Home » August 2012
Loeb wins in Germany

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb puts in another masterful performance in Germany to claim victory.

Loeb led throughout the three-days and eventually finished the event 2 minutes up on Jari-Matti Latvala, who was 'best of the rest' for Ford. It was Loeb's fifth win in succession - and his ninth in total in Trier. He also took the honours in the Power Stage too.

Mikko Hirvonen meanwhile took the final spot on the podium, 31.3 seconds further back, followed by Mads Ostberg, Chris Atkinson, Sebastien Ogier, Andreas Mikkelsen and Nasser Al-Attiyah in positions 4 through to 8. Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo rounded out the top ten.

1. Sebastien Loeb     Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     3hours 41mins 52.4secs M
2. Jari-Matti Latvala     Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +02mins 00.1secs M
3. Mikko Hirvonen     Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     +02mins 31.4secs M
4. Mads Ostberg     Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +03mins 24.4secs M
5. Chris Atkinson    WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +09mins 10.4secs
6. Sebastien Ogier     VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000    +09mins 50.8secs
7. Andreas Mikkelsen     VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000    +12mins 22.7secs
8. Nasser Al-Attiyah     Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC     +12mins 50.4secs M
9. Ott Tanak     M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC    +13mins 01.3secs M
10. Dani Sordo     Prodrive WRC Team MINI John Coopers Works WRC +14mins 17.3secs

McLaren MP4-12C-based X-1 created

This is the McLaren X-1, a dramatic one-of-a-kind production car based on the McLaren MP4-12C that was dreamed up by an anonymous McLaren enthusiast. McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the McLaren division behind delivering bespoke projects, turned it into reality, and it was seen in public for the first and only time at Pebble Beach last weekend.

It was one of those very special customers - someone who already owns a McLaren F1, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and 12C - who began discussions with McLaren chief Ron Dennis three years ago to build something completely unique. Apparently the brief was to create something with the capability of the 12C, but wrapped up in something that reflected his "needs and personality".

The design of the X-1 is credited to McLaren’s RCA graduate Hong Yeo, who won an internal and external design competition overseen by Stephenson. The styling took 18 months to sign off, and the bespoke body necessitated homologation, high-speed and track testing, and a full CFD aerodynamic testing schedule to ensure it was durable on the road.

Srrounded by bespoke carbon panels and brightwork machined from solid aluminium, like the shoulder rails, the headlight ‘eyebrows' and even the McLaren Airbrake. And as you can see, those carbon panels cover the rear wheels too, accessed via - in McLaren's own words - "some of the most gorgeous hinges you've ever seen".

The X-1 is wider and longer than the MP4 but weighs around the same (1,400kg), using the same interior architecture, albeit with some personalisation such as a titanium weave and tufted carpets.

Underneath, the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 remains, powering the rear wheels, replete with 621bhp and many torques. It's also been thoroughly homologated for road use (it was tested for 625 miles) and because it's been nailed together by McLaren, expect it to offer Space Station levels of build quality.

Violent crash Pikes Peak 2012

Loeb wins in Finland

Sébastien Loeb dominated the Finns at their own game to take his 73rd career WRC win. 

The Frenchman, chasing his ninth successive championship, finished ahead of local favourite and team mate Mikko Hirvonen with another Finn, Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala, in third place.
Loeb finished the final Ouninpohja 2 stage 6.1 seconds ahead of Hirvonen, who lost precious time in the morning when he hit a tree. Latvala was a further 28.9 adrift.
Norway's Petter Solberg was fourth in a Ford.
The victory was Loeb's sixth in eight races this season, 73rd of his career, and he led from start to finish. The Frenchman now has 171 points to Hirvonen's 128 with five rounds remaining.
"It's very satisfying to win in Finland," said the Frenchman. "I didn't come here especially to win, I came for points because it's very difficult to beat the Finnish drivers.
"It was a great fight with Mikko, a one-two for Citroen and great for the championship."

1 Loeb
2 Hirvonen +6.1s
3 Latvala +35.0s
4 Solberg +56.1s
5 Ostberg +2:32.1s
6 Tanak + 2:47.6s
7 Rantanen +4:51.7s
8 Ketomaa + 6:01.9s
9 Prokop + 6:04.3s
10 Ogier + 8:46.0s

Craig Breen crash Finland

Porsche Most Appealing Car Brand of 2012

Porsche insists on keeping in the first place the most popular brands in the United States. This is the eighth time the German manufacturer earns the highest score in the study 'APEAL' by JD Power and Associates, and is therefore considered the brand more attractive by the Americans.

Customers voted for the 911 model as the best sports car in the segment of 'premium' and Cayenne as the most 'coveted' of 'premium crossover SUV'. The two vehicles were evaluated in ten different categories, with regard to design, comfort, dynamic performance and suitability for everyday use.

The 2012 APEAL Study - "Car, Performance, Execution and Design" was conducted by opinion research center and JD Power and Associates.

All of the winners of the 2012 APEAL study by JD Power and Associates:
Sub Compact Car - Chevrolet Sonic
Compact Car – Chevrolet Volt
Compact Crossover SUV – Mini Countryman
Compact Multi Purpose Vehicle – Kia Soul
Compact Premium Sporty Car – Mercedes SLK
Compact Sporty Car - Mini Coupe/Roadster
Entry Premium Car – BMW Série 3
Entry Premium Crossover SUV – Range Rover Evoque
Large Car - Dodge Charger
Large Crossover SUV - Ford Expedition
Large Pickup - Chevrolet Avalanche
Large Premium Car - Audi A8
Large Premium Crossover SUV - Infiniti QX56
Midsize Car - Kia Optima
Midsize Car - Volkswagen Passat
Midsize Crossover SUV - Ford Flex
Midsize Pickup - Nissan Frontier
Midsize Premium Car - Audi A6
Midsize Premium Crossover SUV - Porsche Cayenne
Midsize Sporty - Dodge Challenger
Midsize Van - Nissan Quest
Premium Sporty - Porsche 911