The annual ’Race to the Clouds’ challenges automobiles and motorcycles alike to navigate their way up Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This course is about 12.42 miles long with 156 turns for drivers to brave during their ascent on grades averaging 7%. The race begins at 9,390 feet and ends at the mountain’s 14,110-foot summit above Colorado Springs for a total climb of 4,720 ft.
This year, 194 racers from ten different countries will test their driving skills on the dirt and paved roads of Pikes Peak with the hopes of getting top billing in their respective classes. The most anticipated race will be that of the Unlimited Class where there are no restrictions and some of the fastest machines on the planet are put to the test to see which one can go up the mountain faster. Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, Rhys Millen, and Paul Dallenbach are just a few of the racers in this class that are prepared to go balls to the wall to break the 10-minute barrier and the standing record of 10:01.408 achieved by Tajima back in 2007.
Will they succeed? Only time will tell, but prepare yourself for the race by taking a look at the course in detail. Who knows, maybe it’ll inspire a trip to Colorado to watch the action live.
Check back with us soon for the next installment of our Car Infographics series!
The 2006 film Fast and the Furious: Toyko Drift brought to light one of the many styles of driving competitions in existence, but this form of vehicular art didn’t originate on the big screen. Before Sean Boswell (played by Lucas Black) took to the fishing grounds for unique tutorials, people everywhere were learning how to slide sideways around tight corners. In fact, origins of drifting date back to the 1970s when Motorcycling legend turned driver, Kunimitsu Takahashi, used the technique to beat his competitors coming out of a turn.
So what is drifting? Basically, it is a driving technique that allows drivers to skillfully slide their cars through turns by using either their brakes or clutch. When the braking technique is used, drivers have to hit their brake pedal or emergency brake when approaching the corner. Control is maintained with the use of steering and throttle input. This causes the rear tires to lose their grip on the road and swing outward. When using the clutch technique, the end result is the same, but the method is completely opposite. When the driver approaches the corner, he/she pushes in the clutch, downshifts, revs the engine, and then releases the clutch. The added power makes the tires spin so fast that they lose traction and spin outward. In both instances, the closer the rear end of the car gets to the wall and the more smoke the tires produce, the more points the driver will get in the competition.
Check back with us soon to find more interesting tidbits as part of our Car Infographics series.
At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Koenigsegg wowed the world with the unveiling of the Agera supercar, a model that soon become the world’s most favorite supercar. The reasons behind the title are quite simple. The Agera is powered by a 4.7 liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 910hp at the 6850rpm-redline and a peak torque of 1100Nm at 5100rpm. Adding fuel to the fire is a top speed of 245 mph coming out of the beautiful and unique supercar.
With such a devoted fanbase, it seemed 100% worthwhile for National Geographic’sMegafactories to do a complete feature on the Agera, detailing the making of the supercar down to what made Christian von Koenigsegg start developing it at such a young age. Other features of the film include the two week process that makes up the hand-built 4.7 liter V8 engine, the seven station method used to build the vehicle from nothing to extravagant supercar, and even a bit of the brand’s history.
The series of videos is about 45 minutes long so it would be smart to grab some popcorn, get comfortable, and watch them straight through for the full effect!
Between preparing for the big day and dealing with the fact that this will be the last person they will ever sleep with, married couples have to go through a lot before and just after they get married. Of course, one of the most surprising changes after saying "I do" is the fact that their car insurance rates decrease. That’s right, one of the top culprits - making up about 25% of the deciding factor - in determining anyone’s car insurance rate is their age and whether or not they are married. This bit of information only plays second to the driver’s record and claim history, sitting at 35%.
What does this mean exactly? Well, if you’re a teenage boy with zero infractions, your rate on average is about $2,500 a year, leading the pack in terms of rates. Add in two infractions, and we’re talking about doubling that rate to about $5,000 a year. Change that infraction-ridden scenario to a female teenager and we’re only talking about $2,100 a year. Before all you boys get your boxers in a twist; once you hit 25, guys get a 20% discount whereas girls only get 15%. All in all, an average American will pay about $1,560 a year on car insurance, averaging out about $80,000 in a lifetime.
Other factors that affect your car insurance rate include your car (older, boring, cheaper models pay less), your gender (sorry boys), and your insurer (not everybody offers the same rate), among other things. Check them all out in the image above to get a full picture and stay tuned for the next installment of our Car Infographics series!
Everyone remembers the year they got their license as a turning point in their adolescent life. From that point, there was no more waiting on relatives or older friends to take you where you needed to go because you now had the power in a little rectangular card that said you were legal. When I got my license, I remember my Driver’s Ed teacher telling me that a large percentage of teenage drivers will get into an accident within the first year of receiving their license. "Not me," I thought and went on my merry driving way. Eight months and a crashed front end later, I realized the old dude had been right.
What makes someone a good driver? For starters, one has to be completely aware of the rules and regulations governed by the law. That being said, experience and know-how play a huge part in learning techniques to be a safe driver. Getting behind that wheel and putting these into practice may ultimately save your life which is why we are showcasing an Expert Driving Techniques Infographics created by iMingle Insurance. This image (found in the gallery provided) will provide much of the information needed to stay safe on the roads starting with the four different types of drivers, such as the Novice (Hello teenager!), the Intermediate (Many men would put women in this category), the Expert (Men boost their egos by sliding themselves in here), and the Expert (Think Race Car Driver). After that, this image will deliver information to benefit drivers of any caliber on techniques of a well-prepared driver, anticipating an accident and planning on what to do if an accident occurs, steering techniques, the Roadcraft system, and controlling your vehicle.
It’s a longer read than usual, but it’s absolutely worth the time. Novice drivers may want to start at the beginning and read the whole thing, while Experts can head straight to the tips of controlling your vehicle.
Check back with us soon to find more interesting tidbits as part of our Car Infographics series.
We’re trying to gather up some of the roads less traveled in America as part of our Road Trip series and in doing so, have pieced together this little seven hour road trip near Los Angeles, California. This long and twisty trip starts off at Placerita Canyon Road and takes the traveler through a series of roads that offer many activities to entertain along the way before ending at East Sierra Madre Avenue.
Right off the bat, road trip attendees can capture the scenery of the western San Gabriel Mountains off of Placerita Canyon Rd. About two miles from Placerita Canyon Road’s intersection with California State Route 14, travelers can head up to Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch to check out the location used by the film industry for many shows and movies such as Independence Day, The X-Files, CSI, My Name is Earl, Entourage, Boston Legal, Bones, Sons of Anarchy, and American Idol.
Hit the jump to check out what else can be found during this little California getaway.
Here’s another helpful infographic for all to ponder. Ever been hightailing it on the freeway when all of a sudden brake lights start lighting up like the Griswold house around Christmastime and you wonder why in the heck everyone has decided to slow down? It’s called a shockwave by traffic planners and it affects just about everyone at some point in time.
It starts off when one driver takes a bit too long to get into their lane or when something in the road catches their eye and they slow down to see if they should swerve or run over it. That minor change in one driver’s pattern begins a ripple effect that affects everyone behind them. All of a sudden, that driver is going 5mph slower than they were, making the person behind them slow down by 10mph to keep a safe driving distance. The more cars involved in this effect, the slower they have to drive to adjust to the change in flow. By the time everyone reaches the point where the original driver slowed down just a bit, there is no evidence as to why the change occurred and angry drivers chaulk it up to rubbernecking or bad driving.
It’s comparable to water flowing through a funnel. A slow drip flows smoothly down and exits freely; add a sudden rush of water and that funnel is now filling up and spilling over. Just something to think about next time you’re out on the freeway and are convinced some idiot just ruined your day.
Check back with us to find more interesting tidbits as part of our Car Infographics series.
If anyone is in the Texas area and looking for a little time away from home, check out this 320 mile road trip from El Paso, TX to Big Bend. This trip guides drivers through where Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico meet and provides ample opportunities to take advantage of a bit of culture.
On this trip, vacationers will be able to ride through the arts community in Marfa, Texas on Route 67, where the famous Marfa Ghost Lights will be waiting for your viewing pleasure. These lights are known as a paranormal phenomenon, but some people with a little less flair for the dramatic believe they are just atmospheric reflections of auto headlights and campfires. Others even say they are just static electricity or the more eccentric, swamp gas. Whatever they are, they draw many visitors every year, so take a trip and decide for yourself.
Hit the jump for more information on the El Paso to Big Bend Road Trip.
It’s happened to all of us at some point in time. You’re driving along with the windows down and the wind whipping around, just enjoying your day, or maybe you left your house just a few minutes too late and the boss has been on your case lately about your "tardiness." Either way, those flashing blue and red lights look the same and you spend the next 30 minutes of your time trying to talk yourself out of the ticket and waiting in your car until the police officer finishes whatever they do for the eternity they spend sitting in their cruiser.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gathers all kinds of information over a few years to get a good idea of the number of tickets issued and what that translates into when it comes to money. Every year roughly 41,000,000 Americans receive a speeding ticket, translating into one ticket for every second of every day that ticks by, and the average ticket is about $150. Okay Mathematicians, that’s about $6.15 Billion for speeding fines alone. $6.15 Billion. And that doesn’t include the money raked in by insurance companies when those little tickets hit their systems. The average person’s insurance goes up by about $900 for one speeding ticket received in a span of three years.
So, how do we avoid getting speeding tickets? Okay, the only real answer is to not speed, but if you must then you should probably move to a place where the fine is a little tamer than others. In Tennessee and Connecticut, the first violation of speed will only get you a fine of $50, while Pennsylvania will only charge you $42 for your first. The lowest speeding ticket assigned for the first violation is awarded to North Dakota, who only dishes out a $20 ticket.
Live in New York? That’s a whopping $600 fine for your first offense. Utah gets even worse at $750. Want to get a killer speeding ticket for your first offense? Bog down in Illinois, Nevada, or New Hampshire to receive a $1,000 speeding ticket, and that’s only for your first time.
The moral of the story is to be safe and not speed. Of course, if that’s not enough to convince you, then check out more of the specifics in the images provided.
If you’ve ever watched the 007 series - and we’re sure just about all of us did - then you’ve probably dreamed of becoming a secret agent a few times in your life. The cool clothes, cars, and girls were all reason enough for all of us to act out our favorite scenes and steal the show away from Bond himself. What we didn’t think about, though, was the extensive training one must undergo to become one of these phenomenal super spies. No one is born with this secret agent talent so training - hard and extensive training - must be done to pull it off. If after reading this, you still want to become a secret agent, then read on.
National Geographic is airing a program called Secret Service Files, where you will be able to the see rigorous training Secret Service agents go through, including extreme driving training. Yeah, you’ll be able to see how these agents learn how to twist, turn, and jump at high speeds. There’s about zero things in the world that are cooler than that in our eyes.
The program is airing on Sunday, February 20th, 2011 and Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 8PM and 9PM ET/PT.