Today the world gets closer to a true electric sports car. Mercedes Benz has just announced that they’ve set a lap record with the AMG SLS “Electric Drive” on the north loop of the Nürburgring (AKA Nürburgring Nordschleife) with a time of 7:56.234 minutes. This is the first time an electric car has lapped the Nordschleife in under 8 minutes!
Good job Mercedes! Thank you for getting us all closer to Tron style cars that leave destructive ribbons of light in their wake (wishful thinking). In the meantime, do you think you can do something about that paint job?
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive circled the Nürburgring Nordschleife (“north loop”) in a record time of 7:56.234 minutes. Therefore, the electric AMG super sports car is at the same time the first electrically-powered series production vehicle, which masters the legendary race track in under eight minutes. The record time of the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive was notarially certified. Two weeks after the first overall win for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the 24 Hours Nürburgring, a further member of the SLS AMG family impressively demonstrates its potential on the most difficult race track worldwide.
“Mercedes-AMG impressively shows the potential of the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive with the new record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Mercedes-AMG is the first vehicle manufacturer which makes it possible to circle the Nordschleife in under eight minutes with an electrically-powered series production vehicle. This record run is another proof for our constant innovative vigour,” according to Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
“For the first time, an electrically-powered series production vehicle circles the Nürburgring Nordscheife in under eight minutes. The record for the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive in 7:56.234 minutes on the Nordschleife shows the special position of our innovative and unique drive solution. With the extremely efficient battery technology deriving from Formula 1, four electric motors positioned close to the wheels, the individual wheel torques “AMG Torque Dynamics,” the SLS eSound and our ambitious “AMG Lightweight Performance” design strategy, the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive generates a breathtaking sensation unlike any other model out on the road,” according to Tobias Moers, Head of Overall Vehicle Development and member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
The SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive, with which Mercedes-AMG set up the record on the 20.832 kilometres long traditional race track in the Eifel, corresponds to the series version, which celebrates its launch in June 2013. The currently strongest AMG high-performance car has four electrical motors with a total output of 552 kW (751 hp) and maximum torque of 1000 Nm (738 lb-ft).
The gullwing car is therefore advancing to become the strongest and fastest electrically-powered series production vehicle in the world. The SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in a mere 3.9 seconds and can reach a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited).
A new dimension of driving performance – the AMG brand pledge is fulfilled to remarkable effect by the outstanding performance dynamics, which come courtesy of AMG Torque Dynamics and are made possible by the wheelselective all-wheel drive. The most “electrifying” gullwing model ever has been developed in-house by Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The extremely powerful highvoltage battery for the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive is the result of the collaboration between Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth in the UK and is setting the pace in energy density, power density and efficiency. Here, the British Formula 1 experts were able to draw on their extensive experience with KERS hybrid concepts.
The car’s agile response to movements of the accelerator pedal and the linear power output are a source of pure delight: unlike with a combustion engine, the build-up of torque is instantaneous with electric motors – maximum torque is effectively available from standstill. The spontaneous torque build-up and immense power delivery without any interruption in traction on the one hand are combined with completely vibration-free motor running characteristics on the other.
While the Indy Cars were pounding the pavement in Detroit, Formula Drift was slaying tires at Palm Beach Florida. This round was one full of surprises and controversy. Surprises came in the fact that neither Matt Powers, Ken Gushi, and Walker Wilkerson made the top 32. Some found it surprising that Tony Angelo did make the top 32. I say the man was due after a long string of bad luck.
However the biggest surprise (and pleasant one) was Mike Essa finally getting his first win! Essa took down Taka Aono, Tyler McQuarrie, Chris Forsberg, Robbie Nishida, and finally Daigo “The Ninja” Saito to earn his victory. It was refreshing to see a new face on top of the podium and amazing to see Essa take down such a daunting gauntlet of competitors. Hopefully we will see Essa earn more victories in the near future. Daigo Saito earned second place and Robbie Nishida nabbed third.
As far as controversy, there were many calls made by the judges this round that seemed questionable to the fans watching at the event and live on the driftstream. In fact, there were so many controversial calls that Wrecked Magazine has their readers vote on the battle they feel needs clarification. At the end, one of the Formula Drift judges will guest blog to explain the calls made in the most voted on battle.
Although it seems that at this point voting would just be a formality. If you have been following the comments on Wrecked and other drift websites you will easily find that the most talked about battle was between Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Daigo Saito in the final four. It was a one more time battle and it started with Daigo leading. Right as both drivers entered the second transition Vaughn Gittin plowed in to Saito. Vaughn was deemed at fault for the collision and Saito got the win but Saito’s car was not the same after that battle and he fell to Essa in the final battle. Some fans are going as far as to say that Vaughn intentionally hit Daigo to keep him from winning and extending a points lead over Vaughn from which he would not be able to recover.
I admit it looks pretty bad but I personally don’t think it was intentional. However, this is Vaughn’s second incident in a row in which he plows through (or over) his competitor. Even J-Rod (announcer) seemed annoyed at Vaughn.
The big news at the end of last season is that Indy Car would adopt “double header” weekends at certain stops on the 2013 schedule. This past weekend saw the first double-header of the season as Indy Car returned to Detroit’s Belle Isle. Each race had a different winner and both winners are fairly new to victory.
In race 1 it was Mike Conway who emerged victorious after his team put together a brilliant car that just absolutely ran away from the rest of the field. 2012 Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay took second place and Justin Wilson grabbed third.
In the second race Mike Conway remained a threat but it was Simon Pagenaud who grabbed his first Indy Car victory. James Jakes scored a career best second place and Mike Conway nabbed third.
For highlights of the double header weekend check out the videos below.
Tony Kanaan is one of the most popular, well liked, and experienced drivers on the Indy Car grid. Hes won a championship with Andretti Autosport as well as many races with various teams. He grew up with the likes of Rubens Barrichello and Helio Castroneves in Brazil. Yet with all his skill, experience, and his hard work ethic he has never quite been able to capture the ultimate American racing prize, the Indy 500. For the last 8 years Kanaan has come very close to a victory but for one reason or another he came up short. This time, he wrestled his fate and willed himself to a victory with an amazing pass on lap 197 of 200 during a restart.
Just after Tony shot his way into the front a crash in the back of the field brought out the yellow flag, securing Kanann’s win under a yellow/white/checkered flag. This year’s race was certainly an exciting one and if you did not get to watch, there is a video of all the highlights below.
Slept in and miss the Monaco Grand Prix? Forget to DVR it too? No worries I have the results and the highlights for you below!
SPOILER ALERT: Results below!
It was Nico Rosberg who had a practically perfect weekend. He won the pole position and the race! Just like his father before him, young Nico can finally say that he grabbed a Monaco GP victory. Sebastian Vettel took second place and his teammate Mark Webber grabbed third. There was a ton of other action going on during the entire race, the best of which you can see below in the highlights video!
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!