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Racing and Competition

British Car Guns for 1,000mph Record

British engineers are gearing up for an attempt on the world land speed record with a vehicle they believe will be capable of 1,000mph. The design for the Bloodhound SSC – SuperSonic Car – is now complete. Built from aerospace-grade aluminium, it is based on a 14-foot hybrid rocket and a jet engine from the Eurofighter Typhoon. A third engine pumps fuel through to the rocket. The designers claim it should achieve 135,000 horsepower – equivalent to the power of 180 Formula One cars -British car aims for 1,000mph record and is expected to accelerate to 1,050mph in just 40 seconds. The original design featured a much smaller rocket, positioned above a rather heavier engine. But this created too much drag. Increasing the size of the rocket threatened the stability of the vehicle, and the decision was made to effectively […]

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Racing and Competition

Jaguar XKR GT2 at Petit Le Mans

Rocketsports Racing (RSR) is scheduled to debut the Jaguar XKR GT2, the newest entry in the American Le Mans Series, at the famed Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta this week. In preparation for a full championship effort in 2010, the team plans to enter the last two events on the 2009 ALMS schedule using the track time for testing and development. The car is currently undergoing extensive system tests at RSR’s East Lansing, Michigan facility and is being prepared for a performance evaluation and shakedown prior to Road Atlanta. The team will be hosting a press conference on Thursday, September 24 at Road Atlanta to officially unveil the car and drivers for 2009, and tire partners. RSR will face a flurry of competition in GT2 from the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Corvette and others. Fourteen GT2 machines are […]

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People

Frank Gardner, Motor Racing Legend, Passes

Motor sport legend and raconteur Frank Gardner never aimed to be the fastest racing driver of all time. He just wanted to be the oldest. After an international driving career blazing the circuits of Europe and Australia, surviving the most exciting yet dangerous era in the history of the sport, Gardner largely achieved his ambition and eventually retired happily with his wife Gloria on the Gold Coast, where he has died after a long illness, aged 78. The multi-talented Gardner was one of Australia’s greatest motor sport exports, winning more than 100 international races and numerous European titles as a driver, heading development programs for major manufacturers as an engineer, and taking out Australia’s biggest races as a team owner. Long-time friend, employer and rival Sir Jack Brabham said Gardner “could drive anything”, and British ace Vic Elford – who […]

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Racing and Competition

British bid to claim land-speed record

There’s still time to secure their place in history, but for a British team of speed record-chasers in America, the clock is ticking. Driving a vehicle that has been described as the world’s fastest kettle, they are attempting to break a world land-speed record that has stood for more than a century. And it isn’t going well. Powered by nothing but super-heated water, the team hope to blast their way to more than 130mph along a runway more usually reserved for the Nasa space shuttle. In doing so, they will set a new time for the fastest steam-powered vehicle. That was supposed to happen on Friday but so far the record has remained tantalisingly out of reach. At time of writing, the team had nothing to show for their efforts but bruised egos, damaged pride and a flat tyre. That […]

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Racing and Competition

Race plans for UK-bound MG6

The new MG6 will go straight into action as a race car if it goes on sale in the UK next year, according to reports in the Motorsport News newspaper. The Shanghai Automotive-designed car is scheduled to become the first all-new MG model to go on sale in the UK since the 2001 MG ZS and ZT. Both the hatchback MG6 and its saloon sister car (which is currently being sold in China as the Roewe 550) will be launched in the UK and Ireland, according to Eleanor de la Haye of the MG Motor Company.

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Events

Atlanta Historic Races Feature Brits

The Altanta Historic Races this year are to feature the marques of Great Britain. The races, which will be held August 2oth through the 23rd, are put on by Historic Sportscar Racing, HSR. There will also be vintage motorcycle racing, B.O.S.S. formula cars, historic stock cars, a Porsche challenge and much more.  These sessions are held at the beautiful Road Atlanta track in the foothills of the north Georgia Mountains.  I will be there and hope to see you there too. Additionally, another HSR event will be held in South Carolina in September. The Carolina Historic Races will feature Historic Stock Car, Historic GTP/WSC, B.O.S.S. Series, Jo Bonnier 2 Litre Challenge, Klub Sport Porsche Challenge, ROLEX Endurance Challenge Series Races and Feature Races. This event will be at the Carolina MotorSports Park in Kershaw, SC, September 24th through the 27th. […]

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Racing and Competition

Formula 1 Goes Retro-Racing With the Return of Lotus

Amidst all of the bickering, wrangling and hand-wringing consuming the Formula One teams when they aren’t on the track comes word that Lotus could return to the sport next year. Yes, that would be the same Lotus founded by Colin Chapman, one of the greatest innovators racing ever saw. The same Lotus that revolutionized F1 on more than one occasion. The retro-racing vibe goes deeper. Brabham, the outfit launched by “Black Jack” Brabham and once owned by F1 capo di tutti capi Bernie Ecclestone has its eyes on the grid. There’s also some mumbling about Lola and March fielding cars next year. All of this is fueled by the civil war between the Formula One Teams Association and the Federation Internationale d’Automobile, which are at odds over the FIA’s plan for a budget cap to rein in the stratospheric cost […]

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Racing and Competition

Vettel Wins British Grand Prix, Red Bull 1-2

In front of nearly 100,000 fans on a dark overcast day, Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull RB5 stormed to an easy win at the historic Silverstone circuit for Formula One’s 2009 British Grand Prix. The race proved once and for all that mighty Brawn GP can be beaten, and that the F1 championship fight is likely to tighten before a winner is declared. The British victory was Vettel’s second of the season – he also won the rainy Chinese Grand Prix – and third of his F1 career. It was also the German’s first career win under dry conditions. All three of his wins have come from Pole position. Vettel also scored the hat-trick: Pole, fastest lap, and the win. For the Red Bull F1 team, it was their second win of the season, and their second in the […]

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Classic Cars

Going To The Mitty

April 30th through May 3rd, 2009, marks the return of The Mitty to Road Atlanta in Georgia. I first attended the event about 25 years ago when it was still called The Walter Mitty Challenge. At that time the vintage racing group SVRA was still knows as teh Southern Vintage Racing Association. Times have changed. The event is now just called “The Mitty”, the SVRA is now the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, and the event is now part of the HSR – Historic Sportscar Racing series. Oh, and I now am married, have kids, and am supposedly a responsible adult. But best of all I am actually going back to enjoy the festivities! With Classic Motorsports Magazine hosting the event, this year looks to be the best one ever. For 2009 Jaguar is the featured marque at The Mitty, dozens […]

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Racing and Competition

Girl power for Targa Tasmania

Twenty-year old student, Natalie Horn, will make her Targa Tasmania debut this year, driving a 1973 Ford Escort Mk1. Horn, from Cliftleigh in New South Wales, has been competing in motorsport events since she was just 12 years old. She is a former winner of the Junior and Ladies championships with the MG Car Club in Newcastle, and enters Targa Tasmania on the back of what is already a relatively long and illustrious motorsport career. She will be co-driven by her close friend, 27-year-old Melinda Saxby, and will drive a car that has been in her family for 25 years. “The car was originally built up for Group G rallying, then ran hillclimbs for a while and in 1987-89 won NSW State Hillclimb Series in Sports Sedans,” Natalie explains. “It then got put into a shed and forgotten about until […]

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Racing and Competition

British engineer pilots wind-powered vehicle to speed record

After 10 years of trying, a British engineer has broken the land-speed record for a wind-powered vehicle. Pushed by 30-mph winds over two miles, Richard Jenkins reached 126.1 mph yesterday in his Ecotricity Greenbird car on the dry lakebed of Ivanpah Lake, south of Las Vegas. That’s 10 mph faster than the previous record, set in 1999 by American Bob Schumacher. As the Daily Mail put it, that makes Jenkins the fastest naturally powered human on the planet. “It’s great. It’s one of those things that you spend so long trying to do and when it actually happens, it’s almost too easy,” Jenkins told the BBC. The Greenbird is made of carbon fiber composite and powered only by the wind. The only metal is in the wing bearings and the wheel units. For photos, video and audio of the car, […]

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Racing and Competition

MG TF LE500 set for its first race

MG’s new TF LE500 is set to take part in its first race, supported by MG Rover parts specialist, XPart. It will be one of the first MG’s to be raced since the launch of the redesigned roadster and is taking part in the MG Trophy Championship. The car has been prepared for racing by one of Xpart’s approved MG Rover specialists and will be run by technician and racing driver Paul Luti. “We’re delighted to be sponsoring one of our own MG Rover specialist technicians in what looks set to be an exciting season’s racing,” comments Don Lindsay, service marketing manager, XPart. “It will be wonderful to see a new MG car competing in a race series again and driver Paul Luti’s strong experience of servicing and racing MG cars should stand him in good stead as he prepares […]

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Racing and Competition

British Steam Car Hits 80 MPH

The British Steam Car team has rebounded from last week’s aborted test with two successful runs, the last shakedowns before the 25-foot car is shipped to the United States for its attempt to break a land speed record set 103 years ago. Team Steam hopes to achieve 170 mph when it challenges the land speed record for a steam-powered vehicle and says everything is on track. The car fired up like a Russell Hobbs teasmade and proved the water-filtration issue that stymied last week’s test have been solved. The car hit 60 mph on Wednesday, before test driver Don Wales pulled the chute to end the first run. The second test went even better: Wales achieved 80 mph. “The car is just so powerful, you can get to feel the immense force and power of it,” Wales said in a […]

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Racing and Competition

British Steam Car Attempts Record

A bunch of U.K. enthusiasts are attempting to break the 102-year-old land speed record with a steam-powered car. The three-ton vehicle, described as a giant kettle on top of a camping stove, has almost two miles of tubes inside its carbon-fiber-composite/aluminum frame. The team is expecting the 25-foot-long car to reach 200 mph during its record attempt at Bonneville Speed Week in September. The car — can we call it that? — takes eight minutes to get going, but has only enough fuel, air and water for a three-minute run. The water boils at 482°F due to the fact that there’s 40 bar water pressure inside the boilers. It’s then super-heated to 750°F, or "dry" steam, which passes through heavily lagged pipes and two industrial steam valves before ending up in a two-stage turbine. Outsize Goodyear tires and brake pads […]

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Classic Cars

Bulldog Historic Rally

The opening round of the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship has attracted a sensational 83-car field to the Bulldog Historic Rally (Saturday 28 March). Three former British champions and four former British historic champions are all in the entry for the event that tackles 50 miles of prime Welsh forest roads in just four special stages. It promises to be a fabulous start to the 2009 season. Category 1 Category one is for the oldest cars, from the pre ’68 era, and they run first on the road with a short gap before the rest of the historic field. Top of the tree is the Porsche 911 of former champions Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride, but they can expect a stern challenge from the similar car of team mates Stuart Rolt/Richard Pomfret, making a rare but welcome BHRC appearance. Lining up […]

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Racing and Competition

Entries Invited for Le Mans Celebration Race

Entries Invited for Le Mans Celebration Race to commemorate 1959 MG Car Club Entry he MG Car Club is inviting entries for a Le Mans Celebration race at Oulton Park on May 9th 2009. Entries are for cars of a type and in a form that were raced up to 1965 – including prewar. All cars should be to FIA spec and on road tyres or “L” sections. The Le Mans Celebration Race is by invitation but if you wish to receive an application call Steve Carr at the MG Car Club Office on 01235 555552. The race coincides with the publication of a book which records the MGCC North West Centres entries at Le Mans in 1959, 1960 1961. These were disguised Works entries after the MG Car company withdrew from Le Mans following the 1955 accident. The occasion […]

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Racing and Competition

MG Car Club Announces Half Price Incentive to Young Racers

Under 21 racers will benefit from a half-price race entry scheme designed to make racing more affordable for the cash strapped youth. Anyone under 21 on January 1 2009 will benefit from half price race entry fees at all MG Car Club race meetings in 2009. The first MG Car Club race will be full price and the entrant/driver will receive a half price voucher against their next entry. Each subsequent entry will receive a similar half price voucher with the last race of the year being free, provided of course they have the voucher from their previous race. Ron Gammons , Clerk of Course for MG Car Club said, “In 2008 we had a 17-year old winner of our MG Trophy Championship which has encouraged to provide this financial incentive to bring more youngsters into the sport. To race […]

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Racing and Competition

Successful Steam Car Test

After its first successful low-speed run last week, the British Steam Car was taken to the MoD’s Thorney Island facility near Portsmouth for a series of higher speed runs on Wednesday and Thursday. Early reports are of the car and crew performing well, with the steam generators building pressure successfully and the safety systems shutting down the car quickly when a small defect was detected. The team of six engineers is learning to turn the car quickly and prepare it for a return run within the allotted time of one hour. The British Steam Car’s target velocity is 170mph, which would net them one of the longest-held speed records, set by Fred Marriott, who achieved a 121.57mph flying kilometre record in the Stanley brothers’ Rocket at the 1906 Florida Speed Week. The target speed will also net the team and […]