Tag: Racing

By on January 13, 2017

Toyota Yaris hot hatch

Toyota promised the world a Yaris hatchback that would valiantly rise above the role of a plain-Jane commuter car, and here it is.

Expected to premiere at the Geneva Motor Show this March, the high performance three-door subcompact borrows inspiration, parts, and probably a name from Toyota’s Gazoo racing division.  (Read More…)

By on January 5, 2017

1998 Subaru Impreza WRC; Image: Prodrive

The name Prodrive isn’t one you’ll stumble across every day, and sounds a bit like a company that might offer teen driving courses. However, it’s one of the world’s most successful race car shops, and bests many individual manufacturer efforts.

How successful?

How does six World Rally Championships, four Le Mans wins, five World Endurance Championships, and four British Touring Car Championships victories sound for a start?

But while “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” is the parable that motivates many marques in motorsport, Prodrive sells no road cars.

How does a small, generally unheard of firm compete against the likes of Porsche, Honda, and Ford? Simple — those companies hire Prodrive to run their race programs. (Read More…)

By on January 3, 2017

Formula One USA

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…)

By on December 30, 2016

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You’ve heard a lot in the media about how 2016 has been Literally Hitler Terrible. Princess Leia died. Donald Trump was elected. The McRib only returned in selected markets.

I can’t sympathize with those people. 2016 worked out fine for me, and it was the first year since 2012 that I wasn’t hospitalized for some injury. That doesn’t mean that I’m not resolved to make 2017 even better. Have you made your resolutions yet? If not, I have a few suggestions:

(Read More…)

By on December 28, 2016

ergo

If dying is easier than comedy, then surely driving a race car is easier than building one. Which is why I’m thrilled to have outsourced the management of my Neon and Danger Girl’s MX-5 Cup car; I might be able to win a race now and again, but my attempts to handle the vehicles myself amounted to one long and unmitigated disaster. Since 2014, the Plymouth has been in the capable hands of Jon Shevel at Albany Autoworks. He’s directly responsible for said Neon’s transition from a car that hadn’t started since 2009 and couldn’t pass tech to a podium finish in both SCCA and NASA for 2016.

DG’s MX-5 is now with The Boost Brothers. Check them out, watch their YouTube videos, learn all sorts of stuff about fixing crash repair, welding cracked tubes, swapping out hubs, that sort of thing. Bozi and Bojan have been pulling quite a few overnight shifts getting the car ready for the 2017 American Endurance Racing season. Even better, they’ve made pretty much all of the decisions as to what goes on the car and how everything goes together.

The only major choice that has been left in my hands should be simple enough: we need an FIA-legal race seat to replace the battered UltraShield that came with the car. But when it comes to racing seats, as with so many other things in this world, nothing’s quite as simple as it should be.

(Read More…)

By on December 22, 2016

Ferrari Alfa F1 2016

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…)

By on December 13, 2016

boxster2

Earlier today, I published an article regarding the newest Porsche Club of America auction. Shortly after it went up, I received an email from Vu Nguyen, PCA’s Executive Director. In this email, Mr. Nguyen managed to refrain from calling me an idiot or implying that I could not read contest rules. But this is what he did say:

(Read More…)

By on December 13, 2016

Toyota Yaris Gazoo WRC

As it prepares to return to the World Rally Championship after a 17-year absence, Toyota and its Gazoo racing division just revealed a piece of brain candy for hot hatch lovers.

Making sky-high horsepower from its diminutive four-cylinder, the Toyota Yaris WRC hits the pavement — and dirt and snow — in Monte Carlo next month, but the vehicle itself could spell a less buttoned-down future for the brand. (Read More…)

By on December 5, 2016

NASCAR (public domain)

The old NASCAR adage “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” still temps modern automakers, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t immune to its spell.

After pulling out of stock car racing in 2012 to get its financial house in order, FCA now wants to see the Dodge brand back on the track. (Read More…)

By on December 1, 2016

2017 Cadillac DPi-V.R race c

Cadillac Racing has dutifully fielded entries in the Pirelli World Challenge since 2005, but the automaker’s motorsports division will now return to endurance racing after a 14-year hiatus.

The automaker revealed its 2017 Cadillac DPi-V.R, designed to hit the track in January as an entry in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series Prototype (P) class. Its maiden voyage? The 24 Hours of Daytona — erm, “Rolex 24 At Daytona.”

All of this, of course, is designed to get you into a new CTS. (Read More…)

By on September 29, 2016

Matt's "Black Betty" RX-7

Not every hero gets a statue, and not every brilliant accomplishment gets a plaque. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, and many a spectacular occurrence is forgotten the moment after it happens.

This is the story of a sheetmetal worker who built a car to nearly unimaginable standards of precision and perfection … then decided to walk away from it for reasons that only he can understand.

(Read More…)

By on September 8, 2016

Formula One (Leo Hidalgo/Flickr)

New details about the Formula One purchase trickled out last night after the buyer, Liberty Media Corp., agreed a deal to take over the sport.

The U.S.-based entertainment and telecommunications giant will initially pay $4.4 billion for a controlling stake in the franchise, The Guardian reports, and a familiar white-haired figure will keep his job. (Read More…)

By on September 7, 2016

Bernie Ecclestone (Ryan Bayona/Flickr)

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.

Ecclestone, head of Formula One for the past four decades, says he’s been asked to stay on for three years after the takeover, Reuters reports. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2016

2017 Toyota Corolla iM

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…)

By on August 25, 2016

neon

“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.

(Read More…)

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