Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Senna" Bestowed MPG's Best Of The Year Dean Batchelor Award

John Bisignano, former ESPN motorsport journalist during Senna's timeframe, accepts the Dean Batchelor Award on behalf of Asif Kapadia and Manish Pandey for the documentary, "Senna". Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)


"Senna" Bestowed MPG's Best Of The Year Dean Batchelor Award

"Senna" ... the critically acclaimed documentary about the racing spirit and history of F1 driver Ayrton Senna just won the overall "Best Of The Year" Dean Batchelor Award - Excellence in Automotive Journalism for 2011!

Established by the Motor Press Guild in 1995, the Dean Batchelor Award recognizes excellence in automotive journalism as exemplified by the man it is named after – Dean Batchelor.

The Award singles out individuals demonstrating outstanding achievement in the profession of automotive journalism. Each year MPG presents the Dean Batchelor Award to the journalist judged to have produced the single piece of work which best represents the professional standards and excellence demanded by Dean Batchelor during his life as an editor, writer, and chronicler of the automotive industry.

The product of years of archival research, "Senna" traces the life and career of Brazilian racer and three-time Formula One champion Ayrton Senna, and his death at Tamburello corner while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Italy. The film was released overseas in 2010 and made its U.S. debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011, where it won the Audience Award. It has also taken awards at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, and the Adelaide Film Festival, and won the Motor Press Guild’s Best Audio/Visual Award for the Sept. 2010 to Sept. 2011 qualifying period before being bestowed the 2011 honoree as best out of four Dean Batchelor category award winners.

Catagory winners as follows (honored December 13, 2011):


Best Audio Visual: Senna, by Asif Kapadia and Manish Pandey

Image Credit: Working Title


Best Book: "Elva, The Cars, The People, The History" by Janos Wimpffen

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)


Best Article: "Questor Grand Prix" by Tom Stahler

Image Credit: VINTAGE MOTORSPORT


Best Photography: "Everybody's a Photographer" by Reinhard Klein

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)


Basically, the highest award gearheads could bestow on a work of art and/or communication dedicated to motor culture in these four categories.

All hail "Best Of The Year" Dean Batchelor Award - Excellence in Automotive Journalism for 2011 to the documentary movie ... "Senna"!

... notes from The EDJE


<Article first published as "Senna" Bestowed MPG's Best Of The Year Dean Batchelor Award on Technorati>

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LA Auto Show Keynote Places Mazda’s Yamanouchi In Spotlight

Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi kicks off the L.A. Auto Show and answers questions from the gathered press with translator at his side. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

LA Auto Show Keynote Places Mazda’s Yamanouchi In Spotlight

Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi kicks off the L.A. Auto Show with an overview of the current state of the automotive industry, including lessons learned after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, as well as the recent Thai floods. Additionally, Yamanouchi will discussed the theme of the show, “Fuel Efficiency Comes Standard.”

He was introduced by Mitch Bainwol, the new President of Auto Alliance, who is attending his first auto show after spending many years associated with the Grammys.

Tahashi, at 67 years old, has spent 44 years in the auto industry and became a corporate officer in his 50′s.

After introducing himself, he reviewed the recovery process from the Tsunami and floods in Thailand. He stated that he learned,”Remarkable things can be accomplished when people work together.”

Full production was able to resume in three months as opposed to the six to nine months predicted by observers. This was achieved by looking at supply chain strength through a global outlook.

This morning Mazda will introduce the new CX 5 and this car exemplifies the theme of the show … “Fuel Efficiency Comes Standard.”

The MX 5 has become the largest selling mark and Zoom-Zoom the most recognizable trade mark phrase in the automobile industry according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Zoom-Zoom is not just a selling phrase but embodies the passion to bring fun driving automobiles to the consuming public. Of the 28 brands on the market, Consumer Reports places Mazda as #4 for quality and design among all marks.

SKYACTIV technology will bring an overall fuel economy by 30% by 2008 and with the new designs planned to be introduced, by 2015 Mazda expects to improve another 30%. Lightweight materials and slippery body design has helped, but the SKYACTIV engine, transmission and body/chassis design technology contributes by providing good acceleration along with fuel efficiency. For example, the 1.2 L engine (Mazda 2) delivers 0-60 in just under 9 seconds.

SKYACTIV manufacturing concepts allow Mazda to produce gas and diesel engines in the same plant.

The new 2.0 L introduced in the Mazda 3 SKYACTIV in 2012 delivers 40 mpg fuel efficiency.

Mazda will continue to build on 3 million vehicles per year to deliver value to the people and customers who invest in Mazda’s future. Most cars sold will still be those that use standard gasoline.

… notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dan Wheldon eBay Charity Auction Held In Memorial & Family Support

Memorial display on entrance to Conseco field for the Dan Wheldon Memorial service held in Indianapolis. Image Credit: Danial Incandela for IndyCar

Dan Wheldon eBay Charity Auction Held In Memorial & Family Support


Yesterday, October 24, 2011, eBay officially started posting items donated for auction of its Charity eBay Auction in memory of Dan Wheldon. 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit the the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund. This effort had its spark of a start through the desire of one of IZOD IndyCar Series youngest drivers, Graham Rahal.

This excerpted and edited from eBay -

Dan Wheldon
June 22, 1978 - October 16, 2011
Charity eBay Auction In Memory of IZOD IndyCar Series Champion Dan Wheldon
Auctions begin October 24th and run for 10 days

Graham Rahal didn’t know what he was starting when he offered to auction the race-used helmet, gloves and shoes he used in Las Vegas to raise money for the family of the late Dan Wheldon.

Rahal’s gesture began an outpouring of support from celebrities and athletes around the world who wanted to donate memorabilia to raise money for the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund.

“I certainly appreciate everyone’s support for Dan's Memorial Auction,” said Rahal, who recently completed his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing. “I never thought when I tweeted about auctioning my helmet that we would get this kind of reaction.”
[Reference Here]

NASCAR, LOWES liveried, "Lion Heart" visor-decaled racing helmet used in several races donated by El Cajon, California, native and five-time NASCAR Series Season Champion, Jimmie Johnson. Image Credit: eBay

It just becomes an additional grip to the heart to see the community and culture of motorsports come together over the tragic loss of one its most revered and respected figures.

Contributors include drivers and members from many competitive disciplines ... for example, people can bid on a surfboard donated by multiple World Surfing Champion, Kelly Slater ... a NASCAR, LOWES liveried, "Lion Heart" visor-decaled racing helmet used in several races donated by El Cajon, California, native and five-time NASCAR Series Season Champion, Jimmie Johnson (already catching its own auction action at $13,000 at post publish) ... Firestone Tire Table Signed by all 2011 Indianapolis 500 Participants ... Skip Barber Racing School 3 Day Session ... NASCAR driving legend, Mark Martin, donated a Mark Martin #5 Black Windbreaker Size L, Cap, #5 Round Decal & T-Shirt ... Indianapolis Colts Signed Helmet -- Peyton Manning, Donald Brown & More (team member signatures) ... much more!

Dan Wheldon Charity Auction reactions Tweet-By-Tweet:

DWheldonAuction Dan Wheldon Auction by GrahamRahal

First item is up! Taste of the Track-- Monticello Motor Club Racetrack Experience, NY r.ebay.com/fQGcOu

IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series
The first item of the @DWheldonAuction is up for bid, new itemsevery two minutes! r.ebay.com/fQGcOu

DWheldonAuction Dan Wheldon Auction byBeccyGordon
Next item is @kellyslater surfing legends signed SurfBoard! Kelly Slater Signed Channel Islands 5'11 Whip Surfboard r.ebay.com/JtUIJx

pressdog Bill Zahren
Wheldon Memorial Auction Opens ..BID, ye BASTARDS bit.ly/uAgg66

dariofranchitti Dario Franchitti byscottdixon9
the bids have started on @DWheldonAuction , over $11k already for @JimmieJohnson helmet. I've got my eye on thatone!!

indy44 Matt Archuleta
Just broke $13,000 HOLY (Insert cussword here) RT @pressdog:$11,000 RT @indy44: Nice! RT @AllenWedge: Jimmie's helmet already over$10,000

BHA Bryan Herta
The @DWheldonAuction is live, all proceeds go tosupport the Wheldon Family. bit.ly/rfmZ1V

williamrast William Rast
The @DWheldonAuction is live, all proceeds go tosupport the Wheldon Family. bit.ly/rfmZ1V

BeccyGordon Beccy Gordon
I really want the @kellyslater board for our house! I know @RyanHunterReay asked him to donate it & Iwant it! ;) @DWheldonAuction

indy44 Matt Archuleta
Takes a couple minutes for video toload-> A public celebration of Dan Wheldon’s life bit.ly/smjzgf #Lionheart#IndyCar

Dan Wheldon Auction by AllenWedge - We promise there will be cheaper items coming. Wow never expected this. We have lots of team hats etc coming up in the next few days.

James Black - $35k and counting.

Tony - The Mark Martin 1/64 signed diecast may end up being the most expensive 1/64 diecast ever - already past $300.

Dan Wheldon Auction by SBPopOffValve - Remember everyone this is only the start. Please stay tuned and keep bidding. There will be hundreds of items still to come!
-END-

May all of the competitors, fans, and people who have an interest in the sadness that is the tragic end of Dan Wheldon's life be able to put an exclamation point on the mourning process through the Dan Wheldon eBay Charity Auction held in memorial and Wheldon surviving family support.

... notes from The EDJE



[Article first published as Dan Wheldon eBay Charity Auction Held In Memorial & Family Support at Technorati]

Monday, October 24, 2011

Will BMW Issue A M1 Redux?

The very wicked frontview look of the BMW M1 Concept. Image Credit: BMW via Motorsports Unplugged

Will BMW Issue A M1 Redux?


BMW is now floating rumors that they might take another shot at the iconic M1. In 2008 they created the BMW M1 Hommage. Several design studies have been produced, but now the M division wants another crack at it.



... notes from The EDJE

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Is Fisker Automotive Another Solyndra Style Waste Of Money?

ABC News focuses on the one Fisker assembly line already running in Finland. Some of those federal energy dollars were used on design plans. ABC interviewed Fisker head, Henrik Fisker who assured reporter Brian Ross the federal money was not being used to pay workers at the plant. Image Credit: Fisker Automotive, Inc.

Is Fisker Automotive Another Solyndra Style Waste Of Money?

We, at The EDJE, have a neighbor whose family was happy to tell me, about six months ago, that they had private investments in Fisker Automotive, Inc.

News broke this week stating that Obama's Department of Energy was acting as a venture capitalist by issuing a 500 million dollar plus loan to a car manufacturing company on the heels of the bankruptcy announcement of Solyndra, a solar cell manufacturer where the Obama Administration thought it was a good risk to place taxpayer money at risk in a company that they knew would go bankrupt.

The Fisker Karma, front view. Image Credit: Fisker Automotive, Inc.

This excerpted and edited from Newsworks -

Tactics of Delaware carmaker Fisker questioned by ABC News

By John Mussoni - October 21, 2011

ABC News partnered with the Center for Public Integrity to do a series of reports that aired on various broadcasts over Thursday and Friday. It pointed to over $500 million in U.S. Energy Department loans for Fisker to build new-age fuel efficient cars.

The failed new energy company, Solyndra, is also casting a shadow over Fisker Automotive and other new technology companies. The ABC News report raised questions about how federal dollars are being spent in getting the Fisker assembly line up to speed in the old Boxwood Road GM plant in Delaware.

The report points to a General Accounting Office report saying there is not enough oversight on how the money is being spent. The GAO report also states there aren’t enough trained engineers who can analyze whether companies like Fisker and its chief competitor, Tesla Motors, are spending money appropriately.

ABC News focuses on the one Fisker assembly line already running in Finland. Some of those federal energy dollars were used on design plans. ABC interviewed Fisker head, Henrik Fisker who assured reporter Brian Ross the federal money was not being used to pay workers at the plant.

There is a tone of skepticism in both reports about whether there could be another company that fails despites federal backing.
----
Delaware has money tied to Fisker as well.

The state of Delaware has a big stake in Fisker’s success. Part of the deal struck in October 2009 was a $9 million grant that would off set utility charges while Fisker started the necessary changes needed to change the assembly process from what was left behind with General Motors to the Fisker assembly line. To date the state has paid $5 million, according to Governor Jack Markell’s office.

The state has also invested another $12.5 million in a loan to Fisker that will be converted to a grant if hiring goals are met. There have been 100 people hired so far in 2011. The goal is over 2,000 workers to be in place by 2013.
----
A Fisker spokesman told Fox Business Channel what the company meant to say was that full distribution would not begin until 2013. The spokesman said the company was still on track to begin production a year from now.

The Delaware facility looks about the same as it did when General Motors shut down the plant in July 2009. The water tower still has the GM logo. There are padlocks on the fences where hundreds of workers used to work.
[Reference Here]

Fisker Karma, rear view. Image Credit: Fisker Automotive, Inc.

When I came home, I could not wait to write the following:

"I just found out today in the news that you (and your dad) have nothing on me, in that, I am an investor in the Fisker Automotive, Inc. too! We have great taste.

This is NOT a Solyndra type of deal that the Obama Government made because there is actually a market for well conceived, well designed, limited production run boutique automobiles ... no matter the sales price. The solar panels that were supposed to be produced at the Solyndra could only be made for $6.00 in a $3.00 solar cell market price world.

I hope to see Henrik Fisker again at the LA Auto Show."

As per Fisker - Not a single dollar of the DoE loans has been, or will be, spent outside of America. All expenditures are reviewed by PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) on behalf of the DoE. Image Credit: Fisker Automotive, Inc.

This excerpted and edited from Fisker website -

Fisker Statement re: Misleading News Reports

ID: 567 | 10.21.2011

There have been stories in the media today commenting on the Department of Energy (DoE) loan guarantees Fisker Automotive received. We wanted to give you some more information.
----
Not a single dollar of the DoE loans has been, or will be, spent outside of America. All expenditures are reviewed by PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) on behalf of the DoE.

After receiving the DoE loan, Fisker made it a priority to create U.S. jobs which led to the purchase its own assembly plant in Delaware where we plan to establish production of our second, higher volume, line of vehicles (Project Nina).

There are currently over 100 workers reconfiguring the Delaware plant so that Fisker will be ready to begin hiring a skilled hourly workforce to producing its Nina platform vehicles in the U.S. for sale around the world. Many of these Delaware costs are covered by the DoE loans.

For the Karma program, the DoE loan money was used solely in the U.S. to fund design, engineering, and integration work.

Only private equity financing, of which we have raised over $600 million so far, has been used for costs not covered by the DoE loans, of which only a small part is production costs in Finland.

The majority of our private funding has been used to create jobs, including 650 people at Fisker’s headquarters in California, over 100 at the Delaware plant and many more at various suppliers throughout the U.S.

At the inception of the company, Fisker explored the possibility of producing the Karma in the U.S. However, there are no contract manufacturers like Valmet in the U.S., and none of the established domestic automakers were willing to partner with Fisker to provide a manufacturing option in the U.S. that would work for the Karma program. Our assembly arrangement for the Karma was in place before the DoE loans were approved, and has been widely reported on since 2009.

There is no link between Fisker Automotive and any political party. We are politically neutral – our focus is on building luxury electric vehicles.

More than 45% of the components of the Fisker Karma sedan are manufactured by approximately 40 suppliers located in the U.S. Some of our biggest suppliers in the U.S. include A123 Systems (Li-ion battery), General Motors Springhill Engine Plant (gasoline engine), Goodyear (tires) and TRW (regenerative braking system).
----
With the help of DoE loans, Fisker has already created hundreds of U.S. jobs, with thousands more in the near future. Ultimately Fisker is a high-tech American car company that we’re confident will be an American success story to be celebrated.
[Reference Here]

So, is Fisker Automotive another Obama/Solyndra style waste of taxpayer money? If the former design director of Aston Martin and the once president and CEO of BMW's DesignworksUSA, Henrik Fisker has his way, we think not.

... notes from The EDJE


[Article first published as Is Fisker Automotive Another Solyndra Style Waste Of Money? at Technorati]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Post Dan Wheldon Tragedy Reaction Review To Safety On Banked Ovals

A memorial to Dan Wheldon is displayed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the British-born driver was killed in an accident on Sunday. Image Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images via guardian.co.uk

Post Dan Wheldon Tragedy Reaction Review To Safety On Banked Ovals


The safety debate centers on the fact that IndyCar Dallara vehicles, which all have the same bodies and engines, can not avoid pack racing at very high speeds on a circuit as small and banked as the Las Vegas track, and this sets up a condition that is dangerous with open-cockpit, Indy-style cars. The wide track bed combined with steep banking and the mushroom shaped vortex wash that comes out from behind the cars, set up a very unstable mix.

Driving the Go Daddy No. 7, Andretti Autosport Dallara, Danica Patrick posted the fastest practice time with a staggering 224.719 mph on Oct. 13. After learning her time, Patrick's reaction proved prophetic.

"It's friggin' fast here," said Patrick. "Almost a 225 lap is like Indy speeds. The track is nice and smooth and we’ll be three-wide out there, which will be exciting. The race is going to be crazy and the crashes will be spectacular."

Danica, who will be driving in NASCAR next year, was not the only driver talking up the danger of the course in the days before the race.

"It's so fast and you're so close to each other, it's exciting," veteran driver, and IMS Radio commentator, Hewlett-Packard sponsored Davey Hamilton told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, also noting that he expected four wide racing. "There's really no room for error."

Driver comments after the Wheldon tragedy where 15 cars were collected in a fiery mess confirmed the fear of this unstable mix.

"We all know this is part of the sport," driver Oriol Servia said of the danger. "We all had a bad feeling about this place in particular just because of the high banking and how easy it was to go flat" out on the throttle.

"Within five laps people started to do crazy stuff," Dario Franchitti said immediately after the accident. "I wanted no part of it. I love hard racing, but that to me is not what it's about. I said before, this is not a suitable track. You can't get away from anybody. One small mistake and you have a massive wreck."

"Now we need to rethink the way we're doing things," said Tony Kanaan, who started on the pole.

The Dallara IR-05 was built specifically to be driven in excess of 230 mph and protect its driver in the event of an accident at those speeds. Its carbon fiber chassis was designed to break apart during a collision and absorb the forces of a series of massive impacts while keeping the cockpit surrounding the driver intact.

Since its introduction in 2005, only one driver, Paul Dana, had died behind the wheel of the Dallara before Sunday. In a freak accident during practice for the 2006 season opener in Homestead, Fla., Dana lost control of his car and hit a damaged vehicle that had come to a stop on the track in front of him head-on, at an estimated speed of 176 mph. In a bit of irony, Dan Wheldon went on to win that race. Since then, the cars had been used in 100 races and covered more than 500,000 miles in competition without any loss of life, and fe
But one thing the vehicles can’t do is prevent an accident like the 15-car pileup that took the 33-year-old Wheldon’s life.



Driver James Jakes, whose car was damaged in the incident, added that “unfortunately, it’s something I think a lot of us thought might happen. We practiced with no more than five or six cars in a group and now we’ve got 34 ... there was going to be some trouble.”

During the 15 car collection in turn #2, Wheldon’s car got airborne and came into contact with the catch fence above the wall. The metal mesh fence is designed to keep vehicles and debris from leaving the confines of the track, but can cause additional damage in the process.

“It is one of those things that when you are racing you are always aware that there are risks,” Dan Weldon teammate, Alex Tagliani said. “But you never think it is going to come to that."

“I am very sad and angry,” expressed Alex. What angered the 38-year-old was that no one listened to the drivers’ fears over the conditions before the race. Tagliani felt that, like NASCAR, when it revolutionized driver safety after the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001 at Daytona International Speedway, IndyCar must look at doing the same in its series.

“If we are going to come back to these (1 1/2-mile banked ovals) we are going to have to change the aero packages to slow the cars down,” continued Alex. “It is just not right that some one has to die to make those changes.”

One thing that Tagliani proposes is that drivers, team owners, track owners and IndyCar bosses get together in the off season to talk about what can be done to make racing both better and safer.

“There is definitely things that need to be discussed and things to look at,” Tagliani concluded. “We for sure have to talk to the series bosses. Right now my mind is so confused. We have to talk about racing these types of cars on these types of race tracks. I don’t think tracks like the mile and a half at Las Vegas is the right thing for us.”

On Friday, IndyCar President and CEO Randy Bernard announced that the series plans to return to Las Vegas for its finale in 2012, and the organization has not yet said if it is reconsidering that decision.

In an interview with Fox Sports in the wake of the crash, former CART/ChampCar driver and current NASCAR star A.J. Allmendinger said, “obviously, with the new car coming in, it needs to be safer, but there are tracks that they don't need to race at.”

A template situation that IndyCar could have learned from as it relates to high-banked mile and a half ovals happened in 2001. CART/ChampCar, one of the two open-wheel racing series that later combined to form IndyCar, was forced to cancel a race at the Texas Motor Speedway after drivers complained in practice about getting dizzy and blacking out from the g-forces created by the high speeds that their cars were capable of on the steeply-banked 1.5-mile oval. In this case the rules were changed to slow the cars down through downforce and engine set-ups at subsequent events held at the track.
(ht: various news services - FoxNews/Huffington Post/Toronto Sun - for quotes and background on the Dallara IR-05)

The two biggest words that stand out the most, if one were to read between the lines, in all of these post Dan Wheldon tragedy driver reactions to safety on banked ovals - Race Control.

Upon reflection ... Race Control has been the overriding story (race call miscues effecting championship points standings, recommended car set ups, and venue management) for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series World Championship season and the last season of the Dallara IR-05.

... notes from The EDJE


[Article was first published as Post Dan Wheldon Tragedy Reaction Review To Safety On Banked Ovals at Technorati]

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dan Wheldon Killed: The First and Final Laps, Tweet by Tweet

This was not the Fun Day at LVMS I had planned. The crowd was good, the staff in the Media Center at LVMS (as it is at all SMI Tracks) was First Class, Helpful and Friendly as always. The weather was almost perfect, and as we settled in to say good-bye and good luck (you won't be missed) to Danica Patrick (the Driver, not Racer). We had a change in plans. With the race just within the first laps we saw a open wheel car crash unlike anything I have ever seen in over 40 years of Motorsports. This was a crash like we see at Talladega when they talk about "The Big One". My first clue as I walked through the Pits after the green flag and about a dozen laps, was the very large "WOWs", OMGs, and Screams from the crowds (as you can't see the back side if the track from the Pits) that something big had just happened. The yellow came out for just a moment and changed to a "Red Flag" almost right away. Again something I have not seen in my life long involvement in Motorsports. At that point I knew there was something very wrong.

It took a long while to get the bad news we knew was coming. We have lost our good friend Dan Wheldon. The race will be blamed, the track will be blamed, but niether should be blamed. LVMS is a well built, well run Race Track. I hope we get to see Indy Cars Race there again one day. Dicken Wear.

RIP, Dan Wheldon

This was not the Fun Day at LVMS I had planned. The crowd was good, the staff in the Media Center at LVMS (as it is at all SMI Tracks) was First Class, Helpful and Friendly as always. The weather was almost perfect, and as we settled in to say good-bye and good luck (you won't be missed) to Danica Patrick (the Driver, not Racer). We had a change in plans. With the race just within the first laps we saw a open wheel car crash unlike anything I have ever seen in over 40 years of Motorsports. This was a crash like we see at Talladega when they talk about "The Big One". My first clue as I walked through the Pits after the green flag and about a dozen laps, was the very large "WOWs", OMGs, and Screams from the crowds (as you can't see the back side if the track from the Pits) that something big had just happened. The yellow came out for just a moment and changed to a "Red Flag" almost right away. Again something I have not seen in my life long involvement in Motorsports. At that point I knew there was something very wrong.

It took a long while to get the bad news we knew was coming. We have lost our good friend Dan Wheldon. The race will be blamed, the track will be blamed, but niether should be blamed. LVMS is a well built, well run Race Track. I hope we get to see Indy Cars Race there again one day. Dicken Wear.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Road Atlanta ALMS Race Hosts A Field Of LMP1 Champions

REBELLION Racing's Manufactures' Championship winning Lola B10/60 Coupé Toyota as it leads the Dyson Racing Manufactures' Championship winning Lola B09/86 Mazda and the two diesel-powered Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908's around the track earlier this year at Sebring. Image Credit: REBELLION Racing (2011)


Road Atlanta ALMS Race Hosts A Field Of LMP1 Champions

This weekend's motorsports action features the running of the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda contested at Road Atlanta. Le Mans Series prototype cars from all over the world are lined up to take their shots on the 2011 European and American Le Mans Series Manufacturers' Championship cars in a 10 hour endurance race that ends the American Le Mans Series 2011 season.

Even though the seasons are not over for both the European and American 2011 series of Le Mans specification cars, the Lola-Toyota of Switzerland's REBELLION Racing and the Lola-Mazda of America's Dyson Racing have locked up the respective Manufacturers' Championship in races held two weeks ago. A field of 13 cars that include these two manufactures championship cars feature the 24 hours of Le Mans winning team of Audi Sport Team and its chief competitor Peugeot Sport ... both are powered by the impressive TDI diesel fuel propelled technology engines.



This excerpted and edited from ALMS -

DUMAS' FLYER MAKES AUDI FASTEST IN MONDAY TESTING
Preview of an epic battle for Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta

Audi Sport’s Romain Dumas waited until the second-to-last lap Monday to set the fastest time in the second day of testing for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda – a 1:08.394 (133.696 mph) lap at Road Atlanta. The Frenchman set the time in the diesel-powered Audi R18 TDI that he will share in Saturday’s 1,000-mile/10-hour race with Timo Bernhard and Marcel Fassler.

Dumas’ time ended what had been a day of dominance for Peugeot Sport Total, which sat 1-2 for most the afternoon. The No. 7 entry of Sebastien Bourdais, Anthony Davidson and Simon Pagenaud ended Monday second at 1:08.569 (133.355 mph). The second Peugeot of Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz sat third at 1:09.311 (131.927 mph).

Petit Le Mans, the final round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, marks the resumption of a Road Atlanta battle between the two diesel powers that dates back to 2008. Peugeot won the last two years, and both factory teams are back with first-year prototype coupes. The Audi bested Peugeot in June at the 24 Hours of the Le Mans and the French manufacturer is looking for retribution this weekend. The 908 was fastest at Road Atlanta on Sunday with a 1:08.291 (133.898 mph).
[Reference Here]

If this were not enough for just one of four classes of racing in 10 hours, the LMP1 Class Aston Martin powered entries from Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing and ALMS Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca winner of two weeks ago MEX Aston Martin Racing Gulf are ready to pounce.

The diesel-powered Audi R18 TDI driven by the team of Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Marcel Fassler. Image Credit: ALMS (2011)

LMP1 Class Entry List

CAR NO. - DRIVER(s) / HOMETOWN - TEAM NAME - SPONSOR - CAR TYPE - ENGINE - TIRE - FUEL


1 Timo Bernhard / DEU Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI Michelin Diesel
Marcel Fässler / CHE
TBD

2 Tom Kristensen / DNK Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI Michelin Diesel
Allan McNish / SCO
TBD

6 Lucas Luhr / Koblenz, Germany Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing Muscle Milk/ Biedermann Technologies AMR/Lola Coupe B08 62 Aston Martin Michelin E-85
Klaus Graf / Dornhan, Germany

7 Anthony Davidson / GBR Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908 Peugeot Michelin Diesel
Sèbastien Bourdais / FRA
Simon Pagenaud/ FRA

8 Franck Montagny / FRA Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908 Peugeot Michelin Diesel
Stéphane Sarrazin / FRA
Alexander Wurz / AUT

10 Nicolas Lapierre / FRA Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP Peugeot Michelin Diesel
Nicolas Minassian / FRA
Marc Gené / ESP

12 Nicolas Prost / FRA Rebellion Racing Lola B10/60 Coupé Toyota Michelin E-10
Neel Jani / CHE
Andrea Belicchi / ITA

15 Matthieu Lahaye / FRA Oak Racing Oak Pescarolo Judd Dunlop E-10
Guillaume Moreau / FRA
Pierre Ragues / FRA

16 Chris Dyson / Pleasant Valley, NY Dyson Racing Team Inc. Mazda/ G-Oil/ ModSpace/ Lola B09/86 Mazda Dunlop Isobutanol
Guy Smith / Beverley, UK Construct Corps/ Dunlop/ Thetford
Jay Cochran / Palm Beach, FL

20 Humaid Al Masaood / Abu Dhabi, UAE Oryx Dyson Racing Mazda/ Dunlop Lola B09/86 Mazda Dunlop Isobutanol
Steven Kane / Newtownards, Ireland
Butch Leitzinger / Reberburg, PA

24 Jacques Nicolet / FRA Oak Racing Oak Pescarolo Judd Dunlop E-10
Jean-François Yvon / FRA
TBD

007 Adrian Fernandez / MEX Aston Martin Racing Gulf/ Hackett/ Lowes/ Michelin AMR/ Lola Coupe B09 60 Aston Martin Michelin E-10
Stefan Mücke / DEU
Harold Primat / CHE

012 Tony Burgess / Toronto, ON Autocon Namesilo/ TDM/ Redline/ Cyclo Lola B06/10 AER Dunlop Isobutanol
Chris McMurry / Phoenix, AZ
Bryan Wilman / Seattle, WA
(ht: ALMS)

For those who focus on driving talent who have Open Wheel experience through the now IndyCar asorbed ChampCar World Series, one will recognize the names of Sebastien Bourdais (four-time CCWS Champion), Simon Pagenaud, and Franck Montagny driving for Peugeot, Neel Jani of the European Manufacturers' Champion REBELLION Racing Lola-Toyota, and Adrian Fernandez driving the MEX Aston Martin Racing Gulf.

The #7 and #8 Peugeot 908 LMP1 racing Lolas at Road Atlanta as they get ready to compete in the 10 hours of the Petit Le Mans. Image Credit: ALMS (2011)

Quotes from LMP1 competitors on the reaction to the track and the upcoming race:

Adrian Fernandez, Aston Martin Racing
Lola B09/60-Aston Martin (LMP1)
“It’s been a tough year but the win in Monterey was really good. We didn’t get the car until a month ago. There were some new rules for this year and we had to make some changes. We made more after the first session at Laguna and it really improved the car.”

Alexandre Premat, Oak Racing
Oak Pescarolo-Judd (LMP1)
“This is my first day here so everything is new to me. I like this track a lot; it reminds me a lot of the Nurburgring with lots of ups and down. I have heard a lot about the track and racing in America so I’m really excited to see it. For sure there are already a lot of teams here testing but it is the same for everyone. I can imagine as the race gets closer the track and the traffic will be amazing.”

Romain Dumas, Audi Sport Team Joest
Audi R18 TDI (LMP1)
“The car was quite quick this morning. The Peugeot did a (1:09.5 in the morning) and I did a 9.5. So it is already very, very close. We did much testing over the winter in preparation for Le Mans so I got to drive the car many times. But it is nice to be back in the Audi R18. Already there is a lot of traffic. It will get much worse later in the week. I do think that this will be most difficult race of my career.”

Stephane Sarrazin, Peugeot Sport Total
Peugeot 908 (LMP1)
“At first we had a problem finding the best setup on the car for the race. But in the afternoon I was very happy with the progress and balance. It felt really good. Yes the car is new but the track and the job are still the same. My last three years here have been very good with a runner-up in 2008 and wins in 2009 and 2010. Physically the race should not be too difficult because it is a shorter track. But you have to be extremely careful with traffic as it could quickly end your race.”

The 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is set for a 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 1 from Road Atlanta. The race will air on ABC at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 2. Live coverage will be available in the U.S. on ESPN3 or outside the U.S. on americanlemans.com.

... notes from The EDJE




(First published as Road Atlanta ALMS Race Hosts A Field Of LMP1 Champions at Technorati)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lola-Mazda Wins America's Le Mans Series Manufacturers’, Team, And Drivers' Championship

The Dyson Racing team on the grid (#20 Oryx Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda on left, #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola-Mazda on right) just before the running of the ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron [ctrl-click image above to view slideshow of Dyson Racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca]. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

Lola-Mazda Wins America's Le Mans Series Manufacturers’, Team, And Drivers' Championship

In the 2011 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season, Lola-Mazda locked up all three LMP1 championships – manufacturers, team, and drivers. By finishing with a second-place podium finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS) during last weekend's ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron, the late season two car Dyson Racing team were able to lock up the triple crown of points races across the board.

Chris Dyson and Guy Smith took home the season’s top honors in their Mazda-powered #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola. In addition, Mazda won the Engine Manufacturer title and Dunlop took home the Tire Championship with one race to go in the ALMS season. “I have been doing this a long time and have won a number of championships in the past three decades,” said Rob Dyson, “But these today are very, very special.”

The Dyson Racing #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola-Mazda as it charges up the Rahal Straight between turns #6 and #7. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

The #20 Oryx Dyson Racing entry with Humaid Al Masood, Steven Kane and Butch Leitzinger came in third, leading 35 laps in the course of the event. Between the two entries, Dyson Racing led over 70% of the six-hour MRLS event.

The two Dyson Racing LMP1 Lolas are powered by a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder Mazda MZR-R engine against the runner-up Aston Martin with their V12 prototype.

The #20 Oryx Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda chases down the #007 Aston Martin Racing works-Lola entry, along the short chute between turns #3 and #4, late in the race. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

Al Masaaod had a competitive stint in the #20 car battling the #007 Aston Martin. “The tires came in well and I had a good pace and felt very good about my time in the car. For me, it was a good benchmark to be mixing it up with experienced drivers in good cars.” Leitzinger shared the same satisfaction with his run: “It was great fun, especially in the beginning when there were four of us in a very tight pack racing very hard. It is satisfying as a driver when you have a car that handles this well and everyone is racing fairly and competitively.”

“This is a day to be savored,” said Chris Dyson. “I am really thrilled with the team. It is a great accomplishment to have the team back on top. We have had the equipment everywhere this year with our Lola Mazda and our Dunlop tires and the AER engines have been strong all year. It has really been a culmination of a three-year program with Mazda. They have shown unwavering support through it all. We could not be happier to reward them with a championship today.” “Our guys back in the shop and the guys on the road have shown incredible application this year. And Lola has been pushing the edge on the development – we have not sat still once this year. I won my first championship in 2003 but think I was too young to enjoy it and thought things were going to come easily but have had the last eight years to learn the lesson that this is not something that comes around without a lot of hard work from a lot of people. I am so happy for Guy. He has been my partner through all this and he is like my brother. When you get down to it, it really is a family affair and our team is as much a family as it is a team.”

The Dyson Racing #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola-Mazda on "The Corkscrew" ... 'nuff said. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

Guy Smith commented, “I would just like to say a big thank you to the Dyson Racing Team and to Rob and to Chris, my co driver since 2005. We have worked very hard and had a lot of highs and lows through our time driving together. This year has been phenomenal and Greg Pickett’s Muscle Milk team has been great competition. We have enjoyed every battle with them. They are true sportsmen. The Mazda engine has been reliable and strong all year and the Dunlop tires – some would say it was a gamble two years ago to go with them, but they have proven this year to be the tire of choice. G-OIL came on board this year and we are pleased to give them their first championship along with ModSpace and Construct Corps. We are very happy for everyone who has made this happen. This is truly a team championship.”

During the course of the 2011 season to date, the Dyson team has racked up two overall wins including a one-two finish at the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix where they also won the Green X Challenge. The points gained in their two-three finish here at MRLS put them in the multi-championship position they share today. The ALMS season will conclude with the ten-hour Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta on October 1st.
(ht: MAZDASPEED Motorsports / Dyson Racing)

... notes from The EDJE



[Article first published as Lola-Mazda Wins America's Le Mans Series Manufacturers', Team, and Drivers' Championship on Technorati]

BMW Group PressClub USA - The new BMW M5

Image Credit: BMW via netautocar.com


Specifications and performance of the
BMW M5:

V8 petrol engine, M TwinPower Turbo technology with Twin Scroll Twin Turbo, cross-bank exhaust manifold, High Precision Direct Injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve control. Displacement: 4,395 cc, output: 412 kW/560 hp at 6,000 – 7,000 rpm, max. torque: 680 Nm (502 lb-ft) at 1,500 – 5,750 rpm. Acceleration 0–100 km/h (62 mph): 4.4 seconds, acceleration 0–200 km/h (124 mph): 13.0 seconds, top speed: 250 km/h / 155 mph (305 km/h / 190 mph with M Driver’s Package). Average fuel consumption: 9.9 litres/100 kilometres (28.5 mpg imp), CO2 emissions: 232 g/km, exhaust standard: EU5.

Full information on the new BMW M5 found here:

BMW Group PressClub USA


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Team Falken Tire Turns Heads And Wheels At The Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix

Derrick Walker's Team Falken Tire as it tracks around the city street course at the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. Image Credit: The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron


Team Falken Tire Turns Heads And Wheels At The Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix

Yes, just as it was in Mid-Ohio, at least three other teams with six driver pairings were supposed to lock the Derrick Walker managed Team Falken Tire out of any podium finish in the seventh round sold out ALMS GT Class race through the streets of Baltimore. The drivers Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler captured their second and most impressive victory in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR this weekend at the 2011 Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix.

The team's first order of business was to move up from its P5 qualifying position, while remaining clear of being involved in any collection of machinery, that has a tendency of happening on a tight and bumpy closed street course. Sure enough, just after the Green Flag dropped to start the race, driver Wolf Henzler, who started the first stint, managed to wiggle through carnage in Turn-1 of the narrow 2.04-mile circuit, picking up two positions before the first lap was over.

Team Falken Tire's Wolf Henzler maintains the inside passage at race start (left-inside) to gain two positions on the opening lap of the Baltimore Grand Prix. Image Credit: The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron

Henzler showed a strong pace and his equipment proved to handle well on the rough temporary course near Camden Yards baseball stadium in downtown Baltimore. After putting the pressure on the leaders for many laps, the German driver then pulled a daring outside pass toward the lead around Turn-1 and got the position ... now P3.

At the mandatory pit stop for a tire change, fuel, and a driver change on Lap 35, the Team Falken Tire pit crew, lead by crew chief Nico Castellaccio, performed the quickest pit stop of the whole GT field and sent team-mate Brian Sellers out with one hour to go in the timed race.

A few laps transpired and the action on the track was placed under a Full Course caution to fix a loose manhole cover ... after the restart, Sellers took advantage of contact between the final two top running GT Class cars (the #55 BMW and #3 Corvette). The Turn 1 incident and penalty issued to Tommy Milner driving the #3 Corvette created enough separation where the Walker Racing managed driver led the remainder of the race and took the checkered flag for the second time this year.

Team Falken Tire's Brian Sellers leads the GT Class during the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. Image Credit: The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron

The team’s first victory came at Mid-Ohio earlier this year where the Walker Racing led Team Falken Tire drivers took advantage of their superior Falken rain tires to survive monsoon conditions at the picturesque road course. This win thrust Derrick Walker back into the limelight where he had been before in his previous life as a ChampCar World Series team owner. On 7 April 2007, Walker won his first race as a team owner since 1999 with the then Team Australia's Will Power (the IndyCar winner of the 2011 Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix) won the CCWS's inaugural (and only) Las Vegas GP.

Funny how the cream always rises to the top in these inaugural races ... even when the cream becomes separated.

Derrick Walker's Team Falken Tire takes the trophy in the GT Class (photo left) at the podium ceremony at the Baltimore Grand Prix. Image Credit: The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron

Results - 71 laps (Class Leaders In BOLD):

Pos - Class - Drivers - Team/Car - Time/Gap


1. P1 Al Masaood/Kane Dyson Lola-Mazda 2h01m03.170s
2. P1 Dyson/Smith Dyson Lola-Mazda + 6.961s

3. PC Marcelli/Drissi Intersport FLM + 25.760s
4. PC Lux/Julian Genoa FLM + 58.462s
5. PC Bennett/Montecalvo CORE Autosport FLM + 1m00.861s

6. GT Henzler/Sellers Falken Porsche + 1m16.935s
7. PC Jeannette/Gonzalez CORE Autosport FLM + 1m19.921s
8. GT Muller/Hand BMW + 1 lap
9. GT Gavin/Magnussen Corvette + 1 lap
10. PC Nicolosi/Boon Performance Tech FLM + 1 lap
11. GT Miller/Maassen Miller Porsche + 1 lap
12. GT Auberlen/Werner BMW + 1 lap
13. GT Melo/Vilander Risi Ferrari + 1 lap
14. GT Beretta/Milner Corvette + 1 lap
15. P1 Burgess/McMurry Autocon Lola-AER + 3 laps
16. GT Neiman/Law Flying Lizard Porsche + 3 laps
17. GT Sharp/van Overbeek Extreme Speed Ferrari + 3 laps
18. GT Brown/Cosmo Extreme Speed Ferrari + 3 laps

19. GTC Pappas/Bleekemolen Black Swan Porsche + 4 laps
20. GTC Sweedler/Keen Alex Job Porsche + 4 laps
21. GTC Potter/Stanton Magnus Porsche + 4 laps
22. GTC LeSaffre/Davis Green Hornet Porsche + 4 laps
23. GTC von Moltke/Bunting TRG Porsche + 4 laps
24. GTC Ende/Pumpelly TRG Porsche + 4 laps
25. P1 Dumas/Graf Muscle Milk Lola-Aston + 7 laps
26. GT Bergmeister/Long Flying Lizard Porsche + 15 laps

Retirements:

PC Ducote/Ducote Intersport FLM 52 laps
PC Dobson/Lewis PR1 Mathiasen FLM 14 laps
GT Jones/Moran RSR Jaguar 1 lap
GT Junqueira/Wilden RSR Jaguar 0 laps
(ht: chart - autosport.com)

The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron will now head west to Monterey, California for the ModSpace American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patron. The six-hour race will take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 17th, and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com at 3:15 PM ET, and tape delayed on ESPN2 on September 18th at 1PM ET.

... notes from The EDJE



[Article first published as Team Falken Tire Turns Heads And Wheels At The Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix on Technorati]

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bumpy Baltimore Gets A Rubbing In With IndyCar & ALMS

Conquest Racing's Sebastian Saavedra occupied his time [during the initial event delay] with engineering and drivers meetings, tweeting, checking email and even working in a brief nap before being jostled by the bumps of the Pratt Street frontstretch in the No. 34 Bogota Es Mundial entry in front of tens of thousands of enthusiastic spectators. Caption & Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series


Bumpy Baltimore Gets A Rubbing In With IndyCar & ALMS

A group of downtown streets converted into a shiny new racing circuit will always have its start up problems. The first day warm-ups (as well as qualifying for the American Le Mans Series) with the two racing series competing in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix were no different.

First off, the beginning to the schedule was moved off for about four hours due to last minute safety improvements to the fencing that defined the 2-mile, 12-turn track.

The reaction of many of the drivers overall, was quite positive ... for example, Will Power after posting the fastest time in Baltimore with a best lap time of 1 minute, 22.1739 seconds which translates to 89.411 mph, had a good time learning the course with a couple of non-damaging "offs".

Penske Racing's Will Power, needing to make up 26 points, sets fast lap during the first practice period at the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

"You are working the entire time and it is a pretty cool track," said Power, who won the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma five days earlier to tighten the championship points duel with front-runner Dario Franchitti to 26 behind. "They did a really good job creating the circuit. It takes a lot of commitment and there are several technical bits. It's bumpy and I think it will be a great race."

After a 75 minute warm-up and about a 90 minute break, the ALMS went out to set their positions for the start of their race on Saturday. The fastest qualifier overall was the Dyson Racing LMP1 Lola B09 86/Mazda shared by Guy Smith and Chris Dyson where Brit Guy Smith set his fourth class pole with a fast pace of 1 minute, 27.750 seconds (83.692 mph).

Guy Smith takes his Mazda LMP1 to the streets of Baltimore. Image Credit: ALMS

“I think the people of Baltimore have done a great job with the circuit and gave us as much track time as they could,” said Smith, who will drive with Chris Dyson. “With a new circuit, there are always teething problems. But they gave us a great track. It's bumpy and it’s demanding, but that’s what street courses are all about.”

In the GT Class, BMW Team RLL was once again at the top of the charts with the #55 BMW M3 GT of Bill Auberlin and Dirk Werner with Werner posting a fast lap of 1 minute 31.362 seconds (80.834 mph) ... the team car to the season points leading #56 BMW M3 GT of Joey Hand and Dirk Muller.

Dirk Werner gets his wheels to bounce over the temporary curbing that defines the track on the streets of Baltimore. Image Credit: ALMS

“It's amazing to have a pole this year,” said Werner. “The car is really fantastic; it has been this whole season - especially our car. We have had a lot of close calls this year [in qualifying] but we never got that pole. The team is very competitive with drivers who can be quick. So to be here at the new track, is really great.

“After free practice going into qualifying we looked at the data from the sessions and looked who had the best turns and speeds so we could learn a lot in a few short minutes,” Werner continued. “You could see how from the short time we've been on track we keep getting faster. We could actually be going faster at the end of the race than we are right now. It shows how great our team is and finding the settings for the street circuit. (The tires) are really holding up over the long drives.”

Top shot of the Dyson Racing #16-LMP1 Lola B09 86/Mazda. Image Credit: ALMS

Based on comments made by many of the drivers of both series, this Baltimore street venue drives like St. Pete with a crowd more like the festival atmosphere imparted by the grand-daddy of all American street races at Long Beach. Not a bad review for a near Washington D.C. venue.

The American Le Mans Series Baltimore Grand Prix is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 3. The race will air on ABC, Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) and be shown live in the U.S. on ESPN3 or americanlemans.com outside the U.S. Live coverage also will be available on Rogers Sportsnet One in Canada and MotorsTV in Europe.

The IZOD IndyCar Series Baltimore Grand Prix - Baltimore, MD Streets of Baltimore - Qualifications, 6:00 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) Saturday, Sept. 3 on Versus / Race, 2:00 (11 a.m. PT) p.m. ET Sunday, Sept 4 on Versus with both broadcast on www.indycar.com - multimedia timing & scoring with concurrent radio broadcast.

... notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Toyota Motorsport GmbH Successful At Electric Vehicle Timed Speed Record

The TMG EV P001 electric vehicle next to its new electric lap record time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife [ctrl-click image to launch video of speed record run]. Image Credit: Toyota Motorsport GmbH

Toyota Motorsport GmbH Successful At Electric Vehicle Timed Speed Record

Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) has set a new lap record for an electric vehicle (EV) at the legendary 20.8km Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany.

The TMG EV P001, with 100% electric powertrain and Jochen Krumbach at the wheel, set a new lap record of 7mins 47.794secs to beat the previous lap record, which stood at 9mins 1.338secs, by a very substantial margin.

The TMG EV P001 electric vehicle on its way to setting a new lap record for electric vehicles at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Image Credit: Toyota Motorsport GmbH

Using two electric motors, the TMG electric powertrain has a top speed of 260km/h (161.556509981707 miles per hour) which combined with 800Nm of torque to achieve impressive speeds on the extremely challenging Nordschleife track, which includes significant elevation changes and lengthy flat-out sections.

TMG’s target, prior to the 29 August record run, was to become the first electric vehicle break the eight-minute barrier and this was achieved comfortably on a day when the notoriously changeable Nürburgring weather stayed fine, although track temperatures were relatively low.

The TMG EV P001 electric vehicle photo shot before its lap record attempt at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Image Credit: Toyota Motorsport GmbH

Such performance shows TMG’s electric powertrain is ideal to power any future single-make electric motorsport series and TMG will begin commercial sales of this technology in 2012. TMG continues to advance its electric vehicle capability for motorsport applications with in-house development of the electric powertrain and ongoing investigations into alternative chassis solutions.

The future of alternative powertrain racing (non-petro/non-liquid fuel) is at hand ... but, to what end?

... notes from The EDJE

Monday, August 29, 2011

Will Power's Rally In The Valley - IZOD IndyCar Series Race 14 of 18

Penske Racing teammates (Power, Castroneves, and Briscoe) hold the line against the rest of the field during the double-file start of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Image Credit: Richard Dowdy via IZOD IndyCar Series


Will Power's Rally In The Valley - IZOD IndyCar Series Race 14 of 18

From the command of "Drivers, start your engines" and the audio of "Row 1, Hot" - "Row 2, Hot" - "Row 3, Hot" - and etc. one felt that this was the race that would keep the 2011 points race alive as the sound of the Honda engines echoed throughout the Sonoma valley. Power, at 46 points down to Dario Franchitti, had to win and keep the Target Chip Ganassi drivers (Franchitti and Dixon) as far down in the order that was legally possible. Qualifications gave a blessing to Will and the rest of the Penske Racing team with a 1-2-3 starting position with Helio Castroneves, and Ryan Briscoe acting as protection to any erosion to the running order from the starting grid of the race.

From the very drop of the Green Flag starting the race, Ryan Briscoe kept the Red Target team cars behind both Will Power and Helio Castroneves which allowed Power to pull comfortably away.

All went smoothly through to the first round of pitstops by the leaders with eight cars opting to come in earlier for a change of sequence. On lap 5 of 75, Tony Kanaan running back at P25, was the first to opt for a change to Red tires and a change in pit sequence followed by Takuma Sato, JR Hildebrand, Simon Pagenaud, Charlie Kimball Danica Patrick, and Vitor Meira.

First, Mike Conway from P7 on Lap 22 of 75 began the process with Tagliani, who had just been passed by Graham Rahal due to poor handling in on Lap 23. Hinchcliff, Ryan Hunter-Raey, Helio Castroneves on LAP 25.

Lap 26 has Dixon taking on primary Black tires. Next on Lap 26 Power comes into the pits, leaving Briscoe leading until Lap 28.

Briscoe comes out in sequence with all three Penske Racing cars holding station at 1-2-3 keeping Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon behind. This may seem boreing to some, but clean and precise racing to a strategy toward a championship is just that ... predictable and boreing. Gotta' love it if ya' like a tight season points race.

Top 10 after 32 laps of 75 sees Power, Castroneves, Briscoe, Franchitti, Dixon, Pantano, Hinchcliffe, Viso, Bourdais, and Rahal.

On TV, Robin Miller reports that there are about 130,000 people in attendance as opposed to about 30,000 sitting in the stands at the last race (oval) in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Fan stands are full of people who traveled to the middle of nowhere to see a premiere open-wheel race for season championship points. Image Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher via IZOD IndyCar Series

Robin asked Randy Bernard, CEO of IZOD IndyCar Series, if Sonoma was on the schedule for next year and Randy reported that the schedule has not been finalized and that the people who run Infineon Raceway have not committed to the race fee as yet.

Lap 39, Tony Kanaan stalls out on pit lane and appears to have an engine stuck at full throttle. KV Racing Technology's Kanaan retires from the race.

TWEET -
Fieldof33 Paul Dalbey
Thank God for side-by-side. If hate to miss watching the sand grow.


TWEET -
pressdog Bill Zahren
Nailed it. "@spikerogan: @99forever You could make nachos from scratch and not miss a thing. By scratch I mean from growing the corn. lol"


Lap 45 of 75 has Will Power on the radio complaining about lapped traffic not clearing out of the way. It has him braking at odd times and kicking up some blue tire smoke.

All of the drivers are looking to get back on REDS again on the next pit sequence. Oriol Servia takes on a set and fuel on lap 47 - good to go all the way to the end.

Before this next round of stops, P1 Power leads P4 Franchitti by about 32 seconds. Castroneves pits on Lap 49 ... Dixon in for REDS ... 25 laps to go and more stops with side-by-side passing in the pits.

Lap 50 Will Power comes in with little traffic to contend with ... comes out ahead of Castroneves and all is right in the Penske world with Briscoe leading.

All top 10 drivers complete pit stops and are good to the end - Lap 53 P1 to P10 are Power, Castroneves, Briscoe, Franchitti, Dixon, Pantano, Hinchcliffe, Bourdais, Viso and Rahal.

TWEET -
SBPopOffValve Mr. Pop Off Valve
Wally Dallenbach says (correctly) that Sonoma is a blast to drive. Doesn't make it any easier on the spectators.


TWEET -
Fieldof33 Paul Dalbey
@SBPopOffValve I believe the Sr Official has discretion to mandate Power pull over, let Castroneves by, and drive rest of race 1 handed.


Lap 56 Marco Andretti brushes JR Hildebrand's rear tire causing a rear flat for the driver from the Sonoma area.

TWEET -
AllenWedge Allen Wedge
Can't wait for the eventual Panther Racing press release saying JR got Marco'd


TWEET -
PantherRacing Panther Racing
Marco & Hildebrand make contact for the second consecutive year @InfineonRaceway .... looked like that was on Marco to me. But I'm biased.


TWEET -
toomuchracing Pat W
They want to bring Belle Isle back... that's even worse for IndyCar. I liked the ALMS there though


TWEET -
99forever Steph@MoreFrontWing
Interesting. TK refutes Cavin's story and says he's not signed at KV. #indycar


Ten laps remain and it is still Power, Castroneves, Briscoe, Franchitti, Dixon, Pantano, Hinchcliffe, Bourdais, Rahal, and Viso.

YELLOW Flag - Ho-Pin Tung slides out of control and into a tire wall - look out for a crazy restart as the cars get bunched up. Power looses about a 20 second cushion to the YELLOW Flag full course caution.

TWEET -
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series
Full course Yellow for incident in Turn 9 involving #88 Ho-Pin Tung cot.ag/d3QLxP


Restart cones are clearly defined and Power looses an advantage as to surprising the rest of the drivers as to when he will apply the fuel peddle to take off on the GREEN Flag.

Penske is sitting at 1-2-3 so, to be frank, who knows what Will Power is talking about.

TWEET -
IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series
Back to Green @InfineonRaceway. cot.ag/d3QLxP


GREEN, GREEN, GREEN LAP 70 - Will Power gets the advantage and everyone comes back into station. Franchitti baubles and Dixon holds everyone else off.

TWEET -
shagers Shane Rogers
Double file restarts are the best thing for these mickey mouse road courses. Drivers hate them, but they are awesome.


TWEET -
SBPopOffValve Mr. Pop Off Valve
SATO DOES NOT RESPECT HIS BRAKES.


Saavedra and Conway get together and up the dirt bank on the last lap pushing hard for position.

Top 10 with four laps to go - Power, Castroneves, Briscoe, Franchitti, Dixon, Pantano, Bourdais, Hinchcliffe, Rahal, and Viso.

Verizon Penske Racing's Will Power takes the Checkered Flag at Infineon Raceway, Sears Point, in the Sonoma Valley. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

Will Power gets maximum points and wins the race. This will be his 5th win of the season and the most by any driver this season. Gains 20 points on the event and moves from being 46 points to 26 points down with only four races to go in the season.

TWEET -
toomuchracing Pat W
Chequered. Snoozefest. Power and his teammates held station for the duration, followed by Dario and Dixon.


TWEET -
racintoday Jim Pedley
Power Cruises At Infineon bit.ly/rhPlBs #indycar


TWEET -
toomuchracing Pat W
Great drive by Pantano to take 6th in Wilson's car after not racing these cars for 6 years (and only then he did two starts).


TWEET -
FollowAndretti Andretti Autosport
Checkered flag at @InfineonRaceway. Ryan 11, Mike 17, Danica 21, Marco 24.


TWEET -
in dy44 Matt Archuleta
Ckrd Power Helio Briscoe Dario Dixon Pantano Bourdais Hinch Rahal Viso RHR Servia Plowman Ana Saavedra Pagenaud Conway Sato Jakes Tagliani


Will Power jumps once again into the wall of confetti at the winner's podium. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

TWEET -
JamieLittleESPN Jamie Little
Penske sweeps the podium at Sonoma and Sweeps the @NASCAR and @IndyCar this weekend!


Post race interview has Power saying, "It was just a perfect race. This one is pretty important. I have been unbelievably motivated after a few bad races this season. I knew that Verizon Team Penske was better than this as a team and we came here with a good set-up, finished strong and we are on the right track now ... Verizon baby, we are back on top now!"

Fingers Up - Will Power was fined $30,000 for a gesture not too dis-similar to this gesture. That's right, Will was fined about $15,000 a finger when he showed his initial displeasure toward Brian Barnhart and the folks at Race Control at the decision to restart the race at Loudon, New Hampshire. At least Power has the sense of humor to mimic his fine-able action of a couple of weeks ago. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

Next up, a shiny, brand new temporary street course in Baltimore will have all teams searching for what will work. Penske had the "special sauce" here at Infineon Raceway but will they be able to maintain the edge and keep Dario and the Target Chip Ganassi racing team at bay. Thank God that hurricane Irene decided to show up on the East coast this week so everything remains on track for the season.

... notes from The EDJE



[Article first published as Will Power's Rally In The Valley - IZOD IndyCar Series Race 14 of 18 on Technorati]