… a new video from Stereoscreen showcasing BMW’s touring car racing history.
Here’s what Porsche has to say about their newest GT3. While I can agree it looks phenomenal, I will have to drive one before I judge the PDK gearbox and updated steering. Until then let’s enjoy the musical note this latest 3.8 liter engine produces.
Here’s a car – a race car – that rips through the air. There are few cars today that produce such a sound as this Ferrari 312PB. The screams are produced by a Ferrari developed flat-12 boxer engine. Yup, a boxer engine. This car was developed specifically for FIA prototype racing, especially after losing to Porsche 917 race car in the early 1970’s. This car was unfortunate in claiming victory over the competition but it won over our ears and sensations. Let’s turn it over to Petrolicious who had the opportunity to capture this historic banshee.
What happens when you take the running time of Le Mans and add the Nurburgring? Easy! You get the greatest GT race in the world. It is that time of year again, we are gearing up for the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring. Because this race takes place on the one of the tightest race tracks, fans will not see any prototype cars out on track. To makeup for that, cars entered will be true GT raced cars, from purebred GT3 cars to European GT4 cars, and finally, heavily modified sports cars (called SP class) from all makes and models to fill out the field. At the announcement of this race there were 175 cars registered for the race.
While it is challenging to get complete information for the race, since it doesn’t have the same level of appeal on the world stage it is our understanding that Porsche’s Manthey Racing team will not be here this year. They have taken on the WEC with their factory Porsche efforts. Therefore the closest team we have to a factory favorite is the Falken Porsche Race Car. Nissan is here again to show the world that their GT3 spec GT-R is worthy enough to win the hardest race. Outside of those listed the favorites continue to be Audi with their R-8, Mercedes with their SLR, BMW with their GT3 Spec Z4 race car and finally McLaren will be running their MP4-12C race car. All of these cars are fielded by well qualified teams so the battle should be exciting. Finally, there will be a few teams running the factory race car program produced by BMW with the M235i Race car. It will be interesting to see how well these cars hold up to the abuse.
Following links should help you enjoy this year’s race that will take place at the famed Nurburgring.
- Time table of race events Spotters guide (semi-complete; may not be up to date)
- Top 30 Cars Qualified for the Race
- WIGE live timing
- Live vehicle tracker
- Official Race live stream
- English Race Radio Broadcast
- Aston Martin Race Team
- Subaru NBR Factory Team
- Nissan Factory Team
- 24H Race Technical Document
It’s that time of year again when we drop all that have planned over the weekend to take part in watching the world’s most respected race – 24 Hours du Le Mans. This marks the 82nd running of the world famous race, and man does it have some exciting news for this year.
What’s new for this year?
This year is the first for three top manufactures going all out to claim the top spot. This year marks the return of Porsche, running two factory LMP1 hybrid race cars set out to battle Toyota and the reigning champions, Audi. On top of that, the ACO organizers have imposed rules stating that top-tier LMP1 cars (just listed) will have to run this year’s race using roughly 30% less fuel than that of last year, which will be monitored live throughout the entire race. Let’s introduce the contenders.
Audi’s R18 E-tron quattro will run a 4 liter, turbo diesel V6 engine with flywheel hybrid technology (combined power of nearly 770HP)
Toyota’s TS040 will run a naturally aspirated V8 supplemented by a supercapacitor hybrid storage/deliver unit (combined power of 1000HP)
Porsche’s 919 will run a turbo V4 (yes, V4 motor) with an energy recovery system (ERS) hybrid system (combined power of nearly 800HP)
Garage 56 entry, which is designed for experimental cars, has been taken by Nissan’s ZEOD and will be piloted by Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez. We hope this car can make it to the end.
Corvette Racing will be returning for their 15th anniversary of running at Le Mans with guest driver Jordan Taylor, who will join Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia to battle the GTE-Pro category for the top step.
Dempsey Racing is back this year, but fielding a car produced by Proton featuring an all American team of Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Patrick Long
As for the track the Ford Chicane now features rather beefy ‘baguette’ inner curbs to dissuade corner cutting (and the subsequent massive intrusion of gravel onto the track surface).
How to enjoy the race remotely!
With all that said, set aside your Saturday and Sunday plans and fill your 24H information needs from the following links:
24Hours of Le Mans Home Page (live timing and ranking)
Before this weekend’s race be sure you print off your spotters guide and study hard all thanks to the hard work from Andy Blackmore, 2014 Le Mans Spotters Guide
Nismo TV will be hosting their live stream via Youtube
Static Cameras track side from Le Mans will be available here: Lemans-TV
Corvette Racing will be streaming their two cars (in car footage and pit camera) in conjuction with Fox: FoxSports
Live radio commentary is provided by RadioLemans; new this year is a webcam showing their mobile media center
Live timing can be found in three locations: http://en.lemanslive.com/ or http://www.24h-lemans.com/live/en/ or (clean single page) http://live.fiawec.com/
For those located here in the United States you can enjoy the race on TV:
TV SCHEDULE (all times EST):
Saturday, June 14 – 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (FOX Sports 2, LIVE)
Saturday, June 14 – 6:30 PM to 1:00 AM (FOX Sports 2, LIVE)
Sunday, June 14 – 1:00 AM to 7:30 AM (FOX Sports 1, LIVE)
Sunday, June 15 – 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM (FOX Sports 2, LIVE)
Entire race streamed LIVE on FOX Sports GO (if subscribed and offered in your area)
Pre-made Tweeter feeds for this year’s race
All of these could not be possible without Thomas Baekdal
And of course nothing would be completed without some Videos to get you ready for the race:
Road to Le Mans
We Are Racers Series 1 & 2
Fun Le Man Infographic
After experiencing the lower end of the horsepower spectrum, it’s time to dive into the other end. Here we will serve nothing but raw, and we mean raw, horsepower.
The next number called is 620R. Again, meaningless without attaching the word Caterham, but this time it comes with a punch. Feast your eyes on the Caterham 620R – supposedly the hard-core of the hard-core Sevens. Choosing to drive this machine takes a minute to look in the mirror and convince yourself that you are man enough to drive the beast. Why is it a beast? Because the driver pilots a version of Caterham that has more horsepower and torque than what is necessary for this weight of car. Then the driver will be faced with the element as a wide open windscreen (or lack thereof) with full carbon seats pair with racing harnesses exposes the driver to all of what the road has to offer. Sitting behind the wheel is much like getting a ring with a heavyweight boxer when you only weight 150 pounds. The driver will see the same momo steering wheel as found on the 160. To make things easier since these seats are pure racing, the steering wheel is removable and there are plenty of switches to help achieve racing greatness. Every switch serves a purpose and can even provide an instant motor start.
Before getting into the car we have to admire the car from the outside. The 620R provides the same look as the traditional Caterham chassis but with a few add-ons. Mainly a few enhancements on the front and bonnet in the form of upgraded aero package and cooling management. Just beyond the signature seven a carbon fiber dive plane is fixed, assuring the high rate of air is pushing the front to the road for more grip. Then the bonnet has two openings to suck in cool air for both engine cooling and air supply to feed the supercharged motor. The car delivers all its fun through a supercharged 2.0 liter Ford Duratec motor.
Whereas the other 160 was unassuming, this 620R is very assuming. It wants to be heard, seen and possibly smelt. The 2.0 liter motor producing a whopping 310 horsepower and 219 lb-ft of torque. The closest thing I can think of is a maybe 350Z that weighs next to nothing. If someone thinks they can manage this car at the track, at least it comes with a piece of mind. Yes, this engine comes with a dry-sump oil system and a sequential gearbox. I’m pretty sure that should read – race engine.
The power is all delivered through a limited slip diff and de-dion rear suspension – not like the 160 which has the live axle. The front comes with an uprated coilover system and stickier tires. Pretty much all you need to go fast and not think about anything else. The only thing to keep in mind when driving, no matter the weather – rain or shine – there’s no turning back. The wind, the noise, and the elements will really test how manly you are for this car. Oh and the good news is, this car is available for purchase here in the states. Visit Caterham for more details.
Here is Autocar having a go at this beast of a machine
Then there’s Kamui Kobayashi showing drivers how its done
The Seven 160. The numbers are meaningless without context; how about the Caterham Seven 160? Now we are getting somewhere. If Caterham were a boxer hitting at the excitement of motoring enthusiasts their newest introduction to the market would be a strong left jab directly at a motorist’s jaw.
It should be too, a small but direct car that puts the roads literally back in the driver’s hands. This is a throw-back to old school British motoring from the 1950s. It is a raw, unedited feeling delivered through this car directly to the driver’s hands that many so-called motoring enthusiasts would NOT be able to stand. Do not get us wrong, there are no plush seats or creature comforts – its just you, the car and the road. There is nothing fancy about this ride. It is a direct extension of the driver to the road and feedback is delivered instantly. The 160 still comes with double wishbone suspension upfront and semi-independent rear axle. The wheels are small, classic and definitely let drivers know they are designed for classic style motoring only.
The car is very unassuming and does not come with much: powered by one of Japan’s finest motorcycle company’s – Suzuki. The engine comes turbocharged which helps deliver a modest 80hp at 7000 RPMs with 79lb-ft of torque at 3400 RPMs. While it doesn’t sound like much, having equal torque levels to match the car’s horsepower does deliver a more engaging motor, which swiftly moves a user through any street or road (minus full on highways). Getting the most out of this engine is the same application as a motorcycle, rev until your close to redline – 7700 RPMs in this case. It should be noted some motoring journalists say the sweet spot is between 3000 – 5500 RPMs.
The size of the engine is a tiny 660cc mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Manual is the operative word. The 160 is not designed for high speed, highway driving but rather scooting along quiet country roads and trips to the local farmers market in neighboring towns. If anything this car, with its k-engine, will help users enjoy a classic style of motoring without endangering themselves or others. From our perspective this is exactly what the car needs to do – deliver a user experience that’s unforgettable, and yet, patient. Why rush things? Sometimes you want to enjoy the long, slow journey of your aimless drive. With that in mind, the Caterham 160 is here to help you achieve your goal. The only downside we see is this car is yet to be slated for USA.
photo credit: Autocar and Caterham