1997 Nissan R390 GT1 at Art Center Classic

The Art Center College of Design in the hills above the Rose Bowl in Pasadena hosts a car show of sorts known as the “Classic” each year.  The Art Center staff, lead by Stuart Reed – the head of the Transportation Design department – selects a them and invites cars that reflect the theme.  This is a unique show that has unique cars, a chance to mingle with alumni working as designers in the industry, and see the students and their work who will shape the future of transportation design.

Chassis001 will feature several of the cars and exhibits from the 2015 Classic, held on October 25.

Today’s feature?  The 1997 Nissan R390 GT1 that ran at LeMans courtesy of the Nissan Heritage Collection.  The project brought together iconic names like TWR (Tom Walkinshaw) and Ian Callum (of Aston Martin design fame).  The regulations required a road car base, so unlike others who build the race car and reverse-engineered a road car, Nissan build the road car first.  The car was not a success but is remembered fondly by sportscar racing enthusiasts. Of the three cars, only one was classified as a finisher (12th).    #21 was driven by Martin Brundle, Jorg Muller and Wayne Taylor.  It suffered a clutch problem and then an overheating gearbox oil cooler.  In the early morning hours, Jorg Muller damaged the underside of the car running over curbs which added to the car’s problems and forced a retirement.

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Looking for more photos and history?  Check out the Speedhunters three part series from John Brooks:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Mercedes GT3 racing news – will be at the IMSA November test

Excellent reporting from Marshall Pruett at Racer.com about the Mercedes GT3 program in the United States here.  They expect to have a factory car at the IMSA November test at Daytona, but are prioritizing customers who put in orders first.  They hope to show the car to prospective customers at the test.  At this point, prospects for an appearance at the Rolex 24 in January is uncertain.  Mercedes still needs to navigate IMSA’s “partner” program, but it sounds like production delays and a full order book are more likely to be the culprit if there is no Mercedes on the grid at Daytona.  Mercedes does expect to be on the grid at the Dubai 24 hours.  For those attending the Nurburgring 24 in May, you’re in for a treat with lots of new cars.
Canon 5D Mark III,  24mm, ISO200, 1/100 sec, f/4
May 16, 2015
Nurburgring 24 hours weekend, Mercedes AMG Display tent
GT3 prototype

IMSA Silly Season Updates from Sportscar365

Good estimates of IMSA field composition for 2016 from Sportscar365.  Some movement and interesting things, but was hoping to see more possibilities in the GTD ranks from GT3 cars from Bentley, Aston Martin and Mercedes.  Lamborghini seems to be the surprise of the off-season so far.  Fewer Audis than expected (so far at least).  Thanks to the Sportscar365 team.  Read more here:
Prototype Challenge
Cell phone photo
June 26, 2015
Watkins Glen International, IMSA 6 Hour race weekend
BMW M6 GTLM prototype

Philipp Eng wins both Porsche Supercup and Carrera Cup Deutschland Championships

More Austin Porsche Supercup coverage, this time from Tony DiZinno and Sportscar365.com.  Philipp Eng has had quite a year, completing the rare feat of winning both the Supercup Championship and the German Carrera Cup Championship. Read more at Sportscar Racing News.  Huge congrats to Philipp Eng and the Project 1 team.
Canon 5D Mark III, 55mm, 1/250 sec, f/8
May 14, 2015
Nurburgring 24h race, Carrera Cup Deutschland support race paddock
Philip Eng finished second in the race (before driving to the win in the Nurburgring 24h race in SP7 in a Black Falcon Porsche 911GT3).

Canon 5D Mark III, 240mm, 1/160 sec, f/9
May 16, 2015
Nurburgring 24h race, Carrera Cup Deutschland post-race paddock

Rennsport Reunion V Retrospective on Dailysportscar.com

Rennsport Reunion V Retrospective posted on Dailysportscar.com for your reading enjoyment.  What an event with an amazing selection of cars, drivers, and fans. You have to appreciate a paddock with multiple LeMans winners, museum cars and other priceless unobtanium and the only car behind ropes is the 911RSR made with legos. We are looking forward to the next one.
We expect to feature more photos from RRV here and also highlight some of the best coverage of the event from around the internet .