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

Brought to the market as a replacement for the 1 Series Coupe , the 2 Series inherited everything that made the former a great, back-to-the-roots Bimmer . Introduced in 2013, the 2 Series lineup grew larger in a flash by incorporating the mandatory M235i and the future M2 guises. But unlike most BMWs, the 2 Series also gained a racing version under the M235i Racing moniker.

Why did BMW choose the M235i and not the more nimble and powerful M2 for a race car project you may ask? That’s easy. The M235i Racing is supposed to be an entry-level race car that small privateers and amateur drivers can afford. It’s not a race car that can win a head-to-head battle with the Audi R8 LMS Ultra , but it does provide the thrills of racing for less than $90,000. That may sound like a lot even for a BMW-badged vehicle, but it’s pretty cheap given today’s racing scene.

Introduced last year, the 2014 BMW M235i Racing is already doing what it knows best at the hands of private teams, but the Germans decided to step in and field an entry of their own at this year’s Nurburgring 24 Hours race.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M235i Racing Nurburgring 24 Hours Edition.

The Volkswagen New Beetle made its debut in 1998, following a long drought in America. Being based on the Golf, the New Beetle shared nearly nothing but its basic shape to the Beetle from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. In 2012, the Beetle obviously hit manhood, as VW dropped the "New" prefix and renamed it just "Beetle." This new, more masculine Beetle has slightly harder lined and a lower-slung roofline. Despite getting a little scruff on its face, few expected the newest Beetle to makes its way to race tracks, but that is exactly what is happening in 2014 with the Beetle GRC.

The well-known Tanner Foust and his colleague driver Scott Speed of the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross started the 2014 season off in two modified Polo rally cars, but that all changes mid-season when they switch to the new GRC Volkswagen Beetle . The menacing little bug pushes some 500-plus horsepower to all four wheels via its turbocharged, direct-injected TSI engine.

Updated 06/20/2014: Volkswagen unveiled the full details on its new Beetle GRC just in time for its racing debut at the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship where it will be driven by Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Beetle GRC.

The Dodge Viper debuted in 1991 and arrived in showrooms for the 1992 model year. It was Chrysler ’s first venture into the semi-supercar world and it featured an 8.0-liter, V-10 powerplant developed with input from Lamborghini and based on Dodge’s V-10 truck engine. The first-generation model was sold through 1995 and was only offered as a roadster. It wasn’t until 1996 when Dodge created the coupe body, known as the GTS. This second-gen Viper also saw a power increase from 400 horsepower to 450 ponies. The Viper was completely redesigned for 2003. The convertible was joined by a coupe model four years later and output reached into 500-horsepower territory for the first time. Engine displacement was also increased to 8.3 liters. Dodge discontinued the sports car for the 2007 model year, but it brought it back a year later. The fourth-generation Viper only lasted until 2010, and it took Chrysler another two years to introduce a fifth-gen version .

Unlike previous models, the new Viper debuted as a coupe only and had its V-10 engine rebuilt into a 8.4-liter. The current output resides at 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful production Chrysler.

Throughout its short-lived career, the Dodge Viper was also a successful race car , winning numerous events and series championships. To honor its racing heritage, Street and Racing Technology (SRT) launched a brand new iteration of the GTS-R race car for the 2014 IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R.

Bentley is planning to field a factory team at the Nurburgring 24 Hours next year. The British automaker will tackle the famed endurance event using its Continental GT3 race car. The announcement comes ahead of the 2014 race this weekend.

Bentley revealed that it is also considering other endurance races in 2015, but the automaker declined to get too deep in the detail. The Brits did, however, confirm that the Bentley Continental GT3 will take part in the Blancplain Endurance Series in 2015, most likely with a two-car lineup. What’s more, Bentley Motorsport will extend the Continental GT3 program to include several customer teams.

In the meantime, the Continental GT3 will face its first official 24-hour test in the upcoming 24 Hours of Spa on July 27th. The race will take place at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and is the fourth event of the 2014 Blancplain Endurance Series.

Click past the jump to read more about Bentley Continental GT3.

Audi prevailed at Le Mans once again this weekend, after a tough race against its main LMP1 class competitors — event returnee Porsche , and polesitter and favorite Toyota . Audi took the checkered flag in first and second, with the No. 2 car driven by Fassler, Lotterer and Treluyer having completed 379 laps. This is Audi’s 13th success in Le Mans history, all of which were obtained the past 15 years.

The winning crew took the lead for the first time Sunday morning, shorty after 5 a.m. The No. 2 R18 e-tron quattro had been chasing the leading Toyota TS040 Hybrid throughout the night, with Porsche charging in for some captivating duels. The three-way fight went on to provide one of the most fascinating races in recent Le Mans history until the 22nd hour, when technical difficulties forced Mark Webber ’s Porsche 919 Hybrid to spend nearly an hour and a half in the pits.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s triumph at 2014 Le Mans.

Le Mans has a long history of record making and breaking. Since the 24 hour race first began in 1923, it has been a true mecca of speed and innovation. Now Nissan has attacked this legendary course and set a new Le Mans record speed for electric-powered vehicles by achieving a velocity of 300 kph (186 mph) during qualifying with its ZEOD RC . The record was reached in the first run of the second night’s qualifying by driver Satoshi Motoyama as he blasted down the Mulsanne Straight.

The ZEOD RC uses a unique dual-powertrain configuration with both an electric motor and an internal-combustion engine. Nissan has big plans for this new machine and is looking to break many more records over the course of the weekend’s race.

Nissan wasn’t the only company looking to make waves at Le Mans this year either. Toyota challenged the Audi team that dominated for the last several years, and Porsche has returned to challenge for an overall title as well with F1 ace Mark Webber at the wheel. This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was quite an exciting time for motorsports.

Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan ZEOD RC.

Last year’s FIA World Endurance Championship was a disappointing venture for the German racing team Kodewa and its Lotus race cars, as both of its LMP2 cars were seized following financial issues. Even after that embarrassing moment, they aren’t willing to give up just yet. In fact, Colin Kolles and his crew were brave enough to step up to the LMP1 class after spending two seasons in the lower LMP2 tier.

Things didn’t go as planned so far, with a late engine switch resulting in delays that caused the team to miss the first two rounds of the season and withdraw from the 24 Hours of Le Mans race that’s set to start on June 14th, 2014. Thankfully, Kodewa solved its issues and the Lotus T129 traveled to the Circuit de la Sarthe to meet its fans, but it will not participate in the race.

Since we’re talking about a race car, the full details are under wraps, but we do know that the Lotus T129 will fight its way through the LMP1-L class, which is reserved to prototypes not using hybrid technology, with help from a twin-turbo, V-6 engine developed by AER. The new unit replaces an Audi -sourced, naturally aspirated V-8.

The new race car will begin testing shortly after this weekend’s race and debut at the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on September 20, 2014. Opposition in the LMP1-L class will come from two Toyota -powered racers operated by Rebellion Racing. The Lotus T129 will be driven by Christijan Albers, Pierre Kaffer and Christophe Bouchut.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lotus T129 LMP1.

The 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans , probably the most anticipated race since Audi established its dominance more than 10 years ago, is just around corner, with the lights set to go green Saturday, June 14th, at 9 a.m. ET. And we have a way for you to watch it live online for free in the above video feed.

Marking Porsche’s comeback to Le Mans after a 15-year hiatus, this year’s race promises to offer an exciting three-way battle for the overall win, with Audi and Toyota sharing the same LMP1-H grid with the 919 Hybrid . Having already secured pole-position, Toyota is considered by many the favorite for the win, but the Japanese manufacturer will have both Porsche and Audi breathing down its neck.

This year’s race will also see the brand-new Corvette C7.R make its debut on the Circuit de la Sarthe. The Corvette Racing-prepped sports car will battle its way toward the finish line in the LM GTE Pro class, amongst Ferraris , Porsches and Aston Martins . The Corvette C7.R is off to represent the U.S. at Le Mans for the 15th consecutive race and aims to score its eighth class win since 2000.

All told, there’s plenty of action coming from Le Mans this year, with more than 50 competitors looking for a shot at track glory, so make sure you give the live stream a watch. For more information on this year’s race, check out our Le Mans review . Let the racing begin!

The 2014 Formula One season is jam packed with surprises, returning icons and upsets. Mercedes is dominating the points boards, Sebastian Vettel is struggling to get anywhere close to the front of the pack, and turbocharged engines have returned for the first time in more than two decades. What better season to bring a classic Grand Prix back into the fold?

The Austrian Grand Prix has been held 27 times since 1963, but has been absent from the calendar since 2003. Now more than a decade later, the track is under new ownership by Red Bull, and has been completely refurbished with a new track surface, pits and facilities. Thanks to these enhancements, 2014 will be the first time since the 2003 season that mountains of Austria will hear the wail of a Formula One engine.

Red Bull has decided to celebrate the occasion by making us a new video to show off the track and give us an idea of what to look for on June 22, 2014. The video is an exciting look at the new track, but the real fireworks are going to take place at the actual race.

Of every racer on the grid this year, only three have ever participated in a Formula One race at this track: Kimi Raikkonen , Jenson Button , and Fernando Alonso. Of those, Kimi took second place in 2003. The track is new, the cars are new, and this year’s Formula is the best in recent years.

I’ll get the popcorn.

It’s been 16 years since Porsche last competed at Le Mans , exiting the race in 1998 after winning it with a 911 GT1 -98. This year, the German automaker makes its long-awaited return to the site of some of its greatest racing moments.

Porsche’s return to Le Mans is a pretty big deal, so it’s only fitting that the company has commemorated the occasion by producing a new web documentary called "We are Racers." The web series chronicles all of Porsche’s activities leading up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend.

We especially liked the short segment dedicated to Mark Webber , the former Formula One driver who is set to compete at Le Mans for the first time since his spectacular practice crash at the 1999 installment of the endurance race.

It’s only appropriate that Webber’s return to Le Mans coincides with Porsche’s own comeback. Both the team and its marque driver haven’t competed in the race since the turn of the millennium. It’ll be interesting to see how they fare when the race kicks off this weekend.

In the meantime, do check out the "We are Racers" web series. One thing we can tell you about the documentary. After watching it, you’re going to be itching to get your Le Mans fix for the next few days.

For those of you who missed it, you can see Episode 1 after the jump.


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