Cceess

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Ignition - - Front Page - By Lee Bailie

While 2017 might have been a bit of a down year in Detroit for the North Amer­i­cani­can In­ter­na­tional Auto Show, the same could not be said for the go­ings-on at the Con­sumer Elec­tron-elec­tron­ics Show (CES) – thatat show crack­led and pul­sated with ac­tiv-ac­tiv­ity and in­trigue. The hall­salls at the Las Ve­gas Con­ven­tion Cen­ter were lit­er­ally crammed with in­ter­est­ingst­ing and in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy from a huge cross sec­tion of in­dus­tries andnd com­pa­nies, each ea­ger to show off their wares and draw show-go­ers inn with the prom­ise of some­thing new. And from what I saw dur­ing my 36-hour blitz of the show, I saw plenty that was note­wor­thy, es­pe­cially from main­streamn­stream auto man­u­fac­tur­ers, many of whom are us­ing CES as their pre­ferreded venue for in­tro­duc­ing new tech­nol­ogy, es­pe­cially when it comes to con­nect­ed­nected cacar and au­ton­o­mous driv­ing. Space lim­its my abil­ity to list ev­ery­thing that caught my eye, but here are a few worth men­tion­ing.

Corv Corvette en­thu­si­asts were agha aghast when a 30-foot sinkh sink­hole opened up and swall swal­lowed eight whole cars in­side the Na­tional Corvette Museu Mu­seum three years ago. To com­mecom­mem­o­rate the sec­ond an­niver­sar­niver­sary and to sa­ti­ate pub­lic in­ter­est, the Mu­seum opened the Corv­corvette Cave In! The Sky­dome­dome Sink­holesin Ex­pe­ri­ence ex­hibithibit that guides vis­i­tors through a re­cap of what hap­pened, high­lights the me­dia cov­er­age and pop cul­turecu im­pact, the cars them­selves­them­selves, the re­cov­ery and re­pair process,proce caves and karst land­scapes, toward a grand finale cave-in ex­pe­ri­ence.

Though theth 1984 PPG Pace Car, 1993 ZRZR-1 Spyder, 1993 40th An­niver­sary, 2001 Mal­lett Ham­mer Z06 and 2009 “1.5 Mil­lionth” Corvettes are con­sid­ered un­re­pairable, all eight cars are still on dis­play in the ex­hibit (in nearly the same spots as they were prior to the 2014 sink­hole). Gen­eral Mo­tors re­built the 2009 ZR1 “Blue Devil” for the 2014 SEMA Show soon af­ter the sink­hole in­ci­dent, and has since re­turned it to the Mu­seum. The 1992 “One Mil­lionth” Corvette's restora­tion then took four months and 1,200 man-hours to re­store with pre­serv­ing the sig­na­tures of those who built the car its top pri­or­ity.

In early Fe­bru­ary, the 1962 Corvette (do­nated to the Mu­seum in 2011 by its orig­i­nal owner David Donoho) was re­moved from the ex­hibit and trans­ferred to a garage bay where GM is footing the $25,000 bill to have it com­pletely re­built, too. Through­out the ex­pected year-long process, vis­i­tors to the Mu­seum in Bowl­ing Green, Ken­tucky will be able to fol­low the restora­tion's progress first­hand, and on­line at Face­book.com/ Corvet­te­mu­seum, Youtube. com/corvet­te­mu­seum and Corvet­te­mu­seum.org.

Fel­low Cana­di­ans, Indycar star James Hinch­cliffe and Nis­san Mi­cra Cup driver Ste­fan Rzadzin­ski, rep­re­sented Team ROC Fac­tor Canada at the 2017 ROC Na­tions Cup, an an­nual event bring­ing to­gether the world's finest mo­tor­sport driv­ers, to de­cide the fastest coun­try on earth. Driv­ers pair up with fel­low coun­try­men, and com­pete in head-to-head bat­tles against driv­ers from op­pos­ing na­tions in iden­ti­cal cars.

The Mayor of Hinch­town beat Kurt Busch in his first heat, but lost to Ryan Hunter-reay and Travis Pas­trana. Re­mark­ably, his vir­tu­ally un­known team­mate put on a daz­zling per­for­mance, win­ning his heats against Alexan­der Rossi, 2016 Indy 500 Champ, and two-time Global Ral­ly­cross Cham­pion and for­mer F1 driver Scott Speed.

Team ROC Fac­tor Canada's three points couldn't get them out of the first round, but the 24-year-old Ed­mon­to­nian's sur­prise per­for­mance was enough put the mo­tor­sport world on no­tice of his im­mense tal­ent and po­ten­tial.

“(ROC Fac­tor) gives un­known driv­ers an op­por­tu­nity,” said Fredrik Johns­son, Founder and CEO, Race of Cham­pi­ons. “Ste­fan has done amazing job first get­ting here, mo­bi­liz­ing so many peo­ple to sup­port him, and now here in the race, he's im­pressed every­body, com­pet­ing in cars he has never driven be­fore against the world's most ex­pe­ri­enced and fastest driv­ers. Ste­fan is very im­pres­sive and has a big fu­ture ahead of him.” As the Amer­i­can Rally As­so­ci­a­tion and Cana­dian Rally Cham­pi­onship (CRC) ran their in­au­gu­ral races side-by-side for the first time at the 2017 Ral­lye Perce-neige in Mani­waki, Que­bec, a to­tal of nine Subaru ve­hi­cles crossed the fin­ish line in the top 10. Lead­ing the pack were Subaru Rally Team USA (SRTUSA) teams David Hig­gins with co-driver Craig Drew and Travis Pas­trana with co-driver Rob­bie Du­rant, fin­ish­ing in first and sec­ond, re­spec­tively.

The top Cana­dian fin­isher was “Crazy” Leo Ur­lichich, who along with co-driver Alex Ki­hu­rani pow­ered to a third place fin­ish over­all in his 2007 STI. Subaru Rally Team Canada's driver An­toine L'es­tage and newly re-united co-driver Alan Ock­well had a strong start, win­ning four stages out­right and fin­ish­ing near the front of the pack in sev­eral oth­ers, be­fore a ter­mi­nal fail­ure ended their bid deep in the for­est stages of the rally's fi­nal leg. - Shaun Keenan

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