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
As I suspected from the teaser video a while back, today at a special event celebrating the franchise’s 15th anniversary at Silverstone circuit in the UK Sony and Polyphony Digital announced that Gran Turismo 6 is coming this year (holiday) and it is coming to the Playstation 3. While that might be odd considering that Sony recently announced that Playstation 4 was also coming this holiday, it makes sense if you consider that Gran Turismo 6 was probably very far along the development process by the time most of us were taking the shrink wrap off our copies of GT5.
Does this mean there isn’t a Gran Turismo coming for Playstation 4? Hardly, while nothing has been announced I am sure the crew at Polyphony are already hard at work on GT7. But that’s a story for another time. Lets get into GT6 shall we?
First off all the cars and tracks from GT5 will be in GT6 including several new additions which brings the total car count to 1200 when the game is released and additional cars to be added via DLC and customization via aero parts and wheels will be available for “almost” all cars. In fact Sony claims “several thousand” aero parts will be available and that GT6 will have more levels of customization than any of the previous titles.
Beyond the new cars, new locations will be added including Silverstone Circuit as well as 6 other new tracks making for 33 tracks total with 71 layouts. If that isn’t enough, more tracks are promised in the future with DLC and the track editor has been improved so players can create the circuit of their dreams.
When it comes to gameplay the programmers at Polyphony Digital have completely re-done the physics system. The new model will be based off new aerodynamic data, tire data from Yokohama, and suspension geometry data from KW Suspension.
The last thing you should know is that while the full game won’t drop until “holiday 2013″ a demo will come in July and that demo will be the launch pad for the next GT Academy, so start practicing now!
For more info on the game (including the car list for the July demo) check out the trailer and press release below. I will bring you my own impressions of GT6 once I play it on the E3 show floor next month.
UPDATE: It looks like the Gran Turismo 6 news is so big that the official website is down from all the traffic!
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. today announced Gran Turismo®6 (GT6™), the latest version of PlayStation®’s best-selling franchise, will be released in Holiday, 2013. The news was revealed today by legendary Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi at an event held to celebrate 15 years of the 70-million-selling series.
GT6 for PlayStation®3 will bring new levels of authenticity to ‘the Real Driving Simulator’ as well as introducing stunning new tracks and cars and a revised user interface. A new compact game engine will improve operation and increase the flexibility to expand it with downloadable content. Meanwhile, the game is also set for expanded connectivity with other devices such as smart phones and tablets and increased social and community functions.
All of the cars and tracks from Gran Turismo®5, which has sold over 10m copies since launching in 2010, will be retained in GT6. But notable new additions to the already impressive line-up of historic cars, road cars and the latest race cars, brings the total car list to 1200 at launch, with new cars set to be continually added online. Several thousand aerodynamic parts and custom wheels will be available for almost all cars, and players can personalize their own custom cars in game to the greatest ever level possible.
The UK’s famous Silverstone Circuit will be just one of seven new locations in Gran Turismo 6, taking the total to 33, with 71 different layouts available, 19 of them brand new. There will also be regular additions of new tracks set to be made available online. The improved course maker function will provide gorgeous scenery spanning several tens of square kilometers including the magnificent backdrop of Andalucía.
The theme of Gran Turismo’s innovative collaborations with partner companies will increase with the inception of GT6. A number of exciting new projects that blur the line between the virtual and real will be announced in the run up to the game’s launch. Not least of these is GT Academy, a collaboration with Nissan to unearth real racing driver talent that first ran in 2008. It was announced during the event that the competition returns for its biggest ever year in 2013, with the entry mechanic set to take place on an exclusive GT6 demo in July.
Other notable partnerships in the development of GT6 have been with tire manufacturer Yokohama Rubber and suspension company KW Automotive. Both companies are active in the commercial car industry and in racing, and they have acted as technical development partners for the game’s new physics engine, for its tire and suspension kinematic modeling, creating an even more realistic experience for GT fans.
“It is amazing to think that it is 15 years since we first released Gran Turismo,” explained Kazunori Yamauchi, during the announcement at Silverstone Circuit. “Things have changed a lot since then and now Gran Turismo 6 is a further evolution of my dream. We’re pleased to deliver GT6 to PlayStation 3 as we have a very loyal community on that platform. However, we have refactored the game to make it very flexible and expandable, with a view to making many future developments. I am very pleased with everything about the new game and the new additions, but the launch will be only the beginning for GT6. The game will continue to develop throughout its life. I already have many ideas for things I want to achieve in the next 15 years of Gran Turismo!”
The celebration of 15 years of Gran Turismo event at Silverstone included a demo of GT6 featuring the famous circuit. Guests were able to play the game in the familiar circular Gran Turismo race pods before having a chance to take to the real track in cars provided by Audi, Ford, Jaguar, KTM, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Toyota.
Further news about Gran Turismo 6 will be revealed at the forthcoming E3 and Gamescom events.
Cars featured on the GT6 Silverstone demo (* denotes new to Gran Turismo):
Acura NSX ’91
*Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale ’11
*Alpine A110 1600S ’68
*Audi Sport quattro S1 Rally Car ’86
Ferrari 458 Italia ’09
*Ferrari Dino 246 GT ’71
Ford GT ’06
*KTM X-BOW R ’12
Lamborghini Countach LP400 ’74
*Light Car Company Rocket ’07
McLaren MP4-12C ’10
*Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 ’11
Nissan 370Z (Z34) (GT Academy Version) ’08
Nissan 370Z Tuned Car (GT Academy Version) ’08
Nissan GT-R Black edition (GT Academy Version) ’12
*Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 N24 Schulze Motorsport
Nissan Leaf G (GT Academy Version)
*Tesla Motors Model S Signature Performance ’12
Toyota 86 GT ’12
Summary of new Gran Turismo 6 features announced by Kazunori Yamauchi:
New Game Engine
• Compact, nimble operation
• Flexible expandability
• A new rendering engine that pushes the limits of the PS3
New Physics Engine
• New suspension and kinematics model
• New tire model
• New aerodynamics model
• Technical partnership with Yokohama Rubber and KW Automotive
1200 Cars, abundant custom parts, and on-going DLC
• From historic cars to the latest racing cars, the game contains a total of 1200 cars.
• Multiple aerodynamic parts and custom wheels will be available for almost all cars.
• Players can create their own personalized custom car in the game.
• Cars will be continually added online
33 locations, 71 layouts
• 33 Locations and 71 layouts will be provided from day1 (7 more locations and 19 more layouts than GT5)
• More new tracks will continue to be provided online
New Course Maker
• Massive scenery spanning several tens of square kilometers
• A new course generation algorithm
• Players can form their own communities
• Various community levels from local and domestic to global
• Players themselves can create and manage their own online events
New User Interface
• Balancing directional key operation and touch operation
• Quick response
• Shortening of loading times
Multi Device Compatibility
• Smart Phone
At the same time as the PS3 version of GT6 the “Real Driving Simulator” launches, a mobile version and web application version of GT6, will be created to enjoy Gran Turismo’s massive community space.
Real/Virtual “Edge Effect” Activity
A variety of “Edge Effects”, the chemical reactions between the real world and the virtual world for which the Gran Turismo series is famous, are also planned for GT6. Exciting collaborations between various automotive manufacturers and collaborations with brands crossing different industries will be revealed gradually across the next six months.
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!
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Gran Turismo. Yes, it really has been 15 years since the first time some of us put that sweet disc in our Playstation console and got whisked away to a land where we could have any car we wanted, even cars we’ve never seen before. It is also confirmation that those of us who remember the very first game really are that damn old. Christ…
Anyway, to celebrate the anniversary Sony has announced a special event will take place at Silverstone circuit in the UK on May 15th at which, plans for the franchises future will be revealed. By the location (Silverstone) I am also thinking that a few tidbits about the next GT Academy competition will be made public as well.
I am hoping GT6 will in fact be announced, and that it won’t take 6 years to make. After all the time we waited for Gran Turismo 5, plus the awesome-ness coming from Drive Club, Gran Turismo better come soon and come correct! If you want to do some speculating on your own watch the announcement to the announcement video below.
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!
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!
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.
Did you happen to miss the Chinese GP over the weekend? Did you forget to record it too? Ok well then we apologize that you suck but again we are here to help. Below are the official results and a post race recap from the NBC Sports boys.
WARNING: SPOILER BELOW
Unfortunately Lewis Hamilton could not repeat as the China winner. Instead it was Fernando Alonso who pushed his Ferrari to victory over the weekend. He was followed (distantly) by Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton managed a third place finish. There were a few good battles and a few hiccups as well. Learn all about it in the post race report below!
Over the weekend Indy Car made a stop at the famous Barber Motorsports Park for round 2 of the 2013 season for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. Bo Jackson was the grand marshal! But enough about celebs. Here are the quick cliff notes…
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Things started off in typical Barber fashion with a hectic dash towards turn one. Everyone made it out clean but soon after there was an incident with Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia which also involved last race’s winner James Hinchcliffe. Both Servia and Rahal were able to return to the race but Hinchtown had to literally sit on the sidelines for most of the race until track workers could get to him.
Once the mess was cleaned up, all attention was up front as Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, and Scott Dixon battled for the lead. Once the smoke settled it was the defending champ Ryan Hunter-Reay who captured the race win. He was followed by Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves, who took second and third place respectively. Helio’s second consecutive podium finish has put him on top of the points standings.
The next round is my favorite: the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach! Look forward to a ton of content from me throughout the race weekend! For now, if you want to check out the race highlights from the weekend just scroll down for the video.