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.
Undoubtedly, it would be surprising to hear news that Honda didn’t have any immediate plans to brings its newest Acura NSX to the GT racing ranks. In fact, Honda boss Takanobu Ito confirmed as much at the concept car’s debut at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this year. But now a timeline is starting to take shape.
Racing and car wrecks are synonymous with one another, and the latest Super GT race at Fuji raceway saw Tim Bergmeister careening into the wall at high speeds in his Porsche.
With the Subaru BRZ due to arrive in showrooms very soon, Subaru is out promoting its new sports coupe in full force. One way to get your car noticed is by taking it racing, and that is exactly what Subaru did on April 1, 2012.
The BRZ race car made its public racing debut at the season opener Super GT, GT300KM race held in Okayama, Japan. This grueling race features some of the most established sports car brands such as the Chevrolet Corvette and the Lamborghini Gallardo. So the BRZ was going to have a tough time competing with the big boys, but was still able to qualify 8th on the grid.
The BRZ actually stayed in 8th place for most of the race, but when the car came in for a driver change, it soon after developed a problem and had to be retired. Upon further investigation, the problem turned out to be a faulty rear differential.
The main driver for the BRZ GT300 is Tetsuya Yamano, who wasn’t completely happy with the set-up of the car, and is insistent that the team is working on it and it will get better in races to come.
We wish the Subaru team much success in future races and hopefully will see this exciting new sports coupe in the winners circle very soon.
Watch the video’s below of the BRZ on the track.
Discuss this story at Subaru BRZ Forum.
Love Nissan GT-Rs? Then you most certainly would love the Tokyo Auto Salon. Featuring the latest tuning trends and most amazing race cars, much of the content on the show floor was GT-R related this year – although to be honest, the show is GT-R heavy every year.
On display were plenty of modified GT-Rs from tuners like Kansai Service, JUN and even Tommy Kaira. And let’s not forget the race car content, with the outrageous Kondo Advan GT-R GT500 race car, as well as the Motul Autech GT-R (above), which won five of the eight races in Japan’s Super GT series last year.
Check out all the GT-R hardware from this year’s TAS below:
Racing a Prius might sound like the start of a joke, until you see this. Unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan, this Toyota Prius is fully prepped and sporting its race livery. Significantly wider and lower than a factor model, this Prius is designed to compete in Japan’s Super GT racing series starting this year.
Regulations in the series are loose, so there’s little left of the original Prius here, although the original’s sleek aerodynamic shape is still obvious. Also of note is that the car appears to retain a hybrid drivetrain with the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive logo on the back. Another hint is the massive sponsorship by Panasonic, which supplies the batteries for the road car.
Exactly how this hybrid racer will do remains to be seen and we’ll have to wait for the first round of the Super GT series in March to find out.
GALLERY: Toyota Prius Race Car
This year’s LA Auto Show will give us a look at the Subaru BRZ Concept, and even though we don’t even have finalized details on the upcoming vehicle, Subaru has already announced that the BRZ will represent them in the 2012 Super GT Championship in Japan. Obviously Subaru has a long heritage of racing in Japan, and the BRZ will compete in the GT300 class replacing the current STI Legacy B4.
It’s obvious that both Toyota’s FT-86 and Subaru’s BRZ will become the next-generation of popular sports cars, and fielding some entries in Japan’s popular racing series will do wonders in garnering attention towards the new vehicle. Currently it’s believed that the production BRZ will feature a 2.0L naturally-aspirated, four-cylinder boxes engine with around 200-hp (same as what’s found in the FT-86). We’re still keeping our fingers crossed for a turbocharged variant to truly carry on the STI namesake.
GALLERY: Subaru BRZ STI Concept
Toyota has announced its three-man tea of pro racers, who will pilot the brand’s hybrid LMP1 car in the 2012 Le Mans and other races. The list includes former F1 driver and winner of the 2009 24 Hours of Le mans (under Peugeot) Alex Wurz, Team Oreca pilot and last year’s 12 Hours of Sebring winner Nicolas Lapierra and former F1 racer Kaxuki Nakakima.
“I can’t wait to get started and I am fascinated by the new challenge of competing with a hybrid car. It is the future of racing so I am very excited that Toyota comes in with this technology,” said Alex Wurz, one of Toyota’s new drivers.
He, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakakima will start training early in the new year, though it already sounds like their team spirit is coming together.
“Alex is a two-time Le Mans winner so he is a great benchmark for us, but he is also able to build a strong team spirit. I believe the choice of drivers is very good and I am looking forward to working together as a team,” Lapierre said in a press release.
While Wurz brings Le Mans experience to the table, all three drivers are familiar with World Endurance Championship racing.
“Le Mans will be a new experience for me but it is one that I am very much looking forward to. The challenge of Le Mans is famous throughout motorspot so I can’t wait to race there for the first time. Obviously it is a new experience but I am familiar with endurance racing thanks to my time in Japanese Super GT and this will help me to adjust,” Nakajima said.
Today’s announcement comes after Toyota telling the press late last month that they plan to partner with ORECA Racing Group in developing their new hybrid LMP1 class car.
The decision came after Toyota’s previous solo endeavor at Le Mans failed. Toyota hopes for more success after pairing with championship-winning ORECA. Toyota will contribute the hybrid powertrain while ORECA plans to develop the chassis for their 2012 entrant.
Chrysler is playing with the idea of returning to international GT competition with the next generation of Viper. Chysler dominated with the original Viper in the GTS class with wins at Le Mans 24 Hours from 1998-2000. The American automaker is looking at the possibility of taking on BMW, Ferrari, Chevrolet and Porsche in the GTE category.
Riley Technologies has been commissioned to undertake a technical analysis of the new Dodge Viper which will be available in 2013. The same company, produced the title-winning Grand-Am chassis for the past eight years.
“We are investigating some things and seeing what is out there, although no decision has been made yet. We have to be very careful about what we do”, said Chrysler’s motorsport manager Gary Johnson.
[Source: Auto Sport]
Back in February it was announced that Chevrolet Corvette will once again be competing in Japan’s Super GT series for the 2011 season.
Three years have past since the last Super GT competed and the Corvette has only competed three times in the Super GT class. All three seasons proved to be unsuccessful for the Corvette as the car proved not to be competitive enough with barely enough sponsors to back them up. Photos of the race-prepped Z06R GT3 in full race livery have now hit the net after the first race of the Super GT season. Unfortunately for the Tomei Sports team the car finished 17 our of 18 sports in the GT300 class. Better luck next time.
GALLERY: Corvette Super GT
In love with Honda’s HSV-010 GT race car replacement for the NSX in Japan’s Super GT Series? Then you won’t want to watch this. At the very first race of the season at Suzuki, three of the GT500 class cars collided on the front straight, taking out two in spectacular fashion.
The video shows the No. 32 Epson HSV-010 the No. 8 ARTA HSV-010 and No. 18 Weider Honda come together in a sandwhich, resulting in both No. 8 and 18 hitting the tire wall at the end of the straight. Takashi Kogure, who was piloting the No. 18 car, was the pole sitter for the race and was poised to contend for the top of the podium.
Instead, the HIS Kondo Nissan GT-R took the checkered flag, with the top Honda (the No. 100 Rabrig car) placing 3rd.
See after the jump for the video and plenty of slow motion replays.
GALLERY: Honda HSV-010 GT
Honda Racing releases huge gallery of photos of HSV-010 GT race car
Honda Racing has officially announced the HSV-010 GT will join Japan’s Super GT racing series this year, releasing a huge selection of photos for those who just can’t get enough of the car. Based on the discontinued NSX replacement (yup, we’re still crying about it too), the HSV-010 is powered by a 3.4-liter V8 that makes 500-ish horsepower and 289 ft-lbs of torque. While the road car was expected to be powered by a V10 and get AWD, this race car is RWD and the V8 engine is thought to be a version of the V8 found in the Acura ARX ALMS cars.
Thanks to a stripped-down interior and bountiful use of carbon fiber, the HSV-010 weighs just 2,424 lbs.
The car will debut on May 20-21st during the season opener, with four cars expected to compete.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed that a successful racing season might make Honda reconsider a road version of the car. Then again, the HSV-010 will be up against some very steep competition in the Super GT series, including several race-prepped Nissan GT-Rs.
GALLERY: Honda Racing HSV-010 GT
Official release after the jump:
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We’re still in awe over the HSV-010 and now there’s even more testosterone pumping video of Honda’s new race car on track at Suzuka. Reportedly powered by a tiny 3.4-liter V8 engine, we can only assume it revs to typically Honda heights to achieve all 500-hp. It certainly sounds like a screamer and we’d argue has an even more Formula One-inspired sound than the Lexus LFA. After all, Honda is known for its engines.
Little else is known about the car other than it will be a race only model and will run in Japan’s Super GT series, with the first race of the season on May 20-21.
We can only hope Honda will bring a street version of this car to market.
GALLERY: Honda HSV-010
See after the jump for more video of Honda’s HSV-010 on track:
Honda’s race-only replacement for the NSX has now been spied undergoing testing at Japan’s famous Suzuka track. Called the HSV-010 (HSV standing for Honda Sports Velocity), the car is powered by a 3.4-liter V8 engine that makes roughly 500-hp. The car will race in the GT500 class, where all cars are limited to around 500-hp.
We have to say, even in purpose-built race car style the HSV is still a looker and we really wish Honda had plans to bring this car to the streets. Still, the official word from Honda continues to be that this is race-only version. Pity…
Four teams are expected to run the new HSV models in the 2010 Super GT season, with the numbers 8, 18, 32 and 100, with the first race being at Suzuka on May 20-21.
GALLERY: HONDA HSV-010 RACE CAR
Be sure to check after the jump for several videos of the HSV-010 on the track and in the pits at Suzuka.
It’s here at last… sort of. Above is a lone photo of the replacement to the Honda/Acura NSX – at least in race car trim. Called the HSV-10 GT, or Velocity Sports Honda, this track only exotic is built to run in the GT500 class of Japan’s Super GT series. As cars in that class are limited to around 500-hp, we can safely assume the HSV-10 GT makes exactly that.
With a full carbon fiber body, what’s even more impressive is what’s under the hood – a 3.4-liter V8 engine that no doubt revvs to an impressively high (even for Honda) rpm range to get all 500 ponies. (Honda has yet to release official specs though.)
Underpinning this impressive creation is reported to be the very same chassis that Honda was working on for several years to replace the NSX but which has now been rumored canceled.
A light weight body and 500-hp 3.4L V8, only for the track? Please Honda, nobody likes a tease.
[Source: Le Blog Auto]
Honda has just announced that due to a rule change for the 2010 Super GT Series, the NSX won’t be returning next year. The rules strictly state that all GT500 Class cars must be front-engine and rear-wheel drive. The NSX, of course, being mid-engined, does not qualify.
While the NSX hasn’t been built since 2005, the car’s racing days weren’t quite over yet, although it does appear as though the best was behind them. Still, Honda managed the Driver and Team Championships in 2007 (as well as back in 2000). In total, the NSX-GT was on pole 49 times and won 36 times.
Even this year five teams put their faith in the NSX as a winner. The list includes NSX racers from Rockstar Dome, Epson, Arta, Raybring and Keihin.
The final race for the year is at Motegi on November 7th. The car has been in the series for 13 years.
Honda says a replacement for the NSX-GT will be announced soon, although it’s really not clear what that vehicle could be.
There is also a possibility that the car will be permitted to run in the lower-level GT300 class, although changes would most certainly be required.
Is this the face of a race car? Subaru certainly thinks so.
The latest rumors indicate that the automaker intends to enter a version of its new 2010 Legacy model (launched at the New York Auto Show this year) into Japan’s top-level Super GT series. The car will no doubt receive numerous modifications, but engine output won’t be changed all that much. The reason for this is that Subaru will race the car in the 300 (meaning 300hp) class – rather than the highest 500 class.
A Legacy 2.5GT is the likely choice to form the basis of the race car, especially as it sports a new 2.5-liter boxer engine with 265hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque.
The move is surprising as the cash-strapped automaker pulled from the World Rally Championship (WRC) this year, citing economic reasons. Subaru teams had, however, performed poorly the past few years.
No doubt the Super GT entry will be much less expensive to run than a full WRC team and besides, it would be a shame to reassign those Subaru racing engineers to the accounting department.
[Source: Nihon Car]
Private team to run GT-R in British FIA GT1
Despite all of Nissan’s troubles, the company isn’t shying away from motorsports for 2009, with four factory backed cars running in Japan, as well as several privateer teams running in Japan, China, South Africa and even in Europe.
“Motorsports is an important part of Nissan’s strategy for building a strong brand with consumers who share our passion for high-performance driving,” said Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. “In addition to being an important touch-point for consumers, motorsports serve as a dynamic proving ground for automotive innovation.”
That being said Nissan plans to back four teams in the SUPER GT series in the GT500 class. Team NISMO, Team Impul and Kondo Racing have all decided on running the Nissan GT-R, however, Hasemi Motorsport has not decided which platform it will use.
Some of the most exciting news, however, is that Gigawave MotorSport will run a NISMO-developed car in the FIA GT1 class in the U.K. The car will only run four races in 2009 and, therefore, won’t compete for the championship. The driver’s names are not official but are expected to be Michael Krumm ( a NISMO driver) and Darren Turner of Gigawave, a team that has compete in the FIA GT series since 2007.
Now if only a NISMO GT-R could make its way to the American Le Mans Series.
Official release after the jump: