The Detroit Grand Prix is going on this weekend, and if you are a late night SPEED tv junkie like us at ColdTrackDays, you may have had the chance to see some ALMS cars running last night. This year, in conjunction with the ALMS series, the Detroit Grand Prix will see the second annual running of the ‘Detroit Sports Car Challenge,’ an event that began last year at Belle Isle, in an attempt to promote the Detroit Grand Prix. Along side the ninth round of the ALMS series, the sports car challenge was a great opportunity to see some high profile cars in action (like this one for instance). If you have not taken in an American Le Mans race, we must suggest it. But for those of us trapped on the West Coast, where the only endurance racing we know is negotiating Interstate 5, it looks like late night SPEED tv for us... Full results available here // 08.31.2008


We ran a video posting earlier this week, showing the Viper ACR as it lapped the Nurburgring. Setting a time of 7:22.1, the Viper ACR can now call itself 'King of the Hill.' Having laid waste to both Japanese and American supercars alike, the ACR set a new record lap time, one previously held by the Corvette ZR-1 (you know, GM's force-fed 'Vette with some 638bhp). A heads up race between the two American built supercars is undoubtedly in our future, but for now, enjoy the split screen hot lap action from the Nordschleife // 08.30.2008


Having owned a few Mustangs myself, I am no stranger to the joy’s a front mounted V8 and (relatively) light chassis can provide. But what I have had the pleasure of driving, though fun and certainly more inspiring than my friends VW’s (no offense), is no comparison to the most famous Mustang of them all; the 390c.i. V8 powered, dark forest green, 1968 fastback, driven by none other than Steve McQueen in the film Bullitt. Ford has attempted recreations of the famous ‘Stang, and though cool, featuring retro appeal and go-fast bits, it was just missing something, something that no frills, uninhibited horsepower brought to the table. So big news for both McQueen and Mustang fans, as the McQueen estate has recently authorized the building of official replica ‘Bullitt Mustangs’ in honor of the film's 40th anniversary. The ‘Bullitt’ name is currently under shared ownership by both the McQueen family and Warner Bros., so just who will be building the cars is uncertain at this time, but stay tuned to ColdTrackDays, as we will are working hard to find out the details // 08.30.2008



Our second shipment of ColdTrackDays.com stickers has (finally) arrived. If you are interested in getting your hands on a free sticker (or two), send an email to: sales@coldtrackdays.com, include a current mailing address and desired number of stickers, and we will ship them out to you, free of charge! Check out our photo gallery for some inspiring places to stick them! Enjoy // 08.29.2008


The ColdTrackDays staff is headed overseas to cover the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 14th. Flights, hotels, transportation and F1 passes are bought, booked and paid for, and with only four days remaining until we depart, the anticipation is certainly starting to build. With so many changes coming for the 2009 season, as well as Lewis Hamilton making a run for history, this year has proven to be an epic one (thus far) for Formula One. That being said, we couldn't be happier. Having the chance to cover this years Italian Grand Prix, while providing first hand coverage of our experience, is an opportunity few come across and one we hope to take advantage of again (and again). Please follow our coverage, as we indulge in all the guilty pleasures, take in all the sights, sounds, smells and painful noises that is Formula One. We can only hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Stay tuned to ColdTrackDays, as we will be updating (almost) daily, live from Italian Grand Prix at Monza, as well as providing coverage of the Italian motorsports culture as a whole // 08.29.2008


Round 3 of the Evergreen Drift Championship is right around the corner. Friend of ColdTrackDays, and all around good guy, Matt McCoy of The Dori Shop, took the win in Round 2, not to mention putting on quite a show, when he ran with the Formula D pros at the Seattle round of their world championship. Round 3 will be held this coming Monday (September 1st) in conjunction with the Evergreen State Fair. The back gates open at 9am, and pit passes are available for $15. ColdTrackDays will be covering the event, the last before we depart for Milan, and are excited to see how friend Matt McCoy can do in this round of the championship. Stay tuned // 08.29.2008


As the closing month of summer approaches, leaving us with cloudy days and rainy nights (at least here in the NW), what better way to shake off those winter blues than an off road safari? Well, if you are in the mood (and not too eco conscious), GM is launching its first 'HUMMER Driving Academy.' an event that will take place in Morocco from November 7-12, 2008. The ‘Academy’ will march a fleet of some 14 Hummer H3’s on an 800 mile route, through Morocco and to include a portion of the Sahara Desert. 14 teams, consisting of driver/co-driver pairs, will navigate the terrain of Morocco utilizing nothing more than a stock 3.7 Liter, five cylinder H3, a set of desert tires and some GPS satellite navigation. The 'HUMMER Driving Academy' will run you $5,870 for the pair, including the use of vehicles and hotel accommodations. More info can be found here // 08.29.2008


Nissan’s GT-R is on its way, and with it comes a slew of aftermarket performance parts and accessories, adding additional horsepower (as if it needs it), styling upgrades (that's debatable), and suspension improvements. For those looking less for the DIY and more of the go-fast-now, Nissan's own in-house tuner, Nismo, has released its first set of upgrades for the GT-R. The entire kit, sold only in Japan at this point, is available for install by Nissan themselves, though it will set you back some ¥5,460,000 (roughly $50,200), plus the cost of a GT-R. Worth it? Wait and see... // 08.29.2008



We know, there is a bit of a BMW theme this week. Well, to be honest with you, following our coverage of the M-Cars 'show and shine' at Griot's Garage, we started thinking, maybe a vintage Bimmer would make a good 'ColdTrackDays project car'... So, for this weeks Eye Candy, we chose this shot of a Jagermeister endorsed, race prepped, 320i, courtesy of Flickr member Langé. Now, we are wholly unsure of its origin, racing class or history, but we do know it looks great, and have decided a 320i just might fit the need of our CTD project car. What do you think? // 08.28.2008

Phil Hill // 1927-2008

The first American to ever win the Formula One world championship, racing legend Phil Hill died today of respiratory failure in a Monterey hospital. After winning the F1 world championship in 1961, Hill continued his storied motorsports career, including three wins at the 24hrs of Le Mans, an equal number at the 12hrs of Sebring, as well as three Grand Prix wins - two at Italy and one at Belgium. Having struggled with Parkinson's disease for years, Hill succumbed to complications with his breathing, passing on today at the age of 81. American motorsport fans have lost not only a champion, but a true hero of the sport. Our thoughts go out to the Hill family // 08.28.2008



After the 2008 season wraps up in Brazil this November, the 2009 Formula One cars will be unveiled to the public. Minus the downforce, slotted tires and bodywork appendages (shown above), the ‘09 F1 cars will offer more opportunity for driver error, leading to more opportunity for passing. McLaren test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett, while behind the wheel of simulators at the McLaren test facility in Woking, said they were “thrilled” with the overtaking possibilities the 2009 model offers. As you should well know by now, (if you don’t, your not reading enough...) the ColdTrackDays staff is headed to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, and will be witness to one of the last races of the 2008 season. So stay tuned to ColdTrackDays, as we will be reporting live from Monza through out the month of September // 08.28.2008



According to our friends at Autoblog, the Dodge Viper ACR, a car about as far from 'daily driver' as 'light' cigarettes are from healthy, has ran the ring in a crazy fast 7:22.1. Unofficial as it may be, we are not in the least bit surprised, I mean after all, the Viper ACR pack in a cool 600bhp and enough downforce to keep helium balloons in check. Should GM and Nissan rethink their supercar strategies? Maybe we all just need a break from this 'hot lap' business, get back to our roots, you know, how about an old fashioned drag race? Pit all the major automakers and their Nurburgring lapping, high horsepower, higher dollar supercars against one another, for a winner take all, no more excuses, 1/4 mile battle? What do you think? No, wait, didn't they already make that into a television show, I think they just left out the cool car bit though... // 08.27.2008


Don't get too excited, Audi is not putting its full weight behind this spectacular example of a GT3 class R8. Nope, this car was specially built by Audi Motorsport for a privateer team and is expected to be delivered before the end of 2008. Now, the Audi Motorsport gentlemen are well aware of GT3 class stipulations, in which Audi's AWD system is strictly prohibited. That being the case, the above example (titled the R16) features a RWD layout, six speed manual transmission and an untampered R8 suspension setup. Major changes come in the way of aerodynamics, so look for Audi's mid engined monster to be grabbing gears and tagging fenders with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche in next years GT3 class at Le Mans // 08.27.2008



Loads of videos this week, and we apologize to those of you stuck in your office, absent of speakers, forced to watch in silence. But for those with the full meal deal, you know who you are, Bose surround sound in the corners or the Harman Kardon's flanking your computer screen, please enjoy a recap of this past weekends European Grand Prix. Brilliantly edited by our friends at Axis of Oversteer, if you are like us, you were in and out of consciousness, as you strained to stay awake when the GP aired at 5am on Sunday. So for those that missed it, enjoy... and those without speakers, you'll just have to head back to ColdTrackDays when you get home // 08.26.2008


Yes, we are featuring more auto-action movie trailers, and again, we apologize. It's just a nasty habit you know, a bit like smoking, though with less social connotations... sort of. You know it's going to be bad, real bad, but you watch anyway, completely enthralled by the stupidity and getting worked up over the faux pas'. This particular auto-action flick is the latest installment in the 'Transporter' series. Now, we are guilty of owning the first of these films (hey, it was like $7.99), but there is no excuse for owning a sequel, or the complete trilogy for that matter. Obvious auto appeal, as Jason Statham returns to his role of getaway driver, this time ditching the Audi A8L he man handled in the second film (you caught me, I saw it), and exchanges it for Audi's new uber sedan, the S8. We'll leave the final opinions up to you // 08.26.2008


Earlier this month, we blogged about Aston Martin's forthcoming One-77. But what little information we had at the time, was coupled with an even less informative (or impressive) image. Featured above is a rendering of Aston's new One-77 done by Jon Sibal. Featuring classic British lines, mixed well (or not so well) with a more aggressive, Japanese styled front fascia, we see Maserati and Nissan GT-R influences, laid out in a metallic silver UK color pallet. The One-77 is Aston Martin's super, supercar. Only 77 will be built, each unique from the next, each powered by a 7.0 Liter V12, and all of which are sure to be pre-sold by the time you read this... // 08.26.2008


How cool are these! Not that we will ever see them on our shores (or in our cars for that matter), but for those lucky enough to cross the pond, rent a Twingo, make sure it is the ‘RS’ trim level, maybe even the Cup model (stiffer suspension, 35lbs lighter and 17” anthracite wheels) and put your foot on the play button! We love them. We want them // 08.26.2008


Audi has released a monster. Feeding on German uber-sedans, and laying down all wheel drive terror, Audi is looking to clean up the competition. Powered by a front mounted, five liter, twin turbo charged V10 (thanks to their friends at Lamborghini), Audi's new RS6 is good for 580bhp and puts both the BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG to shame. Just weeks before its official debut at the Paris Auto Show, the all new RS6 can be seen here in a short clip put together by the gentlemen at Audi to tease us car geeks. Enjoy // 08.26.2008


In the very near future, our editor here at ColdTrackDays, will don a full body race suit, helmet and neck brace, climb slowly into a 125cc Italkart and take to the track at Spanaway. In partnering with Seattle Karting Specialties of Tacoma, WA, Mr.Coffey will have the opportunity all of us here at CTD wish we had - Free lap time in a 125cc TAG kart. Stay tuned to ColdTrackDays, as we will be covering our editors (attempted) entry into the world of competitive kart racing. In the mean time, enjoy this weeks Eye Candy, courtesy of Flickr member Jerry Thompson // 08.25.2008


Time for an M5 rival. We have done some posting on the forthcoming Jaguar XF-R, to include a short spot while it ran the hill at Goodwood and a brief article when it first debuted. But now, we have this. Spotted in the high desert of Death Valley, the new 500bhp, supercharged Jag' can be seen as it try's to avoid the cameras of Auto Motor Sport. The British automaker is claiming a sub-five second 0-60mph time, and as the driver throttles up to avoid the limelight, leaving his train of Land Rover in the Death valley dust, we don't doubt them... Enjoy // 08.25.2008


We hate to do this, matter of fact, we are sorry for the abrupt, unpleasant and downright intrusive noises, soon to be coming from your laptop (or desktop) speakers. What you are about to witness is the latest installment in an otherwise hopeless series of automotive action movies. Titled 'Fast and Furious', this is the latest and greatest from Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, both of whom return to their roles via the first film. Obviously over the top, far from realistic and always a bit tongue and cheek (at least we hope), the new film is set to debut next summer, so we have plenty of time to come up with an excuse why we 'had to go see it'... Apologies again for the in-your-face action trailer you are about to see // 08.25.2008


California based Swift Engineering, has released their first 2009 Formula Nippon chassis’, and were seen testing at Fuji Speedway. Replacing a dated Lola chassis, the new F-Nippon managed a lap of the Fuji track in 1 minute 23 seconds, less than 5 seconds off the pace of Lewis Hamilton, and his record of 1:18.7 lap time. With a 6’ 4’’ wide front wing and sculpted side pods, the new Nippon chassis produces ample downforce, keeping it level through the turns. It will be interesting to see the new chassis in next years competition. Stay tuned // 08.25.2008



One day after rally legend Colin McRae was killed in a helicopter accident near his home in Lanarkshire, an impromptu gathering of Subarus occurred in McRae’s hometown in Scotland. Next Saturday marks the one year anniversary of McRae’s death, and this year, those looking to mourn the rally legend (god), will have the opportunity to do so in a more organized fashion. Colin’s father, Jimmy McRae, will drive his sons famous 555 Impreza out of Lanark and head to the Prodrive factory in Banbury, in the South of England. Along the way, Mr.McRae will collect some 700 plus Subaru’s , forming a train of all-wheel drive recognition for his sons achievements, expected to stretch as far as ten miles in length. The following day, Sunday the 31st, an additional 600 Subbies will gather at the Prodrive test track in Warwickshire. Though entry is officially closed, additional information can be found here. Both the motorsports and rally community lost an important character one year ago, and what better a tribute than to do what Colin did best, drive a Subaru // 08.26.2008


Felipe Massa has proven himself. With a strong showing in Fridays practice, as well as yesterdays qualifying, Massa took home a win in todays European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain. Lewis Hamilton, the current points leader amongst drivers, did not have an answer for the Ferrari of Massa, and finished in second. BMW-Sauber driver Robert Kubica, friend and long time rival of Hamilton, finished a close third. With the drivers having finished as they did in qualifying, Massa's performance was nothing of a surprise. Though the win garnered Massa a few points, he still trails Lewis Hamilton by six heading into Belgium. Stay tuned to ColdTrackDays for additional info on todays race // 08.24.2008



Today was the annual M-Cars show and shine at Griot's Garage in Fife, WA, hosted by the Puget Sound Chapter of the BMW CCA. Our friends (and supporters), at M-Cars of Seattle were present with a brand new, V10 powered M5, and were but one of many well sorted BMW Motorsport auto's in attendance. Parked according to chassis code, something like 100+ cars were pre-registered (hey, free lunch is quite the draw) and the gentlemen at Griot's were kind enough to share their facilities for the afternoon. Check out our photo gallery for all the shots from todays meet // 08.24.2008


Coffee is what keeps us going. Long before even the earliest to rise have gazed into a mirror, wishing tomorrow wasn't Monday, the ColdTrackDays staff is up early, hoping to be the first to know. Formula One airs bright and early (not so bright here in the Northwest I suppose) on Sunday mornings, with pre-race bits starting as early as 4:30a.m. This being the case, we are glad (required) to have a well made espresso at such unfriendly hours. Enter the deviceSTYLE Brunopasso PD-1 espresso machine. With styling taken from vintage sportscars, Japanese designer Tadahito Ishibashi has created a masterpiece as far as we are concerned. Indicators are laid out like the gauges on an automobile dashboard, and sporting an authentic beechwood press lever (similar to an old-fashioned gear shifter), the PD-1 comes in red, brown and silver, with an asking price of $850. Classic style, motorsports infused, what more can we ask for... // 08.24.2008


As they say, crow is a dish best eaten warm....

Okay, Sam won. On paper, it seems he didn't win by much. But he did win. He finished in 19th and I finished in 22nd out of 24 (thanks to my dear friend Andrew Caddell graciously being disqualified, and Brad McAllister crashing out). So, my hat is off to Mr. Sam Moses, who isn't the Fastest Guy (clearly, 18 were faster that day), but is obviously not an Idiot, either. So he must be the other option--a Rich Guy--rich in the human spirit!

So the question is, what did I learn from the race? (Other than that being dropped by the pack and driving alone without data management isn't very much fun after all...)

I learned that the guys from Mazda are really terrific people. I learned that Charles Espenlaub is nearly the fastest human ever. I learned that when the angry lady approaches you at a Humane Society fundraiser, you should act like you don't speak much English. And I learned that even if you were fast a couple of years ago--at least fast enough to not finish last in previous races--you may not be fast any more. Because going fast takes lots of practice. And some talent, too.

But I also learned that racing is about one's behavior off the track as well as on it. I was able to do many print and radio interviews that raised the profile of my novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain (which, by the way, is still on the New York Times best seller list), as well as benefiting the Oregon Humane Society and Mazda racing as well. I made many new friends. And I met new fans--drivers and race officials who had already read my book and wanted an autograph. So it was a fun and enjoyable weekend. Even if I did get my butt kicked.

The good news is it looks like I'll be paying a visit to Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving next spring, as they are huge supporters of my book. So maybe that will improve my on-track performance.

Finally, my racing in the SCCA Pro MX-5 Cup Grand Prix of Portland taught me the most important thing of all: it doesn't matter if you win the race, as long as you look good for the photo ops! Because the race only lasts 45 minutes, but photos last forever....

So. Looking forward to seeing you on the tarmac in the future, I remain, faithfully,


Garth Stein, #32



Fellipe Massa's extraordinary but unfulfilling performance in Hungary, has been reconciled by three dominant qualifying runs today. His performance, which landed him the pole position for tomorrow's European Grand Prix, left current points leader Lewis Hamilton stunned, having been quoted as saying that Massa 'destroyed the field' in his first-sector times. The Ferrari drivers 1:38.989 pole run put him two tenths ahead of Hamilton and a full four tenths ahead of third-place Robert Kubica, in the BMW Sauber. Teammate, and last years world champion, Kimmi Raikkonen, continued his off pace performance this year with a fourth place finish in qualifying. All is looking good for Massa, but can he stop the young Lewis Hamilton, who appears bound and determined to take the championship in only his second year in an F1 seat? The European GP airs tomorrow morning at 4:30a.m. on SPEED, looks like a pot of french press coffee and an early bed time for us... // 08.23.3008



The ColdTrackDays staff (most of us that is) are Porsche enthusiasts. In particular, we are fans of Porsche's rally efforts. A portion of the German automakers motorsport career, we miss dearly, this weeks Eye Candy is a particular favorite around the office. Photo comes courtesy of Bruce Scott, and is a snap of Dean Rainsford's Porsche Carrera competing in the Bega Rally, in and around New South Wales in 1976. Great shot // 08.22.2008


Own an 'M' badged car? How about an E30 with a swapped 'M' Motor? Wanna show it off? Well this Sunday (August 24th) is the M-Car show and shine at Griot's Garage in Fife, WA (directions available here). Cars will be organized by chassis code, allowing owners to compare notes on common problems and general maintenance. The gentlemen at Griot's will be providing lunch for M-Car owners that pre-register and there will be raffle prizes given, as well as a BMW Motorsport trivia contest. M-Car owner or not, there are over 100 cars registered thus far, so head down to Griot's for an afternoon of sun (hopefully) and a whole bunch of Eye Candy // 08.22.2008


Say hello to the new Mitsubishi Racing Lancer. A cross country, rally racing coupe, set to make its debut ahead of next years Dakar Rally. Powered by a three litre, turbo diesel V6, Mitsubishi is not just looking to compete, they are looking to win. If any credit can be given for their road going (and rally going) prowess, their Lancer Dakar racer will undoubtably give the competition something to worry about. Practical? Not a chance. Preffered ride in a Mad Max, Thunderdome scenerio? yup // 08.22.2008


Whatever happened to this show anyhow? A short lived stateside version was a favorite of ours, providing appropriate insight and great in car commentary, while driving everything from the exotic to the mundane. Fifth Gear is a UK produced television show (aired on channel five) that has all the fun of Top Gear on a smaller (small by comparisson of course) budget. Taking Porsche's new 911 GT-2 for a spin, the Fifth Gear editors are certainly having a lot of fun. Jealous // 08.22.2008



Just thought we'd share what we'd been reading the last few days. Obvious Formula One fans, nothing quite satisfies like an early Sunday morning wake up for the start of a GP race, nothing except the latest issue of F1 Racing! This particular issue offers a mid-season report and has some great insight on the forthcoming changes for the 2009 cars. Loads of driver profiles, interviews and opinions, F1 Racing Magazine is a great resource (close, but really no comparison to ColdTrackDays) for anyone as into Formula One as we are. Other thing we have been perusing this week is the latest issue of EVO. British based and always showcasing the latest and greatest, this months issue covers the launch of the new Lotus Evora as well as a great comparison of the original '65 911 Porsche and our most modern variant. Can't help but shell out the $10.99 every time we visit the bookstore, stay tuned to ColdTrackDays, as you are sure to see a plethora of magazines in the coming months // 08.21.2008


ColdTrackDays supporters, BMW Motorsport enthusiasts and all around good guys, M-Cars of Seattle has a big announcement to make. In the coming weeks, M-Cars will be opening a BMW service shop within the confines of their SODO district showroon (1037 6th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98134). Heading the effort is Master BMW Tech, Bruce L. Bird. A man with quite the resume (20 years BMW experience, fourteen years at BMW Dealerships, and 6 years at the BMW Engineering Center), Bruce will be functioning as not only a service tech for cars on consignment at M-Cars, but for any BMW Motorsport enthusiasts, looking to avoid the hassles of the dealership, while still requiring BMW certified service on their prized M-Car. So if you are a Seattle native, or here on road trip, swing by M-Cars for any and all of your required maintenance // 08.21.2008

1964 SPA 500KMS // A LOOK BACK

A summary of the 1964 Spa 500kms (a predecessor to the '64 24hrs of Le Mans), this site is dedicated to not only the venue, but the machinery that dominated the event as well. Shelby Daytona Coupes, Ferrari 250 GTO’s, Lotus Elan’s and the like. Look through the photo’s, drool a little, pick a favorite, and get back to us when you sober up // 08.21.2008