2014 Grand Prix of Long Beach A Racing Fan’s Dream

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All the talk surrounding the 40th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend centered around the event’s prestigious history and stunning oceanfront backdrop. Those things are great, but the real draw that brought nearly 200,000 fans to the track is the cars. And this year, the Grand Prix brought out possibly the best lineup of racecars that Long Beach has ever seen.

Both on the racetrack and in the museum inside, the diversity and wow-factor of all the cars on display were enough to make any racing fan drop their jaw. Whether you prefer open-wheel Indy cars, low-slung prototypes, homologated sports cars or suped-up drift machines, the 2014 Grand Prix of Long Beach had something for everyone. Check out some of our favorites in the photo gallery above, and our tribute to them after the jump. more

2014 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Preview

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Being that it's right in our own backyard, we take a special interest in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach every year. This time around is no exception, as the longest running street race in North America celebrates its 40 th anniversary with another impressive schedule. So what should you be watching and why? Let’s dive right in.

First up is the main event, the running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in the IndyCar series. Behind only the Indy 500, this is the most prestigious win that drivers can notch on their belt. “I giggled a little on the way to the track here,” Team Penske driver Juan Pablo Montoya said during a media preview on Thursday. Motoya returns to Long Beach a former winner, with the 1999 race to claim. On Sunday, he’ll be one of a whopping seven former winners vying for another trophy. more

Motorsports Monday: Power Wins IndyCar Opener (VIDEO)

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IndyCar – St. Petersburg Grand Prix: Veteran ace Will Power is still in search of his first IndyCar championship, and his 2014 campaign got off to a great start on Sunday with a win at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Power honed his Chevrolet on pole-sitter Takuma Sato as the two pulled away, and went outside on Lap 31 into Turn 1 to get better position to grab the lead in Turn 2. He would hold on for the next 80 laps to take the win.

Ryan Hunter-Reay brought his Honda to second place less than 2 seconds back, followed by Helio Castroneves in third. Sato finished seventh and Juan Pablo Montoya took 15th in his return to the series. A restart on Lap 87 allowed the rest of the field to catch up, but Power took his time finding the accelerator. His delay shook off the timing of Huntr-Reay and Castroneves, and rookie Jack Hawksworth ran into the back of Marco Andretti near the back, knocking them both out. Just another day in IndyCar. The series return April 13 in Long Beach. more

Toyota TS040 Hybrid Debuts For Le Mans Showdown

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The Toyota Racing TS040 Hybrid, the company’s newest endurance racing prototype, will put out 1,000 total system horsepower through its advanced hybrid system. The TS040 Hybrid will compete in the 2014 World Endurance Championship, including the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans.

At the heart of the TS040 sits a 3.7 liter V8 engine with over 500 horsepower. Electric hybrid systems feed additional power to all four wheels, bringing total system output to around 1,000 horsepower. more

2014 BMW M235i Racing Hits The Track
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The latest production-based racer has been released from its Bavarian stable, as the 2014 BMW M235i Racing saw its first taste of track action this week. BMW delivered fifteen of the cars to customer racing teams and set them loose on the Nurburgring. Predictably, the results were awesome.

At just over $82,000 per car, the BMW M235i Racing is based off the production M235i coupe with upgrades to the engine and body. Power from the 3.0L inline six-cylinder engine is boosted to 333 horsepower, and the car is fitted an FIA safety cell and racing fuel tank to handle the rigors of motorsport. One part road car, one part racing car. Two parts fast as hell. more

Red Bull RB10 F1 Car Races F/A-18 Hornet (VIDEO)
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The Red Bull Racing RB10 was put into quite possibly its hardest race yet, racing an F/A-18 Hornet from the Royal Australian Air Force. Driving the RB10 was Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing's newest driver, who replaced fellow countryman Mark Webber.

Unlike Formula One cars from this season, which use turbocharged V6 power units, Ricciardo drove a Red Bull demonstration car, which uses the now-retired 2.4 liter V8. The Red Bull's V8 gave it the lead off the line, but as soon as the fighter jet was airborne, its jet engines thrust it well beyond the speeds of a Formula One car. more

Motorsports Monday: Aussie GP and Sebring 12 Hours (VIDEO)
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Formula One – Australian Grand Prix: A brand new 2014 Formula One season with tons of unknowns didn't become any more clear over the weekend, as the Australian Grand Prix produced wild racing with an unpredictable podium in more ways than one. Nico Rosberg of Mercedes jumped from second into first place on the opening corner and would hold on for 57 laps to win, capturing the fastest lap at 1:32.478 as well. His teammate Lewis Hamilton had a poor jump from pole, and soonafter retired with engine trouble, as did three-time defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel of Infiniti Red Bull.

That left the door open for new faces, and as Rosberg zoomed into the distance he left Vettel teammate Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen to battle it out. Ricciardo outlasted the newbie and took second, but the FIA later disqualified his car due to a fuel flow issue expertly explained by Racecar Engineering here. The DQ sent Magnussen into second, teammate Jenson Button into third and Red Bull into a season opening o-fer. Whoda thunk? Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen took a disappointing fourth and seventh, while Valtteri Bottas put Williams in fifth and Nico Hulkenberg of Force India finished sixth. Expect more fireworks at Malaysia in two weeks. more

12 Hours of Sebring 2014 Race Preview
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The 2014 Twelve Hours of Sebring will soon be underway, marking the first time the event has been run under the new TUDOR United Sports Car Racing Championship. Marketed as a 12-hour sprint race, Sebring has a history of attrition and wheel to wheel racing.

This year will be the first Twelve Hours of Sebring under the new USCR banner, which joined the two top sports car racing series in the country into a single super series. This year, more than 60 cars will compete in four different classes to reach the checkered flag. more

Motorsports Monday: Ogier Puts Volkswagen On Top In Mexico (VIDEO)
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WRC – Rally Mexico: It feels like déjà vu all over again at Rally Mexico, as French driver Sebastien Ogier captured his second consecutive win at the event, by a gap of 1 minute and 12.6 seconds to place Ogier back on top of the WRC standings and in prime position to repeat his 2013 championship. After three races this season, Ogier now leads his Volkswagen teammate Jari-Matti Latvala – who finished second in Mexico – by three points. Thierry Neuville of Hyundai recovered from two dismal showings earlier in the year to finish third. Check out the insane, cow-dodging sideways dirt action in this awesome video filmed with a quadcopter. more

Motorsports Monday: Earnhardt Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Win
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NASCAR Sprint Cup – Daytona 500: One of the most prestigious events in racing belongs to a familiar name today, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 for the second time in his career with a strong performance from start to finish. Earnhardt Jr. led 54 of the 200 laps in his Chevrolet SS, charging in front of the field for the final two laps as chaos erupted behind him.

Several big wrecks marked the day, including incidents that involved pole-sitter Austin Dillon and knocked out Danica Patrick, Michael Waltrip, Aric Almirola and others. Dillon eventually finished eighth and an all-star cast chased Earnhardt Jr. to the finish line with Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top five. more

Motorsports Monday: Insane Finish At Bathurst 12 Hours
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In one of the most nail-biting finishes you’ll ever see in sportscar racing, hometown hero Craig Lowndes brought his Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 to victory on the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour that simply defines the word “grueling.”

A massive field of more than 40 cars entered the event this year, and were greeted by intense Australian heat and perhaps the most unforgiving road course in the world. Bathurst is comprised of diving banks, incredible speeds and blind elevation changes. It usually makes for unbelievable racing conditions, and this weekend, Bathurst didn't disappoint. The final margin of victory after twelve hours of racing? Four-tenths of a second. more

Motorsports Monday: Who Won F1 Testing In Jerez?
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Has there been a more important first week of testing in Formula One history? The practice sessions undergone in Jerez carried extreme weight this year, as new regulations have led every team into making drastic changes with no guarantee that any of them will actually work.

Last year, Red Bull ran away with the season with Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus their only real contenders – and they weren’t remotely close. Now, the slate is wiped clean and every minor advantage and misstep could resonate throughout the entire 2014 season. Jerez was their first chance to put their work to the test, and some soared while others flailed. Here’s how it played out. more

Five Tumblrs We Like This Week: Beetle Racing and American Muscle
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People who say that young people aren’t into cars are just plain wrong, and the micro-blogging site Tumblr is proof – here are five auto-themed Tumblr pages we really like this week. more

Lewis Hamilton Crashes On First Day Of Jerez Testing
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The most revolutionary season in Formula One in a long time is officially underway, as the teams have unveiled their wild new designs and initial testing began at Jerez in Spain. Mercedes and their top ace, Lewis Hamilton, are poised to make a run at some serious hardware this year, but they had a difficult start.

Hamilton lost control of his new Mercedes W05 at very high speed during a test lap, skidding across the run-off area and slamming into the crash barrier. Initial reports are that the front wing failed, leaving Hamilton completely out of control. He stepped away from the crash uninjured, but not before it was captured on video from multiple angles. more