How does watching Mercedes SLS AMGs, Audi R8-LMS Ultras, Nissan GT-R Nismos, McLaren MP4 12C, Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4s, and Porsche 911 GT3s smashing, sliding, and all around trashing it out on a track? How about throwing in some BMWs, Seat Leon Supercopa, Ginetta G50, Lotus, Fiat Abarth 500s, Subaru WRX STi, and a Daytona Coupe for good measure? What about racing on one of more unique and challenging tracks in the world, Mount Panorama? Well, you have the craziness of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour!
For endurance and GT3 racing fans, this is a must see! For those not living in the southern hemisphere (and enjoying the warm weather), the race is being is
embedded below (the live stream isn’t live now, hit the Bathurst website) or you can view the live stream here. The race itself starts 6:15am (local time/AEDT) which is 11:15am (pst) / 12:15pm (mst) / 2:15pm (est) for those of us in the Americas.
Porsche factory driver, and known endurance racer, Patrick Long talks about his impressions of Mt. Panorama:
[photo | mike gillilan]
FMD: Friday Motoring Diversion - Sights and Sounds of the Bathurst 12 Hour.
FMD: Friday Motoring Diversion - Jack Baldwin: Road Racing Legend.
So, stop what you’re doing, fire up the ‘ol TV and tune to Fox for at least the first 2 hours. After that..refer to the graphic below..it gets a little confusing.
The ever handy spotters guide.
[photo | imsa.com]
Earlier this month, executives from Calty Design Research caused quite a stir at the North American Auto Show in Detroit with their Toyota FT-1 concept car. While the FT-1′s curving, “function-sculpted” exterior recalls earlier Toyota sports coupes such as the 2000GT, Celica, Supra, MR2, and Scion FR-S, the concept is unmistakably forward-looking. The FT-1 — short for “Future Toyota” — incorporates such futuristic elements as a transparent hood and an extendable rear spoiler wing, and yet it still looks like something you could enjoy driving in the here and now.
Calty has been mum on the technical specifications, but the car was intended for the track and was designed according to the principle of “Waku-Doki,” which translates as “a palpable heart-pounding sense of excitement,” so it’s safe to assume the specs are impressive. We do know it’s a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, and that there’s a lot of technology under that glass hood.
My own personal tastes run more toward the big dinosaurs from Detroit’s golden age, but even I have to confess that this is a pretty sexy machine, at least from some angles. As with so many modern cars, the rear end has too much flat vertical space to my eye, like a big billboard waiting for an ad. (The current Corvette styling suffers from this as well.) The nose-on view is better, with the deep ducting and slight “beak” giving it a predatory look. But I especially like the profile, which is all classic sportster. Have a look at the 360 view in this clip:
In an unusual but somehow very modern move, Calty worked with Polyphony Digital, the developers of the popular line of Gran Turismo driving simulator games, to develop a virtual FT-1, which was then used as a tool to pitch the concept to Toyota management. Executives were offered a chance to put the computer-generated version of the FT-1 through its paces on a virtual rendering of Fuji Speedway. Akio Toyoda, the president and CEO of the company, as well as an accomplished race driver, reportedly finished his virtual lap with a better time than his real-life best. Impressed, he gave his approval for construction of a physical model. Seems kind of weird to this writer — I’m not a gamer — but hey, whatever works, right?
Incidentally, if you’re a Gran Turismo player, you can give the car a spin as well; the FT-1 is now available as a downloadable vehicle for GT 6.
For more on the FT-1, visit http://www.toyota.com/concept-
[photos | Toyota]