Automotive, Driving Enthusiast, Iconic, Motor Racing, Racing

Does This Excite You

IMSA Group Photo

It is that time of year again! We are one day away from kicking off the North American Racing Series – IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship which begins Saturday, January 25 at 2:10 P.M. EST

The first race is the iconic Rolex 24 Hour Endurance race. This year 67 entries will be fighting for their chance to claim victory of this historic race in each of their respective classes. The entries even include the famous Nissan Deltawing – making its comeback race with totally revised outer shell. Additionally, making their highly anticipated debut is the Porsche all-new factory team partnered with CORE autosport running the 911 RSR “EVO”. Should you want to view the full list, click here: Entry List.

If you need some help understanding what teams you are seeing on screen please download this beauty – the spotters guide. Think of it as the definitive picture book of teams and cars for this event. Those wanting live timing throughout the race you will need to set your browser to: IMSA live timing. Finally if you need EVEN more information you can find IMSA’s handy twitter cheatsheet here: twitter handles.

The full tv broadcasting schedule is as follows; the downside is there will be NO radiolemans coverage during this race. Its such a sad day on that front.

1:30 PM-2 PM EST Pre-Race on FOX Sports 2
2 PM-4 PM EST on FOX (regular FOX network not their sports network)
4 PM -9 PM EST on FOX Sports 2 (may be in limited markets)
9 PM-7 AM EST on
7 AM-3 PM EST on FOX Sports 1

And those race fans who want something a little more personal, Magnus Racing will be broadcasting live from their pit box during the entire 24h race all for your viewing pleasure. You can view their entire webcast live here: or from their website: Magnus Racing

The car that leads the rest of the field to the start will be the number 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette; for the GT LeMans class (GTLM) will be the number 91 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R. The full qualifying list is here – Results

We hope you’re looking forward to a great race; we have a feeling this will be good.

IMSA Group Photo 2photo credit: IMSA

Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Iconic, Inspiration

BMW Motorrad X Ruby

To celebrate BMW’s 90th anniversary of building motorbikes they teamed up with french manufacturer Ruby to produce epic retro / throwback motorcycle helmets. The collection is entitled Munich 90. Sure the cost is “higher than normal” but you cannot put a price on quality and limited editions. I could not think of a better conversation piece than to place one of these on your table at your next outing.ruby-bmw90-15-1 ruby-bmw90-14-1 ruby-bmw90-13-1 ruby-bmw90-12-1 ruby-bmw90-11-1 ruby-bmw90-10-1 ruby-bmw90-09-1 ruby-bmw90-08-1 ruby-bmw90-06-1 ruby-bmw90-05-1 ruby-bmw90-04-1 ruby-bmw90-03-1 ruby-bmw90-02-1 ruby-bmw90-01-1 ruby-bmw90-07-1

Automotive, Cars, Driving Enthusiast, Motor Racing, Racing, Video

BMW 24 Hours. So Close.

Here we go again! The group at Stereoscreen has put together another 20 minute film reliving the BMW factory team’s attempt to capture the famous Nurburgring 24 Hour race. The 2012 attempt was just as the title explains – so close. We feel that every team should put together a year-end film for race fans. There’s nothing better than sharing the glory of winning and losing with your favorite teams.

Until the folks at Stereoscreen put together another winning film this will have to do. If you want some interesting wallpaper from the film click here.

Automotive, Cars, Driving Enthusiast, Historic, Rally

Spotted in the Wild

On a recent trip to Deal’s Gap, also known as Tail of the Dragon I came across a BMW 325es. At first glance I thought it was a modified 325, but after focusing on the rear badge I noticed the two letters that most haven’t seen – “es”. The es was introduced in 1986. It was modeled after the 318i of that time, but came with the slightly detuned Euro motor but not by much. The 325e came with a 2.7 six cylinder motor that created 121 hp at 4250 rpm, and 170 lbs-ft (that was also in the es models). What’s even more interesting is even in 1986 the 325es model came with a firmer suspension, limited-slip differential, spoilers on both ends, Recaro-style sport seats, and a three-spoke “sport” steering wheel. All these enhancements made the 325es the sporty two door sedan version of the 325e. What that really means is you still have a full backseat that could fit two adults. The one we see below was spotted out in the wild and is outfitted with rally grade additional headlamps/foglights. Could you ask for more? Only to capture the car moving. Our favorite feature, hard to say exactly but those pinstripes sure are near the top of the list.

Automotive, Cars, Driving Enthusiast, Iconic, Racing

Auto Companies that Get it Right

From the South of Germany in a quiet little commuter town is Alpina, a tried and true BMW manufacturer. Why Alpina? Because like all automotive enthusiasts we enjoy extending the work of the factory designers to create our own masterpiece from our long hours of blood, sweat, and tears. There is some unwritten rule for enthusiasts not allow others to have the same exact car as they do. Meaning anyone can purchase the Porsche 911, but you can’t have a Porsche 911 like I have which includes bigger turbos, refined bucket seats and, of course, different wheels.

While this is true, sometimes fans realize there are some companies that just do it better. And for the cars of BMW no one out performs Alpina, with their luxury styling and tasteful additions of horsepower transforming the ordinary into extraordinary. The interesting thing about Alpina is they are actually recognized as a manufacturer and not an aftermarket tuner. They work closely with BMW to produce exclusive vehicles right off similar factory production lines. This even includes supplying BMW dealers with their replacement parts. Alpina is the only company to work on engine and chassis development with BMW’s official approval; they tailor their range of automobiles to the demands of sports car cognoscenti – highly experienced drivers who combine a love of power and performance with a taste for luxury and quality of life. The refined comfort, stunning lines and increased speed is easily applied for real world practicality.

Below have a look at the latest creation from Alpina – the B3 GTS. This limited edition model is based on the BMW APLINA B3 S Bi-Turbo Coupe and is strictly limited to 99 models, which will be available in spring of 2012. The cost is a simple $125,000 and is offered in black, white or green vinyl wrapped showcar.

Speaking of performance, owners of this masterpiece and expect nothing less than exceptional. Alpina redesigned sections of the exhaust system along with fitting a new rear silencer to reduce the exhaust back pressure resulting in an increased output in the B3 GT3 by 8 hp. Developed in collaboration with Akrapovič, the renowned specialist for Titanium exhaust systems, users can expect race performance with the elegant styling.  The direct injection engine now delivers a total power output of 408 hp at 6000 rpm and 398 ft-lbs. of torque at 4500 rpm.

To aid the stopping power for the extra ponies a high performance motor sport brake set-up with 6-piston fixed calipers at the front and 4-piston fixed caliper at the rear, with discs measuring 380 x 35 mm at the front and 355 x 32 mm at the rear, has been installed. Race-bred coilovers have also been included on the vehicle to create an extremely neutral set-up that is dynamic enough to handle normal driving all the way to track driving. And undoubtedly no Alpina would be complete without their official stamp of approval – the classic 19” lightweight forged alloy wheels. These 20 spoke wheels provide a 25% weight reduction which also improves the steering feel and input and at the same time provide a timeless design. These new wheels sizes are 8.5 x 19” front and 9.5 x 19” rear.

Externally the car is fitted with a combination of pieces. A carbon front splitter, which is mounted on the underside of the front spoiler, and dive plates, which are mounted on the side of the front valence, ensures excellent aerodynamic properties at the front. To achieve an ideal aerodynamic balance a carbon wing is mounted at the rear. The profile of the rear wing is such, that it reduces lift at the rear significantly without negatively affecting the drag coefficient. The rear diffuser, in matte black, also plays a part in ensuring that the aerodynamic efficiency at the rear end is improved.

Finally, for the interior expect nothing but the finest taste and feel. You’ll discover the car wrapped in black leather/alcantara interior upholstery and both driver and passenger are seated in lightweight Recaro sport seats with seat heating. Does it make you drool? Yeah we thought so. Who doesn’t love heated race seats?!

Source: Alpina Automobiles

Automotive, Cars, Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Video

Driving Schools Are Big Again

What better way to welcome the new year than with a driving school.  We know everyone mentioned they want to do more track driving in 2012. Why not try a factory driving school to help broaden your skills.  These driving schools are not what you think. So much has changed with cars and technology, so companies have decided to create “training centers” to help new and old owners understand the full capabilities of their prized possession.

Here are the European contenders approach to driving schools. Why not check one out for yourself? I’m sure your Sunday Drive will improve 100 fold.

Mercedes AMG driving academy: Below you will see episodes 1-10 displaying all that you can learn by enrolling.

Porsche Sport Driving School:

BMW M Performance Driving School unfortunately BMW has not created that great advertising video like the other companies, but that doesn’t impact the overall learning experience.

Automotive, Cars, Iconic, Inspiration

A sleepy coupe that few ever owned

Most people know great cars, or at least they think they do. Most would say they could easily list the top cars of all time. But what most people don’t realize is that they are missing one sleeper coupe that BMW produced for a short period of time. On a return drive from a weekend trip we were hit with a reminder of how sleeper this car really is. It started out as a spec in my rear view mirror but as it got closer I couldn’t help but stare at the approaching car instead of the road in front of me. I had to slow down to allow its presence to overtake me as I soaked in its natural aesthetics. Only 4,275 of these BMW coupes were made worldwide (rumor has it that the red version is exceptionally rare). Each car was fitted with the quintessential BMW inline-6 mated to a traditional 6 speed manual transmission.  Congratulations to those who own one and a reminder, this car only likes to be driven by those who respects it. Because of its short wheelbase these cars will kickout on you with aggressive turn-ins. This means the car demands those with the desire and talent to tame it on the roads and track. Enjoy the beauty and unique styling of such a rare find.