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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.
In the most recent example of an aquatic-predator-themed-cable-television-theme-programming tie in, Audi is jumping on the same themed-television-bandwagon as Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.
The rather cumbersomely-named “R8 GT Week” will feature daily videos that show off the R8 GT’s performance as it laps Infineon Raceway, with Audi racer Emanuele Pirro behind the wheel. Pirro won five LeMans championships, three of which were with Audi, so he certainly qualifies as an expert.
Unlike the availability of Shark Week on basic cable—as well as its ability to infiltrate pop culture consciousness—Audi’s own Week will be on its Youtube channel. Don’t call it Shark Week, however—BMW still has a trademark on that.
Mitsubishi North America and the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School have launched a new high performance driving program that allows drivers to participate in the advanced Lancer Evolution Experience II at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
This new program builds on the curriculum and driving instruction offered in the Lancer Evolution Experience I. In LEE II, the program places special emphasis on timed competition in the Mitsubishi Evolution X. The Evo features a fully-integrated roll cage, Sparco racing seats and safety harness’.
The daylong lesson begins by revisiting critical high-performance driving criteria such as line driving dynamics, then heading out to the paddock to perform several key driving exercises. Then back to the classroom, then students practice a time attack lap with an instructor around the Infineon Raceway. The grand finale is the time attack test where students compete against each other. The fastest driver is invited back to race in the Lancer Evolution Challenger Run Off. The winner of that, gets free use of a Mitsubishi vehicle for a year.
The daylong lesson costs $1,295 and is open to graduates of the Lancer Evolution Experience I.
AutoGuide.com Editor-in-Chief Colum Wood participated in the racing school and loved it. Click on the link to see what he had to say!
There has been a whole lot of buzz around Audi’s R8 GT since its official debut, and now we have the first photos of the lighter and faster exotic sports car hitting the track at Infineon Raceway. This is the R8 GT’s debut on the track in America and a few lucky individuals were able to get behind the wheel of the sports car this past weekend.
Jealous? It’s hard not to be with 560-hp and 398 ft-lbs of torque from the R8 GT’s 5.2L V10.
GALLERY: Audi R8 GT at Infineon Raceway
To help ensure the company’s new supercar doesn’t show up as tomorrow’s news after being wrapped around a pole, Lexus has created the Lexus LFA Driver Development school to get educated on how to control their amazing new machine.
In this video that spotlights the Lexus LFA Driver Development School, several LFAs are seen trekking along at Infineon Raceway at Sonoma, California. Scott Pruett, Lexus’ official LFA promotion driver, can be seen speaking about the LFA. But what really caught our attention is Tony Brakohiapa, a Formula Drift driver and instructor at Infineon Raceway, who takes the LFA drifting. Even though we’ve been fortunate enough to get behind the wheel of the LFA and take it well past 160-mph, the thought of going sideways never really occurred to us. Then again, we’re not paid to destroy tires for a living.
Check out the video after the break.
[Source: Wrecked Magazine]
When you’ve got a car that will do 0-60 mph in well under four seconds and top more than 200 mph, it’s probably a good idea to learn how to drive it, or at least explore some of its capabilities without coming a cropper.
Lexus agrees, which is why the brand is going to offer what it calls a ‘driver development’ program for customers who take delivery of the LFA supercar . The program, which is a one-day affair, is scheduled to take place at Infineon Raceway (formerly Sears Point) in Sonoma, California from March 8-15.
Included are racing theory sessions, technical demonstrations, as well as performance limit exercises and plenty of track time, with coaching by professional motorsports drivers and instructors.
“This program offers a unique opportunity to experience the 552 horsepower Lexus LFA supercar in its natural environment,” declared group vice president and Lexus General Manager Mark Templin.
“Once you’ve driven the LFA on a race track, you can really appreciate this engineering accomplishment” he said. “Track time with the LFA will change all preconceived ideas of what a supercar should be.” No doubt it will.
After a successful test session last week, there’s a strong possibility that two-time DTM Champ Mattias Ekström will race at the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on June 20th at Sonoma, California. And he’ll be driving a Toyota no less.
Ekström races for the Red Bull Audi team in Germany’s premiere DTM series, but recently filled in for the Red Bull Toyota NASCAR team when it was announced that No. 83 driver Brian Vickers would miss the rest of the season due to a medical issue.
During the test, Ekstrom impressed the Red Bull Racing USA team, getting up to speed in just an hour – despite the significantly heavier Sprint Cup car, which features a significant lack of aerodynamics.
The Sonoma race is one of the few road-course events on the NASCAR schedule – which would certainly favor a road-course driver like Ekstrom. In addition, we have to think that the tie-up between Audi and Infineon Raceway (the Sonoma road course) would play into the decision to let Ekstrom drive.
Ekström holds two DTM championships (2004 and 2007) with 14 wins in 95 starts. He has even won the Race of Champions twice, both times taking down Michael Schumacher.
Ferrari‘s 599 GTO is already sold out, even though the car isn’t expected to go on sale for some time. But Luxury4Play poster MTK enlisted the help of automotive photographer Alex Diaconou to obtain this video of the 599 GTO’s launch event, featuring the low, rumbling idle as the main sound track. The car was unveiled at a private VIP evening at Infineon Raceway.
While it wasn’t possible for the audience to hear the 599 GTO turned up to 11, the fastest road-going Ferrari ever is sure to blow out plenty of ear drugs when it hits the streets in a few months time.
Ferrari claims the GTO is the fastest road-going Ferrari ever, making 670-hp at 8250 rpm and 457 ft-lbs of torque at 6500 rpm, with a 0-62 mph time of 3.35 seconds and a top speed in excess of 208-mph. Helping to achieve quicker acceleration is a reprogrammed six-speed F1 transmission with 60 ms shift times and a lighter curb weight of just 3,538 lbs.
GALLERY: Ferrari 599 GT0
Video after the jump:
The Jim Russell Racing Drivers School is launching a new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driving experience. Participants will be able to get behind the wheel of Mitsu’s amazing new EVO X on one of America’s best race tracks, Infineon.
Along with a classroom component, drivers will be able to pilot the track-ready EVO while they develop their racing technique, car control skills and get some serious speed out on the track.
“Deciding to work with Mitsubishi Motors for The Lancer Evolution program was an easy choice,” said Chip Pankow, president of Jim Russell Racing Drivers School. “We have been using the 4G63 engines in our Lola-built school cars and found them to be exceptionally reliable. The launch of The Jim Russell Lancer Evolution Experience strengthens our position as the leader in delivering new concepts and deliverables for automotive manufacturers seeking to broaden their customer base.”
Mitsubishi will officially announce the new school program on July 11 at the annual Mitsubishi Owners Day (M.O.D.), held at the Japanese automaker’s Cypress, Ca offices. There will even be a draw for the first seat in the Jim Russell Lancer Evolution Experience. Jim Russell puts the value at $1,000, but thrashing an EVO X at Infineon is practically priceless.
Official release after the jump:
Thanks to our friends at Luxury4Play.com we have a nice collection of photos from the ultra-exclusive invite-only 45th Anniversary celebration of the Ferrari 250 GTO. The event was held by those champagne gurus at Moët & Chandon at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. Apparently the event was so exclusive that being a Ferrari owner didn’t automatically mean you got an invite. Only the “best customers” of the Parncing Horse were allowed to gander on this gathering of 250 GTOs.
The 250 GTO is known to be the most valuable Ferrari in the world, with an auction price estimated at $14- to $20-million. This might even be somewaht of an understatement as in 2008 a British buyer purchased the 250 GTO that formerly belonged to Lee-Kun-hee of Samsung for £15.7 million. (That’s $21.7-million U.S.).
One of the reasons for the high value of the 250 GTO is how few were ever made. In fact, between 1962 and 1964 Ferrari produced just 36 of the 296hp V12-powered sportscars.
We don’t have exact numbers on how many vehicles were there (the pictures would suggest at least 14) but according to our “invited guest” at Luxury4Play, many famous owners were in attendance including Ralph Lauren and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd.