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Getting into Le Mans prototype racing will be a bit easier starting 2015, as the Automobile Club de l’Ouest — the sanctioning body that governs worldwide Le Mans series — has just announced the LMP3 category. As the name suggests, the new class will slot right below the LMP2 category and above the LM GTE Pro.

The new LMP3 class is set to run in both the European Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series, two competitions that already include the LMP2 prototypes . Since the LMP1 category is only reserved for the World Endurance Championship, the top tier and LMP3 vehicle will only clash during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"From the base to the summit we want to make it easy for drivers, teams and constructors to enter for endurance," explained Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. "This LMP3 is the base of our pyramid devoted to the different LMPs," he added.

Needless to say, adding a lower prototype category can only benefit the sport. But, as with any other racing class, the LMP3 comes with its own set of rules regarding body configuration, engine, and building and running costs.

Click past the jump to learn more about Le Mans’ new LMP3 Class.

The Formula Ford EcoBoost has taken different shapes since making its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show . Back then, it was a quirky, single-seat race car that resembled a high-tech go-kart more than nothing else. But now, it looks like an actual Formula One race car that even has its own rear wing.

That’s a credit to Ford , which spent the last few years improving every nook and cranny of the little race car. All that work has culminated in the car’s planned adoption to FIA Formula 4 regulations and guidelines in Britain beginning in 2015.

This paves the way for the Formula Ford EcoBoost to compete in a new racing series that will be created as a stepping stone for young race car drivers on their way to the pinnacle of auto racing, Formula One .

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Formula Ford EcoBoost.

Ford Motor Company is reportedly pondering a factory GT program that will see the Detroit-based manufacturer return to the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans race after a very long absence. The comeback is scheduled for 2016, SportsCar365 reports citing industry sources, when Ford is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first overall win at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Ford, who is currently providing EcoBoost engines to a prototype program with Riley Technologies in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, is said to be evaluating a factory GT project. If the program comes to fruition, the Blue Oval will join the iconic Le Mans event in the GTE category for production-based cars. Set to receive new regulations for 2016, the GTE class is currently disputed by companies such as Ferrari , Porsche , Chevrolet , and Aston Martin .

While this is great news for every motorsport enthusiasts, our advice is to take this report with a pinch of salt. For Ford to be able to join the famed race in 2016, a vehicle should already be in development, and not just a pending approval. Unless the said race car is a well-guarded secret, chances are slim for Ford to make a comeback to Le Mans as soon as 2016.

Click past the jump to read more about Ford at Le Mans.

Source: sportscar365

At its core, the SRT Viper GT3-R is a born and bred race car that’s capable of inflicting some serious damage on the track. The car proved as much during the Detroit leg of the Pirelli World Challenge Series in May 2014 when it scored its first-ever series victory. On July 19th and 20th, 2014, the World Challenge Series travels to Toronto and the Viper GT3-R is expected to be front and center once again.

SRT Motorsports is bringing one to the race where it will be driven by Kuno Wittmer, a man who is no stranger to driving the SRT GTS-R, his full-time ride at the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship. But on July 19th and 20th, Wittmer will be piloting a special SRT GT3-R prepared by Riley Technologies.

He’s also no stranger to driving Vipers in the series, having competed there from 2008 to 2010 and boasting two victories while piloting the Viper. For one weekend, Wittmer returns to the Pirelli World Challenge Series with an even more incredible Viper by his side, ready to take the GTA class by storm.

The car itself looks like a real world beater. That’s a credit to the work put in by Riley Technologies to turn it into a full-fledged, competition-ready race car. With a massive V-10 engine under its hood that produces 680 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque, this SRT GT3-R is ready to take turn some heads in Toronto.

Click past the jump to read more about the Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R By Riley Technologies.

As the Lamborghini Gallardo retired into history books to make way for the new Huracan as the company’s entry-level supercar , so did the race-ready Gallardo Super Trofeo . Still fresh off the assembly line, the Huracan LP610-4 is getting ready to dress its brand new Super Trofeo suit for the Lamborghini Accademia program starting this year, so we created a rendering of what we think it will look like (above).

Those of you that are not familiar with the initiative, the Lamborghini Accademia is part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse program and provides customers with intensive driving courses at the Imola race track. It essentially prepares amateur drivers for real world racing by means of two programs. Customers who want to stick to weekend track days can attend the intensive course, while those willing to take it up a notch and race at a professional or pro-am level can do so by signing up for the advanced program with a team of experience racing instructors.

Although the Huracan Super Trofeo is only available through Lamborghini’s Accademia for now, the supercar will soon take on the tracks in a series of its own, much like the Gallardo Super Trofeo did.

Updated 07/15/2014: Lamborghini unveiled the first teaser image (after the jump) for the future Huracan Super Trofeo and confirmed that the car is ready for its first testing session at the Vallelunga circuit.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Lambo Huracan Super Trofeo.

You’re probably not going to believe this, but in the auto industry, there is such a thing as having too much power. It shouldn’t be a problem if it’s power you can control, but if it’s a little out of your reach, it’s probably a good idea not to tempt fate. Drag racer Dennis Bailey failed to get that memo, and he and his 3,000-horsepower Ford Mustang paid a steep price for it.

Bailey was at a drag race at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Adel, Georgia when he participated in a quarter-mile race with another equally chunky, muscle-bound Mustang. Both cars get off the line well but immediately after that, Bailey’s Mustang slowly shoots up from all the power driving those rear wheels. It continues on its upward ascent before being completely perpendicular to the ground.

The car hits a barrier soon after that before toppling over, flipping numerous times before resting in a heap of smoke, debris, and flying tires. Fortunately, Bailey reportedly escaped the harrowing crash without any significant injuries. The same can’t be said for the Mustang though, which appeared to look completely flattened and irreparable.

These are the real-life dangers of driving a car with that much power in a setting that encourages you to go pedal to the metal. Bailey’s lucky to only escape with minor dings, but it still doesn’t take into account the all-too-real possibility that it could have ended much worse for him.

Did all of you know that Fast and Furious 7 was supposed to be released this weekend? At least that was the initial plan until Paul Walker’s unexpected death last November, throwing a monkey wrench into the production of the movie . There was talk of it being cancelled altogether, but ultimately, filming continued, albeit after massive delays. Well, the filming of the movie just concluded and we now have the official release date: April 3, 2015.

We’re all relieved to finally have confirmation that Fast and Furious 7 will hit cinemas next year. But that relief will forever be mixed with sadness knowing that Paul Walker didn’t live long enough to finish the movie. We all miss the man, even if none of us have never come close to sniffing an interaction with him.

His brothers, Cody and Caleb Walker , joined the movie to finish some of Paul’s scenes. That’s going to take a little bit of the sting out but we’d be lying to you if we think that their contributions to the movie would have been the same had Paul been around to finish the movie himself.

The good news is that the movie now has a scheduled release date. It’s hollow news relative to what has happened, but it’s still a good place to start moving on.

Click past the jump to read more about Fast & Furious 7.

Source: Deadline

The Jaguar F-Type reinvented the way we looked at Jaguar . For the first time in years, it had its claws out and the F-Type was one ferocious feline that caused rival companies to tremble in fear. So if that was the F-Type , how do we describe the F-Type Project 7 ? A big cat on steroids? Whatever the case may be, the F-Type Project 7 finally made its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and boy oh boy, did it make an impression!

The F-Type Project is the fastest and most powerful production car Jaguar has ever built. Those aren’t hollow words, either, because the company has a long and exquisite history that includes some of the most iconic sports cars ever built. But none of those models could’ve held a candle to the F-Type Project 7.

So it was pretty special seeing the F-Type Project 7 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans . But what made it more memorable was seeing the fastest Jag ever partake in a parade alongside the Jaguar D-Type , the very car that inspired the F-Type. It was a nostalgic look at Jag’s past and present, culminating in the D-Type scoring an incredible victory at the 2014 Le Mans Classic.

The day couldn’t have gone better for Jaguar. It successfully showcased its new pride and joy while also reliving history with another Le Mans win for the D-Type.

Those claws really do look quite menacing, don’t they?

Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar F-Type Project 7.

It’s been less than a month since Porsche introduced the Cayman GTS at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show in China, and word has it the Germans are working on yet another version of the sports car. Created to narrow the gap between the Cayman and the 911 even further, the GTS will lose its range-topping status in a couple of years if we’re to believe a recent report from Motor Trend.

Specifically, Porsche is supposedly working on a more powerful Cayman that’s likely to be launched under the GT4 moniker. The source claims the sports car is in for a hybrid powertrain, but whether the conventional engine will pump power using four or six cylinder depends on Porsche’s success with the 919 race car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this summer.

If the 919 gets on its feet by June (the new vehicle struggled in the first two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championships) then the Cayman GT4 will receive a turbo four-cylinder plug-in hybrid drivetrain similar to that fitted into the race car. If the 919 continues to struggle and fails to make a positive impression at Le Mans, Porsche is likely to opt for a flat-six unit, but without giving up on hybrid assist.

Obviously, there’s no word on how many horses might come out of each powerplant, but it’s safe to assume the Cayman GT4 will have around 400 horsepower at its disposal. Power will be transferred to the wheels via a transmission based on the PDK unit offered in the 911 GT3 , Motor Trend adds, without providing further details.

How much will this baby cost? Well, it appears pricing could stand around $125,000, nearly $50,000 more than the 2015 Cayman GTS and only $5,000 less when compared to the 911 GT3. Quite expensive if you ask us, but make sure you take all the details with a grain of salt until further info surfaces.

Updated 07/03/2014: British magazine CARreports that the future Cayman GT4 will deliver as much as 450 horsepower from its heavily tuned 3.8-liter, twin-turbo, boxer-six engine.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche Cayman GT4.

Source: MotorTrend

British sports car manufacturer McLaren is considering a comeback to the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans race for the first time since 1998. The news comes via McLaren GT boss Andrew Kirkaldy, who says the company could return to the Circuit de la Sarthe as soon as 2016. McLaren’s vehicle of choice for the race will be the 650S , Kirkaldy revealed, meaning the Brits won’t tackle the top LMP1 tier, but the GTE category instead.

"I would be very surprised if you don’t see a 650S running at Le Mans at some point and we hope to be there from 2016," he told Autosport, adding that McLaren is still waiting for The Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the FIA to finalize the GTE class rulebook for 2016. "That’s what we want to do, but we still need a set of regulations to build the car to," he concluded.

McLaren hasn’t revealed any other details, but the Le Mans-ready 650S will be based on the recently unveiled 650S GT3, which will replace the 12C GT3 in the Blancplain Endurance Series starting 2015. We expect the Le Mans-spec sports car to carry the 650S GTE moniker and share many internals, including the 3.8-liter, V-8 engine, with the 650S GT3.

Click past the jump to read more about McLaren’s return to LeMans.

Source: Autosport

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