Jenson Button (pictured above) and his new wife (not pictured) were the target of apparent Bond villains last weekend after robbers allegedly knocked the couple and their guests out with gas pumped in through the vents and made away with $465,000 in jewelry, the BBC reported.
The Formula One driver, his wife and their guests, who were all staying in St. Tropez, weren’t injured in the robbery. A spokesman for Button muddled things further (emphasis ours):
“The police have indicated that this has become a growing problem in the region with perpetrators going so far as to gas their proposed victims through the air conditioning units before breaking in.”
So you’re saying this happens a lot? That doesn’t sound right.
After Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn said they would have to reassess whether their GT-R LM program was fruitful, the company announced Friday it was pulling the car out of competition.
“We know people will be disappointed, but be assured that nobody is more disappointed than us,” said Shoichi Miyatani, president of NISMO.
The car had struggled in competition this year with one car finishing at Le Mans well behind the leaders, one disqualification and one DNF at the famed race in France. (Read More…)
Topped only by FIFA, the two next-least trustworthy international sports associations have joined forces today to speculate that we could see Formula E cars race through Tokyo streets for the glory of games and country in 2020, according to F1Insider (via Road & Track).
The original report, which was written in German, says FIA executives pitched the idea to Olympic organizers and offered the Formula E cars for competition.
Canadian driver Jacques Villeneuve said he would “definitely” participate and added that 30 years ago tennis wasn’t part of the Olympic program, but now it’s a staple.
But that’s not even the best part.
When was the last time you saw a pretty race car? Maybe I’m turning into Walt Kowalski, but it seems to me that the racing machines of my youth looked nicer. Is there a purer shape than Jim Clark’s Indy 500 winning Lotus 38? Is not the Lola T70 sensuous? Some of Jim Hall’s Chaparrals, like the 2H “vacuum” car and the 2J streamliner with its center mounted high wing look a little odd, but even the 2J has an aesthetically pleasing shape, something you can’t say about a modern Formula One racer, with it’s dizzying array of airfoils, winglets and canards. (Read More…)
Somewhat oddly for the site that used to prioritize being FIRST POST above everything else, Jalopnik was last out of the gate with their review of the Viper ACR. I think it was worth the wait, because it was written by legitimate sports-car-racing hero Andy Lally. You can check it out here. As competent a racer and driver as I think I am, Andy’s obviously on the proverbial next level.
Which is why it made me sad to read one of the story’s last paragraphs.
The final decision on Speed Week will come down July 22, organizers said this week. The Southern California Timing Association, who hosts the event in Utah at the Bonneville Salt Flats near Salt Lake City, said Thursday that they’re still planning on test runs on July 21, ahead of a final determination.
A smaller event was cancelled last week at the salt flats because of poor conditions, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The annual Speed Week event, which has more than 600 racers registered this year already, could become extinct in coming years.
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.
Chances are you probably won’t see this Golf in the Volkswagen showroom anytime soon. Volkswagen Motorsport rolled out its race-tuned Golf on Thursday, built to compete in the Touringcar Racer International Series.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged four, which has been tuned to 330 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque, is mated to a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission and is front-wheel drive.
The huge rear wing, front air dam and side skirts obviously add 15 percent more go-fast.
Guidelines for the new Australian V8 Supercar series outline specifications for its new cars, including an option to use smaller engines for the manufacturers who compete.
According to the racing series, the new platform “allows more flexibility in terms of body style and engine configuration, provided they comply with the regulations. The V8 engine, which has been mandated for more than 20 years, is also expected to continue as the dominant power plant of the sport.”
The guidelines allow for 4-, 6- or 8-cylinder engines, as long as they meet power specifications. The plans also call for a minimum noise limit of 85 to 95 dB. Take that, Bernie.