The Petersen “Vault” and the Future of Driving

October 10, 2018 -- By Larry Mason, www.carsandcompetition.com Copyright © 2018 Larry Mason Los Angeles, CA: I had the great pleasure of getting an insider’s look at some of the coolest, rarest, fastest, and most unique cars in the world on the longest day of the year in the basement of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. “The Vault Presented by Hagerty” includes more than 250 vehicles including movie cars and motorcycles. This heretofore unseen area opened to the public on June 1 and is sure to be a hit for any gearhead or car fanatic. I had the good fortune to look at these cars and hear about some of the history and valuation of these vehicles by walking through The Vault with Philippe de Lespinay, (President of TopLine Media International), who is extremely knowledgeable on seemingly every classic car, race car and motorcycle we saw – and we saw [...]

Indy Car Tech – The Driver’s Seat

October 10, 2018 By Larry Mason    www.carsandcompetition.com Copyright © 2018 Larry Mason   If you’re sitting down reading this right now, how comfortable is the seat you’re on? How much did it cost? Was it designed exclusively for you? Would it protect you in the event of a sudden deceleration? Chances are, unless you’re sitting in a race car right now with a seat that has been formed around your body, the answers to all of the questions above are “so-so, less than $1,000, No and No.” Most mere mortals get along fine every day in any seat they sit in, however when it comes time to answer the demands of racing an Indy car, only the best will do. Here’s how seats are made and why it’s so important. The process is time consuming, expensive and extremely critical for driver comfort, performance and safety. When the word comfort [...]

Smith Looks For Texas Success

October 7, 2018 -- Matt Smith already has a blueprint for success to win a NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series title, and things are going according to plan for the two-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion heading into this weekend’s AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex. Smith has advanced to the final round of the first two playoff races in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championships, winning in St. Louis and grabbing the points lead on his Elite Motorsports DENSO Auto Parts EBR. It’s a strong start as Smith seeks a third championship in a talent-heavy class, but there is still plenty of work to do, at least according to what the veteran believes will be necessary to clinch another world title. “I really think if somebody can win three races in the Countdown they’ll probably win the championship unless something crazy happens in the other races,” [...]

Truex Jr. Eager for Brickyard Victory

Sept. 6, 2018 – Martin Truex Jr. would like nothing more than to make amends for last year’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We had a shot at winning Indy last year and I screwed it up,” said a candid Truex. Truex and Toyota teammate Kyle Busch had by far the two best cars in last year’s Brickyard 400 but during a restart with 50 laps remaining in regulation, the two cars got tangled and crashed entering Turn 1, resulting in premature endings for both drivers. Without hesitation Truex took the blame for the incident when he exited the infield care center. The Furniture Row Racing driver, who will pilot the No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Camry in Sunday’s regular season NASCAR Cup Series finale, is looking for another strong performance at the iconic 2.5-mile oval. “I always look forward to Indy, it’s such a historical race,” Truex said. “The [...]

Furniture Row Racing to Leave NASCAR Competition

Sept. 4, 2018 – Due to a lack of necessary funding to field a competitive team, Furniture Row Racing has been left with no reasonable option but to cease operations following the completion of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. “This is not good for anybody,” said team owner Barney Visser. “The numbers just don’t add up. I would have to borrow money to continue as a competitive team and I’m not going to do that. This was obviously a painful decision to arrive at knowing how it will affect a number of quality and talented people. “We’ve been aggressively seeking sponsorship to replace 5-hour ENERGY and to offset the rising costs of continuing a team alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing but haven’t had any success. I feel that it’s only proper to make the decision at this time to allow all team members to start seeking employment [...]

Frikadella Takes Checkered at Nurburgring

July 9, 2018 -- Two weeks after the victory in the third round of this year's Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN), the #31 Frikadelli Porsche again took the chequered flag in first place. Norbert Siedler (A) and Lance David Arnold (Duisburg), the winner of VLN leg 3, started from pole position, took the lead and brought their Porsche 911 GT3 R home in front after the four-hour race. In the #30 sister car, Sabine Schmitz, Klaus Abbelen (both from Barweiler) and Felipe Laser (Leipzig) experienced some very intense fighting for positions and ended the race in fifth place, equalling the car’s finishing position from two weeks before. Both Frikadelli Porsche laid the foundation for this success in qualifying. Norbert Siedler opened the 90-minute session with a 7:56.644 m lap in the #31 car, thus posting the current season’s fastest VLN qualifying lap time overall. Felipe Laser in the #31 car had [...]

Beyond The Wheel Film Returns to Television

July 9, 2018– FS1 and NASCAR Productions are gearing up for the fourth season of the critically acclaimed documentary series “Beyond the Wheel” beginning this week on “NASCAR Race Hub.” Featuring dynamic storytelling and never-before-seen insights, the short films take viewers inside the sport’s most compelling traditions and pivotal moments through the eyes of influential NASCAR legends and characters – both past and present. The first film, titled “Davey Lives On,” premieres this Wednesday, July 11 during “NASCAR Race Hub” on FS1 at 6 p.m. ET. FOX Sports and NASCAR.com will celebrate the life of Davey with exclusive all-day content, including a special NASCAR.com page dedicated to articles, videos and photos about his legacy, as told by those who knew him best. Watch the trailer for “Davey Lives On”here. The following documentaries comprise the fourth season of the short film series: “Davey Lives On” – Twenty-five years after the tragic death [...]

Truex, Jr. Second at Daytona

July 7, 2018 – Martin Truex Jr. broke his curse at the summer race at Daytona International Speedway with a powerful runner-up finish in Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400. Truex lost to last year’s Furniture Row Racing teammate Erik Jones in the overtime shootout by 0.125 seconds. But before the final caution came out Truex had the lead and was approximately 100 yards short of the white flag, which would have officially ended the race and sent the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion to Victory Lane. When the race was restarted for the final time, Truex initially maintained his lead in his No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota. But as the race was approaching the checkered flag he was left alone without any drafting help that allowed Jones to pass him for the win. The second-place result was Truex’s best career finish at the summer Daytona race, which [...]

Corvette Racing Achieves Podium Finishes in Sportscar Grand Prix

July 8, 2018 – Corvette Racing’s pair of Chevrolet Corvettes both finished on the class podium Sunday at the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It marked the team’s first double podium of the season and allowed both Corvette C7.Rs to gain positions in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) points standings of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen placed second in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, just ahead of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette. The results vaulted Garcia and Magnussen to second place in the GTLM Driver’s Championship while Gavin and Milner are now tied for fourth.  “Being by myself for a little bit there in that first stint, it was hard to know kind of what is going on with the pace and things like that," said Milner.  "I had good [...]

Mercedes Excels at IMSA Championship Run

July 7, 2018 -- Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams turned in a trio of season-best performances in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series competition Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The competitive showing included the first pole and podium finish for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in IMSA Continental Tire series competition and a season-best fourth-place Mercedes-AMG GT3 qualifying effort for Ben Keating and Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class. Alexandre Premat and the No. 92 Ramsey Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 team set the day’s first milestone Saturday morning by winning the pole in qualifying for that afternoon’s IMSA Continental Tire series two-hour race. Premat then led the majority of the race’s opening hour before handing off to teammate Mark Ramsey at the halfway point. Ramsey ran competitively in only his fifth race start in the IMSA Continental Tire series and [...]