AutoGuide News Blog
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.
Replicating a stunt from back in 2003 when Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon swapped race cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, earlier this week F1 pilot Lewis Hamilton and NASCAR racer Tony Stewart made the switch.
Organized by Mobil 1 (which sponsors both racers), the event took place at Watkins Glen, the site of the first Formula 1 race in America. It’s also one of very few tracks to have ever hosted both an F1 and a NASCAR race.
Little more than a marketing stunt, it’s fun to watch and see how the two driver’s compare. Plus, we all know Montoya couldn’t resist the lure of NASCAR. Hamilton… you next?
Watch the videos after the jump:
Formula One Driver Lewis Hamilton, who finished sixth in the chaotic Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday has apologized to the FIA Stewards for his controversial remarks. After being punished three times in two days, Lewis criticized the stewards in a BBC interview. He also made a reference to Ali G, the comedy character created by Sascha Baron Cohen. Lewis said the way he had been treated this season was “an absolute frickin’ joke” and described his treatment as “stupid”. Asked why that was the case, Hamilton said: “Maybe it’s because I’m black! That’s what (British comic character) Ali G says.”
During the early part of the race, Hamilton was given a ‘drive-through’ penalty for a brush with Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari. He was then called in again by the stewards after a late clash with Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Williams, as he passed him at the tail end of the race for which he received a 20 sec penalty which did not affect his final placing. Hamilton said he felt he had done nothing wrong in both cases.
Hamilton said that he felt victimized by events at recent races, complaining that he had done his best to provide entertainment by going for over-taking opportunities. “People want to see racing,” he said.
With Cars 2 hitting theatres June 24, Disney has announced the latest racer to get his own character in the highly anticipate sequel – Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton’s character will be sporting a McLaren MP4-12C-like body and a British Racing Green paint scheme. And the British F1 racer is pretty pumped about his part, as he took to Twitter to announce it: “Hey guys, big news — I’m going to be in @DisneyPixar’s Cars2! Take a look at my car… This is wicked;)”
Says Pixar on the addition: “The celebrated native Brit continues to bring an exceptional work ethic and soft-spoken confidence to the race course, where his extraordinary achievements speak for themselves via a spotless track record on the junior and professional circuits.”
In the sequel to the popular Pixar film, Lighting McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and Mater the tow truck (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) leave home to take part in the first ever World Grand Prix. Other Brit stars set to feature in the film include Michael Caine, Vanessa Redgrave and Eddie Izzard.
Having debuted to critical acclaim at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren Automotive’s highly anticipated road car, the MP4-12C has now gone into production, the very first example taking shape at the McLaren Technical Centre in Woking, Surrey, just outside of London.
The company has said that it plans to build 1,000 of the MP4-12Cs for 2011 and most of those will be assembled at McLaren’s brand new bespoke Production Centre, adjacent to the current facility, though chassis #001 will be entirely assembled at the existing MTC, in order to monitor engineering and production processes, which the company has been fine tuning, ever since the Technical Centre first opened back in 2004.
In addition, prototypes have undergone rigorous testing at the hands of McLaren F1 drivers and former World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button, who have been providing valued feedback during the MP4-12C’s development.
So far, the MP4-12C has a long waiting list of customers, stretching across the globe; Antony Sheriff, Managing Director of McLaren Automotive recently said, “meeting our prospective customers at launch events around the world, from Dubai to Cape Town, Paris to Los Angeles, has filled us with inspiration. There is a genuine desire for McLaren to be launching our own range of sports cars, and an exciting appreciation of what McLaren stands for: innovation, technology leadership, and a winning mentality.”
It has taken just five years for the MP4-12C to evolve from a concept developed in McLaren’s own F1 simulator to an ultra high performance car fully certified for street use. McLaren currently has a retailer network of 35 locations in some 19 different countries that will sell the final, production ready MP4-12C.
Pricing the U.S. is set at $229,000 for the 600-hp, twin-turbo V8 machine.
GALLERY: McLaren MP4-12C
See a short compilation video of the car over the past year after the jump:
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button hit the track in McLaren's new exotic [video]
After officially revealing its MP4-12C exotic several months back, McLaren Automotive has now announced estimated performance numbers and they’re as shockingly amazing as the rest of the car. The British sports car maker and Formula 1 team claims a 0-60 mph time of less than 3.0 seconds. The elapsed time to 124-mph (200 km/h) is set at under 10 seconds.
How does the car achieve such an astonishingly low time. Well, its a combination of light weight and horsepower. McLaren has already released that the MP4-12C’s twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 makes 600-hp and 433 ft-lbs of torque and will come with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. No curb weight numbers are yet available, but a dry weight (without fluids) is set at 2,860 lbs – meaning it should still only to out at 3,200 lbs total. Much of this has to do with the car’s ultra-light carbon monocoque chassis.
In terms of acceleration, the MP4-12C (according to McLaren, of course) is faster than the Corvette ZR1, Ferrari F430 Scuderia and Porsche GT2.
But how does it handle? See after the jump for video of McLaren F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button driving the MP4-12C on the track.
Watch out Ferrari.
[Source: Car & Driver]