Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I have other interests outside cars: Art!

It counts right? I mean, just because it's artwork of motorsport and cars doesn't make it not artwork.

I found this gem of a site today while looking at the TeamSpeed forums. It's personal blog/site of artist Miha Furlan who, quite obviously, has an incredible talent for capturing late 1960's through mid-1980's race cars. I particularly love the sort of "Pop!" factor his art work has looking almost cartoonish but with incredible detail and oozing with style. He manages to make the canvas look as though it was moving.

The best thing I could compare it to are the colorful, sexy Grand Prix posters of the early years of Formula One but with even better cars and more exotic locales.

Miha also has an eye for cars with iconic paint schemes like the Gulf Porsche 917's, The JPS Lotus 72D's, Martini tri-color Porsche 935 and Lancia Integrale, and the teapot Ligier JS. Basically, if you love the golden age of motorsport then there is undoubtedly a picture for you. What's most impressive is that it seems he manages to create such beautiful imagery through only colored pencils and markers!

I'm angling with the wife to possibly land some of his works of art as Christmas gifts for me. Guys, I recommend you do the same!

I've included a few of the photos of Miha's work below definitely work a look!

Porsche 908/30 vs. Ferrari 512 @ Targa Florio

Ligier JS5

Ferrari going for it on the Targa Florio

Giles & Jody at Monaco in '79

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Way of the Future

While I was in the BMW pits at the 2010 Petit Le Mans, I happened to wander down near the Porsche pits and ran into JF Musial of Tangent Vector while he was shooting video for Porsche of North America (or just Porsche). I spoke to him briefly about his camera rig and it turns out he was using a Canon 7D to shoot the video listed below.

This Porsche GT3 R Hybrid is of particular interest to me as it bucks the trend of the normal, battery-based hybrid in favor of a fly wheel-based system. While at the race, I was aware that Porsche had run the GT3 R Hybrid as a bit of a test bed from all they've learned from the Williams KERS system( incredibly much like the one they were co-developing with BMW during their F1 partnership days!) but I wasn't very aware of the technical prowess this car manages to sport. While the hybrid system apparently only weighs an additional 103 lbs. ( a relatively small weight) it can return up to 163HP in additional power when charged up to the 4 motors Porsche fixed to each wheel. From my understanding, Porsche fixed the 4 motors to the wheels as a way of letting them add torque vectoring to the GT3 R Hybrid. Thus, they can now somewhat regulate how much power is focused on specific wheels to help increase cornering speeds and straight-line acceleration.

Overall, the GT3 Hybrid did OK for its first outing on the track in the United States by placing 18th overall in the race. Pretty impressive considering it was leading the 24 hours of Nurburgring when it has major mechanical issues. As a hybrid, the GT3 R is fairly innocuous towards motorsport fans. When it passed me numerous times at my perch on the track all I could perceive was the sonorous sound of of a Porsche flat-6. That's all I wanted too, so if this is the way of the future, I think I could be onboard for that. Check out this great technical write-up of the Porsche GT3 R Hybrid as they go into much better detail of how the GT3 differs from a Prius hybrid.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BMW RLR - Video Straight from the Pits!

I posted a write-up and video of my experiences at the 2010 Petit Le Mans embedded with BMW RLR. The race was absolutely incredible. For those that enjoy motorsports, the GT2 class of the ALMS has provided non-stop action between BMW, Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar and Chevy. Many of the nine races this season have been insane sprint races requiring the teams all be on-point all the time as the cars were all setting lap times within seconds of each other.

I compiled this video that highlights the experiences in the pits with BMW RLR as the M3 GT's rocketed 'round Road Atlanta. It also captures some of the low points such as the #90 car being falsely penalized and then a mechanical issue with the starter motor that resulted in a loss of major laps. Thankfully, the 90 car bounced back and got out on track to work with the 92 car to find a fourth place finish. How did the finish come about? Well, the Risi Ferrari managed to run out of fuel on the last lap - two corners from the finish line giving the BMW M3 GT room to jet past and take the Manufacturer's Championship from Porsche by a single point.

The video was shot with a Nikon D5000 and a handful of Nikon/Nikkor lenses. Overall, I'm happy that the video came together but still disappointed with the Nikon video mode over that of rival Canon's. I'm contemplating a Nikon D7000 with autofocusing and full HD video or a Canon T2i or 60D. Any constructive criticisms are appreciated!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just back from Petit Le Mans

Porsche GT3 Hybrid, originally uploaded by Murph32256.

Working on a big piece for BMWBlog - but I should have content up here afterward! Hats off to BMW for a great season and interesting to see this Porsche Hybrid running as an "exhibition" of sorts.