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Pioneer Nabs Zanardi And The "Tiger" For Series

Photography by Henry Z. Dekuyper

Long-time Honda driver, Alex Zanardi, is back in CART, and in a big way. Pioneer Electronics renewed its commitment to the CART FedEx Championship Series by announcing partnership with Mo Nunn and Walker Racing for 2001 and, in doing so, hooked both Tora Takagi from Japan and Zanardi as drivers.

"Our goal at Pioneer has always been to provide consumers with great entertainment. We think this line-up for the 2001 season will make for a very entertaining series," said Ed Sachs, executive vice president of Pioneer's car electronics division. "The CART Series is an exciting combination of ovals, permanent road courses and street courses that provide fans with thrilling new adventures each time out. We hope that our partnership with these two excellent teams will add to the excitement of the season."

A Japanese company founded in 1938, Pioneer is proud to see native son Tora "Tiger" Takagi enter the CART series driving for Walker Racing. Pioneer is equally thrilled to see Zanardi return to the CART series as Mo Nunn's second entry in a Honda-powered car.

The company will transport its mobile showroom to many of the races for fans to see and hear Pioneer's newest product for "in car theater" as well as its sound room with technologically advanced amps, subwoofers and head units.

Bolt-On Theater
How-To: Quick Shift Your Stick
The Honda Civic and its multitude of variants have become favorites of the import enthusiast community, and for good reason. Close inspection reveals clever engineering and mechanical systems that lend themselves well to upgrades.

The shift mechanism of the Civic family is a perfect example. Whereas other compact cars employ a cable-actuated shift mechanism, Honda chose to stick with a proven and sturdy rod linkage. This set-up has several advantages over a cable system. During aggressive use, cable-actuated shifters sometimes bind up, causing missed shifts or requiring the driver to double-clutch to get the car into gear. Though newer cable systems are less prone to this, rod linkages still have an edge in this area.The other advantage is shift feel. Rod linkages have a delightfully direct, mechanical feel. At idle, the shifter will often quiver slightly, a sign that it is positively connected to the powertrain. In contrast, cable linkages transmit almost no vibration or feedback through the shifter, the knob standing absolutely still at idle. In the fanatical zeal to rid modern cars of "noise, vibration and harshness," many OEMs have chosen cable mechanisms to isolate the cabin and driver from this feedback. More often than not, they do not consult the enthusiast community on these decisions.

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