Building a racecar is a tall task, but building one that is to endure the stresses of running at full bore for 24 hours is a real test. Since 2008, Lexus and Gazoo racing have partnered up to bring the Lexus LFA to SP8 endurance class. Every year that the LFA took to the starting grid at the Nürburgring 24, there were issues. Be it a vehicle-disabling wreck, mechanical malfunction, or simply poor performance, the team never finished higher than 41st overall.
In 2012, the team showed up at the Nürburgring as humbled as they had ever been, calling themselves rookies, despite five years of running the race. The humbleness and hard word paid off for the team this year, as is took home the top spot in the SP8 class and 15th place overall. This was the first time since the Dodge Viper GTS won in 2001 and 2002 that a non-German automaker won the SP8 class.
In celebration of this notorious victory, and the five years of knuckle busting wrench turning and headache-inducing engineering that Lexus and Gazoo has endured, the two have released a video chronicling its journey to success. Sure, the video is very short – only 4:14 – but the detail covered in such a short period of time is simply incredible.
The team lets you into the action and if you don’t get into the video, you may want to check your pulse real quick. There is some awesome sound too, so make sure you have your speakers or headphones cranked up.
It was confirmed that the Juke-R will hit production, based on the 2012 GT-R specs, so this means it is time to pit it against some of the best sports cars on the planet. Car and Driver did just that with a great piece pitting the Juke-R against the best Porsche has to offer, the 911 GT2 RS. We need to keep in mind here that the test-model Juke-R is based on the initial run GT-R’s drivetrain, including its 495-horsepower, 3.8-liter (the video says 3.7-liter for some reason) V-6 twin-boost engine. The production Juke-R will come with the 2012 GT-R specs, including a boost to 530 horsepower, but will also cost about $590,000. No, that’s not a typo.
In the other corner sits the $245,000 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, which boasts a 620-horsepower 3.6-liter flat-6 and a significant weight advantage. In the video, this crazy driver decides to take the cars to Bedford Autodrome and put their lap times to the test. Following that test, the team hits up an airfield and puts the two to a 1-mile test.
Putting a 620-horsepower GT2 RS against a heavier Juke-R with a 125-horsepower deficiency typically means a win on all fronts for the GT2 RS. However, this test involves a slightly wet track and the Juke-R features the GT-R’s impressive AWD system, so the Juke-R just may come out on top.
To find out, you’re going to have to check out the video. Not only is the video chock-full of racing action, but it also features some kick-ass slow-motion scenes that will blow your mind and tons of sweet, sweet noise.
The dangers of auto racing aren’t limited to just race drivers; in some instances, especially when they get really too close, spectators open themselves up to the same risks as the drivers.
Unfortunately, that reality reared its ugly head last weekend in Serbia during the FIA European Hillclimb Championship when a Mitsubishi rally car lost control on one of the turns before hitting a crowd that was sitting a little too close to the action.
The high-speed crash had fatal results, with three spectators dying when the rally car barreled its way toward them. The video that was captured of the crash is only 17 seconds long, but it was long enough to paint a real picture of what happens when things go terribly, terribly wrong.
Organizers of that event immediately banned all spectators from staying in the area, but it was a case of being too little too late.
Watch the video and see how the crash came about. If for nothing else, it’s a far cry from the video we saw last week of a rally driver performing an unbelievable save with, coincidentally, another Mitsubishi rally car.
We love car chases in movies and we love them even more when they involve beating the hell out of expensive cars. Well, “The Last Stand” just so happens to feature just that. In its trailer, we have found that it shows a Camaro ZL1 and a Corvette ZR1 in a high-speed chase that eventually lands itself in a corn field.
While the scene is short in the trailer, it is certain to pack a load of action in full length. In general, the movie looks like it’ll be pretty bad-ass, if you are the type that loves shoot-em-up bad-guy flicks... And I am one that loves those flicks.
When you add in the fact that three of my favorite actors are in it — Schwarzenegger, Johnny Knoxville, and Peter Stormare (John Abruzzi from “Prison Break”) – I just may be willing to pony up the $55, or whatever theaters are charging these days to see a movie. The two awesome cars duking it out are just the icing on the cake.
So check out the above trailer and keep a keen eye out at the 1:07 mark to get a glimpse of Arnie behind the wheel of the ZL1 and ramming the ZR1 into the corn field. Tell us what you think of the trailer and the fact that the production crew likely destroyed about $170,000 worth of cars in that one scene. Let us know what you think or have heard about this movie in the comments.
For anyone that got a chance to see the wreck-fest that was also known as the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), you may have noticed an odd vehicle resting just inside the top-10 standings. This vehicle was a Polaris RZR-X... That’s right, a UTV managed to sneak its way into the top-10 with a finishing time of 10:40.669.
This is not a normal RZR-X that you would see sitting in a local bike shop. Oh, no. It’s owner, Doug Siddens, and his crew have this RZR-X tuned to the gills, making it outrun some of the most exotic cars in the world.
In addition, if you were to sit this RZR next to any other RZR in the world, you would barely be able to tell that they are the same vehicle. Doug’s beast features all of the fixins needed to make it into a true race car, err, race UTV.
Mr. Siddens was so kind to actually take the time out to send us a laundry list of what the vehicle has and we chose to provide our readers with a full review of this amazing Polaris RZR.
Click past the jump to read this entire review, as well as see some awesome pics and videos of Doug’s impressive Polaris. Full story
Any gearhead knows that the one of the top-10 best sounds in the world is a high-powered car flying through a tunnel. You get a nice surround-sound-like listen to the thumping of the pistons and its enough to make the hairs on your neck stand up.
Well, how about hearing am F1 car screaming through New Jersey’s Lincoln tunnel at 190 mph? Yeah, that makes a damn fine noise too. The folks at Red Bull Racing have decided to tease us for an upcoming race that uses said tunnel by releasing an in-car view of their F1 car performing this feat.
All we can say after watching this video is “Dang that looks fun... and scary.” Some people have a hard enough time going through a tunnel at the speed limit, and this driver cranked through at 190. Phew, good stuff.
Check out the above video and get a look for yourself. Those that get motion sickness easily may want to avoid this one.
NHRA Top Fuel racers are a special breed. They essentially strap some of the most powerful engines in the world to the end of a metal rod and clear a quarter-mile track in less than 4 seconds. They do all of this out in the open air, as NHRA regulations prohibited the use of canopies since they pose the risk of giving a competitive edge.
For about four years, Don Schumacher Racing has been working on a canopy designed to help prevent the issue of flying debris striking a driver at 300 mph. Last year, Tony Schumacher ran in preseason testing with said canopy and the NHRA took notice.
After a series of test runs, the findings were that the advantages gained from the more aerodynamic cockpit were nearly non-existent. This all leads to today when the NHRA has finally green lighted its drivers to start using these new cockpits. However, there is a stipulation, as any driver using an enclosed cockpit must put a 3/4-inch wicker bill on the downstream end of the cockpit to offset the aero advantage.
The canopy will makes its in-season debut this weekend in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, covering the head of none other than the spearhead of this program, Tony Schumacher’s No. 5 U.S. Army dragster
This is definitely a good jump toward making drag racing, top fuel in particular, a much safer sport for its drivers and we can see nearly every team changing over to this format in the near future.
Recently we saw Dodge pull out of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and it was sort of a shock, as they had just finished developing a new car just for that series. We are now hearing whispers that another car manufacturer may be pulling out of another racing series. This time around we are talking about Mercedes and its involvement in the F1 series, at least part of its involvement.
Auto Hebdo, a French weekly, has reported that Mercedes-Benz is trying to find a way to not foot a huge bill for a team, yet still earn money and notoriety from the series. The reasoning for Mercedes possibly leaving has more folds than Jabba the Hut in a size-2 bikini, but the gist of it is that Mercedes is not happy with and is the only team yet to sign the new Concorde Agreement, which gives preferential treatment to vested teams and also places these teams, which include Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull, on F1’s parent company’s board.
Where the partial pullout comes into play is the fact that Mercedes fields engines for various teams, like McLaren and Force India, and that may continue. This could be the reasoning for Mercedes switching its name from "Mercedes AMG Petronas F1" to "AMG F1" next year.
There are also contradicting rumors that said AMG F1 will field a team, but Mercedes will stay out of the racing side and focus only on engineering. The AMG arm would be the “hands-on” entity, which could also be considered a partial withdrawal. Of course, Mercedes is denying the rumors calling its involvement in F1 “long term” and an “integral component” of their philosophy.
With all of these crazy rumors flying around and Bernie Eccelstone saying “I very much doubt Mercedes will ever leave F1,” we’ll reserve our prediction for when these murky waters clear up a little.
Almost on a daily basis, we express our complete obsession with rally racing, as their drivers have to have ice in their veins to even consider whipping a car around these often treacherous tracks at triple-digit speeds. With this incredible speed and loose surfaces come some of the most incredible wrecks, but also some of the most incredible saves.
The above video comes to us from a Polish rally and from the date stamp on the video, it occurred on the August 11th. The driver of this Mitsubishi Evo came into a wet turn just a little too hot and went over the embankment at the end of the turn. Suddenly the car ends up on two wheels, but somehow it winds up back on the road and heads in a straight path.
Typically, when a racecar hits two wheels, an inexperienced driver simply plays damage control. He prepares for impact and hangs on. This driver is obviously rather seasoned, as he maintains control, doesn’t panic, and acts as if nothing happened once the car is back on all fours. This definitely qualifies as an entrant into the Save of the Year running for 2012.
Check out the video for yourself. There is one video above and two more after the jump. It’s rather impressive, but pretty loud, so you may want to adjust the volume on your speakers a little.
Click past the jump to see the two alternate views. Full story
Pikes Peak is the home of the dramatic wreck, thanks to its 156 twists and turns over a 12-mile-long mountain course. Thanks to Paul Dallenbach, we got a really cool first-hand account of one of the two most dramatic wrecks of this year’s run. Fortunately, he is doing well and seems ready to hop back in the driver’s seat.
By far the most dramatic wreck, but only because we get to see the entire thing unfold, is the one that Jeremy Foley and his co-driver endured. As his Lancer Evolution was heading toward an area very appropriately named “Devil’s Playground,” Jeremy lost control of his Evo and went straight over the hill, rolling about 10 times – by our count – before finally coming to a smoking rest. The two had Dallenbach-like luck, as neither broke any bones, according to reports, but the co-driver is suffering from a sore shoulder. Check out the dramatic video above.
Click past the jump to see additional footage of other wrecks from the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Full story