VIDEO: Seat Leon Cupra hits the tarmac

The inherent and active safety systems in a $100,000 Seat Leon Cupra racecar were tested this week, after it fell of a platform raising it up the storeys of a city building.

The vehicle was about two storeys up when the platform shifted, the vehicle simply rolling off and falling face-first into the asphalt.

Of course, the entire debacle was filmed on a camera phone.

Paul Walker crash findings point to speed - and old tyres

The Porsche Carrera GT of Fast & Furious franchise star Paul Walker, who died while sitting shotgun in the vehicle beside friend and racing driver Roger Rodas, was travelling at double the posted road limit when the car crashed and ignited, taking both of their lives.

It’s less than the media beat-up of over 100 miles an hour, but they were still speeding. The single car collision happened at about 3:26PM on Saturday, November 30, 2013 in the city of Santa Clarita. The posted speed limit in the area of the collision is 45mph.

More interestingly is the findings about the super-rare GT. While the car itself has been ruled out of fault in the accident, it’s demise may have something to do with the tyres it was shod in at the time, whicvh were nine years old. Nine years to perishable rubber which is brought out on the odd specialoccasion and treated to high levels of sudden heat and cooling is, well, a recipe for disaster.

It does raise another question - how many other examples of precious metal on our roads, used only on weekends or the odd blat to clear out the pipes, would have similar shoes?

OFFICIAL RELEASE: Cause of Collision that claimed the lives of Paul Walker & Roger Rodas

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s traffic collision experts have determined the speed of the vehicle driven by Roger Rodas, that claimed his life and the life of Paul Walker, was between 80 and 93 Miles Per Hour (MPH) at the time the car impacted a power pole and several trees.

“Investigators determined the cause of the fatal solo-vehicle collision was unsafe speed for the roadway conditions,” said Commander Mike Parker, North (County) Patrol Division, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
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Paul Walker, FF star, dead at 40

The coroner has found that Fast and Furious franchise star Paul Walker died of “traumatic and thermal injuries” in a fiery car crash at the weekend.

Walker, 40, was in the passenger seat of a red Porsche Carrera GT sports car driven by his friend Roger Rodas in Santa Clarita, California when it veered off the road and into trees and a traffic bank.

Mr Rodas died of “multiple traumatic injuries,” according to preliminary autopsy results, while Walker’s cause of death was listed as the “combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries” - which means he may have been alive while the car was on fire.

Walker had been in California to raise money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines for Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW), a non-profit disaster relief group founded by the actor.

It is a tragic end to the star of the FF movies, which often had the lead characters dicing with death while driving hypertuned cars - typically with a seemingly endless supply of higher gears.

Kobayashi crashes out in ex-Ferrari F1 car

It’s one of those moments, the one in every driver’s career, where they wish the car they were driving was a Delorian with a Flux Capacitor.

Kamui Kobayashi, who made his F1 debut in 2009 and became rather infamous for his aggressive overtaking techniques and blocking, wound up in the wall during a demonstration in Moscow - in none other than a Ferrari Formula 1 car.

The Japanese ex-Toyota and Sauber driver was doing some laps during the Moscow City Racing demonstration event on Sunday fopr Ferrari, as he currently holds a seat in the manufacturer’s GT program.

He was driving the team’s 2009 F60 F1 car when he lost control on the wet surface and hit the barriers nearly head on.

“The track was very slippery and there was a marked bump at that point, which is why I hit the barrier,” said Kobayashi. “A shame, but I am pleased the team let me out again after a few minutes.”

That’s right - Ferrari had brought a second car, and had him back out within 20 minutes. He kept it neat the second time around.

UPDATED: Horror crash caught on camera at Pikes Peak

It aint called the Devil’s Playground for nothing.

This year at Pikes Peak, Jeremy Foley and his co-driver threw their Evo off the hill at Devils Playground (Mile 16). But despite rolling no less then eight times, both walked away with cuts, bruising and codriver Yuri Kouznetsov dislocated his shoulder. That’s it.

It’s the downside of the sport we all love; perhaps next year some water barriers at the Playground may be a good idea - and we are sure the competitors would not mind paying a little extra to subsidise them either…

Marussia F1 test driver Maria de Villota loses eye in crash

Formula 1 driver Maria de Villota, who joined Marussia as a test driver earlier this year, has lost her right eye following a test track crash on Tuesday.

While testing the MR-01 race car she was driving hit a support truck at Duxford airfield in Cambridgeshire.

It was the first time the 32-year-old Spaniard had driven the car.

According to an official at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, surgeons had “embarked on a lengthy procedure to address the serious head and facial injuries sustained by Maria in the accident”.

“The operation began yesterday afternoon and she was in theatre until this morning.

“Maria remains in a critical but stable condition.”

John Booth, team principal of the Marussia F1 Team, said: “Maria emerged from theatre at Addenbrooke’s Hospital this morning after a lengthy operation to address the serious head and facial injuries she received in the accident at Duxford Airfield yesterday.

“We are grateful for the medical attention that Maria has been receiving and her family would like to thank the Neurological and Plastics surgical teams.

“However, it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.

“Maria’s care and the wellbeing of her family remain our priority at this time. Her family are at the hospital and we are doing everything possible to support them.”

“With regard to the accident, we have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment.”

Maria de Villota

  • Born in Madrid on 13 January 1980
  • A former World Touring Car Championship and Superleague Formula driver, she is the daughter of ex-Formula 1 racer Emilio de Villota
  • Her first taste of F1 came at Paul Ricard in 2011, when she tested a Renault R29
  • Since 2001, she has competed in various Spanish motor races
  • In 2010 she finished fourth at the Nurburgring in Superleague Formula
  • She holds a degree in sports science from the European University of Madrid

One-76 now?

The stunning one-off Aston Martin One-77 is a man down after one of its owners ran out of talent on the city streets of Hong Kong.

Even more tragic is the reason for its name - only 77 of the sublime supercars was - and ever will be - made.

The supercar, which features a full carbon monocoque and houses a 7.0-liter V12, went for up to $4 million US dollars on its release two years ago, and its cost is now about double that. Particularly now the fold is one man down.

VIDEO: Aston Martin destroyed at Rally Calder

Atrocious weather conditions at the first round of the Australian Rally Championship, the inaugural Rally Calder, in Victoria last weekend saw the complete and utter waste of an Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

The part-gravel, part-tarmac event was truly tested as the heavens opened the day before the rally, forcing many last-minute changes to the layout and track.

Based in and around Calder raceway, the three-day event utilised the paddocks around the track as well as the Thunderdome and circuit to form a spectator-friendly event; however heavy rain turned the paddock into a quagmire, and made the tarmac and the infield of the Thunderdome very slippery.

As the video from outside as well as inside the car will show, the two competitors - both experienced campaigners - were but passengers as the novel Aston rally car got loose on the wet grass and skidded backwards into a barrier.

Call of the day to the driver Ivan, who says “Woah, this one’s gonna hurt.”

Such a shame.

See the video HERE.

Picture from the official ARC website by Joel Strickland Photographics.

VIDEO: Capri rally car crashes into the water

Targa Wrest Point - carnage at sea

The most spectacular rally exit in some time on our shores - literally - was that of George Miedecke in his father’s classic podium-winning 1970 Ford Capri Perana at the Targa Wrest Point rally.

With Andrew withdrawing at the 11th hour due to a sore back, George - returning from another year in the American UARA Stars racing series with Marcos Ambrose Motorsport - was handed the keys with just two instructions: “Don’t crash, and don’t come second”.

Unfortunately on stage four, which trails the shoreline of Dover, a tightening right-hander caught the young Marcos Ambrose Motorsport driver and sent him and codriver Daniel Willson into the water. The latter was taken to hospital with neck pain.

The corner also claimed the 2010 Subaru STi of father-son team of Ralph and Alex Norton, who spectacularly spun out and hit the water sideways, the car finishing on its roof and submerged in the high tide with the Perana parked alongside.

The pair miraculously escaped injury. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the cars.