1995 McLaren F1 GTR #06R

McLaren F1 GTR

This is the 1995 McLaren F1 GTR, chassis #06R, and it is the inspiration for the livery of the just revealed P1 GTR. Driven by a team of Derek Bell, his son Justin Bell and Andy Wallace car #51 finished third in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans.

McLaren gave us these pics as part of the press release for the P1 GTR and we thought the mighty F1 GTR deserved a post all to itself. So here you are, don’t forget to click on each photo to load its 2560px mega image.

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McLaren P1 GTR revealed

McLaren P1 GTR

This is the McLaren P1 GTR and as long as your arse is pointing to the ground you will want one!

The hybrid powertrain of the track-only P1 GTR produces a combined power output of 1000PS (735kW) and has been significantly uprated. Further, unnecessary parts for road use have been removed to help save weight. The 3.8 litre twin turbo V8 offers 800PS (588kW) which is complemented by the 200PS (147kW) electric motor.

To improve the already sublime handling the front track is 80mm wider than the road-going McLaren P1™ and it sits 50mm lower to the ground. The P1 GTR rides on 19″ wheels wrapped in super sticky Pirelli tyres.

Silverstone and the Circuit de Catalunya are the first two locations named for the driver program where, thanks to your extremely fat wallet—it’ll cost around US$3 million—you’ll get to see what it’s like to be Pastor Maldonado and get treated like a racing driver. But, please, whatever you do, don’t bin your P1 GTR.

The P1 GTR will make its full debut at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.

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Aston Martin Vantage GT3 special edition previewed

Aston Martin Vantage GT3

Aston Martin has released images of its limited-edition road-going Vantage GT3. Full details are being held back for now, but we know the 6.0 litre V12 will be good for around 600hp and the kerb weight will be close to 1565kg, some 100kg less than a V12 Vantage S.

Only 100 Vantage GT3s will be made and we reckon if the market reacts well, and why wouldn’t it, that Aston could consider making a GT3 a permanent part of future model lines.

The bodykit and massive rear wing is a little OTT for an Aston, but falls in line with what you’d expect from a model wearing a GT3 badge. Because racecar.

Some of the race-inspired handiwork under the bonnet includes magnesium inlet manifolds and a full titanium exhaust system. That aggressive body work goes to town on carbon fibre use. Further, the roof can be optioned in carbon fibre and if you want to keep adding less weight a polycarbonate rear window is waiting for your cash.

Inside, as you’d expect, you can’t see anything else for the carbon fibre. There’s some alcantara fabric for good measure, all of which results in one very desirable Vantage. Is there any other kind?

UPDATE: New pics added.

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An early look at the all-new Audi R8 V10 Plus

Audi R8 Mk2

Jethro Bovingdon from Evo is fresh from a shotgun ride in an all-new Audi R8 V10 around the gorgeous Ascari race resort. Here’s a few of this thoughts, but be sure to follow the source link below for the full yarn, which is well worth the read:

First the basics. The new R8 will be launched in two variants, the V10 and V10 Plus models. The familiar and (praise be) naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 has 533bhp and 398lb ft in the base model, which is 15bhp and 7lb ft more than previously. The big news is the V10 Plus, though.

There’s a bigger jump between the V10 and V10 Plus for this new generation – both statistically and in concept. It’s still a daily useable car, says Audi, but think of it more like the old limited-edition and more focussed R8 GT. The engine in the Plus produces 602bhp and 413lb ft and revs to 8850rpm…

…the R8 Plus feels wickedly fast around Ascari, sounds incredible and seems to have retained the creamy fluidity of old. Let’s hope it’s not just the supremely smooth driver [Frank Stippler] masking the real foibles… but I doubt it. Stippler says the last test was 3-weeks straight at the Nürburging doing 1000-kilometres per day. ‘The lap time is fast. In the range of 10-16 seconds faster than the old car,’ he says. In Sport Auto’s Supertest the previous R8 V10 Plus managed a 7:45 in very cold conditions so we should see the new car dip below 7:30. One thing’s for sure… we can’t wait to try it on the road.

[Source: Evo]

Worth its weight in sold

Alfa Romeo 4C

The Alfa Romeo 4C has just arrived in Australia and reports suggest the beefier local-spec has not deterred buyers.

“The dealers say they are sold (but) we don’t know the extent,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia’s new president and CEO Pat Dougherty claimed. “Sometimes (the dealers) say they are sold and they may or may not be, but I think they are pretty much sold.

“The demand for them is probably going to exceed the supply for us for the next couple of years.”

The 4C hits the market with a list price of $89,000 for basic spec or $109,000 for the limited-run Launch Edition. Tougher crash regulations mean Australian-delivered models weigh 130kg more than their Euro counterparts. That brings the car’s unladen weight to 1025kg.

[Source: GoAuto]

Sebastien Ogier wins 2015 Rally Sweden

2015 Rally Sweden

Sebastien Ogier won Rally Sweden on the weekend, but this was not just any rally win. It was one of the most exciting finales to a WRC event we have been lucky enough to see. And the final deciding stage was live on television.

Going into the last special stage, a power stage offering bonus championship points, Andreas Mikkelsen held a narrow lead from Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville. All three drivers had led the rally at various stages over the weekend.

Neuville was the first of the three leaders to go and did his part by setting the fastest time, more than five seconds faster than Mads Ostebrg’s previous best. Next was Ogier and in that 16km final stage we saw what he is made of. The dual world champion was blistering and went 4.8 seconds faster than Neuville. Wow!

The pressure was on the young shoulders of Andreas Mikkelsen, could he defend his lead and claim his maiden WRC victory?

Alas for the 25-year-old Norwegian he made a small mistake about two-thirds the way through the stage. Like many before him during this event, he ran a fraction wide on a corner and was sucked into one of the soft snow banks. There was no damage to his car, but the 40 seconds he lost relegated him back to third place, behind Neuville and eventual winner Ogier. It was a cruel blow and ended hopes for what would have been a very popular win.

With his second win from two races Ogier is already building a sizeable gap in the championship; he has 53 points and leads Mikkelsen and Neuville, both on 30 points.

The next rally will take place in Mexico in around three weeks from now.

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F1 TV numbers slide, revenue remains strong

2014 Brazilian Grand Prix

Reactions to the recent news that Australian-based Formula 1 fans can now only see a full season of live races on pay television have been mixed. Those critical of that decision won’t be at all surprised to learn that global television audiences for F1 are in decline. However, what may surprise is that TV revenue is up.

In 2008 the global television audience was measured at 600 million, since then it has dropped to around 70% of that figure or down to 425 million viewers. The decline has been steady around the globe with the United States registering a minor 10% increase last year.

The sport’s administrators can point to the increased licensing fees pay TV networks are willing to pay; there was US$797.5 million in the F1 kitty last year, of which 63% is divided among the teams in prize money distrubution.

Formula 1 has been notoriously slow to embrace new technology and alternate media streams. Its apparent reliance on television rights as its main source of revenue supports that claim. At some stage, though, F1 will have to increase its viewing numbers; those pay TV networks will want a return on their investment. If that’s not forthcoming then the whole house of cards could come falling down.

You sense an increase in viewing numbers is unlikely to happen while Bernie is in charge, who syas things are still “working all right. We are still getting very good TV coverage. It just means that we are getting more coverage from the pay people now.”

Germany, Italy and Spain have also followed the British lead of split television deals. Which leaves Bernie to say everything is going well thanks to increased revenue, but for how much longer?

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

This is one cool Porsche buster!

Porsche 'Buster' race transporter

A rare Porsche made in 1968, what’s not to love! Hang on a sec, hasn’t that bus got a Mercedes-Benz badge on the grille? That’s right, this old skool race transporter was built by Mercedes and used by the Porsche factory team from its creation up until the 1980s.

‘Buster’ as it is now affectionately known is one of only two transporters of its kind and is currently owned by Brumos Porsche in the United States. It’s great to see the Brumos team understand and respect the little piece of history they have, as this video from egarage shows.

[via Motor Sport Retro]

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OFFICIAL: Formula 1 on Foxtel from 2015

2014 Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton’s title defence will start in Australia in mid-March and Australian viewers will be able to see it all live in high definition on Fox Sports.

In news announced today Fox Sports has signed a five-year agreement which will see it broadcast live every practice session, every qualifying session and every race, starting with the Australian Grand Prix on 12 March.

Understandably the top brass at Fox Sports are very pleased with themselves with and have confirmed Australia will take on the Sky Sports feed.

“We have reached an extraordinary affiliate agreement with Sky to deliver through Fox Sports the same incredible Formula 1 coverage which is provided by Sky Sports in the UK,” confirmed Patrick Delany, Fox Sports CEO.

Meanwhile, Delany’s boss, Foxtel CEO, Richard Freudenstein, has gone into overdrive promoting his new product.

“Not only will fans see all the races live but we will add unrivalled behind the scenes experiences and the most expert commentary available,” Freudenstein said. “Fans of motor racing will be thrilled with what they can see if they subscribe to Foxtel’s sports package.”

That means Formula 1 will be included in the regular sports package which is a $25 per month add on over the compulsory $25 basic package. A high definition Foxtel receiver is a further $10 per month, bringing the total outlay to $60 per month.

Viewers unable or unwilling to sign up to pay television can still watch F1 on free-to-air on the Ten Network. Similar to the BBC/Sky deal in the UK, Ten will broadcast 10 of the races live (simulcast with Fox Sports) with delayed highlights packages for the remaining races.

You can see a calendar below listing the races the Ten Network will show live.

[Source: Fox Sports | Thanks to Tom for the tip]

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2015 Bathurst 12hr: Final corner scrap

2015 Bathurst 12 hour last corner fight

We all know the #35 Nissan GT-R won the 2015 Bathurst 12 hour and we know that the #15 Audi came second and the #97 Aston Martin was third.

However, the manner in which the minor placings were decided has remained a mystery. Going into Conrod Straight for the last time the #10 Bentley was in P2 from the Audi, with the Aston close behind.

The Aston Martin got ahead of the Audi before the Chase to claim the final podium step. Thanks to the arsery from Channel 7 we never got to see the final corner stoush that sorted out this three-way battle and saw the Audi go from fourth to second. Thanks to “Rusty Blackmore” and his trackside YouTube clip we can now see what happened next.

Entering Murray’s Corner the Bentley had the inside line, with the Audi trying to find its way past on the outside. The Aston was tucked in behind the Bentley looking for an early apex to make a move on the final left hand corner of the race and then…

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2015 Rally Sweden preview

Colin Clark, 2015 Rally Sweden preview

Rally Sweden will be held this weekend. It’s the only genuine snow and ice event on the WRC calendar and with that comes unique technical requirements and driving methods for the teams and drivers.

After the break we’ve assembled a few preview clips to bring you up to speed on what to expect this weekend.

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