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.
Watch Ken Block Destroy Tires In His New Hoonitruck: Video
Back in October, Ken Block revealed the latest wild machine to claw its way out of his caffeine- and tire smoke-addled brain. It’s called the Hoonitruck, and it’s a twin-turbo, 914-horse dose of custom carbon fiber madness designed to shred all things round and rubber. Now, you can watch it do exactly that in this 2-minute, 43-second test session video.
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.
Here’s the Chevy Corvette C8.R Testing at Sebring
We’ve been talking endlessly about the upcoming Chevrolet Corvette C8 and, also, the race-going C8.R. Fans of old are lamenting about how it’s not really a Corvette if the engine isn’t in front of the driver, but this might not be the only problem the old guard will have with the new car. As we can hear in this new video captured at Sebring Raceway, the C8.R tries to sound like a Ferrari 488 GTE which suggests the push-rod V-8 might be a thing of the past, at least on the race car.
Chevy’s been busy testing the C8, that will be the first production mid-engine Corvette ever made, for over a year. At the same time, the guys at Pratt & Miller are racking up the test miles of the C8.R mules that should taste competition for the first time at the 2020 Daytona 24 Hours race.
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.
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.
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.