Ultracyclist Mike Hall Killed in Car-Bike Crash While Competing

Ultracyclist Mike Hall was killed in a car-bike crash at 6:20a.m. March 31 while competing in Australia’s first Indian Pacific Wheel Race. The 35-year-old was riding on the Monaro Highway, 13 days into the coast-to-coast race that started March 18, putting him toward the end of the 3,300-mile ordeal. 

An accomplished ultraendurance rider and race organizer, Hall won the inaugural World Cycle Race in 2012; and in 2013 and 2016, he won the Tour Divide ultra-endurance mountain bike race that takes riders across the Rocky Mountains.

Earlier in the week, Hall tweeted about the road conditions in the unsupported Australian race, warning other cyclists to be cautious in traffic.

"Riders will want to be alert when entering this area, don’t hug the shoulder, give yourself somewhere to bail to,” he wrote.

Hall also thanked spectators for coming out to support the riders, and joked about windy conditions and high-fives. He was in second place at the time of the crash.

At the time of publication, details surrounding the incident are scarce; Hall appears to have died at the scene, just outside of Canberra. Local authorities are currently investigating. 

Immediately following his death, the organizers cancelled the race, though trackers were not disabled on riders for safety reasons.

“This is a difficult time for everyone involved, along with their families, and their well-being is our primary concern,” the organizers explained in a statement. Instead of finishing the race, a tribute ride in his honor is being planned for Sunday in Sydney. 

Just Giving page was also set up by Hall’s friends to help his family cover costs associated with his death. The page has already amassed more than £44,000 (more than $55,000).

"Mike will be remembered by us all for his kindness, good heart and bravery," explains James Hayden, a fellow endurance racer, in the page description. "Mike was a shining light in many of our lives, enabling us to find the best of ourselves."

Thousands of cyclists posted messages on social media mourning the cycling world’s loss, and shared stories of the inspiration and motivation that Hall provided throughout his short life.

Fellow ultra-endurance racer and competitor Juliana Buhring shared an emotional tribute video to Facebook, while racer Sean Conway tweeted a photo of a smiling Hall and the words "Ride in Peace."

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PRE/GRID – April 22 at the StanceWorks Headquarters

At StanceWorks, we try to share a little bit of everything. From modern to classic, and subdued in nature to over-the-top: if it excites us, it earns a place on the StaceWorks homepage, and that’s how it’s always been. However, it’s hard to suggest that it’s anything compares to the excitement, the history, and the character of vintage motorsports… in our opinion, at least. For years, we’ve sat trackside, capturing the classic legends as they battle it out for glory and pride, and more recently, we’ve began to participate in a bit of racing of our own. In April, we’re hoping to share that passion, and so we invite you to join us at the StanceWorks HQ for Pre/Grid.

We’ve joined with VARA – the Vintage Auto Racing Association – to host Pre/Grid, an all-inclusive event in an effort to celebrate vintage motorsports, and more importantly, to welcome and usher in a new generation of classic racers. For those that have dreamt of racing their classics, or for those with merely an interest – or even those without, that simply want to admire some classic race cars – join us on April 22nd.

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Jaguar Classic Will Restore Ten Series I E-Types to Factory Spec

For those who simply aren’t satisfied with third-party restorations, Jaguar Classic is now taking orders for another reissued model. Following the successful launch of the reborn XKSS and Lightweight E-Type coupe, Jag Classic will restore ten regular Series I E-Types back to original factory spec.

Unlike the XKSS, each E-Type begins life as an existing Series I E-Type, which were produced between 1961 and 1968. After arriving in the Classic workshop, a team of “E-Type experts” strips the car down to the bare metal and rebuild the entire car down to redoing the spot-welding locations for the body panels.

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1965 Jaguar E Type Coupe Reborn Front Three Quarters

Nothing is modernized, including the engine. Buyers will have a choice of either the 3.8-liter or 4.2-liter inline-six, the latter putting down a strong 265 hp to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission. Since this is as it exited the factory, performance is the same, achieving 0-60 mph in 7.0-seconds and a claimed top speed of 150 mph.

While the regular build will be exactly as it arrived new, Jaguar will apply contemporary updates from later model years at an extra charge, including improved cooling, a syncromesh transmission, and beefier Series II front brake calipers.

This isn’t an easy process, so it’s priced accordingly. Prices begin at a dizzying $357,000, and only climb from there. If you want one, you’d better hurry, as only ten will be built.

The post Jaguar Classic Will Restore Ten Series I E-Types to Factory Spec appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

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What’s New on Motor Trend on Demand for 3/31

Every week, Motor Trend on Demand premiers hours of original and motorsports programming. If work kept you too busy during the week to stay up to date, here’s what you can catch up on from the last two weeks over April Fool’s weekend. Recent original programming includes new episodes of Ignition, The House of Muscle, Head to Head, and Engine Masters.

Don’t have a Motor Trend on Demand subscription yet? Click here to sign up and start your free 30-day trial.

Ignition Episode 170: 2017 Aston Martin DB11

In episode 170 of Ignition, Jonny Lieberman takes a spin behind the wheel of the 2017 Aston Martin DB11 before handing the 600-hp, V-12-powered exotic over to 24 Hours of Daytona winner Randy Pobst for a session of hot laps around the Big Willow course at Willow Springs International Raceway in Southern California.

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The House of Muscle Episode 05: 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE

In episode 05 of The House of Muscle, host Mike Musto gets behind the wheel of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE that’s had its Italian V-12 replaced with a 383-cubic-inch Chevy V-8. But the Ferrari’s owner has more than just one classic car and uses a custom 1971 American LeFrance fire truck called the “Superhauler” as his personal rig.

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Head to Head Episode 88: 2017 Tesla Model S P100D vs. 2017 Audi RS7 Performance

Episode 88 of Head to Head has Jonny Lieberman and Jason Cammisa pit an Audi RS7 Performance against a Tesla Model S P100D to see which of these lightning-quick sedans is the best bang for your buck.

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 Engine Masters Episode 20: Ultimate Horsepower-Killing Fans!

On episode 20 of Engine Masters, four types of cooling fans are bolted to a 350 Chevy small-block to see which generates the greatest and lowest amount of parasitic power loss.

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Motorsports Coverage

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BMW Introduces R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid Two-Wheel Drive Motorcycle

BMW R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid

A 170-horsepower, all-wheel drive version of BMW’s R 1200 GS Adventure will go on sale in late 2017. The front wheel is driven via an electric motor housed in the front hub.

Yes, you read that headline correctly. BMW Motorrad has developed and tested a two-wheel drive version of its R 1200 GS Adventure, claiming it’s “the world’s first series-production all-wheel drive travel enduro with hybrid drive.”

Unlike the mechanical all-wheel drive (AWD) system made by Christini for dirt bikes, BMW’s xDrive Hybrid system uses a 45-horsepower electric motor housed in the front wheel hub. When activated and combined with the air/liquid-cooled, 125-horsepower, shaft-driven boxer twin engine that powers all R-series models, the R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid makes a combined 170 horsepower (claimed).

BMW says that making the front wheel driven provides superior traction in slippery, low-traction conditions, much like all-wheel drive cars, and the xDrive Hybrid system was originally developed by BMW’s automotive division. All-wheel drive can be operated automatically or manually by the rider via the 2WD (2-Wheel Drive) switch located on the left handlebar’s switchgear, activating the wheel-hub e-Drive system that functions both as electric motor and generator.

BMW R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid

The xDrive system is operated via the “2WD” button on the left handlebar’s switchgear.

During braking, the e-Drive system captures and stores kinetic energy—also known as regenerative braking—which helps recharge the batteries and improves braking performance. Sophisticated management software ensures that power is supplied to the front wheel as needed given the riding situation, as traction permits. Riding modes customize how the all-wheel drive system operates and adjusts the hybrid system’s recuperation strategies, with everything controlled via LCD display.

Given the braking function of the xDrive Hybrid system, BMW changed from a dual-disc to a single-disc brake setup on the front wheel, saving 6.4 pounds of unsprung weight, which more than offsets the 1.9-pound weight of the wheel hub e-Drive and maintains the R 1200 GS Adventure’s legendary agility. Overall curb weight of the motorcycle is said to be unchanged.

To prove the capability of the new xDrive Hybrid GS, it was subjected to thousands of testing miles in extreme conditions. Reiner Scherbeck, head of winter testing at BMW Motorrad, rode it to Norway’s North Cape and across the frozen Barents Sea to the North Pole and back again.

“We were absolutely amazed how problem-free and reliable the all-wheel drive worked even at minus 56 degrees,” Scherbeck said. “Thanks to our functional BMW rider equipment, the cold temperatures were no problem for the rider, too. Probably the most thrilling conclusion we can draw from our test runs, is that for the first time we can offer a motorcycle that makes riding a motorcycle a pleasure at snow depths of 1.25 meters [4.1 feet] in high winter with the new R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid. Special front section components have also been developed for this purpose as well as high-speed suitable M+S all-season tires. This was also necessary in order to meet the necessary requirements for high-speed winter operation.”

BMW says the R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid shown to the public in the near future and that it will be available in the second half of 2017. BMW Motorrad will announce special tires, optional equipment and pricing at a later date.

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Move Over, Millennials: Charity Aims to Create New Generation of Car Enthusiasts

Automakers obsess over millennials. New entry-level offerings focus on the perceived needs of those young adults, and ad campaigns seek ways to lure those buyers specifically. Auto journalists, too, have been writing for years about Gen Y and the future of the auto industry. But as valuable as millennials and their wallets are, winning the hearts and minds of the generation to follow is no less important, and not just for the auto industry’s bottom line. Whitney had it right: Teach them well, and let them lead the way.

With that in mind, Orlando Dumalag of Tulsa, Oklahoma, founded Smiles for Miles, a charity with an idea brilliant in its simplicity: provide underprivileged children with private car shows to get them hooked then give them car magazines to get them to read.

“I didn’t read books growing up, but I was always reading car magazines or staring at car pictures,” he says. “I also have two kids. One is 6 years old, and the other 3. My wife and I read to them every night, and they enjoy it.”

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It goes beyond just having a good time, though. We’ll spare you the educational theory soapbox speeches and won’t get into the early childhood education weeds, but simply put, kids who read are going to have advantages over kids who don’t, and children with challenging lives are less likely to be exposed to reading.

“I know that their day-to-day lives are complicated,” Dumalag says. “I want them to see us and remember we’re not much different from them. My hope is to plant a positive seed so that we somehow help them a bit.”

If the results of Smiles for Miles’ first event are any indication, that seed has taken root. “You can see from the photos and videos that these kids enjoyed the magazines,” Dumalag says. “I’m sure because it has nothing to do with homework.” He says that last part in jest, but to put a toe on that soapbox, trickery is a useful teaching tool. He’s not wrong. And it’s hard to see the smiles on those little faces behind those oversized steering wheels without thinking back on the childhood days when you first fell in love.
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Dumalag organized the event in conjunction with the True Blue Neighbors youth mentoring program and three local car clubs. Thirty volunteers brought 27 cars, ranging from Subarus and Minis to BMWs and Porsches to even a drag racer, which the kids all got to sign. Each of the 140 children in attendance, all of them students at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School, also took home copies of car magazines and received a subscription to Motor Trend. “I think magazines can be a gateway to other reading materials,” Dumalag says. “My hope is that these kids get in the habit of reading so they learn and better themselves.”

With the first Smiles for Miles car show a success, Dumalag plans to connect with more volunteers and organizations to host additional shows and reach more kids. “Then,” he says, “convince other car nuts all over the world to let kids sit in their cars.”

For more information about Smiles for Miles, visit them at smilesformiles.us.

Photos courtesy of volunteer photographers

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