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NISSAN TO MAKE SPECIAL GT-R CELEBRATING PARTNERSHIP WITH NAOMI OSAKA.
Nissan plans to build up to 50 of the cars, with tailored specifications based on the Nissan GT-R Premium edition grade. The model will come with three body color options including Midnight Opal, Brilliant White Pearl and Meteor Flake Black Pearl.
Osaka, who joined Nissan as a brand ambassador shortly after becoming the first Japanese tennis player to win a women’s singles Grand Slam championship in September, helped match the color schemes for the special-edition GT-R. Three new color schemes have been developed for the commemorative model, and they can be combined with any of the body colors.
The car comes with LED high-mount stop lights on the dry carbon rear spoiler and a golden model-number plate in the engine room.
Santa Pod unveils new events for 2019
There is exciting new action on offer at Santa Pod Raceway in 2019. No fewer than six brand new events will be added to its already busy calendar.
The Springspeed Nationals is the first of the new line-up, to be held on the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May. If the name and date seem familiar, they offer a fond tip of the hat to Warwickshire’s recently closed Shakespeare County Raceway, where this national Sportsman event ran on that weekend for many years.
Another Sportsman event, the Green Light Nationals, joins the roster on 17th and 18th August, providing the nation’s finest Sportsman racers a chance to compete at the height of summer.
Fans of April’s The Fast Show can rejoice at the addition of The Fast Show Reloaded on Sunday 30th June. The show offers another opportunity to get vehicles of all shapes and sizes on to Santa Pod’s famed quarter-mile or on display in the Autoglym Show & Shine competition. It’s a fine excuse to get together with one’s automotive chums for another day of putting pedal to the metal or simply for chewing the fat surrounded by glittering machinery. To that end, club bookings are very much welcomed so expect to find displays catering for all vehicular tastes. In addition, there will be a line-up of high-calibre entertainment in the Live Action Arena and around the venue.
There’s also something fresh on the list for many marque-specific enthusiasts.
The famous Griffin comes to Santa Pod in the form of The Vauxhall Show (Sunday 28th April), welcoming everything from Corsas to Vivas to the dragstrip and the showground alike. While renowned for their reliability, affordability and even modify-ability(!?), Vauxhalls are a popular choice for everyone from new drivers to the current crop of everyday petrolheads. The dragstrip will be ready and waiting, so VXR owners should need no further encouragement to make the most of this opportunity to drop the clutch and test their vehicles’ performance in a safe and legal environment.
Five weeks later, German engineering takes the stage at Das Auto Show (Sunday 2nd June). German car manufacturers are extremely popular on the roads in the UK; whether you’re looking for an efficient hatchback, high-performance monster or simply a touch of class, the chances are you’ve at least thought about buying German. The modern line of performance vehicles makes them popular on the dragstrip too, with the likes of the BMW M series, Audi RS series, VW R and GTI series, and even Mercedes AMG series, all capable of recording some mightily impressive quarter-mile times. Then we have Porsche, a name which speaks for itself in the automotive world. We can’t wait to see which one of these Deutschmarque heavyweights winds up on top of the pile at the end of the weekend.
The third new marque-specific event spotlights the ever-popular blue oval when The Ford Show arrives on Sunday 7th July. Founded in 1903, FoMoCo has sent more than its fair share of products down the dragstrip during Santa Pod’s 53 operational years and they remain no less popular today in the National Championship ranks. Fords of all shapes and sizes can be found from entry level right up to Pro Modified, the pinnacle class of ‘doorslammer’ racing. The Ford Show, however, is not just for the drag racing and musclecar hardcore. There’s heavy emphasis on modern ‘hot hatches’ and performance models as well as on popular classics such as early Escorts, Capris and Cortinas, and everything in between. Use of the track is not only permitted but encouraged, as is entry into the Autoglym Show & Shine competition and club stand bookings.
See Santa Pod’s 2019 calendar and full details of these great new events at www.santapod.com
Ford Fiesta takes two titles.
The Ford Fiesta has won three Car of the Year titles, two of them for the new Ford Fiesta ST. Top Gear magazine awarded the Fiesta ST its car of the year honour and Hot Hatch of the year, continuing the success of the previous Fiesta ST which won the same award in 2013.
Parkers also named the Fiesta ST as its car of the year at the 2019 Parkers New Car Awards
New John Cooper Works MINI cars available.
Available from March 2019 with increased standard specifications for the UK market
The MINI John Cooper Works Hatch and MINI John Cooper Works Convertible are both equipped with the potent 2 litres four-cylinder engine which produces 231 HP with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology and has an official fuel consumption figure of 40.9 mpg with the 6-speed manual transmission and 45.6 mpg with the 8-speed Steptronic transmission. This gives the Hatch a 0-62 mph time of 6.3 seconds, while the Convertible covers the same distance in 6.6 seconds.
Aston Martin Valkyrie.
The partnership between Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies created the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the ultimate expression of hypercar design, engineering and performance. Now the marque’s personalisation service ‘Q by Aston Martin’ is set to release an exclusive collection of additions to this road going hypercar. The 150 cars can now be further optimised with the AMR Track performance pack.
The pack’s track only components, which can be swopped with the existing road legal parts, will improve lap times by approximately 8%. It features a new aerodynamic front clam which delivers greater downforce and efficiency.
For owners who wish to keep their car on the road, there are four beautiful designer specification themes, featuring exclusive Valkyrie colours including Slipstream Green, Liquid Petroleum, Ethanol Silver and Maximum Orange. Alternatively, customers are invited to work with the Aston Martin Design team to refine their specifications, enhanced even further by ‘Q by Aston Martin’.
Formula E double podium for Audi E-Tron FE05.
In the second round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Marrakesh, Morocco, all four Audi e-
Bruce McLaren’s winning Legacy remembered with a special 720S collection.
McLaren Brussels has commissioned three McLaren 720S supercars in MSO bespoke Anniversary Orange to honour the McLaren team’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix victory at Spa, Belgium in 1968. Fifty years since Bruce McLaren recorded his team’s first win, at the 1968 Belgium Grand Prix, a three-car collection by McLaren Special Operations has been built to mark a milestone in McLaren history. The McLaren 720S Spa 68 Collection is painted in MSO bespoke Anniversary Orange, to echo the colour of the 1968 race car, and feature a silver outline of the 14km Spa-Francorchamps track used in 1968, ahead of the rear wheel arch. All three cars also have a dedication plaque with its unique number.
The Mini 60 Years Edition.
MINI is remembering the 60th anniversary of this famous British icon with the introduction of a limited edition model, celebrating the best of MINI. Just 500 examples of this Worldwide edition will be on sale in the UK. The cars will be finished in British Racing Green, with a black contrasting roof, exclusive 17 inch light alloy wheels and a unique interior.
The British Motor Corporation (BMC) revealed the original Mini to the World on the 26th August 1959. It captured the imagination of the World and revolutionised the compact car.
To kick start this anniversary year, MINI is introducing a limited run of just 500 cars for UK customers.
The MINI Cooper S 60 Years Edition will feature a new British Racing Green paint finish, with piano black exterior trim, black roof and exterior mirror caps and special anniversary design bonnet stripes.
The car will also be offered exclusively with automatic transmission and will do 0-62 mph in just 6.7 seconds. Every model in the UK will be sold with an additional set of MINI spotlights fitted to the front radiator grille and the 60 Years emblem completes the vehicle. They will be available from March 2019 at £29,990 OTR.
MEMORABLE RE-RUN OF SOUTH AMERICAN GRAND PRIX FLAGGED OFF BY FANGIO’S SON.
Five times World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio competed in the 1948 Grand Prix of South America, and it was 70 years later to the minute that his son Oscar recently flagged off the first contestant in the inaugural re-run of this ‘greatest ever road race’.
Organised by leading international classic car rally specialist Bespoke Rallies, this challenging 10,000km adventure began in Buenos Aires and finished in Cartagena almost a month later, having shadowed the original route as closely as possible through Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
The winning car was the second oldest on the event, the 1929 Chrysler 75 of Andrew Davies and Paul Dilley who, despite tough opposition from the drivers of such much younger vehicles as a Triumph TR4 and pair of Ford Escort 2000s, led the event for much of the way, thanks to the notable regularity rally skills of its crew.
In 2nd place was the 1972 Porsche 911 of Gerd Buehler and Armin Gottfried Knuepfing;
3rd place, the splendid 1933 Lagonda M45 of Martin Egli, Thomas Kern and Marc Buhofer; and 4th, the 1938 Chevrolet Coupe of Daniel and Rabbia Schlatter – the very type of machine in which Fangio had contested the original event all those years before.
RALLYING WITH GROUP B ATTRACTS EX-WORKS AND WRC CHAMPS TO RACE RETRO, POWERED BY M
This year’s Race Retro, powered by Motor Sport, has received a record number of entries for the Live Rally Stage, organised by Rallying with Group B (RWGB), with some amazing ex-works cars and motorsport legends celebrated.
RWGB organiser Tim Foster said: “The quantity of entries for Race Retro this year has been amazing but the quality of the vehicles that enthusiasts will be able to see up close and in action is off the charts!”
Tickets are now on sale for Race Retro, powered by Motor Sport, February 22-24 2019 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, with free parking for all visitors. For the latest updates and ticket information, visit www.raceretro.com
The Cupra Ateca.
The Cupra brand was born from SEAT’s award-winning motorsport division and is the ultimate expression of uniqueness, sophistication and performance. CUPRA was launched as a standalone brand in February 2018 with the CUPRA Ateca, a high-performance SUV. It combines sportiness and practicality in a package with the highest performance of any SUV outside a premium manufacturer. It has 295 BHP and 400Nm of torque available from its 2-litre TSi petrol engine connected to a seven-speed DSG transmission linked to a 4Drive all-wheel-drive system. It has a top speed of 153 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 5.2 seconds.
McLaren 720S GT3 debut.
The new McLaren 720S GT3 made a stunning debut in the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi in December 2018. It came close to a tantalising first time out victory, lapping the entire field before suspension problems dropped the car back to 5th place in class and 8th overall. This is the first GT racer designed and built in-house by McLaren Automotive. The car, driven by Ben Barnicoat (GB), Álvaro Parente (PT) and Shane van Gisbergen (NZ), ran trouble free for ten hours. The race was split into two six-hour events and the McLaren finished the first half in 2nd place. From the start of the second event, the McLaren dominated until, with just two hours to go, a problem with the right front suspension forced van Gisbergen into the pits. Rapid work by the team saw Barnicoat back out after just 13 minutes in the pits. In the last ninety minutes, he closed on the rest of the field and finished 8th overall and 5th in the GT3 Pro Class.
New Renault Clio
The all-new Renault Clio will make its debut at the Geneva International Motor Show. This is the fifth generation of this automotive icon, with over 15 million cars sold since it was originally launched in 1990. It has become Groupe Renault’s best selling model worldwide. The new model inherits features from all the previous generations including technology found on higher-end vehicles like the Mégane and Espace. It has extremely high standards of spaciousness and comfort and ushers in a new era in terms of perceived quality. Finally, it inherits a strong design, one that inspired the entire Renault range.
Porsche will enter Formula E with Neel Jani
Experienced Swiss racer and works Porsche driver Neel Jani
John Watson makes his Race Retro show debut this year.
Former Formula One driver John Watson won five Grands Prix during his career and was third in the 1982 World Championship. Born in Belfast, his F1 career started in 1972 but his first World Champion event wasn’t until the following year when he drove a Brabham-Ford BT37. Moving on to the Brabham BT42, he scored his first championship point in the 1974 Monaco Grand Prix. Drives with Team Surtees, Lotus and Penske followed. John’s first World Championship podium came in 1976 finishing 3rd in the French Grand Prix with a victory to follow in the Austrian Grand Prix driving the Penske. In 1979, Watson moved to McLaren where he gave them their first victory in over three years by winning the 1981 British Grand Prix and also securing the first victory for a carbon fibre composite monocoque F1 car, the McLaren MP4/1. His most successful year was 1982, when he finished third in the Drivers’ Championship, winning two Grands Prix before he retired from F1 at the end of the 1983 season. He then