Sunday, February 22, 2009
Testing of the new race car – which is the first to start Chevrolet’s new design language in Europe – has already started and is on schedule, and will continue throughout the remainder of the current season and the coming winter. Developed, built, run and driven by the same team and drivers, the Cruze will be all but guaranteed the same speed, reliability and success. The Chevrolet Cruze’s first competitive outing will be in Brazil at the opening round of the 2009 WTCC in Curitiba. In 2009, the WTCC will again visit twelve tracks, in South and Central-America, Africa, Europe and the Far-East.
The Cruze predecessor: Chevrolet Lacetti
Saturday, February 21, 2009
The DBR9 won the Sebring 12 Hours for its LMGT1 category in 2005, but came third in Le Mans 24 Hour behind arch-rivals Corvette Racing due to fuel problems. In 2006, the DBR9 was unable to repeat its success at Sebring, finishing second behind a Corvette. A similar situation occurred at Le Mans as well. Despite not winning Sebring and Le Mans, Aston Martin Racing regularly challenged Corvette Racing for victory in the rest of the American Le Mans Series schedule, with victories at Lime Rock Park, Miller Motorsports Park, Mosport, Petit Le Mans, and Laguna Seca. Aston Martin capped their 2006 ALMS season by finishing second in the GT1 Manufacturer's Championship, earning the factory team an automatic entry to the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In the Le Mans Endurance Series, the Larbre Compétition took the Team's Championship, with victories at the 1000 Kilometres of Istanbul and 1000 Kilometres of the Nurburgring, a second place finish at the 1000 Kilometres of Jarama, and a fifth place finish at the 1000 Kilometres of Donington.
The DBR9 came into the 2006 FIA GT Championship being title contender favourites, but the season was somewhat lacklustre with only two victories at Mugello and Dubai. The Phoenix Racing Aston Martin DBR9 narrowly missed out on victory at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. BMS Scuderia Italia cited a problem with finding the right tyre compound with their Pirellis as the factor for their lack of success.
For 2007, Aston Martin was finally able to overcome their woes at Le Mans, securing the GT1 class victory for the #009 Aston Martin Racing DBR9. Larbre's DBR9 would also manage third place in class. The teams running DBR9s managed to finish every car entered.
Later in 2007, Aston Martin launched the limited edition (300 units expected) DBS road car which has many styling cues taken from the DBR9 in conjunction with the James Bond film Casino Royale. Aston Martin Racing's DBR9s raced 2006 and 2007 under the numbers 007 and 009, in honor of James Bond.
In 2008, while Larbre and Scuderia Italia moved on from Aston Martin, Prodrive continued to field a two-car factory team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The #009 numbered car, with the new Gulf Oil sponsored paint scheme, driven by Darren Turner, Antonio Garcia and David Brabham, won its class.
Friday, February 20, 2009
- A driver sheds an average of two kilos in weight per Grand Prix.
- The average cockpit temperature is 50 degrees Celsius.
- A modern Formula One helmet is made of carbon and must not exceed 1,800 grams in weight, as stipulated in the regulations.
- Following the abolition of traction control, the F1.08 accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.75
seconds and from 0 to 200 km/h in 5.05 seconds. It took 0.75 seconds - equivalent to 50
metres - to brake from 300 to 200 km/h, which equates to 4.5g.
- In extreme braking manoeuvres, drivers are briefly subjected to 5g.
- Carbon brake discs and pads need a minimum operating temperature of 500–650 degrees
Celsius. During braking they hit temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Celsius.
- Some parts of the protective monocoque consist of up to 60 layers of carbon fibre. A single
carbon fibre is around six micrometres thick.
- Formula One tyres may heat up to 130 degrees Celsius. Beyond this level, there is an increased
risk of blistering.
- After a race, it takes the team at least eight working hours to dismantle the car, test and
replace individual components, and reassemble the car.
- It takes some 120 working hours to assemble the BMW engine, which consists of
approximately 1,100 different parts and around 5,000 parts in total.
- Maximum piston acceleration is 10,000 times the speed of the earth’s rotation. Peak piston
speed is 40 metres a second - or from zero to 100 km/h in 0.3 milliseconds. A force of almost
three tonnes is exerted on the conrod. The average piston speed is around 25 metres per
- The exhaust reaches temperatures of up to 950 degrees Celsius.
- Over an average race distance of 300 kilometres, the BMW V8 engine undergoes around 6.5
million ignitions per Grand Prix.
- When the car comes into the pits during practice or qualifying, oil samples are taken for
immediate spectrometer analysis. Traces of metal in the oil provide important indications as to
the state of the engine.
- It takes around 40 working hours to assemble a new BMW gearbox.
- The G1.09 gearbox and associated hydraulics comprise around 1,500 parts in total, of which
480 are different components.
- About 20 gearboxes are built for test rig trials and for use in testing and races. They are
overhauled several times.
- In a gearshift process, the existing gear is released and the new one already engaged in a
matter of 0.004 seconds. It takes 50 times as long to bat an eyelid.
- High-precision bearings with ceramic rolling elements allow the shafts in the gearbox to
operate with a minimum of oil.
- The oil temperature inside the gearbox can rise to 150 degrees Celsius.
- The car’s engineer can choose from more than 50 different gear ratios when adjusting the
individual gears to a particular track.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The purpose of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Championships is to provide teams, manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers a competitive production-based race series in which to prove their products.
Cars that have been homologated for competition in the World Challenge Series are eligible for a full-year of competition from the time it is homologated, until that particular body style has been out of production throughout the world for five (5) years. After a body style has been out of production for five (5) years, it may continue to compete in no more than four (4) races per year with a single driver, for an additional (5) years.
High Performance Racing in Everyday Cars
In addition to the general series rules that apply to all homologated vehicles, each vehicle model that is homologated into the World Challenge Series has a set of specifications assigned to it on a Vehicle Technical Specification sheet (VTS) in order to give equivalent overall performance capabilities to a wide range of vehicles. Adjustments to a vehicle’s VTS sheet will be made until a competitive package is developed. Vehicles may be submitted for homologation up to a year before it goes on general sale to the public, and until that particular bodystyle goes out of production throughout the world.
Rewarding of Equalizing Weight Assigned to Reduce Driver Sensitivity, commonly referred to as “REWARDS Weight,” is a weight equalization system based on the addition and subtraction of ballast weight based on the finishing position of individual drivers in the previous race(s). The goal of the REWARDS System is to provide close on-track competition between a diverse variety of cars in the top third of the field. REWARDS System weight adjustments are in effect for the next race in which a driver competes in the same class.
This system allows car/driver combinations not currently affected by the REWARDS System to remove 25 lbs from their vehicle’s Appendix A base weight, to a maximum of -100 lbs, if they finish outside of the top 50 percent of finishing positions. Weight is added back on in 25 lb. increments each time they finish in the top 40 percent of finishing positions until they reach their vehicle’s Appendix A base weight. If a car/driver combination finishes in a top five position, it will move out of the Team Compensation program and into the REWARDS System for the next race. The purpose of the Team Compensation Weight is to provide close on-track competition between a diverse variety of cars and drivers in the lower half of the field.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
On February 14th, one of the hottest topic of SUPER GT's 2008 season, "Itasha" SUPER GT machine "Hatsune Miku Studie GLAD BMW Z4," officially announced its entry into 2009 season and their new team structure in Akihabara, Tokyo. The team will be fielding a BMW Z4 with two drivers, Yasushi Kikuchi and Shozo Tagahara, which retains the same combination from last year, but, according to the announcement, the team structure and the German car went under a major improvement.
The team is newly named "Studie GLAD Racing," and has recruited experienced staff including an engineer who has served as the chief engineer at a victorious GT300 team. "We had a lot of issues last year since it was a newly build team. But most of the issues have been resolved, so drivers can't make excuses any more (laugh). I will put all my effort to finish at as higher position as possible." The BMW driver Kikuchi revealed his aspiration for the new season.In addition, the team will be backed with a strong support for the season. By following back Hatsune Miku's path to the stardom, the team looked to the Internet for personal sponsors and an amazing 693 fans have offered support for the team. Team Manager Yasuaki Suzuki commented on his goal for this season, "I know it's not easy to finish in top group right away, but we will take on whatever we need to do one by one to meet everybody's expectation."
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The Honda Integra Type-R road cars are favoured by endurance racing drivers because they are inherently light weight vehicles suitable for racing with relatively few modifications needed. This M-Line racing team car was driven by Tsubasa Kurosawa in 2002 in the Japanese endurance race league.
An authentic race car interior is featured in this model with roll cage, racing seat and stripped out equipment.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
In an ambitious attempt to emulate the legendary achievements of the 1959 DBR1 driven by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, Aston Martin will endeavour to bring the Le Mans title back to Britain.
“2009 is a hugely significant year for Aston Martin at Le Mans and the challenge of reclaiming victory in this famous race for Aston Martin and Great Britain was simply too great to ignore,” said Aston Martin Chairman, David Richards. “However, we do not underestimate the task. While we have won the GT1 class for the last two years, competing against the proven speed and endurance of the diesel-powered cars with all their years of winning the prototype class, will be a massive undertaking. Nonetheless, I see this as a great opportunity to showcase the ingenuity of British engineering talent.”
Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer commented: “Racing has been, and still is at the heart of Aston Martin. Our cars today are subtle, elegant and handcrafted but they still have the genes for competition. I am happy that we have found partners who, with their support, will enable us to compete at the highest level of endurance racing. We will put all our heart and skill behind this project to demonstrate the essence of Aston Martin: Power Beauty and Soul.”
The new car which is based on the 2008 Charouz Racing System Lola will be powered by the same production-based Aston Martin V12 engine which, last year, helped Aston Martin secure its second successive Le Mans GT1 title with the DBR9. It also powered the Charouz car to a new La Sarthe lap record for a petrol car.
Aston Martin Racing is developing the car in conjunction with Lola, Michelin, Koni and BBS and continues its relationship with major partner Gulf Oil and official clothing partner Hackett.
In 2009, the ACO is introducing new regulations aimed at balancing the performance of petrol and diesel engined prototypes making the LMP1 category more appealing and relevant to Aston Martin.
Signalling ongoing commitment to motorsport, in addition to the Le Mans 24 hour race, the team will also compete throughout the year in the Le Mans Series (LMS), which opens with the 1000 km de Catalunya on the 5th of April.
Aston Martin Racing Works drivers, Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ), and Stefan Mücke (DE), who raced the Charouz car last year will renew their relationship with the team along with Darren Turner (GB) who was part of the winning DBR9 GT1 crew in 2007 and 2008. Harold Primat (CH) joins the team for the first time in 2009 with the remaining driver to be announced imminently.
To focus maximum energy on the LMP1 programme, the Works team will not defend its GT1 title at Le Mans. However, Aston Martin Racing will support any of its official partner teams and customers competing at the race.
Aston Martin Racing partner, Drayson Racing, has expressed its desire to compete at Le Mans with the new Vantage GT2. This follows confirmation of the team's LMS entry and American Le Mans Series programme with a bio-ethanol powered Vantage GT2. Further announcements are expected in the weeks ahead as other Aston Martin Racing partner teams and customers confirm their plans for racing in the GT1, GT2, GT3 and GT4 classes of national and international racing series.
The sudden deterioration of the global economy made it necessary for the company to focus its resources more tightly, leading to such decision.
The last special built Mitsubishi 4WD that raced in recent Dakar Rally held in Argentina & Chile - called Racing Lancer. Unfortunately failed to make it to make it 8 consecutive victories.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Nissan long-awaited return to international sports-car racing is edging closer with the news that a race version of its GT-R supercar is up and running.
The Japanese manufacturer, whose last major sports-car program outside of the Japan-based Super GT series came at Le Mans in 1999, shook down a GT-R test vehicle before Christmas. The car, built by Nissan's NISMO competition department, completed a five-day test last week at Malaysia's Sepang circuit.
Nissan has long been rumored to be evaluating new international GT1 racing rules that come into force in 2010, but the official company line is that the car has not been designed to a specific set of regulations.
"It is a test car. We are not claiming there is a specific category we are looking at, although this car has not been developed for Super GT," said
Manaki Iwamoto, NISMO general manager of corporate planning. "Since the launch of the GT-R one and a half years ago, we have been looking at opportunities to race the car."
Speculation suggests that Nissan will confirm its entry into the forthcoming GT1 World Championship when the series is launched, most likely in March. Asked when Nissan might announce any plans for the GT-R, Iwamoto replied that "it is very difficult to answer that question in the current financial climate."
Nismo's first GT-R racer was shaken down by Nissan Super GT regular Michael Krumm at Fuji in Japan in late December. Aston Martin Racing regular Darren Turner joined up with Nissan for the Sepang test.