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.
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
If you live in the United States, odds are that you prefer NASCAR over Formula One. However, if you occupy space anywhere else in the world, the opposite is likely true.
Liberty Media, the American company that purchased Formula One for $8 billion earlier this year, is planning to flip the script and revamp the motorsport to better appeal to everyone — especially Yankees.
The strategy revolves around stretching the traditional weekend of practice, qualifying, and actual race into a full week’s worth of events and coverage, aping the stock car strategy of turning a single competition into an automotive Burning Man. (Read More…)
FCA and Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne said that he would love to see Alfa Romeo returning to the Formula 1 Championship with its own team, provided that they are never, ever as good as Scuderia Ferrari. Instead of being a genuine F1 contender, he imagines Alfa as the junior varsity team designed to condition future talent for its big-league brother.
“Alfa Romeo in F1 could become a fine breeding ground for young Italian drivers,” Marchionne said after announcing GP2’s Antonio Giovinazzi as Ferrari’s new third driver at the company’s annual Christmas media event. “For that very reason we are thinking about bringing it back, as our competitor, to racing, to Formula One. It’s important for Alfa to return.” (Read More…)
Automotive athletes tend to age a little better other sports figures. While Formula 1 drivers tend to be a little younger, the average NASCAR driver is in their late thirties. That means racing retirement can be delayed well-past the comparative norm for an Olympic boxer or linebacker in the NFL.
However, every sport seems to share the common theme of athletes’ complete inability to remain retired after making a public announcement that they were packing it in. (Read More…)
While the general populace will likely remain confused, automotive enthusiasts will now be able to differentiate between Audi’s all-wheel-drive system and its performance sports car subsidiary.
The company has officially taken its Quattro GmbH division and renamed it Audi Sport GmbH. Quattro (which means four) will now only refer to the all-wheel drive system and Sport (which means sport) will denote the high-performance RS cars, Audi-exclusive customization, and customer motorsport. (Read More…)
Toyota is pondering using its Gazoo Racing unit as a performance brand for future road cars, not unlike BMW’s M Division and Mercedes-AMG.
The timing couldn’t be better, as it was really starting to seem like Toyota was intentionally trying to make itself the least-exciting brand in the world. The Supra vanished in North America by 1998, the MR2 followed suit after 2005, the underwhelming seventh generation Celica came and went with no replacement, and Toyota Racing Development seemed unhealthily fixated on the off-roading capabilities of the Tacoma.
Thankfully, it looks like the company is finally coming to its senses.
The fine folks over at The Atlantic (yeah, the fancy magazine) have posted a 5-minute short film on the experience that is LeMons. We love it.
(Spot fellow TTAC scribe Murilee Martin in the robe at 1:45.)
For the uninitiated, it’s a expertly captured glimpse at the personalities that make home-grown racing the best kind of racing. For the car nut, the film serves as motivation to get out and work on your race mongrel — now. (Read More…)
The fraternity of automotive journalism was atwitter when blue Polestar Volvos arrived at the Chicago auto show last year. While the cars delivered increased performance and looks to match, Polestar also gave the high-performance Swedish offerings credibility with racing programs in Scandinavia (STCC) and Australia (V8 Supercars).
It’s no secret, though, that Volvo’s marketing head, Alain Visser, sees no future for the brand in motorsport. Purchasing Polestar might be the Swedish manufacturer’s way of ending at least one of its racing contracts while still holding on to the blue-hot Polestar brand.
Speaking with Swedish media late last year, Visser plainly stated, “Motorsport does not conform with our brand, where we stand for smaller engines and safety. We are therefore pulling out of STCC, for example, as soon as the contracts permits.”
Volvo has purchased Swedish high-performance tuner Polestar, the automaker announced Tuesday. The company will own and operate Polestar as an in-house performance division much like Ford’s SVT division or Subaru’s STI group (anything other than another Mercedes-AMG or BMW M Division reference).
You could be forgiven for thinking Volvo owned Polestar already — the Swedish automaker already exclusively contracted with the Swedish tuner in 2013 to produce the V60 and S60 Polestar editions and the two have worked together since the 1990s.
Volvo said in the medium-term it would double output of Polestar branded cars — which could mean more than 80 sedans and 40 wagons a year coming to the United States.
Next year’s Formula 1 season may have 21 races, including the first in Azerbaijan and a race in Germany after this year’s planned event was cancelled.
The provisional calendar for F1 was released Friday with 21 races scheduled, the same number of races on last year’s provisional calendar. The race on the streets in Baku, Azerbaijan this year would be dubbed the European Grand Prix and could be held in July.
The 2016 season would begin in Australia in April and end in Abu Dhabi in November.