Friday, August 27, 2010

F1 News and Views

What Makes Formula One Run?

A Formula One engine, built by hand with loving care like a Swiss watch, is the most extreme expression of automotive technical precision and power on earth.

Building It 'Bulletproof'

Mark Gallagher, the business unit leader of the Cosworth engine program in Formula One, speaks about the program with Brad Spurgeon of the International Herald Tribune.

Into the Forest on Nature's Circuit

The Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, through the landscape of the Ardennes Forest, is one of the most challenging of the Grand Prix season and the favorite of most drivers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2011 Corvette Z06: It makes me feel so young

It's not the fastest of the four Corvettes, but the Z06 is probably the closest to race-ready a person would want for driving on the street.

By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
August 26, 2010

There's just something about speed that makes a person feel omnipotent. Youthful. Alive. If you have any doubt, check out the 2011 Corvette Z06. After all, it's become the inadvertent poster child of the American midlife crisis.
Cranking 470 pound-feet of torque and boasting a zero-to-60 acceleration time of 3.7 seconds, this 7-liter V-8 version of the 'Vette is as blazing fast as its inferno-orange shell would indicate.
It may not be fast enough to turn back the hands of time, but it was certainly quick enough to flatten me back in its leather bucket seat so effectively that I exited the car feeling thinner. That's to say nothing of the giddy laugh it squeezed out of me with the pressing of its accelerator pedal.
Introduced in 2006, the Z06 is one of four current Corvettes. While it isn't the fastest, the Z06 is the version that injected high performance back into a brand that had become a high-status vehicle for men to display their trophy wives.
With a fixed roof that makes it more lightweight than the standard and Grand Sport models and a six-speed transmission that is available only as a stick shift, the Z06 is probably the closest-to-race-ready Corvette a person would want for driving on the street.
For 2011, the two-seat Z06 widens the gap between Corvette's base-model bestsellers and its more performance-oriented higher end.
Though the Z06 has the largest engine of any production 'Vette and is also the lightest in the lineup thanks to its aluminum frame and carbon-fiber fenders, the supercharged ZR1 trumps it in horsepower. The limited-edition ZR1 gallops with a whopping 638 versus the 505 horses of the Z06.
It's the $111,100 ZR1 from which the $74,305 Z06 takes its cues for 2011. Sticky F1 tires, new exhaust tuning and different exterior paint are the most substantial and noticeable changes from the 2010 model for the stock vehicle.
It takes some extra cash for the upgrades that push this Z06 closer toward the ZR1. To get the lightweight carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes that will slow this 198-mph car more expeditiously costs extra. So do the competition gray wheels that make the car look more racetrack serious and less flashy. Add the fast-acting magnetic ride control that smooths the discrepancies between a comfortable ride and good handling, and drivers are looking at an extra $9,495.
A carbon-fiber touch-up to lighten the load and make this already fast car even quicker off the line costs an additional $3,995. Navigation and a USB jack, $1,795.
Already an exercise in excess, the Z06 I was testing had all these things.
As for attracting attention: This car gets the looks, the double takes. I've never seen a man do a triple take of a parked car before. Nor have I had so many guys try to yell compliments over the grumbling of its four mufflers.
The Z06 is also the perfect car to channel one's inner jerk. At idle, this car has a bit of a shimmy, as if it's rumbling for a fight. So if, like me, you're even remotely inclined to heed its siren song and push the posted speed limit, this Corvette is torque-y enough to drive you over the edge.
I was regularly prompted to bully my way through traffic to find the wide-open spots where I could press pedal to metal and risk a vehicular impound. And, while doing so, enjoy the upward counting of the digital speedometer reflecting in the windshield. Looking down at the car's fuel economy was, however, a buzz kill. I was averaging 13.5 miles per gallon.
Wide-set and low to the ground, the 'Vette made me feel planted to the road even in high-speed turns. Going straight, however, I just felt short. Pulling up behind a line of cars at a stoplight, a Toyota Corolla actually seemed tall.
Because speed is king for a Corvette, aerodynamics are crucial. That means the front end is exceedingly low, the better to scoop up air and throw it over the roof. There are just 5 inches of ground clearance, which, I learned the hard way, makes it easy to scrape going in and out of driveways that are even marginally sloped.
I think I speak for most sport car drivers when I say there is no more sickening sound than the scraping of a front splitter — a sound that is quickly followed by the mental ka-ching of a cash register tallying up the damage.
Oh well. Money is rarely an obstacle when it comes to the pursuit of youth and virility.
It may be impossible to drive away from age, but the in-the-moment exhilaration of the Z06 was far more enjoyable than blowing out the candles on a cake that is, at this point, essentially a firebomb.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BMW-based Saloon Becomes World’s Fastest on Michelin Rubber

To see these pictures, enable images on your email softwareAs readers of tyrepress.com will know, Michelin supplies a custom set of Pilot Sport tyres to the world’s fastest production car – the Bugatti Veyron Super Sports.

But now the French manufacturer has another record-setting vehicle rolling on its rubber. A BMW M5-based G-Power Hurricane RR has just set the world speed record for the fastest saloon car, at 232.5mph (372.1km/h), fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Classic Goodyear Eagle Racing Tire to Feature First-Ever Patriotic Design at Daytona

AKRON, Ohio – For the first time in its history, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, has announced it will transform all Goodyear Racing Eagle tires for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races over the July 4th holiday weekend. The new design, featuring a patriotic red, white and blue color scheme reading “Support Our Troops” on the tires’ sidewalls, is designed to say ‘thank you’ to the service men and women of the United States Armed Forces and launch the Goodyear Support Our Troops program. The Company will help jump-start this new support and fundraising effort with a $20,000 donation to a leading military support program.

The Goodyear Support Our Troops program will also provide consumers a variety of ways to show their support for the troops and will encourage everyone to participate in a series of fund-raising initiatives to benefit members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The rebranded Goodyear Support Our Troops tires will raise awareness for the support effort and will also serve as the first step in the fund-raising campaign, as Goodyear will auction the special logo’d, driver-autographed tires used in the July 3rd Coke Zero 400.
All funds raised will be donated to Support Our Troops®, a nonprofit nationwide organization which bolsters the morale and well-being of America’s troops and their families. Funds raised through the Goodyear effort will benefit the highly effective programs, which deliver more than $8 million per year in care packs and requested items to the front lines, positive support at home, kids’ camp assistance and more.
“For well over 100 years, Goodyear has been supplying and supporting the U.S. military, and has been a part of NASCAR’s great history for more than 56 years. Now, we’re making this historic change to honor them both,” said Kris Kienzl, Goodyear’s NASCAR marketing manager. “We are showing our support for the uniformed men and women who protect us and our families with a special message on the premier spot on our race tires. This program also waves the green flag on our fundraising and support campaign … the first lap of which will be the autographed tire auction.”
The Goodyear Support Our Troops Charity Auction, held online at www.Goodyear.com, will begin when the green flag drops on July 3rd and will run through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 17th. The auction will offer fans the opportunity to own a piece of history, with race tires individually autographed by the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers including Ryan Newman – driver of the U.S. Army Chevrolet, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and others. Proceeds from the sale of all auction items, including the Goodyear tires and several items donated by NASCAR sponsors, will go directly to Support Our Troops.
Each autographed race-used Goodyear Support Our Troops tire will come with a certificate of authenticity that includes the driver’s name and car number, the race in which the tire was used, the driver’s finish in the race and the tire’s identification number. A minimum bid price has been set for each tire depending upon expected interest levels and ranges from $100 to $200; minimum bid prices will be displayed in each individual listing.
“We are very proud to have an iconic American company like Goodyear support us in our efforts to positively impact the lives of our country’s service men and women and their families,” said Martin C. Boire, Executive Director of Support Our Troops. “We are happy that NASCAR fans – some of the most patriotic and dedicated fans in the world – will have another great way to show their support through this program.”
Goodyear’s Support Our Troops initiative will feature additional unique ways for consumers to join in saying ‘thank you’ to the troops and will provide them the opportunity to participate in fundraising efforts. Consumers can visit www.Goodyear.com to view the latest updates and additions to the Support Our Troops program.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 01: (L-R) NASCAR President Mike Helton, Martin C. Boire, Goodyear General Manager Stu Grant and NASCAR driver Ryan Newman unveil the Goodyear Support Our Troops tire prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 1, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Goodyear has a longstanding history with the U.S. Armed Forces, with over 100 years of commitment to building innovative and reliable equipment to support and protect our troops. To this day, Goodyear continues to develop and test new possible fitments for U.S. military vehicles. Goodyear’s commitment extends beyond products and charitable donations; Goodyear prides itself on hosting events at U.S. military bases throughout the year, bringing NASCAR drivers and the Goodyear Blimp. These events allow the military service men and women and their families a chance to interact with the drivers and take rides on the Goodyear Blimp.
About Support Our Troops®
SupportOurTroops.Org provides simple constructive ways for citizens and community minded businesses to show their patriotism and appreciation for those who sacrifice so much to protect our country, our homes, our families, and our American way of life.
Support Our Troops® is a registered trademark licensed through SupportOurTroops.org The official SupportOurTroops.Org website is a nationwide platform for individuals, organizations, businesses and non-profits to bolster America’s troops and their families in a multitude of ways. It is a moral covenant with those who serve to protect us and our families. SupportOurTroops.Org is a resource that was not available to previous generations of troops, which now stands as a permanent living testament to the affection, gratitude and loyalty good Americans hold for those who do so much for all of us every day.