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2018 Hyundai i30 N TCR

2018 Hyundai i30 N TCR

Prepped for the Pirelli World Challenge

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.

Continue reading for the full story.

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NASCAR's eSports Venture Could Be a Real Thing

NASCAR’s eSports Venture Could Be a Real Thing

Video game racing tournament could start as early as this season

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.

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McLaren Senna to Race at Le Mans in a Couple of Years

McLaren Senna to Race at Le Mans in a Couple of Years

If the rules allow it, that is!

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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A Classic Jaguar is Being Brought Back To Life

A Classic Jaguar is Being Brought Back To Life

Jag confirms build of 25 models

While it’s not exactly as famous as the Jaguar E-Type — no Jag is — the D-Type is still regarded as one of the most iconic Jaguars in history. Only 75 D-Type units were built in the late 1950s after Jaguar initially planned to build 100 units. Apparently, Jag’s failure to reach its intended goal has gnawed at the company for years. Well, Jag’s finally doing something to address that by announcing plans to build the last 25 units of the D-Type. This is not a drill, folks. Jaguar really is going to build the last 25 units of the iconic race car, completing what it should’ve done 60 years ago.

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The Hyundai i30 N Comes to the U.S., But Only as a Race Car

The Hyundai i30 N Comes to the U.S., But Only as a Race Car

TCR-spec hatchback makes debut in Chicago

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.

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Tesla-Based Racing Series Gets FIA Approval

Tesla-Based Racing Series Gets FIA Approval

It’s a big step forward, but there’s still quite a few details left to sort out

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

Formula 1 Will Ditch The Grid Girls For The 2018 Season

Is it progress or just an empty gesture?

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.

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Audi Sport Shows Off its New Formula E Racer

Audi Sport Shows Off its New Formula E Racer

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.

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2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona - Race Report

2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona - Race Report

Cadillac takes 1-2 victory!

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?

Continue reading for the full story.

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Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona 2018 Preview

Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona 2018 Preview

The racing season is just around the corner

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.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Mercedes Displays 1983 Dakar Rally-Winning 280 GE at 2018 Detroit Auto Show

Mercedes Displays 1983 Dakar Rally-Winning 280 GE at 2018 Detroit Auto Show

A taste of the G-Wagen’s long and winning heritage

The Mercedes-Benz booth at the 2018 North American International Auto Show proved to be a busy place thanks to the all-new 2019 G-Class. Part of the fun was historic G-Class vehicles from Mercedes’ storied past. One of them was this, the 1983 Mercedes 280 GE built to run the Paris–Dakar Rally. Its driver was Jacky Ickx and co-driver Claude Brasseur. The duo battled the 6,200 miles over grueling, off-road terrain between Paris, France and Dakar, Senegal – a town on the westernmost tip of Africa.

The G-Wagen was mostly stock but came with a few extras to help win the rally. Meatier all-terrain tires, an off-road bumper, and extra lights were added, while the rear glass was painted over with sponsor logos. A large spoiler hangs off the G-Wagen’s rear, perhaps helping control dust.

The win proved extremely important for Mercedes. The G-Wagen was only four years old in 1983 and the Dakar Rally was only five. Both Mercedes and the rally have become legendary over the decades and into modern times. The 1983 race was also the first and only time an automaker to win the Dakar overall with two vehicle classes. Mercedes other contender was a 1936 AK-series medium-duty truck.

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5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Dakar Rally

5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Dakar Rally

Churning terra firma for ultimate off-road glory

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.

Continue reading to learn more about five things to look for at the 2018 Dakar Rally.

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2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi

2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi

The French automaker’s shot at a three-peat exit from the Dakar

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?

Continue reading to learn more about the Peugeot 3008 DKR.

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2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy

2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy

A two-pronged attack from the Dakar champs

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.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini John Cooper Works Rally.

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2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car

2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car

A brand-new support vehicle from the Bavarians

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.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car.

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A Timeless Christmas Commercial From Mercedes-AMG

A Timeless Christmas Commercial From Mercedes-AMG

Apparently the Benz also make baking ovens

Car-related Christmas commercials are generally good fun, especially when it’s not a hard sell, in-your-face ad about year-end closeout deals or other pitch. One of my favorite light-hearted commercials came from Mercedes-Benz in 2012. It features the SLS AMG GT3 racecar and its development team. The commercial begins with engineers and pit crewmembers tirelessly working under the SLS’ hood. It appears the AMG team is making corrections to the big 6.2-liter V-8, perhaps tweaking it to hit that sweet 600-horsepower mark. The SLS then burns rubber out of the pits and onto the rack where the pit crew seems oddly obsessed with making the car hit 180 degrees Celsius. Strong German accents bark orders at the driver not to hit the curbs, presumably to save the SLS’ forged aluminum control arms.

The mystery comes to a close when the car pulls back into the pits, and the hood is opened. There, sitting perfectly inside the SLS’ long engine bay, is a tray of Christmas cookies decorated with Mercedes emblems, AMG logos, Reindeer, and shooting stars. A taste reveals the cookies were perfectly baked by the all-aluminum V-8, confirming the $456,000 non-streetable SLS AMG is the most exciting oven ever devised.

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