Pit Notes: December 2009

Girls Go Racing: Driving to Esteems by Dani Ben-Ari and Susan FrissellGirls Go Racing: Driving To Esteems is a new book by Dani Ben-Ari and Susan Frissell.  The long time auto writers detail the benefits of auto racing, what it takes for interested young girls to get involved, how racing can become a viable career option, and how the involvement in motorsports builds much needed self esteem. Published by Authorhouse (September 2009, ISBN: 978-1-4490-0738-6, $12.95), the book is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or directly from the publisher at www.Authorhouse.com, and on www.Amazon.com.

Burt Levy touts a number of Holiday gifts available at his last www.Openroad.com web site–including a chance to be in his newest book. . . .  In recognition of his many outstanding contributions to the organization during his tenure as President, the Texas Auto Writers Association has honored Harold Gunn by renaming its scholarship fund the Harold Gunn Scholarship For Journalism. The scholarship is for students in a Texas university who are in their junior year and are pursuing a Bachelors Degree in journalism . . .Gary Witzenberg accepted the open invitation to attend Bill Maloney’s First Tuesday Car Lunch Bunch at Hawaii’s Waikiki Yacht Club and talked about the GM EV-1 which he was involved with in engineering and PR capacities. It was noted that he was driving a Prius loaned by Servco Toyota.

2009 Indycar Series champion Dario Franchitti will keynote a panel on Indy car racing at the 3rd annual Wheels of Wellness vintage race car showcase in Phoenix on Jan. 17, 2010. The event, to benefit the non-profit Wellness Community’s free cancer support and education programs, kicks off Arizona Auction week with an astonishing display of rare and seldom-seen vintage race cars and has become a much-anticipated gathering of racing luminaries and car aficionados.

Media members who want to attend Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s invitation-only talk at the Chicago Economic Club’s annual Chicago Auto Show luncheon, Feb.11, should visit www.ChicagoAutoShow.com/mediaaccess . . . . Speaking of the Nation’s largest auto show, that is where the Internet Car and Truck of The Year will be unveiled during media days, Dec. 10 and 11 by the originator of the juried awards, journalist Keith Griffin. He’ll also announce the winner of the Internet Automotive Journalist of The Year contest.

Using its nine “social milieus” analysis of the U.S. car market, Auto Pacific predicts shifting buyers to smaller cars as the government would like, is going to be a hard sell. Those most likely to downsize their next car are those in the increasingly less numerous “Affluent Progressive Milieu” The market research firm also reports that price outweighs “green” in new car purchase decisions.. . . And, it is well down the list of popular car colors as reported by DuPont that silver is tops and green is eighth. Still, a new “green car” racing circuit has been launched in Europe by London-based  EEVRC Ltd. The idea is to help the car makers change the image of electric vehicles, from being local runabouts to high-performance, highly-desirable cars. As to which cars are most desirable, Michael Karesh welcomes suggestions for more features in his monthly True Delta compilation of on-going car owner reports on their car’s reliability, mileage and other factors. Reach him at: michael@truedelta.com

The Vintage Vehicle Show seen on 79 U.S. TV stations has added outlets in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and a number of former Russian Republics to its overseas telecasts. Lance Lambert, the show’s president and producer said at least 15 new episodes will be taped in 2010.