Car News

McLaren 720s – Exclusive Preview

The new McLaren 720s was at our Sonoma facility last Friday for an exclusive preview ahead of the cars general release later this year. The 720s replaces the 650s model in the super series line and is already sold out through 2018. Hailed a Ferrari beater, the 720s  is lighter, more powerful and faster than the new Ferrari 488 GTB and we look forward to welcoming it into the fleet soon. If you would like to be notified when this car is available in our line up, please ensure you are signed up to our newsletter here 

In the interim the McLaren 570s 570GT and 650s are all now available in our newly launched McLaren Driving Experiences, click here to book your seat.

McLaren 720s – Exclusive Preview

The new McLaren 720s will be at our Sonoma facility this Friday for an exclusive preview ahead of the cars general release later this year. The 720s replaces the 650s model in the super series line and is already sold out through 2018. Hailed a Ferrari beater, the 720s  is lighter, more powerful and faster than the new Ferrari 488 GTB. Come judge for yourself and learn how you can get in the driving seat ahead of the waiting list.

This event is free but spaces are limited with priority given to our past and present drivers. If you would like to attend please sign up here.


Out with the old, in with the fast: The new Audi TTS is here!

Parting is such sweet sorrow, and that is absolutely true of the outgoing Audi TTS. It’s the most versatile vehicle in our fleet, a car that always punched above its weight, and exceeded expectations of the many customers who got to get behind the wheel of this agile pocket rocket.


That being said, with every outgoing model that Audi retires you can be sure the replacement is always something to be excited about. While outwardly familiar in styling, the new TTS is an evolution from the former model but with many upgrades and changes beneath the skin. First off, we always have to look under the hood, and the 2016 TTS has a lot to say for itself with a stunning 292hp (up 72hp!) 2.0L turbocharged TFSI engine mated with its lightweight aluminum hybrid construction chassis the new TTS is lighter as well. The power to weight  ratio really helps this car fly through the turns at our home base at Sonoma Raceway. 0-60 times of 5.2 seconds matched with its classic front-to-rear balance, the new TTS is aided by a re-vamped Quattro system that is able to move 100% of that power to the rear wheels when traction allows, really spicing up the sports car feel.


There’s a dramatic change on the inside as the latest Audi TTS now has a virtual cockpit where drivers have the ability to change the layout at their fingertips.


We are really looking forward to getting to know this new pocket rocket intimately and hope you can make your way to Sonoma to try it for yourself. You won’t regret it.


Audi Programs


New Arrivals – The Audi R8 V10 “Competition” and “+” Models

As if it wasn’t enough to have the 2nd generation of R8 to look forward to just on the horizon, we here at the Audi sportscar experience got out hands on the fastest R8—in fact, the fastest street car— ever produced by Audi. The Audi R8 V10 Competition is here, and we love it. Combined with the V10 “+” models that have also shown up on our doorstep, we have the zenith of Audi’s first generation super cars, and now you can get your hands on them too.


Starting off with the V10 plus, we have a lighter and more powerful version of the R8 with its rear biased power distribution. The now 550hp machine can get from 0-60 in 3.3 secs, which really R8 Comp cover1shortens the straightaways at our home base of Sonoma Raceway. The speeds you attain approaching turns 7 & 11 are considerably increased, which makes sense that the extra horsepower is matched with the fabulous Carbon Ceramic brakes and the sticky rubber supplied by Pirelli. With this, you have what is called in the business “the package” available in both 6 speed and S-Tronic (our version). It’s a drive you won’t soon forget.


Now we come to the R8 V10 Competition. Once again, Audi added even more power with a daunting 570 hp that can propel this machine to 199mph (maybe a nice tail wind can help us out here), making this is the most powerful Audi R8 ever! Now we are getting to the real essence of the R8 name from it’s beginnings of a Le Mans winning prototype—this is truly a race car for the street. With only 60 available in the US, this is a very special car and a serious machine. So serious, in fact, it has been fitted with permanent front canards and large rear wing to gain some significant aerodynamic downforce which you can feel through the infamous turn 6 at Sonoma Raceway (a long fast downhill lefthander) as well as the “S’s” combination leading into turns 9 & 10, a series of turns that when done properly can turn the thrill factor to 11.


To celebrate these fantastic additions to our already amazing line up of R8 V8’s, drivers can now elect these vehicles as a special $249 supplement option to any R8 Program. Note this is for a limited time only and will be available until March 2016. To secure you seat, or modify an existing booking, please call, email or live chat us.


Real vs. Virtual Ep. 4: Audi R8 LMS ultra

With the new Audi R8 LMS ultra already proving a popular addition to the Simraceway showroom, we’re taking a closer look at just how much effort and expertise goes into the creation of our cars in the latest episode of our Real vs. Virtual series, recently launched on our YouTube channel. Read on to find out more.



“I’ve already learned a couple of things before we even take the real car out on the track. I know exactly what gear I should be in, what kind of entry speed I should have, where my break markers should be”, reflected a visibly-impressed James Sofronas.



The GMG Racing owner, co-founder, and driver was talking to our Head of Physics, Nico Rondet, at the Simraceway Performance Driving Center as the pair, aided by the hard-working Simraceway physics team, tuned our virtual R8 LMS ultra to behave exactly like the car Sofronas’ team had driven into battle in 2012.


Check out the video below to see how they got on.



Palatov Motorsport’s Fire-Breathing D4PPS Wins at Pikes Peak

According to Wikipedia, “Pikes Peak International Hill Climb…is an annual automobile and motorcycle hill climb to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado” on a track that “measures 12.42 miles (19.99 km) over 156 turns, climbing 4,720 ft (1,440 m) from the start at Mile 7 on Pikes Peak Highway, to the finish at 14,110 ft (4,300 m), on grades averaging 7%.”


While completely accurate, what that selection of stats fails to convey is just how spine-chillingly fearsome this popular event is. Filled with hardcore, take-no-prisoners corners that are often taken at insane speeds, its drivers are seemingly unperturbed by its blood-curdling collection of blind exits and run-off areas that would be more accurately described as “fall-off areas”.


When Ernest Hemingway observed there were “but three true sports – bullfighting, mountain climbing, and motor-racing”, it’s doubtful he was aware there was actually an event fusing two of those endeavors into one challenging contest. And it’s the enormity of this challenge that brings so many contestants to the mountains of Colorado each year. This year, our good friends at Palatov Motorsport decided to take up the challenge–and this is our account of how they got on.


Possibly the Best Driver Training Tool Around–and it’s Yours for the Day

In 2008, Volkswagen of America took the bold step of launching its own single-make series for, of all things, its diesel Jetta model. The Jetta TDI Cup produced great racing and an inexpensive entry-level option for young drivers who were looking for a way into sedan, GT, and sports car racing. As part of the program VW put the competitors, all between the ages of 18 and 25, through a regime of physical fitness and high-level driver training carried out by the dedicated series coach, Jan Heylen. Now it’s your chance to become a racer in the making with your very own, free-to-drive Jetta TDI Cup Car, thanks to another Simraceway Test Drive Tuesday.


Team Cal Simraceway Gear Up for Their Biggest Challenge Yet

Simraceway has partnered with the Formula SAE team at UC Berkley to assist its budding engineers and drivers as they develop and race their B12 car in the 2012-2013 season. In a previous post we covered the early stages of their preparation, including the all-important driver selection, and we now join Team Principal Shin Scott and his FSAE team as they continue to ready the car and drivers for the grand final in Nebraska.