Mugello Speedway

February 9, 2009 by  
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Located in the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy, with its 5.245 mile track and a total variance in altitude of 41,19 meters, the Mugello Moto GP Circuit presents car and bike manufacturers with ideal conditions for rigorous testing and is regularly used by Ferrari for putting its F1 cars through their paces during development. So although Mugello is not a venue for an FIA Formula One World Championship race event, it is nonetheless closely linked with this exciting sport.

With a history going back to 1914, when the first race was held on a road circuit, Mugello has hosted some legendary drivers and seen the development of innovative racing cars through the decades. The World Wars interrupted events at Mugello, but during the sixties, large crowds of spectators were drawn by the excitement on the track as auto racing started to develop, going from strength to strength.

Today, Mugello Moto GP Circuit boasts up-to-date facilities and hosts a variety of events, as well as being the testing ground for some of the world’s most technologically advanced racing cars.


February 9, 2009 by  
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Looking for something different to do this weekend? Taking a long-awaited vacation and planning an itinerary? Why not include an auto museum on your schedule – it’s something that provides interest to adults and children alike. Auto museums offer a wonderful opportunity for an educational and exciting vacation activity.

Often publicly owned and operated, auto museums are open to the public and allow a rare glimpse into a world gone by. There are various types of auto museums, some housing all kinds of cars and other specializing in certain types of vehicles from racing cars to motorcycles. Some museums may feature a section with new, space-age designs and concept cars. Discover classic, vintage, antique cars and motorcycles and learn about their development over the years. There are some museums, such as the new International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen, NY that are exclusively devoted to racing vehicles. There are also larger, more inclusive auto museums like the National Automotive History Collection (NAHC) located at the Detroit Public Library, a fantastic resource for all things automotive. Of course, you’ll find some of the most historic cars in US history at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. At the other end of the scale, local and regional auto museums offer visitors a close up look at cars and trucks that have local significance. All in all, a visit to an auto museum provides one of life’s rare pleasures – and usually at a very reasonable cost.

Aerodynamics in Sports Cars

July 7, 2008 by  
Filed under Tips

With the desire to go faster than ever before cars have been making use of the aerodynamic principles developed for aircraft for some time now. In many cases, good aerodynamics can be the key to success in sports cars, and so it comes as no surprise that millions of dollars are spend researching and developing this facet of auto racing each year.

There are two main factors to take into consideration when discussing the aerodynamics of an automobile: down force and drag. Down force is an aid for good, as it helps to push the car’s tires onto the track and so improves a car’s ability to corner and stay on the road. Drag, on the other hand, is not a favorable factor, since it is essentially air turbulence that slows the car down. Finding the right balance between the two can sometimes be tricky.

Altering the aerodynamic performance of race cars was something that was more or less started in the late 1960s. This is when the wings that are now commonplace on the racetrack were first added to cars. Early experiments with wings resulted in some rather spectacular accidents and so regulations were introduced to limit the size and location of wings in 1970. Race car wings are essentially upside-down airplane wings – instead of creating lift they create down force using something known as Bernoulli’s Principle. As the wind travels over the shorter and longer planes of the wings, it pushes the car down and helps it to stay on the road. Modern Formula One cars have this science down to such an art that the cars are capable of handling a lateral cornering force of 3.5g! The concept was further improved during the mid 1970s when Lotus engineers discovered that adding a wing to the car’s underside could further help to improve road holding. Over time a number of rules have been drawn up regarding this aspect of down force to ensure that no team has a distinctly unfair advantage over other teams. Today wings may be altered from race to race to improve the cars performance on a particular track.

When it comes to reducing drag, wind tunnels have certainly helped to make race cars more streamlined. By now every single aspect of the modern Formula One car has been investigated and improved to make it as streamlined as possible – including the driver’s helmet and the suspension! There is, however, one downside to a slippery smooth car: the incredible heat produced by a Formula One engine does need good supply of airflow to ensure that it doesn’t build up and cause problems. So designers are always careful to ensure that this is something that is provided for, even though they also spend hours trying to make sure that the air travels over the car as effortlessly as it can. No doubt, as racing cars continue to get faster and leaner, you will continue to see more and more of these developments take effect.

Rare Sport Car Collection Opens at Simeone Museum

June 13, 2008 by  
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After nearly half a century of careful collection, Dr. Fredrick Simeone has seen fit to share his prize, joy and passion with the rest of the world. Located just a short distance off Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, this impressive museum is some 75 000 square feet in size and displays approximately 65 rare sport and racing cars with the sort of meticulous attention to detail that you’d expect from a neurosurgeon. Fortunately Dr. Simeone is a neurosurgeon, and visitors to this fantastic museum will find that his passion and the painstaking effort that has no doubt gone into creating the exhibits was certainly not a waste of time.

The fantastic newly established Simeone Foundation Museum, which is due to open at the beginning of next week, provides car enthusiasts with the ultimate walk through time. After more than 50 years of collecting cars, Dr. Simeone now has one of the finest vintage racecar collections on the planet. The different cars are displayed in dioramas of the actual racing events that those particular vehicles were used in and this gives the museum a rather intriguing edge. It certainly helps to transport one back in time mentally and visitors will find themselves completely immersed in a journey that documents the history and development of sporting vehicles from 1909 to 2002. Classic images of Watkins Glen, Sebring, Le Mans, the Mille Miglia and Bonneville will stir onlookers and leave them with fond memories of their visit to the Simeone Foundation Museum.

So what can you expect to see at the museum? An Aston Martin DBR1 that was piloted to victory by Sir Stirling Moss at Nurburgring in 1958 is certainly not something an enthusiast would want to miss out on. Another highlight is a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S “Tank”. This particular “Tank” took the winner’s trophy at Le Mans in 1958. The 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B on display has the distinction of winning the Mille Miglia during its time as a racing car. While these cars are no doubt interesting highlights that should not be overlooked, the entire collection is also definitely worth seeing. The museum has been designed by its founder to clearly depict how competition and racing has helped to improve the quality, technology and prestige of motor vehicles over the years. The Museum will be open to the public six days a week, so make sure that you book your tour as soon as possible!

Barrington Concours D’elegance Auto Show

May 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

In response to the overwhelming support enjoyed by the inaugural Barrington Concours D’elegance Auto Show held at Makray Golf Course in 2007, organizers have decided to present the 2008 event at Arlington Park. The reason for this move is to accommodate the large number of visitors who are expected to attend the second Barrington Concours D’elegance, which is set to take place 4-5 October 2008. Additionally, Arlington Park offers indoor exhibition space which will prove invaluable in the event of inclement weather.

Although the event has been moved to Arlington Park, the name of the Auto Show will remain as Barrington Concours D’elegance, and a number of events will take place in and around Barrington during the event weekend. On 4 October a “Celebration of Speed” will be held at the Autobahn Country Club raceway in Joliet, with the day ending off with a dinner hosted by the Onion Pub and Brewery in Lake Barrington.

Sunday will feature a Road Rally and Village Day, which will focus attention on the picturesque Barrington area. This Road Rally will give automobile exhibitors and visitors the opportunity to take a leisurely drive along the winding roads of Barrington’s countryside. Various car clubs, including Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW and Jaguar, will station superb examples of their cars throughout the town of Barrington for all to see.

The Barrington Concours D’elegance will showcase over 100 rare, classic, historic, sports and performance racing cars and motorcycles. Cars on display at the 2007 event that are expected to be seen again at the 2008 show include a 1937 Austin 7 Nippy 2-Seater, a 1907 Packard 30 Runabout, a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe, and a 1910 Ford Model T Touring.

Tickets will be on sale at the 6-8 June Barrington Community Appreciation Weekend which is to be held at Arlington Park. Barrington residents will be given free admission to this event, and visitors who buy their Barrington Concours D’elegance tickets during the Barrington Community Appreciation Weekend will receive a $10 discount.

Proceeds from the Auto Show will be split between the Hospice of Northeastern Illinois and the Barrington Area Conservation Trust. So, not only are you getting the benefit of a fascinating, educational and fun event, but you will be supporting two worthy charities. Be sure not to miss the Barrington Concours D’elegance at Arlington Park in October 2008.

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