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Cadillac Returns to Racing After 14-Year Absence

GM's luxury brand kicks off entry at Daytona's 24 Hours.

by on Dec.01, 2016

Cadillac is returning to the race track with the DPi-V.R, starting with the the 24 Hours at Daytona.

Automakers claim that they learn a lot from their racing programs, well, Cadillac is going back to school: the brand revealed the all-new 2017 Cadillac DPi-V.R race car today.

The luxury brand’s entry will compete in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, Prototype (P) class. This represents Cadillac’s second foray in racing. The last time the brand competed in top-level prototype racing was 2002, when the ill-fated Northstar LMP finished ninth at Le Mans.

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“Cadillac is proud to return to the pinnacle of prototype racing in North America after a 14-year absence,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac. (more…)

Dodge Bringing Drag Racing to Woodward Dream Cruise

Racers vying for $19,000 in prize money.

by on Jun.24, 2016

More than 12,000 folks jammed the Silverdome parking lot watch day-long street racing. Now they'll see it on a real street: Woodward Avenue.

Every August the Detroit suburbs along Woodward Avenue roar to life with the sounds and smells of muscle cars, punctuated with the occasional squeal of smoking tires, which was illegal … until now.

Fiat Chrysler is teaming up with the bloggers at Roadkill for a night of “flashlight” street racing on Aug. 19, for the second edition of “Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge.” Last year’s event gave the winner the vaunted powerplant for the Hellcat line of vehicles.

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The inaugural event kicked off last year in the parking lot of the Silverdome, the former home of the Detroit Lions, and drew more than 12,000 people. It now moves to a larger location called the M1 Concourse in downtown Pontiac and – with the blessing of local governmental agencies – it includes actual street racing with a cash purse of $19,000. (more…)

Ford Holds Off Ferrari to Win at Le Mans

New GT yields same historic result.

by on Jun.20, 2016

Just as it did 50 years ago, Ford took the checked flag at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Once again, the Ford GT lived up to the hype, outlasting Ferrari and taking the checkered flag in its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The results was almost a replay of the same race 50 years ago, only Ford took to the top three spots that year. The Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE finished second, but it was an epic battle that saw the No. 68 Ford GT run by Ford Chip Ganassi take and keep the lead for good at the 20-hour mark.

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Ford GTs took third and fourth place in the GTE Pro class race respectively. (more…)

Is This Robocar the Future of Racing?

Tron-like cars set to take to the track later this year.

by on Apr.01, 2016

The worlds of fantasy and autonomous vehicles are merging together with the kickoff of the Robocar racing series.

We’re going to have to wait a few years before the first fully autonomous vehicles roll into U.S. showrooms, but expect to start seeing them on the track later this year, and you can give credit – or blame – to the same man who designed the vehicles in the sci-fi films Tron: Legacy and Oblivion.

While specific details haven’t been released, expect to see 20 of these robocars when the first roborace is held as a support series for the FIA Formula E Championship during the 2016-2017 season. There will be 10 teams, each operating two of the electrically powered autonomous vehicles.

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It makes some sense to push the envelope when you’re developing cars for the first autonomous race cars, which will compete in the new Robocar series. And who better to turn to than designer Daniel Simon, who has also worked on everything from drones to motorcycles, and even spaceships. (more…)

Acura Taking New NSX Racing – Minus the Hybrid

Maker still hopes to find a way to put 3-motor hybrid system onto track.

by on Mar.25, 2016

The NSX GT3 is ready for the race track, although there is a significant difference between it and the consumer model: the hybrid part.

Acura is taking its all-new NSX supercar racing, but there’ll be a distinct difference from the model just set to start rolling into U.S. showrooms in the coming weeks.

To get the two-seater accepted into the GT3 series, the Japanese maker has to make some radical changes to the NSX powertrain, abandoning the unique, three-motor hybrid system that is an essential part of the equation for the street model.

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“Otherwise,” explained Art St. Cyr, the head of motor sports operations for Acura’s parent, Honda Motor Co., “we couldn’t get the NSX homologated,” or accepted into the racing series. (more…)

New Ford GT Set to Make its Debut – on Track

Ford Chip Gasassi Racing aiming to defend Rolex 24 at Daytona title.

by on Jan.26, 2016

The new Ford GT racer in testing.

Potential buyers will have to wait until later this year to get their hands on the $400,000 Ford GT. But for race fans, the wait is almost over, two track versions of the exotic Ford set to take to the field this weekend for the annual Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Carrying the numbers 66 and 67, they’ll be part of a four-car assault being planned by the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team as it heads back to the Florida speedway to defend its title.

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If the two GTs deliver during their debut event it would mark Ford’s seventh overall win at Daytona – and it would come a half century after Ford’s upset, 1-2-3 win at Le Mans with the original GT40.

(more…)

Famed Nürburgring Race Track Tells Drivers to Slow Down

Green Hell officials making changes to track.

by on Aug.19, 2015

The 2014 Camaro Z28 makes a pass around Germany's grueling Nurburgring circuit.

The Nürburgring Nordschleife, the most accessible – if not the most famous – racetrack in the world has forced drivers on the famous circuit to … gulp … slow down.

The track’s owners slapped speed limits on certain parts of the 12.9-mile track after on-track crash resulted in the death of a spectator during a race in March. However, after careful examination, the track’s owners are making 16 changes to the circuit that should allow the resumption of all-out racing early next year.

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Capricorn Nürburgring GmbH plans to eliminate some spectator seating, build larger fences and repave some parts of the track in order to allow the resumption of full-speed racing. Construction on seven of the 16 proposed changes will begin in November and be completed sometime early next year. (more…)

Red Bull Threatening to Quit Formula One

Rule changes have team seeing red.

by on Mar.17, 2015

Parked! Red Bull's Formula One team is considering pulling out of the series due to recent rule changes.

Formula One could lose one of its strongest teams. At least that’s the threat being leveled by managers of the Red Bull team who feel recent rule changes were “the wrong solution” for the wildly popular racing series.

It’s by no means the first time F1 has faced the threat of a walkout by one or more teams. There were threats of a coup by some of the biggest players in the series a decade ago, but cooler heads – and the willpower of Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone – eventually prevailed.

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But this time, the concerns of Red Bull carry more weight considering other teams – and many fans – have also expressed frustration at rule changes that impacted the engines those exotic racers rely on. (more…)

Mazda Planning to Go Racing with New Miata

Maker plans to sponsor global racing cup.

by on Nov.05, 2014

Mazda is ready to take the next-generation Miata out on the race track.

It’s still a year away from production, but Mazda is already planning to take its next-generation Miata out on the track, the Japanese maker announced during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

That should come as little surprise considering the little roadster is already hailed as the most widely raced vehicle on the road, both in professional and amateur programs around the world. And a new powertrain and an overall reduction of more than 200 pounds in mass for the 2016 model should just enhance the car’s appeal on the motorsports circuit.

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Unveiled during a global preview two months ago, the all-new Mazda Miata is certain to continue participation in a variety of racing programs, but Mazda itself will sponsor a new one-make Global Cup series that will be staged in North America, Europe and Asia. (more…)

Chrysler Dumps Viper Racing Program

Move comes after program takes home championships.

by on Oct.07, 2014

Chrysler cut its SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R racing program just after it won two championships.

After taking home a championship trophy last weekend, the Chrysler Group has dropped the Viper racing program supported by its Street and Racing Technology (SRT) unit.

“Our company has made a business decision to discontinue the SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R racing program,” said Ralph Gilles, senior vice president of Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC, who has headed up the SRT program, which Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had considered making a separate brand at one point.

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“We are very proud of the amazing achievements our fantastic teams, drivers and partners have achieved on track the last few seasons,” he said. “We thank them for their hard work, effort and commitment to SRT Motorsports. Its been an honor to be a part of the inaugural IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season and we wish them every success in the future.” (more…)