• way_a

Ралли-марафон "Дакар 2011".

 Mini снова в моде
В этом году команда X-Raid вывезла на "Дакар" не только хорошо известные прототипы BMW X3 CC, но и автомобиль, стилизованный под хэтчбек Mini Countryman. "Джип Миникупер - это маленькая бомба для журналистов, - рассказывает пресс-секретарь команды X-Raid Наталья Дорошенко. - Концерн BMW только-только выпустил его в свет, и вот уже команда делает из него гоночную машину. Он у нас красный в отличие от других автомобилей, а за рулем - Герлен Шишерит, неоднократный чемпион мира по горным лыжам и очень хороший гонщик, самый молодой в команде. И с ним вместе - штурман Мишель Перен".
Так уж получилось ,что спортивный дебют модели Countryman проходит не в WRC, а в Дакаре. Впрочем, начинка у хэтчбека будет совсем другая, чем у раллийной версии, которую готовят специалисты Prodrive. Mini от X-Raid базируется на агрегатах X3. В движение прототип приводится 6-цилиндровым турбодизельным двигателем, который выдает 310 л.с. и 710 Нм. Директор команды Свен Квандт полагает, что машина может громко заявить о себе: "Мы смогли внести существенные улучшения в конструкцию. Нам удалось добиться оптимизации во многих областях: от повышения производительности систем охлаждения до более выгодной развесовки по осям. Если напрямую сравнивать с X3 CC, то Mini будет легче в управлении. Новая машина на 10 см короче. Мы постарались пересмотреть компоновку, чтобы переместить центр тяжести как можно ниже".
Конечно, модель Countryman не заменит X3 CC на спортивной арене. Но участвовать в гонках и впредь, похоже, будет: это как раз и зависит от того, как мини-болид проявит себя на "Дакаре-2011". Вот что рассказал нам один из икс-рейдеров рейдеров, штурман так называемой "быстрой" технички Андрей Рудницкий:
- В первый день у Mini случился казус на горном участке: Герлен Шишери перегрел тормоза, сломал тормозной двигатель и потерял время, устраняя эту неисправность. А второй день был очень хорош. Наверное, Герлен мог бы показать время и получше, но так как он стартовал задним, ему пришлось много обгонять. Хотя ехал достойно.
- Значит, машинка себя оправдывает?
- Она абсолютно надежна и показывает адекватный результат. В серийное производство она, конечно, не пойдет - мы вообще не говорим о серийности применительно к этим машинам, но в гонках в будущем участвовать будет, поскольку демонстрирует себя весьма хорошо.
Будем рады видеть вас на наших площадках:
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да, да - в жизни я еще "кудрявее"
  • d10nis

Hampton Downs open to V8 Supercar future



New Zealand’s newest motor racing facility is ready and willing to host a V8 Supercars Championship Series event in the future.

The impressive Hampton Downs Motor Sport Park was completed just a few months ago and circuit owners have stated that the venue is fit to hold a V8 Supercar event – if required.

But the Hampton Downs team has been quick to point out that they do not wish to steal the thunder of the ITM 400, which will be held just 60 kilometres south in Hamilton this weekend.

The Hampton Downs circuit in New Zealand

Discounted tickets have reportedly led to a late influx of ticket sales for this weekend’s ITM 400 in Hamilton, the third time that the New Zealand leg of the V8 Supercars Championship Series has been staged at the street circuit.

The Hampton Downs circuit’s FIA Category 2 Track Licence means that it is more than capable of hosting a V8 Supercars race, although Hampton Downs part-owner and managing director Tony Roberts told Speedcafe.com.au that he is not interested in fighting Hamilton for its event on the V8 Supercars schedule.

“We’re not competing with Hamilton on it,” Roberts told Speedcafe.com.au.

“While the event is running at Hamilton, we’re quite happy to sit back. There was talk last year of a second New Zealand V8 round at Hampton Downs. I don’t know what was going on there. If it came up, we’d have a look at it for sure.

“The Hamilton race is getting an undercurrent of problems with the rate payers with the street circuit. It just comes down to what V8 Supercars want to do.

“But we could host it, no problem. The track is an FIA Category 2 track now, which is the same as Pukekohe, but there’s a lot more space here for spectators and corporate to get involved and by next year, we’ve got another one kilometre to add to the track.”

Hampton Downs held its first major meeting – the Bruce McLaren Festival – in January, seeing more than 25,000 people file through the gates.

The track is currently at 2.8km in length with another 1.1km due to be constructed later this year. Before that, a brand-new pit facility will be built on the circuit’s infield, with more features to be added in time.

Roberts says that the extension to the track will be completed later this year, as well as more trackside apartments that will be situated on the back straight.

“We’ll probably do the new part of the track over the coming summer. It’s a comparatively straight forward job. The ground has all been prepared, we’ve just got to metal it and seal it,” he said.

“We’re building the pit garages over the winter. They’ll be done by the end of the year. And they’ll be the new apartments coming soon too.”

The Hampton Downs circuit is situated between Auckland and Hamilton and is roughly 40 minutes from the centre of both cities.

Jason Richards visited the Hampton Downs track yesterday

New Zealander and Team BOC V8 Supercar driver Jason Richards had his first look at Hampton Downs yesterday and was very impressed – even suggesting that he’d like to come home and compete at the venue this summer.

“I had a couple of laps around there in a road car, and it has actually inspired me to come back and find a drive to race here,” Richards told Speedcafe.com.au.

“It feels like an old-school British track, like Brands Hatch. It has got these big, blind turn-ins.

“It’s much more undulating than you see in any of the modern tracks that seem to get built for Formula One cars. Hampton Downs is suited for touring cars, junior open-wheelers, Formula 5000 – it’s awesome.

“There’s some good passing opportunities, and some good kerbing which would be worth looking at, but in the real overtaking areas, the track gets wider. There’s plenty of opportunities to run two and three abreast.”

Richards says the V8s would ideally suit the Hampton Downs track.

“I think the V8s would put on a good show there, there’s no doubt there,” he said.

“It definitely would be a venue that V8s could race at and enjoy. It would be a massive challenge for the drivers – all the blind brows and off-camber corners that Supercars aren’t renowned for, but I reckon it will make for great racing.

“It’s got a great grip level as well. Even in the road car, I was surprised how much grip the track generated.”

In other news, fellow Kiwi racer Greg Murphy will drive a full-blown Holden Commodore VE V8 Supercar at the track this Monday for a Castrol ride day.

Speedcafe.com.au visited the Hampton Downs circuit yesterday while V8 Utes drivers were testing at the venue. Check out the video below to get an up-close look at the new track …

Видео с трассы в предыдущем посте
да, да - в жизни я еще "кудрявее"
  • d10nis

Hampton Downs



Speedcafe.com.au takes you behind the scenes at New Zealand's newest motorsport venue at Hampton Downs.

Ух какая там шпилька с резким спуском!!!
да, да - в жизни я еще "кудрявее"
  • d10nis

Holdsworth has his eye on series top three



Lee Holdsworth has his eye on leaving this weekend’s Hamilton V8 Supercars meeting inside the top three in the championship – and he wouldn’t mind taking home the Mark Porter Trophy, too.

The Fujitsu Racing driver currently sits fifth in the title fight, 123 points behind third placed James Courtney.

With 300 points on offer over the two 200km races, his desire isn’t impossible, and after scoring a podium finish in Race 5 of the V8 Championship in Adelaide last month, Holdsworth is expecting big things in New Zealand this weekend.

“It’s so close in the championship at the moment. If we have a good result in Hamilton this weekend, a couple of podiums or something like that, it could mean moving up to the top three in the championship,” he told Speedcafe.com.au.

“Our cars have great speed at street circuits. Over the past couple of years at Hamilton, we’ve had really good car speed and top three pace.

“I think we’ve made further improvements to the cars since last year. The team has really lifted and I’m fairly confident about a really strong result there. There’s no reason why we can’t be in with a chance of winning.”

Before the start of the year, Holdsworth and the GRM team were cautious about stating their championship chances as they felt they’d struggle at the low-grip Middle Eastern tracks. Both Holdsworth and team-mate Michael Caruso left Bahrain inside the top 10 in the title, and fast form at Adelaide has kept them there.

Now, Holdsworth wants to continue that speed moving forward.

“We got out of Abu Dhabi and Bahrain with some solid results. We actually came away with better results than we expected,” he said.

“At Clipsal, we knew we’d be quick there. We had to get a result there – it was kind of expected – so it’s good that we’ve been consistent and getting good bundles of points.

“New Zealand has been kind to us in the past, so we’re all looking forward to getting into it.”

Races 7 and 8 of the V8 Supercars Championship Series will be held this weekend at the Hamilton street track, with the winner of Race 8 (on Sunday) awarded the Mark Porter Trophy (in honour of the late Mark Porter who died due to injuries sustained in an accident at Bathurst in 2006).
да, да - в жизни я еще "кудрявее"
  • d10nis

Will Davison: A difficult start, but no future panic



SPEEDCAFE: Compared to 2009, you’ve had a difficult start to the year. Can you pin-point what has changed?

WILL DAVISON: We haven’t been up to last year’s standards, that’s for sure. This is a crucial round for me to get back on track and get back on track. We got a bit of good momentum at the Grand Prix – we didn’t get any points there – but it was positive.

Of course I’m going to say I want to go out there and win, but for me, Hamilton is about having a solid run, score some good points and hopefully be on the podium.

To answer your question, I’m not sure. For whatever reason, things haven’t translated from last year to this year. We just haven’t had the balance in the car – it’s as simple as that, and we don’t have a perfect answer for that yet. Things have changed. At the Grand Prix, I think we were starting to get on top of some of my issues, which makes New Zealand very important for me.

It’s been a strange start to the year. It just hasn’t been like last year in terms of the competitiveness. The results were coming pretty easy last year. It was great then, but we’ve been struggling. We’ll be right.

SPEEDCAFE: It sounds frustrating …

WD: Oh, very frustrating. The Grand Prix was good for us, we caught onto a few things there with the car and a few bits and pieces. We learnt quite a lot of stuff. By Race 3, the car still wasn’t how I want it, but compared to the start of the year, we were far more competitive than what we have been (ED: Davison finished the race in third place).

Without the engine blow up in Abu Dhabi (Race 1 of the V8 Series), we’d probably be fourth or fifth in the championship, so it’s not all bad. With one strong weekend, I believe I can break into the top five in the championship. A bad weekend could put me back in the other direction, so again, it’s an important round not to panic and not do anything stupid. It’s an important round for me to keep my head on my shoulders.

We need to build it up, and we definitely want to get a podium. It’s been a dry spell for sure, compared to the frequency of last year.

SPEEDCAFE: Having a run of lean results is tough, but having the lean run during your contract negotiations time is worse! Your current deal with Toll HRT expires at the end of this season. How are you shaping up for 2011?

WD: I’m trying not to think about that. It only feels like yesterday that I joined HRT so to be talking about new contracts has come up pretty quick.

You’re right, the time to negotiate a new contract is after a bunch of good results. That’s not lost on me. The start of the year hasn’t been ideal going forward, but I think that I’ve done enough in the past to prove that I’m a front-runner. I ran up the front for all of last year and proved myself.

The team is 100 percent behind me. It’s not like I’ve forgotten how to drive overnight. You don’t start driving slow all of a sudden, but all the stars need to align for you to be on the pace, no matter who you are.

We’ve had issues, and we’ve got to get on top of them for a lot of reasons – for me personally, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different to last year, but for whatever reason, we haven’t had the car where it needs to be. It’s just one of those rollercoaster rides that you have in this business every now and then. But the people I have behind me, I’m sure we’ll be on top of it.

SPEEDCAFE: In terms of your future, when do you want to have that locked away?

WD: I have no idea. I’ve got David Segal (driver manager) who looks after all of those things. He’s in charge of all that. Naturally, it’s something that I’d liked looked after sooner rather than later, You don’t want to go deep into the year not knowing what the future is going to hold. We’re just concentrating on the job now.

Realistically, you want it tied up by the middle of the year, that’s for sure, but we’re in no crazy hurry. I can’t see any reason why things would change moving forward. I didn’t join HRT to be here for two years. I think we’re both looking at a long-term relationship, but at the end of the day, things need to be successful. We’ve had a lot of success together, it’s just the last three rounds have been terrible.
да, да - в жизни я еще "кудрявее"
  • d10nis

Твиттер

Jase tests the BOC simulator at Hamilton Gas & Gearlh


Very special Anzac ceremony, fantastic people involved here in Hamilton.GT and I at the with the ladies from the RSA.

comments: I think Garth has found his new helmet design right there.

At Hamilton, cars are ready to go. Track walk soon, not the best weather so far.


Busy day - landed in Auckland then into the city for a radio interview with Matt Gunn then a tour of the "Jack Links" factory


Craig Lowndes with Chiefs players in Hamilton.
да, да - в жизни я еще "кудрявее"
  • d10nis

Jason Bright: Helmets, superstitions & scaffolding!



Posted by Jason Bright in V8 Supercars
It’s been said to me a few times that I experience a bit of bad luck and after a couple of illustrations this year I’ve decided to do something about it; I’m getting a new helmet.

I’ve always had more-or-less the same scheme; I’ve run different colours for one-off events but I’m now looking at changing the colours permanently, which is a big change for me. The main thing is I’m getting rid of the green, which I’m told brings bad luck. (Spending a year in a green car last year really helped me decide to give it a crack)!

People always ask if I’m superstitious and I guess I’m superstitious enough; I have a routine before I get in the car: left glove first, left boot first, left earplug first…. It just feels right doing it that way. I ran an all-black helmet for a couple of rounds last year and they were quite good rounds so I thought I’d give it a crack. Unfortunately the new lid’s not going to be ready for this weekend’s round in New Zealand but I’m feeling pretty confident despite that.

Since the GP I’ve had a debrief with my engineer Phil Keed up in Albury and probably spent more time going through data than we’d had chance to previously, which was very productive. A lot of people probably think that’s just the data that comes out of the car after each session, but it’s also looking at my feedback from each session, timing data etc… We go through everything with a fine tooth-comb to figure out when we were competitive and draw a map of what worked well, what didn’t and what we should concentrate on. That stuff can get lost in the heat of the weekend so it’s good to spend time doing it away from the track.

Hamilton Street Track hasn’t been the best venue for me over the years for different reasons but I like the event. It’s a town of 140,000 people and V8 Supercars certainly became their biggest sporting event in a hurry; the crowd we attracted there in the first year was bigger than the town itself!

The most interesting part of the circuit for me is where track ducks off into an industrial estate and you have people setting up on the roofs with their own scaffolding, mounting spa baths up there for the weekend and having a beer to watch V8 Supercars. That side of it is very typical of that event.

It’s a very challenging street circuit; there are lots of different surface changes and a couple of areas where it’s very bumpy and not a lot of room for error as, unlike Adelaide, the wall is the edge of the circuit on most corners. I had a bit of a moment coming into pit lane last year but never a crash (touch wood).

I think we’ll be quite competitive this year. Our car and all the BJR cars were quite quick at Adelaide at different times and now we’ve had the time to work through that and we’re on top of the steering problem I think we’ll have very competitive cars.

Jason
http://www.jasonbright.com.au/
да, да - в жизни я еще "кудрявее"
  • d10nis

McConville to join HRT at the endurance races



Cameron McConville will join the Holden Racing Team for this year's endurance races at Phillip Island & Bathurst.

McConville retired from full time racing in the series at the end of last year, after racing with Brad Jones Racing, but will take advantage of a new ruling which prevents teams from pairing up their regular drivers in the same car.

As a result, McConville will definitely pair up with either Garth Tander or Will Davison in the Holden at Phillip Island.

McConville regrets not being able to rejoin his former team, but felt HRT offered him the best chance for victory
"I had a chat with Brad and it was just with Walkinshaw being the factory team, it was something I wanted to do and I certainly wish Brad and Jason well."

"I said to Jase ‘I hope you finish second at Bathurst, I really do – behind us (Walkinshaw)’."

McConville finished second at last year's Bathurst 1000km race, and will be hoping to go one better this year.

Отличный вариантдля Гарта. Но пока конечно дуэт Лаунзи-Скайфи на 888 выглядит вне конкуренции