Thursday, July 30, 2009

BMW to Exit Formula One - Official BMW Video

The only word that captures the feeling around Bmw's departure from F1 is "Disappointment". There is disappointment that comes from BMW/Sauber giving up a shot at the championship in 2008 to get a head start on KERS (later abandoned) for the 2009 season. There is disappointment that comes from a one-two finish in Montreal, followed by a string of miscues and lack-luster results.

Unfortunately though the biggest disappoint in BMW/Sauber's announcement comes from the statement that the shift of dollars from racing will go to "sustainability" -- hypocrisy for a company that makes the X5M and the X6M. What part of sustainability do those cars fall into?

It's becoming more and more apparent that BMW has stopped paying lip service to the idea that they build performance cars and instead is just focusing on cars that are as profitable as possible. If you disagree, point to one car in BMW's current line-up that hasn't grown into a bloated luxo-barge over the years, with more horsepower and less driving enjoyment.

Farewell BMW/Sauber. Your departure is definitely disappointing.

(Via BMWwebTV)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's Official - BMW to leave F1 at the end of 2009 Season

(via ESPN) MUNICH -- BMW is pulling out of Formula One at the end of this season, the second car maker to leave the series within a year.

The German company announced the decision at a news conference Wednesday, saying it wanted to use its significant F1 budget in other areas. It will remain involved in auto racing.

Since entering F1 as a team by taking over the Sauber team ahead of the 2006 season -- it had previously acted as an engine supplier -- BMW had posted just one race win, at last year's Canadian Grand Prix.

Touted as a championship contender for the 2009 season, BMW lagged well behind the pace of the leading teams.

"Of course, this was a difficult decision for us. But it's a resolute step in view of our company's strategic realignment," BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer said at the news conference.

He said the Munich-based car maker would use the resources previously spent on the F1 team to advance "sustainability and environmental compatibility."

Klaus Draeger, the board member responsible for development, said the team was "unable to meet expectations in the current season."

BMW's withdrawal followed that of Japanese car maker Honda ahead of the 2009 season, illustrating the growing pressure upon car makers to cut costs amid a global economic downturn that had hit new car sales.

Their withdrawal also lent credence to efforts by the FIA to significantly reduce F1 costs in order to retain existing teams and attract new entrants.

FIA, motor racing's world governing body, said it hoped BMW was the last manufacturer to leave the series.

"The FIA regrets the announcement of BMW's intended withdrawal from Formula One, but is not surprised by it," it said in a statement.

"It has been clear for some time that motor sport cannot ignore the world economic crisis. Car manufacturers cannot be expected to continue to pour large sums of money into Formula One when their survival depends on redundancies, plant closures and the support of the taxpayer. This is why the FIA prepared regulations to reduce costs drastically."

BMW's decision to end its involvement on Formula One only came Tuesday and the company was still considering what to do with the staff involved with the team, Draeger said.

"Of course ... would all have liked to continue this ambitious campaign and show that this season was just a hiccup following three successful years," BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen said.

"But I can understand why this decision was made from a corporate perspective. We will now focus sharply on the remaining races and demonstrate our fighting spirit and put in a good result as we bid farewell to Formula One racing."

Mercedes, the other major German car maker involved in Formula One, said it regretted BMW's pullout, "but it will have no influence on our F1 engagement."

The decision by BMW comes at a time when auto makers worldwide are reporting lower sales amid the global economic slowdown. Consumers are reluctant to open their wallets for big-ticket items and companies are trimming costs.

Georg Stuerzer, an automotive analyst with UniCredit in Munich who follows BMW, told AP that he estimated that the company was spending approximately $280 million a year on its Formula One involvement.

Draeger said it was not yet clear if the decision would result in job losses in Munich and Hinwil, Switzerland. The operation counts some 700 workers.

"Since we only made this decision yesterday, we cannot provide any more precise information," he said. "We will develop and assess various scenarios and do our best to find a solution for the employees in Hinwil and the staff members involved in the Formula One project in Munich."

The withdrawal will prompt speculation about the future of drivers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld. Kubica will be in strong demand for next season and will likely remain involved in F1.

The future for Heidfeld is less certain, though his long stint in the sport could make him an attractive option for the new entrant teams next season, who will be looking for an experienced driver.

In its debut season in 2006, BMW Sauber wound up fifth in the constructors' championship. In 2007, the German-Swiss team came in second after McLaren-Mercedes' exclusion from the points standings.

In 2008, the team was in the hunt for the world championship until the end of the season, winding up third. Kubica had the only GP victory in Canada.

So far, the BMW Sauber F1 Team has taken one pole position (Kubica in Bahrain in 2008) and 16 podium finishes. It is eighth in the constructors' standings in the current season.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ferrari 458 Italia Interior

Although it looks a little Honda-y, I have to say that the view from the cockpit looks like a compelling enough reason to consider the newest Ferrari. Aside from the power, torque and aerodynamics. Enjoy!

Car Porn Deluxe - "Zed meets Zed edition" - BMW Z4 vs. Nissan 370Z

"Its not mid-engined and It doesn't run on brimstone and baby owls", Clarkson

The winner of this comparison was surpising based on what the trade mags have said about the two cars. All in all, Top Gear and Clarkson at their best. Enjoy!

Ferrari's Newest Child - Welcome to the 458 Italia

While there is not yet a price set or a firm release date for Ferrari 458 Italia, the often rumored replacement for the Ferrari 430, the pictures and specifications for the car make me want to sell the house and dog, clean out my 401K, and put down a deposit.

The 4.5 liter motor is food for 570 european horsepower and 398 ft/lbs (torques to Clarkson). All in a package that weights a hair over 3000 lbs with race seats and forges wheels.

You can usually expect that the car will beat the factory estimate of 0-100kph in 3.3 by a half second, but that might come close to defying the laws of physics.

Ferrari 458 Italia – Technical specifications


Length 4527 mm (178.2 in.)

Width 1937 mm (76.3 in.)

Height 1213 mm (47.8 in.)

Wheelbase 2650 mm (104.3 in.)

Dry weight 1380 kg (3042 lbs)*

Weight/power ratio 2,42 kg/CV (7.16 lbs/kW)

Weight distribution fr/r 42%/58%


Type V8 – 90°

Displacement 4499 cc (274.5 cu in.)

Maximum power 570 CV (425 kW)** @ 9000 rpm

Maximum torque 540 Nm (398 lbs/ft) @ 6000 rpm

Specific power output 127 CV/l

Compression ratio 12.5:1


Front 235/35 ZR20 8.5"

Rear 295/35 ZR20 10.5"


Maximum speed >325 km/h (>202 mph)

0-100 km/h - 3.3 sec

Fuel consumption + emissions

Fuel consumption*** 13.7 l/100 km

Emissions*** 320 g CO2/km


Dual-clutch, 7-speed F1


E-Diff3, F1-Trac, high-performance ABS

* With forged wheels and Racing seats

** Including 5 CV of ram effect

*** Combined cycle (ECE+EUDC)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Insult to (potential) Injury - Renault suspended from European Gran Prix

According to GP Renault has been suspended from the European Gran Prix in Valencia due to a breach in the sporting regulations related to Fernando Alonso's loss of a wheel at the Hungarian Gran Prix this weekend. It's unclear if there was an additional infraction beyond the loss of the wheel, but this is likely a reaction to the death of Henry Surtees and Felipe Massa's injury. Too bad for appears as though they are getting the maximum penalty as a result of other team's bad fortunes.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Get well soon Felipe Massa!

With Felipe in the hospital recovering from brain surgery let's remember brighter days. Get well soon Felipe!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kohler International Challenge at Road America

One of the great things about the Kohler International Challenge hosted by Brian Redman, (aside from the opportunity to see Can-Am, Formula One, IMSA and SCCA cars running at speed as god intended) is that on Friday evening after the practice sessions, many of the race cars are led onto the streets of Elkhart Wisconsin for a parade downtown and a concours (hosted by Road and Track) in front of the Siebkins Bar/Hotel/Condos.

Once the cars are in place spectators are invited to view and browse the cars. Local bands play in the courtyard and beer and wine is served from vendors on the sidewalk. On a hot July night, nothing can be better.

This street forms part of the original road course that existed in Elkhart Lake, and the final left turn in the video was a turn on the course known as "the Hard Left" an off camber 90 degree corner intended to provide maximum excitement for the summer tourists.

I will admit that these aren't the fastest video I've ever posted, but take a look at the cars lined up for the parade at the start and end of the video. See how many you can identify. (BTW- I count at least 2 BMW 3.0 CSL's a scarab and a group c car )Enjoy.

Turn Up the volumefor this one.

Hey Nelson Piquet Jr....Your bus is waiting, time to get under it.

Remember the good old days of the "silly season" in F1 where there would be rumors and speculation that someone was going to lose their seat and their replacement would be signed and then installed the following year?

Well those days are largely gone. It looks like the most recent casualty of the 2009 season (aside from decorum, good-sportsmanship and business ethics) is Nelson Piquet Jr. Apparently the race this weekend at in Hungary will be his last outing for the Renault F1, and that he will be replaced by Romain Grosjean for Valencia.

Good luck Nelson. We hardly knew ya!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I like the concept - Running of the (Red) Bulls

I just think he needs to go a little faster. Enjoy!

CSL Cup - The perfect series for the e46 M3

In a quest to bring you motorsports from around the world, we present the CSL Cup. This series is a collection of e46 BMW M3's and M3 CSL's in two categories, stock and modified, running on Dunlop slicks. The series takes step to equalize the performance differences between the M3 and M3 CSL cars, and in the stock classes, standarizes items such as brakes, suspension components and wheels/tires. It looks like a bunch of fun, but alas, it is currently only running in the UK. Thanks to Stephan Gill for the video and for the clue. Enjoy!

Race 2

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kimi Raikkonen - King of Comedy

So Kimi may not be the most expressive pilot on the Formula 1 grid today, but as this send-up/tribute shows, the ice-man can keep a straight face while making us smile.

The image at 1:56 makes me laugh again and again. Enjoy!

(via theratterdotcom)

Car Porn Deluxe- "Battle of Britain" edition - Jaguar XFR v M5 Top Gear

Not sure if I want to sit in a car that feels like "sitting on a fat dog", but if you have "eighty more torques" it might be worth taking a look at the Jaguar XFR. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rubens Barrichelo - Blah-Blah-Blah-rrichello! - Priceless Nurburgring Press Conference Re-Mix

A brilliant summary of Rubens' impromptu press conference following the Gran Prix at the Nurburgring last week!

If you like the clip it's because of me, if you hate it, it because the team made be do it! Enjoy!


Scuderia Back on Track - Autobahn CC with NASA - July 18 & 19

So we're heading back out to the Autobahn CC with the good folks at NASA for some fun on the south track. The weather picture for this weekend has been constantly evolving, from sun to rain to clouds to rain and now back to sun and cool for July in Chicagoland.

If you are at the track please stop by and say hi. I'll be there in the gray donkey M3, (#27) with a bunch of the usual suspects in a black m3, a black C4s, a silver and blue M3 and another black m3. Looking forward to seeing you out there and hoping to return with some pictures, video and stories from the weekend!

See you there!

Car Porn Deluxe - "Better to Best" edition - Ferrari 599GTB HGTE

Some might ask if Ferrari's $30,000 HGTE option makes the Ferrari 599 better and while I doubt that anyone who buys one will know the difference, it does make it markedly cooler. If you can afford it, please buy one -- It will make the world a better place. Enjoy! (worldcarfans)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Car Porn Deluxe - "Too Cool for Summer" edition - Derek Bell Pilots the Bentley Continental Supersports up the hill at Goodwood.

What a great way to spend a sunny summer day in England. Blast up the hill at Goodwood in a 621hp Bentley that weighs as much as a small dump truck, but goes from 0 to 60 as fast a F430, piloted by none other than Derek Bell, (watch him tame the Nurburgring in a Porsche 962). Enjoy!

BTW- Notice how they edit in footage from Derek in the car by himself to Derek with a passenger, if you look at his hands you can see the production error.

I don't think that these kids know that DC will turn in on them...

I know that these kids are likely enamoured by David Coulthard visiting their track and running with them in a Kart. But I doubt that this kids know that DC will turn in on them and take them out without any warning or provocation. I've seen it happen kids, be careful. Enjoy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Car Porn Deluxe - 3.8 liters of Perfection Edition - 2009 Porsche GT3 at the Nurburgring

It's always nice to see a species in its natural environment. This almost makes up for the Panamera. Enjoy!

Hey Sebastien here's your bus...

No wait, it looks like you're already under it, courtesy of Jaimie Alguersuari, your new replacement, I mean teammate.

This will be the second time that Scuderia Toro Rosso has allegedly booted a driver for "lack of performance," when the difference between the kept driver and the sacked driver is often the difference between 16th and 18th spot on the grid.

I always thought that anything short of the first 8 places was a poor showing.

As reported by

Jaimie Alguersuari on Monday indicated that Sebastien Bourdais has been ousted from his race seat at Toro Rosso.

The 19-year-old Spaniard is the favourite to replace Frenchman Bourdais, whose immediate exit from the Red Bull-owned team is expected to be confirmed on Tuesday.

Alguersuari told Radio Catalunya: "He is 30, he has a daughter, has won four championships in the American Champ Cars, won the F3000 here in Europe and, honestly, is a highly trained driver.

"But it seems that this year he has not given it everything, as he should have.

"I truly believe that the decision by Red Bull is just, but it is never nice to see someone taken away after half a season," Alguersuari added.

Toro Rosso on Monday would not comment.

If he makes his debut as expected in Hungary in two weeks, the Spaniard - not yet 19 and a half years old - would be the youngest ever Formula One race driver.

Car Porn Deluxe - Going Postal Edition - Top Gear Tests the Porsche Panamera

Capt. Slow and the Hamster race a letter with the new Porsche Panamera. Seems a fitting comparison don't you think? Enjoy!

Part 2

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nice Distance! -- "That's nothing to be proud of Russ..."

For anyone that has every sat in T12 at Road America (aka Canada Corner) you know that the racing surface is about 100 feet out and 8 to 10 feet down from the viewing area.

Well, an ambitious Ferrari Challenge driver has succeeded in bringing the racing action to the fans. It is my understanding that the car was coming into Canada way too fast, skimmed across the gravel, dug in and vaulted over the tire wall and catch fence.

I haven't seen any thing that wasn't built by Boeing cover that kind of height and distance with such a short take-off roll.


Photos by redwe-in-wi

Stay Classy Rubens! - "They made me lose the race!"

Slight Spoiler Alert!!

A great example of "Discretion being the Better Part of Valor" as demonstrated by Rubens Barrichello . Enjoy!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

When I win the Lottery... Turner Motorport 2008 M3 Track Beast

Okay I might buy a Ferrari F430 Scuderia or a Ferrari challenge car first, but this would have to be on the list.

From Turner Motorsport:

This black 2008 M3 coupe was brought to us by it's owner with only 4,600 miles on the clock. He asked us to transform his M3 from a street car into a dedicated track beast, custom built to his needs. It received a TMS fabricated "standard" race/track cage setup, MOTON coilovers, full race exhaust (with cat-delete), software, TMS Power Pulley, carbon fiber roof (car originally had a sunroof with steel panel), Forgeline 18x10" non-staggered race wheels with 275 width Hoosiers, custom built center console, retained iDrive (strictly monitoring engine oil level and other electronic features), BMW Performance Steering wheel, fire extinguishing system, racing harnesses, baseline suspension setup, and many many more features and products. The end result: This M3 is FAR lighter than a standard "street" E92 M3, and benefits from added horsepower and torque over stock. After some track time and dialing in of both the car and driver, this Turner-built E92 M3 will be the ultimate weapon for track days.

For complete start-to-finish build up photos (over 110 photos!), please visit our gallery HERE

Friday, July 10, 2009

When Rally Cars Attack...

A testament to the quick reflexes of both driver and spectator. I wonder if the navigator had that turn in his course notes, "Up hill, right spectator 5, down hill." Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Game On - FIA and FOTA battle continues - No really!

Formula One's fragile peace was once again broken after Ferrari and seven other teams walked out of a meeting in Germany with the governing body over next year's rules. In a further case of he said/she said, the FIA reports that..."The eight FOTA (Formula One Teams Association) teams were invited to attend the meeting to discuss their further proposals for 2010," "Unfortunately, no discussion was possible because FOTA walked out of the meeting."

FOTA, who had threatened to set up their own breakaway series until what seemed to be a breakthrough deal was announced in Paris last month, said in a statement that Formula One's future was again in jeopardy.

With the two parties supposedly meeting to confirm the technical and sporting rules for next year's World Championship on Wednesday - which was due to include the lack of a budget cap but an aim to reduce spending levels to 1990s levels - FOTA has released a statement explaining its full reasons for why its eight members (each current team, with the exception of William and Force India) decided to depart the meeting.

With the FIA claiming on Wednesday that the eight FOTA teams are not yet fully entered to next year's championship - and therefore unable to request changes to proposed FIA rules - FOTA has responded by stating its feelings that rules have already been discussed between the two parties during a Paris meeting in April and furthermore that the FIA's latest actions have compromised the future of the sport.

The FOTA statement reads:

'Representatives of all FOTA teams attended a meeting of the Sporting Working Group at the Nürburgring today.

During the course of this meeting, the team managers were informed by Mr Charlie Whiting of the FIA that, contrary to previous agreements, the eight FOTA teams are not currently entered into the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship and have no voting rights in relation to the technical and sporting regulations thereof.

It will be remembered that all eight active FOTA members were included on the "accepted" entry list as endorsed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) and communicated by FIA press statement on June 24.

In light of these claims, the FOTA representatives requested a postponement of today's meetings. This was rejected on the grounds that no new Concorde Agreement would be permitted before a unanimous approval of the 2010 regulations was achieved.

However, it is clear to the FOTA teams that the basis of the 2010 technical and sporting regulations was already established in Paris.

As endorsed by the WMSC and clearly stated in the FIA press statement of 24 June "the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009". At no point in the Paris discussions was any requirement for unanimous agreement on regulations change expressed. To subsequently go against the will of the WMSC and the detail of the Paris agreement puts the future of Formula 1 in jeopardy.

As a result of these statements, the FOTA representatives at the subsequent Technical Working Group were not able to exercise their rights and therefore had no option other than to terminate their participation.

The FOTA members undertook the Paris agreement and the subsequent discussions in good faith and with a desire to engage with all new and existing teams on the future of Formula One.'

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Car porn Deluxe- "Jumbo Shrimp" Edition - Tiff Needell tests the Lotus Evora

Sure it's bigger and more luxurious than the Exige, but in the USA it's pretty close to a Carrera 2 (997) in price and the Porsche isn't not powered by the Toyota Camry's v6, whereas the Lotus is. Check out Tiff's opinion. Enjoy!

Car Porn Deluxe - "Capt. Slow vs. Capt. Fast Edition" - Ken Block on Top Gear

The always amazing Ken Block does what he can to take some years off of James May's life! Enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Car Porn Deluxe - McLaren F1 GTR at Monza

Does it get much better than having Monza all to yourself in an McLaren F1 GTR? Maybe but having Megan Fox in the passenger seat would screw up the car's balance. Enjoy!

Scuderia Back on Track - SEM/PCA at Gingerman July 3,4 & 5

The Scuderia was back on track this past weekend and we had a great time in South Haven, MI at Gingerman Raceway with th Southeastern Michigan Chapter of the PCA. Great cars and really nice folks were everywhere, and the club racing was well matched and exciting.

On the way out to South Bend one the Scuderia had a bit of an issue with his car which required a stop in Michigan City and a flat-bed tow to South Bend, IN where Basney BMW worked dilligently to get his car fixed by Friday afternoon. Big thanks to the folks at Basney for providing great service and helping out in a tough spot.

Special thanks to the SEM/PCA and Scuderia members Aaron and Chad, as well as Friends of the Scuderia, John and Jason, for making it a fun weekend!

Car Porn Deluxe - More Money Than God Edition - Ferrari at Goodwood!

In car video from the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Thanks to World Car Fans for the sights and sounds from the event! Enjoy!

Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M

Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano HGTE

Ferrari California Part 1

Ferrari California Part 2

Car Porn Deluxe - Bigger Hammer Edition - Top Gear Tests the Mustang GT500

Happy Birthday America! I thought that we'd shake off the Holiday weekend with some classic Top Gear and the Ford GT500. Fans of live axles may want to skip this one, but for those of us who enjoy cars with IRS- Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Scuderia Back On Track - Gingerman July 3 and 4 - SEM/PCA

Looking forward to getting back on track after a planned month-long hiatus. It actually feels longer than a month because of the cold rainy weather (Road America) and the cool weather (Autobahn CC) compounded by a terrible alignment, (Left Rear toe out, Right Rear toe in) for both events.

Excited to run with the South Eastern Michigan Chapter of the Porsche Club of America, (SEM/PCA). The SEM/PCA seems like a good group and this event, The Roar by the Shore, should include some exciting Porsched Club racing as well. We should hopefully have plenty of pictures and stories from the weekend.

Both Aaron, (with his tribute to Porsche Techquipment Cayman S) and I (with the BMW e46 Gray Donkey) will be out there this week-end so if your in the neighborhood or at the track, stop-by and say, "hello." It should be a beautiful weekend for driving.

Have a fun and safe holiday weekend and if I can find a broadband connection I'll try to post some updates as well. Cheers.