1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype
Originally designed to compete at Le Mans and considered to be “the most significant one-off Works Aston Martin” in existence, the 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype is also one of the most valuable collectible cars in the world. Exuding an almost mythical presence, the history of DP215 is one of heartbreak and accomplishment that marks the end of an era for the British automaker. Lovingly restored over a 40-year period with extensive consultation from the car’s original designer, DP215 now heads to the block later this month at the RM Sotheby’s event in Monterey, where it may very well become the most valuable British car ever sold at public auction.
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2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Established in 2015, the TCR series has become increasingly popular with each season, now being contested by several automakers from Europe and Asia. Volkswagen is one of them, having joined the series with a race-spec version of the Golf GTI in 2016. Following the first full season, in which the Golf GTI TCR won 17 races and two championships, the German firm made improvements to the car in order to continue its good run.
The hatchback’s aerodynamics were updated, while the technology under the hood has also been fine-tuned. The updated car was again used by Liqui Moly Team Engstler, which tackled the German ADAC TCR, TCR Asia, and the TCR Middle East series. The revised GTI also returned to the International TCR series with Team Leopard Racing, which won the championship the previous year. Let’s find out what’s new in the review below.
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2018 Audi RS 5 DTM
Any fan of touring car racing has undoubtedly heard of the DTM series, but for those of you out there still drawing a blank, I’ll start things off with a little background info. The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, or DTM for short, is Germany’s premier touring car race series, often pitting the big three German makes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz against one another on circuits around Europe. Audi Sport had a very impressive performance during the 2017 season, snagging a slew of titles and achieving its “most successful results of all time,” according to the team. However, the 2018 season is now upon us, and with it, a variety of regulation changes shake up the competitive landscape. So, how did Audi adapt to the revisions compared to Merc and BMW? Read on to find out.
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2019 Toyota Supra NASCAR Race Car
The Toyota Supra is set to return to the market after a 16-year absence. Rumored for many years and teased since 2017, the Supra will make its public debut later in 2018, but Toyota has already introduced a couple of race cars. We’ve seen the first one in the form of an FIA-spec concept at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, while the second one is a somewhat surprising entry in the NASCAR Infinity series.
Unveiled ahead of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway, the Supra replaces the Camry in the Xfinity Series starting in 2019. The Camry-based race car leaves the series after ten competitive years, during which it won four manufacturer championships, two driver titles, and 147 wins as of 2018. This is the first time when the Supra name will be used in any NASCAR series.
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2018 Volkswagen Jetta Bonneville Salt Flats Record Car
Hot on the wheels of the Volkswagen I.D. R’s record-breaking run at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, Volkswagen is setting its sights on a new record, this time at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah. As part of its goal of breaking the Southern California Timing Association’s BGC/G class record, the German automaker is preparing a heavily modified version of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. Among the upgrades that will be included is a heavily modified version of VW’s 2.0-liter, turbocharged, EA888 four-cylinder engine.
2019 Jaguar I-TYPE 3
Panasonic Jaguar Racing is looking to continue its momentum in Formula E as it enters its third season with the new I-Type 3 race car. After coming in dead last in its maiden season in 2016, Panasonic Jaguar Racing made huge strides in 2017, vaulting up to fifth in the overall constructor’s championship standings in the current season. Ahead of its third season in the series, the British racing firm is looking to break into the podium with a race car it hopes can get them there.
2019 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
As the current Nissan GT-R is preparing for retirement with a new, hybrid-powered model underway, the race-spec Nismo GT3 was upgraded for the 2019 racing season.
Last revised in 2015, the GT-R Nismo GT3 has now received a new aerodynamic package on the outside and borrowed the recent changes that Nissan rolled out for the road-legal sports car. The race car also boasts an upgraded chassis that includes new suspension components, more durable brakes, and a more reliable transmission. That vehicle that has won many races in series like the Blancpain GT Series and the Super GT, just to name a few, will hit the track with these new upgrades for the 2019 season.
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2018 Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak
In case you hadn’t heard, Volkswagen is pivoting to a greener, more eco-friendly approach to building its cars, offering up plans to produce a host of new all-electric models over the next several years. Spearheading this new direction is a range of vehicles dubbed the I.D. family, which includes concepts like the Buzz minivan and Crozz four-door crossover. However, doesn’t think the I.D. range will be the death of go-fast VW’s - quite the opposite, in fact, as VW is also prepping a little something labeled I.D. for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado this June. It’s called the I.D. R, and it’s the company’s first-ever all-electric race car, purpose-built to tackle the Race to the Clouds. If ever there was a worthwhile application of VW’s EV tech, this is it. Mind the wing.
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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R Formula 1 Safety Car
Developed as a replacement for the iconic SLS AMG, the Mercedes-AMG GT has been around since 2014 and has already made a name for itself on the sports car market. Already available in a variety of versions and body styles, the AMG GT also made its debut on the race track, being offered in both GT3 and GT4 specifications. Starting in 2015, it also became the official Safety Car of the Formula One championship, being used in AMG GT S guise for three seasons. Come 2018, and the FIA upgraded its safety vehicle to AMG GT R specs, thus employing the range-topping model to lead the pack.
The 11th Mercedes-Benz vehicle to pace Formula One since 1996, the AMG GT R is also the most powerful safety car in Formula One history. The AMG GT R takes over from the AMG GT S, which was used since 2015, and joins a long list of AMG vehicles that were used over the last 23 years, including the SLS AMG, SL63 AMG, SLK55 AMG, CL55 AMG, and the C63 AMG. The AMG GT R Safety Car made its debut at the Australian Grand Prix on March 25 and will be used throughout the 2018 season, which ends on November 25.
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2018 CUPRA e-Racer
SEAT’s now standalone CUPRA performance brand is making its debut appearance at the Geneva Motor Show, and it’s making history in the process. The world’s first fully electric racing touring car in the world is wearing a CUPRA badge, and it’s called the CUPRA e-Racer. Largely based on the SEAT Leon TCR touring car, the CUPRA e-Racer not only looks like a serious race car, it also has as much as 670 horsepower at its disposal.
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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2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi
This coming January, lovers of dirt-flavored racing will once again turn their attention to the Southern Hemisphere as the infamous Dakar Rally hits South America for the tenth year running. 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the event, once again promising a grueling 10,000 km (6,214 miles) of racing over some of the most difficult terrain Mother Nature can produce. The outlined route will lead teams through Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, challenging competitors with steep sand dunes, craggy boulder fields, twisting tarmac, and impossibly high mountain passes. This is one of the ultimate tests of man and machine, but Peugeot looks ready for anything. The French automaker took top honors in the Dakar earlier last year, giving it back-to-back victories between 2016 and 2017. Now, the French automaker is looking for a three-peat with this – the updated 3008 DKR Maxi. The “brand-new racing lion” might carry the same name as the road-going Peugeot 3008, but it’s far removed from what you get in dealers, bringing the heat thanks to a host of impressive motorsport cues courtesy of Peugeot Sport, all aimed at ultimate victory over terra firma.
The Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi has undergone extensive testing in Morocco, Portugal, and France to prepare for the 2018 Dakar event, logging more than 18,000 test km (11,185 miles) over the past year. What’s more, Team Peugeot Total has once again assembled a dream team of talent for the driver’s roster, including names like Peterhansel, Loeb, Sainz, and Despres. Still – the Dakar is unpredictable at best. Will the new 3008 DKR once again have what it takes to snag another win?
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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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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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