Formula One

Red Bull Racing Honda leads F1 constructor standings for first time since 1991

Formula One driver Max Verstappen won this week's race in Monaco.

Photo courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Inc.

If you've spent any time watching Formula One racing this season, it's hard not to be excited by the progression of events. The sport has been dominated by Mercedes-AMG and its world conquering driver, Lewis Hamilton, but 2021 looks to be different. Red Bull Racing Honda has a star driver of its own in Max Verstappen but the car, Honda power unit, and teammate Sergio Perez also look to be in top form. The team and its drivers are presenting quite the challenge for Mercedes, as the dominant team is in second place for the first time in a long time.

Red Bull Racing HondaThe team leads F1's constructor championshipPhoto courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Inc.

The win by Verstappen sets Honda atop the leaderboard for the F1 constructors championship for the first time since the end of the 1991 season. Honda previously announced its exit from the sport, and will turn over power unit development efforts to Red Bull itself, which has begun a hiring spree to fill key positions in development and management.

For its part, Red Bull has to be happy with the result, both for its drivers and for the team. Verstappen's win puts him ahead of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and moves the team itself to the top of the leaderboard. The result is impressive, despite the fact that Monaco is a notoriously difficult track for passing. Max started in second and finished first, but teammate Sergio Perez moved from his qualifying position of ninth up to fourth, gaining several additional points in the process.

Red Bull Racing HondaHonda is set to exit F1 after 2021Photo courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Inc.

In two weeks, the Red Bull cars will be put to the test again in Azerbaijan. The team has seen mixed results at the Baku circuit in recent years, but this time it will be defending its one-point lead over Mercedes. As for Max, his four-point lead over Hamilton is the big headline of today, but anything can happen as the sport moves to its sixth race of the 2021 season.

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The 2023 Acura Integra is a very good thing
Acura

After years of rumors and speculation, we finally got confirmation that the Acura Integra is returning. The iconic Japanese sports car left the market in the early 2000s, and has been notably absent since. Now, though, Acura is bringing it back. Today, the automaker announced that production had begun. The new Integra will be the first to be built in the U.S., and production will take place at Acura's Marysville Auto Plant. Interestingly, Acura's five other models are built in the Ohio facility.

2023 Acura Integra2023 Acura Integra reservations begin soonautomotivemap.com

The Integra will start arriving on dealers' lots in early June, and will carry a starting price of $30,800 before destination. The car is the only liftback in its segment, and gets a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower. A six-speed manual is available, but buyers can opt for a continuously variable transmission.

2023 Acura IntegraThe new Integra comes as a five-door only. Acura

Acura says the Integra rolls down the same production line as the TLX sedan. The car required a rethink of Acura's production processes, and COVID-19 threw a wrench in development efforts. Acura notes its team worked rmotely and traveled to Japan to collaborate with home-office engineers. The Integra will also usher in a new training process for Acura, where associates learn the vehicle, the production process, and tooling before ever seeing the actual car.

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The Sport Classic comes to the U.S. for the first time next year.

Porsche

Porsche's bringing the 911 Sport Classic back to market, and it's headed to the United States for the first time. The car features distinctive styling, a rowdy twin-turbo flat-six engine, and plenty of go-fast gear from the 911 Turbo S upon which it is based. The car is scheduled for limited release late in 2022 as a 2023 model year.

2021 Porsche 911 Sport ClassicThe Sport Classic comes exclusively with a manual transmission and RWD.Porsche

The Sport Classic gets the Turbo S powertrain, which means a 3.7-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine producing 543 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. It's paired exclusively with a seven-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. Porsche says the combo makes the car the most powerful 911 with a manual gearbox currently on sale. The Sport Classic also gets a laundry list of parts from the Turbo S, including Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, rear-axle steering, a sport exhaust, and an active sport suspension system.

2021 Porsche 911 Sport ClassicThe car comes with an interior not seen since the Porsche 918 Spyder.Porsche

The car' comes with Sport Grey Metallic paint with grey accent stripes, a carbon fiber reinforced plastic hood, and unique graphics on both sides. It rides on 20-inch wheels up front and 21-inch wheels in back, which are designed as reinterpretations of the old-school Fuchs design. In back, the Sport Classic gets unique bodywork that sets it apart from the 911 Turbo, such as deleted air intakes and a large ducktail spoiler. Inside, the 911 gets open-pore wood trim and semi-aniline leather upholstery in cognac and black. Porsche says the Sport Classic is the first car to get that type of leather since the iconic 918 Spyder.

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