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

Despite the multitude of problems Lotus has been having recently, you have to give their racing division some credit for soldiering on with the continued expansion of their motor sports branch. Following in their involvement with Formula One , Indy Car , and Le Mans , among others, Lotus is venturing into new frontier with their entry into the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

The American racing series is organized by the same folks behind NASCAR and Lotus is coming in with the intention of being a contender right off the bat. They even have a car that’s primed and ready for action to any racing outfit looking for a ride: the Evora GX.

The Lotus Evora GX is a race-spec model of the sports coupe that has been customized specifically for the rigors of Grand-Am racing. Among the notable new features of the Evora GX include carbon fiber doors, a roof and engine cover, plexiglass windows, and tinted headlights. The car also comes with a new race-spec aero kit with new parts being fitted in including a new front splitter an bumper, a series-required rear wing, and a new set of wider wheels wrapped in Continental racing tires.

Meanwhile, the interior has been stripped of pretty much everything in favor of all the race-spec requirements, particularly the bucket seats, the roll bars, and the race steering wheel.

One other thing about the Evora GX is the noticeable absence of traction control and ABS, which makes racing in it all the more challenging for the driver. At the very least, though, these guys can rely on the car’s 440-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 engine and its Xtrac sequential transmission to make the drive that much more interesting.

Interested teams looking to use the Lotus Evora GX in their Grand-Am exploits will have to shell out $335,000 for one car.

If you’ve ever been to a tire shop for four brand-spankin’-new tires, you can typically expect to sit around for at least an hour. If you show up on a Saturday, you had better just drop off your car and come back in three or four hours. That is, of course, unless you are F1 driver Jenson Button .

At the German Grand Prix on Sunday, Button was in 3rd place and pulled into the pits for a new set of tires, which you can typically expect to lose at least one position when doing. Button, on the other hand, pulled in and didn’t even lose a single position. It’s not because the car trailing him was so far behind, but rather because his pit crew was ridiculously fast. They lifted the car, removed four tires and rims, and installed four new tires and rims in 2.31 seconds.

That’s not only insanely fast, but it is also a new world record. One YouTube user managed to get a shot of the record-breaking pit stop and posted it for all of us to see. Literally, if you blink, you’ll miss almost everything.

Check out the above video to see just how fast this crew gets this job done. The lightning-fast work of Button’s crew also enabled him to overtake the No. 2 slot, as Sebastian Vettel pitted shortly after Button.

The Famed Nürburgring is in Financial Trouble

As the Nürburgring sinks into its bankruptcy proceedings and the light at the end of the tunnel of relief for the famed `Ring looks bleak, everyone in the automotive industry would love to help, but they all have their own problems. F1 has its own lineup of issues to deal with, especially its boss, Bernie Ecclestone, but it has stepped up to the task and is offering a much-needed hand to the failing track.

Ecclestone has vowed to do whatever he can to save the track and isn’t just saying it to sound good. According to a report, Ecclestone has said that he will waive the typical sanctioning fee to bring an F1 race to the Nürburgring. For those that don’t know how significant that really is, the fee to bring F1 to Austin, Texas ran a full $25 million. That would bring huge attendance to the ’Ring and general tourism to the suffering area, possibly giving it the injection of cash that it needs.

F1 is still an extremely popular series in Europe, so the entire area could see income in the hundreds of million of dollars, if it is planned correctly. The biggest issue is whether the `Ring is suitable for F1 racing, as low income typically leads to poor track conditions. If it is not in acceptable shape, would Nürburgring officials have the spare cash to fix it up? If there is no cash to fix it, would F1 be willing to inch closer to that plate by helping fix the track to get it race-ready?

According to reports from `Ring officials, there is only a short time frame to get an F1 deal done, but it may be a little too late to completely save the famed raceway.

We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Source: Total F1

Ron Howard has been more involved with racing in the last year than he probably ever expected he would. He just completed filming his movie based on F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, which included plenty of racing, to say the least, including a controlled recreation of Lauda’s famed Nürburgring crash.

Now Howard is taking a hands-on approach to racing, as he has agreed to drive in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. No, he’s not hopping behind the wheel of a racecar, but rather he is hopping in the BigMachineRecords.com pace car and leading the way to the start/finish line.

Jeff Belskus made it clear that Howard’s involvement in the filming of “Rush ” had a lot to do with NASCAR inviting Howard to drive the pace car when he said “Ron has become immersed in motorsports’ culture and history through the filming of ’Rush,’ so he’s an ideal person to pace the field for one of NASCAR’s biggest races at ’The Greatest Race Course in the World.”

So, the moral of this story is that if you are not skilled enough to make it into NASCAR, just take a left turn into the filmmaking business – that has to be easier to get into than NASCAR – make a movie about racing, and watch the pace car invites come rolling in. Easy enough, right? Yeah, that’s called sarcasm...

We wish Ron the best and hope he has a safe journey around the track. You can catch Howard in his pace car on Sunday, July 29th.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 5
Marussia F1 tester, Maria de Villota seriously injured in testing crash

It’s been about two weeks since Maria De Villota suffered serious head injuries in a Formula One testing incident and good news recently arrived confirming that her health is improving, with the results of the team’s investigation also being released.

At the time of the event, Marussia stated: “At approximately 09.15 BST this morning, the Marussia F1 Team’s Test Driver Maria De Villota had an accident in the team’s MR-01 race car at Duxford Airfield where she was testing the car for the first time. The accident happened at the end of her first installation run and involved an impact with the team’s support truck. Maria has been transferred to hospital. Once her medical condition has been assessed a further statement will be issued.”

Fortunately for De Villota, her medical condition has been assessed and she is thankfully no longer sedated and communicating freely with those around her. Unfortunately, however, De Villota suffered major facial injuries during the crash and the team also confirmed that surgeons were unable to save her right eye. In addition to this news, Marussia concluded through its in depth discussions that the accident was not caused by any mechanical fault in the car.

Marussia team principal John Booth stated, “We are satisfied that the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident. We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria’s well-being.”

A third-party investigation team has also been contracted by Marussia to delve even deeper into any possible cause of the crash, and the results from that investigation are expected in the coming months.

McLaren is making its way back into the GT sports car racing scene with a limited number of GT3 racing cars based on the MP4-12C sports car. These models will be designed and developed by McLaren and CRS Racing, and should make their first racing debut in the 2012 European FIA GT3 Series.

"The 12C’s architecture and design was always aimed at high-performance and ease of maintenance - two key criteria for potential customers. Combine that with the vast amount of racing experience in our automotive team, and CRS Racing’s specialist development experience, and the 12C GT3 should be an exciting proposition for the top teams planning to race in GT3 from 2012."

McLaren is confident that the MP4-12C’s revolutionary lightweight one-piece moulded carbon chassis, high levels of downforce and aerodynamic performance, and focus on form and function make it an obvious choice to bring back racing success to the McLaren name. The last win McLaren had was in the McLaren F1 GTR when it won the Lemans Series 15 years ago. The MP4-12C GT3 will be the first McLaren car built for FIA GT series racing since the McLaren F1 GTR finished production in 1997.

UPDATE 07/20/2012: McLaren will line-up nine examples of the stunning 12C GT3 on the grid of the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps next weekend, 27-29 July to contest the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The gruelling 24-hour race is the headline event in the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series, and one of the most demanding events on the motorsport calendar.

Ariel Motors has announced a new one-make race series for their amazing Atom track-car. The new Atom Cup is set to begin in 2013 and has been described as a spec racing series, similar to the Porsche Cup, Ferrari Ferrari Challenge, and Lamborghini Trofeo. The races will be held at Silverstone, Brands Hatch, and other tracks in the British Islands.

For this racing series, Ariel has transformed the standard Atom into the Atom Cup. The car has received a new body kit, a full rollover protection for driver’s safety, Ohlins dampers, and Yokohama racing slicks. It will be powered by a 2.0-liter Honda i-Vtec four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 245 HP. This output will be enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and up to a top speed of 145mph.

For those interested, Ariel will be offering three different packages. The Bronze package includes the Atom Cup car, entry fees for all the races, and a pit space at a price of £53,195 plus VAT (about $83K at the current rates). Next is the Silver package (£59,955 plus VAT, or about $93K) which adds one new set of tires per weekend and one race assistant. The final package is the Gold (£69,652 plus VAT, or about $108K) which adds secure car storage, maintenance between events, and transport to all the race weekends.

Travis Pastrana and his 2013 Dart rally car have had a run of bad luck in this year’s Global RallyCross Championship, as a series of crashes have knocked him out of just about every race. Well, Travis’ run of bad luck appears to be coming to an end, as the Dart he pilots finally won a RallyCross race.

The win came on the New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend and it began nearly as well as it ended. Travis pulled in a 3rd place start, giving him an advantage over the majority of the field. He took advantage of his great positioning to overcome the two cars ahead of him and pull out the checkered flag in this heat.

Thanks to that win in his heat, Pastrana got a front-row seat to start the final race and managed to secure and keep hold of 1st place through the race. Needless to say, Travis has been rather disappointed with his results so far this year, as he was quoted saying “It’s been so long, I almost forgot what it’s like to win.”

Pastrana is definitely a TopSpeed favorite, thanks to his openness to hop in front of the camera and give us witty comments, awesome rally videos, or even challenge his own teammates, so to see him finally bring home a checkered flag is nice. Here’s to many more this year and we hope the worst is behind him.

Travis and his Dart tackle their next race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 28th and 29th.

You can check out the above video to see the summary of the entire event.

Acura NSX Concept

The NSX Concept unveiled by Acura at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show is powered by a VTEC 3.5-liter V6 with direct-injection combined with a built-in electric motor. The production version will be offered with exactly the same powertrain, but other versions may be coming out of the woodwork. In an interview with Autoguide, an individual involved in Honda’s motorsports efforts announced that Acura is also taking an NSX supercar under consideration and this version could be powered by a conventional gasoline engine. Before you get too excited, know that this model may only be built for racing competitions.

The same Acura insider announced that the company is aiming for a possible competition in North America, highlighting the Grand Am series as one option. However, if the company wants to race in this competition, they will have to come equipped with a gasoline engine because hybrids are not allowed to race in the series.

Acura PR manager Gary Robinson said: "we do intend to race the new NSX… it is much too early to discuss where or what the specifications might be." Robinson did, however, rather decisively shoot down the rumor, commenting that, "You can expect that any plans we make will be consistent with the concept and purpose of the car."

Source: AutoGuide

We often rave about the brass cojones that racecar drivers have, particularly rally drivers. Formula drivers, on the other hand, get very little recognition, as they drive on paved surfaces and most people think they just drive fast. In reality, these guys and gals behind these open-wheel machines have some guts themselves.

Enter in Jeroen Slaghekke, a driver of a Renault 2.0, and you have a guy that not only has the set required to race, but also to make split second decisions that could result in tragedy to avoid having to pit and lose position. The back story is that he had an electrical issue with his steering wheel that required repair, but pitting would have forced him to give up precious places in the race. So, instead of pitting, this guy removes the wheel himself at full speed, repairs the obviously simple issue, and slaps the wheel back on in time for a left turn.

We understand that these wheels are quick release and it’s just a matter of pulling a two tabs to release them, but to do this at speeds in excess of 100 mph and continue accelerating as he does it is simply incredible. We all know people that can barely drive in a straight line at 20 mph with both hands on the wheel. We bet that Mr. Slaghekke has no issue with keeping his daily driver straight.

To see this gutsy gamble, check out the above video and pay close attention to the 11-second mark.


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