Road & Track sent American F1 hopeful Alexander Rossi around the Circuit of the Americas in a Corvette ZR-1. I find it easier to get a feel for the track from the perspective of a street car instead of watching it in fast-forward from an F1 car. In a recent interview with Cycle World Magazine, MotoGP rider Ben Spies gave some of his insights on the track. He said that the uphill hairpin Turn 1 is great for spectators but really dangerous for the racers because if somebody messes up, they take out a lot of people. He then said the fast esses, Turns 3-6, are the hardest part of the track with the triple right, Turns 16-18, being the easiest since you can treat them all as one constant turn. Spies says the track is awesome but he wishes there was a high-speed fourth gear turn in it somewhere. The footage of Rossi starts with an easy out-lap and then two hot laps from different camera angles.
Indy drive Alex Lloyd is given the opportunity to take the Brock Racing Enterprise Datsun 510 out for a spin. He goes into the historical significance of the car and it’s victories in its class of Trans-Am racing. He then goes onto highlight the car’s quirks and how they relate to the romanticism of vintage race cars.
Road & Track put together this video that takes a closer look at the hybrid cars competing in this year’s 24 hours of Le Mans, the Audi E-Tron Ultra and Toyota TS030. They talk about how each car has different engines, energy storage and even electric motor power delivery.
Not to be outdone by Motor Trend’s recent sub $28k sports car shootout, Road & Track rounded up the Subaru BRZ, Mazda MX-5 and Hyundai Genesis Coupe with the 2.0 liter turbo engine for a rear wheel drive comparison. Watch the videos before you read my take on them:
As an added bonus they got 2011 Formula D Champion, Daijiro Yoshihara, to see which one he liked drifting the most.
I have yet to see the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ lose a comparison yet. The real kicker is that everybody says that it could use more power, but still pick it to win. That just goes to show that Toyota/Subaru really got it right by going back to the basics of rear wheel drive, low center of gravity and light weight. I was very worried that these cars wouldn’t be received well simply because they didn’t make enough power for a modern audience, but it seems that people are actually appreciating the engineering effort that was put into matching the power with the tires, suspension and chassis to create a really high level of overall balance. Even so, it seems Toyota is thinking about covering the power issue.