Why Lamborghini Needs More Racing -- SHAKEDOWN

Uploaded by drive on 27.04.2012


Today on Shakedown, I find myself with a diversity of
topics and a bit of past story follow up housekeeping.
To me, it's always better for the show to have a theme, a
central idea to tie it all together.
I think I got one for you today.
And it starts with me not just being a part of the Drive team
but a viewer.
So I caught the reason shows about Lamborghini on Driven,
Lotus via Chris Harris, and bikes, RideApart.
And all three play into today's topic.
As does DTM, German touring cars launching this weekend.
And a bit more thought about the Pirelli F1 tire thing from
last week in Bahrain.
Some IndyCar news from Chevy, Honda, and Lotus.
It's Indy 500 time already.
How about world touring cars and the debut for
them of a new track.
And finally, the Lada racecar.
We got MotoGP, WRC, and whatever else
pops into my head.
So what's today's topic that ties it all together?
What can racing do to help or hurt a brand, and what do you
think about that question?
To help you understand what the hell I'm thinking,
consider the new Lamborghini Urus SUV.
Did it help or hurt your perception, your image of the
Lamborghini brand?
Now consider if they raced more or better
what that would do.
Would that change your perception?
For example, look at Porsche.
They have SUVs out the wazoo, but they race the crap out of
the 911 and soon the Lama P1 hybrid.
I no longer think their SUVs tarnish the purity of Porsche.
So hold your thoughts.
We got a lot to cover, and I'll be right
back to get us started.

Part preview show for this weekend's upcoming races, part
housecleaning for some previous stories.
This Shakedown is all about what racing can do for a
brand, both good and bad.
You all know the basics.
Racing promotes images of performance, personality,
excellence, technology, accomplishment, commitment,
bonding with the fans, and just loving cars or bikes.
And you get all that and more by how a brand does
motorsport, which allows me to start with DTM this weekend,
2012 race one.
The new cars, Hockenheim the track.
Three things to say going in.
Number one, we've already set events in motion to get our
firsthand debrief from Joey Hand, the US BMW pilot,
getting him to tell us what it's really like to
drive and race DTM.
We expect to have that talk no later than at the May 12
Laguna Seca ALMS race.
Number two, DTM really is NASCAR on steroids.
And by that, I mean it's got spec chassis and parts quite
diverse from the real road cars.
But still, suspension design is open.
The engines are real from each brand.
And the body work is unique to each brand.
And in my opinion, most importantly, the technology is
sophisticatedly forward-thinking, not NASCAR
old school tradition-clinging.
And that's why the fans seem to embrace DTM as an authentic
extension of the Audi, Mercedes, and BMW bands.
And why racing DTM does good things for those three brands.
Number three, and it's an FYI.
DTM in Japan Super GT series were trying to unify specs.
But talks broke down for now and maybe forever.
The carbon chassis was the common ground, the breakup was
because the Germans want to sell the tubs.
The Japanese wanted to license the design and
build their own tubs.
Plus, there's an engine issue.
Four liter V8 for DTM, super GT moving from their 4.3 V8
formula Nippon derived motors to 2-liter turbos
with hybrid in 2014.
So for now, there'll be no Axis of touring cars.
Come on, they do World War II jokes on top Top Gear UK.
I can do one here.
Yeah, I'll read your comments.
Next topic, housecleaning with Pirelli tires in Formula One.
Last weekend, I made a comment and a bad Bahrain tire-burning
joke after Michael Schumacher took his shots at the tire
degradation issue.
Pirelli shot back to Mike with appropriate indignation and
probably an Italian hand gesture or two, which I'm not
going to do here.
Most of you guys jumped on my bandwagon, calling for full
capacity 10/10 racing versus nursing tires
and cruising around.
Now, I'm not backpedalling, but I read Pirelli and Burney
comments that suggest that tire company Pirelli may be
building tires to an FIA F1 dictated spec and game plan.
And banging on Pirelli may be whacking the wrong goodfella.
Because why would Pirelli, a performance brand with a
performance image, want to be seen as the maker of tires
that fade fast and don't let you get the full potential out
of your car?
It's all back to what can racing do
and undo for a brand.
So, a, Shakedown has already taken some steps to get to the
root of what Pirelli is doing and why,
directly with Pirelli.
And we'll be keeping you posted.
And, b, tire management is part of racing, always was,
always will be.
So, Mike, suck it up.
C, I'm not going to pile on Pirelli until we know more.
And, d, let's see if Pirelli and the FIA and Burney live up
to their commitments that tires will not decide the 2012
F1 champions.
Next topic, Lotus, IndyCar, the inevitable implosion.
They're cutting two teams, or the teams are cutting them for
them to get better.
The Lotus truth, Lotus position was all big talk, no
budget, no commitment, and not the right tools for the job.
They don't even have the right proper sim dyno.
Not enough engines to supply the teams and late getting the
engine built.
It's kind of all in sync with the Lotus F1 debacle and the
"I hope it's not a disaster" ALMS Evora challenge.
And Lotus' approach of paint jobs versus
real Lotus race cars.
How does all this help the Lotus brand?
Hell, Chris Harris did more for the Lotus performance
brand image than the IndyCar program and all this other
half-ass BS.
Now, I have no answer or solution other than to say I
fear this train wreck is not finished, and I just hope that
a real Lotus emerges and survives after all this.
One more shot at IndyCar, if I may.
Ugly does not help the image of anyone's racing.
Ugly racing does nothing for a brand.
Here's the current IndyCar.
Now here's a concept rendering from Dallara.
WTF happened?
That's not bad.
But now, I read the engine manufacturers are also
concerned and are going to do something about their looks
for 2013, all to create more brand image and get something
positive out of the IndyCar deal.
Chevy's designing their body kit in house.
So is it going to look like a Vette or a Silverado truck?
Honda's working with outside firm Worth
Engineering on theirs.
And Lotus, who only knows, but I fear in another grand
gesture they're going to announce an approach that'll
be exhuming the body of Colin Chapman and through a series
of psychic mediums getting their new 2013 IndyCar body
kit designed directly from the master.
And then they'll announce that there is a plan to shovel
around for Jim Clark to give them the best chance to win
Indy again.
I trust none of that's true.
And it isn't.
But it reminds me Clark and Dario Franchitti are Scotsmen,
and Dario signed a representation deal with our
returning sponsor Simraceway.
They're back with Shakedown starting in May.
So stay tuned for some Shakedown integration stuff
from Dario, like a track note session.
And Simraceway just signed up to be IndyCars' official
producer of the new IndyCar sim, so that's coming too.
Plus, the Simraceway team is teasing me with more
opportunities to get back in a car.
Now they're at Three Car at the Sears point Raceway
Performance Driving Center to compare real to
sim one more time.
They've even threatened to teach me how to drift with
Tyler McQuarrie.
That'd be good for me before Chris Harris comes to America
and we maybe go pedal to pedal.
But sliding is hooning, Chris, and, Chris, it's
you the racer I respect.
Let's cut to world touring cars.
That's also this weekend.
First time at the Slovakia ring, in a perfect venue for
Lada to return to WTCC racing.
First time back since 2009, one car for now because it's
an evaluation approach.
Running only a few races to prep for a full
season return in 2013.
This engine and car is built by Oreca.
French and Russians on the same team.
Screw watching the race car.
I want a video of the team meeting discussions, because I
can't think of any two peoples more stubborn unless we let
some Italians in the debate, my relatives in particular.
MotoGP is this weekend.
RideApart is all about bikes, and their show with Cleveland
Cycleworks was all about what that brand is doing to try to
be a great brand.
Here's all I want you to know about and what I want to say
about MotoGP.
Hey, Audi, you bought Ducati.
Now, fix it and save my boy Valentino Rossi from his pain
and your new brand from more embarrassment.
Audi will be good for Ducati.
And Rossi is like the Italian Allan McNish,
so he deserves help.
WRC is this weekend in Argentina, and Ford has
figured out it is better for their brand if they win a race
or two rather than just show up.
See, the Ken Blunt WRC experience
did teach them something.
So Ford has worked on engine mapping and gear ratio sets to
get quicker on gravel in particular and to clean up an
engine misfire that's been plaguing the cars, which may
or may not have been wet weather related.
Danni Sordo steps in for Latvala to keep the Ford team
at full potential.
And Danny is loving the Fiesta not being the not fully
developed underfunded mini WRC car that he wheeled earlier
this season.
OK, time for GT racing and the car talk about that.
Starting with this weekend's VLN race at the Nordschleife,
which many teams are using as a tuneup for the now in May,
May 19 and 20th, Nurburgring 24.
VLN is the Nurburgring endurance series, but in
German, it's really this.
And you know how I butcher names, so there's no
[BLEEP]ing way I'm going to try that.
It's VLN, and we're done.
GT3 cars from all the brands, including the new McLaren
MP412C GT3.
Plus, the Lexus LFA is back.
And they brought a couple of Toyota 86 as well, because GT
is all good for the brands.
30 classes and a bazillion GT cars, typical
Nordschleife schtuff.
Get it?
Even Glickenhaus has the P45 back all updated with more
arrow and curves.
Last week, FIA GT1 and GT3.
And a GT1 BMW Z4 won the qualifying race, and Porsche
won the name.
NFIA GT3 racing, Ferrari 458 won both races.
Of course, the Blancpain endurance series
is something different.
And just to confuse me and make me sound more like a
detached from the world American racing fan, I'm not
sure what it's all about, but Blancpain raced two
weeks ago in Monza.
Again, all very GT3.
The Marc VDS team won dumping their Ford GT for
this BMW Z4 in 2012.
Now watch me get to the Lamborghini point I mentioned
at the start of the show.
In all these GT races there's always a Lambo or two.
Reiter Engineering seems to be the hub for most of it if not
all these cars around the world and also via their one
make super Trofeo series.
Lambo has their paws in here somewhere, but help me and
share what you know about how much, because it feels like
they're not talking--
we're not talking--
Audi, Porsche, BMW levels of commitment
and race car building.
And not even Corvette levels with only two cars but a very
robust factory team rep the brand.
And that's kind of my point and question to you.
Rather than slam Lambo for going all off brand with the
Urus SUV, should we not be asking them to negate any of
the backlash ranting by stepping up their racing
commitment and putting the purity of performance back
into the Lambo brand?
I'd be very curious to hear what Valentino Balboni thinks
about SUV and racing.
Or am I missing the point?
And Lambo's really happy with what I feel that they're happy
being a high school student's or a high profile poser's lust
mobile, and real performance sports cars are found in the
factories over at Audi, Porsche, and Ferrari.
Because in my world, if you're going to allow the internet to
call you the best ever in this or the world's only that, or
the most unique whatever, in sports car world, that brand
better be racing their ass off and winning to
define itself as worthy.
Then you can build a Lambo SUV or a baby carriage for all I
care, because you've earned the right.
McLaren does it.
Oh, that's a different McLaren?
Never mind.