Motorsports: First X Games Gymkhana GRID race is officially in the books [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Celebrities, Racing

2013 X-Games Gymkhana GRID

If you don’t want to know who won the first-ever X Games Gymkhana GRID event, which just happened late last night in Los Angeles, now would be the time to stop reading.

Still there? Okay, good. In the end, it came down to Tanner Foust and Patrick Sandell, with Foust managing to win the first two races of the best-out-of-three format. Ken Block, who’s name is synonymous with Gymkhana, was taken out in the quarterfinals by Liam Doran, who went on to win the bronze medal.

We were on hand at the event, and we came away with plenty of tire-smoking live images for your viewing pleasure. After checking those out, why not scroll down and watch the main event yourself in the video below? Also, don’t forget that the Rallycross event takes place later tonight – we will, of course, be there to bring you all the details.

Continue reading First X Games Gymkhana GRID race is officially in the books [w/video]

First X Games Gymkhana GRID race is officially in the books [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 04 Aug 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Review: Grid 2 [w/video]

Filed under: Toys/Games

Shut Up And Drive The Car

Grid 2 - screencap

Grid 2 for XBox 360 - commercial packagingCodemasters’ Grid 2 was waiting for me at home when I returned to Ann Arbor from Los Angeles, after attending my first ever E3 this year. I was worried.

Of course I’d been thrilled weeks before when I’d gotten confirmation that I’d receive a loaner copy of the game to take out for a spin, and I’d certainly been stoked to play it since I’d first started seeing preview trailers and teasers show up on YouTube. But, having just spent a few days driving the newest and hottest upcoming racing games on a pair of next-generation consoles that I was sampling for the first time, my concern was that my expectations would be off for the Grid 2 experience on my lowly Xbox 360.

The truth is that developers are still squeezing more and more performance out of current gaming platforms, and this Codemasters effort oozes good design and nuanced graphical work, despite being behind the frames-per-second and ultra-detail pace set by upcoming Xbox One and Playstation 4 titles. And, because gameplay is satisfying just as soon as one boots up Grid 2, the demos and delights of E3 were quickly in my rearview.

‚ÄčGrid 2 is clearly standing on the shoulders of some great work from one of the studio’s big releases from last year, F1 2012. Influence from the racing title can be seen in the elegant and easy-to-navigate menu design, loading screens enriched with live-updated player stats (kilometers raced, average finishing position, top speed achieved, etc.), and most prominently with the in-game environments. From breezy and sun-soaked coastal roads to the million-points-of-light nighttime races at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, G2 has created some of the best lighting design I’ve ever encountered in a racing game. (For a sample, scroll down to the bottom of the article for some game play video from our friends at Joystiq.) Overall detail for the tracks and surrounding worlds is not as dense or pixel-perfect as other top-tier racing games, but Grid 2‘s flowing, rich style is sometimes more attractive (especially when seen at speed during a race) in the same way that an oil painting is often more interesting to look at than a photograph.

Continue reading Grid 2 [w/video]

Grid 2 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Niki Lauda lines up on the grid for his own biopic

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc.

Niki Lauda

With the Senna biopic now streaming to television sets everywhere, reports are coming in that another film is undergoing production that focuses on Niki Lauda.

The Austrian driver is a three-time Formula One World Champion and rated as one of the best of all time. His career spanned over the 1970s and 1980s, driving most notably for Ferrari, then coming out of retirement to score his third world championship with McLaren – a move that Michael Schumacher surely took to heart.

The film reportedly focuses on the 1976 championship, when Lauda crashed at the Nürburgring, losing his right ear and suffering severe burns to his face. He returned – spoiler alert! – just six weeks later having missed two grands prix, and only to lose the title to James Hunt by just one point.

The screenplay is reportedly being written by Peter Morgan, best known for his work on Frost/Nixon and The Queen. They’re apparently still hunting for director and producers, but as for the actor who will play the lead role, Lauda himself reportedly quipped, “Anyone who is 25 or 26 with his right ear burnt off and dreams to be made up to look like me can start making plans.”

Niki Lauda lines up on the grid for his own biopic originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 May 2011 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Terrifying V8 Supercar crash on the grid at Barbagallo

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Videos, Holden, Australia, Racing

Karl Reindler Crash

Karl Reindler’s crash at Barbagallo – Click above to view video after the jump

Today’s round of the Australian V8 Supercar series at Barbagallo didn’t even get to the first corner before a massive accident brought out the caution. When the green flag waved, driver Karl Reindler stalled his Holden Commodore and was rammed from behind by Steve Owen. Owen had already accelerated to almost 95 mph by the time he came into contact with Reindler.

The enormous impact was enough to make Reindler’s Holden explode into flames, and sent both parties spinning into the infield. Luckily, Reindler was able to find his own way out of his stricken Holden, and somehow escaped with only minor burns to his hands and face. Owen was unharmed in the wreck, though officials sent him to the infield medical center after he complained of soreness. After a 95-0 impact, we’d say that much is expected. Hop over the jump to see the video for yourself. Thanks for the tip, Anthony Mark!

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Terrifying V8 Supercar crash on the grid at Barbagallo

Terrifying V8 Supercar crash on the grid at Barbagallo originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 01 May 2011 19:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ESPN: Bernie Ecclestone lashes out at the newbies, calls for cutting the grid back to 10

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc.

Bernie Ecclestone

There are ways to make friends, and ways to make enemies. Telling several members of your party they’re unwelcome is a sure way to the latter, but then, Bernie Ecclestone has never shied away from controversy. In his latest statement, the Formula One chief has indicated that the field should be cut down from its current grid of 13 teams to just 10.

The number of teams grew in recent years to adopt Virgin, Hispania and Lotus, but the former two in particular have struggled to keep the pace with the competition. Ecclestone also reportedly feels that there isn’t enough sponsor cash to go around, as evidenced by the lack of corporate logos on HRT’s new car. The outspoken racing chief, however, appears to support Lotus, which he apparently feels has a stronger chance of overcoming its teething pains and catching up to the rest of the grid.

In related news, Ecclestone is reportedly cooperating with German authorities who are investigating alleged corruption in the sale of F1’s commercial rights five years ago to CVC Capital Partners, whom Ecclestone represents. Authorities are looking into the personal finances of German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky who at the time chaired the series’ previous commercial rights holder, and was discovered to have received a mysterious $50 million payment into an offshore account.

[Source: ESPN | Image: Clive Mason/Getty]

ESPN: Bernie Ecclestone lashes out at the newbies, calls for cutting the grid back to 10 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Mar 2011 15:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tanner Foust shreds at Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Specialty

Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid – Click above for image gallery

When the smoke cleared this weekend at the inaugural Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid event at Toyota’s Irwindale Speedway, Tanner Foust had claimed the top spot. The head-to-head event, which had drivers like Foust, Vaughn Gittin Jr., Andrew Comrie-Picard and host Ken Block cording brand-new tires in a matter of minutes, pitted powertrains (AWD or RWD) in the same brackets to keep things interesting. After several rounds of eliminations, it came down to just Foust and Block for the final – both drivers in similar 550 horsepower AWD Ford Fiestas. In the best-of-three sprints, Block ran nearly flawlessly, but Foust demonstrated inhuman levels of car control (720-degree spins just inches from a barrel) to take the first two races and the resulting overall win.

On a related side note: Earlier in the evening, Michael Essa, driving GSR Autosport’s 350R (a BMW V10-powered 3 Series), topped Vaughn Gittin to take the win at the Discount Tire burn-out contest. While other drivers spent their three minutes doing spins around the course, Essa simply cranked his steering wheel to the left and bounced off the rev-limiter (in third gear) until he disappeared into a thick gray cloud – liquidating his Nitto tires in 90 seconds of carnage.

Hit the jump to watch the complete battle between Block and Foust.

Gallery: Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid

Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid

[Photos: Mike McKay]


Continue reading Tanner Foust shreds at Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid

Tanner Foust shreds at Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Ken Block hypes Gymkhana GRID Invitational

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Marketing/Advertising, Videos

Ken Block presents Gymkhana GRID Invitational

Ken Block presents the Gymkhana GRID Invitational – Click above to watch video after the jump

If you haven’t seen parts one, two or three of Ken Block’s Gymkhana clips, then this must be your first time on the internet. First off, thanks for checking out Autoblog.com and second, you should probably click links one, two and three from the previous sentence… sorry, a “link” is one of the underlined words. Okay. Block is looking to expand Gymkhana from the solo event that we have now seen and turn it into a head-to-head automotive showdown, complete with tire-smoking, limiter-popping action.

The Gymkhana GRID, which will take place December 3 and 4 at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California, is a one-on-one showdown where two drivers attack mirrored examples of a course designed by Ken Block. A host of hot shoes will be on hand to try and knock Block off the top of the podium, including Tanner Foust, Vaughn Gitten Jr. and Andrew Comrie-Picard. Notably absent is one Travis Pastrana, which the video uses as a chance to call him out for making the move to NASCAR.

The Gymkhana GRID nonetheless sounds like it will be a rather fun event to watch – especially because of the level of talent taking to the track. Grab the e-brake and slide across the jump to check out a trailer for the event (*WARNING: language may be not safe for work).

[Source: Ken Block via YouTube]

Continue reading Video: Ken Block hypes Gymkhana GRID Invitational

Video: Ken Block hypes Gymkhana GRID Invitational originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Dec 2010 18:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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