WRC, Racecar Branding, Grand-Am v ALMS - SHAKEDOWN

Uploaded by drive on 23.01.2012


LEO PARENTE: Going to try something new today as I rip
through our Shakedown stories.
Let's see if you notice.
First, World Rally Championship at Monte Carlo.
Loeb Citroen won again.
A "WOW" for MINI's finish, and a "WTF" for Ford's lead driver
Latvala, all of which I compare to the American
football NFL playoff games of yesterday.
Next, race car branding gone wild in Lamar Racing.
Remember those Girls Gone Wild videos?
Attention-deprived Bambi's doing anything to get noticed?
Well, in its place, we've got branding gone wild with Lotus
and Morgan in Lamar Racing.
Attention-deprived brands doing anything--
except actual engineering--
for them to get noticed.
And I want your opinion about all that.
Number three, I'm heading to Daytona for the 24-Hour race,
and the Grand-Am season start.
On the other side of the American sports car scene, we
have the American Le Mans Series starting later in March
in Sebring.
And I realize these two series are as philosophically opposed
as the two political parties fighting for the 2012
presidency of the United States.
I'll try to stay politically agnostic as I explain my
opinion about all that, but again, I really want yours.
Kimi tests the Lotus F1 without the now-illegal front
brake, anti-dive suspension system.
And in NASCAR, the Busch brothers prove they are
monsters after all.
Well, only because no one's invented the
"dick" energy drinks.
This is Shakedown.

You know why I like WRC?
Their series has a shakedown at every rally.
Loeb won his sixth Monte Carlo and took maximum points.
Loeb claimed the 25 points for the victory, plus three more
bonus points for winning the event closing Power Stage.
That is a made-for-TV stage, but it's
still real rally action.
Loeb entered that stage, a 5.16 kilometer distance, with
the lead of 2 minutes, 41 seconds plus.
After completing the challenge with zero problems, victory
was his, powering Loeb toward his ninth WRC title.
Great start.
He might have had a fight on his hands when rival,
Jarri-Matti Latvala, used a brilliant tire choice amid
change in weather conditions on day one to shoot into a
half-minute lead.
But then Latvala rolled his Ford, and his first place was
gone, all in day one.
Loeb Citroen was left alone in front of the field, and he
pulled away and was really never challenged.
Dani Sorto finished second in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC
car, the first podium on this legendary event for MINI since
it took P1 in 1967 with a Cooper S.
Petter Solberg in a Ford Fiesta got P3, the final
podium spot, on his return to the Ford team after being away
from that brand for more than 10 years.
The other news was the Volkswagen team, Sebastien
Ogier, driving a Skoda, in S2000 class, though-- lesser
powered, lower category cars, prepping the Volkswagen team
for their Polo R debut in 2014.
Still, in the early stages of tough conditions, he raced up
to fourth overall versus the more powerful WRC cars and was
in sixth by stage 10, but had 160 kilometer
crash and was out.
The navigator was roughed up a bit, but they're all good for
the next rally, which will be Sweden.
Now, why do I think the NFL playoffs from yesterday are
like the World Rally Championship?
Well, at Monte Carlo, the best prep team won.
And when it was time to deliver, some teams--
like Latvala-- not so much.
You know, on YouTube, on The Best of Rally Live, there are
some great videos.
We can't show them here, but you've got to
go check them out.
The action was really, really great.
All right.
Changing gears to branding integrity gone bad.
We all know about Red Bull and Infinity and that deal, and
Lotus F1, they kind of bought their way into that branding.
Well, Lotus is at it again.
There's a Lotus Judd LMP2 car that was just announced.
Not this car, this chassis they were going to build.
Now it's going to be just a Lola chassis.
And the engine, it ain't a Lotus engine.
It's really just this Judd motor, which was
branded "BMW" yesterday.
It gets worse.
Morgan announced they're going to go racing
the LAMOT as well.
And they are doing it with this partnership with
Pescarolo, really just re-branding that chassis.
Speaking of race car branding, big news tomorrow, Tuesday.
We're going to watch for the announcement of the Ford
Fusion NASCAR race car.
This is the teaser shot that's out there, and
all that's out there.
But we're all hoping that it'll be more than just a logo
slap, and it will be a real race car.
There's actually some fender flare stuff going on there.
So maybe it will look like that Fusion
they showed in Detroit.
And I'm hoping it's going to be as good as the new Aussie
V8 cars, their car of the future, which
they're starting to show.
Grand-Am versus the American Le Mans race.
We're going down to the first Grand-Am race down at Daytona.
But I think there's a philosophical difference
between these two series.
Grand-Am talks about being for the common racer, but really,
it's rich guys driving around.
ALMS, democratically, they say they're for the fans.
But it's really all about technology and manufacturers.
One is talking green, one is talking pure horsepower.
Grand-Am has new brands coming.
ALMS is promising two new brands.
And they got nicked a little bit because rebellion Lola,
with their Toyota power, promised to be looking at
America La Mans.
They're staying in Europe and the WEC.
But like I said, these two are philosophically opposed.
And it's much like the politics of 2012.
We're fighting for a president.
I have a feeling Grand-Am and ALMS are fighting for sports
car superiority.
I want to know what you think about those two brands.
And remember that analogy I mentioned about NFL playoffs?
Well, I watched the games.
I grew up in Boston.
I'm a New England Patriots fan.
And the goddamn Giants, they're going to the Super
Bowl, too, which reminds me--
Derek, get in here.
DEREK:What's your issue here, Leo?
LEO PARENTE: You Giants, you kind of ruin everything.
We've got the best quarterback.
They're back in the Super Bowl.
And you guys have to come back again.
DEREK: Right.
And we're going to win again.
Even though we don't have David Tyree anymore.
We're going to do it with Victor Cruz,
something similar to this.
I feel as if maybe we should have some sort of
bet or wager here.
Shakedown versus FLD, Giants versus New England.
LEO PARENTE: I think we got to go there.
And he's the guy that needs to be put in his place, like
what's that alleged elite quarterback
you've got running around?
DEREK: Alleged elite?
LEO PARENTE: Alleged elite.
DEREK: You can't spell "elite" without Eli.
We're going to have a duel here.
You need to tell us what you think.
DEREK: Yeah.
Commenters, let us know what I should do if the Patriots win
and what Leo should do if the Giants win.
Maybe, Leo, you should just start off by
wearing one of these.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah, let me see how it goes.
OK, there we go.