After three days of asphalt-flavored action through vineyards, military tracks and flowing country roads, Sebastien Ogier took the win in Germany over the weekend, positioning him ever closer to clinching his third consecutive World Rally Championship title. Fellow Volkswagen teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen joined him on the podium, making for a clean 1-2-3 all-Polo R VW sweep at the make’s home event. Latvala finished 23 seconds behind Ogier, while Mikkelsen trailed by an additional 94 seconds.
Germany marked Ogier’s sixth win for the 2015 season and his 30th career victory, placing him alongside Marcus Gronholm in second for most all-time wins (Sebastien Loeb still holds the outright record at an astonishing 78 wins). In order to secure his third driver’s championship, all that’s left for Ogier to do is finish ahead of Latvala at next month’s Rally Australia.
However, Ogier said the focus in Germany was not on the driver’s championship, but rather on bringing a win to VW at its home event, something the make has failed to do since it re-entered the WRC in 2013.
“It was a perfect rally and that was the target, to try to finally give a victory here to my team and I’m proud to achieve that,” Ogier said. “The third title is getting really close so that’s fantastic, but this weekend the interests of the team were bigger than mine.”
The WRC next heads down under for Rally Australia, September 10th – 13th.
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Even as Sturgis, South Dakota prepares for the Black Hills rally, preparations are under way at another Sturgis – in Mississippi! Officially known as “The Rally,” this event has also answered to the names “Sturgis South” and “Little Sturgis” through its 10-year history. Like most bike rallies, this one will host scores (over 100, at least) of vendors and merchants, with the local restaurants and businesses promoting biker-friendly atmospheres and deals. Bike games, shows, dinner rides and a poker run keep things happening during the day, with Full Circle, Southern Halo and The Jason Miller Band jamming into the nights. Be sure to visit the official site for the complete schedule of events.
Early camping opens on August 9 at the City Park. The Rally jumps off at 8 am on Friday, August 15th and runs through Sunday the 17th. Friday and Saturday are the big entertainment days, with Sunday reserved for the Blessing of the Bikes. I plan on heading out with a few friends Saturday morning, and getting there around noonish. We will spend the night and head back Sunday morning, hopefully with pictures, swag and some stories to tell. Be sure to check back for “coverage from the ground” on Monday the 18th.
Continue reading for the full story.
Last year I spent just three days with the Gumball 3000 crew and in that time I saw supercars set things on fire, got trapped in an elevator in New York, met superstars like Deadmau5 and Xzibit, and of course I drove around with stunningly beautiful women and an astonishingly fast Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. Well this year I’m going back, and it’s going to be bigger and better.
AnastasiaDate has invited me back, but this time for the whole trip. That means 10 wild days of Gumball madness to share with you guys. This year’s journey starts in Stockholm Sweden, winds through Norway and Denmark, and eventually sees us end all the way on the west coast of the U.S., with stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. AnastasiaDate also has a sister company called AsianDate that is sponsoring a car as well, so that means there are two wild machines to bomb around in this year.
Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s trip for the 2015 Gumball 3000 Rally
Imagine if you could combine some Top Gear-style challenges with an epic supercar road trip like the Gumball 3000, and then you sprinkled it all with a little bit of Forza magic and a dash of Tanner Foust. This event is the Forza Fuel Challenge, and it is here to celebrate the coming launch of the new Forza Horizon 2 video game on September 30th.
The teams consist of a pair of journalists and famous YouTube content creators. There is one of each piled into eight supercars that include the likes of the Audi R8, and the Lamborghini Aventador, and the new Lamborghini Huracán leads the whole convoy. As you may know the Huracán is the new halo car for the Forza Horizon 2 game, and it represents the first time you can drive this new supercar in any video game.
The teams are currently bombing around southern Europe, and when they reach designated points on the route, they get to compete in several challenges. Whoever wins the most challenges in the end will win. The first round happened two days ago at Bologna, Spain and the challenge was called “Get To The Choppa.” The teams raced against a helicopter through a slalom course on an airfield.
You can watch the video after the break to see what this whole mess is about and watch the first challenge unfold. The second challenge happened yesterday, so we should have more videos of this exciting road trip soon.
Hit that jump, watch that video, and don’t forget to keep it locked here on TopSpeed.com to see the other videos in the series, as well as more Forza Horizon 2 news including a full review that is coming soon.
Click past the jump to read more about Lamborghini Huracan.
After 16 years of wild road trips, the Gumball 3000 has developed quite a few traditions. One of those traditions is the end-of-rally awards ceremony. There are awards for cool cars, crazy stories and new drivers. Of all the awards handed out, none are as prestigious or coveted as the "Spirit of Gumball" award. The Spirit of Gumball is given to the team that does the best job of embracing the spirit of the rally. Winners should show dedication to having a good time and being part of the festivities. They should avoid negativity, push the boundaries a little bit, and above all, have lots of fun.This year the award went to Team Deadmau5.
The video above shows the finale of the awards and includes a look at Deadmau5 and his co-driver Tori Belleci of the MythBusters accepting their award; a gumball machine mounted on a massive chrome plinth. Sadly there is no footage of their car, a baby blue Ferrari 458 with Nyan Cat graphics on it.
Maximillian, Mr. Gumball himself, awarded the honor to Deadmau5 because of his contributions to the Gumball, and his nearly flawless attendance at all events and festivities. When compounded with the fact that this was his first Gumball experience, it only seemed right he should win.
As an expression of automotive fun, extravagance and camaraderie, the Gumball 3000 is an unsurpassed experience. Congratulations to Deadmau5 and Tori for making their mark on everyone who was part of this great event. I know I am happy I had the chance to meet them.
The Gumball 3000 is an exciting thing to be a part of, but when you get hundreds of nice cars together to go on a 3,000-mile road trip, there is bound to be some carnage and general mayhem. Sadly that often means that one of the cool and valuable cars entered in the rally will not be going home in one piece. That story rings true for this modified Shelby Cobra.
The car is said to be good for 800 horsepower, and it looked downright menacing with its matte-black vinyl wrap. At some point during what looks like the UK leg of the trip, the Cobra was involved in an accident that ripped most of the car’s front end clean off. Most of the suspension, wheels and body work are completely missing in the photos gathered by GT Spirit. There is no information on the cause of the crash, but thankfully it appears that all those involved are safe.
The car itself was a 1966 model and as entry number 113, it was the official car from Battery Energy Drink, one of the main sponsors of this year’s rally.
Epic road trips are lots of fun, I love them, but it is important to remember to keep it safe out there. Especially when piloting an 800-horsepower hot rod with no roof.
Click past the jump to read more about the Shelby Cobra.
It’s like every petrol head’s dream come true. The call came through and all I heard were the words “Lamborghini” and “drive.” My mouth gushed forward a "yes" before my brain could even process what was happening. I was going to be handed the keys to a Lamborghini Gallardo, the best-selling and most popular car in the brands 50+ year history. The exact model in question was an LP560-4 Spyder. With a 5.2-liter V-10 engine making more than 550 horsepower, and a curb weight almost 500 pounds less than a Nissan GT-R, it should be exciting.
Of course, there is always a pang of fear when it comes to situations like this. Lots of cars have massive followings and are supposed to be exquisite to drive, but I have found on more than one occasion that sometimes it is best to never meet your heroes.
As the entry for AnastasiaDate into the 2014 Gumball 3000 Rally, I wasn’t promised a lot of time with the car, but it was enough for me to make a decision about the car.
Was this a mistake, or did this tiny supercar drive its way into my heart?
Read on to find out what I think of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder
The third day of the rally was going to be the worst. We had nearly 900 miles to travel, and our slow-moving follow car meant that most of the other cars would leave us lagging hours behind, limiting the exciting supercar scenery we would see. What actually happened though was that this final day became my favorite.
By the time the day was over I had new sunglasses, saw a Ferrari get crunched by a van, got stuck in an elevator, met some awesome famous people, met awesome people who weren’t so famous, and made some great new friends. I also spent some more time in the Lamborghini Gallardo and learned to play a Russian card game.
The day I was dreading the most turned out to be one of the most exciting. It just goes to show that anything is possible, especially when you are dealing with the insanity and excess that is the Gumball 3000.
When I got the call to do the Gumball 3000, I had no idea what car I would be driving, what team I would be on, or even who the co-driver(s) could be. It was such a crazy opportunity, I couldn’t say no.
It turned out, that I had been attached to one of the major title sponsors AnastasiaDate, I would be in a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, and that my co-drivers would be a pair of Russian models from the site named Alisa and Margarita.
A wise man once told me, "you could make this job up, but nobody would believe you."
To get a better idea of who I was going to spending a large portion of my time with, I was given a full bio for each girl. If you are interested in learning more about these two attractive women I spent a few days getting to know, I have collected some of their best answers to the survey as well as a whole collection of photos of the two of them below.
Read on to find out more about Margarita and Alisa
My first day being part of the Gumball 3000 rally with team Anastasia Date has been insane. I have seen more Ferraris than I can shake a stick at, there are beautiful women everywhere, and I got to see a Lamborghini Aventador set fire to some bushes with the fireballs it was shooting form its exhaust. Yes, I got video footage of the fireball.
The day started with a quick look around the area before hotel checkout, and then we met up with the girls and headed over to a local import dealer that sells Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and lots of other exotic metal. Then we made it back to Ocean Blvd to see our car get unloaded from the carrier truck.
After all that there was a big dinner, and since Deadmau5 is in the rally, he put on a big concert at the hotel. If you want to see photos of some of the crazy cars and pretty girls, plus watch that Lamborghini fire video, just look after the jump. Sadly I don’t have any photos from the concert.
As a whole, the Gumball 3000 has been an interesting ride. The experience of being immersed in this world of wealth and extravagance has been jarring in the most entertaining way.
But I don’t want to spoil all the fun of the trip just yet. You have to wait for my full piece next week. Until then, enjoy these cool photos and that incredible Lamborghini video.
If you watched the live podcast this morning, you are well aware that I am heading to Miami to take part in this year’s Gumball 3000. As you read this I am likely in the air on my way to the sandy beaches and hot cars of Southern Florida.
While there are more than one hundred cars on this year’s grid, the one I will be spending my time with is a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. The car and team are owned by an online dating company called Anastasia Date, and two lovely ladies from the company are going to be the main pilots of the car on its 1500+/- journey to New York City.
The trip officially begins on Thursday, but there are lots of things to see and do on Wednesday, so expect to hear a lot from me.
After the jump I have included every social outlet I will be using, if you are interested in all the different ways to keep up with my live coverage. I have also included a photo of the lovely ladies who will be piloting the car along most of its journey. I was even nice enough to include some info about some of the other cool cars that are in the rally. Enjoy.
Feel free to Tweet in my general direction if you have any questions or comments about the car, the team, or the event. I may even try to do a live stream chat from the car if the cell signal holds up. Anything is possible.
Check the jump for the best ways to keep up with Moe during the rally, see some pretty cool people, and learn more about some of the teams.
Mini owners, pack your bags, get your car serviced and then get your butt to San Francisco; the Mini Takes the States road rally is back! This biennial event is the largest official Mini road rally covering 18 states, 15 cities and more than 5,000 miles. The trip will begin on Saturday July 26 in San Francisco California and will end two full weeks later on Sunday August 10 in Boston.
Along the way, you will get the chance to see much of our great country as the journey winds West into Colorado, then cuts south into Texas. From there you head towards Memphis, Tennessee and up to Chicago finishing with a northern detour to Buffalo, NY and finally arriving Boston. There are several more stops scattered through the middle as well.
While the cost for the trip will be what you make of it, Mini has thankfully made the entry and registration fees decidedly affordable at $45 per person with kids under 12 and all pets being freebies. If you decide that a 14-day cross-country vacation is not quite your cup of tea, Mini happily invites you to join for any portion of the festivities you prefer.
Whether you own a Cooper Hardtop, Clubman, Countryman or any other member of the Mini brand, join in and have fun.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Takes The States Event.
In the past few years, Jon Olsson shown quite a passion for customizing special Ultima GTR supercars for the Gumball 3000 international road rally. For those of you who do not know, Gumball is an annual 120-car deep, 3,000-mile road rally that takes place on public roads with a different route each year. Last year’s Gumball took place in the U.S., so this year it is Europe’s turn.
Jon Olsson is one of the guys always present for the rally. For example, in 2011 he developed a special Ultima GTR in collaboration with ADV.1 wheels. For the 2013 rally, his sponsor is Rebellion Racing Team, which is where the name of the car comes from, obviously.
According to the first details, the new Rebellion is a prototype-like conversion, featuring Audi-inspired headlights and Veneno / LMP1 + rear fins and tons of sponsor stickers.
UPDATE 05/15/13: More photos of Jon Olsson’s Rebellion R2K race car have been released. Do yourself a favor and check out the gallery. It’s all worth it.
Click past the jump to read more about Olsson’s previous Gumball car.
Just days ago we let you know that Mini pretty much used FIA homologation rules to its advantage by finishing up the 2012 season and calling it quits, now another manufacturer is following suit. There have been rumors floating around since 2011 that Ford Europe was going to pull out of the World Rally Championship and that will become a reality following the 2012 season, as Ford Europe announced that it will pull its sponsorship following the 2012 season.
Unlike Mini, Ford has been a long-running sponsor, lasting 16 seasons. With that long of a history, it is more obvious that Ford’s pull out is mostly due to the crumbling automotive market in Europe. Despite pulling its sponsorship, Ford will provide M-Sport, its WRC partner since 1997, with the Fiesta R5 rally car, along with engineering and vehicle support following its departure. In addition, Ford Europe will still offer the Fiesta R2 rally car for grass-roots national and regional driver programs.
It looks like we are in for a drastically changed lineup for the 2013 WRC season, and we’re not even through the 2012 season yet. Hopefully no more manufacturers pull out this year.
Click past the jump to read Ford’s official press release.
The Mini Portugal team, along with its WRC partner, Prodrive, actually started off pretty well in the 2012 WRC season, but things turned sour for the MINI rally team following its breakup with said partner. Following the March split, Mini never reached the podium again. Though the 2012 season is not quite finished, Mini has announced that it will withdraw from the World Rally Championship following this season.
In all honesty this really comes as no surprise, as Mini is thought to have only raced as a factory sponsored brand this year to get WRC homologation. Why is that so important? Well, this means that Mini now can sell its rally cars to private racing companies, make profit, and have zero racing overhead. This was all backed up by Dr. Kay Segler’s statement “By the end of the season WRC Team Mini Portugal will have competed in every rally in 2012. As such, in accordance with FIA regulations, we will have achieved the WRC homologation for the Mini John Cooper Works.” Well, don’t make it too obvious that you played the system, fine Doctor…
In all honesty, this is just one of the necessary evils of the racing world, as car manufacturers simply want all of the free advertising at these events without any of the corporate responsibilities. So in all honesty, we can’t fault Mini for its obvious using the rather loose WRC homologation rules.
With the Mini John Cooper Works WRC car pumping a wild 300 horsepower and 400 Nm (295 pound-feet) of torque from its little 1.6-liter Bimmer engine, we doubt that MINI will have any issues selling it to private teams. Since 2011, the rally Mini Portugal team made it to the podium three times and had its biggest success in the January 2012 running of the Monte Carlo Rally when it finished 2nd.
We’ll keep an eye out to see if any private teams select Mini as its WRC car.
Click past the jump to read Mini’s presser.
Autoweek America Adventure is holding a 7-day-long rally sponsored by SRT on October 24th, which runs from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Los Vegas. Along the way, drivers are required to endure certain tasks and tests to earn points. In a way, it is a race between the two cities, but speeding is strictly prohibited and you lose points for it.
You must also navigate the route perfectly and hit each checkpoint at a certain time. If you are too early or too late to the checkpoint, you lose points. At the end of each day, the team with the most points gets a key and at the final rally event, the SEMA show, the key holders will all try their keys in the ignition of a 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8.
Whoever’s key starts this mighty luxury car gets to drive it and its 470-horsepower, 6.4-liter V-8 engine home, netting themselves a free $47,670 car.
The entry process is pretty simple; just head over to the Adventure America website and bang your mouse on the “Register” link at the top of the page. From there, just enter all of your information and the information of you teammate(s), then pay your $5,000 registration fee for your team – c’mon, you didn’t think it would be free, now did you? You have to have a car that can at least make it to and from Las Vegas too.
That five grand, however, pays for all of your hotels, meals, drinks, and track fees during the trip, plus it pays for your entrance into the SEMA show. Also, if you use the promo code “Fox 12” during your registration process, you get to use a Dodge Challenger or Chrysler 300 rental car to get you to or from Los Vegas, courtesy of Fox Rent-a-car.
So check it out and see if you can get yourself into a brand new 300 SRT8!