Ресурс о индустрии автоспорта

Вернуться Ресурс о индустрии автоспорта > Общий раздел > Тусовка

Тусовка Мероприятия не соревновательные, встречи, выставки, путешествия и т.д.

Опции темы Поиск в этой теме Опции просмотра
Старый 14.01.2013   #1
На третей
Регистрация: 05.11.2011
Сообщений: 1,115

I’m like a kid in a candy store at most any car show I go to, but Autosport is one of those general interest shows which has me pinging back and forth across the spider’s web of my automotive interest. Here are some of the cars which made me stop, drop and drool. First up is this newly-completed Nissan R33 silhouette racer from Modern Vehicle Services on the NGK stand.

Tucked away amongst the throng I almost missed it; in fact it was the height of the roof and front end that caught me. How low? Just 44.5 inches – or roughly 111cm. To put it in perspective just take a look at the relative height of the crowd-barrier poles next to it…

Wherever you look on this thing there were expertly observed details. A rear-mounted radiator. Aero throughout, with an alloy flat-floor hidden away.

Front and rear double wishbone suspension and 13x18in Dymag, centre-lock, carbon wheels. That width is needed to deal with the 700bhp RB26 motor…

…that’s now mounted upright instead of on a slant as per the original. The motor has been taken out to 2,771cc and uses twin Garrett 28/60R-10 GT roller-bearing turbos.

There’s an Elite six-speed sequential ‘box under that alloy lever, the whole lot held in place by a custom spaceframe chassis. In fact, the only piece of steel R33 bodywork left now is the roof skin – the rest is GRP. It’s the love child of Japanese GT, NASCAR and a whole heap of other onlookers. Want to see more? Let us know.

I’m not really a fan of open-wheeled racing; it’s not that I dislike it, I just don’t find it particularly interesting or follow it. But I did have a slot-car set when I was a kid, and as I wandered the halls this Yardley BRM caught my eye, so I decided to investigate further.

The first thing is the aesthetics: it’s just a lovely, simple thing to look at it. It’s got cool (now retro) graphics and a hand-made feel to it, yet look at that V12 and the way the suspension mounts to it.

Turning to my left I looked down and imagined slipping into the cockpit. Any single-seater must be a special place to sit, but the Yardley BRM has this wonderful sculpted feel to it. The hand-worked side bulges are just enough, but not too much.

This is my favourite angle though, by far. It looks so toy-like; not overly complex or technical, just built for speed. This video gives you an idea of just how good it can sound.

Looking closer you can see wonderful details like the coolant pipe that runs to the front of the car; there was no room inside so it’s been painted to blend in with the livery.

I walked away from the Yardley BRM with a new-found interest. I think I need to go to a Masters Historic Meeting this year, or maybe the Six Hour Races at Spa in September? I need to see these in anger.

I really like dirt, off-road racing and generally hooning around jumping stuff. I also really like Land Rover, so I got quite excited when I saw what I thought was a modified Evoque. But then I realised this isn’t one: it’s a 4/5th-scale racer inspired by it. The Evoque model was released a couple of years ago and has done wonders for global sales, but what it also does is give specialist builders like Milner Off Road Racing a slippery shape to start with rather than the more traditional, boxy Land Rover profiles. As we all know, when it comes to racing, aerodynamics count.

Ignore the wheels and tyres – as one of the guys involved in the project Ryan tells me, they’re there to entice members of the press in like me. Shiny, shiny: we really are automotive magpies at heart.

And of course to go with the full spaceframe chassis is some gorgeous composite work: these doors, for example. It makes me smile to think of just how much abuse and dirt will be thrown at this vehicle, all in the line of duty.

The front clam-shell levers up, hinged at the base of the screen to reveal the radiator, fans and front suspension. One day my beach buggy will have a set-up like this. I need to make it happen.

Safely mid-mounted in front of that exhaust and long-travel suspension is a 550bhp supercharged Jaguar V8, so you see that the aero is really needed. Can you imagine how fast this thing can get through the gears?

With the clam-shell closed, the aggresive rear end looks really good. You can also make out the exhaust cut outs where the rear window would have been… Not that this is an Evoque. Everything has been made bespoke by Milner, and the best bit is that you can buy one. I could buy one. We could all buy one. It would be amazing.

During the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s the oval racing scene in the UK was booming. There were two kings throughout that period: George Polley, who favoured the smaller Anglia 105E, and Barry ‘Leapy’ Lee, who was usually found in an Escort. Oval – or hot rod racing as it’s called in the UK – is a non-contact sport which takes place on a short track, running in one direction only. Fast and action packed, the racers became celebrities with TV coverage and world titles at stake. Barry Lee was perhaps the biggest character of them all.

Burton Power have been around since the year dot in the UK tuning scene and this replica of their sponsored Mk2 is beautifully done. Look at how simple it is inside: the Luke harness may be more modern but the Corbeau bucket seat looks right on period.

The thing that surprised me about this Escort was the fact it’s still using the RS2000 snoop nose-cone. The model came in both flat and droop-nose, and I just assumed for the rigours of oval racing that a flat front would be less vulnerable. I guess Barry was always out front so it didn’t matter.

The whole car is a classic Ford-lover’s paradise, but those Compomotive slots are something else: genuine three-pieces, they must have been languishing in a garage somewhere. You can also just make out the company’s old logo in this picture. I need one of those on my Volvo, which also has Compomotives fitted.

These rear window louvres were also all the rage back in the day, so I really enjoyed seeing this one in use. Barry used to wear a gold race suit and is still very much around to this day, so it would be great to see the two together sometime. No doubt there’s a couple of hundred brake horspower Pinto under the bonnet waiting to be ragged.

This is the brand new Radical RXC. I’ve often thought that it’s a brave move calling a car company Radical. But you know what? With models like this they’re more than worthy of the title.

Radical are known for their race and track-day cars but I believe I’m right in saying that the RXC is their first closed cockpit vehicle. In case you’ve never heard of Radical they are the Nürburgring Production Car lap record holders. With three and half years of R&D going in to the RXC they’re branding it as the world’s most extreme road-legal coupe. That rear wing and all the other aero parts are capable of giving 900kgs of downforce at maximum speed, which is incidentally also how much the RXC weighs.

Mid-mounted is this Ford V6 engine. To be precise it’s a 3,700cc, double overhead cam, 24v V6 with variable cam timing and sequential multi-port injection. Mated to a Quaife bespoke built seven-speed ‘box with paddle shift and autoblip, the RXC has 380bhp… And yes, like I said before it weighs 900kgs. Hi, can I get a great power-to-weight figure? Yup.

As much as I love pop-up headlights, I also love gull wing doors. With them open you can see the exposed spaceframe and just how bare bones it all is.

At Autosport each year I see the Braid wheels stand, yet I never seemed to see them fitted to anything outside of a race championship. Now I can rest easy.

It’s an obvious shot, but one I had to take. A good few years back Lambo-style doors were all the rage. Forget the image and there is something very special about lifting a door open rather than swinging it…

Although it’s obviously aimed at the market who want to drive to a track and then home again, realistically you could cross a continent in here. If you wanted – and yes, I want.

As they say about brides, you have something old, something new, something borrowed and now here’s something blue. I love old race transporters and thankfully over the last 20 years key enthusiasts have too, so now money is put in to renovating these old leviathans.

I interviewed Sir Jackie Stewart in the summer of 2012 and he was every bit the legend you’d expect. Seeing his name here next to Francois Cevert, his team mate and good friend, made me remember what he told me about the fragility of life and the mortality rate of drivers through the ’60s and ’70s.
I love living on the very edge of existence, seeing cars like the Radical revealed for the first time, or the Milner too, but sometimes in the corner of an exhibition hall in England I get transported back to a time when sideburns were considered to be part of the F1 safety uniform and the world was a simpler place.
This transporter took me there, now I just want to load it up with my spotlight cars and hit the road.
Kosov вне форума   Ответить с цитированием
Старый 19.01.2013   #2
На третей
Регистрация: 05.11.2011
Сообщений: 1,115
По умолчанию

The timing of the Autosport International show isn’t by chance: early January is the ideal time to sort out the year ahead, and the halls of the Birmingham NEC became the place to be if you were buying or selling – or in fact doing anything to do with – competition cars in the UK and Europe.

With racing and performance cars everywhere you looked, a plethora of race series bidding for your attention and the big Engineering exhibition hall next door, you could get up to speed on decades of racing technology, and see that development right in front of your eyes through the cars on display.

For the motorsport fan, it’s simply racing heaven. Whether you wanted a track day sports-racer or drift machine…

A retro touring car, quirky low-volume street machine or Formula 1 single seater of any vintage…

A historic saloon, World Rally car or a classic sportscar, Autosport had a corner dedicated to you.

It wasn’t all about traditional circuit racing either: Forge are making a habit or turning heads with their cars at Autosport, and for 2013 they brought along their latest creation, this MkI Golf – and as ever it had been prepared to a meticulously high standard.

It’s an incredibly build: the ’81 chassis has been completely stripped back, dipped and rebuilt with a full T45 cage and 400bhp 1.8 engine hopped up with a Garrett turbo. Forge are targeting hill-climbs, and the Berg Cup in particular, but we should see it in other series in the UK as well: Liam Doran is being lined up to take on some Time Attack rounds. Stay tuned for more on this car in the near future.

Last year’s Forge offering, the Doran family’s monstrous Ford RS200, was also back at the NEC, this time over on another stand and displaying both the upgrades it’s seen during the year and plenty of scars from its outing at Pikes Peak.

Another significant car that we’ll looking out for this year is the Gobstopper II Time Attacker from Roger Clark Motorsport, the spiritual successor to their original GC8 Impreza.

Continuing around the halls, this up-gunned MkII Escort was looking hairy: it’s aimed at the Eurosaloons series, a championship open to pretty much any tourer or saloon car. They run everything from SuperTourers through this kind of modified saloon to straight production hatchbacks – we’ll have to catch a round in 2013.

The DeltaWing was on display, having undergone some serious development work since its last race. Things are looking good: I can easily imagine a big grid of these out racing. It’s definitely the future.

Like any major car show, the first couple of days of Autosport saw a slew of announcements from teams, manufacturers, drivers and series, and you could see huddles of people around each booth hammering out deals for everything from a brand new McLaren MP4-12C GT3 to a supply of rubber grommets.

So with all this choice for those people looking for a ride in 2013, there would be a difficult choice ahead…

The British GT Championship is on a high at the moment: the grids are up and the number of manufacturers involved across the two main classes is bigger than ever – from Mazda’s diminutive but potent MX-5 in GT4…

…to the big guns in GT3. Even some major European teams are joining the British series in 2013 – it’s looking even stronger than the FIA GT Championship at the moment.

GT racing is incredibly popular in general and of course Porsches are still a solid choice…

…but there are plenty of other manufacturers looking to take their crown. Radical for instance, and Lotus also make some fabulous cars…

…though sometimes it’s difficult to judge what state the company is in overall. But going by the enthusiasm for the brand and the exciting new cars launched at Autosport (the Exige V6 CupR and its road-going sister, the Cup) things are looking good for 2013.

There are always a surprising number of low-volume sporscar manufacturers trying to break into the trackday and performance market: Praga were back at Autosport with their carbon-heavy R1 trackday car, which looked super aggressive – like a mini prototype. It weighs just 590kg, so it’s going to be pretty lively out on a circuit.

Similarly, Aquila brought their CR1 over from Denmark: another hardcore, dedicated trackday racer and GT weapon.

Forgive me father, for I have looked at the Sin – and I have liked it. The space frame, V8-powered Sin 01 is an Anglo-German joint venture, the result of a meeting between two companies at last year’s Autosport show. The show really is the place where great things start…

Our friends from BAC had the Mono on show in the Performance Car hall, and a constant stream of interest from representative from around the world.

It’s only the second time I’ve seen the car in the flesh, and this time I had a lot more time to get a proper look. It’s an utterly beguiling machine: an engineering delight, and with that two-tone bodywork it seems like the white section is floating in the air like a stingray. From the rear you also really see how tightly packaged the engine is.

So, it’s not like there’s a shortage of choice if you want to buy a complete car. But how about if you want to build it yourself?

Enter the Engineering Hall and a whole range of suppliers who would allow you to effectively walk out with every component you’d need by the end of your day at the NEC.

There are a whole lot of firms who concentrate on one car, like this company specialising in Lotus Elises. An Elise is currently top of my shopping list… Though I’m not sure it would be as well appointed as this one!

The Engineering section demonstrated the cutting-edge technology that’s available to anyone with the resources. Carbon parts and high-end machining is no longer the preserve of just the F1 teams.

The precision that can be achieved with modern manufacturing is stunning.

But it’s also possible to get into racing without spending thousands of pounds. You just need the will – and the help of some friends. Students from the Motorsport Club of the University Of West Scotland were building up this Micra to F1000 rally spec – live at the show. The plan was to finish on the final day of Autosport, submit it to scrutineering – and then go rallying!

Around the corner, students from Glyndwr University were readying this 1303S Beetle for the 2013 National Auto Grass Championship: a VR6 2.8-litre with triple carbs was being installed up front, with Bilstein shocks and an Audi Coupé rear beam axle also on the menu.

As the squishy bit behind the wheel is rather important, manufacturers of helmets, belts and seats were also out in force.

Getting the latest into on racing seats at least allowed the opportunity of a quick sit-down between long exposures…

Getting involved is really the main aim of Autosport. It’s about giving people the itch to take part – and then the means to do it.

That doesn’t necessarily have to mean getting behind the wheel: for every driver there are hundreds of people working behind the scene in teams and, even more importantly, supporting organisations.

You can always get your kicks without leaving home of course. One of the things I really noticed this year was the increase in the amount of simulator equipment on show, both from the set-it-up-at-home and a you’ll-need-to-rent-an-aircraft-hangar end of the scale.

The quality of sim gear now is truly astounding: I thought I used to be pretty up there with a rubberised wheel and pedals, but now authentic racing equipment is repurposed for the well-appointed living room.

The most impressive of the set-ups are RoboCop in their stature. Please put down your wheel. You have 20 seconds to comply.

Me? I’d even be happy with a thumb controller.

You can tell I had rather too much fun thinking up Speedhunters Skunkworks car mash-ups from the fantastic array I saw at Autosport. As a motorsport nerd these kind of shows are a fantastic way of passively soaking up the sport. But it also shows that Autosport is effective at its main purpose: more than ever I’m determined to get out and race more this year.

So, let’s see what we find out on track during 2013. And you never know, maybe someone is already working on some of these projects for 2014?…
Kosov вне форума   Ответить с цитированием

2013, autosport, international, spotlight-o-rama

Опции темы Поиск в этой теме
Поиск в этой теме:

Расширенный поиск
Опции просмотра

Ваши права в разделе
Вы не можете создавать новые темы
Вы не можете отвечать в темах
Вы не можете прикреплять вложения
Вы не можете редактировать свои сообщения

BB коды Вкл.
Смайлы Вкл.
[IMG] код Вкл.
HTML код Выкл.

Быстрый переход

Текущее время: 12:50. Часовой пояс GMT+4 +4.