It’s Going to be an Excellent Car Week

2015 Jaguar XKR Coupe

A 5.0 L V8 engine, outputting 510 hp and 461 lbs.ft

Starting at: $109,125

This one: $118,000 

This is, by far, the best car I’ve tested.Most power, and most expensive.

It’s not an interior, it’s a cockpit.

Supercharged over turbo charged, because it’s instant.

Opening the front door and seeing that car ahhh.  Satisfying. Started drinking my morning coffee in the front, so I could sit with it.

Next week’s column is about this supercar.

If you hear superfluous revving, look for me.

 

 

How I Came to be Competing in Targa for Nissan

It Started at the Micra Launch

When Nissan introduced their all-new Micra in May, they invited my blog to the national launch in Montreal.

During the launch there was a game – all journalists were given 4 shots on NHL goalie Jose Theodore, and I scored the most.

KeriBlog Hockey Micra Goal

Jose would like to thank the Academy.

I was called to centre stage and informed the prize was … I’d be driving for Nissan in the upcoming Targa Rally. Basically, I won a dream.

What is the Targa Rally

The Targa Newfoundland Rally is an annual 2,200 km, 5-day road rally across all of Newfoundland. Like, the whole province agrees to this, ropes off their front yards and cheers from the road side.

To be honest, I still didn’t believe it was going to happen. And that’s why I never said anything here, because the golden-rule of blogging: until you can link to it, don’t type a word.

Some time passed, and I had to sign a few forms.

I was still not totally believing; I’ve signed lots of stuff that never happened.

But that was followed shortly by a lunch with Nissan

… and that’s when it started to become real. Holy crap this is actually happening to me? It wasn’t processing, I don’t get lucky like this.

Because this is as good as a rally experience gets… a whole team (logistics person, a dedicated mechanic and tech, photographer, more) and I just show up and get behind the wheel. Someone will even make sure I get fed. Phft.

Plus Jenn is going. She’ll be behind the hashtag #TeamNissanTarga, say hi, she’s very quite @NissanCanada

Then the Unveiling Made it Real

On Friday, in the lobby of Nissan HQ Canada, I pulled off a silk cover to find my official race car, my name pasted on the side.

It wasn’t until that moment that I realized this is really happening to me. My hands got shaky, my words turned into babbling (oh Wendy it just hit me I ah gah mmm ermahgerd), then I got pretty awkward, and ran away soon as the silk was off.

Here’s a time-lapse video by fellow competitor Danny Bailey.

Hi my name is ON THE CAR?!

About the Micra

This car is right up my alley – manual transmissions available in all trims, so minimal, no screen, designed specifically for Canada, and it’s a new-car and a used car price. Along the lines of - the Keri Eco Car.

Here’s the blog tag – Micra.

It’s a car-car.

That’s a term I coined to describe my favourite kind of vehicle: minimal, only the essentials, not a computer-on-wheels, a car-car.

Here’s 30-seconds about it.

I also tested it for a week, here’s the newspaper review.

And here’s an old ‘Keri on Driving’ column, where I interviewed the gentleman who decides what features go into a car, including the Mircra.

So find me in Newfoundland

From September 10 – 20, the first 2-days of which are racing school. Which is good because I’m ignorant about this rally racing stuff, and I really want to win.

And to Nissan…

Thank you sincerely, for the huge investment you just made in me.

I’m going to drive my guts out guys!

 

 

 

Driving an MX-5 on a GoKart Track in Atlanta

This was a surprise stop along the 2014 Mazda Adventure Rally.

I’m driving a 2014 Mazda MX-5 on the gokart track, at the Atlanta Motorsports Park.

This is basically my first track time.

This kart track has more changes in elevation than any other track in the world, including one that’s 43 ft.

More photos of the track here.

Here’s the whole rally blogged: #MazdaRally, and there’s links there to my newspaper stuff there.

Until this trip, I thought the Miata was a princess-y car, nope. It loves off-roading?! Huh.