Wheeled Robots Will Race Up The Hill at Goodwood, But They Are Not Transformers
After successfully running the Robocar up the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s hill climb last year, Roborace is returning to the scene of one of its greatest public triumphs, and it’s bringing along a new developmental prototype with it. The Roborace DevBot 2.0 isn’t an entirely different model than the Robocar; it’s more of a second-generation evolution of the model that tackled the run up Lord March’s driveway a year ago. The 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed starts tomorrow, July 4, and will run until Sunday, July 7. In the event you see a futuristic, LMP1-inspired race car partaking in the festivities, be sure to give it a shout out. That’s Roborace’s DevBot 2.0.
2019 Toyota Supra Drift By HKS (2JZ)
The 2019 Toyota GR Supra Drift by HKS is a heavily modified Supra that will make its debut at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Built by HKS, a Japanese company known for modifying cars and selling aftermarket parts, this Toyota Supra looks like a full-fledged race car and drifts like no other fifth-generation Supra. The really cool thing is that it has a 2JZ-GTE engine under the hood instead of the Supra’s BMW-sourced mill.
Are you happy that the Supra is finally back but you’re also upset that it has a BMW engine? Are you crazy about the iconic 2JZ-GTE in the previous Supra? Well, this might be the car you’ve been looking for. It looks like the new Supra but it sounds and drifts like the old Supra. The bad news is that you can’t take it home. The good news is that you can see it in action at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The Bentley Continental GT Just Kicked The Porsche 911 Turbo’s Ass Up Pikes Peak
The 2019 Bentley Continental GT just became the quickest production car on the iconic Pikes Peak course. A stock version of the British grand tourer completed the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with three-time champion Rhys Millen at the wheel, in 10:18.488 minutes. That’s a whopping eight seconds quicker than the previous record that was set by a 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S.
2019 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car
The 2019 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car is a unique version of the Acura NSX that serves as the official pace car for the 97th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Essentially a production model fitted with pace-specific features, the 2019 NSX is the fifth consecutive Acura to pace the "Race to the Clouds." The second-gen NSX first served as the pace car for this event in 2015.
The Japanese pace car will be driven to the Pikes Peak summit by David Donner. A six-time Pikes Peak champion, Donner is also the current holder of the Time Attack 2 Production class record. The pace car will be joined by five other race entries, including two NSX cars. James Robinson will drive one in the Time Attack 1 class, while Nick Robinson will drive the second in the same category. Acura also fields the TLX GT in the Open class, the RDX A-Spec in the Exhibition class, and the MDX Sport Hybrid in the Exhibition class.
Acura Has One Hell of a Line up for the 2019 Pikes Peak Hill Climb
For the eighth consecutive year, Acura is returning to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a lineup of would-be conquerors, determined to build off the automaker’s dominant run in last year’s event when it set numerous records in multiple classes and categories. This year, Acura’s Pikes Peak lineup includes four home-grown models that will be driven by the automaker’s very own research and development engineers. A fifth car, the Acura TLX GT, will be driven by driver Peter Cunningham, who’s as motivated as anybody to eclipse the record-setting time of 9:27.352 that he set last year with that year’s version of the TLX GT. As five models aren’t enough, a separate Acura NSX will serve as the event’s resident pace car for the fifth consecutive year, having first taken that role in 2015. As other automakers have come to identify specific races as their own, it’s hard to argue against Acura staking claim to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Not only has it established numerous records in the annual race, but it has also set itself up as the dominant force in the race over the last few years. If past performances hold firm, this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb could once again turn into Acura’s very one showcase.
Days At The Races, The 2019 Edition of the Nurburgring 24 Hours Proves You Need Luck To Win A Race On The "Green Hell"
The Nurburgring-Nordschleife road course that sits hidden in the thick forest of the Eiffel Mountains in Germany is an automotive enthusiast’s heaven, and we were there to report from the 2019 Nurburgring 24 Hours race, the most important motorsport event that takes place annually on the old host of the German Grand Prix. The positives? Everything. The negatives? Only one: that the 2020 edition of the race is 12 months away.
When I started covering sports car endurance racing, some six years ago, I quickly established in my head that there are endurance races and there are endurance races. In the latter category, I’ve put the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours, the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours, the Bathurst 12 Hours, and the Nurburgring 24 Hours - all for obvious reasons. As a result, all of these events found their way to my bucket list and, now, I’ve ticked one of them, and I’m here to tell you what’s like to experience this twice-around-the-clock race for the first time - both from behind and in front of the fences.
2019 Bentley Continental GT Pikes Peak #100
The Bentley Continental GT Pikes Peak #100 is a race car based on the production grand tourer. The Brits developed this vehicle specifically for the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Bentley aims to break the record for production cars, currently set at 10:26.9 minutes.
The Pikes Peak-spec Continental GT follows in the footsteps of the Bentayga, which set a record for production SUVs at the 2018 race. The Bentayga "climbed" the mountain in 10:49.9 minutes, shaving nearly two minutes of the previous record with an average speed of 66.5 mph. The race-spec Continental GT will be driven by Rhys Millen, a Pikes Peak veteran and a former winner of the "Race to the Clouds."
5 Interesting Stories From the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 87th edition of the legendary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans brought tears of joys in the eyes of a few and tears of despair in the eyes of many. It was a race jampacked with thrilling battles in the GT ranks as well as some truly dramatic moments in the prototype classes, and we even got a topsy-turvy finish at the sharp end of the field. This may not be one for the history books, but there are plenty of stories emerging from France after last week’s 24-hour race that ended the FIA WEC 2018-2019 Super Season.
The FIA WEC is for the world what the IMSA Weathertech Championship is for North-America, namely the premier sports car racing series. lsoBorn from the ashes of the ill-fated Intercontinental Le Mans Cup that only survived two meager years, the WEC (which stands for World Endurance Championship) wishes to continue the decades-old tradition of the original World Sports Car Championship (turned World Manufacturer’s Championship at one point) that debuted in the mid-’50s but perished in 1992 due to the rising costs of the F1-derived Group C prototypes.
The current World Endurance Championship has also been through some dark days and, in more ways than one, these dark days are bound to continue. Scroll back just three years ago, and you’ll find a healthy and exciting LMP1-Hybrid class with three works programs ducking it all out on the track. Then Audi left. Then Porsche left. And the FIA and the ACO (the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans) found themselves without two the headliners of the show. Board meetings followed board meetings and discussions with interested parties, and it was agreed that privateers could compete in the top class, LMP1, with non-hybrid cars and they’d be roughly on par with the lone works team, Toyota Gazoo Racing.
However, the Japanese giant, who’d tried to win Le Mans since the ’80s, was in a position of power and pushed rule makers to dance to its own music and the end result was the lackluster 2018-2019 Super Season we just saw come to an end last weekend.
Aston Martin is Planning a Valkyrie Invasion on the Nurburgring
Aston Martin has never held the production car lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. That’s an important distinction to remember because that could change soon when the British automaker brings the Valkyrie hypercar to the famous race track. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but Aston Martin appears to be set on making an attempt at the ‘Ring’s production car lap record for “international marketing” purposes, as explained by Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer in a conversation with Motoring. Now, talking a big game about setting the production car lap record at the Nurburgring and actually doing it are two very different things. But if there’s a car out there that’s well-equipped to unseat the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ (the current record holder) it’s the 1,160-horsepower British hypercar. Only time will tell if Aston Martin goes through with it, but, at this point, it’s probably safe to start taking bets now. Any takers?
Acura Plans To Race Up Pikes Peak With A 400 Horsepower MDX Sport Hybrid
Known as the ’Race to the Clouds,’ the annual Pikes Peak International Hillclimb event is arguably the best well-known of its kind and one of the hardest to master. That’s why Acura is deploying a five-car time at Pikes Peak this year although we’ll be focusing on just one of them: a modified MDX Sport Hybrid three-row SUV that’s said to put out 400 horsepower without the exterior appearance (minus the Acura livery, of course) suggesting it means business.
The 12.42-mile-long strip of road that climbs all the way up to 14,115 feet and forms the course of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb was once covered in dirt from one end to the other. Then, as time went by, asphalt started replacing dirt and, now, there’s tarmac everywhere. But this hasn’t stopped all sorts of people showing in all sorts of cars which, on the face of it, seem very unfit for the (potentially deadly) challenge that is the race in Colorado. An SUV might now be the first thing that you’d bring to climb the mountain, but with there being such a big mountain for these high-riding vehicles, it’s become quite appealing for some manufacturers to show up and try to beat the SUV record. The Pikes Peak isn’t the "new" Nurburgring with everybody bragging about how fast they can go around there, but it may become soon enough.
Jackie Stewart To Drive His Championship-Winning Matra At Silverstone Classic
It’s been 50 years since legendary Scottish driver Jackie Stewart bagged his first World Driver’s Title driving the Matra MS80 in his second season with the French government-backed outfit. This July, fans will be able to see the gorgeous blue silhouette of the MS80 running around the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in the hands of the inimitable JYS, the man who went on to win the World Driver’s Championship two more times during his enduring partnership with Ken Tyrrell. Tyrell, however, eventually switched from being Matra’s Team Manager to being the constructor of his own Tyrrell cars.
You have seen them in films (chiefly, John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix from 1966), period videotapes, and images and I’m sure you still ask yourself, How were they ever allowed to race those things? Motorsport wasn’t always a safe place like it is today when, to be frank, only a freak accident can result in the death of a driver or a bystander, at least in automobile racing. Turn back the clock 50 years ago, and you’ll realize that there were casualties every other weekend and that some of Formula 1’s greatest talents from back in those days never got to grow grey hairs.
Out of the survivors, Jackie Stewart is one of the finest. Widely considered as Jim Clark’s protegee, Stewart rose from the shadow of Clark’s greatness after Jim tragically passed away in 1968 to win three F1 World Driver’s Titles, one Tasman Series title, and almost won the Indy 500 on his first attempt in 1966, among many other accolades. Since his retirement from Formula 1 in 1973, after a grim weekend for Tyrrell’s team, Stewart has remained very much active in motorsports acting as a pundit (if you’re older you may remember him being part of the team on ABC’s Wide World of Sports and NBC Sportsworld) on TV and, also, as a Team Boss in the ’90s for Stewart-Ford. However, arguably, his greatest achievement has been to increase the people’s awareness towards the importance of safety in motorsport during those deadly post-War decades. This stance made him an unpopular figure at the time despite his success as a driver but, nowadays, you can’t help but admit that he’s been instrumental in pushing motorsport, in general, to become safer and safer, a fight that’s still going on today.
The Volkswagen ID.R Just Slaughtered the Nurburgring - Here’s How Fast
Do you hear it? It’s the Volkswagen PR machine stomping the ground and announcing far and wide that the halo car of the I.D. family has just annihilated the Nurburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany and, in the process, put a new benchmark lap time for EVs. The time? A 6:05.336 after many tryout laps and other tests that have commenced in April. Is it noteworthy? Most certainly. Is it as noteworthy as VW would want you to believe? Not really. Bear with me to see what I’m talking about.
Last year, Volkswagen sent shockwaves around the world when Frenchman Romain Dumas claimed victory and shattered the previous all-time record set by rally legend Sebastien Loeb in 2013 at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. Already an overall winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours race and a three-time winner of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, Dumas pulled the feat aboard Volkswagen’s cutting-edge I.D.-R, a purpose-built prototype made for the Race to the Clouds. He followed that up by raising the bar on Lord March’s driveway and setting a new EV record during the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Since late last year, we’ve heard that the German giant is after the record and it all came down now. The NIO EP9’s reign is no more.