Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Formula E DHL Berlin ePrix Announces Temporary Circuit Layout


Temporary circuit layout for the 2015 FIA Formula E DHL Berlin ePrix taking place on May 23, 2015. Image Credit: FIA Formula E Championship

Formula E DHL Berlin ePrix Announces Temporary Circuit Layout

Organizers of the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship have unveiled the circuit layout for the Berlin ePrix to be contested on May 23 2015, sponsored by leading logistics company DHL.

The 17 turn, 2.47km circuit will be built within the 'Apron’ section of the Tempelhof Airport, located in the city-center.

The temporary race course, designed by Rodrigo Nunes, will be the setting for the eighth race in the inaugural Formula E season.


The announcement was made during a press conference held at the former airport and attended by Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag, CEO of DHL Express Europe John Pearson, Berlin Senator Cornelia Yzer, members of the press, together with the championship’s two German drivers; Daniel Abt (Audi Sport Abt Team) and Nick Heidfeld (Venturi Team). During the event, guests could also view the Formula E race car, as well as enjoy a lap of the circuit in a fully-electric BMW i3 and a hybrid BMW i8 by Daniel and Nick.

Tickets for the DHL Berlin ePrix go on sale starting today with general admission (standing) priced from just 10 euros if purchased before April 30, rising to 19 euros thereafter, with children aged six and under going free (if accompanied by a paying adult). As well as a full day’s racing, all tickets will give fans access to Formula E’s eVillage - or fan zone - featuring a variety of off track entertainment including eBike stunt displays, interactive stalls and a driver autograph session. For full details and pricing options click HERE.


Alejandro Agag said: “We are delighted to be in Berlin today and to be unveiling the Formula E circuit. Berlin is one of the leading cities in Europe for innovation and sustainable mobility, whilst Germany is renowned for its motorsport passion and hence why we selected it as a host city for Formula E. We’re now very much looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans, one they can be proud of and where they’ll be able to support home-grown talent Nick Heidfeld and Daniel Abt, along with German team Audi Sport Abt.”

John Pearson, CEO DHL Express Europe, part of DHL who are also a founding and official logistics partner to Formula E, said: “The Berlin ePrix is the ideal event to showcase why DHL and Formula E are the perfect fit. As a pioneer of delivery with carbon-free electric vehicles in the German market, we are extremely excited to be welcoming another pioneer – this time with an even faster brand of electric car – to Berlin. We are also looking forward to identifying an ‘e-novator’ of the future at the race, as the jury of our Formula E-inspired Blue Sky Transport Design Award will select a winning electric vehicle design in Berlin in May.”

Speaking about the circuit layout, Nick Heidfeld, said: “It’s going to be very special racing in front of my home crowd and I’m really looking forward to it. It will be the first time for me racing on somewhere like this so should have its own special atmosphere. It looks like it’s going to be a very twisty and challenging circuit with 17 turns in under 2.5km and I think the fans are going to have great visibility wherever they are. When I spoke to some friends recently they were all interested in coming to Berlin and I hope there will be a lot of other fans who will come and join us for the race.”

The race will be organized by German event company Gil Und Weingärtner who will also call upon the expertise of Hans Jörg Fischer – one of the main track consultants behind Russia’s new Moscow Raceway.

All Formula E races are broadcast live on Sky Deutschland. For more visit the new dedicated DHL Berlin ePrix website go to www.fiaformulae.com/berlin.
(ht: FIA Formula E Championship)

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Douglas Magnon Passed Away Quickly Leaving The Motor Culture To Mourn

Doug Magnon had a passion for collecting, preserving, creating, serving, and spending a lot of time with like-minded people. Here's Doug with a gathering of his famous Maserati cars. Image Credit: IL TRIDENTE magazine

Douglas Magnon Passed Away Quickly Leaving The Motor Culture To Mourn

Douglas (Doug) Magnon began to feel very weak in December and was finally convinced to see a doctor (Doug did not like visiting doctors - ever) at the behest of close friends.

He found the news to be very disturbing but as Doug was prone to do, he took matters into his own hands and set in motion the necessary acts that would allow the wake he would leave to be taken care of in a proper manner.

Today it was officially announced in the following press release that Douglas Magnon is no longer alive as of Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

A show of the latest Moto Guzzi motorcycles at the seventh annual Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance in Palm Springs (2-23-2014). Doug Magnon was both excited and in his element to be able to bring these quality Italian 2-wheel machines to Southern California. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Official Statement from the Magnon Family:

Riverside Businessman and Philanthropist Doug Magnon Passes Away - Business and Racing Community Mourn.  Celebration of Life Scheduled for February 15.

Douglas Magnon of Riverside California, 55, passed away Wednesday, February 4, 2015, surrounded by family and close friends, after a short but brave battle with cancer.

Magnon, president of the Magnon Companies, a regional commercial real estate developer, was also the founder and principal of the Riverside International Automotive Museum (RIAM) owner of Magnone Trattoria, partner in the Newport Italian motorcycle dealership and a trustee board member of the University of California Riverside.

Doug was a man of many passions.  He loved food, cooking and Italian culture, which twice led to ventures into the restaurant business.  His namesake restaurant, Magnone Trattoria, continues to serve Doug's own recipes on Spruce Street in Riverside.  He was frequently found in the kitchen preparing his beloved dishes and sharing his favorite wines and cheeses.

It was his passion for motor racing, and growing up attending races at the legendary Riverside International Raceway that led to the founding of the Riverside International Automotive Museum (RIAM) with his father Raymond.  Many Southern California racing fans lamented the demise of the famed circuit in 1988.  The museum was established from that memory and received immediate support form the greater racing community.  Gala events such as "Legends of Riverside" gave fans the opportunity to rub shoulders with racing greats including Dan Gurney, Bobby Unser, Carroll Shelby and Bob Bondurant and relive moments that made Southern California one of the hubs of racing culture.

Doug Magnon, Peter Bryant, Bill Losee, Tony Adamowicz (L-R) discussing Eagle car set up strategy at Road America in 2008. Doug was able to bring winning attention to vintage Formula 5000 race cars through the driving of Tony ("A2Z") Adamowicz. Image Credit: Bob Pengraph (2008)

RIAM has grown to be one of the most important racing collections in North America.  Its unmatched archive of materials and historic documents is rivaled only by the Watkins Glen Research Center, the Wally Parks NHRA Museum and the Indianapolis Raceway Museum. The curated collection of cars include several important Dan Gurney Eagle Indy Cars and the world's largest vertical collection of Maseratis.  RIAM regularly participated in historic racing events claiming four national Formula 5000 championships with driver Tony "a2z" Adamowicz and chief mechanic Bill Losee.  The racing community has truly lost one of its greatest stewards of history.

Geoff Zimmerman created this video at Watkins Glen and it has accounting of some of the early trauma we had with the race readiness of the Eagle. Submitted By: Tony "A2Z" Adamowicz

In partnership with close friend Paul Kinsella, Magnon Founded Newport Italian, a Vespa, Moto Guzzi and Aprilla motorcycle dealership in 2013.  Almost immediately, the dealership has become one of the most successful stores for those brands in the United States.  The secret to this midas touch has been the customer care and high-profile events for the cherished owners of the Italian marques.

Legends of Riverside with Doug Magnon. Submitted By: TheMotorcarSociety.com

Beyond his accomplishments, Doug touched many lives with his generous heart and love of people. So many have come forward with stories of his kindness and camaraderie. His passions, natural charm and zest for life made him special to everyone he met. His legacy will live on in the hearts of those who knew him, and his business and philanthropic ventures.

Magnon was a graduate of Riverside Polytechnic High School in 1978 and a former film student at University of Southern California (USC).

Doug is survived by his wife, Evonne Magnon (Barsakis), His father Raymond Magnon (Kelly), his mother Elaine Taber (Clare), his sisters Deanna Magnon Wagner (Dennis), Cheryl Cliff (Paul) and Patti Oldham (Tom), brother Ryan Magnon (Rona) and, his many loving nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Doug's life is planned at the Riverside International Automotive Museum on Saturday February 15, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.. The Magnon family requests charitable donations to the Riverside International Automotive Museum and the American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.
ENDS

The outpouring of memories continue to fill many a  Facebook page with videos and photos - many surrounding events held at the Riverside International Automotive Museum, car shows, and historical motor car races.

Long be the memory and continuation of the life sharing put forward by Doug Magnon.

... notes from The EDJE

Gabby Chaves Joins Bryan Herta Autosport's 2015 VICS Season

Gabby Chaves is surfin' on up to the Verizon IndyCar Series for 2015 - here Gabby accepts his 2nd place trophy for the 2014 IndyLights Lefty's Kids Club 100 at Auto Club Speedway. Image Credit: Chris Jones via Mazda Road To Indy

Gabby Chaves Joins Bryan Herta Autosport's 2015 VICS Season

Yesterday, the Verizon IndyCar Series held a joint teleconference call interview with Bryan Herta, owner of  Bryan Herta Autosport IndyCar race team and race car driver Gabby Chaves.

Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) is keen on bringing along talented and accomplished drivers who are working their way up through Mazda supported IndyCar Ladder series when looking for the most talented driver to drive their car for the season.

Last year, BHA tapped 2012 Star Mazda series champion and IndyLights standout Jack Hawksworth with some success, especially at the series' premiere venue, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Speedway's road course, series rookie Jack Hawksworth, who had earned his first front-row start, led a field-high 31 laps and finished seventh. British born Hawksworth finished in the points ahead of such recognizably named drivers as Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal.

This year, BHA decided to go to this well again with its signing of 2014 IndyLights champion and past Star Mazda series standout, Colombian born Gabby Chaves to a full season in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

One of Bryan Herta's immortal moments as a driver came in 1996 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when Alex Zanardi decided, on the last lap, that the only way he was going to win a race the two drivers were contesting was to cut the driving line through the last half of the infamous "Corkscrew" chicane turn. No one on the conference call was willing to bring this up in light of the announcement that Brian Barnhart was once again named Director of Race Control which would have changed the very nature of the conversation. Brian Barnhart believes that judgements on what a proper driving line is should be made, and penalties enforced, on a road or street course ... but this is another discussion having nothing to do with a season driver announcement.

What should be noted though, Bryan Herta Autosport won the 2011 Indianapolis 500 with driver Dan Wheldon. It is with this background the following teleconference call was held by the Verizon IndyCar Series, with several media writers including The EDJE on the line, with Bryan Herta, owner of  Bryan Herta Autosport IndyCar race team and 2015 team race car driver Gabby Chaves.

<<< Audio podcast of conference call with Bryan Herta and Gabby Chaves >>>
 
Current IndyLights champion, 21 year-old Gabby Chaves, relaxes between sessions. Image Credit: IndyCar

 TRANSCRIPT

THE MODERATOR:  Welcome, everyone, to today's IndyCar conference call.

Yesterday morning Bryan Herta Autosport announced that 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion Gabby Chavez will pilot its No. 98 Honda for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. 

We're pleased to be joined today by Bryan Herta and his new driver Gabby Chavez. 
Bryan, give us a little insight on how this agreement came about and what sort of impression you have of Gabby and your experience with him thus far. 

BRYAN HERTA:  I mean, obviously the impression was good.  It really started with some conversations a few months back and evolved to agreeing to go do a test at Sebring in December to get to know each other.  I'd say that went really well on and off the track.  Gabby was highly recommended.  Obviously his credentials in Indy Lights speak for themselves. 

For us, we've seen from recent past that the guys who have been coming out of Indy Lights into IndyCar have been doing a great job.  We had a good experience with Jack Hawksworth coming out of Indy Lights.  Gabby was obviously right from day one a very competitive driver.  It was just a case of how can we put a deal together. 

We worked very hard to get everything together and we're pleased to go racing together this season. 

THE MODERATOR:  You mentioned last year you ran another Indy Lights graduate Jack Hawksworth.  As a former driver, is it becoming more and more important for you to support the up-and-coming talent in the series? 

BRYAN HERTA:  I think it's important for the series.  As a team owner, I have to take a narrower view.  Frankly, it just comes down to getting the very best guy in our car that we can get. 

I'm very pleased with where we ended up this year.  I believe Gabby is going to do some great things this year in the car and I believe he's a guy that we want to try and hang on to and keep on the team for several years to come. 

I think we can build together and we can grow together. 

THE MODERATOR:  As I mentioned earlier, Gabby Chavez is the 2014 Indy Lights champion which he won with four victories. 

Gabby, congratulations to you.  I know you were working hard to secure a ride for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.  How much of a relief is it for you to have that deal come together with a team like Bryan Herta Autosport? 

GABBY CHAVEZ:  The relief is only temporary because as soon as the deal is done you have to get your head down and start focusing on what's next. 

As soon as the deal was announced, I was very happy.  It's been a long journey to get to where I am.

We've had a lot of sacrifice, a lot of hard times.  This is only just the first victory we can get out of it. 

Now it's time to get back to work and really looking forward to enjoying a great season. 

THE MODERATOR:  Gabby, I know you haven't been on track all too much, but from the experience you've had so far, how much of what you learned in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system have you been able to apply and what adjustments have you had to make? 

GABBY CHAVEZ:  Oh, everything that I've learned so far in the last three years in the Mazda Road to Indy and the last two years in Indy Lights I've been able to apply to the IndyCar Series.  Especially when it comes down to the first race on the ovals, the whole oval schedule that we have, I think that's where it's going to make a bigger difference. 

I'm really happy.  I think the ladder series is how it should be and it's preparing the drivers, as Bryan said, not only Jack Hawksworth showing some amazing speed, but Carlos Muñoz having demonstrated the quality of drivers that we're feeding into IndyCar is very high. 

THE MODERATOR:  We'll open it up for questions. 

Q.    Bryan, not only have you signed Gabby but you made an engineering addition with John Dick coming onboard.  What do you hope to achieve with him and how do you think he and Gabby will have the chance to work together?

BRYAN HERTA:  John was with us at the Sebring test.  He and Gabby worked together there.  I've known him for many years.  I never worked physically with John when I was driving.  He's a guy I have a lot of respect for. 

When we were looking for that right combination for Gabby, we had kind of an opportunity signing the driver first and making sure that we're building a group of people around him that fits. 

Gabby had a good experience working with John.  Frankly for me, we wanted to pair a lot of experience around Gabby, and John certainly fits the bill for that.  He's been around a long time.  He's been in IndyCar for a long time.  His experience will definitely be a great benefit to Gabby as he's learning this year. 

Q.    Gabby, you're going to be a rookie in a year where aero kits are coming into the season.  What do you make of the opportunity to help develop the car with something that is going to be new for everybody throughout the year? 

GABBY CHAVEZ:  Yeah, I think it's a great opportunity.  I mean, not only for that, but for myself as a driver to really develop and enhance my skills at developing the car. 

I think it's going to be a great challenge.  Like I said before, it's going to be harder than ever before.

Like I said, I'm just ready for the challenge and I'm excited to get going. 

Q (The EDJE).    Gabby, you've been part of a class of upcoming drivers that have had flashes of brilliance along the way.

Reviewing your history with Star Pro Mazda, a couple that come to mind is Sage Karam and Zach Veach.  How does it feel to come up with a full season Verizon IndyCar Series ride before Sage and Zach? 

GABBY CHAVEZ:  I mean, I don't ever try to take anything away from anyone.  But I guess before Zach, you'd like to see Sage have a ride as well.  He's a deserving champion, as I am.  But essentially we want to have all these guys get a ride, not only Zach, not only Sage, we want to have all the young drivers that are eventually going to be the future stars of the sport get a ride.

It's a difficult question to answer.  Mainly I like to be happy for what I have accomplished.  I have a great team behind me working very hard to make this happen as well as working with Bryan's team. 
I think we're just happy that we made it happen on our side. 

Q (The EDJE).    How did you enjoy driving in the Rolex 24? 

GABBY CHAVEZ:  I mean, it's a great experience.

It was my second year driving for the same team.  It's always a great experience.  It's something very different that I'm not used to driver changes, long three-hour stints.  It is a very unique experience that definitely broadens I guess my professional career. 

Q (The EDJE).    After coming from Indy Lights, are you looking forward to competing again in 20-plus car fields? 

GABBY CHAVEZ:  Yeah, absolutely.  I mean, it's definitely a big challenge stepping up.  Obviously every time you step up, drivers just get better and better.  It's going to be a big challenge. 

I think with Indy Lights, you can't take too much into consideration the car count, even though it is slow and it's growing thankfully, because when you look at how guys like Jack Hawksworth impressed everyone, and everybody thought he would be a nobody last season, he impressed everyone, as well as Carlos Muñoz in his rookie Indy 500 and his rookie year.  You can't look too much into the car count when you have to look at the quality of the drivers. 

Q (The EDJE).    Bryan, do you have plans to be adding any more drivers this season?  Seems a lot of teams have a strategy to have many drivers because that allows to have more testing time with the aerodynamic kits. 

BRYAN HERTA:  Well, we are going to run a second car at the Speedway this year, which will be a first for us, running two cars.

I think as long as that goes well, we want to make sure we keep the focus on Gabby and his program this year, that we're doing everything we need to do for him. 

But we do want to grow the program.  We would like to be a two-car team sooner than later.  I think we're open to the idea of doing more races later in the year as we work towards hopefully a full two-car program next year. 

Q (The EDJE).    How is the change with finding out about Brazil in such a sudden fashion, how has that affected your plans going forward?

BRYAN HERTA:  It really hasn't affected us too much.

If anything, frankly, it helps us a little bit from the planning standpoint just because you'd like to have your deals done a little earlier than January, but this is the timing we had to deal with.  We got everything done.  We've got a little more time to get prepared, do a little more testing prior to the first race at St. Pete. 

Logistically it's great for us.  Competitively obviously we're racers and we want to do as many races as we can.  But we understand the reasons for the change. 

Q (The EDJE).    Being a car owner, I assume it's always better to maybe have the same set schedule in terms of numbers of races.  If they were to add another race, where would you most likely like to have it?  Long Beach, Detroit? 

BRYAN HERTA:  I mean, if it were up to me, I'd love to see us go to new markets.

As a racer, Road America is such a great track.  Love to be there.  I always enjoyed racing in Portland.  There's certainly places that we can do a lot of good. 

Circuit of America, I was there for the F1 race.  Beautiful, beautiful facility.  Would love to see us go there as well. 

Q (The EDJE).    I saw the PR release saying the March 8th date that would make sense going with the PWC, coinciding with that, since so many of the other races have that as a complementary series, that's not going to happen, sadly.

What else are you looking forward to this season? 

BRYAN HERTA:  In terms of other races, adding races, we're trying to keep our heads down, keep focused on building our team.

What I'm excited about is a little bit of a fresh start for us this year, having Gabby in.  He's very enthusiastic.  He's been in the shop almost every single day since we signed the contract, which is great.  Really just focus on building our program and continue to evolve and achieve more and more results on the track. 

Q.    Gabby, Carlos Muñoz has admitted that Juan Pablo Montoya is his role model.  Who do you consider to be your racing role model? 

GABBY CHAVEZ:  That's a difficult question.  I mean, I've had various role models throughout different stages of my life, even before I was racing.  I loved watching racing.  Especially at those times, when I was eight, nine, ten years old, I would get up every morning at 4 or 5 in the morning to watch the Formula One races where Juan Pablo Montoya was racing.  I followed his career closely.

As I started building my career, you started almost picking role models for who you wanted to be almost at that time. 

As I started racing in Europe, I would take a few guys there that I'd like to follow kind of their footsteps.  Then I came back to the States.  I really enjoyed my time here and realized this is where I want to be.  I started out in the Pro Mazda Series, then two seasons in Indy Lights. 

At that time it's almost like you're getting so close to the guys, the IndyCar guys, that you almost want to pick a role model, but you don't want to get too involved with that admiration because sooner or later if you achieve your goals, you're going to have to go head-to-head against them. 

Q.    As a rookie this year, you're about to embark on some new races, courses.  What race or track are you looking most forward to in this 2015 season? 

GABBY CHAVEZ:  I guess I could break it down into two categories.  I really look forward every year to racing at Long Beach.  It's one of my favorite street courses.  So that's definitely my favorite there.  I really want to experience that in an IndyCar. 

Then also you can never leave behind or forget about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  It's incredible.  To experience that first in Indy Lights, getting close to 200 miles an hour, then to make a jump to being over 240 miles an hour, to me that's what I'm looking most forward to this year. 

Q.    Bryan, with the cancellation in Brazil, is there any indication from IndyCar that they're going to try to speed up the delivery of aero kits to the teams?

BRYAN HERTA:  Frankly, even though it happened suddenly, I think IndyCar has done a really good job internally of communicating with the teams what they're doing, what they're trying to do.

Obviously it's all a little bit fluid still in a lot of areas. 

But I don't believe that aero kits are going to become available any sooner, frankly because everybody's production is based on that March 1st date, and I don't think there's an ability to make any additional parts sooner. 

Q.    Have you been able to see any sketches of Honda's kit compared to Chevy's as far as the differences in how the cars are going to look?

BRYAN HERTA:  I've seen some sketches, but we haven't seen any of the actual production parts.  I haven't seen any drawings of the Chevy aero kit.  I only saw the spy photos of Penske's car when they ran at Circuit of the Americas.  I am sure they have evolved a lot since then. 

It's a real point of entry.  I think we're all very curious and looking forward to seeing the cars turn up at Barber for spring training and see what we got. 

Q.    Gabby, could you comment on the importance of the scholarship prize that you were awarded with your championship last year with Indy Lights, and also the just the preparation that your years in the Road to Indy has provided you to make this step up to the IndyCar Series. 

GABBY CHAVEZ:  I think the scholarship prize, it almost makes the deal happen sometimes.  I mean, I think it's great that they're giving the champion sort of a head start into their IndyCar career.

Without the scholarship, it would have been very hard to make a deal happen anywhere.  So I'm very happy.  I'm very grateful that that program exists. 

I think it's not only in Indy Lights but the whole Mazda Road to Indy is coming along very strong.

Ever since my first year in Pro Mazda in 2012, you know, just started building on that, getting myself familiarized with the tracks, with the people, the whole atmosphere.  Everything is different. 
So just to be able to work from those years of experience just makes my transition to IndyCar that much easier. 

Q.    As the reigning Indy Lights champion, talk about your optimism of the direction of the Indy Lights Series.  And Bryan, do you plan to be involved again at any point? 

GABBY CHAVEZ:  I'm very happy with what's happening right now with Indy Lights and the new car.  I think that's something that the series needed, and definitely is attracting a lot of attention, even new teams from overseas, new drivers, drivers that have competed in Formula One before, now coming over to Indy Lights.  I think that's great for the series.  I think it's great for IndyCar as well because it's going to expand that feeder system.  I'm very pleased that's going in a positive direction. 

BRYAN HERTA:  From a team standpoint, I think we're very open to coming back.  We started our team in the Indy Lights Series.  We wouldn't even exist without it as a team.  I believe in the importance of it, what it does for the development of drivers.  I really think that the new car is a huge plus for the series. 

From our standpoint, we feel like we needed to take a step back from it so we could really focus on making a step forward in the IndyCar program this year.  But I would love to see us come back into Indy Lights again at some point in the future. 

THE MODERATOR:  Seeing we have no further questions, we'll thank our guests for their time and wrap up today's IndyCar conference call. 
(ht: FastScripts by ASAP Sports)

... notes from The EDJE

Friday, January 30, 2015

IndyCar Off To A Shaky Start For 2015

Philip Lane ‏@Re1axinmood - According to reports Brazil is cancelled - @IndyCar could at least update the website. Do they know something we don't?

IndyCar Off To A Shaky Start For 2015

This last full week of January 2015 saw more damaging action in American Open Wheel Racing off the track in two days than most can remember here in the 2010's ... maybe longer.

On Wednesday, January 28, it was announced that the committee approach that was implemented last year, which effectively diluted the strong influence of Race Director Beaux Barfirld and prompted the aforementioned Mr. Barfield to resign before the end of the 2014 season and accept a Race Director position at IMSA's Tudor United Sports Car Championship, will remain in place with the once replaced Tony George confidant Brian Barnhart as Race Director.

On Thursday, January 29, a shorter season designed to avoid, at all costs, at having IndyCar races being run during American professional football games was made a little shorter with the announcement of the first race of the season set to be run March 8th, 2015, was being cancelled by the race promoter due to track improvement delays and a change of government in Sao Paulo Brazil.

In order of actual damage to the sport of American Open Wheel Racing at the highest professional levels, the second announcement was the greater threat, but the image of IndyCar and its professional stability has taken a perceivable step backwards.

Races scheduled and cancelled at the last minute tends to speak for itself as it relates to the decision-making powers of upper-management. Stable venues are everywhere and having races run on a consistent basis year-in-year-out helps to build an audience and tradition.

Sadly, losing Brazil is just another in a long line of situations that have trashed the year-in-year-out paradigm momentum that has proven to work but is shunned by IndyCar management throughout the years.

Further, the re-appointment of, the once replaced, Brian Barnhart as Director of Race Control, when this country has about 330,000,000 (that's 330 million, or 1/3 of a billion) additional human beings living here, shows a complete lack of evolution that would be critical to building and sustaining a sport at its highest professional standards.

Lastly, the elephant that still sits in the room (because very little allowable on-track testing has taken place) - the addition of add-on aerodynamic body parts (aero-kits) to the tested and appreciated Dallara DW12 platform which has proven itself to be the only durable element in American Open Wheel Racing.

Presentation given during the the season 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series finale held at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California by engineers at Honda Racing HPD transport. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

This was to be the year of differentiation through the addition of aero-kits but the actual process has this competitive factor potentially diluted and equalized. All parts have to be manufactured exclusively by Dallara with the majority of the parts already deemed as standard. If the parts are standard to all cars, and manufactured by a single source, secrecy and variance are placed at a minimum. The jury has not even been formed on this season element.

On Brian Barnhart:

Second-year steward system to support race director Brian Barnhart. Image & Caption Credit: IndyCar via Twitter

This excerpted and edited from Oilpressure - 

Brian’s Song: The Return & Other Tidbits
By: George Phillips

Since the news broke less than forty-eight hours ago that Brian Barnhart would be named as Race Director for the Verizon IndyCar Series, there has been nothing but hand-wringing on social media for the past two days.

Wednesday morning – John Oreovicz, of ESPN, tweeted out a tease that Wednesday afternoon, IndyCar fans would be told news that would make us think it was either April Fool’s Day or Groundhog Day. I had no idea what it was. I surmised that either the aero kits were going to be delayed or else the opening race at Brasilia had been cancelled.
----
An hour or so after the teasing tweet, Curt Cavin broke the news about Barnhart. I’ve been on Twitter since 2009, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a (bleep)-storm as I saw that day. The Legions of the Miserable were out in force. One thing was apparent – IndyCar fans are still very passionate; even in January.

I will admit, my initial reaction was not much different from those I was reading – it just wasn’t as strong. I wasn’t horrified like some, but I wasn’t particularly overjoyed either. Like everyone, I’ve taken my share of shots at Barnhart – some cheaper than others. Let’s face it – he’s a very easy target.

Most people associate Barnhart with a quick trigger for penalties and a very rigid and inflexible stance. He’s been given nicknames like The Iron Hand of Justice and TGBB (The Great Brian Barnhart). Those detractors are not incorrect in that association, but my bad taste comes from a slightly different direction.

Lately, I’ve referred to this current administration as returning to the “bunker mentality” of the Tony George administration. That is what I most associate Barnhart with – that bunker mentality. In the Tony George regime, my perception was that Barnhart was Tony George’s right-hand man and that he really enjoyed being that close to the throne. The two of them pretty much made all decisions, and if no one liked it – tough! To me, it seemed that their viewpoint was “this would be a great series, if we didn’t have all these fans we had to deal with”.
----
When Tony George was ousted in 2009 and subsequently replaced by Randy Bernard in 2010, Brian Barnhart was operating alone without his main supporter. I am not a psychologist, so I don’t know if George’s absence exacerbated Barnhart’s behavior – but it sure seemed that Barnhart’s race officiating became a lot more visible…and more horrendous.

To make things worse, the more Barnhart was criticized – the more he dug in. His word was final, and he knew it. If anyone questioned his calls, his resolve strengthened and he turned a deaf ear to the criticism. Fans, owners and even drivers were scoffed at. They knew nothing and should not even be listened to – at least that was my perception.

After the debacle at New Hampshire in 2011, it was reported that Randy Bernard had fired Barnhart during the offseason. As it turned out, that wasn’t quite true. He was removed as Director of Race Control, but was still head of Racing Operations. Last year, he was in the rotation to serve as one of three stewards at IndyCar races.
---
[Barnhart's] new title effectively makes him Chief Steward of the total three stewards at any given race. It’s unclear to me if he is one vote of three or the deciding vote. Whatever the case, he no longer has the last word. That now belongs to Derrick Walker, his boss.
----
Once the penalty has been enforced, they can’t really give the positions lost back to the driver. I suppose that remains to be seen.
----
I believe in second chances and all, but I also think that it’s pretty tough to change your core personality. To quote coach Bill Parcells – “You are what you are”.
----
The other night on Trackside, Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee made it a point to mention that even though this is not popular with fans, no one in the paddock is complaining. Barnhart is well-respected there – which is where it counts. I always questioned the integrity of a Chief Steward that had a Twitter account and wanted to be popular.
----
So while I think it’s tough to change your core personality, it can be controlled with hard work and discipline. People do learn from their mistakes. Over time, it becomes easier to control your emotions and resist your natural instinct.
----
Now that Barnhart has returned and we lost the Brazil race, I’m hoping the aero kits are still on deck for St. Petersburg. Stay tuned.
[Reference Here]

Beaux Barfield steps aside as he sends off Justin Wilson for his MAVTV qualifying run during the season 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series finale held at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

And this excerpted and edited from Racer - 

PRUETT: Holding judgment on Brian Barnhart
For Racer - Viewpoints: Marshall Pruett

I was hoping for Unicorn Jesus. Instead, according to the Internet, we got Osama bin Hitler.

Before we fall into familiar, time-honored roles of painting Brian Barnhart as evil incarnate—the fire-breathing hellspawn sent to earth to destroy IndyCar from high atop the Race Control tower, let’s steer the conversation in a direction that involves fewer pentagrams and scribblings of 666.

The lows from Barnhart’s tenure as IndyCar’s Race director are well known. From holding an oval race in the rain at Loudon to assigning penalties based on his ability to read minds and judge the intent of the offending driver, Barnhart’s mistakes—and limitations—have been the source of countless columns.

In the three years since Barnhart was taken off the frontline, he was retooled as a steward serving the Race Director, and by all accounts, his experience and attention to detail impressed everyone involved. Call it a private, internal career and image makeover, and with those inside IndyCar experiencing the best side of Barnhart, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see him elevated to his former position.
----
Do I believe, on a personal level, that he has been unfairly targeted and blamed for many things that weren’t his fault? Absolutely.
----
If the best referee is one who acts in the best interest of the game and rules fairly once all the facts are known, you’re left with two more examples of how not to referee. You have the guy who swallows the whistle and calls nothing or, in the case of Barnhart through 2011, the ref who carries a few extra whistles in his pocket because they explode from over-use.

That’s Barnhart’s reputation as Race Director. Penalties, penalties, and more penalties, no matter how small the crime, and to compound the problem, his past body of work involved attempts to judge the mindset of the drivers who ran afoul of his sensibilities.

The classic case was at Long Beach in 2011 when numerous drivers spun cars from behind in the hairpin leading onto the front straight, but only some were penalized due to the Race Director’s amazing ability to divine intent from genuine error.
----
This little walk down memory lane wasn’t to rehash Barnhart’s checkered past in Race Control, but rather, to illustrate the clear and easily defined pros and cons associated with IndyCar’s new chief steward. Applauded for his body of work from 2012-2014, and worrisome in the latter stages of his first go-round in the position through 2011.

It leads me to one conclusion: IndyCar knows exactly who and what they are getting, and if Barnhart is at the center of more controversy due to his trigger-happy shortcomings, blame the series.
----
Simply put: This dog has a history of biting, yet its owners are confident he’s been rehabilitated and no longer needs a muzzle. If they’re wrong and the paddock ends up with more puncture wounds, don’t get mad at the dog for the owner’s bad judgment.
----
IndyCar president of competition Derrick Walker knows Barnhart, spent time on the receiving end of Good Brian and Bad Brian as an entrant, and will play an active part in making sure Race Control is a more balanced officiating environment than the one Barnhart previously led.

If I’m wrong, and IndyCar’s officiating safeguards aren’t properly implemented, stockpile all the holy water and crosses you can find.
----
Until we get to the point where Barnhart has done something new to warrant a digital lynching, it might be worth putting your faith in Walker to place his new Race Director in a position to succeed.​
[Reference Here]

What is the definition of … INSANITY?

We all will be treated to MORE WILLFUL EGO from Race Control as opposed to less.

So, so stupid this IndyCar Series decision is:

A definite step backwards!

Lack of evolution and competitive maturity of the IndyCar sport – I contend, the only real aerodynamic effect that will matter in this 2015 season will be the HOT AIR of penalties emanating from the Race Control tower … not the monolithic nature found in the DW12 aero-kits manufactured exclusively by Dallara, the requested kits by Chevy and Honda (also manufactured exclusively by Dallara), and lastly, the team modified suggestions that are then fed and discussed with Chevy and Honda (also manufactured exclusively by Dallara)!

The Utah Data Center is one of the U.S. Defense Department’s largest ongoing construction projects in the continental United States. This Intelligence Community facility will host the power, space, cooling, and communications needed to support specialized computing. The center sits on approximately 247 acres, includes 1.2 million square feet of enclosed space, and is completing acceptance testing. Image Credit: TechCrunch via popularresistance.org

Anyone have an “in” at the NSA?

The depth of the point being made centers around the minor variances in the nature of the aero-kits (the vast majority of the aero-kits will be standard and dictated by Dallara as per Honda engineers during the VICS finale at ACS). More races will be decided by Race Control with this latest appointment (based upon a well known history) than will be decided by the potential and perceived advantages provided through variances of the added aero-kits.

As seen on Facebook - a short dialog between one fan to another:

Laura Malone‎ to Beaux Barfield
· Des Moines, IA ·
As IndyCar goes absolutely nuts over the new race director AND has its first race for 2015 canceled, I can only imagine that you are smoking a cigar and laughing and laughing and laughing (you will be missed!)

----

Beaux Barfield to Laura Malone
· Houston, TX ·
I love IndyCar. And I have a lot of friends there whom I wish all the best. But none of what's happening is dire - sad and frustrating - but not dire. I am comfortable with the decisions I have made. And yes, I am smoking a cigar

    ** Erin Campbell - Said perfectly, babe.
 
... notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The X-Factor In Musk's Human Transport Concept Gets A Boost

Hyperloop capsules being loaded with human and luggage cargo for a very quick and insulated trip that will be amongst the fastest type of public/commercial transportation devised by man. Image Credit: Daily Mail via Space X (2014)

The X-Factor In Musk's Human Transport Concept Gets A Boost

While standing in a long line at a Costco Wholesale during the Christmas season holiday, one may notice how communication from the checkout cashpoint to the central management office is accomplished.

The "Checker" at the cashpoint, with the all of the scanners, credit card terminals, and printers, also is equipped with a tube system that allows one to take checks, money, and other paper-based monied communications, place them in a cylinder, which is then placed in the tube and sucked through vacuum pressure where at the other end of the tube, the information is delivered almost instantly. 

Marshall Fields central communications (1947) - Before the invention of phones and fax machines, people in cities sent messages through a huge system of underground tubes filled with compressed air. Image Credit: chuckmanchicagonostalgia.wordpress-dot-com

Management is assured that these communications that result in good profits never become breached from point-to-point due the closed nature of this pneumatic tube system.

A typical Costco Wholesale cashpoint section where the pneumatic tubes of the money transfer system can be seen routed along the ceiling of the store. Image Credit: Flickr

This is the precise idea behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, and Space X founder and CEO Elon Musk. He believes that the findings of a recent 76-page report may go a long way in proving his pneumatic tube proposal/argument that a human transport system such as this vacuum "hyperloop" that is in use at all Costco stores is the future of human mass transportation from point-to-point.

Infographic of the proposed Hyperloop human transport system (video presentation link). Image Credit: via Space X (2014)


This edited and excerpted from USAToday -

Report: Elon Musk's 'hyperloop' idea could work
By Chris Woodyard - 12-22-2014 - USAToday

Enthusiasts behind Elon Musk's "hyperloop" proposal -- an intercity tube that speeds passengers riding in capsules at 600 miles per hour -- have taken the next step, producing a report outlining some of the big issues around the project.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' 76-page report focuses issues surrounding a system that could connect San Francisco with Los Angeles. The report says, however, that there are many city pairs around the world that would be candidates for a hyperloop.

The 400-plus-mile trip would take less than an hour, compared to more than six hours of driving. The goal is to keep the ticket price in the $20 to $30 range, although the report points out that at total cost estimates of $16 billion, they could go higher. Still, it says, hyperloop would be a bargain compared to alternatives. "If this same overall price point were preserved for other city pairings, it could dramatically change the way people live and work in cities," the report says.
----
"The Hyperloop design uses a combination of low air pressure and magnetic acceleration to get people from LA to SF in just about 30 minutes," the report says. It would produce its own electricity from solar power.
----
Passengers would travel in aerodynamic pods the size of vans inside the tube. HTT envisions developing three designs -- one each for luxury passengers, economy economy passengers and freight.
----
HTT estimates that the cost of the system would be $20 million to $45 million a mile, as contrast from what it says are costs of up to $200 million a mile for conventional mass transportation system.
[Reference Here]

The report does point out one of the many problems of a self-contained closed loop pneumatic tube system ... how would passengers deal with an uncontrollable "Nature Calls" or a "Mile High Club"-like situation?

Good question.

... notes from The EDJE

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/would-you-travel-from-la-to-sf-in-a-tube-video/question-4639050/" title="Would you travel from LA to SF in a tube (video)?">Would you travel from LA to SF in a tube (video)?</a>

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

AEM Infinity On Pirelli World Challenge GTS Camaros




AEM Infinity On Pirelli World Challenge GTS Camaros

Racer perspectives on the AEM Infinity ECU and its advantages over other engine management systems. Andy Lee and Geoff Reeves talk about how the Infinity has helped them advance their Pirelli World Challenge GTS Camaros.
[ht: with permission from AEM]

The Infinity EMS represents a quantum leap in technological capability over virtually all existing engine management controllers available today and eases the tuning process for even the most sophisticated engine combinations. It is quite possibly the most advanced programmable engine controller available.

INFINITY EMS FEATURES:
  •     Compatible with most factory and performance aftermarket sensors
  •     Includes start up configurations (supported applications only)
  •     ECU set up wizard
  •     User interface features 3D graphics
  •     Internal simulator
  •     USB 2.0 High-Speed communications
  •     Tune using USB communication port (optional weatherproof extension cable sold separately)
  •     High-speed USB data logging to mass storage device (4GB included, tested to 64GB)
  •     Internal data logging playback mode on every channel, synchronized with all controls
  •     AEMdata data analysis software included
  •     2-Channel CAN included
  •     Runs on Windows-compatible software

INFINITY EMS CAPABILITIES:
  •     Airflow model based calculations
  •     Fuel control resolution to 1/10th of a microsecond (.0000001 sec)
  •     Multi-fuel capable
  •     Flex fuel compensated fuel, ignition and boost with blend
  •     Open-loop fuel pressure compensation
  •     Ignition table, 20x20
  •     VE airflow table, map vs. engine speed, 20x20
  •     Configurable coil dwell (RPM, voltage and load based)
  •     Individual cylinder ignition trim (RPM based)
  •     Individual cylinder fuel trim (RPM based)
  •     3D ignition trim maps (coolant and air temp)
  •     VE-based engine startup
  •     Real-time sensor diagnostics
  •     Integrated engine protection strategies
  •     Dual internal wideband controllers
  •     Target Lambda table, 10x10
  •     User adjustable charge temperature blend (CLT/AIT, engine speed dependent)
  •     O2 lean-out protection
  •     Electronic boost control (time based or target based)
  •     Idle control (stepper and pulsewidth)
  •     Programmable traction control, 2-wheel speed or engine acceleration (4-wheel speed with     Advanced Tuning Package)
  •     2-channel adaptive knock control
  •     2-step programmable launch control (3-step with Advanced Tuning Package)
  •     No-lift shifting (Requires Advanced Tuning Package)
  •     User configurable soft-cut rev limiters

... notes from The EDJE

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The 2014 LA Auto Show - Seven Points Of Diverse Interest To See And Take In

LA Auto Show's new logo bathed in green light. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The 2014 LA Auto Show - Seven Points Of Diverse Interest To See And Take In

The LA Auto Show will always be a jumble of artfully engineered transportation solutions and vision displayed in a visual fashion that would rival an architectural design paradise. The Auto industry puts its best foot forward because this show is the first major North American auto show of the season each year - #LAAutoShow.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday (here's a suggestion on how to blow-off Black Friday and walk off Thanksgiving), the LA Auto Show, which has taken over the Los Angeles Convention Center, will be open at 9:00am through Sunday November 30th. The show features 34 global debut showings and around 60 overall reveals.

Here are seven visits on the LA Auto Show trade show floor to consider - presented to enhance the flow of one's visit to the show.

LA Convention Center LA Auto Show lay out of exhibits Begin your tour from Left to Right given the graphic. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Enter and begin your trade show tour from the South Hall (left side upper middle of graphic). Go directly to the back of the hall and visit the Chevrolet stand and visit a display that is not of an actual car, but a model based on a character in a video game - Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo.

Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo passing one of Jim Hall's original #66 Chaparral's in a video presentation. The Chevy Logo'd booth screen ran a video loop showing the creative process of the Chaparral 2X as well as some of the action contained in the Vision Gran Turismo game. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

First unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Press Days, the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept is a futuristic racer with technology that Chaparral creator Jim Hall couldn't even imagine - laser propulsion, for example.

Really, lasers. Chevy says the mid-mounted propulsion system emits light pulses that are focused in a shroud, creating shock waves that generate thrust to move the car. If this existed in real-life, do not try to race nose to tail IndyCar style though ... no 'mushroom busting' areo here.

This unprecedented drive unit is also closely associated with the unique driver position in the car. 
The driver almost lays completely flat towards the front (head first), with all four of his appendages spread out towards the wheels when driving. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The virtual system consists of a 671-kilowatt laser, lithium-ion battery pack, and an air-powered generator, and produces the equivalent of 900 horsepower. Chevy says that will warp the Chaparral 2X from 0-60 mph in just 1.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 240 mph.

This model of an imagined Chaparral was sculpted and brought to life at the secret North Hollywood GM facility that gave us most of the innovative body styles found in today's Cadillac concept and retail cars.
[ht: Motor Authority]

After facing the back of the Chaparral/Chevrolet exhibit, one needs to turn left toward the GMC display and head on over to the Japanese luxury car manufacturer, Infiniti.

A 20 coat pale blue/silver "Liquid Sky" colored piece of transportation sculpture will most certainly grab the attention of any passer by. The Q80 Inspiration almost demands a 15 minute visit just to soak in all of the subtle design notes displayed in such a sophisticated manner.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept tasteful front grille. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Sketching for the car started some 15 months ago, the ultimate goal to combine fresh and highly sculpted styling with an advanced carbon-fiber-and-aluminum monocoque to redefine what a flagship can be inside and out.

Did we mention that it comes with a silver-plated beverage flask mounted to the seatback and that said flask is listed in the specifications sheet as a “design flourish”?

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept exterior. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Every detail of this car was treated like a work of art. From it's long and low with a sleek, swept-back roof, precisely sculpted side panels, to its tightly horizontally vane-ed grille. The cabin is made more inviting by the rear-hinged "suicide doors" that open it up completely.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept interior. Black interior materials in front, white interior materials in back. Notice the 'floating' center console in back. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The grille is described as “organic and three dimensional, like the pulsing gills of a cruising whale” - never mind that whales have lungs and blowholes, not gills - and has active shutters that open at low speeds for cooling and close at higher velocities to mitigate aero drag. Slender hood vents forward of the A-pillars pull double duty as heat extractors and stylistic embellishments.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept rear view with tapered back window. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

This Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept is a hybrid, with the batteries getting a boost from a 3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine.

Next, continue on deeper to the left (near bottom of show floor graphic) to the Lexus stand where one is greeted by a 'can't miss' electric candy apple-ed yellow colored convertible with a white interior.
[ht: USA TODAY's Chris Woodyard & Car and Driver's Andrew Wendler]

Say hello to the Lexus LF-C2 concept.

The Lexus LF-C2 Concept is nothing if not interesting. Its bold lines and drop top design wowed the crowd at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. With its angular front headlights and villainous front grille, the LF-C2 will be one of the most eye-catching show cars at the LA Convention center.

Lexus LF-C2 concept from front view. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

However, the LF-C2 edgy looks could not save it from the anger of Lexus' dealers, who would have preferred the company spend its time and efforts on a crossover SUV with three rows of seats, reported Motor Trend.

According to the automotive magazine, Lexus' dealers launched a full-on revolt after the convertible 's reveal at the L.A. Auto Show — leading the automaker to kill off the drop-top that had been in the works for years.

Lexus LF-C2 concept from rear view. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The Lexus dealer's preference for another crossover is reasonable. Crossover SUV's are cash cows for luxury automakers. Their high volume and high profit margins form the perfect combination for companies like Lexus — and in this case their dealers.

A high-priced luxury convertible, on the other hand, could sell with a decent profit margin, but it would never be more than a niche product.
[ht: Business Insider's Benjamin Zhang]

Walking back in the opposite direction, one may miss a gem of a car and a stand. The Alfa Romeo display area which features the new Alfa Romeo 4C in tucked in behind Maserati which in on a main aisle and the Hyundai/Bentley booth's back wall ... it is located in a bit of an alley way.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

After decades of waiting, the Alfa Romeo 4C brings the famous Italian auto company back to North America. While this mid-engine sports car carries a price to compete against the Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche Boxster, and Jaguar F-Types; in reality, this wildly curvaceous Alfa is rawer and more outrageous than exotic cars costing twice the price.

Alfa Romeo 4C at speed during a recent Motor Press Guild Track Days event held at Willow Springs International Raceway 'Streets' track. Image Credit: Myles Regan (2014)

The snarling little turbocharged and direct-injected 1.7-liter 4-cylinder engine, nestled behind the passenger cabin, packs a great sound and plenty of power, with 237-horsepower available at 6,600 rpm and a stout 258 lb.-ft. of torque holding steady from 2,200-4,250 rpm.

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

There is a full-bore punch of turbo lag, however. Once you get the engine revving to 3,000 rpm, the 4C kicks you in the backside and launches itself down the road. It's actually a whole lot of fun, since the turbo is predictable and the car doesn't start sliding or tug the steering wheel out of your hands. So many turbocharged cars and trucks have absolutely smothered lag to the point of non-existence, it's refreshing to really feel that on/off nature of an old-school turbo at work.
[ht: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS' Nick Kurczewski]

Just inside the door as one enters the South Hall, and on your way out to the Concourse Hall, Toyota Motor Company has a few great concepts and conceptual reality on display.

The absolute best of these concepts is wrapped up in a hydrogen fuel cell package called Mirai.

The 2016 Toyota Mirai (which is the word for future in Japanese) is the first-ever hydrogen fuel-cell car to be offered for sale by a major automaker. It goes on sale in Japan next month, and will arrive in North America in the second half of next year in a limited, grid supported area.

Toyota firmly believes in hydrogen as the right solution for zero-emission vehicles. Toyota and Honda are both loaning money to third-party fuel providers to establish the first of what's projected to be a network of 100 stations in California. That's enough to support more than 10,000 hydrogen vehicles--but it points to the slow pace of growth for this latest clean vehicle technology. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The four-seat mid-size sedan is effectively an electric car, with a 153-horsepower motor powering its front wheels.

But instead of storing electricity in a large battery pack, the owner refills the car's reinforced high-pressure storage tanks with hydrogen gas, which the car then converts into electricity in a fuel cell.

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The big advantage of fuel-cell cars is their ability to refuel in 5 minutes or less and gain about 300 miles of range - something electric cars can't currently do, even with the highest-power DC fast charging variants.
[ht: Green Car Reports' John Voelcker]

You remember, Fisker, right? Great designer, penned some knockouts like the Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8, then thought he’d start his own automaker. That didn’t go well at all, even if the plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma was a stunner. We haven’t heard much from the man (aside from that motorcycle he designed) since he left his self-named automaker in early 2013. 

But there he was on Thursday at the LA Auto Show Press Days with that guy from Glapin Auto Sports - Beau Boeckmann, President and COO of the greater Galpin Motors Inc., pulling the sheet off the ROCKET, a custom-bodied Mustang with 725 horsepower, bold lines and several square yards of carbon fiber.
[ht: WIRED's Alex Davies]

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

“I’ve always wanted to design a Mustang,” Fisker told us. “I just never really had the opportunity in my career because the timing was never right.”

The interior of the ROCKET has been left mostly Mustang beyond some eye-grabbing red leather and carbon-fiber trim. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

When checking out the ROCKET from the rear, it's easy to spot the wider fenders that are beautifully blended into the integrated spoiler. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Henrik Fisker showed Beau Boeckmann early sketches at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and the two parties went from there. "When Henrik showed me his ideas, I got chills - it's literally the most beautiful Mustang I have ever seen," says Boeckmann in the company's release.

After visiting the Concourse Hall, it is on to the West Hall (featuring Ford's re-freshened GT350 Cobra - a not miss) and Petree Hall.

The only automobile company to occupy their own hall is Porsche ... and what an environment to behold. The star at Porsche is the 918 Hybred supercar.

This excerpted and edited from Porsche website - 

It took Porsche years to develop a worthy successor to the vaunted Carrera GT supercar, but at last, the 918 is here - and it’s a plug-in hybrid!

The Porsche 918 Spyder represents an entirely new look at the supercar. It heralds the future of the sports car and you can be there at the start.Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

With a combined 887 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque from its mid-mounted V-8 and electric motors - one at each axle - the 918 delivers Bugatti-like acceleration, tenacious handling, and a 211-mph top end.

Pure. Energy. The world's first plug-in hybred supercar! Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)


And of course, it’s every bit as exotic-looking as any near-million-dollar supercar should be, with a low-slung, targa body, and ultra-futuristic cabin.
[Reference Here]

Again, the possible best way to blow-off the Black Friday shopping rush or walk off Thanksgiving Turkey and/or Ham with all the fixin's would be to take in a day, or two, between now and weekend's end and visit the LA Auto Show running now starting each day at 9am at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Besides, one may just come away with a couple (7) of really cool last minute Christmas gift ideas!

... notes from The EDJE