Tag: Racing

By on November 11, 2020

We’ve featured a Corvette before in this series, as well as two different Indianapolis 500 pace cars, but we’ve never had a single car that combined Corvette and Indy pace car flavors together.

Turns out when that special combination occurred in 1998, it was purp drank and banana colored.

(Read More…)

By on November 2, 2020

Today’s Rare Ride is equally at home on a track or on a road. Lightweight and minimalistic in its approach, the Renault Sport Spider has only the things you need to drive, and nothing else.

Let’s check out this bashful looking sports car.

(Read More…)

By on October 5, 2020

Honda has decided to leave Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season to allegedly focus on electric and fuel-cell development. The company has said F1 hybrid combustion engines didn’t mesh with its plan of realizing “carbon neutrality by 2050” and has opted to leave Red Bull and AlphaTauri in a difficult spot moving forward. They’ll both need to find a replacement engine supplier before the 2022 season while Honda decides where it might make a better environmental impact — settling on IndyCar.

Less than a full weekend after vowing to abandon F1, Honda doubled down on Indy by agreeing to a multi-year extension to continue supplying motors until at least 2023. In fact, Honda Performance Development (HPD) is actively working on a 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid unit, aimed at roughly 900 horsepower, for the sport’s next generation of cars. While we’re pleased to see any manufacturer maintaining its commitment to motorsports, the decision seems at odds with Honda’s plan to pull out of Formula 1 — which has likewise acknowledged a desire to become carbon neutral. Like Indy, F1 is also planning on using hybrid combustion engines for the foreseeable future.

(Read More…)

By on September 29, 2020

While the Rare Rides series has featured a few Lotus vehicles in past, none of them rose quite to the importance of today’s single-seat example. A one-of-one, it’s the car Lotus used in the 1981 Formula One racing series.

And now you can buy it, and drive it on quick jaunts to Target or Cracker Barrel.

(Read More…)

By on September 17, 2020

Rare Rides has featured a few examples of Dodge vehicles which were breathed upon by the legendary Carroll Shelby. We add another entry to the file today, with the largest and most powerful Shelby featured here to date.

It’s a Durango Shelby SP-360 from 1999.

(Read More…)

By on September 14, 2020

Interested in joining Formula 1? We hope you have $200 million handy because that’s the amount you have to pay to enter a new team under the sport’s seventh Concorde Agreement. Signed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the Constructors Association, and existing F1 teams last month, this arrangement exists to help ensure participants remain committed to the sport to offer organizers and broadcasters the ability to maximize marketability.

They also tend to be kept a secret, with only their most general aspects of the deal ever making it out to the public. We already knew that teams would be subject to additional fees through 2025 to prove they were serious about joining while discouraging existing names from exiting the sport. But McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has since confirmed the amount with Racer. Over the weekend he said new entrants would be starring down the barrel of a $200-million fee, adding that the rationale was to avoid diluting the existing prize totals split between teams.

(Read More…)

By on August 31, 2020

Much like the recently featured R-body New Yorker, today’s Magnum was a holdout in an automotive world that had already embraced downsizing and fuel efficiency.

Let’s take a look at a very short-lived coupe nameplate.

(Read More…)

By on August 24, 2020

indy 500. Shutterstock user Jonathan Weiss

Yesterday, I got up, made myself breakfast, ran to the grocery store, and hustled home because I had a date with my television.

Yes, the Indianapolis 500 was finally taking place, months late, and sans fans. The delay and the decision to not allow fans was, as you know, due to the coronavirus pandemic that isn’t just taking lives but also wreaking havoc with large social and sporting events. The list of cancellations and delays is longer than… well, let’s just say it’s long.

The 500 is appointment viewing for me every year, although I’ve missed a few in the past because of other social events or whatnot (hey, it usually takes place Memorial Day weekend). Last year, I dragged myself out of bed in Vegas (figuratively – I watched the race from a prone position in a nice, comfy bed at the Tropicana) for the 8 am West Coast start time. I, and everyone else, was treated to a pretty entertaining race. (Read More…)

By on July 13, 2020

Shelby GT500

I almost turned the invite down.

In early June, Ford lit up my inbox with an invitation to head to Joliet, Illinois, to drive the Shelby GT500 on track at the members-only Autobahn Country Club.

Ah, Joliet – best known for the now-defunct prison featured in The Blues Brothers and other media. Also home of the Chicagoland Speedway, where NASCAR has a Cup race most years, as well as the Route 66 drag strip, which hosts NHRA events. Too bad we couldn’t turn the Shelbys loose on the oval. Or the drag strip. The latter was actually part of the plans. More on that later.

(Read More…)

By on June 11, 2020

NASCAR officially banned the Confederate flag on Wednesday. It will no longer be allowed to appear in regard to any of its corporate properties and fans won’t be able to bring any iconography that might stoke racial tensions or a suspect “yee-haw” from the crowd.

For years, the sport has made unsuccessful efforts to broaden its appeal, so this is hardly a surprise given everything else that’s going on. In fact, an unofficial initiative attempted to ban the flag back in 2015. It never went anywhere, though, and fans continued to arrive with the Stars and Bars in roughly the same numbers.

This time around, the corporate stance is much stronger, and with more public support behind it. Additionally, NASCAR has decided that racing teams will no longer be obligated to stand for the American flag (the supposedly better one) during the national anthem.  (Read More…)

By on May 20, 2020

Grindstone Media Group/Shutterstock.com

I’m a relatively casual racing fan.

Daytona and Indy are appointment viewing for me each year, but the rest of the racing season, I sort of tune in and out as I please.

I used to follow NASCAR more closely, but over the years I’ve drifted away. I suspect that’s because the drivers I grew up watching got old and now either pilot a lounge chair in their living rooms on Sundays, or have a cushy broadcast gig.

(Read More…)

By on April 22, 2020

Bentley

Bentley types are a discerning breed. Well versed in the world of leather and wood and highly respectful of heritage, these people interact with the brand like a museum curator. And the most discerning among them, those who claim to be most committed to preserving all that’s good and pure about the marque, aren’t happy with the automaker’s plan to hit “repeat.”

A present-day automaker churning out copies of a 90-year-old model? Blasphemy! (Read More…)

By on April 14, 2020

Chip Ganassi Racing officials have confirmed the organization’s split with NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (#42). Tuesday’s announcement comes less than two days after Larson was heard uttering a racial slur during an iRacing event held on Easter Sunday. Chip Ganassi Racing previously decided to suspend the driver without pay while it examined the situation. As that probably focused heavily on the public response, its decision to sever the seven-year relationship is hardly surprising.

While technically guilty of the same behavior every random teen with a gaming headset engages in during online play (until you mute them out of frustration), Larson made the rookie mistake of not being fourteen while also having a racing contract and enough NASCAR wins to be considered high profile. If he plans to keep racing within the sport, he’ll be required to attend sensitivity training. NASCAR has also issued an indefinite suspension, citing violations of the organization’s general procedures and member conduct guidelines.  (Read More…)

By on April 13, 2020

American stock car driver and World of Outlaws Sprint car team owner Kyle Larson was caught uttering a racial slur via a hot mic on Easter Sunday. Larson (#42 in the the NASCAR Cup Series) was participating in an online racing event with other professional drivers, streamed via Twitch and eNASCAR, where he suffered a virtual off. Afterward, it seemed like he was having a difficult time with his headset or internet connection. Larson clearly asks whether or not another driver can hear him before casually tossing in America’s least-favorite racial slur, apparently unaware that he was broadcasting on an open channel.

As you might imagine, the response was swift and savage. By Monday, Chip Ganassi Racing had announced it was suspending Larson without pay while it investigates the situation. NASCAR said it would look into the matter before it decides how to act.  (Read More…)

By on April 10, 2020

Last December, we reported that a team piloting a 2015 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG obliterated the standing Cannonball record between New York City and Los Angeles. In March, we also noted that traffic density has declined immensely as a result of the viral pandemic currently gripping the nation — with those two cities seeing larger declines than the already low national averages. You can probably guess where this is going.

Rumors are circulating that a 2019 Audi A8 was prepped to capitalize on the moment, setting a new Cannonball benchmark while (almost) no one was watching. According to Road & Track, a team of at least three equipped a white sedan with auxiliary fuel tanks and set out from NYC’s Red Ball Garage on the night of April 4th. They arrived at the Redondo Beach finish line less than 27 hours later — beating the old record with time to spare.  (Read More…)

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