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News Archive

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2018-06-16: New BMW 8-Series, Aston Martin racers and Porsche 911 Speedster ...
BMW M850i xDrive On the eve of this weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans, BMW finally took the wraps of the second generation 8-Series. At the market debut, in November of 2018, the big coupe will be available with a 530 hp V8 and all-wheel drive in the M850i xDrive trim. A diesel version will also be available, which boasts a formidable 320 hp.
Aston Martin Racing also used the busy Le Mans week to reveal further details of the upcoming GT3 version of the Vantage and a first glimpse of the virtually standard GT4 racer. Due to be homologated on March 1st, 2019, the Vantage GT3'sfinal specification is subject to the GT3 class' balance of performance. In its first configuration it is combines a a 1,245 kg weight with an engine good for 535 bhp.
To highlight the company's 70th anniversary celebrations, Porsche revealed this 911 Speedster Concept. Effectively a 911 GT3 with the roof chopped and the windshield lowered, the new Speedster promises to be a formidable machine. Although shown in Concept form, the new Speedster should hit limited production in 2019.
  2018-06-13: 2018 Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or report and 240-shot gallery ...
2018 Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or report and 240-shot gallery The undulating Circuit de Dijon-Prenois hosted the annual Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or. This is the oldest historic racing meeting in the world and since 2014, it has been under the umbrella of the Peter Auto organisation. This means that it features all the familiar grids. This year with the exception of the Group C as the competitors felt the track did not suit these potent sports prototypes. That nevertheless left plenty of action on the track with races for sports cars, single seaters and touring cars throughout the weekend. Adding more spice to the mix was the Global Endurance Legends series with high speed demonstrations for sports cars and GT racers from the 1990s and 2000s. The latter included the Ferrari 333 SP, which arguably has the nicest engine note of all.
For the fifth year running and in changeable conditions, we were on hand to capture the event in its entirety. The result is this class-by-class 240-shot gallery, which serves to illustrate our concise report.
2018-06-08: Jaguar XJR-11 and Porsche 917/10 back on track ...
Jaguar XJR-11 Having visited many events each year for the last decade and a half, we do run into many of the same cars. Fortunately, each event offers some exception. A big one at last month's Spa Classic was this fabulously presented Jaguar XJR-11. This particular car was the very first of the twin-turbo V6-engined Jaguar Group C cars. It debuted on pole at Brands Hatch but ultimately never managed to score a victory. Since its retirement from contemporary racing, it was meticulously prepared to full running order but did not turn a wheel in anger again until last month. Despite being mothballed for over 25 years, chassis 189 was immediately competitive just like it had been when it was brand new.
The Porsche 917/10 featured today is not one we had not seen before but we had not seen it race in this guise until the start of this season. The second 917/10 built, the Can-Am racer was campaigned extensively by Jo Siffert in the STP colours it wears again today. When we shot the car some years ago, it was fitted with the style of body used when it was brand new but which was not quite as striking as the current configuration. Chassis 917/10-002 was campaigned this year at Barcelona and Spa by its new owner.
  2018-06-04: Ferraris that starred at Villa d'Este and new BMW Z4 ...
Ferrari 212 Export Vignale Cabriolet With a class dedicated to the rise of the GT, it was not surprising that Ferraris starred at last week's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. Today we have taken a closer look at two of the Ferraris that grabbed the limelight. The earliest of the pair is this 212 Export Vignale Cabriolet. Built for the Portuguese ambassador in Paris, it was one of just two Vignale Cabriolets built on what was effectively a racing car chassis. Beautifully restored, the 212 Export was an outright winner at Cavallino Classic back in 2017 and is pictured at Villa d'Este and Pebble Beach.
Shown at the same two events was this 250 GT SWB that won the GT class at Villa d'Este. Originally built for an American pilot, it combined the steel body of the road-going SWBs with competition cues like the open air filter and the external fuel filler. Although it spent most of its life painted red, chassis 2243GT was more recently re-finished in the original grey over red during a comprehensive restoration.
Villa d'Este event patron, BMW, meanwhile has been busy creating the third generation Z4. Due to be launched later in the year, it will differ from the previous generation model due to the fold-away fabric roof. To wet our appetites, BMW have revealed a set of shots of the range-topping M40i testing at the Miramas track in the south of France.
2018-06-01: Great Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Porsche we saw during the last month ...
Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale Over the last couple of weeks, we have attended superb events and today we take a closer look at three of most remarkable cars we captured. Taking the prestigious Coppa d'Oro Villa d'Este in last weekend's Concorso d'Eleganza was this fabulous Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. Built to competition specs, this is a great example of one of the all-time great cars, which combined a Franco Scaglione design with the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 racing car underpinnings. Very few were built, and the chassis 75033.110 has survived in a stunningly original condition.
A week earlier, at the Spa Classic, we saw the competition debut of this Porsche 962C. It is one of the very last built and was not raced by the original owner. That has now been sorted by the Group C car's second owner, who will also field the car the upcoming Le Mans Classic in July.
Among the many great cars that competed in the Tour Auto this year was an ex-works Lancia Stratos. Boasting considerable period competition history, this Stratos was originally fitted with a rare fuel injection engine. In this Group 5 guise, it was raced in the 1975 Giro d'Italia by Arturo Merzario. Subsequently raced by Jolly Club, the Stratos was recently sold to a Hong Kong based enthusiast after being part of a Swiss collection for nearly three decades.
  2018-05-28: 2018 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este report and 170-shot gallery ...
2018 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este report and 170-shot gallery This weekend, we were at the shores of the fabulous Lake Como to capture the annual Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. First held in 1929, it is the oldest event of its type still in existence. As such it is steeped in tradition. Fortunately, the Concorso d'Eleganza is not held back by the rich tradition and new classes are added every year. New to the roster this year were dedicated classes for original cars and for Formula 1 machinery. Both were very interesting but it was particularly great to see and hear Grand Prix cars parade one the gravel path in front of the Grand Hotel Villa d'Este. Among the many other great cars on display was a choice of Bugattis, Ferraris and Alfa Romeos. Each of these are captured in our all-encompassing, class-by-class 170-shot gallery, which serves to illustrate our in-depth report.
As always, you can expect more detailed features on many of the star cars shown at this year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in the coming days and weeks.
2018-05-25: Ferrari SP38 broke cover at Villa d'Este today ...
Ferrari SP38 On the eve of this weekend's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, the unique Ferrari SP38 has broken cover. Built under Ferrari's One-Off program, the SP38 is based on the acclaimed 488 GTB underpinnings. The all-new wedge shape was penned at the Ferrari Design Centre and is loosely inspired by the great V8-engined Ferraris of the past like 308 GTB and F40. Although we do not yet know the identity of the person that commissioned the car, we strongly believe that the SP38, nick-named Deborah will call Switzerland home.
This weekend, the one-off Ferrari will be part of the show at Villa d'Este of which you can expect our familiar comprehensive coverage early next week.
  2018-05-22: 2018 Spa Classic Report and 280-shot gallery ...
2018 Spa Classic Report and 280-shot gallery This weekend the Circuit de Spa Francorchamps hosted the eighth annual Spa Classic. A true feast for enthusiasts of classic protoypes, GTs and touring cars, this year's edition featured bumper grids with some truly great cars. Among them were a pair of Jaguar XJR-14s, ex-works BMW 3.0 CSL and Ford Capri RS, and many great Ferraris and Porsches. It looked it would be a highly unusual (sunny) event but a hail storm late on Sunday afternoon provided the prove that we were really at Spa. There was some superb racing throughout the weekend and particularly the two night races on Saturday were a sight to behold.
Our photographers spent the entire weekend trackside and have penned down the highlights in this concise report, which is illustrated by this 280-shot gallery.
2018-05-17: New Aston Martin DB11 AMR, Porsche 911 GT3 R, Donkervoort and Mercedes-AMG ...
Aston Martin DB11 AMR Less than two years after the DB11 has entered production, Aston Martin have already managed to improve the car to create the DB11 AMR. Superseding the original V12-engined model, the more poised AMR features a more powerful engine and a revised suspension honed with the help of former Lotus chassis guru and Aston's Chief Engineer Matt Becker. The 630 bhp DB11 AMR is available immediately and is priced at just over GBP 200,000.
Also launched during last weekend's Nurburgring 24 Hours was this Porsche 911 GT3 R. Based on the new GT3 RS, Porsche's latest racer will be available next year to compete in the GT3 class around the world. With the recently introduced GT3 RS road car, Porsche managed to homologate a more aggressive aerodynamics package, which should help improve the performance. The four-litre engine of the 911 GT3 R is tuned to produce as much of 550 bhp in unrestricted trim.
Dutch specialist manufacturer Donkervoort have celebrated their 40th anniversary. The occasion was marked by the introduction of the limited edition D8 GTO-40. The fastest Donkervoort yet, the car is even lighter than the regular production D8 GTO. Fittingly, the anniversary model will be strictly limited to 40 examples.
With the introduction of the GT S Roadster Mercedes-AMG have completed the line-up of the drop-top version of their range topping model. Powered by a 515 bhp version of the twin-turbo V8, the 'S' sits between the 'base' and 'C' models in the GT Roadster range.
  2018-05-15: 2018 Monaco Historic Grand Prix report and 230-shot gallery ...
2018 Monaco Historic Grand Prix report and 230-shot gallery One of the most prestigious events on the historic racing calendar is the biennial Monaco Historic Grand Prix. Especially for single seater racing cars, it is the blue ribband event for many of the same reasons like the annual round of the World Championship. It features the same unique and glamorous setting with a track that is actually not really suited to racing and is lined on one side by ever taller buildings and on the other by ever bigger yachts. For many, to enter in the Historic Grand Prix is already a great honour, and cars eligible for the event have become very hot properties. Competing alongside enthusiast owners themselves these days are also many professionals, who provide an insight of what it was like when these machines were raced in period. Among the highlights of the weekend were a fine selection of twelve-cylinder engined Grand Prix cars from Ferrari, BRM and Matra and also a demonstration run of the freshly restored Lamborghini Marzal show car that starred at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix in the hands of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.
Having, unfortunately, missed the tenth edition due to a scheduling conflict we were back in the Principality to cover the 11th Monaco Historic Grand Prix with our concise report illustrated by an action-packed 230-shot gallery.
2018-05-10: Great Grand Prix cars headed for auction in Monaco ...
Benetton B192 Cosworth This weekend, we will be at Monaco for the biennial Historic Grand Prix. As a side program to the event, there will be several auctions, two of which include a fabulous selection of Grand Prix cars. At the RM Sotheby's sale on Saturday, a pair of 1990s Formula 1 cars will cross the block. The earliest is the very first Benetton B192. Designed by Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn, it debuted at Barcelona in the hands of Michael Schumacer, who qualified and finished second. The B192 is significant in being the first car that saw the dream team of Byrne, Brawn and Schumacher work together. Raced during the final year of the decade, is the Jordan 199 Mugen. With a pair of wins and numerous points finishes, this was the most successful of all Jordan Grand Prix cars. Chassis 199-03 on offer was used during the opening rounds of the 1999 season and carried Heinz-Harald Frentzen to a second and a third.
The Bohams auction on Friday features a pair of significant cars raced by the late, great Ayrton Senna. The earliest is this Toleman TG 184, which the Brazilian used during his breakthrough drive at Monaco back in 1984. In torrential conditions, he was chasing down McLaren's Alain Prost for the victory until the race was red flagged. He would go on to win the race many times and the final one was with this McLaren MP4/8 that has also been consigned to the sale. Another interesting machine on offer by Bonhams is this Ferrari F1/87. Raced during the 1987 season, it was very fast but ultimately too unreliable to really make a difference until right at the end of the year.
  2018-05-07: New Rebellion LMP1 racer, Vantage GT3 and another new Lotus Exige version ...
Rebellion R-13 Gibson This weekend, the FIA WEC super season kicked off with the Six Hours of Spa Francorchamps. It was no surprise that the factory Toyotas dominated the race. Several privateer teams fought for the best of the rest position with brand new LMP1 prototypes. Fastest of all proved to be the Rebellion R-13 Gibson. Developed by Oreca, the new racer is effectively a development of the Oreca 07 LMP2 car. The Gibson engine used is also an evolution of the LMP2 unit, now displacing 4.5 litres and producing 665 bhp. The new R-13s finished third and fourth but the third placed car was disqualified due to a technicality.
During the weekend, Aston Martin Racing also revealed their plans for GT3 and GT4 version of the Vantage that made its competition debut at Spa. Like its sister car, the new racers will feature a version of the twin-turbo V8 also used in the road car. Both the GT3 and GT4 cars will be ready early next year and due for homologation in March.
Lotus have created yet another new version of the existing Exige model. Dubbed the Sport 410, it uses a 410 bhp version of the supercharged Toyota V6 engine. The very quick machine will be available as both coupe and roadster versions.
At the annual Worthersee meeting later this week, Volkswagen is due to reveal this Golf GTI TCR. It is inspired by the WTCR racing car and features a 285 bhp version of the familiar direct injection, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Further details will follow.