Saturday, March 28, 2009

More non-car stuff...

The automotive season is fast approaching, yet I have found myself mostly involved with and thinking about basketball the last couple of week. My girls team are in the playoffs and we will be playing in the quarter-final on Tuesday... against the only team in the league that beat us by 40 points. I know we are a better team than we were when they beat us, but I still consider a win to be a long shot. I've tried to explain to the girls that they have the talent and skills to win the game, but they know it will be tough.

My school's other team, coached by my friend Pascal, will be playing in the league final tomorrow. I will be dropping by to "assist", which will involve mainly keeping an eye on the timing and scoring.

The team on which I played is also in the playoffs. We have a best of three semifinal. We won the first game by 20 and lost game 2 last night by 9. The other team's best player had missed the first game. I personally had terrible games offensively (scoring 4 and 2) because I missed a bunch of short that I should have been hitting. I played solid defense both games and got at least three blocks yesterday. Unfortunately, most of the team was shooting poorly yesterday. We went down 8-0 at the beginning and then basically maintained the gap the whole game.

I've also been watching March Madness, and it's much more interesting when you're already in a basketball mindset, and when you look at the game from the perspective of a player and a coach.

Car stuff:
I haven't really done anything about my race car, except order bushings, which I hope JP will have time to install before our first race on May 16th. We should be able to take the car out in three weeks at the AISA race school at St-Eustache, where we will be instructing. Carl has ordered us some Koni race shocks and Ground Control springs and sleeves. In other words, the car will soon have a completely new suspension setup, which will definitely take some getting used to. We'll see soon enough how different it feels.

I've been watching racing on TV as well. I downloaded the first four rounds of WTCC. The racing is ridiculously close. There are tons of position changes and a 3-second lead is considered huge. Seat has been winning quite easily so far, but it will be interesting to see if BMW or Chevy can make up lost ground.

The first F1 race will be on tonight. I love that a new team, Brawn GP, is qualified 1st and 2nd. I think that Barrichello and Button, who were in the wrong place at the wrong time with Honda, are suddenly in a great position to show their worth. I can't wait to see how this plays out. I also love that they have reduced aero grip and returned to mechanical grip with slick tires.

My opinion on the Nissan 370Z: I don't like it in pictures and have not seen one in the flesh. However, it is shorter, 5 cm wider, lighter and has more power than the 350Z. As a result, I like it.

At a dinner party the other day, someone I barely know who was sitting next to me remembered I was into cars and asked me what he should buy next. He now drives an Audi A3 and days he doesn't like the way it drives, which sort of surprises me, given how pleasant I found the car when I drove an identical model a couple of years ago. I asked him what he thought about having a summer car and a winter car, mentioning the Miata. He actually owned a 1990 Miata then it first came out and had fond memories of it. I told him to go test drive a Lexus IS250 (good value in my book, solid resale for a luxury car, sporty), a BMW 3-series (to see if he liked it any more than the Lexus and was willing to pay the extra dough) and a Honda Fit. I figured if he liked the fit almost as much as the others (it is very pleasant to drive as well), he could buy a nice used Miata, maybe even a Mazdaspeed edition. I wonder if he'll follow my advice.

It's spring, and the hot cars are out in Montreal.
Cool cars spotted:
Lamborghini Gallardo
Ferrari F430
Viper SRT10
Audi s4
Audi S6
Audi S8
BMW M3 (tons)
Mercedes 190e 2.3-16
Porsche 997 turbo

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