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Cars & Motorcycles
Road & Track

Road & Track November 2015

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

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in this issue

4 min.
road cars go racing: fia gt3

FIA GT3: It’s the brilliantly simple formula that transforms fearsome sports cars into even fiercer racing machines. GT3 cars are, first and foremost, real cars—no Camrys with pushrod v-8s here. Modifications generally involve deleting weighty niceties and adding safety cages, cartoonish fenders, carbon-fiber bodywork, slicks, and rear wings the size of surfboards. GT3 also allows for an amazing degree of diversity. Air restrictors and ballast keep output to about 500 hp and dry weight to around 2800 pounds, but the rules don’t dictate engine displacement or layout. That makes it relatively easy to build a GT3 car, as more than a dozen manufacturers have. They’re raced at Bathurst in Australia, Daytona, the Nürburgring, and in series like IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the SCCA’s Pirelli World Challenge. It’s Gran Turismo…

5 min.

Dear R&T, In 1961, I was driving my Porsche Speedster on the Illinois Tollway. A flash of headlights turned my attention to a rapidly overtaking Ferrari 250 GT. It was Denise McCluggage on her way to Meadowdale for a race. She waved as she went by, and over the wind noise, I heard the sound of music from her car radio playing. Her lips were moving as she sang along. Denise won that race, besting Dick Lang in a Corvette. I remember that her radio was still playing during the race, but her lips were no longer moving. STEVE CARMICK, CHEHALIS, WASHINGTON Thank you, Sam Smith, for your insightful eulogy for Denise McCluggage [Smithology, August], one of my heroes from her racing days at Nassau to her articles in Autoweek. And thanks…

3 min.
editor’s letter

JAGUAR DESIGN CHIEF IAN CALLUM AND I were standing side by side at an auto-show display, staring at a concept car. I can’t remember the car, but it was gorgeous, so low and squat, it was practically kissing the turntable, with an abbreviated greenhouse and simple lines but provocative proportions. Being an annoyingly analytical guy, I asked Callum—creative genius and, incidentally, hot-rod fanatic—why, exactly, the machine rotating under the lights in front of us looked so good. He glanced at me quizzically and said, “Every car looks better once it’s been lowered and chopped.” Graciously, he didn’t finish his statement with “Duh.” I certainly won’t argue with Callum’s logic, but I would add that every car also looks better with fenders swollen to accommodate wide tires, wings, spoilers, and racing numbers…

5 min.
take-up point

THE MEMORY HIT AT THE END of the driveway. I was in my wife’s Honda, a 2005 CR-V with 150,000 miles on the clock. And the optional fivespeed manual. The car hails from an impossible time—it seems odd that this was only 10 years ago—when popular SUVs could be had with clutch pedals. A great thing, even in a warmed-over Jeeplet Anyway: Our house is on a steep incline. The car was parked downhill, maybe a foot from the garage door. I put it in reverse, blipped the throttle, and backed into the street. Nothing special, just muscle memory, from years of driving. My friend Jack Baruth loves this stuff. He’s mildly obsessed with the mind’s approach to subconscious work—the things you do but don’t know how you do. Talking while formulating…

3 min.
the show goes on

THE CIVIL WARS THAT DIVIDED open-wheel racing (and sports-car racing, and every other non-NASCAR form of the sport in the past 30 years) left once-proud motorsport empires like IndyCar and IMSA in virtual ruins, and we were left to wade through the wreckage. Many fans, weary of watching the latest collection of idiots find new and inventive ways to suck the spirit from a sport built on passion and curiosity, wrote off motor racing entirely. There were plenty of times when even I wanted to walk away. But now, the ego battles that escalated into those wars are long over, and if you’re looking for something a bit more exciting than the usual herds of Dales and Danicas circling Daytona, the sport of motors has plenty to offer. For one thing,…

14 min.
spoils of stuttgart

I WAS LOOKING DOWN THE NOSE OF THE Mercedes,” Jim said, “and I expected to rotate at top speed and take off.” We’re at Carolina Motorsports Park, and Jim, a retired Marine aviator, is explaining to my father, another former Marine who served in Vietnam as a forward artillery observer, what it was like to head toward the kink on the track’s back straight at full throttle. “Instead, Jack went flaps up, so to speak, and rolled into an air-combat maneuver. It was like a spontaneous barrel roll.” He’s sweating as he tells the tale; it’s 98 degrees outside and the track temperature has to be way higher. Yet the Mercedes-AMG GT S could still pack enough heat-soaked air into its twin turbochargers to reach 132 mph before dipping down to…