Longtime Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone will remain involved with his beloved sport, even after an imminent takeover by a U.S.-based media company.
A group of Toyota engineers clearly had time to kill this summer, but at least they spent it with one of their products.
For whatever reason, members of the automaker’s Michigan research and design team took a stock Corolla iM (formerly the Scion iM) and entered it into a rally, possibly just to see what would happen. Then they entered it into another. (Read More…)
“Should I start racing with NASA, or should I build a car for SCCA?” That used to be the most common question that I heard from would-be novice racers. Nowadays, though, those two sanctioning bodies aren’t even in the picture. Today’s novice racer is looking at LeMons, Chump, WRL, and my personal favorite, American Endurance Racing. It’s easy to understand why. If you start racing with the SCCA or NASA, you’ll either need to be capable of doing everything yourself soup-to-nuts, or you’ll need a crew, whether volunteer or paid.
With the new endurance-racing series, you get five other dudes together (or, in the case of my AER team, four other dudes and one chick) and — PRESTO! — you’ve got a team, a crew, and a way to split the expenses six ways instead of, uh, one way. I know a fair number of people who have left NASA or SCCA to focus exclusively on street-tire enduros, but I’m not ready to follow them just yet. I like sprint races. I like being solely responsible for my success (or failure) on the track. I hate not being able to split the costs but I also like the fact that cars last a lot longer when you run them two hours a weekend instead of twenty.
This weekend, NASA is holding a race at Mid-Ohio. Danger Girl will be there driving her Fiesta in HPDE since her race car is still being prepped in Memphis. I’ll be there as well, to help her out a bit, say hi to people, and serve as random crew for people who need a hand. But I won’t be racing, because I’ve been banned. And, I have to say, it was my fault.
If the one thing stopping you from buying an Abarth-spec Fiat model is the nagging question of whether you’ll get free track time out of the deal, consider your question answered.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced yesterday that anyone buying or leasing a Fiat 124 Spider Abarth or 500 Abarth model has a year to sign up for the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, free of charge. Your tiny turbo won’t know what hit it. (Read More…)
R.I.P. victory lap burnouts? It sure looks that way.
NASCAR seems to have reached a tipping point in its tolerance of post-race victory burnouts, some of which damage the vehicle enough to interfere with the post-race inspection process. After an incident last weekend, the organization says it might have to lay down rules, Autoblog reports. (Read More…)
In old mystery novels, it’s usually the butler, gardener or maid that police nab for committing a dastardly crime. In 21st Century São Paulo, Brazil, it’s the helicopter pilot.
After rescuing Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law from kidnappers earlier this week, Brazilian authorities arrested the racing tycoon’s pilot on suspicion of involvement, the BBC reports. (Read More…)
Brazilian media sources say kidnappers are demanding a huge ransom for the safe return of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law.
The São Paulo kidnapping of Aparecida Schunck, mother of Ecclestone’s wife Fabiana Flosi, was reported in Veja and Globo, according to the BBC. The assailants are asking for $36.5 million. (Read More…)
Moneymoneymoneymoney … Money!
“GO RACING ON A BUDGET!” It’s the go-to headline of a thousand magazine covers. When you see that headline, you can be assured of several things: the cost of labor will never be mentioned; nobody’s time is worth anything; nothing ever breaks, fails, or requires early replacement; and certain costs, like transportation and storage, will simply disappear without comment from the final accounting.
Today, I’d like to change all that. I’d like to tell you what this past weekend cost me, and what I got for my money. I’m doing this because I think some of you are interested in going racing, and the rest of you are simply amused when I suffer, whether physically or fiscally.
Remember the ‘N’ Division, Hyundai’s effort to bring attainable performance to its buyers? No?
Hyundai launched the division last September, three years after it created Project RM (Racing Midship) to test high-performance technology for use in future vehicles. So far, the division hasn’t yielded a production vehicle, but the automaker appears to be getting closer. (Read More…)
It beats hooning your mom’s Honda Odyssey.
A teenager took the top spot in the first three races of the Toyota 86 Racing Series this past weekend, beating back the 38 entrants in the fledgling event.
Former kart champion Cameron Hill’s win is exactly what Toyota had in mind when it crafted the three-year series. Designed as an entry point for up-and-coming drivers, the series pits up to five professional drivers against a field of amateurs, with training being top of mind. (Though a $125,000 prize pool sweetens the deal). (Read More…)
The complaint most often tossed at Formula 1 is that despite being the (alleged) pinnacle of motorsports, its relevancy to road cars has disappeared.
That same feeling is what brought us to the current formula of tiny 1.6-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engines, all coupled to a complex hybrid system. Since that move, the racing series has focused more on engine development that in almost any era before, and with that comes a breakthrough in the way we look at thermal efficiency. (Read More…)
If you missed your chance getting into a limited edition Ford GT supercar last week, your EcoBoost-powered dreams might not be over.
Why should Nissan have all the stealthy sport crossover fun?
That’s the view of Toyota C-HR chief engineer Hiroyuki Koba, who is seeking approval for a hotter version of the upcoming crossover, Autocar reports.
First teased as a Scion concept, the 2017 C-HR bowed earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, adopting a new brand name after Toyota took its youth-oriented division behind the barn for a date with death. (Read More…)
If you didn’t think an electric car could stall, Volkswagen has a Golf-sized dose of reality for you.
That, Jeep’s Compass/Patriot successor wants to woo south of the Equator, General Motors gets some good legal news, there’s money in them there charging stations, and Volvo gets a PR boost … after the break!