BMW M8 GTE Looks Good In Rainy Prep for Daytona 24-Hour
Former CART and, more recently, Paralympic champion Alex Zanardi completed his first test aboard BMW’s M8 GTE Le Mans race car at the Miramas circuit in France ahead of the Italian’s debut in the 24 Hours of Daytona in January of next year.
Zanardi is known for his inspiring return to racing after a vicious crash during the 2001 CART race at the Lausitzring, in Germany, in which he lost both of his legs. Since then, the Italian achieved success in the World Touring Car Championship, the Blancpain Sprint Series, and has guest-starred in the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours race and also competed in the DTM earlier this year.
The man who put down "The Pass" on Bryan Herta at Laguna Seca in 1996 has also become a Paralympics hero winning gold on his para cycle in both the 2012 London Paralympic Games and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games as well as capturing numerous victories in World Championship para-cycling events since 2011.
Series Elite Launches One-Make Race Series For "Mature" Drivers
Are you of the opinion that there’s entirely too much young blood in motorsport? Are you tired of seeing 16-year-olds drive with audacious precision, incredible consistency and pace and humiliate the old and experienced? Well, now, the old have a place of their own: the Series Elite one-make championship for drivers over 50 years of age.
Jaguar is barely getting the I-Pace eTrophy series off the ground, one that’s supposed to give Formula E race-goers a little more bang for their buck. At the same time, a private initiative called Series Elite is trying to increase Jaguar’s footprint in racing by launching its own championship using Jaguar XE SV Project 8 cars. It’s supposed to be a series centered around wealthy gentleman drivers who are at least 50 years old and want to bang door handles in Jaguar’s most extreme sedan to date.
Series Elite expects to have a grid of 20 "mature drivers", as they put it, by the time the series kicks off next May. The 20 XE SV Project 8s that will be put to work by the 20 well-to-be adrenaline junkies are set to be slightly modified for track use but Series Elite stated that they can be turned back to the road legal specification quite quickly.
2019 Aston Martin Vantage GT3
The second-generation Aston Martin Vantage was introduced in 2018 as the company’s latest entry-level model. It replaced the Vantage model that the British firm offered from 2005 through 2017. With a brand-new model on public roads, Aston Martin is now also offering a couple of race-spec versions, one of which is the Vantage GT3.
Developed to replace the Vantage V12 GT3 that Aston Martin has been racing since 2012, the new Vantage GT3 is closely related to its GTE-spec sibling. The British company will use it as a factory race car, but it will also offer it as a customer racer for GT3-spec series around the world, including the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup and the Sprint Cup.
Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
2019 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Hyundai will switch from the i30 N TCR to the Veloster N TCR for 2019 and aims at continued success in the Blancpain GT World Challenge TCR division as well as IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge series. The new car will be offered through Bryan Herta Autosport in the U.S. for just $155,000 plus shipping charges.
Hyundai has ramped up its motorsport presence in the past few years. They’ve taken on the World Rally Championship and, more recently, entered the highly popular TCR scene with thei30 N hatchback. The car proved successful in both the World Touring Car Cup and the U.S.-bound Blancpain GT World Challenge.
After taking the team’s title this season the TCR class, Bryan Herta Autosport will offer the i30 N TCR’s replacement, based on the Veloster N platform, next year as a turn-key option for aspiring privateers. What is more, Hyundai will back teams competing in both IMSA-sanctioned and USAC-sanctioned championships next year.
Subaru Might Be Planning a Return to WRC With New Hot Hatch
Subaru is one of the most revered names in rallying history and, along with archrival Mitsubishi, has been absent from top-level WRC competition for a decade. Now, however, Japanese sources point to a possible resurgence of the Subaru WRC program.
Subaru built its reputation in rallying over a relatively short period of time. the Subaru World Rally Team was formed in 1989 and was active for less than two decades from that point on. But, in those two decades, Subaru put forth some of the most amazing machines ever seen on the WRC scene and promoted some of the sport’s most beloved drivers with names like Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg immediately springing to mind.
Sadly, Subaru isn’t part of the WRC anymore, although a no-limit rally car based on the Impreza has been seen competing to this day, however, it’s mainly racing in Asia and the Rally U.S.A. series, not in Europe. This is all about to change if rumors regarding a return of the Subaru World Rally Team in 2020 turn out to be legitimate.
1984 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Evolution 1 Group B
The Peugeot 205 T16 is the 347-horsepower all-wheel-drive beast from France that had both Lancia and Audi down on their knees in the second half of the Group B era. It was driven by the likes of Ari Vatanen, Bruno Saby, Timo Salonen, and Juha Kankkunen.
The 205 T16, with ‘T16’ standing for ‘Turbocharged 16’ since the car was fitted with a KKK turbocharger and a 16-valve cylinder head, is arguably a strange case in motorsport. As one of the most successful rally cars of the astonishing Group B era, it is criminally overlooked. People idolize the Audi Quattro for its innovative four-wheel-drive system or the Lancia 037 which was the last rear-wheel-drive car to win the WRC constructor’s title, but the 205 remains the unsung hero.
It only debuted in 1984, in the third season since the Group B rules came into effect. This first model was known as the Evolution 1 and lacked the flamboyant, but efficient, aerodynamic elements of the Evolution 2. Unlike your usual 205 GTI, for instance, the rally car had the engine in the middle, and it featured a changeable epicyclic gear train that was used to alter the amount of power sent to either axle.
Once surpassing the inherent issues that arise after debuting a brand-new car, the Peugeot Talbot Sport outfit, led by none other than the future general manager of the Ferrari F1 team, Jean Todt, crushed everyone in its path winning 13 rallies between 1985 and 1986.
Forza Motorsport 7 Adds New Hot Wheels Car Pack
Hot Wheels has been making the headlines left and right these days. That’s not an accident because the Mattel-owned toy car maker is on the tail-end of its 50th-anniversary celebration. Today, Hot Wheels is in the news because of a new car pack for Forza Motorsport 7. It’s called the Hot Wheels Anniversary Pack, and it includes some of the most iconic Hot Wheels cars in the toy company’s history. The Hot Wheels Anniversary Pack will be available on November 6 as part of Forza 7’s November update.
2008 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP Le Mans Prototype
The 908 HDI FAP was Peugeot’s first top-flight Le Mans prototype in over a decade and was designed to take on the might of Audi in sports car endurance racing on both sides of the Atlantic. It was a 750-horsepower diesel beast with over 850 pound-feet of torque that requires an army of men to run even today.
The mid-‘00s heralded the introduction of the LMP1 category at the top of the FIA/ACO prototype endurance racing ladder. This set of rules came in effect in 2004 as a replacement to the LMP900 rules, but older LMP900 machinery was to be grandfathered in Europe and the U.S. until 2006. The Peugeot 908, announced in 2005, debuted in 2007, one year later after Audi’s own diesel LMP1 car, and became the former’s biggest nemesis as the only other diesel prototype until the end of this era.
The 908, which changed quite a bit during its five-seasons-long racing career, was vastly quicker than the Audis almost anywhere, beating Team Joest and Audi Sport North-America both in the European Le Mans Series and the American Le Mans Series on numerous occasions. However, Le Mans glory was achieved only once, in 2009, when Peugeot Sport Total scored a historic 1-2 finish ahead of the brand-new Audi R15. Peugeot abruptly ended their involvement in global endurance racing before the kick-off of the new-for-2012 World Endurance Championship, although their hybrid 908 was already in testing and seemed to come together as a fine piece of kit.
Regardless, the French board decided that enough was enough and the P1 program was canned before the 908-HY could turn a wheel in anger. This led the way to Toyota’s hurried entry into the WEC midway through 2012, one year earlier than originally intended.
Ken Block Is Building Another Escort Cosworth for His 2019 Cossie World Tour
Ken Block made headlines earlier this year when he unveiled a stunning Ford Escort Cosworth RS fully prepped for rallying. The American promptly rolled the Escort RS during the New England Forest Rally and, following the crash, the Ford burnt to a crisp. Now, Hoonigan Racing announced that a new Escort will carry Block and Gelsomino in 2019.
We all know that besides making those crazy Gymkhana videos, Ken Block is an out-and-out fan of proper rallying. That’s why the American never misses out on a chance to try his hand around some special stages, be it tarmac or gravel, or even snow. He’s participated in a number of WRC events over the years in top-of-the-line Ford and Subaru machinery, as well as competing in the Rally America championship.
Brock’s latest project was turning a classic Ford Escort Cosworth RS into a full-blown rally car as a tribute to the Group A-spec rally cars of the mid-to-late-’90s. His original Cossie was crashed during the New England Forest Rally, and it erupted in flames almost immediately. The car was destroyed, but Block and Gelsomino weren’t hurt. Now, they’re aiming to bounce back stronger than ever!
The Track-Bound McLaren Senna GTR Will Deliver a Pavement Torturing 2,205-Pounds of Downforce
McLaren’s on an absolute monster roll. The British manufacturer barely let the dust rest on the newly-unveiled Speedtail and now they’ve released the first tidbits of information about the production version of the ludicrous Senna GTR, the track-only iteration of the already mind-boggling McLaren Senna.
We’ve just gotten over the rush caused by McLaren’s new 3-seater Speedtail model. Just as we’re rounding out talking about every inch of the Speedtail, McLaren kindly offers us more. Wait, what? Well, McLaren released today the first details on the McLaren Senna GTR which was first previewed via a flashy prototype at this year’s Geneva Auto Show.
That’s right, we now know a bit more about the car which will, as we can guess from a sketch you’re looking at, be slightly different to the Senna GTR concept. I’ll explain why that is down below so you should keep on reading if you want to find out what the GTR’s numbers are as well.
Max Verstappen Road Trips His F1 Ride from the Rockies to Miami: Video
No matter which flavor of automotive awesomeness you prefer, you absolutely must do a cross-country road trip at least once in your life. Seeing this great country unfold around the double-yellow line is an unforgettable experience, pretty much guaranteeing you’ll find some adventure along the way. Unsurprisingly, adventure is exactly what Max Verstappen finds in this five-minute video chronicling his trip from the Rocky Mountains to Miami.
The video begins on the winding switchbacks of the West, with the Torro Rosso slithering its way through paved (and unpaved) two-lanes as he heads East.
Up next, Verstappen shreds some sand on the beaches of Miami before heading down Ocean Drive for a little peacocking. Then it’s to the docks, where the F1 machine gets into a little race with a speedboat.
So yeah, the video can be a little cheesy at times, but seeing this finely tuned F1 car completely out of its element is reason enough to press play.
All-Female Race Series Launched to Find Next F1 Star Driver
A new international single-seater racing championship series for women will launch in 2019 with the goal of establishing a platform for female race car drivers and help them pursue their goals of competing in Formula One. The series, called the W Series, has the backing of former F1 driver David Coulthard, former F1 team manager Dave Ryan, and the F1 technical designer Adrian Newey. The W Series will feature six rounds scattered all over the world. It will launch in May 2019.