Nissan deltaWing History Motor City

Nissan DeltaWing History

Nissan deltaWing History Motor City

The Nissan DeltaWing has grabbed headlines, turned heads, and divided opinions wherever it has gone. For Nissan, a company known for delivering innovation that excites, this project has gathered great momentum throughout the season, providing excitement for fans of motorsport but has also caught the eye of non-motorsport fans intrigued by the car’s unique design.

Here we look back at how it all started – a timeline of DeltaWing development. (more…)

Daytona 24 Hours

Daytona 24 Hours: Breaking Dawn

Daytona 24 Hours

Once we raced Daytona’s roval backward. Every now and then, I stumble across a photo taken when Dwight Eisenhower was President, the year Aston Martin won Le Mans and Daytona’s sports cars went ‘round clockwise.

Those ancient Daytona photos have a peculiar quality. The cars look dated though the track, especially the banking, looked much like it does now. But the cars are headed the wrong way – like a negative printed in reverse. It seemed unnatural. That didn’t last long. (more…)

Count Giannino Marzotto Ferrari 195S Race Car Driver 1950s

The Last Of The Gentlemen Race Car Drivers

Count Giannino Marzotto Ferrari 195S Race Car Driver 1950s

Ferrari mourns the passing of one of the most celebrated gentleman drivers of the 1950s, Count Giannino Marzotto, who died on Saturday the 14th of July aged 84.

Son of an industrialist, Marzotto was the epitome of the well-dressed racer becoming famous in 1950 for driving a Ferrari 195 S to victory in the epic Mille Miglia road race in a double-breasted suit, complete with tie. He won the Mille Miglia a second time in 1953 in a 340 MM spider bodied by Vignale, with which he established the record average speed (over 142 km/h) since the race began in 1927, and also came fifth overall at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans in a 340 MM berlinetta. (more…)

Mazda LMP2 Prototype 2 Skyactiv-D Clean Diesel 2013 Le Mans Race

Mazda Readies SKYACTIV-D Diesel Engines for 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans

Mazda LMP2 Prototype 2 Skyactiv-D Clean Diesel 2013 Le Mans Race

Mazda Motorsports today announced that it will sell racing versions of its new SKYACTIV-D CLEAN DIESEL engines to teams competing in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class of the world’s greatest endurance race – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Le Mans engine program will make its debut at the 2013 running of the race. Mazda was the first – and to this day, remains the only – Asian manufacturer to score an overall win at the race, in 1991. (more…)

Raod Atlanta Road Racing App

Road Atlanta Offers Mobile App for IPhone, IPad and Andriod Users

Raod Atlanta Road Racing App

Finally! One of the first race track phone apps has been released! Road Atlanta is right with the curve of technology trying to make the fan experience even better! This application can be downloaded for free on iPhones (click here) or Android (click here).

The app serves many purposes for our fans:

The Road Atlanta phone app is intended to help fans navigate around the facility. It has an interactive track map that is GPS enabled. The map shows everything from the turns of the track, restrooms, concessions and souvenir locations to medical and camping/parking areas. The most important part of the app shows fans where the shuttle stops are and what routes they take.

News Updates
The app also keeps fans connected with the latest updates from Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans with the news section. This is updated frequently so fans can check back anytime throughout the year.

Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda Timing/Scoring
Petit Le Mans can be a difficult race to follow and keep track of who is in the lead. We are making this easy on fans with live timing and scoring. Check in anytime here to know lead teams.

Track and Event Schedules
Of course, we added our yearly schedule and event schedules as well. This will help keep our fans in the loop of what is happening year-round and during each event!

As you can see, the Road Atlanta app will be helpful on many levels and will be a very useful tool for those at the track for an event and for those at home wanting to stay in touch.

Skip Barber Road Atlanta Open House 2012 Miata MX5 Cup Car Skid Pad Hot Laps

Skip Barber Hosts Road Atlanta Open House

Skip Barber Road Atlanta Open House 2012 Miata MX5 Cup Car Skid Pad Hot Laps
Skip Barber Racing School will host the 3rd Annual FREE Open House at Road Atlanta on Friday, May 4, 2012. Tickets are limited, register ONLINE today for either the morning or afternoon session.


Spend the day getting free seat time in Mazda MX-5 Miata on the Autocross course, taking hot laps arounud the full 2.54 mile track in a Playboy Cup Car, drifting the RX-8 on the Skidpad, or riding along in a Lotus Evora, Lexus ISF, Porsche 911 or Cayman.


Last year we had a great time attending the event at the 2.54 mile 12 turn road course that hosts the Petite LeMans. I took dad along and meet up with our friend Brian Medford from AutoTrader Classics. After passing pleasantries our competitive edge (egos) got the best of us and we battled it out on the Skipad and infield Autocross course to see who was the best driver. Brian took the 2012 Miata out first in Autocross, but appeared to be out for more of a Sunday drive than a record lap attempt. The fact that I daily drive a Miata proved to be a huge advantage as I dazzled the race instructors and set the base lap of session. Dad, who drives a Mustang, was quickest of the line, but his brisk pace was offset by his off track excursions.


On the Skidpad we all found the RX-8 slightly unresponsive, under powered and overweight. The car suffers from alternating understeer and overtsteer and the back end wants to dance around as soon as you lose traction. One dad decided that driving the RX-8 was like have a dance partner with two left feet he decided to set the record for consecutive 360s. He managed 3 full spins before being hauled back to the pits. I managed to drift a quarter lap before losing control, but spent the vast majority of my time on the pad dodging other drivers. Brain rebounded from the Autocross and had the Mazda sideways for 3/4 of a lap.


The verdict? Great fun was had all in Hotlanta. Dad got the win for having the most fun. Skip Barber and Road Atlanta get props for hosting such a fun event, and having nice cold water on hand. Can’t wait to get back to the track again!


 3rd Annual FREE Open House at Road Atlanta on Friday, May 4, 2012
Activities include:

Skip Barber Racing School Open House Road Atlanta Mazda Speed3 Girl

– Riding Hot Laps on track in a Mazda MX-5 Cup Car with the best instructors
– Driving a Mazda RX-8 on the Skid Pad
– Driving a Mazda on the Autocross
– Riding in a Lotus Evora, Lexus ISF, Porsche 911 or Cayman
 Attendees will be able to receive up to 20% OFF retail programs purchased at the event.
 Don’t wait to use your vacation time, if your boss doesn’t understand, just bring them along. See what Skip Barber Racing School has to offer at one of the world’s most famous race tracks. Click on the links below to register for either the 8AM-12PM or 1PM-5PM session.

Be prepared, having fun is mandatory.

*Minors will not be permitted to attend this event.
**No open-toed shoes permitted

1967 LeMans Winning GT40 in Ford Booth at SEMA Show


Sitting in Ford’s 2011 SEMA booth, might be one of the most important Ford of all times, but that won’t stop most SEMA Show attendees from walking right by it. Sitting on a container high above the show floor, is the red #1 1967 Ford GT40 Mark IV, but with all the glitz and booth babes most show, most attendees have their eyes a little lower than iconic Ford. As a result  most don’t even notice the Le Mans winner amid the sea of latest models, and the revived 1965 Ford Mustang body shell.

Ford-Booth-2011-SEMA-Show-in-Las-VegasThe Mk. IV ran in only two races, the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans, it won both. Unlike the earlier 1964-1966 MK I and MK III GT40’s that were based on the Lola GT and assembled in England, the MK IV was built entirely in the USA. It remains the one and only American built car to claim the overall victory at LeMans. It was driven to victory by the duo of A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney, who piloted their Ford to top speeds of over 220 mph. The led all but the first 90 minutes, and the 2nd place Ferrari 330P4 trailed more than four laps behind when the Americans captured the checkered flag.

Though Ford won again in 1968 and 1969 the 1967 Mk IV was the last model to sport the 7.0 litre 427 CI engine, as new rules required the GT40 to use the smaller displacement 5.0 liter 302 after 1967.

At total of six MK IV J-cars were built by Shelby America and Kar Kraft for the 1967 season. Ken Miles died while testing his car in Riverside, California in 1966, just two months after Ford’s historic 1-2-3 finish at LeMans that year. As a result of his accident, Ford fitted the full NASCAR style tube roll cage. The move to the roll cage saved racing legend  Mario Andretti life when he totaled his car in a violent accident at LeMans in 1967.

It rather sad that such a legend attracts so little attention in the sea of silicon booth babes, replica Shelbys, lifted Jeeps, and matte paint jobs that are ever present at here at SEMA. Perhaps, show goers are simply unaware of the legend in their midst. I understand why Ford placed the multimillion dollar race car on a container above the busy show floor. I just wish they had done more to draw attention to its legacy. In a sea of imitations it nice to recognize a winner.


Audi R8 LMS Defends Title at Bathurst in LeMans Series


Audi remains unbeaten at Bathurst: For the second time in succession, the R8 LMS prevailed in the most important GT endurance race “Down Under” in Australia. Conditions were difficult as varying intensities of rain and dense fog at times caused a number of spins, off road excursions and yellow caution flags. But unlike NASCAR the LeMans Series runs rain or shine. The first four hours of the race alone saw the three different vehicles take turns in leading the race.

From the fourth hour onward, Phoenix Racing prevailed at the front. Both R8 LMS cars of the squad from Meuspath (Germany) fought a thrilling battle for the top position. Even a spin and an excursion into the gravel trap that temporarily relegated the black number “1” R8 LMS to third place could not prevent Jöns/Mies/O’Young from taking victory. On Saturday, the trio had already been the measure of all things by setting the fastest time in qualifying and capturing position one on the grid. Victory on Sunday completed a perfect weekend. The triumph at Bathurst marked as much as the 119th win in the three-year career of Audi’s successful customer race car.

The second Audi R8 LMS from Phoenix Racing was less fortunate. The Australian trio Warren Luff/Craig Lowndes/Mark Eddy had initially shown a strong performance, advancing to the front of the field after having started from fifth place. In the fourth and fifth hour of the race the number “2” R8 LMS was even the leading car. A five-minute time penalty for a severed refuelling hose though caused the white Audi to lose four laps at about the race’s mid-point. Afterward, on lap 157, Mark Eddy lost control of his car in dense fog and heavy rain. He crashed into a concrete wall with the left side of the car on “The Dipper” track section. He was forced to retire with front and rear suspension damage. As early as on lap 60 the Audi R8 LMS of Team United Autosports had become victim to the treacherous conditions as well. Frank Yu from Hong Kong spun and damaged the frame of the vehicle on hitting a wall. Neither of the two drivers sustained any injuries.

Audi has now won four major endurance races within twelve months, having recorded two successes at the Bathurst 12 Hours and one victory each at the 24-hour races on the Belgian circuits at Spa and Zolder, plus GT3 class victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. This year, the 24-hour classics in the Eifel and the Ardennes are again on the R8 LMS’ agenda. The coming weekend will also see the start of the first of numerous GT3 championships in the 2012 season in which Audi customer sport teams are represented. At Adelaide, Australia, Mark Eddy will be competing as the title defender on the first weekend in March. Together with his team-mate Warren Luff he is aiming to make up in the R8 LMS for what he unfortunately was unable to achieve at Bathurst – the leap onto the podium.

GT3 Race results 

1 Jöns/Mies/O’Young (Audi R8 LMS), 270 laps in 12h 03m 31.375s
2 Slade/Bleekemolen/Hackett/Curtis (Mercedes) + 1m 13.284s
3 Sun/Baird/Griffin (Ferrari) – 2 laps
4 Tinkler/Johnson/Richards (Porsche) – 16 laps
5 O’Donnell/Niall/McLennon (Porsche) – 26 laps
6 Alford/Leemhuis/Beechey (Porsche) – 33 laps
7 Pye/Barbour/Pither (Holden) – 39 laps
8 Thomlinson/Dippie/Maddren (Porsche) – 42 laps
9 Thomson/Klien/Harley (Lotus) – 43 laps
10 Newman/Lillie/Atkinson (Holden) – 48 laps

2012 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 Xtrac 1007 gearbox

Rob Bell, Alexander Sims and Alvaro Parente to Race McLaren GT for 2012

2012 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 Xtrac 1007 gearbox

  • Rob Bell and Alexander Sims join Alvaro Parente in McLaren GT customer team driver line-up for 2012
  • Three examples of the MP4-12C GT3  race car and one MP4-12C road car to be presented at Autosport International
  • 25 Mclaren MP4-12C GT3’s to race in Europe in 2012

McLaren GT is building on its successful 2011 development programme for the new MP4-12C GT3 by adding Britons Rob Bell and Alexander Sims to its driver line-up for 2012.  Bell and Sims will join Portuguese racing driver Alvaro Parente at McLaren GT, with each driver available to teams racing the stunning new MP4-12C GT3 in 2012.

The 12C GT3 is a unique technical concept in sportscar racing. It features McLaren’s one-piece moulded carbon MonoCell chassis and technology normally reserved for Formula 1 race cars. The 12C GT3 has been specified and developed by a team comprising senior personnel from McLaren Racing, McLaren Automotive and successful GT car race team CRS Racing. US fans are hoping to see the car in action in the American LeMans Series, however currently McLaren has not yet entertained entering the ALMS.

McLaren Racing Chief Vehicle Engineer Mark Williams has been at the forefront of technical development of the 12C GT3.  Williams said: “Since the 12C GT3 development programme began in March, we have entered endurance races all over Europe and more recently in Macau.  We have undertaken independent 24 hour tests at some of Europe’s most challenging circuits, and experienced some real highs and of course, had to deal with a number of challenges.

“The 12C GT3 qualified in pole position in the British GT Championship race in Spa in July. We returned to Spa for this season’s 24 hour event and had a car complete the race at its first attempt. That is remarkable and was a good indication that core technologies were proving efficient and reliable in racing. More recently, Danny Watts secured third place in the Macau GT Cup. We’re really proud of these achievements. We are very close to the finished article now and I am looking forward to seeing our race cars at the front of the grid in 2012.”

McLaren GT will deliver 25 cars to established GT race teams and private customers for racing in Europe in 2012. The new race car manufacturer will announce its full line-up of customer teams and contracted drivers prior to the first race of the 2012 race calendar.

Driver biographies:

Rob Bell

Rob Bell MclarenDouble Le Mans Series champion, Rob is a respected British sportscar driver with a wealth of experience.  Rob has raced sportscars for seven years, winning the Le Mans Series title in 2008 and 2009, and additionally racing in the FIA GT, ALMS and Grand-Am series.

Rob began his racing career in karting and enjoyed early success at international level.  Moving to single seaters in 1998, Rob started in the Formula Vauxhall Junior championship, progressing to British Formula Ford and then on to Formula Renault, taking the Formula Renault Winter Championship title in 2002 and 2003. He became a front runner in the British and European championships, scoring regular pole positions and podium finishes in Renault V6 (now called World Series by Renault).

Turning to sportscars in 2005, Rob quickly established himself as a strong competitor, winning the GT1 LMES 6 hours of Nurburgring in the first race of his debut season. In 2007 and 2008 he claimed the Le Mans Series Champion title and since that time he has competed in every major sportscar series and blue riband event. With five Le Mans 24 Hour race starts, Sebring 12 Hours, Petit Le Mans, Spa 24 Hours and Daytona 24 Hours to his name, Rob is one of the few top sportscar names who can speak from experience about all of these classic races. He has experience of a broad range of marques, with a breadth of knowledge which can help to assist a team in a car development programme, tyre testing and other technical evaluations, evidenced by his involvement with Ferrari and Dunlop for the last five years.

In addition to his race programmes, Rob has provided driver coaching services to a number of teams for a number of years and has been able to assist with young race driver development in both single seater and sportscar categories, counting three McLaren Autosport  BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award winners – Alex Sims (2008), Dean Smith (2009) and Lewis Williamson (2010) –  as his protégés.

Alexander Sims

Alexander Sims McLarenAs winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of The Year Award in 2008, Alexander is on the fast track to the world of Formula 1. With the interest of Formula 1 teams, along with his superb results, Alexander is currently one of the most promising drivers below Formula 1.

Alexander competed in Karting for 8 years, winning numerous National and British Titles, The Monaco Kart Grand Prix, The Parma Industrials Championship and 3 British Grand Prix. Finishing his karting career with Pole at the World championships in 2006, Alexander then adjusted to cars extremely quickly, finishing 2nd in his first ever race.

In 2008 Alexander finished the season 2nd in the Formula Renault UK Championship with 2 wins and 12 podiums to his name. He then went on to win the highly prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of The Year Award and receive his prize of a test in the McLaren Formula 1 car.

In 2009 Alexander moved into the hugely competitive F3 Euro Series. Competing with Mücke motorsport, Alexander scored his maiden pole in round 3 along with his first Podium. Winning once and scoring 4 further podiums, Alexander finished the season in 4th place in the Championship and 2nd placed rookie. Alexander raced in GP3 Series for Status in 2011, finishing sixth in the Championship.

Álvaro Parente

Alvaro Parente McLarenÁlvaro Parente started his motorsport career in Karting in Portugal, showing exceptional early talent. Aged only nine years old, Álvaro won his first national title in the Cadet category, and continued his success by winning two more National Championships, one National Cup and the European Championship in the junior category.

In 2001, Álvaro started his career in Formula racing, participating in nine of the 13 races of the F3 Spanish Championship. He finished the second best rookie and 12th overall, in a championship with more than 30 drivers.  In 2002, the young driver repeated the F3 Spanish Championship with the Racing Engineering team, achieving 4th place overall.

In 2003 Álvaro began a new challenge in the F3 Euro Series Championship with Ghinzani team, participating also in the prestigious F3 Marlboro Masters, with the direct support of Phillip Morris.  In 2004 aged just 19 years old (the youngest driver in the championship), Álvaro competed in the F3 British Championship with Carlin Motorsport.

In 2005 he competed for the second year in the F3 British Championship with Carlin Motorsport. Álvaro won the Championship, winning 11 of 18 races.  Álvaro was crowned F3 British Champion with four races left before the end of season.

These results lead to an invitation for Álvaro to represent Portugal in the World Cup of Motorsport, the A1 GP, during the 2005-2006 season. Álvaro took sixth place in the Championship, which included 25 participating countries.

In 2006, Álvaro took another step towards Formula 1, participating in Formula Renault 3.5, the headline event of the World Series by Renault. The ultimate prize for this Championship was a test with the Renault Formula 1 team.

Alvaro finished the season in fifth place, only nine points behind champion Alex Danielsson, and 33 points ahead of the sixth placed competitor.  With three victories and seven podiums, Álvaro Parente was the rookie driver with the most victories and leading laps in the championship, closing his season with a brilliant win in Barcelona.

In 2007 Álvaro Parente showed he was the fastest driver in the World Series 3.5, winning the Monaco and Spa-Francorchamps races, and subsequently winning the World Series by Renault Championship more than 20 points ahead of his nearest competitor.

Alvaro subsequently raced in the GP2 Series for three years with Super Nova, Ocean Racing Technology and Scuderia Coloni, with his highest season finish in eighth position.

In 2011 Alvaro joined McLaren GT for the development programme of the new MP4-12C GT3.