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Guests: Mark Thomas, IHRA Champion drag racer & Ohio dairy/corn farmer
Content: Mark Thomas is my only guest this week. Thomas is a seven-time champion funny car driver in the International Hot Rod Association and he won all those championships using ethanol AND a corn-based lubricant in the drag racing machine that was low in cholesterol and edible. Mark Thomas was one of the first motorsports teams of any discipline to take the leap into ethanol racing. He had to ask permission and was even turned down by one drag racing series. The IHRA only committed to a "wait and see" attitude. You might say Thomas opened the door that others have walked through. Here his side of the story now!
Guests: Ari Vatanen, Member of the European Parliament and 1981 World Rally Champion, AND Marty Ladwig, Sport Compact Drag Racing FWD Champion.
Content: Ari Vatanen talks about the differences between rally drivers and circuit racers, especially the differences in the way they look at the environment and the people who make up that environment. It’s all stems from the fact that rally drivers compete in the environment and circuit racers don’t. We talk to Vatanen at the beginning of The Dakar Rally in Barcelona, Spain. Then we talk with Marty Ladwig who’s made a very good living winning drag racing championships in a FWD Chevy Cobalt. He’s also working out plans to convert one of his race cars into a green racer. We talk about how and when.
These are friends. Have some fun learning from them!!
Guests: Mark Chung, Director, Strategic Marketing, Yokohama Tire Corporation AND Sports Car Driver Pierre Kleinubing
Content: Mark Chung is an expert on a new marketing concept for Yokohama, the orange oil tire. Yes, the tire giant is using orange oil as a renewable ingredient to replace petroleum based rubber in the tire. Chung will give us the reason why the new concept works and what Yokohama might have in the pipeline for tires in the future. You might be frightened at the possibilities! Then Pierre Kleinubing tells us about his favorite racing discipline, from a guy who’s had success on dirt, on pavement, in drifting, in rallying and the championships he’s won in road racing. What’s his favorite track? And what’s the series that invited him NOT to return???
Guests: Steve Pruitt, Principle, Corsa Motorsports AND Nick Ham, Mazda/Speedsource driver
Content: I’ve talked a lot about the ethanol powered/hybrid that Corsa Motorsports is working hard to bring to the grid in an American Le Mans Series race. The car is now in the U.S. and down the street from Miller Motorsports Park outside Salt Lake where crews are working hard to mke that grid on their home track. We talked with Pruitt about what he’s trying to do, how close he is to getting it done and what it means to you and I that he succeeds. Then we share a laugh with Nick Ham, a driver who’s fast but doesn’t brag about it. In my book, that makes him faster! We also share a laugh at my expense. Steve and Nick are just hard working, good people who are worth the time.
Guests: Doug Fehan, Manager Corvette Racing at GM
Content: Doug Fehan is my only guest this week. He’s such an important person in racing that we wanted to acquaint you with him. The first win for the C5-R came at the Texas Motor Speedway in 2000. The C6-R brought more success to the tune of eight straight team and manufacturer championships, seven straight drivers’ titles, five class victories at Le Mans, and seven class victories at Sebring. The total of class wins in ALMS comes to 70 and 76 worldwide. But the success drove away the competition leading GM to send Fehan and the Corvettes to the ALMS GT2 class after Le Mans next weekend. Aston Martin have taken the top spot in GT1 at Le Mans the last two years, and the Corvette team is determined to reclaim its supremacy. What’s the new Corvette going to look like? What’s the new showroom car going to look like even with the GM bankruptcy? Doug Fehan will shape those answers.
Guests: Blake Fuller, Owner Braille Battery
Content: Blake Fuller is my only guest this week. Battery technology is at the core of everything planned for the future of motor vehicle technology whether it’s an electric vehicle or a hybrid. Fuller is in the center of that core approaching the future as a racer who is solving problems on the race track and making them work in the production world. In fact, some of Fuller’s battery products will be in the GM Racing Corvettes at Le Mans this weekend. He also had preliminary conversations with entrants in the historic TTXGP competition for electric motorcycles on the Isle of Man this weekend. All of the above is why we’re talking with Blake Fuller now!
Guests: Rod Millen, Racing legend & designer AND Actor Patrick Dempsey, team owner & driver, Grand-Am Rolex and KONI Challenge series.
Content: Rod Millen is a long time friend who came from New Zealand to be a rally driver but he grew into off-road racing, set records on The Pikes Peak Hillclimb and drives marathon rallies all over the world. But he also stretches the envelope in designing and building robotic vehicles for the U.S. military. We talked about alternative vehicle performance and what’s possible in that world. Then we talk with actor Patrick Dempsey, racing team owner and blossoming driver who races at the leading edge of competition. He’s not a gentleman racer! We talked about his team ownership and how important racing is to this celebrity who’s known all over the world for his acting. Here’s Rod and Patrick!!
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