For the first time since 2007, the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) will return to the Netherlands this weekend. As part of the Jumbo Racedagen festival at Zandvoort, the WTCR will be the main sporting attraction during an event which features a demonstration by Max Verstappen of his Formula One car. Massive crowds of around 100,000 people are expected at the coastal circuit, and they will no doubt be cheering on their home hero Tom Coronel. Although the likeable Dutchman is very quick, he does have a lot of ground to make up in the drivers’ championship standings. Two drivers who are in prime position to battle for the title, however, are Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini… Muller vs Tarquini Back when the series last competed in the Netherlands, over a decade ago, it was very much a BMW vs SEAT championship. That year, Gabriele Tarquini was one of the main contenders for the Spanish marque, and went on to take victory at Zandvoort. Fast forward eleven years, and the Italian … [Read more...] about 2018 World Touring Car Cup: Zandvoort – Preview
Belgium royal family
Rubens. "The Miraculous Draught of Fishes," oil on panel; c. 1610. (Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud/Museo Del Prado) MADRID — In art as in life, the word sketch is complicated. A sketch of an unknown city might be useful as a map, especially if accompanied by advice on how to avoid the sketchy places. Sketches tend to be valued less than a finished work, except when they seem to capture something uniquely spontaneous and emotionally direct. At several moments in the history of art, in 16th-century Venice and again in the early 19th century, “sketchiness” became a virtue, a style in itself, and a reaction to the established way of finishing off a painting with a public, polished sheen. A new exhibition at the Museo del Prado has gathered more than 70 oil sketches by Peter Paul Rubens, who played a key role in the evolution of the form from a preparatory tool to something far more intriguing and ambiguous: small but self-sufficient paintings with color … [Read more...] about A Rubens exhibition asks: Are first thoughts best?
Grocery chains Giant Food and Safeway dominate food retailing in the Baltimore region, but nontraditional food sellers — convenience stores, drugstores and mass merchants — are grabbing bigger chunks of the market, a supermarket analysis shows.Little changed in Baltimore's grocery landscape in the past year as a crowded field of retailers meant only a handful of new stores opened and no major players entered the market, according to Columbia-based trade journal Food World, which recently released its annual market study."The market is still overstored," said Jeff Metzger, Food World's publisher. "There are a lot of different options in terms of the actual retailers themselves and the style of retailing. … Baltimore is a very competitive, overstored, diverse marketplace, and it's been that way for about a decade now."It has created a lot of diversity, which is wonderful for consumers and not so wonderful for the actual retailers," he said.Giant, the Landover-based unit … [Read more...] about Giant Food ranks first in supermarket sales in Baltimore market
Go on then, I’ll tell you to save you having to google it. Liechtenstein is tucked between Switzerland and Austria. The local folk, all 35,000 of them, shop with Swiss francs, and speak German. I had to look it up myself as well to be honest; yesterday morning, when I left Lille at 9am, I couldn’t even spell Liechtenstein without having a red squiggly line appear underneath it when I typed it into my computer, let alone claim to have ever been there or even accurately point to it on a map. But last night we reached the tiny European principality, already deep into our 5000-mile, 20-country, 13-day road trip from England to Istanbul and back in a Nissan Qashqai. Isn’t it remarkable what you can achieve in a day? What an interesting day it was. France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and Switzerland are all now behind me, with Austria, Italy, Slovenia and hopefully Croatia ahead today. Yesterday's 500-mile route has taken in fast European motorways (France’s good, … [Read more...] about Nissan Qashqai from Sunderland to Istanbul, day two
The “Americans at Le Mans” exhibit in the Village at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France was roped off and closed to the public first thing on this Saturday morning. An hour later, an advance team arrived to powwow with local officials and clear the area of interlopers. Close to noon, SUVs rolled up and disgorged handlers who scurried to open car doors and smooth the way for the celebrities inside. Well, not celebrities by TMZ standards, but royalty, American-style. William Clay Ford Jr. and Edsel Ford II, great-grandsons of Henry Ford, glided into the pavilion with their extended families. They’d flown to France to witness the 24 Hours of Le Mans race debut of the new Ford GT, the supercar scheduled to start from the GTE Pro class pole in less than four hours. But first, the Fords—scions of America’s most iconic car company—were here to pay homage to the storied machines that inspired the new GT and gave the United States its greatest triumph in … [Read more...] about The First Ford GT40 to Win Le Mans Gets a Proper Makeover
I’ve tangentially touched on the topic of this post, the famous art deco “Round Door Rolls-Royce”, before when discussing Audi advertising and some Detroit history. On my recent trip to Los Angeles to drive a McLaren 675LT (you think Jack Baruth is the only TTAC staffer who can swing the loan of a supercar?), I took the opportunity to visit the newly renovated Petersen Automotive Museum and the unusually bodied Rolls happened to be on display right where you walk into the building.It’s a striking looking car, to say the least, and a multiple show winner undoubtedly worthy of historical note. Almost more interesting than the car, though, is the way its tale is presented and what that teaches us about the way ideas get entrenched, how a single facet of a story can obscure its context.The first Rolls-Royce Phantom — then called the New Phantom, presently called the Phantom I — was introduced in 1925 in response to competition from European … [Read more...] about Driving Mrs. Dillman: The Tale of the Round Door Rolls-Royce
Disclosure: I love Formula One. At least a dozen times every year, I inadvertently wake up my wife and dog at 4:30 in the morning (Pacific time) as I yelp wildly in the living room and watch the live race feed.As a left-of-center F1 fan, three issues gnaw at me. One, the sport is perceived as elitist. One Percenters(tm) own the teams, pack the hospitality suites at races, and park their mega-yachts next to race tracks. Two, a lot of fuel is used to fly the cars, the equipment, and crews all over the world, from Singapore to Austin.But what really irks me is the politics. Emerging economies, oftentimes with authoritarian regimes, pay tens of millions to have the privilege to host a race. And F1, as a business, has no problem taking the money.Sometimes, the host country’s government is so brutal, a boycott is called. But do boycotts work? What is their purpose? Their goal? Where do you draw the line? How do you compare a violent regime that oppresses its small … [Read more...] about Boycotting Every Race On the 2015 Formula One Calendar