Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


AFTER HAVING SPENT an eventful 33+ years following the world’s auto industry, it has been fun in the last ten focussing my interests primarily on automotive gossip: gleaning tidbits of the curious, the less than credible, the ridiculous. Here’s a selection from the industry news standard, Automotive News, June 13 through July 11, 2022. 

Cadillac Le Mans Car for 2023. “Cadillac Goes for Bold with Project GTP Hypercar Racer” reports Wes Raynal in Automotive News, June 13, 2022. The car will enter the 2023 IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

This and the following image from Automotive News Online, June 9, 2022.

The Project GTP Hypercar is a joint effort of Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing, and Italian race car builder Dallara. Power will come from an all-new 5.5-liter double-overhead-cam V-8 paired with IMSA’s common hybrid system. 

Raynal notes, “Cadillac has been competing in the IMSA manufacturers championship since 2017 with the Dpi-VR race car.” Another joint Dallara effort, this one garnered firsts at the Daytona 24 Hours in 2017, 2018 2019, and 2020. The car also won the Best in Show Award at the 2022 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

The 2017 Dpi-VR at Amelia Island.

Michigan Track-Condos. Automotive News, July 11, 2022 reports “Track-condo Project a Go in Michigan.”  

Motorsports Gateway Howell is to be about 55 miles northwest of Detroit.  The 273-acre project is envisioned as having a 2.2-mile road course with a business park, plus space for retail, entertainment, and restaurants. 

Automotive News notes, “The concept has been around for years but has been growing in popularity. Monticello Motor Club, which opened in New York in 2008, is the model for many that have come after it.” California’s Thermal Club and Miami’s Concours Club are examples, as is Pontiac, Michigan’s, M1 Concourse.

“The new club,” Automotive News says, “will offer livable space in the garages for owners who would rather not leave at night. Most auto clubs do not offer the option of residences. Prices start at $408,692 for the roughly 1200-square-foot units.” 

I’m reminded of TI Circuit Aida. Even more ambitious than these others, when this central Japan facility opened in 1990, it had a posh hotel, clubhouse, and garages as part of its twisty 2.3-mile road course. Members had a private Tokyo club, the Bugatti Bar, as well.

What’s more, the Aida Circuit hosted two international Pacific Grands Prix, in 1994 and 1995.

On a personal note, I recall enjoying a Bentley press event at Monticello and one with Porsche at Aida.

Russkie Driving Risks. Automotive News adds to the evident callousness of Putin and his invasion of Ukraine: It reports tha “Russian Cars Drop Airbags, Anti-lock Brakes Because of Sanctions.” 

AvtoVAZ assembly line. Image from Automotive News Online, June 19, 2022.

“A Russian automaker,” Automotive News writes, “is building its cars without airbags, antilock brakes and other common safety features because the parts it needs are being blocked by international sanctions imposed over that country’s war with Ukraine.”

Automotive News continues, “The company, AvtoVAZ, had shut its plants because of the sanctions, but it resumed production this month after the Russian government loosened its vehicle safety regulations.”

I suspect Russian oligarchs don’t drive mere AvtoVAZs. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022

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