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New Porsche endurance racing documentary available to watch NOW

Porsche Endurance Documentary

Trying to win one 24-hour sports car endurance race is hard. Attempting to win two in eight days is enough to give most racing teams nightmares.

Yet that is exactly what Porsche attempted to do in 2019, tackling Le Mans and the Nurburgring 24 Hours a little more than a week apart. 

The story of how Porsche took on such an immense challenge has been captured in a new documentary, simply called Endurance

The two toughest GT races in the world

Porsche Endurance Documentary

Directed by James Routh, known for this work on the Netflix Drive to Survive Formula 1 series, Endurance is currently free to watch on YouTube. It will also be available on Amazon Prime from April 3rd. 

Filmed over a 25-day period, Endurance explores how drivers, mechanics, and team bosses manage to coordinate the demands of two major races so close together.

Porsche’s Director of Factory Motorsport, Pascal Zurlinden, is one of the key players in the documentary, explaining how the company tackles the prestigious events.

Engineers and even family members also play their part in the tale. 

A different kind of movie spoiler

Porsche Endurance Documentary

In describing the documentary, Porsche states that it will cover what ‘endurance racing really involves’, including stories of ‘deprivation, stress, emotion and boundless dedication’ from those involved.

Insight from Porsche drivers Matt Campbell, Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen, and Laurens Vanthoor will be central to Endurance. This group of four were involved in driving two of the toughest GT races on the planet with just a week between events. 

With almost all motorsport currently postponed or cancelled, Endurance also serves as a neat reminder as to what fans are missing out on. 

Virtual racing continues 

Porsche Endurance Documentary

However, Porsche is attempting to fill the competition void, with a range of online esports races for real-world and virtual drivers. 

The company has a new title sponsor for its Porsche Esports Supercup championship, aimed at the best sim racing drivers in the world. Virtual drivers will get their first taste of action this weekend with a test session. 

Also starting this weekend is the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition. Designed for real-world drivers who would compete in the Porsche Supercup series, the Virtual Edition will offer online competition for those unable to currently race.

Bentley GT racing drivers ready to compete in charity esports challenge on Sunday

Bentley SRO Charity Esports Race

Although most physical motorsport may be postponed or cancelled, various esports challenges are keeping drivers and fans entertained. 

This weekend will see the first SRO E-Sports GT Series Charity Challenge take place, featuring real-world and sim racing drivers facing off against each other.

Bentley will be fielding four drivers in the event, which aims to raise money for charities helping the coronavirus response.

Works driver Al Buncombe, K-PAX Racing’s Andy Soucek, CMR’s Arjun Maini, and JRM’s Martin Plowman will represent Bentley and its customer teams.

Bentley SRO Charity Esports Race

A total of 50 virtual racing cars will be on track for the E-Sports GT Series Charity Challenge, with competitors using the Assetto Corsa Competizione game. 

Whilst real-world drivers GT have been able to enter automatically, sim racing drivers have had to qualify through setting fastest laps throughout the week.

All have had to make a minimum charity donation of €15.

As the official game of the SRO GT World Challenge, Assetto Corsa Competizione features the correct cars and circuits to make the experience as realistic as possible.

Monza was due to be the first round of the GT World Challenge Europe, meaning drivers will head to a virtual rendition of the Italian circuit instead. 

Bentley SRO Charity Esports Race

Al Buncombe, Bentley works racing driver commented that: “It’s fantastic that SRO has put on a charity event like this. We are a very tight-knit community and, as well as giving us our motorsport fix, it’s allowing us all to come together and give our very loyal fans some racing to enjoy.”

The drivers have been taking the competition seriously, with Buncombe adding: “We’ve worked really hard on the set-up this week – the level of preparation and effort has made it feel like a real world race week! Let’s hope we can reap the rewards on Sunday.”

All the action will take place on Sunday, 29th March, beginning with a free practice session at 9:00 CET. Semi-final heats will begin from 11:15 CET, with the one-hour Grand Final beginning at 17:00 CET.

Races will be streamed live on social media, with commentary included. The GT World YouTube page will be responsible for hosting the main video coverage of the event. 

coronavirus lockdown could cause more drink driving

COVID-19 lockdown could lead to increased drink-driving

coronavirus lockdown could cause more drink driving

UK motorists are being warned about driving while over the alcohol limit as the coronavirus lockdown causes home drinking to dramatically increase.

Now it’s suggested there could be more people drink-driving on the roads.

Home drinking in the UK has nearly doubled, with 100 million pints of beer being consumed each week. The problem, we’re told, is people driving early the following morning, to make the supermarket run before essential supplies sell out. 

Drink driving accidents highest since 2010

Some drivers aren’t knowingly driving while over the limit, then. Rather, it’s residual units from the night before, which remain when they fire the car up in the morning.

Studies have shown that even a small amount of alcohol in your system can impede reaction times and performance behind the wheel. That also applies to quantities below the legal limit.  

Around 20 percent of drink-drive convictions come from those caught in the morning. And around a third of all breath tests following an accident are conducted between 7am and 1pm.

England should lower drink drive limit, scotland says

Department for Transport figures indicate a 25 percent jump in drink-drive accident fatalities in the past two years.

“If you consume three pints of beer or three large glasses of wine before retiring at 11pm, you’re unlikely to be totally clear of alcohol when driving to the supermarket for 7am,” said Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense.  

Drink driving accidents highest since 2010

“Even if you’re just at the English/Welsh legal drink-drive limit, research shows you are 13 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than when sober. The only way to be sure that alcohol has completely cleared your system is to use a personal breathalyser.”

“The impact of COVID-19 is worrying enough without the added stress of being banned from driving, or involved in a car crash”.

Nissan Juke car production in Sunderland

Coronavirus will slash UK car production by ‘at least’ 200,000

Nissan Juke car production in Sunderland

The UK car industry faces a dramatic cutback of at least 200,000 British-built cars in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis.

This is if the industry shutdown lasts a matter of weeks: if it extends into months, the figures could be worse still.

It would result in an annual cut in British-built cars of at least 18 percent, taking UK car production down to less than 1.1 million vehicles.

Just four years ago, more than 1.7 million cars were built in Britain.

The analysis comes as the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) releases February car production figures.

These show a modest fall of 0.8 percent, with 122,000 vehicles rolling out of UK car factories.

This was the month before the coronavirus pandemic hit, though. March figures will be radically different.

Deep concern

“With UK car plants now effectively on national shutdown and many global markets closed, the outlook is of deep concern,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“If we’re to keep this sector alive and in a position to help Britain get back on its feet, we urgently need funding to be released, additional measures to ease pressure on cashflow and clarity on how employment support measures will work.”

The UK automotive industry is a key economic powerhouse, contributing £18.6 billion to the British economy each year.  

Hawes adds the industry is ready to help the country even in the current crisis, with production of essential medical equipment, sustaining delivery of supplies, transporting key workers and both providing and maintaining emergency services vehicles.

Key workers to get free car delivery from BuyaCar

Key workers get free car delivery from buyacar

Online car marketplace BuyaCar.co.uk has launched a free delivery service for key workers. Police, NHS and supply chain staff can all take advantage of the offer during the coronavirus crisis.

Ordinarily, delivery from Buyacar costs £199. But the charge has been suspended for the people required to keep working during the crisis. 

Buyacar describes itself as an ‘Amazon-style’ car retailer. The waiving of the £199 delivery fee is accompanied by the offer of two years’ free warranty (usually £499).

Deliveries to key workers are also being prioritised by the company.

Key workers get free car delivery from buyacar

BuyaCar has introduced a contactless handover in response to coronavirus, too. And the company is enforcing a stringent cleaning and preparation process before delivery. 

“Our decision to do everything we can to help key workers was easy – they are the people we all rely on to keep us safe and healthy and they are already under pressure as the coronavirus problem continues,” said Andy Oldham, chief executive of BuyaCar.

Key workers get free car delivery from buyacar

“It’s our turn to give them all the support that we can, regardless of the short-term financial cost to us, and we are proud to do so. We have to help Britain’s most essential people stay mobile during this crisis, whatever the cost.

“Contactless handover at the point of delivery can be arranged in advance. Cars are delivered by healthy drivers only and all contact surfaces, controls and handles are cleaned before the customer takes charge of the vehicle.”

Read all of our latest news about the coronavirus.

Roy Keane's Aston Martin DB7

Footballer’s one-off Aston Martin DB7 for sale

Roy Keane's Aston Martin DB7

An Aston Martin once owned by a famous footballer turned pundit is up for sale on Auto Trader. You could own Roy Keane’s custom-painted Aston Martin DB7 for £23,950.

Those in the know will remember ’Keano’ as the captain when Manchester United won the treble in 1998.

That’s the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. This DB7 was Keane’s treat to himself as a celebration of the historic wins, which the team hasn’t repeated since.

Roy Keane's Aston Martin DB7

The car is an Aston Martin DB7 3.2 automatic wearing a unique gold exterior paint. It’s one of just 588 gold cars listed for sale on Auto Trader. It’s been well used, too, coming with 60,000 miles on the clock.

Roy Keane's Aston Martin DB7

“Roy Keane bought this Aston Martin to celebrate Manchester United’s iconic treble win of 99, standing out as the best four-wheeled piece of memorabilia to mark a golden milestone in the club’s history,” an Auto Trader spokesperson said.

“But it’s quite a contrast to the footballer’s cars we see so often on Auto Trader today, with G-Wagens and Range Rovers being the go-to choice for most Premier League players.

Football fans browsing Auto Trader for some isolation respite may even see more famous cars on-site in the coming weeks.”

Roy Keane's Aston Martin DB7

The DB7 was a hot ticket car for footballers and celebrities. We recently covered an ex-Sir Elton John DB7 Volante for sale on Auto Trader.

It’s a shame that neither Sir Elton’s or Roy Keane’s cars are the Vantage V12 variety, with the silky 5.9-litre engine upgrade that came along in 1999.

Also up for grabs was a DB6 ‘loan car’ reportedly often in use by HRH Prince Charles. Of course, only when his own car was in for work.

Bosch rapid test for coronavirus

New Bosch rapid test can detect coronavirus in 2.5 hours

Bosch rapid test for coronavirus

Bosch says it has developed a rapid test that can detect the coronavirus in just two and a half hours. It’s the latest example of a company joining the fight against COVID-19.

Because the test can be performed at the point of care, it eliminates the need to transport samples. It also speeds up the time it takes for the patient to receive the result. 

The test was developed in just six weeks in partnership with the Northern Irish medical technology company Randox Laboratories.

Bosch says the test will available in Germany in April, with other markets likely to follow soon after.

The companies say it is the first fully automated molecular diagnostic test of its kind.

A sample is taken from the patient’s nose or throat using a swab. The cartridge is inserted into an analysis device, with no prior training required.

Crucially, the medical staff are free to perform other tasks while they’re waiting for the results of the test.

It takes just 100 devices to evaluate up to 1,000 tests per day. In the laboratory, Bosch recorded results with an accuracy of over 95 percent. The rapid test meets the quality standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

‘Time is of the essence’

Bosch rapid test kit

Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch, said: “We want the Bosch rapid COVID-19 test to play a part in containing the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible. It will speed up the identification and isolation of infected patients.

“Time is of the essence in the fight against coronavirus. Reliable, rapid diagnosis directly on site with no back and forth – that is the great advantage of our solution.”

Marc Meier, president of Bosch Healthcare Solutions, added: “The special feature of the Bosch test is that it offers differential diagnosis, which saves doctors the additional time needed for further tests. It also provides them with a reliable diagnosis quickly so they can then begin suitable treatment faster.

“Together with our partner Randox, we have succeeded in developing this innovative rapid test within a very short time frame, and we are now in a position to offer it to the market. The Bosch Vivalytic analysis device evaluates the test safely and reliably directly in the hospital, in the lab, or in the doctor’s office, guaranteeing the best possible protection for patients and medical staff.”

As of 9:00 on 25 March, a total of 97,019 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the UK. Of these, 9,529 were confirmed positive, while 463 have died.

The current guidelines are to only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this cannot be done from home). You must also stay two metres away from other people and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

 

Ford building coronavirus respirators using fans from cooled SEATS

Ford parts in PPE manufacturing

Ford is lending its manufacturing and engineering prowess, and creative ingenuity, to the fight against coronavirus.

It will be helping the expansion of production of various medical supplies, including air-purifying respirators.

Off-the-shelf parts are being repurposed for new designs.

Ford Filtration System design

These include the fans usually found in high-end air conditioned ‘cooling’ seats. They’re normally used in Ford F-150 pickups. 

Ford is working with 3M, which is suppling HEPA air filters, to develop respirators for healthcare workers. 

ALSO READ: McLaren and Nissan join race to build ventilators

“This is such a critical time for America and the world,” said Ford executive chairman Bill Ford.

“By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis.

“At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company.”

Ventilators, respirators and face shields

Ford parts in PPE manufacturing

Ford is working in other areas of personal protection equipment development and manufacturing, too.

The automaker is collaborating with GE Healthcare to expand production of its ventilator. Ford will potentially be able to manufacture the ventilators at one of its locations. This will supplement supply from the main GE facility.

Ford’s design team is also working on the design and testing of transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders.

The first 1,000 are this week going for testing at Detroit Mercy, Henry Ford Health Systems and Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace hospitals.

Roughly 75,000 shields could be finished this week. The brand is putting its recent developments in 3D printing capability and technology to the test.

Ford parts in PPE manufacturing

“Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. 

“We’ve been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs.

“We are focusing our efforts to help increase the supply of respirators, face shields and ventilators that can help assist health care workers, first responders, critical workers as well as those who have been infected by the virus.”

Testing begins on Gordon Murray’s incredible T.50 hypercar

Gordon Murray T.50 supercar McLaren F1 successor

Gordon Murray Automotive has quietly posted about new progress on its forthcoming T.50 hypercar. Testing has started on what the company claims will be ‘the highest revving, fastest responding V12 ever made for a road car’.

The T.50 will use a 3.9-litre V12 that produces 650hp and has a rev limit of 12,100rpm. The engine is being developed by Cosworth, which has begun very basic mule testing.

The dyno tests involve a three-cylinder scale model of the finished engine. So far, they have concentrated on emissions and engine revving. In the video, we see the mule plugged in and running up to over 12,100rpm.

‘With more than 60 years of motorsport-led experience in engine manufacturing, Cosworth Powertrain sits at the absolute apex of automotive engineering,’ the website reads.

‘Cosworth first worked with Gordon Murray during his time as technical director at the Brabham Formula 1 team. For the T.50, the UK-based firm has engineered the greatest naturally-aspirated engine ever designed for the road.’

A curious statement at the end there, given that Cosworth also completed work on the 6.5-litre 11,000rpm V12 that will power the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Either way, it’s a great time to be a hypercar buyer, when you have a choice of two five-figure-revving V12s.

“The engine is the heart and soul of any supercar,” says Gordon Murray. “It must be bespoke, and must be normally aspirated.” We wholeheartedly agree.

 

Gordon Murray T.50 supercar McLaren F1 successor

Gordon Murray’s project was partially revealed late last year, with a rendered image and a declaration that Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) is collaborating with an F1 team to work on aerodynamics.

The T.50 is set to be something of a greatest hits album for Murray’s automotive output. And yes, it really does have a large fan out-back, much like the one on his famous Brabham F1 car.

Spanning 400mm, it will accelerate air out from the underside of the T.50 and suck it to the ground. In theory, like the Brabham, it could also handle some of the engine cooling.

This will all be refined in collaboration with the Racing Point F1 team. The plan is to create the ‘most advanced and most effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car’.

Gordon Murray T.50

GMA says it will have six distinct aerodynamic modes, which optimise the fan as well as the performance of other active devices and the underbody aero.

Aside from that, the T.50 is set to take everything that makes Murray’s 1992 McLaren F1, considered by many as the greatest car of all time, to the next level. This means the high-revving V12, a manual transmission, a central driving position and a class-leading weight of 980kg thanks to carbon construction.

The engine will benefit from ram-air effect, which means the faster the car goes, the more power it can generate. In combination with a 48-volt integrated starter-generator (possibly hybrid?) system, it’ll put out 700hp in ‘Vmax Mode’.

Given the F1 held a speed record at more than 240mph for a number of years, we like the sound of that.

‘The purest possible form’Gordon Murray T.50 supercar McLaren F1 successor

So what about the styling? If you look past the fan, it’s a refreshingly subtle thing. The silhouette and footprint is immediately reminiscent of the F1. As is the ram air duct up-top, flanking engine bay windows and a wraparound cockpit. That fan means there’s no need for jutting spoilers, ailerons and slashed bodywork, affording it a clean aesthetic.

There’s a whiff of Ferrari in the lights and exhaust placement, and that’s no bad thing. We like what we see so far. Yes, even the fan.

“We were highly focused on achieving the purest possible form for the T.50, an objective we’ve achieved through world-first engineering innovations and active underbody aerodynamics,” said Gordon Murray.

“We will reveal the completed design at the T.50 supercar’s global debut in May.”

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 – how long to wait?Gordon Murray T.50

Just 100 people will be lucky enough to take delivery of a T.50. Customer uptake is reportedly encouraging, even at an entry price of ‘in excess of £2 million’. The first deliveries are scheduled for January 2022. The car was due to be unveiled in full in May 2020, as physical aero testing begins.

“We’ve been taken aback by the enthusiastic reaction of buyers from across the globe,” Murray continued. “The first customer deliveries will take place in January 2022, on schedule, with every customer who has already been allocated their T.50 receiving their car that year.”

Emerson Fittipaldi and other motorsport legends are racing online this weekend

Esports Battle Legends Trophy

Motorsport royalty Emerson Fittipaldi will be one of several legendary drivers taking part in a special esports online race this weekend. 

Included as part of The Race All-Star Esports Battle, the Legends Trophy is open to racing drivers aged 40 and above. 

The current roster of drivers set to take part in the Legends Trophy have 455 F1 starts, 24 F1 wins, 2,378 IndyCar starts, 177 IndyCar wins, and eight Le Mans victories between them!

A true motorsport hero

Esports Battle Legends Trophy

Double Formula 1 World champion and IndyCar champion Emerson Fittipaldi is one of the latest big names to get involved. However, racing in an esports simulator is nothing new to the man who won 14 Grand Prix between 1970 and 1980. 

Speaking about the his experience of sim racing, Fittipaldi commented that: “simulators are extremely important because technically, they are so close to driving the real thing”. He also added that “I wish, in my time, we had simulators. My life would have been much easier!”

Fittipaldi officially retired from motorsport at the end of 1996, but the 73-year-old has taken part in various one-off races and events since. He also created his own Fittipaldi Motors supercar company in 2016. 

So many winners

Esports Battle Legends Trophy

Joining Fittipaldi on the virtual will be three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti. The Scottish driver is looking forward to the race as it gives him “a chance to race with my old mates and competitors once again, hopefully with some really lairy cars and on a great track”.

Indy 500 winners will be present in big numbers in the Legends Trophy, with Hélio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Gil de Ferran, and Tony Kanaan all taking part. 

F1 driver and commentator Johnny Herbert will also be present, plus Le Mans winner David Brabham, Jan Magnussen, Paul Tracy, Bryan Herta, Adrian Fernandez, Oriol Servia and Max Papis.

All-Star Esports Battle continues 

Esports Battle Legends Trophy

Scheduled to take place on Saturday 28th March at 16:00 GMT, the Legends Trophy will take part in addition to the third round of The Race All-Star Esports Battle.

The All-Star Esports Battle already has an almost countless roster of drivers signed up to compete in the online race. Stoffel Vandoorne, António Félix da Costa, Marcus Ericsson and Esteban Gutiérrez are just some of the real-world drivers involved.

They will face off against the best sim racers on the planet, with the virtual drivers having won the previous two rounds of the All-Star Esports Battle. 

Created in under 72 hours to fill the gap left by the postponed Australian Grand Prix, The Race All-Star Esports Battle will be free to watch on YouTube.