No. 1005
July 17, 2019

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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FUMES #468

October 22, 2008


The Future of Racing, 2025.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Readers of this column know I've spent a lot of time and energy on "The Future of Racing," and my efforts continue in that arena. The idea of proving advanced technology through racing is as old as the automobile itself, and I've been dismayed at the lack of vision displayed by most of the racing organizations competing today. Fortunately, at least some are coming around to the power of the idea - the ALMS for one - and I am optimistic that progress will be made. Our own Electric Racing Federation is actively engaged with manufacturers as you read this, with the goal of creating a new racing series that will test advanced propulsion technology.

I'm happy to see that nine of Southern California's automotive design studios peered 17 years into the future, predicting how auto racing will change by the year 2025. The designs are part of the fifth annual Los Angeles Auto Show's Design Challenge, where studios including Audi, BMW, GM, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen compete against each other to showcase their talents and further explore new ideas in automotive design.

"Automotive designers have always been fascinated with Motor Sports and this year's Design Challenge has provided them with the opportunity to use their creative talent to look at these cars with new eyes, using innovative technologies and approaches," said Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy, Inc.. "This adds to the excitement, interest and personal involvement in the sport that has thrilled people of all ages for many years...and many more years to come."

Entries in this year's Motor Sports 2025 Design Challenge include:

  • Audi of America Design Center California: The Audi R25 incorporates innovative features such as high-velocity banks and tunnels, which allow cars to race "inverted" and the opportunity to pass anywhere with aerodynamic racecars.
  • BMW Group DesignworksUSA: The BMW Hydrogen Powered Salt Flat Racer reuses existing, ordinary and mundane materials such as old oil barrels and BBQ lids to whimsical and sustainable by employing goldfish as "co-pilots" to ensure that the vehicle is running clean emissions.
  • General Motors Advanced Design: The GM Chaparral Volt (see images below) collects and generates its own energy from three different clean, renewable and abundant California resources: Earth, Wind and Fire to create an entirely new category of racing - the eco-triathlon.
  • Honda Research and Development, North America: The GreatRace 2025's sonar/echolocation sensors are able to detect changes in speed, terrain, and altitude, allowing it to switch to any configuration to circumnavigate the globe in 24 hours on land through the U.S., by sea through Asia and by air over Europe.
  • Mazda R&D of North America: The Mazda KAAN is an electric race car that has a patented electronic tire system to reach 250 mph with no harmful emissions. The vehicles are piloted by individual drivers but teams are made up of thirty cars, all on the track together.
  • Mitsubishi Research & Design of North America: The MMR25's multi-terrain, omnidirectional wheels consist of eight independently-controlled motors, allowing for "8 x 4" wheel drive so that the car can be driven forward while pointing in any direction.
  • Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America: Luxury racing arrives in the Formula Zero Racer by incorporating the thrill of Formula One, the track dynamics of the bobsled or luge, and the grace and efficiency of yacht racing.
  • Toyota's Calty Design Research: The Toyota Le Mans Racer is the ultimate race car that never needs to stop. Powered by highly efficient hydrogen fuel cell electric motors, each of its body panels is embedded with photovoltaic panels to supply electricity when extra energy is needed.
  • Volkswagen of America Design Center: In the BioRunner the rider is positioned inside a protective cage on a motorcycle-like saddle with controls attached to the hands and feet. These controls manipulate all wheels via synthetic muscle-based suspension which offers unparalleled control and traction.

Entries will be judged by Tom Matano of San Francisco's Academy of Art University (you can see them all by going ), Imre Molner of Detroit's College for Creative Studies and Stewart Reed of Pasadena's Art Center College of Design. Daniel Simon, an established car designer and founder of Cosmic Motors, is the special guest judge this year. Simon began his design career at Volkswagen and recently published his first book: Cosmic Motors-Spaceships, Cars and Pilots of Another Galaxy.

The winning design will be announced at the Design Los Angeles conference Nov. 20 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

We took particular interest in the entry from General Motors Advanced Design, in California, because designers Frank Saucedo, Steve Anderson, Thamer Hannona, Jussi Timonen, Loren Kulesus, Alessandro Zezza, Sean Moghadam, Tony Liu and Phil Tanioka paid homage to the legendary Chaparral racers from Jim Hall, one of the most innovative minds in automotive history. Jim Hall gave permission to the design group to use the "Chaparral" name and the Chaparral logo on their 2025 racer, and you can see the result of their efforts below.

The Chaparral Volt uses advanced EREV propulsion, energy collection, generation and management systems to create an entirely new category of racing - the eco-triathlon. The Chaparral Volt collects and generates its own energy from three different clean, renewable and abundant California resources: Earth, Wind and Fire.

Earth (Geologic) Gravity and momentum-capture regeneration and aero-thermal resistance provide astounding levels of braking efficiency in addition to active energy regeneration.

Wind (Aero-Thermal) Building on the legendary Chaparral 2J, the Volt utilizes rear turbine extractors for power cell cooling, down force and (in reversed direction) a combination of aero-assist braking and energy regeneration.

Fire (Radiant Sunlight) Integrated thin-film PV panels for the racer's body and team support unit takes advantage of Southern California's most abundant resource, the sun, and converts it for use as the Chaparral Volt's primary energy source.

(All photos courtesy of GM)


Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Ford Racing Archives)
Indianapolis, Indiana, 1981. Jim Hall at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice for the Indy 500. Hall is a visionary innovator in the world of racing on par with any of the greats of motorsport history. Hall pioneered futuristic aerodynamic principles and advanced composite construction techniques - along with a cadre of gifted engineers at Chevrolet - in his avant garde Chaparral racers and introduced technologies to the world of racing that are still being used today. Hall was a superb driving talent in his own right - people often forget that about him - but he also employed some of the most talented drivers of the era to drive his cars, people like Phil Hill, Roger Penske, Jackie Stewart and Johnny Rutherford, just to name a few. 

From the Chaparral official web site:

The first Chaparral, a conventional front engined racer, was built by Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes in 1961. In 1962 Jim Hall and Hap Sharp formed Chaparral Cars, Inc. and immediately began the design and construction of Chaparral 2, a mid-engined car with an aerospace inspired semi-monocoque fiberglass chassis. Driving the Chaparral 2, Hall won the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) in 1964. With 25 starts in 15 events Chaparral 2 had scored seven overall wins, six seconds, and two thirds. In 1965 the Chaparral 2 dominated United States road racing with 16 wins in 21 races, and its greatest win to date, the Sebring 12 hour race against top international competition.

In 1966 Chaparral introduced the 2E for the Can-Am series. With its high-mounted wing it was the car that changed racing forever. It scored a one-two finish at Laguna Seca with Phil Hill and Jim Hall driving. 1966 also saw the Chaparral 2D compete in World Championship Endurance competition, winning the Nurburgring 1,000 kilometers with drivers Phil Hill and Jo Bonnier.

In 1967 Chaparral introduced the 2F, a high winged coupe for World Championship Endurance Racing. It set the fastest lap in five of its eight races and won its final race in the BOAC 1000 at Brands Hatch.

In 1970 Chaparral introduced its most controversial car, the Chaparral 2J. This car had a separate engine to drive two fans that exhausted air from beneath the car to create suction down force. The car was quickly banned after sitting on the pole in three of its four starts.

In 1978 Chaparral won Indy with a Chaparral Cars-prepared Lola driven by Al Unser. For 1979 Hall decided to build his own Indy car, the famous Chaparral 2K. Al Unser lead the race from the outside pole until 2K's transmission failed. In 1980 Johnny Rutherford won both the Indianapolis 500 and the USAC and Cart National Championships in the Chaparral 2K.

Chaparral 2, 2D, 2E, 2F 2H, 2J, and 2K, are now on permanent display in the Chaparral Gallery of the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas.

In 2005, in partnership with his old Chevrolet R&D friend, Jim Musser, Hall started a new venture building the 2E Continuation Series - a real Chaparral that is available for purchase to run in vintage racing events.