NASCAR unveils second version of “Air Titan” track drying system

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The next evolution of NASCAR’s “Air Titan” track-drying system – a more compact version that features a single, self-contained unit on the bed of a Toyota Tundra – has been revealed this morning at Martinsville Speedway.

“Air Titan 2.0” more than triples the blade capacity of the original, and delivers more air volume while raising the air temperature by 70 degrees over the ambient. The goal is to reduce track-drying time by a further 80 percent.

The new Air Titan is also greener, too. It will use nearly 80 percent less fuel and emit 80 percent less carbon dioxides as well.

“Developed by our engineers at the NASCAR R&D Center, Air Titan 2.0 will help us more quickly return to racing, which serves our most important mission – the enjoyment of our fans,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO, who added that the system is “the ultimate win-win-win for our sport, our fans and our environment.”

With the bigger support vehicles of the original now rendered unnecessary, NASCAR can now use as many as 21 units in Toyota Tundras at larger venues while operating more efficiently at smaller venues.

The new Air Titan will work in conjunction with a track vacuum/sweeper from Elgin (now the official sweeper of NASCAR’s environmental initiative, NASCAR Green) and existing track dryers.

More details can be found below in this graphic furnished by the series:

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Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”