The Last Blast Is Mercedes Benz’s Tribute To The Legendary Sir Stirling Moss
"The Last Blast," a Mercedes-Benz Classic short film, depicts several moments and sites from Stirling Moss’ life and career. The celebrated British racing driver, passed away at his Mayfair home on Easter Sunday last year at the age of 90.
The inline eight-cylinder 300 SLR 722 roars for the final time taking on the streets of London before returning to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart
Its Official! Kimi Räikkönen, One of the Titan’s of F1, is Retiring
Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula 1 Champion who currently drives for the Alfa Romeo team, took to his Instagram account to announce his retirement from the pinnacle of motorsport at the end of this season. It also marks the end of his current contract with Alfa.
There’s a 24-Hour Forza 6 Marathon During the LeMans!!!
The 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans is on the horizon, and while race car drivers will be put to the ultimate test on the Circuit de la Sarthe, gamers will be participating in their own gasoline-fueled test of endurance in a 24-hour marathon of Forza 6. The marathon comes as part of a partnership between Porsche, Microsoft, and Automobile Club de l’Quest (ACO) and will actually run simultaneously to the real 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The official name of this online test of endurance is formally known as “Forza Racing Championship (Forza RC) Season 3: The Porsche Cup.
As you might have guessed by the official name, those who actually make it through qualifying and become finalists will get to race virtual versions of the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Prizes include real-world money, and there’s even a title in ACO’s newest category: “Official Endurance Esports.” The thing is, however, that if you really want to participate you need to head over to the signup page now as qualifying has already begun. The only requirements are a working Xbox One and a copy of Forza Motorsport 6. Well, that, two working hands, and a girlfriend that’s not going to nag you the whole time. Qualifying comes to an end on May 28th, so you still have some time. When the final race kicks off, it will be streamed via YouTube, Twitch, and Beam for the whole world to see.
Mercedes Secures Legendary 1-2-3-4 Win At Nürburgring 24 Hours; Weather Strands 69 Cars Early On
This last weekend saw the 24 Nürburgring 24-Hour race for 2016, and boy was it one for the history books. The biggest highlight was, of course, Mercedes’ legendary 1-2-3-4 win, but the race also yielded the closest finish in the 44-year history of the race. In the end, Mercedes car No. 4 – driven by Bernd Schneider, Maro Engel, Adam Christodoulou, and Manuel Metzger – took first place, completing 134 laps in just over 24 hours. Right on No. 4’s rear bumper was No. 29, driven by Christian Vietoris, Marco Seefried, Christian Hohenadel, and Renger van der Zande, finishing just 5.697 seconds afterward.
Mercedes car No. 88, which was driven by UWE Alzen, Lance David Arnold, Maximilian Gotz, and Jan Seyffarth came in third, just one lap behind No. 4 and No. 29. The fourth Mercedes car, No. 9, was driven by Hubert Haupt, Yelmer Buurman, Maro Engel, and Dirk Muller and was also just one lap behind No. 4 and No. 29. BMW claimed a fifth place finish with its No. 23 car and Mercedes also placed sixth with its No. 75 car, finishing three laps after the No. 4 car.
It was a rough battle for first place in the last lap, as at the last second, Engel pulled a risky but effect move and passed Christian Vietoris to claim the first-place spot. Of course, Vietoris and HTP Motorsport filed a protest against Engel’s finishing move, but Race Director, Walter Hornung, declared there was no need for an investigation. This wasn’t all the drama that occurred, however, as weather definitely posed a major problem during the race as well. Keep reading to see what happened and to hear more about that.
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The 2015 McLaren 650S GT3 made its debut this year, and out of the gate it has proven itself a worthy competitor. Despite running against vehicles like the 2015 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and 2014 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, the 650S has come out on top not once, but twice. McLaren customer team Von Ryan Racing previously finished first at Silverstone and had a repeat performance at Nurburgring last weekend.
This most recent win makes it the first vehicle this season to secure two wins in the Blancpain Endurance Series. The win came after several bold calls that resulted in Kevin Estre taking over as the final driver with 70 minutes left in the race. All cars in front of him still had to pit for the last driver change, while Estere worked through the field to take the lead. He eventually finished with a 14-second gap when all was said and done.
Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren 650S GT3.
No manufacturer has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans more times than Porsche. But Porsche’s dominance of top-tier endurance racing through the ’70s and ’80s (as well as a bit in the ’90s) gave way to the company concentrating its efforts on GT3 and GT2 racing, leaving outright wins to Audi. Half of the field in any given GT3-class race is now made up of Porsche 911s, but it seems that Porsche has gotten bored with this, as the company came back to LMP1 racing last year and took a 1-2 win at Le Mans this year.
The question following this win was whether Porsche was making a serious return to LMP1 or if this was just to prove that Porsche still had what it takes to win, sort of like what Bentley did in 2003. Porsche has now given official word that the LMP1 racing program, centered around the 2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid prototype, will continue until 2018. Porsche is surely pushing for those three more seasons to translate into three more outright wins at Le Mans, but Audi is definitely going to have a thing or two say about that, and we’re likely to see some very close races in the next few years.
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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford’s historic victories at Le Mans, Microsoft’s Xbox hardware team has built a trio of one-off Xbox One controllers sporting iconic livery taken from the blue oval’s triumphant race cars. The controllers were unveiled by Forza Motorsport 6 developer Turn 10 Studios and put on display at this year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which preceded a visit to Los Angeles for E3.
The controllers come bearing the same colors and number designations found on the famous racing Fords. Included is a blue and white No.26 design that gives homage to the 1964-1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe that took Bob Bondurant and Dan Gurney to a first place finish in the GT class (fourth overall), a first for American drivers. Next is the black and gold No.2, which is inspired by the 1964-1969 Ford GT40 driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon that (barely) took overall victory in 1966, alongside two other Fords for a clean 1-2-3 sweep. Finally, there’s the red and white No.1 controller that gives a nod to the Mk.IV GT40 driven by Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt that managed to fend off the Ferraris for overall victory in 1967.
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Not to discredit all the success Audi has had at the 24 Hours of Le Mans over the last several years, but there’s a sense of rightness in the world since Porsche won for the first time in 17 years earlier this month. Luke Skywalker is a Jedi; The Cubs never win the World Series; Kale is gross; Porsche wins Le Mans. It’s the way things are and should be.
To commemorate the win, Porsche has released a wonderfully geeky list of facts and figures that demonstrate what it takes to win at Le Mans. For instance, Porsche really won this race in the pits. The three 919s spent a total of 95 minutes on pit lane, while the next best three-car team (Audi) was there for over 130 minutes. It helped that the only parts that needed changing were the No.18’s nose twice and the rear wing and engine cover on the No.19, which was done as a precaution during a full-course yellow. You can read the whole thing in the press release below.
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For a team that nobody really expected to win at Le Mans, Nissan sure got a lot of attention this year. But that’s pretty understandable, as Nissan’s LMP1 car, the 2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, is pure lunacy on wheels. The front-engine and front-wheel-drive machine is unlike anything else that was competing at La Sarthe. The car is still very much a work in progress, so where it finished in the race wasn’t as important as it just making it the full 24 hours, which it did manage to do. Good thing too, because it was very, very slow compared to all of the other LMP1 cars, and even a lot of the LMP2 and LMGTE cars.
What was most perplexing to most racing fans though, was the question of what it must be like to try and drive something with such an insanely long hood on a racetrack, especially one as crowed as this. The video here shows some in-car footage of the GT-R LM Nismo being driven at Le Mans at dusk, and it certainly doesn’t look easy. It’s not the first racecar to offer poor visibility, but it’s still something you have to see to believe.
The 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans is now officially on the books, with this year seeing all the drama and history-making moments you’d expect given the prestigious event’s 82 runnings. Taking overall victory in the premiere LMP1 class was the #19 2015 Porsche Hybrid 919, which put an end to Audi’s five-year winning streak in convincing fashion. In LMP2, the #47 KCMG Oreca-Nissan squeaked by for a hotly contested first-in-class finish, while the #64 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R took victory in the GTE-Pro class and the #72 SMP Ferrari 458 Italia won in GTE-Am.
This year saw a good deal of extremely close competition throughout the twice-around-the-clock time period, with the rain only beginning to fall in the final minutes of the race.
This also meant speeds were as high as ever, with the average velocity of the winning LMP1 team calculated at 153.5 mph. The cars also managed to eclipse the 300-km/h (186-mph) mark five times per lap, reaching a top speed of 211 mph down the straights. When the checkered finally fell, the winning Porsche had completed 395 laps, a distance of 3,345 miles.
Pilots in the winning car saw three-hour stints behind the wheel, averaging a pit stop every 45 minutes for fuel and tire changes every three hours.
The next race on the World Endurance Championship calendar is the 6 Hours of Nurburgring at the end of August.
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As the 83rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans kicks off this weekend, BMW is reportedly planning a return to the world’s most prestigious endurance event with a new race car that would run exclusively on hydrogen fuel.
The speculation stems from a recent post made by the British publication Autocar, which states that while the project is still under consideration, it is in the advanced stages of evaluation and comes with tentative support from top Bimmer brass.
The post comes on the heels of conflicting statements made by BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt, who recently told Autosport.com that it was unlikely the automaker would join the ranks of the top rung in endurance racing competition, saying: “LMP1 is, at the moment, the big hybrid thing, and in there we wouldn’t be the leader. We wouldn’t even be the fast follower, we would be a slow follower now, as the fifth [after Audi, Toyota, Porsche and Nissan] manufacturer joining in. With our targets, I don’t see this really being something that we think about in a way that we are working on anything in that respect as a program.”
However, this downplay does not exempt the possible hydrogen racer from entering the catchall “Garage 56” category at Le Mans, which is a non-competitive class specifically designed for experimental vehicles. Previous Garage 56 entries include the 2012 Deltawing and 2014 Nissan ZEOD RC.
With a likely unveiling in 2018, the proposed hydrogen racer would build visibility and credibility for BMW’s hydrogen technology ahead of the launch of a new fuel-cell passenger vehicle. While details are sketchy, it’s believed BMW plans to release the new FCV sometime in 2020.
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The new LMP3 class is beginning to take shape, with several chassis manufacturers getting in on the action. The latest is Ligier along with simulation software company Exa Corporation, which introduced its new JS P3 LMP3-class racer this week at Le Mans. Ligier adds its name to the roster of Ginetta and LAS Motorsport, who are among the manufacturers already committed to LMP3.
The new car uses lessons learned from the Ligier JS P2 car (currently used by Extreme Speed Motorsports, Oak Racing and Krohn Racing), and applies them to a low-cost package. Exa’s simulation software has been used to shape the car’s aerodynamics and optimize cooling for the brakes, engine and closed cockpit. It’s visually similar to the Ligier LMP2 car, but smaller, in accordance with the rules. The ACO hasn’t finalized a weight for the class, but it should come in somewhere between 1,900 and 2,000 pounds.
Like all other LMP3 cars, power comes courtesy of a spec Nissan V-8 putting out around 420 horsepower, coupled with a six-speed sequential gearbox and Magneti Marelli engine management system. Oreca will sell the drivetrains and other running gear as a package to all LMP3 teams and provide race support.
Continue reading to learn more about the Exa Ligier JS P3 Le Mans Prototype 3.
Nissan has been incredibly open with the development of its bizarre front-engine, front-wheel-drive science experiment, the 2016 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, and now the team is preparing to make its race debut in one of the racing world’s toughest arenas, at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. In this latest video, Nissan drivers and engineers discuss the progress that’s been made since the first Le Mans test session earlier this month.
The team has found some time since arriving at Le Mans but there’s still a long way to go. The fastest of the three Nissans, the No. 23 car of Olivier Pla, Jann Mardenborough and Max Chilton, posted a 3:38.468 in the first qualifying session, a roughly five-second improvement over its best time during the test day. However, that’s still over 20 seconds adrift of the blindingly fast time set by Neel Jani in one of the 2015 Porsche 919 Hybrids in the same session.
There are still a few more qualifying and practice sessions before the race itself, but, barring three Porsches, three Audis and two Toyotas all suffering catastrophic failures, don’t expect to see the Nissans vying for the race win this weekend. The team won’t say it, but they’re likely looking at this weekend’s race as a 24-hour practice session, in which they will try to learn as much as possible before the WEC season continues. The GT-R LM Nismo has completed several 24-hour race simulations at NCM Motorsports Park (near the Corvette factory of all places) in Bowling Green, Kentucky, so the durability should be there to get them to the end.
The GT-R LM Nismo is a radical rethink of the Le Mans prototype formula. The front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout is unique in a field of mid-engine race cars. Its 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 combines with a flywheel kinetic-energy recovery system to produce around 1,250 horsepower, and Nissan says the lack of an engine in the back cleans up aerodynamics around the rear bodywork. It’s weird, but that’s why we love it.
The second day of qualifying for the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans brought sad news for Corvette fans, as the No. 63 car was withdrawn from the race following a crash at the Porsche Curves. As Jan Magnussen was trying to improve its qualifying time, a mechanical issue sent his C7.R into the wall, which resulted in damage to both the front and rear of the race car. Corvette Racing found that the car was damaged "beyond immediate repair" and decided to pull it from this weekend’s race.
Fortunately enough, Magnussen escaped unscathed from the impact. Although he had to be helped out of the car and sent to Le Mans’ medical center, the Danish driver was released after a series of standard tests.
“We are thankful that Jan has been checked and released by the ACO medical staff. We are disappointed that the No. 63 Corvette C7.R will be unable to compete at Le Mans this year. The Corvette Racing team put a lot of work into preparing two C7.Rs for this event, and unfortunately only one will be in the race,” said Mark Kent, Director of Chevrolet Racing.
This is the first time Corvette Racing has had to pull an entry at Le Mans.
Based on its results by the time of the crash, the No. 63 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R would have started the race in 40th position overall and sixth in the LM GTE Pro class.
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Porsche Team has secured the first three positions on the grid for the 83rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend. In the process, the No. 18 car driven by Neel Jani has set a new qualifying record for the current track configuration, smashing a record that stood for six years. Jani stopped the clock at 3:16.887 minutes, beating Peugeot’s pole position time from 2008 by nearly two seconds. The previous record stood at 3:18.513 minutes.
The all-time Le Mans record, also set during qualifying, still stands at 3:13.90 minutes, as set by Pedro Rodriguez in a Porsche 917 in 1971. However, this benchmark was achieved when the track didn’t have two chicanes on the Mulsanne straight.
Porsche’s pole for this year’s race is the 17th for the company at Le Mans, but the first one in 18 years. Furthermore, it is the ninth time that three Porsches have scored a one-two-three on the grid and the first time since 1988.
"This great qualifying result is an important first part in our success. But looking forward to the race it is even more important that today we had a productive day of preparation. We have had consistently dry track conditions and went through our tire program as planned. The team and the drivers have done a top job," said Team Principal Andreas Seidl.
The green flag for the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans drops Saturday, June 13th, at 8 AM EST. You can check out the full car-spotter guide here.
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This weekend is the 83rd running of one of the most prestigious events in all of motorsports – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s often called the ultimate test of man and machine, and it promises to bring together the biggest names in the auto industry and the fastest drivers in racing to duke it out for ultimate glory.
The 24 HOLM is filled with history, but at the same time represents the bleeding edge of four-wheeled technology. It’s one of the most demanding events in the world, with a plethora of different classes on track at once, offering plenty of opportunities for disaster. Conditions change constantly, with the usual gamut of variable weather and track conditions compounded by the setting and rising sun. A win here means far more than a whole season in most other series.
This year, the event will see four factory-backed entries into the top echelon LMP1 class, providing a good deal of drama for race fans. Who will come out on top? You can download the full car-spotter guide here.
Continue reading for the low-down on this iconic motoring event.
With the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans only a couple of days away, the teams are gearing up for what promises to be one of the most spectacular races of the year. While drivers and engineers are giving their best during qualifying, the PR teams are making sure there’s enough buzz to keep enthusiasts excited ahead of Saturday’s green flag. We’ve already seen Toyota showcasing all of its Le Mans attempts since 1985, but now it’s time to check out Nissan’s latest video of the 2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo.
Though it might not be as spectacular as watching Toyota racing prototypes evolving over the course of three decades, Nissan’s "Scrutineering Timelapse" shows what happens when entrants exhibit their vehicles in the town of Le Mans. There’s a lot of packing and unpacking going on, as well as a media event that includes presenting the team that will soon take to the track.
As a brief reminder, the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo is one of the more exotic competitors of this year’s LMP1 battle. With its engine mounted at the front and power routed to the front wheels, it uses a layout Le Mans hasn’t seen for more than five decades. For the uninitiated, most LMP1 prototypes are either rear- or all-wheel-drive and have their engines mounted behind the seats.
We will find out whether Nismo’s out-of-the-box approach will make a significant impact on the track this weekend. The race begins Saturday, June 13th, at 8 AM EST, and ends Sunday, exactly 24 hours later.
Although Toyota has yet to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, its history with the world’s most celebrate endurance race goes all the way back to 1985. In 2015, Toyota celebrates three decades since it first lapped the Circuit de la Sarthe, with a video highlighting its past Le Mans cars and performances.
Toyota’s affair with Le Mans is one of unfinished business. Even though it has taken the checkered flag in nearly all races it has started, it failed to conquer the prototype class, coming second on three occasions. Of course, these are significant achievements for a brand that lacks the Le Mans heritage of its competitors, but it left the Japanese wanting more. More recently, Toyota finished 2nd and 3rd in 2013 and 2014, respectively, being unable to stop Audi’s domination.
For the 2015 race, Toyota returns with the proven TS040 Hybrid, which took pole position and finished third in last year’s event. Competition will be tough though, more so with Porsche returning with a lot more experience and with Nissan joining the LMP1 class with the GT-R LM Nismo. We’ll find out if Toyota has what it takes to rise above Audi, Porsche, and Nissan this weekend, during the 83rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Meanwhile, be sure to check out Toyota Motorsport’s latest video celebrating 30 years of racing at Circuit de la Sarthe.
I’ve been geeking-out about endurance racing since the late 1990s, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a race than this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. If you’re like me, then you might have a Le Mans viewing kit that includes a big screen TV for the race, a laptop to stream Radio Le Mans, an iPad for live timing, a case of beer (with beer helmet if you want to get serious) and this, the always essential Spotter Guide.
Showing all 56 cars participating in the 2015 race, this incredibly handy guide includes information on each car, its class, team, driver lineup, drivetrain, tires, garage number and even the team’s Twitter handle. This year’s Spotter Guide also includes a third page with a detailed Le Sarthe track map, race schedule, news sources and key facts on the top teams. Best of all, it’s available as a free download at SpotterGuides.com.
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by Kings Of Baja
BFGoodrich has certainly made a name for itself over the years in all arenas of motorsports, but its last major victory was in the 46th annual Tecate SCORE International desert racing series within the 2013 Baja 1000. Drivers rolling on BFGs captured four of the top five overall positions in the series. Adding to BFGoodrich’s bragging rights, the company also equipped seven of the top 10 Trophy Trucks with its tires.
What’s more, BFGoodrich claimed wins in 10 vehicle classes, including defending its title in the Baja Challenge Class as Team BFGoodrich’s BC2 team emerged victorious by a clear four-hour margin to with the event for the second straight year. The BC2 vehicle was driven by Terry Earwood, the Lead Instructor for Skip Barber Racing School.
Percentage wise, BFGoodrich was the clear leader with nearly 65 percent of all four-wheeled, race-finishing vehicles rolling on BFG-branded tires. Everything from BFG All-Terrain and Mud Terrain tread designs to desert-race specific tires and tread designs were represented.
The grueling high-speed, off-road race is 883 miles of huge dips, gullies, jumps, and deep sand that begins and ends at Ensenada, Mexico. Nearly 300 racers representing more than 20 counties must endure the incessant pounding and jostling of obstacles that would shred any stock vehicle. In fact, more than 50 percent of racers failed to finish the race within the 36-hour time limit. Adding to the Baja’s difficulties are booby-traps scattered across the course set by ill-willed spectators looking for a harrowing crash. More than a few vehicles each year are claimed by such a fate.
Click past the jump for more on the 2013 Baja 1000
The Toyota GT 86 is becoming a favorite race car for a lot of upcoming racing series and apparently, it’s headed for another one.
The Japanese automaker recently announced that they’re bringing their new sports coupe to the Production Class of the British 24-hour Endurance Race. It will see action dressed with a livery inspired by the 1980’s British Touring Car Championship-winning AE86 Corolla GT. As it currently stands, the car is still under development at the Buckinghamshire Technical Center of GPRM, these are the same folks responsible for building the BTCC Toyota Avensis racer from a few years ago.
Full specifications have not yet been revealed, but according to Toyota, the race-spec GT 86 will carry a host of racing modifications that the company explains will turn the sports car into a "competitive track machine" that will retain as much of the production version’s specification as possible.
"We are concentrating our efforts on stripping back the chassis, lightening and strengthening it and of course equipping it with a roll cage and all the other safety gear required, as well as quick-refuelling equipment," said GPRM’s Gary Blackham.
"Other than that, the GT86 will remain essentially in road car form."
Since the British 24 Hour Endurance Race won’t begin until the weekend of September 22nd at the Silverstone Grand Prix, we’ll have more time to find out more about this race-spec GT 86 race car before it makes its endurance debut.