For motorsports fans in the US, the winter is often a wasteland of interest, leaving us to look forward to warmer weather and the return of racing. However, there's a lighthouse that shines each year during the cold doldrums in the form of the Dakar Rally. Often broadcast in the wee hours of the morning, it gives the DVR-savvy a reprieve to watch motorcycles and trucks blasting through the desert while the snow falls outside at home.
An E36 BMW 3 Series might be a good choice for a lot of purposes – a long road trip, a track day, rallycross, impressing your friends... but a full-on rally? It's rear-drive when the best rally machines are front- or all-wheel drive. But that didn't stop Pritt Koik and Alari-Uku Heldna from entering their stripped-out E36 in the Viru Rally in Estonia... or from getting some big air time when they did.
Going to most races means watching the action from behind a fence or from high up on grandstands, but rallying often gives spectators the chance to get closer to the competition than practically any other forms of motorsport. If people are willing to put themselves in danger, they're able to sit right at a corner exit and watch the cars hurtling toward them. However, the Jolly Rally al Colle San Carlo in Italy got a lot less jolly recently, when an out of control vehicle nearly struck a group of
Racing driver and Top Gear USA host Tanner Foust is a very busy guy. After all, he's competing in rounds of both Global Rallycross series and FIA World Rallycross Championship, not to mention his TV duties. However, we probably shouldn't feel too sorry for him, because his job puts him behind the wheel of some truly crazy machinery.
Cars have a weird way of bringing fathers and sons together. You might not want to talk to your dad (or son) about politics, but if you can get him into a conversation about 1950s automotive design, then you can chat for hours. The latest video from Petrolicious looks at how Jonathan Auerbach and his dad bonded through racing in long-distance rallies in an absolutely brutish 1951 Chrysler New Yorker.
Porsche and motorsports just seem to go hand-in-hand. The brand has defined itself by its ability to compete on the track with the concept that racing bred better road cars. While we are used to seeing 911s speeding along circuits around the world, the rear-engine icon's success in rallying is somewhat less well known. The Porsche Museum aims to fix that by highlighting a 911 SC that competed in the 1978 East African Safari Rally.
Rallying isn't just dangerous for drivers, it's far and away one of the most dangerous forms of motorsport for spectators. Because of a lack of runoff areas and barriers, an out-of-control rally car is a huge danger for the fans that line the track. That's a lesson these extremely lucky Polish rally enthusiasts had to learn firsthand.
If you've ever watched an off-road rally and wondered how the spectators are allowed to get so close to the cars traveling at high speeds over loose and often unpredictable surfaces, we're afraid to report that your suspicions have tragically been confirmed as news comes in of two separate crashes during the Jim Clark Rally in Scotland on Saturday.
The Rallye Monte-Carlo ZENN was held this past weekend and the spunky Renault Zoe electric vehicle drove away the big winner. The little car came in first place not only in the overall category, but also in the regularity, energy consumption, autotest and teams' challenge sections. As the company wrote on the official blog, "Yes, we literally won everything!"
Yesterday, we told you about a pair of World Rally Championship drivers that used a giant bottle of Corona in place of coolant after their radiator developed a leak. We called it an example of the sense of ingenuity that all rally drivers seem to possess. In that same post, we also talked about the "lightning quick reflexes and the ability to turn off one's sense of self-preservation." Now, you get to see that in action.
Ken Block became famous for his series of Gymkhana videos, but he's a real racer in his own right. Block has competed many rounds in the FIA World Rally Championship and also rallied in the 2013 Rally America series. He nearly won that latter title last year – if not for a massive crash in the final event of the season.
Not like we would need an excuse to join a few hundred friends for a springtime plug-in vehicle drive through the Swiss Alps, but the World Advanced Vehicle Expedition (WAVE) is providing us with one. WAVE is putting on its annual shindig between May 31 and June 7, entrant Green Motorsport says, and the party's so big that WAVE's now giving out prizes for three categories: plug-in vehicles that are heavier than 900 kilograms (1,984 pounds), lighter than 900 kg and electric bikes.
Volkswagen is officially headed into rallycross action, and here's the car that'll hit the dirt. Meet the GRC Beetle – an all-wheel-drive monster that packs "more than 560 horsepower" from its turbocharged TSI engine.
GoPro cameras are quite popular in a number of arenas, thanks to their general ease of use. Get the right mount, figure out where you want the camera, position it, hit a button and do whatever awesome thing you want captured on video. What happens when you have an overabundance of GoPros, though?
Several years ago, we posted a video on a dumpy, all-wheel-drive, turbocharged Honda Civic Wagon that starred in a film called Wagon Attack II. The video showed the rusty, red five-door tackling terrain that no Civic has any business driving on, and doing it with flair and style.
Renault may not compete with its arch-rival Citroën at the top of the World Rally Championship, but head out to any lower-level rally and you're bound to see some of its competition-spec machinery entered by privateer teams. Renaultsport offers rally teams the Twingo R2 Evo, Twingo R1 and Megane N4, and is now bolstering the Clio Renaultsport R3 with the new R3T version.
Professional rally driving is one of the toughest gigs going in motorsports. High speeds, uneven surfaces, varied weather conditions and the occasional flub from driver or co-driver can (and do) conspire to wreak all manner of havoc. Just a fraction too much steering lock, selecting the wrong gear at the wrong time or suffering from a microsecond lapse of attention can cause a racer to end up in the weeds with a quickness.
Robert Kubica seems to have more bad luck than most top-tier race car drivers, but maybe that's because his high-profile crashes since 2011 have garnered more media attention than his achievements. When we left off with him last month, he was within spitting distance of winning WRC2, and he indeed won the championship in late October. Now here's the bad news: he crashed out of his first full WRC event on Friday, ESPN F1 reports. Fortunately, Neither Kubica nor his co-driver were injured.