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Sunday, July 30, 2006

San José Grand Prix



'Went to catch the San José Grand Prix. As luck would have it, we showed up early and unknowingly wandered into the paid section before the perimeter fence was completely erected, thus saving ourselves the stiff entry fee. :-P


A map of the course.




Formula BMW Cars negotiating the hair pin turn.

Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level open wheel racing class. Held in North America, Germany, the UK and Asia, up-and-coming drivers, as young as 15 years old, are given the opportunity to enter motor racing in the high-tech FB02 race car.




These cars are very small and light (1023 lb / 465 kg), and are powered by a modified, ultra lightweight 156 lb (71 kg) BMW motorcycle engine that puts out 140 horsepower.




Close up. Each car costs about US$76,000. Top speed is 140 mph (224 km/h).




The race is held on the streets of downtown San Jose.




Now its time for the Champ Cars to get on the circuit.




Notice the Adobe building?




The Champ Cars are significantly larger, heavier, and much more powerful, with 750 horsepower, a 0 - 60 mph (0 - 96 km/h) of 2.2 seconds, and a top speed of 240 mph (384 km/h).




Exiting the hair pin turn. The cost of playing this game is a minimum of US$2 million each.




One of the cars failed to negotiate a turn and smacked into the tire barriers. Both sides of the front wishbone suspension structure snapped (look at the odd angle of the tires). The front wing also broke off. The cars weigh about 1565 lb (711 kg) each--plenty light for 750 horsepower.




I just had to take this: on the fair grounds nearby. The prices for food and drinks were total rip offs: $6 for a cup of lemonade, $8 for a beer, $6 for a hot dog.




BMW had the most impressive "tent."




Ford's publicity stunt: Ford SVT Mustangs, along with a Ford GT, driven by females round the track.




Close up of one of the cars.




A 605 horsepower Porsche Carrera GT on display.














Engine bay.




The rear suspension is really trick.




Historic Motor Sports Association cars getting their turn on the track.




Closer look.




One of the straightaways and the pit. There is a button on the steering wheel of each of the Champ Cars. Every car is equipped with one. Pressing it raises boost pressure for 60 seconds, giving an extra 50 horsepower. It only works once in each race. Thus, drivers can choose to utilize it aggressively, to overtake another driver, or defensively, to maintain his or her position.




Pit crew working.




Crew tuning the engine.

Check out the pictures of the RuSport Team.




Interesting sticker on the left.




A day at the races for father and son.

2 Comments:

Blogger codfish said...

This may not be entirely relevant - but did you know that Floyd Landis's bike mechanic works as an F1 mechanic in the off-season? As heard on the TdF commentary.

4:08 PM  
Blogger -ben said...

No, I did not know that. That's interesting. Thanks for that bit of trivia!
:-D

4:48 PM  

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