2016 The Gallery - Ultra Luxury Automotive Show - MGM Grand Detroit

Click on Image to visit Gallery.  

Click on Image to visit Gallery.  

We had opportunity to attend The Gallery this past weekend January 9th at MGM Grand Detroit.  This event is a Private Charity event of Ultra-Luxury Automotive show.  Some of the most rare exotics you’ll ever see in one room to kick off the 2016 North American International Auto Show.  

 

This is the 9th year this event has been held with over 7 million worth of exotic vehicles.  One in particular is the Aston Martin DB10 as seen in the latest James Bond Spectre.  This is a concept vehicle and no price has been shared but hints of it exceeding 2.5 million.  There was several other exotic vehicles on display including a pair of Lingenfelter Corvettes, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bently, Rolls, Royce, Ford GT Race Car, Acura NSX, Viper ACR, Range Rover, Falcon F7, and Porsche.

Like to thank Mischief TV in helping cover 2016 NAIAS

2015 Chicago Auto Show

Reveal of the 2016 Toyota Avalon

Chicago, it’s back, and it’s returned with a vengeance! The 2015 Chicago Auto is the largest and longest auto show in the nation. The location is again at the lakefront McCormick Place Convention Center, which provides plenty of room for automakers to display their awesome designs.  With over 1 million square feet of exhibition space to explore, you will encounter lots of opportunities to see both concept and production vehicles that are newly revealed. 

Nissan Nismo GTR Le Mans Race Car

Many automakers staged the world debut of new concept vehicles, including the following: Kia Soul Trailster; Honda with a sneak peek of the Ridgeline rendering; Nissan 370z Nismo convertible; and the Mitsubishi GC-PHEV concept SUV.  All these are concept vehicles, but we will soon see them transformed into production vehicles. The production vehicles revealed included the Honda Pilot, Toyota Avalon, Acura RDX, Chevy Silverado & Equinox, Dodge Ram 1500 Limited, Hyundai Veloster Rally Car, VW Golf R, Ford Explorer Interceptor, and the Ford Mustang GT350.

Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept

I am happy to share that yes, the highly talked about vehicles from NAIAS will be on display - the Ford GT and the Acura NSX.  Both of these are stunning must see vehicles and certainly will be the talk of the show. Don’t forget about other great exhibitions including the Toyota, Dodge & Jeep test tracks.  These provide a great way to experience firsthand how a vehicle reacts during harsh road conditions and/or the way car drives itself.  There are also racing simulators at Hyundai, VW, State Farm, Ford and Toyota.  

Alfa Romeo has returned to the auto show, bringing with them two just released beauties - the 4C and the 4C Spyder.  Hyundai has a large display of SEMA project vehicles, as well as two vehicles created by local designers from Chicago, which are on display at the ABC 7 booth.  Every manufacturer has great feature displays.  Some of the outstanding ones that I recommend are Chevy Volt, Cadillac CTS-V & ATS-V, Jaguar F-Type, BMW M6, Mercedes, Lexus GS-F, Audi, and the Nismo line up at Nissan.  Trust me, there is plenty to see!

If you are in mood to see exotic vehicles, make your way to the Super Car Gallery, where some of the most expensive and unique exotic vehicles you will see are all in one place.  This is a jaw dropping display of high end vehicles you’ll only see in magazines and movies. 

I’m saving the best for last of course.  For all of you Chicago Blackhawks fans, be sure to make your way to the Chevy Dealership Family Fun area, brought to you by Chevy Drives Chicago.  Here you can get up close and personal with the 2015 Chicago Blackhawks Theme Chevy Camaro SS Convertible that will be given away at the end of the season.  There are also get fun games to play and merchandise for purchase.

2015 Chicago Blackhawks themed Chevy Camaro SS Convertible  Car could be yours! Click on image to register. 

2015 Chicago Blackhawks themed Chevy Camaro SS Convertible

Car could be yours! Click on image to register. 

This year’s Chicago Auto Show certainly packs a full day of excitement.  Make sure to take your time and stop by every booth to check out their line ups.  My wife and I certainly did, and we actually picked out our future vehicle that we will be purchasing soon.  I promise you that you will find something to fit your needs or just something to dream about.  Should you find something you are interested in, there will be local representatives to help assist you after the show.   The Chicago Auto Show continues its run through Sunday, February 22, 2015. 

Click on image to see rest of photo album.  

Click on image to see rest of photo album.  

Pirelli World Challenge Race 1 & Nascar Nationwide Practice Session - Road America 2014 - June 20, 2014

#36 Nic Jonsson - Kia Racing 

I woke up excited for day two of the Pirelli World Challenge and NASCAR Nationwide, but came to a quick halt when I looked outside my hotel window.  It was pouring down rain, and was so foggy I couldn’t see past 40 yards out my window.  I immediately knew it would be a very interesting day.  Day two was scheduled to be practice, qualifying and race day for the Pirelli World Challenge.  After that, the NASCAR Nationwide participants would be hitting the track for the first of two sessions before race day on Sunday the 21st.  

 

Thanks to the weather (and luckily thinking ahead to grab some rain gear), I arrived at Road America wearing a full rain suit and had prepped the camera for a wet day. As I was walking through the NASCAR pit lane, I could see that all crew members were hustling trying to get the cars ready to pass through inspection.  It was impressive to see how hard these guys worked in these less than ideal conditions.  

 

The track opened a couple of times for testing while the rain was falling, but for the most part, it was closed down due to the sheer amount of water on the track.  Many teams were forced to just wait it out to hear what the decision would be when made by track officials.  After what seemed like most of the day, I heard some roaring in the distance and then was told the track would open up for practicing in the rain.  While a few teams took advantage and went out to test out the wet track, most opted to stay dry and wait it out.  

#10 Henrick Hedman racing with Dragon Speed in the Ferrari 458 GT3

 

With no end to the rain in sight, the qualifying races were canceled and the vehicles were slated to race at using their current point standings.  Immediately, there was a massive accident involving #0 Marcelo Hahn in his Lamborghini Gallardo FL2.  He ran off to the left of the track in the wet grass where he lost control and ran head on into the wall.  While a lot of cars ran off into the wet grassy area, all but Hahn were able to get back on the track.  The Lamborghini suffered massive amount of damages, but Hahn was ok and was able to limp the car back to the pits where the crew immediately started to take it apart and determine the full extent of the damages.  

#0 Marcelo Hahn in the Lamborghini Gallardo FL2

 

The constant throughout the races was the battle for traction.  Several cars lost control and had accidents, though some worse than others.  Roush Performance driver #60 Jack Roush Jr had solid impact with #50 Dean Martin, both in Ford Mustangs.  Both were able to continue, but #60 had a good amount of damage that limited his performance.  Both Dean and Jack finished the race at 6th and 15th place, respectively, in the GTS Class.  Kia Racing dominated the class by taking 1 and 2 on the podium with #36 Nic Jonsson and #38 Mark Wilkins in the Kia Optima. Coming in 3rd was #20 Andy Lee from Crown Racing in his Chevy Camaro.  

#60 Jack Roush Jr in the Roush Performance Ford Mustang 302R

 

In the GT class,  #2 Mike Skeen from Hawk Performance took the checkered flag with his Audi R8, followed by #6 Robert Thorne with K-Pax Racing in his McLaren in second, and #31 Tim Bergmeister from Effort Racing in his Porsche GT3r rounding out the top three.  Such a battle in the class, and I have to give an honorable mention to Team Dyson Racing for the 6th place finish in its first race in North America with #8 Butch Leitzinger in the beautiful Bentley Continental GT3.

#2 Mike Skeen with Hawk Performance in a Audi R8 Ultra

 

In the GT-A Class, #54 Tim Pappas from Black Swan Racing took first place in his Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, coming in 2nd was #95 Bill Ziegler from Swisher Racing in his Audi R8 Ultra, and in 3rd #99 Jeff Courtney, a local driver from Milwaukee, WI racing with Kenda Racing in his Audi R8 Ultra.  

#54 Tim Pappas With Black Swan Racing in Mercedes AMG SLS

 

The TC, TCA & TCB classes raced during the heavy rain showers.  All drivers battled their way throughout the track and taking the checkered flag in the TC class was #94 Steven Doherty with his Nissan Altima, #71 Michael Dimeo with Grand Alarms came in 2nd with his Honda Civic SI, and coming in 3rd was #11 Adam Poland with Eastex Motorsports in his Mazda MX-5.  In the TCA class, #67 Shea Holbrook with her Radium Honda Civic SI took top honors followed by #98 Ernie Francis with Breathless Performance Mazda MX-5 and #13 Jason Cherry with his Autism Society of America Mazda MX-5.  And finally, in the TCB class, #65 Paul Holton with his Radium Honda Fit took first place, followed with #58 Glenn Nixon with Racing.CA Mini Cooper and #37 Tuler Palmer with Mini USA Mini Cooper.  Congratulations to all for their incredible driving in this wet track. 

#94 Steven Doherty Nissan Altima - Nissan - First Place TC Class

#67 Shea Holbrook - Radium - Honda Civic SI - First Place in TCA Class

#65 Paul Holton - Radium - Honda Fit - First Place TCB Class

 

Near the end of the day, the NASCAR Nationwide cars were able to get on the track to practice.  Many took the time to tune and make proper adjustments for race day.  It was a VERY difficult practice session since although it hasn’t rained for few hours, there was still a lot of moisture on the track.  All were competitive and aggressive despite the wet conditions, as track time is very important when it comes to race time. Watching the practice got me really excited to see how the race would play out the next day.  The weather for Sunday called for 80 degrees and sunny blue skies.  All drivers were sure to enjoy the warmer and drier weather. 

#08 Butch Leitzinger - Dyson Racing - Bentley Continental GT3  Want to see more, click on image to be redirected to gallery.  

#08 Butch Leitzinger - Dyson Racing - Bentley Continental GT3

Want to see more, click on image to be redirected to gallery.  

 

 

Chicago Rally - Mississippi Marauders Pt.2

Click on image to be redirected to Chicago Rally Facebook Page.  

Click on image to be redirected to Chicago Rally Facebook Page.  

The 2nd annual Mississippi Marauders Pt 2 took place this past weekend.  It’s the kick off to an exciting year of automotive events brought to you by Chicago Rally.  Chicago Rally invites all automotive enthusiasts to join in for a fun packed events.  Chicago Rally organizes many automotive events from car meets to private track events to social gatherings and even a nice cruise through the beautiful back roads of Northern Illinois.  All are welcome to join and participate in a rapidly growing organization.  

 

The 2nd annual Mississippi Marauders Pt 2 started out at a location in South Barrington, IL.  From there all the drivers had been given directions and routes to where they all were going.  It’s a fun time since you have no idea what route you’ll be taking only that where the ending stop was.  This makes it very exciting and fun drive through the back roads.  Maps and directions were given out so in case you got caught up at a light or traffic, you’ll know where all the stops will be and you can meet up with the others again.  This way all drivers were safe and able drive at their own speeds.  

 

The ending point was Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, IL.  This a golf resort with an amazing breakfast buffet that once you are done, you’d probably like to check in at the resort and take a nap.  It was awesome to have delicious food and a great gathering for lunch after a long drive.  Here they all chat and meet in person the rest of the drivers.  It’s a great chance to create new long term friendship and really know who they are.  In some large events, it’s difficult to set aside time to really meet someone.  

 

Chicago Rally is all about bringing car enthusiasts together and developing good friendships for years to come.  I did not attend this year’s event, but I did stop by real quick before they took off on their run.  I did attend last year and know exactly the experience all had, which I highly recommend to all.  If you would like to know more about Chicago Rally, please visit their website at the link below and sign up today to attend their next event.

Ferrari 458 

Below video recap from last year.