Thursday, November 3, 2011

What to watch this weekend (Nov 6th - Nov 9th)

  • MotoGP World Championship. From the streets of Valencia, Spain. Sunday 8am - 9am (SPEED/SPEEDHD) live - replay at 5pm
  • WRC - Rally Spain. Days 1 - 3. Sunday @ 11:30pm - 1pm (Discovery's HD Theater) not a live telecast - preview starts at 10:30am
  • Top Gear (UK). Replay marathon. Monday @ 6pm - 12am (BBC America/BBC America HD)
  • Motorweek. Audi A6. Tuesday @ 8pm - 8:30pm (Velocity/Discovery's HD Theater)
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Money in the bank. Tuesday @ 10pm - 10:30pm (Velocity/Discovery's HD Theater)
The race season is winding down, but there's still some WRC action out there for our consumption. There have been team orders within both Citroen and Ford, over the past few races, but only the Citroen boys are butting heads because of it. Seven-time consecutive WRC driver's champion Loeb, despite some uncharacteristic accidents this season, is still the king of the mountain, but Ogier has a taste for the crown and won't be denied...if he has anything to do with it. The Spain Rally will help us all see what shakes out between the two Sebastien's, Fords' hopes for second place with Hirvonen and Mini's hope to make a bit more noise in their first season in WRC since 1967.

Video courtesy of Rallymedia.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Motorsport Pron: Rennsport Reunion Portrait

Porsche's motorsport history is as colorful and rich as the liveries used on their racecars over the past 60 years. This year Porsche organized a fourth Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca raceway, gathering factory racers from the past several decades for a motorsport bloodline family portrait.

Video courtesy of Porsche.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Car Pron: MIVW 2010 (Loniek)

The show season is over, but there's no reason why we can't live it year round like the NFL network.

MIVW 2010 by Wolfsgruppe from Loniek on Vimeo.

Monday, October 31, 2011

For the love of A: The Legendary Audi Sport Quattro S1

With all of the great road-going and track-only sports cars Audi has in its current portfolio, remembering their past technical exercises is a must. In order to do so, we have to go back to when Audi first introduced Quattro for use in motorsport. Quattro, or the all-wheel drive system created for military use under Volkswagen A.G.'s umbrella through the 1970's, is based around a longitudinally positioned engine/transmission with torque distributed between front and rear axles via a center mechanical differential.

In 1980 Audi debuted it's road going Audi Quattro coupe to the European public via the Geneva Motorshow and afterwards a competition version of this car was being run on a developmental basis much like the 911 GT3 Hybrid. Once this development evolved into early Quattro cars competing in motorsport, with the rule change in Rally allowing all-wheel drive, the game would forever change. The early Audi Quattro competition cars (A1 and A2) made about 300hp and topped out at ~350hp with the Group B Rally rule implementation of 1982.

Audi Sport Quattro (road car) on display at the Audi Museum in Ingolstadt.

The original Quattro competition car was replaced by the Audi Sport Quattro in 1984, along with a limited production homologation of road cars sharing the same name. This new animal put out ~300hp for the street version and ~450hp in competition trim. Visually, the differences between the Audi Sport Quattro and Quattro A1/A2 competition cars were minor, but the list of revisions were substantial; carbon-kevlar widebody and paneling, a 20v all aluminum I-5 with ~50% highter power output, wider arches and wheels and most notably the wheelbase was shortened by over a foot.

Audi Sport Quattro S1 on display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart.

The pinnacle of this early, turbo, all-wheel drive racing development was the Audi Sport Quattro S1. After the 1984 Rally season, Audi made even more significant changes to improve performance. You can recognize an S1 anywhere on earth, mainly because of its aero kit created to help with downforce. Outside of its crazy shape, it also had some serious powertrain upgrades. The aluminum 20v heart received a trick recirculating turbocharger setup to reduce lag and made peak power at 8000rpm (480bhp early production & 591bhp(!) late). Combined with a fighting weight of ~2400lbs, it isn't not hard to understand why the Audi Sport Quattro S1's short list of talented pilots, including the likes of Walter Röhrl and Michèle Mouton, are still legends to this day.

Video courtesy of enniovernengo. Here's more great footage of the Audi Sport Quattro in its hay day.