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New FIA Series Driven by Electric Power

The electric KERS system for Formula 1 may prove to ignite a new wave of motorsports (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

In late August the FIA announced a new championship series to be powered by 100% electric energy.  Called Formula E, it aims to demonstrate the need for alternatively-powered cars, an idea that has become the motor industry’s collective vision for automobiles of the future.  The series promoter, Formula E Holdings (FEH), is a conglomerate of entrepreneurs, former racing bosses, and other auto industry professionals.

BOOK REVIEW: GRAND PRIX YESTERDAY & TODAY

 

GRAND PRIX YESTERDAY & TODAY

By Bruce Jones

Published by: Carlton Books

ISBN: 978 1 84732 592 1

Price: $25.00

 

// Review

Consisting of just six chapters over its 192 pages, this uniquely constructed hardback could be a little confusing, with the manner by which the years are reported, which is decidedly haphazard through its content. It is not that the detail is uninteresting, because the innumerable photographs (many of which have never been seen in print before), in both monotone and full colour, help to lift fascination levels.

However, dotting random years into the page headings creates an unhappy imbalance. Yet, the subjects covered are similarly random, dating back to Grand Prix’s 1906 beginnings up to the end of 2010. If the evolution of motor racing is of personal interest, you will find this book serves purpose rather well.

Strangely, for such a well-regarded writer and author, Bruce Jones, a tall chap renowned for his shock of red hair, who can often be spotted strutting most assuredly through pit lanes and paddocks around the world, appears to have tackled this book with a stream of consciousness. He is a talented scribe, of that fact there is no doubt, yet this book can prove challenging on first read and, unless you are in the mood for such variance, it can become a major ‘switch off’. Even so, the contents are incontestably excellent and I would suggest that you persevere with it.

From Russia With Love: SBK

SBK at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah - May, 2012

World Superbike Championship (SBK) follows World Series by Renault (WSR) as the second international racing event to be held at Moscow Raceway. The newest addition to the international motorsports venue collection, Moscow Raceway will play host to numerous national and international events such as German DTM, FIA GT1, WSR, and SBK. 

The new circuit opened in July this year and welcomed WSR as its first event. American driver Alexander Rossi took to the track and finished P11 in Race 1 and P5 in Race 2, a solid position for the first event held on the new circuit.

Today's SBK race is the first two-wheeled event to be held at the circuit and should be exciting. New circuits have a constantly evolving track surface which makes controlling the bikes a more delicate strategy than a seasoned track. You'll want to tune in to SPEED TV and watch Race 1 at 3pm CDT and Race 2 at 4pm CDT to witness it firsthand. Though the event has concluded, there's no spoilers here. I'm avoiding the internet until I can watch this race and see how the bikes do on this new circuit.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the fan attendance at the race as well. Russia is beefing up it's motorsports collection to increase its global appeal. In addition to this new Moscow Raceway, the 2014 Olympics Winter Games' Olympic Park Circuit is under construction, and both are working to appeal to the international crowd. Bernie Ecclestone signed a seven year contract to host Formula 1 in Sochi beginning in 2014, so the F1 world is keeping an eye on Russia to see if they're falling in love with international motorsports.

BOOK REVIEW: FORMULA ONE, ALL THE RACES (1950-2011)

 

// Review

Filling 600 pages of paperback book cannot be anything other than a labor of love. For author, Roger Smith, Formula 1: All The Races is based on what he calls his ‘race pods’, each of which outlines a race, key details of its qualifying, along with appropriate statistics, facts and the folklore surrounding the events. Even the most ardent of GP fans will find at least one snippet not revealed by other sources, so comprehensive is the coverage.

Final Paving Process Begins At COTA



// Echelon Paving

The final paving process is now underway at Circuit of The Americas. As explained in the video above, there are two integral layers of asphalt to be set into place before the FIA Inspection on September 25. 

The first layer of asphalt, known as the base course, has been installed sporadically (yet intentionally) around the track over the past several months. Between Turns 1 and 11, the track is restricted so that crews can prepare the surface to receive its second layer. Just last week, the final section of the base course was set between turns 20 and 1 in a "marriage ceremony," where the existing asphalt at Turn 1 was merged with the new layer.  Following this milestone, the paving process will become more difficult and complex in order to achieve the strict Grade 1 FIA specifications.

// Click on the photos above to see the full image gallery


In collaboration with Tilke GmbH, Austin Commercial will orchestrate this process, known as "echelon paving," with three to four machines running simultaneously.  Each layer will require 7-12 days to complete and take around 60 workers, or almost 10% percent of the onsite crew. The echelon technique ensures a seamless track, free of any distortions and a perfect surface that will help Formula 1 and other racing series drive safely and achieve top performance.

Inspection of the track is scheduled for September 25, when FIA Safety Delgate and Race Director Charlie Whiting will return to Austin for a closer look at the surface and various safety components. According to Juilie Loignon, COTA Vice President of Public and Community Relations, all preparations are underway to ensure the circuit meets the intense specifications to host the Formula 1 race in November.

 

Need seats at Circuit of The Americas? Buy your USGP tickets from TicketCity.

Vintage by Definition



The summer holidays are upon us and the Grand Prix circus is taking its customary mid-season vacation before recommencing racing duties in late-August, at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Iain Robertson perceives this as a chance to review what has been and what is to come, from what he calls a ‘vintage year’ in the F1 scene.