As we discussed in the original LMP Aston Martin Lola post (here) this is the top level of manufacture racing only. So, enter Toyota the maker of classics like the: Corolla, Tercel, and Hilux. Or playing a part in the “future” of automobiles with their Prius, and its hybrid system. Toyota has always floated around LMP racing in the 1990. Well when your Tercel from 1989 has 330 000km on its and runs fine, making a car to race for 8, 12, or 24 hours can’t be that hard. They have now decided to join this unparalleled reliability with their newly gained hybrid technology. Toyota has not produced a car for LMP racing since 1999, when they pulled out of to focus on F1, which they are no longer involved with. Therefore, premiering at the 2012 24 hours of Le Mans, will be their new LMP hybrid race car.
One Bentley, sans luxury, add speed. As we discussed in the Aston Martin LMP post (here). These really are the top level of automobiles. Sure, Formula One might be the top level of four wheel engineering. Whereas, LMP’s are standard cars on aerodynamic and performance steroids. Take a look at a properly beautiful automobile.
The Ferrari you never take home. You pay 1.8 million dollars to drive you Ferrari FXX only on Ferrari approved test tracks. After you take you FXX out on the track you have the option to be debriefed by the Ferrari team on your FXX’s performance. Ferrari made only made twenty-nine FXX’s for general sale. They also made a special number thirty that belongs to Michael Schumacher, his FXX is completely black with no logos, or identifying markers on the exterior.
Oh the world of Le Mans Prototypes or LMP’s. This is the top level of closed wheel race cars. The LMP class autos do reach higher speeds that Formula one. And share similar cost for research and development. The LMP class gets broken down into two classes LMP1’s using very large custom engines, and LMP2’s using top level production engines. LMP1 has become seen as the car companies playground, whereas, LMP2 has become the world of privately funded racing. We will look at some of these top level race cars over the next few months. Today we start with the Lola Aston Martin…
I have always held a special place in my heart for Formula One racing. It is really one of the wildest spectator sports out there. They also have so of the wildest rules in any sport. F1 struggled from teams with limitless budgets for years, you can think back to when the winners were either in a Ferrari, or a Mclaren Mercedes in the 1990s. So they took some very active steps to create a very even playing field. Today we will look at just how the tyres have been limited. In the weeks to follow I will break down some of the other rules F1 has established over the last few years. Formula One features a single tyre supplier (Pirelli) all teams use identical tyres. At each Grand Prix each team is given access to two different dry weather tyres. Drivers must use both types of tyres during the race. The different compounds can be recognized by the colours on the sidewall. Red – super soft, Yellow – soft, White – medium, and Silver indicating hard. Over the race weekend the driver has access to eleven sets of dry weather tyres, Six harder options, and five softer options, four sets of intermediate tyres and three sets of wet tyres. This is just the beginning of the strange rules. During Friday’s first and second practice sessions the drivers are only allowed to use three sets of dry weather tyres, (two hard, one soft) and one set must be returned to Pirelli before Practice Two, and one set of each tyres compound must be returned for testing before the start of practice three. They will then allocate eight sets of dry weather tyres four sets of both the soft, and hard compounds for the remainder of the race weekend. But, one set of each compound must be returned before the start of Saturday’s qualifying session. At the start of the race the cars that took part in qualifying three must be fitted with the tyres the driver used to set the grid time. So if that wasn’t confusing enough. At certain events teams will be given an extra set of tyres for use in practice for evaluation purposes. Teams will be given at least a week’s notice when this will occur. Teams are free to use wet tyres if they see fit during qualifying and the race. They may only use wet tyres during practice if the track has been declared wet by the race director. If a race is started behind the safety car due to heavy rain wet tyres are compulsory. Wet tyres are denoted by orange and light blue sidewalls. All tyres are given bar codes at the start of the weekend so they can closely monitor their use and ensure that no team is breaking the regulations. If a driver fails to follow these rules that can be excluded from the results, if the race is suspended and can’t be restarted, thirty seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of any driver that has yet to use both compounds. wow… and thats just the tyres…
Its been a long day being the “1%”. You walk out-front of your multinational corpouration. Edward your trusted man servant, has alright brought the car around. The back door open, the leather seats patiently waiting to embrace you. A drink already poured, you sit back and relax as Edward takes you home.
The battle of original vs. original, and remake vs. remake. Personally, I would go vintage Mini, But new Fiat 500. I love a good hot hatch. But, the new mini just doesn’t have that same small car look that it use to. Whereas, the new Fiat is a little more substantial then the old, which was needed. But, if I had to pick just one of the four. Easy, classic mini all the way.
Hot damn. You think Subaru owns rally. Nope. Most winning manufacture on the World Rally circuit – Lancia. Single automobile with most wins – Lancia Delta. You want passion in your vehicle… Look no futher. Sure they don’t share that same Ferrari, or lamborghini styling but they sure share the passion. So, before you make a purchase of a classic Italian super car, don’t forget about Lancia.
From meet function. Subaru meet WRX STI. This name has been a power house in the world of rally racing. Although, no long making cars for the world rally championship (2008). They are still making cars for the road, as well as road racing. I sure wouldn’t mind putting some of that rally influenced technology to good use on some asphalt.