Monday, January 31, 2011

Renault reveals its "Brave new design" in the R31

Title says it all really, Renault popped out it's interesting take on a 2011 Formula One contender. This has been quite anticipated by myself as Renault has been sneaking us the idea with their "brave new design" claim. Honestly, at first glance, it's not too "brave" but with closer examination, this claim may have some merit to it. 

I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Howmet TX

Since I was talking about it in my Daytona 24 Hours post, I figured a car as cool as the Howmet TX really deserves more then just one line in a blog post. I am after all a nerdy engineering student and this is what engineers would refer to as a "technical wet dream"


What the 24 Hours of Daytona is now, and what it means for American road racing

As I am sure you all know, today will be the start of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. 

Since 1962, the 24 Hours of Daytona has been arguably one of the greatest American road races and one of the greatest on the planet as well. If you have the ability, go into your living room and flip on the TV and catch some of this glory, if you don't then you are like me and your life currently sucks.

All that is beside the point though, as my title suggests, I'm going to talk about what road racing is and what the Daytona 24 Hour means to endurance racing.

In its past, the Daytona 24 used to spawn some amazing racing and even more spectacular cars. Cars like the ingenious Howmet TX turbine powered racer, Porsche 917's, 962's, Ford GT40's and Jaguar XJ9's. Today it's all spec cars like Daytona Prototypes, GT car's which aren't even real cars. There was once a time when real sports car's, such as the Ferrari Daytona (good name, I know) and Corvette driven by Dale Earnhardt rubbed paint for 24 hours. And yes, Corvette won in 2001, OVERALL

Nowadays though, Grand-Am has taken over Daytona. Grand-Am is closely tied to NASCAR and that should really explain it all. What that has done is taken it's responsibility to cut costs and control competition (sound familiar FIA?). What that gives us it cheapo Daytona Prototypes, and tube-framed GT cars. They've lit the track, destroying the purpose of night-racing.

Also with the coming of Grand-Am marked the end of IMSA and prior to that, World Sports car Championships, this cleared all interests from the international crowd and consequently, international drivers.

In it's effort to cut cost's, Grand-AM also allowed for car's to be built out tent-poles. Car's like the Turner BMW M6 and the Mazda RX8's are spaceframe chassis with carbon-fiber body panels bolted on. In fact, the M6 is actually a Pontiac GTO. Now which would you rather watch, the great Sports cars of the past or go-karts with body panels on them?

Don't get me wrong though, you should still watch the Daytona 24 Hour's. Sure it's not what it used to be, but it's a hell of a lot better then NASCAR and its still real road racing. It's still a 24 hour race and everyone knows, there isn't anything much better then a 24 hour race. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Audi R18 spotted testing at Sebring

on top all these pics, if you want some awesome car pics, check out this awesome photo stream.

Source: RacerEVO

Ferrari's new pickup truck, nose job, grand prix racer

Yep, there it is, Ferrari's new F150 F1 car is named after 150 years of Italy being united or something . Not after the best selling american pickup.

There's not much to say besides it's got a huge schnoz and appears to lack a rear undertray diffuser.

Ferrari has said though that the actual car set to race at Bahrain isn't going to look anything like this, lets hope so.

More pics  & video after the break

Source: Ferrari

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pagani Huayra just as ugly as anticipated

Just as we all were not hoping for; the leaked pics of the "Paganini HYAA" (Pagani Huayra) were all too accurate. The new Zonda Successor is almost painful to look at. I mean, come on; the damn thing looks like a fish. I guess it's not all bad though. I suppose if you just put your hand over the front of it, the rest of the car looks alright.

It's got all kinds of weird flaps and wings and crap, it's even gullwing doors. Sounds complicated.

Performance wise, this new car kick ass. It's sporting a twin-turbo'd 6.0 liter 12-cylinder AMG powerplant, set to chuck out a good 700  brake HP and 740 pound-feet of torque. All that will be sent to the ground through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Couple that with a weight of just under 3,000 pounds – aided by copious amounts of carbon fiber – and you have the makings of a 21st century rear-wheel drive rocket ship.

Click after the break to see some photos of this beast.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another F1 circuit bites the dust

It's official, after 2015, the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne will cease to exist. 

To me, it comes as no surprise. The mayor of Melbourne: Lord Robert Doyle has said it's just not cost effective anymore. On top of that the state of Victoria's new premier Ted Baillieu admitted that the millions of dollarts per on the year taxpayer's bill for the race will need to be reduced.

Basically, it's another case of good ol Bernie Ecclestone effing things up again.

With all that, lets tally up what we've got so far.

Spa-Francorchamps--more then likely to be done
Singapore GP--in danger
Turkish GP -- also in danger

So what does that mean? Is it really just getting too expensive for everyone? Are we going to have an F1 calender of 18 races at Yas Marina and Monaco?

Source: SpeedTV

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why Lancia is the greatest Rally team ever.

Oh Group B, how awesome you were, till the FIA had to totally go an F**k you too. With the demise of Group B, came the demise of the greatest rally team ever: Lancia. This italian car-manufacturer carried 10 Championships in rallying, 6 of those were consecutive.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hugo Chavez buys an F1 team

Yes, you read that correctly. After Williams F1 signed Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado, the team followed uwith a long-term sponsorship deal with Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA.

The Venezuelan company has pledged to give millions and millions of dollars to the cash-strapped F1 great, this giving the South-American dictator something to be proud of.

Williams was left in a sticky situation after the Royal Bank of Scotland decided to pull the plug on the team. After that, Williams looked to the worlds fifth largest oil exporter for help. PDVSA has been rumored to inject somewhere around $14 million dollars.

Source: ESPN F1

Cadillac CTS-V coupe really does look at home on the track

After the new Cadillac CTS-V coupe racer debuted at the Detroit Auto show, I was left stunned, then GM had to drop these purely pornographic picture on my face.

Just this last week the Cadillac's CTS-V Coupe SCCA World Challenge GT racecar was spotted as it was being given a good shaking by drivers Johnny O'Connell and Andy Pilgrim at Sebring International Raceway.

more pics after the break.

Whats this? A new Ferrari? and finally a new post too?!?

Finally, the moment we have all been waiting for, after all the spyshots, and speculation, the Maranello gang's got their newest prancing horse to add to the stable and boy do we have news for you; it's a hatch-back?

Detail, pics and video after the break.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

time for contemplation

There are very few drivers who deserve the respect and honor more then Ayrton Senna. If you're not familiar with who he is, you're missing out.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

P4/5 Competizione is art in motion: a study in carbon fiber

Finally after much anticipation, the ProTo built Glickenhaus P4/5 Competizione got a chance to stretch its legs on a go-kart track in Torino yesterday. Personally I think the car is more of a study in art with its "form before function" design but I'm not complaining. Watching the build pics of this thing was like looking at porn. Never have I seen carbon fiber in such a beautiful setting.

The modified F430 is built by Jim Glickenhaus, a man with his own history of building his personal recreations of historical cars; obviously this car pulls its inspiration from the great Ferrari 330 P4.

It's set to run in the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans under an American Flag, but as I said earlier, I feel a little skeptical because if you look at the roll-cage design, that's not exactly going to allow for speedy driver changes. 

More pics after the break.

Oh Hai!

Behold, the wonderful backside of the Toyota 7. This turbo'd behemoth was designed to compete under the FIA Group 7, more specifically the 1968 Japanese Grand Prix. With a 3.0 liter V8 and two turbo's the size of the forest moon of Endor, the Toyota 578A, as it was more properly known, was a mind-numbing 800HP beast.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Formula One report shows at least half the teams are struggling to stay afloat. Is the sport living on borrowed time?

According to an analysis by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, only four out of the 12 teams on the Formula one grid have secure, stable budgets. 

These four teams; Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes are secure from a financial point of view while the remaining teams are fighting for survival.

The German motorsports news page cited HRT as the team at the bottom of the pecking order with a budget of EUR 40 million and 120 employees. On the other end, Red Bull Racing has spent 330 Million annually. Other back-marker teams are barely scraping by as well with Virgin at 60M, Lotus 70M and William, Toro Rosso, and Force India each going on 80M a year.

Former Italian driver, Artuto Merzario thinks the sport is running on borrowed time before it collapses in on itself. "It will go back to being a sport for only a few car manufacturers" is what the driver told La Repubblica in an interview.

With HRT's split from FOTA, and Red Bull allegedly overspending, it makes me wonder if what Merzario says may have some merit to it.

But we all know how I feel about Formula One's economic standings.
Source: SpeedTV

Derek Gardner; designer and innovator

Excuse my tardiness. 

Derek Gardner, the man best known for designing the innovative 6-wheeled Tyrell P34 Formula One car passed away January 7, 2011 at the age of 79 in Lutterworth, England.

From his beginnings as a transmission specialist, Gardner proved to be quite the innovator in the field; developing such radical ideas as 4-wheel drive Formula One cars like the Ferguson P99 in 1961. Eventually, Gardner was recruited by Ken Tyrell. From there, his first car he developed was the Tyrell 001 which he built in his home garage. The 001 debuted in the 1970 Canadian Grand Prix grabbing pole position with the great Jackie Steward behind the wheel. Eventually, Gardner's Tyrell 003 and 006 powered Jackie Stewart's world championships in 1971 and 1973. 

In 1975, Gardner developed his most daring idea yet; the Tyrell P34.  Noticing a loophole in the regulations, Gardner took advantage and designed a car with 6 wheels, 2 drive wheels and 4 steering wheels in the front. The front wheels were smaller to reduce frontal area while increasing the contact patch thereby increasing mechanical grip.  The car took the 1976 Swedish Grand Prix by storm with Jody Scheckter taking the wheel.

In 1977, Gardner left Formula One, taking a position as director of Borg-Warner's R&D division.

Now as a tribute, soak in the madness of 6 wheeled performance.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Red Bull Formula One might be in it deep for possible overspending.

So apparently there is some kind drama happening in Formula One, a rare occurrence as we all know.. not. FOTA is suspicious of Christian Horner and his fellows of exceeding the agreed 2010 spending cap. 

The so called "Resource restriction agreement".  was a mutually agreed upon spending ceiling of 100 Million Euro on external contracts, salaries and infrastructure for the 2010 season. Italy's Gazzetta Dello Sport is claiming Red Bull spent some 160 Million Euro in their pursuit of the 2010 double championship. 

With all that, you're probably wondering the punishment for overspending, one could only assume it would be a $30 bazillion fine. Nah, for once FOTA actually thought about this and the punishment , any overspending from one season needs to be subtracted from the following season's agreed upon budget, Red Bull would need to limit itself to 40 Million in 2011.... you know that's not happening.

1982-1992: the years Formula One took a back seat.

From 1982 to 1992, the 24 Hours of Le Mans drew spectator crowds of more then 600,000 every spring to the French countryside; more then any other motorsports event in history. During this period, Le Mans grew and even surpassed Formula One in viewer interest.

The reasons were simple, these were the days of the mighty Group C. Days when it wasn't Ferrari or McLaren that dominated the news headlines, instead it was teams like Porsche, Lancia, Jaguar, Mercedes and even Madzda that took the cake. Teams like these were building machines that pounded the asphault of the Mulsanne at speeds of over 250 mph.

These were arguably the greatest days of racing, the golden years. The era saw more technological advancement then any other period. Cars like the Lancia LC2, Porsche 956, and the Jaguar XJR's were driven by real men. Men of the likes of Jackie Ickx and Derek Bell. Team like this were captained by the greatest of minds, like that of the late Tom Walkinshaw. These minds were pioneers of the sport, designing cars that even today, stand as engineering marvels. Without them modern day Formula One would be nothing.

Today, all that remains of the Group C are relics sitting in museums and private collections. Even still though, simply a whisper of the phrase "Group C" is enough to send shivers down the spine of any true race fan.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Soldier Boy vs Bow Wow worst drag race ever

As can be seen below, Soldier Boy is a terrible driver. Im pretty sure you aren’t supposed to lift repeatedly in a drag race. Also, drag racing Lamborghini’s in a residential area, probably not the best idea either. 10 Bucks says Bow Wow or Soldier Boy will crash one of their cars in the next 12 months. This is a great reminder that just cause you can buy it, doesn’t mean you can drive it.

EDIT: So, I just discovered that he has indeed crashed his Lambo. Good job dude. Way to go.

Wow. Porsche 918 RSR is sex on wheels. Clean, green, sex.

Breaking news from the Detroit auto show today. Porsche unveiled an amazingly well kept secret: the brand spankin new Porsche 918 RSR.

read more about it below.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Save the Ring! Here's how

We all know about the Nurburgring; after all it's only one of the greatest race-circuits ever conceived by man.

What you may not know is that it is in significant danger of being lost.

What's happened is the German government as well as a group of private investors has been attempting to turn the 'Ring into a Huge theme park. This was done based on false visitor statistics claiming millions of visitors a year when the truth is that Nurburgring is a ghost town most of the time. Once promised as private investment, it is now based on a debt of 350+ million EUR public money. With all that debt, it's in major danger of caving in on itself.

On top of that dozens of events are planned every year at Nurburgring, none of them having to do with Motorsports

As the official Save The Ring page says, what needs to be done is:

What needs to be done?
  • Seperate Nordschleife from ring park.
  • Let  the Nürburgring be used for motorsport.
  • Value the great heritage and tradition, rather than roller coasters.
How can you help to Save The Ring?
  • Tell your friends and spread the word, join us on Facebook (30.000 supporters in 3 weeks!)
  • Keep yourself informed and question the official Nürburgring (= Lindner/Richter) communication.
  • NEW: Sign the Online Petition drected to the European Commission (2.000 signatures in 2 days!)
  • Write to European Commissioner Joaquín Almunia (joaquin.almunia [at]
  • When visiting the Ring, support local family businesses.
  • Help to raise our voice, contribute ideas and actions, let's save the 'Ring!

This is a cause worth fighting for if you ask me.

Sources: Save The Ring & Save The Ring Facebook

New Pagani teaser shows absolutely nothing

You've heard about it, I've got it. The old Pagani C9 has a real name now.

It's called the "Huayra" (pronounced "Paganini HYAAAR!" according to no one but me) which is something in some old language which means wind; which is consistent with Pagani's past history of car names.

Personally, I think it's ugly as sin.

Here ya go!

pics in the link

More shots of the Ferrari 612 Successor

Okay first things first, DON'T SUE ME AUTOBLOG! I DIDN'T MEAN NO HARM!!

Now that I've go that out of the way; obviously the folks over at Autoblog have managed to get some actually decent shots of the new Ferrari test mule. This thing has been talked about for almost a year now. 

The new Ferrari 612 successor is rumored to be All-wheel drive, a first for the prancing horse. Also, the design is allowing for a hybrid drivetrain sometime in the future, most likely based off the Hy-KERS concept if you ask me. It's also going to retains its 2+2 configuration as well as its front-mounted V12. Though it'll be adopting direct-injection and a lot more horses, 600+ so they say. Also a dual-clutch gearbox will be bolted on to bring the car into the new decade.

What's really got people wondering is if it's a coupe or a hatchback. Spyshots would suggest hatchback but is  it legit or just a clever guise on Ferrari's part?

more pics in the link.

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Johnny O'Connell trading in his Corvette for a flashy, pimpin, old man Caddy

When Mr. Johnny O announced he was leaving the keys to the 'vette behind to pursue a new career with the returning Cadillac racing team, I wasn't sure what to expect. I've really been praying that his new ride will be as bomb-tastic as the mighty C6R. Turns out, all my prayers were answered.

Click something down here to see pics and stuff.

"You watch Formula One? You elitist..."

So back from my hiatus, might as well start with a bang. Ready for some blasphemy?

It's pretty well known that I've been a Formula One fan for, long enough to matter; I remember the day's when nobody watched F1 because we all knew Schumacher would just win.. so since '04? Those were the days when it the sport was really evolving, from a men and machines being pushed to the edge of insanity, to a political battleground.

Unfortunately, as every season progresses, the latter becomes more and more prevalent over the former. Why? Well, if you ask me a lot of it has to do with this rich asshole:

Yes, Bernie Ecclestone, head of the FOM, yes that is a real picture of him (no it's not) holding a the world encrusted with gold in his hands.. damn elitist.

After the 2009 season, I stopped watching Formula One because, it kinda started to suck. The FIA really turned the tables on the teams, changing all kinds-o-regulations and such. Perhaps coincidently, or maybe not, Both Honda and Toyota pulled their F1 teams of the grid because it was just too much money.

Two of the biggest automotive manufacturers in the world, both with incredibly rich & successful motorsport histories pulled out because it was too much money. What the hell?

It's well known that F1 is the most expensive sport in the the world, with billions and billions of dollars poured into the sport every season. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? In my opinion, its great in the sense that it is also the most prestigious form of motorsport and it's the pinnacle of racing and "automotive" technology; but its not so great in the sense that a lot of the money spent doesn't go to those things. 

I don't know exact numbers, but from what I understand more money goes into just politics then anything. It's not just the teams, its the everyone involved in the sport. Here is a number I do know, the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang cost the owners $45.7 million dollars, U.S. Dollars. In fact, just to be registered as a potential Grand Prix circuit costs upwards of $5 million. Consequently, most track cant front the cost, in fact Spa-Francorchamps might not be back on the F1 calendar after 2011 due to a $9 million debt. China and Turkey are in the same boat.

Where does all this money go? It shouldn't cost that much to host a race?

On top of that, according to some 2003 numbers, F1 teams spent a whopping  $2,141,100,000. with the top teams spending more then 11 times the lower teams. Interesting isn't it. To me it seems like it's just a competition to who can spend the most money thereby winning the most races; even former FIA President agrees.

Like I mentioned earlier, this is great because teams are spending a lot of that on research and development which trickles down to their production vehicle, right? Maybe not, teams are pumping millions and millions of dollars into technology that will probably never make it onto any road-going vehicle. Think about it, how many cars are going to have engines that rev to 19000 RPM, and $40,000 steering wheels? On top of that millions of dollars are spent on running model shops and huge wind-tunnels 24/7. All of that provides for fascinating things like the F-duct, wing stalling, deflecting front wings.. etc. But nobody besides an engineer cares, the average race fan just wants to watch some good racing. wind-tunnels and multi-million dollar budgets don't effect viewing pleasure.

With all that money, I have often times found myself far more fascinated by more grassroots racing. ALMS, Rolex, SCCA, they have all managed to steer clear of all the bullshit. Without all that, it's still some of the most exciting racing in the world if you ask me.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A video showing the days of when real men raced.

It seems like a lot of race fans these days have nearly forgotten the days of the Group B racing. Though it was only a short 4 years of racing history, it seems that once someone has discovered the magic, they're addicted. Group B racing is truly captivating to all ages.

It was a period when giants roamed the earth. From 1982 to 1986, people cheered on the likes of Lancia, Audi, Renault, and Peugeot pound the roads at triple digit speeds. Even the greats like Ferrari and Porsche, companies comfortable sticking to the asphalt, put their names on the line with legends such as the 288 GTO and 959. These cars were monsters, lightweight, fire-breathing (farting) monsters that sounded as though the devil himself had put his soul into these cars.

Accidents were far too common with these behemoths; consequently, the FIA banned Group B cars in 1986. Still, forever in our hearts will these have a spot.

Source: YouTube

Sunday, January 2, 2011

American Top Gear: my personal analysis

So when I first heard that there was going to be an American version of what is arguably the greatest TV series to ever have graced my television, I have to admit, I was skeptical. Nevertheless, maybe it was still worth giving a chance.

And my conclusion is:

It's shit!! Good shit, but shit nonetheless.

Just hear me out on this. What makes the BBC's Top Gear so great? In my opinion, its a combination of excellent artistic taste, great camera work, awesome cars, creative challenges, and of course, last but not least the graceful/hilarious presence of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. With all those attributes, it makes the show enjoyable to anyone. Whether or not the viewer is a gear-head or not, it's irrelevant; the show is enjoyable to all viewers. You can just have a laugh at it or be enthralled by it even if you know absolutely nothing about cars. In the end thats why so many people love it, so how does the American broadcast differ?

We'll all the attributes that the British broadcast that I listed above, the American show lacks. 

First off, the hosts; I freakin hate that Adam Ferrera guy, him and his tough-guy, Brooklyn/New Jowsey accent drive me up the wall. He tries hard to be funny and it's obvious, thereby killing it. It's also clear he know little to nothing about cars.

Second is Rutledge Wood, I'm not really sure what to think of this guy considering how he's a redneck hipster but if I had to put a finger on it, I would say I like him, in a platonic way of course. He's actually pretty funny. What I do know about him, is that he's actually a racing analyst for SpeedTV; this gives him some cool points.

Of course that leaves us with Tanner Foust. This guy has loads of respect from me as far as motorsports is concerned. In all honesty, this guy has more driving skill then all three of the British host do combined. He is incredibly well recognized and very successful in the motorsports world. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean he is a good show host. Everything he says, it seems like he's just reading of a teleprompter. 

The show itself just isn't that good when it is in a side-by-side comparison with the BBC broadcast. The challenges seem all too familiar and the cars are kinda lame, the most exciting was when they had Lamborghini Murciélago LP670-4. Finally, why the hell cant they keep the camera straight? It's hella annoying when all every shot seems like it was taken in the middle of a war. 

The big star in a little car: lame. Why do they need a Stig when they have Tanner Foust? 

All in all, I think the show would be a lot better if it wasn't called "Top Gear". It doesn't live up the expectations of being called that. Sure its probably a lot better then Motorweek but so is watching grass grow. I'll just say its the best American Car Show for now.

Rant end.