Danica Patrick promotes the “ultimate escape vehicle” for celebrities from paparazzi

2 Comments

If it was April Fools Day, we might have thought this truly was a joke: an on-call “service” (and we use that word very loosely) for celebrities in Los Angeles that need to be “rescued” from the paparazzi.

But apparently it’s a legit service – and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick is starring in two commercials touting it. One spot has actress Brooke Burke whisked away from the mean, old photogs, while the other commercial features Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler.

We’ve long been fans of the unique three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder RS – two wheels in the front and one in the back.

And the all-white Spyder versions that come to the beckon call of Tyler and Burke are reminiscent of a knight on a white horse coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress (Tyler might be a stretch when it comes to the damsel part, but he did sing “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” so that probably qualifies him).

So if you’re a celeb in need of a quick getaway, check out the videos below or call 1-844-SPYDER-LA – or as Patrick calls it, “The Ultimate Escape Vehicle.” By the way, the phone number and service are both legit.

For the record, Burke’s fan base must be a lot smaller than Tyler’s: her video has only had just over 7,000 views, while Tyler has over 130,000 more views of his video.

We could say something more here, but we’ll demure.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Here’s Patrick’s commercials, the first with Tyler and the second with Burke:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjpXkJnYH8w?list=PLIVz-KEoWhn5F-5WkPo-gWofYNFkZUjxd&w=560&h=315%5D

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjpXkJnYH8w&w=560&h=315%5D

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
3 Comments

LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.