fbpx

Malta's 1st Motoring Website

Racing Comments (0) |

Maserati celebrates racing past with F Tributo Special Editions

Maserati has launched two new special edition models to celebrate the 95th anniversary of its first race.

The F Tributo Special Edition is available on the Ghibli saloon and the Levante SUV, and can be specified with two exclusive paint jobs called Rosso Tributo (red) and Azzuro Tributo (blue).

The colours have been inspired by the fact that red is the classic Maserati racing colour and has been used to represent Italy in motorsport, while blue is the colour of the City of Modena, where the firm is based.

Extra equipment for these special editions includes 21-inch black alloy wheels, a gloss black model-specific badge on the wheel arch, and a body-coloured Maserati logo on the C-pillar.

Inside, there’s a choice of red or yellow stitching combined with black leather upholstery.

The Maserati Ghibli is the firm’s luxury saloon model. It’s available with a V6 petrol engine making either 345 or 424bhp depending on trim, as well as a 325bhp hybrid and 572bhp V8.

The Levante, meanwhile, has the same V6 engine options, but also has a choice of 523 and 572bhp V8s.

Photos: PA Media

The F Tributo models come 95 years after Maserati’s first race, on April 25, 1926. A Tipo26 wore the now-famous Trident logo and won 1,500cc class of the Targa Florio with Alfieri Maserati, one of the firm’s founders, driving.

The F Tributo Special Edition is available on the Ghibli saloon and the Levante SUV, and can be specified with two exclusive paint jobs called Rosso Tributo (red) and Azzuro Tributo (blue).

The colours have been inspired by the fact that red is the classic Maserati racing colour and has been used to represent Italy in motorsport, while blue is the colour of the City of Modena, where the firm is based.

Extra equipment for these special editions includes 21-inch black alloy wheels, a gloss black model-specific badge on the wheel arch, and a body-coloured Maserati logo on the C-pillar.

Inside, there’s a choice of red or yellow stitching combined with black leather upholstery.

The Maserati Ghibli is the firm’s luxury saloon model. It’s available with a V6 petrol engine making either 345 or 424bhp depending on trim, as well as a 325bhp hybrid and 572bhp V8.

The Levante, meanwhile, has the same V6 engine options, but also has a choice of 523 and 572bhp V8s.

The F Tributo models come 95 years after Maserati’s first race, on April 25, 1926. A Tipo26 wore the now-famous Trident logo and won 1,500cc class of the Targa Florio with Alfieri Maserati, one of the firm’s founders, driving.

Read more

Racing Comments (0) |

Bentley unveils striking Continental GT Pikes Peak racer

Bentley is aiming for a third record at the iconic Pikes Peak International Hillclimb with a new and even more outlandish race car.

The Crewe-based firm will be looking to build on its success in 2018 and 2019 when it broke records for production SUVs and production cars. This latest attempt will look to break the Time Attack 1 record which applies to modified production-based cars.

As a result, the car of choice is loosely based on the firm’s Continental GT but shares more in common with the GT3 race car.

The Continental GT3 Pike Peak will be driven by Rhys Millen who is aiming to beat his previous record-breaking times, finishing the course in less than nine minutes and 36 seconds.

Referred to as the ‘most extreme road-car-based Bentley in history’ by the firm, the GT3 Pikes Peak features a comprehensive aerodynamic package, including the biggest rear wing ever fitted to a Bentley. Beneath this is a rear diffuser, while at the front sits a two-plane splitter.

The engine is a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 which, on this occasion, will run on biofuel. Despite the change in fueling, Bentley says that it’ll produce the same amount of power and ensure that the engine keeps running at optimal levels even at the huge elevations of the course.

Photos: PA Media

Dr Matthias Rabe, Bentley’s member of the board for engineering, said: “We are delighted to be returning to Pikes Peak for a third time – now powered by renewable fuel, as the launch project for another new element of our Beyond100 programme.

“Our powertrain engineers are already researching both biofuels and e-fuels for use by our customers alongside our electrification programme – with intermediate steps of adopting renewable fuels at the factory in Crewe and for our company fleet. In the meantime, the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak will show that renewable fuels can allow motorsport to continue in a responsible way, and hopefully it will capture the third and final record in our triple crown.”

The car now enters a test and development phase in the UK, before being shipped to the US for further altitude testing. An update on the car will be issued next month prior to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 27.

The Hill Climb is one of the most famous motorsport events in the world, pitching cars to tackle a climb of over 12 miles up to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado, US.

Read more

Racing Comments (0) |

Porsche to test sustainable fuels in 911 Cup racing series

This season’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup championship will run exclusively on renewable fuels following a collaboration between the German car maker and energy giant ExxonMobil.

The new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car will use Esso Renewable Racing Fuels to provide an intensive test bed that it hopes will accelerate a potential path towards being used in consumer products.

Porsche says it has already tested to make sure the car’s high-revving 4.0-litre engine can deal with the biofuels and will now use it in all eight races this season.

For 2021, the cars will use a bio-based fuel blend, which has been obtained from food waste products and mixed with other components to provide the usual combustion behaviour expected of fuel. It will have an octane racing equivalent to 98 octane.

In 2022, the cars will use a new synthetic fuel – also referred to as ‘eFuel’ – which Porsche says will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 per cent. This has been sourced from the Haru Oni pilot project in Chile, which generates hydrogen and mixes it with carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere to produce methanol.

Photos: PA Media


Oliver Schwab, project manager of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, said: “The testing of new technologies in racing has a decades-long tradition at Porsche. We’re proud to be able to assume a pioneering role for Porsche on the critical topic of eFuels.

“The Supercup is the first international racing series to use renewable fuels. Given that our races are held as part of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, we’re very much in the eye of the media, the public and other manufacturers involved in motor racing.”

Porsche has been making a lot of noise recently about synthetic fuels, saying that the benefit is reduced harmful emissions and the ability to continue using existing internal combustion engines and refuelling networks.

The recent trend towards using a higher ethanol mix in petrol can be harmful towards older vehicles that are not made for it, something that is not an issue with e-fuels.

It announced partnerships with a variety of firms, including tech giant Siemens, last year. The group is opening a synthetic fuel plant in Chile powered by the wind to further reduce emissions.

Read more

Racing Comments (0) |

JBXE Racing and Lotus join forces in Extreme E technical partnership

Lotus Engineering is the latest addition to the family of partners, JBXE Racing has announced. The world-renowned British engineering consultancy, part of Group Lotus, joins as technical partner, supporting Jenson Button’s Extreme E team in this radical new electric off-roading series.

Highly respected for its dedication to cutting-edge technologies and motor racing pedigree, Lotus Engineering is internationally recognised for driving innovation in the automotive industry and beyond. JBXE Racing looks forward to working together with Lotus Engineering to promote electrification and highlight the importance of sustainable solutions to help protect and preserve the planet.

JBXE Racing team founder and 2009 FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ World Champion, Jenson Button, and multiple Scandinavian Touring Car race-winner, Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, are preparing to compete in the opening race of the 2021 Extreme E Championship later this week – the Desert X Prix takes place from April 3-4 in AlUla, Saudi Arabia.

JBXE Racing team founder and 2009 FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ World Champion, Jenson Button. Photos: Lotus

Jenson Button said: “Lotus is a great British brand that is inextricably linked to motorsport, so we are delighted to welcome Lotus Engineering to JBXE. Extreme E is a unique and exciting formula, full of “world firsts” and challenges, and to announce that a brand such as Lotus Engineering is coming on this journey with us is a proud moment for myself and the team. We are very excited about our new technical partnership and can’t wait to show what we can do in the first race this weekend.”

Matt Windle, managing director, Lotus Cars, added: “We are on the cusp of an exciting new era of electrified motorsport, and we’re delighted to support the JBXE team as Technical Partner. The complex technicalities of EV racing present a fascinating challenge, and using our learnings from more than a decade of electrifying sports cars – most recently with the Lotus Evija hypercar – we can bring valuable knowledge to the team.”

Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E said: “It’s fantastic that Lotus Engineering is entering Extreme E alongside Jenson Button’s JBXE team. The long-term success of our series relies on bringing in top automotive manufacturers to utilise our extreme racing platform as a testbed for accelerating electric mobility innovation for the wider industry. Lotus Engineering brings a wealth of experience in electrification and will no doubt prove a huge asset to the JBXE team. Welcome to the Extreme E family Lotus!”

Read more

Racing, Videos Comments (0) |

Mini’s Pacesetter arrives as new Formula E safety car

Mini has pushed its regular Electric hatchback to the extreme to create the Pacesetter – Formula E’s latest safety car.

Powered by the same battery and motor setup as you’ll find in the road-going Mini Electric, the Pacesetter kicks out 181bhp. However, extensive weight-saving measures have shaved the car’s acceleration times down by over half a second, meaning that it’ll now go from 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds.

The most striking changes have been made across the car’s exterior, though. It features extended wheel arches, a deep front splitter and a huge rear wing. Since the electric motor requires far less cooling than a conventional engine, the front end is largely smoothed off to make it as aerodynamically efficient as possible – though the area below the grille and squared-off apertures either side push air through and on to the brakes, cooling them down.

Photos: PA Media


The 18-inch alloy wheels have been finished in orange to match the car’s overall livery, while three-way adjustable racing coilover suspension combines with grippy Michelin Pilot Sport tyres – the same as those fitted to the front wheels of Formula E racing cars – to provide plenty of traction.

Much of the standard car’s weight has been stripped for the Pacesetter, with elements such as the infotainment system and the rear seats ditched in the quest for lightness. In total, the Pacesetter weighs 130kg less than the road-going Mini Electric.

The Pacesetter will make its Formula E debut at the Rome E-Prix which commences on April 10.

Read more

Events, Racing Comments (0) |

Lamborghini Urus sets high-speed record on the ice of Lake Baikal

Automobili Lamborghini took part for the first time in the Days of Speed on the ice of Lake Baikal, with the Lamborghini Urus Super SUV powering through extreme challenge to set the 1,000-meter record, at 114 km/h average speed from a standing start.

Piloted by the 18-time Days of Speed Russian record-holder Andrey Leontyev, the maximum recorded speed of the Urus during the record-breaking sprint was an impressive 298 km/h, despite significant warming of the ice on the world’s deepest lake. During the practice runs, the SuperSUV had even reached a maximum speed of 302 km/h. Official data registered by the FIA and the RAF (Russian Automobile Federation) will be published in April.

The Lamborghini Urus demonstrated outstanding performance and exceptional maneuverability on the ice despite the challenges of slippery conditions causing reduced traction, and strong gusts of wind

“Lamborghini always sets ambitious and bold goals, reinforcing the unparalelled performance benchmarks we set for our products and endorsing the innate innovation and technical prowess of our super sports cars. This extreme challenge has once again proven that the Urus Super SUV delivers the inherent performance expected of a Lamborghini in terms of acceleration and top speed as well as handling, to unlock any road: be it a highway, off-road route or even ice. We are excited to see the Urus’ official results published,” commented Konstantin Sychev, head of Lamborghini Eastern Europe and CIS.

Photos: Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Urus features a 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo engine delivering 650 hp at 6,000 rpm (maximum 6,800 rpm), producing maximum torque of 850 Nm at 2,250 rpm. With 162.7 hp/l the Urus claims one of the highest specific power outputs in its class and the best weight-to-power ratio at 3,38 kg/hp. The Urus accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 12,8 seconds and with a top speed of 305 km/h, it is one of the fastest super SUVs available.

The annual Days of Speed festival was held between March 10-13. Organised by LAV-racing company, this official sports event is dedicated to setting record speeds on ice. The event strictly adheres to all regulations of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) and RAF (Russian Automobile Federation).

Read more

Racing Comments (0) |

The 720S GT3X is McLaren’s hardcore racer unleashed

McLaren has revealed the ultimate track-focused version of its 720S supercar.

Based on the GT3 race car, the 720S GT3X has been modified by the firm’s motorsport arm without having to comply with any competition regulations.

That means the team was free to unleash more power from the engine and fully optimise the aerodynamics on the bodywork.

The 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine combines aspects of the road and race car units to get the optimum balance, with strengthened pistons and a lightweight exhaust system among the upgrades. It’s also fitted to a six-speed sequential motorsport transmission.

The power output as standard is the same 710bhp figure as the road car, but it now has a ‘push-to-pass’ button that adds an extra 30bhp of boost.

The GT3X has been put through its paces on tracks across Europe and the Middle East to optimise the aerodynamics, using computer software and Formula 1 wind tunnels to improve airflow and downforce.

Photos: PA Media


Inside, the cabin has been stripped of everything that’s not necessary with lightweight carbon-fibre used throughout. The driver is cocooned within a Kevlar FIA-spec bucket seat, with the pedal box and steering wheel adjustable to get the perfect driving position.

Other changes over the race car include a passenger seat, revised roll cage and enhanced crash structures.

Ian Morgan, director of McLaren Customer Racing, said: “Due to GT3 ‘balance of performance’ requirements, the 720S GT3 car has to run with a considerably reduced power output than the road-going 720S Spider and Coupe variants.

“The brief for the GT3X project was to unleash the full potential of the 720S GT3 car using a massively increased power output to fully exploit the aerodynamics and chassis dynamics of the car.

“The 720S GT3X now offers a unique opportunity to experience a fully-fledged GT3 car. The lap time is significantly reduced from the GT3 benchmark through both the huge standard power increase and the additional 30bhp from the push-to-pass button. The end result is a car that offers a truly unique experience.”

As part of the ownership process, customers will receive full trackside support from McLaren’s engineers. These are the same staff that support the customer race teams at events around the world.

Read more

Racing Comments (0) |

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 prototype takes to the track for the first time

The first Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 prototype has been driven on track for the first time, with its maker saying ‘it feels so good already’.

Called XP2, or Experimental Prototype 2, this is the first time the carbon chassis, bodywork and engine have been put together to be driven in the real world.

With Murray at the wheel, the T.50 lapped the runways of Dunsfold Aerodrome, best-known for being the test track for the BBC TV show Top Gear. With this being the first shakedown, the car was limited to just 3,000rpm, but the full production car will have an astonishing 12,000rpm red line.

Despite this testing limitation, Murray said he was still getting some wheelspin in the chilly conditions.

In a video released by Murray’s manufacturing firm, he says ‘you can tell when a car is going to be good… it just feels so good already’.

Designed by legendary car designer Gordon Murray, the T.50 is a limited-edition supercar that boasts a 654bhp V12 engine and the ‘most advanced and effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car’.

The Cosworth-built powerplant is a 3.9-litre naturally aspirated unit that is claimed to be the lightest V12 ever made thanks to its aluminium, steel and titanium construction.

However, the major talking point is the 400mm rear-mounted fan. This rapidly accelerates the air passing under the car to create huge amounts of downforce. Known as ‘ground effects’, it means fewer wings and spoilers are needed on the bodywork, which helps to reduce drag.

Customer deliveries of the T.50 will begin in January 2022.

Read more

Racing Comments (0) |

The new Formula 1 safety and medical cars are Aston Martins

Aston Martin will supply the safety and medical cars for the Formula 1 field for the first time ever.

The British brand is making a return to the grid in 2021 with Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll at the wheel of their respective race cars, but now Aston’s road cars will also be used to support races during crashes and bad weather.

Aston Martin is replacing Mercedes-AMG, and will be using a Vantage sports car and DBX SUV.

The safety car is used to lead the field at a controlled pace when an incident has occured. This is usually for a crash or if a broken down car is on the circuit, giving track workers and medical personnel a safe space to deal with it.

Formula 1 cars need heat in their tyres to maximise performance, and driving slowly can quickly cool them. That’s why performance cars are always used for the safety car, with the Aston Martin Vantage replacing the Mercedes-AMG GT.

The sports car has been given some slight tweaks to make it FIA-compliant while lower-profile tyres have been fitted too. Power from the 4.0-litre V8 engine has been increased by about 25bhp to 528bhp, while the 685Nm peak torque figure remains the same but is now available across more of the rev range.

Photos: PA Media

The medical car is used to attend to serious crashes and follows the field for the first lap. Its importance was highlighted at the Bahrain Grand Prix last year, when Romain Grosjean’s Haas car was engulfed in a fireball after a horrific crash.

Medics were on the scene within seconds to help him escape the fire and had extensive medical equipment on hand to help him.

This will be an Aston Martin DBX, the firm’s SUV, because it has more space on-board to carry supplies. It will have the same engine as the Vantage but here it makes 542bhp.

Tobias Moers, chief executive officer of Aston Martin Lagonda said “Together with the whole company, I am extremely proud of the Aston Martin brand’s return to Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport for the first time in more than 60 years and represents the start of a significant new era for Aston Martin.

“To see our acclaimed Vantage, our most dynamic sports car, performing the role of the Official Safety Car of Formula 1 and our first SUV, DBX, operate as the Medical Car on Formula 1 circuits around the world is a proud moment for us all”.

The 2021 Formula 1 season kicks off in Bahrain, with the Grand Prix happening on March 28.

Read more