Robby Gordon Dakar Rally

We have written about the Dakar Rally over the years and since it just wrapped up we thought it was time to revisit this epic adventure. We also want to acquaint you with the infamous wrecking ball off-road racer Robby Gordon, the sole American driver in this year’s truck group.  The son of “Baja Bob” Gordon, Robby Gordon has been off-road racing since before he was old enough to drive so he comes by it honestly.

As a North American racing fan, I truly love what Gordon is doing with running an US built original design called the HST Gordini. The custom-built machine leverages the Hummer H3T platform along with years of off-road experience and learning from the stadium truck racing circuit. Gordon has been able to dominate and win everything in off-road racing except for the elusive Dakar Rally.  Unfortunately, 2016 was not his year once again as he did not finish the race due to a very avoidable accident seen here.  At 29 seconds in the clip, Robbie makes contact with a Hummer support vehicle in his crew and has an accident. Thankfully no one was seriously injured but what a terrible way to go out.

Hopefully, next year things pan out differently for Robbie at Dakar and he can bring home the checkered flag to North America.  Check out some highlights from last year’s race and be sure to put the volume up to hear the 6.2L V8 scream under the hood of the Gordini!

2015 Robby Gordon “Road To Dakar: Part 1” – NBC Sports Network Segment 

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2016 Chevrolet Spark to start at $9,995 in Canada

Some interesting news came out of the Montreal International Auto Show from Chevrolet this week with the announcement that the all-new 2016 Spark will start at just $9,995 plus freight and delivery charges – the lowest MSRP of any car in Canada.

2016 Chevrolet Spark

2016 Chevrolet Spark

Having reviewed early versions of the Spark we were interested in this story as our experience with the 2013 version was very positive.  Check out our earlier review.

The 2016 model is front wheel drive, four-passenger sub compact equipped with a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 98 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque (a 16-percent increase over the previous model). A five-speed manual transmission is included, while a continuously variable automatic is optional. It comes with solid safety features such as 10 standard airbags and back-up camera, along with technology that isn’t typically offered in this segment for this price.  The Spark comes with a standard 7-inch MyLink touch-screen infotainment system providing owners a smart and simple way to access Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, leveraging the latest technology that customers use every day.  OnStar with a 4GLTE Wi-Fi hotspot is also standard.

2016 Chevrolet Spark

2016 Chevrolet Spark

In today’s age with so many cars becoming exponentially more expensive it is refreshing to see a manufacturer providing customers with a value focused model.

For more information and specifications on the 2016 Chevrolet Spark, see the latest product guide on media.gm.ca.

Image Source:GM Canada

New season, new race cars from Porsche AG

We’re already crazy Porsche fans here at RedlineNorth, so pretty much anything Porsche related gets us pumped up. However, this new promo video from the Porsche AG marketing department will make any racing fan warm and fuzzy on a cold winter day. Kudos to Porsche for hitting the mark with their 2016 racing season preview video.

Drivers! Start your engines!

Quality Car Porn from the Roar Before the Rolex 24

We wanted to share some close-up car porn from the various race teams doing their final testing this weekend at the Roar Before the Rolex 24.  Only a few more weeks until RedlineNorth will be on site in person covering the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Rolex 24 at Daytona Cont’d.

Everyone is entitled to a different opinion, but I’m most excited to see the brand new Ford GT race car fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing perform in the Rolex 24 Hours.

The cool thing about this car, aside from its 600+ HP and exclusive carbon-fibre body panels, is that it’s developed and constructed in Canada, a mere 30 km from where I live in downtown Toronto.
(Be sure to look for the Mosport cameos)

Multimatic, the manufacturer, is a privately held Canadian company who has been a global leader in automotive technology and component engineering since 1984. They’ve always provided an unwavering level of support for racing, and as a result, today, are responsible for building all the Chip Ganassi race cars and road cars for Ford, of which there are a total of 250 this year.

It’s pretty cool that a company with a relatively low profile can create such innovative and winning race car technology right in our own backyard.

I’ll be watching the Ford GT closely at the Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona from January 8-10. Sources says Ganassi is apparently going to LeMans with four of these cars in June as well – so no pressure :).

Carroll Shelby Goes Racing

To keep with our recent racing theme we stumbled upon some amazing old video from the 1960’s narrated by Carroll Shelby. The video covers a brief history of Carroll’s racing career along with footage of legendary drivers Pete Brock, Ken Miles and Dan Gurney testing the Mustang GT 350, AC Cobra and Ford GT at Willow Springs International Raceway.  Yes, the footage is 1000 times worse than what a 10-year-old can shoot with their smartphone, but that is not the point – this is an homage to the glory years of America’s racing prowess.