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Three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars complete testing for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours

Audi fielded three R18 e-tron quattro cars on the ‘Circuit des 24 Heures’ at La Sarthe, using the event to intensively test its vehicles. In total, the cars completed a total of 284 laps for 3,870 kilometers in eight hours. During the four hours in the morning, Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen in car number 1; Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer in the car number; 2 and Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Bonanomi in car number 3, tested the set-up work for the three cars.

They were also able to test the aerodynamic configuration and the grip of the R18 e-tron quattro cars. The drive also allowed the drivers to align their race cars and their personal driving styles with the energy consumption targets that regulators set for each track.

Marco Bonanomi set a lap time of 3 minutes and 23.799 seconds to record the fastest time in the first practice session. The drivers were able to complete 125 laps (1703.625 km) in the morning and were also able to meet the requirements set by the engineers, all owing them to use the afternoon for extensive tire tests.

Read the entire article Three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars complete testing for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours

Audi R18 e-Tron Quattro wins the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race

LE MANS - It was a crazy weekend here at Le Mans, as Audi won the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race with its R18 e-tron Quattro a.k.a. a hybrid race car and witted with quattro drive. Victory was clinched by Loïc Duval (F), Tom Kristensen (DK) and Allan McNish (GB).

For those who don’t know, this was the twelfth triumph for Audi at Le Mans and according to the official press release it was the most difficult hardest-fought ones, as Toyota proved to be a better rival comparing it with last year’s problems. The Toyota TS030 Hybrid LPM1 driven by Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin managed to finish the race on the second place.

The third place went to the #3 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro driven by Gene/Di Grassi/Jarvis. The #7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid race driven by Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima finished the race on the fourth place. Tom Kristensen, who managed to take the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro to the finish line wanted to dedicate its win to Allan Simonsen, who died yesterday in a fatal accident just 10 minutes after the start of the race.

Read the entire article Audi R18 e-Tron Quattro wins the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race

Audi R18 e-tron Quattro takes top position at first Le Mans qualifying round

Four Audi cars snatched four of the top five positions during the first qualifying sessions of the 80th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours. What’s even more news-worthy is that taking the pole position at the race is an Audi R18 e-tron Quattro diesel hybrid, with the number “1” designation and driven by André Lotterer. Lotterer logged 3 minutes and 25.453 seconds in the first qualifying session.

At second place is another Audi R18 e-tron Quattro having the number “2” designation and piloted by Tom Kristensen. An Audi R18 ultra car given the number “3” designation and driven by Loïc Duval is on position three, while another Audi R18 ultra car given the number “4” designation and piloted by Mike Rockenfeller is on position five. Audi Sport Team Joest marked the first practice day by focusing on preparing for the race, testing the tires as well as fine-tuning the cars based on the data obtained on the test day.

During the free practice, Lotterer logged 3 minutes 25.163 seconds, which was still below the pole position time set in 2011. All 12 Audi racers completed the mandatory laps during the qualifying night. Four Audi R18 cars managed to complete a total of 330 laps and were running without any technical problems. The team will again prepare the cars completely from scratch before the final qualifying session on Thursday night. The cars will be fitted with engines and components intended for the race.

Read the entire article Audi R18 e-tron Quattro takes top position at first Le Mans qualifying round

Audi to install digital rear-view mirror on Le Mans 24 Hours-bound R18s

Audi will install digital rear-view mirrors on the closed LMP sports prototypes that will be used by the company’s factory drivers at the upcoming Le Mans 24 Hours on June 16 and 17, 2012.  The digital rear-view mirror is a special technology that enhances vision of drivers inside the cockpit as it provides them with a clear view of the rear.

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport, praised the line-up of 13 sports car drivers, saying that their work in the cockpit is “truly heavy labor." Ullrich said that quick drivers have to endure physical and mental strain in endurance racing as well as the different vision offered by a closed LMP sports car. In sharp contrast to Audi’s A5 DTM cars, the company’s closed LMP sports cars do not have rear windows and drivers are fixed on an extremely low, central seating position.

The structure of the monocoque as well as the configuration of the mid-engine in the Audi R18 do not permit for the installation of a rear window, forcing LMP drivers to rely on the outside mirrors to get a view of the rear. Dr. Ulrich cited the disadvantage of this setup, saying that the rear end and the rear wings as well as the vibrations that occur at high speeds “significantly limit the field of vision of these mirrors." 

Read the entire article Audi to install digital rear-view mirror on Le Mans 24 Hours-bound R18s

On June 16 and 17, Audi would be celebrating a prestigious success with a hybrid vehicle, the R18 e-tron Quattro, that could be winning the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time. The vehicle combines quattro all-wheel drive and electrified drive to create a technological synthesis made by Audi. 

Within 1981 and 1997, the automaker won four titles in the World Rally Championship with quattro models. It also had a championship win in the TRANS-AM and clinched three victories at Pikes Peak, two DTM titles and eleven national Super Touring Car Championships and a Touring Car World Cup. Now, an all-wheel drive model can compete in the FIA's circuit racing program for the first time since the ban in 1998.

However, what sounds like a simple comeback has been one of the largest endeavors ever made by Audi Sport so far. Due to space conditions, having a hybrid system and an additional front-wheel drive into a sports vehicle can be particularly difficult. With a length of 4.65 meters and a width of two meters, the vehicle has huge outer dimensions. With system partners' support, the automaker has produced a particularly compact motor generator unit (MGU) on the front axle. 

Read the entire article All-wheel drive Audi R18 e-tron Quattro heads for Le Mans 24 Hours in June

With 1,130 horsepower at its disposal thanks to a 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12 engine with a KERS-style electric drivetrain, the new Aston Martin Valkyrie is a highly potent machine on the road and even on the track. It will even be offered as the track-exclusive Aston Martin AMR Pro race car. A stint at the world’s oldest sports car endurance race – the 24 Hours or Le Mans – could be possible in the future for a racing version of the Valkyrie, according to Aston Martin chief executive Andy Palmer in an interview with Autocar magazine.

Racing at the Le Mans today would seem weird for a track-only version of the Aston Martin Valkyrie. The track-exclusive AMR Pro version of the Valkyrie has been tweaked – boasting more power and more aerodynamic devices – to deliver a kind of performance near to Formula One racers or Le Mans Prototype units. However, it cannot compete in the top class of the Le Mans – the LMP1 – as restricted by the current rules and regulations set by the motor racing’s governing body, the FIA.

Currently, FIA rules for the Le Mans – in particular the LMP1 category – only allow prototype racers to enter the event. The focus of the Le Mans or any other endurance race is on prototype racers, not relying on just speed, but also reliability and efficiency. This is why hybrid systems have recently become the overall winners of Le Mans’ top category. Since only prototype racers are allowed in the top class, there is no way for a race version of the Aston Martin Valkyrie to participate. After all, the Valkyrie is a road car but with amazing power, and any version based on it becomes a road-derived race car.

Read the entire article Aston Martin Valkyrie could race at Le Mans if regulations allow it

You would expect a lot of news about the 24 Hours Le Mans just after the event finishes. But this time, we are not going to talk about the results. Instead, we are going to talk about how Ken Block took the Ford GT out for a spin just before all the racers hit the track.

Though the Ford GT was not able to repeat its class win at last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team still managed to score a second place finish for one of the entries driving a Ford GT. Before the 24-hour long event began, Ken Block took the road-going GT around the Circuit de la Sarthe for some fun.

Block posted on Facebook that “It was a pretty amazing experience to be able to drive this circuit in the GT and have the whole thing to myself”, suggesting that he was on the track by himself, driving the pre-production example of the GT. This was also Block’s first trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Read the entire article Ken Block drives a pre-production Ford GT at Le Mans

Toyota driver Kamui Kobayashi snagged the lead position ahead of this year's 24 Hours Le Mans by setting an impressive lap record. His number seven car is seen as the heavy favorite to win in one of the world's most grueling races. But in a series of unfortunate events, a clutch failure sent the #7 car to a shocking retirement, just shy of the 10-hour mark after breaking down on the track and failing to maneuver the race car to the pits. It seems that the clutch failure was the outcome of a truly unusual occurrence on the pit lane.

The unexpected clutch failure that doomed Toyota's leading Le Mans 24 Hours challenger was an indirect effect caused by Kobayashi mixing up an LMP2 driver in the pitlane for a race marshal. Kobayashi, who took over the #7 TS050 Hybrid he shared with both Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway to pole position with a record-setting lap in qualifying rounds around Thursday, had a snug lead when the race car was struck with a clutch problem in the 10th hour of the race. The clutch unfortunately overheated during a safety car period where Kobayashi took over Conway and was positioned at the end of the pitlane in front of a red light awaiting the train of cars assembled at the back of the safety car to pass.

Then what Kobayashi perceived as the marshal giving a thumbs up for him to leave the pits, he then started to speed off when he was told over the radio to immediately stop, in the process the constant stopping and starting the car caused the clutch to overheat, ultimately damning the #7's race. The "assumed" marshal is in fact the LMP2 driver Vincent Capillaire, who was donning an orange and black fire suit and helmet, an outfit that looks nearly identical to the orange safety coveralls and helmets worn by the track marshals.

Read the entire article Bizarre pitlane incident broke Toyota’s winning streak at 2017 24 Hours Le Mans

Let’s give a round of applause to Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, and Earl Bamber for surprising a lot of people as they made the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid last until the end of the 24 Hour Le Mans after a long stop in the garage during the fourth hour of the race to replace the front axle motor. This victory marks Porsche’s 19th Le Mans 24 Hour win. In fact, they were just one of the two LMP1 cars that made it to the finish.

An LMP2 car, the #38 DC Racing Oreca 07 that was driven by Oliver Jarvis, Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent came in second. Many thought that the #38 would be the champion after the Porsche’s mishap at the 21st hour with an oil pressure issue. However, the Jota Sport run isn’t just strong enough to take over the power of the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid. In under two hours, Bernhard managed to take the lead getting itself back on track. To make things even more interesting, the Porsche circulated around 13 seconds a lap quicker than the Oreca. Like Bernhard, this is the second time Bamber won at the Le Mans 24 Hour race, while for Hartley, this would be his first ever victory at La Sarthe.

Though the #38 DC Racing LMP2 did not make it to the first place, they still came first in its class, and they did quite well just finishing one lap behind the LMP1 Porsche. The last time a secondary class came in the top three was back in 2005. This win also marks Jota Sport’s second class win.

Read the entire article Porsche 919 Hybrid takes victory at the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hour Race

Two months ago, the premium British automaker Aston Martin gave us their new AMR line-up with a pair of rare super cars, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show back in March. The first vehicle was a slightly updated Rapide christened as the Rapide AMR, and the other vehicle was a track-focused Vantage with a race-car copied V8 named the Vantage AMR Pro. Now the British marque will add another super car to that line-up that will be called the Vantage AMR sans the Pro part that will get a racy body with an array of carbon fiber parts.

The staff of Aston Martin will provide customers with an option to avail of the Vantage AMR with one of the following exterior two-tone schemes namely Scintilla Silver with Grey, Ultramarine Black with Blue, Stratus White with Orange and Zaffre Blue with Red. Aside from the color options mentioned, you can also opt for the "Halo Pack" that includes a combination of Stirling Green paint with bright Lime Green accents in the fashion as the WEC-winning #95 Vantage GTE of last year.

This race-car inspired set can be yours with the Union Jack-glazed AML wings badge, but no worries as there will be no additional cost for this. For the interior, there are a lot of configurations to be offered but these will specifically depend on the exterior's aesthetic. All of these models will be fitted with premium carbon fiber seats and a combination of leather and Alcantara made especially for the coupes. Meanwhile, the roadsters will flaunt an all-leather finish.

Read the entire article Watch out for limited edition Aston Martin Vantage AMR at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

While a bunch of cars will take over 24 Hours Le Mans this racing season, there’s a glow-in-the dark Chevrolet Corvette that is destined to steal the spotlight. Coming to Le Man’s for this year’s GTE Am category is the bright and colorful Corvette C7.R art car that will be driven by Christian Philippon, Romain Brandela and Fernando Reese.

Designed by street artist Ramzi Adek, the glow in the dark livery will be featuring a graffiti-inspired paintwork in different shades of neon colors. Now we can be sure it won’t go unseen in the dead of the night.

The #50 Corvette was first seen last weekend at the Circuit de la Sarthe while undergoing official tests. As opposed to the traditional yellow body paint, Adek’s product looks totally different from the many Corvettes that took part in this competition.

Read the entire article Watch out for this Corvette with glow-in-the-dark livery at Le Mans

Amid the frenzy surrounding the 85th 4 Hours of Le Mans affair at the notable Circuit de la Sarthe in France, gamers all around the world will be ecstatic to hear that the strenuous endurance race will have a counterpart in the thrilling world of sports. Gamer boys and girls alike, this will be your chance to let your skills be known to the gaming community.

To be more specific, famous German automotive maker Porsche and the American multinational tech company Microsoft have teamed up once again at the previously held New York Auto Show with Automobile Club de l'Quest (ACO) to organize an event together that will be widely known as the "Forza Racing Championship (Forza RC) Season 3: The Porsche Cup."

If you participate in the recently ongoing qualifying rounds and successfully make it to the finals, then you are eligible to compete in a 24 hour marathon. But here's the awesome catch: the said marathon will be held at the same time as the actual Le Mans race. This exciting announcement will surely draw in hundreds of gamers around the world as this is a one of a kind opportunity that is difficult to pass off.

Read the entire article Forza 6 Marathon during Le Mans is made possible by Porsche and Microsoft

When it comes to hybrid propulsion, the first name that comes to people’s mind will always be Toyota. That being said, the brand has recently revealed its latest model to have this technology and it is not something that you get to see running beside you on the highway.

Dubbed as 2017 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, this LMP1 is based on last year’s TS050 Hybrid but has been redesigned completely that the only similarity is the basic carbon-monocoque chassis. Powering this endurance racing prototype is the twin-turbo 2.4-liter V6 engine, which when coupled to the electric motor, is capable of 8-megajoules (2.2 kWh). While it may initially appear to be the same engine as last year, this one has been redesigned from the ground up.

The engine is not the only one that experienced a modification as the entire vehicle itself has been reshaped in order to comply with the different changes on the regulations. In particular, vehicles are required to be designed to run a bit slower compared to the previous year’s model in order to improve safety. The design delivers low downforce when running at higher speeds on the circuit with the expectation of offering a higher downforce for the more technical tracks.

Read the entire article Toyota reveals new LMP1: the 2017 TS050 Hybrid

The rear engine layout is considerably Porsche 911’s ultimate selling point. Over the years, the arrangement of the engine has proven to be more capable for racing. But then, Porsche apparently gave its 911 a rather unusual overhaul. The latest Porsche 911 RSR (yes, the same car that would take part in the “24 Hours of Le Mans”) now has a new mid-engine.

But that’s not all. There are 19 other racing events in the GTE category where the 2017 Porsche 911 RSR will be part of. So this must be something really big.

According to Porsche, the much larger diffuser at the rear was in place after they positioned the 4.0 Litre horizontally arranged 6-cylinder engine at the middle. Porsche realised this new layout significantly improves handling and provides better balance as compared with the rear engine layout.

Read the entire article 2016 LA Auto Show: Porsche gets ready for Le Mans with mid-engine 911 RSR

We are faced with the sad truth that by the end of this season, Audi will no longer be racing in the FIA WEC, including at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Audi has recently announced its termination in the said sports car racing program to shift its focus primarily on the Formula E championship and its partnership with Abt Schaeffler team. At the same time, the German automaker will also maintain its DTM program. As for the World Rallycross, a decision is yet to be made but it looks like Audi will still support the EKS team which is headed by DTM’s long-time driver Mattias Ekstrom.

In an official statement by Audi’s Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler, Audi will be upgrading its motorsport segment to become at par with its increasingly electric production cars. In short, Audi will be venturing to electric powered motorsport in the near future.

Read the entire article Audi officially pulls out of FIA WEC, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Infiniti Le Mans 2030 Concept envisions autonomous night driving during the 24-hour race. Realistically, Le Mans could be considered as the hardest race for specialty race vehicles and production race vehicles. Quite a number of brands have boosted their image as well as credibility by taking part in this 24-hour event. As such, many car designers consider Le Mans as one of the world’s most open and relevant racing events in the world.

Thus, the theme for 2017 Michelin Challenge Design was “Le Mans 2030: Design For The Win.” This competition was conducted in collaboration with the Automobile Club l’Ouest (ACO), organizers of the Le Mans 24 Hour race. This year’s competition allows designers to present their vision of the future.

After a strenuous selection process, the jury for the 2017 Michelin Challenge Design picked the design entered by Tao Ni of Wuhu, China -- the “Infiniti Le Mans 2030.”

Read the entire article Infiniti Le Mans 2030 self-driving concept wins 2017 Michelin Challenge Design contest

The 24 Hours of Le Mans or sometimes called the “Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency” is an annual active sports car race held near the town of Le Mans in France. It is considered as the world’s oldest active sports car race in endurance racing since it started in 1923. The race is held along the Circuit de la Sarthe which is mostly composed of closed public roads and a specialist racing circuit. It is one of the ultimate tests of endurance in the automotive world where teams are to race for 24 hours without sustaining any mechanical damages on their vehicles. They must also be able to balance speed while speeding through the race track.

In the early 1960s, Henry Ford II envisioned one of their American chariots to join the prestigious Le Mans race. From that dream came one of the most celebrated Ford creations – the GT40. Short for “Grand Touring” and representing its 40-inch overall height, the GT40 was built to make a name in the endurance racing circuit. It was a high performance racing car built to outperform its competitors in the field of international endurance racing. Its main goal was to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and to beat Italian automaker Ferrari, the then six-time defending champion.

True enough, the GT40 was built to stand out in the race circuit. It won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for four consecutive years. First was the 1-2-3 finish in 1966 via the MK II version for which Ford became the first American manufacturer to win the said event. The next victory was in 1967 with the MK IV which was the only car at the Le Mans that was purely American made. And the next two winnings were in 1968 and 1969 for which the MK I GT40 became the first car in the history of Le Mans that had the same chassis and was able to win the race more than once. The GT40 truly has served its purpose during those years.

Read the entire article Ford GT marks another historical win at the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours

In recognition of Ford’s numerous achievements in past Le Mans races, organizers Automobile Club de l'Quest (ACO) allowed all four Ford GT cars to participate in the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours. This comes fifty years after Ford's historic domination of the 1966 Le Mans with Ford cars occupying the first, second and third spots of the final result.

It turns out that the memorable 1966 Le Mans finish was just the start as Ford went on to win four consecutive times from 1966 to 1969. Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director, thanked ACO for allowing all four Ford GTs on the Le Mans entry list, adding that no one is really guaranteed entry to the prestigious annual race.

Representing Ford in the race will be its all-new generation Ford GT super car, the zenith of Ford's Performance Division. This model is set to compete for the GTE Pro Class this coming June18-19. The new car will feature a lightweight carbon fiber body, an efficient but powerful Ford EcoBoost engine, as well as an aerodynamically tested-design.

Read the entire article Four Ford GT race cars to compete in the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race

There’s a reason why Audi has the four rings branding; it’s because the new Audi R18 is the Olympic Gold jackpot. This masterpiece had its unveiling at the Audi Training Centre Munich, where it was premiered at the Audi Sport Finale on Saturday.

In the DTM race, Audi has gone with tradition and kept the driver lineup as it was. The Audi R8 LMS is having its first full racing season in the GT event. One hundred and twenty five candidates have applied for the 20 available places in the Audi Sport TT Cup 2016.

Speaking at Le Mans, Dr Wolfgan Ullrich Head of Audi Motor sports said that the company is creating a “clear signal” of its motorsport prowess as it relies on TDI, the most successful automotive efficiency technology in the world.

Read the entire article 2016 Audi R18 makes world debut at the Audi Training Centre in Munich

Porsche had a decisive win at the Le Mans 24-Hour race with an incredible one-two finish – its 17th overall victory at the famous race. The trophy went to the drivers of the Porsche 919 Hybrid: Earl Bamber (NZ), Nico Hülkenberg (GER) and Nick Tandy (GB). It was 45 years ago that Porsche had its first overall win at La Sarthe.

Coming in second was their sister car driven by Timo Bernhard (GER), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AUS). Fifth place went to the third Porsche 919 Hybrid that entered the race. Driving it were Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (GER). This victory cements Porsche’s legendary status at Le Mans as no other automaker matches its record for the most number of wins at the toughest endurance race in the world.

The last time that Porsche won was in 1998. It was also a one-two finish. In first place were drivers Allan McNish (GBR), Laurent Aiello (FRA) and Stéphane Ortelli (MC) who drove the Porsche GT1. According to Porsche AG CEO Matthias Müller, their victory is well-deserved but was something that they didn’t dream of. He praised the team for “a great job” in the past three or four years.

Read the entire article Porsche wins big at 2015 Le Mans 24-Hour race with 1-2 finish