Posts

Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood to race this weekend

Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood to race this weekend

Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood to race this weekend

Celebrity baker Paul Hollywood is taking time out from Great British Bake Off this weekend – as he’ll be taking to Donington Park in his Aston Martin GT4 in the British GT Championship season finale.

Hollywood races for the Beechdean Motorsport team alongside Jamie Chadwick, and made his championship debut at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium in July.

He’s put on a strong performance so far in the series – finishing sixth place in his last race at Snetterton

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my racing so far in the British GT Championship,” he said. “It’s very tough and it’s been a steep learning curve.

“Has it been more challenging than I expected? Yes, and then some! There’s things that people don’t think about, like when you get in the car you don’t realise just how claustrophobic they are.

“Then of course when you’re wearing all the kit and have things like the HANS [Head and Neck Safety] device and all the window netting and the harness, so it gets very hot inside the car. But it’s great fun and a great challenge.”

Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood to race this weekend

The Bake Off star has never raced at the Leicestershire race track before – but he does have a special memory of the European Grand Prix held there in 1993.

“I think it was one of the wettest Grands Prix on record with the most amount of tyre changes,” he comments. “Ayrton Senna overtook all the cars on the first lap and I was stood at the top of the hill watching the racing with a black bin liner over my face with holes in so I could see out.”

The race this weekend is a two hour contest, and Hollywood says he’d be happy just to make it to the end.

He added: “Just finishing the race on Sunday would be great. Snetterton last time out was a good one and more of the same at Donington Park would be ideal. Our sources say qualifying on Saturday could be wet so that may be an added challenge, but Sunday should be dry.”

Fans will be able to get up close and personal with drivers at Donington Park, which features an open paddock. Off track family fun includes trampolines and a giant Scalextric set.

Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood to race this weekend

Great British Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood to race this weekend

Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood to race this weekend

Celebrity baker Paul Hollywood is taking time out from Great British Bake Off this weekend – as he’ll be taking to Donington Park in his Aston Martin GT4 in the British GT Championship season finale.

Hollywood races for the Beechdean Motorsport team alongside Jamie Chadwick, and made his championship debut at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium in July.

He’s put on a strong performance so far in the series – finishing sixth place in his last race at Snetterton

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my racing so far in the British GT Championship,” he said. “It’s very tough and it’s been a steep learning curve.

“Has it been more challenging than I expected? Yes, and then some! There’s things that people don’t think about, like when you get in the car you don’t realise just how claustrophobic they are.

“Then of course when you’re wearing all the kit and have things like the HANS [Head and Neck Safety] device and all the window netting and the harness, so it gets very hot inside the car. But it’s great fun and a great challenge.”

Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood to race this weekend

The Bake Off star has never raced at the Leicestershire race track before – but he does have a special memory of the European Grand Prix held there in 1993.

“I think it was one of the wettest Grands Prix on record with the most amount of tyre changes,” he comments. “Ayrton Senna overtook all the cars on the first lap and I was stood at the top of the hill watching the racing with a black bin liner over my face with holes in so I could see out.”

The race this weekend is a two hour contest, and Hollywood says he’d be happy just to make it to the end.

He added: “Just finishing the race on Sunday would be great. Snetterton last time out was a good one and more of the same at Donington Park would be ideal. Our sources say qualifying on Saturday could be wet so that may be an added challenge, but Sunday should be dry.”

Fans will be able to get up close and personal with drivers at Donington Park, which features an open paddock. Off track family fun includes trampolines and a giant Scalextric set.

Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16

Video: how Renault Sport created the R.S.16

Learn how the mighty 275hp Megane-engined Clio R.S.16 was born

London ePrix 2015

Battersea residents kill off parkland FIA ePrix race

London ePrix 2015Battersea residents and Wandsworth Borough Council have agreed to drop a judicial review into London’s FIA Formula E race – because organisers have agreed this July’s race will be the last in Battersea Park.

Upset by disruption and a lack of tickets for residents, the Battersea residents and local council took organisers of the low-noise eco race series to court in an attempt to get the race stopped.

They believed they had a good case and some racing industry insiders agree Formula E organisers badly handled the relationship with Battersea locals – but it was argued in court it was too late to stop this year’s race, which is the 2015/16 season finale.

It was thus agreed that the July event will go ahead, but be the last one held in Battersea Park.

Which is to the relief of Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag, who said he was “very pleased that the Visa London ePrix will go ahead as planned.”

However, although this is it for the London Formula E race in its current form, Agag did say it needn’t be the end of the FIA race series in London – and he even added it could take the form of a Monaco Grand Prix-style street race on the capital’s roads.

“We now look forward to finding a new home him London, using the streets and backdrop of one of the most famous and recognisable cities in the world.”

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Aston Martin Vantage GT8: Aston's racing car for the road

Aston Martin Vantage GT8Aston Martin has launched a special edition Vantage GT8 at Silverstone to mark a new season in the World Endurance Championship in striking race-bred style.

The new Vantage GT8 is not only inspired by Aston’s race-winning GTE racers, it can also look not unlike a WEC car: all you need to add are the stickers…

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

It’s no token visual makeover either. Aston Martin has given the Vantage GT8 some significant engineering changes to make it the most extreme V8 Vantage ever – it’s quite the late-life boost for Aston’s most compact Porsche 911 challenger.

The wide-body aerodynamics kit brings carbon fibre front splitter, front and rear bumpers, front wings, side sills and rear diffuser – and Aston’s proud of the cutaway front wheelarch, which mimics the GTE racer (and also reminds us of a certain Porsche 911 GT3 RS…).

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

You don’t have to stop there either: an optional Aero Pack adds corner elements to the front splitter plus this outlandish, brilliant extra-large rear wing. Seriously, how will any buyer be able to resist?

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

There are new five-spoke alloys as standard: the car in the release shots features optional ultra-lightweight seven-spoke centre-lock alloys. Both wheels get Michelin’s track-ready Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

Inside, there are standard carbon fibre seats, which themselves are lightweight but also eschew electric adjustment to save further weight. Carbon fibre door panels cut more grammes, as does a lithium ion battery.

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Buyers can go yet further on the weight saving too – Aston offers optional carbon fibre roof, polycarbonate rear screen and side windows and a titanium exhaust (that reportedly sounds just like a full-bore racer). In full lightweight guise, Aston says the Vantage GT8 is 100kg lighter than standard, tipping the scales at just over 1,500kg.

Colours? Three special ‘Halo’ options are offered: China Grey and Blue, Stratus White and Green or this wonderful new Stirling Green and Lime. More subtle hues are also available but why would you?

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Besides the Stirling Green paint is inspired by the Aston Martin DBR1, still the only Aston to win the Le Mans 24 Hours outright, back in 1959.

Aston Martin DBR1

As the name suggests, the Vantage GT8 uses Aston’s familiar 4.7-litre V8, perhaps one of its last new-model applications as the firm prepares to use Mercedes-AMG V8s in the future. It’s been given a decent boost in power here, to 446hp, which should be good for 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds and a 190mph top speed.

Aston Martin director of special projects and motorsport David King confirms the chassis has also been developed “to an entirely different level of agility and aggression” with uprated, retuned springs and dampers plus track-focused suspension geometry.

“It’s a hugely exciting car honed to the keenest possible edge.”

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer agreed. “Road cars are our business, but racing is the beating heart of Aston Martin. The Vantage GT8 expresses that combination perfectly: an authentic and unashamedly extreme road car that draws directly from our Le Mans racing programme.”

It is “a driver’s car in the truest sense of the word”.

On sale now with prices starting from £165,000, the Aston Martin Vantage GT8 will be limited to 150 models worldwide: deliveries begin in Q4 2016.

UPDATE

Sorry, Aston Martin fans – Dr Andy Palmer has just announced here at Silverstone that the Vantage GT8 is already sold out! Deposits for all 150 have been placed: if you want one, fingers crossed somebody drops out.

Come back soon for more news from Aston Martin at Silverstone – including a chat with the Vantage GT8 designer Miles Nurnberger

Video: Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Aston Martin Vantage GT8: Aston’s racing car for the road

Aston Martin Vantage GT8Aston Martin has launched a special edition Vantage GT8 at Silverstone to mark a new season in the World Endurance Championship in striking race-bred style.

The new Vantage GT8 is not only inspired by Aston’s race-winning GTE racers, it can also look not unlike a WEC car: all you need to add are the stickers…

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

It’s no token visual makeover either. Aston Martin has given the Vantage GT8 some significant engineering changes to make it the most extreme V8 Vantage ever – it’s quite the late-life boost for Aston’s most compact Porsche 911 challenger.

The wide-body aerodynamics kit brings carbon fibre front splitter, front and rear bumpers, front wings, side sills and rear diffuser – and Aston’s proud of the cutaway front wheelarch, which mimics the GTE racer (and also reminds us of a certain Porsche 911 GT3 RS…).

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

You don’t have to stop there either: an optional Aero Pack adds corner elements to the front splitter plus this outlandish, brilliant extra-large rear wing. Seriously, how will any buyer be able to resist?

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

There are new five-spoke alloys as standard: the car in the release shots features optional ultra-lightweight seven-spoke centre-lock alloys. Both wheels get Michelin’s track-ready Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

Inside, there are standard carbon fibre seats, which themselves are lightweight but also eschew electric adjustment to save further weight. Carbon fibre door panels cut more grammes, as does a lithium ion battery.

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Buyers can go yet further on the weight saving too – Aston offers optional carbon fibre roof, polycarbonate rear screen and side windows and a titanium exhaust (that reportedly sounds just like a full-bore racer). In full lightweight guise, Aston says the Vantage GT8 is 100kg lighter than standard, tipping the scales at just over 1,500kg.

Colours? Three special ‘Halo’ options are offered: China Grey and Blue, Stratus White and Green or this wonderful new Stirling Green and Lime. More subtle hues are also available but why would you?

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Besides the Stirling Green paint is inspired by the Aston Martin DBR1, still the only Aston to win the Le Mans 24 Hours outright, back in 1959.

Aston Martin DBR1

As the name suggests, the Vantage GT8 uses Aston’s familiar 4.7-litre V8, perhaps one of its last new-model applications as the firm prepares to use Mercedes-AMG V8s in the future. It’s been given a decent boost in power here, to 446hp, which should be good for 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds and a 190mph top speed.

Aston Martin director of special projects and motorsport David King confirms the chassis has also been developed “to an entirely different level of agility and aggression” with uprated, retuned springs and dampers plus track-focused suspension geometry.

“It’s a hugely exciting car honed to the keenest possible edge.”

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer agreed. “Road cars are our business, but racing is the beating heart of Aston Martin. The Vantage GT8 expresses that combination perfectly: an authentic and unashamedly extreme road car that draws directly from our Le Mans racing programme.”

It is “a driver’s car in the truest sense of the word”.

On sale now with prices starting from £165,000, the Aston Martin Vantage GT8 will be limited to 150 models worldwide: deliveries begin in Q4 2016.

UPDATE

Sorry, Aston Martin fans – Dr Andy Palmer has just announced here at Silverstone that the Vantage GT8 is already sold out! Deposits for all 150 have been placed: if you want one, fingers crossed somebody drops out.

Come back soon for more news from Aston Martin at Silverstone – including a chat with the Vantage GT8 designer Miles Nurnberger

Video: Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Aston Martin Racing Wings 2016 WEC

Aston Martin gives its racing cars hand-made wings

Aston Martin Racing Wings 2016 WECAston Martin is fitting a set of hand-made wings badges for its V8 Vantage GTE racing cars racing in this year’s World Endurance Championship series.

The bespoke badges are all hand-painted in the national flags of the eight nations hosting each round of the 2016 WEC series – starting with a union flag wings badge for this weekend’s 6 Hours of Silverstone race.

Aston Martin Racing Wings 2016 WEC

The badges have been made by jewellery artists at Vaughtons in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, using a combination of CAD equipment and 120-year old jewellery making machinery.

Aston Martin’s ultra-bespoke Q division had overseen the project. General manager for Q by Aston Martin Dr. Matthew Bennett said: “Our service endeavours to provide customers with a range of unique and personalised options for their road cars and I’m proud to be able to bring a bespoke touch of luxury to our Aston Martin Racing entries for the 2016 season.

“We look forward to seeing these iconic Aston Martin wings badges take to some of the world’s leading race circuits”.

So how’s Aston hoping to do in WEC this year with its V8 Vantage GTE racers? Pretty well, hopes Aston Martin Racing team principal Paul Howarth. “This season really is a fresh start for us,” he said.

“With a re-balanced driver line-up and our new V8 Vantage GTE making its competitive debut this weekend, I’m confident that we can put in strong performances throughout the season and carry these wings to strong race results”.

 

Sir Chris Hoy ELMS

Sir Chris Hoy to race in 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours with Nissan

Sir Chris Hoy Le MansSir Chris Hoy will drive for Nissan in the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours race – fulfilling a three-year accelerated driver training programme to convert him from multiple Olympic gold medalist to racing driver.

Described as by Hoy as the pinnacle, he says that “to get the news that I have the seat for Le Mans is amazing. I still can’t quite believe it.

“It’s exciting but there are a lot of steps to take between now and then so I’m trying to focus on the short-term. I’m also incredibly excited that I’m going to be starting on the same grid as all these legendary drivers.”

Sir Chris Hoy

The news was revealed at a special event in London’s O2 Arena where it was confirmed that Hoy will become the first-ever summer Olympic medalist to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours event. It comes three years after Hoy retired from cycling and started to focus on motorsport, initially as a hobby.

Nissan soon took him under its wing: it entered Hoy into the 2014 British GT Championship in a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, before graduating him to the 2015 European Le Mans Series in a Nissan-powered Team LNT Ginetta.

With some success: Hoy and co-driver Charlie Robertson win the 2015 LMP3 driver’s title.

For 2016, Hoy will be driving with French racer Andre Pizzitola and Brit Michael Munemann, in a Nissan-powered Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 (pictured below). As well as the Le Mans 24 Hours on 18-19 June, the trip will also race at the opening two rounds of the European Le Mans Series, at Silverstone on 16 April and Imola on 15 May.

Sir Chris Hoy: from two wheels to four

Sir Chris Hoy Le Mans

An eleven-time world champion, Sir Chris Hoy has six gold medals and, at the London 2012 Olympics, became the most successful British Olympian ever. He’s also the most successful Olympic cyclist.

“The time from my racing debut to getting a Le Mans drive has been short,” he admitted, “but many GT Academy athletes have done the journey even quicker. It’s incredible what can be achieved with the right support and the right people around you,” Hoy said.

“I’ve been very lucky to have that. I’ve had some great driver coaching, some great advice from the drivers themselves and I’ve had access to the simulator.

“The biggest thing in my motorsports career is Nissan has continued to provide new challenges for me. Just as I was coming to grips with the GT-R NISMO GT3, I was promoted straight away to the LM P3 prototype.

Surprisingly, he reckons the most straightforward step up is actually entering Le Mans. “The LM P2 car I’m going to race at Le Mans is the easiest and most intuitive car I’ve ever driven.”

Roborace Robocar

Roborace driverless series reveals Robocar racer concept

Roborace RobocarThe Roborace driverless car race series has appointed Hollywood sci-fi designer Daniel Simon as its chief design officer – and the German futurist has revealed his first sketches of the ambitious self-driving racer that will be hitting the world’s circuits later in 2016.

Called Robocar, the concept is, of course, unlike no other racing car in the world. Not least because it doesn’t need to house a driver.

With concealed wheels, aero-tuned surfacing and an almost scarily far-out appearance, the mean-looking racing car concept is guaranteed to stand out – particularly if Simon’s able to bring something like this to the FIA Formula E support series from autumn 2016.

The fact it doesn’t have to accommodate a driver is something Simon’s taken full advantage of, he explained.

“My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty. Racing engineers and aerodynamicists have worked with me from the beginning to strike that balance.

“The Roborace is as much about competition as it is entertainment. Therefore – and quite unusual in today’s racing world – beauty was very high on our agenda and we work hard to merge the best performance with stunning styling.”

Explaining the tech details behind his concept, Simon said: “It was important to us that we generate substantial downforce without unnecessary parts cluttering the car to maintain a clean and iconic look.

“This is largely made possible by using the floor as the main aerodynamic device and we are currently developing active body parts that are more organic and seamless than solutions today.”

What is Roborace?

The Roborace driverless race series will support the FIA Formula E championship from the 2016/17 season. The electric-powered cars will be controlled by real-time computing algorithms and Artificial Intelligence, in full racing conditions.

10 teams will each run two cars, and the races will be an hour long.

All cars will be identical and the robotic autonomous racers will compete against one another across a full year-long season to decide the first driverless car world champion.

Goodwood 74th Members Meeting

Watch Goodwood 74th Members' Meeting LIVE

Goodwood 74th Members MeetingThe 74th Goodwood Members’ Meeting is on this weekend and if you missed the Grand Prix this morning, here’s your opportunity to catch some great live racing on Motoring Research.

The highlight of today is likely to be the Gerry Marshall Trophy but there’s a full day of action coming from Goodwood, including ground-effect F1 cars, Mika Hakkinen and Jochen Mass demonstrating Mercedes-Benz W196 racers a grid full of Ford GT40s and even the most idiosyncratic field full of Edwardian racers you’re every likely to see.

So tune in, sit back and enjoy… and be sure to tweet us your thoughts using #74MM throughout the day!

#74MM live twitter feed