Oregon Region racers recently became driving instructors to teach safe driving and emergency skills to teen drivers at Portland International Raceway. The Street Survival class was held on Sunday, March 11, and involved a combination of classroom education and in-car driving exercises with coaching from racers.
In the classroom, students learned about proper seating position and hand positions, mirror placement, the concept of the contact patch on their tires, theories of weight transfer and long distance vision, and situational awareness. Instructors also cover the challenges of distracted driving, including the radio, iPods, talking or texting on a phone, or just having too many teens in the car.
The curriculum presented was developed and is presented by a partnership between the Sports Car Club of America and BMW Car Club of America, with sponsorship from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and online tire retailer www.TireRack.com.
"Tire Rack Street Survival is about investing in our most precious resource, our young people," said Matt Edmonds, Executive Vice President of Tire Rack. "Through experienced coaches, volunteers from various car clubs, these new drivers learn how to react and control their vehicles in potentially dangerous situations making the roads safer for them and all of us that share it with them."
Ashley Trigo, 17, is a student at David Douglas High School, and a first-time student at the Street Survival course. "My mom went searching for the class," Trigo said. "She just wanted me to take a safety course. I thought it was a good idea, too, because I didn't want to be scared of driving in snow, or not knowing what to do in case of emergency."
In-car exercises include skid control on a wet skid pad, lane change and accident avoidance maneuvers, threshold braking and anti-lock braking exercises. The teens also drive a slalom course to learn about weight transfer.
"I think the most important thing that I learned is that my car does not have ABS, and I wouldn't have known that in an emergency, I have to release my brakes instead of slamming on them," Trigo said.
The next Street Survival school in Portland will take place on Sunday, September 18 at Portland International Raceway. Students can register at www.streetsurvival.org. The price of the class is $95 per student, and includes lunch.
"Street Survival would be really helpful to my friends, because they're not the safest drivers," Trigo said.
TOPEKA, Kan. (January 15, 2018) -- Dan Gurney, who was inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame in 2014, has passed away. The son of a Metropolitan Opera star in New York, a move as a teenager to Riverside, California, set him on a path to becoming a legendary sports car driver.
Like many drivers in the 1950s, Gurney started with SCCA Club races. He soon became a world-renown driver, constructor and team owner, competing at the highest levels of motorsport. On the international scene, in ways he was the definitive "overnight success." As Sports Illustrated reported in 1959, "Dan Gurney, an obscure club driver 16 months ago, has joined the Ferrari sports car team." Stunningly, but two years later in 1961, he tied British great Stirling Moss for third in the F1 Championship.
Mike Cobb, SCCA President and CEO, noted that the impact Gurney had on popularizing motorsports and the SCCA is immeasurable. To this day, his name is still one of the first that comes up when discussing SCCA's greatest racers.
"Dan Gurney was a world-class driver, innovator, engineer and competitor. A rare Eagle indeed," Cobb said. "His impact on the SCCA and international motorsports will be felt for years and years to come."
Gurney excelled in sports cars, grand prix cars, on road courses and ovals. He was the first to break the 150-mph barrier at Indianapolis. And on June 18, 1967, Gurney took a historic victory in the Belgian Grand Prix, becoming the only American to ever win an F1 race in a car of his own design.
He was the first to claim victories in all four major categories of motorsports; F1, International Sports Cars, Indy Cars, and NASCAR. He scored wins in SCCA Trans-Am, SCCA CanAm, and international championship races including the endurance classics at the Nurburgring, Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans. And at times cars from his All American Racers shop have dominated in both IMSA and Indy Cars.
Gurney was also an innovator, and at the 1968 German Grand Prix became the first driver ever to use a full-face helmet in Grand Prix racing, and was the first to do so at Indy. In 1971, he developed the Gurney Flap (wickerbill), an aerodynamic innovation that has been adopted by automobile racing and aviation throughout the world. And he was instrumental in launching the rear-engine revolution in Indianapolis in 1963.
His innovations weren't only in the field of things technological. A week before his historic win in the Belgian Grand Prix, he took a surprise victory with A.J. Foyt at 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Gurney famously began the now-familiar winner's tradition of spraying champagne from the podium.
When was the last time you went through a difficult event that gave you a clearer vision of your mission and purpose in life? We at Bob’s Auto Café have had two clarifying events occur this year, and with your help, we are dedicated to changing their outcomes in 2018.
The first occurred when an automotive technology intern, who showed excellent promise and loved working on cars, decided to cut back on automotive training hours in order to get a job and become self-supporting. The intern’s career schedule went from a two-year program to a four-year plus program. Hoping to beat the odds and graduate with an ASE certification without debt, the student took a hard swallow when faced with how long it was going to take.
The Oregonian reports students accumulate an average of nearly $30,000 in school debt.
Fortunately, Bob’s Auto Café is here to help. It costs Bob’s Auto Café $26,461 per year to train an intern (at no cost to them) using the Automotive Service Excellence program, recognized by virtually every automotive employer in America. Thanks to the generosity of Guild Mortgage of Oregon, the intern is now fully-funded for 2018.
Our goal for 2018 is to fully fund FOUR internships (totaling $105,844).
The good news is one internship is already fully funded, and we are almost a quarter of the way funded on the second internship. People are catching the vision and we are excited to have you join in on this scholarship as well!
Click here to donate to Bob's Internship Scholarships
Siegfried Rauch and Steve McQueen play unyielding rivals in the film Le Mans (1971), but only a few people know about the close friendship they shared.
Exclusive and never before published documents come to light, including letters from Steve Siggi and private photos from the families’ albums. Rauch also shares photos and facts from behind the scenes of the 1971 film where Steve McQueen created a cinematic monument to the race, drivers, mechanics and the racing cars in the most realistic conditions.
For the first time, Siegfried Rauch shows us a different, private side to the “king of cool.”
The book is available in English and German on Amazon.com:
In the last few years, reversing or backup cameras have become standard equipment on most new cars. But if your car was made in 2015 or before, chances are that you don't have a camera, and retrofitting a reversing camera can be expensive, and it usually involves making irrevocable changes to your car. But really, you don't need a camera. You just need to know that something is back there.
Now a Washington-based company called FenSens has an affordable solution. For $149, they'll sell you a license plate frame with a basic radar setup inside it. The frame links to your phone via Bluetooth and FenSens has an app that displays what the radar is seeing in real time.
"Our whole mission is making new car tech affordable, simple, and easy to install without having to call the 'car guy,' which can get expensive," says FenSens CEO Andy Karuza.
The frame takes a couple AA batteries, and they'll power it for several months. The FenSens unit also comes with a button you can mount in your car that will "wake up" the unit and bring up the app on your phone.
The frame is a bit bulkier than usual, but the system works well. You just install the batteries in the frame, and then download the Fensens app onto your smartphone. Use Bluetooth to pair the Fensens unit with your phone and set it to automatically pair in the future. No wires, no holes in your car, no muss, and no fuss.
When you open the app, the Fensens unit scans behind (or in front of) your car and displays any perils on your phone. You can install two Fensens units and scan in front of and behind your car if your garage is constrained on space.
"We will be relentlessly pursuing ways to make the use of the product even simpler than it is today. But, I guess its not a bad start," Karuza says.
I’ve been using the Fensens this summer and it works. It’s simple, adequate, and easy to install. You can buy your own unit for $149 from www.fensens.com.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (May 25, 2017) – Today, Hagerty announced an insurance program for High Performance Drivers Education (HPDE) events, which are soaring in popularity nationwide. The coverage, developed for U.S.-based track day and vintage motorsports enthusiasts, is available for vehicles from 1941 to 2018 model years.
“More and more of our clients are seeking opportunities where they can test their car control skill set and enjoy the full capabilities of their cars in a safe learning environment,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “Things happen out on the track, so we’ve built this coverage so that it’s easy to obtain. We’re proud to now say that your Hagerty coverage doesn’t have to stop once you turn into the paddock.”
The protection covers vehicles while on-track and in the paddock for physical damage to the car incurred by the driver, a guest driver and instructor. As with all Hagerty policies, HPDE insurance features Agreed Value™ coverage where the owner decides what the car is worth. Hagerty’s HPDE insurance covers up to $175,000 and can apply to cars which have a higher value. Pollutant cleanup, towing and rental car reimbursement are also covered.
The policies are underwritten by RLI Track Day, a specialty insurer providing solutions to high performance driving enthusiasts for nearly a decade. Policies are available same-day, start at $200/day with a $2k deductible, and apply at 88 tracks in 35 states to licensed drivers over 18 years old.
More details and quotes available here.
PORTLAND, Ore. – March 8, 2017 – The Portland International Raceway (PIR) Auto Swap Meet will return to the racetrack at 1940 North Victory Blvd. for its 12th annual event from Thursday, April 6 to Saturday, April 8; hours are 7am to 5pm daily.
The event, which runs in conjunction with the annual Portland Swap Meet at the Expo Center, is one of the racetrack’s most successful events, drawing nearly 2,000 vendors that set up on every available space of the five-mile road course. This year’s event sold out to vendors in record time.
For three days, PIR hosts more than 15,000 visitors looking for automotive treasures. From memorabilia to mini bikes, gas pumps to garage flooring, and tools to transmissions, the swap meet is a gearhead’s dream. Buyers and spectators will find thousands of unique, original stock, antique, vintage and custom vehicles and parts both on display and for sale. There’s also an abundance of Americana, including antique toys, bicycles, vintage signs, neons, mannequins, Coca Cola coolers, decked out golf carts, and plenty of paraphernalia for the man cave.
Admission is $7 per day, and free for children under the age of 12. Parking is $10 per day, or hop on the MAX Yellow Line, which stops just outside PIR’s main gate. One of the recommended ways to visit the booths is by non-motorized bicycles, which are allowed on the track; and attendees will want to tow a trailer/wagon behind that bike for proper parts transport.
There’s also a complimentary parts pick-up area that stores purchased items for the day; or the "haul and go” delivery system that transports purchases directly to buyer’s vehicles in the PIR parking lot. Over the history of the event, this donation-based service has raised nearly $100,000 for the Community Transitional School, a local organization that provides educational services to area homeless children.
One of the most fun parts of the PIR Swap Meet is the people watching; many attendees are walking sandwich boards advertising the part the owner is seeking. As with any swap meet, prices are often flexible and trades encouraged, but it’s still wise to bring plenty of cash to avoid losing out on that perfect item. Learn more at PortlandRaceway.com and follow the event on social media @PortlandRaceway.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Americas welcomes a familiar face to its retail family in the United States as OpenRoad Auto Group has acquired the existing Rolls-Royce Motor Cars retail operations in Bellevue, Wash. at 1882 136th Place NE. The Rolls-Royce showroom, Bespoke Atelier and service operations will seamlessly continue to service the brand’s Pacific Northwest clientele. The Vancouver, British Columbia based luxury retailer adds the Bellevue operations to its existing Canadian business in its first foray across the border in the United States.
“We congratulate Christian Chia and his entire team on this expansion and their continued commitment to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars,” said Pedro Mota, President of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Americas. “As we come off our third consecutive year of record demand, OpenRoad Auto Group’s broad expertise with luxury clientele and their commitment to provide unrivaled client relations and customer service is critical to sustain the relationship we have with our growing Rolls-Royce Motor Cars family.”
OpenRoad Auto Group launched in 2000 and quickly became one of the largest and fastest growing automotive retail groups in Canada. Since the debut of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Vancouver operations in 2010, the team has focused on excellence and individualized activities. Every day, client managers bring a personalized level of service to luxury consumers, establishing Vancouver as the largest market for Rolls-Royce in Canada. The group will bring their knowledge and understanding as demand for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars continues to expand in the Pacific Northwest.
“We are extremely excited to be expanding our services into the Pacific Northwest and the clients throughout the Seattle area,” said Christian Chia, President and CEO of OpenRoad Auto Group. “Our goal is to create a seamless transition throughout this process and continue to offer the super-luxury experience our clients have come to expect. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bellevue will continue its commitment to excellence in sales and service throughout the transition as operations continue.”
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Americas recorded a third consecutive year of record sales in 2016. Sales soared 12% for the year, propelled by the new Rolls-Royce Dawn. The Americas remain the largest region for the world’s leading luxury house, and represents more than one-third of the iconic brand’s sales. Rolls-Royce continued to dominate the North American super-luxury arena (motor cars topping $250,000). The success is a direct result of the company’s leadership in offering a steady stream of exciting new luxury products and exclusive Bespoke features for the most discerning clients in the world, Rolls-Royce motor car owners.