Posts Tagged ‘racing’
A home event for a team means more pressure than usual, though Toyota are turning this into positive pressure and will be gunning for their second victory in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The team will see a return of Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima who will drive with Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre behind the wheel of the #7 TS030 Hybrid in the Six Hours of Fuji at the spectacular Fuji Speedway on Sunday. Remarkably for a new car in its first season, the #7 Toyota Hybrid TS030 has led every race in which it has competed, recording its first victory in Brazil last month in only its third race. Team President Yoshiaki Kinoshita said the entire team was “fired up” for this weekend’s event, particularly because the race car’s hybrid powertrain was developed very close to Fuji Speedway at the Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre. “Our home race is a very special occasion for Toyota Racing and the team is extremely motivated to deliver a good result,” he said. “To stand on the top step of the podium in Japan is a big dream for us, so everyone is fired up for this weekend.” Lapierre, who is making only his second trip to Japan, said the privilege of racing in front of Toyota’s home fans was “positive pressure” to do well. Wurz said the extra pressure would be good for the team. Nakajima knows the Fuji Speedway circuit very well, having raced there twice this year in the Super GT program – a Japanese series in which he has concentrated his efforts since helping Toyota Racing to its first podium finish at Silverstone in August. During his absence, his teammates drove the Toyota Hybrid to victory in Sao Paulo and were in a strong position to repeat its success in Bahrain two weeks ago, but a technical issue cost several minutes before an accident ended its race. Weather conditions are expected to be significantly cooler in Japan than the 37°C race-day heat experienced in Bahrain. The 4.563km Fuji Speedway track has a rich history of endurance racing, having previously hosted the World Sportscar Championship from 1982 to 1988, as well as national sportscar events.
In an Australian first, Renault Australia has launched a locally developed app for iPad and iPhone. As the first Australian automotive brand to locally build a mobile 3D racing game based on a real Australian F1 racing track, Renault has taken the lead with the all-new “R.S. Challenge”, a demanding and exhilarating 3D gaming experience. The app has been built by Renault Australia in collaboration with MobeSeek and Frosch Media. Enthusiasts will get the opportunity to experience what it really feels like to take on the Albert Park track, home of the annual F1 Australian Grand Prix, one of the world’s most demanding circuits. With advanced 3D graphics, players can take the controls of Renault’s multi-award-winning Mégane Renault Sport 250. The R.S. Challenge starts in the garage where advanced graphics enable a 360-degree view of the vehicles and players can select from the feisty yellow Mégane R.S. 250, the dynamic Mégane R.S. 250 Australian Grand Prix Limited Edition and the official Red Bull Race Off Mégane R.S. 250. Then it’s time to hit the track and find out who has what it takes to win. The race consists of one adrenalin-pumping lap around the twisty, challenging Albert Park track. The Australian top scoring lap will get the honour of featuring in cinematic view on every R.S. Challenge title screen around Australia! All the more reason to win! The first track to be launched is the Albert Park Grand Prix circuit, in time for the 2012 F1™ Qantas Australian Grand Prix. Justin Hocevar, Managing Director of Renault Australia, said: “We are so excited to be launching the R.S. Challenge! We have a great following for Renault Sport in Australia and I am delighted to be able to showcase our hero car to an even wider audience.” The R.S. Challenge app is Renault’s latest venture in the world of Mobile devices, after launching a permanent mobile site in August 2011 (m.renault.com.au) that provides all the functionality and information customers expect, tailored for the Mobile format. The game can be downloaded free from the App StoreSM. The R.S. Challenge is launching exclusively on iPad2 and iPhone4 and 4S.
Just days after the launch of the Citroen DS4 in Australia the French car maker has revealed that it will launch the next evolution of its DS product at the Geneva International Motor Show next month (March 2012) with the unveiling of the Citroen DS4 Racing Concept. As with DS3 Racing, which won’t be sold in Australia due to it not being able to meet local homologation rules, Citroën Racing’s engineers have taken their multi World Rally Championship winning expertise and put their unique stamp on Citroën DS4 to create this hot blooded new concept. The DS4 Racing concept features new carbon fibre components including an air diffuser, front splitter and wheel arch extensions. The 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine, developed by Citroën Racing, provides up to 256bhp (160bhp per litre), which is a record for a Citroën series production car. This spectacular performance is accompanied by CO2 emissions of just 155g/km. Citroën Racing’s engineers have modified the chassis and running gear with the utmost precision. The chassis has been lowered by 35mm and the track widened by 55mm at the front and 75mm at the rear. The braking system boasts fixed four-piston callipers at the front together with special 380mm diameter discs. The concept is also fitted with larger diameter 19-inch wheels and 235/40 tyres. Another stand out feature of the DS4 Racing concept is the textured-effect matt grey paint, which catches the light to further enhance the lines of the car. The colour is stylish and modern, ideal for a sports car. Further exterior refinements include a two-tone roof and two-tone wheels with a special DS4 Racing design. With regard to the DS4 Racing Concept coming to Australia, once details of the right hand drive version are released, its eligibility for the Australian market will be able to be assessed.
Toyota Racing has expanded its plans for the 2012 season and has entered the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team had originally planned only to take part in selected races but revised its program after unexpected changes faced by the championship. This means the Toyota TS030 Hybrid will make its racing debut at the Six Hours of Spa Francorchamps on May 5and Toyota has also confirmed it will enter two cars for the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 16-17. The regular driver line-up of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazui Nakajima are confirmed for the race, and they will be joined by Anthony Davidson, Hiroaki Ishiura and Sébastien Buemi in the additional TS030 hybrid car at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The team’s full-time entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship is for one car, with an additional TS030 hybrid confirmed for Le Mans on 16-17 June. Davidson, from Great Britain, is a winner of the Sebring 12 Hours and the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, bringing significant recent experience of manufacturer participation at Le Mans. Ishiura joins following a promising career in the competitive Super GT series in his native Japan, while he has also experienced European endurance racing in the 2011 Nürburgring 24 Hours. Swiss driver Buemi, an accomplished single-seater racer, will make his debut in endurance racing at the wheel of the Toyota TS030 hybrid while remaining third driver for Red Bull Racing in Formula 1. “I’m really happy to be a part of the Toyota Racing team, and delighted to be returning to Le Mans this year,” said Davidson. “Competing at the Le Mans 24 Hours is always hugely exciting, but to be joining a team like Toyota Racing and competing with a hybrid powertrain makes this particularly special. I’ve heard a lot about the TS030 hybrid and the technology behind it, and I’m looking forward to experiencing hybrid power for the first time in my career. I know this is a learning year for the team but I believe Toyota Racing has huge potential, and I hope we can prove that at Le Mans.”
Infiniti and Red Bull Racing have unveiled their new Formula One car for the 2012 season, the RB8. Having announced a deepening of the partnership with Red Bull Racing in October last year, Infiniti now features more prominent branding, with enhanced logos on the racing car along with the drivers’ overalls and gloves, team personnel and equipment. World champion Sebastian Vettle and Australian Mark Webber will once again be driving for the current most successful team in Formula One. The Red Bull team has headed to Jerez in Spain to begin testing. “I’m very excited about driving the car for the first time, it’s a huge amount of work that has gone into it as always with a new car”, said Mark Webber. “The initial running is really about getting as much information as we can, learning what the car strengths are, where some of its weaknesses might be and then we need to work on those very, very quickly. We don’t have much testing before we get to Melbourne and before we know it the winter programme will be over. It is a big responsibility and one that I’m looking forward to”. The start of the 2012 Formula One championship will take place in Melbourne on March 16 – 18.