Virginia International Raceway has opened up the full course track to host several great events this Friday through Sunday.
The SportsCar Vintage Racing Association has come to VIR and brought along several classic vintage race cars.
This Saturday I spent a good part of the day enjoying the sights and sounds of vintage racing:
Nissan had a great booth to show off some of their racing history:
In addition they had a pair of racing simulators set up so you could try your hand at setting a record track time:
TransAm racing is also being hosted at the track this weekend. Today at noon there was qualifying and tomorrow, Sunday, will be the race, starting at 12:45 and going for 100 miles. Tommy Kendal is on hand and enjoying the hot Chrysler cars:
VIR is a beautiful track and the weather is fantastic. Treat yourself to some fun and check out the events.
Olympic Park in Beijing China hosted the first of a series of races of this spec race. It is the FIA’s attempt to create a Formula One type of racing experience but using all electric powered race cars.
Like the Indy series they all use the same chassis. They do use 18” wheels. The cars are all pretty much the same. Within the constraints of electric power a single team car cannot complete a race so there is a mandatory car swap.
The cars consume so much electricity recharging that their impact on the city’s electrical grid is significant.
The fact that this is a series designed to replace the current Formula 1 is a bit disquieting. The changes that have taken place in F1 have started moving the cars toward a spec-style formula which is putting off the fan base in a big way.
The Beijing race resulted in a crash and several yawns from the crowd of spectators. I doubt that they will have much enthusiasm for attending another F-E race any time soon.
But there is another formula out there that should get a great deal of focus.
Its known as Formula Student and in the video above is the TU Delft car that wowed them at the Silverstone event with their performance and design innovation.
Notice the hub-less wheel design. There are electric motors on all four corners. It has a one-stage planetary transmission resulting in a 50% weight saving over their last year’s design. The wheels are 2kg lighter per corner.
The chassis was designed as a carbon fiber sandwich with an aluminum honeycomb center section. It weighs as much as a case of beer and is 3kg lighter than the previous chassis.
The whole electronic system was redesigned and uses their own battery management system. Components were kept as close to each other as possible to reduce wiring and its associated interference. That reduced the number of wires per battery package from 40 to two. Electrical energy is stored in an accumulator made of lithium polymer cells that are extremely lightweight. If they had used batteries that are found in a normal car the weight would be 200kg instead of the 40kg it actually weighs. It is extremely efficient with a 6.4kWh output. With the regenerative braking they get 30% of their total power.
Instead of constraining Formula E with so many limits why don’t they open up the formula to creativity that you find these universities thriving in. Their technology is not shrouded in secrecy either. They just know that every year is a starting point for the next year’s worth of innovation.
And isn’t that what race fans are really looking for?
I always enjoy the little surprises that pop up on the side of the road while you are traveling from point A to point B.
If you aren’t careful you can go by them and miss what could be a wonderful trip down memory lane.
It looks to be a 1962 or 1963 VW bug. The fact that its swing axles were popped up with positive camber says that the engine had been removed. Probably for a rebuild or a replacement. Many years ago I had a 1962 that was an absolute blast to drive around in.
There were a couple of other classics that didn’t look like they would be on the road any time soon.
Ahh, cars. What memories. Sigh.
It was a beautiful morning and the village I was in was celebrating the summer day with road races (for runners) and a parade with antique cars as part of the menagerie.
They gathered at the village museum arriving in ones and twos.
The first to arrive was a bit of a rat rod based on a Ford Model A.
It was very creative an sported the badges of many of the popular sources of aftermarket performance parts of the early hot rod era.
Another Model A soon showed up.
These painted wheels became part of the Model A color scheme after owners started painting their wheels on their own. Like many options on todays cars they originated from the creativity of car owners that wanted a bit of individuality in their rides.
Rumble seats and pin striping accented these roadsters.
Two more pulled up. These two owners were part of the Model A Ford Club of Cape Cod.
The wheels were all painted an accent color.
But there weren’t just Model A’s…
Car people gathered and had a fine time chatting about cars.
Later, at one in the afternoon, when many more had gathered, the parade was kicked off and the residents of the village enjoyed a glimpse back into the history of the motor car.