Update: Video released of brazen break in at Red Bull F1

Remember that Red Bull F1 break-in before Christmas, when would-be opportunists smashed their way into the team’s HQ at Milton Keynes, UK, and made off with a horde of Grand Prix trophies?

The team has now released footage of the group of bandits at their crime, smashing a Subaru Legacy wagon backwards through the front door of the team’s headquarters.

It’s only a short and edited clip, but it does reveal the three blokes in balaclavas may have already realised the trophy haul they were risking so much for was not all it was cracked up to be. See, most of the trophies in the cabinets were actually replicas. You can see one of the robbers discard one after a brief conversation with another, tossing it on the ground and looking confused.

Many of the stolen items were later discovered dumped in a nearby lake. No word on whether the crooks actually got their hands on any real keepsakes, nor what has become of them…

Check the short vid HERE.

Mini takes top Dakar honors


It may have struggled in the WRC, but there is one rally that the Mini marque undeniably dominates; and it’s one of the toughest in the world.
For the fourth year straight, Mini has taken out top honors in the Dakar Rally, this year with 2011 winner and WRC regular Nasser Al-Attiyah at the tiller.
Following two weeks and 5,600 miles across three South American countries, from dunes to volcanic rock to the sea and back, Quatari Al-Attiyah and French codriver Mathieu Baumel came home more than half an hour ahead of nearest rivals Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in the debuting Toyota Hilux.
“I promised last year when I was on the podium that I’d be back to win, and now I’m here,” he said. “It was very hard to lead the race from the very beginning and to continue keeping this position on the long distance.
“Also because the race was really hard. I’m very happy about this great result and I want to thank and congratulate all mechanics and the team for the great job they have done during the two weeks. The MINI ALL4 Racing is an incredible car and it was again very nice to drive.”
The pair won more than half the stages to take the podium in the car category, with Minis also finishing in third, fourth and fifth (Krzysztof Holowczyc, Erik van Loon and Vladimir Vasilyev).
In the other categories, the insane Truck group was again dominated by the Russians, and notably the Kamaz team, who took top honours for the third year in a row. KTM rider Marco Coma backed up his 2014 win with the top podium spot in the Motorcycle category, while Poland’s Rafał Sonik won in the Quad class.

Ford goes turbo six in new GT hypercar

New Ford GT Supercar

Ford has released its top-secret project car, a new iteration of the iconic GT, at the 2015 Detroit motor show. And the reveal of this production-ready vehicle was not the biggest surprise of all - said surprise was the brand’s departure from a V8 to a twin-turbo V6 powerplant.

The original Ford GT40 was designed to beat Ferrari at at the LeMans 24-hour race in the sixties, and it did just that, taking the flag four consecutive times from 1966 to 1969.

This new version is in fact a 50th Anniversary nod to the original, and rumor has it that Ford will take it racing at Le Mans in tribute.

Ford GT

Of course, we are also familiar with the modern version of the GT, which lived between 2004 and 2006 and had that typical V8 roar (though it was supercharged). However, this revitalised 2016 GT promises more practicality as well as power - the former being something the 2004 model decidedly lacked.

Ford is claiming even better performance (and of course, sound) from the smaller powerplant in this new GT, at 600hp plus, while using less fuel of course. The transmission is a seven-speed DCT, and the car is lighter, leaner and its dimensions do not need their own postcode clearance.

Supplied

A shipload of trouble for Jaguar and Land Rover

Cargo carrier Hoegh Osaka and its precious load of new cars has run aground in the English Channel after leaving its berth in Southampton, and it would appear the crew deliberately beached the ship to prevent it from capsizing following a major mechanical failure.

The 590-foot car carrier seems to defy gravity as it lists at a huge angle on the sandbars between England and the Isle of Wight.

The Osaka was carrying at least 1,200 Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, 65 Minis, and a Rolls-Royce Wraith, plus some other equipment - about a third of its total capacity - and was on its way to Germany when the problem arose.

An early attempt to free the ship with tugboats was unsuccessful (pictured), so rescue operations will have to wait until higher tides to try and free the ship. The QEII has run aground on the same shoal in 2008 during its final voyage at sea (before becoming a floating hotel in Dubai), but was freed with four tugs when the tides complied, so the Osaka should be salvaged soon.

It’s not the first time this has happened to a car carrier either, and the fate of the cars is grim - in 2008, the Cougar Ace carrier tipped onto its side in the North Pacific, forcing Mazda to scrap every one of its 4703 cars on board.

FIA admits to 2015 F1 engine regulation loophole

They say rules were meant to be broken, and this is no truer than in motorsport. Regulations have been interpreted, bent and at times broken in the pursuit of speed, and at the pointy end of the scale, Formula 1 teams have time and time again found a way through the thumb-thick regulation handbooks to find that extra 1000th.

For 2015, Formula 1’s current manufacturers will now be allowed to continually develop certain areas of their engines due to a loophole in the rules - a loophole the FIA has admitted to publicly.

It can only be good for the sport - after the total and utter domination of Mercedes in 2014 thanks to its handle on the move to the turbo six, Ferrari and Renault began its mutterings early that the regulations stating no further development of engines can go past a pre-season deadline for the remainder of the year.

The loophole that Ferrari first found states that the engine rules did not actually stipulate a concrete date for the final engine specs to be lodged for 2015.

An FIA spokesman said: “It was always envisaged, although not explicitly stated in the rules, that manufacturers would have to deal with modifications on the engine within the constraints of the rules, and then submit their 2015 engine [at the first race].

“It is simple, but when you read it [the rule book], it doesn’t say that unfortunately.”

It means that manufacturers now have the option of introducing upgrades to their engines throughout the season as long as they stick to a subscribed “development token” limit, which means they can fiddle with about 48 percent of the engine componentry, and do not exceed the four-engines-per-car limit for the campaign.

So Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault can bring in developments over the course of 2015 within these restrictions - though this will will not apply to Honda as it enters the fray in 2015.

“As the existing manufacturers were obliged to homologate their power units by 28 February 2014 it would seem fair and equitable to ask a new manufacturer to homologate their power unit before February 28 2015,” read a paper from race director Charlie Whiting.

“We therefore consider this to be a requirement for a new power unit manufacturer.”

Joyriding valet caught with Performance Data Recorder

Every motoring enthusiast who has lived through the ’80s knows and well remembers the red Ferrari California Spyder in the cult classic movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. More so for its stunning exit out the back of Cameron’s father’s glasshouse garage, but almost as memorable is the scene where a pair of valets take the beloved convertible out for a joyride, clocking up many miles and getting some decent air in the process.

it is the fear of car enthusiasts the world over; a valet, or a car mechanic, taking one’s beloved ride out for a spin. The ones that crash them make the headlines; many others probably happen without any of us being the wiser. But with the emergence of dashcams and trackers, we car nuts may finally be able to rapp the knuckles of any would-be F1 drivers who abuse our vehicles; like Dan Cowles, a California native and proud owner of a new 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Cowles ticked the box for the Valet Mode and Performance Data Recorder when he ordered his car, which links the GPS system to a camera at the top of the windscreen, enabling the driver to track his or her performance on a circuit - or, when linked to valet mode, record the movements of the car when it is being parked.

Cowles claims his recent visit to a Performing Arts Centre was the first time he used a valet service in his new baby, and he was shocked when reviewing the secret footage the following day to find the person charged with looking after his car had lined it up in the underground carpark and floored it, reaching 50mph in five seconds.

Naughty valets everywhere - you have been warned. Check out the giggle-worthy news report HERE.

Spyker declares bankruptcy

The news has been grim for Spyker in recent months, the Dutch carmaker having entered voluntary bankruptcy proceedings to stave off a full foreclosure. However, the inevitable has now happened, with its finances unable to be restructured, and full bankruptcy declared.

it isn’t the first time Spyker has disappeared into the history books, with the company first founded in the 1880s as a bespoke carriage-builder by the Spiker brothers, building coaches for nobility and the aristocracy before declaring bankruptcy in 1908 and 1926.

The name Spyker was revived in 1999, and the company launched its unique C8 sports car (pictured). Spyker itself tried to save Saab in 2011 when GM decided to sell up, and even tried to break in to Formula 1. But those ambitions never bore fruit, and Spyker, like many other bespoke and boutique carmakers in recent times, may finally be finished.

OFFICIAL RELEASE: SPYKER COMPANIES DECLARED BANKRUPT

Zeewolde, the Netherlands, 18 December 2014. Today the District Court of Midden-Nederland, at the request of the administrator, converted the moratorium of payment, granted to Spyker N.V. and its wholly owned subsidiaries Spyker Automobielen B.V. and Spyker Events & Branding B.V. (collectively “Spyker” or the “Company”) on December 2nd, last, to bankruptcy. The cause for this conversion was that the committed bridge funding did unfortunately not reach the company in time. The administrator will continue his work but now as receiver.

Victor R. Muller, Founder and Chief Executive Officer said: “None of the ambitions we had when we founded Spyker 15 years ago, has vanished as a result of today’s events. In 2000 we set out to establish a super sports car business from scratch with a global distribution and we achieved that. Over the years we undertook some daring ventures that left their marks on the company which in turn contributed to today’s demise.

However, I would like to make clear that as far as I am concerned “this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning” to quote Winston Churchill. I will relentlessly endeavour to resurrect Spyker as soon as practically possible and, assuming we will be successful, pursue our goal to merge with a high performance electric aircraft manufacturer and develop revolutionary electric Spykers with disruptive sustainable technology.

This is the moment to express my gratitude to our customers, dealers, suppliers and of course our employees and Board. Their loyalty and support was vital to build the brand over the past decade and a half. They can count on us continuing to live by the Spyker axiom “Nulla Tenaci Invia est Via” (Latin for “For the tenacious no road is impassible”).”

New Focus RS to hit the States in 2015

Ford will launch a new high-performance Focus RS in January at the Detroit Auto Show, and the USA is on the list of lucky recipients.

The cult car, of which this writer is a proud owner (a 2010 hatch in Ultimate Green) will see its next iteration released globally in reportedly greater numbers than before, though they will still be capped for exclusivity.

Owners of the Focus ST may find this news somewhat of a dampener, with many hoping the ST badge would remain the top tier of the Focus hatch range. Understandably, too, with its turbocharged, 252-horsepower four-cylinder and sweet handling package.

However, the new RS could use Ford’s 2.3-liter turbo-four which can reach 350 horses easily, and rumors abound that it will be four-wheel-drive instead of front.

Red Bull Racing Raided

Thieves have ram-raided the Red Bull F1 team’s home office and factory in Milton Keynes, stealing a horde of memorabilia from the display cabinets that flank the front reception.

Six men used the vehicle to gain access, however they didn’t venture any further than the front office, ignoring the many other treasures that would undoubtedly lie around an F1 factory floor and instead taking off with only the F1 trophies inside the cabinets.

Team principal Christian Horner said they were “devastated” by the break-in as the trophies “took years and hard work to accumulate”.

Fortunately, many of the stolen trophies were just replicas, and not the real awards handed out at multiple Championship rounds over the team’s GP history.

Ken Box Gymkhana 2

A host of pretender and parody videos always follow in the wake of the latest Ken Block Gymkhana videos. This week, we were treated to one of the best; the second instalment of Ken Box.

It’s just that - a cardboard box, with a Monster rally car on all four sides complete with the pseudonym HooisKen (rather then Ken Block’s Hoonigan moniker), hiding a Razor Crazy Kart and driven by a dude called Ali Kermani.

After a much loved first parody that saw nearly 2.8 million views, the ante has been upped with sponsorship from GoPro - meaning every possible creative and crazy angle is captured - and a bigger set with more machines and tricks.

Enjoy.