Audi and Team WRT Are Ending Their 13-Year Partnership After 13 Years

Team WRT Audi R8 GT3

After enjoying tremendous success together, Team WRT and Audi are moving on to other ventures.

Audi and Team WRT have enjoyed a prosperous 13-year relationship, racking up victories at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, the Bathurst 12 Hour, and the GT World Cup in Macau, along with a grand total of 30 titles in the GTWCE and its predecessors. However, that long-standing relationship is now set to come to an end following the current season, as the two entities have announced that they are ending their decade-plus partnership.

“It is a very special and emotional moment for all of us at Team WRT and me personally, as we announce that a significant chapter in the history of our organization will soon come to an end and a new one will open,” said team principal Vincent Vosse. “It couldn’t be otherwise, because Audi has been the brand we have been associated with since the creation of Team WRT at the end of 2009 and our sole partner in GT3 racing. All things in life have a beginning and an end, and our paths will now separate but the longstanding friendships will last. We all can have a sense of pride looking at what was accomplished together and we’ll all treasure the many good memories of this great period.”

Team WRT Audi R8 GT3

It’s a somber end to a fairly tale sort of story, which has seen Team WRT and Audi team up to achieve tremendous success. The decision comes following Audi’s cancellation of its LMDh program, which WRT was set to run in the WEC next year. WRT reportedly already had a deal in place to participate in that series before this decision was made, but it didn’t take long for it to move on. In fact, BMW has already announced that WRT will operate its factory LMDh team in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Regardless, Audi and WRT’s split is a bit bittersweet for all involved.

Team WRT Audi R8 GT3

“After 13 fantastic years, we will be going our separate ways from 2023 but we will continue to have friendly ties,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “The close relationship with Vincent Vosse as well as with Yves and Pascal Weerts is characterized by deep trust, shared sporting values, and an absolute drive for success. A big thank you to them and their entire team, combined with best wishes for the future.”

Photos: Team WRT

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Why reporting illegal driving using your dash cam is essential

Home / Auto News / Why reporting illegal driving using your dash cam is essential

Gareth Herincx

18 hours ago
Auto News

Nextbase near-miss dash cam image

Three quarters of UK drivers have had a ‘near-miss’ accident, according to new research conducted by Nextbase for National Dash Cam Day.

Despite this, 75% of drivers have never reported a road traffic incident to police, with 41% saying they lacked evidence or the knowledge of how to do so.

Nextbase’s National Dash Cam Safety Portal system, which is now used by all but three UK police forces, offers an easy way to submit evidence to police online, already saving a claimed 52 years of police time.

The vast majority (70%) of these reports lead to further action – including fines, warning letters, and court cases.

The study also found that a nearly a half (49%) of the drivers reporting near-misses believed they would have been the victim if the accident had taken place.

What’s more, it would seem motorists see an average of 14 separate instances of illegal driving every week.

Speeding is most common, which 67% of drivers surveyed said they saw on a weekly basis, followed by failing to indicate (60%), tailgating (52%), and dangerous overtaking (52%).

“We created the Portal to make roads safer,” said Bryn Brooker, Head of Road Safety at Nextbase. “Road users can send in video from any device and help to get dangerous drivers off the road. Police aren’t just sitting on these videos – they are using them.”

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Wild family adventures with TV’s Steve Backshall and Toyota

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto Blog

Steve Backshall, Toyota RAV4 and kids

Keeping kids occupied during the summer holidays is no easy task. Exploring the great outdoors, whatever the weather, is one way to enjoy time together as a family.

Toyota has teamed up with TV naturalist, adventurer and father-of-three Steve Backshall to provide ideas for adventures in nature.

Steve and his wife – two-time Olympic champion rower Helen Glover – spent their respective childhoods exploring the Surrey heathland and Cornish beaches.

“For many parents, bug-hunting and pond-dipping are reminiscent of their own childhoods, while for others, new ideas for outdoor experiences will help increase knowledge and appreciation of the natural world and will entertain kids of any age during the long school holidays,” says Steve.

Steve’s trusted countryside companion is the new Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid SUV, which is ideal for a family expeditions.

Steve Backshall, Toyota RAV4 and kids

It offers low emissions and can drive for up to 46 miles in pure electric mode. All-wheel drive is standard and there’s a Trail Mode, so it’s perfect for tackling tricky terrain, plus there’s boot space for naturalist kit, picnics and spare clothes.

Steve and Helen’s new book, Wildlings: How to raise your family in nature (published by Two Roads) contains the following outdoor ideas for all the family…

  • Building an A-frame den in the woods: dens can be used as hideouts, birdwatching hides, or simply as somewhere to shelter when it rains, and building them is a fun family activity.  Find two trees close together with lowish forks and put a long straight branch between them.  Use material you find on the ground to build up each side of the den, propping sticks in a row against the long branch.  Use smaller, bendy sticks to weave in and out of the upright sticks – the den should look a bit like a tent shaped basket.  Finish by packing leaves, grass, or moss on top to fill in the gaps.
  • Treasure hunt in the woods: a common parenting challenge is how to get children to walk further. A treasure hunt is a great way to do this.  On family walks, scoring arrows into the mud or sand, or making arrows with sticks or stones, can help engage children and will distract from cries of ‘are we nearly there yet?’
  • Go blackberry picking: blackberry picking is a great way to introduce children to foraging. Blackberries are easy to pick as they tend to grow at a child’s height, often beside paths or hedgerows, and it’s easy for a child to identify a ripe from an unripe blackberry simply by looking at the colour. The whole family will enjoy eating the harvested berries, or you could get the kids involved in making and eating a blackberry crumble.
  • Butterfly hunts: a butterfly net, or sweep net, is a fun way to find out what is living in a park, field, or meadow.  Over the summer holidays, you’re likely to catch bush crickets, moths and butterflies.  Sweep the net through the upper sections of grasses in the colourful bits of a meadow, but be careful not to damage wildflowers.  You can put the collected insects in a ‘pooter’.  This is a little pot with two straws attached, where you suck on one straw and the insects are gently whisked into the pot for examination (there’s a valve on the human straw so there is no danger of getting a mouthful of ants!). Use a hand lens with x10 magnification to identify insects and examine them in detail. Remember to release them afterwards.
  • Bird spotting: according to the British Ornithologists Union, 574 different bird species have been spotted in the British Isles, and kids can learn to identify them by sight using a guide to British birds, or sticker book, or by sound, using free mobile apps such as BirdNET.  You only need to record a few seconds of birdsong and the app will identify the bird.
  • Wildlife photography challenge: Steve says: “Everyone has a camera and learning to capture a moment in time through a lens, how to frame a picture and when to take a photo, are lessons that require a child to slow down and connect with nature. Smartphones are fine for taking pictures of mini-beasts, or sunsets, or capturing the dew on a spider’s web.  Encourage youngsters to identify a subject, and place it in the centre of the shot, making sure the light falls on it.   Then set a photography project, such as taking photos of 10 things beginning with the letter ‘P,’ or five things you think an animal would want to eat.” No smartphone will rival what you can capture with an SLR (single lens reflex) camera, so you might want to invest in one.  Big lenses let you photograph birds and deer from a distance and take wildlife photography to a whole new level.
  • Setting a wildlife camera trap: camera traps have transformed naturalist pursuits, and easy-to-use, compact HD video camera traps are reasonably priced. Classic subjects are badgers, which are shy, nocturnal creatures.  If you set a camera trap near a badger sett, the results can be spectacular.  Choose a sett entrance that is used frequently – it will have the fewest cobwebs across it and may have the most teddy-bear-like footprints at the front.  Think of the height of a badger when setting the camera; don’t aim it too high, and make sure the shot is wide enough to see more than the animal running in and out of frame. Also, don’t position it where it could be damaged or stolen, or in the way of people or wildlife.
  • Woodland treasure hunt: Steve suggests that every ramble can turn into an animal detective novel: “Tracking has drama, secrets, the potential to experience an animal you may never see, to feel you are walking in their footsteps.”  Challenge the kids to look for things like a discarded nutshell, a feather, an acorn, an animal print, evidence of animal feeding areas, or animal trails.
  • Learn to use an Ordnance Survey (OS) map: with a GPS in everyone’s pocket, map-reading is a dying art, but learning to see the relief of the land from the contours is a skill that saves time and could save a life in the future. Micro-nav is fine for navigating short distances, following a compass bearing. Give your kids a six-figure grid reference for a point of interest, such as a tower, or a footbridge over a small stream, to plot on the OS map.  Give them a compass bearing, or another grid reference which they need to find, then follow the bearing to the next grid point.  This can be challenging, even in a city park, as if you are a degree out on your bearing, you could end up off-track.
  • Pond dipping: Steve recommends swimming pool nets for pond-dipping, as they are sturdier than seaside fishing nets.  At a pond or river, get the kids to sweep the net through the water in a figure of eight movement to catch as much life as possible, then empty the contents into a tray or jam jar.  You’ll find vertebrates such as newts, frogs, and small fish, by sweeping around reeds.  For invertebrates it is better to sweep the river or pond bed. Remember to tip everything back into the water when you’ve finished.

Steve Backshall, Toyota RAV4 and kids

Steve’s recommended wildings kit

Naturalist kit:

  • Hand lens x 10 magnification
  • Binoculars
  • Wildlife camera trap
  • SLR camera (single lens reflex camera)
  • Butterfly nets
  • Pond-dipping nets and jam jars
  • Buckets and spades
  • OS maps
  • Wildlife guidebooks

Practical essentials:

  • Change of clothes
  • Towels
  • Wetsuits (if planning to kayak, canoe or surf)
  • Snacks, water in reusable bottles, flask of tea
  • Sun cream
  • Spare battery pack for mobile phone
  • Umbrella

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Electric hearse available for eco-friendly funerals

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Co-op Funeralcare launches Nissan Athena Electric hearse

The respectful silence of a funeral cortege is set to get even quieter in Scotland as the UK’s largest funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare, launches a Nissan Athena Electric.

Featuring the chassis of a Nissan Leaf EV, an exterior structure made from recycled composite materials further enhances its sustainability credentials.

Co-op Funeralcare is also introducing a private ambulance based on a Maxus van – it’s 100% electric too for an even more discreet service.

The all-electric funeral fleet will serve communities right across the Edinburgh region, including Dalkeith, Galashiels, Leith, Piershill, Musselburgh, Niddrie, North Berwick, Tranent and Sighthill.

“We are excited to be bringing our fully electric Nissan hearse and private ambulance to Scotland to offer dignified, elegant and environmentally friendly services for families and communities in the area.

“The way people choose to say goodbye is changing and those who have worked hard to reduce their carbon footprint in life, are also passionate about reducing their impact on the planet when they pass away.”

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Summer’s newest motorsport event ‘Firlie Beacon’ roars into action

Home / Auto News / Summer’s newest motorsport event ‘Firlie Beacon’ roars into action

Rob

3 days ago
Auto News

AutomotiveBlog was invited to experience a new motorsport event set in the lovely Sussex countryside within the Firle Estate.

It was a celebration of 90 years of Rally in the UK, featuring some of the most legendary cars from across the decades including:

  • British Rally Champion, Colin McRae’s iconic 1997 rally-winning Subaru Impreza WRC.
  • A special collection of cars driven by Rally Champion, Russell Brookes from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s – including three Mk2 Escorts, two Opel Mantas, a Sierra Cosworth, Chevette HSR, together with a Group A Astra.
  • Some of the fastest, most powerful, and sophisticated vehicles from Retro Rallycross & Group B.

Sprints were along the sweeping drive up to the country house, and rally drives through the village and up the steep hillside road, part of the South Downs. Those wanting to get close to the action could view the Rally course from the Village. We watched the rally cars whizz round a tight corner before taking on the hill – getting right up close to the action.

Alternatively, visitors could watch it all from the sprawling grounds on big screens, with all the action captured on drones. Food and drink was available to purchase with picnic tables throughout allowing visitors to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere in this stunning location with a bite to eat and drink.

This was Firle Beacon’s inaugural event, and hopefully one that will be an annual event of the future.

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