Motor Racing, Racing, Track Driving, Video

Action From The Ring

Here are a few good videos sharing the excitement from the Nurburging 24 Hours this weekend.

How about some slow motion!

 

Spoiler alert!

 

Here’s a pit stop the old fashioned way. In fact, most of the converted race cars in the N24 retain the factory style five stud or lug wheel mounting system. Did you catch the mechanic installing them one-by-one?

 

Ever seen a complete car rebuild?  I believe the driver crashed in qualifying and the Nissan crew worked through the night to get another car sorted to race.

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Automotive, Driving Enthusiast, Iconic, Motor Racing, Racing, Track Driving

N24

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.

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Automotive, Cars, Historic, Iconic, Inspiration, Motor Racing, Racing, Video

82nd Running of Le Mans 24 Hours

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.

ACO-AFFICHE-60X40-OK.indd

2014-Journee-Test---24-Heures-du-Mans--SBA-1424A-JT--BA-0340_hd the collective

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)

Audi LMP1 2014 Audi-Motor-Sport

 

 

Toyota’s TS040 will run a naturally aspirated V8 supplemented by a supercapacitor hybrid storage/deliver unit (combined power of 1000HP)

Toyota LMP1 2014 2014-toyota-ts040-hybrid-le-mans-prototype_100461701_l

 

Porsche’s 919 will run a turbo V4 (yes, V4 motor) with an energy recovery system (ERS) hybrid system (combined power of nearly 800HP)

Porsche LMP1 2014 Porsche-919-Hybrid-3

 

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.

ordonez_zeod_4

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.

Corvette 2014 Corvette C7 Race team

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

2014 Proton Porsche team

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).

Ford Curbing

 

 

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

Live ACO Official TV-feed can be streamed directly to your iPhone/iPad or Android by the ACO Official app found here: iTunes or Google Play Store

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 – 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (FOX Sports 1, LIVE)
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

2014-24-hours-of-le-mans-infographic_100468980_s

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Driving Enthusiast, Iconic, Video

An Australian Obsession With Porsche

Autohaus Hamilton, a Porsche specialist service shop located north of Sydney, worked to put together a film aimed at sharing their passion for one of Germany’s most iconic sports car. The result of the special project is below. The film was created with the help of SoDUS Films as they followed the team and their customers around for 8 months to understand the obsession with a specific form of German engineering. How can anyone argue with a film that discusses Porsches and happens to captures some of these classics in their proper element?  Can you feel the obsession?

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Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Motor Racing, Timepiece

How About a Flyback

Following Tudor’s repatriation to the United States means we are showing off new watches headed our way. Specifically we will have the opportunity to purchase their newest line of watches designed for the motorsport enthusiast.

Shortly after the introduction of Tudor Heritage Chrono, Tudor has done it again with their newest racing inspired collection: the Grantour, where one watch even comes with a flyback feature. This watch collection was produced in association of their sponsorship for the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

FIA WEC Tudor Partner

The Grantour collection brings three new watches that share race-inspired features, but the one that has caught our eye is what Tudor calls the “two-register” automatic chronograph, representative of the two smaller dials at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions. This chronograph provides the wearer a true flyback feature, not found on the other Grantour watches. What this means is when the 4 o’clock pusher is pressed the second hand will whip back to the 12 o’clock position to start another timing interval. The flyback feature acts like a true stopwatch, where the user does not need to stop and reset the second hand for each additional measure through a series of pushes; it can all be achieved in a single push.  This is especially useful for those wanting to measure individual sector times, during a single lap. It is this feature alone that truly makes a chronograph worth owning.

Other accents for this piece include the date function located at the 6 o’clock position. The fixed outer bezel has fairly large arabic numerals ensuring time does not get misread in the split second glances at this face. Other special features include the ability to lock the pushers to prevent the accidental starting of the chronograph when the user is driving or reaching into their pockets. Locking of the pushers is achieved with a simple quarter turn.

The 42mm chronograph flyback comes in three distinct colors: black face, white face or two-tone black face with 18k rose gold. The watch can be configured with a black leather band, steel bracelet or two-tone steel and 18k gold bracelet. The automatic movement is handled nicely with an ETA 2892 while a sapphire crystal protects the hands and face from the elements. Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but the steel bracelet is estimated to be priced around $4,725 to under $5,000 USD. If there is one watch worth considering we would say this is it.

Grantour Black Face Grantour upclose Grantour black leather strap Grantour steel bracelet Grantour full rose gold

Photo credit: Tudor

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Analysis, Motor Racing, Racing, Track Driving, Video

Art of Overtaking

Overtaking cars while racing is very tricky business. It sounds very easy, yet difficult to implement and is absolutely nothing like the video games. To help folks see how the masters perform the Art of Overtaking, we want to share some great examples of drivers following their lines, anticipating other drivers, and powering on at the exit of the corners.

All we can say – watch and learn.

First is a two lap ride in Al Buncombe’s Nissan GT-R, racing in the 2014 Blancpain Endurance series at Monza. Al fights from 32nd out of 44cars, and ends up in 14th after two laps.

Then we sit with Steve McAleer, who drives the ModSpace Motorsports MX-5 in the Continental Tire Series from 30th to 15th position in a single lap during the 2014 race at Sebring International Raceway. Unlike the GT-R, the Miata shows it is not always about power.

If this does not get you excited about driving, then nothing will.

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Automotive, Cars, Driving Enthusiast

Caterham Delivers a One-Two Punch; Deadly Right Hook

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.

Caterham 620R headon

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.

Caterham 620R windscreenCaterham 620R seats Caterham 620R cockpit

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.

Caterham 620R engine

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.

Caterham 620R rear quarter Caterham 620R Side

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

 

 

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