After a rather extended hiatus the site is back. I wish I could say it was all for a good cause, but alas, most of it has been just a lack of time, some of it boring stuff, other rather more exciting, like a lot of time and effort spent prepping the above rather aged and high-mileage Subaru for its first rallycross. I wish I could say it came through with flying colors, but when a rock pushed the skidplate up and cracked the oil pan, its first day of competition was cut rather short.
Anyhow, I’ll get back to the gaming posts now, but given the time of year and a certain rather important game officially hitting stores today, there isn’t an awful lot of racing game news at the moment …
As the first event in the American LeMans Series after the series namesake 24 hour event, the New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut is always a special weekend for series fans. This year’s event was attended by fewer top-level teams than in the past, the series suffering from a lack of competition in the LMP-1 and GT-1 classes, and some unfortunate incidents in the GT-2 class meant there was little competition there.
But, we were witness to a great LMP-2 battle, and a nostalgic talk given by Lime Rock legend Sam Posey before the event was nearly worth the price of admission alone. Hope you enjoy the pics.
March 18 just happens to be my birthday, but more importantly it’s the date of the first race of the 2007 Formula One season and I’m guessing many of you are as eagerly looking forward that as I am. With that in mind here’s a YouTube encoded taste of some pre-season action to whet your whistle. Just a few weeks of waiting left.
If there’s one thing wrong with modern sims it’s that, well, they’re not real. As seen at Blackhole Motorsports, a new product from SimDeck won’t change that, but it will bring the real and the simulated together in an interesting way. Their product, the ICE AV (shown above), is a kid-sized race car with an 110 cc engine that can be connected to a PC and used as a controller for games like Live for Speed or can be disconnected and actually raced around the track…or the parking lot at least.
The debut launch Simdeck racing vehicle is a 2.5m long scaled open cockpit vehicle fitted with a petrol engine for road racing and is targeted at the 10 – 15 year old market or small statute drivers. In simulation mode the vehicle is capable of over 300km per hour and enables the driver to actually feel every track knock, bump and vibration. The system has been fitted with 4 chassis transducers that delivers bone shuddering vibration in real time in time with the virtual racing. The steering column has been fitted with force back recreating the feeling of top speed racing.
As you can see from the pictures this thing isn’t exactly well suited for full-sized adults. But, Simdeck is supposedly working on a larger version for those of larger proportions.
While the idea of using a full-sized race car just for simming seems inconvenient, it would be fascinating to see what could happen should a mod be released featuring the exact characteristic of the cars, enabling race series to include both online and real life events. That would certainly be a good test for seeing who is most susceptible to the evil pucker factor.
As seen at a posting over at RSC, Premiere.de, a German-language media site, will be streaming the full race so that Audi’s presumed victory won’t go unseen by European viewers. Assuming North American viewers can get into this site, this also assures that those without Speed will also be able to tune in.
As seen over at Autoblog and on the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, some pictures have been circulating of an amazing flying ALMS Aston Martin that flew a total of 142 feet in the air before gently dropping back into a sand trap seemingly none the worse for wear.
You can watch a video of the incident over at YouTube. Sadly, no in-car audio commentary was provided, but I’d expect it’d either sound something like “Bloody heeeeeeell!” or “Wheeeeee!”
MS today announced they will be sponsoring a Ferrari 430 GT in this year’s ALMS series.
Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios today announced the sponsorship of Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 430GT for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). As the official racing simulator during the entire race season, the Ferrari’s paint scheme will display Forza Motorsport 2 and Xbox 360® on the hood of the car. The new look 430GT debuted during the inaugural Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston, TX, Saturday, May 13, where Risi drivers Mika Salo took third place and teammate Jaime Melo posted the fastest lap time of the race at 1:11.383.
You can read more about Risi Competizione or just drool over a few more pictures of their Italian beauties at their website.
According to Pitpass sources Formula One Management (FOM) is apparently ready to debut its new High-Definition (HD) television equipment for the two North American rounds, if remaining technical bugs can be worked out guaranteeing the system won’t crash during a broadcast.
Just because the races will be broadcast in HD does not mean we’ll be watching in HD without some local broadcaster picking up the F1 rights (unlikely in the US at least), and of course without the necessary hardware in your viewing area. But, this bodes well for the future at least.
Acura has announced their going to join the ALMS party with their own LMP2 prototype, powered by an American-designed V8. For those not familiar with it, ALMS is the American Lemans Series, a US spinoff of the famed 24 hour race in France. It started in 1998 thanks to Don Panoz as a single event at the Panoz home track, Road Atlanta. The so-called Petite Lemans has grown to spawn an entire series, the ALMS, which has become incredibly successful. The series, like the 24 hour race in France, is split into four classes, two prototype (open-cockpit) classes, and two GT (street-car) classes. In the 2005 24 Hours of Lemans race in France, ALMS participants dominated three of those four classes.