Video: ‘Faster. Farther.’ dives into the history of Porsche racing tech

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Porsche, Racing

Porsche video highlights technological achievements in preparation for a US museum display of the 917.

No doubt, Porsche has produced some of the best endurance racecars around, such as the turbocharged, slant-nose 935 of the 1970s and the ground-effects-enhanced 956 and 962 of the 1980s. But the company’s most famous racecar, its first overall winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was the 917.

The 917 embodied many of Porsche’s technological achievements up to that point, such as the company’s first 12- and 16-cylinder engines (the flat-16 was never used in competition), fiberglass bodies that implemented early aerodynamic practices and the use of new, exotic materials, such as magnesium and titanium.

The racecar was commissioned by the head of Porsche Motorsports, Ferdinand Piëch, to win overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970, after he realized a loophole in the rules that allowed cars to compete with engines up to five liters in the Sport category if they were also production models. Piëch saw opportunity: the top prototype class was restricted to three liters; the production minimum to compete in Sport was 25 cars. And so, with much effort, Porsche assembled 25 “production” 4.5-liter 917s and had them parked in a neat line for the race inspectors to verify their legitimacy. It didn’t take long before people realized the new Porsches were much faster than the prototype racers, with a top speed approaching 250 miles per hour.

Porsche is putting two 917s on display in the North Carolina Museum of Art starting on Oct. 12, and the company produced a video, which you can watch below, to hype up the exhibit. Enjoy!

Continue reading ‘Faster. Farther.’ dives into the history of Porsche racing tech

‘Faster. Farther.’ dives into the history of Porsche racing tech originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 07 Aug 2013 17:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: ‘Faster. Farther.’ dives into the history of Porsche racing tech”

Video: This is what F1 racing will sound like in 2014

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Mercedes-Benz, Racing

Mercedes-AMG Petronas V6

Formula One is making a switch from the current naturally aspirated 2.4-liter V8 found in the back of every car, to a new, 1.6-liter turbocharged V6. Suffice it to say, things are going to change. The new engines are having such an impact on the teams of F1, that at least one manufacturer, Ferrari, is reportedly thinking of branching out to Le Mans.

For spectators, though, the concern over the new turbocharged mills isn’t so much one of power. We know the things will still be ridiculously powerful. What we’re worried about is just what these new engines will sound like, which is arguably the most defining characteristic of any era of F1. Changes in cylinder counts and the addition of forced induction can result in dramatically different exhaust notes.

We’ve now gotten our first chance to hear the new engine that will be fielded by Mercedes AMG Petronoas and Williams next year. The engine used in the video below is a development powerplant at AMG’s High Performance Powertrains facility in the UK. Set to debut for the 2014 season, it sounds, um, different? Now we know why Bernie Ecclestone mentioned augmented sound. It’s certainly a big departure from the current V8s. Take a listen as it laps a virtual Monza circuit below, and let us know what you think of the new sound in Comments.

Continue reading This is what F1 racing will sound like in 2014

This is what F1 racing will sound like in 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 02 Aug 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: This is what F1 racing will sound like in 2014”

Report: Ferrari considering return to Le Mans racing in 2015

Filed under: Motorsports, Ferrari

The Ferrari (No. 21) of Masten Gregory, of USA, and Jochen Rindt, of Austria, crosses the finish line to win the grueling, 24-hour Le Mans automobile race in Le Mans, France on June 20, 1965. The Ferrari (No. 18) of Pedro Rodriguez, of Mexico, and Nino Vacarella, of Italy, finished seventh while the Ferrari (No. 27) of Swiss drivers Armand Boller and Dieter Spoerry finished sixth, covering 2,862.7 miles averaging 121,09mph. (AP Photo)

Rumors are swirling that Ferrari may be contemplating a return to Le Mans racing as soon as 2015. Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports the Italian automaker may apply the development of a new 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine for Formula One to an LMP1 car for Le Mans, and have it ready for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in two years. This follows hints made by Scuderia Ferrari CEO Stefano Domenicali last month that the newly developed F1 engine could be used for “some interesting projects.”

Ferrari has a history of success in Le Mans racing, though it hasn’t won the big endurance outright since 1965. The image above captures the exact moment when the No. 21 car of Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt crossed the finish line that year to win the race. That win was the last of six consecutive outright victories before the infamous arrival of the Ford GT40 in 1966. Despite never reaching the top of the podium again, Ferrari’s nine wins still stand as the third most overall by a manufacturer behind Porsche (16) and Audi (11).

If Ferrari does return to Le Mans in 2015, the LMP1 class will suddenly be teaming with worthy competitors for Audi, which has dominated the race since 2000. After Peugeot’s exit from the sport in early 2012, Toyota entered the race in 2012 and has continued to develop its TS030 Hybrid LMP1 car. Porsche, meanwhile, is well into developing a new LMP1 car that will first compete in next year’s race.

Ferrari considering return to Le Mans racing in 2015 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Ferrari considering return to Le Mans racing in 2015”

ETC: San Jose driver arrested for racing under the influence

Filed under: Motorsports, Safety

Don't Drink and DriveRacing, by its very nature, is a dangerous activity. It requires a high degree of concentration and focus on what the car is doing, what the track is like, and 1.2 million other tiny, constantly changing variables. And while a little liquid courage might help you win with the ladies the night before, it most certainly won’t aid you on the track. In fact, it’s probably the stupidest decision we’ve ever heard of anyone making.

Which would make a 64-year-old San Jose resident, named Leslie Charles Hunter, one of the stupidest people we’ve ever heard of. Hunter was arrested on Saturday after a race at Watsonville Ocean Speedway. The charges? Suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol content level higher than 0.08 percent, according to the Santa Cruze Sentinel.

The police were called after other racers were forced off the track by Hunter’s aggressive and reckless driving during a race. Thankfully, no one was injured by this nitwit. Watsonville Ocean Speedway is a quarter-mile dirt oval. The results of Saturday’s race haven’t been posted yet, but we looked through Watsonville’s results archive and it appears that Hunter was a regular, running as Charlie Hunter (because who wouldn’t drop the name Leslie?) and routinely finishing in the bottom half of his class.

San Jose driver arrested for racing under the influence originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “ETC: San Jose driver arrested for racing under the influence”

Drayson Racing EV hits 204.185 mph, sets new FIA world land speed record

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Racing

Michelin Drayson Electric Speed Record

A 39-year-old FIA World Electric Land Speed Record has fallen to a sleek, green electric machine called the Lola. Officially the Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le Mans Prototype, the 1000-kilogram (2,204-pound) race car hit a top speed of 204.185 miles per hour yesterday at RAF Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, England. That’s over 29 mph faster than the previous record of 175 mph that was set in 1974 by Battery Box General Electric.

“I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable.”

Completing two runs down the three-kilometer track, Lord Paul Drayson piloted the finely tuned, 850-horsepower EV to the record-setting run. Afterwards, the proud driver said, “I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable. It is not the outright speed of 204.185mph that is most impressive about this record, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1000kg electric vehicle on a short runway over a measured mile.” The car has a 30-kWh battery and ran on confidential-specification LM P1 Michelin tires. You can see a video of the run below.

Of course, there are records and then there are records. The Ohio State University Buckeye Bullet, for example, is an EV that has topped 300 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. But, according to the FIA, Drayson is now the team to beat. We have to assume that someone will try to snag the title before another four decades are up. Nissan, perhaps?

Continue reading Drayson Racing EV hits 204.185 mph, sets new FIA world land speed record

Drayson Racing EV hits 204.185 mph, sets new FIA world land speed record originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Drayson Racing EV hits 204.185 mph, sets new FIA world land speed record”

Video: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe commercial gets our pulses racing

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Etc., Europe, Marketing/Advertising, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe – Click above to watch video after the jump

Mercedes-Benz has dropped a new ad for the 2012 C63 AMG Coupe onto the Interwebs. Rather than bombard viewers with a litany of boring horsepower figures, the marketing gurus at the Silver Arrow turned toward our emotional side. The spot focuses on a young couple who have taken a break from eating strawberries in bed to meditate on how best to spend their day. A quick frolic through the mountains, perhaps? How about a dash along the coast? Either would be perfectly acceptable to our pallet, but the young lass in the video has other ideas.

The whole spot is interspersed with images of the C63 AMG Coupe doing what it does best – consuming tarmac to the delight of all on board and looking like a stack of cold $100 bills while it does it. Hit the jump to check out the ad for yourself. Thanks for the tip, AMG!

Continue reading 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe commercial gets our pulses racing

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe commercial gets our pulses racing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe commercial gets our pulses racing”

Ferrari Racing Days at Laguna Seca: Corse Clienti returns to Monterey (w/VIDEO)

Filed under: Motorsports, Ferrari, Racing

Ferrari 599XX at Laguna Seca

Ferrari 599XX at Laguna Seca – Click above for high-res image gallery

The last time Ferrari’s exclusive Corse Clienti program made an appearance at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was back in 2008. At the time, the FXX was the only race car in the Corse Clienti stable, but the 599XX joined the party for the program’s return to Monterey this year.

A trio of FXXs and no less than seven 599XXs-almost a quarter of the total produced by Ferrari -took to the track last weekend, their high-revving 6.0L V12s echoing throughout the surrounding hills.

If you didn’t make it to Laguna Seca to see the Corse Clienti race cars in action, no worries. We’ve got a huge gallery of photos below as well as a video of the cars in action after the jump.

Continue reading Ferrari Racing Days at Laguna Seca: Corse Clienti returns to Monterey (w/VIDEO)

Ferrari Racing Days at Laguna Seca: Corse Clienti returns to Monterey (w/VIDEO) originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 28 May 2011 09:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Ferrari Racing Days at Laguna Seca: Corse Clienti returns to Monterey (w/VIDEO)”

Video: Ferrari Racing Days at Laguna Seca: F1 Clienti bring the Formula 1 experience closer to the masses

Filed under: Motorsports, Ferrari, Racing

Ferrari F1 Clienti at Laguna Seca

Without a doubt, the highlight of this past weekend’s Ferrari Racing Days at Laguna Seca was the F1 Cliente. Ferrari started the program in 2003 to allow their most significant and wealthiest customers to own and operate old Formula 1 cars at some of the world’s best racing circuits under the guidance and supervision of a dedicated team of Ferrari’s own mechanics and engineers. Participants in the program need only to show up – Ferrari takes care of the maintenance, care and transportation of the cars. The crew will even bring the owner’s racing suit to each of the events.

For the event at Laguna Seca, a total of six F1 cars were in attendance, ranging from a 1972 312 B2 driven by Jacky Ickx to an F2007 test car driven by Michael Schumacher. Two other Schumacher race cars from 2001 and 2004, an F2003-GA driven by Rubens Barrichello, and a Berger/Mansell F1-89 filled out the rest of the lineup.

The best part about the F1 Clienti is that Ferrari allows a relatively good amount of access to see the cars up close. Just try walking into the Ferrari garage at an actual Formula 1 race. To see and hear the cars in person is also an entirely different experience than watching on television. The zoom lenses of the television cameras betray the actual speed at which an F1 car can travel. The 599XX and FXX actually seemed slow in comparison.

You can watch the Ferrari F1 Clienti at Laguna Seca for yourself in the video after the jump, or check out our photos from the event in the gallery below.

Continue reading Ferrari Racing Days at Laguna Seca: F1 Clienti bring the Formula 1 experience closer to the masses

Ferrari Racing Days at Laguna Seca: F1 Clienti bring the Formula 1 experience closer to the masses originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 May 2011 19:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Ferrari Racing Days at Laguna Seca: F1 Clienti bring the Formula 1 experience closer to the masses”

Report: Red Bull Racing to collaborate on Infiniti performance model

Filed under: Performance, Infiniti

Infiniti and Red Bull

History and the contemporary automotive market hold no lack of examples of F1 teams translating their checkered flags into road cars. It’s practically Ferrari’s raison d’être, after all. McLaren’s following suit, as well. Even Williams has collaborated with Renault on performance-oriented Clios, and now with Jaguar on the C-X75. But though each of these teams has claimed its share of championships and then some, these days it’s Red Bull Racing that’s on top. Trouble is – PlayStation fantasies notwithstanding – Red Bull doesn’t make automobiles beyond a small batch of single-seaters for Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. That’s where Infiniti comes in.

Powered by sister company Renault’s engines, the Red Bull team this year features prominent sponsorship from Infiniti – a move which is expected to turn into a more comprehensive re-branding scheme in the future. In the meantime, Infiniti is keen to capitalize on its tie-in with the world champion F1 team (particularly since its only previous racing activities involved limited success in converting the Q45’s V8 for Indy racing), and now reports are suggesting that a collaborative road car project between Red Bull Racing and Infiniti could be underway.

Citing the Renault Clio Williams as precedent, the Japanese luxury automaker is reportedly looking into making a performance-oriented version of one of its current products to go beyond the current Infiniti Performace Line. The G37 coupe would be the likeliest basis, but a substantial re-engineering effort could (unlike the Renault Williams tie-up) involve the F1 team’s engineers to transfer their competencies to the road. Sources expect the project to be complete within two years from now.

Red Bull Racing to collaborate on Infiniti performance model originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 May 2011 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Red Bull Racing to collaborate on Infiniti performance model”

Video: Vintage crash compilation shows how far racing has come

Filed under: Motorsports, Classics, Europe, Videos, Racing

Killed Myself when I was Young

Killed Myself When I Was Young – Click above to view videos after the jump

This compilation of racing crashes in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s is a jarring reminder of when auto racing really was a life-or-death venture. Put simply, if you drove a race car during this period, you were as likely to be killed as you were to retire.

Thanks to ever-increasing speeds and no regard for driver and spectator safety, it was common for races to turn deadly. Because of the sacrifices these drivers made, racers, teams and sanctioning bodies have since come together to make racing safer than ever.

If “Killed Myself When I Was Young” interests you, check out the hour-long YouTube video “Grand Prix: The Killer Years,” detailing the fight for even basic safety measures in Formula 1. Be advised that neither video is for the faint of heart; both are embedded after the jump.

Continue reading Vintage crash compilation shows how far racing has come

Vintage crash compilation shows how far racing has come originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 22 May 2011 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Vintage crash compilation shows how far racing has come”