Motorsports: Mazda Skyactiv-D racer first diesel to run at Indy in 60 years

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Mazda, Diesel, Racing

While it may not be touting the old “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” axiom we all know and love, Mazda recognizes that racing can only improve its cars. And so it’s no surprise that the Japanese automaker is testing and refining its Skyactiv-D diesel engine by sending it out on various race tracks around the country – notably being the first diesel ever to compete at Daytona and the first to notch a Grand Am win at Road Atlanta.

Next up? Indy. It has been over 60 years since a diesel-powered machine ran at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Cummins-powered racer that competed in the 1952 Indy 500 with a 6.6-liter inline-six-cylinder oil-burner was a fast and brutal machine that set a new lap record in qualifying leading up to the race. Though that car was withdrawn with turbocharger failure 71 laps in, its diesel powerplant left an indelible impression on the racing community, and that’s something Mazda hopes to accomplish once again.

Mazda says that the diesel engine in its race car is pretty darn close to stock – 51 percent stock by parts count, and 63 percent stock by weight – which means the way it performs in competition is at least a somewhat meaningful way to the stock engine’s durability in the real world. Check out the image of the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D racer posing alongside the 1952 Cummins above (click to enlarge) and feel free to peruse the press release below for the rest of the details.

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Mazda Skyactiv-D racer first diesel to run at Indy in 60 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jul 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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100th Indy 500 oozes drama, takes no prisoners [spoilers, video]

Filed under: Motorsports

2011 Indy 500

2011 Indianapolis 500 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The crowd at the Brickyard for today’s Centennial running of the Indianapolis 500 certainly got their money’s worth. Once all the pre-race pageantry and fanfare was out of the way, the 100th Indy 500 provided a spectacle full of drama, lead changes, and a shocking, exciting finish. Click past the break to see how the race shook out, right up to the final corner.

Gallery: 2011 Indianapolis 500

Continue reading 100th Indy 500 oozes drama, takes no prisoners [spoilers, video]

100th Indy 500 oozes drama, takes no prisoners [spoilers, video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 May 2011 18:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Tanner Foust completes record-setting Team Hot Wheels jump at Indy 500

Team Hot Wheels
Team Hot Wheels’ “Fearless at the 500” record jump attempt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Prior to the start of today’s Indy 500, fans finally got to see the long-awaited Team Hot Wheels world-record jump attempt. The mystery “Yellow Driver” piloted specially-prepared truck down the 90-foot ramp that had been under construction in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s infield over the last several weeks. The neat gimmick behind Hot Wheels’ “Fearless at the 500” event was that the launch ramp itself was built to simulate that orange track we all grew up with, hung from a giant 10-story door. Talk about pandering to a guy’s inner child…

Anyhow, the stunt itself was a success, and fans at the Brickyard watched the truck sail, ramp-to-ramp, 332 feet through the air, setting a world record for four-wheeled vehicles in the process. Upon landing, the mystery driver doffed his helmet to reveal himself as American Top Gear host Tanner Foust. If you want to see the jump yourselves, be advised that ABC will air the stunt at 3:30 PM Eastern time today, following the conclusion of its Indy 500 race coverage. Check out the first few photos from the event below, and follow the jump for the press release.

UPDATE: Video of the jump now added after the break as well.

Gallery: Team Hot Wheels “Fearless at the 500” Jump

Continue reading Tanner Foust completes record-setting Team Hot Wheels jump at Indy 500

Tanner Foust completes record-setting Team Hot Wheels jump at Indy 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 May 2011 14:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition shows off at Indy

2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors officially unveiled the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition to a crowd of dealers and enthusiasts on the eve of the Indianapolis 500. The droptop muscle car boasts a slew of tweaks that are destined to eventually make their way to the greater Camaro lineup, including new soft-touch materials on the dash, a new steering wheel that’s not ridiculous to use, and a few suspension changes. GM tells us that SS models will be equipped with the new FE4 suspension package, born from the development the upcoming Camaro ZL1. V6 Camaros will now pack 323 horsepower, a gain of 11 over the 2011 model-year cars.

GM will produce the Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition to meet demand, so there should be plenty to go around. In addition to the interior and mechanical adjustments, the car wears special logos on the fenders, seat backs, door sills, steering wheel and dash to separate it from the rest of the Camaro stable. Pricing will be available closer to the convertible’s fall launch date. Hit the jump for the full press blast.

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2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition shows off at Indy originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 May 2011 09:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hot Wheels world record jump at Indy 500 starting to take shape

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Marketing/Advertising, Off-Road

Indianapolis 500 jump

The ramp designed to propel Hot Wheels’ mystery driver to world record glory at the 100th Indianapolis 500 is starting to take shape. The ramp doesn’t look quite like it did in Hot Wheels’ original rendering, but it’s still an enormous and terrifying structure. Don’t believe us? Check out a full gallery of the ramp on the speedway’s Flickr page.

Hot Wheels’ goal is to propel a winged off-road truck 302 feet through the air, which would clinch the world record for distance. The death-defying stunt will kick off the excitement at next weekend’s Indy 500.

Hot Wheels world record jump at Indy 500 starting to take shape originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 22 May 2011 14:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Simona De Silvestro goes airborne at Indy, suffers second-degree burns

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Racing

Simona De Silvestro crash Indy 500

Simona De Silvestro crashes while practicing for Indy 500 – Click above to watch the video after the break

Simona De Silvestro, a 22-year-old female Swiss racer, went airborne, flipped a few times, slid hundreds of feet upside-down and was engulfed in a massive fireball when the right rear wheel of her Dallara chassis separated itself in the middle of a turn during a practice run for the Indy 500.

Thankfully, Silvestro wasn’t seriously injured in the accident, though she did suffer second-degree burns to both hands. Track crews and safety personnel rushed to her assistance and put out the blaze. She had reportedly been clocked at speeds well over 200 miles per hour just prior to the accident.

Yes, there is video, and you can find it after the break. Here’s hoping Silvestro gets medical clearance to take part in the actual race on May 29.

Continue reading Simona De Silvestro goes airborne at Indy, suffers second-degree burns

Simona De Silvestro goes airborne at Indy, suffers second-degree burns originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Senate passes bill recognizing 100th anniversary of Indy 500

Filed under: Motorsports, Convertible, Government/Legal, Chevrolet

2011 camaro indy pace car

2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Indianapolis 500 Pace Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

Americans began racing cars just as soon as they started to appear on our streets, as evidenced by the fact that the Indianapolis 500 has been going strong for 100 years. The U.S. Senate wanted to tip its collective hat to commemorate that momentous occasion, so our senators decided to pass a resolution officially recognizing the race for its longevity. And since it doesn’t cost anything to recognize a date, the resolution was passed unanimously.

In other interesting Indianapolis 500 news, the event’s 100-year history also coincides with the 100-year anniversary of Chevrolet. The company and the race are so intertwined that Arthur Chevrolet, who’s brother Louis founded the Bowtie Brand, ran the very first Indianapolis 500. Louis actually ran the race himself in 1915 and 1919, while another brother Gaston took first place in 1920. The 2011 Camaro Convertible will fittingly serve as the pace car for this year’s event.

Senate passes bill recognizing 100th anniversary of Indy 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A.J. Foyt to replace Donald Trump as Scott Speed and Ho-Pin Tung debut at 100th Indy 500

Filed under: Motorsports, Celebrities

Donald Trump in the Indy 500 pace car

It’ll be a landmark running for the Indianapolis 500 later this month, as the event celebrates its 100th anniversary as the premier open-wheel racing event in America. All of which only gave some fans more reason to be ticked off when Donald Trump was announced as this year’s pace car driver.

Annoyed by political implications detracting from the spirit of racing, many fans were up in arms when Trump was announced as the official pace car driver, evidently prompting the celebrity businessman and possible presidential candidate to change his plans. In his place, organizers at the Speedway have invited none other than A.J. Foyt to drive the Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible that will serve as the official pace car. As a four-time Indy 500 winner, Foyt is among the most decorated drivers ever to lap the Brickyard, and his nomination will surely come as more welcome news to the legions of open-wheel devotees.

In related news, two drivers better known for their formula racing activities overseas will make their Indy debuts at the 500 this year. One of them is Scott Speed, the last American to race in Formula One. Speed shifted over the NASCAR after things didn’t pan out in F1, until Red Bull dropped his sponsorship last year. Given his experience in open wheels and oval tracks, Speed may find a new home at Indy.

Also making his Indy debut will be Ho-Pin Tung, who will become the first Chinese driver to contest the Indianapolis 500. Tung is a reserve/test driver for Renault F1 this season and has contested such feeder series as GP2, A1GP and Superleague Formula. Both he and Speed will be driving for Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing team and will be eligible for the $5 million bonus available to drivers from outside the series should they overcome the insurmountable odds to claim the checkered flag and drink milk in victory lane.

A.J. Foyt to replace Donald Trump as Scott Speed and Ho-Pin Tung debut at 100th Indy 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 12 May 2011 18:42:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hot Wheels to attempt World’s Longest Jump at Indy 500 [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Toys/Games

Hot Wheels World Record Jump attempt

We all did it as kids – grabbing one end of an impossibly long stretch of plastic track, heaving it up and attaching one end to the highest object we could find (usually a door) and creating a ramp at the other end with a carefully planned trajectory to score the longest possible airborne distance, then finally setting our favorite Hot Wheels car on a journey of no return.

Team Hot Wheels, a newly created group of stuntmen and extreme sports addicts, are setting out to recreate those childhood memories in the real world. To get there, the group is assembling a 100-foot-tall starting ramp in the shape of a door that leads to – you guessed it – a giant jump. The resulting flight has a goal of reaching 302 feet, which would be a new world record distance.

We don’t know who’s piloting the machine just yet (we suspect we’ll find out for sure if it’s an official record). In any case, it’s the actual off-road truck, which features rear fins reminiscent of a ’59 Cadillac, and the giant Hot Wheels V-Drop replica track that are the real stars here.

Are you asking yourself why Hot Wheels is going to all this trouble to promote kids toys? Well, therein lies the issue. These don’t have to be just toys for kids – Hot Wheels is hoping to attract the attention of adults (males mostly, as you’d imagine) that grew up with these little cars and have fond memories of them. Collectors, take note.

Click past the break for a little teaser video of the event that’s scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 29th. You’ll also find the complete press release for your reading pleasure, if you’re so inclined.

[Source: Hot Wheels]

Continue reading Hot Wheels to attempt World’s Longest Jump at Indy 500 [w/video]

Hot Wheels to attempt World’s Longest Jump at Indy 500 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Apr 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Paul Tracy gets back in the Indy cockpit

Filed under: Motorsports

Racer Paul Tracy

While most would regard the reunification of open-wheel racing in America as a positive thing, it has been tough on some of the drivers that had come to dominate the Champ Car World Series. Essentially dumped into a field of IndyCar drivers, even the most accomplished Champ Car pilots have had trouble finding a ride.

Take Paul Tracy, for example. The Canadian driver – arguably the nation’s most successful this side of Jacques Villeneuve – started out long before the split after winning the Indy Lights title. He went on to win numerous Indy races, and took the Champ Car title in 2003. But since the two series were reconciled, he’s had trouble finding a ride, contesting a race here and a race there for a variety of different teams.

This year, Tracy will reportedly be back for at least a few races with Dragon Racing – the team operated by the son of his former team boss, Roger Penske, Jay, who recently split with Gil de Ferran. Tracy will drive at Long Beach, Texas, Toronto, Edmonton and Sears Point for Dragon Racing, and will contest the Indy 500 for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing – a team with limited success to its name, but it’s an outfit that has fielded such names as two-time champion Al Unser, Jr. and racing scions Graham Rahal, Tomas Scheckter and John Andretti. We’ll be watching to see how Tracy does against the younger field, particularly his returning nemesis, Sebastien Bourdais.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty]

Report: Paul Tracy gets back in the Indy cockpit originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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