Remember vinyl wraps? Yes, they’re still a thing. I actually think they are pretty cool if done right. Granted these days they’re more used for marketing purposes than style I think they still have a place on both ends. With Gumball 3000 going on right now Nismo partnered up with INTERSECTION magazine to wrap a Nismo 370Z for the hedonistic road rally. The end result looks pretty fresh (probably fresher that it can also be removed at the end as well).
To see how the design came together and how a full car wrap is applied, check out the video below.
Today, Honda made millions of hardcore F1 fans and Ayrton Senna fans’ dreams come true when they announced that not only are they returning to F1 in 2015 but they will rekindle their partnership with McLaren! Awesome news right? But the question remains: why does Honda want to come back?
If you remember, Honda’s last stint in F1 did not go so well. Instead of working with a partner, they attempted an “all Honda” effort and did all the development on the engine and chassis in-house. Like Toyota, Honda was spending tons of money and not seeing great results despite having talent like Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. When those struggles were compounded with a faltering economy Honda backed out of Formula 1 and most knew it would take something major to bring them back.
Well it turns out that “major” thing is the new 1.6 liter energy recover V6 engine mandate that will hit F1 in 2015. Honda sees the new engine setup as a great R&D opportunity for their road cars which is great news for Honda fans. My only gripe is that Honda didn’t do this sooner, otherwise we might have been expecting a McLaren edition NSX in 2015 as well!
I think with a team like McLaren behind them Honda will have a much better time in F1 than they did in their last bout with the sport.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced its decision to participate in the FIA Formula One (F1) World Championship from the 2015 season under a joint project with McLaren, the UK-based F1 corporation.
Honda will be in charge of the development, manufacture and supply of the power unit, including the engine and energy recovery system, while McLaren will be in charge of the development and manufacture of the chassis, as well as the management of the new team, McLaren Honda.
From 2014, new F1 regulations require the introduction of a 1.6 litre direct injection turbocharged V6 engine with energy recovery systems. The opportunity to further develop these powertrain technologies through the challenge of racing is central to Honda’s decision to participate in F1. Throughout its history, Honda has passionately pursued improvements in the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and in more recent years, the development of pioneering energy management technologies such as hybrid systems. Participation in Formula 1 under these new regulations will encourage even further technological progress in both these areas. Furthermore, a new generation of Honda engineers can learn the challenges and the thrills of operating at the pinnacle of motorsport.
Commenting on this exciting development, Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said:
“Ever since its establishment, Honda has been a company which grows by taking on challenges in racing. Honda has a long history of advancing our technologies and nurturing our people by participating in the world’s most prestigious automobile racing series. The new F1 regulations with their significant environmental focus will inspire even greater development of our own advanced technologies and this is central to our participation in F1. We have the greatest respect for the FIA’s decision to introduce these new regulations that are both highly challenging but also attractive to manufacturers that pursue environmental technologies and to Formula One Group, which has developed F1 into a high value, top car racing category supported by enthusiastic fans. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Jean Todt, the President of FIA and to Mr. Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One Group who showed great understanding and cooperation to help realize our participation in F1 racing. The corporate slogan of Honda is “The Power of Dreams”. This slogan represents our strong desire to pursue and realize our dreams together with our customers and fans. Together with McLaren, one of the most distinguished F1 constructors, Honda will mark a new beginning in our challenges in F1.”
Also, Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren Group Limited said:
“The names of McLaren and Honda are synonymous with success in Formula One, and, for everyone who works for both companies, the weight of our past achievements together lies heavily on our shoulders. But it’s a mark of the ambition and resolve we both share that we want once again to take McLaren Honda to the very pinnacle of Formula One success. Together we have a great legacy – and we’re utterly committed to maintaining it.”
Jean Todt, president of FIA said:
“I am very happy to hear about Honda’s important decision to return to Formula One with McLaren from 2015. The introduction of the new power train next year, in the form of a 1.6 litre, 6 cylinder engine with direct injection and energy recovery, is a very exciting challenge and demonstrates a vision for the future of the sport. I am sure that Honda will become a strong contender in the years to come.”
Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One Group said:
“It is a great pleasure to see Honda back in Formula One. Their engine technology and passion for motor sports make them a natural Formula One contender.”
History of Honda Participation in F1 Racing:
Participated as an “all Honda” team including both the engine and chassis
Participated as an engine supplier (Won both the driver’s and constructors’ championship titles for four consecutive years from 1988 through 1991)
Participated as an engine supplier and joint developer of the chassis
Participated as an “all Honda” team including both the engine and chassis
Atlanta is a favorite track for many of the drivers in Formula Drift and for fans alike. This is mostly because of a long downhill straight that leads into a drift-purpose built “horseshoe” turn. This layout lends itself to some very high speed qualifying runs and tight tandem battles. However things got a little too tight when Vaughn Gittin Jr. went up against Fredric Aasbo.
Just as the first run was to begin with Fredric leading, Vaughn Gittin Jr. managed to literally run over the front end of Aasbo Scion. The amazing part is both drivers managed to keep drifting! Although Aasbo’s Scion was damaged so he limped through his second run giving Gittin the win. We have a feeling this incident will be talked about for a long time.
When the action continued it was Daigo Saito who took on all challengers to get the victory. Darren McNamara took second place and Vaughn Gittin Jr taking third. Gittin’s podium puts him on top of the points standings, thanks in part to Dai Yoshihara’s early exit in the top 32 battles.
Next up on the schedule is round 3 in Palm Beach, FL. If round 2 was any indication of things to come, the next round is going to be epic!
As the Indy Car series left one street circuit (Long Beach) they arrived at another in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Arriving on the home turf of several Indy Car drivers the stakes were high but it was an American who took first blood as Ryan Hunter-Reay managed to capture the pole position. However, race day was a different story…
SPOILER ALERT BELOW!!!
Ryan hung on to the lead for as long as he could and it became that much harder when Tony Kanaan caught his second wind and hounded the 2012 champion mercilessly. The two drivers traded the lead back and fourth several times, each time Tony would take the lead the crowd roared. However, the hometown celebration was short lived when TK’s engine gave out on him. Ryan lost the lead when the younger drivers came gunning after him from the mid pack.
In the end it was James “Hinchtown” Hincliffe who pulled off a beautiful last lap move on Takuma Sato to take the win. Marco Andretti rounded out the podium with a third place finish (which also now puts him second in the points behind Sato). All the race highlights are below and trust me when I say it definitely worth your time to watch!
Here it is folks! Our final motorsport gallery from the Long Beach Grand Prix. We saved one of the best for last and today you get to see the American LeMans Race on the streets of Long Beach from my eyes, or lens rather. This is one of my favorite events to shoot because there is such a wide variety of cars all on track at once. It will be interesting to see how this race is going to look next year when ALMS and Grand AM officially merge.
If you missed the results, NGT Motorsports took the victory in the GTC class, Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan took the victory with their BMW Z4 in the GT class, Scott Sharp and Extreme Speed Motorsports won in P2, CORE Autosport won in the Porsche Challenge (PC) class, and Muscle Milk/Pickett Racing took the victory in P1.
To get some glimpses of how all the on track action played out click the red text to visit our facebook gallery. Here’s to next year!
At last year’s E3 Playseat revealed that their coveted Red Bull Racing branded F1 sim-racing chassis would be coming to the US market. While that was great news it was salted a bit with the additional news that it would come with a $1,999 price tag which pretty much put it in the “out of reach” realm for most of us.
However, Playseat recently announced on their Facebook page that a new seat (very similar to the Red Bull unit) will be coming to PlayseatUSA.com and Playseat.com on May 1st. The new seat, dubbed the “Grand Prix” has a similar design and seating position as the Red Bull rig but minus the branding and hard shell for the seat itself. There may be other differences as well but so far all the details have not been made public. Playseat does say that the Grand Prix will cost less than its Red Bull Racing branded brother but as far as how much less remains a mystery.
Given that the non-branded shell edition of the F1 seat retails for $1,799, I would make a guess that the new “softer” version may likely come in between $1,000 and $1,200. Those prices are just speculation on my part though. I guess we will not know for sure until the Grand Prix is released next Wednesday (May 1st 2013).
For a closer look just click the thumbnail below for a large picture.
My favorite thing about the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach (besides it being in my hometown) is that being a “Grand Prix” means there are several races in several classes all crammed into one weekend. Sure, Indy Car is the main event but the support races are anything but second string. This year, a crowd favorite was the Pirelli World Challenge which features makes and models that most of us own or could reasonably afford (with the exception of the GMG Racing Audi R8s and Black Swan Racing’s SLS AMG). Watching everything from an SLS to a Chevy Camaro mix it up on city streets all in a perfectly legal matter makes for some top notch entertainment!
This year’s winner was James Safronas of GMG Racing. James is something of a hometown hero since his GMG team is somewhat local being based out of the OC. James took the pole position in his Audi R8 GT and utilized his starting position to fight his way to a victory. To see all the track action click on the red text for our Facebook gallery. Enjoy!
If you are like me, you have probably spent a lot of time wondering what it is really like to sit in a formula one car. All I really know of it is how it is described by commentators during a race. From what I gathered it seemed like it is actually a pretty uncomfortable experience. However, if you ask Lewis Hamilton, he will tell you the complete opposite. In the video below where he explains the seating position in his Mercedes GP PETRONAS car he actually admits to nodding off occasionally while in the garage. Check it out below.
I know I am a little behind but hey I took on three days and three different motorsports all by myself! It was rough, but fun. By now you probably already know that Takuma Sato made history by winning the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach and becoming the first Japanese driver to win an Indy Car event as well as the first Japanese driver to win at Long Beach. However, despite what he said in his post race interview, it did not come easy.
Long Beach is known for being a dangerous narrow street course and the walls ate up plenty of drivers this year, including defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Sato was able to navigate his way through all of the random carnage unscathed and his team managed a top notch pit stop to keep their driver up front which allowed him to go on and get the victory. Graham Rahal came second behind Sato and Justin Wilson got his first podium of the season with a third place finish.
If you want to see all the action for yourself check out the highlight reel below. If you want to see the fruit of my three days of labor hit the red text for the full gallery on our facebook page.
Last weekend as I fought for the best shots I could get at Formula Drift Long Beach I was at one point startled by a loud buzzing sound which seemed to come from overhead. I looked up and I saw what I could only describe as a giant hovering robo-spider in the sky above me. Then, to my surprise it followed the sliding cars below, hovering just 10 to 20 feet above them as they sped by.
It was startling and awesome all at the same time. I continued to watch the machine work until it eventually swiftly returned back to the photo pit area and landed safely, waiting for the next run so it could take to the skies once again. This thing was awesome. It looked evil, sounded alien in nature, but had complete precision in its task. Upon further inspection I could see that the drone was made almost completely from carbon fiber, even down to the props on each of the 8 electric copter engines. The drone also utilized a Canon 5D Mark III housed in a cradle underneath.
I was so fascinated by it that I decided to find the “pilot” or “pilots” if you will to learn what they were up to. Turns out the drone was owned and operated by Kyle Dorosz of Aerial Imagery Works based in Detroit, MI. Kyle was hired by Formula Drift to get aerial shots of drift battles to use for their television show. Kyle told me that he occasionally gets hired by parties such as this to film sporting events and the like.
The particular drone that Kyle was using at Formula Drift actually requires a two man team. Kyle himself pilots the drone while his associate uses a separate remote to control servos attached to the camera cradle to pan and tilt making sure the action is kept in frame. The camera man is able to do this via a VR style headset which wirelessly picks up the video feed from the 5D.
In addition to filming for clients Kyle also builds the drones himself and makes them available for sale. The drone on hand at Formula Drift has a price tag of $35,000. Which sounds astronomical but the Canon 5D Mark III, video headset, two remotes, charger, and pilot training are all included in the price. There are also smaller, lighter less expensive models available that utilize smaller cameras (GoPro, etc.).
You would think his most common clients are from the Hollywood set but according to Kyle his most common customers are law enforcement agencies. They use the drones for tactical purposes, such as surveying an area before sending in a S.W.A.T. team.
Kyle says the ceiling is technically 10,000 feet but due to FAA regulations, he usually has to keep the ceiling down to 400ft or so. The battery will last about 10 minutes per flight before needing to be charged again. The drone also has several safety features. It can stay airborne even if three out of 8 engines fail and if the battery gets too low to sustain flight an on board computer takes over and uses an auto pilot paired with GPS to send the drone back to the exact point of its last take off.
Maybe we need to invest in one of these drones for MotorworldHype. It would sure beat getting pelted with tire bits while choking on smoke!
If you want to see the drone in action check out the short video piece I did below.