Debuting alongside the fifth-generation Outback wagon at the 2014 New York Auto Show was the new Subaru WRX STI GRC Racer, the car Subaru will use to compete in the RedBull Global RallyCross Championship.
A joint effort between Subaru Rally Team USA, RedBull Global Rallycross and NBC, the race car features a custom wide body, a carbon fiber modified STI spoiler, rally car-style roof scoop and mirrors, and Method Race Wheels mounted with RedBull GRC’s new Yokohama spec race tire.
The full-race version will be helmed by Team drivers Bucky Lasek and Sverre Isachsen, while a stage rally version is expected to go to Travis Pastrana and David Higgins, who compete for Subaru Rally Team USA in the Rally America Championship.
The Global RallyCross Championship kicks off on May 18.
Toyota Wins 24 Hours Of Le Mans For Its First Time Ever
Toyota won the 2018 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, marking the first time ever that the Japanese automaker has taken home a win.
The historic win is made more monumental by the fact that not only did Toyota take first place, but it also took the number two spot. Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso in the #8 TS050 Hybrid started from pole position and took the chequered flag, while Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López finished behind in the #7 TS050 Hybrid.
The victory marks only the second time in history that a Japanese automaker has won the race. Little ol’ Mazda won it back in 1991.
A jubilant Kazuki Nakajima stated:
“It’s great to be here finally; it has been a long time. I am almost speechless. I had great team-mates and Toyota gave us a very strong car. We finished the race without any issue on both cars so I feel we all deserved to win the race. To win this race has been a big dream for all of Toyota since 1985. There have been many people involved in this project so I am proud to be here to represent all that effort.”
Before this win, Toyota had entered 47 cars at Le Mans and finished on the podium six times.
5 Of The World’s Coolest Motorsport Safety Cars
The Safety car or pace car serves an important role in the world of racing. They are tasked with leading the field on warm-up laps and also come out during a caution period such as an accident on the track or bad weather.
There have been many great safety cars of various vehicle segments and performance level, and in this article, we list five of the coolest in recent memory.
MotoGP – BMW M2
Let’s start with the BMW M2 MotoGP. If you don’t understand why a such small and unimposing car made the list, then listen up! The M2 is considered by enthusiasts as one of the best cars ever made by BMW and the true successor to the Legendary E36 M3. It’s small, spunky and nimble, featuring a 365 hp turbocharged six-cylinder engine that lets it reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from 0 in just 4.3-seconds.
As a safety car, the M2 MotoGP naturally prioritizes safety, boasting a roll cage, harnesses and fire extinguisher on the inside, and a whopping great light bar on the roof. The huge rear wing may look peculiar, but it’s completely necessary for staying ahead of those superbikes! And do check out those incredible-looking gold wheels!
MotoGP – BMW M5
What! Another BMW? The truth is, BMW has a longstanding relationship with Moto GP, and the M5 MotoGP is just one of a long line of impressive Bimmer to serve as the premier motorcycle racing tournament’s safety car.
The M5 MotoGP is equipped with the German automaker’s complete catalog of optional M Division performance parts, including a new carbon fibre diffuser, carbon sills, carbon kidney grilles, carbon mirrors and a lighter titanium sports exhaust that makes it bellow even a the lowest of speed. It is further distinguished by an extended front splitter, which is also made out of carbon fibre, lightweight bucket seats from the M4 GTS, and a racing hood.
Formula 1 – Mercedes-AMG GT R
The Mercedes-AMG GT is one of the hottest sports cars to recently hit the market, and the even hotter AMG GT R happens to be the fastest, most powerful car to serve as Formula 1’s official safety car. Not only does it look cool, but it’s roaring 577 horsepowertwin-turbocharged V8 is matched by an impeccably-tuned suspension with four-wheel steering, a lightweight body, and moving underbody aero elements, too.
The AMG GT R safety car features safety car graphics, a light bar and two iPads and radios for the driver and co-driver to communicate.
BTCC – Porsche Panamera GTS
The British Touring Car Championship is composted of predominantly front-driven hatchbacks with not more than 300 hp, so its a bit surprising that the safety car that leads them is a 434hp Porsche with four-wheel drive and a top speed of 178 mph (286.5 km). Clearly overqualified for the job, Porsche Panamera GTS is a safety car that can actually win the race it happens to be marshalling…
Those Focuses, Civics and Golfs better behave…
WTCC – Alfa Romeo 4C
The Alfa Romeo 4C is the oldest car on this list, but it’s just too cool to not mention, at least more exciting than the undeniably safe Volvo that currently paces the WTCC.
The 4C is perfect for the track, featuring a carbon fiber tub that makes it very lightweight for a sports car. It’s not an overly powerful car, it has the look and fun-factor to make it material.
Safety First… Always
Safety cars are a reflection of the importance of safety on both road and track. As Kyle Finley of Affordable Cars puts it, “In a decade from now, motorists aren’t going to invest their money into a car that isn’t going to keep them safe on the road. Okay, so for now, it’s clear that most of us just want a motor that looks good and offers a decent performance, but it’s almost guaranteed that in a few years from now, those people will put their safety first, we’re sure to see a huge surge in automated safety technology in our cars to work with autonomous vehicles; this is an exciting time for motoring!”
Craig Stanton’s Championship Rolex Daytona
As an internationally recognized symbol of success and personal achievement, Rolex watches have a long and storied history of being awarded to individuals that have achieved excellence within their respective fields. Among the many Rolex timepieces awarded each year, a small percentage of them are actually given to their owners by the Rolex company itself, often as a prize at one of its sponsored sporting events.
In 2005, American racecar driver claimed the first-place title at the Rolex Sports Car Series Championship of the Americas in the GT class. Driving the No. 80 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car for the Synergy Racing team, Stanton secured a third-place finish at the season finale at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, winning him the overall series championship by a nail-biting, one-point margin.
As his prize for winning, Stanton was awarded a reference 116523 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. While it is not , it has a different type of value. Stanton’s championship watch is unique among all of the other reference 116523 Daytona watches in that it’s case-back has been engraved with the words, “2005 GT Champion” along with the logo of the Rolex Sports Car Series Championship of the Americas.
Like all other reference 116523 watches, has a case and bracelet craft entirely from solid 904L stainless steel and proprietary 18-karat yellow gold. Additionally, the watch is powered by Rolex’s entirely in-house and self-winding, caliber 4130 movement, which boasts 44 jewels, new-generation reversing wheels, integrated minute/hour counter systems, and a 72-hour power reserve.
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is an appropriate prize for the winner of an automotive racing event, as the Daytona name is a reference to the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, which is the home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in the sport of NASCAR. Additionally, just like the finely tuned Porsche 911 GT3 in which Stanton raced, the entirely in-house caliber 4130 that powers the reference 116523 Daytona is a mechanical marvel that achieves exceptional performance and reliability.
While Stanton’s No. 80 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car is a specialized machine that was specifically designed for high performance racing, the overall shape and appearance of Stanton’s GT3 follows the classic Porsche 911 form, and is not all that visually dissimilar to the various commercially available versions that can be seen on the streets today. Like Stanton’s winning car, the watch he received initially appears to be a standard Daytona, until upon closer inspection, its highly auspicious case-back engraving is revealed.
Craig Stanton’s reference 116523 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 2005 GT championship watch represents Rolex’s ongoing commitment to the world’s most exciting and exclusive sports. Although there are many Daytona chronographs in existence, and even more Rolex watches that have been given out as achievement awards, there is only one watch that can claim to be the Rolex Daytona given to Craig Stanton for winning the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series Championship of the Americas in the GT class.