This site uses cookies for analytics and personalized content. By continuing to browse this site, you agree to this use. Learn more

Rear View Mirror 12-18-17

John Schommer
Monday, December 18, 2017


We are rapidly approaching the end of 2017. That means not only a new season of racing ahead of us but, be sure to watch for the year end editions of Rear View Mirror and Heavy Metal Affliction.


The Cars of Heavy Metal Affliction 2017 will be out Thursday December 28th and the Year in Racing will be out Tuesday January 2nd.


Trophée Andros – Andorra

One of the cool things about covering the Trophée Andros series is learning a little about the region these races are conducted in. Ice racing of course takes place where there is, yes, ice. That usually means up in the mountains, and this round of Andros took place in the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrenees Mountains.


Interestingly enough, Andorra is the 16th smallest country in the world at 181 square miles, and its people have one of the highest life expectancies in the world at 81 years on average. Their main business is tourism with more than 10 million visitors annually in a country only populated by less than 80,000 people.



In this fourth event of the series, the final one for 2017, snow conditions raged over the technical and demanding circuit. Special guests Chris Meeke and Dani Sordo of the World Rally Championship were on hand to watch the thrilling racing. It’s worth noting there are four classes of racing: Elite Pro, Elite, Motorcycles, and Electric.


The Elite Pro series has the most notable names in racing, and the most competitive battles. Although you will find a wide range of drivers visiting the series for a test race in an electric. Of course the motorcycle racing on ice is a radical and dangerous spectacle.



In the Elite Pro final, it was Evens Stievanart and his Mazda 3 that was able to get the best start and hold off hard-charging from J.P. Dubourg in the Renault Captur. Last week’s winner Nathanael Berthon ends up third, with Benjamin Riviere and Franck Lagorce filling out the top five.



IndyCar Universal Kit

If you’re a model, looks are everything. For a race car looks matter too. I mean who wants to watch a bunch of ugly cars go racing? On second thought that might be a lot of fun, but in the world of IndyCar, looks are important, as well as how the car is able to perform.


The new universal kit being tested by top IndyCar drivers has a look that is clean and simple. It in some ways harkens back to the designs of the long ago past. While testing is frozen at present for the holiday season, veteran driver Tony Kanaan was among several drivers that tested the kit at Sebring.


The overall largest notable feature is the reduction of downforce. “I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but I wouldn’t say it’s great – it’s a work in progress,” Kanaan said. He also posted a photo on his Instagram with some comments. I look forward to seeing the new kit in action 2018.



Road & Track 12 Rarest and Fastest Muscle Cars

Car companies used to fight for bragging rights for who had the fastest “stock” cars. That meant you could often find incredible horsepower, straight from the factory, for a few extra bucks. In some cases, the cars were little less than full on race cars with aluminum frame parts and just about everything but the driver seat and steering wheel removed.


It’s funny to think that carmakers like Ford and others even misstated the actual horsepower their motors made to keep insurance companies off their backs. Check out this list of cars from Road & Track with cool details of some of the rarest and fastest cars from that age.


It’s also worth noting that almost all of these models can be found in Forza racing games.


Had to Turn It Down – #MOREWAGON

You may not know that I have had a 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Camper for some time. Well, for better or worse, I decided I needed to sell it, mostly because it’s just too small for my family. These rigs are going up in value like mad. Currently I have it posted for around 10K. I’m pretty confident it will sell for close to that in Spring.


Even though I am not asking for trades –because I have six other cars—a gentleman made me an offer that I had to seriously consider, but eventually refuse. This 2004 Audi S4 Avant is a rarity and if you know me at all, you know I love me some wagon. Especially a 340 hp, AWD, V8 German specialty.



However, I also know to do my research before jumping in gas pedal foot first. So when this article from Jalopnik came up as one of the first relative links, I immediately began my retreat. While no one doubts the awesome performance, there are a few scary repairs that these cars often need that can equal the value of the car. Plus, Audi, who are known for amazing performance, are also know for creating a mechanic’s nightmare for some simple service.


So I said thanks for the offer, but maybe I should have gone so far as taking a test drive at least.



While the weather outside is frightful, the #TuesdayDrive will be delightful! So, I hope to see you in our show tomorrow at 1 p.m. Pacific on the Forza Mixer and Twitch channels where it will be warm and cozy. Ok, it’s not really that frightful out there, but that holiday spirit has a way of sticking song lyrics in my head.


This is the holiday break for those of student age around me, so we will have a special guest joining us from a younger demographic to make the show even more fun. With that in mind we will be playing some Hot Wheels in Forza Horizon 3 before getting into some drifting and multiplayer games as well as racing in Forza Motorsport 7.


We will be offering some holiday giveaways as well for those who want to spice up their garage with some Doritos or Samsung QLED car packs.


Thanks to Trophee Andros for the ice racing photos.