One of the things I love about motorsport is its history and traditions. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those people that pines for the “golden age” (the definition of which always seems to change depending on the age of the person doing the pining), but I love the history of the classic races that are no longer with us as well as the ones that still are. I will be starting this week’s edition of The Last Lap with a look at a classic still with us, and next week I will look at a classic that sadly no longer is. Plus, more cool stuff that looks to the past and ahead to the future but all motorsport-related, so sit back and enjoy!
A Look at the Legendary Mulsanne Straight
The 24 Heures de Mans is a classic that is happily still with us and one of its legendary features is the Mulsanne Straight which Motorsport Magazine has called “motorsport’s greatest blast.” That same magazine has a wonderful look at this classic stretch of racetrack in a feature by Gary Watkins. “Speed down the Mulsanne was one of the key components to a quick lap at Le Mans and a race-friendly machine that could buzz through the traffic. Ferdinand Piëch, the architect of Porsche’s 917 as development boss of the company, had an obsession with top speed. It was everything to him. “Piëch had a fixation on straight-line speed,” recalls Brian Redman, who raced for Porsche in 1969-71. “He would never allow his engineers to do anything that would lose the car one kilometre an hour down the Mulsanne.”
A Look at the Abarth Osella PA1
Sportscar Digest has a wonderful look at the Abarth Osella PA1, a car they refer to as “a race car for the ages.” “The PA1 is now almost 50 years old, but the design still has a pure and very purposeful look, even by modern standards. Its clean aerodynamic lines speak of a different time, but they somehow still seem contemporary.”
Onboard Esteban Gutierrez races V12 F1 BRM P153 at Monaco
Former Sauber and Haas racer Esteban Gutierrez raced a stunning PRM P153 at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix in 2022. The 3.0-litre V12-powered racer sounded amazing around the streets of Monaco as it raced in a class for cars from 1966-1972. Via Goodwood Road & Racing.
Introducing the Hoonipigasus
Built by BBi Autosport in conjunction with Hoonigan and Hoonigan Racing Division, the never-before-seen 1400hp, AWD, Porsche SVRSR “Hoonipigasus” was designed specifically for the 2022 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. “For 2022, however, Block, Hoonigan and BBi Autosport have built a machine to propel the Head Hoonigan in Charge (H.H.I.C.) to attempt overall victory, creating the first-ever mid-engine, AWD, twin-turbo vintage Porsche 911. Hoonipigasus was specifically built to suit Block’s driving style and features a transmission tunnel, known as the “Chorizo Tunnel,” that goes from shoulder height down to the front axle, resulting in a lower center of gravity. Weighing just 1,000kg, the machine features GPS height-adjusted suspension based on previous year’s telemetry. BBi has accumulated 8 podiums with 5 class wins at the PPIHC.”
The Most Valuable Car in the World
A Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe from 1955 has been sold at auction for a record price of 135 million EUR to a private collector. This icon of automotive history is an absolute rarity – one of just two prototypes built at the time. Named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, it is considered to be one of the finest examples of automotive engineering and design by automotive experts and enthusiasts worldwide. The cool part is that the proceeds from the sale are going towards establishing the “Mercedes-Benz Fund.”
“The proceeds from the auction of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe serve as seed capital for the global initiative. Mercedes-Benz is committed to investing additional resources in the coming years. The “Mercedes-Benz Fund” will be divided into two sub-categories: University Scholarships in order to connect, educate and encourage students to realize/conduct research on environmental science projects and School Scholarships focusing on pupils to realize local environmental projects in their communities. The program funds will be directed to individuals who otherwise do not have the financial means for their projects and career paths. The program will go beyond financially supporting the young people and include extracurricular elements like Mercedes-Benz mentorships opening up new career prospects. The “Mercedes-Benz Fund” will be jointly developed with and managed by an experienced partner which is currently being evaluated. The detailed set-up and roll-out planning as well as the partner organization will be announced later this year.”Mercedes-Benz
Meet the Deus Automobiles Vayanne
Deus Automobiles unveiled its new electric hypercar at the 2022 New York International Auto Show late last month and it is pretty insane. According to The Robb Report, “the Austrian startup touted some pretty bonkers specs during the concept’s global debut in April that could be game-changers if true. The zero-emissions ride, which has been christened the Vayanne, promises a ridiculous 2,200 horses and 1,475 ft lbs of twist. That’s reportedly enough grunt to rocket the four-wheeler from zero to 62 mph in less than 1.99 seconds and on to a top speed of 248 mph.”
The Spa Classic is Back For Its 10th edition
Love for Porsche has a great preview of the 10th edition of the Spa Classic which has been postponed for 2 years because of Covid. “The spectators will see cars in 9 different grids on the track. The 2.0L Cup is the only single-make race. It is reserved for 2-liter short wheelbase early Porsche 911s. This way, it all comes to the setup of the car, and the skills of the drivers. We counted 35 cars on the entry list of the 2.0L Cup. That means a guarantee for success. For many classic Porsches fans, this will probably be one of the best grids of the weekend.”
Porsche announces dates and location for next Rennsport Reunion
The next Porsche Rennsport Reunion will be held at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California, from September 28th to October 1st in 2023. During the four-day event, fans of all ages will not only get to experience exciting racing action with vintage and contemporary Porsche race cars on track, but also be able to see many rare Porsche vehicles, enjoy new vehicle reveals, E-Sports, fan zones, and take part in opportunities to meet and interact with drivers as they share their exciting racing experiences. Rennsport Reunion will also offer a host of other off-track activities.
“California and Porsche are a dream pairing, and the Monterey Peninsula is an ideal spot to bring the two together for an unforgettable weekend with so much happening both on and off the track” said Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America Inc. “Rennsport Reunion is for everyone – we’re creating an experience that’s special, whether you’re or a long-time enthusiast or are new to Porsche and are learning about our cars for the first time. Rennsport Seven is going to be bigger and more exciting than ever and yet at its core it’s the people that sets it apart – all are welcome, and I can’t wait to share our plans in the coming months.”
How To Drive Like A CIA Field Agent
Always wanted to drive like James Bond or Jason Bourne? Street Muscle Mag has the details of Jason Hanson’s Evasive Driving Course which will do just that. “Whether you want to avoid a carjacking, learn how to ram a road block, or do a J-Turn simply to protect you, your loved ones, and your property, or you’re training for a clandestine extraction operation overseas, the skills taught at Jason’s Spy Ranch are invaluable.”
Onboard the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo at Watkins Glen
The Ferrari Challenge made its third stop of the 2022 season at Watkins Glen International, one of the most historic and challenging circuits on the North American calendar. Driver Todd Coleman (Ferrari of Denver) takes us for a lap in his Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo. Via Racer.com.
Ride Aboard the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro
The Drive went along on a ride along aboard the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro and described the experience as “one of the most savage cars ever made.” “If you’re looking for the authentic experience of driving an LMP1 car, you could, you know, buy an LMP1 car, along with a racing team to run it. Then again, you could buy a Valkyrie AMR Pro and pay Aston Martin, which plans to host customer track-day experiences at FIA circuits around the world, with support from the Aston Martin Valkyrie Instructor team. Still, you’d also have to learn how to drive a downforce car and, you know, break out the fitness bands so in a year or two you’ll be able to handle the forces without liquifying yourself.”
Top Marques Is Back!
The 17th edition Top Marques will be back in Monaco this June and will be showcasing iconic Classic Cars from the 1950s to the 1990s. You will be able to discover or rediscover the Lamborghini Miura, former F1 racing cars, but also vehicles from Prince Albert II’s private collection. Over 110 legendary and rare cars will be on display from 8 to 12 June at the Grimaldi Forum. Among them, James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, a unique model with all the accessories from the film, on sale worldwide for the modest sum of 3 million euros, brands like Bugatti, Ferrari and Bentley as well as others that are less known to the general public, such as Dallara or Pambuffetti.
More info and ticket reservations – For every ticket sold, €1 will be donated to Monaco Disease Power
Riding Inside a McLaren Senna at the Nürburgring
What’s there more to say? Without a doubt the most violent and extreme experience in a McLaren Senna around the Nürburgring – like it should be! Via Misha Charoudin.