Pretty much everyone in this world has a different idea about a dream job; but everyone who visits TopSpeed probably dreamed about being “racecar driver” some day. Many of us still have that wish.
But racing is not a practical career ambition for most, so what to do?
Being a Transporter like Jason Statham might be fun, but the risk of death from a drive-by shooting is quite high. So what is a real-life supercar and track junky left to envision?
Luckily, there are many other options for how to get paid for driving fast. At least in Italy at the country’s famed supercar brands.
Being a professional test racer for Lamborghini or Ferrari is pretty close to the bulls-eye dream job for would-be racers.
Consistency and feedback on every aspect is mandatory, and hard to do. It also really helps if you grew up within walking distance of the Ferrari or Lambo compounds in Italy.
While most of us will only dream about this, Lamborghini ’s test driver Giorgio Sanna gives us a day in his life.
Sanna is Lamborghini’s chief R&D and motorsport test driver, so nothing ships without his settings and preferences applied to production cars. He must be quite busy with the Cabrera still under heavy wraps.
For a peek behind the curtain at one of the world’s coolest jobs, Lamborghini ’s driver profile video is a great piece. It shows his best talents as well as highlighting all the hard work that goes along with burning rubber professionally.
The things people do when they have a lot of time to themselves range from the inane to the genius. Drift Alliance driver, Ryan Tuerck, will never be confused for a rocket scientist, but the man is, at least in this particular case, a bonafide genius.
Together with his Drift Alliance teammate Chris Forsberg, Ryan took the game of H-O-R-S-E and put a different spin to it. Actually, he took the game, used a different word, and proceeded to make it more awesome than any of us could have imagined.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting The Game of D-R-I-F-T.
The mechanics remain the same, at least for the most part. One driver does a stunt, then the other copies it and when he can’t, he gets the letter D. The end happens when one spells D-R-I-F-T similar to H-O-R-S-E in basketball.
Both Tuerck and Forsberg used Nissan 240SX drift cars, so nobody has any kind of advantage when it comes to the car. By the end of the video, though, you’ll discover that one of these two just completely obliterates the other in a series of stunts that are too cool to describe.
No true automotive junky can channel surf past Top Gear without at least stopping for a few minutes. Even if you can’t stand the show; the cars are bad ass, the driving is borderline insane, and Jeremy Clarkson’s snarly, sarcastic and brash attempts at humor are downright unsettling. That’s pretty much exactly what we love about the show.
Well, this extremely popular show – now watched in 212 territories around the world – has officially been named the “Most Watched Factual TV Program” by Guinness World Record. As expected, Jeremy Clarkson was front and center to accept the award with the rather bland “I am very proud to be associated with such a factual program” statement. Oh Jeremy, you are man of so many words…
Regardless of the “Eh, whatever” response, we tip our hats to the empire the Clarkson and his cohorts have built since 1977.
We tried finding out who owned the record before Top Gear, but the record seems to not exist in the 2012 edition of the book… Hm, interesting… We did, however, find out that you can submit your own world record. We wonder if there is a weird publicity stunt behind all of this. Nah, they would never…
Plus, Clarkson just looks oh so happy holding that plaque in the press image.
If there is one person that knows the Nürburgring, it is Sabine Schmitz. No, she’s not some crazy test driver that is hired to test all of the latest and greatest sports cars. Rather, she was once known as the `Ring Taxi, as she was responsible for driving an M5 around the ring to pick up drivers whose cars had either broken down or wrecked. She claims that she has circled the famed racetrack over 20,000 times. Yeah, we think she is an expert.
Well, she is now taking to driving new cars around the track, since retiring from taxiing around racecar drivers (and wannabees). Her latest test was of the soon-to-be-released Exagon Furtive-eGT , which is a French-built EV. It’s claimed to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.5 seconds and hit an electronically limited 155 mph top speed (179 mph without the limiter). So, how did it actually perform?
Schmitz came back with rave reviews on this EV. She is quoted saying “I was very surprised about the grip and the power” and that “you’re [going] fast, but it feels like you are going so easy.” She went on to rave about the brakes and suspension systems too, saying that it’s like “sitting on a cloud.” She also talked about how it has an extremely low center of gravity, which is something that she doesn’t often see in a car like this.
From the sounds of it, the Furtive-eGT is a smash hit, but we won’t know until it officially hits the market. We don’t know exactly when it will go on sale or if it will be available in the U.S., but we do know that it’ll make its debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
This may finally be the competition that Tesla has been lacking to date, but we’ll see. It is certainly off to a good start.
Criminals are all too often not the brightest bulbs in the pack and this usually results in them using something like a 1989 Dodge Shadow as their getaway car. Well, not to compliment a robber, but this UK thief took planning to a whole new level and stole himself a real getaway ride, a 450-horsepower Audi RS5 .
After his 16th robbery of a UK business, he took off in the RS5 and the police could hardly keep up – seeing the cars they drive, it is no surprise. The dude even outran a helicopter. It wasn’t until he decided to make a stopover at a local apartment complex that he was tracked down and busted.
The police estimated that he was doing upwards of 180 mph during the chase and by the looks of the helicopter camera, his tires gave way at some point and he was shooting sparks from the rims – a tribute to that wonderful Quattro AWD system, if I may add.
In all, this 65-mile run from the cops in a stolen Audi beast – and the multiple robberies – landed this thief in jail for nine years. A rather light sentence for all of those crimes and an extremely fast police chase. We guess they do things a little differently in the UK.
Anyways, check out the above video to see all of the craziness. You’ll notice that the cameras are pretty choppy in the beginning, but the chase section is nice and smooth.
For anyone that got a chance to see the wreck-fest that was also known as the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) , you may have noticed an odd vehicle resting just inside the top-10 standings. This vehicle was a Polaris RZR-X... That’s right, a UTV managed to sneak its way into the top-10 with a finishing time of 10:40.669.
This is not a normal RZR-X that you would see sitting in a local bike shop. Oh, no. It’s owner, Doug Siddens, and his crew have this RZR-X tuned to the gills, making it outrun some of the most exotic cars in the world.
In addition, if you were to sit this RZR next to any other RZR in the world, you would barely be able to tell that they are the same vehicle. Doug’s beast features all of the fixins needed to make it into a true race car, err, race UTV.
Mr. Siddens was so kind to actually take the time out to send us a laundry list of what the vehicle has and we chose to provide our readers with a full review of this amazing Polaris RZR.
Click past the jump to read this entire review, as well as see some awesome pics and videos of Doug’s impressive Polaris.
Cops in Maryland are quickly cutting down on their time spent running license plates by using what are called automatic license plate readers (ALPR). These nifty devices scan your plates automatically and check for insurance, validity, and other key safety issues. This is all well and good, according to civil liberties watchdog, the ACLU, but what they do with said information has the ACLU up in arms.
The ACLU has growing concerns with how long the information is retained in these ALPRs and worries that this ever-rowing data may eventually allow the government to precisely predict every move you make. So for all of you conspiracy theorists that think the gummament is watchin’ ya, this is just another nugget to keep in your head.
In a released statement, the ACLU says:
“If license plate scans, which are typically stamped with a location, time, and date, were used just for these purposes and deleted shortly thereafter, privacy concerns would be minimal to non-existent. After all, police can run license plates against these databases themselves. ALPR technology simply cuts down on the time and manpower required to perform these functions on a large scale.
The privacy issues arise with the retention of the information. A police officer will not forever remember the exact location and time of an innocent motorist’s travels. With ALPR technology, those details can be stored indefinitely, creating an ever-growing historical record of the daily comings and goings of every Marylander. As ALPRs become more ubiquitous and that record becomes longer and more detailed, it will become possible for the government to determine a person’s exact movements during any given time period.”
However, the police taking records of our license plate activity is one of the more primitive tracking devices that the government has access to in order to track us. There are many more active and precise devices that we all use on a daily basis that allows the government to keep tabs on us.
To see what other devices the government can use to track us, simply click past the jump.
Yesterday, we brought you an exclusive interview with Paul Dallenbach following his death defying accident at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Now, we have managed to get our hands on a few more bits of exclusive material, thanks to Paul and his PR rep.
The first bits of material we received were the actual images of the trees that Paul’s 1,400-horsepower racecar plowed over. As you can see in the images, he snapped those pines like they were No. 2 pencils. The second image shows us his mangled open-wheel racer laying covered in what appears to be fire-extinguishing foam.
The last bit of material took some time to get, but it was well worth the wait. Paul has graced us with the first look at his in-car footage from the accident. We never knew exactly how far into the race he was when the accident occurred, but it turns out that he was less than a minute from the starting line before careening into the woods, according to the footage, which you can see above.
The sheer violence of the impact really shows us just how lucky Mr. Dallenbach was to survive this ordeal. What an amazing piece of footage and what an amazing man to be willing to share all of this information with us.
A huge thank you to Paul, Mary, and the entire Dallenbach Racing team. Best wishes on a full recovery to Paul and we can’t wait to see him behind the wheel again.
Pikes Peak is the home of the dramatic wreck, thanks to its 156 twists and turns over a 12-mile-long mountain course. Thanks to Paul Dallenbach, we got a really cool first-hand account of one of the two most dramatic wrecks of this year’s run. Fortunately, he is doing well and seems ready to hop back in the driver’s seat.
By far the most dramatic wreck, but only because we get to see the entire thing unfold, is the one that Jeremy Foley and his co-driver endured. As his Lancer Evolution was heading toward an area very appropriately named “Devil’s Playground,” Jeremy lost control of his Evo and went straight over the hill, rolling about 10 times – by our count – before finally coming to a smoking rest. The two had Dallenbach-like luck, as neither broke any bones, according to reports, but the co-driver is suffering from a sore shoulder. Check out the dramatic video above.
Click past the jump to see additional footage of other wrecks from the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Pikes Peak is by far one of the most treacherous courses in the U.S., as it climbs a total of 4,720 feet over a span of 12.42 miles and it boasts 156 turns. Even on its own site it says “Competitors and vehicles must be in top shape simply to finish...let alone win!” The video above shows exactly what can happen when even the slightest error in a car can cause a deadly crash scene.
Fortunately for the racing world, Paul Dallenbach, the driver of the 1,400-horsepower monster you see taking high-speed plunge into the trees, cheated death this time around. We were interested in how he was feeling, so we gave our Paul a call and checked on his recovery process. He felt so good, he was able to give us a short interview about the crash, so our readers can get a good idea of what actually went on.
UPDATE 08/14/2012: Check out our images of the Dallenbach’s race car post crash, as well as the state of the scene after the crash!
We were also able to get a video of the crash from the car’s onboard camera!! Check it out above!
Click past the jump to read what Paul had to say about this gut wrenching wreck.