Firestone Racing Tires –Way Beyond Round and Black

April 26, 2018 -- By Larry Mason, www,carsandcompetition.com Copyright © 2018 Larry Mason   When you watch an Indy car hurtle down the track at speeds that defy logic whether it’s on a street course, road course, short oval or super speedway, the only thing keeping the car on the  track and off the wall is the driver’s ability to control it on four little contact patches created by Firestone Racing Tires. Yes, physics still apply and in some instances the accident that might occur are out of the driver’s control. At the same time, physics, chemistry and mechanical engineering are also the key ingredients in making a safe, reliable and performance-oriented race tire that can see wide extremes in temperature and loading. I recently sat down with Cara Adams the chief engineer for Bridgestone Americas Motorsports at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and asked a few questions. Adams [...]

Torrence Prepped Toward NHRA Top Fuel Championship

October 23, 2018 -- On the cusp of winning his first NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championship, Steve Torrence is keeping the status quo. It has worked perfectly through the first four races of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship and the Top Fuel points leader is continuing to rely on that mindset heading to this weekend’s 18th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It marks the penultimate race of the 2018 NHRA season and Torrence is firmly in command in his 10,000-horsepower Capco Contractors/Torrence Motorsports dragster, currently holding a 169-point lead over Clay Millican. Torrence has won the first four races of the Countdown to the Championship – the first time in NHRA history that has happened in Top Fuel or Funny Car – and he can close out his first world title this weekend in Las Vegas. “To be [...]

Questor To Retire Following HSR Daytona Classic

October 20, 2018 - Legendary Austrian sports car driver Dieter Quester, who has competed in more than 1,000 races in an iron-man career that has spanned more than 50 years, will retire from endurance racing at the end of next month's HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA, November 7 - 11. "I will drop the checkered flag in Daytona," Quester said. "The decision fills me with sadness as I have built up over all the years a love relationship with this circuit. Returning to victory lane would be the measure of all things and a farewell to Daytona, as it could be not much better." Quester has raced a dozen different prototypes and GT cars in the Rolex 24 At Daytona the last few years, in addition to participating in every running of the HSR Classic Daytona since the classic 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway was introduced in 2014. His most [...]

PPM Heads for California Competition

October 18, 2018 --         With their Super Trofeo cars en route to Vallelunga, Italy for the World Final, PPM has shifted gears, to tackle the final round of the SRO's Intercontinental GT Challenge at Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA: The California 8 Hour.              PPM will be campaigning the same Lamborghini Huracan GT3 that drove to a Pirelli World Challenge GT podium finish in Portland this season. PPM is Lamborghini's sole representation in the GT3 category for the California 8 Hour.               Piloting the raging bull are PPM regulars, Super Trofeo co-drivers , and former Champions, Shinya Michimi and Brandon Gdovic. Joining the young duo is Steve Dunn, who drove the #47 PPM Super Trofeo Huracan at Road America .; Dunn showed great pace right from the first session, and secured two class pole positions.                     "I'm very excited [...]

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 [...]