Ayrton Senna 1st Test Honda NSX - R Suzuka - Carjam Radio
Carjam Car Radio Show -- A Car Show About People
Ayrton Senna da Silva born March 21, 1960 -- May 1, 1994) was a Brazilian
racing driver. A three-time Formula One world champion, he is widely
regarded as one of the greatest drivers of all time. He was killed in a
crash while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix and is to date the last
driver to die at the wheel of a Formula One car.
Senna began his motorsport career in karting, moving up to open-wheel
racing in 1981 and winning the British Formula 3 championship in 1983. He
made his Formula One debut with Toleman-Hart in 1984 before moving to
Lotus-Renault the following year and winning six Grands Prix over the next
three seasons. In 1988, he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda.
Between them, they won all but one of the sixteen Grands Prix that year and
Senna his first World Championship. Prost claimed the championship in 1989
and Senna his second and third championships in 1990 and 1991. In 1992, the
Williams-Renault combination began to dominate Formula One. Senna
nonetheless managed to finish the 1993 season as runner-up, winning five
races and negotiating a move to Williams in 1994.
Senna is regarded as one of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula
One. In 2009, a poll of 217 current and former Formula One drivers
conducted by the British magazine Autosport named Senna as the greatest
Formula One driver. He was recognised for his qualifying speed over
one lap and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions.
He was especially quick in wet conditions, as shown by his performances in
the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the 1993
European Grand Prix. He also holds the record for most victories at the
prestigious Monaco Grand Prix -- six (leading to his nickname of "Mr.
Monaco") -- and is the third most successful driver of all time in terms of
Senna courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his
turbulent rivalry with Alain Prost and the then French-led, FIA. Both the
1989 Championship won by Prost and the 1990 Championship won by Senna were
decided by collisions between them at those years' Japanese Grands Prix.
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Honda Tests NSX-GT FR Hybrid
What a surprise... Nobody, and even none of the auto media could see this
coming. At a regular "Super GT Test Day" held at TwinRing Motegi on
October 2010, Honda NSX-GT suddenly showed up with no official
announcement. Honda already has HSV for Super GT. Why now NSX-GT?
The vehicle has the looking of NSX-GT, but what lies under the body kit is
a "FR" vehicle. The exact same car was previously spotted just once on
2007 when it was announced that Super GT regulation would change from 2009
and only "3.4L FR" race cars will be allowed. NSX-GT being a "3.5L
mid-ship", it was apparent that the new regulation was designed to shut out
NSX-GT from Super GT. Honda needed to make a tough decision at that time
whether to make a FR version of NSX-GT, or stop racing. The car spotted on
2007 was a result of Honda's ultimate struggle - its hood awkwardly
stretched to store engine in front, sticking Exhaust pipes from the side instead of rear, and
roof-top air intake became useless and had scaled down.
Eventually, Honda managed to survive in racing in Super GT by developing a
new 3.4L FR vehicle, HSV-010 GT on 2010. And what had happened to that "FR
NSX-GT"? There was no doubt of it being scrapped and gone forever, after
all it became a useless prototype race car. The set-up probably did not go
well, and above all, who would like to see a FR NSX?
[NSX-GT with KERS]
But it turned out that "FR NSX-GT" was still alive, secretly stored inside
the garage of Honda R&D team for 3 years. This time, it was chosen for the
vehicle to officially test KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) which
might be used for 2012 Super GT or later. To reduce development cost of
KERS, Honda volunteered to provide the car and gather data for all race
entrants, and Lexus and Nissan approved it. "FR NSX-GT" was an ideal test
car for all 3 car makers. The car was basically designed to race in Super
GT, but Honda did not develop it till the end and had never used in races,
thus lack of racing data. This was fair deal for Lexus and Nissan because
Honda testing KERS will not bring advantage to HSV.
So many people and media asked the GT Association (management organization
of Super GT) the specification of this "NSX-GT Hybrid", and later an
official announcement was made.
KERS provided for testing purpose for Super GT vehicle is manufactured by
Zytek, the same KERS supplier for F1. It can be used to Boost the car for maximum of 20 seconds to
overtake others, and can be fully recharged after 1 single lap. It is 40kw
strong and is powerful enough to drive cars solely on electric motor on
places such as pit lanes. The KERS itself weigh 50kg.
According to GT Association, the very first test drive of NSX-GT Hybrid was
done a month ago, and this was the first time to seriously test its
potential on race tracks. Test driver of "NSX-GT Hybrid" was Katsutomo
Kaneishi who was a Honda test driver in days of NSX-GT, and currently a
director of Real Racing Team with KEIHIN HSV-010. His best lap of the day
was 1.49"468 at TwinRing Motegi, only 4.453 seconds slower than the fastest
lap of the day by Lexus ENEOS SC430.
There should be tons of more tests coming, but so far it seems possible
KERS might be used at Super GT in the near future.