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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.
SRT’s only product – the Viper – is getting a middle-of-the-road value bundle meant to improve performance.
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.
In what is a clearly a great marketing stunt, BF Goodrich is teaming up with Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White to teach him how to drive. And by driving, we mean the typical fashion we expect to see with BF Goodrich – tearing up tires all over the track.
White had the privilege of going to San Bernardino Airport where he met up with three of Team BFG’s members: Samuel Hubinette, Lars Wolfe and James Shearer. Each driver represented a different facet of motorsport, drifting, time attack and King of the Hammers, respectively.
Despite not even knowing how to drive a manual when the day began, White seemed to be a quick learner and was extremely fascinated with drifting – something expected from a persona like White.
Check out several videos after the break of Shaun White and BF Goodrich.
GALLERY: BF Goodrich and Shaun White
Coming up on August 5th and 6th at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney, Australia will be the World Time Attack Challenge presented by Yokohama. This year, they are working on gathering some of the world’s most prestigious time attack cars along with throwing on a drifting exhibition with some of the world’s best. The goal for every time attack car will be to reset the lap record set by the Cyber Evo and one of those cars gunning for the record will be Garage Revolution’s Mazda RX-7.
Garage Revolution’s RX-7 features a full carbon body, weighing in at a scant 2,200-lbs or so. Combine that with a 13B turbocharged rotary powerplant that pushes out approximately 600-hp and you clearly have a possible record-setting car. Recently the RX-7 ran a blistering 53.673 out at the Tsukuba Circuit in Japan, just a mere tenth off the 53.589 mark set by the HKS EVO by Nob Taniguchi.
The RX-7 is currently considered the fastest time attack RX-7 in Japan and will be proving it out to the world at WTAC 2011.
Check out the video of the RX-7 in action after the jump.
GALLERY: Garage Revolution Mazda RX-7
The first round of the Lotus Cup USA kicked off this past weekend at Willow Springs Raceway, with Jack Fried taking the overall win in the awesome, track-only 2-Eleven sports car. Fried won after race leader Andy Kern bowed out with mechanical problems, but Kern managed to take the overall win in the Time Attack class.
The next round will be held at Firebird International Raceway in Arizona during the weekend of April 9th, and we are soliciting donations so that one of the AutoGuide staff can rent a seat in a 2-Eleven. Any takers?
Things are already getting interesting in the sport compact motorsports world, and it isn’t even the off season yet. The rumor mill is churning on Redline Time Attack’s plans for 2011, but one thing has already been confirmed: the Pacific Tuner Car Championship Series is a reality.
MotoIQ has signed up as the official media partner for the Pacific Tuner Car Championship Series, and is helping bring a class of racing that will hopefully inspire others to participate. One thing that has really plagued Redline Time Attack’s growth over the year is the lack of excitement – especially when you have options such as drifting to watch, or even drag racing. The overall lack of wheel-to-wheel (or door-to-door) Touring Car-style racing has limited Redline’s growth as a spectator sport. But it looks like that’s all about to change.
The Pacific Tuner Car Championship Series will enforce a power to weight ratio and tire size to determine the class that you will run in. Instead of limiting the amount of modifications you can have on your car, or throwing you in some ridiculous class just because you opted for an engine swap on your car, MotoIQ’s brilliance will bring competitive wheel-to-wheel racing to the sport compact world.
So long as you meet the safety requirements to go wheel-to-wheel racing, your car will be classified based on its power to weight ratio. Currently there will be two classes, Tuner Over and Tuner Under. Tuner Under will field vehicles with a 12:1 power to weight ratio, while Tuner Over will field those with a 8:1 power to weight ratio. And in order to keep things equal based on the various vehicles in competition, tire restrictions will be put in place.
We’re extremely interested to see how this will all work out, especially on the basis of supplying a certified dyno sheet in order to classify your car. We’ll be guessing that some of those not-so-fun competitors will be sandbagging, but it’ll also be pretty easy to tell on the straightaways if someone is fibbing their horsepower figures. So hopefully rule enforcement will be strict to keep it a level and fun playing field for all. Will this bring Time Attack to the masses in an exciting way? Only time will tell, but we look forward to the growth of the sport.
When Chris Rado first unveiled his Scion tC time attack car with a massive front spoiler we applauded his ingenuity. Now we’re astounded. To compete in the Redline Time Attack, as well as events around the world, Rado and Team Need for Speed have developed a 1,100-hp all-wheel drive Scion tC. And yes, it’s got a massive front spoiler, and an equally huge rear spoiler. In fact, with this setup it looks a lot like a Pikes Peak machine – aside from the extremely low ride height.
This past weekend Rado and crew gave the car its first competition shakedown at Road Atlanta, although all the bugs haven’t been worked out yet and so the car wasn’t competitive. We’ll be sure to update you if and when the car gets running properly to see if Rado will claim any more track records.
GST Motorsports and their venerable 1996 Subaru Impreza “L” had a perfect weekend at Round 6 of the Redline Time Attack Championship at Willow Springs Raceway (Rosamond, CA), claiming the Super Modified AWD class and Overall victories with a blisteringly fast lap of 1:20.759 (just 0.3-seconds off the AWD track record set by the Sierra Sierra Mitsubishi Evolution last year).
Mystery driver G-Stig then went on to win the Super Session, where the top cars from the event participate in a 5-lap sprint race for bonus points in the championship. This put an exclamation point on the weekend for the GST crew, completing their clean sweep at Willow Springs and solidifying their lead in the Super Modified AWD class.
“The entire crew has worked very hard on the back of the engine issues we encountered during the previous round”, said G-Stig, driver of the GST Time Attack Subaru L. “With the motor working flawlessly all weekend it allowed us to start concentrating on the handling aspect of the car. We’re getting close and I look forward to testing the changes the team is making to the chassis and aero for the next event.”
Mike Warfield, owner and engine tuner of GST Motorsports, added, “The new engine internals from Brian Crower really did the trick for us this past weekend. The motor ran strongly all weekend and we’re confident we have the powerplant in place now to start pushing things that much harder. We have always had fantastic grip from the Hankook Ventus 214 C91’s and now we’re going to start pushing the chassis and aero that much harder. The win this weekend was attributed to the reliability of the engine in the extreme heat coupled with the tires’ ability to maintain constant grip levels throughout our sessions.”
For in-car evidence of GST’s amazing 1-minute 20-second lap around Willow Springs, check out the video after the jump.
[Source: GST Motorsports]
Driver Will Chan and his twincharged Enmo Racing Honda Civic turned the Time Attack world on its ear with a dominating performance at the Redline Time Attack Autobahn Country Club event (near Chicago), where Chan won the Street FWD class by 5-seconds over the nearest competitor and reset the class track record by over 3-seconds. In fact, Chan’s car was so fast his time was just 0.2-seconds off the Street AWD record.
Proving that racing is often a fickle mistress, the Enmo Racing Civic was then unceremoniously rear-ended by a Mitsubishi Evolution VIII that slid off the track in the same puddle of oil that the little Honda encountered just moments before. As the pictures available after the jump show, this left the oil-spewing Honda S2000 that started the unfortunate chain reaction and the Enmo Civic sitting in a dangerous spot on the outside of an oil-covered corner, and before the corner workers could throw a red flag to warn the oncoming Mitsubishi, it too hit the slick patch and careened off the track into both Hondas.
Enmo Racing hasn’t let this cruel twist of fate slow them down though, so expect to see this amazing turbocharged and supercharged old school Honda tearing it up at an upcoming Redline Time Attack event, perhaps even at the legendary Sebring road course in August as well as the series finals in November.
[Source: Enmo Racing]
The Redline Time Attack series — where man and machine compete against the clock to post the fastest lap time in Street, Modified, and Unlimited classes — attracts many of the biggest name tuner shops in the country, but it has also attracted Paul Walker, star of the film ‘Fast & Furious’.
Walker has made appearances at West coast Time Attack events in the past in a variety of cars including a R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, but this year he’s driving an E92 BMW M3 in the Street tire class. On March 26th at Buttonwillow Raceway (100 or so miles north of Los Angeles), Walker posted a best lap time of 2:08.407, good for 12th in class (out of 16 competitors). This was 10-seconds off the pace of class winner Mike Bonnani in the Berk Technology BMW 135i, but Bonnani is a veteran of the series and a professional driving instructor.
Walker’s M3, modified to the limit of the Street tire class, has been prepared by AE Performance of Chino, CA. Modifications include a gutted interior and full roll cage, as well as bigger brakes, wider and lighter Volk Racing TE37 wheels and Hankook Ventus RS-3 tires (which meet the 140 UTQG or higher requirement for this class). Curb weight has been reduced from the factory 3704 lbs down to a comparatively svelte 3567 lbs and a carbon fiber wing has been added to give the M3 some added rear grip.
If you’re a diehard Walker and F&F fan and need an autograph to go with your signed Vin Diesel ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ action figure, chances are you’ll find Walker at a west coast Redline Time Attack event. Just don’t tell him we sent you.
After an action-packed weekend at Eastern Creek International Raceway near Sydney, Australia, Tarzan Yamada and the HRS Garage/Cyber Evo team persevered through an engine failure to claim the title of World Time Attack Challenge champion with their legendary Mitsubishi Evolution 8.
As one of the pre-event favorites, it may come as no surprise that Tarzan and the Cyber Evo took the win, but things were looking very grim for this Japanese-based team the afternoon before the Time Attack finals on May 22nd at Eastern Creek. A blown engine during practice meant they had to scramble to source a replacement unit locally, working at fever’s pitch to install it and remap the engine control unit overnight on Australian ECU specialist Haltech’s dynamometer.
A testament to hard work and determination, the HRS Garage/Cyber Evo posted a mind-blowing lap time of 1:30.587, breaking the long-standing track record set in 1999 by Mark Skaife in a Australian V8 Supercar. Tarzan celebrated the win in typical flamboyant style, much to the delight of the local crowd and his international fan base.
To see who rounded out the podium (plus some Time Attack video action), check after the jump:
The World Time Attack Challenge, held at Australia’s Eastern Creek International Raceway near Sydney, has attracted a deep field of local and international competitors including top American teams Sierra Sierra Enterprises and their Mitsubishi Evo 8 and Factor X Motorsports Development and their awesome Acura NSX.
It may be an easier commute for the Japanese tuners, but it’s no less impressive that world-class Time Attack machines like the Sun Cyber Evo, Tomei/Cusco Subaru Impreza STI, and both the PanSpeed and R-Magic FD Mazda RX-7s will also be in attendance at Eastern Creek this weekend.
Hoping to put home field advantage to good use are top Australian teams Hi-Octane Racing and their stunning R34 Nissan GT-R, APC Racing’s Evo 8 MR, and Notaras and their lightweight 590-hp Mitsubishi Evo.
With an intriguing mix of the best Time Attack teams and drivers in the world, all vying for the title of World Time Attack Challenge champion, we’ll be following the action this weekend very closely and will report back on Monday with a full account of all the on-track action. In the meantime, wet your Time Attack whistle after the jump with a video of Mark Berry piloting Australian favorite Hi-Octane Racing’s GT-R around Eastern Creek in preparation for the WTAC.
[Source: World Time Attack Challenge]
As we reported two weeks ago, GST Motorsports set a new Super Lap Battle record around Firebird’s main racing circuit. Well, the boys from Hayward, California have done it again, this time setting a new Redline Time Attack lap record at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s outside road course, posting a best time of 1-minute 39.657 seconds.
“The entire GST Motorsports crew worked very hard to provide me with a capable car,” said The G-STig, the mysterious and anonymous driver of GST’s famous Time Attack Subaru Impreza L, rumored to be famed Japanese Time Attack driver Tarzan Yamada. “The car ran very well for me all weekend and all the changes we have been working on are keeping us moving in the right direct. I only wish we were able to run the car on a clean track at full power to show everyone just how well it’s coming together”
Mike Warfield, owner and engine tuner of GST Motorsports, had this to say about their accomplishment in Vegas. “Given the limited seat time we have been able to give our driver to date and some of the major changes we have made to the chassis I am extremely happy with the teams progress thus far and really look forward to the next event where we hope to be able to turn up the wick considerably. To take the win here this weekend with so much more left on the table really gives us something to look forward to.”
In fact, GST’s amazing Impreza ran a 1:38.1 during qualifying earlier in the day, and in-car data suggests a 1:36.8 was well within grasp had track conditions not deteriorated during the final so-called Super Session.
For in-car video evidence of GST’s flying 1:38.1 qualifying lap, check out the video after the jump.
[Source: GST Motorsports]
At this year’s Modified Magazine Tuner Shootout, the Super Lap Battle track record set by Crawford Performance last year was broken by driver Gary Sheehan in the GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza L. With famed Japanese Time Attack driver Tarzan Yamada behind the wheel, the Crawford Performance 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI set a lap record of 1:02.1 in 2009, but that record was reset by a half second after Sheehan posted an impressive 1:01.6 in GST’s ’98 GC Impreza L.
According to GST owner and ECU tuner Mike Warfield, “We had the car running on our low boost [24 psi] setting because we wanted the engine to survive the weekend. Had we unleashed Sheehan with our high boost (32 psi] setting I’m confident the car could run sub 1-minute.” In fact, GST’s in-car data acquisition system revealed a hypothetic 59.8-second lap based on Sheehan’s best segment times around the circuit using their low boost settings, so Warfield’s prediction of a possible sub 1-minute lap seems entirely realistic. Regardless, with an official time of 1:01.6 GST Motorsports is now the current Super Lap Battle track record holder at Firebird’s main circuit.
Below is in-car video of Sheehan setting this new mark:
Over the last decade or so of competitive compact motorsports, imports have mostly dominated the market, be it drag racing, drifting or time attack/road racing. There are very few standout Euros in any of those fields and when one shows up it’s memorable. We can recall when Turismo Technology built a shockingly cool 318Ti for the quarter mile back in the late 90s. It was so unusual back then that it graced the pages of more than a few different magazine publications. We can slso think of Andy Sapp, who was a crowd favorite in previous Formula DRIFT seasons, taking his BMW E46 sideways. And now there is Berk Technology’s BMW 135i that is entering its second season of Redline Time Attack competition with extremely impressive results.
Just over a week ago was the Redline Time Attack’s season opener at Buttonwillow Raceway. There was great anticipation from all the teams to see what off-season changes were made, who would attend, and who was going to be impressively quicker and faster. Berk Technology’s 135i made quite the splash last year, but never got itself a podium spot in the Street RWD class. During the off-season they made a lot of minor tweaks and it truly paid off. After some practice runs, Berk Technology’s driver, Mike Bonanni, blew the doors off their previous track record by over two seconds. They had broken the 2-minute mark with a time of 1:59.319 landing them a first place qualifier. The car had more in it and was even more impressive on its first time attack session. The 135i set a new track record for Redline Time Attack’s Street Tire RWD class with a 1:58.839.
Being the only vehicle in the Street Tire RWD class to break the 2-minute barrier for the event is quite the achievement. But being able to topple the atypical imports with a balanced European garners plenty of attention. This just proves how great and versatile of a platform the BMW 135i is and we look forward to see what Berk Technology has up their sleeves for the next Redline Time Attack event in Las Vegas.
[Source: Berk Technology]
Motorsports is all about bending the rules. And as they say, if you’re not cheating, you’re losing. Chris Rado and his World Racing Scion tC are not losing.
In fact, at the recent Redline Time Attack at Willow Springs Rado dominated in the front-wheel drive Unlimited class posting a 1:22.623 lap time – setting a new record for a front-wheel drive vehicle at the track.
How did he do it? Isn’t it obvious? He stuck a ridiculous looking wing on the front of his tC race car, giving those front tires all the downforce they need.
We’re certain all the other competitors laughed at him… while he sprayed them with champagne from the top of the podium.
[Photography: Mike Garrett]