2018 Hyundai i30 N TCR
Launched for the 2018 model year, the i30 N is Hyundai first high-performance vehicle for the road. Although the N division is a few years old and responsible for the company’s solid rally campaign, road-going cars wearing this badge are still to come. While the i30 N already available in Europe, a similar version of the brand-new Veloster is coming to the U.S. in 2018. The i30 won’t make it on this side of the pond for road use, but Hyundai wants to use the beefed-up hatchback on the race track. Meet the i30 N TCR, Hyundai’s weapon of choice for the Pirelli World Challenge.
Showcased for the first time at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the i30 N TCR was launched alongside Hyundai’s new partnership with Bryan Herta Autosport. The result of this collaboration is a factory-sponsored race team that uses two versions of Hyundai’s i30 N TCR race cars currently available to customers in Europe. Bryan Herta will also develop all aspects of the team, including technicians, drivers, coaching, and management.
As the name suggests, the i30 N TCR will compete in the Touring Car Racing division of the Pirelli World Championship. The season kicks off in March and ends in September after six events across the U.S. You’ll be able to see the i30 N TCR on March 23-25 in Texas, April 27-29 in Virginia, May 25-28 in Connecticut, July 13-15 in Oregon, August 10-12 in Utah, and August 31 - September 2 in New York.
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NASCAR’s eSports Venture Could Be a Real Thing
Is NASCAR about the jump aboard the digital gaming craze? That looks to be the case after a report from The SportsBusiness Journal revealed the racing series’ plans to finalize an eSports venture. Nothing has been confirmed at the moment, but the report indicated that NASCAR is in the final stages of hammering out a venture that would lay the foundation for NASCAR-themed video game race competitions during race weekends this season.
McLaren Senna to Race at Le Mans in a Couple of Years
Launched in late 2017 as a successor to the P1, the McLaren Senna is the company’s most radical road-legal car yet. Not just superior to the P1 in almost every department, it’s one of the quickest supercars on the race track. At least that’s what McLaren claims. There’s no proof of the Senna skill at the track, but all the specs, performance figures, and the extreme aerodynamics seem to point in that direction. And McLaren wants to take things up yet another notch in the near future with a racing version.
Although it has yet to confirm it, the British firm is most likely developing a GTR version of the Senna. It will be here once production of the regular model, limited to 500 units, comes to an end, so it will probably take until late 2019 for that to happen. Much like the P1 GTR, the Senna GTR will be a race-spec model of existing Senna clients and part of the company’s customer program with racing events around the world. But while the P1 program was halted after the GTR, the Senna will become a full-blown race car for FIA events. At least that’s the plan.
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The Hyundai i30 N Comes to the U.S., But Only as a Race Car
Unveiled in 2017 as the company’s first road-going model built by the recently established N brand, the Hyundai i30 N isn’t available in the U.S. However, the performance hatchback just made its North American debut at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. Don’t get overly excited though, as only a race-spec version of the hatchback will flex its muscle on U.S. soil. Specifically, Hyundai will race the i30 N in the Touring Car Racing (TCR) class of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season.
Tesla-Based Racing Series Gets FIA Approval
The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, otherwise known as the FIA, just gave the all-Tesla Electric GT World Series racing series its blessing following passing marks from the series’ cars in recent crash testing. Approval from the FIA, the same organization that keeps Formula 1 in check, gives the upcoming racing championship some serious clout, and moves it that much closer to becoming a reality.
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Formula 1 Will Ditch The Grid Girls For The 2018 Season
It goes without saying that Formula 1 (and indeed, pretty much all of motorsport in general) is completely dominated by men. From the drivers, to the teams, to the people running the show, it’s pretty much a sausage fest through and through out there. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but on balance, I’d say we’re a long way from gender equality in racing. Now, Formula 1 is taking steps to get a little more in step with the times, and will ditch the grid girls starting with the 2018 season.
“Over the last year we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport,” said Managing Director of Commercial Operations at Formula 1, Sean Bratches. “While our practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grand Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern societal norms. We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”
Last year, the U.S. behemoth Liberty Media purchased Formula 1’s commercial rights and started shifting things around. Bernie Ecclestone got the boot, and F1’s administration got a thorough reworking.
Granted, getting rid of the grid girls won’t do anything for gender equality, but it does address part of Formula 1’s cultural stagnation. On the other hand, you could see the move as no more than an empty gesture to appear more “modern.”
What do you think?
The 2018 Formula 1 season kicks off March 25th in Melbourne.
The fifth season for Formula E is upon us, and Audi Sport is ready to dish out some electric-bred hell on the track. In preparation for the fifth season, Audi has prepared its second-gen racer with a new livery that is just downright hard to look away from. Check out Audi’s latest twitter post below along with some higher-resolution images in the gallery at the bottom.
2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona - Race Report
After 24 grueling hours that saw a myriad of punctures, but surprisingly few full-course cautions, Cadillac proved again to be head-and-shoulders above the plentiful opposition, which included F1 Champ Fernando Alonso, in what was a truly record-breaking 56th running of the ultimate enduro test on the Daytona International Speedway.
Just two short years ago, the 24 Hours of Daytona was broken apart by no less than 21 full-course yellow periods. They were for cars slowing down or stopping on course, a number of crashes, and other more or less minor incidents. This meant that many competitors were able to get back some of the laps they’d lost since IMSA allows for a ‘wave-around’ procedure that sees cars that are a number of laps down gain a lap at each caution period – although each car can only gain a certain number of laps. As a team owner, you can rest assured that, having a 24 hour-long-race in front of you, there will surely be cautions that will give you the opportunity to gain some time that you might’ve lost – or should you?
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Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona 2018 Preview
It’s that time of the year again, after the Roar Before the 24, of high anticipation, when everyone thinks they have the keys to all the locked answers but, in reality, it will take the whole of the upcoming Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona to find out what’s really what. That doesn’t mean, however, that we aren’t putting together this preview for you to get in gear for what is, as ever, the longest and most difficult race in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship and, this time around, one that is buzzing with worldwide interest much more than in the last few years.
The 56th Annual Daytona 24 Hours is upon us. From the 25th through to the 28th of January, all of our eyes will follow the action at the 3.56-miles-long Daytona Speedway as 50 cars divided into three classes, Prototype, GT-Le Mans and GT-Daytona, will do battle twice-around-the-clock. It is, as per usual, the opening round of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship and it might just be the opening act to a memorable season, as I’ve talked about in my race reports in 2017.
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5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Dakar Rally
With the flipping of the calendar, all eyes once again turn to South America for the 40th running of the infamous Dakar Rally. 2018 marks the tenth time this arduous 9,000 km (5,592-mile) event has run across the continent, once again keeping the spirit alive with an impressive lineup of high-performance vehicles and talented pilots to guide them. Per tradition, the Dakar promises to deliver tons of drama and motorsport-style heroics, and as such, we’re giving you five things to look out for at this year’s event. We’re also breaking down how to watch the event, be it online or on TV, so read on and get stoked.
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2018 KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering
Launched back in 2008, the X-Bow (pronounced "crossbow") is KTM’s only automobile to date. In 2015, the Austrian firm introduced the GT4, a closed cockpit version of the X-Bow built in cooperation with Reiter Engineering, one of Germany’s most important racing teams. Considered to be a pioneer vehicle of the GT4 category, the X-Bow GT4 has scored numerous victories and titles in the GT4 European Series, Pirelli World Challenge, VLN, China GT, Thailand Superseries, and Australian GT in less than four years. Come 2018 and KTM is updating the race car for the upcoming motorsport season.
While exterior changes are rather mild and the cabin carries over unchanged, save for a few new techy bits, the X-Bow GT4 boasts many new features under the skin. There is a new transmission and some new chassis components, all designed to increase performance, increase mileage, and reduce running costs. "Although we already have a GT4 vehicle that offers one of the best values for money – just take a look at the VLN where there’s no other car that runs faster lap times for less money – we want to further reduce the costs for the teams and the drivers with these updates," said Reiter Engineering boss Hans Reiter.
So what’s new for 2018? Keep reading to find out.
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2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy
As is tradition, the world of motor sport is looking to kick off 2018 with the infamous Dakar Rally, one of the most brutal, unforgiving, car-breaking, will-sapping events ever conceived. The Dakar heads into its 40th running this year, and its tenth stint in South America after the move across the Atlantic in 2009, and once again, competitors will do battle over a variety of terrain, from sand, to tarmac, to boulder fields, to 13,000-foot mountain passes. With so much tough terrain and such insane distances to cover, simply completing the Dakar is considered a major accomplishment. However, X-raid and Mini aren’t looking to just reach the finish line - they wanna win. Thus far, the collaborative effort has yielded four consecutive victories between 2012 and 2015, with the most recent outing in 2017 snagging sixth overall thanks to the efforts of Argentinian driver Orlando Terranova. Now, X-raid and Mini are gearing up for a fresh approach that includes the brand-new RWD Mini John Cooper Works Buggy. Created to take advantage of certain regulations to bolster 2WD competition, the Buggy will race alongside the more traditional Countryman-based 4WD Mini John Cooper Works Rally for a two-pronged approach to tackling the Dakar.
Fittingly, both vehicles were presented in Paris prior to their competition debut. The Buggy is a particularly exciting new venture for the Germany-based X-raid, which for the past 15 years has focused primarily on 4WD competition vehicles. However, with an experienced roster of drivers ready to take the controls, plus the proven Mini Rally to bolster the ranks, the team is feeling good about its chances. Read on for details on what makes these machines tick.
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2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car
BMW M GmbH has been the partner of MotoGP organizer Dorna Sports for nearly two decades now, and is recognized as the “Official Car of MotoGP.” That means every time the top-rung motorcycle racing series needs something four-wheeled to help out on tack, Bimmer is there to provide the ride. Now, BMW has revealed a new safety car for the series, pulling the sheets at the 2017 MotorGP finale at Valencia. Based on the brand-new F90-generation M5, which was revealed earlier in 2017 at the gamescom trade fair in Germany, this spiced-up four-door is destined for duty in the 2018 MotoGP series scheduled to kick off March 19th. Rocking the same 4.4-liter V-8 as the road-going variants, this is also the first BMW Safety Car to run the M xDrive AWD drivetrain, and it’s got a good deal of M-branded Performance Parts to go with it. Read on for the details.
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2019 McLaren 720S GT3
Launched in 2014, the McLaren Super Series included a batch of spectacular sports cars. Alongside the base 650S model, the British firm also launched the higher performance 675LT and the race-spec 650S GT3. Light, fast, and packed with the latest technology, the Super Series became McLaren’s most successful car. However, the British carmaker decided to replace it after only three years on the market. Its successor is called the 720S and boasts improvements in just about any department. It’s been six months since the 720S was unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show and McLaren announced that a race-spec GT3 version is also underway.
The new 720S GT3 will replace the 650S GT3, a vehicle that scored titles in all major motorsport series, including the Asian Le Mans Series, Australian GT championship, the Bathurst 12 Hour, Blancpain Endurance Cup and Pirelli World Challenge. But it won’t happen right away. Much like the 570S GT4, the 720S GT3 will have a trial season in 2018 and will completely replace the 650S in 2019, when it will be launched for customer teams.
In addition to the new race car, McLaren also announced plans to introduce a new racing program and a one-make GT series for customers. It’s also planning to appoint a network of motorsport retailers which will sell road and track products alongside each other. But more about all of this below.
2018 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
After no fewer than 12 years on the market, the first-generation Vantage was finally replaced by a brand-new car. Revealed in November 2017, the second-gen Vantage joins the DB11 in Aston Martin’s new lineup of cars that use completely new underpinnings and a fresh design language. Alongside the road-going coupe, Aston Martin also unveiled the Vantage GTE race car, which will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Built by the same team that developed the outgoing V8 Vantage GTE, the new race car replaces the company’s most successful competition car of all-time, credited with 37 of the team’s 51 international race victories, including two Le Mans 24 Hour class wins. With extensive optimization of the powertrain, chassis, and aerodynamics, Aston Martin hopes that the new Vantage GTE will be at least as successful as its predecessor.
Although it was just revealed, the race car is under development for many months and has already completed more than 8,000 miles of testing, a 30-hour run at the Navarra track in Spain, as well as a rigorous durability program at Sebring in Florida. Aston Martin says it will keep most of the 2017 driver lineup for the new Vantage GTE. This includes Le Mans GTE Pro class winners Darren Turner and Jonny Adam, as well as the Danish duo and 2016 FIA WEC GTE Pro world champions, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen. In addition, AMR has recruited ex-GP2 race winner and now Formula E racer Alex Lynn.
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