• News/ Videos

    Spectacular Indy 500 Indianapolis crash (VIDEO)

    Indy-500

    Indy 500 driver Helio Castroneves found himself upside down and airborne after losing control of his race car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice.  

    It really is quite amazing how safe top-tier open-wheel motorsport is these days. Back in the sixties, seventies and eighties motorsport was one of the most dangerous sports in the world and drivers were constantly being killed in massive accidents – as James Hunt once said of his Hesketh F1 car, ‘to all intensive purposes this thing’s a bomb on wheels’. It was incredibly dangerous – sure they had roll-over protection so they didn’t span their necks should things go south, but there was highly flammable fuel sloshing around either side of the cockpit and the chassises were no where near as strong as the carbon fibre ones we have today.

    To see just how safe a current Indy car is take a look at the video below. Helio Castroneves lost control of his racer on the banking at Indianapolis during practice and the rear of the car slammed into the wall at what was probably around 180mph, the car spun backwards but what happened next was really rather spectacular. The car took off and became airborne and flew around 30 meters down the track backwards. Eventually the car hit the track and righted itself, but the lack of damage to the car and its driver are truly remarkable. The front and rear wings were torn off during the impact and one of the front wheels snapped off, but otherwise it looks to be in decent shape. And Helio Castroneves walked away with nothing but a slightly hurt ego we suspect. Despite the incident, he returned to the track later in the practice session and the fifteenth fastest lap time! Amazing.

    Check out the video below.

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  • News

    Mad Mike’s wild new Mazda MX-5 drift weapon

    Mad Mike MX-5

    ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett has revealed his new four-rotor Mazda MX-5 drift car for this year’s Formula D drift series. 

    The coolest thing about the Formula D drift series is that you can basically compete in any car you like, provided it smokes the rear wheels only and is fitted with all the requisite safety gear. Competing cars this year include a new Ford Mustang piloted by Vaughn Gitten Jr., a rear-wheel drive nitrous-injected V8 Volkswagen Passat steered by Tanner Foust, and Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S. There’s also some cool old-school JDM goodness with Nissan S15s and 180SXs competing. Basically, if you can drift it, you can drive it.

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    This year Mad Mike will be piloting a highly modified NC Mazda MX-5 in the Formula D championship. It’s a race weapon built from the ground up by a company in New Zealand, packing a twin-turbo four rotor engine which develops over 1000hp on its low boost setting. The NZ-based tuning shop reckon it has the potential to dish out over 1500hp with the boost wound up. The insane power comes curtesy of two massive Garrett GTX40 turbos which were chosen for their smooth power delivery and lag-free characteristics. Of course, Mad Mike is no stranger when it comes to high-horsepower rotary engines – his old RX-7 drift car was also powered by a bonkers turbo rotary.

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    Power in the MX-5 is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox, and suspension is all custom as you’d expect. The front and rear tracks are crazy wide and the ordinarily open roadster boasts a full roll cage and stripped interior with carbon bucket race seats.

    The 1000hp MX-5 drifter promises to be one hell of a ride, especially when you consider how short the wheelbase is. Short wheelbase cars like the MX-5 are usually quite snappy when it comes to going sideways, making them harder to control. And with such a colossal power output Mad Mike will have his work cut out.

    Speedhunters have more details and images of the wild Mazda MX-5 drifter. 

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