Tag Archive | "Formula 1"

Rally Aces To Contest Monaco Porsche Cup

As all F1 fans already know, the Monaco Grand Prix takes place on the weekend of 25/6th May. This legendary race is ably supported by supplementary events including the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup which is not the place you’d usually find WRC Rally drivers, yet it is so.

When at the Citroen Works Rally team, the now semi-retired Sébastien Loeb was often at odds with his younger team-mate and namesake, Sébastien Ogier, the current championship leader. Loeb still drives the occasional WRC event for Citroen but Ogier jumped ship and is now successfully campaigning the mighty VW Polo.

More often than not it was the younger Ogier who threw all his toys out of the pram whilst simultaneously taking the ball home because of the bias he felt was given to his legendary compatriot. Now the rivalry is being renewed but not on the WRC tour. Both drivers will be guest piloting Porsches in the support race at the Grand Prix. So instead of spikes there will be slicks; instead of the Col de Turini substitute Casino. This is the first time both drivers have gone head-to-head on a race circuit.

Loeb of course has previous form in race cars and has been expanding his driving career into endurance racing with a Le Mans win being his main objective after achieving a second place in 2006 in a Pescarolo-Judd. The legend has it that Loeb practices for the race on a Playstation 2. Ogier, on the other hand, is new to this and he has had only a couple of weeks to get used to the high-powered Porsche and its unpredictable handling.

No doubt more experienced hands are making sure he doesn’t attempt the Scandinavian Flick or handbrake turns at La Rascasse or Mirabeau and remembers that there will be a whole bunch of other cars at close quarters to contend with.

The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup has been the only GT racing series to be held at Formula One weekends since 1993 during which time the cars have developed immensely. This years version is the new 911 GT3 Cup developing 460 bhp from the 3.8L Boxer engine. This car is something of a handful and it remains to be seen how Ogier will fare amongst the much more experienced field. So if you see a car overtaking on verges and pavements then you’ll know who it is.

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Sponsored Video – Channelling The Need For Speed

And so it begins. The first race of the 2012 Formula 1 season heralds what looks set to be a bumper year of spectacular motor racing with a packed schedule of 20 events worldwide. Six world champions, including the returning Kimi Räikkönen and including some new boys, will compete in this long and demanding season.

Nothing gets the pulses of the fans racing more than those last few minutes before the red lights go out. The starting grid, a hive of activity, quickly empties as the crews return to the pit lane and anxious faces begin to peer at trackside monitors looking for any telemetry data that suggests a thwarted start. The crowds hush as the tifosi unfurl their banners; the engine revs rise and, in a crescendo of sound and fury, twenty drivers power to the first corner. The tension is released – the race is on!

Armchair enthusiasts are well catered for as Sky introduce their dedicated Formula 1 channel. Offering all this uninterrupted colour and drama in High Definition will surely make up for not actually being there. Some might say that not actually being there is even better. An accomplished team will bring the viewer interviews with drivers and the team bosses coupled with all the trackside and pit lane news as it happens during the race. My goodness – you even get Martin Brundle!

It’s all there. The latest automotive technology, the fixed stares behind the visors, the heat and passion of drivers and pit crews striving to be the best. Only the bravest need apply. Go! Go! Go!


This post has been kindly sponsored by SKY, but all thoughts are our own!

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How Sportscar And Endurance Racing Could Take F1’s Crown

Sportscar and endurance racing has always been a brilliant breeding ground for road car technology. The cauldron of battle that is round the clock racing breeds performance with the necessity of reliability.

Disc brakes, double-clutch gearboxes, variable turbine turbo geometry, carbon-fibre brake discs and direct injection petrol engines are but a few inventions pioneered through endurance racing.

As manufacturers look to tighten their belts and the outlay for a full calendar of racing in the F1 circus carries on rising unabated, sportscar racing for many looks appealing.

With a direct link from racecar to road car there’s real benefit for the manufacturer, too. And then there’s the fans, the all important fans.

Without fans there’d be no motorsport, so with ticket prices for a Grand Prix almost prohibitively expensive and a full week’s ticket for five days worth of action, including a full 24 hours at the twice-round-the-clock French classic in Le Mans, sportscars really could steal F1’s crown.

It could rival it for on track action too. With BMW, Lamborghini, Corvette, Aston Martin, Porsche, Ferrari, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Audi, Peugeot, Ford and other bespoke racecar manufacturers like Oreca and Zytek confirmed for the new 2012 World Endurance Championship – set up after the settling of a feud between the ACO (the organisers of the Le Mans 24 hours) and the FIA – sonorous sounding automotive exotica lapping within tenths of a second of each other would surely draw crowds. And at a fraction of the cost.

It’s close racing that makes good viewing, not one team with the most money – thanks to backing by a certain Austrian energy drink – waltzing of into the distance unchallenged. With sportscar racing you get that.

After 24 hours of racing at the 2011 24 hours of Le Mans, less than 13 seconds separated the eventual winner and the second place car – now that’s close racing.

Formula 1 is definitely the pinnacle of on-track motorsport – no question. But big-cube V8 Corvettes rumbling by, shaking your chest cavity making it difficult to breathe, and wailing Aston Martin V12s screaming past blurring your vision they’re engine notes are that piercing, proves there is more than one way to skin the proverbial.

The new World Endurance Championship will hopefully bring with it more fans, meaning more money, meaning more manufacturers, creating a self-perpetuating cycle.


With all that high-powered metal on show, we can’t wait to see how the inaugural season pans out.

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