Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saleen S7

S7 Racing History:

The first S7-R produced by RML was completed in late 2000, then immediately shipped to the United States to make its debut in the American Le Mans Series event at Laguna Seca. Run by Saleen-Allen Speedlab, the car finished in 26th place. For 2001, the first customer chassis would be completed, and their respective teams would enter various championships: Fordahl Motorsports ran in the Grand American Road Racing Championship, RML would run the European Le Mans Series, and Konrad Motorsport would run both ALMS and ELMS.
The S7-R would quickly show its capabilities, when Konrad finished in sixth place at the 12 Hours of Sebring, earning their first class victory. Fordahl would win seven Grand American events en route to finishing second in the class championship, while RML won four ELMS events and won that championship by a mere point over the Konrad Saleens. Saleen-Allen Speedlab would also earn a podium finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with an 18th place finish overall.
For 2002, Konrad Motorsport would concentrate mostly on the American Le Mans Series (the ELMS having been dissolved following 2001), while Park Place Racing took over Fordahl's entry in Grand American. Newcomer Graham Nash Motorsport would both the British GT and Spanish GT Championships. Park Place won four races and earned their first championship title, while Graham Nash would win nine British GT and four Spanish GT races, earning them the title in both series. Konrad Motorsport however struggled against a stronger Corvette Racing team and could not score any victories, but were able to finish second in the championship.
Konrad Motorsport chose to move their Saleen squad to Europe in order to compete in the FIA GT Championship in 2003, leaving North America without a full-season competitor for the S7-R as Park Place abandoned the Grand American championship. Graham Nash would join Konrad in FIA GT, earning a sixth place finish in the championship. For 2004, Saleen would have a resurgence of teams as RML returned to run FIA GT, Dominique Dupuy's DDO team entered the FFSA GT Championship, Konrad assisted the new Vitaphone Racing, and ACEMCO Motorsports purchased two brand now S7-Rs, modified to better competed in the American Le Mans Series. Vitaphone would earn three victories in FIA GT en route to a fourth place in the championship, while DDO earned two victories in FFSA GT.
Fortunes would quickly turn for the S7-Rs in the 2005 season. Konrad and Graham Nash would see their racing efforts downsized as the teams hit economic problems. Vitaphone Racing moved on from the S7-R and raced a Maserati MC12 to the FIA GT championship. This left ACEMCO to take second in the American Le Mans Series, while DDO would earn the only Saleen wins that year with three.
In an attempt to rebound from 2005, Saleen chose to concentrate on select series and events. ACEMCO would drop from the American Le Mans Series in order to concentrate solely on entering the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans where they earned an 11th place finish, the best ever by a Saleen. Oreca would be chosen to built new S7-R chassis with upgrades to make them more competitive, which led to the team earning two victories in the Le Mans Series. In FIA GT, Zakspeed would take over as the factory squad with Balfe Racing running as a privateer. Zakspeed would manage to earn two victories and earn themselves fourth in the championship.
For 2007, Zakspeed was forced to abandon their FIA GT effort as the team went bankrupt during the off-season. ACEMCO also was forced to withdraw and offer their S7-Rs for sale. Oreca would build two more chassis, with one going to the Italian Racing Box squad who would compete alongside Oreca in the Le Mans Series. Oreca would win four races during the season.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Another recent addition to my collection... the Hotwheels elite Ferrari FXX...
Some fun facts about the Ferrari FXX:
There have been only 32 FXX built since it debuted in 2005. All but two have been sold to a specific clientele at $2,000,000. For this, owners get to drive their FXX on special track days at Ferrari, so they can provide data-monitoring and telemetry Ferrari technicians can use to build the future Ferraris.

One of these two unsold FXX cars was kept by Ferrari. The other was bestowed upon Michael Schumacher upon his retirement. His is different in several ways. It has a unique black finish with no stripe; wheels are trimmed in red; exhaust tips are matte finish, not chrome; the number 30 appears on the doors; and the seats feature Schumacher’s personal insignia.

Cusco Subaru Impreza GT300

Got the model yesterday. It's the 2007 SuperGT Cusco Subaru Impreza that raced in GT300 class. Well, been searching for this model for quite sometime, finally get it at very reasonable price....
Actually I doubt the ability of the Subaru Impreza when competing with the faster car like Nissan Fairlady Z Type E, Lamborghini MURCIELAGO R-G1, PORSCHE 996GT3RS, VEMAC 408R and FERRARI F360. I thought the Impreza WRX is only designed to race in rally competitions (never seen in racing in GT before)... The Cusco Racing won the Malaysian GT300 this year and it quickly grab my attention.... this is a great car that run by a good racing team and driven by proven race winners.... I tell myself must add one to my collection!!!

Here's some facts about the Cusco racing team....

CUSCO RACING is now back in the 2006 Super GT Championship, and competing in GT300 class starting from Rd. 5 Sport land SUGO on July 22nd-23rd, after 10month of R&D for brand new racing machine.

Brand new CUSCO SUBARU ADVAN IMPREZ is the first ever AWD GT car with Transaxle gearbox And there had been no participation of AWD racing car for Super GT/JGTC for 10years, after the Skyline GT-R in 1996.

Development of our 2006 machine was started 1 year ago. Until the end of 2005, we were the only Subaru competing in Super GT/JGTC, and the machine was RWD to avoid the weight increase. On 2006 model, we had successfully lessened the weight by developing new body and chassis, and re-designing the roll cage. Now, brand new 2006 machine had gained the advantage of traction by far from 2005 RWD model, and the identity of SUBARU Impreza, which has symmetrical AWD system.

Exterior design is still almost the same as 2005 model, but Front fender and Rear wing was re-designed considering the Aero dynamics and air drag.

Engine is tuned by STi (Subaru Technica International) as we have done in past years. STi had added their experiences in WRC, and succeeded to add the Low RPM torque, improve Anti-lug system (miss-firing system) and minimize the fuel consumption. Surprisingly, Exhaust pipe is located in front of the Front left tire.

Almost everything except for the original chassis and engine was designed and developed by Carrosser/CUSCO Racing in house, including AWD gearbox and Suspension. Both Front and Rear suspension are changed to inboard type double wishbone type, and Wheelbase is extended from 2525mm in 2005 model, into 2540mm, which is same as SUBARU Impreza WRX STi SpecC.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

VROOM! VROOM! wow! The R35 is amazing!!! I've seen one 1:1 this morning... pearl white! the rear looks like ZR1. I'm hooked! I'm definately adding one to my collection soon.... Now waiting for Kyosho to release the 1/43 scaled....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

XANAVI NISMO GT-R Wins the 2008 Season GT500 Title!!!

The season title for drivers in the GT500 class was won by Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer (XANAVI NISMO GT-R). This gave the Nissan GT-R the title in its GT debut year. Nissan recorded the Seventh win of the season for the new GT-R. Thereby setting the new record for most wins ever by a single make of car in a single Super GT season... What a marvellous achievement for Nissan....

Joy for both drivers: Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer

Record-breaking DTM champion Bernd Schneider is ending his racing career

Bernd Schneider is retiring from motor racing. At the age of 44, he will compete in his last DTM race at Hockenheimring this coming Sunday. Schneider won a total of 43 races for Mercedes-Benz out of the 226 races in which he competed in the DTM series and the ITC, which became a DTM offshoot in 1995 and was held as the succeeding series in 1996. He started from pole position 25 times and achieved 59 fastest lap times. No DTM driver has been more successful.

Schneider won five DTM championship titles in 1995, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2006, as well as the ITC Championship in 1995. In 1997 he won the title in the FIA GT Championship. Bernd Schneider is now embarking on a second career at Mercedes-AMG. In future the record-holding DTM champion will be active for the high-performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars as a brand ambassador, instructor and test driver.

Bernd Schneider is the only driver in the current DTM line-up who has competed in both the earlier (1984 to 1996) and the new DTM series (since 2000). He is also the only driver to have successfully defended his championship title in the following year (2000/2001). His record-breaking tally of victories, pole positions and fastest racing laps is set to remain unequalled for a very long time, if indeed it is ever equalled or bettered. But this is not the only reason why "Mr. DTM" has put his personal stamp on the series. Schneider is acknowledged to be an exemplary sportsman, who enjoys the recognition and respect of his team colleagues, rivals and fans in equal measure.

Schneider's racing career: like a picture-book
The first milestone in Bernd Schneider's career was his victory in the 1980 Kart Junior World Championship. After winning his spurs in the Formula Ford monoposto series he entered the German Formula 3 championships, which he won in 1987. Prior to this, in 1986, he had first competed with Ford in the DTM. After two years of Formula 1 with Zakspeed in 1988 and 1989, as well as sports car racing with Porsche in 1990 and 1991, Schneider moved to Mercedes and the Zakspeed DTM team as the successor to Michael Schumacher for the last two races in 1991. In 1992 he made another move to AMG Mercedes, where Schneider has remained to the present day. Over the subsequent 17 years, as part of the AMG and HWA teams, he won 43 out of 226 races in the DTM and ITC, and eleven races in the 1997 and 1998 FIA GT Championship. All in all he achieved seven titles in these three championships.

Bernd won 43 of the 226 DTM/ITC races in which he competed for Mercedes-Benz; taken together, his 18 current DTM rivals are able to boast 47 victories. He stood on the winner's rostrum 100 times - almost every other race - (his rivals cumulatively account for 140), and was in the points ranking 157 times, i.e. in more than two thirds of his races. He achieved 59 fastest lap times - his current DTM rivals have managed a total of 45.

In his penultimate race in Le Mans he emerged victorious from a hard but fair duel in atrocious conditions with one of the two title contenders, Timo Scheider, thereby proving that even at the age of 44, he has lost none of his competitive spirit.Bernd Schneider, one of Germany's most sucessful racing drivers of all time with five DTM titles and one each in the ITC and FIA GT Championship, will in future pass on his enormous know-how to AMG customers as an expert instructor at the AMG Driving Academy. Moreover, "Mr. DTM" will also be active as a test driver and brand ambassador.

Bernd Schneider: "I have now been active as a racing driver for a total of more than 30 years, and my aim has always been to continue racing for as long as I enjoy the sport and I am still able to remain competitive. The time to leave has now come, and it gives rise to conflicting emotions. On the one hand I am sorry to be saying "Good Bye" to the many friends I have made in motor sports, and above all in the AMG, HWA and Mercedes-Benz teams over the last 17 years. On the other hand I am looking forward to facing my exciting new challenges. I see my decision to work for AMG following my career as an active racing driver as absolutely logical. I was able to celebrate most of my victories, and also the most satisfying ones, in the AMG Mercedes team, and now I am looking forward to the new challenge as an instructor, test driver and brand ambassador for Mercedes-AMG."

Norbert Haug: "Bernd Schneider and Mercedes-Benz Motorsports were partners on the racetrack for 17 years - one of the longest and most successful partnerships between a driver and a brand in the motor racing world. In this period Bernd won five DTM titles and one ITC title, as well as the FIA GT Championship in 1997. Mercedes-Benz has much to thank Bernd Schneider for, and he has put his stamp on the DTM like no other driver. Bernd has won no less than four of the eight titles awarded since the series recommenced in 2000. Bernd is also an example to many young drivers. For me he is also a friend, and one I will miss behind the wheel when there are races to be won, but I will still have the pleasure of his company at race meetings and events. Mercedes-AMG has gained a first-class specialist with Bernd Schneider, one who combines performance with brand commitment."

Volker Mornhinweg, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "We are very happy to be welcoming Bernd Schneider to AMG. As a fair sportsman, Bernd Schneider enjoys a great deal of recognition and respect throughout the entire motor racing world and automobile industry. I am certain that our development team will benefit greatly from Bernd Schneider's knowledgeable support. With his pleasant manner, he is also bound to be much in demand as a conversation partner during customer and press events."

XANAVI NISMO GT-R takes its third win of the season!

On Oct. 19, the SUPER GT IN KYUSHU 300 km, Round 8 of the 2008 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, was run at the AUTOPOLIS in Oita Pref. In the GT500 class, the XANAVI NISMO GT-R team (Satoshi Motoyama/Benoit Treluyer) scored a pole-to-checkered victory. In the GT300 class the DAISHIN ADVAN Z (Takayuki Aoki/Tomonobu Fujii) came from second position on the starting grid to win their first race of the season.

The race started at 14.00. At the first turn of he opening lap, the third place qualifier No. 32 EPSON NSX (Loic Duval) passed the second qualifier, the No. 1 ARTA NSX (Ralph Firman) and moved into 2nd position. While this was happening, the pole-sitting No. 23 XANAVI NISMO GT-R (Benoit Treluyer) began to pull away, opening up a gap of 2 seconds by the end of the first lap.

After that, Treluyer kept up his blistering pace in No. 23 and widened that gap to more than 4 sec. by the end of lap three.In contrast, Duval, now running in 2nd position in No. 32, was unable to pick up the pace and was eventually passed on lap seven by Firman in car No. 1. This brought the order of the top five back to the original qualifying order.Behind them, No. 100 RAYBRIG NSX (Yuji Ide) had been gradually gaining ground. One after another Ide passed the NO. 36 PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 (Andre Lotterer), the No.35 houzan KRAFT SC430 (Tatsuya Kataoka) and the No.3 YellowHat YMS TOMICA GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli) before finally passing the No.18 TAKATA DOME NSX (Takashi Kogure) on lap 14 to move into 5th position.

On lap 20 the No. 22 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Michael Krumm) made its pit stop. Making such an early pit stop with less that one third of the race finished sends a buzz around the paddock.. The on the next lap Lotterer pulls No. 36 into the pit as well. Both machines only change their tires and return to the track without refueling or changing drivers.

It seems that the high than expected track temperature is causing the tires to wear faster than expected. This shows that both teams are clearly on a two-pit-stop race plan.No.32 EPSON NSXAmong the other teams, No. 100 also makes an early pit stop at the end of lap 23. But in this case more than one-third of the race distance has been covered, so they are able to change drivers to Shinya Hosokawa and refuel too.

On the next lap No. 1 pulls into the pit. Again they changed drivers (to Takuya Izawa) and refuel. They also change tire but the front tires take unusual time and the length of the pit stop stretches to 50 sec.The leading No. 23 made its pit stop on lap 26. They change drivers to Satoshi Motoyama change tires and refuel in just 28 sec. This gives them a big margin over No. 1.

Later, after all the teams had finished their pit stops, No. 23 is back in the lead with Motoyama at the wheel. In 2nd place is No. 22 (Krumm) and in 3rd is No.36 (Lotterer), but these teams have not yet changed drivers, so it is actually No.32 that is in second position, having changed drivers from Duval to Katsuyuki Hiranaka on lap 30.

However, it is now nearly 30 sec. behind No. 23.No.1 ARTA NSXLater, after No. 36 changes drivers (Lotterer > Juichi Wakisaka) on lap 42 and No. 22 changes (Krumm > Masataka Yanagida) on lap 43, the order of the top three is No. 23 (Motoyama), No.32 (Hiranaka) and No. 1 (Izawa). But No.1 Izawa spins out while running alone just before the last curve of lap 47, leaving No. 100 (Hosokawa) to move into 3rd position.

But the drama wasn’t over yet. With ten laps remaining No. 100 (Hosokawa) collides with the GT300 class machine No. 62 WILLCOM ADVAN VEMAC 408R as it is competing for the lead. For this Hosokawa is given a drive-through penalty that drops him back to 4th position again.
This puts Izawa in No.1 back in 3rd position, but his tires seem to be losing grip at this point and he is unable to pick up the pace, which allows Hosokawa in No.100 to gradually close the gap on him once more.

With one lap remaining the two machines change position once again, although the action was not shown on the screens in the circuit. With this, everyone thought that Hosokawa in No. 100 Hosokawa had secured a podium finish, but after the race the judges gave him an additional 30-sec. penalty.

It appears that he had brushed No. 1 when passing it. This moved No.1 (Izawa) up to a 3rd place and a podium finish.Meanwhile, Motoyama in No. 23 was running smart in the lead, controlling his pace by keeping an eye on the margin between himself and No.32 (Hiranaka) in 2nd. He went to finish the 65 laps of the race with no danger to secure his team’s third victory of the season.

Although they missed the win, the 2nd place No. 32 EPSON NSX (Loic Duval/Katsuyuki Hiranaka) got their first podium finish of the season. The 3rd place finishers, the No. 1 ARTA NSX (Ralph Firman/Takuya Izawa) ended what had been a frantic race, with a spin-out and dump-up with another machine, on a positive note with their podium finish.This win puts the No.23 XANAVI NISMO GT-R (Satoshi Motoyama/Benoit Treluyer) on top in the season ranking. It also sends the GT-R into the final round with the closest shot at the title in its GT debut year.

The season’s 2nd ranking team, the No. 18 TAKATA DOME NSX (Takashi Kogure/Ryo Michigami) finished this race in 7th, wile the 3rd ranked team, the No. 36 PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 (Juichi Wakisaka/Andre Lotterer) finished 8th.

Below them, the No. 22 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Michael Krum/Masataka Yanagida) that finished 5th in this race and the No.38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 (Yuji Tachikawa/Richard Lyons) that outran No. 22 to finish 4th, are tied in the season ranking.

Ebbro Xanavi Nismo....

2008 a perfect year for AUDI!!!
One of my fav car - Minichamps Timo Scheider 2007 Audi DTM...

2008 is the most extensive factory programme in AUDI AG motorsport history to date. In June Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish scored the third successive victory for the Audi R10 TDI in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner won the American Le Mans Series title with the diesel sportscar, Alexandre Prémat and Mike Rockenfeller in the European based Le Mans Series. On Sunday, 26 October it became the most successful ever: Timo Scheider clinches the DTM title for Audi at Hockenheim, then the brand with the four rings will have won everything there was to win this season....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Finally, the long awaited Timo Glock TF108 is here... with that, I'd collected both TF108 that raced in the 2008 F1 season.

In fact I'm great fan of Toyota. I have handful of Toyota race car models that raced in various competitions. Some great facts about the TF108....

Toyota ‘on the right track’ after solid 2008 progress

The 2008 season has been the second most productive in the short history of Toyota’s Formula One team. With two podiums and 52 points in the 17 races prior to the Brazilian Grand Prix, it is clear the team has made significant progress; in the two previous seasons combined it finished on the podium once and scored a total of 48 points.

As well as showing strong performance, the TF108 has also enjoyed good reliability, with only three retirements due to mechanical problems in the 17 races prior to Brazil.

But Toyota say they exist to win and, despite achieving their pre-season objectives of returning to the podium and improving their points total, that unfulfilled desire continues to push the team to continuously improve - a point made clear as they review their 2008 season:

"It's great this year to be back on the podium with two drivers and a car that can challenge for podium positions, so it's been a good year," says team President John Howett. "But the future is the middle step of the podium, number one. There's no doubt in my mind that we will win races and become world champions in the future.

"The podium finishes in France and Hungary naturally catch the eye but dig deeper and the statistics show the TF108 was highly competitive at almost every track. For a large part of the season it was the nearest challenger to McLaren and Ferrari and arrives in Brazil with nine top-six and 14 points finishes so far.

Such a major step forward does not happen overnight. It is the result of many months of hard work by every member of the 650-strong team at the technical centre in Cologne, Germany since the first design decisions were taken on the TF108 in December 2006.

Using Toyota Way methodology, passion and dedication, the team developed theTF108 concept before refining it on the test track during the winter and embarking on an extensive development programme throughout the season, with upgrades introduced at almost every race.
Howett says: "I think the biggest fundamental issues are that we have the right number of people in the areas that give performance. "We have a much more detailed and comprehensive database, so we know more about every track and what the key performance parameters are.
Fundamentally we've got extremely good people doing the important jobs everywhere in the factory.

"So we have the skills, we have the people and I think the reason our performance is stronger this year is because every single element is improving; not just some elements but every element. We're finding hundredths of a second every corner and every lap - and that is what is making the difference.

"So, all the factors are in place and the Toyota Way gives the team a unique advantage to harness that creativity and energy into genuine progress. As well as encouraging greater efficiency and inspiring a continuous search for improvement, the Toyota Way also breeds an open working culture, where problems are solved quickly and development is persistent.
"It's not a management philosophy, it's a team philosophy, and that's the difference from a lot of other flavour-of-the-month management ideas," says team manager Richard Cregan.

"The Toyota Way is a way of life, it's a way of doing things and it's been referred to as a genetic way of operating. For me it has been successful in many, many ways, in particular in bringing people together and working as a team. I think that's the one particular point where we have been very successful this year.

"Another positive factor from the 2008 season has been the performance of drivers Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli. The pair has proved to be a perfect combination of youth and experience, pushing each other on track while cooperating closely off track to improve the TF108.Chairman and team principal Tadashi Yamashina explains:

"Although I don't want to place too much emphasis on age, the freshness of Timo's approach to driving has stimulated Jarno while Jarno teaches Timo things based on his experience. So the drivers have been working hard for us based on their respective strengths." Richard Cregan adds: "We have two drivers that communicate very well and they work together in developing the car; they communicate with the engineers, they communicate with each other very well with the complete team and they do a lot of factory visits. For example, Timo is now living in Cologne so whenever he's in the city he's in and out of the factory like a normal employee and I think this is a huge motivation for everybody.

" Motivation is high heading to the final race of the 2008 season, where Toyota expect to finish the season with a positive result, but Formula One never stops so great energy is already being invested in the team's future success.Howett concludes:

"I think the atmosphere within the team is a barometer of success; it's always easy to motivate a team when it's been successful. A really encouraging thing for me is that every element of the entire organisation is working together. Now we have a totally unified organisation and the boundaries are being broken down with a clear vision on winning."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Blog Objective

I create this blog with one purpose in mind... to share my diecast collection with people who have the same passion.... so to all diecast collectors out there, I welcome your advice and comments....

Here is one of my favourites 1/43 models...