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Atlanta’s city council recently passed an amendment that made several changes to the city’s noise ordinance, directly targeting drifting.
Audi‘s LMP team is coming back to the United States, debuting the R18 TDI in American soil for the first time and challenging for victory at the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta.
Earlier this year, the Audi R18 TDI already won at the 24 hours of Le Mans in dramatic style, so the team looks forward to ending the racing season in dominant form. Driving the R18 will be Rinaldo “Dindo” Capello, the winningest racing driving at Road Atlanta, along with the duo that earned many podiums for Audi, Timo Berhand and Marcel Fässler.
During last year’s race at Road Atlanta, Capello had to make an unscheduled pitstop when an insert in his helmet came unfastened and dangled over his eyes, obstructing his view. Were it not for that wardrobe malfunction that cost Capello the race, Audi would have won at Road Atlanta for the tenth time.
If you won’t be able to travel, catch the race on Eurosport or ESPN. Qualifying begins Friday, September 30th and the race will start on 11:30am on Saturday, October 1.
GALLERY: Audi R18
Any Lotus enthusiast will tell you that the brand would be wise to stop pumping resources into Formula 1 and IndyCar, an instead get more heavily involved in road racing. After all, in many respects it represents a better bang-for-the-buck for the marketing folks, with a direct correlation between the cars that race and the cars sold through dealers.
Lotus has already initiated a sports car racing program in Europe with several renditions of the Evora, including the most recent Evora GTE, which competed first at the 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium and then at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Lotus has now confirmed with AutoGuide that it is planning a U.S. stop this year, where it will look to challenge the Ferraris, Corvettes, Porsches and BMWs at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
Lotus did not give any indication of how many vehicles it would run at the 10 hour endurance race, which will be another step in the Evora GTE’s development as Lotus looks to seriously take the fight to its rivals and cease to be an afterthought in the exotic and sports car segment.
By now were sure you’ve heard about MINI‘s challenge to Porsche to come out and race at Road Atlanta. A genius piece of marketing no doubt, but it appears two can play at this game as Hyundai has just turned the tables on MINI in a new YouTube video, offering to step in for the timid German juggernaut.
Commenting that “We’d be happy to show you the line at Road Atlanta, where we laid down our Epic Lap” Super Bowl commercial, Hyundai has thrown down the gauntlet and, quite frankly, after the incessant taunting MINI has given to Porsche, we’re not sure the fun British brand can refuse.
Hyundai does admit that they won’t be able to make the planned June 21st even, stating that their hired-hitman racer Rhys Millen will be out attempting to set a Pikes Peak world record in a a Genesis-powered race car. Instead the Korean underdog has suggested July.
We’re sure MINI didn’t foresee this when they cooked up the MINI vs. Porsche challenge and right about now they’re probably regretting they did.
See the video after the jump:
MINI’s challenge to race their Cooper S against a Porsche at Road Atlanta didn’t go over so well. The publicity stunt initiated by MINI USA’s Jim McDowell was met with a terse and dismissive response by Porsche Cars North America CEO Detlev Von Platen today, as he issued a statement where he declined McDowell’s challenge, and invited them to come play with the big boys at places like Sebring and LeMans.
McDowell has previously challenged Porsche to attend a race at Road Atlanta on June 21st, pitting the Mini Cooper S against a Porsche 911 Carrera S. The terms of the race were unspecified, and no further information was given beyond McDowell’s vague challenge.
To view Porsche’s response, hit the jump
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
Although Diajiro Yoshihara is hardly a newcomer to the world of drifting, it was something of a surprise to see this series veteran take home the victory at Road Atlanta this past weekend given that he hadn’t won a Formula Drift event since 2007 and was driving a freshly built Discount Tire and Falken sponsored Nissan 240SX.
Making Dai’s win in Hotlanta even more impressive was his performance in the final pairing against current overall points leader Vaughn Gittin Jr. in his insanely powerful Ford Mustang GT.
The 2010 Formula Drift championship is shaping up to be the most competitive season yet, with Gittin and Yoshihara leading the standings, followed closely by three former series champions, Rhys Millen, Tanner Foust, and defending champ Chris Forsberg. The cream already appears to be rising to the top and the challenge ahead for Falken stablemates Gittin Jr. and Yoshihara is clearly a monumental one.
Still, drifting is an inherently unpredictable motorsport and with so many strong contenders among the top 32 drivers, it’s still anybody’s guess who will come out on top at season’s end. Conrad Grunewald finally finds himself in a competitive machine, the Atlanta crowd pleasing Hankook Tire sponsored Chevrolet Camaro, and after a strong weekend in the dirty south we expect to see him continue to rise through the ranks. Former champ Samuel Hubinette is also driving a new machine this year, the “love it or hate it” Dodge Challenger that seems to polarize drift fans just as strongly as his Dodge Viper and Charger did in previous years.
The quality of the drifting this season has been higher than ever too, exemplified by Tanner Foust’s amazing tail-first entry into a high speed lefthand turn at Road Atlanta, a track he’s always been among the fastest and most aggressive drivers at.
Check out the video after the jump.
That series is the Cayman Interseries, established in 2009 by Napleton Porsche of Illinois. It’s sanctioned by Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) and is currently in its first full season. Like the Ferrari Challenge, a central organization (in this case, Napleton Porsche) supplies the 320-horsepower Cayman S models, as well as prepares them for racing and brings them to each track.
Check out the series website here, and enjoy video from round two at Road Atlanta after the jump.
Racing legends Peter Brock and John Morton will fly their famous #46 red, white, and blue pattern on a classic Japanese roadster once again. But rather than on the Datsuns that made this livery so renowned, it will be on the most popular roadster ever sold or raced, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The car will fly the BRE colors next weekend as part of Round 2 of the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup at Road Atlanta.
After the decision was made to honor Peter Brock of BRE at the upcoming 2010 Classic Motorsports Mitty at Road Atlanta, one of the biggest vintage racing weekends of the year on the east coast, Mazda sketched up a BRE graphics package for the MX-5 and then got Morton and Brock onboard. With 2010 being the 40th anniversary of Morton’s SCCA C Production (CP) Championship at Road Atlanta in a BRE prepared racecar and his racing career including more than a few race wins with Mazda, the connection was strong.
As Peter Brock stated, “It’s been some 37 years since a factory supported car in BRE livery sat on a racing grid. Seeing the new MX-5 in our traditional colors almost brings tears to my eyes. It’s wonderful that Mazda, a company that really loves, understands and supports racing of all kinds, has seen fit to honor our team’s great racing history with this new spirit of competition”
According to John Morton, “This Walter Mitty weekend is very special for me because it is bringing together so many facets that were significant in my racing career. First is the reunion and recognition of our championship winning BRE team that Peter Brock developed in the late sixties and that led me to two SCCA National Championships and two 2.5 Trans-Am Championships in the early seventies. Second is the opportunity Mazda has given me to race in a professional race in my sixth decade of competition. Twenty-six years ago I shared the BFG-sponsored, class winning Mazda Lola at Le Mans which was the beginning of a long relationship with both companies. The Mazda Miata MX-5 I will be racing at the Mitty, the only real modern sports car in mass production, is a reincarnation of the cars that started this sport in America in the late forties.”
Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Mazda North American Operations, added, “Mazda is a team of enthusiasts. Long before we began working behind the scenes for Mazda, we were race fans. We love the sport and the heritage. This opportunity to pay tribute to Pete, John, and the BRE team is something we did out of respect, with knowledge that there are others like us who appreciate the blending of heritage and modern sport.”
Mazda unveiled the BRE MX-5 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in the Mothers Polish display within the fan expo. If you are a fan of BRE, we recommend you pack your best 70′s wardrobe and get yourself to Road Atlanta on April 29th thru May 2nd.
Recently we ran a story reporting that the Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Genesis Coupe that competed in the first round of the Formula D series was actually powered by (ghasp!) a Nissan motor. That won’t be the case from now-on, however, as Rhys Millen himself has just confirmed that for the second race of the season, the Hyundai drift car will in fact be powered by Hyundai, with a turbocharged version of the company’s 3.8-liter Lamdba V6.
Currently the car is making 480hp at just 4500 rpm and 570 ft-ls of torque at 3800 rpm.
The reason for the initial run with the Nissan engine was due to a timeline that proved to be too tight. Rather than forfeit the race, Millen chose to run the car with whatever motor was available.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see things) Millen and his Nissan-powered Hyundai did not perform well, and didn’t even make it past the first round.
We’ll be watching to see if he has better luck as round two of the Formula D series visits Road Atlanta this weekend.
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Hyundai is spending some big bucks to kick off 2009 by advertising during the 43rd Superbowl. The commercial will feature a vehicle that Hyundai hopes will transform how people think about the Korean car manufacturer.
Motor Trend magazine was invited along to see the filming of the commercial and they have been kind enough to share their footage with us. Titled “Epic Lap” the video features pro racer Rhys Millen hammering on the Hyundai Genesis Coupe at Road Atlanta. Apparently the shoot required 50 laps of the famous race track at blistering speeds.
Millen, a former rally car racer and current competitor in the Formula D drift series certainly shows off his drifting technique in the rear-drive Genesis Coupe.
If you watch closely you can see that Hyundai employed some high-powered chase cars to keep up with the 310hp V6 Genesis Coupe, including a Porsche Cayenne and a Mitsubishi EVO.
[Source: Motor Trend]