Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day and a Tribute to Jim Clark

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

I'm about to enter round 2 of turkey day festivities but before I did I wanted to post this up. It's an hour long tribute to Jim Clark and does a wonderful job chronicling his career throughout F1, Formula 2 and sports car racing. It has a lot of period footage of about 3 or 4 seasons from Formula 1 and some great information about his foray into the Indianapolis 500 with Lotus and the challenges that kept the team from taking further victories.

If you're tired of football or ready to pass out from too much turkey - this is a good little clip to watch and catch up on the career of one of the best racing drivers of all time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Being on Team McLaren in 1975

I came across this little 25 minute video on Vimeo and thought it would be interesting to pass along. It's a fairly intimate look at the Team McLaren during the '75 season with Emerson Fittipaldi in his last year with McLaren and the secondary driver Jochen Mass - both at the wheel of the M23 powered by the Cosworth DFV. Ironically, this would be Fittipaldi's last season with McLaren before he would leave to endure an unsuccessful stint on his brother Wilson's Fittipaldi Automotive team. The following season, McLaren would pick up rogue driver James Hunt who would battle down to the wire to beat Ferrari 312T driver Niki Lauda by a single point during the typhoon of a grand prix at Mt. Fuji.

What's especially interesting, though sometimes a little slow, is that the video provides tremendous insight into the minds of Fittipaldi and Mass in the moments before a race as they mentally prepare for automotive combat. As I said, there are times where the video is a bit slow and doesn't move but having basically 25 minutes of in-pit time from 1975 is an important view into the manner in which the teams were run 35 years ago. From what I can tell, much of the racing sequences were filmed at Interlagos on a few years after it was added to the calendar - and the team and drivers appear fairly lackadasical by comparison to when the team fell under the iron fist of Ron Dennis bringing it into today's iteration of Team McLaren.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Self Promotion: My Nikon D5000 for sale

I just picked up a factory-refurbished Nikon D90 camera body off of eBay and as a result I'm selling my Nikon D5000 and related gear. The D5000 was just recently discontinued - however, noted photographer and Nikon enthusiast Ken Rockwell thought so much of the D5000 that he called it the "For the best possible camera for just about anything, fun or serious, I'd get the Nikon D5000."

The D5000 is an excellent, highly capable camera - I just happened to want something that gave me a bit more hands-on control of settings. The D5000 is currently listed on eBay for a starting bid of $624.99. With the D5000 body you also get:

- Nikon D5000 12.3MP camera body
- two-battery Opteka battery grip with vertical shutter release button for portrait shots and increased control
- 4 D5000/Opteka grip-compatible rechargeable batteries(these work great! used 2 for almost the entire Petit Le Mans shooting 1,800 photos and 1 hour of video)
- Battery charger
- AV output cables
- All books and documentation
- USB to PC/Mac adapter
- Nikon camera strap
- Nearly unused Nikon camera bag
* An Nikon 18-55mm VR lens is also available for a bit more money if someone is interested

The camera has only 12,661 shutter clicks since I bought the camera around March/April of 2010. I shot the entire Petit Le Mans video and my photos on it. You can find the Flickr set of the Petit Le Mans photos and the video of Petit Le Mans below. Feel free to contact me regarding any questions!

A 10 Minute History of the Porsche 917

I've hit a bit of a slump with content and seem to continually fuel things with Porsche content. Unfortunately, I don't seem to be letting up as I found this clip about the Porsche 917. I've loved this car since I first saw it and not surprisingly due to the McQueen movie Le Mans. While 10 minutes may seem like not much time to cover the prolific history of the 917 - the hosts manage to quite a lot with little time.

The clip covers the development of the 917K and 917LH a bit but has wonderful insight from 917 drivers Brian Redman and Richard Attwood. What's especially interesting is to listen to Attwood's account of the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans and how he and the team made the conscious decision to stick with the smaller 4.5 liter flat-12 engine over the larger, more powerful 4.9 liter flat-12. In the end, the tortoise beat the hare as the smaller displacement 917K of Hermann and Attwood was reliable enough to go the distance and take the overall win at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The clip also goes into detail about Porsche's move into Can Am to steal the show from the dominant McLaren's with a turbocharged 917/10 putting out a frightening almost 1,000HP. Additionally, a bit of insight is given to Porsche's test of the 917/30 at Talladega with Mark Donohue behind the wheel to set the FIA record for average closed circuit speed record of about 221 mph. Sadly, Donohue, a very accomplished racer, would be killed a few days later in what was initially thought to be a minor injury in at Austrian Grand Prix.

Hope you enjoy it! Shame that outrageous cars like this are no longer fit to race - no modern racers seem to come close to the brutal, relentless 917.

Porsche 917 from Mee on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nearly 50 Years and the Sound Doesn't Change

I found this up on Chris Harris' blog on evo's site. Harris and two other driver's competed in the 1,000km of Nurburgring this year. I assume in some sort of historics race prior to the actual competition. However, that's irrelevant.

This video is a bit of a testament to the 911 and it's lovely flat-6 engines. They've managed to sound the same and retain its original configuration for 47 years. Basically, the 911 still kicks ass - just check out this nearly 10 minute clip of Harris hooning a 911 ST around the ring. Enjoy the music!

(Source: evo uk)