A Quick Question and Answer Period with Team Lexus from the 3rd Season of Speed TV’s Bullrun
Regular readers of the Autoshow news here on Autotrader.ca will have noticed a series of interviews with the Teams participating on Speed TV’s Reality Racing Show Bullrun. Ramping up for the big premiere on Speed TV February 18th, Season 3 promises to be full of all the action and drama the previous two seasons of Bullrun have offered us.
This time around I had the opportunity to speak with both Tracy Shayhorn, driver for Team Lexus and Emilie Coppola, Co Driver of Team Lexus. These two ladies piloted a 1992 Lexus SC300 across south-western America during the 3rd Season of Bullrun.
As the only all female team in this year’s Bullrun Reality Television show, Team Lexus would be carrying the banner for the women. Below are their answers to 10 questions about their time on the show. Judging by their answers, Tracy and Emilie look to be one of the most interesting and entertaining contestants to ever participate in Bullrun.
Q) (To Tracy) How did you first hear about Bullrun?
A) I am a car junkie. We all know about Bullrun! But the first time I heard of Bullrun, my boyfriend Dan made it to the final casting call out in LA. He was going to drive my 800 AWHP daily driven Evo 8 with one of our friends who told him about the opportunity. Unfortunately, filming fell during the same time as the SEMA Show in Vegas and we had a car in the Konig wheels booth that year. So he had to turn down the offer to be on the show because of that obligation.
Q) (To Tracy) The Lexus you brought to the show isn’t exactly your own. How good of a friend do you have that they would allow you to subject their vehicle to the carnage that always seems to happen on the Bullrun reality television show?
A) (Laughs) George is one of my bestest friends obviously! I had just sold my STI a few weeks before I found out about the casting, so I didn’t have a suitable car at the time and Emilie’s car was down at the time for a build. He offered it up like it was no big deal, really. When I first mentioned it to him, he thought it was going to be Dan and I on a team. He went on and on about how he trusted us and knows that if we break it we will fix it….blah blah blah. When I broke the news that it would be me and my friend Emilie, he hesitated for a moment, asked me if she knew how to drive, and then said of course. Might I mention again that George is one of my BESTEST friends? Shout out to my homie!
Ok, funny story time. George used to own a rival shop to ours here in Atlanta called Twisted Tuning. We first met at the drag strip as competitors 7-8 years ago. Over time we became friends mostly by the way of friendly #$@% taking at the races. Eventually that led to hanging out after those hard weekends at the races. He ended up closing his shop doors a few years ago after he realized his primary seafood importing business by far out weighed the little money brought in by the shop. Now he is one of our customers and trusts us to work on his cars…and obviously drive the crap out of one of them on a 3k mile rally full of explosions and broken glass.
Q) (To Tracy) Speaking of the Lexus, that 1992 SC300 isn’t exactly stock, is it?
A) I’ll take no for $1000 Alex! Until the news of the show came out, no one knew what George had under the hood. He likes to keep it under wraps. Let’s just say that it has a 2JZGTE swap (with the 6 speed manual transmission obviously), a large single turbo upgrade, an AEM EMS and all of the supporting goods that go along with the set up that makes about 600whp.
Q) (To Tracy) You manage a performance shop. Was it nice to get away from the shop for a few weeks?
It was nice for a few moments. I definitely got home sick pretty quickly. It was also very weird to be away from my boyfriend. We usually do all of our motorsport activities together, so this my first experience with all of that away from him.
The best thing about the trip was being able to be away from the shop, but dish with another female who goes through the same issues as me as a shop manager. When times got rough, we just bitched about the shop and they guys back home to get us through.
Q) (To Emilie) How do you and Tracy know each other?
That’s a funny story, actually. This all started because Tracy’s previous 2 teammates dropped out. So, she posted up on her facebook that she was looking for a girl who could handle a 600hp car, drive stick, and leave in 2 days for a 3 week trip. A mutual friend of ours, T-minus, called me all frantic, and told me I had to call this Tracy chick that needed a partner for Bullrun. So, I got in touch with her, not knowing who she was from a hole in the wall, and it turns out, we had met a few years back at a Dyno Day her shop was hosting in Atlanta. We had hung out a bit, chatted, and got along back then, so, we figured, what the hell! Let’s do this! I was on a plane less than 48 hours later, and the rest is Bullrun history.
Q) (To Emilie) You tried to get on Bullrun in previous seasons, including an attempt with Brooke from Team Lexus on Season 2 of Bullrun. What was it like finally making it?
It was a huge, and unexpected surprise to finally make it, especially since I was not expecting it.
Brooke and I had been friends for years, through a car club called 3SI. We were both car addicts (and obviously still are), and figured Bullrun would be the ultimate driving experience for the both of us. Unfortunately, things fell through the day my 3000GT VR-4 was supposed to be picked up for the first season that aired on Spike TV. We were so geared up and ready to rock, it was a pretty big disappointment for the both of us. Then Brooke got a call back for Season 2, which was very exciting, but I was slightly disappointed about not getting a call back as well.
This season rolled around, and I hadn’t submitted a new video and was not prepared at all. My car was in pieces, I hadn’t arranged to be away from the shop for a few weeks, so, I was just going to shoot for next season. Then I get a phone call about an opening on a girl’s team, and was on a plane less than 2 days later. Everything moved so quickly, it was just so surreal. I don’t think it really sunk in that I was actually DOING this, until the flag dropped, and we peeled out of the first location.
Q) (To Tracy) Speaking of Team Lexus from Season 2, inevitably, comparisons are going to be made throughout the season between your Team and thiers. What do you think separates your team from the other Team Lexus?
A) Well the obvious is that they had a stock IS250 and we have a modded out SC300. Sure they are both white females, but that’s about as far as you can take the comparisons. Last seasons Lexus girls made it pretty far. I wish I could tell you whether or not we had that in common (smiles). You’ll just have to watch and see.
Q) (To Emilie) Being a car-nut like the rest of us, was it tough being the navigator and not the driver?
Oh it was horribly frustrating!! I’m sure Tracy will tell you how annoying I must have been. I haven’t ridden as a passenger in a car for over 2 years now, so it was EXTREMELY hard for me to just sit back and let Tracy do her thing, and trust her skills. I’m used to being the one in control of the wheel, so, to sit back, and just concentrate on navigating was very hard for me.
Q) (To Tracy) In Season 2, Team Avalanche threw their 5500lbs truck around like it was a Go-Kart. Can anyone in Season 3 match his driving skill?
A) I would have to see (Season 3 and Season 2) up against each other to be sure. Maybe a ‘Bullrun Allstar Season’? :Hint Hint to the producers:
Q) (To Tracy) I hear there may be a bit of drama this season. Is it true?
A) Um yeah. I was there. I tend to be like a pitbull at a crowded dog park. I will get along with 49 out of 50 dogs there. It’s just that 1 little #(%@ dog that can turn the whole scene ugly.
For more information on Tracy Shayhorn visit her site at http://www.batlground.com .
For more information on Emilie Coppola, visit her site at http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Easton-PA/Ground-Zero-Performance/431901495306?ref=search&sid=500737685.3112837354..1 .