We don’t know if it’s sour-graping (it sounds like it) on Toyota’s part or maybe they just didn’t fit in. Either way, Toyota took a potshot at Formula One during the lead-up to the 24 Hours of Nurburgring over the weekend, saying that the racing series is full of "elitists" and that the Japanese automaker would probably never return to the sport.
Well...duh. Formula One doesn’t call itself the ’pinnacle of motorsports’ for no reason.
According to Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota’s senior managing director for motorsports, Toyota became disenchanted with Formula One after being exposed to the series’ seeming disconnect from mainstream fans and their propensity to gravitate towards the high-class elite of today’s society. As a result, the Japanese automaker pulled out of the sport and is now looking at participating in racing series’ that cater to a more mainstream fanbase, including NASCAR and GT racing. Whatever racing series Toyota’s motorsports division joins in the future, we can automatically cross out Formula One off that list. Apparently, Toyota would much rather enjoy a nice round hotdog, pretzels, and beer in the company of NASCAR than sip Cristal champagne and eat foie gras with the Formula One ’elitists’. We would take either company, but we certainly wouldn’t blast the other. Nice manners, Toyota.
It’s not the typical car you’d find being sold at an online auction site, but that’s exactly what makes it that much more lust-worthy. What you’re looking at is a Cadillac LMP900 race car, the same car that competed at Le Mans back in 2001. It’s also the same car that comes with a modified 4.0-liter twin-turbo Northstar V8 engine with a six-speed sequential gearbox with a carbon fiber tub. The price for this jaw-dropping set of wheels? $355,000. And if you’re feeling a little loose on the wallet, you can actually get two of these babies for yourself. We don’t know what you’re going to do with two of them, but it sure would look mighty awesome in your garage.
The true measure of making a quality race car isn’t exactly measured by the amount power and speed that goes on in the car - though that’s a pretty good thing to have too. No, quality is measured by developing technologies in a race car that could find its way into production cars, sort of like killing two birds with one stone.
And in today’s world, no other aspect of the auto industry is as important as making cars as fuel-efficient as possible. For Chevrolet, the work is as painstaking as it is laborious. Hours are spent - not to mention the vast amount of resources - trying to develop ways to make race cars like the Corvette C6.R greener while maintaining the necessary speed and reliability to stay competitive. Whereas a lot of people are more interested in how much horsepower or how fast a race car goes from 0-60, this video - part 4 of the Corvette Racing new mini-series - gives us a glimpse of just how important eco-friendly fuel-efficiency has become, both for cars that compete on track and those that run off it.
The 24 Hours of Nurburgring came and went with some pretty nerve-wracking incidents, one of which involved EVO’s Roger Green and the Lotus Exige that he was piloting. In the middle of his run, the Exige that Green was driving lost its brakes and inexplicably burst into flames, forcing him to abandon the race and jump out of his car while it was slowing down to its fiery demise.
The team has yet to reveal the cause of the mechanical problem that doomed the Exige, but we’re relieved that Green was able to get out of there before the fire reached him. Momma always said that when a fire starts, you drop everything and get the hell out of there, which, to his credit, Roger Green, did to a tee.
The demise of USF1 from Formula One even before they got a chance to make the 2010 grid is a microcosm of the level of interest - or lack thereof - Americans have for the sport. However, just because one team crashed and burned faster than we could say ’go’, doesn’t mean that we’ve seen the last of a US-based team in F1.
According to ESPN, a company named Cypher Group has been formed with the intention of picking up where USF1 left off, that is, fielding a team that can compete in Formula One in the near future. The new outfit has made it clear, however, that their success will hinge on whether they can find the necessary funding to make the F1 application a worthwhile endeavor. Considering that lack of funding doomed USF1’s hopes, we’re not exactly optimistic of Cypher Group’s chances, especially since its been reported that the team will pretty much pick up the scraps left by USF1, holding its headquarters in North Carolina - similar to USF1 - and employing most of the people the worked for, you guessed it, USF1.
The only thing different about Cypher Group - and we suppose this is a good thing - are the notable absence of both Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor, the two main proponents of USF1’s failed F1 attempt this year. Whether this new team has a chance to make the grid next year is anyone’s guess, but unless they get the proper funding, we’re really not holding our breaths.
In the glitzy and glamorous world of Formula One, anything is pretty much possible. Even having drivers wear helmets and drive steering wheels with diamonds on them. Lewis Hamilton did it in 2008 at the Monaco Grand Prix and now the Brit is hoping that the second time will be a charm.
To commemorate its two world champions - that’s Hamilton and Jenson Button - McLaren teamed up with Stenmetz Diamonds to have diamond-encrusted wreaths placed on both of their driver’s helmets and steering wheels. Hamilton will have one with an ’08’ on it signifying his 2008 Driver’s Championship and Button, the reigning World Champion, will have one with an ’09’ on it.
The helmets were unveiled at Steinmetz’s villa in Monte Carlo earlier this week, proving yet again that Monaco is about the only place in the world that can pull something like this off. Both Hamilton and Button hope that the diamonds prove to be a sign of good things to come in time for the race.
Red Bull’s involvement with vehicular competitions has grown exponentially in the last couple of years to the point that it probably has some form of presence in 75% of racing or drifting competitions in the world.
And from under our noses - and a lot of others who didn’t know about it too - the energy drink company recently hosted the "Red Bull Car Park Drift" in, of all places, the UAE. We don’t know how this could have escaped our senses, but at least we managed to sniff it out before it became old news. And as is always the case with these guys, they didn’t let a good drifting challenge go to waste without documenting it for their fans.
So lo and behold, folks! Check out the video of the recently-concluded "Red Bull Car Park Drift" in the UAE and we have a feeling that this could be the beginning of a yearly event for Red Bull.
Red Bull’s dominance in this year’s Formula One season has led to the unthinkable.
Rumors are circulating within the paddock of a rumored alliance among three bitter rivals with one goal in mind: catch up to Red Bull and knock them off of their pedestal.
According to Autocar via reports from Germany’s Bild-Zeitung newspaper, Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes have all joined forces to exchange data on Red Bull in an effort to try and catch the front-runners from running away with the 2010 Driver’s and Constructor’s championships.
Whether this rumor has some legs on it or is merely a stretch for all three teams isn’t why we were all shocked when we found out about it. The mere insinuation that all three teams, especially Ferrari and McLaren, are forging an unholy alliance, is about as shocking a news as we’ve received in the Formula One season. Given the two teams’ acrimonious story, the notion that they’re now working together seems to be as likely as Max Mosley and Jean Todt sharing an afternoon of tea together.
It goes without saying that this rumor is one that we’re going to take a close look at it to see whether there’s some (shocking) truth to it. Trust us, it’s as big a rumor as any we’ve heard in quite a long time from the circus that is Formula One.
Porsche will see the seven Audi R8 LMS race cars Audi is planning to field into the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and will raise them to 33. That’s the number of 911s that are expected to participate in the endurance race.
Of the 33, there are a few notable models that will compete in the race, including two 911 GT3 Rs from Manthey Racing, a 911 GT3 R from Mamerow Racing, a 911 GT3 RS that will be driven by ex DTM driver Roland Asch, EVO’s Chris Harris, and TV personality Patrick Simon, and last but not least, the racing debut of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid.
Hartmun Kristen, the top dog of Porsche Motorsport, is excited about the large number of 911s that will be participating in the endurance race. "This year, Porsche is particularly well represented at the Nürburgring 24 hour race by its vehicles, customers, and drivers," he said.
"We regard this diversity as a clear commitment to the 24 hour event. Our customer teams compete with strong driver contingents, with some receiving support from our Porsche factory drivers. I’m especially curious about our 911 GT3 R Hybrid. We’re not setting our sights purely on race results, but more on the data that our race lab delivers for the further development of hybrid technology."
One of the things that separates us mortal drivers from the really, really good ones that race cars for a living is their innate ability to completely zone out while they’re behind the wheel of their vehicles. Call it concentration or tunnel vision or whatever kind of description you can think of, these people are paid to drive for a reason.
That being said, rally driver, Mark Tapper, should have known better. While running Rally New Zealand on board his Mitsubishi Lancer, Tapper momentarily lost his concentration when some piss drunk fan decided to give Tapper quite a peep show by pulling down his pants and flashing his posterior for Tapper to behold. Distracted and surprised, Tapper ended up rolling his car and ending his otherwise stellar race.
You should have known better, buddy. Even if somebody pulls down their pants in front of you.