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

Typically the words “eco-friendly” and “performance” don’t mix together well, but sometimes they pull it off. A great example of a successful attempt is the ACAT Global Ferrari 575 by JBR Motorsports. ACAT Global specializes in making less expensive and lighter catalytic converters, whereas JBR focuses on building bad-ass race cars; a match made in heaven. This modified Ferrari 575 Ferrari 575 is set to take on one of the largest challenges in the world, and that is to overtake the world land speed record – in the Grand Touring class, of course – at the Bonneville Speed Flats.

JRB and ACAT have been tight lipped about what this Ferrari 575 has behind the rear seats, but we are 100 percent certain that it is a little more than the standard 515-horsepower 5.8-liter V-12 that the stock 575 boasts. Granted, that engine is good, but certainly not enough to beat out the Ferrari record of 232 mph.

The exterior of the Ferrari 575 is draped in a coat of French Blue Ferrari Racing paint with graphics by custom-graphics-extraordinaire, Troy Lee, but the remainder of the exterior modifications are still unknown at this time. We are certain that the Ferrari will boast a lower ride height to help with aerodynamics and a series of diffusers on the rear to help reduce the drag on the rear of the Ferrari.

As we approach the August 11th debut of the Ferrari 575, given it passes its 3-day testing phase, we will learn more about this super-fast Ferrari. We will pass information along to you, as we receive it.

Click past the jump to read the press release regarding its record-setting attempt.

The Famed Nürburgring is in Financial Trouble

There are some very strange things going on between the Nürburgring and F1 right now. Just a few weeks ago, we reported that Bernie Eccelstone was willing to step up to the plate and help the Ring out of its issue. One report stated that Eccelstone would even waive his standard sanction fee for all Nürburgring F1 events in 2013. Just days later, a report emerged that Eccelstone said he will not waive fees, but was instead interested in purchasing the famed raceway .

A report from our friends over at World Car Fans is stating that the Nürburgring cannot afford to host any F1 events in 2013, as it cannot foot the sanctioning bills. That totally negates the rumors about Ecclestone waiving fees or he has rescinded or simply forgotten that offer. According to the report, Nürburgring officials and F1 will go into talks soon to try and keep F1 racing at the `Ring.

Either way, we feel that Eccelstone needs to step up and waive these sanction fees, so that racing can continue at the Nürburgring. The `Ring without F1 racing, just doesn’t quite feel right to us. Nürburgring officials are confident and vow that they can still turn a profit without F1 races, but we are fairly certain that if they miss any races, they are going to have trouble continuing the recovery process.

We will keep a close eye on this whole situation and try to figure out what in the world is going on between the Nürburgring and F1.

Next to the road-going version of the SRT Viper at the 2012 New York Auto Show was the SRT Viper GTS-R - a model that marks SRT Viper Racing team’s return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2012. There will be two GTS-R models entering the competition with four drivers currently being signed to drive including Dominik Farnbacher, from Ansbach, Germany; Marc Goossens from Geel, Belgium; Ryan Hunter-Reay from Dallas; and Kuno Wittmer from Montreal.

The GTS-R racing version will be based on the standard Viper, but the model will be updated for track use. The GTS-R version was built in cooperation with Riley Technologies, based in Mooresville, N.C. Both models will race on Michelin GT tires.

"Racing has been a significant part of the illustrious history of Viper not only with wins on the track, but also in the continued development of the street cars – and our new 2013 SRT Viper SRT Viper models are proof of those lessons learned," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. "Now with our new team and the launch of the GTS-R, we’re excited and proud to begin writing more chapters in the racing history of the Viper later this summer."

UPDATE 07/06/2012: The new SRT Viper GTS-R has been taken to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for a new testing session. Check out the sports car in action by clicking on the image above!

UPDATE 07/13/2012: Chrysler announced today that the company will return to the American Le Mans Series with the 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R. The return has been made after 12 years of absence and Chrysler has big hopes for their first racing appearance on Aug. 4 at the Mid-Ohio (Lexington, Ohio). "We’re thrilled to return to the world-class competition in the American Le Mans Series with our flagship American supercar," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. ’The new SRT Viper GTS-R represents a rebirth for us on the race track. It epitomizes the best of what our new SRT SRT performance brand represents and showcases the Viper’s natural affinity for road courses. Now the time has finally come to go head-to-head with the best sports car teams from around the world."

UPDATE 08/08/2012: The new SRT Viper GTS-R made its official racing debut at the American Le Mans Series racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. According to the company, it was a pretty impressive racing debut, with the car finishing in the top ten. The video we’ve added includes brief scenes of the Vipers on the track, and the reactions from SRT Brand President and CEO Ralph Gilles and driver Kuno Wittmer.

With the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb set to begin next week, we are getting more details on the models that will fight the hill this year. Hyundai ’s model for the race will be a Genesis Coupe specially customized for Pikes Peak.

Last year’s RMR PM580 failed to climb the hill, so this year’s model is getting a little help from a new braking sponsor in Pulse to make it worthy of the ascent. As for power, Hyundai hasn’t revealed any details about the Genesis’ powertrain, leaving the standard 350 HP V6 engine as the likely power source.

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe Pikes Peak will be driven by Rhys Millen who will be piloting the car in the Time Attack class, racing against 2011 champion Brianne Corn, Toshiki Yoshioka, and Denver teenager Savannah Rickli.

More details about the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe Pikes Peak will be unveiled next week during the race, so stay tuned!

Dodge Charger NASCAR

When Penske decided to drop Dodge in favor of Ford , Dodge was left on the outside of the NASCAR world looking in. They had no team to field their newly developed NASCAR Sprint Cup ride and things looked pretty bleak.

Things went from bleak to ugly, as Dodge failed to have its Charger ready for testing this week and reports indicate that this means Dodge is out of NASCAR for the 2013 season. There is no clear-cut reasoning for Dodge pulling out so abruptly, but many sources are pointing toward Fiat, Dodge’s parent company, having no interest in NASCAR and forcing the pull out.

Last time we checked, Chrysler – including Dodge – is what kept Fiat’s ass afloat this year and to take away NASCAR as a means of advertising seems a little odd by a company that knows nothing about the “sport.”

At the press conference held at 2:30 ET today, Dodge SRT and Motorsports CEO Ralph Gilles only confirmed that Dodge is dropping its NASCAR presence. "Following our thorough five month process weighing all options in the sport, we have decided to withdraw from NASCAR racing," he said in an opening statement during the news conference. "You have no idea how much we feel the pain," he added.

This announcement solidifies the elimination of the last rear-driven, V-8-powered factory car from the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Every other car on the circuit is now front-wheel drive.

Dodge’s last NASCAR withdrawal happened in 1977, and it did not return until 2001. By that pace, we should see Dodge return to NASCAR sometime in the 2030s... Actually, we are willing to bet that Dodge returns in just a few years, at the most.

UPDATE 08/07/2012: NASCAR followed up Dodge’s press conference with a statement of their own concerning Dodge’s departure. “Dodge has been a great partner to NASCAR for many years, and they have been part of numerous memorable moments throughout our history,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “They made a business decision not to return in 2013, as they did in 1977 before returning in 2001. We wish them well and hope they again will choose to return to NASCAR at a later date."

Click past the jump to read NASCAR’s presser.

The new Honda Civic is getting its first taste of official racing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. In preparation for its full entry in the 2013 season, the Civic WTCC race car is going to be thrown into the fire beginning at Suzuka in October. From there, it will enter three races and will be driven by Tiago Monteiro.

With October less than two months away, the Japanese automaker is giving its new racer one last test run at the Vallelunga circuit, near Rome, Italy. The car itself is based on the European Civic hatchback model where it carries a host of special aero packages, including an extended front and rear skirt, a large rear wing, and an interior that’s been fully customized to handle the rigors of full-fledged auto racing.

Most importantly, the Civic WTCC will not be carrying a standard engine, but rather a bespoke 1.6-liter 4 cylinder direct injection turbocharged HR-412E engine. No details on output have been released yet, although Daisuke Horiuchi, WTCC Devel Devel opment Project Leader at Honda R&D, has said that this particular engine could have a future in production models.

"We believe the innovations that have led to this revolutionary engine will also lead to benefits beyond the race track, helping us to further increase the efficiency of our road car engines," he said.

Looks like there’s more to the Honda Civic WTCC Race Car than meets the eye. Could it be that whatever lies under the hood of this race makes its way out of the track and into public streets in the future?

While it’s tempting to find that out now, it’s probably more important for Honda to give the race car the full shakedown first leading up to its racing debut at Suzuka this October.

UPDATE 09/27/12: The Civic WTCC Race Car made its auto show debut at the Paris Motor Show where Daisuke Horiuchi, the WTCC Development Project Leader at Honda R&D, had the following to say about the new HR-412E engine that will be powering the race car. “In the continuous technological development of an internal combustion engine, the thermal efficiency is the essential key for improvement," he said. "This HR412E was born from such thought process: aiming for higher efficiency."

Toyota managed to climb itself back into road racing with the development of the TS030 prototype, but it wasn’t without its issues. The entire project was delayed by a month, due to damages caused to its monocoque from a wreck during a round of practice.

Some people may think that Toyota is haphazardly testing these cars without the drivers being properly trained, but they would be sorely incorrect with that thought. Since before Toyota pulled out of road racing, it has had a racing simulator to allow drivers to get a good feel for the car they will be driving and the track they will be on.

The simulator, according to TMG driver, Kazuki Nakajima, has all of the pedal and steering wheel feel of the real cars, as well as the real feel of the track. Much like the simulator rides that were popular in the early-1990s and are still around today, the simulator is on a hydraulic base that bounces the car and moves it along with the driver‘s input through the steering, brakes, and gas.

The simulator includes 20 different tracks, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans track that you see in the above video. It also includes a slew of cars, so that drivers can get the feel of the varying cars TMG uses in races. Mild adjustments are made to the simulator to compensate for changes in the vehicle’s suspension, aerodynamics, horsepower, etc., making for a very real experience for the drivers.

Have a look at the above video and see the simulator in action yourself.

It’s been a couple of weeks since we saw the first episode of McLaren ’s animated series featuring Formula 1 stars Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton . Now, it’s time for episodes 2 and 3 of the series.

Episode 2 is called "Slicks" and takes Lewis and Jenson to the McLaren Technology Center for some hi-jinx with safety features, while Episode 3 - called "Track to the Future" - shows off the future of the race car. In both episodes, Jenson and Lewis are still up to their old tricks and bring an onslaught of hilarity to an otherwise weird McLaren production.

McLaren will launch a new episode every week during the British GP and the animated series actually airs on SKY Sports F1.

Hit the jump to watch Episode 03.

The Porsche 918 Spyder has become an extremely sought-after supercar, and considering that it’s still in its prototype stages, it’s become one of the most highly anticipated ones too.

Now we know how automakers are careful with divulging too much with their prototype models so they resort to the tried-and-tested method of dressing these models up in camouflage. Porsche has obviously done this on numerous occasions, but for the 918 Spyder, they’re taking a slightly different route.

Together with long-time partner Martini Racing , the German automaker has revisited the iconic Martini Porsche race cars by dressing up the 918 Spyder Prototype in the legendary Martini livery.
Development of the Porsche 918 Spyder is still ongoing with the car now moving its extensive testing phase to the Nurburgring. Apparently, riding around one of the most famous tracks in the world has conjured up nostalgic emotions and the result is one of the most awesome liveries to ever be dressed on a Porsche.

Hit the jump for more information on the Porsche 918 Spyder Martini Racing Prototype.

The Toyota GT 86 is becoming a favorite race car for a lot of upcoming racing series and apparently, it’s headed for another one.

The Japanese automaker recently announced that they’re bringing their new sports coupe to the Production Class of the British 24-hour Endurance Race. It will see action dressed with a livery inspired by the 1980’s British Touring Car Championship-winning AE86 Corolla GT. As it currently stands, the car is still under development at the Buckinghamshire Technical Center of GPRM, these are the same folks responsible for building the BTCC Toyota Avensis racer from a few years ago.

Full specifications have not yet been revealed, but according to Toyota, the race-spec GT 86 will carry a host of racing modifications that the company explains will turn the sports car into a "competitive track machine" that will retain as much of the production version’s specification as possible.

"We are concentrating our efforts on stripping back the chassis, lightening and strengthening it and of course equipping it with a roll cage and all the other safety gear required, as well as quick-refuelling equipment," said GPRM’s Gary Blackham.

"Other than that, the GT86 will remain essentially in road car form."

Since the British 24 Hour Endurance Race won’t begin until the weekend of September 22nd at the Silverstone Grand Prix, we’ll have more time to find out more about this race-spec GT 86 race car before it makes its endurance debut.


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