Imagine a race track, about 10 miles off the west coast. Nestled just outside of Monterey, California. Up in the foothills, surrounded by trees and other “outdoorsy” things. Now imagine a 2.238 mile course. A course that has held events dating back to the late 50′s and home to one of the toughest turns in racing. Racing legends such as Stirling Moss, Steve McQueen, Jackie Stewart, Bruce McLaren, Parnelli Jones, Bobby Rahal, have visited it’s twists and turns and spent time navigating the track’s unique features. Sounds like a road racing paradise doesn’t it? Well, I have good news. The place does exist. And it was home to the last American Le Mans Series race on the west coast. I’m talking about Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
For those that don’t know, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has been a bit of a mainstay for west coast racing fans since it’s inception in 1957. Can-Am, Trans-Am, Champ Car, Grand-Am, MotoGP, World Challenge, ALMS, and other series have rumbled across it’s pavement. All have attempted to tame the infamous “corkscrew” – the blind left / right turn with a nearly 6-story drop off.
Now up to the present with a 4 hour endurance race with names like Franchitti, Long, Cosmo, Dempsey, Luhr, Tucker, Milner, and Smith – to name just a few. Cars from Porsche, BMW, SRT, Toyota, Lola, Mazda, Honda, Oreca, Ferrari, Corvette, and DeltaWing. This is what was on tap for this year’s American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca. The last ALMS event at Laguna Seca and the last event on the west coast for ALMS. Yup, the last one ever.
This was the backdrop for this year’s race. A race we captured in pictures and also present the full 4 hour ESPN broadcast from YouTube videos or you can fire up your Xbox 360 and ESPN app. Also included is the top 5 moments.
And for those still wanting to experience Laguna Seca – no matter the event – GO. Very much worth going for upcoming vintage, MotoGP, and Grand-Am racing events. Word and pictures can not adequately describe the beauty that is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
And once again, we would like to thank the staff at Laguna Seca with all their help and support during race weekend. It is appreciated!
Part 1 of the ESPN broadcast:
Part 2 of the ESPN broadcast:
Top 5 2013 ALMS Laguna Seca moments:
[Photos | Mike Gillilan]
Production photos of the replacement to the almighty Porsche Carrera GT are finally here in the form of this production version of the upcoming 918 Spyder. Along with the photos, Porsche revealed the technical specs as well. Power is to come from a 4.6L V8 producing 608 hp which will be connected to a hybrid system at the rear of the car adding 154 hp. On top of that an electric motor is also attached to the front axle producing a further 127 hp. Adding all of that up totals out to 887 hp! With this drive train set up the torque figures are equally confusing. The internal combustion engine is rated at 390 lb/ft at 6,600 RPM whereas the electric motors are capable of up to 940 lb/ft! With all that power available Porsche estimates 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds. Porsche is known for underrating their performance figures so we expect it will be even faster. Last year at the Nurburgring Porsche invited journalists along for test drives and the current production car lap record was easily matched and by the time production begins the car will have had another year of development testing. What you are looking at then is a car that will very likely blitz the previous record of 7:14.While the photos show a production ready car, it is actually not quite there yet. The chassis and and motor are about 80-90% ready and Porsche is in fine-tuning mode to get everything just right before launching. We expect production to start sometime next year and the car will be labeled as a 2015 model.
For the official press release from Porsche click here
Friday Motoring Diversion – Super Trofeo Europe 2013 – Misano highlights
With 50 years of Lamborghini upon us, it’s only natural that something special would accompany the golden anniversary. In recent years, Lambo has released several limited edition models that have pushed the envelope of performance and design. Exquisite examples to name a few are the Reventon and my personal favorite, the Sesto Elemento.
So what did Lamborghini give us for the big 5-0? Behold, the Lamborghini Egoista. Clearly the Reventon and Sesto Elemento were not models of inspiration here. Actually, the Apache attack helicopter was. We’ve seen plenty of cars modeled after jet fighters, the Reventon is one that executes that impeccably.
Fighter jets and attack helicopters are menacing feats of mechanical engineering. The Reventon, Aventador, Sesto Elemento, even the Countach of yore. All menacing in their own right and each equally Lamborghini to the very core. The Egoista however, is certainly menacing, but not in the same way as past raging bulls. The Egoista looks more like something you’d find under a microscope from blood work taken in the Amazon… yeah, it’s a parasite.
Details on the Egoista are limited at this point but from what we can see, it’s powered by a 5.2L V-10 and seats only one. A quick look at the interior of the Apache inspired Egoista and it’s easy to see the similarities between the two. The lone seat is clearly nothing more than a cockpit that looks more suited for shooting things out of the air than attacking apexes but who’s to say it couldn’t excel at both? The Egoista, like the Veneno, is definitely a more aggressive departure in the Lamborghini design code but Lamborghini is known for out-of-this-world styling and edgy design. It’s pretty hard to truly depart from something like that unless you go the opposite direction. Is the Egoista too much? Let us know what you think of the latest Sant’Agata creation.
It’s not much of a secret that some of the guys in the Daily Derbi bullpen are as passionate about movies as they are cars, and why the heck not when you consider how frequently the two intersect on the Silver Screen? The motion picture and the automobile both hit American culture around the same time and have grown up together, two siblings from the same Industrial Age family.
If you also share this dual passion for the cinematic and the automotive, and you happen to be in the Los Angeles area this week, you might want to pop into the Hero Complex Gallery and check out a new art exhibition called “Righteous Rides… And the Dudes Who Drive Them!”
Described as “…focusing on prominent characters of fiction and their often creative ways of getting around,” the exhibition features stunning paintings from a variety of artists and in many different styles — everything from whimsical to abstract to just plain cool — that bring to life some of the most memorable vehicles ever seen on film and television. And not all of them are cars, either, or even, strictly speaking, real. The Millennium Falcon and Carl Sagan’s “Spaceship of the Imagination” from the old PBS series Cosmos are here right alongside Steve McQueen’s Mustang from Bullitt, James Bond’s Aston Martin, and The Dukes of Hazzard‘s General Lee. As the gallery’s description puts it, “…anything that rolls, races, flies, or crashes can be counted in this high-throttled, tour de force that celebrates your favorite modes of transportation and the characters who drive them!”
The show is running now through May 19, but if you can’t make it out to the coast in that time, you can sample the flavor of it in this post at the /Film blog. Even better, you can buy prints of all this fantastic stuff for your home or garage at the gallery’s online store! (Sorry, guys, that sweet Bullitt image posted at the top is already sold out!)
Should you ever become a world-famous celebrity, it’s likely that along with your stardom will come the means to afford a car that the rest of the world could only dream about owning.
But if the pricetag that usually comes along with sought-after exotics is a problem, the price of insurance will help put ownership even further out of reach. In fact, for most people, the monthly cost of insuring the current flagship model exotic is more than an average monthly car payment.
The infographic below gives a quick breakdown of a handful of celebrities rides and what they have to pay in insurance to keep driving them legal.
Take Kobe Bryant’s Ferrari 458, for example. With a starting sticker of around $230,000, Kobe has to pay an astronomical $461 a month in insurance. If we take that rate and apply it to the length of the typical 5-year car loan, Kobe will have paid $27,660 in insurance premiums. That’s enough to buy a new FR-S, 500 Abarth, Impreza WRX, and many, many more desirable “poor, non-celebrity people” cars. Or two and a half Nissan Versas, but really, who wants those.
Check out some of the other outrageous costs to insure some of the most desirable cars in the world below:
Presented by CheapCarInsurance.Net