Tuesday, November 29, 2022

NMS Moves to Ferrari in 23?

No photo description available.
NMS-South with Ferrari F40

According to anonymous sources, who were speaking off the record, on condition of anonymity, or maybe I dreamed this, the Ferrari F1 team will soon announce a new team principle, allegedly from the USA for 2023. Our sources say that NMS-South chief engineer Brian Nixon will be moving to Italy and taking on this new job in the near future. While this report is not confirmed yet, possibly not true, maybe not even CLOSE to reality, and quite possibly 100% total fabrication, we do know that after four years, Mattia Binotto today announced he was leaving Ferrari at the end of this year. 

 No photo description available.

When asked for comment, the newly wed Nixon replied that "I love Italian food" and, that we could "...quote me on that." It is further speculation that his preference for red automobiles (Miata, BMW, whatever) played a key role in being offered this new position.

Well, that seems very conclusive to me, and once again we have a really good shot of more Americans moving into the highest level of motorsport. The Williams F1 team have already announced that American driver Logan Sargeant will be driving for them in 2023, so why not have someone from the USA as the head of the famous Scuderia Ferrari? With one team (Haas F1 Team) based in the US already, and American ownership of F1, it only makes sense for the Ferrari team to jump on the US bandwagon. 

No photo description available.
NMS-South #86 on track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Headed to Italy?

Some other sources have reported that Ferrari will name an in-house replacement, like maybe even someone with actual F1 experience, or who speaks Italian, and maybe even someone that already lives there, but our money is on NMS-South packing up the Miata and heading to Europe next year. 

Friday, November 25, 2022


Groomsmen doing their best "pose like it's an ad for the new watches." Nixon brand watches provided by NMS-South. 

Since you can't be driving on a track or at an autocross event EVERY day, sometimes it's fun to just take a trip. We just wrapped up an epic road trip to attend Brian and Alicia's wedding in South Carolina, and what better way to get there from New York than to drive? Don't answer that, it's just a rhetorical question. Driving is better, and if nothing else, the TSA doesn't bug you. 

During the trip we watched Formula 1 qualifying, and saw Haas driver Kevin
Magnussen take his and the Haas F1 Team's first ever pole position!

So, what would be the best way to drive from here to there? Clearly NOT I-95 down the east coast. Nothing personal against New York City, the Jersey Turnpike, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, or even South of the Border, but come on! We've driven I-95 enough to not want to do it again, so we headed west. 

We visited the art museum in Columbia SC and saw these Andy Warhol prints of Chairman Mao. 

Our first leg took us to the exciting hamlet of JFK airport to pick up the European extension of NMS, Katie and Joanna direct from Amsterdam. It would have been fun to drive to Holland and pick them up, but we just didn't have time to take the boat. So, from JFK we have to "Escape From New York", as Kurt Russell might say (or make a movie with that title.)  This brings up the most traffic we encountered, which (SURPRISE!!) was in New York City!

Cheapest gas on the trip was in South Carolina, $2.98. 

But seriously, it gave me a great opportunity to get a photo of the sign as you leave Brooklyn, so FUGHEDDABOUTIT!

Long story short, the wedding was great, the trip was wonderful, and to be honest, it is really fun to drive!

Sneak peek at future projects, Nissan 350Z Spec racing. His and Hers if you will!

350Z Rehearsal cake, with burning rubber? YES!

Spotted at the rehearsal dinner: all the FIRST PLACE trophies from the WINNING Lucky Dog Racing League "Bunch of Idiots" team!

The happy couple, Alicia and Brian. Family is what it's all about. 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

November Autocross Report and Season Wrap-Up

Porsche 914

I was going to post a photo of a pita sandwich and title this IT'S A WRAP, but, let's just say that today we finished up the 2022 autocross season with the Porsche Club, and we had GREAT weather for November. It was 70 degrees at Tobay Beach on Long Island, and we had a very fun course full of 63 drivers today!  For the day, I managed to take 1st out of 3 drivers in my class, 8th fastest Porsche on PAX time out of 22 P-cars, and 10th on PAX out of all 63 drivers. That overall is a bit misleading, since the non-Porsches don't get a modified PAX time, so it's modified (assisted and faster) for the Porsches vs. actual (RAW) time for the other brands. So in overall RAW time, I managed 31st fastest out of 63, and I'm always happy just to be in the top half of that category. 

Porsche Boxster

Season-wise, I managed to compete in 11 events out of 13 events, and unofficially placed 4th overall on PAX time for Porsche cars. In my very small class of S05 that usually only had 2 or 3 of us at each event, I managed to win all the events I attended too. If there was a competition for Who Had The Most Fun, I'm willing to bet I'd be in the running for that prize too, and that's what any event or hobby is all about.  

Porsche 911, bring your own autocross tires!

The club held events at both Tobay Beach and the Nassau Coliseum, and we also took part in the multi-club 2-day Zone 1 Porsche Club event up in Ayer Massachusetts. This was my first time at this event, and my first 2-day autocross weekend, so it was lots of fun! At another event in October, we had the annual Top Ten Shootout, where the top drivers took turns in the same car to see who was the fastest. In a very close battle, I just missed out on 10th and last place, finishing 9th. 

Porsche 911 GT4

Today's event was a great example that you can autocross pretty much any car out there. There were a lot of Miatas, at least 3 Subarus, a Tesla, multiple BMWs, and even a Ferrari 308! Hey, don't take my word for it, here's some photos of the cars, and a video of my best run of the day. We took 5 runs in the morning and another 4 in the afternoon. 

My Best Run of the Day

Lotus Exige, fastest British car of the day!

If you put stickers on your car, make them good ones!

I learned that these wheel centers are made to look like center locks


You can autocross a Jaguar! 2nd fastest British car of the day!

Ferrari 308, Magnum P.I. not included! Fastest Italian car of the day!

YES you can autocross a Tesla. It's scary quiet when it launches!

Sorry about the shadow, but this orange 914 looked awesome!

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Garage Time

A great fall day outside, no Trick or Treaters in my neighborhood, so let's hit the garage!

Two packages arrived today and it looks like there is some work to be done. 
So maybe it's not the 12 Labors of Hercules, but here we go with, uh, 

(Cue: dramatic music. DUH DUH DUUUUUHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!)

One of life's easiest repairs, because all you need is a 10mm socket. 
First you just take off the interior cover with your hands. 

Here's an electrical connection for the powered mirror. Luckily, I managed to order the right one, so UN-connect it, again using your opposable-thumbs human-style hands, two each. 

Or as musicians' joke: "VIOLA!"
(Hand model NOT a professional, try this at home!)

Here comes the 10mm ratchet. 
Excuse me, the SNAP-ON 10mm ratchet. 
(SNAP-ON hoodie not included)

Remove the three nuts on the inside that attach the mirror. 

Exterior view. Place new mirror here. 

Oh, and if you order car parts from Rock Auto (not a paid endorsement)
you usually get a cool car magnet like this, FREE!

New mirror attached, electric connection in place, and it works!

(REALLY dramatic music, track 2)
Here's the 2nd Package, a boat load of cleaning supplies from 
(Not a paid endorsement) Griot's Garage, thanks to a 
birthday gift card from my great wife!

(Dramatic music continues)
 Replacing some wonky and getting squared off lug nuts on the Toyota.
Pro tip from a mechanic friend: If the 21mm socket isn't gripping these bad boys,
go with a 22mm! It works!

Bonus QUIZ TIME points if you can tell which is the new/shiny/square lug, and which one
is the old/dull/caved in/rounded lug. 
PRO TIP: 3rd object from the left is not a lug nut.