Lotus sets fastest lap time at Hockenheimring

SA ET Lotus 3 ElevenThe Lotus 3-Eleven, the quickest series production car to come from Lotus’ Hethel Headquarters, has set the fastest lap time ever recorded by the leading and highly-respected German car magazine, “sport auto.”

SA ET Lotus 3 ElevenDriven by Christian Gebhardt, a highly accomplished driver and Road Test Editor for “sport auto”, the Lotus 3-Eleven lapped the Hockenheimring short Circuit in an incredible 1 minute 06.2 seconds. This time was even more impressive considering that the 3-Eleven was on standard road tyres and the fastest lap was completed in less than perfect weather, where temperatures did not get higher than 8 degrees Celsius.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “Christian set a fabulous lap in less than ideal conditions. We knew from the outset that we have created a simply phenomenal car that is capable of great things, and this lap record proves that beyond doubt. This is the ultimate embodiment of the Lotus design philosophy; it’s a beautifully engineered machine that doesn’t carry one ounce of excess weight. With 460hp on tap and race car handling at your disposal, this car is the ultimate giant killer”.
SA ET Lotus 3 ElevenThe Lotus 3-Eleven is now at the top of the “sport auto” lap-time chart which includes some of the most expensive and extreme roads cars on sale, from leading German, Italian, American and British manufacturers.
Christian Gebhardt, Road Test Editor for “sport auto” said, “The Lotus 3-Eleven is an amazingly fast and track focused car in which to have a lot of fun at the limit. It is the fastest series-production car in the test history of “sport auto” on the Hockenheimring Short Circuit.”

SA ET Lotus 3 ElevenThe “sport auto” Top 10 times (production cars) at Hockenheimring Short Circuit
1. Lotus 3-Eleven, 1.06:2 min
2. Porsche 918 Spyder, 1.06:3 min
3. Gumpert Apollo, 1.07:2 min
4. Radical SR3 SL, 1.08:1 min
5. Lamborghini Gallardo Squadra Corse, 1.08:2 min
6=. Corvette ZR1, 1.08:3 min
6=. Ferrari 488 GTB, 1.08:3 min
8. Porsche 911 GT2 RS, 1.08:4 min
9. Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991), 1.08:5 min
10. Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series, 1.08:6 min

A full video of the record breaking lap can be viewed here:
The April (4) issue of “sport auto” Magazine, which includes the Lotus 3-Eleven lap time is on sale from March 11, 2016

The Lotus 3-Eleven in more detail:
Heralding the next generation of Lotus high performance sports cars, the 3-Eleven is the company’s quickest and most expensive series production car ever.
Designed to deliver an undiluted experience, the Lotus 3-Eleven utilises an all-new lightweight composite body, and a bespoke chassis based on the proven Lotus design of extruded and bonded aluminium sections.
The 3-Eleven offers a giant-slaying power-to-weight ratio, thanks to a revised V6 supercharged engine developing 460 hp, to provide in excess of 500 hp per tonne. It is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).

As part of its development the Lotus 3-Eleven spent time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where it was one of the fastest road going cars to ever tackle the track, capable of setting a sub-7 minute lap time.

The Lotus 3-Eleven is on sale now with production strictly limited to 311 cars to be built over the next two years.

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Toyota RAV4 to join Rally American Series

Renowned Off-Road Driver Ryan Millen to Drive RAV4 Rally Car in 2015 Rally America 2WD-Open Class

2015 Toyota RAV4 Rally America contender

2015 Toyota RAV4 Rally America contender

Toyota unveiled its RAV4 rally car at the Monster Energy Supercross Championship finale this weekend at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Ryan Millen, who won the 2014 Baja 1000 in a Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, will drive the RAV4 rally vehicle at various rally races including some of the 2015 Rally America 2WD-Open Class season. The muscled-up RAV4 was unveiled live between races to all in attendance and was on display in the pits throughout the event.
A RAV4 competing within a professional racing series is rare.  It is even rarer to see the unibody-construction, Small-Sport Utility Vehicle (SSUV) go head-to-head with Rally America’s modified street cars. Toyota’s entry into Rally America is a modified 2015 Toyota RAV4 LE.  The vehicle sports a stock transmission and a stock 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, double-overhead cam engine that pushes 176-horsepower and 172-pounds of torque. Millen and his crew removed more than 500 pounds of stock weight, while adding a roll cage, BFGoodrich all-terrain DOT 215/75R15 tires, and upgrading to a front and rear TEIN suspension.

“I’ve driven just about everything Toyota has to offer,” said Millen. “And I’ve been very impressed with the RAV4’s tight, compact body and smooth handling. I’m looking forward to putting it through the paces this season.”

The RAV4 literally created the SSUV category when it was introduced by Toyota in 1994. At that time, the notion of a unibody construction Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) was unheard of. Since its introduction, unibody-construction SUVs have become a standard offering across the automotive industry.

While widely known as a practical version of the more-cumbersome SUV, RAV4’s lighter and leaner design allows it to perform and handle quite effectively for desert, beach and other outdoor excursions. It’s for this reason that Toyota is showcasing the RAV4 so dynamically in the form of this entry in the Rally America Series.

“Over the years, RAV4 has become known more for its benefits as a practical family-vehicle alternative to a larger SUV, and we felt it was due time that its performance and handling characteristics were put on display,” said Alex Du, RAV4 Vehicle Marketing & Communications Manager. “That will undoubtedly be the case with Ryan Millen at the wheel of this incredible Rally RAV4.”

Son of off-road legend Rod Millen, Ryan Millen has been involved in Toyota Racing since childhood. From chasing for Ivan Stewart and racing in MTEG Stadium races at nine-years old, to racing the FJ Cruiser in the Baja 1000, he has poured his life and professional racing career into Toyota.

Millen Adventures will be entering into numerous races including some of the Rally America West Series where he’ll be competing in the 2WD stock class with the rally built Toyota RAV4.

Tentative Schedule

  • Idaho Rally – June 13-14
  • Mendocino Rally – July 18-19
  • Rally Utah – August 7-8
  • Gorman Ridge Rally – August 22
  • Prescott Rally – October 2-3
  • Mt Hood Rally – October 17

Data recorder brings video evidence to light in new Corvette

CHEVY_CES

BY GERRY MILES

Can you cut an apex as sharp as a Ginsu knife?

Did you get schooled at Skip Barber and beat on by Bob Bondurant to improve your track skills in real life and not behind the steering wheel connected to your home PC?

Now you can prove it. Or, have it disproved.

Chevrolet rolled out its new data recorder that’s part of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) debut with its Corvette Stingray – Seventh Gen only – for the fanatical fan.

Early adopters will have to await the system is on sale in the fall. Of course, pricing has yet to be announced, not that it will likely deter those who wish to fulfill and show off their Walter Mitty skills on their widescreen at home.

The Data Recorder System uses 3 components:

  1. A 720p high-def video camera that clips into the rear-view mirror
  2. The hi-def camera is synched to a GPS receiver that’s five times faster than say a GPS atop your dash on inside your center console IP to show how you did track over the circuit in greater detail.
  3. Your skills are then transferred to an SD card like that used in so many cameras inside the glove box. Chevy says an 8-gig SD can hold some 200 minutes of driving prowess.

As shown in the screen shot above, this record events such as the Vette’s telemetry, engine speed, revs, braking force and steering wheel angle.

Drivers and teachers can play the ride and drive back when the car is parked on the Vette’s nav screen.

In touring mode the display shows the run with audio (anticipate shrieks, screams and more here); while the track mode will shows speed, rpm, lap-time, g-force and a location-based map.

Lotus adds Elise S Cup R to racing portfolio

Lotus Elise S Cup

Lotus Elise S Cup

Following the success of the Exige V6 Cup and its hardcore sibling the Exige V6 Cup R, the Lotus Elise S is adorned with the Lotus Motorsport magic to present the track-only Elise S Cup R.

Evolving from the 1.6-liter Elise platform, this is the first time the supercharged Elise S’ mid-mounted, transverse, 1.8-liter 2ZR-FE engine has been used in a Cup variant. Priced at an MSRP of $66,650 and boasting bespoke livery and aerodynamic body kit, the Elise S Cup R showcases the marriage of form and function perfectly so that performance is optimized yet retains its stylish and iconic aesthetic.

Performance is enhanced over the road-going Elise S thanks to a motorsport-specific engine control module (ECM) and a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) proven aero pack comprising; front splitter, barge boards, winglets, rear diffuser, floor extensions and rear wing. Despite the extra body kit and race-ready additions, Lotus Motorsport manages to maintain the road car’s light weight of just 2,037 lbs. These modifications and the clever manipulation of air-flow to create extra down force, combined with adjustable dampers and springs, reduces lap times by 4 seconds on a 3.1 mile track over the standard Elise S.

The Lotus Elise S Cup R is eligible for entry to the production class in the 2014 Lotus Cup series which operates under the banners Lotus Cup UK, Lotus Cup Europe, Lotus Cup Italia, Lotus Cup USA, Lotus Cup Japan, Lotus Cup Thailand, Lotus Cup China and Lotus Ladies Cup. The Lotus Cup is open to all Lotus owners and their Elise, Exige, Evora, 340R and 2-Eleven vehicles. To make a statement on some of the best tracks in the world, the Elise S Cup R has a selection of bespoke color and trim options courtesy of the Lotus Design team.

The Elise S Cup R at a glance:

Enhancements:

FIA Compliant Rollcage (as previous Cup versions)

FIA Compliant Fire Extinguisher

Motorsport Mapped ECU

Electronic Battery Isolator

6-Point Race Harness (Driver’s Seat)

HANS Compliant Race Driver’s Seat

Track Specification Front Tow Eyes

Quick Release Steering Wheel

Body Kit

Brake Pad Upgrade

Single Way Adjustable Dampers

Hardtop

Motorsport Specification Triple-Pass Radiator

Polycarbonate Rear Screen

Forged Alloy Wheels

Options:

FIA Fuel Cell

Air Conditioning

Race Passenger Seat (with 4 point race harness fitted)

Ultra-lightweight Motorsport Wheels

Powertrain:

All alloy, 1.8 liter DOHC 4-cylinder, dual VVT-i, 16 valve with Magnuson R900 supercharger utilizing Eaton TVS™ technology

Power:

217 hp / 220 PS / 162 k

Torque: 181 ft. lbs. / 250 Nm

Transmission:

6-speed manual gear box standard

Suspension:

Up-rated TCA Kit

Brakes:

Twin-piston fixed aluminum alloy front brake calipers. Single-piston sliding rear brake calipers. 288 mm diameter, 26 mm thick front and rear cast-iron cross-drilled & ventilated brake discs

Wheels:

Forged Alloy

Tires:

Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 LTS tires F: 175/55 R16 & R: 225/45 R17

Safety systems:

Lotus ABS/ EDL

Lexus will race in 2014 Japanese Super GT Series with LF-CC based ride

Lexus GT LF-CC Prototype

Lexus GT LF-CC Prototype

 Lexus Racing announced a new race car based on the Lexus “LF-CC” will compete in the Super GT Series GT500 class next season. The vehicle will replace the Lexus SC 430 currently used in Super GT races.

The Lexus LF-CC is a two-door coupe concept that debuted at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012. It features a dynamic exterior with an emphasis on aerodynamics and cooling performance.

F-150 Tremor to set the pace at NASCAR Truck Series Michigan race

Ford gets a nice shot of PR in the arm with its 2014 sport truck, the F-150 Tremor chosen as the pace truck for this Saturday’s NASCAR Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
“Michigan International Speedway is one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit, so the vehicle pacing the field also needs to be fast,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “The 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor, with its light-weight configuration, EcoBoost engine and launch-optimized performance, is well-suited for this job.”
The only change to the pace truck is the required light bar and safety lights ordered via NASCAR. The rest of the truck is standard fare.
Power is delivered from the 3.5-liter, 365 hp, EcoBoost engine, which generates 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm. Also, Tremor owns a launch-optimized 4.10 rear axle – the shortest final drive ratio offered in an EcoBoost F-150 – to help with takeoff power.

An electronic locking rear differential that’s standard for both two- and four-wheel-drive versions helps deliver the power to the pavement by improving traction during takeoff.

IMG_3096_HR The FX Appearance Package features stealthy, flat-black accents that include unique 20-inch wheels, stylized bodyside graphics and black badges with red lettering.Tremor is the only regular-cab F-150 offering a flow-through center console and bucket seats. Interior touches include black leather seating surfaces with red piping, brushed-metal accents and a red-stitched steering wheel. Alcantara® seat inserts add texture and style as well.The 2014 F-150 Tremor also comes standard with SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, which includes a large 8-inch LCD color touch screen mounted in the center stack.
IMG_2989_HR

Audi R8 GRAND-AM returns to Watkins Glen

Audi GRAND AM

Audi R8 GRAND AM

 • Two Audi R8 GRAND-AM race cars will contest the endurance championship

Audi announces the return of the Audi R8 GRAND-AM at this weekend’s 6 Hours at Watkins Glen race as part of the endurance championship. Audi to field two cars that will contest the endurance championship within the GRAND-AM schedule – a quattro GmbH factory team and new customer-racing team, Fall-Line Motorsports.Two Audi R8 GRAND-AM race cars will be taking to the grid this weekend at Watkins Glen in an effort to win the endurance championship as part of the overall GRAND-AM schedule. This weekend’s race at the 6 Hours at Watkins Glen marks the return of the winning Audi R8 GRAND-AM that won the Daytona 24 Hours earlier this year as well as several of the winning drivers. Felipe Albuquerque (Portugal) – who took the checkered flag at Daytona, Eduardo Mortara (France/Italy) and Dion von Moltke (South Afraica) will pilot the number 24 car. Watkins Glen will present the drivers and the car with many challenges as the track is relatively unknown to the number 24 drivers except von Moltke who has raced there before.

Fall-Line Motorsports will make its debut at Watkins Glen in the number 46 R8 GRAND-AM in the B+ (Be Positive) livery. “We are very pleased to have Fall-Line Motorsports join our R8 customer-racing program and are optimistic about the future of customer-racing in the U.S. Fall-Line brings a lot of great experience with them and we look forward to jointly seeking a spot on the podium as we go forward,“ said Brad Kettler, Director of Operations, Audi customer-racing, Audi of America.

“The Audi sports car legacy and its knowledgeable and experienced support staff are an obvious choice for us to help further evolve our team and we’re proud to represent the ‘four rings’ synonymous with sports car and endurance racing,” said Mark Boden , Fall-Line Motorsports Team Principal.

Piloting the car at Watkins Glen will be current Fall-Line drivers Al Carter, Charles Espenlaub, and Charlie Putman, all of whom drive currently in the Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge Series for the team. The successful Fall-Line trio has worked together for several years and has won many races including Fall-Line’s team and drivers’ 2010 Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge Series championship with Espenlaub and Putman. The #46 will be carrying sponsorship from the beloved charity that Al Carter and all of
Fall-Line have supported over the years with B+ Racing featured prominently on the car.

The R8 GRAND-AM shares approximately 50 percent of its parts with the R8 production car. The 5.2 Liter V10 naturally aspirated engine fitted to the R8 GRAND-AM is tested for maximum durability on the track, requiring its first rebuild interval at approximately 12,000 miles driven at race speeds. Other competitor race engines require rebuilds at approximately 5,000 miles. Every production car developed by the Audi performance division, quattro GmbH, is driven 4,700 miles at high speeds around the Nuerburgring by factory race car drivers and engineers that work in unison to ensure engine, transmission, steering and suspension characteristics are optimized.

The new 2014 R8 production car has been further improved upon and now offers a new V10 Plus model with 550 horsepower that can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds using the new in-house developed 7-speed double clutch S tronic transmission that is exclusively used in the R8. The 6-speed manual gated shifting transmission remains available on all models as well as new full-LED lighting design. New cross-stitched leather seats and door inserts round out the improvements on the interior of the 2014 R8 production car.

Audi hopes to build upon its racing success in GRAND-AM at Daytona and in endurance racing having just won the Le Mans 24 Hours with the R18 e-tron quattro.

The race will be televised on Speed TV this Sunday, June 30th at 11 am EST.
Live timing and scoring is also available at www.GRAND-AM.COM