In case you missed it, Australia's V8 Supercars racing series - think of it as a cross between ALMS GT and NASCAR - roared through Texas this past weekend providing entertainment for more than 68,000 fans who were in attendance at the Austin 400 held at the impressive Circuit of the Americas venue. The three-day Championship event included four qualifying sessions and four 100 kilometer sprint races, all run nearly flat-out.
The cars are based on production Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore, Nissan Altima and Mercedes-Benz E-Class models, each fitted with a thunderous 5.0-liter V8 (rated at roughly 650 horsepower) sending power to the rear wheels through a sequential gearbox. The drivers sit on the right, protected by a sturdy tube-frame chassis and plenty of honeycomb crush space - good thing, as car-to-car contact and jumping curbs is the rule of the game (check out the gallery for a closer look at the carnage).
The series' inaugural event on U.S. soil didn't disappoint.
The series' inaugural event on U.S. soil didn't disappoint. Fans, Americans joined by a large contingent of Aussies who made the long trek over the Pacific, jumped to their feet for each standing start as dozens of roaring V8 Supercars peeled off to be first up COTA's tricky Turn 1 (the cars have no traction control or ABS). Each sprint lasted less than an hour, with one mandatory pit for tires, so the field was constantly changing position.
As all of the foreign drivers were new to the circuit (the Aussies nicknamed the tall white observation tower, with red trailing pipes, "The Mullet"), it took some time for each team to acclimate to its challenges and develop strategy. More than once, a car fell back in the pack when it followed the wrong line through Turns 3-6, and it was wedged out of position at the exit (of course, being V8 Supercars, the tall curbs hardly seemed to deter).
Holden's Jamie Whincup, racing under the Red Bull label, took three of the races, while the one remaining event was won by Fabian Coulthard, also driving a Holden, for the Lockwood Racing team. We were embedded with the teams from Nissan. Their Altima sedans, unveiled just months ago, fared well with several top-ten finishes - impressive results for a new team competing in this well-established series. The next event is at Hidden Valley Raceway, in Darwin, from June 14-16... and, based on the overwhelmingly positive response from the fans, the series already has plans to come back to the States in 2014.Permalink | Email this | Comments
"It's one thing to put a car together, it's another thing to make it work." Truer words have never been spoken, and in the case of Louie Shefchik of J&L Fabricating, the man who opens the video below with those words, 'making it work' has practically been elevated to an art form.
From humble beginnings - a garage back behind the duplex in which Louie and his wife Jeanette lived - J&L has grown to become a highly respected track-side crew that keeps its clients' vintage race cars on the track and competitive. And, judging by the commentary of his customers, friends and family, he's a downright great person.
Check out the video below for the complete story of J&L Fabricating from eGarage.Permalink | Email this | Comments
He didn't get the trophy, but he did get the
Harbaugh's other connection to the race is that he's a principal in Panther Racing, which has two cars running on Sunday that are powered by Chevrolet engines: JR Hildebrand is starting tenth, teammate Townsend Bell is 22nd. There's a press release below with the kind of juicy quotes you'd expect from all involved.Permalink | Email this | Comments
American race driver Connor de Phillippi was recently added to the roster of Porsche Juniors, the arm of Porsche's factory racing program that develops new talent. The 20-year-old is contesting the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland series with FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport, and last weekend, he raced the series round at the Nürburgring. Starting 15th on the grid, de Phillippi would cross the line in ninth out of 32 finishers.
Courtesy of his in-car camera, you can watch his entire first lap in the video below - there's no music added, just engine whine during nine minutes of crests, turns, bumpy straights and that wicked Carousel. Enjoy.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Silver Lake sand dunes see their fair share of well-built trophy trucks executing impressive jumps. Drivers build insane pieces of machinery for the express purpose of sailing through the air like mad men and women.
Mike Higgins is no stranger to the area. His heavily modified Ford trophy truck has gone flying through the sky on more than one occasion, but he recently bit off more than he could chew. After hitting a particularly lofty dune, Higgins went airborne for a ridiculous 180 feet before becoming intimately familiar with the finer points of gravity.
While Higgins nailed the jump, his landing fell short of wowing the judges. The impact very nearly broke his truck in two. Despite the mechanical mayhem, the driver walked away without a scratch, proving that occasionally miracles really do happen. You can check out the jump and the subsequent destruction below for yourself. Be warned: there's a fair bit of foul language.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We knew Aston Martin was taking three cars to the Nürbrurgring 24-Hour race this weekend, they being a V12 Vantage GT3 car, the Rapide S Hybrid Hydrogen concept and a V12 Vantage N24 that is close to road-legal. We've just discovered that the automaker is bringing a fourth, a concept to be revealed on Sunday, May 19 that we know nothing about save that it will celebrate the company's centennary.
Based on the image above it looks like it will be a modern take on the Aston Martin racer from the late fifties that contested the World Sportscar Championship and won Le Mans, but we'll just have to wait until tomorrow to find out. There's a short video below, and a press release on its other 'Ring efforts this weekend, to tease you until then.Permalink | Email this | Comments
For video game enthusiasts who can't stand the thought of playing a racing game on a single television screen, using a standard controller and (gasp!) sitting on a couch, there are plenty of realistic racing simulators out there. While better simulators usually include a trio of monitors, a racing chair and appropriate steering wheel and pedals, Costco has what could be the ultimate racing simulator for Formula One fans in the UK with deep pockets and a desire for a life-like gaming experience.
Costing a mere 90,000 British pounds (roughly $136,000), Costco UK sells a simulator mounted to a life-size F1 car that includes plenty of composite, carbon fiber and alloy. It even has full brakes, wheels and tires. The price includes set up and training, but don't expect to pick one up in addition to a 10-pound package of bacon and a 40-count package of toilet paper, since it takes about 12 to 18 weeks to deliver. All that is missing to get this thing on a real track are the engine and transmission. As for the simulation aspect, this system uses three 23-inch thin film transistor (TFT) screens, an Intel Core i7 processor and a five-speaker surround sound system.
Head over to the Costco UK website to check out what has to be the coolest and most excessive gaming device ever.Permalink | Email this | Comments