The Good Oil: Canine trackstar scores home run + more
If you are a MotoGP fan, you will no doubt remember the dog that held up practice at the recent round at Circuit of the Americas (Cota) in Texas after it decided a few laps of the track would be a good idea.
Well it seems that the dog — a stray that leans into corners at least as well as the MotoGP riders (if the picture is to be believed) — has found a new home.
The dog was taken to the Austin Animal Centre, where he was named “Moto” after his track adventure. Moto, a 1-year-old Shiba Inu-cross puppy, only stayed at the centre for a week before he was adopted.
It turns out the new owner adopted the dog after a day at Cota and has renamed him Rossi!
Featherweight carbon flyer
The Donkervoort D8 GTO uses carbon fibre to keep its weight down to 700kg.
It would be hard to find a more mental car than the Donkervoort D8 GTO — basically a tiny 700kg Lotus Seven-style car with a modern chassis and packing a 280kW version of Audi’s 2.5-litre inline five-cylinder engine. All without any form of modern driving aid, like stability control, ABS brakes or power steering ...
Anyway, the reason the D8 is such a featherweight, even compared with other cars of a similar style, is the fact that it is made largely from carbon fibre. Something that company founder and resident mad scientist type Joop Donkervoort is showing off with his latest creation — the Donkervoort D8 GTO Bare Naked Carbon Edition.
This involves a lot more than just “not painting it” as you, like The Good Oil, might have thought.
It involves an attention to detail that is possibly physically painful to some people, as all the carbon fibre has to be laid up by hand with the weave aligned exactly — as opposed to that old “slap it together” approach when you know you can hide it with a coat of paint.
Once it is completed, the owner can choose to have it either lacquered or coated in a matte finish, which — aside from looking incredible — also saves weight.
Mental now looks truly intimidating!
We are the world
■A woman from Memphis, Tennessee, is facing multiple charges after she got her 10-year-old daughter to drive her home because she was too drunk to do it herself. She also pepper-sprayed the motorist who blocked her in and called the police. As well as kicking the cop who arrested her. Probably not Mother of the Year material.
■When a Canadian student returned to his car to find a note on it, he thought someone was upset with his parking. However, it turned out that Derek Murray had left his lights on, and the note said that a person in a nearby house had noticed and had left him the note and a battery charger with an extension lead to the house so he could jump start his car if the battery was flat!
Ferrari with a dirty past
The 1983 Ferrari 308 rally car.Picture / Bonhams
Hey, you! Do you wanna buy a Ferrari with a racing history? No, it’s not a Formula One car ... think more, well, gravelly.
That’s right, it’s a rally car. Yes, really, a 1983 Ferrari 308 GTB Group B rally car, to be precise.
GTC — a high-end classic car dealer in the UK — has the super-rare (and, let’s face it, decidedly odd) Ferrari for sale.
The listing reads as follows:
This Ferrari 308 GTB Group B chassis no. is 18869 is the first of the only four Ferrari 308 GTB Group B built by Michelotto.
The car was completed in February 1983 for the Pro Motor Sport team in Italy.
This Ferrari 308 GTB Group B is considered as a “prototype” and the only one of the four cars with a fibreglass body.
According to GTC the car has an interesting racing history, including coming first in the 1983 Sicilian Rally Championship, first in the 1984 Spanish Rally Championship and third at the 1984 Targa Florio.
The same car was sold by Bonhams in 2011 for NZ$658,030. We don’t imagine it has got any cheaper in the intervening years.
Ford’s loopy world record
It started, as all the best things do, with a father trying to make his child’s toys bigger and faster. It ended with Ford building the largest Hot Wheels loop in the world.
The world record attempt was the brainchild of Ford dynamometer technician Matt West, who had built increasingly larger Hot Wheels loops with his 6-year-old son Blade at their home in Monroe, Michigan.
“We built one in our playroom, and then built a five-foot-tall (152cm) loop in our backyard. When people at Ford heard what we were up to, everyone thought it would be a great way to get young people excited about science and engineering by trying to break the world record on Take Your Child to Work Day.”
That’s right; all the Ford people came over all Hot Wheels-ish to “teach young people”, not just because Hot Wheels are cool and making them do loops is awesome. No, not that at all ...
The current record of a 2.97m tall loop was set in Ohio. West and his colleagues at Ford successfully made a Mustang Hot Wheels car complete a 3.81m loop.
“On a track, a Hot Wheels car can only go so fast, so carrying the momentum of the vehicle through an entire loop is harder than you might think,” said West. “In a world where kids are inundated with TVs and tablets, I thought teaching my son with actual moving vehicle models would be so much more rewarding, and then it took on a life of its own.”
Of course, West had help from the design department, who used a computer-aided design system usually used to design cars, which made the record breakers simultaneously awesome and utter jerks for ruining it for anyone who doesn’t have the resources of a multinational corporation.
The height of Ford’s record-setting Hot Wheels loop.
Height of the double loop by the full-size Hot Wheels stunt team in 2012.
Length of the record ramp-to-ramp jump by the Hot Wheels stunt team in 2011.
4 BILLION CARS
Hot Wheels has built more cars since 1968 than Detroit’s Big Three.