race cars

race cars

  Race cars have all the safety equipment and power required to win races and protect their driver at the same time. Some of them are street legal but most of them are not

Introduced at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show , the McLaren 650S took center stage as a replacement for the aging, yet still enticing, MP4-12C . Available in both coupe and roadster guises, the sports car rolled off the assembly line with the proven, twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 behind its seats. Motivated by no less than 640 horses and 500 pound-feet of twist, the 650S quickly became the fastest vehicle in its segment, outgunning sports cars wearing both Ferrari and Lamborghini badges. Coming into 2015, the Brits are knighting the 650S a full-time race car by means of a GT3 iteration for the Blancplain Endurance Series and a Sprint racer. Essentially a successor to the 12C GT Sprint, the 650S Sprint is also a track-only model.

The race-ready sports car comes to bridge the gap between the road-going 650S and the endurance-spec GT3 by appealing to amateur motorsport enthusiasts that spend their weekends at the track. Blending technology from both, the 650S Sprint offers the plain looks of the street-legal car spiced up by racing upgrades and a FIA-approved interior. The 650S family just grew larger and we took a deep dive into McLaren’s brand-new racer. Read on to find out more about this spectacular, track-confined beast.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 McLaren 650S Sprint.

Toyota has announced it will enter a new Tundra TRD Pro series truck in the 2014Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 taking place in mid-November 2014. The Tundra TRD Pro being entered is only slightly modified in order to compete in the full-size truck class, leaving the majority of the truck as stock. “Competing in the full size sock Class allows our team to test the Tundra TRD Pro as close to stock as possible,” says Andrew Franceschini of Toyota. “[That] showcases its strength and durability in the Mexican desert’s treacherous terrain.”

A few items were added to the Tundra TRD Pro in order to compete, mainly to do with safety. A full roll cage and safety fuel cell was added, along with Mastercraft racing seats with five-point harnesses. A full suite of GPS navigation and race communication radio equipment was also thrown in.

The truck will compete in the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, a race spanning over the harsh desert terrain between Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur. Though the race’s name suggests otherwise, the endurance even lasts a grueling 1,130 miles, testing both vehicle and occupants.

The Baja 1000 is set to take place November 12th through the 16th. 2014 with several checkpoints between the start and finish lines. Check back with TopSpeed for more coverage of the Baja 1000, but until then, check out more information on the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota TRD Pro Tundra Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

Traveling at high speeds involves some pretty scary physics. That’s why the Bloodhound SSC project has been in the works for nearly five years and involves some of the brightest engineers from around the globe. The latest video to come from the British project shows the level of testing undergone for a single part, in this case, the wheel.

See, the Bloodhound SSC is a supersonic car designed for solely for breaking the 1,000-mph speed barrier. The ‘car’ is powered by a jet engine and rockets to achieve such a fast velocity. At 1,100 mph, the Bloodhound’s 35.5-inch (902.6-mm) aluminum wheels spin at a whopping 10,429 rpm. That’s 174 rotations per second!

At that speed, the wheel’s diameter expands by 1.6 mm (0.62 inches) and its temperature starts to rise. In fact, during testing the wheel started to heat up at the rate of two degrees Fahrenheit per second due to aerodynamic friction. At its max, the wheel peaked at 204 degrees Fahrenheit, only 100 degrees shy of aluminum becoming soft.

The Bloodhound SSC team is continuing to work throughout the year with hopes of breaking the 1,100-mph land-speed at a location in South Africa.

There was a time when Ferrari dominated sports car racing . It happened until about 50 years ago, right before Ford had introduced the Le Mans-winning GT40 and Porsche dominated the tracks with the iconic 917 . Two years after the latter began dominating endurance events, Ferrari had abandoned sports car racing to focus on Formula One. It was 1973, and the Ferrari 312PB had retired as the company’s last prototype racer.

Although eclipsed by many racers of the day, the 312PB managed to achieve 15 wins in 72 events. Powered by a flat-12 engine based on the 3.0-liter Formula One unit, the Italian sports car made a name for itself by winning prestigious events. Its trophy case includes the 1000km Buenos Aires, Daytona 6 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours, 1000km Nurburgring , and the Targa Florio, among others. The list of drivers that hopped in its cockpit is equally impressive and features the likes of Jacky Ickx, Brian Redman, Ronnie Peterson and Mario Andretti. That’s a lineup full of skilled and race-winning aces right there.

Sure, it’s not the most beautiful Ferrari ever built, but the 312PB was not conceived to win beauty contests. It’s main goal was to win races and, for the most part, it succeeded. It was renowned for its precise handling and quickly became a crowd pleaser due to its piercing exhaust note. Thankfully enough, some of the few 312PBs ever built have been stored and maintained for the past 40 years, so we can see and hear them race once again. Thanks to Petrolicious and Steven Read, we can do that at the push of button. Just hit play and don’t be shy with the volume, you’re in for a real treat.

While Ferrari needs no introduction, Brabham is a name some of you might not remember so well. Founded by Jack Brabham, who died earlier this year aged 88, and Ron Tauranac, Brabham spend three decades in Formula One , in which it won four drivers’ championships and two constructors’ titles. Its first successful campaigns, and the only ones to bring both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship, came in 1966 and 1967. Although it won two more drivers’ titles, Brabham failed to win the constructors’ championship for the third time. However, the Brits came close on many occasions. 1970 was an important year for Brabham. Although it only managed fourth position at the end of the season, the team lost its number one driver, Jack Brabham. The man that drove the race cars built by his own hands retired from racing following the Mexican Grand Prix. The 1970 Brabham-Cosworth Ford BT33 was the last F1 car he had driven during an official event, making it that much more important to the company, second to only the Repco-powered single-seaters that brought the 1966 and 1967 championships.

In this car, Brabham won one race and scored three more podiums, while teammate Rolf Stommelen added a further third-place finish. Brabham, one of eight teams to use Ford’s DFV engine that year, ended the season behind Lotus, Ferrari and March, but ahead of McLaren , BRM and Matra. What made the BT33 such a competitive racer? Read on to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1970 Brabham-Cosworth Ford BT33.

Source: Bonhams

The Toyota GT86 was launched in 2012, along with its Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S siblings. Although the GT86 was only sold in Europe, both the BRZ and the FR-S arrived in the United States for the 2013 model year. All three sports cars share the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, boxer engine that delivers 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant mates to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and enables each of the triplets to sprint from naught to 60 mph in 6.9 to 7.6 seconds, respectively. Far from being one of the fastest sports car on the market, the Toyota GT86 is definitely one of the most affordable, a feat that made it quite popular with consumers.

As we move into the 2015 model year, Toyobaru has yet to introduce the highly anticipated performance update the GT86/BRZ/FR-S dearly needs. However, the GT86 nameplate expanded to receive a brand-new member in the shape of a rally car. Yes folks, Toyota is joining the World Rally Championship with an R3-spec version of its sports car. The race-ready GT86 is not only more powerful, but lighter too, and it just fired up our enthusiasm toward a faster road-going version.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota GT86 CS-R3 Rally Car.

The race-spec SRT Viper is already a successful track machine, having won many prestigious trophies since its introduction in 1996. The latest iteration of the race car, the GT3-R, has yet to reach the heights of its forerunners, but its recent success during the Detroit leg of the Pirelli World Challenge Series in May 2014 is proof enough that the Viper is headed in the right direction. More recently, the "Snake" developed by Riley Technologies made yet another step toward track glory by setting the fastest lap in the Ultimate Track Car Challenge.

The event took place on July 18th at Virginia International Raceway, where the SRT Viper GT3-R rendered its competitors obsolete. The race car, built by Riley Technologies and driven by American Le Mans Series ace Ben Keating, wasn’t shy about tackling the track at full throttle and set the fastest lap at 1:44.71. The Viper was quicker than a 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo and its benchmark would have been enough to earn it the pole position at last year’s American Le Mans Series on the same track.

The Ultimate Track Car Challenge is an annual event held by Grassroots Motorsports at Virginia International Raceway. The competition is open to any type of car, including classic vehicles , and its sole purpose is to find America’s fastest track cars. Hit play to watch the SRT Viper GT3-R in action as it reaches speeds of up to 171 mph.

We love Ken Block’s Gymkhana series like everybody else, but we have to admit, this new video may have topped them all. Yup. All six of them. This new video, which we assume is being prepared as its own series, is called Boobkhana. The name pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

In it, Block finds himself in Nagoya, Japan to perform a unique take of his famous Gymkhana stunts. But there is something different about this particular tire-screeching, smoke-creating run. Actually, there are two things different about it, or maybe even four depending on what you’re actually counting.

A lot of elements of Gymkhana are there, but as an added treat, Block invited a pair of, shall we say, "well-endowed" Japanese models to join him on his run. The two beautiful ladies are Rui Kiriyama and Yukie Kawamura and yes, they’re the obvious reasons why this video was coined “Boobkhana!”

The video pretty much shows you what it’s all about. Block performs his trademark stunts, spinning and screeching his Ford Fiesta through the course. But you can’t help but be a little distracted by his beautiful passengers and their "assets." Trust us when we tell you: it gets really, really distracting.

In the end, everybody got what they came for. Block stoked his adrenaline juices. Kiriyama and Kawamura were shrieking and screaming as they should. And we got what was offered to us, and then some.

Getting into Le Mans prototype racing will be a bit easier starting 2015, as the Automobile Club de l’Ouest — the sanctioning body that governs worldwide Le Mans series — has just announced the LMP3 category. As the name suggests, the new class will slot right below the LMP2 category and above the LM GTE Pro.

The new LMP3 class is set to run in both the European Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series, two competitions that already include the LMP2 prototypes . Since the LMP1 category is only reserved for the World Endurance Championship, the top tier and LMP3 vehicle will only clash during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"From the base to the summit we want to make it easy for drivers, teams and constructors to enter for endurance," explained Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. "This LMP3 is the base of our pyramid devoted to the different LMPs," he added.

Needless to say, adding a lower prototype category can only benefit the sport. But, as with any other racing class, the LMP3 comes with its own set of rules regarding body configuration, engine, and building and running costs.

Click past the jump to learn more about Le Mans’ new LMP3 Class.

The Formula Ford EcoBoost has taken different shapes since making its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show . Back then, it was a quirky, single-seat race car that resembled a high-tech go-kart more than nothing else. But now, it looks like an actual Formula One race car that even has its own rear wing.

That’s a credit to Ford , which spent the last few years improving every nook and cranny of the little race car. All that work has culminated in the car’s planned adoption to FIA Formula 4 regulations and guidelines in Britain beginning in 2015.

This paves the way for the Formula Ford EcoBoost to compete in a new racing series that will be created as a stepping stone for young race car drivers on their way to the pinnacle of auto racing, Formula One .

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Formula Ford EcoBoost.


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