Category: Racing

By on July 19, 2017

scg-003s

There are probably more absolutely ludicrous racing spec cars on the consumer market now than ever before, but regulatory red tape frequently keeps some of the more extreme examples out of the United States. At $2 million a pop, the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG) 003 couldn’t afford to relegate itself to Europe’s filthy rich. Otherwise, SCG might never reach its ambitious 2018 sales goal of four to six vehicles.

Fortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration certified Glickenhaus as a “low volume manufacturer” on Tuesday. That means the SCG 003 doesn’t have to adhere to the same level of safety and emission regulations as other manufacturers, which is probably the only way to get this goblin shark onto U.S. roadways. Of course, prospective owners will still have to make room for it next to their fleet of vintage Ferraris — possibly by relocating the servant’s quarters to another part of the manor.  Read More >

By on June 22, 2017

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon - Image: FCA

As Hollywood writes it, when you make a deal with Satan, he bestows onto you whatever you covet most in exchange for your soul. However, there is usually some dark twist that ruins the overall experience long before you can settle into hell’s never-ending torment. If you ask him for money, it’ll be stolen from the mob and they’ll hunt you down. If you ask him for power, he’ll make you the next Adolf Hitler. The devil’s bargain is a well-established trope — you get what you asked for but cannot fully enjoy it thanks to some twisted fine print.

Fiat Chrysler’s SRT Demon Customer Acknowledgment contract functions similarly. Perhaps it’s a necessary evil because it specifically prohibits the brainless activities which would absolutely result in your 800+ horsepower drag car killing you or a loved one. That said, you could ignore all of the rules FCA carefully chose to include within the contract. But, when you do, the manufacturer has itemized and initialed proof where it explicitly forbid you from doing so.  Read More >

By on June 22, 2017

2017-camaro-zl1-1le-610x407

Team Camaro just went ballistic.

With ride and handling engineer Bill Wise at the wheel, the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE ate the 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife for breakfast, devouring the Teutonic track in an absurd 7:16.04, making it the fastest production Camaro, ever.

It might even be the fastest piece of metal GM has ever made for public consumption.

To put the Camaro’s time in context, the Corvette ZR1 officially looped the Green Hell 3.6 seconds slower than the 1LE; a brand new Ferrari 488 GTB is 5.6 seconds behind; meanwhile, the Formula 1–derived Enzo looks like a hot mess showing up 9.1 seconds after the land rocket from Lansing.

Rumor has it that Wise actually turned in a hand-timed 7:13.xx, but it will remain unofficial.

That’s like, super, stupid fast. Read More >

By on June 18, 2017

aston martin le mans, Image: FIAWEC

While Porsche saw a remarkable comeback victory at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, clawing its way from the back of the pack as practically every LMP1 class car suffered a catastrophic breakdown, all the real action was taking place among the LM GTE Pro cars — as usual.

Jordan Taylor, masterfully piloting the No. 63 Corvette, kept himself in the lead for much of the race but everything morphed into a sphincter clenching contest in its final moments. Aston Martin had already suffered a nail-biting off with its No. 95 car, but it was the No. 97 Vantage of Jonathan Adam that had us cursing near the race’s end. Attempting a bold and ill-advised maneuver, Adam managed to pass Taylor momentarily by diving on the inside and exiting the corner wide. The two cars even made light contact as the Corvette retook the lead and everybody in the pits started screaming.  Read More >

By on June 11, 2017

Tweet of Hammond Crash, Image: DriveTribe

The Grand Tour’s Richard Hammond has survived God’s most-recent attempt to murder him with a motor vehicle. If you recall, the former Top Gear presenter suffered serious head injuries in 2006 when the jet-propelled dragster he was driving wrecked at 288mph. Earlier this year, Hammond also “fell off” a motorcycle in Mozambique traveling at high speeds, knocking himself unconscious.

In his latest accident, Hammond was piloting an electric supercar as it tumbled off the road — busting into flames seconds after he crawled from the wreckage. “It was the biggest crash I’ve ever seen and the most frightening ,” Jeremy Clarkson tweeted on Saturday afternoon. “But incredibly, and thankfully, Richard seems to be mostly OK.” Read More >

By on April 28, 2017

NanoCar Race Poster

Tata’s Nano is a very small car, but it’s more than brobdingnagian compared to the vehicles racing this weekend in Toulouse, France.

The first international nanocar race — organized by the materials scientists at Centre Nationnal de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and its Centre d’Elaboration de Matériaux et d’Etudes Structurales (CEMES) — brings motorsports down to the molecular level. Four teams will compete under the observation of a special, four-tipped scanning tunneling microscope on a racecourse made of gold atoms just 100 nanometers long.

Read More >

By on April 23, 2017

BMW track day

For the most part, crash avoidance and driver assistance technology is a welcome addition addition to the automotive landscape. While they can be a little invasive sometimes, they’re usually doing what they’re supposed to and helping to save the lives of drivers who may have had a momentary lapse in judgment or focus. However, there is a lot of worry over how lane assistance or emergency braking software will behave when you bring a streetcar to the track.

Several chapters of the BMW Car Club of America and the Porsche Club of America have already decided to forbid any vehicle equipped with aids. The fear is that track day organizers or instructors could be found liable if a car suddenly jerks right when it approaches the apex of a corner or suddenly decelerate when in close proximity to other vehicles. A driver might be caught off-guard if a car unexpectedly takes over and be unsure how to mitigate inputs they were unprepared for.

The bottom line is that newer cars are finding themselves in danger of being banned wholesale, and that’s just not going to work if track days are to continue in the years to come.

Read More >

By on April 9, 2017

longbeach imsa

This weekend, the Long Beach Grand Prix saw more than its fair share of misery. It all kicked off days before the actual race when two thieves stole roughly a million dollars worth of parts from Global Motorsports Group in Santa Ana. That’s bad news for the team because they needed a lot of those parts for their McLaren 570S GT4 and Porsche 911 GT3 R race cars. And it’s bad news for the thieves because those McLaren parts can only go into a handful of cars in the United States and are essentially valueless on the black market.

The two thieves were believed to have scouted the location while GMG held an open house, only to return with a stolen truck the following day and make off with their support coach — an essential for item for race day.  Read More >

By on April 3, 2017

AMG Burnout

The Ontario Provincial Police set up a traffic stop on Highway 400 over the weekend to halt a mob of motorists engaging in an illegal road rally. On Sunday, the department received numerous reports of vehicles driving aggressively and passing on the shoulder at speeds in excess of 150 kilometers an hour — 93 mph — on Highway 407 and Highway 400, north of Toronto.

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP tweeted that at least 12 drivers charged with stunt driving had their vehicles impounded. Among the towed cars were an Audi R8, Mercedes-AMG C 63, Lamborghini Huracan, Porsche 911, BMW M3, Nissan GT-R, Jaguar XF, and a Chevrolet Corvette Z06.  Read More >

By on March 23, 2017

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, Image: Ford

Calling the blistering Shelby GT350 Mustang “track-ready” has led to unexpected consequences for Ford Motor Company. As of late yesterday, the automaker finds itself the subject of a class-action lawsuit.

Owners of 2016 models are turning up the heat on the Blue Oval after their vehicles’ transmissions and differentials overheated, forcing the cars into performance-sapping (but component-saving) “limp mode.” Certain GT350s — base and Tech Package variants, to be exact — came from the factory without transmission and differential coolers. While fast, the models created headaches for some owners. Many drivers suddenly found themselves stuck in limp mode mid-race, or on the road. Read More >

By on March 22, 2017

hardtop-available-for-mx-5-cup-race-car-1024x554

Nor should they, really. Mazda’s MX-5 Miata already offers the option of an aluminum-and-steel overcast with its delightfully gimmicky and functional RF variant.

Still, past MX-5 owners often shelled out for a simple and attractive fiberglass top to accompany their factory cloth top. You’d often find it stashed in the garage next to the lawn mower. So popular were these aftermarket accessories, Mazda saw fit to offer customers the all-weather confidence and convenience of a retractable hardtop, starting in 2006. With the RF, it chose a different way of letting the sun shine in.

Well, there’s now a new removable top available to MX-5 owners, but you’ll never see it on the street. Read More >

By on March 19, 2017

Taylor Racing win in Florida

Ricky Taylor pulled away from Joao Barbosa and gave Wayne Taylor Racing and Cadillac a victory during 36 Hours of Florida at Sebring Raceway. Taylor pushed his Konica Minolta-sponsored No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R to a 13.6 second win over Barbosa’s Action Express-backed entry, following a long mid-race battle between the two Cadillacs.

Much of the race was a recreation of the prototype duel between the Taylor family and Mustang Sampling Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, with three hours to go at Sebring, Jordan Taylor passed Filipe Albuquerque for the lead in dense traffic and built up a sizable gap. Calling in the No. 10 Cadillac to pit and swap drivers in the final hour, just moments before the race’s final course caution, resulted in Ricky Taylor maintaining a commanding lead for the remainder of the event. Read More >

By on March 13, 2017

citroen meeke wrc rally

In the world of motorsport the World Rally Championship reigns supreme as the event with the most unbelievable crashes and saves. While I don’t want to diminish touring car racing’s ability to mix it up or Formula One’s high-speed, explosive launching of cars, WRC is the only sport that routinely has drivers flying off the track and through obstacles only to return and finish the race — often missing a tire and half of their vehicle’s bodywork.

On the final stage of Rally Mexico, Citroën’s Kris Meeke hit an unexpected bump and took a Sunday drive off the course and into a parking lot, destroying the rear end of a Volkswagen in the process. After avoiding a group of bystanders, he then proceeded to fling the car around some of the most willy-nilly parking I’ve ever seen, return to the track, and win the race by a sizable margin. Read More >

By on January 30, 2017

Rolex 24 Cadillac Victory

Cadillac took a definite “more is more” approach for its return to prototype racing. By handing over its engineering masterpiece, the V8 DPi-V.R, to the distinguished Wayne Taylor Racing, LeMans veteran Massimiliano “Max” Angelelli, and NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon, it assured itself the one-two victory at the Rolex 24 in Daytona.

However, despite an ideal finish, it wasn’t a perfect day for the team. Read More >

By on January 23, 2017

Bernie Ecclestone (Ryan Bayona/Flickr)

Formula One super-magnate and extremely old person Bernie Ecclestone was just ousted from his position as chief executive by Liberty Media — F1’s new owners.

Having bought the company and the voting rights, the American media group’s board of directors designated Chase Carey as Formula One’s new CEO. Unlike Ecclestone, who has been active in motorsport since the 1940s, Carey has a ridiculous mustache and no racing experience whatsoever.  Read More >

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