May has been a big month for American automakers. We have seen the arrivals of a redesign and new variant, and some tweaks to some of America’s most American cars, the Chevy Camaro, Dodge Viper, and Ford Mustang. No matter what your flavor of GM, Mopar, or Blue Oval there is something for everyone.
The most anticipated of the three is the unveiling of the all-new Chevy Camaro. While to the untrained eye it looks like nothing new, but, look closer and there are very parts that carry over. The design is sleeker, the body made of aluminum (allowing for 200lbs of weight savings), and the new base engine is a 2.0 turbo 4. That’s right. But this is no case of Chevy trying to keep up with the Joneses, instead, the turbo 4 produces less power than the V6 model at 275 hp and 295lb/ft. A V6 option remains available now producing 335 hp with the SS models borrowing the LT1 out of the Corvette making 455 hp and lb/ft. Six speed manual and eight speed automatic transmissions are available on all models regardless of what engine lies under the hood. A reveal event was held at Belle Isle, Detroit.
In 1999, Dodge first introduced the Viper GTS ACR. ACR stood for “American Racing Club.” The first ACR was the Scuderia or Superleggera version of the Viper only it was out before those Italians came to be. Since then every iteration of the Viper has gotten the ACR treatment. This is the new version. While the original ACR was only saw suspension and brake upgrades with a minor increase of power, the SRT10 version has taken on more of a race car for the road approach with a big wing and race inspires graphics. The new version has evolved from that. It too features a massive, adjustable rear wing, an extendable front splitter with complimentary dive planes, a rear diffuser, and of course the stripes. The new ACR also sees suspension and brake upgrades like before now coming standard with carbon ceramic brakes. Power only jumps to 645 hp, up from 640 hp, but, extra care has been taken to save weight. The stereo has a generous three speakers, the seats are manually operated instead of electric, and the carpet has been replaced with one that has a thinner weave. They say less is more. All this can be had for $117,895 but they will all be built to order, meaning the car will truly be your own.
Normally we wouldn’t cover simple trim level upgrades but in this case we felt a bit of nostalgia. You see, Ford is already making changes to the new Mustang. These changes include a pair of optional packages, the Pony Package and a return of the California Special. Thee packages are simply minor aesthetic changes and actually aren’t interested in those. What we are interested in is the turn signals. Yes, you read that right. Back in 1967 Ford offered a Deluxe package for the Mustang which included things like aluminum dash trim, different door panels, and hood mounted turn signals. It was a very popular option and the turn signals made their way over to other muscle car like the Dodge Charger (I even recently bought such a hood for Project Pony Up but more on that later). Ford is bringing these turn signals back. They will be mounted in the current hood scoops and will be standard equipment on the GT.
Around the beginning of the year, I was introduced to a 15 year old young man named Bruno Carneiro. Don’t let his age fool you. He’s every as serious about racing as must adults! He has an interesting backstory about his involvement and upward movement in racing. Something I felt you, the fine readers of Daily Derbi, might enjoy.
So arrangements were made and photo shoots were scheduled.
What follows is an email interview between myself and Bruno, with only slight editing for spelling and grammar.
Bruno, thanks for joining us today. Why don’t we start with giving our readers an idea of how you got started in racing?
Hi, guys, thank you for having me! I began racing when I was only 4 1/2 years old! I have always watched racing and love understanding how race cars work and the speed and the science behind it! I would constantly watch Formula One and IndyCar races with my dad and remember being continually fascinated by it! I would always play with my Matchbox cars or my Hot Wheels and create tracks as well as different racing series, and also I remember making car noises with every car I played with. At the time, my aunt and my dad both worked for Rodizio Grill. When my dad would have meetings with the staff and the founder of Rodizio Grill, I would sometimes have to go and listen. While I was there, I really had nothing to do, so I would get the salt-and-pepper shakers and begin to make race tracks on the restaurant tables. I would have the salt become one racing team and have the pepper be another! If not that, I was always mimicking race-car noises in my head and pretending to be driving one. Ivan Utrera, who is the founder of Rodizio Grill, noticed how I constantly thought about it and had a passion for racing! He was very intrigued and interested by how much I thought about racing and how much I loved it. He went and bought me my very first go kart!! I began to do test and compete in the local UKC (Utah Karting Championship) races! I was very fast from the start and, in my first season, I won 23 of the 24 races! People began to see I was doing pretty good! And that is how it all began; after 11 years, here I am now!
Tell us more about your karting school.
My karting school is a very fun and unique school that I have built with the fundraising that I have been doing for seven years. It was time for me to find new pats on how I could not only help and give back to the sport of racing, but also have a different way for me to raise money! In my karting school, I work one-on-one with kids between the ages of four all the way until adults, working on getting the correct lines, acceleration, braking, safety of karting, and having the basic understandings of driving a go-kart! I currently have four karts, which are dedicated to the karting school! I am proud to say that I have saved up the money that I made last year with my karting school and I have put it into giving back to the sport by sponsoring the four-cycle classes in the 2015 UKC season!
What do you like the most about running in a Star Mazda open-wheel car?
What I love about my Formula Mazda is that it is one of the best cars to start out in and learn in! It is a five-speed manual, so I have the opportunity to be able to master using the clutch and driving an H-pattern car! Not only that, but the Formula Mazda also has a great sense of weight transfer since it is such a soft car, which is vital to understand and master! Not only that, but I get to sense speed on the straight and through the corners! It is a great car to move into and learn from!
Why did you decide to switch from karts to open-wheel cars?
I have always loved the beauty of an open-wheel! In karts, you get to sit very low to the ground when in the seat, and I am able to process this over when I am in the Formula car as well! It has also been shown that if you can drive an open-wheel car well, then you can do well in many other types of racing cars!
What, or whom, inspires you to keep pushing in racing?
Ayrton Senna is a hero and an icon to many people! He was an impressive man that was very quick on track as well as a very humble and inspiring man off the track! He created charities to help struggling kids in Brazil and always did things for the better! Ivan, who is the founder of Rodizio Grill, is also a very inspiring person I look up to because of how far he has come in his life by creating such an amazing life! He is an amazing person who I would like to be like in the future! But for sure a person that pushes me has to be my dad! He is always behind me pushing me on to do great things and making sure I’m doing as much as I can to have my dreams come true! Although we fight a lot like in any relationship, he is always pushing me on and motivating me so I can achieve success!Where do you see yourself in five years from now? How about 10 years?In five years from now, I see myself being in the Road to Indy! I have always wanted to be in the Mazda Road to Indy! It is an amazing ladder system that can take a driver all the way from an entry-level to a middle-level car (USF2000) to the Pro Mazda Car, to Indy Lights to the pinnacle of it all, IndyCar! I hope to see my self racing in IndyCar in 10 years! It’s always been a dream! But if I get there all depends on how hard I work now to make it happen!
How easy was it for you to transfer from karts to open-wheel? What has been the biggest obstacle so far?
The karts really taught me a lot by understanding how the kart/car is reaching on track and to changes that have been done! Thanks to karting, I learned so much and I believe that it is the reason for why I am doing well in the cars! I would have to say that my biggest obstacle is being able to fully master the gearbox! But I enjoy every bit of it. This is the beginning and I can’t wait for the future that’s to come!
What advice would you give to anyone interested in becoming a racer?
As it applies to any sport, once you commit yourself, you need to make sure you do as much as you can to stay dedicated in what it is you want to become! A great idea for getting started is trying out karts to see if you become interested! It is always good to look for help, advice and even do classes (that I offer) to help further your understanding of karting! From then on, it’s just getting more help on driving and making sure that you get as much time in the kart to get really well used to it and create a connection with your kart! After that, begin looking for series or programs that are available nearby! I race in the Utah Kart Championship here in Utah and it’s fantastic! Do as many races as you can and most importantly do well so you can get noticed and have the potential to get noticed, possibly get sponsored and even move up in the world of motorsports!
How important do you consider social media for “up and coming” and established racers?
Social media has become the pinnacle of our generation! So many people have social media accounts and check them constantly! It has been a great way for me to reach out to new fantastic people and build friends that have supported me along my many years of racing! They are always there commenting and liking to help me out and I can’t thank them enough!
For those readers interested in following your journey, what social media platforms to you post to on a regular basis?
I have many different types of social media that I post a lot on keeping all my followers updated on my new exciting adventures! My Facebook is Bruno Carneiro Motorsports! My Instagram is @brunocarneiro21 and my Twitter is @brunokarting This is a great way to stay updated on how everything is going!
I think that wraps it up, again, thanks for spending some time with us!
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to come and talk with you guys!
Miller Motorsports Park has outdone itself again. Known for hosting one of the best road racing tracks in North America, Miller has acquired a new badge of honor as the premier dirt motorsports park in the United States. In addition to off-road truck racing and rock crawling, Miller knows motocross is where it’s at when it comes to building a loyal, local fan base.
Case in point: The Rockwell Watches Pro-Am Motocross event held this past March. For 2 days, local riders had access to the same track and services that Roczen, Villopoto, and other pro’s have during the Utah National Pro Motocross Championship. With track maintenance, a professional safety crew, and features such as a high-pressure wash station, racers were set up so they could focus on why they were there in the first place, to race.
An AMA-sanctioned event, the Pro-Am hosted all major classes of riders, men and women, on bikes ranging from 50cc to 450cc. Not surprisingly, it was the up and coming groms that stole the show. Sporting full kits, they ripped up every inch of the track, from the tables to the whoops, displaying skills that many adults will never master. Need proof? Check out our photo galleries. Need the Pro-Am results?
And this event is just the season opener. Locals will have another opportunity to charge this world-class track on May 23-24th during the Rockwell Watches Super Area Qualifier. The qualifier is one of 55 nationally that will seed riders into the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn Ranch in late July. All riders that podium during a qualifying heat will move on to race the National. So get out to Miller in May and support Utah’s local motocross scene!
Details for the Super Qualifier can be found here.
[photos | Jason Porter]
The 2015 New York Auto Show was mediocre at best this year with very few interesting announcements. Most of the new cars unveiled were on a much smaller scale in terms of interestingness but they were cars you will see on the road on a daily basis. Things like a new Chevy Malibu and a face lifted Kia Optima. There were a few worth noting though that we feel you will want to know about.
After a nearly 14 year hiatus Lincoln is resurrecting the Continental name. Lincoln is finally ditching the butterfly winged grill and adds some class to the new concept. Not much in terms of details have been revealed although Lincoln does say it will be making use of an all-new and brand specific 3.0L Ecoboost V6. The interior is quite classy too with polished aluminum everywhere. The back seats recline and have food trays as well as a whine cooler. The back of the seats feature removable Venetian travel bags. That’s the stuff Bentley’s are made of. Bentley designer Luc Donkerwolke says its a blatant copy and said he might as well send Lincoln their tooling. Well played Lincoln, well played.
Although technically unveiled during a Super Bowl commercial Nissan finally pulled the wraps off the new Maxima. You may notice it keeps true to Nissan’s latest fetish of being funky. The C pillars for example are similarly styled as the IDx concept cars from 2013. Nissan has been working hard at improving the 3.5L V6 and have bumped power up to 300 hp and while seeing a 15% increase in fuel efficiency. They also say the CVT is “performance oriented.” Now, in our experience with CVTs we would not add the words “performance oriented” to any of them. We will happily and readily be proven wrong but we shall see. The new Maxima will start at $32,410.
Tuner fans rejoice! Honda unveiled their new North American version of the Civic with this bright green little beast. The new Civic features a 1.5L turbo 4 and looks great! On top of that the Si will make a return and the Type R will be coming to our side of the pond. Honda has also said that a 5-door hatchback will be available along side the coupe and sedan versions. The tenth generation Civic will be on sale this fall.
Ever since the launch of the Toyobaru enthusiasts have been asking for more. Where is the TRD/STI versions? Well, Subaru has finally responded with the STI Performance Concept. It certainly looks the part with its big rear spoiler and matte blue paint. Subaru also chose to throw the BRZ GT300 race car engine under the hood which makes roughly 300 hp, exactly the numbers the enthusiasts have been wanting to see. The suspension is also upgraded to cope with the 50% increase in power. Sound too good to be true? You’d be right. Subaru says there is no plans for production and is strictly a concept. Why do you tease us so Subaru?
With the recent unveiling of the Porsche Cayman GT4 it was to be expected that a Boxster version would soon follow. Porsche didn’t disappoint with the new Boxster Spyder. While keeping with tradition, the Boxster Spyder follows the same logic as before, less is more. Porsche removed all the traditional features like a radio and AC. They even removed the electronic spoiler and replaced it with a permanent duck tail echoing the old 911 RS. The Spyder uses a 3.8L flat six producing 375 hp and it steals the brakes from the 911 Carrera S. The Boxster Spyder starts at $82,100 and hits showrooms later this year.
McLaren has been busy this year with new model after new model. The latest from Woking is the 570S, a smaller “entry level” model aimed at the 911 Turbo and Audi R8. Don’t call it a baby Mac though because this “smaller” McLaren is actually longer than the 650S and uses the same engine albeit a detuned version producing only 562 hp. The 570S will be a fantastic alternative to the Germans and we imagine it will be priced similarly.
Weather is warming, flowers are blooming, and that sound of redlining engines and squealing tires off in the distance? Well that’s the start of racing season at Miller Motorsports Park!!
One of the first events of this season was NASA Utah Round 1.
For those new to NASA and what it can offer you, I’d suggest heading over to NASA Utah’s website for more information on the various programs they offer, including HPDE (High Performance Driver Education).
And those interested in watching NASA, Round 2 is happening this weekend at MMP (4/25 and 4/26).
In the mean time, enjoy some imagery from Round 1!
And a public thanks to the all the staff at Miller Motorsports Park for their help covering the weekend.
The annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach offers a plethora of racing series all in one place in one weekend. The two we are most interested in is IMSA/Tudor as covered by Mike Gillilan yesterday, and the the Pirelli World Challenge. This race weekend marks the 5th round for the series and like IMSA will only feature half of the series; the GT/GTA/GT Cup classes.
With such a tight course, we should see plenty of action similar to the last round held at St Pete. Those 50 minutes of racing provided plenty of thrills and spills for the spectators.
Qualifying was held this morning and the result was almost predicable with the points leaders in each of the three classes ending up on pole. Olivier Beretta in his Ferrari held of Robert Thorne for pole with a fastest lap of 1:19.313. Rookie and GTA points leader Michael Lewis took pole with a lap time of 1:20.162 in a Porsche. And in GT Cup Colin Thompson ran a 1:23.831.
Things to watch this weekend is the close points race in the GT class with Beretta and Ryan Dalziel only 3 points apart. Tim Pappas of Black Swan Racing switches out his Mercedes-Benz SLS GT3 for an all new Viper GT3R after a crash that put him out of the race in St Pete during the last round. Also look for Peter Cunningham to look for his first win in the Acura TLX-GT. Cunningham had the fastest lap in practice yesterday.
Round 5 takes place tomorrow at 6:30pm EST and can be streamed live here. The race will be rebroadcast on CBS Sports Network next Sunday at 3:30pm. After which it will be available at the same link above after the CBS Sports Network broadcast.
A spotters guide for the race weekend can be found here.