Ford To Race With Historic Liveries For GT’s Le Mans Swansong
The Ford GT in racing trim is both one of the most successful and one of the most controversial GT racing cars of the past decade. Having debuted in 2016 when the road car was yet to see the gleaming floors of a dealership, the GTE-spec Ford GT will retire as a factory race car after this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race, the final round of the 2018-2019 FIA World Endurance Championship Super-Season. The good news is that it’ll do it by giving a final tribute to its forerunners from half a century ago.
We’re less than a month away from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 87th running of the most famous sports car endurance race in the world. Last year, Porsche wowed the crowds with a pair of retro-liveried Porsches, namely the No. 91 Manthey Racing entry that sported a Rothmans-inspired color scheme and the No. 92 Manthey Racing entry that threw it back to 1971 and the emblematic Porsche 917/20 ’Pink Pig.’ A full year has gone by and, now, it is Ford’s turn to delve into its storied past. If Porsche’s performance last year (a pole with the No. 91 car in the hands of Gianmaria Bruni and the victory in the GTE-Pro class with the No. 92 squad) is any indication of how retro-liveried entries fare at Le Mans, the Ford works program will end with a bang.
Niki Lauda, The Three-Time F1 World Champion Has Passed Away
Niki Lauda, one of Formula 1’s genuine heroes that survived the deadly ’70s to start his own airline company and, in recent years, be a key figure behind Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ success story in Formula 1 has died at the age of 70 on Monday, May 20th, 2019. The Austrian, born in Vienna in 1949, won 25 Formula 1 Grand Prix races out of 171 starts and became World Driver’s Champion three times: in 1974 and 1977 for Ferrari and, again, in 1984 for McLaren. But his legacy is far greater than his sporting results for, behind the numbers, Lauda was one of the sport’s shrewdest, toughest, but also most calculated and clever competitors. He carried those qualities in every area of his life, combining them with a uniquely straightforward attitude.
Monday, millions of racing fans across the globe woke up to the news that Niki Lauda was no longer with us due to complications that arose from a lung transplant as well as resurging kidney problems. Lauda underwent two kidney transplant surgeries, in 1997 and in 2005, and, last year, he underwent a successful lung transplant in the hometown of Vienna. His rehabilitation seemed to be going well, and he even spent the winter holidays in Ibiza with members of his family, but a bout of pneumonia saw Lauda return in intensive care. More recently, he’d been undergoing dialysis at the University Hospital of Zurich, in Switzerland.
Team O’Neil Rally School Explains How to Jump a Car: Video
Pretty much every rally highlight video in existence includes some hero pinning it over a crest, engine bouncing off the rev limiter, all four wheels spinning through the atmosphere. It doesn’t get much more dramatic than jumping a car, but as Team O’Neil explains in this 6-minute video, there’s a bit more to it than planting your foot and death-gripping the steering wheel.
Best Autocross Car
Motorsport can be both ludicrously expensive and extremely dangerous. Luckily, autocross (alternatively known as auto-x or solo) remedies both those issues without skimping on the adrenaline rush. The premise is simple - race against the clock on a cone-lined course without hitting any of the orange things and post the fastest time. The courses are typically tight and tricky, emphasizing driving skill and vehicle setup over raw horsepower, and as a result, you don’t need to drop half a fortune to run at the front. Given just how accessible and inexpensive autocross is compared to most other motorsports, it makes sense that the vehicles which compete in it are equally accessible and inexpensive. With that in mind, we’ve put together the following list to help you find the best autocross car out there.
The Legacy of Jim Russell
Jim Russell, the founder of the Jim Russell Racing School, can be considered the man behind the careers of many of motorsport’s top drivers including F1 World Champions Emerson Fittipaldi, Derek Bell, and Jenson Button, Le Mans winner Andy Wallace, Indycar aces Johnny Rutherford and Danny Sullivan and many, many more. Russell was also a keen racer himself and earned three British F3 titles in succession in the ’50s.
If you want to kick-off a career in motorsport, you need some deep pockets, an appetite for success, and the right teachers. The teaching can come naturally, through your own hands-on experience, but guidance is sometimes needed. That’s why racing schools have thrived over the years, and that’s why the best in the business can lay claim to some of the success of a bunch of top athletes that have become legends in motor racing. You may have heard of the newly-reborn Skip Barber Racing School or Bob Bondurant’s School for Performance Driving that was recently sold to private investors.
Both of these have hit some rather big hurdles in the past few years, but there’s no denying that taking part in the program of a top racing school can improve your chances of success in your motorsport career as well as making you a better, more aware driver throughout. Jim Russell’s racing school that he established back in 1956 - making it the oldest of the three - is also one of the world’s top organizations of this kind and is, currently, the racing school of the Mont Tremblant circuit in Canada. In the past, Jim Russell’s school also organized programs at Sonoma Raceway and in Russell’s native United Kingdom.
Car for sale: 2001 Cadillac Northstar LMP01 Raced At Le Mans And Now It Could Be Yours
Remember the Cadillac Northstar engines? They were a bunch of highly-advanced, DOHC V-6 and V-8 engines built by Cadillac from the ’90s all the way to 2011. In the early days of the Third Millenium, the Northstar made its way into prototype racing in the middle of the Riley & Scott-developed Cadillac LMP that raced for just three years. This is the fourth chassis ever made, and it was raced by the factory in the American Le Mans Series and at Le Mans in 2000 and 2001. Sadly, unlike the current Cadillac DPi-V.R, the LMP project was ambitious, but the money flow stopped just as the car was getting good and GM ditched its plans of replicating Ford’s Le Mans glory.
Believe it or not, Cadillac first raced at Le Mans in the year 1950 when Briggs S. Cunningham brought two Series 61 models, the first Americans to race at Le Mans in two decades. One of the two Caddies featured an aerodynamic bodywork designed in the Grumman Aircraft wind tunnel with the aim being to achieve a low drag coefficient. Half a century later, Cadillac returned at Le Mans with an angular-looking prototype that, while looking quite a bit like Cadillac’s products at the time, was underpinned by a proven chassis. The problem, though, was the engine. It was always about the Northstar, and it took Cadillac two years to make it reliable and then, in year number three, they finally started working on performance, and the results started to come. The fourth year was supposed to be the one when everything came together, and the target was locked on the laurels everyone was after - but it never happened.
2019 Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01
After years of speculation, Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed its Formula E contender. Well, sort of. The German manufacturer presented in the eve of the 89th Geneva Auto Show the EQ Silver Arrow 01 wearing a ’concept livery’ that is, as you can see, lacking an important element: silver. Rest assured, though, the final livery that "will be presented at a later stage ahead of the [2019/20] season opener" will undoubtedly feature some silver.
Here’s an odd one: Mercedes taking the wraps off its first electric silver arrow racer that ominously lacks any trace of silver. That’s like Ferrari debuting next year with a blue car in Formula 1. What’s more important, though, than an interim livery is what Mercedes is conveying by officializing this move. The automaker from Stuttgart left, to the dismay of many, the DTM at the end of the 2018 season after a 30-year-long involvement in the series to focus on showcasing its electric prowess on track in the world’s top arena: the Formula E. The works Merc team will debut next season, which will be the sixth in the history of the championship, and the program will be run by HWA who ran the DTM cars in the last few years and, intriguingly, will operate the new Aston Martin DTM cars this season as well from behind the scenes.
Update 04/03/109: Mercedes has taken the Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow Formula E racer to the track to perform some in-depth testing. Check out everything we know in our special testing section below!
Volkswagen To Tackle Tianmen Shan Big Gate Road with I.D. R
Volkswagen’s bespoke electric prototype racer that was the fastest at last year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event will most likely add another record to its cabinet. Romain Dumas will pilot it in September on the so-called "Road to Heaven" that features 99 bends along 6.83 miles of road, longer than the original Spa-Francorchamps road course.
This year, Volkswagen will finally introduce the first model from its much-advertised I.D. family of electric models that are supposed to make us all rethink our lives, ponder on existence as a whole and so on and so forth. To keep the ball rolling and the buzz going, Volkswagen is yet to park the glorious LMP-like I.D. R in a museum and, instead, it will take the 670 horsepower beast all the way to China to compete on a strip of road that’s not opened to the public.
Audi’s New Four-Cylinder Race Engine is a 610-Horsepower Beast
Audi just unveiled an incredibly powerful 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine for its Audi RS5 DTM racing car. With a power output of 610 horsepower and half the weight of the 4.0-liter, V-8 it replaces, the new engine does not only provide 110 horsepower more than before, but it also slashed the weight of the DTM racer to 2,200 pounds. However, DTM practically summoned it with the change of rules in the DTM championship.
With the new DTM championship season warming up to start in May, the manufacturers are getting ready to compete following the new set of rules. The most significant change is the decision to dismiss the 4.0-liter, V-8, naturally aspirated engines in favor of the new, 2.0-liter, turbocharged fours. All in a move to close the gap between the road cars and its racing avatars in the DTM. What is more, DTM capped the power output for engines used in racing cars to 620 horsepower (plus 30 horsepower more for the push-to-pass maneuvers). That means that Audi did what the regulations allowed. If regulations allowed that this turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine could have up to 1,000 horsepower, Audi would make it like that. It happened already.
Watch and Listen as this Insane Triple-Rotor Mazda RX-7 Demolishes a Hill Climb: Video
The third-generation FD Mazda RX-7 is unquestionably one of the greatest Japanese sports cars ever built. Not only is it an exceptionally pretty thing to look at, but thanks to its low weight, faultless chassis tuning, and compact dimensions, it’s epic to drive as well. And of course, you can’t forget to mention the RX-7’s wild rotary engine package either, which, properly tuned, sounds unlike anything else out there. The particular example featured in this video comes with all that and more, with as much as 520 horsepower produced from a triplet of triangles spinning up to an incredible 10,500 rpm.
Ken Block’s New Ford Escort RS Cosworth Didn’t Even Survive its First Race
Ken Block’s Ford Escort RS Cosworth rally car must be cursed. A little over a year his first Escort RS Cosworth rally, which after he affectionately calls “Cossie,” caught fire and burned down, the second Escort RS Cosworth, called “Cossie V2,” once again came up short at the most inopportune time, conking out in the middle of the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood race. In a span of 20 months, Block has raced in two Escort RS Cosworth rally cars. Neither made it to the finish line. There must be a pattern there.
2019 Papadakis Racing Toyota Corolla Hatch Formula Drift Car
The Toyota Corolla nameplate has deep roots in drifting, most notably with the AE86 “Hachi-Roku” produced during the ‘80s. However, in the 30-plus years since the demise of the original 86, the Corolla has been a bit of a pariah when it comes to the business of getting sideways and smoky. Nevertheless, Papadakis Racing has transformed the modern front-wheel drive twelfth-generation 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback into a winning entry in the cutthroat Formula Drift Championship.
Of course, breaking away from the pack has been a staple of team owner Stephan Papadakis’ career, and it shows everywhere in this latest build. Beyond the extensive rear-wheel drive conversion and complementary bespoke suspension, the Toyota also arrives to the party with half as many cylinders as most of its competitors, while still producing four-figures on the dyno thanks to mind-blowing levels of boost and a hearty shot of nitrous. Then there’s the unique five-door body style, which is enhanced by a custom carbon-fiber widebody kit.
Read on for all the nitty gritty details on what makes this machine so incredible.
Updated 03/19/2019: When this article was originally written, the author assumed Ryan Tuerck would drive the featured Corolla race car in the 2019 Formula Drift season. This is incorrect. Papadakis Racing built the featured Corolla race car for Toyota for demonstration purposes, and Ryan Tuerck is not a regular driver for the Papadakis Racing team. The author apologizes for the error.