Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Bradley Kilby- Virginia’s Rising Star

Bradley celebrates another 2017 victory
photo courtesy of Kilby Racing

Fourteen year-old Bradley Kilby from the historic town of Bealeton Virginia had a very successful 2017 racing season as he captured ten race victories at two tracks in fifteen outings. Bradley won the 2017 INEX Bandolero championship at Dominion Raceway and fell just one point shy of winning the 2017 INEX Bandolero championship at Langley Speedway. INEX is the sanctioning body for Legends racing worldwide is the third largest short track racing sanctioning body in the world and boasts current NASCAR stars Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, and Austin Dillion as alumni.  
Bradley on a victory lap in his Bandolero
photo courtesy of Kilby Racing

Bradley who hones his skills off the track on iracing.com drove machines owned by his parents Wes and Lorri Kilby with sponsorship from MN Upholstery Services, Express Auto Service, Robert Dodson & Son, Sky Signs, Laymans Drafting Service and Tower Racing. Bandoleros are tube-chassis cars which stand only 34 inches tall, powered by a sealed 30-horsepower Briggs & Stratton Vanguard V-twin engine connected to a centrifugal clutch.  A 750-pound full-fendered Bandolero car rides on 6-inch wheels fitted with spec tires with adjustable coil over shock absorbers on the rear wheel which places a premium on driver ability.
Bradley celebrates his runner  up finish
at the 2017 Langley Speedway banquet
photo courtesy of Kilby Racing

Dominion Raceway in Thornburg Virginia where Kilby claimed five victories in six starts enroute to his 2017 track championship is a slightly banked 4/10-mile asphalt track, similar to the historic .397 mile Langley Speedway in Hampton Virginia where Bradley finished just one point behind the INEX Bandolero track champion Jacob Putman, although Kilby scored five City Cycle Corporation series wins during the season compared to Putman’s two wins.  
Bradley with Frank Kimmel
photo by the author
While at the 2017 edition of the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Indianapolis in early December, Bradley networked with and learned valuable career lessons from racing legends that included 10-time ARCA racing series champion Frank Kimmel and long-time IndyCar crew chief and current Harding Racing team manager Larry Curry.   

For the 2018 racing season, Bradley Kilby is moving up in class to race the Dominion Raceway Late Model series with a Chevrolet-bodied car powered by a Chevrolet ‘603’ crate engine fed by a two barrel carburetor. The 17-race DRLM series kicks off on April 7 2018 and will continue through October 20. Check back on this site frequently during the 2018 racing season to keep up with Bradley’s success, and remember to “like” Kilby Racing on Facebook.    
Bradley practices his victory lane pose next to the car of
Austin Theriault the 2017 ARCA champion
photo by the author

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Lexus RCF GT3 race car

The latest Lexus sports car racing hardware was display at the Lexus USA booth at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas.
The Lexus RCF GT3, derived from the RCF passenger car competed in the Grand Touring Daytona (GTD) class of the 12-race 2017 IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The GTD class cars are enhanced versions of production models which comply with the global Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) GT3 specifications, in essence making GTD a “spec series.”  GT3 class machines consist of entries from manufacturers that include the Acura NSX, AMG-Mercedes, Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8, BMW M6, Ferrari 488, Lamborghini Huracan, Porsche 911 and the Lexus RCF. Worldwide, GT3 cars race in the FIA GT3 World Cup, the International GT championship and in national series which include the Italian, Spanish, Australian, and British GT series and the WeatherTech series.

In IMSA WeatherTech GTD racing, all the cars in the class utilize steel tube frames with integral roll cage, front and rear independent coil spring suspension and rid on the specified Continental tires, with the use of traction control and ABS (anti-skid) braking permitted.

The Lexus RCF race car is 4 inches longer than the $65,755 MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) production car and is 5 inches lower overall but shares the same 107 ½ inch wheelbase. The race car weighs just over 2800 pounds whereas the production car weights nearly two tons. 

Both the production and race car are powered by the 2UR-GSE engine, a direct injected all-alloy four-camshaft 32-valve V-8. The production car's engine displaces 303 cubic inches, while for GTD competition it is bored out to 330 cubic inches to produce over 500 horsepower on the specified VP E-10 racing fuel.

For 2017 Lexus fielded a two-car team in GTD run by 3GT Racing, formerly known as F Performance Racing owned by 5-time SCCA Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi.   The #14 car was driven by Scott Pruett and Sage Karam, with the #15 car piloted by Jack Hawksworth and Robert Alon.  
Scott Pruett
Pruett, considered the preeminent active American sports car racer, won the Rolex Daytona 24-hour race seven times, along with three SCCA Trans-Am championships and four Grand American (the forerunner to IMSA) championships. Pruett who left Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of 2016 has a long relationship with Lexus dating back to 2004 when he won the Grand American championship in a Lexus-powered prototype. 
Sage Karam

Pruett’s teammate in the #14 car, Pennsylvania native Sage Karam served as the Lexus team's test development driver  during 2016 before competing full-time in the 2017 WeatherTech series. Karam took time out to race in the 2017 Indianapolis 500-mile race where he finished 28th after a battery failure in his  Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry. 
Jack Hawksworth

Hawksworth from Britain raced from 2014 to 2016 full-time in the IndyCar series first for Bryan Herta Racing and then for AJ Foyt Enterprises, with a best series finish of third in his rookie year at the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on the Reliant Park temporary race course.  
Robert Alon

Hawksworth's teammate in the #15 car, Robert Alon from Santa Monica California rose quickly from kart racing to the Prototype category in 2014 mid-season finished third in the class championship in his first full season of 2015 and then finished second in 2016 with three class wins.

For 2017 the 3GT Racing Lexus team cars carried sponsorship from Mark Levinson luxury audio, the manufacturer of high-end home audio equipment and car audio systems which are exclusively designed and offered as a premium sound system for every Lexus model (a $2550 option on the RCF).

Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound systems take advantage of amplifiers driven by DSP Software for advanced signal processing to deliver what the manufacturer claims is the widest range and highest quality of car audio sound on the market.

Unfortunately the 2017 WeatherTech Sports Car season was a series of disappointments for the two Lexus 3GT Racing  teams, as the cars were fast in qualifying but failed to finish on the podium in 12 races.

At the season-opening  Rolex 24 hours of Daytona, the series’ premier event, Pruett crashed out in the #14 car before the end of the race's second hour, and the #15 car finished 14th in the GTD class, 53 laps behind the winning Porsche 911. At the historic Mobil Sebring 12-hour endurance race, the Lexus cars struggled home to finish 13th and 18th in class.

The #15 car scored its 2017 season's best a fifth place finish in class at the 6-hour Watkins Glen race, which the #14 team matched at the WeatherTech series’ next race at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport).

In the final WeatherTech driver championship points, Alon led the team in 12th followed by Hawksworth in 14th, Karam in 15th and Pruett in 16th. Lexus ranked eighth the final WeatherTech GTD manufacturers rankings, won by the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 piloted by GTD class driver champion Alessandro Balazan.

For additional information please check out these websites

Race car photos by the author - passenger car photos courtesy of Lexus USA - driver photos courtesy of 3GT Racing



Monday, December 18, 2017

Up-close with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car
AT PRI 2017  

The Hawk Performance (brakes) booth at the 2017 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Indianapolis featured the CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 which competed in the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge Series SprintX GT series. Drivers Ryan Dalziel and Daniel Morad combined to finish second in the drivers’ championship, while the CRP Racing team finished third after the 11-round season which featured five rounds held in support of the IndyCar Series. Sanctioned by the United States Auto Club (USAC), SprintX races were sixty minutes long with mandatory driver and tire changes.

CRP (Competition Race Parts) Racing based in Harrisburg North Carolina is a race car engineering company owned Nicholas Short who has experience in IndyCar, NASCAR, Trans-Am, Group C Endurance Racing, Baja desert racing and the World Challenge series. In 2016, CRP Racing competed in the 2016 SprintX GT series with an Audi R8 LMS and finished eighth in team points while Canadian driver Kyle Marcelli finished tenth in the 2016 drivers’ points championship.   

Driver Ryan Dalziel born in 1982 is one of Scotland’s leading race car drivers and in addition to the Pirelli World Challenge, finished fifth in the Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan Onroak DPI in the 2017 IMSA Weathertech season points in his fourth season with that team.  During the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GT season, with his teammate Canadian Daniel Morad, the pair won two rounds at Virginia International Raceway and the Circuit of Americas.  

As with the street version of the Mercedes-AMG GT, the GT3 racer’s structure consists of a light stiff aluminum spaceframe with an integral high-strength steel roll cage. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is powered by a 6.2-liter (380 cubic inches) V-8 M156 engine with unique bore spacing, and block design. The naturally aspirated powerplant which features dry sump lubrication produces 550 horsepower and 550 foot/pounds of torque.
All that power mean a BIG radiator

That power is fed through a sequential six-speed racing transmission with a multiple-disc limited-slip differential with adjustable traction control which is mounted on the aluminum double-wishbone rear axle for optimal weight distribution.  Mercedes-AMG sells the 2850-pound FIA GT3 regulation-compliant race car which can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds to race teams for $424,300.

The team’s primary sponsor, Devilbiss, manufactures and sells atomization & spray guns for the automotive painting industry – products that range from gravity guns, suction guns, pressure guns, and airbrushes as well as disposable paint cups and air filtration systems such as desiccant dryers and waterborne dryers.

Hawk Performance, a brand of Carlisle Brake & Friction, has been in motorsports market since 1990, offering engineered friction products (rotors and pads) for nearly every type of racing-  pavement short track, dirt short track, sports and GT cars, open-wheel road racing and drag racing. Hawk Performance also offer products designed specifically for passenger cars and motorcycles.  
Rumors heard on the floor at PRI 2017 have Nicholas Short and CRP Racing entering an LMP2 program in the 2018 IMSA Weather Tech SportsCar Championship and possibly the 24 hours of LeMans.                             

For additional information- check out these websites

All photos by the author

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Corvair Low Rider  
This radical 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza low rider, shown in the House of Kolor booth at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) booth, perked a level of interest because the author drove a red 1967 Chevrolet Monza in high school. Needless to say, this Corvair is way cooler than that long-lost ride.  
Click to enlarge

If this finished low rider Corvair is not unique enough, consider that it was originally assembled in the General Motors Suisse assembly plant in Bienne Switzerland, one of the four Corvair assembly plants still in operation in 1966, along with the Willow Run Michigan, Oshawa Ontario Canada, and Van Nuys California.
The second generation restyled Corvair was released in 1965 known as the "Z-Body" with elements of the 1963 Larry Shinoda Sting Ray design. The second generation Corvair was longer and lower and used a three-link rear suspension and coil springs instead of the original swing arm suspension which had attracted the ire of consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

Upon its release, Car and Driver  editor David E. Davis wrote that "the new Corvair is — in our opinion — the most important new car of the entire crop of '65 models, and the most beautiful car to appear in this country since before World War II."

This Corvair was customized in 2012 by Romain Roulleau’s “New Ride” shop in Norges la Ville, France, with the door handles removed and doors mounted suicide style and the hydraulic system installed before the car was painted Djoce Custom Paint using House of Kolor products, an American company founded in 1956 and a division of Valspar since 1977.   
click to enlarge

The 161-cubic inch 140-horsepower air-cooled "boxer" six-cylinder chromed and detailed engine was built by Julien Pitault in Dijon France.

All photos by the author

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Aria XFE revealed 

On Thursday November 30 during a press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show the Aria Group revealed their latest creation the FXE, an American built hybrid hypercar that will challenge the best exotic car built in Europe.

The Aria Group is a leader in providing a full range of design, engineering and manufacturing solutions to meet any request from the transportation, aerospace and entertainment industries. Aria has nearly 20 years of expertise combining the latest advances in rapid manufacturing technology with innovative design and creative engineering to produce advanced and complex projects.  Aria has built one-off manufacturer concept cars and movie vehicles which include the Ford GR-1 and the Kia GT4 Stinger concept cars. 

The basis of the Aria Group’s new dream car is its patent-pending Integrated Composite Structure chassis concept. The pending nature of the intellectual property restricts how much can be revealed but the Aria Group says that it’s a less labor-intensive production method for a carbon-fiber tub with all the powertrain and suspension mounting attachment hardware integrated into the tub.

A supercharged small-block V-8 from an as-yet-unnamed American manufacturer (possibly the Corvette ZR-1 powerplant?) producing 720 horsepower will be bolted in the rear of the tub.  Aria is still negotiating for the supplier of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission but Xtrac which exclusively supplies transmissions for the INDYCAR series seems likely to get the contract.

The FXE will also have pair of axial-flux induction electric motors that add another 540 horsepower to drive the front wheels, which makes the car’s total output 1,150 horsepower.  The energy for the front motors will be stored in a 10-killowatt per hour lithium-ion battery pack. The Aria Group promises eye-popping performance from the FXE – Zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.1 seconds with a top speed of 220 mph.  

Keep up with the forthcoming details of the Aria FXE on these pages, or check out their website for more details.

Photos and construction details provided by The Aria Group

Sunday, November 26, 2017

2017 SEMA "Battle of the Builders" winner

Troy Trepanier of Rad Rides by Troy was the winner of the coveted 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) “Battle of the Builders” competition held during SEMA Ignited, the official SEMA Show after-party held after the 2017 SEMA Show.

Trepanier’s 1929 Ford Model-A Tudor sedan shown at the B&M booth in the SEMA 2017 Central Hall edged out Alan Johnson’s 1932 Ford Tudor and Troy Ladd’s 1936 Packard roadster for the title. The three builders will be featured along with many other SEMA Show builders in a new episode of the TV special "SEMA: Battle of the Builders," which will premiere on the Velocity Channel on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. 

The 1929 Model A Tudor is powered by a GM first generation fuel-injected aluminum small block engine with custom valve covers and air cleaner connected to a Legend Gear and Transmission LGT-700 5-speed transmission with a Hurst Competition Plus ™ shifter and a modified Halibrand rear end. The exhaust is all stainless steel, fed through stainless steel Flowmaster ™ Super HP2 mufflers.   

The car built for Mark and Dennis Marianai features front and rear torsion bar suspension with an entirely hand fabricated body including the hood air cleaner and grille shell that was covered with a custom mixed bronze paint from Glasurit a division of BASF.  The car rides on CNC machined custom artillery  style wheels built in the Rad Rides shop. 
 For more details check out these sites: 


All photos by the Author

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Something different from SEMA 
the Ford OjO Commuter Scooter


While touring the Ford exhibit at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas, the author saw the new Ford-branded OjO (O-Joe) commuter electric scooter.  

The OjO is built on an aluminum frame and is powered by the "HyperGear" 500-watt gear hub (planetary gear reduction) motor which is supplied power from an onboard 48 volt lithium ion battery with its built in retractable cord for 110 volt charging.

Note the Ford logo on the front of the scooter
photo by the author

Boasting speeds of up to 20 miles per hour with a maximum range of 25 miles, OjO states that the scooter is legal for use in bike lanes without a license or helmet, but the author urges readers to check their state and local vehicle codes before purchasing one for $1999.99 (plus shipping).  

The Ford OjO scooter rides on all-weather tubeless tires with each wheel suspended on heavy duty shock absorbers and it is fitted with front and rear disc brakes. The rider can sit or remove the seat and stand on the treaded non-slip deck.  The fenders and the front and rear fairings are built of ABS plastic.  

photo supplied by Ojo

The OjO is equipped with a wireless key and motion alarm to protect it when not in use, and while underway the rider is fed information by the digital dashboard which also allows the choice of three speeds as well as control of the dual speaker Bluetooth ™ sound system and the front and rear LED lighting system. As you can see in the photograph, the OjO scooter also has a USB port.

The Ford OjO Commuter Scooter will be available beginning in January 2018, just in time for racers to buy one for use as a pit bike during the 2018 racing season.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Hellcat powered 1967 Dodge Dart

The Magnuson booth at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas featured this sinister-looking  black and red  1967 Dodge Dart convertible equipped with  a Mopar "Hellcrate" 6.2 liter (370 cubic inch) Hemi engine (as used in the Dodge Hellcat Challenger and Charger) topped with a Magnuson ‘Vengeance’ TVS2650 supercharger.
 The Dart convertible which first debuted at the SEMA 2015 show equipped with a 512 cubic inch Hemi engine was built by Dominator Street Rods in Tracy California which also performed this latest engine swap.

The Hellcat engine as purchased from Mopar Performance boasts 707 horsepower;  Magnuson claims that the TVS2650 as a direct replacement for the factory supercharger which uses Eaton sixth generation twin vortex series rotors results in higher efficiency and requires 26 fewer horsepower to drive the unit.  
graphic courtesy of Magnuson
For further information check out these websites -


Sunday, November 5, 2017


At the AAPEX 2017 show in Las Vegas, Americana Series Car Care Products unveiled their new line of Americana Pro™  HOT WHEELS™ car care products.   The new consumer automotive appearance line features professional-grade, made in U.S.A. car cleaning and finishing products that promise to “Clean. Enhance. Protect.”  The initial launch is focused on exterior detailing formulas for general auto washing, polishing and protecting our car’s finish, as well as wheel and tire cleaners and tire protectant.

HOT WHEELS™ Americana Series™ Car Care Products are professional grade from Americana Pro Detailing Products, LLC. A company with over 75 Years of auto appearance experience.  The proprietary product blends and formulas are designed for the auto enthusiast, auto collector, and easy and safe for the everyday driver.

The entire product line is also packaged in gallons, drums & totes for car washes, pro detailer’s, auto/truck dealerships & auctions. HOT WHEELS™ products clean, enhance, and protect vehicles surfaces while adding brilliance to its finishes on a molecular level and are VOC compliant, biodegradable and easy to use, providing truly professional results.

“If you’re like me, your love affair with cars began as a kid with Hot Wheels. I think car care is a natural next step,” said Americana Pro Detailing Products Founder and Executive Director Daniel Pikarsky. “We’ve developed proven formulas that have received approval from the most demanding auto enthusiasts, while being easy to use. In field tests, Hot Wheels Car Care Products have received rave reviews from both car enthusiasts and professional racing teams worldwide.”

HOT WHEELS and associated trademarks and logos are owned by, and used under license from, Mattel. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.
Product details and graphics provided by Phil Sasso at the PRNewsBureau