weird motorsports

March 09, 2020 /// issue no. 69

Our first full week of March is done, which means we are well on our way to the beginning of the major motorsports racing season. The Daytona 24 and the 500 are well past us and we are less than a week away from the Formula One opener in Melbourne. I spent a few hours in iRacing with the Missed Apex league Saturday afternoon. I did horribly but it was still a hell of a lot of fun. That’s what racing is for. Fun. Making you go broke is just a side effect.

While it may be weird to put on virtual reality goggles and ignore the world, there are much weirder things out there. I am not talking about LeMons budget endurance racing. That is just drunk people coming up with ideas like barstool racing.

I got a tip from Ten Tenths Podcast that the Japanese love Dodge vans. They weren’t kidding. Behold dajiban racing. Dajiban as in “dodge van”. The fact that there are more than 3 of these things modified for the track gives me hope for humankind.

The house I grew up in sat on an almost half acre lot in Marrieta, GA. The bulk of the lot was a huge lawn which my dad spent every other Saturday afternoon mowing with a push mower. I used to dream of the day when he would buy a riding mower like the neighbors, but it was never meant to be. Lawnmower racing is big in the US, but its origins are apparently in the UK where they take their motorsports very seriously. This may be the most grueling form of grassroots motorsport.

Big rig racing seems to have died a bit in the United States, but there is an FIA-sanctioned European Truck Racing Championship that is alive and well. A brief look at the rules:

  • Speed limit at 160 km/h (that’s 99mph, yanks)
  • Minimum weight per vehicle 5.3 tons
  • Reversed grid at race number 2 and 4 for trucks positioned 1st - 8th in previous race

I am surprised that this isn’t a mainstay on ESPN2. Now please excuse me. I need to focus on building my real race car instead of a dajiban.

Coffee time,

daily automotive addiction.