In Photos: 2014 NASA Utah Region Round 6

By | October 14, 2014

2014 NASA Utah Region Round 6

2014 NASA Utah Region Round 6

Welcome to another WET and rainy NASA Utah event held at Miller Motorsports Park. To be fair to mother nature, it was a great day to go racing the following day!

And this was the 2nd to last round of the series (insert “crying eyes” emoticon here).

I could go on and on about how NASA Utah is great for getting that all important seat time. How NASA Utah is great for getting experience in your car at an HPDE event. And it still is! Not only that, it’s still some of the best value for your racing buck! And I’ll say again, those interested in taking the “next step” should seriously look what NASA Utah has to offer.

BUT..

The last event is this weekend. IF YOU HURRY, you can still register -> HERE!

So bookmark NASA Utah’s page to keep on eye on other upcoming events and events next season!

Round 6 results can be found here.

And again, thanks to fine folks at Miller Motorsports Park for their help!

[photos | Scott Pettett | Mike Gillilan]

2014 Auto Show Season Kicks Off in Paris

By | October 8, 2014

Paris_Motor_Show_2012_(8065363857)After a 4 month summer break, automakers return to the show circuit for the 2014 Paris Motor Show.  The Paris Motor Show always brings something new and interesting for the world to see.  Dozens of world debuts were shown.  So many new concepts and production ready models were shown that we had a hard time narrowing down which to feature.  We did manage to narrow the list down to ten of what we feel are the most interesting or significant.

2015 VW Polo GTIWe start off with the new Volkswagen Polo GTI.  This scaled down Golf is about the same size as the Ford Fiesta and would compete with the Fiesta ST nicely if it were offered in the US.  Unfortunately, it isn’t.  Our friends across the pond will enjoy the 189 hp available from its turbo charged 1.8L 4 cylinder engine which should be ample power to make this a potent little machine.  The rally version of the Polo has been dominating WRC the last couple of years but will this new Polo GTI dominate the sub-compact, hot hatch market?

Ferrari 458 Speciale A Ferrari came swinging hard with their new ragtop version of the 458 Speciale.  This yellow pony uses the same drivetrain as the hardtop with its 597 hp 4.5L V8 making this the most powerful Ferrari spyder to date.  0-62mph is claimed to take just 3.0 seconds.  This 458 Speciale A, as it is known, has a stunning blue carbon fiber interior to match the blue stripe on the hood.  If you are thinking of buying one you’d better contact your Ferrari dealer fast because Ferrari will only build 500 of these and they are likely to sell like Carlo’s Bakery’s cannolis. Mercedes AMG GT Unveiled a few weeks prior, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT made its first public appearance at the Paris Motor Show.  The baby SLS as it has been called will be anything but a baby.  It is powered by a 456hp or 503 hp 6.2L V8 depending on the trim level.  0-62 times are a claimed at 3.9 and 3.7 seconds respectfully.  Were you thinking of buying a Jaguar F-Type Coupe?  You may want to reconsider. Jaguar XE At first, this new Jag looks like any other four door Jaguar.  This is the new XE.  Jaguar says the car is aimed at the like of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C Class.  In other words, it is the new version of the X-Type.  There will be a few engines available ranging from 4 cylinders to the V6 from the F-Type.  Let’s hope it is more exciting than the old X-Type.  Expect it to hit the US sometime in 2016. Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Infiniti has had some very elegant concepts in the last few years.  The Q80 Inspiration is no exception.  The Q80 is just a design study for now but is what Infiniti imagines their Mercedes S-Class fighter would look like.  It is said to feature a 3.0L twin turbo V6 and an electric motor combining to make 550 hp.  It also features autonomous driving and two separate HUDs for the driver and passengers.  The interior was shown in a different idea of two-tone, the front was dressed in black while the rear was wearing white.  It also sports rear suicide doors much like the Rolls-Royce cars. VW XL Sport Concept Volkswagen brought a fun toy to Paris in a new version of their XL1.  If you aren’t familiar with the XL1, it is a 1700lb hybrid powered by an 800cc turbo-diesel twin cylinder and a small electric motor combining to make 77hp.  The idea is to be as aerodynamic and fuel efficient as possible.  This though is the XL Sport Concept.  It ditches the gas sipping drivetrain for something more sporty, a 1200cc v-twin from the Ducati 1199 Superleggera which is good for 197 hp and a claimed top speed of 168 mph.  With nearly three times the power as the XL1 and weighing less than a first gen Mazda Miata it should be a spritely car.  For now it is just a concept, we say build it! Bentley Mulsanne Speed Speed and Bentley are two words you don’t typically think of together but don’t tell Bentley that.  This is the new Bentley Mulsanne Speed.  The looks are mildly revised for this luxurious ride but looks and luxury are not what is most interesting about the latest from Crewe.  Chew on this, 811 lb/ft of torque at 1750rpm.  That is what this 6 3/4L V8 is capable of, that and 530 hp.  That’s full size towing truck torque numbers!  This new found torque allows the Mulsanne Speed to scoot to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds which is remarkable considering the thing weighs three tons.  The Mulsanne Speed should hit showroom floors this winter.  And if you have to ask how much it cost, you can’t afford it. Audi TT Sportback Concept Audi has gone TT crazy this year showing a number of different versions of the new TT ranging from the droptop to an Allroad version.  Now they are previewing a Sportback version.  For the first time, we see a TT with 4 doors and lines similar to an A7.  This new Sportback is surprisingly not much bigger than the 2016 TT Coupe, only a foot longer and is actually 1.2 inches lower.  The TT Sportback is powered by a 2.0 turbo 4 making 400 hp.  Audi says it should hit 62 mph in 3.9 seconds when paired with their dual-clutch 7 speed S-Tronic transmission. Lamborghini Asterion The car that brought the most buzz at the show was Lamborghini‘s first hybrid.  What you see here is called the Asterion LP910-4.  The Asterion swipes the V10 from the new Huracan combined with an electric motor to make 910 hp.  The electric motor alone can power the car up to 78 mph with a range of 31 miles.  Top speed is said to be 199 mph and 62 mph should arrive in 3 seconds flat.  Stylistically, it doesn’t shout Lamborghini though, we think it looks like someone slapped an Aventador nose on a C7 Corvette.  Lamborghini boss, Stephan Winkelmann, says the Asterion is just to show the public what a Lamborghini hybrid could look like and that their focus right now is the Urus.  Hopefully it won’t end up like the Estoque and remain a one-off. Honda Type R Concept Honda came with their latest version of the Civic Type-R.  This little hot hatch sports a 2.0 turbo 4 making 276 hp and Honda says it is faster than any other Type-R model they have produced.  That is saying something considering the NSX is included in that list.  It will also feature a +R button, a glorified “Sport Button,” which will sharpen up the steering, stiffen the suspension, and alter torque mapping.  As is the case with all Type-R models though, the likelihood of the car coming stateside is very slim. That will wrap up our coverage of the Paris Motor Show.  The next big shows will be SEMA from November 4th-7th and the Los Angeles Auto Show from November 21st-30th. Photos: Drew Phillips via Autoblog

In Photos: 2014 Energy Solutions Utah Grand Prix

By | October 5, 2014

2014 Energy Solutions Utah Grand Prix

2014 Energy Solutions Utah Grand Prix

On September 12~14, Miller Motorsports Park hosted the last two rounds of 25th annual running of the Pirelli World Challenge. Everything from Fiat 500s, Honda Fits, to Audi R8s, Ferraris, Porsches, Aston Martins, Cadys, Corvettes, and why not, let’s throw in some Lamborghinis and Bentleys to the mix!

With some of the drama and politics that are happening in other series, Pirelli World Challenge has seized upon some of that frustration from teams and has stepped up and expanded their game to include machines similar-in-spec to GT3 class cars. With migrated teams mixing it up with established teams in a multi-class sprint racing format, this makes for some exciting racing!

Also racing that weekend was NASCAR K&N series, United States Touring Car Championship, Pirelli GT3 Cup, and unique to MMP, the Miller GT Cup.

Results of weekend.

So, enjoy some pictures from the weekend!

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the broadcast of the GT race

Lastly, we would like to thank the fine folks at Miller Motorsports Park for their help over the weekend!

[photos | Scott Pettett | Jason Porter | Neil Eschenfelder | Mike Gillilan]

Racing Blip: 2014 Petit Le Mans

By | October 3, 2014

Action Express Racing

Action Express Racing

Well, this is it! The LAST race of the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is here. This stop is in the outskirts of Atlanta at a track called Road Atlanta. This is the 17th annual Petit Le Mans. And how do you send off the last race of the season? How about a 10 hour race sound? Well, that’s what we get!

Leaving out some of the politics and rumors floating around, here are some things to look for at the race.

In the P class. With Extreme Speed Motorsport sitting out this race and prepping for a stint in World Endurance Championship, there’s really only one P2 car to give the DP cars some heat on the track. That would be Oak Racing with their new Ligier JS P2. With the DP cars with an apparent performance advantage, I expect Oak to be more of a torn in the sides of the DP cars eyeing for the season championship. That being said, the No. 5 Action Express Racing took pole during a double red-flagged qualifying session with a solid 1:14.508. Oh..and the DeltaWing comes back, sporting some new changes to it.

GTLM – The No. 911 Porsche RSR with Nick Tandy driving, took the pole. This makes the 11th pole winner this season. That is what makes this class so exciting. 11 different pole winners for 11 different races! Questions remain, will Corvette break their slump? Will BMW finally show it’s strength? Will Porsche take the manufacture’s trophy? What about Ferrari being 1/10 of second off pole? Viper? It should be a VERY eventful race.

GTD – Gotta hand it to Aston Martin, TRG, and James Davison. Forth pole in a row! This will be a very exciting race as well. Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, Viper, Ferrari, and BMW all vying for the winner’s circle. About 0.6 secs separates the top 5 cars!

How to watch the race? The race program starts 11:00 AM EDT on Saturday (10/4) and all of it will be streamed live over on IMSA.com – no geo limitations – FINALLY.

More details on how to watch can be found here. (ed note, updated link)

The every handy dandy spotters guide.

And here’s a preview of Petit Le Mans

[photo | mike gillilan]

Project: Pony Up -Part Two

By | September 29, 2014

Project Pony Up

It has been a few months since our last Project: Pony Up update so it is overdue.  The project was set aside for a little while until I was able to find time to put into it again.  In the last update the old 302 had come out of the car and the engine bay painted.  In this update, the new motor and transmission has been pulled from the donor car and I’ll be going over the things that will need to be done to it before it can go into its new home.

Ford 5.0

The new motor is a 5.0 V8 from a Fox Body Mustang.  It is far from stock with its aluminum Edelbrock Performer heads, E303 cam, and Edelbrock Performer upper and lower intake manifolds producing roughly 325 hp at the crank.  The transmission, a stock T5 5-speed manual transmission used in Mustangs in various forms from 1983-2010, this one is from a 1991 GT and is known as a T5 World Class which is rated for up to 300lb/ft of torque and is fitted with a Steeda short shifter.

Borg-Warner T5

The first thing that will have to be done is cleanup.  This motor was so leaky that under normal driving I was having to add a quart of oil every other week and add coolant even more often.  There is so much oil on it and it has to go!  After cleanup, the engine will be torn down and the gaskets will be replaced.  The oil pan and timing cover are notorious for leaking.  The block will then get painted black.  Next will be converting the double sump oil pan for a front sump Canton T-Pan, oil pickup, and a windage tray.  While we’re at it the clutch will be replaced with a King Cobra clutch kit and the bellhousing will be modified for a hydraulic clutch instead of the old cable clutch setup.  A clutch pedal has already been installed but we will go over that in a future update.  A new gas tank has also been installed that is designed for fuel injected conversions.  Fuel lines will need to be routed and then it will be done to the most difficult part of the project, the wiring harness.  The harness will be plug-and-play but will need to be gone over to see what wires need to be lengthened, shortened, or removed completely.

Project: Pony Up Parts

Once all that is done, the car should be able to be fired up and back on the road!  Once the new clutch is broken in and the motor proves to be problem free, it will be taken to a local shop to be dyno-tuned to see what kind of numbers it puts down and also to get the most out of the ECU.  In the coming weeks, we will bring you updates in more of a how-to style so you can see how to do everything we do along the way as well as giving you a chance to voice opinions, suggestions, and questions about the project.

Photos by the Author

NASCAR Announces 2015 Rule Changes

By | September 23, 2014

NASCAR in the RainNASCAR is almost taboo for us at The Daily Derbi.  Most of us aren’t the biggest of fans and would rather watch sports car racing like Tudor Sports Car Championship that are featured in our Racing Blips.  Today, NASCAR announced new rule changes for 2015 that will have a huge impact on the series, some of them so big that we had to share.  Of the 60 new rules, here’s what you need to know.  The biggest goal of the new rules is to increase the safety of everyone involved as well as slowing the cars down.  Rules for the cars will include the following:

-Reduction of horsepower to 725 via tapered spacer
-Roller valve lifters to replace flat valve lifter
-Lower rear differential gear ratios targeting 9,000 RPM
-Rear spoiler adjustment to 6 inches high (2014 height: 8 inches)
-Optional driver adjustable track bar
-38-inch wide radiator pan
-Minimum vehicle weight drops 50 lbs. via ballast reduction (2014 weight:  3,300 w/o driver)
-Updated qualifying formats for all tracks

Private testing is now banned and is only allowed at Goodyear/NASCAR events where teams are invited.

The biggest announcement is racing on road courses, such as Sonoma and Watkins Glen, will now be allowed in the rain with rain tires, wiper blades, a defogger, and rear flashing lights.

The other changes include various items such as new parts approvals and automated pit lane officiating.

The press release from NASCAR can be found here and more info on the rules can be found here.