Who’s into slot cars?

I’m not. Not because I don’t think it’s ice cool, but because I don’t have the space for a nice track. I would absolutely love to see my beloved cars racing on a track in my living room. Or in my man cave, if I had one. But alas, it’s not for me.

However, if I had the space and US$ 300.000,00 to spare, I definitively would buy a track like this one featured at Petrolicious.

We lost Neil Pert

This morning I was really sad to know that Neil Pert passed away this past Friday, January 10th. A true car guy and drummer from Rush, one of my favorite bands, he was battling cancer for three years.

Rush has too many great songs to list, but without a doubt “Red Barchetta” is my all time favorite. If you ever have the time to listen to it, pay attention to the lyrics.

The world is less bright today 😥.

When a broken engine can help you in a race

Le Mans, June 14th, 1990. Nissan Motorsports had three cars on the track, ready for the gruesome 24 hours of racing on the following Saturday, June 15th. Two of them were RC90CK and one was the older RC89CP. Mark Blundell was piloting RC90CK #24, and it was his turn at qualifying on that Friday.

Specially at high level endurance racing, there’s an equilibrium between raw power and engine lifespan. All cars can produce more power then what they race with, but their engines would not last the 24 hours. So essentially engines are detuned for reliability. However, unbeknown to Mark or the whole Nissan team, his engine was faulty. When he started his qualifying lap, the wastegate for his RC90CK’s turbo system stuck shut. That translated to instead of the optimal 700-800 hp normally produced by his 3.5-liter twin-turbo V8, the turbos were delivering in excess of 1000 hp!

Blundell’s qualifying lap in the “broken” RC90CK .

With that kind of raw power he lapped La Sarthe in an eye-watering 3m27.020s. Okay, but is that fast? If you take into consideration that the second fastest came a full 6 seconds (!!) behind, that’s unheard of. During that lap, on the Mulsanne straight he reached 383 km/h. As a comparison, the 2019’s pole position (Rebellion’s R-One AER #13) clocked 339.1 km/h in qualifying.

So unbelievably, a mechanical issue in your own engine can bizarrely be to your advantage 😲.

A Diablo at La Sarthe? Yeah, almost…

In the 90s, with everybody trying their hand at GT1 racing, Lamborghini didn’t want to miss the fun. So despite basically ZERO racing experience, they contracted French Signes Advanced Technology to build them a race car. Based on the lines of the current Diablo, they came up with the Lamborghini 132 GT1.

With a specially designed 6-liter engine delivering around 655 hp, they built one road-going example. And even got it homologated by the FIA in April of 1998. However, in September Audi bought Lamborghini and the program stopped right there.

And that was that, no Diablo at La Sarthe. What a shame! I for one would love to have a racing Raging Bull in the W-143 Garage.

Peugeot + Rebellion?

OH YES! It was just announced that Rebellion Racing will partner up with Peugeot for FIA’s 2022 WEC Hypercar season. There aren’t much details out about the partnership, so it’s not clear if Rebellion will still run their R-13 LMP1 car in 2020.

As I said before, this new hypercar class is going to be awesome. With Peugeot committed and Aston Martin and Toyota confirmed, so far we will have three factory teams running hypercars. I’m really looking forward to next year’s season.

1976 Japanese Grand Prix in pictures

Late this week Petrolicius uploaded a delightful article about the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix. Full of fantastic shots of the race and backstage, it captures very well the huge drama that occurred. The Japanese GP was the last race of the season, and both Niki Lauda and James Hunt had a solid shot at the title. However, Mother Nature played an important role, that meant victory for one and defeat for the other.

Click on the link above for the full article and photos.

The rooftop NYC Concours

Yes, a Concours d’Elegance on the top of a building. In New York city. Definitively not a setting that you would expect for a Concours d’Elegance, but très cool nonetheless. Mingling classic cars with modern fashion and a rock show proved to be a winning formula. It happened on October 5th, and was such a success that the 2020 event is already confirmed.

More info and photos at the NYC Concours page.

Going to Italy?

You HAVE TO stop at the Museo Ferrari, at Maranello. From the web site:

The Ferrari Museum in Maranello invites visitors to live the Prancing Horse dream first-hand. It offers a unique and enthralling voyage of discovery, a story told through cars that have made automotive history on streets and circuits the world over.

The coolest part, of course, is to see the cars. Right now the current exhibition is called “90 Years”, celebrating Ferrari’s 90th anniversary in 2019. With that, you can see from the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider of 1932 to the Laferrari. So without a doubt there will be LOTS to see for the petrolheads. And to drool for.

Aston Martin: a 2fer deal

Photo courtesy of Jalopnik

Earlier this year Aston Martin announced that they would produce the new DBS GT Zagato. This week they showed the car. Ice cool³ and all, but you would have to also buy the DB4 Zagato Continuation with it. Aston will build 19 sets of the cars, and you can’t have one without the other. Not counting the garage space, you will also have to come up with £6 million.

No mention about colors yet. So do I have to have them both in the same color?

Coming to a WEC race in 2020…

Photo courtesy of FlatOut!

The new Corvette C8.R. It will substitute the current C7.R both in IMSA’s GTLM class and ACO’s LMGTE Pro. At least from here I see a lot of Ferrari in that car (almost can’t see Corvette in there), but the car looks fantastic. And now being a mid-engined beast it will sure spice up the competition.

So as I said in an earlier post, the 2020 WEC season, if nothing else, will look great.