Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spoils Go To The Canadian Victor At The 43rd Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' James Hinchcliffe driving the No. 5 Honda Dallara DW12 IndyCar celebrates with his red-gloved fist in the air as he wins his first Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Image Credit: Ken Manfred (2017)

Spoils Go To The Canadian Victor At The 43rd Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach

Victory takes on many forms when one perseveres through the struggles of being a top-level race car driver in a top-level racing series.

It had been two years since Oakville, Ontario's James Hinchcliffe stood at the middle and top spot of a podium platform at the end of a Verizon IndyCar Series contest held at the "one-of" race held in the rain at NOLA Motorsports Park outside of New Orleans. Just soon after this momentous fourth win in IndyCar, James suffered a major life-threatening puncture to his left upper thigh reaching up into the pelvic area through a Turn 3 crash at 220mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during INDY 500 practice.

Driving the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, Hinchcliffe collected the first pole of his Verizon IndyCar Series career in what will be his 79th race, edging Josef Newgarden for the honor by a mere 0.0407 of a second over the 10-mile run. Image Credit: IndyCar (2016)

Recovery and the drive in James Hinchcliffe to continue in this passion of driving a race car at the highest levels of competition were rewarded one-year and three days later when he captured his first ever Verizon P1 Pole Award at the very same track that almost killed him.

As icing on this cake, it came at the celebration of the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. True grit was shown because James put together this scintillating four-lap run of 230.760 mph as the final driver of the day in the Fast Nine Shootout - no pressure.

James Hinchcliffe gets instructions while in the pits at the 38th Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach at the controls of his Andretti Autosport No. 27 Go Daddy Chevrolet DW12 Dallara. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)

Hinchcliffe has raced here at Long Beach in the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2011 with three different teams - Newman-Haas, Andretti Autosport, and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports - and has reached the podium once at P3 in 2012 for Andretti Autosport.

James Hinchcliffe leads Andretti Autosport teammates Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti through the Hairpin Turn before applying the power down the long Shoreline Drive front straight early in the race before all Andretti Autosport cars retire with problems by the race's end. Image Credit: Myles Regan (2017)

This excerpted and edited from CBS NEWS (AP) -

IndyCar star James Hinchcliffe, who nearly died in race, checks big one off bucket list
CBS NEWS (AP) - April 10, 2017, 7:46 AM

Not once did James Hinchcliffe think his career was over after a near-fatal accident in 2015.
----
At long last, he’s got his first win on the race track since his accident.

Hinchcliffe won a three-lap shootout to the finish Sunday on the streets of Long Beach to win in a Honda for Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports. It was the Canadian’s first victory since 2015 at New Orleans, a month before his accident at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“To finally do what was goal No. 1 when we set out at the start of the season, to get back into winner’s circle, to do so as early in the season as we have, as convincingly as we did, was great,” said Hinchcliffe.
----
He’ll gladly take it at Long Beach, the most historic street course race in the country.

“After Indy and personally me for Toronto, this is the biggest one to win,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve had a lot of luck here. We’ve been really quick here in the past and to finally get to victory lane here is more than I can put into words. This place has a lot of history, that’s what drivers really care about. The greatest of the greats have won here.

“Toronto, Indy and this place were on my bucket list to win before I die, and it’s nice to check one off.”

Sebastien Bourdais followed his season-opening victory at St. Pete with a second-place finish to give Honda a 1-2 podium finish.

Josef Newgarden was the highest finishing Team Penske driver and was third in a Chevrolet.
----
[The three-lap shootout] set it up for Hinchcliffe to have to race Bourdais to the finish, but Bourdais was focused on the big picture in the closing laps. Hinchcliffe had gotten off to such a great start when racing resumed, that Bourdais tried only to maintain his running position.

“We played to our strengths and I’ve always been comfortable saving fuel,” Bourdais said. “We lost balance a little bit, and I was really thinking about saving second place. I was thinking championship.”
[Reference Here]

Oh Canada! ... James Hinchcliffe celebrates with Canadian maple leaf flag in Victory Circle as he captures his fifth win in the Verizon IndyCar Series sharing the podium with Frenchman and four-time champion, Sebastien Bourdais and American Josef Newgarden. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Complete Race Description By Motorsport.com  HERE >>>
Verizon IndyCar Series Box Score HERE >>>

For many who race at the highest levels in autosport, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (TGPLB), after running as an event for 43 years and exclusively the home of American open-wheel racing for for 33, is the considered to be "INDY 500 of street courses."

James Hinchcliffe expressed this attitude and feeling about the TGPLB with the following comment, "We worked hard this off-season to perfect the package we had. Good speed at a lot of races last year. To roll off the first two races of the season, being in the Fast Six both times, if not for a caution falling for the wrong time at St. Pete, could have been in the top five or on podium there. To do it here and finally at this place, a track that I love so much, a track that's been very good to me in my career, one that I think is the Indy 500 of street tracks, it's the second longest running race after the 500. I think because of that history, it makes it a very special event, one that every driver wants to win. The greats have all raced here, the greats have all won here. To get in the winner's circle was huge."

Additional points of order to history as a race car driver from Canada are reflected in a bit of everything James Hinchcliffe does, from the number on his car - No. 5, which he now has as the number of wins in IndyCar matching the marks set by Greg Moore, Jacques Villeneuve, and Patrick Carpentier.

Champagne bath provided to winner James Hinchcliffe by three-time winner of the TGPLB Sebastien Bourdais who came in P2. Josef Newgarden takes a swig on the podium at P3, his first Podium since becoming a Penske Chevrolet driver. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Additional Post Race Quotes From James Hinchcliffe:

“If someone told me after NOLA last year that five wins was the number Greg had, the number Jacques Villeneuve had, and I believe the number Patrick Carpentier had. Only PT is higher than that in the list of Canadians in in IndyCar racing. To drive at a level with those guys, I mean, it’s tough to put into words”

“Greg was a huge motivation and a huge inspiration to me as a child. I followed Jacques’ career religiously. When Pat and Greg were teammates, followed Pat as well, to now be level with those guys is incredible.

“You know what, when I came into this sport, I felt a huge responsibility, to be honest, to keep up the good name that Canadian drivers had in IndyCar. There haven’t been a ton of us. The ones that have been here have been race winners, they’ve been contenders week in and week out. I wanted to maintain that, you know, record for Canada, not be the guy that let us down.”
ENDS

AND ... about the Red Gloves with the Canadian flag and HINCH emblazoned on them, raised high in victory? A tribute to the shortened career of Greg Moore.

... notes from The EDJE



TAGS: James Hinchcliffe, Sebastien Bourdais, Josef Newgarden, Red Gloves, Greg Moore, Jacques Villeneuve, Patrick Carpentier, Paul Tracy, #TGPLB43, No. 5, Arrow, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Honda, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, The EDJE

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pirelli World Challenge's 2017 "Roar By The Shore" Re-Titled To "A River Runs Through It"

Alvaro Parente, a 32-year-old driver from Porto, Portugal driving his No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S, held off a turn one challenge by local star Patrick Long of Manhattan Beach, Calif., driving the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R and extended his winning margin at the checkered flag to 2.86 seconds in a wild event that saw flooding between turns eight and nine due to a fire hydrant incident from off track on Ocean Blvd.. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Pirelli World Challenge's 2017 "Roar By The Shore" Re-Titled To "A River Runs Through It" 

The Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) is noted to bring a level of competition in sport car racing that delivers strong yet unexpected results. This third race of the 2017 PWC series season follows two races in Saint Petersburg Florida when the Verizon IndyCar Series also opened its 2017 season ... also by the shore.

But, hey, The Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach is squarely based in the land of fruits and nuts ... and Hollywood productions, so why not just script something memorable into this special sportscar racing mix. After all, this event is the longest continuous running temporary street course on the IndyCar schedule which has become a "Rites Of Spring" hallmark event in American motor culture.


On Lap 10 of the 50 minute timed race, as if on cue to bring in a very unique course hazard, not too dissimilar to golf course sand traps, someone up the hill on Ocean Blvd. ran over and broke a fire hydrant causing a massive amount of water to flow across the back straight between Turn 8 and Turn 9, setting up a potential for additional destruction due to a hydroplaning kind of skim-boarding (aero-sealed racing undercarriages) at well over 100 mph.

How cool ... professional auto racing with the unexpected addition of a water feature.

Water hazard interrupts Round 3 PWC race course. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Alvaro Parente, who got off to a very tight start from his pole qualifying position, was leading the race at the time with Patrick Long, winner of round two at St. Petersburg, in his No. 58 911 GT3-R close in tow.

"That was a little crazy with the water on the track," said the Portuguese born Parente in the post race press conference. "I went into that turn [Turn 8] and all of a sudden there was a river in front of me, so I just went foot off throttle, and prayed that I wouldn’t crash or anything, and just skidded through the puddle. It was last-minute for me; you’re flat out on that straight and suddenly you see a black shadow there, the water from the fire hydrant."

As for longtime factory Porsche competitor and local racer Long running in P2, "It was probably 20 feet of running water and with slick tires at 140 mph, that’s not what you want to see. It’s one of those situations where you sort of just stay calm, sort of relax, and let it end. I’m happy we didn’t have an incident and everyone responded really well, so hats off to the track and World Challenge series for their handling of an unnatural disaster. But, that’s Long Beach and that’s street racing. This series is about sprint racing and everybody’s racing hard."


Jim Jordan, a manufacturer motorsports executive for over 25 years in various roles and currently is a part of the Pirelli World Challenge management posted this on his Facebook timeline:

My good friends know I have always valued collecting experiences more than anything else. This season I have taken on a new responsibility in race control for the Pirelli World Challenges races. Not particularly complicated but I serve as the communications link between Race Control and the TV production crew. Most times this means fairly simple communications.

Today not so much. During the middle of our GT/GTA race at Long Beach there was an accident on Ocean Blvd where a vehicle wiped out a fire hydrant. We did not know this of course, but the corner workers quickly reported a "flood" coming down to the track!

All hands on deck! Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

It was a weird situation, and the team did an amazing job of reacting without over reacting, fixing, communicating, and only losing 1 minute total of racing [Red Flag - 15 minutes]. It was very impressive to see the way the group worked together, from the track crew, to IndyCar [Holmatro Safety Team], to SCCA Cornerworkers, IMS Productions, and the WCVision staff. Very fun to have been a part of, and I imagine it will go down in "racing lore," the Long Beach Flood!

Full Race Results >>>

Naw, this 43 year old Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach venue deserves a water feature hazard incident with the verve of a Hollywood title - "A River Runs Through It."

... notes from The EDJE



TAGS: Pirelli World Challenge, Long Beach, roar by the shore, a river runs through it, Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, Alvaro Parente, K-PAX Racing, Patrick Long, Wright Motorsports, Bryan Sellers, Jim Jordan, Holmatro Safety Team, Water, The EDJE

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Early Season Talk With The Mayor, James Hinchcliffe, Before #TGPLB43



Early Season Talk With The Mayor, James Hinchcliffe, Before #TGPLB43

James Hinchcliffe drives the No. 5 Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

He has four IndyCar wins to date and captured his first career pole at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May 2016, just one year after his season-ending accident. This is amazing since he suffered life-threatening injuries in a practice crash for the 2015 Indianapolis 500 which ended his season after only five races.

Driving in the pinnacle of American open-wheel racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2011, he has participated in 82 races, and has managed to be in the top 10 in 60 of these contests, finishing in the top 5 20 times, or roughly a 25% top competition return rate, every time he steps into the cockpit - which is pretty awesome in anyone's book.

James has also driven at the top level in full-bodied sports cars driving most recently in the Rolex24 at Daytona for Mazda in endurance team racing where drivers assigned to a car take turns at the wheel throughout a 24 hour period.

Off the track he is known by the social media moniker as "The Mayor Of Hinchtown", where he commands a community of friends who love to follow James as he pursues his many varied interests in life - Racing, Sponsor Events, Dancing With The Stars competition - where he was runner-up, a brewer of his namesake Hinchtown Hammerdown Ale, a craft beer from Flat12 Bierwerks in Indianapolis. This was originally brewed only during the month of May in Indianapolis, as a promotion, but now is available year-round across Indiana, Kentucky and his native Ontario, Canada, and to top this, he is an avid collector of guitars and lighters where he boasts a collection of lighters dating back to the 1930s.

WELCOME 30 year old professional race car driver from Oakville, Ontario Canada - a suburb just East of Toronto, James Hinchcliffe ...

1)
First, tell us a little about Arrow Electronics and some of the background behind your overall sponsorship for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

2)
After, what seemed like an eternity, the Verizon IndyCar Series came back into action with the first race of the 2017 season with the trditional opening race at St. Petersburg where you qualified P3 behind Will Power and Scott Dixon and finsihed P9. Tell us about your thinking and what you learned in the pre-season practices and then with the race at St. Pete - racing in the NEW Honda package.

3)
We are going into the second race of the season at the rites of spring event on the West coast in Long Beach. Another temporary street course with great history over the 42 previous years that it has run. In the six previous years that you have run the race, you were able to get on the podium once, and register to 10's 3 times counting the podium - What are your impressions of this venue and what will it take to hit the podium again?

4)
At the end of the month, the springtime swing to the Southwest becomes complete with a second race in the modern era at Phoenix International Raceway. This is the first dedicated oval on the schedule before going into the Month Of May at Indianapolis. Being a short 1 mile, low-banked tri-oval race track, how do you see the new Honda package will be able to fare given that the highest placing Honda last year was the one driven by Graham Rahal at P5?

5)
Is it your impression that the Hondas are getting out of the corner a bit better - what is the reason you see as the strength of the Honda surge?

6)
You went to the Rolex24 at Daytona and drove in one of the new Mazda Prototypes, tell me a little about your impressions about the car and the effort - change in development through driving.

7)
Lastly, civic leaders of a community usually start out the year with a proclamation or two on what they would like to accomplish in the community during the coming year - As the mayor of Hinchtown, what proclamations did you issue and communicate to the hordes of Hinchtown - on, or off the track.

Thanks James - best of luck at the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, the Month Of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as the rest of the year ending in wine country at Sonoma.

... notes from The EDJE



TAGS: Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, James Hinchcliffe, No. 5,  Honda, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, HPD, #TGPLB43, The EDJE

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Ireland's James Deane Makes His Return To Formula DRIFT A Beaming Success

The Worthhouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan S15 driven by James Deane takes the 2017 Formula DRIFT season O’Reilly Auto Parts Round 1: Streets of Long Beach win. Image Credit: @worthousedrift via James Deane Facebook (2017)

Ireland's James Deane Makes His Return To Formula DRIFT A Beaming Success

Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship presented by BlackVue Dash Cameras kicked off the 14th season with an exciting day of action at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Round 1: Streets of Long Beach.  Irish driver James Deane returns to the Series and gets the win in the Worthhouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan S15.

“What a way to start the season,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT.  “With not only a capacity crowd, record numbers on the Livestream, but proof that Formula Drift is truly an international series where the best of the best come to compete.”

The first event of the season commenced on the Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course.  The highly anticipated event was action packed from start to finish and the capacity crowd witnessed many competitive battles throughout the day.  The event also introduced new drivers to the field including Georgy Chivchyan from Russia and Piotr Wiecek from Poland and marked the return of Irish driver, James Deane.  The event broke records with the Livestream with over 1 million viewers tuning in from around the world over the two-day event weekend making for the largest viewership for a single event in Formula DRIFT history.


Deane returned to Formula DRIFT after a seven year hiatus from the Series in dramatic fashion.  Deane proved to be a contender after qualifying in second position and making his way through to the finals by defeating both former champion Michael Essa and the reigning and 3-time champion, Chris Forsberg.

Deane met with Ryan Tuerck in the Gumout / Nameless Performance / Hankook Toyota 86 in the semi-finals and with consistent driving all-day and a solid chase run he was able to advance to the Finals.

On the other side of the bracket in the semi-finals, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis in the Falken Tire / Drifz Wheels / Ark Performance Nissan 240SX faced off against Alex Heilbrunn in the IMR / Nitto Tire BMW M3.  After a hard fought battle that was too close to call, the drivers met in a One More Time battle and while chasing Heilbrunn, Bakchis made an error entering the hairpin giving Heilbrunn the win to put him in the Finals.  Deane’s consistency and technical driving was no match for Heilbrunn in the Finals and Deane won his first Formula DRIFT victory to take the lead in the chase for the championship.

“Man, what a way to start back in Formula DRIFT after missing out on the last seven years,” said James Deane, winner of Round 1: Streets of Long Beach.  “I owe a lot to my good friend and teammate, Piotr Wiecek, who came up with this whole idea to come back to the Series as a two-car team.  To come out with the win is just mind blowing.  What a feeling!"

For more information visit, www.formulad.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift, Twitter @FormulaDrift, and Snapchat - formula_drift. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.

Formula DRIFT 2017 Round 1 Podium - (L to R) P2 - Alex Heilbrunn, P1 - James Deane, P3 - Ryan Tuerck. Image Credit: Formula DRIFT (2017)

Round 1: Streets of Long Beach Event Results

1. Deane, James
Worthouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan 240
Winner

2. Heilbrunn, Alex
IMR / Nitto Tire BMW M3
2nd Place

3. Tuerck, Ryan
Gumout / Nameless Performance / Hankook Toyota 86
3rd Place

4. Bakchis, Aurimas
Falken Tires / Drifz Wheels / ARK Performance Nissan 240
4th Place

5. Aasbo, Fredric
Rockstar Energy / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM
5th Place

6. Coffman, Matt
Nexen Tire / Coffman Racing Nissan 240
6th Place

7. Forsberg, Chris
NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z
7th Place

8. Kearney, Dean
Oracle Lighting Dodgle Viper
8th Place

9. Gittin, Vaughn
Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR
9th Place

10. Wiecek, Piotr
Worthouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan 240
10th Place

11. Gushi, Ken
GReddy Racing / Nexen Tire Toyota Racing 86
11th Place

12. Field, Matt
Falken Tire / Vapetasia / ARK Performance Nissan 240
12th Place

13. Rintanen, Juha
STR Racing / Nexen Tire Nissan 240
13th Place

14. Bluss, Kristaps
HGK / Mast / Motul / Wisefab BMW E46
14th Place

15. Pawlak, Justin
Roush Performance Ford Mustang
15th Place

16. Essa, Michael
Achilles Tire / Essa Autosport BMW M3
16th Place

----

2017 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Championship Presented by BlackVue Standings After 1 Event

1. Deane, James
Worthouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan 240
106.00 Points

2. Heilbrunn, Alex
IMR / Nitto Tire BMW M3
84.00 Points

3. Tuerck, Ryan
Gumout / Nameless Performance / Hankook Toyota 86
69.00 Points

----

2017 Manufacturer Championship Standings After 1 Event

1. Toyota
121.00 Points

2. Ford
74.00 Points

3. Nissan
52.00 Points

4. Dodge
51.00 Points

5. BMW
35.00 Points

6. Infiniti
18.00

----

2017 Tire Championship Standings After 1 Event

1. Falken
174.00 Points

2. Nitto
123.00 Points

3. Hankook
121.00 Points

4. Nexen
104.00 Points

5. Achilles
86.00 Points
(ht: Formula DRIFT)

... notes from The EDJE


TAGS: Formula DRIFT, Round 1, Long Beach, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Falken, Nitto, Hankook, Nexen, Achilles, Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Dodge, BMW, Infiniti, James Deane, Alex Heilbrunn, Ryan Tuerck, The EDJE

Saturday, April 1, 2017

43rd Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach Media Day Track Ride With GMG's James Sofronas



43rd Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach Media Day Track Ride With GMG's James Sofronas
In A Race Prepared Pirelli World Challenge No. 14 Porsche GT3-R

A two-lap trip around the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach temporary street circuit by Managing Editor of Performance & Racing Tech Talk, Edmund Jenks with Global Motorsports Group (GMG) team owner/competitor James Sofronas driving the GMG race prepared Porsche 911 GT3-R. Video Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

GMG’S JAMES SOFRONAS COMMITTED TO FULL SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP; VANTHOOR FOR SELECT SPRINTX EVENTS

Returning for his 15th season of Pirelli World Challenge competition, Global Motorsports Group (GMG) team owner James Sofronas will arrive at next week’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg fully committed to the series’ sprint rounds, continuing his commitment with Porsche Motorsport North America and the venerable Porsche 911 GT3 R. Beyond the five-race sprint championship, however, the team is proud to announce the addition of Porsche Motorsport works driver Laurens Vanthoor for the opening two rounds of the series’ SprintX championship, co-driving with Sofronas in pursuit of overall victory.

“It’s great to be back in the Pirelli World Challenge for another season,” stated Sofronas. “It’s incredible to think of how the series has grown over the years, and it’s been an honor to be a part of it. Our business has grown with it of course, and 2017 looks to be a great continuation of that. Last year we really enjoyed working with the current iteration of the Porsche 911 GT3 R in its first year of development, and headed in to this year we have a very good understanding of what to expect. Of course a big part of that is our relationship with Porsche Motorsport North America, and the addition of Laurens Vanthoor for our opening two SprintX events is a huge demonstration of our mutual commitment to one another. Porsche has been a big part of our business over the years, and bringing in such a talented co-driver is a great opportunity for everyone.
----
As a team with a rich history of competing with Porsche machinery, GMG and Sofronas’ return to the marque is part of a partnership that has been synonymous with the team’s growth. Not only did Sofronas take his first victory, as well as his best championship finish under the Porsche Motorsport umbrella, but the team also played a critical role in the 2008 and 2009 Manufacturer’s Championship won by the brand. In 2016, GMG also held the unique distinction of being the top sales team for the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, selling more cars than any other in North America.
----
Of course, beyond the team’s on-track performance, Sofronas and company will continue to use the series as a development for their expanding street tuning business. As the leading performance tuning shop in Southern California, the team has used their trackside experience with Porsche and a number of other marques to give them a unique advantage in understanding the characteristics of their street counterparts. In such, no other organization in the area has a deeper understanding of the dynamics and engineering to make their vehicles perform, which has translated to a number of street car performance products. In addition, the racing environment has created an incredible learning ground for team personnel, with the team offering the same championship-winning experience on the track for a client’s daily driver.

In addition to Sofronas’s full efforts behind the wheel of the No. 14, the team owner will also maintain a busy racing schedule with the team’s three car program. Beyond running Alec Udell and Preston Calvert in another Porsche 911 GT3 R, the addition of George Kurtz’s McLaren 570S GT4 GTS program will add another dynamic in the form of experiential entertainment, with Kurtz bringing on CrowdStrike as a primary sponsor. On any given weekend, CrowdStrike will use the team and series as an opportunity to host several dozen partners, clients, and guests, the type of program that Sofronas relishes in, fully aware of what the series has to offer.
(ht: GMG)

... notes From The EDJE



TAGS: 43rd, Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, Media Day, Track Ride, GMG, James Sofronas, Pirelli World Challenge, Global Motorsports Group, Porsche, GT3-R, The EDJE

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Verizon IndyCar Series Racer, Newgarden Takes A Ride On The Drifting Side

Josef Newgarden participates in a "Live Remote" interview with local FOX 11 television at the TGPLB Media Day. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Verizon IndyCar Series Racer, Newgarden Takes A Ride On The Drifting Side

Verizon IndyCar Series Penske Racing driver Josef Newgarden takes a ride in a Formula DRIFT car at the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach Media Day - by the looks of things, he enjoyed the dynamics found in the style and forces at play in this motorculture experience. He exited with excitement.

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Side-by-side ... yep! Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)


... notes from The EDJE



TAGS: Josef Newgarden, Penske Racing, Formula DRIFT, Vaughn Gittin, Monster Energy, Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR, The EDJE

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sit Down Talk With ACS’s Dave Allen Before 20th Reunion At Auto Club 400 Weekend


Sit Down Talk With ACS’s Dave Allen Before 20th Reunion At Auto Club 400 Weekend

The NASCAR Auto Club 400 is scheduled for Sunday, March 26, 2017 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY

Tickets for the Auto Club 400 start at $41 /  After March 11– tickets start at $45.

To purchase tickets, call 800-944-RACE (7223) or visit http://www.autoclubspeedway.com

In 2017, Auto Club Speedway celebrates its 20th Anniversary with  a ‘Track Reunion’ theme. The Auto Club 400 race is NASCAR’S only stop in Southern California.

Auto Club Speedway is one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit and the oval has aged to perfection for incredible racing.

Weekend Schedule:


FanFest and Hauler Parade – Thursday, March 23 from 5-9 p.m.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying - 5.11 Tactical Pole Day: Friday, March 24
NASCAR XFINITY Series 300 Race: Saturday, March 25 at 1 p.m. on FS1
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400: Sunday, March 26 March 12:30 p.m. on FOX.

Auto Club Speedway Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Auto Club Speedway is celebrating 20 years of racing with a ‘Track Reunion’ theme at Southern California’s premier motorsports venue between now and March 24-26, 2017 when NASCAR makes its only stop in Southern California for Auto Club 400 Weekend.

Motorsport milestones from Roger Penske’s vision of a world-class facility in Southern California to Jeff Gordon’s inaugural California 500 in 1997. From Gil de Ferran’s closed course qualifying world record of 241+MPH run in 2000 to Jimmie Johnson’s (aka Superman) visit to Victory Lane in 2016.  Interactive timeline: http://www.autoclubspeedway.com/reunion

20th Anniversary Fan Experiences:

A special Q&A with racing legends Richard Petty, Michael Waltrip and Rusty Wallace will be open to all fans on the main stage in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone on Sunday morning – Auto Club 400 race day.

Historic show cars on display throughout the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone – Jeff Gordon’s 1997 race car from Inaugural race; Jimmie Johnson’s Superman car and other surprises.

FanFest and New Hauler Parade route returns on Thursday, March 23, 2017 – a free community event featuring NASCAR driver appearances, live music, vendors and family-friendly entertainment in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone at Auto Club Speedway. FEATURED Music Act - No Duh - No Doubt cover band.


New Post-Race Concert on Saturday after NASCAR XFINITY Race – Los Lobos will perform in the fan zone on the main stage beginning around 4 p.m.

About Dave Allen – Auto Club Speedway President:

Dave Allen serves as President of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. In this role, Mr. Allen is responsible for the management and operations of the ISC facility including Auto Club Dragway.

Mr. Allen has been with the Speedway since 1999 after spending one year at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca.  From 2002-2006, Mr. Allen served as Senior Director of Sales and Marketing.  In 2006, Mr. Allen was named Vice President of Sales and Marketing with oversight of all sponsorship, hospitality, suite and consumer sales.

Mr. Allen’s leadership skills have enabled the track to grow with the addition of new events including Hard Summer Music Festival and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk.

... notes from The EDJE




TAGS: Auto Club Speedway, Monster Energy, NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY, FanFest, Hauler Parade, No Duh, Los Lobos, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Dave Allen, The EDJE

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

IndyCar Champion Pagenaud Talks About New Season & Team Dynamics



IndyCar Champion Pagenaud Talks About New Season & Team Dynamics

We are talking with the current 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and member at Team Penske super-team for 2017, Simon Pagenaud.

The 32-year-old Frenchman drives the No. 1 PPG Industries Chevrolet/Dallara for Team Penske, along side team-mates, Helio Castroneves, Will Power, and new addition ... Josef Newgarden.

He earned the 2012 IndyCar Sunoco Rookie of the Year and the 2010 American LeMans Series Championship in Gil de Ferran's last year of competition.

Known to drive anything, Simon even competed in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 2013 driving a modified Honda Odyssey minivan, modified with an IndyCar engine, to finish second in class.

Now in his seventh full season in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Simon has fourteen wins, including the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis in 2014, and is the defending champion of the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach.

In 2014, then Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' Simon Pagenaud at The Grove in Los Angeles pictured here with the championship trophy, The Astor Cup in advance of the MAVTv 500 IndyCar finale at Auto Club Speedway. Current Penske Racing team-mate Will Power ended the season by taking this trophy home for his first VICS Championship. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks

Welcome Penske Racing's latest champion driver, Simon Pagenaud ...

1)
First, tell us a little about PPG Industries and some of the background behind your sponsorship for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

2)
After, what seemed like an eternity, the Verizon IndyCar Series got back into action with the first race of the 2017 season with the trditional opening race at St. Petersburg. You had qualified P14 after showing top 10 or better pace during the practices. Tell us about your thinking racing against the NEW Honda package and what you learned in the practices before the race started in St. Pete.

3)
In the pre-race interview, you mentioned that it might rain before the race ended, and this might help you to advance through the field. What actually happened was that it rained carbon fiber in the re-configured Turn 3 and race tactics seemed to play out from there. What were your reflections on the Turn 3 incident, and what other key elements helped, to lead to your eventual finish on the podium at P2, behind fellow Frenchman & 4-time champion, Dale Coyne's Sebastien Bourdais, and ahead of 4-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon? ... That's quite a podium bookend!

4a)
Last year, once you captured the lead in the points winning three races in a row, your only competition for this lead came from team-mates except for Josef Newgarden, who, at the time, raced for Ed Carpenter Racing. How is it being on a team where the top points finishers for the season are also your cheif competition?

4b)
How is it being the leader on a team accepting a new driver to the team, Josef Newgarden, when that was the position you were in just a couple of years earlier? How does this shape relationships?


5)
Just this month, Graham Rahal posted a video showing the final laps of the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway with the extreme and professional close in racing where you were in the mix and just missed the podium in fourth place. From your perspective, what was this like for you and ... do you believe you would have won if your championship position wasn't in the balance?

6)
Last year, the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach was one for the record books - NO YELLOW Flags and very tight timing on the pitstops - especially with the pit-in and pit-out rules. Other than winning, what is the memory of the race that sticks out in your first win in the rite-of-spring concrete canyons of Long Beach ... also, which corner/section is your favorite?

7a)
This year at The Beach looks like something that may be a little harder to "game out" - in that, we have a better performing Honda package overall, and a resurgance of a three-time winner of the course with Sebastien Bourdais, who finished 6th in the points last year and seems to be rolling in with all the confidence in the world ("just like old times"). What are you thinking going into this second race of the season?

7b) How do you like having the season start with two temporary street courses that generally require a greater degree of precesion than many of the other venues the Verizon IndyCar Series is known for.

Here's wishing you a great 43rd Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, Thanks Simon ...

... notes from The EDJE



TAGS: Simon Pagenaud, Verizon IndyCar Series, PPG Industries, Penske Racing, 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion, Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, #TGPLB42, #TGPLB43, Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, The EDJE

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Pre-Season Conversation Novo Nordisk No. 83 IndyCar Driver Charlie Kimball



A Pre-Season Conversation Novo Nordisk No. 83 IndyCar Driver Charlie Kimball

BEGIN
Charlie Kimball is an American open-wheel race car driver who is one of eleven (11) American drivers listed of the twenty-six (26) drivers featured on the pre-season IndyCar.com website.

Charlie has been pursuing a professional racing career probably ever since he was in the womb some 32 years ago since his father, Gordon Kimball, had a career as a Stanford University trained engineer and Formula 1 race car designer.

In fact, Charlie, while being raised as a local Californian from Camarillo in Ventura County, was born in England during a time his father was designing cars for McLaren.

After High School, he had a clear chance to follow his father's college path through Stanford, but choose, instead, to focus his time on his one true passion - race car driving.

In the early 2000's, he drove in the American Formula Dodge series, SCCA's Formula Ford, then went on to England to join the UK Formula Ford winter series.

He was able to join Carlin Motorsports to compete in the British Formula 3 championship finishing P2 for the season behind Portuguese team-mate Alvaro Parente ... last year's Pirelli Wold Challenge GT Class champion, driving a K-PAX Racing McLaren.

After two seasons in Firestone Indy Lights, Charlie was offered a seat on the Chip Ganassi Racing team driving the No. 83 original IRL Dallara in 2011 ... then graduated on to driving the Dallara DW12 and its many aero configurations through Honda, then Chevy, and now back to Honda for the 2017 season.

This season, he joins team-mates Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, and Max Chilton coming off of a very successful pre-season test at Sebring where the Honda cars of Chip Ganassi Racing posted the four quickest times.

Welcome, driver of the Novo Nordisk No. 83 Honda Dallara, Charlie Kimball ...

1)
First, tell us a little about Novo Nordisk and some of the background behind your sponsorship since joining the Verizon IndyCar Series.

2)
A two-part question on how did you do in both the pre-season tests?  A) FIRST the oval at Phoenix and B) SECOND the road course at Sebring?

A)
Phoenix ...

B)
Sebring ...

3)
In reviewing your driving in IndyCar these last 6 years, it is a little hard to pick out tendencies except that you seem to be the most consistent at the series owners home track - both the road course - a consistent P5, and the Indiana Motor Speedway oval - where you do pretty well finishing into top 10 and top 5. Tell us why IMS seems to play to your strengths and what courses on the schedule do you like the most when they present themselves?

4)
With your association with Chip Ganassi Racing, other types of challenges have opened up for you. You were part of a championship winning Rolex 24 of Daytona in 2013 with co-drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Pruett, and Memo Rojas in a Riley MkXXVI-BMW sports car. How was it being a part of a multiple member driving squad on a single car ... then outside of IndyCar, what other challenges would you like to tackle?

5)
After an off season that feels like a year in itself, The Verizon IndyCar Series gets its first two races underway on temporary street courses. First - broadcast live March 12 at St. Petersburg - SECOND - followed in four weeks by the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, broadcast live April 9 - These courses have not been the best of venues for you since finishing consistently in the top 10 has been difficult.

What are you anticipating with the new Honda engine and aero package, starting with next weekend's race in Florida?

What are you looking forward to in the new Honda at your presumed home track next to the harbor in Southern California?

Thank you Charlie Kimball and the best of success in 2017 ...
ENDS

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
-The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season opens in St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 12.
-The race will be broadcast live on ABC at 9 a.m. PT.

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
-The 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach takes place April 7-9.
-Tickets can be purchased at gplb.com
-The race will be broadcast live April 9 on NBCSN at 1 p.m. PT.

... notes from The EDJE



TAGS: Chip Ganassi Racing, Charlie Kimball, Novo Nordisk, No. 83, Honda, Dallara, Verizon IndyCar Series, St. Petersburg, Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, Rolex 24, Daytona, McLaren, The EDJE

Penske NASCAR Driver, Joey Logano Drives With Thomas Stahler



Penske NASCAR Driver, Joey Logano Drives With Thomas Stahler

In advance of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visiting Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400 race weekend, Penske Racing driver, Joey Logano visits the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo.

Joey Logano (right) pictured here with the President of Auto Club Speedway, Dave Allen as they tour the Automobile Driving Museum (ADM) in El Segundo. The ADM collection of over 130 vehicles is broad and diverse; it includes cars from the earliest days of self-propelled vehicles, through examples of muscle cars. The fleet is fueled and ready to go! Each Sunday the ADM selects three cars and provide rides for their guests. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

After getting a tour of the inside of the museum from the museum docent, Joey sat down with Dave Allen, President of Auto Club Speedway, for a few questions before adjourning to the Automobile Driving Museum's ice cream parlor for a little treat.

Then it was time to drive a few classic cars and entertain a few questions from those gathered to take in the event. After all, this was what the Automobile Driving Museum is all about ... being able to view and DRIVE very classic rolling stock from years past.

Tom Stahler with his latest Porsche project he named ... Project 986 -"Little Bastard". Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

As Tom Stahler, OnMotorsports, stated on his Facebook posting of this video above ... "If Seinfeld can do it, why not us? We went for a drive in a 1961 Ford Thunderbird with 2015 Daytona 500 Champion Joey Logano. We talked Team Penske. Thanks to our friends at Auto Club Speedway and the Automobile Driving Museum! Looking forward to the Auto Club 400 March 26!"

Joey Logano really enjoyed the process given that he is an avid fan of motor culture and automotive history as an active winning Monster Energy NASCAR driver sponsored by Auto Club (currently P5 after 3 races in a 39 race season) and collector of interesting cars.

Tom finished his posting with - "Nice drive yesterday... with a Daytona 500 champ!" ... it certainly was.

... notes from The EDJE



TAGS: Joey Logano, Auto Club 400, Penske Racing, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Auto Club Speedway,  Dave Allen, Tom Stahler, OnMotorsports, Automobile Driving Museum, El Segundo, The EDJE

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lexus LC 500 Athletic, Artistic, Accomplished

Lexus LC 500h On The Kona Coast. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Lexus LC 500 Athletic, Artistic, Accomplished
by: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications - Kona, Hawaii - February 2017

“Experience Amazing” is the new tag line for Lexus. The journalists on this media trip certainly did have an amazing experience from the exotic setting of volcanic Kona to the overall performance and striking design of the 2018 Lexus LC 500 and 500h coupes.

Toyota Motor Company committed one billion dollars over a five year development period to launch these Grand Touring Coupes to compete in the Prestige/Luxury Sector of $100,000 cars. The new models arrive in May at a rate of 400 units per month. The low production will add to the exclusiveness prestige clients and early adopters seek. Pricing for the LC 500 will start at $92,000 the LC 500h starts at $96,510.

Lexus LC 500 V8 Showing Its 3D Graphics Tail Lights. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

This project started at the top with president Akido Toyoda. Mr Toyoda changed the culture of Lexus cars from highly reliable generic looking luxury cars to cars with a distinct style and spirited performance. The new models that create powerful emotions from their driver or bystanders.  Mr. Toyoda is also Chief Brand Officer and one of the Lexus Master Drivers, so he is well equipped to inspire as he has with these flagship models.

Lexus LC 500 V8 In Autumn Shimmer Kona, Hawaii. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

The LC coupes are not intended to directly compete with Lamborghini and Ferrari, since these are primarily weekend cars. The target is Mercedes SL, Jaguar F-type and BMW 650, cars that are usable as daily drivers while highly capable as  international touring vehicles. The LC 500 coupes keep the romance of crossing Europe safely at high speed and comfort a practical reality. Note that the LC 500h is particularly fuel efficient for a high performance car, given its EPA rating of 26 city / 35 highway / 30 combined. The V8 version is  EPA rated at 16 /26 /19.

Lexus LC 500 Four Seasons Hotel Kona, Hawaii. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Thees coupes have an entirely new platform designated as GA-L (Global Architecture - Luxury). The design goals that were met are a low center of gravity for improve handling and a chassis stiffness that exceeds even the half million dollar Lexus LFA supercar. During the day long drive roll and lean were never an issue in tight corners. The LC 500 feels as light on its feet as a wide receiver making down field cuts. Co-drivers gave this set up high marks
for comfort and handling.

Lexus LC 500 Road Test Kona, Hawaii. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

I had the opportunity to drive and compare both the 471 horsepower V8 and the 345 horsepower Multi Stage Hybrid V6 with twin electric motors. Both versions have their own personality with only  three-tenths of second  performance variance from 0-60 mph in favor of the V8. The 5.0-liter V8 has DOHC, 32 valves with variable value timing and 398 lb-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm.Red line is 7,100 rpm and peak torque in held from 4,800 to 5,600 rpm.

The acceleration from a stop is to sixty is a mere 4.4 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 168 mph. The V8 weights in at 4,280 lbs. The island’s roads while fine for testing on road handing don’t provide many opportunities for high speed, but that was not essential to get the true spirit of how most owners will enjoy their cars. I found two-lane passing effortless and happening as fast as you can plant your right foot down and snap the paddle shifters.

Gear Shift in Leather and Satin Chrome. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)  

The transmission is a 10-speed Sport Direct Shift with paddle shifter and manual mode.  This multi cam V8 is  exhilarating at any speed without flat spots in its power curve. The 10-speed transmission efficiency wastes none of this power by with its rapid change and seeming endless gearing.

However, the rush that impressed me was the sound and feel of dropping fours gears at ninety. It’s a sound I have only heard on the track when Formula 1 or  Indy Cars or are downshifting. I always thought I really don’t need more than five gears as long as one is an overdrive. This Sport Direct Shift 10-speed changed my mind, not only for the fast times and fuel efficiency but
for the sheer fun of it.

Lexus LC 500h in on Kona Coast. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Power in the 500h is derived from an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter gas V6 with direct fuel injection, variable value timing and red lining at 6,600-rpm. This engine accounts for 220 kW / 295 HP and torque of 348 Nm / 256.7 lb.-ft @ 4,900 rpm. The MSHS allows the LC 500h to operate the gas engine off at speeds up to 87 mph. Emission certification is LEV lll SULEV30.

Lexus LC 500h in Smokey Granite Mica in Kona, Hawaii. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

The hybrid system includes twin permanent magnet synchronous motor generators. MG1’s function is primary generator, engine starter and control of engine speed. MG2 drives the rear wheels and handles regenerative braking. The compact battery is Lithium-icon made up of 84 cells and is located between the rear seats and luggage compartment. The nominal voltage is 310.8V and the system voltage is 650V. The total systems power is 264 kW / 354 HP. The manufacture times are 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, outstanding for a car that weighs 4,435 lbs. Lexus says this is their first hybrid that can spin its tires.

Lexus LC 500h Multi-Stage Hybrid logo. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Bill Kwong of Lexus College explained the Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive as keeping the planetary-type continuously variable transmission and adding a unique four-speed transmission. Working in concert,the two gears alter output in four stages to utilize the V6 engine across the entire speed range. In M mode, the two gear sets act together to provide the effect of 10 ratios, giving the LC 500h a highly engaging feel and allowing the driver to shift thought the ratios with paddle shifters.

Lexus LC 500h in Ultra White. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Top speed in the hybrid is electronically limited to155 mph, another indication that this model is not trying to be a track day star. Instead this is a 2+2 is designed for safe touring in comfort at speed. These coupes are front midship engine layouts with rear-wheel drive.

I inquired about the possibility of all-wheel drive. No AWD is planned at this time and in the case of the 500h there in not the space to accommodate the hardware. Given the effectiveness of the suspension that includes double ball joint front suspension AWD should not be draw back. The turning circle curb to curb is a tight 17.7 ft and with the optional Active Rear Steering a mere 17.4 ft.

The Lexus Corporate Identity Design Feature Is Its Spindle Grill. Image Credit: James Groth (2017) 

The spindle grill gives the LC 500 coupes a distinctive recognizable look and is the brands signature design feature. Lexus designed a unique mesh texture that changes visual tension as it spreads across the front of the car.

Compact Triple Projector LED Headlights. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Adding to the sleek look of the front end are ultra compact triple LED headlamps with functional venting.The venting adds aerodynamic stability and cooling.

The Chrome-Plated Moldings Reflect A Traditional Japanese Sword. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

The chrome plated moldings on the edge of the roof are meant to represent the lines of a traditional Japanese sword. Even the rear tail lights have a design element to them not previously seen. The tail lights use mirrors to create a three dimensional series of L-shaped graphics.

The standard wheels are 20” cast aluminum with run flats Fr. 245/45RF20. and Rr. 275/40RF20. There optional forged aluminum 20” Fr. 245/45RF/20 and Rr. 275/45/20 and 21”Fr. 245/45RF20 and Rr. 275/35RF21. The front brakes have 6-piston calipers and the rear have 4-piston calipers.

Materials and Details Showcase ’Takumi’ Craftsmanship Artisan Design. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

The interior appointments of the monotone interior are exquisite with switches that are intuitive requiring little movement to reach.  An 8” LCD display with Eco driving indicator is set low in the cockpit in keeping with the low center of gravity objective. The door handles are sculptures in satin chrome. Alcantara door panels have a wave effect artistically complimenting the lines of the dash. All of the interior stitching is done by hand and is so precise
it’s hard to tell.                          

The Satin Chrome Door Handles Are Sculptures. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Thankfully Lexus designers have retained an upright gearshift lever rather than a ‘pop up dial shifter’. A 10.3 inch multi-information display combines graphic user interface with upgradeable software along with latest remote touch interface touchpad.

The instrument binnacle is unique in its singular design and look. It is the lasted version of thin film transistor display tech, first introduced on the LFA supercar. Front seats are 10-way power in leather, rear seats are Nu Luxe.

Traditional it is not, the LC 500 may be setting the new contemporary look for functionality.  It is understandable why the LC 500 was selected as “Best Design Interior”.

10-Way Power Front Seats in Leather, Rears in NuLuxe. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

The test LC 500h came equipped with the optional Mark Levinson 835 watt, 7.1 channel,13-speaker system  tailored to the LC interior and will attract audiophiles seeking a reference quality setup. This system includes Claire-Fi music restoration tech that enhances playback by analyzing and improving the sound quality of compressed digitized music.

Also, there are Sport, Performance and Touring Packages to further personalize the LC5 500h. As expected in this level of automobile all the latest safety systems are standard and include pre-collision with pedestrian detection, all-speed radar cruise control, lane departure with steering assist, sway warning and intelligent high beam system.

Lexus LC 500 An Aggressive Design and Stance Backed Up by Its Performance. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Lexus already has ‘reliable’,’trusted’ and ‘practical' in their consumer confidence deck, now they are adding the emotional appeal of ‘high style design' to their hand of cards. For some the trump card may be the offering of a hybrid model with unrivaled fuel efficiency for its sector; the figures are worth repeating 26 city / 35 highway / 30 combined.




TAGS: Lexus, Lexus 500, Lexus 500h, Experience Amazing, Toyota Motor Company, James Groth