When Formula One came back to America after a lengthy absence fans were thrilled. They were more thrilled to see F1 come back at a brand new top-notch facility known as the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) which was constructed in Austin, Texas. Since the track opened in 2012 its been not only host to Formula 1 but Moto GP and several other racing series. Even the X Games chose COTA as their new venue after leaving Los Angeles.
One of the more impressive things about COTA was how fast everything came together once contracts were signed. Much of that had to do with the fact that the owners of COTA had an agreement with the state of Texas that COTA would receive subsidies which would help them fund operations for the track, most importantly pay the FIA’s hefty sanctioning fee for the right to have an F1 race at the facility.
Well according to the Austin-American Statesman, Texas’ Governor Gregg Abbott is thinking of reducing the state funding promised to COTA and this directly effect’s COTA’s ability to pay the FIA fee which could mean that the only American F1 race on the calendar may not return in 2016. Also since the FIA sanctions Moto GP as well that event would also be gone.
It seems at this point nothing is quite set in stone yet but even the thought of this has F1 fans all over the world up in arms. The COTA twitter account has been retweeting local and international F1 fans pleading with Gregg Abbott to re-consider cutting COTA’s funding.
Now if you’re wondering why COTA is so dependent on state funding at the moment that is because this year’s USGP was a pretty big financial hit for COTA. Despite the race itself being incredibly exciting, the heavy rain during the race weekend severely impacted attendance. An additional kick in the wallet came when the FIA decided to schedule the Mexico GP only a week after the USGP. This hurt COTA because Mexican F1 fans would travel to Texas to see watch their countrymen race. However, this year many of them stayed home since they were going to have a race in their own back yard just a week later.
This issues could very well combine into a perfect storm that will see F1 leave America again just 3 years after its return. We sincerely hope that doesn’t happen! For more information you can read the story from the Statesmen by clicking the source link below. This is normally a subscription site but they allow you to read one article for free before having to pay up so you’ll be fine.
After reading the story let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet to us @MotorworldHype!
SEMA is not just the time of year to see all the new parts and goodies that you’ll soon be able to buy for your car but it is also the time when new race cars and liveries debut. This is especially true when it comes to new Formula Drift cars. It looks like the first new drift car debut out of the gate is Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s 2016 Ford Mustang RTR Sponsored by Monster Energy Drink and Nitto Tire. Built on a 2016 Ford Mustang, Gittin’s competition spec drift car went on a major diet with the help of carbon fiber body panels which brings the car’s weight down to 2,800 lbs wet with 50/50 weight distribution.
Up front is a Ford Performance/Roush-Yates built 900HP 436ci V8 engine that will redline at 9,000RPMs thanks to some serious tuning and individual throttle bodies. Outside the livery is similar to what Vaughn designed for 2015 but with new shape motifs and a bit more color thrown in for extra contrast. Take a closer look at Vaughn’s new car by clicking any of the thumbnails below. For more info you can read the official press release below the pictures. What do you think of Vaughn’s new ride? Do you like the new look or not? Do you think this car will help Vaughn earn his second championship in 2016? Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.
Las Vegas, NV – World Champion Drifter and Professional Funhaver, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Performance, unveiled the competition-spec 2016 Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR drift car today at Ford Motor Company’s annual press conference at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV.
In January 2015, Vaughn debuted his prototype competition car, which his team used all year as a platform to meticulously develop the new competition-spec drift car for the 2016 Formula Drift season.
The competition car, built on the globally-available 2016 Ford Mustang platform and prepared at the RTR special projects lab in Charlotte, North Carolina, will utilize the confidence-inspiring independent suspension design featured in the all-new Ford Mustang, coupled with the sticky Nitto NT05 to ensure Vaughn will have the traction that he needs to drive in excess of 100mph sideways on any track put in front of him.
“It’s incredible to see how much drifting has progressed on all fronts in the last 10 years, It’s just crazy, the things we are doing on the track these days and I am pumped to have such an awesome car that will enable us to continue pushing the envelope,” mentions Vaughn. Consistent with Ford’s internal initiatives, the RTR team utilized modern light-weighting technology by using composites and other light metal alloys to drop the car to a near 2,800lbs wet with a 50/50 weight distribution.
Under the hood is a 436 cubic-inch Ford Performance/Roush Yates-built engine that revs to 9000 RPM and makes over 900 horsepower via individual throttle body injection breathing through K&N Performance Air Filters. Vaughn shares his excitement on the car, “It’s crazy to think that I’m driving the equivalent of a 9-second drag racing car…. sideways. Needless to say, I’m pumped to get out there and have some fun!”
All the fun starts on Wednesday at SEMA when the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR will be at the Ford Out Front experience giving rides and putting on a show for fans and convention attendees all week long. This is the first time a competition car has been unveiled inside and then brought out to flex its muscles.
The car will make its competition debut in April at the first round of the Formula Drift Championship in Long Beach, CA. Although the competition car won’t be available to the public, the new Mustang RTR will be available at select Ford dealers in the USA and Europe in the spring of 2016.
Did you miss out on the Mexican Grand Prix due to a post-Halloween candy hangover? No worries. It happens to the best of us. One year I went on a York Peppermint Patty bender that nearly ruined my life! I had to make a lot of apologies the day after… but at least my breath was minty fresh! Anyway, on to the important stuff! Scroll below for the official Mexican GP race results and some video highlights courtesy of NBC Sports.
WARNING!! SPOILERS BELOW!!!!
2015 Mexican Grand Prix Results:
1st: Nico Rosberg
2nd: Lewis Hamilton
3rd: Valtteri Bottas
Need the results for the US Grand Prix over the weekend? We’ll forgive you if you thought the race was canceled due to rain, however the clouds parted just long enough for a race to be ran and it was quite the race indeed. If you haven’t watched I highly recommend finding a replay but if you can’t we have the podium and points results right here as well as a video from the event via NBC Sports. Its all below!
WARNING SPOILERS BELOW!!!
2015 US Grand Prix Results:
1st: Lewis Hamilton
2nd: Nico Rosberg
3rd: Sebastian Vettel
2015 F1 World Championship Driver Points:
1st: Lewis Hamilton 327 points
2nd: Sebastian Vettel 251 points
3rd: Nico Rosberg 247 points
4th: Kimi Raikkonen 123 points
5th: Valtteri Bottas 111 points
Note: Lewis Hamilton is now officially the 2015 Formula 1 World Champion as he has mathematically locked out all other competitors for the rest of the season! Congrats Lewis!
Video: Final lap as Lewis Hamilton secures his third world championship
I wasn’t really a believer that a full racing game experience would translate well to smart phones and tablets. However EA’s (Electronic Arts) “Real Racing” series pretty much proved me wrong. Sure its still not as involved and deep as something like Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo but it comes respectably close. Add that to the fact that the latest game in the series Real Racing 3 has been downloaded well over 10 million times and you have evidence that not only is there a demand for this type of game but people are enjoying it.
Recently it was announced by EA that in their latest update for Real Racing 3, three McLaren race cars would be added to the car list: the 650S GT3, the P1 GTR, and the legendary ’95 McLaren F1 GTR. They also threw in a few Corvettes just because. Both the update and the game are free on the Google Play and Apple App stores so if you want to try it out you don’t have much to lose.
If you want to see the cars in action you can watch the launch trailer for the update below!
This year at Formula Drift Irwindale we wanted to do more than the typical gallery and wrap up coverage that we’re all used to. We wanted to do something different but we weren’t sure what exactly that would be. Then we saw an article from our friends at SpeedHunters titled “Drifting Is Not A Motorsport” and it reminded us of the question of Drifting’s identity which has been controversial since Formula Drift gained popularity.
Is drifting a motorsport? Is it not a motorsport? Does the label help or hurt drifting? We figured there was no right or wrong answer but there are answers. We thought the best people to pose this question to are Formula Drift drivers. How would someone who’s life revolves around drifting see it? Check out the video below to see what a few Formula Drift drivers such as Ken Gushi, Tyler McQuarrie, and Dai Yoshihara think about labeling drifting as a motorsport.
After watching the video let us know what you think! Do you think drifting is a motorsport? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.
Did you miss out on the Russian Grand Prix over the weekend? I won’t blame you this time because I missed it too! I had my hands full of Formula Drift Irwindale so the 3:30am start time of the race (on the west coast) just wasn’t going to cooperate with my brain! Any how, if you need the results simply scroll below for the race podium! Below that is a quick highlight reel courtesy of NBC Sports.
WARNING!! SPOILERS BELOW!!
2015 Russian Grand Prix Results:
1st: Lewis Hamilton
2nd: Sebastian Vettel
3rd: Sergio Perez
1st: Lewis Hamilton 302 points
2nd: Sebastian Vettel 236 points
3rd: Nico Rosberg 229 points
4th: Kimi Raikkonen 123 points
5th: Valtteri Bottas 111 points
After a long season of drifting all across the country and the world the 2015 Formula Drift season officially came to a close at the place where American drifting pretty much began. Not only did the final round of the season take place over the weekend but quite possibly the last drifting event to ever be held at Irwindale Speedway or “The House Of Drift” as it came to be known. If you saw our live stream post you probably read all the reasons why this was likely one of the most important weekends of drifting ever.
Fredric Aasbo came into the weekend with an incredibly comfortable lead in both the Pro Championship and the (first ever) World Championship. In fact all Aasbo needed to do was qualify and win in his first battle of the top 32 and he would be a mathematical lock for both titles. In case you are wondering why Aasbo would be able to lock in the World Championship at Irwindale, it was a direct result of Formula Drift having to cancel the final World Championship round originally to take place in China. With that round off the schedule Irwindale became the final World Championship round. To make a long story short Aasbo qualified (5th) and won his first top 32 battle against Kristaps Bluss to win both titles. However, as joyous as that was for Fredric it was hardly the most exciting part of the weekend.
There were several pretty shocking and surprising moments and developments that transpired over just Saturday. First was Fredric Aasbo driving like a man possessed. I completely expected Aasbo to do what he needed to do to win his Championships. However, I didn’t expect him to really go beyond that as he was slated to face Daigo Saito in the Top 16. For context, Saito has won at Irwindale every year since he has entered the series back in 2012. The man has simply never lost a battle at The House Of Drift… That is until this weekend. Yes, fresh after winning two championships Aasbo ended Daigo’s Irwindale win streak! This blew my expectations for the event wide open. I had Saito as the winner of Irwindale pegged but it was not to be.
Aasbo went on to win the round, thus putting a stamp on is stellar season. Although the evening’s battles showed the sold out crowd what they could expect for the 2016 season as several drivers really came into their own at Irwindale since most of them had nothing to lose. Matt Field has been killing it all season but he really became a force to be reckoned with at Irwindale. He battled so hard against Odi Bakchis in the top 16 that his tires literally caught fire! He was ok though but it was a spectacular sight.
Ken Gushi put on quite an impressive performance as well as he fought hard (even through some contact) to make it all the way to the final battle against the 2015 champ, Aasbo. Gushi put up a respectable fight but was having some car issues which prevented him from giving it his all. Gushi fought Aasbo for the Pro championship all year and nearly had it were it not for a less than stellar performance in Long Beach. Even Aasbo himself pegged Gushi to win the 2016 championship. After watching Gushi’s performance all year, especially his Irwindale run, I am inclined to agree with Aasbo. Rounding out the top 3 with the 3rd podium spot was the always impressive Forrest Wang.
Well there you have it. Aasbo is your 2015 Formula Drift Pro and World Champion and Gushi is literally “the future”. Stay tuned for our official gallery and a few more stories from Irwindale!
This weekend is likely to be one of the most significant weekends of drifting in a very long time. Allow me to list the reasons why:
1. This is officially the last round of the season. With China event cancelled, Irwindale is the last round of the Pro and World Championship
2. Since China was canceled and Irwindale is the final round for both Championships its worth DOUBLE POINTS!
3. Sadly, this could very well be the last Formula Drift event to happen at Irwindale Speedway as it is very likely that its going to be demolished to build a outlet mall.
So, if you can’t be there in person I really feel for you but you can still watch live via the stream below! We’ll keep this post pinned to the top of the site all day Friday and Saturday for your viewing pleasure. So scroll down and enjoy! It is going to be one heck of a weekend.
Mazda prides themselves on their involvement in motorsports. As their popular tagline says: “there are more Mazda’s raced every weekend than any other brand.” One of the main reasons for that is because Mazda tends to make participation in motorsports relatively inexpensive. This was further proven today when it was announced that potential racers can have the brand new, ready to go 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup for only $53,000. Now when Mazda says “ready to go” they mean it. The car will come with everything needed to run an MX-5 Cup race. The only thing the owner needs to worry about is transportation and entry fees but other than that the car needs nothing.
If you think $53,000 is a lot consider that this is the first time Mazda has sold complete race cars and if one was looking to build a Cup Car from the previous gen MX-5 they would likely end up spending anywhere from $65-70k. This makes the new cup car a massive bargain!
That is pretty awesome for those who are looking to make their way into the MX-5 Cup Series or any other type of racing in which the Cup Car is allowed to run. Obviously costs associated with running in a series will vary depending on how a racer goes about it. According to Mazdaspeed Motorsports, a typical race weekend (which includes fuel, tires, fuel for a tow vehicle, hotel, food, entry fees, practice, etc.) runs about $7,000. Again generally speaking that is a lot of money but relative to other series that isn’t too bad.
Either way, the barrier to entry when it comes to MX-5 cup racing just got a lot lower. If you want to get yourself a race car Mazdaspeed Motorsports officially starts taking orders today on their website and deliveries are slated to begin before the end of the year.
For more info scroll below for the official press release.
Mazda Announces Global MX-5 Cup Race Car Pricing
– Initial Orders Being Accepted for the $53,000 Ready-to-Race 2016 MX-5 Miata –
IRVINE, Calif. (October 1, 2015) – The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the most road-raced production car in the world. The reason is simple – great performance at an affordable price. The new Global Mazda MX-5 Cup race car follows that formula, and will be Mazda Motorsports’ first-ever ready-to-race MX-5 Miata. The new race car will be available at the special introductory price of $53,000. The race car ordering process begins on www.MazdaMotorsports.com with first deliveries scheduled to begin later this year.
Having a turnkey, ready-to-race car removes the effort of engineering and costs of fabrication, enabling the racer to focus on racing. All racers can purchase identically-built race cars so that driving talent will be the number one determining factor for on-track performance, rather than budget, engineering capability or fabrication skills. Production of the MX-5 Cup race cars starts with a street cars that receives motorsports specific modifications for race track safety and performance. The MX-5 Cup is an entry-level professional series, and is a part of the Mazda Road to 24, which helps promote racers up the ladder to the top levels of sports car racing.
“For the past decade, the third-generation sports car has been competing in our own MX-5 Cup series, and has been the ideal platform to showcase driving talent in a competitive environment on high-profile race weekends,” said John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “With the launch of the fourth-generation MX-5, we are raising the bar by making it even easier for aspiring professional road racers to get involved. We expect to sell out the first batch of cars rapidly.”
The MX-5 Cup series champion earns a $200,000 scholarship to move to a higher level series with Mazda the following year. Additionally, the 2016 Global MX-5 Cup series will culminate with a global finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. with entrants from around the world to crown a global champion. A one-day test in Mazda’s top-level IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship SKYACTIV prototype race car will top the list of prizes bestowed on the global champion.
The MX-5 Cup race car has been jointly developed by Mazda Motorsports and Long Road Racing in Statesville, NC. Long Road Racing will exclusively build the left-hand drive MX-5 Cup race car The team has evaluated key racing components and will announce several strategic component partners at a later date. Mazda factory race driver Tom Long has led the testing, along with fellow Mazda factory race driver Andrew Carbonell and Kenton Koch, the 2014 Battery Tender MX-5 Cup champion and 2015 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda champion. Tom Long has won races in all previous MX-5 generations, including the championship in the MAZDASPEED Miata Cup, and currently co-drives the Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Priority to purchase the new car will be given to current competitors in the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, and others who intend to compete in the 2016 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup. MX-5 Cup cars built by Long Road Racing will be eligible to compete in club racing with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and National Auto Sport Association (NASA) as well as many track-day clubs.
Details for the ordering process, including financing options, are available at MazdaMotorsports.com, via our social media outlets: @MazdaRacing (Twitter), @GlobalMX5Cup (Twitter) and MazdaMotorsports on Facebook.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.