Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 – PRNMAG.COM
From the race track to your street car
Brothers Édouard and André founded Michelin well over a century ago in Clermont-Ferrand, France where the company’s headquarters are still located. The company mascot, Bibendum, a.k.a. the Michelin Man, is approaching his 120th birthday and remains one of the oldest trademarks in the world.
Michelin has come a long way from repairing and making bicycle tires. Today, Michelin is among the largest tire manufacturers in the world with several brands under its umbrella. It is also involved in all kinds of motorsports throughout the world.
Michelin tires have been used on everything from NASA’s space shuttle to the Nissan Deltawing prototype and everything in between. It is the official tire supplier to the Porsche GT3 Supercup, Carrera Cup and GT3 Cup Challenge series worldwide.
And if they’re good enough for Porsche, they’re good enough for the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship, right? Exactly! Citroën’s Sebastien Loeb won the slippery Rallye Monte-Carlo in January driving on a set of Michelin tires. His former teammate Sébastien Ogier took second place in his debut in the all-new VW Polo R WRC car on Michelins.
Besides being one of the WRC’s two official “tyre” suppliers in 2013, you’ll find Michelin engineers in many American Le Mans Series team pits before, during and long after the race, analyzing telemetry data, crunching numbers and listening to feedback from drivers and crewmen.
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 – PRNMAG.COM
It’s the same story in Europe where Michelin is heavily involved in the World Endurance Championship, Blancpain Endurance Series as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Nürburgring 24.
Of course, Michelin is also a mainstay of moto, from trials and motocross all the way up to Enduro and rally raid. In fact, it was an all-KTM/Michelin top five at this year’s Dakar Rally with Frenchman Cyril Despres leading the way and claiming his fifth Dakar victory.
All of this is undertaken so that Michelin can make better tires for you and I, for the road and the race track, on road or off. The company is crazy about cars and motorsports; if there ever was a tire company with obsessive compulsive disorder, Michelin is it.
To read the complete article on the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, please visit the PRN IGNITION website. To get the entire Spring ’13 issue of PRN IGNITION, visit your local newsstand and get it on Zinio Zinio!
Dario Franchitti Interview Teaser – PRNMAG.COM
During last year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas I sat down with Dario Franchitti, reigning Indy 500 Champion and Target Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar driver, in his sponsor BorgWarner Turbo’s booth to get the Flying Scotsman thoughts on the 2012 season, Randy Barnard’s firing and his racing career – past, present and future – among other things.
It starts like this.
Shaun: Hi Dario, thanks for taking the time to speak with me today. It’s great timing with Target coming to Canada this year, and I just want to start off with a light question. I saw you touching the trophy for the photo as a reigning Indy 500 champion. Can you tell me what that means in the level of your career? Have your reached the top or are you shooting for more?
Franchitti: Well, if you think you have reached the top, then you tend to stop. In order to be successful, I think you should have goals of trying to do more – and I do. I do so in a way that I race the very next race, probably the Rolex 24, whether it is the first IndyCar race or Indianapolis 500, there was always those goals to try to achieve.
For the full-length exclusive interview, please visit the PRN IGNITION website.
The Spring 2013 issue of PRN Ignition, Canada’s No. 1 magazine for automotive enthusiasts, is well into production. Among a trunkload of amazingly cool content we’ve driven high and low to procure, we’ve assembled a couple of guides that highlight some of the finest racing and performance driving schools all across this country.
My assignment took me to the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (a.k.a. Mosport) to participate in the two-day Mercedes-Benz AMG Driving Academy last fall. While I’m not going to spoil the anticipation and give away all the amazing details, a little bit of AMG Driving Academy instructor wisdom isn’t going to hurt…
AMG Driving Academy Teaser – PRNMAG.COM
Racing is an expensive hobby, even at the grassroots level. You’ve got to have a track-worthy vehicle and all the safety gear. There are also the necessary parts, maintenance and repairs, plus the cost of fuel, tires, travel and countless other expenses to consider. In short, it all adds up.
The best way to not only protect your investment, but keep yourself and others safe when the green flag drops, is to know how to drive your car. Don’t take it personally, but not everybody drives at the same level; some people get a lot more practice and experience than others.
Because I want everybody to arrive safely, here are some of the best tips and techniques students learn at the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy.
Let’s start with the perhaps the most misunderstood and often forgotten aspect of driving, seating position. According to chief instructor Danny Kok, how you sit inside your vehicle is very important and it’s even more so on a race track.
Start by lowering the seat all the way. If you’re vertically challenged, raise it up to a comfortable level. Then adjust the seat base forward or back so you have a good bend in knee when pushing the pedals all the way down, and with your left foot on the dead pedal. Next, adjust the seat back so there’s still a good bend in your elbow while the steering wheel is turned. You should have at least four to six inches of headroom to accommodate your helmet.
The steering wheel should be held at nine and three o’clock, with the hands roughly level with the shoulders. Holding at 10 and two only lets you turn the wheel 120 degrees in either direction while nine and three equates to no less than 180 degrees. Use the dead pedal to support your body when turning the wheel, in order to reduce arm fatigue. Finally, after setting the rearview mirror to see as much as possible out the back window, use a reference point on either side to adjust the side mirrors and eliminate blind spots.
For more tips from the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, please visit the PRN IGNITION website for the latest.
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ – PRNMAG.COM
Choosing a Scion FR-S over the Subaru BRZ or vice versa is like picking black or white at the start of any new game of chess. Everyone knows you should choose white in order to go first, but whoever gets black has the benefit of seeing the first move.
The 2013 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are both powered by the same horizontally-opposed 2.0L four-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine that makes 200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. Although the engine is clearly tagged as both Toyota and Subaru, the speedometer and tachometer aren’t as quick to pledge an allegiance to either automaker. Were it not for other subtle differences in exterior garnish, colour choices, multimedia options, interior materials and suspension tuning, you’d be hard pressed to tell them apart without any badges or at night.
Badged the Toyota GT-86 almost everywhere in the world but North America, these two worthy successors to the highly-popular and underrated AE86 Corollas of the mid-to-late 1980s are bringing back the affordable rear-wheel-drive sports car to reinvigorate brand loyalists whilst appealing to new and younger buyers for both companies.
The offspring of a marriage-of-convenience between the two Japanese automakers, the two coupes practically mirror one another from the wheels right on down to their key fobs. The parts-sharing shenanigans are quite obvious inside and out, but easy enough to forgive when you consider Subaru and Toyota have set egos aside for the benefit of enthusiasts.
Read my full review of the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ on the PRN IGNITION web site.
CASC-OR Time Attack School – Photo by Shaun Keenan – PRNMAG.COM
You have a fast car and some cash to burn fuel and tires, but are you fast? Given the chance to race the clock against another person on the same race track under the same conditions, would you be the fastest? Could you be the fastest?
Well, to answer any of these questions you need a car and a willingness to learn. While owning a weekend track car is still on my personal bucket list, Hyundai Canada has ponied-up (no pun intended) a brand-spanking new 2013 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 GT so I can participate in the Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs Ontario Region (CASC-OR) Time Attack school at Mosport’s 2.4 kilometre-long Development Track (DDT) on May 5 and 6, 2012.
Mosport’s DDT will host the first two rounds of the CASC-OR’s 2012 Time Attack Series on May 26 and 27; so, this school is not only ideal for beginners and novices looking to get into the sport, it’s also useful for amateurs and pros wanting to sharpen their driving skills in a safe environment with trained and certified instructors and paid course marshals.
The two-day school costs $450 and offers plenty of track time to test a new car or set up, scout the competition as well as get up to speed for a season of racing in the Ontario Time Attack Series. On-site camping (a grassroots motorsports past-time) is free.
I’ve been here many times before. Last summer, I drove the 2012 3.8 Gen coupe on one of the DDT’s many different configurations. Earlier this year, I sampled the significantly more powerful 2013 3.8 GT at the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada at the North American press launch.
Graciously on loan for a weekend of track use, my car is one of the first 2013 3.8 GT models in Canada. The other participants are here with their own cars. Some have been modified for lapping, including Chris Boersma’s purpose-built turbocharged EK Civic. I’m not the only one with a bone stock ride though as there’s a dude here with a brand-new VW Golf R as well as a lady-driven late model Miata. Even Mike D. is here with his tuned-up 2010 Genesis 3.8 coupe to get a feel for his car on the track.
To read my full report on the CASC-OR Time Attack School, visit the PRN Ignition website.
2012 Pirelli Photo Contest
Every year the Automobile Journalist’s Association of Canada (AJAC) hosts an annual awards banquet to reward its journalist members in a host of different writing, photography and design layout categories.
For the 29th edition of this banquet, I entered six of my photos into the Pirelli Photography contest, much as I have in several years past. And, this year, I was rewarded for my efforts with a first place entry in the “Unpublished Photo” category for my shot of the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S, which I reviewed in the Fall 2012 issue of PRN Motorsport Magazine. There is a similar photo used in the layout on page 78, however, this is a different one that didn’t make it into the layout, much to my chagrin.
“It’s almost cinematographic! The red taillight and red brakes spice the overpowering presence of gold,” commented one of the three judges.
Though my winning photo has been seen by my peers and those in attendance at the event in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario last week, I have once again decided to post all of my entries here so the other winners (and losers) and visitors of my site can see what they were up against this time. Unlike some past years, I was very happy with each of my submissions; and, I think any one of them could have been selected. Of course, all new daddies think their baby is the cutest thing on Earth, whether it’s true or not.
That said, here are my 2012 submissions for both the published and unpublished categories. Please enjoy and your constructive comments are welcome.
2012 Pirelli Photo Contest
Congrats to all who entered the contest!