The Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) announced today it will establish an offshoot premier racing series that will allow for greater financial and technical freedoms than those under F1’s current regulatory and commercial holders, the FIA and Formula One Management. FOTA and the two governing bodies have quarreled as far back as last year in regards to a FIA proposed two-tiered annual team spending schedule that’s capped at $61.27 million. Under this plan, largely backed by FIA president Max Mosley, those teams who spend more that the aforementioned amount from 2010 forward would be penalized in terms of technical leeway and would be held to a stricter mechanical structure. Teams who keep their spending below the amount would be given more technological freedom. In theory, these teams could benefit from active aerodynamics, free-revving engines and unlimited testing, including restriction-free wind tunnel time. All eight of FOTA’s members, which include … [Read more...] about FOTA Teams to Form New Racing Series; 2010 Formula 1 Grid in Jeopardy
New england series
BMW began testing electric vehicles last year with its Mini E in preparation for its 2013 Megacity Electric Vehicle. The Bavarian automaker is planning its second EV test fleet with the ActiveE and just announced it has expanded the markets to include Northern California and select markets in Connecticut and Massachusetts. “We were the first automaker to put 450 electric vehicles on U.S. roads for daily use,” said Rich Steinberg, manager of electric vehicle operations and strategy for BMW North America. “We have gained so much insight into living with an EV with our Mini E pioneers over the last year…We’re looking forward to working with more drivers in more markets to build on our base of experience as we get ready for the launch of the Megacity Vehicle, and we look forward to even greater collaboration with the BMW ActiveE.” ActiveE leases are slated to begin next summer with expanded markets, although BMW has not released just how many vehicles … [Read more...] about Green Expansion: BMW Adds New ActiveE Test Markets in New England, California
Even stoic New Englanders have to admit that the Loudon Annoying 24 Hours of LeMons at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was one of the best LeMons races in the history of the series. We’re coming right back to our favorite state in which to buy guns, cheap booze, and blow-your-fingers-off fireworks on the last weekend in October, and the deadline to enter the Halloween Hooptiefest is this Saturday.Just because the usual LeMons madness wasn’t absurd enough, NHMS will be adding pumpkin-hurling and potato-cannon contests to the mix. While we shudder to imagine the application of LeMons technology to hypersonic vegetable projectiles, we know it’s going to be a must-attend weekend. So take a break from welding a trebuchet to the roof of your Beretta GTZ race car and get your Halloween Hooptiefest application in! … [Read more...] about New England LeMons Racers: Halloween Hooptiefest Entry Deadline Looms!
It was a long Saturday race session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with many lead changes, a few car-crippling crashes, and the usual assortment of engine parts on the tarmac. When the checkered flag waved, several familiar teams stood at the top of the standings.Remember what we wrote about the reliability record of the Ford Probe in LeMons racing? One of the connecting rods of the Hammerheads Racing 1997 Probe GT almost escaped the engine late Saturday afternoon. The Hammerheads are going to “repair” the engine by removing all the broken metal they can find and then JB-Welding the hole in the oil pan.Meanwhile, the Honda Accord of Bill Danger and the Road Hazzards (winner on laps the last time LeMons came to NHMS) ended Saturday at the very top of the standings. Zero black flags, zero mechanical problems, and lots of quick laps.The Fox Mustang of the Near-Orbital Space Monkeys is right on the Bill Danger Accord’s tail, making this the sixth or seventh race in … [Read more...] about LeMons New England Day One: Accord Leads, Mustang and Saab-Powered 300ZX Close Behind
We have returned to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the third annual Loudon Annoying 24 Hours of LeMons, where legions of BMW E30 3-series and E28 5-series race cars provide a sort of bland backdrop for the more brain-hurtingly weird hardware. Let’s see what we’ve got lined up for this weekend of wheel-to-wheel action.Three Pedal Mafia, the team that turned a 1971 Sea Sprite boat into a credible road racer, is now preparing a 1969 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow for the Real Hoopties of New Jersey race. As you’d imagine, a Roller that you can build on a LeMons budget might have some, well, issues, but this one drives well enough for the LeMons Supreme Court to use as a Judgemobile. On Saturday, we will be enforcing on-track discipline by using the Rolls as part of the Milton Friedman Unfettered Capitalism Penalty, in which the LeMons Supreme Court justices sit in the Silver Shadow, eating caviar, while the offending team drags it around the pits while harnessed to the car … [Read more...] about LeMons New England Inspections: Honda-Powered VW, Saab-Powered Nissan, Suzuki-Engined Saab
When we inspect the cars that show up for a LeMons race, we’re never sure what’s going to happen once the real racing starts. Oh, sure, we always know which half-dozen teams have a genuine shot at the overall win— that’s a matter of recognizing which teams have the organizational chops and reliable machinery needed to rack up the big lap totals— but we never know who will get the upper hand in the much more interesting Class C battle. Let’s take a look at how the first day’s race session went at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.In the overall and Class A lead, we have a familiar car: the Bill Danger 1994 Honda Accord. The Bill Danger team sort of rose from obscurity last year; after winning a Most Heroic Fix Award trophy in 2011, they went on an astonishing-for-a-Honda run of reliability, winning the 2012 Loudon Annoying race and establishing themselves as one of the top teams of East Region LeMons racing. This Saturday, the Bill Danger Accord kept … [Read more...] about 24 Hours of LeMons New England Day 1: Honda Accord, Volvo 745, Sea Sprite Leading
The 24 Hours of LeMons has returned to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the third annual Halloween Hooptiefest, and we’ve got some fascinating machinery among the 130 or so entries that rolled into the garage for our traditional Friday car inspections. Let’s take a look!First of all, the Mod Squad Vanagon made everyone stagger back in awe. The recipe: Take one third-gen Toyota MR2 that was wrapped around a shopping-mall light pole in a fit of ill-advised hoonage, take a Vanagon body and chop 11″ out of its height, do some cutting and pasting. Yes, it is now an MR2 with a giant box-shaped airbrake and 800 pounds of additional weight… and one of the greatest race cars we have ever seen. Will it be faster than the GoWesty LeMons Vanagon, with its VR6 power? We’ll see on Saturday.We have more Audis at this race, by far, than we’ve seen at any previous LeMons event. This is partly due to the five identical V6-powered Audi 90s brought by the … [Read more...] about LeMons New England: Many Audis, Many Forgotten GM Cars, and the World’s Most Evil Vanagon
We saw some incredible car debuts when we inspected the 132 entries at the third annual Halloween Hooptiefest on Friday, then watched the top of the standings become strangely free of German machines on Saturday, and then Sunday saw the closest Class A finish since the by-a-whisker South Carolina race. It was one of the better LeMons races in what has turned out to be the best season in series history, and we’re here to show you who took home what trophies. Here we go!Team BAR(F) and their 1994 Honda Accord gradually built up a several-lap lead over the field during Sunday’s race session, but then things got interesting when the BAR(F) driver got black-flagged for a pass-under-caution violation with about 15 minutes remaining in the race. This car had won several races in the past couple of years, the most recent being the 2013 Loudon Annoying race.While the LeMons Supreme Court read the Riot Act to the miscreant BAR(F) driver, the Keystone Kops’ Volvo 242 inched back … [Read more...] about 24 Hours of LeMons New England: The Winners!
In 1988, years before anybody knew that Donald J. Trump had his eye on the Oval Office, our president-elect got together with Cadillac in an attempt to make stretched executive transport great again. We have no idea what the project cost General Motors and Dillinger/Gaines Coachworks, but we do know that along with the first Golden Series limo off the line, Trump got a sweet gold Allanté out of the deal.The deal, predictably enough, began in Florida. Trump and then Cadillac general manager John Grettenberger were in Palm Beach when the future president of the United States of America started in on limos, saying to Grettenberger, “John, what Cadillac ought to do is come up with a design for an incredible limousine that has the big headroom and all of the assets that anyone could want.” The result, the Cadillac Golden Series and Executive Series limousines, were announced at the Las Vegas Limousine & Chauffeur Show in November 1987 and formally debuted in … [Read more...] about Yuge Opportunity! Own the 1988 Trump Series Cadillac Limos!
Last spring, BMW invited us to drive the new-for-2017 5-series sedan in what was described as “early-development” form. That’s code for European-spec cars cloaked in camouflage inside and out, with a chassis still using interim calibrations. This experience turned out to be a brain-picking session. Before key settings were finalized for production—scheduled to begin before the end of this year—our BMW hosts wanted to know our opinions of where they’re heading with the brand’s second-best-selling product line (globally), behind only the 3-series. We’re now finally allowed to share them with you. Public back roads in northeast Wales have served BMW’s hands-on development needs for years. The team resides for weeks at a medieval castle (its location is kept secret from the public), where the cuisine is excellent but cell service is spotty. Meetings are infrequent. Instead, the team spends time on the well-maintained roads, where … [Read more...] about 2017 BMW 5-series