03rd Feb2016

Herds of V8 Super Cars

by Michael Chandler

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The fields are huge in V8 Super Cars.  Just rear wheel drive, V8 sedans as far as the eye can see.  It’s one of the most amazing things a person could ever see.

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*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
03rd Feb2016

All American Run Off

by Michael Chandler

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All the red, white and blue runoff at COTA makes for some nice photos

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Especially with an Australian race being run next to/over it.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
03rd Feb2016

The International Races You Should Watch This Year

by Michael Chandler

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I got some complaints after the last list of races you should watch was posted. “Where’s Le Mans?” “What, no Formula 1?!” Well you can stop complaining, because here’s the list of international* races you should watch!  All times are MST

Australian V8 Super Cars

It’s been described as Australian NASCAR.  They’re not entirely wrong, think if a NASCAR Sprint Cup Car had a glorious one night stand with a British Touring Car Championship Civic Type-R.  The love child would be an Australian V8 Super Car: raw power, functional doors, and zero problems with contact.  We had the opportunity to see the series’ lone American race, and it was insane.  They have a lot of races on the calendar, but here are three you should watch:

Darwin Triple Crown, May 20-22: Darwin has a massive front straight, with top speeds over 165mph.  Then the drag race is over, because turn 1 is a tight left hander that spits the drivers into the twisty back half of the track.  Did I mention that it’s hot at the track the whole weekend?  Oh, and there are three races instead of two.  Yeah, every V8SC race is a double header.

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, October 6-9: Mount Panorama, like Sarth and the Nurburgring, is a public road.  However, there are homes and businesses on the track.  It also hosts two of the craziest races in the world: the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and the Super Cheapauto Bathurst 1000.  The latter is a 1000km (620 mile) race, in V8 Super Cars, on a track that has all sorts of dangers including random kangaroos jumping onto the track.  Chaz Mostert had a monster wreck last year, and their always seems to be a big one every year.  This is the longest single race of the year, and it’s worth watching every second of it.

Coates Hire Sydney 500, November 25-27: It’s the last race of the year.  Every driver on every team battles every second of the race.  Races. All three of them.  Yup, it’s another triple header.  And they do it on the streets.  Yes, the final race of the V8 Super Cars season is a fight on the streets of Sydney.

How to watch: If you feel like spending money you can subscribe to SuperView, the series’ streaming service.  I can’t tell you a price right now, because they haven’t started selling subscriptions yet.  If that isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always something on Livestream.  Seriously, the last few years I’ve watched plenty of races on it with the only hiccups coming from my patchy wifi.  We’ll definitely post a link for Bathurst, so we can all watch together.

One Offs

So, there are some races that don’t really fit into any particular series, which is why I’m giving you a few to watch

Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, February 7:  Actually the action will get going Friday at 6:30PM for us.  Thanks time zones and datelines! A long endurance race on a ridiculous track in a country where all the flora and fauna wants to kill you??  SIGN US UP!!!  With an international field featuring cars ranging from full on GT3 cars, Porsche GT3 Cup cars, and even RWD V8 powered Ford Foci and Mazda 3’s!  And guess what!  Watching this thing is stupid easy!  They conveniently provide a link for those of us not in Australia.  And I’m providing it to you: http://bathurst12hour.com.au/stream-int

ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race, May 28-29: I was going to tell you to watch the WEC race at the Nurburgring, but that’s only on the GP circuit.  This bad boy takes place on the GP circuit AND the Nordschleife.  And it’s only GT cars, and possibly Jim Glickenhaus’s SCG 003.  Which is a sight in its own right.  Tell me you aren’t itching to see a 24 hour race on the Green Hell.  Seeing a pack of cars run through the Karussell, in the middle of the night is making me feel all tingly in inappropriate places.  And you should be feeling the same, unless you’re dead inside.  Last year the race was streamed through the ADAC Zurich YouTube page, which is an interesting place in and of itself.  Go ahead and spend some time there.

Formula 1

No, I didn’t forget about Formula 1.  Truth be told, it’s not my open wheel series of choice, BUT I do recognize that it is an amazing series.  So in keeping with the three race theme, here are the three races I think you should tune into this year.

Monaco Grand Prix, May 29: One of the three legs of the Motorsport Triple Crown, and a classic in every sense of the word.  Run on the streets of Monaco in Monte Carlo since 1929, it has played host to many legendary drives.  Most notably Ayrton Senna’s 1984 rain soaked charge.  In that race he qualified 13th in his Toleman TG184, drove like a mad man, and passed everyone but Alain Prost (his future teammate) in 31 laps.  Thus began a legendary career.  Since then greats  such as Schumacher, Coulthard, Alonso, and Keke’s kid have won the race multiple times.  This year we might be seeing the inter-team rivalry at Mercedes continue, but who knows?  The Silver Arrows can’t be dominant forever.  This race, like all Formula 1 races, are boradcast on the NBC family of networks.  This race, being legendary and all, is on the full peacock: NBC.

Belgian Grand Prix, August 28: You come into the corner downhill, have a sudden change [of direction] at the bottom and then go very steep uphill. From the cockpit, you cannot see the exit and as you come over the crest, you don’t know where you will land. It is a crucial corner for the timed lap, and also in the race, because you have a long uphill straight afterwards where you can lose a lot of time if you make a mistake. But it is also an important corner for the driver’s feeling. It makes a special impression every lap, because you also have a compression in your body as you go through the bottom of the corner. It is very strange – but good fun as well. – Fernando Alonso, describing the Eau Rouge-Radillon combination.

Yeah, and they take it at over 180mph.  Reason enough to watch.  Another reason? The weather can, and will, be different at one end of the track than the other.  It’s a gorgeous track being driven by some of the best drivers in the world.  And Pastor.  This one will be on NBCSN.

Japanese Grand Prix, October 9: Suzuka has been hosting Japan’s F1 race off and on since 1987.  It’s the only Figure 8 track on the F1 calendar, and has been the backdrop for some legendary battles.  The Prost-Senna battles from 1988-1990 determined championships and became the stuff of legend.  It’s also seen its tragedies.  The 2014 race saw the tragic wreck of Jules Bianchi, which led to his untimely passing.  Forza Jules.

The race will be broadcast on NBCSN. And now back to sports car racing!

24H Series

With its inaugural season in 2008, the 24H Series is a newcomer to the sports car world.  As its name implies, it’s long races.  Either 12 or 24 hours, with fields  populated by GT3, GT4, touring, sports and silhouette cars.  The series hosts the first endurance race of the year, Dubai, and spends time at some great tracks across the globe.  Let’s start the tour in jolly old England

Silverstone, April 1-3: 24 hours on April Fool’s Day?  I am in!  And you should be too.  I may or may not have had the Dubai race on at work, via Radio Le Mans, and it was an excellent broadcast.  And as we’ve seen, Silverstone is a fantastic place for a 24 Hour race.  They put all the races on their YouTube page after the checkered flag flies, so you can watch the races whenever you’d like!

Paul Ricard, July 15-17: Back to back endurance races in France?  Why not?  While Circuit Paul Ricard doesn’t include public roads like Circuit del la Sarthe, it does have it’s share of history.  It hosted the French Grand Prix fourteen times between 1971 and 1990, and it’s the track Alain Prost cut his teeth on.  It’s a 3.6 mile track, and like Sarthe it had its monster straight neutered with a chicane.  It’s a very fast and flat track, and should provide plenty of action over the course of the 24 hour race.

Barcelona, September 2-4:  Oh I’m going to tell you to watch a Spanish race, just not the F1 race.  If you’re going to spend time at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, why not spend an entire day?  2.89 miles, 16 turns, elevation changes, ever changing winds that make getting the aero package right insanely difficult (ask Fernando Alonso about the wind) will make this seem like several races in one.  Go fire up Forza and give it a few laps, then tell me you don’t want to see a full field of GT cars running door to door.

World Endurance Championship

“Where’s Le Mans???” IT’S IN HERE! How dare you think I’d forget Le Mans.  And I’ve thrown in a couple of other notable races to book end your WEC viewing experience.

6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, May 7: You should watch all the races at Spa that you possibly can!  The WEC field will be slower than the F1 field, but the fact that this is a six hour race at the beginning of summer will make this a fantastic viewing experience.  Plus you get to see the prototypes from Audi, Porsche and Toyota battle it out while knifing through the GT cars!  It’s going to be quite a sight.  And a sight you can watch via the stream on the WEC website, with commentary from Radio Le Mans!

24 Heures du Mans, June 18-19: Just look at that pretentious spelling!  If this were any other race you’d have every right to punch me the next time you saw me, BUT THIS IS LE MANS!  It deserves to have that ridiculous spelling, because THIS is the crown jewel of endurance racing.  I don’t need to explain the history.  I don’t need to tell you about Ford going  1-2-3 in 1966, of a privateer team in a McLaren F1 GTR (essentially a street car) taking the OVERALL win in 1995, or Mark Webber going ass over tea kettle in a Mercedes-Benz CLR during a practice session in 1998.  There are many great races on this list, but this is THE ONE you should watch.  From beginning to end, from tech inspection to the parade, from practice and qualifying to the race itself.  Watch every second of this you can, tune into Radio Le Mans and listen, if you can jump on plane and watch it live, do it!

6 Hours of Fuji, October 16: The other home of the Japanese Grand Prix!  Unfortunately Fuji hasn’t hosted the race since 2010, but it has hosted the old World Sports Car Championship, D1, JGTC, Super GT, Super Taikyu, and World Endurance Championship.  This is a storied circuit.  It’s where James Hunt and Niki Lauda settled the 1976 Formula 1 Driver’s Championship, and it’s also the site of an ugly incident during a JGTC race in 1998.  Anyway, this track is always interesting.  The first turn is a sharp right hander, coming at the end of a nearly mile long front straightaway.  Watch the race just to see how that is navigated by the field.

 

And there you have it.  14 more races for you to watch, and enjoy.  We’re not responsible for any strain this puts on your personal or professional relationships, loss of employment, or anything else that might happen because you decide to spend all your time watching great racing.

 

*”But Michael, there’s a Formula 1 race in Texas!” Yeah, I know.  I also know that it’s subject to being canceled, so it’s not on the list.
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

 

21st Jan2016

V8 Super Cars are Best Super Cars

by Michael Chandler

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Take the raw V8 power of a NASCAR Sprint Cup car, the door banging circuit racing of the British Touring Car Championship, and the healthy love of country and booze that the Australians have in spades, and combine them.  What do you get?  You get the Australian V8 Super Car series.  It’s glorious racing with amazing fans, and you should watch a race.  Or several.

12th Oct2015

Weekend Round Up October 10-11

by Michael Chandler

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Many things happened this weekend, perhaps you missed something.  Don’t worry, we did too, BUT we’re bringing you the highlights right here!

Craig Lowndes Gets 6th Bathurst 1000 Victory

Steven Richards was also driving the car, but not at the same time as Lowndes.  Lowndes did it without hands for a bit though, so that’s something.  The win in Australia’s great race was Holden’s 13th.  Lowndes’s Red Bull Racing Australia teammate, Jamie Whincup, set a lap record in the closing laps of the race while in 18th place. Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen in the Pepsi Max Crew Ford Falcon finished the race in second, fighting back after receiving two black flag penalties.  Garth Tander and Warren Luff, in the Holden Racing Team Commodore, rounded out the podium.  The first ever all female driver line up of Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie finished the race in 21st.

Mercedes Locks Up F1 Constructor’s Championship

 

Mercedes, as a team, needed to score a total of 3 more points than Ferrari to secure the championship.  Lewis Hamilton winning the race overall helped, Nico Rosberg retiring didn’t.  With Sebastian Vettel in second and Kimi Raikkonen in fifth made it look like Mercedes would have to wait, but then Kimi challenged Valtteri Bottas in a turn and proceeded to punt his fellow countryman.  Kimi, who knows what he’s doing, was awarded a 30 second penalty for this act of Fin on Fin violence. That 30 seconds put him in 8th, and that allowed Mercedes to win back-to-back constructor’s titles.

Patrick Dempsey Won His First WEC Race

 

The Fuji 6 Hour was a wet affair, but Patrick Dempsey and Marco Seefried didn’t seem to mind as they took the win in the GTE-Am class.  The win is Dempsey’s first in World Endurance Championship competition, and was another win for manufacturer from Stuttgart.  Porsche finished 1-2 in LMP1, with the #18 919 Hybrid being ordered to let the #17 of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartly and Timo Bernhard take over the lead.  The reason for the order was because the driver line up in the #17 car has a better chance of winning the driver’s championship.

G-Drive Punts KCMG to Take Lead in WEC LMP2 Championship

Entering the race KCMG was ahead of G-Drive for the LMP2 Championship.  During the race, both G-Drive drivers (Romain Rusinov in the #26 and Gustovo Yacaman in the #28) mixed it up with the lone KCMG entry, driven by Richard Bradley.  Rusinov battled hard, and made contact with Bradley.  The Stewards ruled the contact part of racing for the lead and issued no penalties.  They were both on the lead lap, the #28 of Gustavo Yacaman was a lap down.  After the final fuel stops, Yacaman spun Bradley, which forced the KCMG car to pit for a new tire.  After fighting back to third place, Yacaman then punted the KCMG.  KCMG received a DNF, and Yacaman’s actions are under investigation.  As of now, the #26 G-Drive car holds a 12 point lead over KCMG’s lone #47 car in the LMP2 Championship.

Joey Logano Wins In Charlotte, But This Happened Too

 

Kyle Busch (in the pink #18) kinda looked like he was going to duck into the pits, and Kyle Larson (in the #42) decided he wanted in too.  Busch didn’t get on pit lane, at least not by choice.  Kyle Larson, from high on the track, came all the way down in a gloriously failed attempt to pit.  Larson hit Busch, and the Commitment Cone, and both wound up on pit lane.  Larson managed to not hit the wall after spinning, and they both managed to stay on the lead lap.

Fredric Aasbo Wins in Irwindale

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He had a commanding lead heading into Forumla D’s final event of the season, and he kept it.  The win secured his Formula D championship, his Formula D World Championship, and helped Scion and Hankook lock up their respective championships in the series as well.

And there you have it, all the weekend’s highlights in one place so you can get on with your day.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.