Archive for the ‘Motorsports’ Category

The 2010 Super GT came to a close at the Twin Ring Motegi race track. Round 7 at Fuji Speedway could not take place due to a devastating tsunami and mud slides that wiped out major roads around the circuit area. A special Fuji Event will take place later this year as a big thank you to all the fans for their support.

Which brings us to Round 8. Both the GT500 and GT300 championships were still up for grabs, in what has to be the most tightly contested season in the history of the series. The Weider Honda HSV-10 led the GT500 class by a single point over the charging Eneos Lexus SC430. The drama began as the green light fell down on the race, with the Eneos SC430 being given a 20 second penalty stop for passing a red light as it exited the pits on its way to the starting grid. This made the Eneos team’s chances to win the GT500 class almost impossible and relieved a lot of the pressure on the Weider team. Or so we thought. The Honda would battle the Petronas Tom’s SC430 for the entire second half of the race, in one of the most exciting duels in recent Super GT memory. The Weider team drivers, knowing that a 2nd place finish would secure the 2010 title, were in full attack mode. Both cars bumped each other on a number of occasions, which resulted in Weider team orders being given to make sure they finished the race and not end up in the gravel. In the end, the HSV-10 made one last run at the finish line, but the Tom’s SC430 held off for the win. Even still, this was enough to give Honda and Team Weider both the Drivers and Manufacturers Championship. A huge accomplishment for Honda’s new machine in its first year of competition against the proven SC430 and the mighty GT-R.

The chase for the GT300 title was also up for grabs by the fan favorite Corolla Axio APR GT and the Tomica Z. And just like in the GT500, another early incident would play a huge part in deciding the new GT300 champion. On the third turn of the first lap the Corolla Axio ran off course and into the gravel, signaling the end of their season and championship hopes. This gave the Tomica Z full advantage, as the bright orange Nissan dominated the entire race without any challengers, taking the win for the day and the GT300 championship.

It was the culmination of one of the most exciting seasons ever for Super GT and even the previous JGTC series. In the GT500 class, the dominant GT-Rs and SC430 proved strong all season, but inevitable dethroned by the new Honda HSV-10. A car that was sent to rest before being released to the world as the next NSX, only to show once again that when it comes to world-class racing, just like past Formula 1, when Honda aims to create a powerful RWD car, it tends to surpass the expectations of not only its competition, but of its own designers as well. We just hope that Honda hears the prayers of their fans and finally decide to release an iteration of this car in future production form.

And in the GT300 class, fan favorite team RE Amemiya could not find their groove all season, giving way once again to Nissan and its iconic Z to take this years championship. 2011 might be a little bit of the same. But then again, as we reported months earlier, rumor has it that Honda is planning to enter the GT300 class with none other than the new CRZ, but in RWD format. Can Honda replicate this years magic in the GT500 class with their new sport-hybrid? We shall see.

Thanks goes to all the teams and sponsors for making this the most exciting seasons yet. And thank you, the fans, for all of your support.

See you next time!!

While the automotive monsters of the world like the Nissan GT-R, Pagani Zonda R and the entire stable from Porsche tackle the legendary Nurburgring track to see who is the fastest on the asphalt. There was another all-together different road that was being tormented by a different type of machine. This time it was the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The car, a WRC spec Subaru STi. The driver, none other than X Games gold medalist Travis Pastrana.

A record that stood for 12 years was broken by Pastrana this week. This monster of a course, which features over 100 turns, a one-mile unpaved section with a climb from a base of 1,527 feet up to the summit, 6,288 feet above sea level, was tamed by Pastrana and his STi in a blistering time of 6 minutes and 49.11 seconds. For the record, Pastrana’s lap was 20 seconds faster than the previous 12-year-old record.

For those who do not know Travis Pastrana, he started out as a young phenom riding dirt bikes. He splashed on to the extream sports scene at the X Games, where he won numerous medals during dirt trick competitions. When Rally was announced for the X Games and Pastrana was on the list of drivers in its inaugural run, many in the extream sports world questioned how this young kid ,who seemed to be fused to his bike, would do driving a rally car. The answer that Pastrana gave them can be seen below.

It wasn’t Michael Schumacher who many believed would rewrite the Formula 1 record books. No. Before Shumi took to the wheel of his F1 car, a young Brazilian from Sao Paolo came to the scene in 1984 and quickly proved to the F1 world that something special was about to unfold. Ayrton Senna was that something special. A driver with so much raw talent and strong desire to win that no one, not even himself, could contain him. If you gave him even an inch of space, every driver knew to expect that the young Brazilian would be pushing them to the limit, with his no fear and agrressive driving, which led to many victories and a number of crashes as well. 

Senna and McLaren-Honda dominated the beginning of the 90s era of F1. Tragically in 1994, while leading the San Marino Grand Prix, Senna lost control of his then Williams F1 racer and suffered a fatal accident which would cut short his racing career. The F1 world and his home country of Brazil have been mourning ever since. Even at Honda’s headquarters in Japan, for whom Senna once drove for, hundreds of floral tributes were sent from his many Japanese fans, in a country where he reached mythical status.
And it seems only fitting that from Japan we see the first trailer from the upcoming Senna documentary that is currently in the works. Asif Kapadia, director of Smoking Aces, was given the honor of putting it all together. The movie had the full cooperation of Senna’s family and the Ayrton Senna Institute. It will contain original footage and never before seen reels of the champion, showing a side of him that only a few had a chance to see. A must watch film for every Formula 1 fan around the world.

Momentum has shifted to Honda and their NSX successor, the HSV-10. In only its first year of competition, Honda has managed to score three 1st place finishes in 6 races for 2010. The 3rd came at Suzuka as TEAM ARTA finally scored their first win of the season.

The ARTA HSV-10 was out on a mission in Round 6 in the GT500 class. It started the race from the pole position strongly, building a 5 second lead early on in the race. It had a small brush in when it ran into a crowd of GT300 cars, which caused slight damage to the left rear of the car. This didnt slow the ARTA HSV-10 at first, but it caused a massive delay in its first pit stop while the crew worked swiftly to remove the damaged parts. By the time the HSV-10 when back to the track it had been passed by its second place rival. Once all the cars completed their pit stops, the ARTA HSV-10 fell to 4th place.

But it appeared that fate was not to be denied, as a dramatic pit stop by the leading Epson HSV-10, whose rear tire came off while leaving the pits costing it precious seconds, allowed the ARTA HSV-10 to regain the lead, which it held onto for the rest of the race. This was the first win of the season for the ARTA TEAM. Now the race for the championship is really heating up, with the 1st Place Eneos Lexus SC430 and the Weider HSV-10 only separated by a point with 2 races to go. This is proving to be one of the most exiting seasons in Super GT history.

In the GT300 class, the R&D Sport Legacy GT started the race 11 positions back, but steadily rose throughout the entire event and finally took first place and the win with only a few laps to go. TEAM ARTA scored a second place finish with the Garaiya, while the popular Corolla AXIO APR GT finished 3rd.

While the Legacy GT scored its first win of the season, the second place finish for the ARTA Garaiya gives it a 5 point lead over Team RE Amemiya and the RX7, which failed to place in the podium, with only 2 races left. Overall, both GT300 and GT500 ARTA machines had a strong showing at Suzuka. Next stop, Round 7 @ Fuji Speedway.

Action below:

Source: Super GT http://supergt.net/en/

The new Honda CR-Z has proven quite popular in the Land of the Rising Sun. So popular in fact that the heads of Honda’s Motorsports Division appear to be deep in the development stages of a widebody version of the new sport hybrid, which would end up racing the GT300 class of the world’s fastest GT series, Super GT.

The image above clearly shows a CR-Z front. From that point on the changes are very visible. A mid mounted engine is very possible and, under current rules, could possibly be either a V6 or V8, with the options of up to 2 turbochargers. This much on tap power within such a small chassis has immense potential. Especially when you consider that the GT CR-Z would, without a doubt, be converted to RWD.

As you have seen during our season long coverage of the 2010 Super GT series, Honda HSV-10 has proven to be a strong title contender for the year in the GT500 class, with this being its first year in competition. Honda does not have a top contender in the GT300 class with the retiring of the original NSX. Now, with a hot new model in the CR-Z, teams like RE Amemiya might have something to worry about from the fathers of VTEC.

Source: GT Channel http://www.gtchannel.com/

For those of you hoping for a Toyota return to Formula 1 or the World Rally Championship, you might be soon giving up those dreams. Rumor has it that the heads at Toyota have other plans in taking on the worlds best racing machines. The apparent target is the FIA GT1 series in Europe in which Godzilla, the Nissan GT-R, calls its second home. I say second because the GT-Rs main proving ground, as well as Toyota, is the Super GT series in Japan. The FIA Championship debuted in Europe in 1999, 6 years after the Super GT series, or at the time which was called Japan Grand Touring Championship (JGTC), debuted. The Super GT series for years has been regarding by having the fastest GT cars in the world, which are built on actual production chassis. FIA could be considered a response to this, since Europe have always prided themselves with having the most prestigious races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Toyota wants to unleash a race version of their new released super car, the Lexus LF-A, and not let Nissan and the GT-R have all the spotlight. It makes you think that it’s only a matter of time before the current Toyota entry in Super GT, the now discontinued Lexus SC430, is retired and replaced by the LF-A. With the FIA GT1 series at its midway point, will Toyota decide to jump in the middle of the season and cause a ripple in the championship? Or will they wait for 2011 season and jump in at full force?

We’ll keep you updated.

In what could go down as the most dramatic final lap in the Super GT series, the KEIHIN HSV-010 scores its first win for 2010 in the GT500 class and the second win in 5 races for Honda and the would be successor to the NSX.  In GT300 action, the Apple K One-Shiden ended the race the exact same way they started it. In First.

See all the highlights of all the crazy action below.

Original Source: Super GT http://supergt.net/en/