Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.
The future of sedans is very much a question mark right now. With SUV and truck fever having taken over most automakers, in addition to a focus on electronic and autonomous vehicles, your old-fashioned four-door sedan is usually lost in the shuffle when individuals and families are choosing a new vehicle.
Some automakers, particularly on the domestic side, are taking drastic steps and essentially eliminating their sedan offerings due to lack of sales and limited profitability. But there’s still some reason for hope among car buyers who like this type of vehicle: The foreign automakers are hanging in there.
Nissan is one of those automakers, and for 2019 the Nissan Altima — its midsize sedan offering — gets some major upgrades as it takes on heavy hitters like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in the battle for market share.
I recently spent some time in a 2019 Altima, and I’m back with a full report on how the improvements boost the Altima’s stature in the segment.
BMW driver and brand ambassador Alessandro Zanardi’s start in the BMW M8 GTE at the 24 Hours of Daytona (January 26-27) is not only possible thanks to technical adjustments that BMW M Motorsport engineers made to the car, but also thanks to innovative and creative solutions for procedures during the race. Primarily, the driver changes between Zanardi and his team-mates in the #24 BMW M8 GTE require a sophisticated choreography so that they don’t waste any valuable time during the race. Driver changes between Zanardi and his team-mates John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Chaz Mostert have been choreographed and practiced down to the last detail. “It is a dance in which the important thing is getting all the steps in exactly the right order and in the limited time that you have available,” explained Zanardi.
“So we can’t give away a single second.” To guarantee this, Zanardi, the other drivers and the entire BMW Team RLL are continually collaborating on the perfect procedure for the pit stops. The team has used the previous test drives intensively for this purpose, and the practice will continue at the race weekend. Success is already becoming apparent. “Naturally, we had to align some procedures with my special requirements, and the other drivers have to do a bit of extra work for me, but it is going very well and is a great deal of fun,” said Zanardi, emphasising: “We are already better than I would ever have thought possible.”
Here is a video illustrating the driver change procedure:
Toby Keith, Zac Brown Band and Keith Urban headline Faster Horses Festival at MIS
The 2019 lineup for the Faster Horses Festival on the grounds of Michigan International Speedway has been announced — and Toby Keith, Keith Urban and Zac Brown Band will headline the three-day camping and country music festival taking place in Brooklyn, Mich., July 19-21, 2019.
Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has signed Daniel Suárez to its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup in 2019. The Mexican driver, who turned 27 today, will pilot the team’s No. 41 Ford Mustang with sponsorship from Haas Automation and ARRIS International PLC, joining teammates Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer.
The 2019 season will mark Suárez’s third year in the elite NASCAR Cup Series, but his first with SHR. Suárez made 72 NASCAR Cup Series starts with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017-2018 after winning the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.
“This is the best birthday present I could ask for,” said Suárez, who was born Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico and now calls Huntersville, North Carolina home. “We’ve all seen how competitive Stewart-Haas Racing is – all of their drivers won last year and all of them advanced deep into the playoffs. This is the opportunity every driver wants, and now I have it. I want to deliver for this team, our partners in Haas Automation, ARRIS and Ford and, ultimately, for me. We have everything we need to be successful.”