Category: Racing

By on January 31, 2014

AX diesel Nurburgring record lap 9 55 BTG - YouTube
“It took me a lot of time and patience to achieve a ‘Bridge To Gantry’ lap time under 10 minutes during the tourist drive sessions at the Nordschleife. This challenge was definitely for fun but also to prove it could be done with work, tenacity and a bit of madness too… This TUD3 diesel engine is known for its poor reliability and I went through 9 engines and 5 gearboxes!”

We’re all aware by now how far manufactures go to validate their new sports car by posting a timed YouTube video of their prized new toy, worth at least tens of thousands of dollars, barreling down the Nürburgring at Vmax with some hot shoe driver. The ‘Ring time has started to become a regular, though often misguided, benchmark for how capable a car is.

Now, condense all of that determination, prestige and big-money manufacturer support; strip out the money and prestige, and add determined Frenchman with a diesel Citroën as he battles to break the magical 10-minute mark.

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By on December 20, 2013

Mid West Super Cub at PRI 2013

One of the best things at PRI is a little room, tucked just off the main hall, that usually houses the first-time exhibitors or late entries. This year’s “new arrivals” included an outfit called Midwest Supercub and Midwest Supercub’s line of homemade, alcohol-burning, CNC-milled racing engines. For lawn tractors.

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By on December 18, 2013

Ford Ecoboost Crate Engine

Ford Racing quietly began offering its advanced, 2.0 liter Ecoboost turbocharged 4 cylinder crate engine earlier this year, without much fanfare. All that changed at the 2013 PRI Show in Indianapolis, however, with Ford’s Ecoboost powered 2015 Mustang twirling away on a giant lazy Susan directly under the giant “Ford Racing” banner mere steps away from the small crate engine, displayed proudly with its (relatively hefty) $8,000 price tag.

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By on December 17, 2013

2015 Mustang

I was there when Ford debuted its new-for-1999 Mustang Cobra with its “revolutionary” new independent rear suspension. The IRS was a first for the Ford Mustang, and it was a move that Ford’s brass believed would allow the “new edge” Cobra to compete with cars like the BMW M3 for supremacy in the budget super car market. I also remember the very first question that was asked: Will a Ford 9″ bolt in? It was the first question, right out of the box … and it seems like someone at Ford remembers. The new-for-2015 Mustang is going to hit dealers with a new independent rear suspension late next year, and it seems like Ford Racing will have a 9″ live axle option ready.
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By on December 16, 2013

Porsche-Le-Mans-2014-LMP1-919-9R9-Technik-Details-tL

It’s been 16 years since Porsche competed at the top level of endurance racing at LeMans and it’s been 37 years since a factory Porsche in the LeMans race was powered by a four cylinder engine. Porsche returns to the la sarthe circuit this year with a factory LeMans prototype team, campaigning a car that features a four pot engine, only this time their race car will have something no Porsche car has had at LeMans before. That four cylinder engine will be augmented with a hybrid powertrain. So far Audi and Toyota have raced hybrid prototypes at LeMans. The new Porsche race car will be called the 919, a nod to the hybrid 918 production supercar and to the legendary 917 that gave the company its first overall victory at LeMans in 1970.

“The vehicle name 919 hybrid follows on from the tradition of the Le Mans-winning 917, but it is also with a view to the 918 Spyder, and acknowledges the company’s embarkation into the hybrid future,” Porsche R&D boss Wolfgang Hatz said in a statement. Read More >

By on November 11, 2013

YouTube Preview Image

It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and you can usually tell that something is a practical idea from the number of people who rush to embrace it. Threatened lawsuits over who owns the idea are also a clue that there may be potential in it. When the DeltaWing concept was first introduced at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show as a possible formula for IndyCar, Ben Bowlby’s needle-nosed idea had a lot of skeptical reactions. Now it has imitators including an “exploratory prototype” of a possible production car by Nissan, to be introduced soon at the Tokyo Auto Show. Read More >

By on July 30, 2013

From our friends over at the SCCA Solo program comes this brief film about Mitsubishi Evolution driver Tasha Mikko. It’s a nice feature about a very accomplished young woman, and if you’re kind of confused as to how a ProSolo event runs some of the footage might clear that confusion up for you. Check it out!

By on July 17, 2013

YouTube Preview Image

Ever since someone at Ford decided that it would be a good way to promote their new 1 liter three cylinder EcoBoost engine by dropping a tuned version into a Formula Ford open wheel racecar set up to be street legal they’ve been making sure that the enthusiast world knows about it.

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By on July 5, 2013

Picture courtesy Ausmotive

This weekend will mark the American debut of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series, to be held in conjunction with the ALMS event at Lime Rock Park. The Gallardo LP570-4 spec racers are already running a couple of seconds faster than ALMS GTC. That’s fast.

To encourage gentleman drivers to participate in the new-to-the-States series, Lamborghini has a screaming deal available. But potential emptors should definitely caveat, because there’s some risk involved.

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By on July 5, 2013

Catherham - Picture courtesy racedepartment.com

We may have one of those really rare cases where Formula 1 racing leads to honest, provable new car sales. The UK boutique builder  Caterham “is developing a crossover SUV and a subcompact car with Renault, Chairman Tony Fernandes” told Reuters. The cars should be launched “soon after the first sports cars due in 2016 under the Caterham and Renault Alpine brands,” the wire says. Read More >

By on July 3, 2013

63 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSince I became a Coloradan a few years back, I’ve joined all the other car freaks in the Mountain Time Zone for the annual pilgrimage to the 30th-tallest mountain in the state for the big race. I shared my photos from the year Monster Tajima broke the 10-minute barrier, and from from the year the course became all-asphalt, and now I’ve got some shots from last weekend’s event. Read More >

By on June 29, 2013

Picture courtesy Team Skullcandy

This isn’t quite in time for Father’s Day, mostly because it took me a little bit of time to get permission to use the photos, but these photos of club racer Mark Domo and his son Tyler working the pitlane at the recent Grand-Am Continental Challenge are timeless examples of how motorsports bring generations of men together.

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By on June 24, 2013

Picture courtesy Canberra Times

When Allan Simonsen crashed his Aston Martin in the opening minutes of LeMans and lost his life, it was a brutal reminder of the fact that auto racing has not, despite the vast amount of intelligent effort put into safety and crash survival, lost its power to end a driver’s life.

The precise mechanism of, and reasons for, Mr. Simonsen’s death are not yet known. However, on Sunday night noted racing instructor Peter Krause shared a new article that delves into the risks drivers face and offers reasoned, intelligent explanations as to how these things happen.

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By on June 18, 2013

This video, taken at HyperFest in the Spec E30 class, shows exactly why club racing is so much fun and also why it’s not for everybody. One minute you’re chasing pavements, the next you’re rolling in the deep (grass).

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By on April 18, 2013

Fans of the Acura NSX have long wondered about Ayrton Senna’s personal NSXs. Little information was known, aside from a couple rumors on his Wikipedia page, and a few Youtube videos showing him driving both a red prototype and a white NSX-R.

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