The new Ford Mustang comes with Line Lock which is basically a burnout mode, cool!
I spent a large part of Sunday watching the WEC Round 1 Silverstone 6hr, I look at the WEC as a modern day replacement of the brilliant World Sportscar Championship that spawned Group C cars. With three large and determined manufacturers this years championship looks extremely promising, certainly from an LMP1 and GTE class point of view. LMP2 could certainly do with an injection of additional teams participating in every round (there were very few at Silverstone), but to see Toyota, Porsche and Audi all with full programs for the season is really good for sportscar racing and most importantly the spectators.
Qualifying was a close affair with all six of the factory cars being covered by less than 0.5 seconds, Toyota winning battle for pole.
All six of the factory cars possess some serious talent, Le Mans winners Alexander Wurz (Toyota), Marcel Fassler, André Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer, Loïc Duval (Audi), Timo Berhard, Roman Dumas (Porsche), F1 drivers Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi (Toyota), Lucas Di Grassi (Audi) and the stars of the show, 9 times Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen (Audi) and Mark Webber (Porsche) with 9 GP wins, 13 pole positions and 19 fastest laps in Formula 1. There is an extremely good blend of speed and endurance specialists in all the drivers of the factory teams.
The race itself was packed with incident, the opening laps were quite a scrap between the Toyota’s and Audi’s, then the rain came! With a few of he teams trying their hand at predicting the weather and leaving their cars on slicks the inevitable happened, multiple spins was the result and even when they opted for wets there was still casualties. Lucas Di Grassi managed to put the No1 Audi into the wall entering the old start finish straight destroying the front end and ending its race, the No14 Porsche lost a wheel (!) and suffered suspension issues, then returned to the track only to then retire with hydraulic problems. Audi’s miserable race was completed when Benoit Treluyer caught the outside kerb at Copse and made heavy contact with barrier just before the apex, again this destroyed the front and ended his and Audi’s race.
The No20 Porsche battled with the 2nd placed Toyota for a few laps but the Toyota’s proved to quick for the brand new Porsche and both cars finished consecutive laps in front of the 919 Hybrid.
1st 8. Toyota TS040, 2nd 7. Toyota TS040, 3rd 20. Porsche 919.
The race itself was good, close racing and good driving being the key. The rain spiced things up as it always does, forcing the drivers and teams to make decisions that the spectators want to see regarding strategy. The best battle of the race was the AF Corse 458 Ferrari vs the Manthey Porsche RSRs in GTE Pro, lots of changing position and battling lap after lap, great viewing.
The Toyotas look like they could be the team to beat, the cars were fast and the team well drilled, Porsche had a good first outing but it looks like there is still work to be done and Audi, well there not much to say regarding twos DNFs due to accidents given the quality of their team!
Spa is next on 3rd May.
As I have said before I do like seeing extreme concepts, the Golf R 400 is no exception. Motoring would be a brighter place if it went into production. The interior shots look really cool, as do the he seats, the exterior of the car is very Golf R on steroids, not that there is anything wrong with that, maybe a larger spoiler but it does look good.
200bhp per litre is phenomenally high, generally this leads to crazy service regimes, the Evo FQ-400 required servicing every 4500 miles but I guess it goes hand in hand with a 2.0 with 400bhp.
The only other draw back with extremely high tune cars as well as the servicing is the price of the car itself, compare it to the Evo’s that produced 400bhp and the Audi RS3 I think £50k is the region, there are lots of cars for £50k and I’m not sure I would buy a Golf or a hot hatch for that matter.
So despite realising I will never own one and that most most people even if they had the money to buy one would buy something else, I think that it is a very cool car with a perfect halo effect on an already mega strong model and brand. I say build it!
The irony that the speed camera sign near my house has been hit by a car, brilliant!
The Le Mans 2014 race looks set to be quite a battle, Porsche vs Audi vs Toyota and new rules hopefully levelling the LMP1 field.
Audi will no doubt remain the favourites due to their staggering success in recent years but the challenge from Porsche and Toyota should not be over looked, Porsche inparticular.
Porsche has quite a history at Le Mans and I suspect with Audi getting closer to Porsches 16 overall wins Stuttgart decided it was time to re-enter to most prestigious endurance race of them all.
I am intrigued to see how the Porsche 919 compares to the Audi and Toyotas pace, it is Porsches first trip out for some time, 1998 was the last factory outing which was won by the factory 911 GT1 ’98. The Porsche is using a V4 turbo engine which is quite unusual, Audi will stick with their trusted 3.7 V6 TDI and Toyota will use their 3.4 V8, all three engines will be supplemented heavily by hybrid electric power too.
I was initially concerned that the V4 would not be audibly the best, but the video below shows that it does sound good, its no flat 6 or V8 but I accept that Porsche thinks reading the rules means this engine gives them the best chance.
The driver line up is strong, Le Mans winners are included in the pool of Porsche factory drivers as well as the star attraction that is Mark Webber (who has not race at Le Mans since is spectacular accident in the ill fated Mercedes CLR in 1999). Seeing Porsche push so much resource into this years race reminds me of their previous wins, below are the 16 Porsche winning cars from the 917 in 1970 to the 911 GT1 in 1998.
To quote a Porsche head of Motorsport in 1981 (Professor Bott) before the 956 program for Le Mans, “we have never done this before, but we have never been wrong before”… roll on June.
I love these, $160 a piece is too rich for me but if I had the cash I would have a few.
Linear Edge well done, https://linearedge.com/products-page/sculptures/
This is simply brilliant.
It shows so many interesting comparisons between many iconic circuits, the length of all the straights at Le Mans, the size of the Isle of Mann TT course…