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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