VIDEO: This is racing

This is racing, by Drive

One of the ways /Drive can make money these days is with sponsored content. This video, filmed during the 6 Hours of Austin, is just that. Still, if you have to watch a five minute ad for an automotive accessories company there are worse ways you could do it.

Eventually this clip will be available in 4K too. The best you can see at the time this article was published was 1080p.

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Golf R wagon preparing for possible Essen launch

Golf R Estate prototype

This Volkswagen Golf R estate spied at the Nürburgring in recent days makes us very happy. This will undoubtedly become the coolest Golf money can buy. Word is it will be launched at the Essen Motor Show in late November.

The all-paw estate is likely to weigh around 100kg more than its hot hatch sibling, meaning performance from the 221kW/380Nm EA888 2.0 litre engine shouldn’t suffer too much. We should be looking at mid 5s for the 0–100km/h dash.

Thankfully the current Golf wagon is a much nicer looking car than the previous generation. And with a makover from R GmbH it looks even better—just look at those phat quad exhaust tips.

Volkswagen Australia, if you do not bring the Golf R wagon down under we will destroy you!

[Source: Auto Express | Pics: Automedia | Thanks to Charlie for the tip]

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Kubica still hopes for “dream” F1 comeback

2014 WRC Rally France

Robert Kubica still holds out hope for a return to Formula 1, saying he will consider more corrective surgery to the arm he injured in a rally crash in February 2011.

Competing in the WRC this season Kubica said: “The arm and hand are okay. From a mobility point of view, there have been some improvements. From a limitation point of view, it’s pretty much the same.

“So I need to have more surgery—and there are possibilities—but it’s a tight season, there are many rallies and they are long events.”

Kubica, who turns 30 on 7 December, has previously said a return to F1 was “nearly impossible”. His most recent F1 race was the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Formula 1 would be a dream to come back but we have to stay realistic,” Kubica added. “If I decide to try and come back I will have more surgery this winter and maybe with the help of the doctors, and with some luck, it will be possible.”

[Source: BBC]

Caterham F1 Team in a spot of bother

2014 Russian Grand Prix

Caterham Sports Limited (CSL), the Leafield-based company who makes F1 cars under contract for 1 Malaysia Racing Team (1MRT), has gone into administration leaving the Caterham F1 Team facing an uncertain future.

With just over a week until the United States Grand Prix in Austin, administrator Smith & Williamson says CSL owes £20m to outside suppliers and around 200 jobs could be under threat.

“I’m trying to enter into an arrangement with 1MRT whereby they (employees) can stay here at the Leafield site,” said Finbarr O’Connell from Smith & Williamson. “If I can reach an agreement with them then hopefully jobs are not at risk.

“If I can’t reach an agreement then all those employees, 1MRT will have to decide what to do with them, but they won’t be at the Leafield site.”

According to the administrator Caterham team manager Manfredi Ravetto has had “positive discussions” with financial backers hoping to ensure the relationship with CSL can carry on.

If an agreement cannot be reached then it’s possible Caterham F1 Team won’t have any cars to race in Austin and Smith & Williamson will begin to liquidate CSL.

Caterham’s future has been rocky since Tony Fernandes sold the F1 team in July. To add to the dramas faced by the team Kamui Kobayashi said he was “seriously troubled” about the safety of his car going into the Russian Grand Prix.

[Source: BBC]

Driverless Audi RS7 laps Hockenheim

Audi RS7 piloted driving, Hockenheim

Audi has been leading the way in the world of driverless technology and that was further highlighted in a live demonstration during the season-ending DTM round at Hockenheim on the weekend.

With the strangely named Audi piloted driving technology onboard, making it sound like the car has a pilot at the wheel, a driverless RS7 lapped the famed German grand prix track in just over two minutes, reaching a maximum speed of 240km/h. Apparently that’s a world record top speed for a driverless car.

The specially prepared RS7 used a combination of GPS, WiFi, high-frequency radio and 3D cameras to guide itself around the circuit. As you’ll see in the highlights video below the accuracy of the car’s cornering lines is very good and so too the positioning of the car in the pole position grid spot at the end of its lap.

If you think the end is nigh and we’ll all one day have the joys of driving taken away from us, Audi has this to say:

It might sound futuristic, but it’s already at the starting gates. For Audi, piloted driving is one of the top drivers of innovation in the coming years and is a logical, evolutionary step in the development of the car. It’s an evolution that has the potential to revolutionise the experience of driving a car. And one thing is certain: If it is up to Audi’s engineers, the feeling of freedom and the fun of sporty driving will be maintained – because there is a choice. Piloted driving is not a “must”, but rather something you “can” select. Audi will never build robot cars, but instead will always put the driver in the focus of its decisions.

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Listen to the new Cayman four-pot turbo

Porsche Cayman 981.2 prototype

The 981.2 Porsche Boxster/Cayman will be released next year and it will be the first time the models have been sold with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. At least it’ll be a boxer configuration, meaning it should sound better than the ubiquitous 2.0 litre inline four-pots found under the bonnet of most hot hatches these days.

If you don’t believe us then check out the latest video from Bridge to Gantry after the break, where you’ll see a Cayman protype in action at the Nürburgring.

[Source: Bridge to Gantry]

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Button to make endurance switch in 2015?

2014 British Grand Prix

Mercedes AMG, Red Bull and Ferrari (we think) have locked away their drivers for the 2015 Formula 1 season, leaving all eyes are on McLaren to see who will drive for the Woking-based team next year.

With the return of the McLaren-Honda partnership rumours suggest dual world champion and free agent Fernando Alonso has already signed a deal with the Japanese car maker. If that proves true then it seems logical that one of McLaren’s current drivers will be forced to make way for Alonso.

Will McLaren go for the youth and qualifying pace of Kevin Magnussen or the experience and racecraft of Jenson Button? If it is the 2009 world champion Ron Dennis taps on the shoulder the BBC reports Button may look to follow Mark Webber into the World Endurance Championship.

Button’s manager Richard Goddard said: “Jenson is an incredibly competitive racing driver who wants to race. He’s too good to sit at the back of the F1 grid. So he either gets a competitive car in F1 or he goes to get one elsewhere.”

Apprently Button’s management has already held discussions with Porsche and Goddard has described the WEC as “as formidable series that is gaining strength.”

A Webber–Button partnership at the wheel of a Porsche 919; if nothing else you’d reckon WEC organisers would love that to happen.

[Source: BBC]

Nico Hulkenberg will use the Force in 2015

2014 British Grand Prix

Force India has locked in Nico Hulkenberg for one more year, securing the 27-year-old German for the 2015 season.

“It’s good to confirm my plans for next season,” Hulkenberg said. “This is a team I know extremely well and we’ve enjoyed a great year together with some special results. The team has big ambitions and I believe we can have a competitive package once again next year.

“We have a strong partner in Mercedes and everyone in the team is motivated and hungry for more success. I have a good feeling for 2015 and there is a lot to be excited about as we try to build on the results we have achieved this year.”

Hulkenberg’s 2014 teammate, Sergio Perez, hopes to remain with Force India next year too, but nothing is confirmed at this stage.

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Porsche gets ready to blow 911 history to pieces

Porsche 911, 991.2 prototype

When Porsche made the move from air cooled to water cooled engines the purists would have you believe the sky was falling. The end was nigh. In truth, some of the best 911s ever made are water cooled and the sun is still coming up every day.

However, we could be facing renewed predictions of dark days by doom merchants if Car magazine’s prediction for the 991.2 is correct. Apparently the 991 will boast an all-turbo* engine range when the facelifted range is launched in quarter two of 2015.

Truth be told, we can probably count ourselves as merchants of doom as far as this story goes. While understanding the need to push for the greater efficiencies a turbo powerplant will bring, basking in the glory of a howling normally aspirated 911 is one of life’s greatest joys.

The entry level Carrera is expected to have its capacity reduced from 3.4 litres to 2.9 litres. The addition of a turbo, though, is expected to produce key numbers of 300kW/540Nm, up from 257kW/390Nm. The Carrera S will keep its 3.8 litre capacity and get boosted up to 395kW/705Nm, a very healthy increase from 294kW/440Nm.

Which makes you wonder what on earth the next 911 Turbo and GT2 will do to separate themselves from their new turbocharged underlings!

*The magic asterisk suggests the 991.2 GT3 will remain normally aspirated, but, y’know, they’ve already taken the manual ‘box away from us, so why not bung a hairdryer on too!

[Source: Car | Thanks to Richard for the tip]

Audi Sport TT Cup to support DTM in 2015

Audi Sport TT Cup

Audi is increasing its motorsport presence by launching the Audi Sport TT Cup, which will form part of the supporting cast for the 2015 DTM season.

Based on the new TT, the race-prepped version weighs 1125kg and has 228kW on offer from its 2.0 litre turbocharged engine. A “push to pass” button provides a limited power boost of an additional 22kW.

A grid of 24 cars is planned for the one-make series, with 18 seats now up for grabs. The remaining six cars will be made available to guest drivers.

Audi driver Markus Winkelhock will be on hand to coach the drivers if need be. He’s been involved in testing for the new TT racer and said: “The Audi TT cup is a genuine race car, ideal for rookies, yet challenging to drive. You immediately feel that you’re sitting in an Audi and recognise the close kinship with the brand’s other race cars.”

Audi says the winner of the TT Cup could progress to the company’s GT3 program and possibly then onto DTM or WEC.

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Incredible F1 Lego MOCs

RoscoPC Formula 1 Lego MOC

In the world of serious Lego play MOC stands for My Own Creation and Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC is king of Formula 1 MOCs. So far he has published 12 designs ranging, from a Lotus 43 through to the Williams FW14B you see above.

We’ve assembled a simple gallery below, but make sure you follow the link through to his website’s gallery, the level of detail is quite incredible. Luca’s work has seen him earn Lego Ambassador status and you can even buy the instructions to recreate these designs for yourself.

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BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition revealed

BMW M4 DTM Champions Edition

BMW has decided to celebrate Marco Wittman‘s DTM championship win with a limited edition M4 model. Called the M4 DTM Champion Edition only 23 will be made, in honour of Wittman’s race number this year.

All the cars will be delivered in Alpine White with decals and trim inspired by his Team RMG livery. There’s no comment on pricing in BMW’s brief press release, but, of course, you can expect it to cost plenty more than your standard M4. Also, with such low numbers, we can’t see this model being sold outside of Germany.

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Timo Bernhard laps the Circuit of the Americas

Timo Bernhard, Porsche 919 Hybrid

If you take a quick look inside the cabin of the Porsche 919 Hybrid it’s soon apparent that visibility may not be as good as you might expect. Those A-pillars are damn thick.

This dash-mounted video from inside the cabin doesn’t give you the driver’s eye view, but you still get an idea of the compromised sightlines faced while wrestling your way around the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

Timo Bernhard is at the wheel, enjoy the ride!

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Check out the Porsche 919 Hybrid steering wheel

Porsche 919 steering wheel

Who doesn’t love a close up look at the steering wheel of a thoroughbred racecar! Here’s the wheel from the Porsche 919 Hybrid, there’s 24 buttons and six paddles in all, along with a multi-function display in the middle.

Two of the most important and most frequently used buttons are on the hand grips: the red button on the left is the let magic happen overtake button and releases the energy stored from the battery; the blue button is the get out of my way flashing light button, one press will flash the lights three times to warn slower cars ahead that the Porker is coming through.

The six paddle arrangement on the back is interesting, too. The two larger paddles in the middle are for gear changing, right for upshifts, left for downshifts. The lower paddles operate the clutch, both sides performing the same function. The top two paddles relate to the energy recovery system, the left side releases the boost and is a duplicate function of the red button from the front, the right side to commence manual energy recovery.

It always amazes how fiddly a modern steering wheel is on topline racecars and that under the pressure of competition drivers wearing thick gloves are able to operate all those buttons with accuracy and composure.

More photos and details from Porsche can be read after the break.

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