Everything You Need to Know About Extreme E - The Most Amazing Racing Expedition The World Has Ever Seen
On the River Thames, in the heart of London, and on the deck of a 105-meter ship known as St. Helena, Alejandro Agag, Formula E Founder and CEO, announced a new electric SUV race series called the Extreme E. This is a whole new motorsport project that will take electric race cars to the most remote places on Earth. Continental Tires, the Founding Partner of Extreme E, provides full support to the project and it will, naturally, supply tires for the electric race SUVs. The outline of the Extreme E race event includes up to 12 teams, with super powerful electric off-roaders that will travel the world on a former Royal Mail ship and race at the most lonesome and secluded destinations.
It is an epic global mission that will showcase electric SUVs and their off-road proves in racing format, and, even more importantly, raise awareness of climate change with equal gist. The transport ship St. Helena will be home to electric SUVs that are at the very frontier of what the automotive world can achieve. Apart from cars and tech, St. Helena’s quarters will host teams, engineers, and crew involved with the Extreme E project. This ship will basically transport racing enthusiasts and their beloved SUVs to the most awesome racing venues where they’ll have a ton of fun. Let that sink in a bit. No pun intended.
For that fact alone, I can only say that this is, ladies and gentlemen, “the biggest adventure of our time.” Those are the same exact words that Agag proudly chanted during the Extreme E introduction.
All of this is so overwhelming that I am left speechless. And, as if this weren’t enough, the experience will be available via digital streaming service. I mean. Perfect! This is #cargasm in making.
8 Interesting Facts About The 2019 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona
The IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship kicked-off in grand style with a rain-soaked 57th running of the legendary Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Many great stories emerge from last weekend’s twice-around-the-clock enduro around the Floridian Roval, and we’re going to look at eight of the most striking.
The Daytona International Speedway, home of NASCAR’s Daytona 500, has been hosting endurance races since 1962 but, this year’s race will go down in history as one of the wettest and most riveting, with changing conditions actually ending the proceedings early, after just 23 hours and 50 minutes had elapsed. The big story, of course, was Fernando Alonso’s victory in the No. 10 Konica Minolta-sponsored Wayne Taylor Racing-entered Cadillac DPi-V.R he co-drove with Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande, and Kamui Kobayashi. However, the topsy-turvy event that opens IMSA’s anniversary season was action-packed in all four classes, making us already anxious for the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Besides Cadillac, we had three more class winners. BMW bagged a lucky victory with their larger-than-life M8 GTE in the GTLM category, Lamborghini won back-to-back in GTD with the Grasser Racing Team that also scored the victory 12 months ago, and Elton Julian’s DragonSpeed operation won in LMP2 despite both of the cars suffering a number of accidents and the leader actually crashing out moments before the second red flag.
Are Hybrid NASCAR Cars Heresy or Just Natural Evolution?
The idea that NASCAR will one day turn to hybridization isn’t new, but this switch might happen sooner rather than later if the words of Ford Performance Global Director Mark Rushbrook are to be believed. It’s not earlier than this summer that Brad Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, was playing the advocate’s role for "F1-like" hybrid technology by using a KERS system to harvest energy as well as electric motors to back the gas-powered V8s. Many fans might be against electricity finding its way even in NASCAR, but there are reasons to look forward to such a change, no matter how radical it sounds.
Subaru Brings Back Legendary Blue-and-Gold Livery but You Won’t See It in WRC
The last time Subaru shone brightly in the World Rally Championship, a scarcely-believable 16 years ago to be precise, Petter Solberg drove a blob-eye Impreza covered in blue and the golden logo of the company to take the world championship home to Norway. Now, those colors are back, but only to Rally America and various Rallycross events that Subaru competes in.
It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally happening: Subaru of America announced that the works racing outfit, Subaru Motorsports will compete in 2019 proudly displaying the classic Subaru World Rally Team colors. The design has been tweaked to keep up with the changes that occurred to the Subaru badge itself but, otherwise, it’s the same livery that was rocked by the GC and GD Imprezas of old.
2019 Ford Fiesta R2 Rally Car
Poland-based rally racing outfit M-Sport has launched the Ford Fiesta R2 rally car; it’s ride-of-choice for the 2019 WRC Junior Rally Championship. The new racer is the first car to be designed and built from M-Sport’s new facility in Krakow, Poland. It’s also the first racer to be built to the latest R2 specifications. Further adding to its list of “firsts” is the distinction of being the first Ford-backed rally car built out of the new-generation Fiesta. All competitors in the 2019 WRC Junior Rally Championship will compete in this car. The winner of the series will be promoted to the WRC2 series where they will compete in a Ford Fiesta R2 in the 2020 season.
Mini Thinks Dakar 2019 Is Payback Time
The factory-backed Mini X-Raid team returns to the Dakar rally with both the Mini All4 Racing model loosely based on the Countryman and the two-wheel-drive Transformers-esque Mini John Cooper Works Buggy. Their aim? To win. The main hurdle? Japanese manufacturer Toyota and its Hilux trucks.
Believe it or not, Mini has made quite a name for itself in the world of rally raid in the past few years. The X-Raid team that manages the BMW-funded program has won the event four years in a row between 2012 and 2015 before Peugeot’s breakthrough win in 2016 followed by a Toyota success in 2017 and a return to form for Peugeot last year.
Now, Mini’s assault will be massive with a total of five all-wheel-drive Minis as well as three two-wheel-drive Mini buggies all aiming for that coveted first spot in the overall classification. They’ve surely got the driving talent needed to win this bigger-than-life event with Carlos Sainz, Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres all aboard, but can they dodge all the curveballs that the rally throws at its competitors? The rally starts in merely two days, and it’s crunch time!
2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is a track-only version of the 718 Cayman developed for customer use. It replaces GT4 Clubsport that Porsche introduced in 2015 and represents a notable update over the outgoing model. Unlike its predecessor, it’s offered in two distinct versions: Trackday and Competition. The GT4 Clubsport Trackday was built specifically for amateur racing drivers that like to spend weekends at the race track without participating in FIA events. The Competition model features a more complex suspension system, and it’s a direct replacement for the old GT4 Clubsport, as it is eligible for GT4-spec competitions in Europe, North America, and Asia. According to Porsche, the new race car features improved driveability, and it’s capable of quicker lap times.
2020 Revolution Racecars The Revolution
Revolution Racecars revealed the Revolution - a car that is to become a racing sweetheart, just like the Radical cars were in their day. I am mentioning Radical cars for a reason. The man behind Revolution Racecars, Phil Abbott, is actually one of the founders of Radical Supercars. No better man could have been tasked with the creation of an all-new sports car company.
This is the Revolution Racecars Revolution - a V-6 powered race car that will go for $130,000. A bargain for a race car and especially considering the performance it offers.
1974 Renault Alpine A110 1800 Group 4 Works
The Renault-Alpine A110 is one of the most famous rally cars of the two-wheel-drive era. It reigned supreme in the days before the WRC became a thing and this, the 1800, built to Group 4 specifications, is the swansong of the A110 and ran in 1974 and 1975.
The original Alpine A110 was launched in 1961 as the successor of the A108 which shared parts with Renault’s Dauphine. This time by, Paul Redele and his men relied on parts from the compact Renault 8 sedan. The car had a similar design to the A108, again with a rounded nose and straight-cut rear as well as bulbous headlights.
The A110, in its later versions, claimed numerous rally wins which made Alpine the 1971 champions in the International Championship for Manufacturers. This A110 was built for the 1974 season as one of only nine works-supported cars that year. It managed a best finish of second in the Tour De Corse but proved to be overwhelmed by the newly-homologated Lancia Stratos with its mid-engine configuration.
The Only Road-Legal Porsche 935 Is Up For Sale!
Porsche’s 935 race car was built to compete in the Group 5 class that was the pinnacle of GT racing in the late ’70s and very early ’80s. The 935 was the car to beat in Europe and across the Atlantic in the U.S. and even won Le Mans overall. Such accolades pushed F1 team owner Walter Wolf to want one, but not for the race track. The result was maybe the fastest road-legal car in the world at the time.
When you think about a GT racing car, you envision a car that’s based on a production model that was heavily modified, stripped of any useless equipment that only added weight, and then sent out on the track to compete against other vehicles like it. What’s unusual is to want for one of those race-prepped machines to be made street-legal again, while keeping most if not all of the racing bits on. That was the premise, largely speaking, of the insane GT1 class that lived a short life in the late ’90s but, even before that, there was one car that followed that same path: Walter Wolf’s street-going 935 K3 built by Kremer Racing of Germany.
Volkswagen wants the electric lap record at the Nurburgring
Records are meant to be broken, right? Well, the outright lap record at the Nurburgring stood for over three decades before Porsche came back to better it this summer. Now, it seems that the record might fall again, sooner than anyone expected, and in the hands of Volkswagen no less. The German manufacturer plans to obliterate the existing record for electric cars with the already impressive I.D.R., but there might be enough juice in the electric prototype to top the overall leaderboard in the process.
The outright record around the northern loop of the Nurburgring was something of a staple in motorsport. For over 30 years, the 6:11.130 lap time set by Germany’s Stefan Bellof was unbeaten. That is, until this summer when Porsche brought their 919 on steroids and, with Timo Bernhard behind the wheel, sliced the fastest lap time by almost a minute. It seems, now, that the new record won’t last for other three-and-a-half decades as the car that proved untouchable at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hillclimb event will take on the Nurburgring next May.
Is The VW ID R About To Tackle The Nurburgring?
As one of the most astounding racing cars in the world, the electric Volkswagen ID R seems to be gunning for the Nurburgring Lap Record. Sources close to the company reported that Volkswagen actually booked the track for May next year. We suspect it will try to send the slightly retuned electric ID R to that very track in order to slash the electric car record and take the scalp off the Nio EP9. That one managed to lap the Green Hell in 6 minutes 45.9 seconds. It is, obviously, a really fast car. Yet, considering the blistering Volkswagen ID R hill climb run at Pikes Peak where it smashed the previous record by 15 seconds and managed to finish the course in 7min 57.148 seconds, I can only imagine it will do the same at Nurburgring.
2019 Nissan LEAF NISMO RC
The new Nissan Leaf Nismo RC is as much a race car as it is a PR stunt. Yes, it builds on the experience Nissan gained by developing the first race-going Leaf only it doesn’t actually go racing anywhere. Nissan says six will be built and, with 327 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque on tap, it’s quite a beast but it’s not homologated for any series, and it will never be, so what is really the point?
The Nissan Leaf is without a shadow of a doubt the most successful EV car on the market today. Since its introduction in 2010, nearly 400,000 units have been sold worldwide and, as of October 2018, the U.S. is the Leaf’s biggest fan, buying over 126,000 examples in the first ten months of this year. It’s natural, then, to see Nissan partner with Nismo and create a new racing rendition of this eco-friendly compact car.
The first Leaf Nismo RC, that was unveiled back in 2011, looked like a big lump of fat. It was round in all areas and was about as aggressive as a pufferfish. With technology still in its infancy, the output wasn’t ground-shaking either: a little over 100 horsepower and about 200 pound-feet of torque. But it taught Nissan some important lessons about EVs and, so, we’ve expected a lot more from this new car, and we’ve got a whole lot more. There will also be more than one built but there’s still an issue: Nissan won’t enter the Leaf Nismo RC in any racing series since it doesn’t comply to any set of regulations in the world. It’s a test mule, which is a bit sad.
Why Can’t the 2019 Nissan Leaf Look Like This Leaf Nismo RC?
In 2011, Nissan unveiled what was called the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC - an electric racer made of carbon fiber, with a propulsion system partially borrowed from the production Nissan Leaf and with exterior touches reminiscent of the Nissan electric car. Fast forward to this day, and we’re looking at a new Nissan Leaf Nismo RC. It looks better, it is much quicker, and only eight examples will be produced.
While some of the tech inside is clearly amazing, one has to wonder, why can’t the 2019 Nissan Leaf Look like this Leaf Nismo RC?
2019 Roborace DevBot 2.0
The first time I heard about Roborace and its plan to create a driverless car and let it autonomously race around the track, I was a bit overwhelmed. What’s the point? Then, I started thinking. For decades now, we have been more entertained by manufacturers’ rivalry than actual rivalry between drivers. In this case, however, the real race would not be handled on the tracks, but behind the keyboards and monitors. In essence, whoever writes the best software code for autonomous racing car - Roborace DevBot - would win.
That is the main goal with Roborace. Well, it was. After a sort of a fail that Lucas di Grassi’s company (yup, he is CEO of Roborace, and if you are into cars you have to know who he is) experienced last year with autonomous racing, Roborace scaled back its expectations. This led to the development of the Roborace 2.0. Revealed only days ago and focused on entering a one-make racing series in late 2019. The new car has some striking differences compared with the Roborace DevBot. First of all, it has a full cockpit for the driver, it features an RWD setup instead of the AWD setup, and it will provide a possibility for the driver to basically race against freaking AI.
I am NOT joking.
Lamborghini builds racing version of Urus; Plans racing series for 2020
Lamborghini, once a brand completely uninterested in motorsport, is preparing to build a racing version of its Urus Super SUV, dubbed the ST-X. It should lead to a single-make racing series that will feature Rallycross-style courses.
The manufacturer from Sant’Agata Bolognese unveiled the Urus ST-X concept that is a very accurate preview of Lamborghini’s first racing utility vehicle. It was presented to the press at the Vallelunga circuit, near Rome, where Lamborghini hosted its annual World Finals for the Super Trofeo series.
Unlike another SUV-based series that should kick-off next year, the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy, the Urus ST-X will race on mixed surfaces similar to rallycross events where cars have to run on tarmac as well as on gravel. Lamborghini says the championship will take teams and drivers on a tour of FIA-approved tracks in Europe and beyond.
Watch Chris Harris Strap Into the Porsche 919 Tribute: Video
Porsche has built its name in motorsports. The German brand won everything from the Dakar Rally to Le Mans. Chirs Harris, who needs no further introduction, got to drive Porsche’s last Le Mans winner, the 919 Hybrid from last year, and it’s tremendous to watch.
We can’t argue that Chirs Harris has been lucky enough to drive some of the world’s most coveted automobiles over the years. But buckling up inside the tight confines of Porsche’s 2017 Le Mans winner is something special even by his high standards.
Watch This Subaru WRX With a Six-Speed, AWD, and Four-Cylinder Break Into The 7’s: Video
Here’s an Impreza that can complete a quarter-mile run in 7 seconds. It’s not the first Impreza to break into the 7-second territory, but it’s the first to do so with a 6-speed manual transmission. Now you’ll understand why they call it the ’White Bullet.’
Can you imagine shifting your way through a manual 6-speed transmission in order to complete a quarter-mile run in 7.96 seconds? It’s hard, especially when you have to contain the might of a +1,000 horsepower AWD Impreza at the same time. But it isn’t impossible as the guys from White Bullet Racing have proved at Maryland International Raceway during the World Cup Finals recently.
Formula 1 Unveils Track for 2020 Vietnam GP
Formula One has announced a new race for the 2020 F1 season that will be held, for the very first time, in Vietnam. The 3.5-mile long circuit will run partly on a race track and on the streets of the country’s capital city of Hanoi. The race will take place in April 2020, and it’s the first new race to be announced since American owners Liberty Media bought Formula in 2016.
New E.U. Insurance Rules Could Ban All Motorsport
Can you imagine a world where all forms of motorsport become illegal in Europe? That could happen if the European Motor Insurance Directive isn’t amended to change stipulations that require all cars to be fully insured. New proposals to amend the MID are currently under review by the European Commission. If the amendments pass without any changes to the specific phrasing to the text, motor racing of any kind, be it Formula One, rally racing, and even go-kart racing, will become illegal. It’s hard to imagine a world where Formula One racing is illegal in Europe, but it could happen if the amendments don’t include the stipulations that will allow the entire industry to operate legally within the Union’s laws. A vote is set to take place in December in the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.