Tag Archives: FIA

El Capitan

30 Jun


This is what the Spanish settlers called this famous mountain in the Colorado Rockies. Standing just over 14,000 feet, it’s one of the tallest mountains in the US, as well as being a national landmark. And since the early 1900’s, it’s been home to one of the most heart pumping races in all of motorsport.

The Race to the Clouds as it’s come to be known, used to be run on a course that was paved in some parts, and unpaved gravel in others. The cojones it takes to run here are massive; big heavy brass ones. In 2011, the road was fully paved. However that doesn’t make it all that “safe”. The course measures just over 14 miles long, and rises 4700 feet during its 156 turns. Between the hairy turns, the normal mechanical attricion rate, combined with the effects the altitude has on anything with a fuel burning engine, it’s always a blast to watch

This year we may see some new course records broken – to tune into the live feed, Racecar Engineering magazine has the event live streaming on their site.

Here’s the live feed link: http://www.racecar-engineering.com/articles/features/test-page/

While you’re at it, if you’ve never seen the famous short film Climb Dance, it’s most certainly worth a watch.



14 Jun


The FIA GT1 Spec R35 GTR – high res, so click and save as a desktop

Up Close and Personal with FIA Spec Ferrari 458 (High Res)

21 Mar

Pics courtest of Robert from

An amazing set of shots of the Ferrari 458 in FIA spec. Pics were taken at the 2012 FIA WEC event at Fuji Raceway, Japan.

Formula 1 Rule Changes for the 2013 Season

14 Mar

F1: Team guide 2013

On the heels of the Australian GP start this weekend, figured some might enjoy seeing what is different this year vs last year.

Courtesy of Racecar Engineering magazine:

With the current breed of 2.4 litre V8 engines set to be replaced by more efficient 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 units in 2014, major changes in terms of car design have inevitably become a key area of development focus for the Formula 1 paddock. With this in mind, the rules and regulations for 2013 will remain much the same as those seen in 2012, albeit with a small number of minor alterations; each of which could potentially create an even more tightly packed grid than that which brought us last season’s epic battle for honours…

The major rule changes both technical and sporting are detailed below.

Active Double-DRS Systems (aka the fluidic switch / the device)
For the season ahead, active drag reducing devices which make use of the DRS flap have been banned. In 2012, Mercedes developed a concept which allowed air to be channelled through an opening in the rear wing endplate when DRS was activated, subsequently travelling through the car to help stall the front wing and thus reducing drag. Not only is it now forbidden for the rear wing end plates to transport air around the car, but a similar rule also applies to the centre section of the front wing. This will not, however, affect passive systems as trialled by Lotus F1 Team last season. Indeed there will be much development in this area, with Sauber, Lotus, Red Bull and possibly Ferrari having trialled the concepts in testing.
What people call passive DRS is the device that Lotus trialled last year which will uses some speed sensing device whatever that may be to augment or replace the DRS effect where DRS is not allowed. It is an interesting area, but it is a very tricky area to get a signal that is reliable and withstand things like following another car, it is not straight forward” adds Red Bull’s Adrian Newey.

Stepped Noses & vanity panels
When regulations were announced for the 2012 season which would see teams forced to lower the overall height of the car nose for safety reasons, much was made of the somewhat unappealing ‘stepped’ design solution developed by the majority of the grid. While the maximum height limit remains unaltered for this season, teams now have the option of utilising a small piece of laminate – known as a ‘modesty’ or ‘vanity’ panel – to smooth the appearance of the nose section.


Williams has trialled both a stepped nose (above) and a smooth nose on its 2013 car (below). Red Bull and Sauber both have partial panels with vents whilst Caterham and Lotus have no panel at all.


Whilst there has been much discussion about the panels many Technical Directors play down the importance of them “We feel that we want to run the nose and chassis has high as possible, so we have done that and used the vanity panel, aerodynamically it is close to neutral but it does tidy up the flow on the top of the chassis but the improvement is very small. It is not an area of performance at all. It is not what is going on on top of the chassis is whats going on underneath that matters” explains Force India’s Andrew Green.

Front Wing Stiffness
Flexible bodywork became a significant talking point over the course of last season, with a number of teams believed to have excessive movement in their front wing design and subsequently gaining aerodynamic performance. As a result of this a further deflection test has been introduced to ensure that the front wing assembly remains as rigid as possible as speed increases, thereby reducing the possibility of such advantages being made. Whilst continuing to limit the extent to which the tips of the front wing ‘droop’ under load, the new test will also ensure that the assembly is not capable of rotating the nose up or down around a lap.

Front Wing Tolerances
In years gone by, it has become accepted practice to allow front wing systems to run up to 3mm lower than the regulations prescribed. Decades ago when this trend was established, it was a nod to the difficulties of manufacturing and measuring to a precise tolerance. However, for many years it has been possible to be much more accurate in the production process, and so from 2013 the front wing height dimensions will need to be respected without any implied tolerance. This means that all teams will be forced to lift their front wing assemblies by up to 3mm, giving rise to a certain loss of front wing performance.

Suspension Members
A traditional Formula 1 suspension system has 6 members, namely the top wishbone front leg, top wishbone rear leg, lower wishbone front leg, lower wishbone rear leg, trackrod and push / pullrod. Although not previously exploited, it became clear during the 2012 season that it was possible to make a suspension system which satisfied the written rules, but which consisted of more than 6 members. The potential benefit of such a system would be that it could afford more aerodynamic surfaces to exploit. To forestall such a system, it has been agreed to amend the rules to limit all suspension systems to just 6 members.

Minimum Weight
Minor increases in the weight of Pirelli’s 2013 Formula 1 tyre range have led to the minimum weight limit for each car and driver combination to be increased from 640kg to 642kg, with mandatory weight distribution regulations adjusted accordingly.

Chassis Testing
In the weeks building up to the first test all Formula 1 chassis are subjected to a series of squeeze tests, where large forces are applied to the chassis to prove that it is strong enough to be used in anger. In the past, the first chassis under production was subjected to a special series of tests that were at 120% of the level applied to each subsequent chassis. As this difference was agreed to be somewhat spurious, the rule has been changed for 2013 such that all chassis must now demonstrate satisfactory performance at the higher level of load given to the first chassis, thereby providing further assurances in terms of driver safety.

DRS Deployment
Since its inception in 2011, drivers have been free to deploy the DRS [Drag Reduction System] at any time which suits them during practice and qualifying. In 2013 however, new rules stipulate that DRS usage will be restricted to designated activation zones as used during the races themselves as part of on-going efforts to increase on-track safety.

The changes to the DRS rules de-power the effect of DRS on lap time so there is slightly less incentive to put a lot of effort into maximising the switch versus the stability but there is still lap time there so is still a competitive pressure to make a knife edge wing profile which is difficult to do” explains James Allison or Lotus.

Force Majeure
In previous seasons, the ‘force majeure’ allowance has provided teams with some leeway in terms of fuel levels remaining in a car should it stop on the track during qualifying. This element has been removed from the regulations for 2013, with rules now stating that any car which stops out on track must have enough fuel for the mandatory one-litre minimum sample plus an additional amount proportional to the amount of fuel that would have been used in returning to the pits [as determined by the FIA].

With the 2013 grid fielding an entry list of 22 cars – reduced from 24 last season – there will now be six drivers eliminated at the end of both the Q1 and Q2 qualifying sessions as opposed to the seven ruled out at each stage in 2012.

Pirelli has substantially revised the design of the tyres used on the cars this season



1 Feb


WTCC in the USA

23 Sep

If you want to see some bumper to bumper racing, the kind that is equal parts SCCA runoffs and the bumping and grinding scenes from Days of Thunder, then tune in to Speed Channel today at 10 PM Eastern tonight for WTCC.

World Touring Car Championship is non stop action with every major manufacturer participating. Chevrolet, Mercedes, BMW, Seat, Ford combine in a field that’s 30 cars deep. They bill themselves as “Real Cars, Real Racing”, and it really is. This is the 3rd most popular series in the world behind F1 and WRC and today’s race in Sonoma is the first time it’s in the US. Props to Speed for covering it same day.


Weekend of Racing

29 May

This weekend was an enthusiasts dream here in North America, with the Indy 500, Monaco GP and Coca Cola 600 races all taking place.

But in Spain, some of the best racing of the year took place in the FIA GT Championship in Navarra, Spain

Preview of the Race:

Weekend Race Roundup:

the full race is online as well, but for some reason the FIA blocks viewing of it in the US. If anyone has a link, let us know

Bride Zeta III Japan Series

20 Aug

In the spirit of the Japan Series seats introduced last year, Bride Japan has now put together a special version of the Zeta III. This features a carbon back, lightweight (16.5 lbs) shell, full FIA approval, and the special Japan Series logo and fabric. We have a limited number of these available, and package deals are being offered with the required bases/sliders. Contact us for details!

Road Presence

25 Apr

Uh…yeah, just a wee bit! For sale over at Bingo Sports. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

The CLK GTR. One of AMG/Mercedes most amazing creations. This car was designed and built for one purpose – to race. The car was homologized for road use in extremely limited #’s (25 total), and it dominated the FIA GT Championship. I’m sure alot of you guys have seen the infamous videos of the race going versions flipping at LeMans in ’99 (twice!). Here was one of the crashes

And a neat mini-documentary on the development of this amazing machine

Part 1

Part 2

USF1: Save the Drama for Yo Momma

25 Feb

There is so much controversy surrounding the state of affairs at USF1, that it’s beginning to look less like the birth of a domestic F1 team, and more like a testosterone fuelled episode of Real Housewives (insert city du jour here). Alleged meetings by the FIA to the headquarters were said to have taken place yesterday – but no one is talking about whether it even happened, let alone what all went down.

Quite honestly, this whole thing is getting old. I understand alot of time, effort and money has probably been poured into the formation of this program, but why not just come out and be upfront about what’s really going on? At the very least, it keeps everyone from fanning the fires. We’ve got the first race in about 2 weeks. I think it’s clear by now that USF1 will not be part of that event, and rumor has it that they’ve now petitioned the FIA to allow them to enter in race 4. I’d love to see this get off the ground, as I know alot of fellow US Formula One fans would, but so far, it seems like things were either rushed to get a program off the ground without the proper infrastructure in place, or promises were made and subsequently broken by those who hold the purse strings (or a combination thereof). Either way, it doesn’t look good for the team, or the sport. I think it’s time to fish or cut bait. You’ve either got a team or you don’t. Don’t turn this whole thing into ameteur hour just to save some face. If you’re serious about getting the team on the roster, plan it out carefully, get your ducks in a row, quadruple check that all the promises made to you are bankable, and take the slow and steady route. This is a fledgling organization trying to compete on the world stage with the likes of Ferrari and Renault. The team has the basics, but I think the sport can only stand one Cinderella story every few years. Proper planning is what separates the contenders from the also-rans in my opinion. I truly hope it comes together, but I hope to see it executed as it needs to be, and not hastily thrown together only to see it disappear quickly.

Start Your Engines!

3 Jan

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The winter nap seemed a bit brief this year, but for us motorsport junkies, that’s just fine! 2010 is here, and already we can look forward to new events! The first one I am interested in starts in a couple of weeks – the 24Hours of Dubai. Teams from all over Europe, Asia and the Mid East converge on the small country to duke it out.

The 997 GT3 Cup seems to be the car of choice this year, but the field is pretty diverse. Everything from a Holden Commodore, to Ginetta G50, FR500 Mustang, Civic Type R, Evo X, Lotus Exige, Z4’s, Renault Clio’s and more! Pretty neat. Unfortunately not a single Nissan is running 😦 Team Rush from Japan is even competing with an old school 964 Porsche Turbo.

While the event is not televised in the US, you can stay up to date on the events website 24 Hours of Dubai Website – Click Here

There is also a dedicated You Tube Channel to the event. Not sure what sort of content they will have, but you can check it out 24H Dubai Youtube Channel – Click Here

Breaking News

19 Jun

A new era is coming for Formula 1; the Formula One Teams Association have announced they will be leaving Formula One and starting a breakaway world championship. I’ve been following the fighting back and forth pretty closely over the past few weeks on sites like f1-live.com and grandprix.com and I can’t say that I’m surprised.

Hopefully the FOTA showing that they’re not opposed to breaking away will bring the FIA back to the table to negotiate a little more. I’m not sure what I think about a break away series yet, other that I think the FIA is being a bit ridiculous to ask some of the top teams to cut expenditures by as much as 90% from one year to the next. It’s reported that some of the top teams spend in excess of €450 million and the FIA wants to reduce this to €45 million by next year. The one thing I do know is that F1 is not the same without teams like Ferrari, McLaren, and Renault.

Quick edit. –  A few weeks ago, Flavio Briatore was quoted as saying “It is not correct that teams of GP2 race with us; it brings down our image and our technology.  We are devaluing Formula One, [w]e want a Formula One that is unique, with the best technology and the best teams and drivers.”  I have to agree with his statements.  F1 has been and should be the pinnacle of motor sports, imposing such a strict budget cap will severely limit the level of innovation that we see within the sport.

If we look at it this in terms of the 2009 season “[a]t a time when we are talking about bringing down budgets to £30 million a year, we have spent £15m on KERS and and other £10m on diffusers. So that leaves five more for travel and paying the employees!” It’s hard not to agree.

From F1-Live

In the dead of Thursday night in England, the eight Formula One Teams’ Association members issued a statement announcing that a breakaway world championship will be formed.

The announcement came on the eve of the FIA’s Friday deadline for making unconditional entries for the official Formula One series, and amid the sides’ deadlocked negotiations about income, governance and rules.

“The FIA and the commercial rights holder have campaigned to divide FOTA,” the statement read. “The wishes of the majority of the teams are ignored.

“Furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006.”

The statement was issued on behalf of BMW, Brawn, Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Toyota and the two Red Bull owned teams.

“These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners,” said FOTA.

The details of the new series, including a name, circuits and starting year, have not yet been announced. At present its grid would feature 16 cars, unless the eight involved teams each field three drivers.

“This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders,” the statement continued.

“The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.”

The formation of the series will spark more political turmoil, especially given that Ferrari and the Red Bull teams were unconditionally included on the FIA’s entry list, due to disputed agreements with the F1 ruling bodies.

F1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone, whose Formula One Management is contracted to and aligned with the FIA and President Max Mosley, has already vowed to legally challenge the defection of teams, and any attempts to negotiate with his contracted promoters and TV broadcasters.

The inclusion on the breakaway series of loved venues including Monaco, Spa and Monza will therefore be contested, while FOTA’s plans do not involve the successful British team and expelled FOTA member Williams, which like Force India is committed to the FIA championship next year.

Italian Couger

7 Jun

Lately I’ve been looking lovingly at some of the great race cars of the 70’s. What I like best is that they resemble what comes mind when I think of what a modern race car is, yet they do so with a raw, seat of the pants flair. They were purposeful looking, and the 70’s were a time where the manufacturing processes finally began to catch up to the engineering knowledge base.

So, here is today’s entry – the Lancia Beta Montecarlo. Lancia’s have always been a bit of an eccentric marque, and despite all the nightmare stories of ownership, who wouldn’t want one of these in their garage? I’m also a sucker for that Martini Livery, as it’s just looks so damn good on just about any sports car.

Don’t let all the wild bodywork fool you. Underneath lurks a 4 cylinder engine. This tour-de-force packed a whole 7:1 compression ratio – pretty standard for the day, as this was the infancy of turbochargers in full competition use. The weighed less than 1800 lbs, and power ranged from the mid to high 400’s….wheeeeeee !!! Later versions developed by Abarth made over 500 hp.

Just listen to the engine wail – heavenly!

This is an awesoe in-car video I found from last years Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Now I’m going to hunt online for some Group 5 Books/DVD’s to grab up before F1 starts! If anyone knows of any good ones, let me know!

Memorial Day Weekend – Fan Paradise

23 May

checkered flag

If you’re a motorsports fan on any level, this is an awesome weekend.

F1 – Monaco. Qualifying was exciting this AM…Button pulled out yet another pole. Amazing. SpeedTV has the coverage live tomorrow morning at 8AM. F1 + HD = sweet

24 Hours of Nurburgring – check here for a live video feed (daytime only though). If you want a good audio feed to follow today, check out Radio LeMans and click on the “Listen Live” link on the top right of the screen

Indy 500 – not my own cup of tea, but the race is on Sunday on ABC (should be HD coverage, which is always good)

Grand Am – live this weekend from Lime Rock Hopefully some friends will get me some pics since I don’t think there is any live tv coverage…bummer.

WRC – Rally d’Italia Sardegna –