start your engines
Posted by Adeline Chong on September 24, 2013 11:41 AM
After the dust settled on the street circuit of the Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix Sunday, which saw Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel dominate from start to finish, diehard race fans joined other revelers in a packed standing-room only concert headlined by pop superstar Rihanna.
The F1's only night race has consistently earned rave reviews from fans, the drivers and teams alike. The New York Times calls it "a showcase like no other," while F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone labelled the Singapore Grand Prix the "crown jewel of the F1," right from the start in 2008.
Indeed, the sport spectacle that attracts over 260,000 visitors to the Marina Bay Street Circuit and nearly 90,000 race patrons continues to grow and leave a mark on the Asia-Pacific nation. But beneath the glitz and the glamour, the pop concerts and the corporate hospitality events is a growing outreach effort by race organizers to support the nation and communities directly affected by the race, which causes an outright shutdown of the city center, among other inconveniences. This year, the race organizers have increased their efforts, especially to schools.Continue reading...
start your engines
Posted by Dale Buss on August 12, 2013 12:41 PM
For Audi, success in racing provides a lot more than some vague performance halo for the brand. The company’s sustained commitment to global motorsports also has served as a highly productive proving ground for advanced technologies that end up in marketplace vehicles.
“If you race, but only race, all you’ve done is define a motorsports team,” Audi of America President Scott Keogh said at a big auto-industry conference. “But if your top priority is to transfer technology and integrate the lessons from racing, then you have defined an entire company. This is why Audi races and it captures our clear view on the value of motorsports.”
Whatever Audi is doing with motor sports for its brand, it's working: Keogh also said that Audi would beat its goal of 150,000 sales for 2013, on the strength of strong and growing demand for main vehicles such as its Q5 SUV, an expansion of its lineup of clean-diesel versions of primary models, and interest in its limited-volume "S" performance series.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 24, 2013 10:46 AM
Audi extended one of the longest, strongest dynasties in modern sports by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans race again over the weekend in France, the 12th victory in 13 tries by the brand in the iconic European road and endurance race since 2000.
The victory was marred, as was the overall occasion, by the death of Danish driver Allan Simonsen in his Aston Martin during opening laps of a Le Mans race that presented weather conditions that winning driver Allan McNish called "the worst I'd ever experienced."
The 90th anniversary edition of the race saw a trio of Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars battling mainly Toyota TS030 hybrids for leadership and ended with the checkered flag coming for the number "2" Audi car driven by McNish and two other European drivers who had started in the pole position.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2013 04:36 PM
NASCAR’s premier race, the Daytona 500, kicks off this weekend and the public’s interest has been piqued by the fact that Danica Patrick earned herself the pole position at the front of the race, becoming the first woman to ever do so.
That extra bit of interest couldn’t have come at a better time for NASCAR, which is unleashing a new marketing campaign this week to help it re-engage with its current fans and hopefully rope in a few more.
It will feature nine new commercials, radio and print ads and, of course, “digital engagement." The spots will feature more than two dozen of its drivers and be broadcast in both English and Spanish, according to a company release. Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 17, 2012 01:31 PM
The world loves Formula One racing — well, most of the world. The sport is said to be worth $3 billion annually around the globe, an amount that would grow if only America would learn to love extremely cool-looking cars zooming around at 200 mph. Now they will (once again) have a chance to go speed-dating with F1.
After a five-year hiatus, Formula One is giving the United States another try. The new $400 million Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas, will host a F1 race in November, and another race is planned in New Jersey next year, according to a profile of the sport in the new issue of Vanity Fair. (Red Bull sports marketer Jordan Miller clarified via Twitter that it's 2014 for F1 in NJ.)
“Here’s what the U.S. market has to understand,” said Red Bull driver Mark Webber to Vanity Fair. “F1 is a prototype sport. It’s about pushing the boundaries of technology. It’s luxury. It’s top gear, optimal lap time. The teams are so heavily invested technologically, the cost of shaving one-tenth of a second from a single lap time exceeds $100 million.”
However, as film director Ron Howard tells the magazine, things are a lot safer in the sport than they were back in the ‘70s: “F1 today is still a cool, intense, sexy environment,” he said. “But back in the 70s it was a lot more dangerous. Drivers would go to their first drivers’ meeting of the year, look around the room, and know that a couple of these guys wouldn’t live through the season.” Howard’s next film, Rush, is focused on the sport during that time period, and he's supporting the Circuit of the Americas track opening by attending kick-off festivities on Nov. 1st.Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on July 10, 2012 04:04 PM
Following on the viral success of Gymkhana Four, DC Shoes co-founder and professional rally driver Ken Block is back with "Gymkhana Five: Ultimate Urban Playground." Filmed over four days on the streets of San Francisco, it's the most jaw-dropping Gymkhana production yet. The Monster World Rally legend treats SF as his personal playground, with special appearances by rider Travis Pastrana (a DC brand ambassador) and Jake Phelps (of Thrasher magazine). The drifting scenes alone are a thing of beauty — no wonder it generated 4.5 million views within 24 hours of being uploaded on YouTube on Monday. Watch it below.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 18, 2012 06:05 PM
An Audi car again won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France over the weekend, an impressive 11th win for Audi in the last 13 runnings of the iconic competition — and the historic first victory of a hybrid vehicle at Le Mans. But should an Audi customer really care? They can't buy the R18 e-tron quattro model that won the race, anyway.
The answer is yes, the way Audi executives look at it. And, they say, many customers — even in the United States — actually do. Anecdotally, at least, Audi and its American dealers get plenty of feedback indicating that Audi buyers and luxury-car consumers pay attention even though the race took place across the Atlantic.
"The value" of Audi's dominance of Le Mans, including the weekend win, is "difficult to quantify," said Matt Carpenter, general manager of vehicle sales for Audi of America, to brandchannel. Even so, "the value is very high," he added.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 15, 2012 11:47 AM
While Audi and Toyota racers will be battling it out with one another in the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France on Saturday, the two companies — along with several other automotive marques — also will be waging an important battle of the brands.
Audi has managed to win 10 of the last 12 runnings of Le Mans, the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923. Now, the 24-hour race that is televised in some 60 countries and rivets millions of automotive and racing fans to their TVs is revving up for tomorrow's 24-hour event.Continue reading...