Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing

August 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Features

With history going back to its first FIM organized event in 1949, Grand Prix motorcycle racing is an international series which has gathered a loyal following of fans who turn out in droves to watch driver and machine become as one as they compete for the checkered flag. As the main championship of motorcycle road racing, the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is divided into three categories: 125cc, Moto2, and MotoGP. Setting the Grand Prix series apart from other motorcycle racing series, such as the Superbike World Championship, is the fact that the motorcycles competing in the Grand Prix are built specifically for racing and therefore cannot be bought at a dealership and are not licensed to ride on public roads.

The MotoGP series consists of eighteen races, held in fourteen countries, on four continents, with global television coverage ensuring that fans all over the world can share in the excitement. Currently seven nationalities are represented among the riders who line the starting grid, with four manufacturers – Ducati, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki – providing the latest in motorcycle technology.

Now in its 62nd year, MotoGP is not only the premier motorcycle racing world championship, but it is also the longest running championship series. Under the supervision of the FIM, the series is managed by Dorna Sports and has been since 1992. With more than 2.2 million people attending races in 2009, there is no doubt that spectators appreciate the effort put into the organization of each of the eighteen events, which feature races in each of the three categories.

The 125cc category is the stepping stone into this exciting sport. The minimum age for riders is 15 years, with the maximum set at 28 years – the exception being for wild-card riders, or riders who are newly contracted and competing in a 125 cc event for the first time, where the minimum age will be 25 years. Maximum engine displacement in this category is 125cc single-cylinder units. As announced in December 2008, from 2010 the 250cc category has been replaced by Moto2 – a 4-stroke class aimed at being a cost-effective, but prestigious, class to accompany the star of the show, the MotoGP.

Recognized as the ultimate test for motorcycle racing’s finest talents, MotoGP allows a maximum engine capacity of 800cc (4-stroke engines) and the motorcycle must be a prototype. The minimum age for riders competing in the MotoGP class is 18 years. Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi is the current MotoGP World Champion, having claimed his seventh premier class title in 2009.

Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductions

June 9, 2010 by  
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The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum is located in Knoxville, and is dedicated to the preservation of the history of sprint car racing. Within its walls are numerous items, photographs and memorabilia that document the development of the sport, and each year an awards ceremony is held to honor the contributions made by members of the sprint racing industry, inducting them into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. This year more than five hundred people attended this prestigious event and many worthy inductees had their names cemented into the history of sprint racing.

There were twelve new names added to list of inductees on Saturday, 5 June 2010, at the ceremony that was held at Marion County Fairgrounds in the Dyer-Hudson Hall. During the three hour ceremony, a tribute to the career of each inductee was showcased. The inductees included drivers, car owners and workshop crew. The sons of both Hal Robinson and Frank Riddle, legendary sprint car drivers, accepted the awards on behalf of their fathers. The award and induction of Fred Brownfield, a promoter, was accepted by his wife Debbie, with Rhoda Krasner accepting the award for her father and promoter, Ben Krasner. Other awards that were accepted by family members and friends, included the award for the late Hank Arnold, driver and builder, Clyde Adams, George Bentel and Herman Schurch. Drivers Bobbe Adamson and Fred Linder were also honored at the ceremony, as well as Don Shepard (Mechanic) and Casey Luna (Car Owner). Celebrity members of the sprint racing industry who were present at the awards ceremony included Jimmy Oskie, Allan Brown, Ray Lee Goodwin, Bob Trostle, Jerry Daniels, Don Mack, Bill Smith, Lynn Paxton, Lanny Edwards, Jack Elam and Harold Leep.

Dr. Pat Sullivan was the Emcee for the evening and the entire program of this year’s Sprint Car Hall of Fame ceremony was dedicated to a number of Hall of Fame Inductees of previous years, namely Earl Wagner, Clarence Anderson, Jeff Sharpe, Palmer Berger, Walt James, Ken Coles, Stew Reamer, Hal Minyard and Billy Wilkerson. Visitors to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum will be able to view the names and and find out about the contributions of the new inductees, while taking a journey back in time into the history of sprint racing.

New Daytona 500 Pace Car

February 5, 2010 by  
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It is a big moment for the Daytona 500 as well as for Ford, as the 2010 event, which kicks off on 14 February, will unveil a new pace car for its racing season. It will be the first time in forty years that there will be a Ford pace car on the track, with the last Ford gracing the racing circuit being a Ford Torino GT Convertible in the year 1970. Not only will a Ford be making its way back into Daytona 500 history, but it is the iconic Ford Mustang GT that has been selected for the job. Ford and racing fans are extremely excited to see the new pace car in action.

Ford will produce exactly fifty of the limited edition Ford Mustang GT Pace cars, and along with the original pace car, they will be for sale to the public. The actual pace car will be the exception, as it will go on auction. Collectors interested in purchasing this rare part of Ford heritage will have the opportunity to bid on the vehicle at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction. Interested parties can also look forward to a few special features that will be added to the vehicle for this special occasion.

The Ford Mustang GT will be based on the 2011 Mustang GT, and one of its features is a new paint job, which will showcase a brand new design with a Daytona 500 theme. The car will also have an improved and upgraded strut tower brace and Ford Racing suspension. Mufflers have also been added to the specs, as well as painted wheels (customized 19 inches) to enhance the themed design. Branded plates will be a special limited edition feature and the interior will be getting a number of changes of its own. Under the hood, a powerful machine awaits future owners, with a 5.0 liter engine that generates a staggering 412 horsepower. Other features include vented disc brakes, integrated blind spot mirrors, message centre technology and MyKey programming. This magnificent V-8 collector’s item is a must have for motoring enthusiasts. It is going to be the pride of the Daytona 500 and the lucky members of the public who are able to get their hands on one!

Reference

June 5, 2009 by  
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Everything you need to know and more about the fast-paced world of Auto Racing, all right here in one spot on one site!

History

February 9, 2009 by  
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The sport of motor racing has thrilled thousands ever since it first began. It wasn’t long after the first ‘horseless carriages’ had been invented and improved upon that the idea of pitting the strengths of different designs, and the skills of drivers, against one another in a race was conceived. The first organized racing event was in actual fact a Reliability Trial run which took place between Paris and Rouen in 1894. The winning vehicle had to, not only cross the finish line first, but had to be safe, easy to control and reasonably economical to run. The first over the line was Count de Dion, but his vehicle was deemed impractical and the prizes were awarded to the next two cars instead. The winning average speed was only 17km/h but the event gave birth to a new craze – motor racing.

As designs continued to be improved upon, the new sport saw a continued increase in cylinders and engine size. The addition of the pneumatic tire was impractical at first but soon gained popularity. Chassis design changed radically and new brake and tire designs struggled to keep up. And as soon as one design became the winning standard, other car manufacturers would strive to improve upon these to bring their own names into the lime-light. By the early 1900s car speeds were approaching 100mph and races where held on open roads, where both drivers and spectators where often involved in bad accidents. Eventually in 1906 the very first Grand Prix for manufacturers was held by the French. The race took place on a 64 mile course which was lapped six times a day for two days.

It did not take long for other countries to follow suit. Germany became a popular place for racing and their Mercedes motorcars often dominated the scene. The Alfa of Italy and the Fiat and Peugeot of France rose to the challenge, and soon they claimed supremacy for themselves. Because of the dangers involved in racing on public roads, wealthy enthusiasts soon started building oval racing circuits which became very popular. An attempt was made to counteract the dangers of the sport by increasing the rules and regulations surrounding the event. Eventually a recognized and standardized racing sport emerged and much of these standards are still maintained in the motor racing sporting events of today.

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