Chevy takes home North American Car, Truck of the Year at Detroit

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Chevrolet has pulled off a clean sweep at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, winning both Car of the Year and Truck of the Year with two of its models on Monday morning.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray (C7), successor to the long-running and popular C6, has captured the Car of the Year honors. The racing version will be put into action in this year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and its livery premiere was set to occur later on Monday morning. The team ran its pair of cars in a checkerboard camouflage livery during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test at Daytona International Speedway last weekend.

Meanwhile the Chevrolet Silverado took home Truck of the Year. The clean sweep is GM’s first since 2007 and the first overall since 2010, when fellow Michigan automaker Ford won both honors with the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Transit Connect, respectively.

GM’s racing program has enjoyed two pretty successful seasons in 2012 and 2013 across the NASCAR, IndyCar and sports car platforms. GM makes a point of emphasizing technology transfer between its production and race cars, and from that standpoint, it’s good to see the production side of the company is doing just as well.

Position of F1 start lights altered to compensate for safety halo

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The position of start lights will be altered on Formula One tracks this season, in a bid to ensure the drivers’ line of vision is not impeded by the controversial halo protection device.

The halo is a titanium structure introduced this year in a bid to ramp up driver safety, forming a ring around the cockpit top. It is designed to protect the drivers’ head from loose debris and offer better safety during eventual collisions.

Although drivers largely understand the need for it, very few like it. They are worried it impedes visibility, it looks ugly and also that fans will no longer be able to identify a driver properly from his race helmet. Drivers also take longer to climb in and out of their cars.

Formula One’s governing body has addressed concerns and asked every circuit “to make the lights at a standard height above the track,” FIA race director Charlie Whiting said.

“Pole position seems to be the worst case scenario with the halo,” Whiting added at the season-opening Australian GP. “Maybe the driver can’t quite see the lights, or see only half of them, and he might have to move his head too much.”

The new start lights were positioned lower for Friday’s first two practice sessions at Albert Park. Drivers were also allowed the rare chance to rehearse grid starts at the end of both sessions.

“We haven’t normally allowed practice starts on the grid here because it’s quite a tight timetable,” Whiting said. “What I thought would be a good idea was to give the driver sight of those lights, rather than for the first time on Sunday evening.”

A repeat set of lights has been moved from its usual position halfway up the grid to a more convenient position to the left.

“Those repeat lights were normally halfway up the grid, and they were fitted round about 2009, when the rear wings became higher on the cars,” Whiting said. “But now the wings have been lowered, there’s no need for those halfway up the grid.”