To promote a rather full-featured automobile get-together called Autoweek Live in Lelystad, Holland next month, the organizers got ex-Formula One driver Jos "The Boss" Verstappen to wring out an A1GP car in the Lelystad city center and then strut its stuff on a highway. The spec series open-wheelers used in the now-defunct A1GP were Lola B05/52 chassis' with 3.4-liter V8s from Zytek Engineering that were good for up to 550 horsepower in "powerboost" mode.
Until its demise, A1GP had an intriguing, original formula. (At least once it took its place as a feeder series and not a competitor to Formula One). The idea, for those unfamiliar, was to pit teams representing their home countries against each other in identical F1-style single-seaters on famous race tracks around the world. Unfortunately, like so many things, the execution failed to live up to the idea.
In the wake of Formula One's near collapse and the shock resignation of Indy chief Tony George, it'd be all to easy to assume these are the only two racing series in serious trouble. However, emerging reports indicate that they're only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Last fall, A1GP was having some technical problems using a 30 percent ethanol blend in the race series' vehicles. Today, the organizers have announced that all 22 teams that will compete in next weekend's A1GP Taupo race in New Zealand will use the Hiperflo™ E30 in the tanks. This ethanol is made from European sugar beets and made solely for use by A1GP racers (I won't bring up the craziness of shipping the biofuel from Europe to New Zealand for a "greener" race). According to A1GP, Hiperf
Former two-time Formula 1 champion and Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi has announced he will come out of retirement to test the new car being built by Ferrari for the A1 Grand Prix. The 60-year-old Fittipaldi, who is currently the head of A1 Team Brazil, never drove for Ferrari (he won his F1 titles with Lotus and McLaren) but is excited about getting seat time in a single-seater powered by the Prancing Horse. He also has high hopes that bringing Ferrari to the A1 GP will increase people's aw
From that starting point, we can expect the body to be widened some to accomodate an engine larger in displacement but somewhat lower-revving than the current F1-spec V8s. The smart money would be on a less extreme and less fragile aerodynamic package than used in F1.
Despite some "technical issues," the new A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will move forward to using 30 percent ethanol blend in the 22 A1GP race cars, the association announced this week. For now, though, the E30 problems are mostly performance related, so "A1GP has therefore reluctantly reverted to its regular race 102 octane fuel while further development and testing work continues to rectify the situation with the intention of introducing bio-fuels to all A1GP race cars as quickly as possible."
Those upstart racers over at A1GP got more than they bargained for when two days of practice sessions began in Beijing this week for the first ever motorsports race to take place in the Chinese capital. Though the 3.1km street circuit designed specifically for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsports Series had already received an FIA Grade 2 approval, two cars suffered minor incidents at the track's eighth turn, which is a hairpin at the end of a long straight. The problem didn't concern the track sur
Heading into its second season, the A1GP series has taken steps to level the playing field for its rookie drivers, by giving the inexperienced drivers two rookies-only track sessions on the Friday preceding the race weekend.
The A1 Grand Prix series, which enjoyed its debut season last year, has announced that it intends to upgrade its one-design racecars to a level closer to that of Formula 1. (The current A1GP Lola/Zytek is shown at right, in last week's group test at Silverstone.)
NASCAR: Matt Kenseth (at right)
handed Ford its first NASCAR victory for its new Fusion model Sunday, winning the Auto Club 500 in Fontana, California.
Jack Roush's Ford teams ran at the front all day, and on the restart for another green-white-checker finish, Kenseth had
no trouble pulling away from the Chevy of runner-up Jimmie Johnson. Carl Edwards put his Roush Ford Fusion in third,
with Kasey Kahne (Dodge) and Jeff Burton (Chevrolet) rounding out the top five. Check out www.nascar.com for f
NHRA: Melanie Troxel (pictured after her
Winternationals brakout victory) is looking to make it two in a row in Top Fuel this weekend at Firebird Raceway in
Chandler, Arizona. The race will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD, for you high-def early adopters.