane, it was pretty tame!

So today we run... not that nervous... speeds won't be too high today and the car seems user friendly, hoping to complete 2 Rookie passes (150-175 ish and 175-200 ish) but the queue to run has been known to reach 8 hours long!

August 15, 2010 6:31 AM | Posted By: RickP

When was the last time you got into a car which you'd never driven, never even put into gear or turned the wheel away from the dead ahead, and fired it from 0 to 170mph in the space of 1 mile?

Throw in a track surface you not only don't know, but also don't really understand, and wheel technology that eliminates the need for tyres???

Then add in a cabin pressure issue that meant fumes were entering the cockpit and making your eyes water, and vibrations so bad that for 80% of the run you were basically only seeing blurs?

That pretty much sums up our first run down the Salt today and as you can imagine it was a full-on sensory overload!!!

The mission for today was to complete 2 licence passes, the first between 125mph and 150mph, the second in the 150mph to 175mph band, however due to the fact I basically couldn't read the tacho nor the gear selection indicator due to the fumes and the vibration, I actually made my first pass at 170mph! This DID NOT go down well with the Rookie supervisors here at Bonneville and I was given a dressing down and sent back to do it again.

Fortunately after making some changes we eliminated all these problems, ran a shake-down at 105mph to check the mods and then a pass at 127mph to be awarded our first 2 licences!

Tomorrow, a pass in the 175mph-200mph band and then we're free to run as fast as we like and start building towards the 313mph record we're chasing...

August 16, 2010 6:14 AM | Posted By: RickP

Well they say Land Speed Racing is a tough sport and today wasn't much fun...

after the 3 passes yesterday we stripped the car down first thing to prep for today's activities and found some nasties in the front suspension. With safety paramount of course we set very high standards and so we took most of the morning out to get the set-up absolutely right....

then a couple of big (260mph) accidents on the long course pushed the queues for a run back a way (both drivers walked away) and it was 4pm as we came to the line...

the long course looked superb, 3 miles of salt visible before the mirage appeared to show water beyond, the mountain at the end of the track "floating"...

a good push start and instantly the improvement in the handling was obvious.. but as I fired the shifter for 2nd gear a loud rattle signified all wasn't well and I punched the chute and turned off the course...

A dog tooth broken off first gear had jammed the 'box and split the casing wide open... so as g/box is integral to the engine, this means a full engine swap before we run again tomorrow...

Such is racing....

August 17, 2010 5:24 AM | Posted By: RickP

A long day on the Salt in the heat waiting for the engine change to be completed... scalding hot as well with one of the panels of the car left in the sun hitting around 80 deg C... yup easy egg frying territory!

Finally hit the startline around 5pm and with permission to run between 175 and 200mph I put down a second mile at 200.213 and had to pull the chutes before the 3 mile mark as the car was racing on towards 250 and I didn't fancy another interview with the race director!!!

But all seems good with the new engine and we prepped the car for the next run but just ran out of time before the Salt shut for the night at 7... so first thing tomorrow we get to run the 200-250mph bracket and then hopefully we'll get a crack at the 250-300mph pass so we can start thinking about that 313mph record!

Fingers crossed we don't hit a technical hitch as we've got her running straight and true and I'm really comfortable both in, and with, the car now so feeling pretty good!

Fingers crossed, we're getting closer!

August 18, 2010 12:49 AM | Posted By: RickP

Disaster struck the Flower of Scotland, as the first pass saw a chain thrown, then a second run saw the gearbox explode.
Those of you who are following us closely will know that this is the second gearbox and our last spare motor (gearbox is integral to the motor).

So it's all over.

The dream dies here for 2010.

Or does it? We've got transmission parts in Houston and we're desperately trying to get UPS to ship them out tonight, and we've got a guy in LA who is machining new transmission cases for us as we speak...

so I"m off back to Salt Lake, flight to John Wayne airport at 9.45pm, then back the other way at 6.45am hopefully with the parts we need to see the "Flower" fly again before the Salt closes Friday lunchtime...

Fingers crossed crew....
In a grotty hotel on the West Coast waiting for my flight back, but I've a newly machined engine casing in my "hand" luggage which is what we need... gearbox internals are on the UPS o/n so fingers crossed we could be running again Thursday... but if we do, it'll be with the wick turned right up... Never surrender!
Just landed back in Salt Lake with half a motorbike in my hand luggage!!! We're not done yet by a long way ...

August 19, 2010 3:04 AM | Posted By: RickP

Well folks, you can imagine how fresh I feel after less than 3 hours sleep in at Santa Ana hotel last night and while I returned with all the parts we thought we needed, stripping down the remains of the original 2 engines showed that actually the damage was much more severe than we thought.

The crankshaft's and bearings on both engines had been destroyed in the brief seconds after the cases exploded in the gearboxes and the oil pressure dropped. SO we simply don't have enough parts to build one good engine.

However, the Speed racing community have rallied around us, and legendary Salt Bike racer, Joe Amo has offered to get on a plane from his South Dakota workshop and fly up tonight with what we need...

So the Speed Scotland team have decamped from the Salt (where you aren't allowed to work beyond 8pm) to the car park of a Casino in nearby Wendover and we've prepped the car and engine parts we have to pull an "all-nighter" once Joe gets here at midnight to be back out on the Salt early tomorrow!

The fight goes on....
It's 7am Thursday, and we HAVE AN ENGINE... although not in the car yet... these things don't always run smoothly and it's been a long a tough build night so far for the boys... but we'll get back out there... only problem, it's raining slightly so we're a little fearful for the Salt... going to need some luck!

August 20, 2010 4:14 AM | Posted By: RickP

The Salt can be a tough mistress, but to be honest she’s virtually killing us here.

Another tough day. We had the engine back together for 7.30am after working all night once Joe Amo (fastest guy ever on a sit-on motorbike at 272mph!) arrived with the parts we were missing. One shift of mechanics went to bed, and another woke to put the engine in the car. This was completed around 11.30 and we were confident of being on the Salt for early afternoon. However on firing the engine up, we realized she was running badly and needed some pretty major open heart surgery. Including more parts we didn’t have!

Once again it looked like it was all over, and once again the Salt community managed to source us what we needed and the engine was finished by 5pm.

Panels back on and we whipped the car down to the Salt from the Casino car park HQ we’ve been using. Unfortunately the wind was pretty marginal for safety but we decided to make a pass anyway in a lull.

The Flower of Scotland went off the line well, but lost power within the first mile.

A quick investigation threw up another small failure in the transmission, clearly the destruction of the 2 engines so far this week had shaken stuff up more than we thought... but this time fortunately it was a quick fix... but not quickly enough to turn the car around for another run at the Salt tonight.

So we have one last chance in the morning: the car has been geared so that if it makes it the 5 miles down the Salt and I can keep my foot to the boards, we SHOULD run the record.

We’ll be on the Salt for sun up, and fingers crossed our luck will finally come good. It certainly feels like we’ve paid our dues...... the crew are pretty down, but we're not beaten yet.
The EDJE at 5:05 AM 20 August 2010

If The Flower Of Scotland is able to get the two run WLSR in and set the mark ... it will be a Hollywood ending to a study in perseverance ... otherwise it is a grand story of the camaraderie that exists when like-minded people come together with a common goal. Either way it is a story of deep human interest. God Speed and All The Best!
RickP at 6:00 PM 20 August 2010

It's all over. The was to be no fairytale ending.

We turned up the boost and geared her for the record. Jeez, we even had our engine guy lead us in a swift prayer! The wind was up and conditions marginal but she went off the line well, but when the full force of the turbo kicked in the engine we built in the Casino car park cried enough.

Gutted right now. Had spent 3 days readying myself for the 300mph pass and now I'm crashing off the adrenaline.
With just 1 hour left in Speed Week our dream was over for this year and the crew are all shattered and pretty dejected, sitting here in the airport in silence.
FellRunner at 11:09 PM 20 August 2010

JOK is aware of what you've been doing this week, and as someone who has been fascinated by speed record breaking for years, it's been very exciting to follow the week's events.

Sorry the cumulative mechanical problems stopped you going for the record, but what you've done is bloody impressive!

Even thought you've clearly done a lot of racing, to step into (metaphorically!) a car for the first time and push it up to 170mph... well, I don't have a hat worthy of taking off to you!
Reference Here>>

The "Flower" may have wilted in the sun and the salt at Bonneville, Utah, but the competitive spirit of the "Salt community" and your team grew in the hearts and minds of all of those who tuned in to your team Speed Scotland effort through your posts.

'Till next year then, when you all will be back ... back to set a new mark in the pursuit of a one-liter engine displacement world land speed record at the 2011 Bonneville Speed Week - Monday, August 22, 2011 at 12:00am - Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 11:55pm!

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mid-Ohio - Gardner Scion Shows It's Stuff Yet Again

Dan Gardner drives the 36 car to Third Place while earning Best Standing Start Award. Image Credit: Dan Gardner (2010)

Mid-Ohio - Gardner Scion Shows It's Stuff Yet Again

DG-Spec Scion Team Takes Podium Despite Fierce Competition at Mid-Ohio
Story and Images Dan Gardner. Posted by Dicken Wear for the Motorsports Report

At rounds 8 and 9 in the World Challenge Touring Car race at Mid-Ohio, the DG-Spec team again fought at the front. An extremely healthy 16-car field was registered prior to the event, with a total of 42 cars registered in all three classes. Despite fierce competition and a big blow on Saturday, team owner and driver Dan Gardner would drive his number 36 DG-Spec Scion tC to a strong third place finish on Sunday. Gardner also was awarded the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start for advancing an impressive six positions on the first lap.

Robert Stout would keep his head and bring home a solid fourth place finish on Saturday in the 18 car, after Gardner was taken out by another competitor. In doing so, Stout kept his lead for the Driver’s Championship. Even without running all the races, Gardner managed to push himself into third position for the championship after the Mid-Ohio performance.

“We did some testing prior to this event to sort out some really tough issues with the 36 car,” said Gardner. “After the Toronto race, enough was enough. We had to develop a strong action plan and do whatever it took to figure it out. Long story short, though tireless efforts and some redeye flights, we found the solution. It was a great feeling to have a solid car for each session. I knew we had two cars that could run up toward the front, and the rest would be up to the drivers.”

During testing and practice sessions, both Stout and Gardner would experience a bit of trouble. First Stout had power problems, which the team tracked down to electrical issues. Once that was fixed, the 18 car didn’t hiccup again.

Gardner was experiencing braking trouble, especially while going into the carousel. After a couple of laps of strange ABS issues, finally the brakes really bit the 36 car, as Gardner felt the pedal get hard, ABS engage, and then instantly lock up the rears and loop the car. Despite full brake application, Gardner got into the grass, and slid the car rearwards toward the tire barrier. The car backed itself into the tires as the rear climbed high into the air, before coming to a stop. Fortunately a bumper and toe hook appeared to be the only victims.

The first official practice session would show just how close the competition would be with the top five cars separated by a wafer-thin three-tenths of a second. The leader had run a best lap of 1:38.5, with both Stout and Gardner running a 1:38.8. The times put the Scions ahead of several faster-class GTS cars.

For Qualifying, the team did the normal process of putting sticker tires on the car. Unfortunately there would be unforeseen consequences. Both drivers reported that the cars felt more or less fine, but that the times just didn’t seem to be there. The cars would lose a full second, pushing them down the grid for the first race. It was disappointing, but luckily the team had a plan.

World Challenge rules state that you have to race on the same tires you qualify on. However, the rules allow teams to change out one tire in the event of the unforeseen. Change more than one, and you must start from the back of the pack. The team theorized that the cars had gotten too tight with the significant increase in rear grip. In order to remedy the situation, the team put an old tire on the left rear of the car, as Mid-Ohio is a predominantly right turning track. They wouldn’t be allowed to change the right rear tire, but they did make a change to that corner to help remove some grip. A few other changes were made to combat the situation, and then it was time to cross fingers.

A great start and clean driving during Saturday’s race saw both Scions move from running seventh and eighth to a strong third and fourth. Gardner was leading the way with Stout not far behind. The times had indeed come back to the cars, as Gardner ripped off a 1:38.6 best lap.

Two full-course caution periods wouldn’t much help the team, as a Mazda RX-8 was raging from behind. Up ahead were another RX-8 and a MazdaSpeed3, and the Scions were gaining on the leaders, as they battled and their tires dropped off.

Before the second restart, Stout and Eric Meyer’s RX-8 would battle, with Meyer eventually getting around the number 18 Scion. Gardner would still be in third place trying to take second from Jason Saini. When the restart happened Meyer was hounding Gardner with barely 5 minutes left in the race. Gardner was defending hard, and on the second to last lap of the race with Gardner in third place, Meyer drilled the Scion in the right rear on the way to the keyhole. The contact instantly punted the Scion as it turned hard right into the grass at 100 mph. The car slid back across the track, and a dozen or more cars somehow managed to swerve around the hapless Scion.

Gardner gathered the car back up, and was able to finish the race, but the podium would in a heartbeat be gone. Stout managed to hold onto fourth, as he improved his starting position by a solid four slots.

“It’s disappointing and deflating when that happens,” said crew chief, Brad Allen. “You’re running a solid race, in contention for a podium, and then that type of driving by another competitor ends your race. The crew was understandably upset, but those are the bitter pills you sometimes swallow in racing.”

A late change to the schedule would remove the second qualifying session, and replace it with another practice. This meant that the teams would have to start from the same position they did the race before, based on their qualifying performance from the day before. That put both Scions again back to the middle of the field.

It apparently didn’t much matter, as again, Gardner and Stout got great starts, with Gardner winning best standing start award for advancing six positions on the opening lap. The Scions were soon in running fourth and fifth. Gardner and Stout exchanged positions a few times early on, but the 36 car would lead the 18 for the remainder of the race.

As the two came into the carousel about ten laps in, Stout went late on the brakes and got into the ABS in the same spot Gardner had in practice. As that happened he went into the right side of Gardner in the 36 car. The contact bent the left front suspension of the 18 car, but fortunately resulted only in body damage to the 36. Gardner continued on while Stout pressed onward with several bent pieces.

“It’s really hard when something like that happens,” said Stout. “I hate that I got into Dan, but I’m glad it didn’t take him out of the race. From there I just tried to stay out of the way of everyone else. It was survival time, and every position counted for a few more points.”

Gardner felt his car out, and it seemed fine, though he was struggling with huge oversteer issues in fast left-handers. The team would try to alleviate the problem, but would later find that the camber had slipped significantly as a result of the contact with the Mazda the day before.

Gardner took those turns cautiously, slowing the lap times down, but keeping the car on the track. Several times on the exit of Turn 1, the Scion would get sideways, but Gardner caught it each time…once while going side by side with Ryan Eversley in the Maxwell Paper RX-8.

With Robb Holland’s VW GTI ahead in third place, Gardner just kept driving. As GT traffic approached, one of the Vipers and Holland would get into each other. Gardner rocketed by, claiming third place, and hoping to take another position.

Sunday’s race also had two caution periods, and late in the race, Gardner found himself in the same predicament, with Meyer’s RX-8 right behind him for the final restart. Again, big defense kept the RX-8 behind for a couple of laps. Finally, going into the carousel Meyer would loop his car and drop back, giving Gardner some breathing room. In the end, the two cars ahead would maintain their positions, but Gardner would claim the final step on the podium, with a solid, mistake-free race.

With a bent car, Stout would hang on for 10th, earning valuable points toward his run at the Driver’s Championship. In spite of repeated contact throughout the weekend, both Scions ran almost flawlessly, as the crew of Brad Allen, Sean Morris, David Fredrickson, and John McNulty did their best to give the drivers great cars.

Stout still has the lead for the Driver’s Championship. His 959 total points keeps him 149 points ahead of second place. Gardner further accrued points for the 36 car in the team championship, keeping the car solidly in third position. The team’s performance in Ohio nets Scion a total of 62 points, keeping the brand’s lead for the Manufacturers’ title, ahead of second place Mazda, which now moves in front of VW.

Standings and results can be viewed at

The race will be broadcast on the Versus Network on Saturday, August 28 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

Twenty-four hours later the program can be viewed online at

The Mosport and Toronto races as well as a great season recap can be seen at

The team now prepares for another double-header at Virginia International Raceway, which takes place on September 10-12. Both of the weekend’s races can be viewed through live timing and scoring at

The team’s progress throughout the season can be followed at and

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance - 2010 - Infiniti IPL Launch

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance - 2010 - Infiniti IPL Launch

Infiniti introduces their rumored specialty-performance vehicle collection, the Infiniti Performance Line. The first production vehicle from this group, the 348-horsepower 2011 Infiniti Performance Line G Coupe, debuts tomorrow evening at an exclusive event at the 60th annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It joins the Infiniti line of performance luxury vehicles at Infiniti retailers nationwide in December.

The Infiniti Performance Line, or IPL, offers a new level of premium performance for Infiniti vehicles, focusing not just on engine power and acceleration, but also on redefining total vehicle performance. IPL promises unique driving attributes with exclusive designs, different from other Infiniti models in each selected Infiniti line. The 2011 IPL G Coupe is the first of what is expected to be a range of IPL performance vehicles in the future.

Infiniti Performance Line vehicles are targeted at buyers seeking performance luxury vehicles that express a greater degree of individual style. The limited production IPL vehicles begin with Infiniti's legendary emotional design and Japanese craftsmanship -- and then heighten the luxury and performance levels through modifications to the exterior, interior, engine tuning and suspension.

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

"IPL was conceived to create a new premium performance envelope, going beyond equipment upgrades to accelerate the very soul of Infiniti's Inspired Performance," said Infiniti Vice President Ben Poore. "IPL brings all the elements together, styling harmonized with performance, exhaust note with acceleration feel, ride comfort and confident handling. It's the perfect formula for unmatched driving exhilaration."
(ht: Infiniti)

... notes from The EDJE