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Carfection does a road review for the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

Volkswagen's Golf GTI TCR is the last of the special editions for the mk7 generation of the GTIs. So is it the best one of them all? Inspired by the TCR International Series, the Golf GTI TCR is not the most hardcore of the Mk7 GTIs but with 286bhp from its 2.0-litre turbo four paired exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels, it is far from soft. Watch what Carfection's Henry Catchpole has to say about the car in the video below!  

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Koenigsegg explains how they crash test their cars

Being a small company with limited resources, Koenigsegg still has to crash their ultra expensive cars like any other brands too. So how do they make sure their cars meet the safety regulations set by various countries? Unlike most large manufacturers which need to crash at least 16 cars and lose around S$540,000 to get the crash tests done, Koenigsegg can't afford to do the same as crashing the same amount of cars would equate to a lost of more than S$40 million. In fact, 16 cars is around the same amount of cars they can produce in a year. So how do they make sure their cars are safe for road use? Watch the video below for the answer!  

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Toyota reveals Mark X Final edition as production ends in December

The Mark X and its predecessor Mark II, has been on sale for over 50 years but with the decrease in demand for sedans, they have become irrelevant. Production is set to end in December and Toyota is sending off its domestic market sports sedan with the Mark X Final Edition. 250S and 250S Four. Available in 250S (rear-wheel drive) and 250S Four (all-wheel drive), the car makes 200bhp and 243Nm of torque from its naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre V6 engine. As a special edition, the car will have been equipped with additional features that set it apart from the rest of the range. On the outside, it has 18-inch dual-spoke alloy wheels that have been painted with 'Sputtering Coating', a different bumper with new garnish and the option of three colours for the body: White Pearl Crystal Shine, Silver Metallic and Precious Black Pearl. Inside, the seats have been treated with a mix of black and red alcantara/leather upholstery while red contrast stitching can be found on the steering wheel, gear knob, doors and armrest.

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Google Map can now show real time availability of charging ports

Users of Google Map can now have real-time availability of charging ports at the charging station, removing the chances of driving there and finding no available slots for your Electric Vehicle. However, only owners in United Kingdom and United States of America can benefit from this updated function for now. That said, once Google gets this new feature inserted into future versions of the app for Singaporeans, users simply have to fire up the app and search for “EV charging stations.” A list of nearby chargers will then appear, showing how many open ports are available at each station. Other than that, the app can also display the charger type and the power rating. The new feature can be used with Google Maps on Android and iOS. It’s also integrated into Android Auto.

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Possible new variant for Honda Civic Type R

Is Honda readying the facelifted Honda Civic Type R with new parts? Or could this be a lightweight special from the Japanese company?   As reported by Carscoops, two prototype Civic Type Rs has been spotted being pushed to its limits on Nurburgring. A white coloured unit sporting a different bumper all round has been spotted before, signaling a forthcoming facelift and a yellow one shown here that is more interesting. Featuring a fully camouflaged roof and camouflaged air intake in the bonnet, these are signs that could point to Honda preparing for a lightweight variant of its hot hatch. It is also known that Honda is willing to add more variants to the civic if there is a demand for it. As of now, it is anyone's guess on what those camouflaged photos of the Civic Type R means but Honda fans would not need to wait too long as Honda is expected to introduce the updated Civic Type R late this year.

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James May gives advice for those who want to be a motoring journalist

According to DriveTribe, James May often gets many questions on how to become a motoring journalist. If you want to be one, watch the video and see what he has to say. The Grand Tour host, who has been in the industry for 17 years, sounded pretty convincing in his 2-minute long clip but we aren't sure his advice would work well in every part of the world...       

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Check out this Lego BMW M1

You must have heard of Lego Ideas. It’s a platform where people are invited to submit ideas for new Lego sets. Get to 10,000 ‘supporters’, and something called the ‘Review Board’ seriously considers offering your set for sale as an official Lego product. And yes, you do get commission.   This BMW is one of those sets. Blocky cars always translate well into Lego models for, well, obvious reasons. And because the M1 hails from an era that curves (mostly) forgot, it’s blocky as they come. Frankly we’re surprised nobody thought of this sooner. There are loads of ace cars from the Seventies and Eighties that we’d love to see as Lego models. Someone get going on the Lamborghini Countach and Aston Martin Lagonda, stat.   Made from around 1,000 standard Lego bricks, user TOMOELL has rendered BMW’s first mid-engined car as either a standard road car or Procar racer. It has opening doors, an opening engine compartment and working steering. Looks like you can separate the body from the chassis too, for a better look at the engine and interior. At the time of writing, it’s got almost 2,000 supporters and still over 500 days left to run.  

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Watch Ken Block's Ford F-150 Raptor SVC bum-rush Moab

Could Ken Block take a stock Ford F-150 and have a blast ripping it around the desert? Yes. Would that be the Hoonigan Ken Block way? Absolutely not. First, he needed more speed, more lights, more graphics and more custom off-roading gear.   Block debuted this new Ford Raptor at the beginning of the year, but he never gave it the full proper video feature that it deserved. The first portion of the video details exactly what has been done to this beast to make it a supertruck. He relied on California-based Raptor-focused SVC Offroad, which also did Block's RaptorTRAX, for all the work.   Nearly every important piece on the Avalanche Grey 2017 Raptor has been altered, including the engine. SVC took the twin-turbo V6 and gave it a new tune, an SVC intercooler, an SVC intake, SPD turbo adapters and a Stainless Works exhaust system. Block estimates power to be around 550 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, up from about 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque.   Giving the truck a meaner look, the Raptor's new exterior parts include a Gen2 Mojave front bumper with a skid plate, a Gen2 Baja rear bumper, a Gen2 Bypass bed rack with tire storage and wide ADV fiberglass front fenders. A 50-inch light bar up top and a 30-inch bar in the front bumper from Rigid Industries will add extra visibility in the dust. The flashiest feature, however, is the HOONIGAN logo graphics that reflect light, for the illusion of glowing in the dark.   The real cred comes from the off-road bits. SVC gave it a Mid Travel Kit with Fox 3.5 bypass shocks in the front, and Deaver Suspension leaf springs, SVC traction bars and Fox 4.0 five-tube bypass shocks in the rear. The Raptor rides on 17-inch Fifteen52 Turbomac HDs wrapped in 37-inch Toyo Tires Open Country M/T rubber.   Watch it all come together, as Block shreds up some dirt in the Moab desert.

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Volkswagen's ID. R gets ready for Nurburgring attack

Volkswagen has been hard at work readying its electric ID. R race car for its Nurburgring record attempt.   The German manufacturer has set sights on the 1,341bhp NIO EP9’s 6:45.90 time, which is currently the best lap ever recorded by an electric vehicle.   Using its ID. R which demolished the record at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last year, Volkswagen has developed some new parts to optimise the race car for use on The Green Hell. One of the big changes given to the car is a new rear wing that works similarly to Formula 1 car. At the touch of a button, the driver will be able to open up an element of the rear wing which will reduce downforce by approximately 20 per cent and lower the car’s drag, not unlike the Drag Reduction System (DRS) found in a Formula 1 car. Other new aerodynamic elements include a new floor and a new front splitter to better deal with the denser air at the Nurburgring as compared to the old Pikes Peak configured parts.

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Texas Police makes fun of driver who didn't park properly

Bad parking habits can be found in most parts of the world. It is no different in the United States of America and police in Texas found a creative way to call out an offender.   Posted on Facebook by the Southlake Police Department in reference to a Ram truck which parked poorly, one of its officers in its department apparently created a funny note which reads “We noticed you had a little trouble staying in the lines when you parked next to a handicapped space….” “Maybe if you practice coloring our path and staying in the lines here, it could help you from avoid citations in the future.” An uncolored image of the police department’s shield was also in the note.   While not everyone might find it funny, we thought at least the police there had a decent sense of humor and receiving that message is much better than actually getting a fine.

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Captain Marvel gets acquainted with the Audi E-Tron

Audi teamed up with Marvel Studios again, with movie-goers able to expect Audi to showcase its range of electric cars in the movie Avengers: Endgame   In conjunction the world premiere of Marvel's latest movie, Audi has released a spot dubbed ‘The Debriefing’ where Brie Larson a.k.a Captain Marvel sits down with a government agent as part of her re-introduction to society after multiple decades away from Earth.   The two-minute plus clip is pretty amusing and we shan't spoil it for you readers by explaining it all in words. However, it is interesting to note that the production version of the e-tron won’t be featured in the movie. Instead, the e-tron Sportback Concept, as well as the e-tron GT Concept will be the ones making an appearance.   Avengers: Endgame will start showing in our cinemas on 24th April.  

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Mustang retains World’s Best-Selling Sports Coupe title

With 113,066 units of the Mustang sold in 2018, Ford's coupe gets to keep its World’s Best-Selling Sports Coupe title for the fourth straight year.   Ford announced the news on the eve of its 55th anniversary that sales in Europe went up by more than 27% so far in 2019 and its market share increased by half a point for 2018 over the previous year, reaching 15.4%.   Thanks to the new Bullitt variant, 75,842 units were sold in the U.S. while 2,323 Mustangs found homes in the U.K., representing an increase of 5% over 2017.   According to Ford, the Mustang was sold in 146 countries in 2018 and over 500,000 sixth-generation models have been sold globally since 2015.   “We broke the mould when Ford launched the Mustang 55 years ago,” said Jim Farley, Ford president of global markets. “Nothing says freedom, the wind in your hair and the joy of driving like Mustang; it’s an icon. The roar of its V8 on a spring day, there’s nothing better. No wonder it’s the most popular sports coupe in the world.”

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Nissan refreshes GT-R Nismo for New York Auto Show

Yes, the Nissan GT-R gets another round of refreshing, with the Nismo variant even more hardcore than its predecessor. Shown at the New York Auto Show, the king of the GT-R range gets a number of revisions but does not get an increase in horsepower (600bhp). That said, its turbochargers have been refined and now feature a modified turbine shape and fewer blades. Interestingly, they are the same ones found in the GT-R GT3 race car and are programmed to provide the same amount of boost. Meanwhile the six-speed dual-clutch transmission have been blessed with new software, improving the adaptive shift control and a more refined ‘R’ mode. Its titanium exhaust system has also been revised. In order to extract more speed out of it, Nissan has tried removing some weight and they have succeeded by shedding 20kg of weight with newer components and parts. In addition, the new carbon fiber bumpers, front fenders, hood, roof, side sill covers, trunk and rear spoiler add up to another 10.5kg worth of weight savings. Eagle-eyed readers might notice the new front fenders are now similar to those found in the GT-R GT3 race car. They are said to end hot air away from the engine bay and smooth the airflow along the body. More weight shavings come in the form of the new 20-inch RAYS forged aluminum that are wrapped in new Dunlop tyres that features a wider tread and fewer grooves, increasing contact patch by 11%   Handling wise, the suspension has also been revised with enhanced yaw rate response, while the steering rack is also improved, offering more linearity and precision than before.   Lastly, new and larger Brembo carbon ceramic rotors, 410mm at front and 390mm at the rear are claimed to be more durable and stronger than ever.

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Australia’s Northern Territory Police to use Kia Stingers

Since the demise of the local-produced Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons, Australian police departments have been searching for alternatives.   So for the policemen working in Australia’s Northern Territory, they opted to go with Kia’s high-performance sedan, the Stinger. Serving as a replacement to the Commodore SS models previously used by the highway patrol fleet, these cars will be powered by the twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6 engine that delivers 365bhp.   According to Australian publication News, reported that the Stinger passed trials in the outback and was able to operate at reasonably high speeds “in temperatures of 45 degrees without missing a beat.” Meanwhile, other states like Victoria for example, opted for the BMW 530d, which costs well over twice as much as the Stinger while South Australia backed the Europe-sourced ZB Commodore.

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Next-generation BMW M135i leaked

Here's a first look at the next-generation BMW M135i. Leaked by Bimmerfile, the new 1 Series has been spotted in the range-topping M135i guise. Looking pretty much production-ready, the BMW M135i also wears a xDrive badge, confirming that the car will have an all-wheel drive system. However, lesser variants of the 1 series will be using a front-wheel driven version of BMW’s FAAR architecture. M135i xDrive seen here will likely be powered the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine as found in the X2 M35i, making around 302bhp and 450Nm of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is also expected to be the only option while the chassis will feature a limited-slip differential on the front axle. It is unknown when the car will be launched but a reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September is possible.

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Nissan reveals all new Sylphy at Shanghai Auto Show

Looking much sleeker and more refined, Nissan's all new Sylphy has been revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show featuring the family's V-motion design at the front. According to Nissan, the new exterior design has allowed the new Sylphy to boast a drag coefficient of just 0.26, equal to that of the Nissan GT-R. Powertrain details have yet been released but the Japanese company did mention that it will be using its new HR16DE Gen 3 intelligent drive engine mated to an Xtronic transmission. The current Sylphy uses a similar but older variant of the same engine and makes around 114bhp. Inside, the car looks more upmarket than its predecessor with the black and tan leather combination. Top-specced cars get an 8-inch infotainment screen while speedometer cluster now features a 7-inch digital gauge cluster. Elsewhere new technologies built into the car include Intelligent Trace Control, Intelligent Ride Control, and Emergency Brake for Pedal Misapplication. There’s also Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Cross Traffic Alert, and Intelligent Driving Alert.

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New Infiniti Qs Inspiration concept previews future production model

The Infiniti Qs Inspiration concept has been revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show, previewing an upcoming three-box sports saloon The new Infiniti Qs Inspiration concept, which previews a new upcoming production model, has been officially revealed at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show. The Qs Inspiration concept is a saloon sibling for the QX Inspiration concept SUV, revealed earlier this year at the Detroit Motor Show. The front of the Qs uses the industry-norm blank grille, with a large Infiniti badge, illuminated lettering and sharp headlights. The blacked-out windows and A-pillars give it the appearance of a floating roof, while the handle-less doors continue the streamlined design to the as yet, unseen rear end. Infiniti says that the Qs Inspiration has been designed to offer a high driving position while still keeping the centre of gravity as low as possible for optimum control and handling. Under the metal of the Qs sits a new platform. Infiniti says it is a ‘flexible’ architecture designed specifically for fully-electric and hybrid e-POWER drivetrains, borrowed from sister brand Nissan. In the case of the Qs, the powertrain is a ‘high-performance’ all-wheel-drive setup. Though the concept directly previews a new three-box saloon, we won’t be seeing the final product in Britain: Infiniti has announced it plans to pull out of Europe by 2020. The brand will focus more on the Chinese and American markets, where large saloons are still popular.   Christian Meunier, Chairman of Infiniti, said: "The age of electrification presents us with an opportunity to renew our credentials as an innovative challenger brand, ready to move quickly and decisively in this growing and exciting area of the market."

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Hot Mazda 3 might come true

A new report has suggested a hot version of the new Mazda 3 might turn into reality. If true, the car could go on sale in 2021.   While we did not get the past generations of Mazdaspeed 3 in Singapore, hot hatch enthusiasts here would surely appreciate Mazda creating such a car for the future. As reported by Autocar, the hot 3 might likely a similar version of the turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder that powers the CX-9 here.   Making around 250bhp and 420Nm of torque, it remains unclear if the car would be offered with front or all-wheel drive or maybe even both. It is also not known if it would be paired with a six-speed manual or an automatic.   According to Mazda3 program manager Kota Beppu, there’s been significant interest in a hot Mazda 3 from “most developed countries” and he himself would love to have one.   He then added on that the car could have more power than some of its rivals but would need to be “responsible and friendly… more friendly than a Golf GTI.”

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Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro reviewed by Carfection

The Mercedes-AMG GT R was never a soft car but the folks at Affalterbach think that there are people who want an even more focused car, giving birth to the newly-launched Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro.   With 577bhp and 700Nm, the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 produces exactly the same amount of power and torque as the GT R. It also does the century sprint in 3.6 seconds and has a has a top speed of 318km/h identical to the non-Pro variant.   So what is so special about the car? Watch the video above by Carfection and see what its host, Henry Catchpole has to say.  

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MCF Hangout with Perodua

More than 50 MyCarForum (MCF) members and Perodua guests, together with their partners and family, gathered at the Perodua showroom in Ubi on Saturday for another MCF Hangout with Perodua, and got up close and personal with the all new Perodua Myvi hatchback. With a wide-ranging crowd consisting of older adults, young families and even excited children, guests were eager to check out and learn more about the latest model from the Malaysian manufacturer.   sgCarMart Editorial Team member Idris Talib also shared with the guests his experience driving the new Myvi, which he says "will appeal to buyers looking for a cheerful car on a budget, thanks to its generous space and perky drive".   Along with test driving the new 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre Perodua Myvi, guests were also treated to an extensive buffet spread, as well a variety of games and activities to spice up the day. In addition, there were attractive shopping vouchers to be won as well.   Getting a closer look at the first car from the Malaysian carmarker that is almost completely engineered in-house!   Despite being a compact hatchback, the Myvi offers generous room all around.   Guests excitedly head out on their test drives!   And of course, what's an MCF Hangout without a sumptous meal to fill the tummies?

New Mini JCW GP spotted near production form

MINI's range-topping John Cooper Works GP has been spotted at the Nurburgring near production form. It is rumored to get 300bhp. The limited edition hot hatch will be the company's fastest and most powerful model till date, thanks to a turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder engine. As reported by Carscoops, production will be limited to just 3000 units.   Likely to be the swansong for the current model generation, the car looks like it will feature a pretty wild body kit with plenty of aero.   Other than the very aggressive fender flares and rear roof spoiler, it looks like the JCW GP will also get a new front bumper with a different grill and exhaust tips that are larger than standard. Elsewhere, the car might have also lost its rear seats to reduce weight while getting bigger brakes, stickier tyres and a retuned suspension.   The car is expected to be revealed before the year ends.

Rowan Atkinson's Mercedes 500E up for sale

Rowan Atkinson, or better known as Mr. Bean, has a Mercedes 500E up for sale. This is the second example he has put up for sale in the recent years. The British actor has some very good taste in cars and his collection of cars has long been well documented over the years. He used to have a McLaren F1 which he crashed twice, as well as various Aston Martins, a Honda NSX, a Ferrari 456 GT and some other classic BMWs. The Mercedes-Benz 500E you see here had been featured in U.K’s Car magazine and comes with proper service history. However, it is no pristine, low mileage example as it has done more than 310,000 kilometres. Interestingly, Atkinson had more than one 500Es in his garage, with the specific car being a pre-facelift example from 1991. It is believed that he owned the car since new and kept it for four years before selling it to its second owner. 23 years later, in 2017, Atkinson managed to buy the car back and is now offering it up sale at an auction. For those who aren't in the know, the 500E was one of the best 'sleeper' cars from the 90s. With almost no sign of any go-faster parts on the outside, not many are aware of the Porsche-assembled 326bhp 5.0-litre V8 that resides in the engine bay that will allow it to do the century sprint in 5.9 seconds.

U.K. Drivers not allowed to hang anything on their rear-view mirror

If you think our rules in Singapore is too strict, check out U.K's latest ruling where you are not allowed to hang stuff on your rear view mirror.   Yup, according to an article from The Sun, drivers in Britain are supposed to have no obstructions that could affect their field of vision in any way, which in turn could reduce reaction time and in turn cause an accident.   “Windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision,” as per the Highway Code.   While the rule includes all religious items, it doesn't technically mean that it is illegal to have anything on your windshield or your rear view mirror. However, if the authorities decide that what you have going on can prevent you from having a clear view of the road, that means an automatic S$176 fine and three penalty points. And if you try to fight the penalty in court, you could be hit with a maximum fine of S$1,760.   Adding on, in the event of an accident, it is also possible damages where your vision was impaired by any object aren’t likely to be covered.

MCF Hangout with Jetabout Holidays

Over 60 MyCarForum (MCF) members gathered at CoSpace Park, at Science Park Road to attend the latest MCF Hangout with Jetabout Holidays. The event proved to be a learning opportunity to MCF members who want to head for self-drive holidays and tours in Tasmania.   Jetabout Holidays is an established travel agency that provides various well-priced and all inclusive tour packages that include self-drives and group tours in and around Tasmania. For self-drive packages, it includes vehicle rental, too. Tasmania is known for its beautiful landscapes. Despite being Australia’s smallest state, it is geographically diverse with over 40% of land area reserved for national parks and wilderness areas.   MCF members who attended the event also received goodie bags from Jetabout Holidays, and one lucky draw winner walked away with a $200 travel voucher.   sgCarMart Deputy Editor, Nigel Yong, was on hand to share his thoughts on driving overseas. As shared by Nigel, a Singapore driving licence is recognised in Australia. For other types of driving licences, as long as the driving licence is in English and you have over a year of driving experience, it will be recognised.   According to Nigel, driving in Australia is very similar to Singapore, and drivers are courteous. But he did mention that speed limits, as well as the usage of seat belts for drivers and passengers are regularly enforced.   During the event, Jansen Chua, Associate Instructor at the Canon Imaging Academy, also shared some tips on how to capture great photos. During the last Tasmania self-drive trip, holiday makers managed to capture a glimpse of the Southern Lights.       Fiona Lee from Tourism Tasmania was also on hand to share more on what one can expect from Tasmania's vast geographical diversity.   The event ended off with a food tasting experience. MCF members had a chance to taste food and drinks that is unique to the region, like Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey.            

Mick Schumacher does well on track with Formula 1 car

Mick Schumacher, son of multiple Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher, got his first taste of a Formula 1 car recently at the Bahrain International Circuit.   As reported by BBC Sport, the 20-year old Schumacher drove Ferrari’s 2019 car, the SF90, throughout the day and set the second fastest lap, being beaten only by Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen. He did a total of 56 laps and set a best time of 1 minute 29.976 seconds on the softest and fastest tires available. In comparison, he was 2.11 seconds slower than Charles Leclerc's pole position time on Saturday.   “I really enjoyed today. It felt like home in the garage from the very first moment with a lot of people that know me since I was very young. “The SF90 is incredible because of the power it has, but it is also smooth to drive, and that’s why I enjoyed myself so much. I was impressed by the braking power an F1 car has. It seemed to me you could brake later and later and the car would have made the turn anyway.”   Schumacher also made his Formula Two debut at the same circuit over the weekend and got to drive Alfa Romeo’s 2019 car during the third day of Bahrain testing.
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