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.
Sharpening our skills with the experts at Calabogie Motorsports Park
We like cars and we really love driving them. But unless your name is Sebastian and you pilot an F1 Red Bull Infiniti, there‚Äôs always room to improve one‚Äôs skill behind the wheel. At AutoGuide, we are no exception to the rule and any time we get a chance to sharpen our talents, we jump at it.
Taking their first Le Mans victory in 1924, the Bentley Brothers and their powerful, heavy, rugged, and reliable Bentley Blower dominated motorsports in the 1920s, outclassing rival Bugatti and its more elegant, lightweight, but considerably more fragile machines.
Despite Volkswagen ownership and the passing of many decades, Bentley cars still retain this trait today. Since 2005, Bentley has provided customers an opportunity to experience the power of new Bentley vehicles in a controlled environment atop a frozen Finnish lake. Known as the “Power on Ice” driving experience program, this year, Bentley instructors will provide excitement and education as customers experience the maximum potential of the new 621-hp Continental Supersport and 567-hp Continental GT.
According to Bentley, the success of “Power on Ice” warranted expansion and for 2012, Bentley will be launching driver training programs in North America as well. No dates and locations have been released so far, Bentley has only said that the program will deliver an experience “like no other.” That statement is hard to refute when we’re considering a track day behind the wheel of 5,000+ lbs. luxury grand tourers with more than 600 horsepower at your disposal.
Check out the¬†Bentley North American Driving Programme promo video; slow-motion action shots, dubstep and all.
The Lotus Cup USA Series will begin its season on September 2nd at New Jersey Motorsports Park, followed by a second round at Lime Rock Park In Connecticut on October 20th.
The¬†inaugural¬†East Coast events kick off the series, which features both open lapping days and a time trial event. The idea is to let Lotus customers experience their car on a closed course, and operate them in the way they were intended to be driven.
Participants will also be able to¬†receive¬†professional instruction behind the wheel of an Evora as part of the aptly named “Evora Performance Driving Experience”.
Think electric vehicles aren’t sporty enough to tackle the vaunted Laguna Seca? Speed Ventures doesn’t think so. For the third year in a row, they’re offering EV owners the chance to drive the world-famous race track, compete against each other, and even win a trophy.
Refuel 2011 is open to all EVs, including electric motorcycles like the Brammo, purpose-built race cars, the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and the veritable supercar that is the Tesla. This year’s EV trackday is on June 26th, so get your pre-registration in while you still can. The event is free to enter; expenses are limited to how friendly you are with your electric meter man.
[Source: Autoblog Green]
If you own an Aston Martin (and were pretty sure some of you actually do), keep reading, you might be interested in this bit of news: Aston Martin of Beverly Hills in conjunction with ESX Motorsports is holding a special track day for owners of these British exotics.
The event will be held on April 8, 2011 at the Willow Springs Raceway, and the organizer will provide helmets, driver training and food. Aston Martin of Beverly Hills will subsidize the cost of this event, so your cost will be just $495 per vehicle and a party of two.
So if you want to see what your One-77, DB9, DBS, Virage, V8 – V12 Vantage or Rapide (or any other Aston you might own) can do, this might be just the event you’ve been waiting for.
[Source: Aston Martin BH]
Since going fast on public roads is both stupid and dangerous, not to mention illegal, more people are turning towards track days for their speed thrills. This has increased the demand for track-day specials like the Caterham 500 and the Ariel Atom. Now there will be a new kid on the block, fighting for your attention.
It’s called the Mono and it’s from Britain’s newest car company, Briggs Automotive Company (BAC), and from the looks of this first product, they mean business. The Mono is a single-seater sportscar that weighs just 1,188 lbs. and is powered by a Cosworth developed 2.3-liter engine. Max output is 280 hp at 7700 rpm and 207 lb-ft of torque at 6000 rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox, same as the ones used in F3 race cars.
As you could imagine, its performance numbers are quite impressive. 0-60 mph takes just 2.8 seconds, while top speed is quoted at 170 mph.
BAC hopes to sell around 50 examples of the Mono this year, with prices starting at $108,600. That is certainly not cheap, so only time will tell how the buying public will respond to this latest track attack vehicle.
NJMP is one of the newest tracks in America, having opened its doors back in 2008. It currently has two road courses and a professional karting track. Future plans included adding a tri-oval and an off-road track.
Sadly it looks like those expansion plans might not get to mature, unless someone can step in to buy this facility and run it properly.
It’s not only the track that is suffering, as the real-estate market in Millville, NJ has been hit hard by the recession and many surrounding projects ¬†have been scrapped.
[Source: Axis of Oversteer]
Ford is serious about the performance of the new Mustang Boss 302, and they want the new owners to be able to get the most out of their cars.
So much so that Ford is now offering a full track day experience to those who have bought the track ready Boss 302. Called the ‘Boss Immersion’ track experience, this program has been put together by Team Mustang and Ford Racing. The events will take place at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
While you will need to cover your travel and hotel stay in Utah, Ford will pay for the track time and will even bring their own cars. The day before your track time, an evening reception will be held to get everyone acquainted with each other and learn more about the technical details of this normally-aspirated, 5.0-liter, V8 monster, which produces 440-hp.
Jamie Allison, the director of Ford Racing said, ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs nothing like the experience of being behind the wheel of a high-performance car on a dedicated track. It‚Äôs the environment that breeds incredible machines like Mustang Boss, and for owners who want to experience all these cars are capable of, we can promise an unforgettable event.‚ÄĚ
So if you weren’t decided about buying the new Mustang Boss 302, maybe this added track benefit will help make your decision a lot easier.
Toronto Motorsports Park, a former airfield that was converted into a 2 mile road course featuring 14 turns, is a great track for novices to dabble in motorsports. The speeds aren’t high enough to obliterate you in a crash, and the 14 turns will challenge a beginner, despite the lack of elevation changes.
TMP’s biggest downfall is the fact that they will rent the track to anyone, and many car clubs take advantage of their affordable rates to host their own lapping sessions. From the looks of it, the incident in the video above took place at one of the uber-cheap afternoon sessions, and was likely hosted by a club with an appalling disregard for¬†professionalism¬†and safety standards.
The driver of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution seen in this mercifully short clip should never have been let on the track to begin with. The driver has no helmet and is wearing shorts, a t-shirt and sandals. But hey, he is wearing a Cosworth flatbill and super-dope driving gloves, so that’s got to count for something.
Common courtesy at TMP dictates that on the front straight, drivers passing slower traffic should give a wide berth and then come back to the racing line as they set up for Turn 1. Instead, the EVO driver came within a pubic hair’s distance from the driver of a Mark II Golf, cut back in, and proceeded to barrel down the straight away and into turn 1, a long, sweeping 120 degree right-hander. Drivers can easily hit 120 mph on the straight away, requiring a ton of speed to be scrubbed off before Turn 1.
Instead, our hero keeps his foot buried to the carpet and only starts braking mere feet before the apex – while steering the car with one hand! The results are predictable, and the EVO makes a glorious exit onto the grass, all while the cameras are rolling.
The Youtube description of the video claims that the brake fluid had “boiled”, causing him to lock the brakes and crash, but we don’t buy that at all. The EVO pilot should have spent money upgrading the driver – and safety equipment – rather than his car.
[Source: Bang Shift]
Bugatti’s Veyron Super Sport is built more for straight-line speed rather than lapping a road course. That didn’t stop one gentleman from taking the car around the Paul Ricard circuit (which looks like a pretty dull track, to be honest).
In truth, the video isn’t all that exciting. The flat track makes it look as if the car isn’t going too fast, even down the ultra-long straight away. But then again, we wouldn’t risk millions of dollars of car on a simple lapping day.
Hit the jump to see the video
Everyone who has attended a track day will be able to relate to this video, mocking the over-enthusiastic poseurs who populate lapping days across the nation.
Much like the photographers lampooned in a previous video, these folks can be spotted their $100 motorcycle helmets that cost as much as their Nomex driving gloves. They’re never afraid to whip out the AIM data loggers and HeroCams, and are always ready to educate you on the merits of different R-Compound tires despite being unable to hold the steering wheel properly. These are folks inevitably get spanked by someone in a very low key econobox, and always ready to blame the equipment (like any good driver does).
For these track day heroes, who brag to their friends about “going racing” and are more concerned with playing to an imaginary audience than becoming good drivers, we salute you with this video that lampoons your showboating and inflated egos. Remember; you can never win a track day, but you can lose it all in one second.
[Thanks to Brian Makse for the video]
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An 87-year old WWII veteran and frequent blood donor was killed in a tragic accident involving a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 that crashed during a lapping day at Texas Motor Speedway.
Donald Krusemark died one day after the accident took place. The family declined to comment on the accident, but it is believed that Krusemark was a passenger, and was being taken for a ride around the Speedway. Krusemark was honored at the event for his generous donations of blood and platelets over the years.
The event was organized by Texas Driving Experience, a company that “offers extreme racecar Rides and Drives.”
[Source: The Dallas Morning News]