BBC sacks Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson to be sacked by BBC

According to media reports the BBC is ready to sack leading Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson. Two weeks after Clarkson was suspended and subject to an internal investigation the BBC has been able to confirm claims the outgoing host did assault a colleague.

It is believed the BBC investigation found that Clarkson verbally abused long-term Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon for 20 minutes before the “fracas” ended with a short 30 second physical assault from Clarkson.

The dispute reportedly began after a day of filming in North Yorkshire when Clarkson was unable to be given the hot meal he wanted—steak and chips—because the hotel they were staying in had stopped cooking for the night.

Around 12 months ago Clarkson was issued a “final warning” by the BBC after he was found to have used the racially offensive term “nigger” on camera. The footage was never broadcast by the BBC, but was discovered and published by British newspaper The Mirror.

Clarkson’s departure won’t officially mean the end for Top Gear with the BBC set to search for a replacement to join Richard Hammond and James May. Assuming, of course, Hammond and May choose to remain with the program.

Please god, don’t let it be British radio icon Chris Evans. He’s a bigger dickhead than Clarkson could ever be!

Lord Hall, Director General of the BBC, is expected to make an official announcement on Clarkson’s future later today.

There’s interesting times ahead for Top Gear and its fans. We’ll be watching the ongoing developments with keen interest.

[Source: The Telegraph]

UPDATE: It’s official, the BBC has sacked Jeremy Clarkson [read more].

You can pick your nose while drifting!

Mercedes-AMG C63S

Just over a month ago Chris Harris gave us his take on the new Mercedes-AMG C63S. We’re not sure how we missed it, but we’re sorry we did.

It’s Harris by numbers, but they’re numbers that work so well. We’re presented with an in depth look at the car, including the interesting bits under the skin.

Respect to the viewing audience is paid by the length of the video. At a touch over 20 minutes it’s not too long. More importantly, it’s long enough to give us a proper sense of the car.

And, of course, with 375kW/700Nm to play with from the 4.0 litre twin turbo V8 engine it’s pretty easy to make the new C63 go sideways. So easy in fact, you can pick a winner while doing it.

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The disappointment of Europe v America

BMW i8 v Lamborghini Huracan v Ford Mustang v Dodge SRT Hellcat

Take the sophisticated power of a BMW i8 and a Lamborghini Huracan and see how they go against the brawn of a Ford Mustang and a Dodge SRT Hellcat. Imagine you’re doing this and imagine that you’ve got four days and 1300 miles to work out what’s what.

Then imagine you’ve got to publish a video to YouTube that brings your experience to the world, brings us along for the ride.

Imagine how disappointed your friends and family would be if all you came up with was this 3 minute 40 second clip.

We like Car, we think it’s a good publication and while acknowledging they’ve got real magazines to sell we also think they should watch a few Chris Harris videos.

Otherwise they may as well not waste their production resources if this is all they’re going to give us with a tasty set of ingredients like this.

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Adriana ponders Pirelli buyout

Because Adriana Lima

Adriana Lima woke in a sweat this morning with news that Chinese company ChemChina is about to launch a €7.1b deal which will give it a controlling stake in the Italian tyre giant Pirelli.

The deal, agreed to by Pirelli shareholders on the weekend, involves a complicated series of moves that will see ChemChina buyout current investors in order to gain the majority control it seeks. ChemChina’s ultimate goal is to make Pirelli, the world’s fifth-largest tyre maker, a privately owned company.

Pirelli has said there will be no impact on jobs. Although, current chairman and CEO Tronchetti Provera will relinquish his chairman’s position but will stay on as chief executive. ChemChina is expected select a new chairperson.

And what does Adriana Lima really think about seeing the 143-year-old Italian icon slip into foreign ownership?

Oh, we lost you after, “Adriana Lima woke in a sweat…” Yeah, that’s fair enough.

[Source: Reuters | Pic: Pirelli]

VIDEO: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS v BMW i8

Porsche 911 GTS v BMW i8

Dan Prosser from Evo magazine presents a very intriguing challenge here by pitting a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS against a BMW i8 on the track.

We’ll let the cat out of the bag early, the i8 couldn’t match the 911 for outright lap times. In fact, it’s not even close. But can the i8 match the 911 for laughs and entertainment? Beyond that, is the i8 a serious dynamic competitor for the 911?

You’ll have to watch the video to find out.

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Germany, here I come!

Porsche Museum

AUSmotive is about to go into a hiatus of some sort while I head on an overseas holiday for the next five weeks or so. I’ll be flying to Germany later this week and the items on my magical museum tour, in itinerary order, include:

If I get a chance I may post some updates while I’m away, but I can’t be sure if the time or urge will come my way. I return to Australia in early May and I’m going to have an awesome time experiencing some very cool automotive content.

With regards to updates you may best to keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter.

Fernando Alonso en route to Malaysia

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso could be back on track at the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend after undergoing recent tests at Cambridge University. The tests conducted measured his short and long term memory as well as his reflexes.

Alonso’s adviser, Luis Garcia Abad, was circumspect in regards to the recent health checks, but did say he expects the dual world champion will be going to Sepang.

“It is private so I cannot confirm or deny it, but I have no doubts he will go to Malaysia as planned,” he said.

It’s understood Alonso will be subjected to a final round of tests by the FIA once he has arrived in Malaysia. Assuming he passes he should be given the all clear to return to competition.

The 33-year-old Spaniard has been recovering from concussion after crashing his McLaren-Honda MP4-30 during testing in Jerez on 22 February.

[Source: BBC]

German Grand Prix dropped from 2015 F1 calendar

2014 German Grand Prix

It’s official, the German Grand Prix has been removed from the 2015 F1 calendar. The move was ratified last Friday by the World Motor Sport Council with this small disclaimer that:

“The German Grand Prix has been withdrawn as the CRH [commercial rights holder] and promoter did not reach agreement.”

A revised 19-race calendar can be viewed after the break.

[Source: FIA | Thanks to Stu for the tip]

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Some hope for 2015 German Grand Prix?

2013 German Grand Prix

After accepting yesterday that the German Grand Prix was likely to be struck off the 2015 F1 calendar a glimmer of hope may yet exist for German F1 fans.

Nürburgring-based blog Bridge to Gantry reports F1 teams have been busy trying to book accommodation for the weekend of 18–19 July, the date allocated for the German Grand Prix.

Under the usual alternating arrangement between Hockenheim and the Nürburgring the 2015 race was due to be held at the Ring. However, financial issues had seemingly prevented that from happening and a deal was hoped to be reached with management at Hockenheim to host this year’s grand prix.

Yesterday it was widely reported that the Hockenheim boss Georg Seiler had said: “We have no more hope that the Formula 1 takes place here.”

Today, it appears a return to the Ring might be on the cards. There’s not a lot of concrete info on offer for this rumor at this stage, other than the tip that an announcement may be coming very soon.

Who knows if anything serious will come from this, but it would be a real shame if there is no grand prix in Germany, so let’s hope there’s some truth to this story.

[Source: Bridge to Gantry]

VIDEO: BMW 1602e

1972 BMW 1602e

Today it’s the i Series range that is forging the way with electric power for BMW. The i3 and i8 look futuristic and modern. Even better they’re pretty good cars to drive as well, by all accounts.

However, it’s this beautiful 1602e that was BMW’s first attempt at an all-electric powered vehicle. Only two were made and they saw active service during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. This short video is a great intro to the car. And that ’02 body shape is just so gorgeous to look at.

Wouldn’t it be seriously cool if you could drive the streets in this 197os beauty with an i3 drivetrain!

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BMW M135i LCI photo gallery

F20 BMW M135i LCI

LCI—the three most important letters to the F20 1 Series range—they stand for Life Cycle Impulse which is BMW speak for get the fugly out of here!

Finally, the 1 Series has been give a front-end makeover and here is the new M135i. True, it’s still not the world’s prettiest car, but at least its dorky eyes have been lost in favour of a treatment more inline with the much more visually pleasing 2 Series.

For Australian readers enjoy these pictures, because they’re as close as you’ll ever get to a three-door M135i. Not only that, the car in these pics is fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Remember them?

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No hope for 2015 German Grand Prix

2014 German Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg’s hopes of defending his German Grand Prix title in 2015 appear dashed after the Hockenheim boss ruled out his venue for hosting duties.

Under the usual alternating agreement with the Nürburgring the German Grand Prix was due to be held there in 2015. However, the Ring’s financial woes meant it was not able to host the race and a new deal was expected so that Hockenheim could step in.

However, Georg Seiler, Hockenheim boss says there’s no time left to finalise a deal for the race due to be held on 19 July.

“We have no more hope that the Formula 1 takes place here. We have done everything in the last few years everything to make the fans happy,” Seiler was told German newspaper Bild.

“The time has expired, to organise a race here. Otherwise, the quality of the event would have suffered. We had said we were willing host the race of the Nürburgring—something we had no contractual obligation to do.

“There were discussions with third parties on an assumption of risk, but those were not successful.”

Bernie Ecclestone spoke about the matter before the Australian Grand Prix and told The Independent: “The German Grand Prix is dead at the moment. It won’t get replaced if it doesn’t happen. As with any race, if it is cancelled it is cancelled. There’s not much we can do.”

There is a lot to like about Formula 1, but at the moment, the failure of the German race is another in a long list of things not to like about the world’s premier motorsport category.

Oh well, on the positive side, that’s one less race that Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso have to get through with their three remaining power units for the year.

[Source: Sky Sports F1]

Nissan postpones race debut of GT-R LM Nismo

2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Nissan has withdrawn its radical new GT-R LM Nismo from the opening two races of the WEC season in order to focus on its Le Mans challenge.

Speaking to Autosport Darren Cox, Nissan motorsport boss, said: “Our main aim for this year was always Le Mans and we have decided to re-focus on that race.

“It’s no secret that with such a different car that we have faced a number of challenges, so right now we would rather be testing in April and May rather than racing.”

That means Nissan’s front-wheel drive focused LMP1 racecar will be absent from the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 6 Hours of Spa and won’t make its track debut until the 24 Hours of Le Mans in mid-June.

The GT-R LM Nismo ran into problems with its engine mounts during its last test session, held at Sebring. There are also suggestions the car has failed its crash test. The required modifications would not leave enough time for the homologation process to take place before the Silverstone race.

Nissan will also miss the official season prologue at Paul Ricard (27–28 March).

World Endurance Championship CEO Gérard Neveu said: “Nissan is not the first manufacturer to miss the start of the season and they won’t be the last: Toyota previously did the same and they are now our world champions.

“To build an LMP1 hybrid programme is very challenging; it takes some time and we fully trust Nissan to be on the LMP1 grid of the WEC from Le Mans.”

[Source: Autosport & WEC]