Saturday, January 6, 2024

NMS Highlights From 2023

We hope your 2023 was better than this sculpture in Amsterdam!

Before we plan all of 2024, here, in no particular order, are our HIGHLIGHTS from 2023, which was another fun year at NMS!

The Bunch of Idiots "Bees" get into B Class!

Brian and the Bunch of Idiots team once again entered a Lemons race, tuned up the Miata, packed up the trailer, and headed north. Along the way they got stopped for a few hours by an Interstate accident up ahead of them that shutdown the road for 2 hours in Indiana, then they kept going north, and finally raced their #287 Miata at Road America in Wisconsin. This is definitely a bucket list track for drivers, so when these guys saw that the 24 Hours of Lemons series was returning to RA, they signed up! On the very positive side, and considering the track has long straights (meaning HIGHER SPEEDS) and their Miata has a small engine (meaning SLOWER SPEEDS) they were able to get in Class B instead of the usual Class A where the fastest cars compete. At the end of two days on track, they overcame some small issues, executed a great driver/pit stop strategy, and still came home in 18th place overall from about 140 drivers! 


Robert ran into some elves living in a tree or something, because thanks to their magic "fast autocross" beans he somehow pulled off the first ever NMS 1st place PAX at an autocross event in our 10 years of competition! All this time we thought the secret of going fast was PBJ sandwiches! Not long after that 1st place New York Metro Region PCA performance, and after moving to South Carolina, he also took a fastest Porsche car on RAW time at Carolina Region Porsche Club autocross event, which was also the 2nd fastest RAW time on the day. Note to self: Get More Magic Beans!

NMS-South continued developing what some people call "Project Z." We can neither confirm nor deny that Project Z exists, whether it might exist in the future, or even if this ridiculous blog actually exists. An unidentified source was quoted as saying that "Project Z will be revealed soon...or not. Don't ask me, I just know things." Look for Project Z launching in 2025. Or sooner. Maybe later. You didn't hear it from us. NMS manager Brian Nixon stated that "Huh? What? Well, there's a BMW Z4 and Nissan makes a Z car, is that what you're talking about? Do you mean ZOD, like the bad guy in the Superman movie? The letter Zed like in German?"

NMS-North completed the move from NY to SC, once again unifying the entire two-man NMS team within the confines of just one state. Pro tip: Once you're out of the military, the government doesn't just move all your stuff at no cost, who knew?

Anyway, this move has no connection to the billion-dollar Scout Motors electric vehicle factory being built an hour away in Blythewood SC by the Audi company. However, NMS is open to the idea of serving as test drivers for any new vehicles built in the Palmetto state! On a related note, while we don't own any electric cars, two new hybrid vehicles found a place in the NMS garage this year. 

One of the original Shelby Cobras, at the Simeone Museum in Philadelphia. 
As in, one of only SIX of these bad boys on the planet!
FUN FACT: This car was once owned by rock and roll producer Phil Spector!

It was another year of some of our favorite activities; driving at Track Night in America, visiting the Simeone Museum in Philadelphia (above) and driving some BMWs at their Ultimate Driving Experience (again.) 

Our view of the start, Formula 1 in Miami!

Robert and Julie attended the F1 race in Miami. There were big crowds and hot weather in May in southern Florida, surprise! Overall, we rated it in 2nd place of all the F1 races we've attended, which includes Austin TX in 2019. Yeah, so dead last place in other words. Next on our list is the race in Montreal Canada, which usually takes place early in June. It's probably less like a foreign country than going to the race in Las Vegas. 

Brian and Robert head to some seats at Darlington.
Thanks to the VetTix group for cheap tickets. 

Besides the F1 race, Brian and Robert attended the NASCAR race at Darlington in September. Guess what? It was loud! After the first few laps, the pack was spread out enough to cover the entire track, so from that point on the volume level never let up. Except when it did, like when they stopped all the cars on track because some of the track lights didn't come on. After a minor delay, back to the loud!
2023 Maverick Hybrid XLT
Outside the track and autocross events, NMS-North switched things up in the garage, with the addition of two hybrid vehicles. While new cars aren't cheap, we're loving the gas mileage in the Honda Accord Hybrid and Ford Maverick hybrid. 

In the "Go Big or Go Home" category, AKA "If I Win the Lottery," here's my idea for a great TV show. "Lap Record USA." This show would involve the NMS team AFTER winning the lottery, hiring a camera crew, buying the fastest car on the planet, and then systematically visiting all the racetracks in the USA in an attempt to break the track records for a single lap. Other than the big money to fund it, film crew, a network that wants this project, and an awesome car, it's pretty much ready to shoot! If you're the president of a major network or Internet channel, let's talk!

"If I Win the Lottery" idea number B: Buy a former Ferrari F1 car, let the Ferrari folks keep it in Italy and do all the maintenance, and then maybe a couple times a year have them take it to some awesome track and let me drive it. This is a real thing, but if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it. Ferrari F1 Clienti

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