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2018-04-30: 2018 Tour Auto report and 270-shot gallery ...
2018 Tour Auto We spent the better part of last week in France to chase the 27th annual Tour Auto. The five-day road rally ranks among the most exciting and gruelling events of its type, covering over 2,000km on the road and additional time on four circuits for separate races. This year's edition took the drivers from the Grand Palais down the Eastern part of the country to finish in Nice, on the Cote d'Azur. This meant that many of the roads ran on the famous hills and mountains, providing many of the country's most spectacular backdrops. Among the highlights this year was a trek over the Col des Aravis, a special stage on the flank of the legendary Mont Ventoux and a final stage on the mythical Col de Turini. In addition to showing off France, the Tour Auto is also a real race and we were treated to some superb driving and last minute drama. The entry list featured such highlights as a Shelby Cobra Daytona, a Ferrari 250 MM, three OSCAs, numerous Porsche 911 Carrera RSRs and a trio of Ford GT40s.
Eight days of non stop work have resulted in this truly mesmerising 270-shot gallery that serves to illustrate a day-by-day report.
  2018-04-23: VW's Pikes Peak racer revealed and Jaguar XJR-8 ...
Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak This summer, Volkswagen and driver Romain Dumas will venture to extreme heights with the I.D. R Pikes Peak. As the name suggests, the new VW racing car has been custom built for to conquer one of the world's most famous hill climbs. Built around carbon-fibre monocoque, the I.D. R features a pair of electric motors, respectively powering the front and rear wheels. The combined output is a hefty 670hp, which helps the car accelerate to 100 km/h in a staggering 2.25 seconds in the best conditions. The I.D. R would not be a proper Pikes Peak special without a wild aerodynamics package, which includes an absolutely massive rear wheel. VW and Dumas have set their sights on the 8:57 minute track record during the race, scheduled on June 24.
During the Espiritu de Montjuic earlier this month, we were treated what was effectively a revival of the TWR Jaguar team with a pair of Jaguar XJR-8 Group C cars taking to the track. Two of the three built ahead of the 1987 season, the cars boasts all the right ingredients from the howling V12 engine down to the legendary Silk Cut livery. We have used the opportunity to redo the features of both chassis J12-C-187 and J12-C-387 with fresh sets of images.
This week, we will be racing around France to capture the annual Tour Auto. A full report will follow early next week but to get you in the mood, we would like to refer to our archived articles from earlier editions.
2018-04-20: Fabulous Ferrari and Porsche headline RM Monaco sale and more from Brabham ...
Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France As part of next month's Monaco Historic Grand Prix weekend, RM Sotheby's will stage an exclusive auction in the principality on the Mediterranean Coast. Headlining the biennial sale is this fabulous Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France. The car consigned is the second to last example built with the three louvre body. It was delivered new to accomplished German racer Wolfgang Seidel, who also shared a Ferrari 250 TR with his compatriot and works driver Wolfgang von Trips during the 1958 season. Seidel raced the car with great success, scoring an outright win in the Eiffelrennen. During the last four decades, chassis 0879GT has had just two owners and was only rarely seen in public. RM Sotheby's estimate that the Ferrari competition car will sell for 7 million Euro.
Consigned from a considerable Porsche collection is this unique Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7. One of the 200 'Sport' or 'Lightweight' examples built, this car was especially commissioned by works driver Leo Kinnunen. It is one of two RS 2.7s fitted with 'ST' style flared wheel arches and the only one with a RS 3.0 style rear wing. Kinnunen first used the car as a 'recce' vehicle for the 1973 1000 Lakes Rally and it later also served as the Finn's daily driver. Presented in highly original condition and boasting unique features and a superb provenance, chassis 911 360 1177 should be one of the most desirable of all 2.7 Carreras, which is reflected in the 1.4 - 1.8 million Euro estimate.
Ahead of the official launch next month, Brabham Automotive have now released a first glimpse and more details of the upcoming BT62. The high performance machine will feature a naturally aspirated V8 engine that is good for over 700hp. Impressively, the dry weight will be just 972kg. All this will not come cheap as the Brabham BT62 will cost 1 million plus local taxes.
  2018-04-18: BMW Museum Visit, BMW M2 Competition and DBS name revived ...
The BMW Museum During one of our many travels during the 2017 season, we stopped over in Munich, Germany to visit the BMW Museum. Opened to the public in 2008, the museum is part of the massive and impressive BMW Welt building. It offers enthusiasts an in-depth insight in the history of the German mark through numerous displays that included road and competition cars, motorcycles and engines. We have captured the highlights in this 90-shot gallery that serves to illustrate a concise report.
Speaking of BMW, the German manufacturer today announced the first ever M2 Competition. Powered by a 410 hp version of the familiar twin-turbo, straight-six engine and equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox from standard, the compact coupe should be an absolute hoot to drive. The M2 Competition will be available in the Summer.
British company Aston Martin will revive the DBS and Superleggera badges for the upcoming flagship model. Known as the DBS Superleggera, the name harks back at the DBS first introduced in 1967 and the Touring Superleggera bodied Aston Martins of the 1950s and 1960s. Aston Martin plan to reveal further details of the DBS Superleggera before the end of this quarter.
2018-04-16: Lola, Porsche and Maserati sports racers that starred at Barcelona ...
Lola T600 Cosworth During last week's Espiritu de Montjuic there were many familiar machines in action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. To make things interesting several cars were campaigned that we had not seen on track before. One of the most interesting was this Lola T600 Cosworth that was raced in the Classic Endurance Racing 2 group. Built in 1981, it is one of the first sports racing cars with full ground-effect aerodynamics and as such provided a first glimpse of the new Group C cars that followed the following year. Powered by the Cosworth DFV and later DFL V8, it won two rounds of the sports car championship in 1981. Fully rebuilt over the winter, the T600 is definitely one of the fastest cars eligible in CER2.
In the CER1 race, we were treated to a very special Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.8, which was reunited with its original driver Jacques Almeras. Sold new to France, it was driven to the Group 4 French hill-climb championship by Almeras before it was fitted with the 'Mary Stuart' tail with the help of the factory. In this guise the 911 Carrera RSR 2.8 placed twice overall in the Tour de France.
After being owned for over two decades by Dire Straits singer Mark Knopfler, this Maserati 300S made its debut in the hands of the new, Spanish owner. The car has had an interesting history, first in Brazilian and later Australian hands. Beautifully prepared, the 300S was the only Maserati in action during the weekend.
  2018-04-13: Porsche 919 Hybrid unleashed, Audi electric supercar and new FE cars ...
Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo On Monday, Porsche smashed the lap record at the Spa-Francorchamps track with this 919 Hybrid Evo. Based on last year's Le Mans and World Championship winning LMP1 racer, the purpose built machine effectively shows what a modern prototype racer can do without restrictions. These include fuel flow limits and removing them has raised the system output of petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain to close to 1,150 bhp. Additionally, the aerodynamics have been extensively modified with more active components and a larger rear wing. All this helped works driver Neel Jani beat last year's Formula 1 pole time by 0.783 seconds in the mighty 919 Hybrid Evo. The car will be brought out several more events later in the year including the Goodwood Festival of Speed. While it is all very impressive, we think we would have all rather seen the German manufacturer actually race the car in this year's FIA WEC!
Porsche's racing future is in Formula E where it will face off against the likes of BMW and Jaguar, who revealed the first glimpse of their version of the next generation spec electric racers. Dubbed iFE.18 and I-Type 3 respectively, the new cars are set to run in next week's official test in Spain.
The current generation cars are in Rome this weekend and also out on track will be this Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo. Finished in a retro paint-scheme, this is much more than just a full-size version of a car designed for the popular Gran Turimso video game. Fully functional, the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo features three electric motors, good for well over 800 bhp. In Rome and at other events, it will serve as a high-speed taxi with Rahel Frey and Dindo Capello sharing the driving duties.
2018-04-10: 2018 Espiritu de Montjuic report and 250-shot gallery ...
2018 Espiritu de Montjuic report and 250-shot gallery This weekend, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosted the Espiritu de Montjuic, which served as the curtain raiser of Peter Auto's 2018 season. The Spanish track was chosen in the hopes of comfortable spring weather but the competitors and visitors were instead treated to changeable conditions throughout the weekend. This did not deter the 212 cars entered to compete across Peter Auto's seven familiar grids. A subtle change this year was the addition of the new Greatest's Trophy, which replaced the Trofeo Nastro Rosso but featured a similar grid of 1950s and 1960s sports cars. The wide wide variety of machinery ranged from early 1950s sports racers like the Aston Martin DB2 and Maserati 300S to the thundering Sauber-Mercedes C11 and howling Peugeot 905 Group C cars. Among the many highlights across the fields were a pair of Porsche 917s and two Silk Cut liveried Jaguar XJR-8s that made it look like the works TWR Jaguar team had been reinstated.
Our photographers were on hand throughout the weekend and have not returned with a fresh sun tan but instead with this action-packed, 250-shot gallery that serves to illustrate this concise report.
Later this week, we will take a closer look at several of the cars that starred during the weekend.
  2018-04-05: A closer look at the Lotus Type 15, 16 and 17 ...
Lotus 16 Climax By the end of the 1950s, Lotus was a racing car manufacturer of note and a regular entrant in Formula 1. Today we have taken a closer at the Lotus racing cars that closed out the decade.
By numerical order, the earliest was the 1958 Type 15 sports car of which an early early example has been featured today. Capable of handling engines of up to 2.5 litres, it allowed Lotus drivers to compete for outright wins. The chassis in the spotlight today is an ex-works car and was raced in period by Cliff Allison and Graham Hill.
That same year, Lotus also produced a new single seater racer capable of running in Formula 1. This new Type 16 was the first Lotus single seater that could handle the full 2.5-litre Coventry Climax engine but ultimately proved very fragile. Featured is a great example, which has had a colourful past but nevertheless has survived in remarkable original condition. It is also believed that chassis 362-2 was the first Lotus Formula 1 car driven by Jim Clark.
The last of today's trio is the Lotus Type 17. Effectively a replacement for the legendary Eleven, it was lower, smaller and lighter than any Lotus that came before. However, the original front suspension design was flawed and by the time the issues were fixed, it was superseded by more modern machinery. Among the examples featured is chassis 655, which was driven by its brave owner during a blizzard at the recent Goodwood Members' Meeting.
2018-04-03: 2018 Esperitu de Montjuic preview with Lola, Motul and Porsche that will star ...
Lola T70 Mk3B Coupe Chevrolet This weekend, the Peter Auto season will kick off with the Esperitu de Montjuic on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. It represents the first time the popular Classic Endurance Racing field will run on the Spanish track since the Catulanya 1000 km, which was part of the 2009 Le Mans Series. To get you in the mood, we have taken a detailed look at three distinct cars that will star during upcoming event and the rest of the season.
The earliest of this trio is the Lola T70 Mk3B Coupe delivered new to Scuderia Filipinetti. It was raced only once in its original guise as Jo Bonnier crashed the car during its 1969 Brands Hatch 1000 km debut. It did appear briefly in the Interserie championship during the early 1970s. In more recent years, SL76/145 was restored to full running order for its Belgian owner, who will race the car in Barcelona this weekend.
Before Ron Dennis acquired a controlling stake in McLaren, he worked at Brabham with engineer Neil Trundle. Together they formed Rondel Racing and ahead of the 1973 season created the Motul M1 Formula 2 car. It was quite successful especially considering March had an exclusive deal to run the superior BMW engine. The featured car was a spare, pressed into action by the works team late in 1973. It was also raced as the 'Safir' by its subsequent owner. It was later re-acquired by Neil Trundle and restored to its original configuration. Since 2017, chassis RSJ009 has been raced in the Peter Auto Formula 2 series.
Making its historic racing debut late last year, this Porsche 935/77 customer car was raced with considerable success when new. Its career spanned five seasons and it ended its contemporary racing life in 935 K3 configuration. The ex-Josef Bambring 935 has now been restored to its original configuration for its Swiss owner by Equipe Europe.