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    Rebuilding a once-great racing name: The return of Lola Cars

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 4 days ago - 17:02 · 1 minute

The nose of a red Lola Mk1 in the foreground and a white and green Lola B12/60 in the background

Enlarge / A Lola Mk1 in the foreground and a Lola B12/60 from 2012 in the background. (credit: Lola Cars)

When I first heard of the plan to revive Lola Cars, I had some trepidation. In these days of SPAC-powered exuberance and blockchain hype, it would be pretty easy for a company to take the cynical approach: Design (if not necessarily ever build) a ludicrously expensive electric hypercar and maybe some NFTs and wait for the hype to roll in. Thankfully, those ideas couldn't be further from the new owner's plans.

"Simply put, our plan is to bring Lola back to a former version of itself. To me, that means being a design and engineering force in modern motorsport," explained Till Bechtolsheimer, an investor and amateur racing driver who bought the company's assets in June.

Older racing fans will know the Lola name. The company was founded in the UK in 1958 by Eric Broadley, and by 1962, it had entered Formula 1 as a constructor, though never with much success. A pair of second-place finishes for John Surtees that year were the best results Lola-built F1 cars could muster, and the company's planned return to the sport in 1997 with the backing of MasterCard was a complete fiasco that ended when neither of the company's cars qualified for that year's opening race in Australia.

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    Formula E’s most successful racer shares his ideas on racing technology

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 5 August - 18:59 · 1 minute

A black formula e car is followed by a red formula e car

Enlarge / Lucas Di Grassi leads Jake Dennis in the 2022 London ePrix. (credit: Sam Bloxham/Formula E)

Formula E will close out its season this weekend with its first visit to Seoul, South Korea. It's not just the end of season eight and the last race for the Gen2 electric race cars but also marks the series' 100th race. The sport has come a long way since its first ePrix in Beijing in 2014, with more powerful cars, bigger batteries, and an ability to put on an exciting race at Monaco, something that Formula 1 hasn't been able to say for several decades.

Lucas di Grassi was the winner of that first ePrix and has raced in every ePrix since. He's still visiting victory lane, most recently in last Sunday's London ePrix, and this weekend may score his 1,000th career point in the series. With a background in Formula 1 and then Audi's mighty R18 e-tron Le Mans program , di Grassi knows his way around a race car. So he's usually a good person to talk to about the future direction of the sport.

Next season the sport gets a new car, one that's much more powerful—and lighter, too. But it's not quite as bold, technology-wise, as the concept di Grassi lobbied for . Although that car has yet to even race in anger, the various minds that contribute to Formula E's R&D road map are already thinking about Gen4 . Since we had the chance to speak with the driver ahead of this week's Seoul ePrix, I wanted to know his thoughts on where the sport should go next. As I hoped, he had plenty of them.

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    A big horsepower jump and more changes to come for Formula E in 2023

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 16 July - 11:30 · 1 minute

A Formula E car in front of the Manhattan skyline

Enlarge / This is the last time that the Manhattan skyline will play backdrop to Formula E's Gen2 car, shown here. Next year the sport gets an all-new machine with a lot more power and a lot less mass.

Formula E makes its annual return to Red Hook this weekend for the New York City ePrix. Ars sadly won't be on hand for the races, which is a shame as it will be my last chance to see the Gen2 electric race car in action. I will have to make every effort to be there in 2023, however.

Next year will see significant changes for the all-electric racing series, including a much more powerful, much faster racing car and changes to some rules to make the races interesting. I can't guarantee it, but I think there's a good chance we won't see the return of Fan Boost, which will make some corners of the internet happy.

What's clear is that the series remains unafraid of thinking differently, and it's helpful to remember that we're talking about a sport that's still only in its eighth season. Jamie Reigle took over as Formula E's CEO in 2019, and last week I spoke to him about how the series has progressed and what we should look forward to in the next few years.

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    Formula 1 wants to stop its cars from porpoising, and this is how

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 16 June - 18:10 · 1 minute

A Ferrari F1 car on track at Baku in Azerbaijan

Enlarge / Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit on June 12, 2022, in Baku, Azerbaijan. (credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The sport of Formula 1 racing went through a massive change at the beginning of this season as it introduced new cars that harness aerodynamic ground effects to push them down onto the track. The aerodynamic approach was last used in F1 in the late 1970s and early 1980s before being banned on safety grounds.

One issue, then, that perhaps should have been anticipated this time was a condition called porpoising, where the cars oscillate vertically at a rather high frequency while traveling at high speed, violently shaking the driver in the process. As this season has progressed, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association has become more and more vocal about the potential health risk this poses for these athletes. And on Thursday, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (or FIA, the sport's governing body) announced it has a plan to do something about it.

What’s porpoising?

As the air travels underneath the body of an F1 car, it expands as it reaches the venturis at the rear of the car. The faster the car goes, the more downforce it generates via this expansion, until at a certain point the airflow detaches from the floor and stalls. This wipes out all the downforce immediately, and without that effect sucking the car to the ground, it raises up on its suspension.

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    Here’s the hybrid that Cadillac hopes will win the 24 Hours of Le Mans

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 13 June - 16:30 · 1 minute

Cadillac GTP Concept render

Enlarge / This is the Cadillac GTP Concept, which is our first look at what will become Cadillac's endurance racing car in North America and at Le Mans. (credit: Cadillac)

This weekend saw the annual running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. It was hardly a race for the ages—don't worry, no spoilers here—but with any luck, that will change next year with the introduction of a new class of hybrid race cars (known as LMDh cars, for Le Mans Daytona hybrid) from manufacturers like Acura, BMW, Porsche, and others.

We've seen a teaser of the Acura ARX-06 , and BMW showed off a semi-camouflaged version of its new M Hybrid V8 earlier in June . Porsche's car, which started testing at the start of the year , will be formally unveiled and named later this month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK.

And on the eve of Le Mans, Cadillac released the first public images of the Project GTP Hypercar, which the company says previews the design of the car that will contest the North American IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship and the global FIA World Endurance Championship (which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans).

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    BMW reveals its newest sport racer, the M Hybrid V8

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 6 June - 16:48

The M Hybrid V8 is instantly recognizable as a BMW, as it wears the brand's kidney grille.

Enlarge / The M Hybrid V8 is instantly recognizable as a BMW, as it wears the brand's kidney grille. (credit: BMW)

On Monday, BMW became the first carmaker to reveal its new hybrid racing prototype built to the new LMDh rule set. It's called the BMW M Hybrid V8, and it will race for the first time at next January's Rolex 24 in Daytona.

Sports car racing is in the midst of a transition period as race organizers in the US and Europe adopt new rules for prototype race cars. Because we're talking about sports car racing, and because there are two sets of organizers, it's all a bit complicated.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is organized by the French Automobile Club de l'Ouest, or ACO. Many of the cars that run in that race also compete in the World Endurance Championship, which is organized by the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (or FIA). In the US, there's the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), which runs the WeatherTech championship.

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    Honda just built the world’s most advanced wind tunnel in Ohio

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 21 March - 14:00 · 1 minute

An engineer supervises a wind tunnel test

Enlarge / An Acura MDX undergoing an aerodynamic test in Honda's new $124 million wind tunnel—the most advanced in the world. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Honda provided a flight to Columbus and back and a night in a hotel so we could visit the new facility. Ars does not accept paid editorial content.

EAST LIBERTY, OHIO—Over the weekend, Formula 1 burst back into action with its first race of the year. For several decades now the sport has been dominated by downforce and the application of aerodynamics. So you might think that the world's most advanced rolling road wind tunnel would be found in England, where most of the teams are based—or perhaps in Italy's Maranello.

But despite the sport's well-funded emphasis on air flow, F1 is no longer the last word in rolling road wind tunnels. Now that honor belongs to Honda Automotive Laboratories of Ohio ("HALO"), where a new $124 million, 192 mph (310 km/h) facility is about to commence operations.

HALO is based at the Transportation Research Center, a vehicle proving grounds and test track a little less than an hour outside of Columbus. It's a relatively unassuming facility from the outside, certainly compared to Ferrari's dramatic-looking, Renzo Piano-designed tunnel in Italy . But as with people, it's what's inside that really matters.

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    Gran Turismo 7 reviewed—the legend turns 25

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 2 March - 11:01 · 1 minute

In 1997, <em>Gran Turismo</em> was one of the standout hits for the original Playstation. Now, <em>GT7</em> is ready for Sony

Enlarge / In 1997, Gran Turismo was one of the standout hits for the original Playstation. Now, GT7 is ready for Sony's current consoles. (credit: Sony )

Can you believe more than eight years have passed since the last full Gran Turismo game? Actually, who am I kidding—fans of the series have become accustomed to lengthy waits between installments. That wait is very nearly over, though, because on Thursday, Gran Turismo 7 arrives for the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 consoles.

It's been a wait filled with some trepidation. Although GT titles were massively overrepresented in my very unscientific ranking of console racing games a while back, some installments of the franchise from Polyphony Digital have not been as good as others— looking at you, GT5 . But that was then, and this is now, and there's an entirely new generation of hardware to show off the series' trademark dazzling realism.

GT7 shows that Polyphony Digital has not lost its touch. There's room for improvement—history suggests that updates will happen over time—and there's no doubt that the game plays better on the hard-to-find PS5 than the more commonplace PS4. But in trying times, GT7 is the racing game equivalent of comfort food, made from a recipe refined over 25 years but updated for the 4K generation.

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