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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The Bahrain Circuit has named a corner after Michael Schumacher, who remains in a medically induced coma after suffering head injuries in a skiing accident.
Anonymous, famous for wreaking havoc on credit card companies, major financial institutions and other business titans, is now targeting Formula 1 racing.
Its attacks are based on disapproval around how the Bahrain regime is treating its citizens, even while a major sporting event takes place. Certain members of the Force India F1 team have already left in light of the violence. Thousands and thousands of protesters have also gathered to demonstrate disapproval.
Last year, civil unrest and rioting caused the Kingdom of Bahrain to withdraw from hosting the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix. One year later, Formula 1 returns to Bahrain despite remaining political instability.
Authorities gave their word to assure the safety of the visiting Formula 1 community, promising to provide an enormous security presence for the event.
Unfortunately, the security measures proved insufficient when four mechanics of the Force India F1 team were caught in the middle of an incident as police clashed with protesters while the team’s hire car was stationary in Bahrain traffic after leaving the circuit yesterday.
Well, they did it. The organizers for the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix have canceled the Formula One race, citing the criticism from fans and teams alike as the catalyst.
“It has been made clear that this fixture cannot progress and we fully respect that decision,” said Zayed R Alzayani, chairman for the Bahrain International Circuit. “We want our role in Formula One to continue to be as positive and constructive as it has always been, therefore, in the best interest of the sport, we will not pursue the rescheduling of a race this season.”
More than 30 people have been killed since February due to the protests in Bahrain, which contradicted the assurances given by government ministers to F1 officials that the October 30th race could still continue.
“Hopefully we can return (to Bahrain) in the future, but of course it’s not on,” said Bernie Ecclestone.
Formula One’s governing body is planning to reconsider the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix and cast a revote among all teams, after its former president and one of its top drivers called for F1 to cancel the event among continued unrest.
“The way things are at the moment, we have no idea what is going to happen,” said Bernie Ecclestone, head octogenarian of the FIA corporate machine. Bahrain is slated to pay the FIA $40 million to host the race, but Ecclestone insists it isn’t about the money. “It is whether it is safe and good to have a race, that is the issue. We can change this by October 30 date by having a vote by fax if necessary. It can be done, and fast.”
So did it take Mosley to pipe up about Bahrain for the FIA to act, or was it inevitable all along? Well, head FIA president Dark Helmet Bernie Ecclestone is a buddy of his, and the two have stuck together through times of whips and chains thick and thin, and Mosley defends this new position from Ecclestone.
“I don’t think there is the slightest chance the Grand Prix will actually happen,” he said during a BBC radio interview. “Apart from anything else you cannot change the calendar, in the way that is proposed to change, without the unanimous agreement of the teams.”
Bahrain is still facing political turmoil as of recently, with police arresting protestors en masse. A vote to cancel the Bahrain race, currently scheduled for October 30th, would require a unanimous decision from all teams.
[Source: Times of India]
F1′s former chief commandant Max Mosley has joined Red Bull pilot Mark Webber in speaking up against the FIA’s decision to race in Bahrain this October, claiming that it is a mistake that “will eventually cost Formula One dear.”
“By agreeing to race there, Formula One becomes complicit in what has happened,” said Mosley in a column for the Sunday Telegraph.
“We will be told that holding the Grand Prix in October will show that, once again, Bahrain is a happy, peaceful country. So why is it wrong for Formula One to go along with this? Surely the line has to be drawn when a sporting event is not mere entertainment in a less-than-perfect country, but is being used by an oppressive regime to camouflage its actions.”
Of course, Mosley may have more clout than a mere racing driver—”hey, we don’t pay you to think!” seems to be the operative phrase with all the other domestic appliances. But for the son of one of Britain’s most infamous fascists, Mosley writes an impassioned opinion about the influence F1 would have on a country still facing its own charges of bloody oppression. “If a sport accepts this role, it becomes a tool of government,” he writes. “If Formula One allows itself to be used in this way in Bahrain, it will share the regime’s guilt as surely as if it went out and helped brutalise unarmed protesters.”
[Source: Times of India]
Even though the FIA has given the go-ahead to add Bahrain to the 2011 schedule, some aren’t so sure it’s a good idea to race in the troubled country—like Mark Webber, driver for the Red Bull F1 team.
Webber was “disappointed” in the decision. “My opinion is unchanged since I was first asked about this in late February,” he wrote on his personal website and his Twitter feed. “Even though a decision has been made, I’ll be highly surprised if the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead this year. When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport.”
The unrest in Bahrain captured the attention of the world back in March, with protests against the government as part of the “Arab Spring.” The 2011 race in Bahrain is scheduled for October 30th, but the country is still in a state of turmoil, as Webber mentions.
“As a competitor I do not feel at all comfortable going there to compete in an event when, despite reassurances to the contrary, it seems inevitable that it will cause more tension for the people of that country,” he said. “I don’t understand why my sport wishes to place itself in a position to be a catalyst for that.”
Due to the ongoing protests in Bahrain, F1 officials have officially pulled the plug on the Bahrain Grand Prix, originally scheduled for March 13th.
F1′s governing body, the FIA, and its president Bernie Ecclestone have decided to “postpone” the opening race of the 2011 season, instead starting in Melbourne, Australia on March 27th. A new date is still being considered to the already-full 20-race schedule.
The past few weeks have been full of speculation on whether the FIA would make a statement regarding the humanitarian issue. The deadly protests in Bahrain against the monarchy are still ongoing, and holding an F1 race there after such political upheaval would have been trivial, if not disastrous.
General Motors has long had a major presence in middle eastern markets, particularly in Gulf countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where it has sold large numbers of its American sedans (particularly full sized ones) like the Chevy Impala and Caprice, but with slight equipment differences.
However, there’s also a large percentage of sports car buyers in this part of the world, with the Corvette ranking is one of the more high profile offerings.
Recently, Chevrolet introduced updated variants of the Corvette for Middle Eastern consumption, changes include a Grand Sport model with the dual mode exhaust system as standard (it’s optional on the base car in this region), along with two new paint colors (Orange and Supersonic Blue), with contrasting headlamp pockets, plus an upgraded stereo, new wheel options and Goodyear Eagle F1 Super Car GEN2 tires.
Look, when the BMW X6 was first announced we all scratched our heads. Don’t deny it, you did too. The X3 and the X5 have their place in the market, but the X6 is an oddity. Now we’re starting to feel wrong about judging this book by its cover. The X6 M has truly reshaped SUV performance (naturally, being an M model and all) and now we’re just band-wagoners praising what the 555-hp X6 M is all about.
So what exactly are we leading up to? Well a video has surfaced showing a completely bone stock Alpine White X6 M blasting the quarter mile in Bahrain at 12.5 @ 110 mph. That’s a stock SAV (we still think it’s an SUV) running 12′s. This just shows how well the X6 M actually performs in the real world. Sure it’s a pretty useless utility vehicle, but as a sports car, it delivers. Make sure to check out the video after the break. Maybe it’ll make a convert out of you too!
New exotic to get carbon fiber chassis, high-reving V8 engine
Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 9th, McLaren will unveil its next exotic, the MP4-12C. The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it has an historical significance, namely, that it has the name MP4 name as all of the McLaren race cars.
In an interview with the Times of London ahead of the vehicle’s debut creator Ron Dennis revealed that he intends to not only build the MP4-12C, but two other sports cars, one to compete with the Porsche 911 and another along the lines of the Porsche Carrera GT.
As for the MP4, Dennis says it will have a timeless design, with a high-revving V8 engine, a seven-speed gearbox and a light-weight carbon fiber chassis. Oh, and scissor doors will also be a part of the package. Other features include a variable rate suspension that stiffens up with speed, as well as a wireless connection that will allow you to download MP3s from your driveway.
While it’s not expected to be at the same level as the F1 supercar, this exotic, says Dennis will, “on all performance parameters and price… be better than our competition.” Dennis also said he intends to produce racing versions of the car to compete in motorsports.
McLaren Automotive, which recently emerged when Dennis left the McLaren Group F1 team, is funded by Dennis, the Swiss engineering company TAG and Mumtalakat, a private equity firm of the Bahrain government. The group has already spent £100,000,000 on the project and will announce shortly that it will quadruple that number of the coming years. “We’re building more than a car,” said Dennis. “We’re building a brand.”
[Source: Times Online]