Nisei Week Showoff 2009

In what we can only describe as the final nail in the coffin known as the “import scene,” what is seemingly the final Import Showoff of our lifetime made its appearance during the Nisei Week festival in downtown Los Angeles. This is the car show that started it all and it is the show that will end it all. With participants showing what could be considered the “cream of the crop” of Southern California, they gathered under sunny August skies to mark the occasion. Here’s to you, Ken Miyoshi, for pioneering something that took over the entire country and, to a certain extent, the rest of the world.

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FIA: "Disputed Formula 1 diffusers are LEGAL"

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Brawn GP's Controversial Rear Diffuser

Finally, the FIA has put the final rubber stamp of approval on the disputed “illegal” diffusers in use by Formula 1 teams Brawn, Williams and Toyota. The FIA’s International Court of Appeal rejected claims made by Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Red Bull, stipulating that the diffusers being used by the aforementioned squads were in breach of the technical regulations for 2009. Furthermore, they backed the decisions of the FIA stewards at the recent races in Australia and Malaysia, where they deemed the diffusers in line with regulations as well.

It all boils down to Brawn, Williams and Toyota being smart and ahead of the curve, whereas the contesting teams were left holding the bag. Now, the “race” for the losers will boil down to retrofitting their existing chassis with look-alikes of these disputed diffusers. But considering how aerodynamics is such a black art, and with no testing allowed, how they will manage to make it work is a mystery. With this decision, it’s not a long shot for Brawn to potentially take the F1 Constructor’s title and perhaps Jenson Button taking the Driver’s title for 2009.

Here’s the statement from the FIA:

“The FIA International Court of Appeal has decided to deny the appeals submitted against decisions numbered 16 to 24 taken by the Panel of the Stewards on 26 March at the 2009 Grand Prix of Australia and counting towards the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Based on the arguments heard and evidence before it, the Court has concluded that the Stewards were correct to find that the cars in question comply with the applicable regulations.

Full reasons for this decision will be provided in due course.”

Now that this particular saga is over, LET’S GET BACK TO THE BUSINESS OF RACING!

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Commentary: Why I Hate Prius (And Other Hybrid) Drivers

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I hate Prius drivers. I have a disdain for 95% of them. Why do I hate them so? For one, they really aren’t saving the environment even though they would like to think so. Second, “hypermileage” doesn’t work when you are holding up rush hour traffic. Finally, the Prius isn’t a performance car.

It seems that many Prius (and hybrid) drivers have a collective chip on their shoulders. “I’m saving the environment,” they say. But are they really saving the environment? There is much debate whether the hybrid actually has a lower total carbon footprint that the gasoline powered vehicle – check out this article on hybrid economics and hybrid “gimmicks” for futher food for thought. And there are many diesel-powered vehicles in Europe that achieve far higher fuel efficiency than any hybrid in America – which begs the question… why aren’t these cars in the US? But let’s move on from this rather difficult and complex debate and talk about the latter two reasons why I hate Prius drivers.

Hypermileage is the practice of trying to achieve the absolute highest fuel efficiency possible by accelerating slowly (we’re talking a snail’s pace) and trying not to brake often, thereby maintaining vehicle momentum and avoiding reacceleration. That’s fine and dandy if you are on a lonely road or there’s little traffic to speak of. But certain drivers choose to do this IN TRAFFIC! Hello? People have places to go, people to see and things to do. Your hypermileage tactics are slowing down everyone else around you. On-road courtesy dictates that you drive with the flow of traffic. If you aren’t willing to abide by this commonly accepted rule, then get off the road!

And what about certain Prius drivers taking their hybrid into hyperspace?! The Prius is designed a specific way with specific parts. What is the point of slapping on 17-inch wheels and wider tires on a Hybrid? You’re adding more rotating mass / unsprung weight and greater rolling resistance. You’re defeating the very purpose of a hybrid! And what about those who drive their Prius as if it was a 500hp, AWD sports car? More than once I have seen a Prius whizzing by me at 90mph+ and some in the rain no less! If you want to drive fast, sell your Prius and get a car that has more than 300hp. The Prius was never designed to drive at Millenium Falcon speeds nor will it handle like an X-Wing Fighter no matter what you do.

So please, Prius drivers, pay attention to those around you or slow the hell down, whichever may apply to YOU. Or get off the road.

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Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the author. They do not represent the attitudes and opinions of RevdCars.com

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