Porsche Club NWR // Drivers Ed

May 15 will see the Porsche crazy's hit the track. From 912's to GT-3's you can expect to see what German engineering and a few extra bucks can do. Like going back to school after a few years in the work force, a driver education course in a Porsche will provide the essentials, helping to keep you out of the trees and hopefully avoiding a few 360's in the gravel. A great place for Porsche Club members to hone their skills, and an opportunity to lap a vintage race course as well. The gates at Pacific Raceway open at 7am, engines run at 9am and the event will conclude at 5pm. According to our friends at the Porsche Club, "The Driver Education Program is designed to provide a safe, structured teaching environment in which participants learn advanced car control and safe driving techniques." Just a Porsche fan? Come out and watch. A Porsche owner new to the whole going fast thing? Check out the Porsche Club NWR for more info: http://www.pnwr.org

Time For a Bigger Television // Gran Turismo 5

Now here is an excuse to spend $500 on videogames! Nothing more than the teaser for what is to come, Gran Turismo 5: Prolouge is the next step on the evoloutionary ladder of driving simulators. With 70 different cars, 6 tracks and 12 layouts, this "preview" provides just enough to feed the gamer crowd, while they wait for the complete version. Released on April 15, Prolouge has taken full advantage of the Playstation 3's capability, and created something completely mind blowing. You will feel justified in your $500 purchase, sitting on your rear, staring at the plasma screen, GT-Force steering wheel in your grip, as you lap Sukuza Circuit in a Formula One Ferrari. Offering the most realalistic driving experience aside from whats parked in your driveway, those that cannot afford track days, we suggest a trip to the videogame store. Think we are full of it, check out this comparisson of GT-5 to in car footage we came acorss// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L023Gxp4pWM&feature=related

Were Going To Need A Doctor Here! //

You can never clearly define those that like fast cars. We are in constant amazement at the diversity of people we meet at the race track and Steve was no exception. A doctor by day (specializing in head trauma no less) Steve is not necessarily a local guy. Having lived in a number of places, both coasts, two war zones and a number of mid-american cities, we would hardly consider him local. Having seen much of the world, Steve decided to settle in the lower portion of our Puget Sound region. His ride is a 1995 SCCA Van Diemen, Formula Continental. SCCA is a draw for all sorts of crowds and every imaginable tax bracket. From lots of driving experience to little, full operations to towing your race trailer with a U-Haul, you can't make assumptions out here. We had come out to talk to people about the website, and check out some race cars. Pulling up next to Steve was simply coincidence. Green would be a good definition, this is only his fourth time out with SCCA and the first race car he has ever owned. The power struggle between wife and husband over remodeling the kitchen, left Steve with a Formula car, trailer and lots of extras, and wife with an outdated kitchen. Watching F-1 is one thing, driving an opened wheeled car is another, and Steve is by no means a seasoned driver. Deciding his Lotus Elise was better left for the daily commute, Steve decided to spend some well earned kitchen repair dollars on his racing career. A race school, time behind the wheel of a Lotus, that's all you need right? He has no assumptions, no preconceived notions or ego maniac tendencies. He is quite simply the most entertaining, good hearted and adventurous person we have come across. We are not sure where he qualified for Sunday's race, but lets say this, his first lap time at Bremerton was 2:16, by the end of the day Sunday he was under the one minute mark! Trailing behind a Formula Atlantic, Formula Mazda and a Spec Racer, Steve managed a fourth place finish... in a group of six. But lets give credit where credit is due. Having spun out on, maintained traction while it was raining (his first time driving in the wet, and without rain tires!) and being only his fourth outing, that is a worthy accomplishment. Oh and what does our friend do when he isn't fixing peoples heads or spinning out in his Formula car? Steve is an accomplished aerobatic pilot //


It's Shell Gasoline From Here On Out //

In recognition of having worked together for over 60 years, Shell Oil and Ferrari have put together possibly the most impressive commercial we at Cold Track Days have ever seen. Nothing computer generated, all the shots are live and on location. There is little else to say, if you missed it, please enjoy //

What's Wrong With a Little Extra //

Vette fans are going to be pleased with this one. The 2009 ZR1 Corvette, slated for release late this summer, will be pumping out 638bhp and 604ft/lbs of torque! Adding a little icing to the Corvette cake, the projects chief engineer Tadge Juechter proclaimed in a GM blog posting, that the ZR1 had hit 205mph at their testing track in Papenburg Germany. The 6.2L LS9 V-8 stuffed under the hood, of what very well may be the fastest US production car, was intended to produce 100bhp per liter of displacement. General Motors has out done themselves apparently. Eaton, famous for their superchargers, helped develop the roots type blower that takes this small block beyond the limits of streetable horsepower. The new LS9 is being produced in a small GM factory in Wixom Michigan, where its predecessor the LS7 was being manufactured. Real world numbers are not yet available in regards to the Corvette itself but with 638 horses pushing the thing, our imaginations can run with that for a while.

Drift Day at Evergreen Speedway //

Come out on Friday the 2nd as drifters take to the banks of the Evergreen Speedway. This is the second event of the year for the Evergreen Drift crew and they expect a substantial turn out. For those looking to participate and not spectate, its $50 to enter a car (assuming you pass tech) and the gates open at 4pm for registration, with drifting from 5pm-10pm. Check out http://www.evergreendrift.com/ for future events and more info.

Lexus Supercar // LF-A at Nurburgring

The Lexus supercar lives! What was thought to be a lost cause is now making headlines. A leaked Youtube video of the Lexus LF-A, has the soon to be supercar lapping the Nurburgring in Germany, and looking good doing it. A potential rival to the European supercars, Lexus looks the shake things up with the LF-A. Rumors run wild, and people have begun to call this thing the new Toyota Supra (still speculation at this point however). Complete specs are unknown as of yet, but if the production model is similar to the concept, it will not be for those with heart conditions or weak stomachs. Assuming it will hit showrooms in late 08’ as a 09’ model, the LF-A will see a mid-front mounted 500bhp V-10. A rear mounted transaxle, as well as a rear mounted cooling system will created a proper weight distribution, and help to keep this thing stable as it looks to hit the 200mph marker.

Live Fast // Die Young

With an interest in history and a passion for motorsport, we are hoping to spark a bit of interest and explortion into the life of one of racings greatest heroes and most tragic losses. Cold Track Days presents the Jo Siffert documentary: Live Fast, Die Young. We cannot go into too much detail in regards to the film, considering we have not seen it, and it is in Swiss. But we can offer a bit of background on the man himself, and maybe prompt our readers to take a look at the DVD. Siffert, born to a dairy farmer in Fribourg, Switzerland, began his career on two wheels. After winning the 1959 350cc Swiss motorcycle championship, Siffert decided a transition to four wheels was in store. Starting in the Formula Junior class, Siffert made the move to F-1 as a privateer in 1962. He soon joined forces with Rob Walker Racing, which proved a brilliant move for the young Swiss, and in '68 he made F-1 history as he dove the teams Lotus 49B to a 1st place finish at Brands Hatch. This is often regarded as the last GP win for a privateer in Formula One. Where Siffert met fame, he would soon meet fate. At the end of the '71 season, Siffert returned to Brands Hatch for an end of season, non-points race. An incident with Ronnie Peterson in the first lap left the front suspension damaged on Siffert’s BRM P160. A few laps later the suspension failed, Sifferts BRM crashed into the banking, and the young Swiss was unable to remove himself from the burning car. Siffert’s death prompted a movement toward additional safety measures not only in car, but on the circuits as well. The DVD is available from http://www.grandprix-originals.com/ for 27 Euros.

Mixing It Up // Alpina Returns to Racing

For the 2009 season, Alpina, German go fast specialist, will make their triumphant return to the race track. Alpina will make their B6-S GT3 car available to privateers, putting down 530bhp from a 4.4L V8, it is sure to hold its ground amongst the competition. Porsche’s and Aston Martins beware, not only those with a substantial income will be on your tail, Alpina itself will campaign a B6 in the 09’ season. Blue and green, multi spoke white wheels make the Alpina a familiar face, and we are sure that fans of GT3 are looking forward to the added diversity that the Alpina will bring to the class.


Bad Brad's 87' Milano //

A fine example of what a lot of time and some handfuls of money can do, when sorted and spent appropriately. Starting with a humble foundation, Brad took what was once a simple 2.5l V6 Milano and has created a beast of ingenuity and expression. A full body kit, sourced from a Jetta III, dark metallic blue paint and an RS Racing carbon rear spoiler (wing if you will) tidy up the exterior. A set of 17x8” ASA web wheels tuck tightly into the fender wells. 13” drilled and slotted rotors grabbed by a 6 piston Willwood setup in the front and a similar 12” setup in the rear take up residence behind the rims and help bring this thing to a halt in a hurry. With a 3.0L Verde motor on its way, Brad has left the engine compartment somewhat untouched, reliability and daily driving prowess are essential, for now. Moving inside, a pair of Cobreau kevlar racing seats keep your rear from sliding, while the Milano attempts to do the same thing, as Brad laps Pacific Raceway. A custom, carbon fiber VDO gauge cluster tell you all the important things, while an OMP racing wheel turns the Milano and provides a place to hold on for dear life. A work in progress, the Milano has seen a number of suspension setups and an assortment of upgrades over the past few years. As Brad builds track skills, speed increasing with every pass, we are sure that this is a car we will be seeing often. Check out the photo gallery for some more pictures of Brad’s Milano.

Diversity in Speed // NWARC Lap Day

The sky never removed its clouds, apparently gray and overcast was the soup of the day. But for the first event of the year, it could have been much worse. Track days with the Alfa Romeo club are anything but uneventful, and yesterday saw quite the turnout and a decent track condition. The wide selection of cars that showed, provided a good mix of size and horsepower. A Lamborghini appeared, lowering slowly from the innards of a double deck trailer (towed by what must have been a 1/2 million dollar motor home) and rolled itself backward and out into the pits. Slicks were on the Lamborghini for today, and I am sure they helped reel that thing in. Group A took the first session, with instructors and those with a high level of experience running hard. Group’s B and C followed suit and an all Alfa lap session rounded out the morning. We had managed to land ourselves on a corner (turn 5), and from our vantage you watch as the cars pull hard up the back straight, break slightly and push through turn 5, then hard breaking into a wide right and gas it up the hill into turn 8. One would think, a Lamborghini, trailered to the track, racing slicks tacking it to the pavement, would have been the fastest car out there. But in all honesty, I think the 1300cc Giulietta Spider was throwing her weight around and mashing pedal a bit more than the Lamborghini. But then again, they didn't have a quarter million dollars to loose. The afternoon saw a few more people show, a few more cars on the track and the conditions stay much the same. Shortly before we left, we sat in the pits and listened to a young man tell us of his ride in the Lamborrghini. 160mph down the main straight, 120mph through the back section, and she wasn’t even breaking a sweat, the kid was bug eyed and obviously impressed. So maybe the Lamborghini was a bit faster then our friend in the Alfa, but you would expect that for a quarter million. Check out the photo gallery for some pictures //


It Was A Mans World //

Danica Patrick has become the first female driver to take the top podium position in a high-level open wheel race. With her win at the Twin Ring Motegi, the IRL Indy 300race in Japan, she is the first of her kind, and it’s no surprise. She has been within reach of a victory for quite some time, finishing in the top six at the last three races held at Motegi, and finishing 7th overall in the point’s championship in 2007. In her second season with Andretti Green Racing, this year looks to be like none before it. Danica Patrick, Formula-1 driver? Rumors are sure to be stirred up after this finish

Speed Racer at Le Mans? // Mazda's LMP2

Expect to see Speed Racer at the American Le Mans Series in Utah and Long Beach. Well maybe not the iconic man himself, but at least his ride, or a mild attempt at a look alike. Mazda is shedding the skin of its LMP2 Le Mans Racer in order to imitate Speed Racer’s pride and joy. With the “Mach 5” hood art in place and the Speed Racer logo tagged all over the prototype, they are even going so far as to change the number of the car from 8 to 5, for the above mentioned races. Drivers Ben Devlin and Gerardo Bonilla will be wearing a Speed Racer inspired race suit, while the pit crew puts on Speed Racer-designed shirts. No “Gizmo Rockets or “Auto Jacks” are allowed in the Le Mans series, so we suppose it will still be a fair race, even with Speed Racer’s Mach 5 on the starting grid.


What Time Is It?

A friend once told us, “A proper timepiece is the one piece of jewelry a man can get away with wearing, besides a wedding band.” His opinion proves itself most appropriate, as we have noticed a bit of a trend in male accessorizing. A trend we avoid I must add. And as young men choose leather bracelets and fashion rings, we are satisfied spending a few car payments worth of scratch on a proper timepiece. Obviously we are a bit enthused about McQueen. It shows itself in our interest in late 60’s era racing, style and choice of hobby. So we present this, the TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph “Steve McQueen” Edition. Retails for $3125, but the cool value far exceeds the asking price. If you are like us, cool is worth far more than your dollar, but then again, what isn’t worth more than the dollar these days.

Audi R8 V-12 TDI // Diesel Supercar?

This is a one of a kind thing. Only one R8 Diesel has been produced thus far and Audi cut it loose to a group of journalist in Miami a mere week ago. Having been offered three million pounds for the concept at the New York Auto Show, and having turned the offer down, Audi was generous enough to let the media throw gear changes and throttle up the turbo charged oil burner, all in the name of publicity. Making 500bhp and 738lb/ft of torque, this is no gentle giant, no mild mannered fuel saver. The Audi team knows this, and when they cut it loose to journalist, they did so with a chaperone. Dual turbocharger’s feed twelve cylinders, redline is reached at 4,500rpm, low by sport car standard, but rattle your teeth out in the diesel world. With the boost levels tuned down by half, a somewhat limiting test was available. Clearly capable, it appears the diesel supercar has arrived, sort of. The fact of the matter is, Audi is not production ready as of yet, and we are unsure if stateside buyers are ready for a supercar absent of sparkplugs. Audi is convinced they are, hell, the rest of the world is.


"who in the hell wants to race in this!?"

The outside temperature was well into the low thirty’s all morning, with rain clouds chasing us as we drove South out of Seattle. Just as we entered into the parking lot, hopes high for the weather to clear, a hailstorm begun. Beyond the fence, Formula Fords and assorted small bore vintage race cars idled slowly down pit lane and into the stagging area. We waited it out, sitting in the car for a while. We had come out to Pacific Raceways for the SOVREN kickoff. Appropriately named the “SOVREN Defrost,” though it appeared it was going to freeze over, not defrost this weekend. A break in the weather allowed us to pile out of the car and wander the pits. There were over 50 cars on the schedule, organized into four race groups. Groups that included vintage rides such as a mid-sixties Ford GT, a number of Formula class vehicles and an assortment of Alfa Romeo's, BMW's and Porsche's. The first race saw the green flag with snow falling on the track. The visibility was dismal and the track conditions could not have been any better. We made our way through the pits and had occupied a small space at the exit of turn 8. From this vantage, you watch as vehicles leaving the turn, a wide sweeping “indy style” turn, grab full throttle and head back onto the main straight. You have a decent shot of the action, watching as cars clip the apex of turn 9 right at your feet, open wheel cars a mere inch or two away from the wall, the slightest mistake and, well you know. Four races passed, each group seeing an equally wet and dangerous track. The big bore cars, Corvettes, GT-350 Mustangs and the above mentioned Ford GT, couldn’t really push it. With a wet track and waves of rain and hail showers moving in and out, traction was a bit of a problem. Yet this didn’t seem to slow all the classes down. The Formula Fords, with greater downforce and maybe drivers with a bigger set of, well you know, were near full throttle as they reached the end of the main straight. Two races were scheduled for each group, with the field diminishing in size as the second race groups headed to pit lane. The day ended much as it had begun, dark gray skies looming over head, near freezing temperatures and a wet rack. Cold Track Days seemed right at home. Check out our photo gallery for pictures from the event.


BMW Club Lap Day / / Pacific Raceways

Thursday May 1, the Puget Sound BMW Club takes to the track. A BMW social event with the right theme; track time. It’s unfortunate how very little time BMW’s marked with the performance enabling M, see a chance to squeal tire and reach redline on a proper track. So take advantage Bavarian car lovers, and either join up and hit the track, or make the trip South of the city and watch from the sidelines, as what may appear to be a mild mannered four door sedan transforms into a track terror. Standing on the sidelines is just where we were about two years ago, when a young gentleman in a four door E36 M3 pushed it a little too far. Exiting the final sweeping turn, and making his return to the straight away via a small chicane, the M3 chirped at us as he made his pass and proceeded into full throttle. Three laps, and three tire chirps was all that it took before traction was lost and the M3 turned abruptly, and mangled the nose into the wall of turn 9. Don’t be fooled by that M stamped on the boot of the car, BMW has only given you the means to go fast, now you have to master the skills to do so. The Puget Sound BMW Club http://www.bmwpugetsound.com/ provides the venue to test those skills and improve on the weak areas, and no better track than Pacific Raceways.


SCCA Double Regional at Bremerton

The Northwest Region of the SCCA is hosting it's first event of the year, April 26-27 at the Bremerton Motorsports Park (http://www.bremertonmotorsportspark.com/) in Bremerton WA. This is a sanctioned race event, so expect to see a smattering of classes, from Formula Ford and Sport Racers to the ever so popular Miata class. This is a Double Regional event with the track opening up at 7am on Saturday and Qualifying beginning at 11:30am. Sunday sees a similar schedule with the track opening at 7am, qualifying at 11am and the first races beginning at 2pm. For more info on the NW Region of the SCCA check out: http://www.nwr-scca.org/Race/


Carry On: Grand Prix Style

Proper luggage is to accompany any true gentleman. And with our upcoming trip to Italy for the Formula One race at Monza (more on that later), we are planning to take with us only that which is most necessary and only that which will fit into an ultra cool, vintage leather travel bag. Coming across this Heuer Replica Travel Bag (60x25x30cm), made from calf leather and featuring the branding of none other than the famous Heuer logo, we felt it the perfect match to accompany us on our Italian adventure. The product of a German company fascinated with late sixties Grand Prix memorabilia and style, the travel bag ships from Europe for 249 Euros. Check out www.grandprix-originals.com for more info.

Red Label Moto: "Whats With The Lambo?"

Prefer two wheels to four? Maybe this warm weather has you itching to reclaim your youthfulness, girlfriend on the back, two wheels aimed at the sky, Johnny Law in the rearview? Look no further than Red Label Moto, a new Capitol Hill specialty motorcycle dealer. We stopped in for a quick peek, having heard through the grape vine that they had opened over the summer months last year. A bit of an industrial loft feel, with two levels, lower floor filled with product, upper level perched above the office looking out amongst the shop. The place was packed. From the large smoked glass garage door to the tiny office in the rear corner of the space, there was little room between bikes, and a conversation with the owner required completing a maze, as I wound my way to his desk. It just so happened, that on this particular day, the owner had acquired a 1982 Lamborghini Countach in trade for a bike. It was black. Looking very Italian and a bit rough, it seemed like a good deal. “Do you work on the bikes yourself?” I asked. He looked puzzled, almost ready to laugh, “I sell bikes, somebody else works on them.” It seemed simple, even profitable. He takes bikes in trade, cars too apparently, and re-sells only the most exotic, the most impressive. From the Kawasaki green, dual headlight ZX-7R Ninja resting in the window, to the 2002 Ducati 998R (see above), one of only 4 euro market 998R’s here in states. He has made a name for himself in a market flooded with options. He is blunt, to say the least, and a bit enthusiastic about sport bikes. He couldn’t explain fully how he landed on this Lamborghini, or why it was in the shape it was in, but that didn’t really seem to matter. It seemed reasonable to assume that there were a number of questions that were best left unanswered, and to just gawk at the finest collection of Italian and Japanese two wheel terrors in the area. Check out: www.redlabelmoto.com for more info.

Second Place Never Seemed So Sweet

Massive driving ability, matured confidence and unflinching determination, all while still appearing somewhat human. Characteristics of Mclaren Mercedes team driver Lewis Hamilton, a young man who ranks high on our list of “wish we were him.” Appearing that he may be destined for greatness, Hamilton finished second overall in the 2007 Formula One season, his first F-1 season by the way, to none other than Kimi Rikkonen. Having already clocked a win in the 08’ season with only three races out of the way, he seems ready to repeat last years performance if not best it. Lewis Hamilton, born January 7, 1985 is one of the youngest drivers to pilot an F-1 car, and may have already carved himself out a spot amongst the greats. Hamilton’s racing career begun in Kart at the age of eight in the Rye House Kart Circuit. Similar to another famous F-1 driver, Michael Schumacher, Hamilton’s Karting career lead to opportunities behind the wheel of ever more powerful and capable vehicles.

At the age of ten, Hamilton approached then Mclaren F-1 team boss Ron Dennis for an autograph, he told Dennis that he would someday be driving one of his cars, twelve years later Hamilton made true of his statement to Dennis. Championships in British Formula Renault, European Formula 3 and GP2 landed Hamilton a spot on Mclaren’s driver development program and shortly there after behind the wheel of the Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes. A British citizen, whose grandparents immigrated to the UK from Granada, he has become somewhat of a pop icon amongst the youth of Britain. With a sad finish in the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, finishing 13th overall and pushing him out of the points lead and into the third position, Hamilton looks to reclaim his rightful position atop the podium. The Spanish Grand Prix, April 27 will lend Hamilton just that chance. Stay tuned to Cold Track Days for more driver profiles and event info.

For Sale: British Automotive Manufacturing

Tata Motors, the Indian automotive giant recently made famous by producing “the world’s cheapest car,” has just purchased British auto makers Jaguar and Land Rover for a reported $2.3 Billion dollars from Ford. The deal will remove the British manufacturers from the hands of the Ford Motor Company, which, for lack of a better word, blew it. While Land Rover sales have increased in the recent years, following the SUV trend and catering to the affluent crowd looking to out size their neighbors, Jaguar has seen a steady decline in their numbers, with sales falling 33 percent at the beginning of the year. The $2.3 Billion dollar price tag is less than what Ford paid for Jaguar alone in 1989, showing little faith in the value of what once was a major player in the luxury automobile game. Employees of both companies, with factories still located in the UK, expressed both concern and excitement. Some appeared enthused; knowing that the acquisition would create job security, while others expressed concerns somewhat reminiscent of those expressed when the companies were taken over by Ford. The fate of the British automotive manufacturing now lies in the hands of Tata’s CEO.

I Wear My Sunglasses At Night

Word has it that TAG Heuer will soon be releasing a new pair of sunglasses, the Night Vision Driving Glasses. Developed initially for drivers in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the new shades will feature Titanium frames and reflex-style flexible temples. The lenses are intended to maximize driving visibility from sun down to sun up, using contrast and color features similar to other models in their lineup. No price is available as of yet, and the TAG Heuer’s site doesn’t even have the glasses featured, but lets just say we have a good source

Not To Be Underestimated // BMW's 1-Series

Where have all the cool coupes gone? At one point, not to far in the rearview of automotive manufacturing, small two door coupes with powerful four cylinder engines, tight and nimble suspensions and affordable price tags, were carving the roads from Highway 101 to the Autobahn. Cars like the Datsun 510, BMW 2002 and Alfa Romeo GTV. Those days seemed lost, with the manufactures focusing on four door, rally inspired turbo beasts. BMW has re-thought this dilemma, deciding it the appropriate time to introduce what Europe has been in love with for a number of years now. Having been in production in Germany since 2004 as the E87 variation (Europeans get all the goods first) the new 1-Series is now being shipped stateside. By far the most affordable automobile in the BMW lineup, don’t think this coupe to be a factory floor defect, prices slashed to move product quickly. The 1-Series is as competent as its big brother, the E90 3-Series, actually sharing nearly 60% of the components used to produce BMW’s most popular model. The 2008 1-Series, also known as the E82, will feature both a coupe and convertible model, and have horsepower offerings and model variations to fit your budget. The 135i, the flagship of the line, will feature a 3.0L turbocharged in-line six, cranking out 306bhp and nearly 300 pound feet of torque. While the more subtle, yet equally capable 128i will feature a 3.0L normally aspirated in-line six, producing 230bhp and 200 pound feet of torque. Pricing starting at $28,600 makes this somewhat reminiscent of what BMW was offering in the 2002 models. Now for a bit of tomfoolery //

Proper Driving Footwear

Operating a clutch pedal in flip flops can often lead to disaster. Sloppy footwork, meets unconventional driving footwear. So let’s assume that every time you jump in the car your first concern is more likely where to get coffee, rather than whether you have proper driving footwear on. And if you are like us, proper driving footwear may remind you of Karate shoes, soft soled Nomex uppers with outrageous color schemes. Meet the DC Pro_Spec v1.0 ($200) designed specifically for Travis Pastrana, Subaru rally car driver and 125cc Motocross master. These are DC’s first attempt at a “driving shoe” and have been met with enthusiasm, both by the rally car fan club and the Playstation generation, whom are more content looking the part while behind the wheel of Grand Tourismo 3 than actually risking life and limb, at the race track. Pastrana’s actual shoes are identical to the ones you see above, though his are fashioned in a sparkly gold color to represent his victories. Designed to not only be fashionable but also functional, the Pro_Spec’s feature an FIA certified Nomex lining, a patented DGT sole that is both stiff and tacky for pedal grip and responsiveness and the heel and ankle sections have additional padding for long track days. Maybe not the preferred footwear on a sunny day, maybe a bit over the top (although they do come in solid black, red/white and yellow/blue combinations) they seem the appropriate addition to the wardrobe of those spending more than one Sunday at the track, while still allowing you to stop for coffee on the way. Though the Nomex jump suit might garnish a few funny looks. To get your hands on a pair, check out: www.industrialrideshop.com


2008 Spanish Grand Prix: Barcelona, Spain

With the Ferrari team doubling up in the Bahrain Grand Prix, taking the first and second place positions, Ferrari team driver Felipe Massa (the Bahrain GP winner) is looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix on the 27th of April. Massa, finishing the Bahrain GP 3.3 seconds faster than the second place finisher, Kimi Raikkonen, looks to give the field a run for their money heading into Spain, as he currently sits in sixth place overall in the points standings. Kimi Rikkonen is holding the point’s lead, ahead of Nick Heidfield and Lewis Hamilton, who are both close behind him. Massa took the pole position in the 2007 Spanish Grand Prix (see video above) and I am sure he hopes to relive such success this year. The 2008 Spanish Grand Prix is being broadcast on the Speed channel, Sunday morning April 27, at 4:30am on the West coast.

Pacific Raceways: Since 1960

We have been unable to find much more info, other than the video posted above, of the 1963 United States Road Racing Championship hosted at Pacific Raceways, but felt it an appropriate addition to the site. Offering a glimpse into the past, you may notice that little has changed at Pacific Raceways in the 65 years since this footage was shot. The Northwest’s sole road racing course, Pacific Raceway has been a staple of the racing community in this area since it opened in 1960. The history of Pacific Raceway is laden with up’s and downs. From upset neighbors, to going through a name change in 1976, which informally renamed the race track; Seattle International Raceway. When the landowner regained control of the property in 2002, the name was changed back to Pacific Raceways. Hosting a variety of events, from motorcycle racing to vintage and contemporary automotive racing, Pacific Raceways incorporates a full two lane ¼ mile drag strip, with a 2.25mile road racing course. With more than a 125feet of elevation change and a sweeping Northwest background, PR as it is often referred, is a beautiful place to lay down some rubber and power out of the turns. The road racing course is utilized by SCCA, SOVREN and ICSSC for automotive racing as well as WMRRA for motorcycle races. During the summer months you will find a racing school operating out of a small building on the property, offering fundamental driving skills and full on racing lessons. This is a good way to get a grasp on the complexity of road racing and do so in a safe and fun environment. In 1969 the track hosted a two heat USAC Championship race, with the first heat being won by none other than Mario Andretti. Look for more feature articles from PR, as the summer months and good weather starts to show itself.

A Bit Of Friendly Competition

The head sock, as I came to call it, fit tightly around the face as I slipped my head into the Bell helmet marked Large. It was cold, well below 40 degrees, but we were indoors and there was no wind, so the chill seemed almost bearable. Most of the group came in appropriate attire, long sleeve shirts, sweaters and jeans. I on the other hand, showed up in a t-shirt, and was fighting desperately not to shiver and loose all integrity as a man. Those that choose to, suited up in cover-all's marked to look like racing suits. Once properly suited, the track keeper then lead the group from the changing station to "the pits." 12 or so karts, lined nose to tail, side by side in rows of six, sat eagerly awaiting to consume fuel and spew out excitement. We were given kart numbers and filed in, squeezing into the black plastic bucket seats, shoulder harness pulled tightly against the chest, feet pressed on the pedals, waiting for ignition. The track keeper, one at a time, pulled the draw string on each kart, a fury of four stroke lawn mower noise ensued. Off she went, the first of our group, headed into turn one clamoring out of the pits, bouncing across the smooth black track surface. My kart fired on the second pull, foot jammed into the throttle, there was a hesitation in throttle response, but she still pulled out in a hurry. Entering the first turn, you quickly realize that this is not the sedan you drove up here in. Four stroke lawn-mower engines provide enough horsepower to top out on the sweeping right, shortly after pit lane, and enough torque to pull you through the turn when power slides appear the only option to shave a little time off of your lap. The track is short, consisting of mostly S curves and extra sharp hairpins. Each turn is offered at the same speed as the last, you rarely life off the throttle. There goes the the girl that took off shortly before me, I'm looking at the rear of her kart, shes all over the track. A wide hairpin presents itself, turning sharply and darting underneath the foot bridge we used to get to the changing station. She takes the outside of the turn, wide enough for me to tuck in, tight to the wall, all throttle. I wave as I pass. She gives me the finger. The leaders, the two boys who have done this before, are just ahead of me. I make quick time, throwing my body weight into each corner, sliding when necessary, looking ahead for each apex. They are just out of reach, just fast enough to stay out ahead. I tailgate the slower of the two boys as the track keeper waves the checkered flag, we pace a lap and head into "the pits." Definitely worth the $15 a race pricing and the brief waste of time safety video you are required to watch. Definitely worth the drive to Mukilteo, but I do suggest something a bit warmer than a t-shirt, at least until we can call it summer. Check out http://www.traxxracing.com/ for more info on this North end location. Also, if karting is your thing and maybe a move from the lawn-mower powered single gears, to a 125cc shifter kart is in your future, check out http://www.nwkarting.com/. For some serious kart racing, a sport with a huge following across Europe, a sport that has produced F-1 drivers such as Lewis Hamillton and Michael Schumacher, check out: http://youtube.com/watch?v=u-6KJGoK7_s&feature=related Stay tuned to Cold Track Days, as we are headed to K1 Speed in Redmond WA in the next few weeks for a comparison.


A Classic Inspiration, Now On DVD

Above all else, this may be the motivation for all that we do here at Cold Track Days. Directed by John Frankenheimer in 1966, this epic of automotive racing was ahead of its time. Following the 1966 Formula One race season, the film featured cameo appearances by Formula One drivers, Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Juan-Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Jocen Rindt and Jack Brabham. It was filmed in Super Panavision 70 and was shown as 70mm cinerama engagements across the counrty upon its release. It quickly became a cult classic amongst racing fans thanks to the unique cinematography and footage taken from Formula Races of the time. Most of the cars in the film were Formula 3 cars made to appear like contemporary F-1 models. While much of the footage came directly from the 1966 F-1 season, a great deal was capture by Phil Hill (the 1961 F-1 Champion) while he lapped the Monaco and Belgian Grand Prix circuits in an F-1 car fitted with a camera. This is one of the earliest example of in-car footage for Formula One racing. Though not a huge box office success, the film won Best Sound, Best Sound Effects and Best Film Editing at the 1967 Academy Awards. Formula One racing has been an ever evolving entity, with contemporary race cars looking more like space craft and less like automobiles. The danger and excitment of F-1 racing has never faultered, yet the limits the drivers of the mid-sixties pushed seem far greater than todays drivers. A complete absence of safety equipment, track preperation and general awareness of danger created an enviroment that often ended in tragedy. The mystical appeal of Formula One racing, the high stake and huge pay days are what draw most spectators and what motivates most drivers. Leaning toward a more simple time, we are of the opinion that being aware of where you have come from ensures that where you are going will not include the mistakes of the past. Released to DVD in 2006, Grand Prix is still as impressive as it must have been in 70mm. Check out the trailer for the film here:


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09' Nissan GT-R: Porsche Killer?

Although many may wish to deny it, Nissan's newest addition to its Skyline lineup has simply bested the Porsche 911 Turbo. A myth to many Americans, a dream car to the Playstation generation, the Skyline GT-R has simply been unobtainable here in the states, until now. With US pre-sales already exceeding the 1,000 a month production capacity, Nissan's new supercar is going to be difficult to get your hands on initially. The GT-R is the most highly anticipated performance car in years and has generated an enormous buzz amongst car enthusiast and techno geeks alike. Like Godzilla rising from the sea to conquer New York, the GT-R has stormed our shores and captivated the American audience. Many Americans are no stranger to the raw power and mystical appeal of the GT-R. With appearances in pop-culture films and Gumball Rally DVD's, the Nissan was simply an egg waiting to hatch. The GT-R is everything you would expect from Japans finest engineers. 480bhp is produced thanks to twin turbochargers affixed to a 3.8l V-6, power is transferred through an all new GR6-type rear transaxle and laid to pavement via Nissan's ATTESA-EST All Wheel Drive System. Nissan claimed the new beast was capable of 0-60 times of 3.5 seconds, but when tested using the GT-R's launch control system, she laid down times of 3.2 and 3.1 seconds. Times that were simply unheard of for a car with her price tag ($71,900 for the premium package) and have undoubtedly left a thorn in the side of Porsche engineers. Like a videogame character come to life, expect to see the GT-R modified beyond comprehension, flogged endlessly at the track and terrorizing high priced exotics for some time to come. For a comprehensive track test check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDoJdQXmwu8


Collecting Tickets: 1988 BMW 528e

We here at Cold Track Days are fans of German engineering, and nothing exemplifies the idea of proper engineering, than the fit and finish of a Bavarian Motor Werks 5 series. This particular specimen was retrieved from an auto dealer in Portland Oregon, for the meager sum of $1500. With a few initial glitches; rear power window that was inoperative, a few signal lights that needed replacing and a strange grinding noise coming from the front rotors,  but otherwise a fine example of late eighties German craftsmanship.  An overnight stay at the mechanic yielded a proper stopping vehicle, complete with DOT legal signaling and four windows that rolled both up and down. Next step was a serious flogging of the automobile. Golden Gardens and the roads leading in and out of the park, prove an appropriate testing facility for those looking to see what their car is capable of, when winter months prevent proper track testing. While avoiding johhny law, we threw the 528e through the turns leading down into the park. Gear changes were smooth from one to the next and the clutch grabbed hard for a car of her vintage. The 528e was the economy version of BMW's mid-size sedan, yet produced adequate power and a huge amounts of torque for its small 2.7l inline six. In 1988, BMW produced the 528e as well as a 535i, 535is and M5  for consumption here in the states. Across the pond, buyers saw the option of a 524td turbo diesel model as well as the above listed models. Exiting the park, a long straight appears in front of us as we scream down past Shilshole Marina and head back into Ballard. As mentioned, the motor is a torque monster and produces real world power all the through the power band and well into that red area on the tachometer. On the freeway, the torque of the straight six is most noticeable. A roll on at 60mph, throttle pressed firmly to the floor board, and you will soon find yourself in triple digit territory. After a few days on the road, terrorizing the early to bed early to rise crowd, with our tire squealing and throaty exhaust note, we finally ran into the one thing that seemed capable of slowing this German beast down, Port of Seattle Police. Tickets are pricey and speeding in residenial areas is not suggested nor is it condoned by us here at Cold Track Days. Appropriate track testing was certainly in the future for our German friend, however the need to expand our inventory led to the sale of the sedan. Check out www.mye28.com for more info on BMW's 5-series.