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[personal profile] stusegal

For a very long time, let’s say 1966 through the turn-of-the-century, I was an outspoken supporter of the idea that to keep the US economy strong we needed to change the balance of import/export, support our domestic manufacturers, and buy US products.  Especially cars.  (Without dwelling on the details, I guess I was, sadly, proven right).

So from 1966 until 2003 I owned American cars, American motorcycles, and I refused to support the foreign competitors.  That meant, for instance, that for about 25 years I refused to even ride in a foreign car on US soil.  By around the turn of the millennium I realized that what should have been a national effort to save manufacturing in the US had turned into what felt like a one-man effort.  (I now own an Italian motorcycle, a German motorcycle, and I drove a Japanese car for 3 years).

But Rashmika feels differently, and (being one of the many people who put “value” at the top of their list of requirements for cars) always liked Japanese cars.  So much so that, in ’06 when I decided to get rid of my Infiniti G35 Sport Coupe, she decided to get rid of the Jag I had got her and keep the Infiniti instead!

Recently, after the Infiniti was totaled, she decided on a Mazda RX-8 GT. 

I am still driving my Corvette.  So naturally when I realized the 24 Hours at Daytona was coming up (tomorrow), I looked at the list of entrants, and to my shock and dismay Corvette Racing (the official team from GM) was not listed.  To say this is a disappointment is an understatement  -  Corvette Racing has dominated the GT1 Class for a decade, and annually crushes Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, et al.  For whatever reason, they won’t be at Daytona (maybe they need Presidential approval), but they will be at Sebring, LeMans, etc. later in the year.

But in looking through the entrants what do I find?  Dempsey Racing (owned by Patrick Dempsey of Grey’s Anatomy fame) has entered, and is racing a Mazda RX-8 – same car/same engine as Rashmika’s!  And they’ll be running their little rotary-powered RX-8 head-to-head against the Porsches, Ferraris and BMWs.  And Dempsey, who might be mistaken for a namby-pamby pretty boy, is a genuine by-gosh race driver cut in the mold of Newman or McQueen  -  a wealthy actor who has the guts and has developed the skills to race competitively.

So this year, for the first time in my life, instead of rooting for the thunderous iconic American Corvettes, I’ll be hoping to see the little Japanese David slay the mighty Goliaths from Germany and Italy.  How bizarre.

RASHMIKA'S RX-8 GT (I guess her license frame says it all)
RX-8 GT

PATRICK DEMPSEY'S RX-8Dempsey Racing

September 2011

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