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Enthusiast’s Guide To FIA Formula E

Bradley Brownell September 11, 2014 Featured, Motorsports

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Remember how excited people got about the Audi R10 TDi racers when they debuted? They were something completely new and different. They were the pinnacle of technology, they were fast, they were quiet, and they wiped the floor with their competition. Starting this weekend, the FIA is trying to capitalize on that alternative energy racing craze that Audi pioneered all the way back in 2006. Instead of a now-accepted diesel racing car, however, they are introducing electric racing to the world stage in an open-wheel series dubbed “Formula E”. Some people have called it crazy, some are condemning it to failure before it’s even begun. In comparison with traditional racing, Formula E does have some downsides, primarily a spec chassis, a spec powertrain, and spec tires, combined with a relatively low top-speed (only about 140 miles per hour), and an inability to produce aurally pleasing exhaust notes.

Is Formula E going to be the Formula 1 replacement for the Prius driver? I don’t think so. This should be an excellent racing series that provides some pretty exciting racing action, and while it won’t provide the sounds and smells you’re used to in open-wheel racing, it should be pretty indicative of the future of motorsport. We need to find a way forward if we want motorsport to continue into a non-fossil-fueled future. Maybe Formula E is the stepping stone we need to develop the technology for sustainable motor racing. Maybe it’ll fall on its face right out of the starting gate, but personally I really hope it doesn’t.

After the jump, we continue our series of articles covering the various road racing series and important races all over the world. In previous installments,  we have covered The United Sports Car Championship, the 12 hours of Sebring, the Bathurst 12 hour,Indycar, the Pirelli World Challenge, the FIA World Endurance ChampionshipFormula 1Global Rallycross, The 24 Hours of Le Mans, and The 24 Hours of the Nurburgring.

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Video: Tanner Foust Tests His New Volkswagen Bug

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Volkswagen has been promoting the coming of the New-New Beetle to Global RallyCross racing in conjunction with Andretti Autosport since last February, but until today, they didn’t have a running-driving race car ready for competition, and were using the old VW Polo chassis.

They don’t even SELL the Polo here, so it makes sense that they’re dumping that race car in favor of the punch buggy.  Click past the jump to see the wild video.

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V.I.S.I.T. – Mad Maverick

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It was on a recent trip to Mr. Sam Walton’s local general store and grocers that I spotted this little gem, coincidentally the same parking lot I spotted it’s older brother. If I’m not mistaken, this Maverick is painted in Ford’s ‘Last Stand Custard’ (they had some great color names in the early 70s, including ‘Thanks Vermillion’, ‘Freudian Gilt’, ‘Original Cinnamon’, and ‘Anti-Establish Mint’ to name a few). Powered by Ford’s infamous ‘Thriftpower” inline six cylinder, this Maverick was originally built to both replace Ford’s aging Falcon and to combat a serious influx of import cars from Japan and Germany’s Beetle. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never really thought of the Mav as a compact car, but I guess it was. The Mustang’s little brother is a nifty little critter, and I’ve always sort of wanted one, even in slightly ungainly sedan form.

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The Hooniverse Dream Car Build Garage: Project Monster Miura SV-R Time Attack

Bradley Brownell August 22, 2014 Project Cars

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Welcome to the Dream Car Build Garage. Every so often, inspiration hits in a big way. I don’t know about you, but when I get inspiration for a car build, it’s all I can think about for weeks. I literally dream about driving my crazy mental build, and make up entire forum ‘build threads’ for how the project would play out in my head. This happens probably at least once every other month, so I’ve got dozens of these crazy projects floating around in my head, plaguing my every waking moment. Many of them would require far more funds than I have access to, but it doesn’t hurt to dream, right? Actually, it hurts a lot, because I’ll never see these come to fruition.

Click through the jump to be tormented by my ideas with me. Misery loves company, right?

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Hooniverse Goes To Concours D’LeMons West

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Monterey car week has come and gone, and in that whirlwind half-dozen days, some of the worlds coolest cars assembled on the Californian peninsula for all to enjoy. Car guys came from all over the world to experience practically every corner of car culture for one week, and it was glorious. From the millions of dollars brought up to bid at the major auctions to the exhilarating vintage races out at Laguna Seca, there is literally something for everyone. Even if your budgets are a bit lower, and your dream car a bit more attainable, there’s one little car show for you that isn’t so little anymore. It’s called Concours D’LeMons, and it’s fantastic.

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Final Seconds Saturday of 2014 At Hanzels Auto Body Works

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Now, Mr. Odell is usually the one to go to Hanzel’s for this event, but his series of posts convinced me that I needed to make the trek over to the bay area from my hideaway in the high deserts of Sparks, Nevada. Set the alarm clock for 4AM and hit the road. There’s nothing quite like a one-day road trip to really liven things up (especially after a quick stop at the ever-fantastic Dutch Bros. Coffee on the way out), and after having been given the opportunity to poke around a bunch of fellow enthusiast’s cars and probe the inner workings of Hanzel’s I’m convinced it was well worth the trip. Fun was had by all as we shared the intricacies of our cars among the gathered crowds. Coffee, crullers, camaraderie, and camshafts; how could it get better?

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The Lost Art Of Camping With Sports Cars

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Camping is minimalist living. You forego some of life’s amenities and push yourself to have fun. You willfully put yourself into a somewhat uncomfortable situation in order to have an enjoyable and memorable time. It’s an opportunity to share an experience with old friends, or perhaps make a few new ones. It’s often considered ‘hardcore’ by normal people. In these ways, camping is similar to driving a sports car. Why not enjoy both at the same time?

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V.I.S.I.T. – Facebooker Spies Porsche Prototype Train On Mulholland Drive

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The V.I.S.I.T. Facebook page is an awesome place to hang out, and occasionally someone shares something truly special. Porsche is known to drive their prototypes around in trains like this, especially on the Southern California loop on which this group were spotted. In this group, though the photos the poster shared are perhaps a bit blurred, we appear to have a facelifted 981 Boxster, and perhaps a few variants of the upcoming 991 Carrera GTS. Maybe even a Targa GTS?

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Project Car SOTU: Funf Zylinder and Project Hoonda

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Despite my best efforts, I have not yet been subjected to a breakdown in the 19 year old, 180,000 mile, turbocharged German luxury sedan. I got the car in July of 2012, and two years later, it’s been nothing but great to me, and I to it. The car has moved with me across the country to Reno, NV, and I rather think it relishes the thinner air at 4,000 feet above sea level. Much like beloved pet, the Audi has several nicknames, including Angela (as in Merkel), Funf-Zyl, and Rowdy the Audi.

As much love as ol’ Rowdy has gotten in the last two years, Project Hoonda the fast fiddy has gotten practically none. It’s sat, unloved, in the corner of the garage. She’s in a rough state right now, and really needs a thorough going over.

Full updates and more fancy pictures included after the jump!

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V.I.S.I.T. – Calling An Espada An Espada

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[Ed Note: I was recently given an amazing opportunity to go to France for a weekend to see a bunch of cars drive around in circles. REALLY big circles. An 8 and a half mile track in central France called La Sarthe. You may have heard of it. I was there at the behest of Michelin Tires on assignment for FlatSixes.com to cover the experience of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and you can see my race report, and more over there.]

Ferruccio Lamborghini, for years, admired the famous Spanish fighting bulls of Don Eduardo Miura, and even went so far as to name all of his cars in homage to the world famous fighting bull breeding ranch. Following the Miura proper, Lamborghini produced this front-engine V12 2+2 tourer. This one was named Espada, after the sword used by bull fighters, but colloquially used to describe the fighter themselves. This, to me, describes this car in either of its two forms. One, as a sword itself, scything its way through traffic with V12 torque, and carving its way down mountain passes. Second, this car is a fighter, a scrappy underdog taking on the earthly might of the bull, a metaphor, in this case, for…  I don’t know, something, I guess.  I’ve never been very good at metaphors.

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