Entries Tagged as 'Motorsports'

12 Days Of Hype: Skip Barber Racing School

Posted on 12.15.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Do you have an aspiring race car driver in your life? Or maybe just someone who really likes a good thrill?  If so we would recommend gifting that person a course at Skip Barber Racing School.  Skip Barber is one of the oldest and most respected racing schools around and they have facilities at most major race tracks in the country.  There is also a wide variety of courses that are available.  Everything from one day “high performance” driving schools in cars like the Porsche 911 to 3 day racing schools in formula cars.  Many of their programs are stepping stones to professional driving careers but Skip Barber is also a good option for those who just want to have some fun behind the wheel.  If you are a parent, they also offer teen safety driving courses which; judging by the way I’ve seen some teens drive should be a serious consideration!

The downside is that Skip Barber Racing School courses can be pretty expensive.  However, there are ways to save money.  They usually have promotions and coupons during the holidays and more money can be saved by using your own car rather than one of theirs (as long as it meets requirements).

If you can afford it a gift like this will definitely earn you MAJOR points! Just click the source link at the bottom of the post for more info.

[Source: SkipBarber.com]

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Hype: New Indy Lights Cars To Be Powered By Mazda. Indy Lights Now Officially Part Of Mazda Motorsports Ladder

Posted on 12.12.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Mazda just announced that they are officially taking over as the engine provider for the Indy Lights series which is a feeder series directly to Indy Car.  Previously, Indy Lights cars were powered by V8s that were derivatives of Nissan/Infiniti engines.  The new Indy Lights cars will be powered by a version of Mazda’s 4 cylinder 2.0 liter turbocharged MZR-R engine.  If that engine sounds familiar its probably because it is the same powerplant Mazda developed in partnership with Advanced Engine Research (AER) for Mazda’s American LeMan’s series program.  The Indy Lights version will have slightly less power (450hp) than the LeMan’s version (500hp) however the Indy Lights MZR-R is also built for durability as Mazda Motorsports claims that one of these engines can go for an entire Indy Lights season without needing a rebuild.  This should make the racing much better with no mechanical DNFs and also make things a little bit easier financially on the teams.

Here’s hoping that the addition of lower cost, higher efficiency engines to the Indy Lights series results in more talent making their way up to the Indy Car series!  Expect the new Indy Lights chassis and Mazda engines to line up on the grid next season.  For more info, feel free to check out the official press release below.

Press Release:

Mazda Powers Indy Lights in 2015

Mazda Enters Third Decade of Open-Wheel Racing with Addition of Indy Lights

December 11, 2014 (INDIANAPOLIS) — Mazda announced the addition of Mazda-power in the all-new 2015 Dallara Indy Lights chassis at the annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show. This was the latest development in its ongoing commitment to motorsports, which includes the Mazda Road to Indy, the most comprehensive driver development system in the world.

While most noted for success in sports cars, Mazda has been active in open-wheel, formula-car racing since 1984.  In recent years, that has developed into the Mazda Road to Indy, where aspiring racers can advance upwards along a logical progression from karts all the way to the Verizon IndyCar Series.  In 2014, Mazda powered both the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.  For 2015, Mazda adds Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.

The all-new Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights chassis will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R.  Originally developed in conjunction with Advanced Engine Research (AER), the MZR-R was first campaigned by Mazda in the American Le Mans Series and Mazda customer teams in the European Le Mans Series.  The engine enjoyed several milestone victories, among them were Mazda’s first-ever major North American overall sports car racing win and the 2011 LMP1 engine manufacturers championship.  The engine, further developed by AER, will be designed to produce 450 horsepower and last an entire season without a rebuild.

The 2015 Mazda Road to Indy schedule will kick off with the fifth annual pre-season Cooper Tires Winterfest at NOLA Motorsports Park, just outside of New Orleans, La., on February 18-20 and will move to Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala., on February 24-26.  The official season will open at St. Petersburg on March 27-29 and conclude at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 11-13.

John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports: “The Mazda Road to Indy is a great showcase for what Mazda represents.  Our strength is in helping drivers move up the ranks.  Almost a third of the Indy 500 field traces their roots to Mazda.  Adding the Indy Lights series allows us to have an even longer, more productive relationship with the Indy stars of the future.  We were among the first to recognize the on- and off-track talents of racers like Simon Pagenaud, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal, and many others.  We can’t wait for the season to start at St. Pete, all the way to autumn in Monterey at our own Mazda Raceway for the season finales.”

Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions:  “From the onset of my involvement with Indy Lights, it’s been my hope to have our longtime partner, Mazda, join us in this effort. My decision to select AER as our engine provider was consciously made knowing the substantial Mazda involvement with the engine proposed by AER, and today I am delighted to confirm that the IL-15’s engine does indeed have deep Mazda roots. Mazda does more for open-wheel racing in North America than any other manufacturer, and its full involvement in the Mazda Road to Indy is great news for all.”

Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:  “Today’s announcement that Mazda has agreed to become the Indy Lights engine supplier next season is another pivotal step forward for the series. Mazda’s increased commitment to Indy Lights, and their continued support of the entire Mazda Road to Indy ladder system, is instrumental in the development of the next generation of Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. We’re thankful for their partnership and certainly look forward to having Mazda power behind the new Dallara IL-15 chassis in 2015.”

Chris Pantani, Director of Motorsports for Cooper Tires:  “Knowing that Mazda is once again our partner, this time in Indy Lights, continues to prove that the combination of Cooper Tires and Mazda is the best choice in the career path of a developmental driver.  Our relationship with Mazda started in 2006, and continues to be the path chosen by many champions in the early stages of their careers.”

Spencer Pigot, Champion – 2014 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires:  “It would not be an exaggeration to say that I would not be where I am today without Mazda and the Mazda Road to Indy. They have been a huge part of my career since I began car racing. I’m thrilled to be the first driver to ever earn three Mazda scholarships, the first one being in 2009 when I was still in karting, to making the move up to the Skip Barber National Championship.  The cost to rise through the racing ranks is so expensive, that it is only with support like the Mazda Road to Indy that many drivers can succeed.  I can’t wait to start the season in 2015.”

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED

Mazda is a leading player in all aspects of sports car racing with an emphasis on endurance road racing.  Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals.  Thousands of Mazda-powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built.  Via the Mazda Road to Indy and the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy, Mazda supports racers at all levels of the sport from club racing up to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship where it races with production SKYACTIV Technology.

Mazda remains the only Asian car company to score an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1991).  Mazda has had a naming rights agreement at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca since 2000.

Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  MNAO 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.

Consumer information can be found at www.mazdausa.com, with press information at www.mazdausamedia.com.  Racers and fans can follow the action on Facebook (Mazda Motorsports), Twitter (@mazdaracing), Instagram (MazdaMotorsport) and www.mazdamotorsports.com

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Hype Review: F1 2014 By Codemasters Is The Best Way To Pass The Offseason (Video)

Posted on 12.09.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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There is no more F1 racing until next year.  This really, really sucks if you’re an F1 fan like me.  Luckily, Codemasters has been filling the void for years with their F1 video game franchise.  F1 2014 is the last game for “last gen” consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) before they move on to the new kids on the block Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  So, is it worth it to take one more ride before upgrading?  Well, I have put together a pros and cons review for you to help you form your own opinion.  Check it out below!

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Hype Video: Falken Tire Says Goodbye To Formula Drift In Latest GTChannel “Controlled Chaos” Episode

Posted on 11.24.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

 

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Starting in 2015 Falken Tire will no longer be a team owner in Formula Drift which effectively disbands “Team Falken” in the sport.  This ends a relationship with Formula Drift that has pretty much spanned the series existence.  Falken intends to remain a part of drifting through sponsorships but that will be the extent of their involvement.  In the latest episode of “Controlled Chaos” from GT Channel, members of Team Falken reflect on their time in the sport, how Falken and drifting changed their lives, and their plans for the future.  The episode provides some rare insight into the personal lives of some of the Team Falken drivers and sheds a light of realism on just how hard it is to make it in this sport and how important it is to them.

In the case of Justin “JTP” Pawlak, he explains that before drifting he wasn’t on the best path in his life and was involved in things that got him into trouble.  Once he fell in love with drifting and then went on to join Team Falken his life changed completely.  He went from getting into trouble to now owning a house and having his own family.  Dai Yoshihara explains that he has some serious decisions to make as he was recently married and is himself an expectant father.  Dai says that drifting/driving is the only thing he feels he knows how to do well so he will do what he can to remain involved in the sport but at the same time has to make sure he makes the best choices for his family.

This is a very real, honest, compelling look at just how much Falken has influenced the sport, their drivers, and their team.  You may need a tissue for this one!  Watch the full episode below.

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F1 Hype: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: A Champion Is Crowned (Quick Result And Video)

Posted on 11.24.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Did you miss the final race of the 2014 Formula 1 season this weekend?  Did you forget to DVR it?  Have you some how avoided all forms of mass media and actually have no idea what happened or who won?  All of these things are very unlikely but hell I am going to go ahead and post this anyway.  Scroll down to learn who won the final race of the season and more importantly who captured the championship.  There is also a quick race recap courtesy of NBC Sports.

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!!

 

1st: Lewis Hamilton
2nd: Felipe Massa
3rd: Valtteri Bottas

Lewis Hamilton is the 2014 Formula One World Champion!

Race Recap:

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F1 Hype: Brazilian Grand Prix Quick Result (With Video)

Posted on 11.10.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The second to last race of the 2014 Formula One season is in the books!  Please tell me you didn’t…seriously?! Missed it?  OK, I will help you out yet again!  It was quite a race in Brazil and tensions were definitely high.  You sure you want to know the results?  Alright, scroll down for spoilers and a quick race recap from NBC Sports.

WARNING SPOILERS BELOW!!!

 

1st: Nico Rosberg
2nd: Lewis Hamilton
3rd: Felipe Massa

It was definitely a crazy race and the phrase of the day was tire degradation as the Pirelli tires took a beating on the Integlagos asphalt and that provided hardship for just about every team on the grid.  Tire wear definitely played a part in everyone’s strategy today.  For a recap check out the video below from NBC Sports.

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F1 Hype: United States Grand Prix (Quick Result)

Posted on 11.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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For us American F1 fans the USGP is the biggest race of the year so if you missed it then it better be because you had one hell of a Halloween!  Is that what happened?  Are you sure? OK, I believe you …this time…  Anyhow this race was also important for a few other reasons.  It was the third to the last race of this season and this was a chance for Nico Rosberg to catch up to his teammate Lewis Hamilton in championship points.  On the constructor’s side, Williams-Mercedes was hunting for a good performance to keep them ahead of Ferrari for third place in the constructor’s championship.  Ready to find out what happened?  Alright go ahead and scroll down.

WARNING! SPOILERS BELOW!

1st: Lewis Hamilton
2nd: Nico Rosberg
3rd: Daniel Riccardo

Yes, Lewis Hamilton got his second win at the Circuit Of The America’s over the weekend and deservedly so.  With Nico winning the pole position and Lewis suffering from brake problems during qualifying and during the first half of the race it looked like Nico would get the better of his rival on this weekend.  However a well-timed pit-stop by Lewis’ crew and a set of fresh tires was all the Brit needed to take the fight to Nico and over take him around the mid point of the race and stay ahead to get his 5th win in a row and to earn his 32nd career win.  Lewis’ win over the weekend officially makes him the most successful British F1 driver in the sport’s history.

Lewis is now 24 points ahead of Nico Rosberg going into the next race in Brazil and normally it would look pretty firmly locked up but we should all remember that this year the last race (in Abu Dhabi) champion points are doubled.  Thus, a first place finish in the last race is worth 50 points rather than 25 points and so on.  So if Lewis makes a just a small mistake in the next two races, Nico has a very good chance to make a last minute run at the 2014 title.  Count on tensions being high at these last two races of the season!

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Hype Video: Dai Yoshihara Answering Fan Questions Is Delightfully Awkward

Posted on 10.24.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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In a new feature just posted on the GT Channel YouTube page, Falken Tire driver and Formula Drift veteran Dai Yoshihara is given questions from his fans and some of his answers are pretty funny.  Ever wanted to know who Dai’s favorite teammate is? What about what Dai would want to do if he wasn’t drifting?  What about his favorite chassis to drift or what motorsport other than drifting he is interested in?  His answers may surprise you!  Check out the Q&A below and enjoy!

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Formula Drift Hype: Round 7 Irwindale Galleries Up!

Posted on 10.14.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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We’ve all been waiting for it and it is finally here!  We have not one but two galleries from Formula Drift Irwindale Round 7!  One gallery is the result of me standing in the middle of the track being sprayed by rubber shrapnel and breathing toxic tire smoke! Yay!  Seriously though, there is nothing quite like being up close to screaming, snarling drift cars as they slide past you at full “tilt” (see what I did there?).  Hopefully our pictures convey that feeling.  We also have a gallery of the best cars from the Offset Kings showcase presented by illest so there’s that bit of awesomeness as well.  Its all below in the embedded galleries!

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Formula Drift: Irwindale Round 7 Results. Daigo Saito Takes The Final Win Of The Season & We Have A Champion

Posted on 10.13.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Going into the final round at Irwindale things were tense.  Fredric Aasbo was less than 20 points away from the incredibly consistent Chris Forsberg.  Both drivers needed to be as close to flawless as possible if they wanted to achieve their respective desired results.  However, “flawless” is highly illusive in a sport in which results are completely subjective.  Here’s how it was all laid out for each contender: Chris Forsberg needed to make sure he finished as far ahead of Aasbo at all cost to preserve his lead.  He needed to out qualify him and finish ahead of him by at least two spots.  For Aasbo, as just mentioned he needed to finish ahead of Forsberg by two or more spots.  However, the two drivers happened to fall on the same side of the top 32 bracket so that meant considering that each driver kept winning their battles they would eventually have to face each other.

This was not great for Forsberg as his past battles with Aasbo mostly ended with his defeat.  But, if Forsberg could beat him this time it would secure a championship.  In the final four the two drivers finally faced off.  Forsberg fought valiantly but ultimately the judges gave the win to Fredric Aasbo which sent him into to the final against Daigo Saito who defeated Forrest Wang to make it to the final.  At this point Fredric had to defeat Saito in order to win the championship but Daigo’s monster car was too much and Aasbo was unable to close the gap on his follow run which resulted in the event win for Daigo and the championship win for Chris Forsberg.

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Officially a two-time champion (Chris’ first title was earned in 2009), Chris Forsberg’s 2014 season was a constant uphill battle.  With no title sponsor on board (NOS energy drink stepped down to an associate sponsor status) Chris soldiered on through the year on a incredibly thin budget yet still managed to get a win and podium 5 times out of 7 rounds.  Fredric Aasbo had a great season getting his first two wins this season at rounds 4 & 6 but it was ultimately Forsberg’s consistency which won out.

It was a crazy season with ups, downs, controversy, and glory.  There has been/will be a lot of shake ups in the drifting community in the coming weeks which could drastically shape how the 2015 Formula Drift season will play out.  I will do my best to keep up with the news!

For now I want to say congrats to Chris Forsberg for his championship, Fredric Aasbo for his best season to date, and

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