Friday, March 16, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What to watch this St. Patty's Day weekend (Mar 16th - Mar 21st)

  • Formula 1 - Australian Grand Prix; from Melbourne/Albert Park Circuit. Practice. Friday @ 1:30am - 3am (SPEED/SPEEDHD) live
  • Formula 1 - Australian Grand Prix; from Melbourne/Albert Park Circuit. Qualifying. Saturday @ 2am - 3:30am (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • Formula 1 - Australian Grand Prix; from Melbourne/Albert Park Circuit. Race. Sunday @ 1:30am - 4am (SPEED/SPEEDHD) replay @ 2pm and Tuesday 3/20 @ 12pm
  • ALMS - 12 hours of Sebring (FL). 60th annual running of this historic endurance race. Saturday @ 10:15am - races end ( abridged coverage airs Sunday 3/18 on ABC/ABCHD
  • Top Gear (UK). Classic episode mini-marathon. Monday @ 6pm - Tuesday @ 2am (BBC America/BBC America HD) great replays
  • Motorweek. Volvo S60 R-Design. Tuesday @ 8pm - 8:30pm (Velocity/VelocityHD) new
  • Vinsetta Garage. Customization. Tuesday @ 8:30pm - 9pm (Velocity/VelocityHD) new
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Tuesday @ 10pm - 11pm (Velocity/VelocityHD) replays
  • Top Gear (US). Limos. Tuesday @ 9pm - 10pm (History Channel/History Channel HD) new
  • Wheeler Dealers. Land Rover Defender. Wednesday @ 9pm - 10pm (Velocity/VelocityHD) new
After much anticipation, the Formula 1 season begins this weekend. We'll see who made the most of the new rules, including the exhaust routing and front wing tricks most of the front runners have spent the off season perfecting. Will Redbull and Newey walk away from the field in time attack or will there be a bit more parity at the top? Is Schuey going to have a competitive car? Will Webber ever win a Driver's Championship before leaving Redbull? Only time will tell. The 12 hours of Sebring is also this weekend, live via webcast and replayed on ABC the Sunday after it's completed. Look for new cars from Audi (R18 E-tron) and Porsche (new 911 GT3 RSR) in the field, along with the usual suspects from ALMS. Last but not least, today starts the NCAA Tourney. If you're reading this, it's too late to make a bracket so just pop on the tube and to watch the craziest weekend in collegiate sports all year; the first two rounds of the tourney. Enjoy the warm weather and green beer this weekend.

Video hosting courtesy of Mooorteeen.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quick Vid: Manthey M510 (OptionAuto)

Our friends from OptionAuto test drive a very unique GT3 variant. Manthey Motors is the road car division of the of endurance race winning, Manthey Porsche race team. One of the cars they produce is this M510, which is a stock Porsche 911 (997Mk1) GT3 (3.8), with only motor and exhaust upgrades. The result? An increase in displacement to 4.3 liters, an Akrapovic titanium exhaust, pushing output to 510hp. Tis' a shame this upgrade costs ~$75k.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Current Events: Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro

At the beginning of the month Audi unveiled it's new R18 prototype race car, leaving the standard V6 TDI (turbo diesel) powerplant layout for a hybrid diesel setup. Much like KERS technology in F1, but much more similar to Porsche's regenerative technology in the GT3 Hybrid racecar (Audi and Porsche are both under the VW corporate umbrella), the new Audi R18 hybrid powertrain captures energy created during braking through a flywheel to provide stored thrust that can be called upon at driver request. This thrust is sent to the front wheels via electronic motors, effectively making the R18 an all wheel drive racecar, during use of the stored energy, at speeds above 120 kph (74 mph). The use of identically sized front and rear wheels on the R18 are starting to make more sense now, aren't they.

The Audi R18 E-Tron will hit the track this upcoming weekend in Florida, at the 2012 12 Hours of Sebring. An updated and even lighter version of the non-hybrid R18 will be also fielded, along side the R18 E-Tron, through out this years international endurance races.

Video courtesy of Audi.

Video hosting courtesy of oneightturbo.

More R18 E-Tron Quattro testing footage can be viewed here.