Touring Cars And Rally Cars -- SHAKEDOWN

Uploaded by drive on 09.03.2012


As you're watching this Shakedown, I'm either pounding
around the Sears Point, California, racetrack, at the
Simraceway Performance Driving Center, maybe in that F3 car,
and for sure the Palatov D4, or on the Simraceway sim with
Audi Le Mans ace Allan McNish, or cockpit deep into a tire
wall, for real or virtually.
I'm doing my best to make sure the latter does not happen,
but you'll see it all soon.
What's happening today is all about the type of cars you
Shakedowners say you love, race cars built from real
cars, touring cars, as the World Touring Car Championship
starts this weekend, and rally cars, as the World Rally
Championship is in Mexico this weekend as well.
Plus, as always, a bit more news and some other race cars
to discuss.
You know, I've got nothing pithy to say as the title
cards roll, because remember, I'm not here doing this.
I'm in a race car at Sears Point Raceway right now,
probably right around here.

Every time I ask you guys what you want from racing, you
write back, "race cars linked to real cars," "real tests of
technology," "close competition," and "real street
cred." You know, why don't you save all the words next time
you type in the comments here at the YouTube video or over
at Twitter via @drive--
see how smoothly I got the plug in there?
Why don't you save the words and just type the letters
WTCC, because the World Touring cars seem to be
exactly what you crave.
25 cars will take the grid this weekend at Monza.
Six Chevy Cruze, including the three from the championship
team RML, who, it must be noted, not only build the
Cruze race cars, the chassis, the suspension, the safety
cage, et cetera, but actually designed the winning 1.6-liter
turbo engine from a clean sheet of paper, and won RML's
chief engine engineer, Arnault Martin, the 2011 Race Engine
Designer of the Year award for his effort.
So I don't want a Chevy Cruze.
I want a Ray Mallock Limited Cruze.
I got it.
And Ray Mallock, they're the group that built this, the
Juke-R. Enough.
Back to WTCC.
Also making up the Monza field are eight SEAT Leons.
You know, the N is silent.
Just call them Leos.
Nine BMWs and two Ford Focus, all turbo charged per the
rules, no hyper-exotic materials allowed, but real
race car crafting and Yokohama race tires for all.
The SEATs have the new design engines to
race the Cruzes harder.
BMW, even though the factory effort is steered toward the
DTM series, are always tough and have the grid numbers.
And the Aon Ford Focus team races well.
But this is the first outing for the Focus.
And Chevy got a little snarky with a PR piece welcoming Ford
to the rivalry.
Careful what you wish for, is my hope on this corporate
smart-assing situation, but we'll see what happens.
Not in the Monza field but coming later this season is
the Honda Civic.
And Lada is trying to enter WTCC again, but is having
homologation issues.
Now you guys know that production car racing still
means race car mods and technology drifting from the
real thing.
It's not just NASCAR doing this stuff.
But WTCC stays pretty close.
Well, until Lada sends in their homologation papers,
check this out.
So Lada asked for 94 millimeter longer than stock
wheelbase, different front and rear subframes, a change to
the steering pivot point, different steering rack, a
replacement front wheel hub carrier thing, reworked wheel
arches, and a flat floor where the production Lada
does not have one.
So they didn't want much.
The FIA suspended homologation, is reviewing all
these requests, but considering Lada and
Nissan-Renault have hooked up corporately, wouldn't it be
just easier for the FIA to allow them to run the Juke-R?
Two races in each WTCC weekend.
And the series will be coming to the US September 22 and 23,
racing where I am right now, the Infineon Raceway, Sears
Point, in Sonoma, California.
You know how all of you say I talk too fast and
need to take a breath?
And while I do live with my mouth pegged against the rev
limiter by nature, it's a fact that the YouTube video rights
rules really limit what we can show you to allow
me to take a break.
The only stuff that's really safe for us are the official
PR videos put out by the car brands.
And they frequently suck.
But to give you that break from me that you want, let's
all watch a bit of the Chevy PR stuff.

So then I looked for the official SEAT WTCC video.
And all I found was this.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not the SEAT engine engineers
that were competing with that Cruze award winner.
Moving on.
Also at Monza will be another FIA touring car series, the
European TCC, for a wider variety of cars across four
classes including diesel.
26 Monza entries with everything from a BMW 320i E90
to Honda Civics, Chevy Aveo, Ford Fiesta, and a Peugeot
407, soon to be a Buick 407, thanks to
the GM-Peugeot alliance.
Check out all the links below to read up on the
WTCC and the ETCC.
Let's move over to DTM for a bit, German touring cars, as
all the players, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi, have
finalized their car designs and shown them.
The first race is about 50 days away, April 29.
But let's start the preview.
Audi is racing the A5 versus a history of A4
sedan-derived race cars.
They launched the 2012 car showing us this.
But now the design is finalized, and even with the
camo you can see less blocky fender flares, more aero
attention as expected, and Audi attention to detail.
That tail diffuser looks pretty impressive.
As impressive as the chin of David Coulthard, who, again,
is one of the Mercedes DTM drivers,
driving the AMG C-Class.
I love the chrome finish.
And the C-Class makes for a pretty cool race car.
Hey, here's more of an official video.
-So DTM is all about safety first.
And what we have here is a crash structure, which is
actually bolted on the front of the car, around here.
So the gap in the middle will be filled with a V8 4-liter
engine, producing about 500 horsepower.
So you'll have your nice Mercedes-Benz power there.
Keeping in the theme of safety, what we have here is a
removable crash structure.
That is bolted on there, so any side impact will be
absorbed by that.
And of course, it can be replaced afterwards.
Now this is the actual chassis.
And this is new for this year.
So it's a complete carbon fiber top.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to step in, and I'm
going to position myself where I'll be sitting.
Obviously, it's not really that stable at the moment,
because it's missing a few bits.
But this is the position I'll be sitting in
when I drive the car.
So you can see that the driver has a full carbon fiber safety
cell around about him.

LEO PARENTE: BMW are the X factor for 2012 in DTM, as
they are new to the series.
The car is mega cool, but as an American, what is
intriguing is BMW sending USer Joey Hand over to race DTM.
As a racing fan, it's super cool too, because it shows
racers what results on track can deliver for you.
2011, for Joey, was a career-defining season.
He won the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Sebring 12 Hour,
a podium finish at the Le Mans 24, and the GT Drivers'
Championship in the American Le Mans series, all for BMW.
So 2012, they plugged him into their premier racing effort.
We've had a chance to chat with Joey.
He's a great guy.
You know, everyone gets what they deserve.
And for guys like me, it's often painful.
But for Joey Hand it's all good for 2012.
WRC in Mexico.
We'll get into the rally stuff deeper on a future Shakedown.
You know we will.
But this weekend, it's more Ford versus Citroen as the
battle continues.
And I remain confused as to what's really going on with
Mini and Prodrive, because even though Mini announced the
Prodrive team representation break-up, the development of
the car continues at Prodrive.
Prodrive claims to be making 100 upgrades, though it will
be homologated this week.
So not from Mexico, and not just for the Prodrive cars,
all Mini WRC competitors.
Engine induction, accessory efficiency, lightweight
components, aero, and on and on and on.
100 changes, for Christ's sake.
And to me, this is one of those racing
good news WTF stories.
It's great news that the car is getting big changes to get
better faster.
And WTF, 100 changes after only two rallies?
If I'm Mini, I'm flying off the handle, speed-dialing
Prodrive and screaming, what the [BLEEP]
did you build us in the first place?