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Formula V8 3.5 Series Killed Off Due To Lack Of Entries 19
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Motorsport, racing, renault on 11 19th, 2017


If you’re a racing driver looking to make your way up to Formula One, there’s been one series that’s served as a vital stepping stone for the past two decades. But it won’t be around any more. That’s the Formula V8 3.5 World Series, the organizers of which have announced they’re closing the doors and canceling next year’s championship.

Established in 1998 as Formula Nissan (officially the World Series by Nissan), it was reborn in 2005 as the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. When Renault pulled its support after 2015, the series continued as Formula V8 3.5. But now that’s come to an end.

According to the announcement, the problem comes down to too small a grid, with not enough drivers signed on for next season. That’s a shame, because it could very well have bred the next Formula One World Champion. It wouldn’t be the first time, after all.

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel (accounting for six world titles between them) both made their way up through the series, as did a number of other F1 drivers past and present, including Robert Kubica, Daniel Ricciardo, and Carlos Sainz, Jr.

This won’t be the first manufacturer-backed “feeder” series to close up shop, either, after Formula BMW shut down in 2013, and what was Formula Opel/Vauxhall ended in 1998. Formula Renault 2.0 still runs at a lower level, as does Formula Abarth, but the demise of the V8 3.5 series removes a vital step. The organizers at RPM-MKTG have left the door open, however, to return in the future it should attract sufficient interest.

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Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2001 Fetches An Incredible $7.5 Million! 18
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in auction, F1, Ferrari, Motorsport, racing, Record on 11 18th, 2017


Want to know which is the most expensive modern Formula One racing car ever sold at an auction? Well, you’re looking at it. It’s a Ferrari F2001, which the legendary Michael Schumacher drove in, and positively dominated, the 2001 Formula One World Championship, and it just sold for an astounding $7.5 million.

Schumacher won nine races in the F2001 that season, and retired before the finish line at only two. Of the several examples that the Scuderia built for Schumacher and his teammate Rubens Barrichello that season, the champ drove this one in Monaco and Hungary, winning both on the path to his fourth world title.

Schumacher finished that season with 123 points, nearly twice as many as his closest rival, McLaren’s David Coulthard. There wasn’t a race that entire season, in fact, where the F2001 didn’t finish on the podium. That makes this a highly desirable racing car, of the kind that rarely comes up for auction, and that was reflected most brilliantly in the sale price.

After feverish bidding in New York on Thursday evening, a collector placed the high bid of $7,504,000 to win the day. That far exceeds the $4-5.5-million estimate which RM placed on it ahead of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale, as well as the $3,198,500 that stood until now as the record for a modern F1 car sold at auction. That, in case you were wondering, was for another one of Schumi’s championship winners: the Ferrari F2004, sold by (you guessed it) RM Sotheby’s at the factory in Maranello in 2005.

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Revised Rules Might Lure McLaren In Entering The LMP1 Series 18
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Le Mans, mclaren, Motorsport, racing, Reports on 11 18th, 2017


McLaren says it is intrigued by new regulations, which could make prototypes in the World Endurance Championship more relevant to road cars.

According to Motorsport, McLaren boss Zak Brown was involved in the second roundtable meeting of potential manufacturers, and while he did not say whether the British carmaker will get into prototype racing, his presence does give hope to the struggling series.

“We like lots of what they are saying: with the budgets and the level of technology they are talking, it’s heading in a direction that means there is a strong interest on our part,” Brown said.

Back in August, Brown had commented that McLaren would build an LMP1 prototype if rules were changed to make the sport more cost-effective.

At the time, the executive said: “I believe the WEC has an opportunity to hit the reset button. I’d love them to get back to the Porsche 956 or 962 days, where factory and privateer teams can race together knowing they each have chances of winning. Right now, with the current rules, that’s just not possible. But look at the success of the LMP2 category, where costs are controlled for the benefit of everyone, so I’d like to see that kind of thinking transferred to LMP1.”

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Budweiser Pays Tribute To Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s Career 18
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Chevrolet Videos, Motorsport, Nascar, racing, video on 11 18th, 2017


When the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season comes to a close, Dale Earnhardt, Jr will walk away from the sport.

Eager to pay tribute to Earnhardt’s long and successful career, Budweiser has released a slow-beat video looking back at some unforgettable races the much-loved driver was involved in.

Having completed over 600 races throughout his career, Earnhardt, Jr has claimed 26 victories, none much memorable than his win at the 2001 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International that came just a few months after his father died during the Daytona 500.

Of the 18 seasons which Earnhardt, Jr has competed in, eight of them were done with the Budweiser Chevrolet team.

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Formula E Attracts Another F1 Driver In Kamui Kobayashi 16
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Formula E, Hong Kong, Motorsport, racing on 11 16th, 2017


Formula E has proven an alluring destination for former F1 drivers, and now one more has joined their ranks. That driver is Kamui Kobayashi – a former GP2 champ, outright winner of the 6 Hours of Fuji in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship, and the last Japanese so far to compete in Formula 1.

Despite his accomplishments in other racing disciplines (including a second-place finish at Le Mans with Toyota in 2016), Kobayashi struggled in his four-plus years on the F1 grid, scoring a solitary podium finish for Sauber (in his country’s GP) in 2012.

His latest challenge will see him take the wheel for the MS&AD Andretti team in the forthcoming Hong Kong ePrix at the beginning of next month – but he’ll have to do so without the benefit of any testing beforehand. “[It won’t be] an easy thing to be honest, but the team has been giving me all the support,” said Kobayashi upon the announcement.

Michael Andretti provides a glimpse at one of the possible driving forces behind the decision to put Kobayashi in the cockpit. “To partner one of the largest companies in Japan, MS&AD Insurance, with one of the most popular Japanese racing drivers, will be exciting to see,” said Andretti. “He has shown what he can do in both Formula One and WEC, making Formula E a perfect next step.”

He’ll be the third Japanese driver to compete in the series, following Takuma Sato and Sakon Yamamoto, and join a long list of former F1 drivers to try their hand at the electric racing series.

So far the Formula E championship has only been won, in fact, by past F1 drivers: Nelson Piquet in season 1, Sebastien Buemi in season 2, and Lucas di Grassi in season 3. If Kobayashi proves his worth, he could end up proving the next.

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Formula E Attracts Another F1 Driver In Kamui Kobayashi 16
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Formula E, Hong Kong, Motorsport, racing on 11 16th, 2017


Formula E has proven an alluring destination for former F1 drivers, and now one more has joined their ranks. That driver is Kamui Kobayashi – a former GP2 champ, outright winner of the 6 Hours of Fuji in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship, and the last Japanese so far to compete in Formula 1.

Despite his accomplishments in other racing disciplines (including a second-place finish at Le Mans with Toyota in 2016), Kobayashi struggled in his four-plus years on the F1 grid, scoring a solitary podium finish for Sauber (in his country’s GP) in 2012.

His latest challenge will see him take the wheel for the MS&AD Andretti team in the forthcoming Hong Kong ePrix at the beginning of next month – but he’ll have to do so without the benefit of any testing beforehand. “[It won’t be] an easy thing to be honest, but the team has been giving me all the support,” said Kobayashi upon the announcement.

Michael Andretti provides a glimpse at one of the possible driving forces behind the decision to put Kobayashi in the cockpit. “To partner one of the largest companies in Japan, MS&AD Insurance, with one of the most popular Japanese racing drivers, will be exciting to see,” said Andretti. “He has shown what he can do in both Formula One and WEC, making Formula E a perfect next step.”

He’ll be the third Japanese driver to compete in the series, following Takuma Sato and Sakon Yamamoto, and join a long list of former F1 drivers to try their hand at the electric racing series.

So far the Formula E championship has only been won, in fact, by past F1 drivers: Nelson Piquet in season 1, Sebastien Buemi in season 2, and Lucas di Grassi in season 3. If Kobayashi proves his worth, he could end up proving the next.

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1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix Two-Seater Sells For $7.26 Million 16
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Classics, Motorsport, PEUGEOT, racing on 11 16th, 2017


A hugely significant 1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix Two-Seater has sold for $7.26 million at a recent Bonhams Auction event in Los Angeles.

For much of the last century, it was thought that this iconic Peugeot was driven by Dario Resta to victory at the 1916 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. However, it was recently confirmed that it was instead driven by Ralph Mulford at the 1916 event and finished third.

Throughout much of the early 1900’s, French carmakers dominated the motorsport scene and in 1913, Jules Goux claimed victory at the Indianapolis endurance race in a similar car.

Interestingly, this L45 Grand Prix Two-Seater raced with a 3.0-liter engine in 1916 but was soon fitted with a 4.5-liter four-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and 112 hp at 2,800 rpm. The car also includes mechanical drum brakes at all four corners, semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension and live front and rear axles.

A key contributor in the vehicle’s auction price is that it is chassis no.1 and features engine no.1.

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Cadillac House Celebrates Successful Racing Season With Huge Miniature Race Course 15
Nov
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Cadillac, Motorsport, racing on 11 15th, 2017


The Cadillac House in New York is celebrating the company’s successful racing season by unveiling a new installation called “Visionaire Racing.”

Set to open to the public tomorrow, the installation is billed as an “action-packed interactive exhibition” that is based on “1980s Japanese cult miniature 4WD model-making and racing competitions” known as Mini Yonku racing. As part of the exhibit, visitors are invited to purchase miniature race cars and then decorate them with a colorful design. Once the cars are finished, fans can race them on the largest “Mini4wd” track on the East Coast.

Besides building their own miniature race cars, fans can check out a number of real Cadillac race cars including the DPi-V.R No. 10, DPi-V.R No. 31, and the ATS-VR which was driven in the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Championship. Cadillac will also be showcasing two CTS-V models in Glacier Metallic and Vector Blue.

The exhibit runs through mid-January and will be open between noon and 7 pm on weekdays (noon to 5 pm on weekends). The Cadillac House will also be hosting a Mini4WD racing challenge with qualifying rounds on Saturdays in December and a grand championship on January 7th.

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Next-Gen LMP1 Prototypes Could Be Closer To Road Cars 15
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Le Mans, Motorsport, racing, Reports on 11 15th, 2017


Future LMP1 vehicles could more closely resemble road cars in an attempt to make the racing series’ more relevant.

During roundtable discussions between the FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, it has been revealed that rules similar to the GTP prototypes from the late 1990s and early 2000s are being considered.

“At the moment an LMP1 is a kind of generic prototype and you have to paint it to put your mark on it. The idea could be to go towards bodywork that is clearly closer to real cars — it could interest manufacturers who at the moment who are not interested in a generic LMP,” Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon told Motorsport.

If such rules were approved, manufacturers in the LMP1 championship would have to ensure the aerodynamic performance of their vehicles sits in a specific window, helping to ensure a level playing field.

New regulations are set to come into force for the 2020/21 World Endurance Championship.

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Marc Marquez Wins BMW M4 CS As MotoGP’s Best Qualifier 15
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in BMW, BMW M4, celebrities, motorcycles, Motorsport, racing on 11 15th, 2017


For the fifth year in a row, MotoGP maestro Marc Marquez has walked away with the annual BMW M Award, this year taking the form of a limited-edition M4 CS.

The award is given to the sport’s best qualifier and Marquez first walked away with the award in 2013, receiving the keys of a satin black M6 Coupe. The following year, he was awarded a red M4, in 2015 the Spaniard was given an M6 Convertible, and last year he secured an M2.

In the recently-concluded 2017 season, Marquez claimed eight pole positions and is unquestionably the best qualifier in the field.

BMW first unveiled the potent M4 CS in April and confirmed that production will be capped at 3,000 units. Marquez’s example is painted in San Marino Blue metallic, and in our opinion, is the best-looking BMW in his burgeoning collection.

Changes made to the M4 CS compared to the ‘regular’ M4 include a tweaked 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six engine, now delivering 454 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the car includes a range of weight saving and aerodynamic-focused parts, including a new carbon fiber rear diffuser, front splitter and trunklid spoiler. The car can lap the Nurburgring in 7 min and 36 seconds.

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Beauty Like This Jaguar C-Type Doesn’t Come Cheap 12
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in auction, Classics, Jaguar, racing on 11 12th, 2017


The British have made some achingly beautiful (and supremely fast) cars over the years, but few could hold a candle to the Jaguar C-Type.

The competition version of the XK120 roadster, the C-Type is the machine that propelled Jaguar to its first two Le Mans wins.

Jaguar would go on to build 53 C-Types, with the majority going to privateer racers in the United States. This is believed to have been the first of them, and racked up racing credentials all its own.

Chassis number XKC 007 was delivered in 1952 to Charles Hornburg, Jaguar’s West Coast distributor. But rather than sell it, Hornburg kept the car to showcase what the British automaker was capable of.

In September of that year, Phil Hill drove it from California to Wisconsin, entered it in the SCCA National race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, and took first place. The car went on to compete in various other events across America, and scored more podium finishes before being consigned to a string of private collectors.

Beautifully restored and highly sought-after, this C-Type is going up for auction less than a month from now in New York, where it’s expected to sell for $5.5-7 million. That’ll put it well out of reach for most of us, but we can at least admire it from afar in these photos taken by Ryan Merrill for RM Sotheby’s.

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Up For Sale: One Brazilian Grand Prix Racing Circuit 12
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Brazil, F1, Motorsport, racing on 11 12th, 2017

We see cars listed for sale all the time. Even the occasional F1 car. A world-famous grand prix racing circuit, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. But that’s just what’s come up on the market.

According to Autosport, the city of Sao Paulo in Brazil is looking to sell the Autódromo José Carlos Pace at Interlagos.

The circuit first hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1972, and after a few years of alternating with the Jacarepaguá circuit (now known as the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet) near Rio de Janeiro, has served as the permanent home of the Formula One race since 1990 – right up to this weekend’s race.

The facility, with its 15-turn, 2.7-mile grand prix track, opened in 1940 as the Autódromo de Interlagos, and also hosts the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo for the FIA World Endurance Championship, among other events.

Economic considerations have reportedly prompted the city to put the track up for sale. Three parties from within Brazil and abroad are reportedly in contention to buy the complex, among them former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone. Among his other holdings, Ecclestone also owns the Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France.

Until the deal is signed, though, it’s all up in the air. So if you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own grand-prix racing circuit, now could be your chance.

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Mercedes F1 Staff Robbed At Gunpoint In Brazil, Hamilton Says It Happens Every Year 12
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Brazil, F1, mercedes, Motorsport, racing on 11 12th, 2017


A potentially deadly encounter ended without incident on Saturday when members of the Mercedes-AMG F1 team were robbed at gunpoint in Brazil.

Autosport reports that robbers stopped a van carrying members of the team from the Interlagos circuit where the Brazilian Grand Prix is being held this weekend.

The team’s star driver Lewis Hamilton revealed that shots were fired, and a gun even held to one team member’s head. Fortunately while valuables were reportedly stolen, no one was physically harmed in the incident.

The van was reportedly traveling in a convoy together with members of the Williams team and FIA officials, but the other vehicles managed to flee the scene when traffic cleared.

“This happens every single year here,” Hamilton tweeted. “F1 and the teams need to do more, there’s no excuse!”

The most prominent of these incidents occurred in 2010 when robbers tried to hijack Jenson Button‘s car as he left the track. Button drove alongside Hamilton that year at McLaren, having won the championship the year before with the Brawn GP team subsequently acquired by Mercedes.

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BMW E30 Hillclimber Has E46 M3 Engine Revving To 9,600 RPM 12
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in BMW, BMW 3-series, BMW M3, BMW Videos, Engine Swaps, Motorsport, racing, tuning, video on 11 12th, 2017


When you combine a BMW E30 with a tuned E46 M3 engine revving to 9,600 rpm, the results are truly phenomenal, as this video proves.

This E30 competes in the Lebanese Hillclimb Championship and absolutely dominates the rear-wheel drive class. It’s not hard to see why.

Sitting beneath the featherweight bodywork of the 3-Series is the S54 straight-six engine out of the E46 M3. However, this powertrain has been heavily upgraded, destroked, delivers 440 hp and now revs to a mesmerizing 9,600 rpm. It is also one of the best sounding six-cylinders we’ve ever heard.

Filmed here at a couple of stages during this year’s championship, the car looks like the perfect package to fire up twisting roads with pin-point precision. The driver, Naoum Oneissy, is also able to extract the most out of the car by expertly reaching the limits of its grip and staying there.

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Mercedes-AMG To Test Next Year’s F1 Parts In Final Two Races Of 2017 Season 12
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in F1, mercedes, Motorsport, racing, Reports on 11 12th, 2017


Shortly after securing both the 2017 Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships, Mercedes-AMG Petronas says it will consider the final two races of the year as the start of the 2018 season.

Speaking on the eve of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said the team will experiment new concepts for its 2018 car this weekend and at the season-closer in Abu Dhabi.

“[We have] the first two test opportunities ahead of the new season, trialing new and interesting concepts.

“It might be tempting to think that, with both championships now secure, the pressure is off for the two remaining races of 2017. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Inside the team, we are looking at the next two race weekends as the first two grands prix of 2018. We have two races that we are determined to win in order to take that positive momentum into the winter,” Wolff told Motorsport.

Being in the fortunate position to turn its attention towards the 2018 car will be a huge advantage for Mercedes, particularly since many mid-field teams are still fighting over positions in the constructor championships where a single position gained or lost can translate to tens of millions of dollars less or more in prize money. The fiercest competition will come from Toro Rosso, Renault, and Haas Ferrari, three teams separated by just six points.

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