burnt rubber issue

Porsche comes back home

Design Spotlight: The Porsche 919 Hybrid and the Future of Le Mans

Audi has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 12 out of the last 14 years, a feat that cannot be understated. But there's another brand whose record at the race is yet unmatched: Porsche, which has 16 wins total. But those wins came during a different era. This year, Porsche re-enters the Le Mans fray with a brand new car that will compete in the LMP1-H (Le Mans Prototype 1 - Hybrid) category, the spectacular 919 Hybrid car, just unveiled in Geneva.

Rubbin' is racing

Hot Laps: Becoming a Nascar Driver in 72 Hours

The best way to appreciate NASCAR is not by cracking a Bud and plopping on the couch but by getting in the driver’s seat. Unfortunately that's a pipe dream for most -- but when PEAK Motor Oil invited me to their Stock Car Dream Challenge as they searched for a future driver for the Michael Waltrip Race team, I grabbed my helmet and Nomex onesie and streamed Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines all the way to Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Look track serious, be track serious

Kit: Track Driving

You've set aside a full day to improve your track driving skills, so don't show up wearing a motorcycle half-helmet, a pair of jean shorts and thick-soled running shoes. Track driving is a sport of extreme focus, extreme speeds and extreme temperatures -- and you've got to be fully prepped. Leave anything out and your concentration and skills development will suffer. We put together a track kit that will give you the confidence to nail the apexes like Senna.

Searching for enlightenment at Drag Racing's Garden of Eden

Photo Essay: Crushing Numbers at NHRA Winternationals

Drag racing at its core isn’t a complicated sport. Two cars line up. Their drivers hit the pedal on the right. A thousand or so feet later someone wins. It stands to reason that there must be something more to this sport, something visceral that has kept people interested in pure, unadulterated speed for so long. With that in mind we headed to the first race of professional drag racing’s pro circuit, The NHRA Winternationals at the historic Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

Wreaking Havoc In A Winter Wonderland

Photo Essay: Red Bull Frozen Rush

We recently traveled to snowy and frigid Newry, Maine, where the Sunday River Ski Resort hosted the first-ever Red Bull Frozen Rush truck race. Pro 4 off-road racing trucks hit the slopes, racing up and down in a wild, aggressive, violent scramble over ice and snow, aided in no small part by spiked BF Goodrich tires. We rode along in a truck, watched drivers fly their trucks through the air like madmen daredevils and froze our tushes off all in the name of watching racing history unfold. Check it out yourself here.

Racing Prodigy, Porsche test driver

30 Minutes With: Patrick Long

Most sixteen-year-olds spend their time learning how to parallel park and struggling with acne. Just after his sweet sixteen, Patrick Long moved to Europe to work on racing strategy and focus on becoming one of America's best drivers. It worked. He's since become the youngest American to take class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans -- all while performing as Porsche's go-to driver for testing new cars. We grabbed a few minutes with the Southern Californian -- now 32 years old -- between his surf sessions and race day.

High-Speed Thrills at the Legendary Raceway

Twin Peaks: Racing with Lexus F at Fuji International Speedway

Lexus, when it was created in 1989, was itself a halo brand. Today Lexus is pushing its own groundbreaking products -- that is, incredible vehicles -- to reach new automotive heights. We were recently invited to experience those new halos, several of the company's latest F models, this time at the very same proving grounds on which they were first developed: Fuji International Speedway. The opportunity provided a unique chance to study Lexus's approach to the wide spectrum of automotive performance. It also gave us the chance to routinely push 150 mph right under the nose of Mount Fuji.

The Snake Lives On

Track Day: SRT Viper Time Attack

When thinking of an automotive CEO, one expects a suit topped with a lot of gray hair, moved along with the help of a tidy personal chauffeur in the brand's finest flagship sedan. Not so with Ralph Gilles of SRT. The man wears a baseball cap and jeans, is remarkably affable, and helms his own supercar creations at the track. He's passionate and proud of his vehicles, and his latest, the new SRT Viper Time Attack ($123,080) is more deserving of those dotings than any other. This is no "base" version -- it's an impressive track edition of a true American sports car that's no longer the unhinged, unrefined, chopped-top V10 monster that took to the streets and scared respectable citizens way back in 1999 in the form of the SRT10.

Enough room for passengers, enough excitement to forget about 'em

Track Day: 2014 Porsche Panamera

When choosing a car for the track, it's key to choose a ride with certain distinct criteria -- things like sports-car dimensions and weight, great handling, two seats, an eye-brow singeing top speed and extreme impracticality for everyday driving. But what if your tool of choice just happens to be a luxury sedan? In that case, you obviously like challenges; maybe you're the kind of guy whose idea of a workout is strapping a bag of rocks to your back and scaling a hillside in track spikes. Or maybe your choice of luxo-sedan just happens to be the 2014 Porsche Panamera ($78,100+). We hit the track in one at Atlanta Motorsports Park.

Racing ferocity wrapped in quiet elegance

Track Day: Lexus F Sport Full Line

Lexus is no longer in the business of selling warmed-over Toyotas with nice interiors, and they haven’t been for some time. Indeed, the Lexus image has been completely revamped from its early days, and they’ve poised themselves in recent years as a formidable opponent to world-class luxury vehicles. Now, with their fully integrated F Sport lineup, the company has taken a solid shot across the reigning sport sedan titans’ respective bows; heralded by their flagship supercar, the LFA, Lexus is undeniably in the sport sedan business.

British excellence, embodied

Octane Icon: Jaguar D-Type

When it comes to iconic vintage Jags, the stunning E-Type comes to mind for most, but there is a British racing legend that came before the XKE. Though just about everyone recognizes the E-Type, only the true automotive cognoscenti can identify the D-Type, a car that's far more rare and even more coveted when one of the two happens to come up at auction.

A Feeling of Displacement

Track Day: Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

Recently, we made our way out to Bilster Berg, a new $45 million dollar track and driving resort tucked into the eastern foothills of Germany. A former British ammunition depot, the 2.6-mile track has quickly launched to must-drive status due to a challenging mix of speed and extreme elevation changes. It was a worthy canvas for painting tracks with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, a 2.0-liter beast.

Books on tape and Corn Nuts required

Shipwreck Rally: New York to Tierra del Fuego

If you happen to be fan of long road trips, used cars and unpredictability, and you also have copious amounts of unused vacation time, the Shipwreck Rally is calling your name (and possibly that of your healthcare insurer). Starting November 1st in NYC and finishing in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina, the rally is a truly unique roadgoing experience where no support teams and no crazy vehicular mods can give any one team an unfair advantage over the everyman.

Two wheels to greatness

Photo Essay: MotoGP at the Circuit of the Americas

Though the riders participating in MotoGP races are the best in the world, it's taken a while for this style of racing to gain traction in the United States. After having the chance to see the MotoGP World Championship at The Circuit of the Americas thanks to Ducati, we easily count ourselves among its growing fan base. Read on to see our photo essay of the insane speed on two wheels.

Stratosfear

Octane Icon: Lancia Stratos

Looking like the combination of a duck’s bill and a chisel, the Lancia Stratos was developed as an homologation car (production numbers to justify its rally racing intentions) a year after the revolutionary Lancia Stratos HF Zero car debuted. It was a car with virtually limitless rallying potential based on its design and performance. The Stratos did want it was meant to do -- devour dirty, twisty, bumpy closed roads with an insatiable appetite.

Off-road legend

30 Minutes With: Rob MacCachren

In 2011 Rob MacCachren was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. You don't get that honor just by doing doughnuts in the Walmart parking lot. We caught up with him on one of those rare occasions when he's not behind the wheel of a 700+ horsepower truck to chat about his outstanding career and his plans for the future.

Conquering the beast

GP Short: Ford Racing F-150 SVT Raptor Assault

We spent a full day at the Ford Racing F-150 SVT Raptor Assault School at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah, learning the finer points of hill climbing, mixed terrain blasts and bona-fide offroading, all the while tossing the F-150 Raptor so hard that its dusty rooster tails could be seen from space. Read on to watch the GP Short and to find out more about our upcoming feature.

A storied history and a thriving present

A Thousand Beautiful Miles: The Mille Miglia

As fascinating as the present potency of automotive engineering, "The past is never dead", as William Faulkner put it, and that's absolutely true when it comes to cars. Not only are vintage wheels as coveted as ever, the motoring past lives on today in races like the Mille Miglia Storica, where leather helmets and goggles, exhaust-filled open air motoring and cars that echo glorious racing histories remind us that, although we can't time travel, we can marvel at what once was the pinnacle of automotive racing.

The weapons of a track day toreador

Full Throttle Thrills: Top 5 Track Cars

Einstein once said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results was the very definition of insanity; obviously he never studied lap times. In fact, we'll take the track over studying the theory of relativity any day. But we need the right steed. Whether your wallet can handle them or you're just dreaming, here are our picks for the five best track cars around.

Knobby tires meet sleep deprivation in a sea of sand

Peril and the Prize: The Dakar Rally

While the vast majority of race-hungry viewers across the country watch NASCAR, Indy and the American Le Mans Series, a race of an altogether different kind occurs on another continent -- and both death and destruction are almost guaranteed. That race is the Dakar Rally (a.k.a., the Paris-Dakar Rally), where professionals and amateurs alike venture out into the treacherous unknown in all manner of vehicles to see if they can claim the coveted title of one of the most skilled and hard-as-nails drivers the world has ever seen. There's little in the way of tarmac to plant your tires on in this rally bonkers off-road endurance race that pits man and vehicle against mile upon mile of wheel-swallowing sand, water, dirt and rocks. And if you make the mistake of thinking it's just about driving fast, you might as well stick to your barcalounger and bouts of Gran Turismo 5 in the safety of your parents' basement.

From isn't to IS

Track Day: 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

The suburbs of Austin, Texas are hilly, colorful and vast, and look especially pretty when seen out the windshield of the latest, all-new sports sedan. They're even better looking when reduced to a racetrack blur. The 2014 Lexus IS F Sport has been redesigned to look sexier, feel more solid and drive harder, and recently gave us the distinct pleasure of melting scenery around the track at Driveway Austin while testing out its sporting mettle.