- IRC: Wrong tire choice for Skoda’s Juho Hanninen drops him moe than two mintues down
- Brimtek Motorsports joins the World Challenge Sports Car Wars
- Skoda’s Hanninen dominates Rally Monte-Carlo day one
- 66 Signature Complete: Gulf livery inspired skateboard
- 2011: Return of The Wagon
- Weed killin’ Audi A4 on Rotiform TMBs
- West Racing name Nicky Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager
- Porsche 918 RSR – racing laboratory with even higher-performance hybrid drive
- Audi Debuts Super Bowl Companion Ad During the NFL Playoffs
- Road Review: 9 month 2010 Audi S4 Update
Posted: 21 Jan 2011 05:22 AM PST
The defending Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion was leading the centenary edition of the event by 51.5s following six special stages.
But his choice of a combination of intermediate and winter tyres for Thursday’s final brace of snow-coated stages proved totally inadequate for the slippery conditions and resulted in the Škoda Motorsport driving reaching the end of day two 2m36.0s adrift of new leader Bryan Bouffier.
“We took the risk with the tyres thinking the snow would not be so bad but it didn’t work out,” said the 29-year-old. “This is rally and this is what can happen, especially on the Monte-Carlo. It’s very difficult now but we won’t give up.”
Posted: 20 Jan 2011 07:37 PM PST
Virginia based Brimtek Motorsports, has teamed up with German Auto Parts.com and announced today its participation in World Challenge for 2011. The team will field one Volkswagen GTI in the Touring Car (TC) class.
With three separate classes of competition (GT, GTS and Touring Car); World Challenge is North America’s top production car-based championship. World Challenge events are fast-paced 50 minute sprint races, feature standing starts and the world’s most popular manufacturers racing head-to-head. World Challenge competition was born in the mid-1980s with the SCCA Endurance Championship, transforming into the World Challenge in 1990.
“Brimtek is committed to the entire season and all of the races on the calendar,” stated Dave Tilton, Brimtek’s Team Principle. “Our team is composed of a very competitive and talented battery of individuals. We have worked unremittingly over these past few years to advance from club racers to a credible professional organization. Now we are ready to pit our proficiency, competitiveness and commitment against the best World Challenge has to offer,” added Tilton.
The driving duties will be handled by Reston, Virginia-native Tristan Herbert. Tristan is a natural competitor in everything that he does, ranging from professional snowboarding (member of the Budweiser Ariel Assault Team from 1998 to 2000) to racing cars. He began his track career in 1999 racing motorcycles and moved to cars in 2008. In the past three years of SCCA club racing Tristan has amassed 18 wins, 2 track records and the ITB championship in the Mid-Atlantic Road Racing Series.
“I am a very competitive and focused guy, and I like to win,” remarked Herbert. “The opportunity to drive professionally is of course incredible, but the most important aspect for me is the competitive DNA that embodies the Brimtek team. They are ‘a play for keeps, never quit organization’ and that suits me perfectly. I feel confident that our commitment to each other and our race craft will catch a few of the existing World Challenge teams off guard this season.”
Brimtek has assembled a highly diverse and qualified team drawn from the ranks of retired Special Forces, technical research institutions and the professional motorsports community.
“We have the comfort of devoting all of our resources to the art of racing,” said Tilton.
The GTI has been undergoing extensive testing this winter at Brimtek’s home track, Summit Point Motorsports Park. The new Stop Tech brake package and Pirelli tires are available for the 2011 season and will be extensively tested and evaluated. The team has also made a series of suspension modifications and upgrades as well. “Testing during the winter months on a cold track is not ideal, but we are nevertheless learning a great deal and adapting to different track conditions,” remarked Ray Kopp, Brimtek’s Technical Director. “We will continuously add to our knowledge base as testing proceeds throughout the winter months and into the spring.” When the St. Petersburg race arrives we will be ready to race.
The team office and shop is located in Ashburn, VA which is in close proximity to Dulles International Airport. The team occupies 3,000 square feet of space supporting fabrication, assembly and preparation of the Brimtek’s World Challenge GTI. Trackside support will be provided by the team’s 40 foot, three car transporter.
Posted: 20 Jan 2011 06:30 AM PST
Juho Hanninen has completed the opening day of the centenary edition of Rallye Monte-Carlo, round one of the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, with a lead of 44.5 seconds.
Driving a Skoda Motorsport Fabia Super 2000, the 29-year-old Finn was fastest on two of Wednesday’s four special stages, which were shown live on Eurosport, to head Freddy Loix at the overnight halt in Valence following a faultless drive.
The stages in the Ardeche and Haute Loire regions of France were held in largely dry and bright conditions as the traditional ice and snow, that have been a feature of the event in recent years, didn’t materialise.
Hanninen, the defending IRC champion, has been consistently upping his pace on asphalt since finishing second on this event last season. He underlined that improvement with a staggering time on stage two, which was 15.1s faster than any other driver could manage. Hanninen and co-driver Mikko Markkula also gained the upper hand with a series of inspired tyre choices for the dry, albeit chilly, weather.
Le Mans 24 Hours racer Stephane Sarrazin had set the pace on the opening stage from Le Moulinon to Antraigues in his Peugeot France 207 Super 2000. However, his switch from a medium compound tyre to the softer version for the Burzet-St Martial stage did not suit the dry stage surface and he dropped back with a handling imbalance, before losing further ground on stage three, St Bonnet Le Froid, when his car’s intercom system failed and he couldn’t hear co-driver Jacques-Julien Renucci’s instructions for seven kilometres.
Sarrazin’s delay enabled Loix to move into second. The Belgian Skoda driver would complete day one with the fastest time on the second St Bonnet Le Froid stage. Loix, who holds the record of IRC wins with a tally of six, admitted to making a slightly hesitant start but was otherwise satisfied with his performance.
Former world rally champion Petter Solberg is third in another Peugeot after moving ahead of Sarrazin on stage four. The Norwegian said he was lucky to avoid a puncture when he slid wide on a right-hand bend on stage one and nudged a wall. He also suggested his lack of dry-weather running in his 207 was masking his true speed.
Guy Wilks, who was running first on the road, is fifth overnight after an encouraging, error-free start to his career with Peugeot UK. Jan Kopecky, runner-up in the IRC for the past two seasons, is sixth in the second factory Skoda, despite admitting to a lack of confidence behind wheel of his Fabia. The Czech had trailed French champion Bryan Bouffier heading into stage four but moved in front when Bouffier’s Peugeot developed a rear differential glitch, which left Bouffier with the feeling that his car was in front-wheel drive mode only.
Francois Delecour is eighth in his privateer 207. The French legend, who won Rallye Monte-Carlo back in 1994, wasn’t satisfied with the handling of his car and is set to start Thursday’s stages with a revised set-up. “We tested in fog, rain and mud but we had none of those things today,” said Delecour. “But we are doing a very good job in a private car.”
Bruno Magalhaes, who bemoaned a few incorrect tyre choices and fading brakes in the morning, was in the top 10 when he crashed his Peugeot Sport Portugal 207 into retirement on a sixth-gear corner on stage four. His misfortune elevated Jean-Sebastien Vigion to ninth and M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver Julien Maurin to 10th. Under the revised point-scoring system for 2011, Maurin is now in contention for the final IRC drivers’ championship point.
While the weather remained unseasonably mild, several drivers hit trouble on the demanding mountainous asphalt roads. First to fall was Andreas Mikkelsen, who was making his debut for Skoda UK Motorsport. The Norwegian driver’s challenge ended after four corners when he slid into a low wall on a right-hand bend, punctured his car’s left-rear tyre and damaged the suspension to the extent he was unable to continue.
Nicolas Vouilloz, tacking his first rally for 12 months, suffered a front-right puncture on stage one, as did Henning Solberg, who retired his M-Sport Fiesta as a result. Thierry Neuville crashed his Team Peugeot Belgium-Luxembourg 207 on the first stage, which also claimed Australia’s Chris Atkinson, who retired his PROTON Satria Neo with an electrical failure 700 metres into the test. Atkinson’s PROTON team-mate P-G Andersson went no further than stage two when he broke a wheel off his car hitting a rock seven kilometres into the stage.
Toni Gardemeister lost more than three minutes with a puncture on stage three and is 13th overnight in his Peugeot, one place ahead of ex-Grand Prix driver Alex Caffi, who is making his Rallye Monte-Carlo debut in a Skoda.
Swiss Florian Gonon is the leading IRC Production Cup contender in his Subaru Impreza, one place ahead of Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer driver Patrick Artru.
Pierre Campana heads the IRC 2WD Cup battle ahead of fellow Clio driver Andrea Crugnola after defending champion Harry Hunt lost several minutes when he went off the road on stage one.
Wednesday’s closing stage, St Bonnet Le Froid, was halted after Michel Boetti and Emmanuelle Nas de Tourris crashed their Peugeot 207. Boetti suffered a broken leg and was flown by helicopter to hospital in Lyon to undergo treatment. Nas de Tourris was uninjured. The stage was stopped after the first 29 cars had completed the run and the drivers behind received the time they recorded on the first pass through the repeated stage.
Thursday’s action features two loops of stages run twice north-east of Valence and separated by a service stop in the city. All four stages will again be shown live on Eurosport.
Posted: 20 Jan 2011 06:01 AM PST
With my days of skateboarding behind me, I still keep up with the scene. Decks have changed many shapes over the years and graphics have become much more intricate. Mix that with our love for the Gulf liveries across the Porsche 917 K, Ford GT40, the Johansson team Audi R8, the recent Aston Martin DBR9 and Works LMP1 and you have one beautiful skateboard.
At $170, it’s a bit much to bomb your sidewalks but would look nice as wall art in that garage!
Simple, bold, beautiful. The Buddy Carr 66 Signature Complete.
With inspiration coming from classic Porsche and Ford race team colours, you'll look and feel as cool as Steve McQueen on our new "66".
Our "66" model was designed from the top down with one thing in mind, pools and parks. When you first step onto the deck, you will notice your feet stay firmly planted where you place them. We spent countless hours, developing the perfect concave for pools and parks, a concave that keeps your feet where you want them. We call this new concave, "vice" for obvious reasons. The unique fade away shape of the "66" adds flare and removes some of the bulk where you don't need it.
For trucks, we have chosen Independent stage 10 trucks, ridden by nearly every top pool and park skater from California to New York. Simply put, these trucks work.
Your "66" is assembled with our 63mm 83 duro custom wheels. We produced these wheels slightly softer, which make skating rougher pools and parks and even streets, a breeze.
The "66" is, of course, finished off with a laser cut sheet of high traction grip tape and arrives to you fully assembled, tuned and ready to rip.
Whether just starting, or a seasoned pool and park skate veteran, our "66" can take all you dish out and give you the confidence and comfort to take your skating to the next level.
The 66 Signature Complete is a collaboration between California based skateboarder Buddy Carr and New York based graphic designer Antonio Carusone.
$170 (excludes shipping)
Posted: 19 Jan 2011 07:52 PM PST
Compared to those from the mid 20th century, wagons, like most cars, have lost quite a bit of flair becoming longer versions of boring sedans. The 1970s through the early 1990s were especially rough for the wagon’s image. Those years shaped Baby-Boom and Gen-X buyers to despise the station wagon, which is reflected in sales numbers. For whatever reason, the image of the station wagon is tainted with thoughts of the uncool. But could 2011 be the year that marks the return of the wagon?
Continue reading at CarGuyDad
Posted: 19 Jan 2011 07:45 PM PST
Posted: 18 Jan 2011 05:45 AM PST
West Racing named Nicky Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager as the first two drivers of its Yokohama Tire Corporation-sponsored Lamborghini on Monday. The two were teammates in last year’s FIA GT1 championship and will campaign West Racing’s first ADVAN® A005 tire-shod Lamborghini in the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
As reported earlier, the team hopes to test at Sebring later this month and plans to return for the annual Winter Test from February 9-10. It will make its race debut at the 59th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on March 19.
“West Racing owner Eduardo Espindola has hired two top-notch, seasoned pros,” said Andrew Briggs, Yokohama senior manager of motorsports. “The competition will be tough, but Nicky and Dominik have experience racing Lamborghinis, so we’re anticipating an exciting, successful season. I’m confident Yokohama’s motorsports heritage will be very well represented by Nicky and Dominik and the entire West Racing Team.”
“I’m proud to be part of the West-Yokohama racing team,” said the Dutch-born/Italian-bred Pastorelli, who won the European F3000 championship in 2004. “It’s a great challenge to be part of a new project and help make it successful.”
Pastorelli has seven ALMS starts to his credit – all with VICI Racing in a GT2 Porsche. His best finish was a fifth-place showing with Johannes Stuck at Utah in 2009.
The ALMS campaign will reunite the German-born Schwager with Yokohama. In 2004, he was a driver of the ADVAN-shod Toyota Supra in the Japanese Super GT series. “I’ve always been interested in ALMS racing, so this is a tremendous opportunity,” he said. “Because we’re a new team, I know the task ahead is going to be demanding, but thanks to technology partners like Yokohama, I know we’ll be competitive.”
Posted: 17 Jan 2011 07:16 AM PST
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is continuing to extend its performance and high efficiency competence via intensive development work in the field of hybrid technology. With the Porsche 918 RSR, the manufacturer of sporty premium vehicles is presenting a high-end synthesis of 2010′s successful hybrid concepts. The two-seater mid-engine coupé 918 RSR clearly reveals what happens when the technology fitted in the 911 GT3 R hybrid and the design of the 918 Spyder are transferred to a modern, innovative super sports car.
With its highly-efficient flywheel accumulator, the 911 GT3 R hybrid racing car proved to be an attention magnet during competition racing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, during the American Le Mans Series races (ALMS) in Road Atlanta/USA and the ILMC run in China’s Zhuhai. It demonstrated its massive performance potential under realistic motor racing conditions against top competitors. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid, referred to internally as the “Race Lab” actually surpassed the high expectations of Porsche Motorsport. Competitiveness, high reliability and exemplary fuel efficiency combined with top performance underscored the Porsche technicians’ basic idea of generating additional power in an intelligent manner. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid obtains its additional power from its own vehicle dynamics when braking. Porsche is now transplanting this technology into the mid-engine coupé 918 RSR, the motor sports version of the 918 Spyder concept car.
From the tradition established by classic Porsche long-distance race cars such as the 908 long-tale coupé (1969) and the 917 short-tail coupé (1971), the Porsche designers created a link to the postmodernism of the “form follows function” philosophy. In the 918 RSR, the lines’ elegant flow is dominated by muscular wheel arches, dynamic air intakes and a pulpit-like cockpit. A visible fan wheel between the ram air intake tubes and a rear spoiler with RS Spyder dimensions additionally emphasize the racing laboratory function. The new “liquid metal chrome blue” color which has been created underscores the sculptured curves of the forms, whilst the typical Porsche hybrid orange color on brake calipers and the body’s longitudinal stripes lends remarkable touches.
Motor racing technology also dominates within the particularly light, torsionally stiff carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque. The V8 engine is a further development of the direct injection engine from the successful RS Spyder race car and now offers an output of precisely 563 hp at 10,300/rpm in the 918 RSR. The electric motors on the two front wheels each contribute 75 kW, i.e. a total of 150 kW, to the peak drive power of exactly 767 hp. This additional power, which is generated during braking, is stored in an optimized flywheel accumulator.
In the 918 RSR, the two electric motors offer a torque vectoring function with variable torque distribution to the front axle. This additionally increases agility and improves steering response. Mounted upstream of the rear axle, the mid-engine is integrated with a racing transmission also based on the RS Spyder race car. This further developed six-speed constant-mesh transmission with longitudinally mounted shafts and straight-toothed spur gears is operated using two shift paddles behind the racing steering wheel.
The vehicle’s functional equipment underscores its puristic motor racing character. Whether it be the characteristic doors which open obliquely upwards, the air intake in the roof between the wing doors, the quick-action locks on the front and rear CFRP lids, the two roof-mounted aerials for pit radio and telemetry, the RS Spyder-like small, lateral front flics or the air splitters beneath the front lip or no-profile racing slicks on 19″ wheels with central locking, the vehicle can be clearly recognized as an experimental racing laboratory.
In contrast to the 918 Spyder concept car, unadorned racing atmosphere predominates in the interior of the 918 RSR. The figure-hugging bucket seat’s brown leather covering cites the history of the gentleman driver; the gear flashes on the racing steering wheel and a recuperation display on the steering column in front of the display screen supply the pilot with information. Instead of the futuristic, ergonomically avant-garde centre console with touch-sensitive user interface from the 918 Spyder concept car, the 918 RSR’s cockpit is split by a minimalistic console with rocker switches. Instead of a second seat, the flywheel accumulator is positioned to the right of the console.
This flywheel accumulator is an electric motor whose rotor rotates at up to 36,000 rpm to store rotation energy. Charging occurs when the two electric motors on the front axle reverse their function during braking processes and operate as generators. At the push of a button, the pilot is able to call up the energy stored in the charged flywheel accumulator and use it during acceleration or overtaking maneuvers. The flywheel is braked electromagnetically in this case in order to additionally supply up to 2 x 75 kW, i.e. a total of 150 kW, from its kinetic energy to the two electric motors on the front axle.
This additional power is available for around eight seconds when the system is fully charged. In the successful 911 GT3 R Hybrid, this additional power can also be used as a consumption aid depending on the racing situation, e.g. to delay pit stops or reduce the fuel tank volume and therefore the weight of the vehicle.
With the new 918 RSR racing laboratory, Porsche is now elevating this motor racing hybrid concept to an experimental level. In the 918 RSR, “Porsche Intelligent Performance” equates to research into methods for further sustainable efficiency improvement under the intensified conditions of the race track, lap times, pit stops and reliability – a metier in which Porsche has been demonstrating its success for over 60 years.
Finally, the starting number, 22, pays homage to the anniversary of a further triumph. Back in the days when overall victories in Le Mans were not yet an entirely routine matter within the Porsche racing department, the pilots Dr. Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep were the first to cross the finishing line in 1971′s 24-hour classic. The distance record set by their Porsche 917 short-tail coupé – 5335.313 kilometers (3315.21 miles) at an average speed of 222.304 km/h (138.13 mph) – did not remain unbeaten for an eternity, but for exactly 39 years until 2010. At the time, the 917 in the Martini colors was also an experiment and far ahead of its time: a magnesium space frame set new standards in Porsche’s lightweight construction domain.
Posted: 16 Jan 2011 04:38 PM PST
Audi today announced a new 60-second TV advertisement billed as a prelude to its upcoming Super Bowl ad. An evolution of Audi’s ongoing campaign to redefine luxury, the companion spot taps into viewers’ notions of old luxury with the help of an unlikely literary inspiration: Goodnight Moon, the 1947 children’s book by Margaret Wise Brown, one of the best-selling children’s books of all time.
The TV commercial titled “Goodnight” is inspired by the cadence and rhyme scheme of the original Goodnight Moon while taking the viewer on a journey through a traditional-style mansion laden with trite symbols of old, stuffy luxury. The 60-second spot methodically says goodnight to the age of old luxury, defined by gluttony and excess, and features the all-new 2011 Audi A8 flagship sedan, the most technologically-advanced vehicle the company has ever produced and the apex of Audi’s new luxury lineup.
The highly-acclaimed 2011 A8 will also be featured in Audi‘s upcoming Super Bowl TV spot, set to air in the first break after kick off on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011.
“Research shows that consumer impressions are based in nostalgia and formed at a very young age. In ‘Goodnight’ Audi taps into these memories to break through the nostalgia and re-establish what it means to achieve luxury,” said Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer, Audi of America. “Today’s luxury consumer exists in a world where status is no longer solely defined by tradition, but increasingly by their entrepreneurial accomplishments. As a result, they are seeking out new and more evolved luxury symbols that make them stand out from the crowd.”
“Goodnight” begins airing Thursday, Jan 13, across cable networks, followed by a national network debut on Saturday, Jan. 15 and Sunday, Jan. 16, on CBS and FOX during the AFC and NFC divisional games. The spot also will air during the Sunday morning network news programs on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.
Super Bowl XLV will mark the fourth consecutive appearance for Audi, the only auto maker in its class with Super Bowl presence for four years running. Known for its aggressive and fun approach, Audi will once again deliver a fearless and intriguing Super Bowl spot that dares the viewer to re-think luxury. The 60-second TV advertisement is being created by San Francisco-based Venables Bell & Partners.
“We chose to feature the award-winning 2011 A8 because it represents today’s standard of progressive luxury – sophisticated, yet memorable design, the most advanced technology available, and unmatched performance,” said Keogh.
The all new 2011 A8 sedan has been hailed as a technological masterpiece with striking aesthetics. Setting new standards of luxury, dynamism and efficiency, the A8 features a light-weight Aluminum Space Frame® body allowing it to achieve equal or greater fuel efficiency than leading luxury hybrid vehicles. Audi’s flagship A8 sedan also features a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen® sound system, MMI® touch, Audi pre-sense safety features and the Audi signature LED lighting.
The past three years Audi has delivered highly-rated spots, including last year’s “Green Car” ad featuring the Audi A3 TDI, Green Car Journal’s 2010 “Green Car of the Year,” and a soundtrack created by rock legends Cheap Trick. The 2009 spot featured actor Jason Statham in a series of high-speed chase scenes involving luxury competitors, sending the dual message that luxury is evolving. The 2008 Audi spot delivered a parody of the movie “The Godfather” and signaled that the brand was ready to challenge the perceived luxury leaders by “putting luxury on notice.”
Posted: 16 Jan 2011 04:20 PM PST
It’s been nine months and about 7,000 miles since I took delivery of the S4. There is so much about the car to love. The acceleration, traction, and braking ability of the car are incredible. The exhaust note under hard acceleration is amazing, especially with the S-Tronic, with a little extra burble with each up-shift.
The S4 is extremely smooth, responsive, and comfortable. The only thing that ruins the fun of the car is the law. Triple-digit speeds approach very quickly and it’s easy to loose track of how fast you’re going. Did I mention it has a quiet cabin?
The sport suspension keeps the car well planted and very smooth. It can be a bit harsh driving on these awful Boston streets. But who needs coffee? The S4 is the perfect wake up during my morning drive.
The Sports Differential is my favorite option. Taking tight turns you can feel the sports diff pushing the car into the corner. It simply makes me feel more confident in the car and willing to push it a bit harder. The drive select system that accompanies the sports diff allows you to tame the car for city driving. While switching through the modes, the changes are very noticeable. Switching from comfort to dynamic you can immediately feel the steering tighten and the throttle becomes incredibly responsive.
When stopped at an intersection, people always stop while crossing in front of it to take a look. They’re also always pointing at it. Other Audi drivers are always giving me the thumbs up. The car definitely attracts a lot of attention…and not just because of the blue paint and LED lights.
Looking for anything in particular on the S4, let me know in the comments below!
- Mike J.
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