Pink Fire Pointer January 2013

Embarque on a journey with Toyota Prius+

Embarque, the new executive minicab service operating in London and all the major airports will be transforming its vehicle fleet by adding 22 seven-seat Prius+ models through January and February.

Already operating a fleet of vehicles with uniformed drivers 24 hours a day seven days a week, Embarque is a sister company of Carey Worldwide Chauffeured Services, who provide premium chauffeured services in over 500 cities worldwide, and a pioneer of the chauffeur industry since 1921.

Embarque has set itself a responsible agenda to minimise all aspects of their business impact on the environment. A carbon neutral company, they invest in two projects around the world to eliminate the effect of CO2 from their fleet. At Embarque’s head office in West London, 30 per cent of their electricity is sourced from wind farms using Ecotricity, and a strict Reduce Reuse Recycle policy operates for all office consumables in conjunction with Greener World Recycling.

The Embarque service is also available in major US cities, where Toyota hybrid vehicles are already a key feature in their service.

This focus on the environment includes a procurement policy designed to research new products relating to fuel efficiency which meet their needs. The recently launched seven-seat Prius+ with CO2 emissions of 96 g/km and combined fuel consumption figure of 68.9 mpg (in T4 grade) has met these requirements.

Greg Mendoza, Managing Director of Embarque said; “At Embarque we are serious about our responsibilities to our customers as well as the environment, that is why, once we identified the Toyota Prius+ as the ideal private hire vehicle due to it’s outstanding environmental credentials, excellent passenger and luggage capacity, as well as high levels of safety and comfort, we had no hesitation in deciding that we would replace our entire fleet. We have also been extremely impressed with the support we have received from Toyota during this process.”

Using efficient Lithium-ion batteries located between the driver and passenger, Prius+ does not compromise on boot space and as a full hybrid is able to operate solely on electric power at lower speed meaning no fuel is used and zero tailpipe emissions. Prius+ is able to help any fleet reduce CO2 emissions and with almost zero emissions in NOx (Nitrous Oxide) and PM (Particulate Matter) which affect air quality, able to reduce these harmful substances that affect human health.

All the vehicles are grey T4 grade models, supplied by Currie Motors Business Centre in Twickenham and financed through Toyota Financial Services. Standard features include cruise control, automatic air conditioning, Heads-up display and panoramic roof with automatic sun shade.

| Toyota

Safety recalls of 2003 and 2004 Toyota Corolla and 2006 through early 2012 Lexus IS vehicles

Toyota will conduct two separate safety recalls involving approximately 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles and approximately 270,000 Lexus IS vehicles.

The airbag control module for the supplemental restraint system (SRS) in the Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles could have been manufactured with application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that are susceptible to internal shorting. These ASICs could experience an internal short that creates abnormal current flow and increased heat. If this occurs, there is a possibility that the ASIC could become damaged. In some instances, the front airbag(s) and/or seat belt pretensioners could inadvertently deploy.

The second safety recall involves the front wipers on certain Lexus IS vehicles where the wiper arm nut might not be sufficiently tight. If movement of the wipers is restricted by an external load, such as a buildup of heavy snow on the windshield, one or both of the wipers could become inoperative.

Owners of vehicles covered by these safety recalls will receive an owner notification letter via first class mail in the near future. Any authorized Toyota or Lexus dealer will perform this recall at no charge to the vehicle owner.

| Toyota

New limited-edition MG watch by MeisterSinger

The foresight and determination of an ardent German MG enthusiast, Ernst Graaf, have resulted in a unique trio of quality timepieces, the design of which echoes the distinctive shape and structure of a 1950s MG TD radiator grille. The watches have been superbly crafted by MeisterSinger and are available online from for £1405, including VAT.

Graaf’s love affair with the MG marque began with an Olde English White 1964 MGB he ran as a student, and was later cemented by an inexpensive quartz watch modelled on the grille of an MG TD. When attempts to replace the worn timepiece with a newer, MG-branded one came to nought, he set about creating his own. The MG Car Club assisted the cause, as did British Motor Heritage, which was sufficiently impressed with the project to license the use of the MG logo.

The watches feature top quality Swiss movements housed in stainless steel cases that are water resistant to a depth of 5 bar. The dials are protected by hardened mineral glass and the Cordovan straps are crafted from smooth horse leather. There is a choice of three different face/strap combinations appropriately named: ‘Abingdon’, ‘Cecil Kimber’ and ‘Cream Cracker’, in celebration of the MG factory, the company’s founder, and the most famous of the Works MGs respectively. To ensure a suitable degree of exclusivity, production will be limited to around 100 watches per annum.

Said British Motor Heritage’s Managing Director John Yea: "We are delighted to be able offer these superb new timepieces for sale and to have played a small part in their development."

| Motoring Classics

Jeremy Clarkson driving the P45 through the British Library

The long-awaited new Top Gear series is now airing on the BBC and that can mean only one thing – new challenge cars arriving at Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear! And visitors will not be disappointed – the latest arrival is none other than Jeremy Clarkson’s weird and wonderful P45.

For the first instalment of the 19th series, Jeremy returned to our screens in possibly the strangest mode of motoring transport viewers have yet seen. Following the mass popularity of his video demonstrating the many benefits of the world’s smallest car, the Peel P50, the big man was set a new challenge. His mission? To create and drive a car even smaller than the Peel P50. The result? The brilliant yet bonkers P45 micro car.

A team of talented students from Coventry University’s Automotive Design course were commissioned to work on styling, whilst the aluminium bodywork was hand crafted by the people who make the fabulous Petersen Bentley. Showing extraordinary attention to detail, the P45 was painted with blue twin stripes, paying homage to legendary AC Cobra creator, Carroll Shelby. Fortunately for Shelby, that was where the similarities between the two cars ended.

Ever the professional, Jeremy embarked on an extensive road test of the vehicle, which saw him driving at top speeds of around 30mph on the A3, taking the vehicle onboard a coach to London... to demonstrate how easy it is to get onboard a train, and then driving it through Westfield Shopping Centre and the British Library. Despite its many, many shortcomings, including a microscopic fuel tank, high risk of nose-smashing and inability to get through a car wash without jamming the machinery and soaking the driver’s suit, Jeremy then entered the Dragon’s Den, seeking investment from the dragons for mass production – their verdict was a unanimous and resounding “I’m out”.

Throughout the test drive, Jeremy was singing its praises, describing the car simply as “completely excellent”. Richard and James, however, were a little less enthusiastic, preferring to call it “utterly ridiculous” and “a complete death trap”. The P45 is now on display at Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear exhibition, where visitors can make a thorough inspection of the car and decide for themselves whether it is ingenious... or just plain insane.

The unique motor joins a whole host of cars at Beaulieu created by the Top Gear presenters for some of their most ambitious challenges. Another recent addition is the budget Bond Lotus Excel submarine car from the 50 Years of Bond Cars special and the collection is awaiting the arrival of another new creation from Series 19, due to be unveiled shortly.

The ‘Enormodrome’ recreates the feel of the Top Gear studio with regular features from the programme, including the Cool Wall and the Celebrity ‘Lap Times’ board, kept up to date in line with the show. Visitors can also watch behind-the-scenes footage of the Top Gear production zone and clips of some of the best Top Gear moments.

World of Top Gear can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction which also includes the National Motor Museum, BOND IN MOTION, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey.

| Beaulieu

Volkswagen workforce supports "A chance to play"

The Volkswagen Group Works Council and the child rights agency "terre des hommes" are helping to improve future prospects for children and young people in poor districts of Brazil with the "A chance to play" initiative. The project was officially launched on Friday in the country hosting the 2014 football World Cup. "A chance to play" supports sports, learning and training projects for several thousand girls and boys. The programme’s patrons include musician Peter Maffay and former professional football player Giovane Elber.

As the programme kicked off, the Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft for Human Resources, Dr. Horst Neumann, underscored: ‘For the Volkswagen Group, entrepreneurial initiative and social responsibility are inextricably linked. Volkswagen is supporting Brazil’s development by investing billions and is at the same time committed to many social projects. One new and outstanding example is "A chance to play".’

The Chairman of the Volkswagen Group Works Council, Bernd Osterloh, said: ‘"A chance to play" is a strong expression of international solidarity on the part of the Volkswagen workforce. As employees of a global carmaker we are very aware of our social responsibility. Together with local organisations we will be implementing aid projects to the tune of two million euros.’

Josef-Fidelis Senn, Vice President for Human Resources at Volkswagen do Brasil, emphasised Volkswagen’s decades-long commitment in Brazil: ‘For 33 years, our Fundação Volkswagen social foundation has testified to our social responsibility and to our support for education and social development. The Fundação has already reached out to one million school children with its educational projects. "A chance to play" is a very welcome addition to this work.’

The distinguished ambassadors of "A chance to play" include musician Peter Maffay, who is a member of the board of trustees of ‘Volkswagen Belegschaftsstiftung’ (Volkswagen Employees’ Foundation). Maffay said: ‘The foundation will also play a part in the success of "A chance to play". For me, it is a point of honour to gain a first-hand impression of the projects. That means I spend several days with my colleagues from the Group Works Council and "terre des homes" visiting the local initiatives.’

The Volkswagen Works Council and the child rights agency "terre des hommes" launched
"A chance to play" in 2010 on the occasion of the football World Cup in South Africa. The initiative is committed to helping children in need at Volkswagen locations all over the world. In South Africa, it reached out to over 50,000 children. To mark the 2014 World Cup, it is supporting 14 projects to fight child poverty in Brazil, reaching out to 60,000 children. The projects include aid for a crèche in a slum area as well as anti-violence training in poor districts.

| Volkswagen

APR Motorsport completes one-two success of the Audi R8 GRAND-AM

At the Daytona 24 Hours, the Audi R8 GRAND-AM has made its best showing to date: Filipe Albuquerque/Oliver Jarvis/Edoardo Mortara/Dion von Moltke won the GT category in a dramatic finale. The runners-up trailing the winners by 1.4 seconds were Ian Baas/Marc Basseng/René Rast/Frank Stippler. Despite 65 percent of each lap having been driven at full throttle the R8 GRAND-AM that is powered by a production-derived 5.2-liter V10 FSI engine was running flawlessly on the notorious oval track for a whole day and night. With the class victory at Daytona Audi, under factory commitments or in cooperation with its customers, has now won the world’s most important 24-hour races.

The latest evolution of the Audi R8 GRAND-AM experienced a successful baptism of fire in the toughest GRAND-AM race of the year. All four of the updated customer sport race cars for the United States were running with technical perfection all the way up to the finish of the 24-hour race. Each of the three race teams had the lead at least once and a chance of clinching victory until the very end. "We achieved this dream result at what was only our second attempt at Daytona," enthused Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. "With that, the R8 GRAND-AM in the United States is continuing the string of successes of its GT3 sister model that has clinched a total of five overall victories at European 24-hour races in the past two years."

Alex Job Racing in the end was the best Audi team. Right in the first quarter of the race the squad provided the first Audi driver – Edoardo Mortara (F/I) – to take the lead in the GT class. Afterward, Dion von Moltke (USA), Filipe Albuquerque (P) and Oliver Jarvis (GB) in the white R8 GRAND-AM set the pace as well. But spins and time penalties then caused car number "24" to drop back several times. Particularly controversial was a 30-second penalty that was imposed after Edoardo Mortara had spun and a competitor was allegedly obstructed in the incident. Factually, though, Mortara had lost a position due to his excursion. Filipe Albuquerque stood up to the pressure exerted by his brand colleagues in the dramatic final phase. For him, as for Mortara and Jarvis, this meant victory on debuting at Daytona.

An impressive performance was delivered by the runner-up team as well. Thanks to their superb fighting spirit Team APR Motorsport with its drivers Ian Baas/Marc Basseng/René Rast/Frank Stippler (USA/D/D/D) kept making up ground – on Sunday morning, car number "52" had still been far behind. Despite a drive-through penalty in the first quarter of the race René Rast took the lead from his brand colleague Filipe Albuquerque in the eighth hour. Shortly before midnight, Marc Basseng was running in front when he received a time penalty due to incorrect overtaking during the safety car period. Later, Ian Baas was hit by a Daytona prototype. So the black-white-red R8 was short of three laps when the sun rose. With a clever pit stop strategy, though, the team recovered the laps it had lost within just a few hours. René Rast managed a dramatic recovery, as the German was battling for victory trailing the leader by merely a meter throughout the last hour of the race. Rast and his team had to admit defeat by a very narrow margin.

In the initial phase, Rum Bum Racing was the quickest team within the Audi Sport customer racing squad. Frank Biela/Christopher Haase/Matt Plumb/Markus Winkelhock (D/D/USA/D) in car number "13" lost ground for the first time at the race’s mid-point due to a stop-and-go penalty. On Sunday morning, Markus Winkelhock took the lead in the GT class. Due to a wrong overtaking maneuver in a caution period the German lost two laps after receiving a time penalty. The team battled and recaptured the lap of the leader up to the final phase. The checkered flag and second place were almost in Winkelhock’s sight when the team’s bold strategy failed to pay off: on the last lap of the race his car ended up coasting due to a lack of fuel.

The grid of the GT class included a fourth Audi R8 GRAND-AM. Matt Bell/David Empringham/John Farano/Alex Figge/David Lacey (USA/CDN/CDN/USA/CDN) took 12th place for APR Motorsport.

Audi’s first 24-hour victory in the United States completes an impressive track record. After eleven victories at Le Mans plus the successes of the R8 LMS at Spa, Zolder and the Nürburgring, Audi – thanks to its customer teams at Daytona – has decided another classic 24-hour race in its favor.

Race results (GT class)
- 1 Albuquerque/Jarvis/von Moltke/Mortara (Audi R8 GRAND-AM) 678 laps
- 2 Baas/Basseng/Rast/Stippler (Audi R8 GRAND-AM) + 1.476s
- 3 Assentato/Lazzaro/Longhi/Stanton/Wilkins (Ferrari) + 15.533s
- 4 Balzan/Beretta/Frezza/Pier Guidi (Ferrari) + 47.175s
- 5 Armindo/Lally/Lietz/Potter (Porsche) + 49.526s
- 6 Bleekemolen/Faulkner/Holzer/MacNeil (Porsche) + 1m 07.775s
- 7 Biela/Haase/Plumb/Winkelhock (Audi R8 GRAND-AM) – 1 lap
- 8 Aguas/Bowyer/Kauffman/Waltrip (Ferrari) – 1 lap
- 9 Brown/Hedlund/van Overbeek/Sharp (Ferrari) – 5 laps
- 10 Baldwin/Burtin/Farnbacher/Ragginger/Renauer (Porsche) – 6 laps
- 12 Bell/Empringham/Farano/Figge/Lacey (Audi R8 GRAND-AM) – 11 laps

| Audi

Honda announce its partnership with Wiggle Honda Women’s Pro Cycling Team

Honda is delighted to announce its partnership with the newly formed Wiggle Honda Women’s Pro Cycling Team, in its debut year competing in road racing on the world stage.

Founded in 2012, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling is the creation of team owner, manager and commonwealth champion rider, Rochelle Gilmore. Armed with a strong background in managing various Australian women’s cycling teams and drawing from her vast experience as a rider, Gilmore’s vision was to create a professional team organisation for women where by the athletes are the priority.

With talented riders from across Europe and the globe in the team’s line-up - including championship and Olympic medal winning athletes - coupled with the team’s strong presence in high profile race events and activities throughout the year, Honda is looking forward to rolling out a range of campaigns in association with the team in order to provide some really engaging opportunities and experiences for customers across Europe.

The team’s partnership with Honda will further see four branded Honda Accord and two CR-V vehicles take to the road alongside the Wiggle Honda riders, to support the team as they pedal their way through an action-packed calendar of international race events and activities throughout 2013.

With the support of primary sponsors, Wiggle and Honda, Gilmore now believes she has the opportunity to transform her dream into a reality. Rochelle Gilmore said, "We are excited to be supported by Honda - a high profile, global brand who has innovation and professionalism at its core. These are two qualities that are very in-line with our team philosophy. The Wiggle Honda team’s fundamental approach is to provide our athletes with the best environment and conditions that they need in order to get the best performances out of themselves, and we are looking forward to building our relationship with Honda and taking part in some exciting activities together."

Christoph Rust, PR Manager for Honda Europe said, "We are delighted to be involved with the Wiggle Honda Pro Team. Cycling has an impressive, and still growing following, for leisure and as a professional sport and this was harnessed even further by the Olympics in London last summer. This partnership goes beyond plain exposure and awareness – it is a great platform to really create exciting opportunities to engage with people and in an environment which already holds many people’s interest."

| Honda

Audi R8 GRAND-AM will be starting into the 24-hour race at Daytona

The best Audi R8 GRAND-AM will be starting into the 24-hour race at Daytona (Florida) from the third row. The fastest driver of the Audi customer teams in qualifying was Filipe Albuquerque.

Following several warm-up laps, the Audi factory driver managed to make a perfect landing. After the tyre pressure had reached the planned optimum level, Albuquerque drove a flawless lap on the high-speed track in Florida. His time of 1m 48.282s earned him and Team Alex Job Racing grid position six in the GT class, making Audi the third-best brand in the field of the eight manufacturers.

René Rast achieved the second-best time of an Audi driver. The German from Team APR Motorsport took grid position eleven (1m 48.581s). Markus Winkelhock in the Audi R8 GRAND-AM qualified in the front half of the field of 34 GT vehicles as well. The Audi from Rum Bum Racing will start from position 16 (1m 48.865s) on Saturday. The American Matt Bell from APR Motorsport achieved grid position 27 in another R8 GRAND-AM.

The main focus of all the teams was and continues to be placed on preparing for the 24-hour race. All teams are using the remaining night practice on Thursday and a final practice on Friday to further refine the set-up of the customer race sports car. The race will start at 15:30 local time on Saturday.

Romolo Liebchen (Head of Audi Sport customer racing): "In qualifying, there were no surprises. We concentrated on preparing for the race. It was important not to take any risks today. Together with the preparation in the tests at the end of last year and in the beginning of January, we’re tackling the race with a clear conscience. The drivers are giving us feedback confirming that we’re running with a set-up that provides very good driveability."

Filipe Albuquerque (Audi R8 GRAND-AM #24/Alex Job Racing): "I’m very happy with my lap. I kept my cool because I knew that the first three laps are nothing special. I knew when I’d be able to attack. The tyre pressure was developing according to plan and then I only needed a single lap. Everything was right on the dot. There was no more traffic and I made no mistakes. Afterward, the tyres were used up. Things couldn’t have gone any better today. And in the other practice sessions we want to improve our car a little bit more. I’m looking forward to the race."

Qualifying results
- 1 Nick Tandy (Porsche) 1m 47.631s
- 2 Andy Lally (Porsche) 1m 47.828s
- 3 Sean Edwards (Porsche) 1m 48.007s
- 4 Patrick Long (Porsche) 1m 48.137s
- 5 Alessandro Balzan (Ferrari) 1m 48.260s
- 6 Filipe Albuquerque (Audi R8 GRAND-AM) 1m 48.282s
- 7 Marco Seefried (Porsche) 1m 48.319s
- 8 Robin Liddell (Camaro) 1m 48.330s
- 9 Daniel Serra (Ferrari) 1m 48.521s
- 10 Anthony Lazzaro (Ferrari) 1m 48.577s
- 11 René Rast (Audi R8 GRAND-AM) 1m 48.581s
- 16 Markus Winkelhock (Audi R8 GRAND-AM) 1m 48.865s
- 27 Matt Bell (Audi R8 GRAND-AM) 1m 49.937s

| Audi

New Scion xD Race Car to 2013 Rally America National Championship

Scion Racing returns for its second full rally season with a new Scion xD in the Rally America National Championship. Driver Andrew Comrie-Picard and the team will compete in seven scheduled events, beginning with the two-day Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta, Mich., on Jan. 25-26.

The Scion rally team celebrates the new season with a brand new xD race car that has been augmented to meet the challenging courses and elevated competition. Modifications to the 2013 car include all-new suspension, improved weight distribution, dog engagement transmission and more horsepower.

“Scion Racing is ready and thrilled to be a part of the 2013 Rally America National Championship,” said Steve Hatanaka, Scion marketing and special events manager. “The combination of the xD subcompact, a top-notch team race team and one of rally’s best drivers, Andrew Comrie-Picard, is sure to create a competitive and exciting series.”

Last year, the Rally xD team completed its first full season in the Rally America National Championship. After six challenging events, the team finished second in the two-wheel drive (2WD) category of the series.

“The Rally xD team has worked hard to get the new car ready for the first race,” said Comrie-Picard, “The xD is the best it has ever been, and I can’t wait for the season to start.”

Rally America 2013 race schedule:
- Sno*Drift Rally: Jan. 25-26 in Atlanta, Mich.
- 100 Acre Wood Rally: Feb. 22-23 in Salem, Mo.
- Oregon Trail Rally: May 3-5 in Portland, Ore.
- Susquehannock Trail Rally: May 31-June 1 in Wellsboro, Pa.
- New England Forest Rally: July 26-27 in Newry, Maine
- Ojibwe Forests Rally: Aug. 23-24 in Detroit Lakes, Minn.
- Lake Superior Performance Rally: Oct. 18-19 in Houghton, Mich.

| Scion