As impressive of a race as Le Mans is today, some would argue that it’s lost a bit of its je ne sais quoi head on over to Classic Driver in these modern times. With more safety regulations that prevent things like running starts (more commonly known as a “Le Mans Start” for good reason) and just all around safer, more homogenized cars running the race these days, it’s no wonder that fans come out in droves for the Le Mans Classic, held just a couple weeks after the big 24-Hour race. With all sorts of gorgeous vintage race cars like Ford GT40s, Porsche 917s and 935s, and slightly more modern race cars from the 90’s and early 2000’s, there were a lot of amazing cars to watch circling the historic race track. For more photos and information of this year’s Le Mans Classic, check out Classic Driver’s coverage of the race.
You might as well give your jaw a rest because you’ll be slackjawed when you watch this video of Ken Block hooning the everliving daylights out of his 7-year old Ford Fiesta rallycross machine. With 650 hp from just a 2.0-liter 4-banger, this car was built to send it. And send it, he does. There are so many cool details about this car that are discussed in the first half of the video during the build breakdown, while the second half is non-stop shred-fest as Ken slips, slides, and shuffles this thing around the tiny parking lot of the Hoonigan Donut Garage on a seemingly endless quest to destroy all tires.
Back in the 1960s as well as in more recent years, Zagato has designed and built some truly gorgeous limited production and one-off Aston Martins. However, that wasn’t always the case, as proven by this 1986 V8 Vantage that was gussied up but the designers at Zagato. Featuring a distinct motorsports vibe, the V8 Vantage by Zagato had just a 50-car production run with this being the one example that Aston Martin collected back from Zagato and fitted with all the necessities required for its owner, actor and comedian Rowen Atkinson, to campaign it in a number of races across Britain for 3 years with factory support from Aston Martin Works themselves. With 50 hp more than the standard Zagato road cars that only came with 430 hp and electronic fuel injection, this thing is a screamer of a car. To learn more, head on over to Petrolicious.
If you missed watching it live on the History channel this past Sunday night, motorcycle stunt riding legend Travis Pastrana honored Evel Knievel with a series of epic jumps in Las Vegas. First, he jumped clear over 52 cars for a total of 143 ft in the air. Next, he cleared a whopping 192 ft over 16 city buses and finished off the night with a casual 149 ft jump over the fountain at Caesar’s Palace. No big deal… If you look at the list of things Travis Pastrana has accomplished in the past few years from a stunt and trick standpoint, these jumps were pretty simple for him – there wasn’t even a single backflip in sight and it’s not like the pool in front of Caesar’s Palace was filled with rabid crocodiles or anything – but all the same, this was a really cool tribute to another motorcycling legend and it sure makes for good TV. To see more of the jumps, go read this great and informative article on Jalopnik.
Last week, we talked about the Pikes Peak Hillclimb and how both Bentley and VW set new records up the hill. At the time, we only had the cool video from Bentley showing Rhys Millen’s flat-out run up the hill, but the one everyone was really excited to see was the new overall record, where the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak prototype broke the 8-minute barrier for the first time. Now we have the video and as you can imagine, it’s pretty unbelievable just how quickly this car scaled the 12.42-mile course’s 156 turns, but hey, that’s why it’s a new record!