Bio-Diesel Le Mans Prototype // Audi R10-TDI

Shell Oil, the official fuel provider for Audi's Le Mans effort, has announced that this years prototypes (the R10-TDI's) will run on a mixture of standard diesel and bio-diesel. Running what is know as Gas-To-Liquid (GTL) diesel for the past few years, Audi will now run what they call a Biomass-To-Liquid (BTL) diesel in this years Le Mans cars. We are unsure the exact mixture rate, nor the formula for the bio-fuel, only that it will be produced using wood chips and other natural materials and will make its racing debut staring June 1, when the R10-TDI's begin their Le Mans testing. Audi's efforts are similar to Mazda's LMP1 Le Mans car, which is slated to be run off of E85 Ethanol during this years race. It appears that bio-fuels are not just for the environmentalist, and will hopefully find themselves well accepted in the racing community //

VW Scirocco // Nuburgring Debut

Here is video of the '08 Scirocco race car. Built, shipped, tested and prepped. A car not intended to be shipped stateside, the new VW Scirocco is still turning heads. Making its racing debut at the 24hr Nurburgring race, we are impressed and so is much of the automotive community. Now why is VW reluctant to bring this thing to the U.S.? Competition with their Golf GTI? Slow sales across the board? A trend of mid-sized SUV, over performance hatchbacks? Whatever the case, nothing is in stone, and with a little coercing I am sure VW may change their minds //


Gear Up // ColdTrackDays T-Shirts

They are here! The official ColdTrackDays T-Shirt! Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large sizes are available and the price is cheap, real cheap. $10 a piece (plus shipping if needed) and you will receive a free ColdTrackDays sticker with every order as well! Email // sales@coldtrackdays.com to place an order, or pick one up at our booth at the SOVREN Northwest Historic Race over the July 4th weekend!

24 Heures Du Mans // June 14-15, 2008

You thought your commute was a long one. Try 24hrs of nonstop, wheel to wheel, fender to fender to fender racing! One of the most prestigious events in all of motorsports, the 24hrs of Le Mans has created legends and broken heroes. Beginning with live coverage at 6pm June 14th on Speed TV, and concluding at 6:30am on June 15th, we at ColdTrackDays have another long night ahead of us. Being held near the town of Le Mans, Sarthe, France, the 24hr endurance race has been run annually since 1923. The Le Mans Start, as it came to be known, had cars line up along the pit wall, with drivers making a mad dash for their cars in order to jockey for position. This proved a dangerous practice, as many drivers would forgo the safety harnesses in order to take off quickly. Porsche, to help their success at Le Mans, placed the ignition switch on the left of the steering wheel, so that a driver could start the car with their left hand while putting it into gear wit their right. The Le Mans start saw many fatalities associated with improper safety equipment being in place at the start of the race, and was done away with in 1971. It has since been replaced with a rolling “indy styled” start. If your up as late as we are, in a caffeine fueled Le Mans frenzy, be sure and stop in at ColdTrackDays for some late night reading //

WRC2008 // Acropolis Rally Footage

We just reported on the debut of the new 2008 WRX STi Rally Car, officially named the WRC2008. Photos were nice, but how about some video footage of the new rally car, running live at the Acropolis rally in Greece! Enjoy //

Will the Golf Clubs Still Fit? // Hardtop California

The sun does not always shine. California may provide a bit better weather than here in the Great Northwest, but where we lack in sunny days we make up for in clean air and a plethora of outdoor activities. So what does all this have to do with Ferrari? And why have we been posting so much Ferrari stuff? Well, they are making moves and we are following closely behind, in a meager attempt to keep our readers informed and up to date. So here it is, the new Ferrari California hardtop convertible. With a rear folding hardtop and previously mentioned, front engine V-8 performance, the California is a new favorite. For those of us absent of elongated sunny periods, the hardtop comes as a welcome surprise. In a automotive world where hardtop convertible means mild performance (think Lexus SC430, Mercedes SLK320) the California will return the convertible to its rightful place atop the cool factor scale. Thanks Ferrari, and keep up the good work! //

RWD // Under $20,000?

We at ColdTrackDays are not trying to offend, we are just more fond of RWD cars than FWD cars. Personal preference, fueled by bad experiences in one and pleasurable experiences in the other. So what is someone to do these days? What is available under $20,000? Certainly a used BMW will suffice, but what about brand new. Yearning for that new car smell, we have hunted down some information on what Subaru and Toyota have been cooking up. While Toyota has released concept photos of a car they hope can replicate their success with the 1985-87 Corolla GT-S, Subaru has released this. Slated to be a RWD performance car for under $20 grand, what Toyota is working on will remain in Japan, while Subaru will release their creation worldwide. It's about time. Utilizing the performance standards of the Honda Type-R lineup, Subaru's creations should come in under 2,800lbs with power in the range of 220bhp from a 2.0L boxer engine. No specs yet, but if the production models looks anything like this concept, American buyers should be excited //

Lexus LF-A // Super Luxury Car

Thanks to Laurent Mercier of endurance-info.com, for the hard work and vigilant photography. We are now able to have a clear view of what Lexus is up to. The LF-A Concept, luxury supercar turned racecar, real deal performance meets a demanding market. Where had all the good Japanese supercars gone? As soon as we uttered these words, Nissan shows up with a GT-R, Subaru introduces a double wishbone rear end in their WRX STi and Toyota returns with the LF-A. Our previous shots of this car were blurred to say the least, offering no more than a glimpse of what the LF-A was. Here is a clear shot, and we can only assume the specs will be just as impressive //


The 2010 Ferrari F430?

The new Ferrari F430 ? No, not yet. This concept was created by Italian industrial designer Luca Serafini. Known for his work on the Lamboghini Embolado concept, Serafini has rendered this replacement for the current F430 Ferrari with inspirations from past Ferrari models. Looking a bit more aggressive than much off what Ferrari is producing, we are still up in the air here at ColdTrackDays, as to whether this is deserving of the Ferrari badge. We will leave it up to our readers to decide //

Richard Dziak's Formula 1000

After a weekend at SCCA Double National, we are now scheming on ways to get our hands on a Formula 1000. Being produced here in the NW (Portland, OR to be exact) by a company called STOHR, you can get your hands on a brand new model somewhere in the mid-fifty range. This particular model is not of the Portland variety, and is owned by Richard Dziak of Las Cruces, New Mexico. This is a 2007 Phoenix F1K-07 model, and is powered by a Suzuki GSX-R 1000 motor. Racing in the FB class of SCCA, this Phoenix F1K-07 has powered Richard to a 1st place finish in the Arizona Region SCCA Saguaro Championship Series. Richard raced his 2007 Phoenix F1000 Formula car to six 1st place finishes and one 2nd place finish in the Arizona Championship Series. The series began in September ‘07 and ran until May of ‘08, with races being held at a number of tracks that included Phoenix International Raceway, and Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona. The FB is a new class of open wheel cars in SCCA, with car and driver weighing in at 1000lbs. All FB cars are powered by a 1000cc AMA Superbike engines, redlining at 13,000rpm, with 185bhp and consistently capable of 160mph top speeds. Set up much like a Formula One car, the FB’s run six speed paddle shift transmissions and enough downforce to make up for what they lack in raw horsepower. Check out STOHR (www.stohr.com) for info on the locally produced versions or keep your eyes on the Apex Speed Forums (www.apexspeed.com) for used ones coming on the market.

The New Ferrari F80 //

Just can’t get enough Ferrari? Red t-shirt, matching Ferrari hat and Enzo die-casts just don’t cut it? Plug one of these in and see if it rounds things out for you! The new Ferrari F80! No, not a new Italian stallion, more like a radio/cd player collaboration with audio guru Boothroyd and Stewart. Offering an 80 watt, 2.1 digital loudspeaker, CD and DVD playing capabilities and AM/FM tuning, the only thing missing is a hard drive loaded with Formula One sounds. Yours for the small sum of $2,995 (available in five colors) Heres where to get one // http://www.thef80.com/Buy.aspx

Ring Results // 24 hours later

We have been reporting on the Nurburgring 24hr race for a couple of weeks now, offering info on expected participants and updates on what's happening at the track. We posted a live feed, a place for our readers to watch the action live for the entire 24hrs. Well the results are in, the race is over and from the three or fours hours of streaming video that we saw, it was a good one. The new VW Scirocco made a good show and like always, our friends in the Porsche dominated the field. Here are the results as posted //

1- #1 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 148 24:03:48.494
2- #23 Porsche 911 GT3-MR 147 24:02:48.469
3- #121 Porsche 997 145 24:08:35.834
4- #64 BMW Z4 M 144 24:06:12.670
5- #26 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 144 24:10:16.619
6- #10 BMW M3 E46 GTS 143 24:06:13.430
7-#45 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 141 24:01:01.629
8- #25 Porsche 911 GT3 141 24:03:48.711
9- #46 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 140 24:10:39.837
10- #33 Porsche 997 Cup 139 24:00:26.188
11- #118 VW Scirocco 138 23:57:59.210
12- #27 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 137 24:00:24.824
13- #261 BMW 320d 137 24:04:22.934
14- #69 BMW Z4 Coupe 137 24:07:50.774
15- #117 VW Scirocco 136 23:57:59.483


Hamilton on Top // A Wet Win at Monaco

We woke this morning a bit late, tuning in after nearly half the race had been run. Lewis Hamilton was leading, Masa and Kubica batteling for second, the track was wet and we were deathly tired. Nodding in and out, we managed to capture the end of the race. Raikkonen a slow 9th, Ferrari teammate Felipe Masa taking third and Robert Kubica placing a respectable second. Hamilton proved impressive all day, with track conditions being uncertain to say the least, he avoided accidents and held the lead for much of the race. With the win at Monaco, Hamilton has now pulled ahead of Kimi Raikkonen to take first place in the divers championship with a slim three point lead. It's on to Canada //

IMAX and Ferrari // A Suitable Couple

Ferrari is currently in the works with the IMAX crew, producing a film that is to be debuted at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi next year. No word whether the IMAX film will hit American shores, but lets keep our hopes high, as nothing would be more impressive than 60 foot tall in-car Ferrari footage!


For a Spin // Noble M400

3.0L dual overhead cam V-6, twin turbocharged, horizontally mid-mounted, one-off British supercar, and we took a ride in it. Bremerton Motorsports Park is not the fastest course around, and after a handful of laps in the Noble M400 it may have been a safer bet for us. We had come out for the NW Alfa Club’s lap day, to visit with friends, support those that were driving and spread the word about Cold Track Days. The Noble just so happened to be there, and we were just lucky enough to take a spin in it. I squeezed into the suede leather cockpit, my rear end fitting snugly in the seat. The first thing you notice inside a Noble (beyond the suede everything) is that this is a drivers car. Offering little in the way of creature comforts, (though this model did have a cd player and a/c) the Noble’s interior is less gadgetry and more go fast. The Noble erupts from the start finish line, turbos spooling loudly behind my head. First to second gear is accentuated by the enormous blow off valve, barking like a walrus as we power down the straight. The turbo lag is made up for by huge surges of power. This is where second to fourth gear changes are acceptable, as the torque is enough to carry us through the turn, the wastegate opening to thrust us back onto the straight away. I am unsure of how fast we were were going, as I was more concerned with enjoying the experience than monitoring our top speed, and was equally impressed with breaking power as I was with acceleration. We laid heavy into the breaks, muscled through the chicane and made a sweeping left, heading back down the track. The Noble was stiff, the only body roll was me trying to stay put in my seat, taking each corner as fast as the next. The Noble is as impressive of a car as I have ever ridden in, with a light weight chassis, turbocharged power and supercar image, all for what a Porsche Turbo will cost you. A truly unique experience, a truly amazing car. Thanks for the ride!

SCCA Double Nationals // Practice & Qualifying

The SCCA Double Nationals began today, and Cold Track Days was there to cover the event and spread the word about the site. With a weekend chock full of racing, the Grand Prix of Monaco and the Indy 500 both running tomorrow, this was an opportunity to see some racing first hand. Today saw practice and qualifying for nearly all race groups, with Track Trials having their first race to finish out the day. Open wheel cars laid down some fast times, and included Formula Fords, Mazda’s, Continentals, Atlantic's and the new FB class (aka Formula 1000). A number of Sport Racers and a few DSR, C-DSR and CSR cars made up the remainder of the grid, with a Formula Atlantic and C-DSR taking the pole positions. Regional Group 6 had a good showing, with a number of Porsche Turbos and 944’s making for a diverse mix, some fast times and a few exciting qualifying rounds. Tomorrow sees the first of two races for each class, with the event closing out late on Monday. Cold Track Days will be back at it again on Monday, so check back to the sight for a post race recap. Take a look in our photo gallery for a host of photos from today's event //

Live Coverage // Nurburgring 24hr May 22-25

This is a streaming video, live from the Nurburgring 24hr race. Big thanks to Russell with Evergreen Drift (www.evergreendrift.com) for the info. With all the news lately, this looks to be a showcase event for many concept cars and new releases alike. The VW Scirocco, Lexus LF-A and Mazda Furai are all expect to make an appearance. Plug in, sit down, stream live and enjoy //http://adac.24h-rennen.de/live/live-streaming.html

The Value of Dirt //

“What's going on at Pacific Raceways?” Confused and looking for answers, we have received a number of emails with this in the title. Un-Officially named the Pacific Grand Prix, what little info we have now is only what we can garnish from the website, the construction crew and the large colorful billboard near the entrance of PR. Huge hole in the ground equals pay dirt, literally. The value of the earth being excavated is enough to help fund the placement of a brand new Kart racing facility. An amphitheater styled, below ground facility, the track will be built to displace sound and allow for shifter and sprint Karts to run full out, with out waking the neighbors. We snapped a couple of photos to help give our readers some perspective on this project, and maybe bring a little enthusiasm for the forthcoming race course. If things go as planned, and the Kart track comes in without problem, keep your eyes peeled for a 125cc ColdTrackDays Kart, mixing it up at the new facility. Check out www.pacificgp.com for more info //


SCCA Double Nationals // May 24-26

Starting tomorrow, the SCCA is running their Double National competition at Pacific Raceway. ColdTrackDays was out at Bremerton for the regional event, and we have to say that SCCA events are a great chance to get out to the track and see a plethora of automobiles and open wheel cars going head to head. Saturday is all practice and qualifying with a short race in the late afternoon for Group 8. Sunday sees racing begin at 10am and goes throughout the day, with the last race beginning at 3:30pm. Monday wraps things up with racing non-stop from 1pm to 4:30pm. Gates open early each day and this is a great opportunity to scout out your next automotive project or just meet some like minded people. Weather permitting, Sunday and Monday should see some quick lap times and good competition. ColdTrackDays will be at the track all day on Saturday, so look for us or check back on the site for a post race wrap up.

Drift Day // Evergreen Speedway

June 6th sees the second Drift event of the season at Evergreen Speedway and the first of the competitive series. Running as an evening event again, gates open at 5pm, practice is run first, followed by the competition beginning with the second set of runs. $7 gets you into the grandstand (children under 12 are free), while $15 allows access to the pits. Your $15 is well worth it, as you will be enveloped with tire smoke and the smell of race fuel, allowing you access to drivers and their cars. The event goes well into the night, with finals closing out after dark. ColdTrackDays will be out at Evergreen for this event, so look for us at the track or check back on the site for a more in depth look at what NW drifting is all about. Click on the above image for more info on Evergreen Drift and their events.


Making Sacrifices // ColdTrackDays to F-1

ColdTrackDays is headed to Formula One! In an attempt to keep things a bit secret, the only information we can divulge thus far is a map of the track we are going to. Now some of you may recognize this race course immediately, while others may be referring to Google in an attempt to decipher the above image. Which ever the case, we don't want to give away too much, not yet at least. Let's just say this, ColdTrackDays is committed to covering motorsports, so much so that we are willing to sacrifice an entire summer month here in the great NW (hey, we don’t get many) in order to hump it overseas just for a few days at the race track. Now that is commitment...

Topless and German // Audi TT-Clubsport

We are already fans of the new Audi TT. This years current crop is just doing it for us, not sure what else to say. So what better than a one-off, specialty production model, with all the things we like and less of those we do not. Meet the Audi Clubsport Quattro. Essentially the TT Speedster that was shown at Worthersee least year, only add a modded 2.0L TFSI pumping 300bhp to all four corners. The current Audi TT-S only manages 268bhp from the same powerplant, so the Clubsport has some secrets, but that's ok. The low cut windscreen is reminiscent of mid-fifties Porsche, and the TT-Clubsport is absent of any roof coverings what so ever. Not a preferred vehicle for here in the NW, but for those living East of the mountains or far enough South to avoid constant downpour and everlasting grayness, smiles and sunshine are in your future if behind the wheel of this TT. The best part; this is not a concept. Audi will build it, with an unreleased number of TT-Clubsports to be hitting the streets later this year.


Grand Prix De Monaco // May 23-25

Friday sees the start of the Monaco Grand Prix, with practice followed by qualifying on Friday and Saturday, and green flag racing on Sunday. With both Ferrari drivers dominating the last five F-1 races, all eyes are on Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Masa as the weekend draws near. With Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica bringing up a strong third and fourth place amongst the driver championship, it appears as if Ferrari were unbeatable, allowing Raikkonen to hold a solid 7 point lead. The Grand Prix De Monaco was first run in 1929, with limited changes being made to the race course since then. Drivers negotiate a track made up of interconnecting streets on the waterfront of Monaco. It takes crews six weeks to prepare the race course, and an additional three weeks to dismantle after the race. A dangerous place to race, though the average speed and top speeds are lower than many other courses on the circuit, it is often considered one of the most dangerous courses on the F-1 circuit due to limited run-off. Thought to be the “Crown Jewel” of the Formula One race season, Aryton Senna holds the record for most wins at Monaco, with six.

Tis' the Season // Subaru's WRC2008

Wondering what all the hype with the new Subaru WRX STi is all about? Curious how a four door wagon can be considered a performance car? Lets not fool ourselves here, in our opinion, anything with a heavily turbo charged boxer engine, all wheel drive and fully independent suspension, that can out handle and out perform nearly anything on the road, deserves a performance car badging. So what's this mean to the racing world? It means the latest edition to Subabru’s already legendary lineup of rally cars. Appropriately named the WRC2008, this is the next edition and it looks to dominate much like its predecessors did. To be debuted at the next WRC race, the Acropolis Rally of Greece, we are looking forward to seeing what the wagon can do!

Upping the Ante // R8 at the Nurburgring

If the Audi R8 isn’t impressive enough, if the Audi R8 V-12TDI didn’t do it for you, how about the recently released Audi R8 Nurburgring 24hr race car, is that good enough? Take the R8, an already super supercar, shave 0.2 liters off the 4.2L V8 that comes standard in both the R8 and the RS4, take the mind numbing 530bhp and 353lb/ft of torque, squeeze it into the mid-engine compartment, strip the interior, roll cage, proper fire suppression and you are ready for twenty four hours of grueling fender to fender racing. Being raced in the SP7 class not by Audi themselves, but by a German automotive group calling themselves the 24h-Project 2008: Blue-Tec, an unknown quantity, racing a proven supercar. Weighing in at under a ton, the R8 will surely show off at “the ring” mixing with the likes of the yet released Lexus LF-A and Volkswagen Scirocco. Keeping you posted // Cold Track Days.com


Concepts Can Be Driven // Mazda's Furai

Rotary powered, Bio-Fuel drinking, one of a kind concept supercar. Where did this thing come from? and what does Furai mean anyhow? Mazda unveiled the Furai at the Detroit Auto Show in January, and has since created a buzz of enthusiasm and anticipation amongst zoom-zoom fans. With a 450bhp triple-rotary engine turning the rear wheels, nearly full carbon body work and unbelievable aesthetics, how do you say amazing in Japanese? With practice laps at Buttonwillow in Southern California, like the one posted above, we can only assume the Mazda Furai will be ready for the 24 hours of Le Mans, June 14-15.


Dress Like McQueen // Drive Like McQueen?

Triumph Motorcycles, in recognition of Steve McQueen's 78th birthday and his storied past with their motorcycles, has released a recreation of the t-shirt McQueen wore when he threw dirt rooster tails and power slid his Triumph motorcycle. Featuring a weathered, worn-in look and boasting McQueen's signature on the sleeve, the McQueen Triumph t-shirt looks good, and is available in both black and white. Your local Triumph dealer will have a few, but you can also pick them up here: www.pure-triumph.com/products/751 Apparently a first in a series of casual outerwear released by the McQueen estate, we look forward to seeing what else they cut loose from the vault.

SOVREN "Spring Sprints" // May 17-18

SOVREN heads to Pacific Raceway for the second time this season, and we are hoping the weather will be more accommodating than the last time. Racing on Saturday begins at 1:30pm after a morning heavy with qualifying, while Sunday sees racing begin a bit earlier, with the first race group heading out at 11am. Different than the “Defrost” weekend, the “Spring Sprints” will see 2.0liter and under Trans-Am cars go at it, as well as the normal SOVREN lineup of small and large bore historics and vintage Formula cars. Another great event from the SOVREN group, with hearty racing and amazing cars a guarantee. Check out www.sovren.org for more information.

Pacific Coast Cruiser // Ferrari California

Take a look at the new Ferrari California. This 420bhp topless Italian is an attempt to rekindle the spirit of 1960’s Ferrari and make you think of sunny days and Highway 101. All aluminum body work keeps things light, a front mounted 4.3L V-8 will push the roadster to 60 in under four seconds and with a target market of well-to-do’s and those looking for a “more versatile Ferrari” it is intended to fill the needs of many, while not straying far from the Ferrari ideal. The Ferrari California will be officially launched to the public at the Paris International Car Show, but until then peek at the photos we came across.


In the Mix // Maserati Concept

With a host of concept supercars lurking in the automotive future, a glimpse of this Maserati came as a breath of fresh air. In a crowd dominated by mid engine, high dollar, Italian two seaters, the Maserati A8GCS Berlinetta is a welcome addition. Little to no information is available at this time in regards to specs, but the images themselves are speaking far more than a thousand words. Looking somewhat similar to the forthcoming Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, this new Maserati is expected to arrive at the 2009 Geneva Auto Convention as a concept. In the interim, enjoy the photo we came across //


From Your Couch to Dubai //

Creators of the Gran Turismo driving simulator have decided to test the driving potential of their biggest fans. Known as the Gran Turismo Academy, thumbstick drivers will be pitted against one another in an eight month, pan-European championship for virtual driving supremacy. Obviously a promotional tool for the team that created Gran Turismo 5: Prologue (featured a few articles down) as well as the Sony Playstation, but do we really care? A National tournament will be held via the Playstation 3's online format, with the winners being wrangled up for some one-on-one competition at the real Silverstone Raceway. The two winners at Silverstone will enter into a four month driver training program, which will allow them to obtain their real racing licenses. Janurary 2009 will see the first race for the two eventual winners, as they pilot a Nissan 350Z in the 24 hour race at Dubai. Gran Turismo Academy will go live at the end of May, and only those with a Playstation 3, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue and a European address will be able to show off their virtual driving skills and have a chance behind the wheel of a 350Z race race. So for us poor American consumers, our only hope of being behind the wheel of a 350Z in Dubai, may come from a long vacation to see our neighbors to the East.


Scirocco at "The Ring"

This is the official VW Scirocco that will be competing in the Nurburgring 24hr in a few weeks. 300bhp via an updated 2.0L TFSI should be adequate, but the true test of the new Scirocco comes not in terms of power output, it will be measured by stamina. Both driver and machine are subject to merciless g-forces, excessive gas, brake, gas, brake, and 24 hours of non stop racing. This is often the true test of a vehicle's performance. The fastest teams often find themselves listed as DNF (did not finish) due to wear and tear and driver fatigue. Hans-Joachim Stuck and Carlos Sainz will pilot the Scirocco for the Nurburgring 24hr, and should put on a good show. Volkswagen Motorsports Director Kris Nissen seemed enthused stating: “The new Scirocco was in its element from its very first lap around the Nordschleife. The car also ran perfectly on this unique and difficult track. Now it's just a question of preparing the three Sciroccos perfectly for the race. The 24 Hours is a merciless test for man and machine.” Stateside VW fans are going to be disappointed, as of yet the 2009 Scirocco will not be crossing the pond.


Protecting the Important Stuff //

So we have come to notice something, that without proper head protection you are not allowed to drive fast (at least not on a race track). And seeing as how we are not in the upper one percent, and funds are somewhat limited, we have only but a few options to protect our thinker. So the Arai GP-JET/F seems a proper fit for us. Not a closed face helmet, so we would not suggest a motorcycle ride, (unless you are fond of insect delicacies), but a proper driving helmet, designed to do just what we need it to. Now we cannot go without commenting on style. Minus the face shield and leaving your chin and squeezed cheeks fully exposed, you are likely to appear a bit of an ass, while wide eyed and grinning as you lap the race track. But assuming you are going for function and not fashion, at $429.95, a Snell SA-2005 rating, and lots of visibility, this is the right choice for those testing their luck at lap days.

Turkish Grand Prix // May 11, 2008

Ferrari appears unstoppable in F-1. Having taken the top podium spot in the last three Grand Prix’s, they are obviously the force to be reckoned with. So what will happen in Turkey? With the Turkish Grand Prix approaching in but a few days, what can we expect from the Italians? Well if 2007 shows any signs, Ferrari is looking to do quite well. Having taken both the one and two position in the ’07 Turkish Grand Prix, and having taken the Spanish Grand Prix just weeks ago, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Masa are surely feeling confident. Lewis Hamilton, with a third place showing in Spain, is an obvious contender in Turkey (we will be rooting for him) and the BMW Sauber team with pilot Robert Kubica (currently third in points amongst drivers) is looking to remove the young Hamilton from his second place spot. Unfortunately, us on the West coast must rise well before the crack of dawn if we care to see any of this live. The Turkish Grand Prix is showing at 4:30am on the SPEED channel, but for those that are unconcerned with live coverage, the race will be re-shown at 10:30am. In the interim, enjoy an onboard lap with Kimi Raikkonen at the ’06 Turkish GP.

Make Believe M1

Everyone is busy speculating, taking guesses about a possible M1 recreation. BMW is to blame I suppose, having released an image that looked all too computer generated to fool us at Cold Track Days. But now this? A real shot, a true photo, taken apparently at a warehouse in Spain, a glimpse at the BMW M1 concept car? Nothing to confirm any of this, and the photo may very well be photo shopped, but we like the looks of it none the less. Low, pavement scraping grill, reminiscent of the new 6 series, sweeping lines take us back to the mid nineties and a favorite of the staff here, the 8 series. With squinty eye headlights and a mid engine layout, we would buy it, but will BMW produce it? Will we ever see the likes of a mid engine Bavarian Monster again? We suppose the market will decide, but until then, we can only hope people keep photo shopping (if that’s what this is anyhow)

Go Fast // Go Green

Tjaarda has done it. The obvious achievements of the Ford Mustang are now being outweighed by the fact that this one is absent of a fuel tank. The first electric Mustang, and this thing is no hybrid. A full charge will take you a little over 100 miles, and at three cents a mile to operate, the $100,000 cost will soon be paying for itself, kinda. But these are not the impressive numbers. The Tjaarda Mustang manages a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds and hits a limited top speed of 120mph. With 300 horsepower, a near equivalent to the base GT model, seems adequate, but the electric motor provides torque figures without the restriction of reaching a certain RPM, and torques is what leads to 0-60 times in the sub four second range. So what kind of torque does this thing create, and what does that mean behind the wheel? Try 1000 lb/feet of torque at 0 RPM. You have all 1000 of those torque units at the ball of your foot, as soon as you apply a little pressure. No lag, No wasted time, just torque and G forces. The Tesla roadster did it first, providing an alternative to top down automotive fun powered by dinosaur fuel, but the Tjaarda Mustang has created something that many people are already wanting, a new Ford Mustang. Add plug and play electric power, reduce (or in this case eliminate) fuel costs, provide crazy go fast numbers and do it on a platform synonymous with car culture and you have a potent mix. Look out tuners, the electric car isn’t just for the green people.


Birthday Presents //

With Carol Shelby celebrating his 85th birthday this past January, could there be a better way to mark the occasion than building a supercar? In recognition of both Shelby’s birthday and the incredible success of the GT-40 in racing, Shelby Automobiles Inc. has produced this: the Shelby 85th Commemorative GT-40. Three colors will be available (red, black and blue) with only 85 of each color being produced. The chassis is being built to the specifications of the original GT-40 race car, right down to the pressed steel roof. For power, the 85th will accept a number of Shelby motors, the most potent of which is the 427FE V-8. Huge 12.75 brake rotors and four piston calipers rest behind original styled 15” Halibrand wheels, wrapped with 225/50/15’s in the front and 275/60/15’s in the rear. Suspension consists of a completely independent, unequal length a-arm, fully adjustable coilover setup, utilizing H&R springs and Bilstein shocks. Sold only as a rolling chassis, the 85th Commemorative GT-40 is what you care to make of it. A race version will also be for sale, though offering only slight addition (roll cage, fuel cell and no A/C)

Danica. Honda. Formula One.

It seems a proper match. Something like an arranged marriage, bound to happen, fate and destiny drawing the two together. Danica Patrick, IRL star and the only female to accomplish an IndyCar victory, has been discussing the prospects of a test drive in Honda's Formula One. Nothing on the books as of yet, with Honda executives only confirming the possibility of Danica being allowed a bit of seat time. With a victory at the IndyCar Japan 300, in Motegi, Honda is now offering Danica a chance to test drive the current Formula One car being campaigned by Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button. No surprise here, as Honda supplies engines for every class in the Indy Racing League (including Danica's) and had made a similar offer in 2005, one which Danica turned down after serious contemplation. With a focus on winning the IRL Championship, Danica may turn this offer down as well, but whatever the outcome, here recent performances are sure to subdue the noise from Danica doubters. But can she make the transition to a Formula One car? Here is a comparison of cars, you decide for yourself: FORMULA ONE: N/A 2.4 liter V8, 19,000 rpm, 750 horsepower, minimum weight of 1,323 lbs, top speed - 225 mph // INDY CAR: N/A 3.5 liter V8, 10,300 rpm 650 horsepower, minimum weight of 1,565, top speed - 230 mph


14 Years Later // Still A Legend

This day in 1994, the racing world lost a great. Ayrton Senna, three time Formula One champion, lost control of his Williams-Renault at the San Marino Grand Prix, at Imola, hitting the wall at over 135mph. The cause of death is still somewhat unknown, but speculations have centered on the front wheel, which is believed to have come over the top of the car at impact, striking Senna's helmet. Massive skull fractures and severe damage to Senna's helmet have been the proposed cause of death, but much is still uncertain. Ayrton Senna lived through the most dangerous game one can play, mid 80's F-1. Little to no protection was in place during Senna's early years in F-1, and by the time of his death in '94, little had changed. During a practice session the day before his fatal crash, Austrian Roland Ratzenberger was killed in a practice accident. Determined to be at the forefront of driver safety changes, Senna had volunteered to lead the movement amongst drivers. When pulled from the wreckage, Ayrton Senna's body was airlifted to Bologna Hospital where he was to be declared dead. After sorting through what was left of the car, workers found a folded Austrian flag, a victory flag, Senna intended on waiving in memory of Ratzenberger. 1994 marks the last death of a Formula One driver behind the wheel, and today’s cars are an obvious achievements of what Senna intended on seeing through, driver safety.