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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 […]

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Classic Cars

Deal On Classic Motorsports Magazine

Still looking for a great holiday present? Give a gift subscription to Classic Motorsports magazine! From now until December 25, they’re offering a special discounted price of $17 when you subscribe online. That’s almost a third off the normal subscription price. This is a great deal on one of my favorite magazines. Be sure to check them out.

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Classic Cars

Lola Turns Fifty

On Sunday 12 October, an estimated 10,000 spectators packed the streets of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire to support Lola Cars landmark 50th Anniversary parade of racing cars. The impressive display of 16 cars represented the marque’s most iconic models from the past half century through to Lola’s all-new 2008 designs. Some of Lola’s most successful drivers were reunited with the winning line-up of cars supporting Lola’s Golden celebration. The Lola legends included John Surtees OBE, Richard Attwood, Hugh Dibley, Teddy Pilette, Chris Craft, Mike Blanchet, James Weaver, Julian Bailey, Anthony Reid and Peter Ashdown. Current racers included Le Mans Series driver Mike Newton, Malaysian A1 Grand Prix driver Fairuz Fauzy and Danny Watts. At midday and in brilliant autumn sunshine, Councillor Saeed Akthar, the Mayor of Huntingdon, waved the Union Jack to officially start the parade from Lola’s state-of-the-art headquarters in […]

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Racing and Competition

Will Jaguar Return To LeMans?

Might the mighty Jaguar, once a consistent winner on the LeMans circuit be considering a return to the competition? According to Autoweek, Jaguar is doing just that – considering a return to LeMans. Supposedly the new Indian parent company, Tata Motors, is evaluating a high-profile motorsports comeback. “We want to hit the Le Mans race [because] we are examining how to bring the Jaguar brand back to its earlier position,” Tata chairman Ratan Tata told Indian media.

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Racing and Competition

MG Lola Coupe Finishes Fourth

Just a few days after its first roll-out, the fully upgraded RML MG Lola EX265C completed a faultless run to fourth place in the final race of the 2008 Le Mans Series. In a six-hour endurance that was punctuated by dramatic incidents and thrilling nose-to-tail racing, the much-admired new coupé performed without a hitch, rewarding the team’s hard work and meticulous preparation with a reliable and extremely competitive performance. “I’m delighted – chuffed to bits!” said a smiling Mike Newton, co-driver of the EX265C and CEO of AD Group, principal sponsors to RML’s sportscar programme. “The guys have done an amazing job to put this car together so quickly, and to achieve a trouble-free run is an exceptional achievement.” The team had always approached the Silverstone 1000 Kilometres as an extended, if very public, test session, but poor weather on […]

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Classic Cars

Specially Designed Lola Poster

Lola Cars has launched a specially designed 50th Anniversary poster at the Race Retro Show at Stoneleigh (14 to 16 March). The unique double sided A1 glossy poster depicts one Lola car from each of the fifty years, ranging from the first Lola sportcar built – the Mk1, through to the very latest LMP Coupe that will race for the first time in April of this year. The distinguished list of cars featured in the poster illustrates the true diversity of the company’s designs throughout the last From drawing boards to CAD stations, some of the UK’s most talented racecar designers have contributed to Lola’s 50 golden years in motorsport. Leading these talents from 1958 to 1997 was Eric Broadley, the founder of Lola Cars. During Broadley’s time at Lola his pupils included a long list of distinguished car designers […]

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Aston Martin

British GT Entries Revealed

An entry list of 27 cars has been revealed for the 2008 Avon Tyres British GT Championship featuring 19 cars in GT3 and eight in the new GT4 class. Defending champions RPM will run two cars in the GT3 class and also expand into GT4 with a further three cars. Former BTCC race-winner Paul O’Neill will partner Steve Clark in the #1 entry while Nick Foster will be partnered by experienced youngster Oliver Bryant in the sister car. In GT4, the team will run three Ginetta G50s for the pairings of Steve Tandy/Phil Bailey, Joe Osbourne/Michael Broadhurst and Chris Cooke/James Harrison.

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Auctions & Sales

Bonhams to Auction ERA Prototype

Marking the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the ERA (‘English Racing Automobiles Limited’) – the first-ever British specialist company to manufacture single-seat, open-wheeled racing cars for customer sale – Bonhams will auction the first prototype ERA at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 11 July 2008. The ERA marque played a pivotal role in British motor sporting history. From 1934- 1938, these British racing cars toppled the former supremacy of the Italian Maserati cars in their International ‘Voiturette’ competition class – effectively Formula Two or Grand Prix Two level. They performed incredible service, also graduating to contemporary Grand Prix racing pre-World War Two and then from 1948-51 to Formula One. Chassis no. ‘R1A’ – to be sold by Bonhams – was first driven by Raymond Mays at ERA’s public debut in testing at Brooklands on 22 May 1934. Trouble […]

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Racing and Competition

Test the New Lola MG EX265

RML AD Group’s new MG Lola EX265 completed a faultless first shakedown test at the Silverstone circuit yesterday, Friday 8th February. The morning run left Brazilian driver Thomas Erdos thrilled by the responsiveness of the new XP-21 engine, and looking forward to the prospects of defending the LMP2 title in this season’s Le Mans Series. Thomas Erdos and co-driver Mike Newton took the series title last year with RML’s MG Lola EX264, having won the LMP2 class in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2005 and 2006. Since then the EX264, itself a derivative of the EX257 that wowed the crowds at Le Mans as an MG works entry in 2001, has undergone significant further development. Arising from fresh links with Shanghai Automotive, MG’s new owners in China, the car has been re-homologated as the MG EX265. Most significant amongst […]