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Jaguar Returns to Racing with New I-Type Electric

British maker set to join Formula E series

by on Sep.08, 2016

Jaguar will develop its own powertrain for the I-Type.

After a pouting absence following its failure in Formula 1, Jaguar is readying a return to racing, but don’t expect to hear the screech of a new V-10 or turbo engine. Jaguar’s all-new I-Type racer will move in near silence as part of the Formula E series.

The British maker will team up with – appropriately enough – battery and electronics giant Panasonic for the groundbreaking electric racing series. The partners pulled the covers off their new racer today, dubbing it I-Type 1. It will be driven in anger for the first time on October 9th, when the new Formula E season gets underway in Hong Kong.

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Considering its long motor sports history, which reached apogee on the circuit of Le Mans with legendary models like the C- and D-Types and, later, the XJR-19, why Formula E. Because, said team chairman Gerd Mauser, it’s “an innovative series with competitive, close racing in front of urban audiences. It develops EV tech and helps change the perception of electric cars.”

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Formula E to Launch World’s First Roborace

Self-driving race series set to get underway next year.

by on Nov.30, 2015

Roborace will be an hour-long event before each of the Formula E battery car races.

Think motorsports and you’re as likely as not to immediately think of some of the great names associated with racing: Schumacher, Hill, Fangio, Andretti, Petty and Earnhardt. So, what happens when you take the driver out of the car?

You come up with the new Roborace, a series of hour-long track events set to launch next year as a prelude to the Formula E series. About to enter its third season, Formula E is itself a groundbreaking concept, the first major series to rely on battery-electric race cars.

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“We passionately believe that, in the future, all of the world’s vehicles will be assisted by AI and powered by electricity, explains Denis Sverdlov, Founder of Kinetik and Roborace.  The new series will serve as a “celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far. It’s a global platform to show that robotic technologies and AI can co-exist with us in real life.”

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Mercedes Reveals Track-Ready AMG GT3

"Credible proof of our ambition to lead."

by on Feb.26, 2015

The Mercedes-AMG GT3 will start racing in 2016.

Expect to see some serious track-ready sheet metal make an appearance at the Geneva Motor Show next week, including a track-only offering from Aston Martin, and a dual street and track Cayman GT4 from Porsche.

So, how could Mercedes-Benz be left out of that high-performance pack? It can’t…or won’t, it turns out. Look for the Teutonic maker to bring its own track model to Geneva’s PALExpo convention center in the form of the AMG GT3.

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“We are entering a hard-fought and hotly competitive environment with the new Mercedes-AMG GT3,” declares Tobias Moers, the performance brand’s chairman. “You can only give credible proof of your ambition to lead if you’re beating the very best in the game.

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Corvette’s Next-Gen C7.R Racer Breaks Cover

by on Aug.19, 2013

The new C7.R breaks cover at Laguna Seca, albeit it with just a little bit of camouflage.

For most of the long, three-day weekend, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca offered a view of vintage motorsports with 100s of classic race cars reliving their former glory at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

But for a few brief moments, thousands of fans got a chance to look into the future as Chevrolet’s next-generation Corvette C7.R race car made its public debut.

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The rumors began to leak out Friday night that Chevy might have something special in mind – something that was not entirely a surprise considering the Corvette was the year’s honored model during a weekend most aficionados refer to simply as the “Historics.” In fact, Chevrolet had been giving several dozen journalists their first drive in the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray, or C7, over the course of the previous week.

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Controversial IndyCar Chief Steps Down

Targeted by owner’s coup.

by on Oct.29, 2012

The fiery Las Vegas crash that took the life of Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon was one of many missteps that led to Bernard's ouster.

Randy Bernard, the head of the IndyCar racing series, has stepped down after a controversial, three-year reign following an angry revolt by team owners determined to oust him.

The announcement comes despite widespread praise for the IndyCar Series which was credited with having one of its best seasons ever.  Among other developments, Chevrolet returned to the racing program this past year, a season that saw IndyCar introduce its first all-new car in nine years.

But the series has been plagued by dissent, some owners openly talking of a coup against Hulman & Co., which controls both the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Despite the strong showing this past year, Bernard was blamed for a number of missteps that hurt both the racing league and his own position as its chief executive.  Among the most criticized moves was a decision to hold the series’ final race of 2011 in Las Vegas at a track that some experts felt was too dangerous at IndyCar speeds.

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Brembo Brakes into the Big Time

Would you like an SRT Viper with your Brembo brakes?

by on Jun.15, 2012

Brembo has carefully translated its strong success on the race track into solid sales and brand recognition on the street.

With the rare exception of a Recaro, known for its sport seats, and Hurst, once a must-have shifter manufacturer, automotive suppliers usually work behind the scenes anonymously.  But a small Italian parts manufacturer has suddenly started standing out from the crowd.

The brake manufacturer Brembo, in fact, is becoming so popular that its name alone added performance credibility to otherwise mundane brands – and can even help the most exclusive automotive manufacturers command a higher premium for their products.

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Originally focused on Europe, Brembo is suddenly racking up orders from all three of the Detroit makers, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group all turning to the Italian brake maker to bolster both the performance and image of their products.

GM has turned to Brembo for brake and wheel packages on cars such as the Cadillac CTS-V, the Chevrolet Camaro SS and the Corvette ZR-1, as well as the new Caddy XTS, not a model with especially high performance aspirations.

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Track Damage Nearly Wrecks Detroit IndyCar Race

Crash, long delay blamed on problem with track surface.

by on Jun.04, 2012

Detroit Grand Prix crews make emergency repairs on the damaged Belle Isle track.

Detroit’s weather-beaten roads are a frequent target of criticism, but drivers on the IndyCar circuit were particularly disturbed when the surface on the Motor City’s Belle Isle race track began to break up, leading to a crash and a long delay as crews raced to patch things up.

After a more than two-hour delay, the race was allowed to resume, albeit in abbreviated form, with Scott Dixon delivering the victory in a Target Chip Ganassi Honda, his first win of the year.

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The Detroit race was the city’s first since 2008 and was intended to serve as a highlight of Motown’s turnaround, with sponsors including Chevrolet and race and industrial mogul Roger Penske investing heavily to pull out all the promotional stops.

Initially, the biggest problem appeared likely to be the rain clouds that hovered over the Motor City since Friday’s practice sessions began.  But by Sunday the weather finally seemed ready to cooperate.  Unfortunately, the track didn’t.

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Nissan Darting into LeMans with DeltaWing racer

Revolutionary design could reshape motor sports.

by on Mar.14, 2012

Nissan has put its name on the DeltaWing racer as its title sponsor.

Over more than a century of motor sports, the racing world has often been transformed by dramatic shifts in design.  Today, aerodynamics can play as significant a role as the powertrain in a race car – as fans of the Formula One world can readily attest.

Is the DeltaWing project ready to unleash the next big revolution?  The dart-like concept, which has more visually in common with a fighter aircraft than a NASCAR or even an Indy racer, is set to get its first big test during the unforgiving 24 Hours of Le Mans thanks to the project’s latest sponsor, Nissan.

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The Japanese maker says it is “aiming to change the face of endurance racing forever” with what has now been renamed the Nissan DeltaWing.  That’s no minor boast when you consider what the exotic concept will be going up against, including the likes of Audi’s latest diesel-powered monster, the R18 eTron Quattro.

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Penske Jumps from Dodge to Ford

Dodge frantically searching for new partner.

by on Mar.02, 2012

A force to be reckoned with, Roger Penske will jump from Dodge to Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.

Only days after the 2012 racing season got underway legendary team owner Roger Penske delivered what could be the big bombshell for 2013 – announcing he will end his long-time affiliation with Dodge next year and put his team colors on a NASCAR entry from Ford.

The move leaves Dodge, the performance brand at the Chrysler Group, frantically searching for a winning team to replace its long-time ally.

“We will be evaluating our options,” said Dodge spokesman Dan Reid.

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The announcement by Penske came less than two weeks before Dodge was set to unveil its 2013 entry into the NASCAR circuit, a new version of its Charger muscle car.  But Penske’s team – which had run with Dodge for the last 10 years – will instead be racing the new Ford Fusion.

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The Montery Motorsports Reunion: Disneyland for Race Fans

Watching racing history come back to life.

by on Aug.22, 2011

A trio of classic race cars come back to life at Laguna Seca during the 2011 Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

It’s hard to escape your past – or so Derek Bell discovered as he wandered through the paddock at the Laguna Seca race track.  Everywhere he turned he discovered another car that he had driven, at one point or another, during his long and illustrious career.  That includes a Ferrari 250 GTO that is getting ready for a race on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m always surprised,” the British legend said, “by how many cars they have here and how many cars I drove,” including the classic ’64 Ferrari 250 GTO he piloted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed five years back.

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Bell isn’t alone.  Indeed, it seems there are surprises for everyone at the annual Monterey Motorsports Reunion.  The three-day event gave the estimated  40,000 fans a chance to see some of the world’s rarest, oddest and most successful race cars – some nearly 100 years old – come back to life on one of the country’s most challenging tracks.

And unlike the typical race event, the Reunion broke down the traditional barriers, letting race fans get up close and personal with the cars and the drivers.  That includes not only weekend racers like Tom Price, a San Francisco collector with a warehouse full of old cars, but some of the best-known names from the motorsports world, including Bell, Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, Carroll Shelby and British racing giant Stirling Moss.

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