|END OF THE ROAD|
|Yeah, it's a cliché title for a final column, but I've never been very original on that front. Anyway, it gets straight to the point. It's been four years since the first Fumes, almost to the day and, like Michael Schumacher, I'm wrapping things up. Unlike Michael, I'm not leaving with millions in the bank. |
|By: Richard Chang - 11/16/2006|
You've seen the pictures by now. New "spy shots" of the upcoming GT-R parked at the Nurburgring. (Personally, I think we should stop calling them spy shots and call them what they are—Nurburgring shots, like how we use the term Red Carpet photographs for pictures of actors prancing into the Oscars.)
10/11/2006 - Full Article
My dad has a saying for certain businesses seem to exist in spite of extraordinary evidence that deems it should fail. I feel like he's said it my entire life. "It's a front for the mob," he says. For him, it explains everything: The French restaurant near Harvard Square that was eternally empty; the sporting goods store that never changed its display window; the barbershop that was never open.
9/26/2006 - Full Article
|Fumes-LET'S HUG IT OUT, WEIBCHEN!|
I know this is quickly turning into a Formula 1 column. But can you blame me? This has been one of the most engaging seasons in recent memory, on every level, from the mass damper ruling to the emergence of the Robert Kubica era. (By the way, there's also an American racing in F1 this year.) And since the Speed Channel stopped shelling out for WRC rights, I've been on a steady diet of F1 and MotoGP. Coming next week, a two-part dissection of Valentino Rossi's best rides of the years!
9/13/2006 - Full Article
|Fumes-TWO HORSE RACE|
At the Hungarian Grand Prix three weeks ago, we finally got an answer to the question: What would it have been like if Tim Henman ever won Wimbledon? After 113 grand prix, three teams and three seasons of putting up with Takuma Sato as his number two, Jenson Button—Formula 1's version of Henman—won his first race. I'm thrilled that he finally gets that monkey off his back.
8/24/2006 - Full Article
|Fumes-COLIN X TRAVIS|
So that was it? All that hype. All that hoopla. All the pre-event press, including an ill-informed piece in The New York Times, which introduced America to the "most accomplished team" in the X Games Rally Car lineup—Paul Choiniere and Jeff Becker. (No, I've never heard of them either, but they did win eight national championships in SCCA Pro Rally in the '80s and '90s, so that's pretty cool.)
8/9/2006 - Full Article
|Fumes-TALK TO ME, GOOSE: MARIO ANDRETTI|
Last Friday, Mario Andretti was in New York City doing promotion for the Bullrun, one of those cross-country rich people rallies, where driving a Porsche GT2 is slumming it. Andretti endorses Magnaflow exhausts, which is sponsoring the Bullrun. And so he was in town to drive the kick-off leg of the rally, splitting duties between a Panoz Esperante and an Audi RS4. He spent most of the day at ESPN, doing segments on Cold Pizza and ESPN News.
7/25/2006 - Full Article
|Fumes-JUAN AND GONE|
Even before last weekend's breaking news story, 2006 was shaping up to be one of the most exciting Formula 1 seasons in a long loooong time. Coming off the United States Grand Prix, I was preparing a mid-term review that bordered on novella, including the Valentino Rossi rumors, Toyota canning its technical director, Mike Gascoyne, and Fernando Alonso's stunning deal with McLaren for 2007. And you know what? All of that happened before the season started.
7/13/2006 - Full Article
|Fumes-SIFTING THROUGH TOKYO DRIFT|
Seriously, after seeing "2 Fast 2 Furious" I promised myself never to go anywhere near the sequel. I thought I was done with the franchise forever. I thought wrong. When the second one turned into a big budget production of "Nash Bridges", Universal decided to clean house. They sliced the budget in half, traded in the "cops and robbers" premise for a "Karate Kid" storyline, hired a young indie director and swapped out Paul Walker for Forrest Gump.
6/27/2006 - Full Article
|Fumes-TEST DRIVER: AUDI RS4|
Check out Audi's target demo for the RS4: male, 45 years old, household income of $175,000. OK, so I don't really fit the model. But I am in it. It feels good. Fast in a way that I'm not used to. The power is immediate, and it keeps going, past the point at which I'm used to shifting. That's in First gear, and Second is more of the same. I short-shift to Third, at 6,000 rpm, just for the exercise of it and sense the RS4 could go to 120 mph before hitting the 8,250 rpm redline. Not that I have room for that on this scraggle stretch of road.
6/7/2006 - Full Article
|Fumes-TALK TO ME GOOSE: COLIN MCRAE, PART 2|
Before we get on to the second part of my interview with Colin McRae, here are some highlights from the Indy 500 Media Day in New York City on Monday. The first part of Media Day is a group photo op scheduled to take place on the deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid, a retired aircraft carrier turned museum/tourist trap docked on the west side of Manhattan. The photographers are corralled onto two raised platforms in front of where the drivers are supposed to line up in three columns, in order of qualifying.
5/24/2006 - Full Article