Photos by Saroja Raman
So you finally got yourself a little hot rod in your driveway and you have been telling everyone who will listen to you in any random Starbucks parking lot that your car is fast. You quote the zero-to-sixty times from statistics which you memorized from the internet and just like Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, you’ve “made a few modifications” yourself to improve the car’s performance. You know deep down in your hot rodder heart that if you were given the opportunity to compete with your machine of speed you would crush all of the other fools on your favorite car forum. The Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car is just the place for a guy like you with a fast street car to show those bench racing keyboard jockeys that your car is truly legit!
Photos: Jennifer Stamps
Endurance racing—live—is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. My knowledge of motorsport began and ended with Formula 1. It wasn’t until Circuit of the Americas started being built that I began paying attention and learning about other motorsport series. First it was Grand-Am, then MotoGP, and of course the Australian V8 Supercars. Next on my list? American Le Mans Series and World Endurance Championship. I watched this year’s 12 hours of Sebring and 24 hours of Le Mans with serious interest for the first time. I have spent time looking things up and asking questions on Twitter. But it wasn’t until the 6 hours of Circuit of the Americas that I truly grasped just how special these two series really are.
Photos: Zerin Dube/Speed:Sport:Life
The American Le Mans Series made its début at Austin’s stunning Circuit of the Americas during International Sports Car Weekend Presented by Continental Tire, bringing with it all the excitement that fans have come to expect from the series’ multi-class racing over the years.
Like so many things in any society that truly matter, the automobile stands astride a multitude of social divides. Progress. Freedom. Achievement. Wastefulness. Drudgery. Class division. Every car contains legions of angels and demons in turn, and which of each is dominant depends just as much on the perspective of person doing the observing as the car being observed. One’s sculpture of power and beauty in motion is another’s wasteful extravagance of wealth, overcompensation and status. An electric car can mean both the death of enjoyment and performance and the salvation of an industry and the environment – depending on your point of view. But what is important is that these contradictions are not rooted in cars, but in ourselves. A car is simply a big shiny lump of metal that can move under its own power across the ground; the meaning we see when we look at one has more to do with the reflection of ourselves staring back than any innate attribute of the mirror itself. And if one automobile can contain so many contradictory viewpoints, then a major car show, being a whole mess of them collected in one place, must be a Gerasene Rorschach funhouse maze – cars, owners, attendees and media, all of us reflections of whatever multitudes you’re predisposed to see.