Posts tagged racing
While plenty of people know all about Subaru’s rally heritage, the company has plenty of track experience too. Now, for 2015, Subaru debuted a race-prepped 2015 Subaru WRX STI in advance of the 2015 Nurburgring 24 Hour Race at the Tokyo Auto Salon. While no doubt highly modified, Subaru chose not to elaborate much on what the racing modifications included beyond beefed up brakes, sticky race tires, and the obligatory roll cage.
Alongside the racy STI, Subaru also rolled out a super low, super wide, Japanese Super GT-spec BRZ. Built to fit within the GT300 class of the Japanese Super GT Series, this lean and mean BRZ should offer a great platform to go racing.
In either case, it looks like 2015 is going to be a busy year for the Subaru factory racing teams!
This past opportunity I traveled to Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California to participate in the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill. To the unfamiliar the 25 hours of Thunderhill is America’s longest endurance sports car race and its become an end of the year tradition for many racers. The race regularly attracts racers from across the country and beyond. This years event had 55 vehicles entered ranging from Mazda Miata’s to factory supported cars like the Acura ILX to sports races like the Radical SR3.
I was invited to race with Mazda who brought a trio of diesel powered Mazda6s that were purposely built just for this race. Since the Mazda6 is not available with a diesel in the United States, Mazda started with three Russian Spec cars and built them up from there. Two of the cars were driven by Mazda dealers with the third driven by a foursome from Mazda North America.
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The Morrie’s Mazda/Miracles Of Mitch Mazda 2 made its second appearance this past weekend. Many consider Road America to be the United States premier racetrack. With its dramatic elevation changes and technical corners, it demands the best from both driver and car. Then, stir in a couple long straights where maximum speed is obtained.
At Road America, our nimble and reliable little Mazda 2 routinely hit speeds well over one hundred miles per hour bringing home third place. This was a particularly strong finish given that it is difficult for a single car to compete against a team of several cars as they can use each other for drafting and even bump drafting.
With Michael Ashby at the wheel, the Morrie’s Mazda/Miracles Of Mitch Mazda 2 broke up their formation to finish a very strong third. An engine control unit re-flash, now available, will give us some additional horsepower and a few more RPM’s at the top end. With these modest upgrades, we will improve on these already fantastic results.
Nissan isn’t sure where or when their new electric Leaf Nismo RC will be racing, but we’ve got some very cool video to share.
It’s got a full carbon-fibre monocoque chassis and body panels – measuring a foot lower, 20mm longer, 170mm wider, and 40% lighter than the street car. The Nismo racer also features custom suspension and a fully driver-adjustable rear wing. The drivetrain is almost entirely the same as the street going Leaf - including the 80kw electric motor and 24kWh (that’s kilo-Watt-hour) lithium-ion battery pack. The only major difference is that the electric motor was moved to the middle of the car, and now powers the rear wheels instead of the front. More >
Cadillac returned to Sebring for testing yesterday, leading up to their re-entry into the SCCA World Challenge GT season, beginning in March. They released a handful of images of their new CTS-V Race Car in its full livery, as well as this brief press release: More >
Hot on the heels of the Veloster’s Detroit debut last month, Hyundai teased us with a single airborne photo of the Veloster, wrapped in rally livery. And now they’ve unveiled the real thing, at the Chicago International Auto Show. It was developed by Rhys Millen, who smashed the Pikes Peak record last year in a Hyundai Genesis Coupe, and Rod Millen who originally partnered with Hyundai for their Pikes Peak program 20 years ago. The new Veloster rally car is slated to compete in the US Rallycross series, and the Summer X-Games this year. More >