A few weeks ago, we let you know that the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione became the hottest thing to lap the Nürburgring, as it crushed the old Ferrari record around the Ring by over 7 seconds. Well, the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione was again the hottest thing on four wheels on the Ring, but this time in the literal sense. Yup, while in the pits at the Nürburgring, a small amount of fuel hit the red hot engine and… Well, you can fill in the blanks.

Needless to say, the rear end of the Ferrari became quite the fireball, thanks to racing fuel meeting the freshly raced engine. Fortunately, the picture of the fire makes it look a lot worse than it actually was, as the team was able to douse the fire and get the car back onto the track. We guess that all part of the typical pit crew day, huh?

What’s even more impressive is following this fire, the team managed to regroup and end up taking 1st place in the Alternative Energy Class in the 2012 24 hours of Nürburgring, which it entered as a hybrid, and 12th overall. Good job to the team for their racing and fire-fighting abilities!

Top Gear is beloved by nearly every automotive buff and we all have a great respect for the oft-controversial Jeremy Clarkson. Not only is his automotive knowledge about as in-tune as you can get, but he is also a royal ass sometimes, which we enjoy, most of the time. Well apparently folks in West Mickley in the U.K., he is even respected as a traffic cop.

A young man got tired of seeing drivers flying through his small village well in excess of the village’s 30 mph posted speed limit. Instead of calling the police or lobbying to have other speed control devices (i.e. rumble strips or speed humps) installed, he built a police officer scarecrow, which we will be the first to dub it a “scareslow,” and set it up on the side of the road as you enter the village.

This scareslow is decked out with a toy police officer hat – you know, the funny little plastic domed hats – and a bright yellow high-visibility vest. In the scareslow’s left hand is a small hair drier that is used to simulate a radar gun. Topping off the entire garb is the face of none other than U.K. automotive super celebrity, Jeremy Clarkson! The young man that made this getup decided that a printed face of Clarkson glued to this scareslow was the ultimate finishing touch.

The BBC report says that they are not too sure what exactly makes traffic slow down when seeing this contraption. It is either the sheer realism of it – rather doubtful – or people simply gawking this creation allows them to realize that this is a village with a 30 mph speed limit. The latter is the most likely of scenarios, but it is an innovative way to self-regulate traffic.

Hats off to this man for using his noggin in finding a way to effectively slow down traffic through his village.

Source: BBC
Posted on by Brad Anderson 0

Every form of motorsport carries risk but generally speaking, this risk is only relevant to the actual racers and their pit teams as spectators are usually shielded from danger with high fences and strong tire walls.

However, rallying does not offer the level of safety which NASCAR and Formula One do, as onlookers can get within inches of speeding race cars and as a result, rallying is unquestionably one of the most dangerous motorsports in the world, if not the most dangerous.

Rallying is so dangerous in fact that the Group B rally series was cancelled predominantly because of the risk to onlookers. Unfortunately however, modern day rallying involves almost all of the same risks and it is that exact risk to spectators’ lives which recently killed two fans and injured 17 more, when a French rally car lost control during a race before careening into the group of spectators.

No names of those injured or killed have been released, but one of the casualties was reportedly a race marshal, while numerous children were also injured in this tragic accident. The event took place near Toulon, along France’s Mediterranean coast and is said to have been caused due to driver error, where they reportedly made a mistake at an intersection and plowed into the crowd rather than taking a sharp right turn.

Dominique Demeyer, another driver taking part in the event who witnessed the crash said, "The car took off straight ahead. It crashed into a first row of spectators before peeling off and mowing down other people who were further off."

Despite the obvious carnage caused by the event, it’s currently unconfirmed as to whether the driver will face any criminal charges - possibly on count of manslaughter – as he managed to walk away with just minor injuries.

Source: BBC News
Posted on by Brad Anderson 10
BMW 3 Series Sedan

With Ferrari recently issuing separate recalls for both the 458 Italia and California, we are saddened to bring you more news about another well-known firm issuing recalls on one of its newest models, and it’s none other than the folks over at BMW.

In a press release issued on April 19, 2012, BMW outlines that 7,600 units of the 2012 3-series are being recalled as “they have front seat head restraints that exceed the downward movement limit of 25mm in the highest position” outlined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fortunately, this recall will only impact North American vehicles rather than cars being impacted across the globe.

Cars affected were produced between October 18, 2011 and March 18, 2012 and BMW will notify all owners who have cars produced in that time period, and of course all repairs will be conducted free of charge.

BMW only discovered this fault in late April while the 2012 3-series has been in production for well over 6 months and the German brand could have saved itself a lot of trouble by thoroughly checking over all prototypes before entering any world markets.

Nevertheless, recalls seem to be a part of the automotive industry and they just go to show how restrictions vary from country to country and they also show just how difficult it is to enter a variety of markets, something Pagani knows all too well .

Source: NHTSA
Posted on by Brad Anderson 0

Driving a high-performance car comes with various pros and cons. Whether you own a full-blown supercar, muscle car, or simply a sports car with a high power-to-weight ratio, controlling your right foot and the throttle pedal is, and always has been, a delicate balance. This is thoroughly demonstrated in the featured video.

Filmed somewhere in Russia, the video depicts an Audi R8 supercar cruising the Russian streets before slamming into what’s suspected to be a Lada Samara in just a matter of seconds. As you’ll soon see, the R8 is seen making a U-turn from one direction of flow to the opposite direction of flow, before performing yet another U-turn just seconds after the first one.

It’s currently unclear why the R8 driver did this, but the result is as plain as day. While performing the second U-turn, the driver either intentionally or unintentionally kicked the tail of the rear-wheel drive supercar out, performing a drift Ken Block would be proud of. However, the result wouldn’t make anyone proud.

After drifting into traffic, the R8 smashes into a Lada Samara which rolls after the impact. However, instead of checking to see if the occupants were uninjured, the R8 driver instead paused momentarily while remaining in the car, before speeding off from the scene, even running a red light to escape the scene.

Although no number plates can be seen in the video, it’s likely to be crucial part of evidence if police decide to investigate the matter further.

Remember, please don’t try this at home!

Source: YouTube

Ben Collins rose to what some may call infamy last year when he exposed himself as "The Stig" from the famous Top Gear show. Shortly after his reveal, Collins got fired , but unemployment was never an avenue we thought he would take. Turns out we were right, and he is doing rather well and currently working as a stuntman on the set of the new James Bond movie "Skyfall."

Once the man behind the white helmet, Collins is now the man doing all of the dirty work for Daniel Craig. Collins has been in the driver seat in some of the most daring chase sequences filmed in Istanbul and Turkey. His recent job was to crash a grey Land Rover into the side of a black Audi, almost destroying it. However, this is not the only Audi crashed in the movie: a total of 15 cars found their death during filming, including six during pre-filming tests.

Collins has done stunts for James Bond before in Quantum Of Solace and Casino ­Royale. The job seems to be pretty easy for him, but it’s actually a tough job and an expensive one: just one scene can cost up to $1 million.

Source: Mirror
Ferrari 458 Italia

Back in 2010, the Ferrari 458 Italia faced some serious fire problems leading to an eventual recall and some groans from potential owners. Thankfully, the Italian automaker resolved the issue and the sports cars were sent back onto the road. Everything seemingly went back to normal, but now British magazine AutoCar is reporting that Ferrari is recalling a number of 458 Italia and California due to an incorrect finish to the crankshafts in question. If the crankshaft is not replaced, it can cause unwanted vibrations which can damage the engine.

A total of 206 units are said to have this problem from 13,000 units that were built. Ferrari is now asking all customers affected to take their cars back to the dealers to have the problem solved: "We are writing to all clients affected now, asking them to return the car to a dealer for the work to be done," said a Ferrari spokesman.

We are not sure about the number of units number affected specifically on the US market, but in the UK there are 16 cars affected, 10 California models and six 458 Italia models.

Source: AutoCar

With the 2012 DTM season ripping its inaugural race, the time was ripe for the series to introduce the vehicle that would serve as its official safety car. This year, the German Touring Car Masters Championship has tapped the 2013 Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series to serve that role.

Following in the reins of the the C63 AMG , the BMW M3 , and a host of several Audis, the C63 AMG Black Series has been fitted with a number of modifications in order to serve its role as the DTM’s official safety car.

Among them include an aerodynamically optimized light bar on the roof and energy-efficient, fast-response LEDs in green and orange. The car also has a modified AMG sports exhaust system and a special rear silencer that allows the car’s 6.3-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine to produce 517 horsepower and 457 lb/ft of torque. This makes it capable of hitting 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds with an electronically-limited top speed of 186mph.

For the exterior, the car carries a slew of packages, including an AMG Aerodynamics Package that carries a genuine carbon fiber front splitter on the front apron and a fixed carbon-fiber rear aerofoil with an adjustable blade. It also has the AMG Track package that includes rear axle gear cooling and a set of 19" forged AMG wheels wrapped in Dunlop Sport Maxx Race tires. Lastly, there’s the AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber package that includes exterior mirror housings, inserts in the side sill panels, and a diffuser insert, all made from carbon fiber.

For the interior, the C63 AMG Black Series Safety Car was given a pair of AMG Sport bucket seats, each coming with four-point seat belts, and an AMG Performance steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather and Dinamica.

When we start digging into racing, drifting in particular, the fans really don’t garner much of our attention. That is until we meet the Santa Claus of drift fans that has both an awesome white beard and a brass set of ball bearings.

This bearded fellow, named Bil Baldwin, has made quite a name for himself at Long Beach Formula DRIFT events. He is not famous for running onto the track in just his Fruit of the Looms or anything like that. He’s famous for not fearing these speeding drifters, regardless of the fact that they are sliding just inches from his legs.

Yup, this long-bearded fellow stands at the edge of the wall coming out of a turn and allows the cars to get within six inches of his legs. Sometimes, as you can see in the above video, the cars even smash into the wall just before they reach him, sending debris flying toward this brave man. Like a well-trained boxer, Bil bobs and weaves out of the way of the soaring debris, then quickly looks back to the track so he doesn’t miss a second of the action.

He clearly is a brave soul and Formula D seems to be accommodating to his fame, allowing him to continue standing in this dangerous position, regardless of the safety issue. We all love racing and we are particularly enthusiastic about drifting, but none of us would put ourselves there.

So here’s to Mr. Baldwin and his white beard and overall jeans flowing in the draft from passing drifters. It’s only a matter of time before Formula D decides that it’s a little too dangerous for him to be there. Until then, enjoy the hell out of it, Bil.

When Chrysler first unveiled the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart , it was met by a lot of industry and enthusiast grumbling, as it paid zero homage to its original rendition. As more details come out on the 2013 Dart, we are all starting to come around to this little Italian Dodge Dodge . The latest release is that the 2013 Dart will be the first vehicle ever to feature a cell phone charging pad as a factory option.

This 8.27-inch by 9.5-inch by 3.25-inch charging compartment is below the center stack and directly in front of the center console, which puts it in a place that most people would set their cell phone anyways. Basically, you place almost any smartphone in the special case, which comes with the optional charger, and set the case and phone in the charging compartment. Voila, no wires, no plugging things in and your phone starts charging.

This is especially convenient with those Darts with a manual transmission, as nothing puts a kink in your speed shifting like a cell phone charger wire wrapped around the shifter. The question is how much someone would pay for this option. Well, Chrysler has determined that this convenience is worth $199.99, plus dealer installation. The price may seem a little bit steep upon first glance, but think about how many times you have forgotten your car charger at home and desperately needed it or about how many of those universal charges you have bought that broke just a few weeks later. You have likely spent more than the fee for this component replacing broken chargers and buying chargers in desperation.

Let’s just add another positive to the 2013 Dart and Dodge’s 2013 lineup altogether, which is becoming more and more advanced seemingly every day.

Hit the jump to see the official press release.

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