Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring is in the Air- Time for some 997 GT3 Cup Action at Road America

With the time change around the corner and Spring in the air I can almost taste the track season ahead. Time to order some fresh R-comps and PFC-01's and dig out the helmet and HANS.

That being said enjoy some fast driving and superb lines through the rolling kettle moraine that is Road America through the windshield of a 997 GT3 Cup car and start the countdown. Enjoy.

Tiff Needell and BMW M3 meet the World's Best driving road

According to Tiff and Fifth Gear, the Jebel Hafeet road is now the finest in the World. My guess is that when he says "the world" he means, "places that I would currently like to vacation at in the winter and still get paid."

If it wasn't for the existence of the Stelvio Pass and the Tail of the Dragon, I might actually believe him.

Anyway, here's some fun footage of Tiff, an M3 and the high desert. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chasing the Yeti - USF1 Press Conference

So I would like to believe that the USF1 program is more than the late-afternoon fantasy of a couple of former  motorsports principals, but today's press conference is not supporting my hopes.

For someone who's current livelihood comes from asking folks questions about their race strategy, Peter Windsor was short on details on the USF1 effort, and all he and Ken Anderson could confirm was that "the rumours that have been 95% true". 

It didn't contain the "proof of life" for  USF1 effort that I had hoped for, and I'm sure Bernie wasn't impressed.

Here's the conference in it's entirety, and no you won't get the 5:23 of your life back after you watch it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Top Gear USA- Still alive? Video says Yes!

It's possible that the rumor of Top Gear USA's demise have been greatly exaggerated. This video from the folks at AdvanTech leads me to believe that there is still life left in the concept.

As much as I think that the Top Gear USA version will be like watching a train crash in slow motion, I'd kind of like to see at least one episode. come to life.

UPDATE- Here's the rest of the story. Top Gear 70 MPG

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Formula 1 winter testing Jerez- February 10. 2009

So most of the 2009 class of F1 cars look like tarted-up Kirby vacuum cleaners, with their wide front wings, and narrow high bodies, but I have to give the folks at Red Bull credit for developing the best-looking car on the grid for 2009.

I'm sure after the lights go out on the grid in Australia, there will be less talk about looks and much more about performance. Anyway enjoy some footage from winter testing in Jerez.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2010 Porsche GT-3 released into the wild

Another peekaboo video from our friends in Stuttgart showing off the 2010 GT-3.  Although  the videos are kinda boring I still want one more than ever.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

BMW to offer customer race cars

Do you find your new e92 M3 getting passed too often at track days in Barcelona?

Tired of Porsche Super Cup cars blowing by your old factory M3 GTR at the Ring?

Does your ex-works WTCC 325 not provide enough thrills at Silverstone?

Well if you have $156K,  BMW Motorsport may have your answer.  According to Brian Morgan at Roundel, you can now buy your very own factory race-prepped M3, although with a much more pedestrian motor.

Now I know that many folks will say that this is another example of ///M standing for Marketing instead of Motorsports.  I'd say that this a far better deal for US track addicts than any M3 CSL, so let's hope BMW brings it stateside 

BMW Motorsport has announced that it will offer an out-of-the-box M3 race car—called the M3 GT4—to private teams for €120,000, about $156,000 at current exchange rates. 

In the press release on the new car, BMW Motorsport director Dr. Mario Theissen says, “In 2009, we will witness the BMW M3 racing not only for the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team in the American Le Mans series. The new BMW M3 GT4 now also provides private teams with numerous opportunities. For over 50 years, customer racing has been a cornerstone of BMW’s motorsport programs. After all, what better global ambassador for the performance pedigree of BMW cars than a privateer who is competing for victory in a BMW vehicle?”

While the new car will resemble the ALMS M3 in some respects, it is not the same vehicle. The ALMS car’s engine is designated P65, while the engine in the customer car is an S65—the same designation as the street M3 V8. But it is fitted with a single-mass flywheel, a racing clutch and release bearing, and what BMW calls an “optimized race exhaust system.”

Specific information on the engine-management system is not provided in the information now available on the car, and output figures have not been released. The customer-car transmission is a six-speed H-pattern gearbox, while the ALMS car runs a six-speed sequential box. Brake diameters differ slightly between the two cars. 

Other customer-car specs include a 3.85:1 final-drive ratio, a suspension with adjustable Ohlins race shocks, and stiffer anti-roll bars and suspension mounts than those on the production E92 M3. The car runs forged BBS wheels, 9.5X18" front and 10.0X18" rear—and, like the ALMS car, it is fitted with Dunlop tires.

The car is available for the 2009 racing season. But well-heeled BMW CCA Club racers should not get their hopes up; the car is not being offered for sale in the USA.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor,

Monday, February 9, 2009

Breaking my own rules- Aprilia RSV @ Putnam Park

Normally I restrict myself from adding content that involves crashes, but this video is well produced, has great views of Putnam Park, and in the end, everyone walks away from the incident.  (In fact I believe the Aprila and rider were back out that same day!)

If I had an awards category,  I would have to nominate this video for best use of Led Zepplin in an Italian motorcycle track day video.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

0-100 mph in 5 secs, with turn signals and a horn. The Caparo T1.

While the Caparo T1 has been around for a little while, with thoughts of warmer days ahead I was craving another look at this amazing super-car. 0-60 in 2.5 secs, 0-100 in 5secs, and on to a top speed of 213mph the Caparo is the fastest thing that anyone without a FIA Super-license will ever drive.

Holy Human Cannonball 2 - 160hp SuperKart

Are you looking for a great way to meet girls and scare the hell out of them. Build a 160hp two-seat superkart and take them for a spin.

BTW- It appears that the driver of the kart is having a heck of a hard time choosing between looking at the road and his passenger.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A1 GP – Max Mosley’s vision for Formula 1

So for anyone who believes that Max Mosley's plan of bringing standard engines to F1 is a good idea, I present to you the A1 GP aka "The World Cup Of Motorsport". The A1 GP is a open-wheel race series that brings teams representing different nations together through competition.

Initially 12 race series, now down to 8, utilizing a beautiful Lola spec chassis, slick tires, Ferrari engine, and running at some famous, if not somewhat forgotten by F1 tracks around the world, as well as some other well known, but non-F1 tracks.

The downside seems to be that no-one cares.

The A1 GP would truly be the world cup of motorsport, if that meant no one watched world cup events. Even during the off-season for almost all other forms of motorsport, the A1 GP series cannot find fans, interesting sponsors, or even a complete schedule. (They still list an event as TBD even though it is only months away).

If F1 goes with a spec package, I would imagine that it would look a lot like this, except for KERS, and a useless medal based points system. Check out some of the A1 GP action below.

Holy Human Cannonball - Porsche working on "hard-core" GT-2

According to the chatter on the interwebs, (and verified by reliable sources) it sounds as though Porsche is working on a "hard-core" version of their GT-2, possibly dubbed the GT-2 RS. While early reports state that the horsepower will remain the same at 530hp, the real news is that the car will be 200kg (440 pounds) lighter for a total weight of 2,735lbs. This would result in a very impressive 5.16lb/hp ratio (down from 6lb/hp) in the standard car.

I'll leave you with video of Walter Rohrl driving the current GT-2 as brief example of how fast the standard GT-2 is.

BTW, the clip is in German.