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Hyundai Motorsport Announces 2014 i20 WRC Driver
Hyundai Motorsport has today reiterated its bold approach to the World Rally Championship by confirming rising WRC star Thierry Neuville as its lead driver starting from the 2014 season.
25-year-old Neuville, who is playing a key role in this year’s championship, has signed a multi-year agreement with Hyundai Motorsport that represents a serious commitment by both parties to build towards long-term success in the competitive WRC series.
Neuville, along with his co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, will join Hyundai Motorsport behind the wheel of the new i20 WRC rally car in all 13 WRC events in 2014, beginning with the team’s debut at the Monte-Carlo Rally in January, signalling the start of the Belgian driver’s third consecutive WRC season.
Neuville’s experience will be invaluable to Hyundai Motorsport as the manufacturer begins its first fully-fledged championship WRC campaign with a team and car that have been developed from scratch, impressively in under a year. Neuville’s eye-catching performances this season have challenged the established competitors in WRC and have resulted in his reputation as one of the most exciting, young and dynamic drivers coming up through the WRC ranks.
The team has also been finessing its own operations at the tests, bonding as a team and establishing the test crew set-up for the rest of the year’s testing.
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Track-capable Camaro Z/28 Validated at Nürburgring
Chevrolet today revealed a video of the all-new, 2014 Camaro Z/28 lapping Germany’s challenging Nürburgring road course in 7:37.40, a time comparable with some of the world’s most prestigious sports cars.
The Z/28’s lap is four seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1, and beats published times for the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640. The Z/28’s lap was completed on less-than-ideal conditions, with damp pavement and pouring rain near the end of the run.
The heart of the Z/28 is the 7.0L LS7 engine. The LS7 uses lightweight, racing-proven, high-performance components, such as titanium intake valves and connecting rods, CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads and a forged-steel crankshaft to help produce an SAE-certified 505 horsepower (376 kW) and 481 lb-ft of torque (652 Nm). Air-conditioning is available, but only as an option.
A close-ratio six-speed manual transmission is the only transmission offered and power is distributed to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential featuring a helical gear set, rather than traditional clutch packs. The new design enables the driver to apply more power and get through corners faster, by making the most of the capability of individual-wheel antilock brake function during corner entry braking, mid-corner speed and corner-exit traction.
The team spent a week at the Nürburgring as part of the Z/28’s performance-validation regimen, accumulating a total of 10 hours and nearly 1,000 miles on the track. Each lap took less than eight minutes to complete, despite having to overtake slower traffic at times. These hours are part of the grueling 24-Hour Test, which simulates a full year’s worth of track use of track days or amateur-level competition at the hands of an owner.
The 24-Hour Test is broken into a number of segments over the course of several days – and even at different tracks – to evaluate performance in precisely measured and carefully monitored increments. Crucially, each valid test lap must be run within 2 percent of a target lap speed to count toward the 24-hour total.
The 24-Hour Test was first used in the early 1990s for the fourth-generation Corvette. Back then, the 300-horsepower Corvette was Chevrolet’s most powerful vehicle, and the 24-Hour Test measured 15 channels of data. Today, the 2014 Camaro LS offers a 323-horsepower V-6, while the Camaro Z/28’s racing-proven LS7 7.0L small-block V-8 delivers 505 horsepower, and the 24-Hour Test measures 130 channels of data.
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