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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.
 |  Aug 21 2014, 2:35 PM

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The Dodge Challenger SRT Trans Am race cars debuted with positive results.

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 |  Apr 18 2013, 8:31 AM

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Continuing to cement its involvement in motorsports, Mazda has announced it will be the official car of the Sports Car Club of America through 2015.

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 |  Mar 23 2013, 11:01 AM

World Challenge St. Petersburg Cadillac CTS-V

The 2013 Pirelli World Challenge season kicks off today in St. Petersburg, Florida and for the fourth year in a row is part of a doubleheader weekend with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IndyCar race.

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 |  Feb 20 2013, 10:01 AM

Global RallyCross has named SCCA Pro Racing as its sanctioning body, and SCCA Pro Racing will provide sanctioning for all nine rounds of the 2013 GRC Championship.

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 |  Oct 22 2012, 9:40 AM

In an unprecedented move, General Motors lent AutoGuide a Camaro ZL1 from the press fleet to race competitively against track-prepped cars with race tires. This is the story of how some good ‘ol American muscle earned more than just a podium finish; it earned respect.

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 |  Aug 30 2012, 8:41 PM

Heading into this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge season finale in Sonoma, California, Jonathan Start and the Fiat 500 team looked poised to claim the inaugural B-Spec Championship. A win would also mark the first-ever series championship in North America for the Italian automaker.

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 |  Aug 24 2012, 5:02 PM

Preparing for an upcoming race, Cadillac drivers Andy Pilgrim and Johnny O’Connell were out testing on Sonoma Raceway, and Cadillac released footage of the practice complete with narration from both drivers.

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 |  Jul 15 2012, 12:01 PM

SCCA and Pirelli World Challenge will be adding a B-Spec Shootout at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs, which will kick off on September 20th at Road America.

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 |  Apr 30 2012, 8:01 AM

Honda has been criticized plenty for having lost its passion, building cars that lack the “fun to drive” experience of their predecessors. After the 2012 Civic Si was generally panned it seemed as though Honda got the message, announcing it would revamp the car ahead of schedule.

Another positive sign came when Honda unveiled a new Civic Si race car at last year’s SEMA Show, more recently committing to the SCCA World Challenge series as part of an increased motorsports presence.

This past weekend Honda flexed its motorsports muscle at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, with involvement from not just dedicated racers, but even from the folks behind the desks. In the inaugural running of the new B-Spec series for sub-compact cars, topping the podium in the third of three races was none other than Sage Marie. Unlikely to be a household name even amongst the most dedicated motorsports enthusiasts, Marie just so happens to be the recently appointed head of Honda public relations in America.

“It’s remarkable that the cars from so many manufacturers were so close right out of the box, and it’s fantastic that the folks at World Challenge
put this class together,” said Marie to AutoGuide.com. “HPD put a great package together for the Fit, and clearly the Honda was the best car today!”

Extolling the virtues of the series, Marie commented that, “It’s a great way to get into pro racing in a competitive, low cost and low maintenance format, and World Challenge puts on a great show.”

Marie was far from the only Honda driver on the podium this weekend with Todd Lamb in the No. 71 HPD Honda Civic Si placing first, third and then second in the three races, while his Compass360 Racing teammate Ryan Winchester in the No. 72 HPD Honda Civic Si placed second, second and third in the three races.

As a result of the strong weekend finish, Honda now sits first int he manufacturer points race in the Touring Car series with 39, followed closely by Mazda with 34. Driver’s Lamb and Winchester sit second and third respectively in the Drivers’ Points.

 |  Apr 30 2012, 7:31 AM

With its first true sports car heading to dealerships in June, Scion is looking to beef up its motorsports presence admits brand boss Jack Hollis.

Speaking at a press launch for the new rear-wheel drive FR-S in Las Vegas, Hollis commented Scion’s continued presence in Formula Drift and how the FR-S is making the brand more “authentic.”

“Let’s be honest,” said Hollis to the gatherer journalists, “with the TC we’ve done more than we authentically should have” referring of course to its transformation into a rear-drive NASCAR V8 powered drift machine. Scion now campaigns the FR-S in drifting, Greddy-built FR-S driven by Ken Gushi.

As much as the drifting scene suits the Scion brand’s sport compact origins, many motorsports enthusiasts consider it to be less of a form of motorsports and more of a spectacle. With the FR-S having all the makings of a budget road racer, when pressed, Hollis elaborated on the future of Scion in motorsports.

“Drifting is something we’ve been enjoying,” he said, and commented that Scion will take the next step into traditional competitive motorsports thanks to the FR-S. “We’re expanding our lineup and you should expect that we will expand our racing teams’ influence and participation.”

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 |  Apr 12 2012, 11:02 AM

Sounds too good to be true? Well if you’re a racer the news is probably music to your ears. Recognizing how popular the Civic Si has become in motorsport circles, particularly road racing, Honda Racing displayed a 2012 body-in-white Civic Si at SEMA last year and is now offering them up for $3500 a piece.

Following on from a practice used by other automakers, the body-in-white program is available exclusively to bona fide racers, and enables them to get a basic shell along with suspension, differential, brakes and a toe strap.  It’s then up to them to add the rest such as the engine, gearbox, roll cage, instruments, seat, harness and other necessary equipment.

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 |  Jan 21 2012, 4:00 PM

The NBC Sports Network, formerly known as VERSUS, has announced their broadcasting schedule for one of our favorite racing series, the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Series. All races of the series will be broadcast in either 90-minute or two-hour programs airing on Saturday or Sunday afternoons.

Greg Creamer and Calvin Fish, both renowned motorsports announcers, will play hosts to the coverage offering commentary and play-by-play, in-depth analysis at each race. Each episode will also include some unique feature segments, series personalities and behind-the-scenes footage.

See below for the complete schedule:

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 |  Nov 16 2011, 11:44 AM

MINI has announced that they will be entering the B-Spec racing class in 2012, with MINI of Charleston, a franchise owned by Hendrick Automotive Group.

The B-Spec car will be a base Mini Cooper Hardtop with a 1.6L 121-horsepower engine. The car will weigh 2,535 lbs and KW Variant 1 coilovers, upgraded brake pads and lines and a full roll cage system. The MINI will go up against the Honda Fit, Mazda2, Fiat 500 and other subcompact cars when racing begins next year.

[Source: Jalopnik]

 |  Nov 11 2011, 7:30 PM

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Four of the eight venues for the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Schedule has been announced, but the bigger news is the confirmation of the new Touring Car B-Spec Class, something we’ve been eagerly awaiting.

B-Spec races will only run at three of the eight event weekends scheduled, but we believe that this is merely a way to keep it affordable for the racers in that class. Over those three event weekends, nine B-Spec races will take place.

The four venues already announced were the Streets of Long Beach alongside IndyCar and ALMS, where only the GT and GTS classes will compete on April 13th-15th 2012. April 27th-29th 2012 will bring GT, GTS, Touring Car and Touring Car B-Spec to Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. June 1st-3rd 2012 will share again with IndyCar at Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix with all classes competing that weekend. Last of the announced events is the June 22nd-24th event taking place at Mosport International Raceway in Ontario, Canada. All classes will be competing as this event is the Pirelli World Challenge Headliner.

Four more venues and events will be announced shortly by the SCCA.

 |  Nov 01 2011, 3:15 PM

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The Ford Fiesta B-Spec is intended to be Ford’s offering for the newly created B-Spec racing class, which allows racers a (relatively) affordable way to go road racing in production cars.

Based on the same Fiesta available to consumers, the B-Spec cars have their interiors gutted to make way for a rollcage, a bucket seat, race harness and ballast, designed to keep weight levels even among the various cars. Engine work is minimal and rules are still in flux, but certain vehicles will have restrictors fitted to the intake – no word yet if the Fiesta will be subject to this handicap.

Tires and suspension will also be subject to the same strict regulations, but again, rules are still being worked out. Ford is evidently behind the program in a big way, and we’re looking forward to a full field when racing gets under way in 2012.

Gallery: Ford Fiesta B-Spec

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Check out more of AutoGuide’s SEMA coverage here

 |  Nov 01 2011, 2:22 PM

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Following our coverage of the Chevrolet Sonic Ricky Carmichael Concept and the Chevrolet Sonic Super 4 Concept, AutoGuide got to sit down with both Ricky Carmichael and John Buttermore, the men behind the two vehicles.

Carmichael and Buttermore were kind enough to walk us through the two cars and explained the philosophies behind the two very different Sonics. Check out the videos after the jump.

For more coverage of the 2011 SEMA Show, click here

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 |  Oct 19 2011, 5:15 PM

The Sports Car Club of America’s B-Spec class is meant to give automakers and racers alike a relatively affordable platform to go racing with machines similar to those available from the factory. While safety and chassis modifications are allowed, engine power is restricted to keep the playing field even.

Honda and Mazda were among the earlier adopters, fielding Fit and Mazda2 B-Spec prototypes respectively. Now, Fiat and Ford are looking into the series, and the automakers tested Fiat 500 and Fiesta B-Spec cars at Michigan’s Grattan Raceway last week. Kuno Wittmer and Andy Vrenko piloted the 500 and Fiesta, while Peter Cunningham and Charles Espenlaub represented Honda and Mazda. All cars were equipped with engine restrictors and 100 pounds of ballast, while engineers were on hand to compare lap times between the four cars.

If the formula gains traction among racers, 2012 could be a banner year for American sports car racing, as an entry-level series has long been needed to reinvigorate interest among potential participants.

 |  Oct 12 2011, 9:45 AM

Kia will be joining in on the B-Spec racing series fun by offering race-prepped versions of the new 2012 Rio 5-door, joining the likes of the Mazda2 and Honda Fit. The B-Spec racing series is designed for low-budget racing enthusiasts featuring compact hatchbacks with little to no engine modifications. Kia will be working with Kinetic Motorsports to get Rio 5-Doors ready to race and is planning to announce more details at the upcoming 2011 SEMA Show.

Based on other B-Spec racing vehicles, we can safely assume that the race-prepped Rio will feature a roll cage, racing seats, harnesses, suspension modifications and a new wheel and tire package. B-Spec series racers are designed to compete in SCCA, NASA, Grand-Am and World Challenge race series. With basically stock engines in all of the vehicles, the race-ready Rio will sport the factory 1.6L that pumps out 138-hp and 123 lb-ft of torque, significantly more than either the Honda or Mazda.

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Kia Rio 5-Door review and see a preview of the 2011 SEMA Show here.

 |  Sep 21 2011, 6:00 PM

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As part of Cadillac‘s continued rebranding efforts the Cadillac Racing team has been releasing “ride along” videos from each of its races this season in the SCCA World Challenge series. The latest comes to use from the glass-smooth and world-famous Laguna Seca, where pilots Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim take us through all 11 turns of the circuit, displaying some incredible driving.

Unfortunately the race itself wasn’t what Cadillac Racing had hoped with O’Connell managing just a 4th place finish in the GT Class, while damage sustained to Pilgrim’s car put him entirely out of the running.

This particular video is particularly worth a watch with Pilgrim and O’Connell getting rather close to each other on a few occasions. Plus, watch out for a grenading Volvo engine.

GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V

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Watch the video after the jump:

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 |  Jun 09 2011, 11:12 AM


In a merger that seems obvious from the get-go, American Le Mans has named the Sports Car Club of America its Official Grassroots Motorsports Partner.

No, not Grassroots Motorsports, the required summer reading of any Miata or E30 owner—grassroots motorsports, as in an attempt for American Le Mans to reach out to those not blessed with talent scouts or an innate driving ability honed from being in go-karts from the age of 4. It’s a way for American Le Mans to leverage the support of SCCA’s 60,000+ members, though we’d be hard-pressed to find one of them who hasn’t heard of ALMS.

“The partnership between ALMS and SCCA is a very natural one,” said Scott Atherton the president and CEO of ALMS. “The majority of ALMS fans are auto enthusiasts, many of them wondering how they can become more involved in motorsports at a grassroots level; the SCCA is the ideal place to start that journey. Similarly, we believe SCCA members have a deep appreciation for our sport and hope all of them will take full advantage of the fan-centered opportunities the ALMS offers.”

The next race in the 2011 American Le Mans season will be on the weekend of July 8-9 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. And in the grand tradition of motorsports being sponsored by vaguely irresponsible-seeming manufacturers of hard liquor, the top sponsor this year is Tequila Patrón.

[Source: American Le Mans]

 |  May 24 2011, 8:12 AM

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The Cadillac Racing Team used the grunt of its supercharged V8-powered CTS-V race cars to achieve some of the season’s best results over the weekend at Mosport International Raceway. And if you’re at all curious as to what its like to be behind the wheel of one of the big coupes, do we have a treat for you.

Ride shotgun for two laps of what Caddy hot shoe Johnny O’Connell calls one of North America’s “fastest and, probably, most dangerous race tracks.” O’Connell and team mate Andy Pilgrim even provide some commentary.

GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Race Car

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Watch the video after the jump:

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 |  May 22 2011, 8:55 PM

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After a trying season, things are finally starting to turn around for Team Cadillac. Competing with a two car effort in the fifth and sixth rounds of the SCCA World Challenge series at Mosport International Raceway, Johnny O’Connell managed two podium finishes in his No. 3 CTS-V Coupe in front of a crowd that included General Motors North America President Mark Reuss.

In race one O’Connell moved from third on the grid to second on the start, then surrendering the position to the Corvette of Patrick Lindsey. O’Connell then took back second place when Lindsay encountered mechanical problems and then held on to second; the team’s best finish of the season.

In race two, O’Connell looked poised for a repeat but managed just a third place finish after a late race caution stopped him from hunting down Patrick Long in the No. 45 Privacy Star Porsche 911 GT3. Both races were won by Mike Skeen in the No. 2 CRP Racing/Cragar Wheels Chevrolet Corvette.

The No. 8 CTS-V of Andy Pilgrim placed fifth in both races of the weekend, helping Cadillac secure second in the manufacturer’s points race behind Porsche.

Rounds seven and eight of the World Challenge series take place August 5-7 at Mid Ohio.

GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Race Car

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 |  May 22 2011, 8:19 PM

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K-Pax Racing debuted its new bodystyle Volvo S60R GT race car at Mosport International Raceway this weekend, but the stunning new sheetmetal wasn’t accompanied by a similar performance.

Competing in the fifth and sixth rounds of the SCCA World Challenge series, the new bodystyle car was piloted by series rookie Alex Figge, who managed a 10th place finish in the GT Class in the first of two races on a doubleheader weekend. The No. 9 K-Pax racing Volvo then retired early from the second race of the weekend due to mechanical issues.

As for the P-Pax Volvo C30 entries in the TC Class, there were some ups and downs for the weekend with Aaron Povoledo taking 3rd in the first race, and landing his second straight podium. Povoledo seemed poised to improve on that finish on Sunday’s race, but was disqualified by race officials for jumping the start.

Rounds seven and eight of the World Challenge series take place August 5-7 at Mid Ohio.

GALLERY: K-Pax Racing Volvo S60R GT

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 |  May 16 2011, 1:20 PM

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Last week we received a few teaser shots of the updated K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 and now the new car has been fully revealed ahead of its racing debut this weekend at Mosport International Raceway.

Competing in the SCCA World Challenge series, the K-Pax Volvo has carried on this year sporting the same bodywork as the previous generation S60 sedan. But with the new 2011 S60 now out, some more svelte sheetmetal was in order. Or should we say carbon fiber, as the shapely new body of this touring car is made almost entirely from the black weave.

If you’re not familiar with the car, or the series, and are wondering just what a Volvo is doing involved in motorsports, well, the K-Pax team’s records speak for themselves. Last year they were Series Champions in the hotly contested GT Class, while pilot Randy Pobst took the overall driver’s championship.

See photos of the finished car, as well as the development process below.

GALLERY: K-Pax Racing Volvo S60R GT

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Read AutoGuide’s 2011 Volvo S60 T6 Review Here

And hit the jump to watch a video of AutoGuide editor Colum Wood getting a ride in the previous S60 by K-Pax driver Randy Pobst:

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