As promised: more Ferrari in-car porn from VIR

Yesterday we posted Bennett Racing’s race report from the Grand Am race this past weekend. Today, as promised, we have the first few laps of the race from on board with Mike Skeen.

While the weight penalty is apparent in top end, Mike has no problem reeling in the Dempsey Racing RX-8 and staying with it in the tighter bits of Virginia International.
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Bennett Racing reaches their goal at first Grand-Am race

Last year we sort of hooked up with racer Mike Skeen who was more than happy to provide our readers (viewers?) with a healthy dose of wicked in car footage from his Muscle Milk Trans Am car. While the cars may not be overly relevant these days, there is no denying these monsters are cool!

For 2010, Mike has joined forces with Bennett Racing and is co-driving the team’s Ferrari F430 in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. How’s that for a series name! This past weekend the team was entered in the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway, which was the first time the entire team was together in one place. A new team in a new car in a series with an established field of competitors. Bennett Racing’s goals were wisely conservative. Learn everything they could about themselves, their team and their car. It seems that they achieved their goals.

I’ve seen the first few laps of in car footage, and while the car is clearly lacking in top end, Skeen is more than capable of running faster than the Dempsey racing RX-8 in the twisty bits. Once the video returns from editing, we’ll be sharing it.

Rather than re-write it, I’ve included the complete Bennett Racing press release and several photos from Get Fast Photo after the break.
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More in car from Bennett Racing Ferrari F430

This second video from Bennett Racing’s test session at VIR this past weekend includes some fabulous in car footage from all different angles. The coolest of all has to be the helmet cam which gives a true driver’s viewpoint.

It also comes with the news that Mike Skeen and Skip Bennett will be starting their 2010 season by entering the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway in the Grand American Road Racing Rolex GT Series. After that, Skeen will spend most of the season pursuing his Trans Am effort while the Bennett Racing team preps for the 2011 Daytona 24.

Video and press release after the break
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In car with Bennett Racing at VIR in Ferrari F430

Over the past summer we were happy to share some great in car footage supplied by Mike Skeen as he campaigned in the Trans Am series. This morning I woke up to a couple of great new videos from Mike, this time from a different car. A Ferrari F430! This new ride is owned by Skip Bennett and is the chariot of choice for 5 NASA Spec E30 racers who are planning to enter the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

During this first video, watch for the second segment when the car really starts to fly through the long esses at VIR. These videos are shot in full HD and have incredible sound, so if you have a nice LCD monitor be sure to view full screen with the sound nice and loud! Don’t worry, the guy in the next cubicle won’t mind!
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Comstock and the Shelby connection

As our regular readers know, there was a bit of a kaffuffle (is that a word?) raised when the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame announced that Carroll Shelby would be inducted into a new International category. Out of that induction has come some great conversations about the history of Shelby American and their involvement with the Canadian Comstock team. While any secrecy of deals should be long gone, the mists of time are making some of the details a bit cloudy.

The great photo above, shot by Hans Gulde and provided by Colin King shows the two Comstock Cobras exiting Mosport’s Moss Corner in a rather interesting sandwich during the 1963 Players Grand Prix.

The details of the Comstock cars and Shelby seem to be coming together thanks to 3 members of the CMSHG group on Yahoo.
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Fiat influence brightens Chrysler booth

What can a manufacturer that doesn’t have any new product do for a big show? Simple, throw stickers on some old models and bring on the girls. For good measure, toss in a few Italian cars and there is a party waiting to happen!

Gallery of girls after the break.
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The Super Cuda tops 200 and the Enzo tops it

cuda enzo

Regular readers will recognize the name Legendary Motorcar from our series on the Essex Wire Cobra. The really sharp ones among you already know that Legendary is the home of Dream Car Garage on Speed TV. These guys are serious about cars.

While Legendary got their start restoring Shelby’s close to 30 years ago, their reputation for quality, hands on work has led to all sorts of interesting projects. One of the more recent builds was the Super Cuda. How super was this Cuda? Well, just about 6 weeks ago, work began on stripping down the rusty shell of a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. The goal was to give it a full restoration, shoehorn in a twin turbo Viper V-10 and break the 200 mph barrier before filming began on the last episode of DCG.

Not only was there the small task of actually building the car, but they also had to find a suitable venue on pretty short notice. Fortunately as we know, there are some rather influential gearheads at Chrysler these days and they offered up the high bank test track at Chrysler’s Chelsea proving grounds.

On December 1st, Peter Klutt and the rest of the Legendary crew were joined at Chelsea with Mike Louli, hubby of our friend Nika at Racerchicks. Mike, an experienced Ferrari Challenge driver, brought along his Ferrari Enzo as a rabbit to see if Klutt could peddle the Mopar muscle as fast as he hoped.

Did I mention the Super Cuda puts out more than 1,000 horsepower?

It is also about as aerodynamic as a brick.

You’ll have to watch the video after the break to see how the whole deal panned out, but one quote from Klutt is too good to pass on:
“above 200 the Cuda’ was running out of aero and I was running out of cohones”
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Schumacher’s pain in the neck cancels F1 return.

Today, Michael Schumacher has cancelled his much anticipated return to the F1 circus.  Schumacher experienced neck pain following his first test in the 2008 car.

On his website Schumacher told of his Monday evening discussions with Ferrari executives and his regret of not being able to fill-in for Felipe Massa.

“Yesterday evening, I had to inform Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Team Principal Stefano Domenicali that unfortunately I’m not able to step in for Felipe. I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn’t work out. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1-day in Mugello, even if medically or therapeutically we tried everything possible.”

It was a motorcycle accident in February that has led to the problems with his neck.

Micheal Schumacher’s  agent Willi Weber revealed the gravity of motorcycle accident that put an end to Schumi’s plans for an F1 comeback.

“It was the most serious accident in Michael’s motorsport career.” Weber told German Press Agency today.

The seven-time world champion was set to make his return on August 23 at the European Grand Prix in Valencia Spain.

Schumacher’s most serious accident in F1 occurred at Silverstone in 1999 when he suffered a broken leg  after his Ferrari ended up in the tire barriers. The resulting fractures to the head and neck following his motorcycle spill have led to his neck muscles being to weak to withstand the forces of driving a Formula 1 car at competitive speeds.

Via Official Michael Schumacher site

Schumacher to fill in for Massa… BMW to withdraw from F1

Micheal Schumacher will make a return to Formula 1 to replace Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.

The seven-time world champion, who retired following the 2006 season has agreed to drive in the European Grand Prix in Valencia Spain. Massa suffered a fractured skull during qualifying at the Hungarian GP.

Massa was released from intensive care today. He is responsive and speaking to his family. It will be some time before his Formula 1 future will be decided.

Schumacher has kept himself quite fit since his retirement and has taken up motorcycle racing. The ban on in-season testing means that Schumacher will not be able to drive the car until practice begins on August 21.

Scuderia fans have been buzzing about this for days. Many are excited at the thought of one of the greatest drivers in history competing against the current young guns in F1. The thought of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastien Vettel, and Jenson Button lining up on the grid with Schumacher is one positive piece of news on a day when another team will be folding at the end of the season.

BMW has announced today that they are withdrawing from Formula 1 at the conclusion of the 2009 season. The economic downturn has hurt sales and the company wishes to focus its resources on greener cars. BMW will not even continue in the capacity of engine supplier. They are the second automobile manufacturer to withdraw from F1 in the last 12 months. Honda shut down their team near the end of 2008. There are now only 4 engine manufacturers left in F1, Ferrari, Renault, Toyota and Mercedes Benz. Some are suggesting that BMW may not be the last to fold. Sources say that both Toyota and Renault are weighing their options.