Le Mans Series

Le Mans Series

Panoz Auto Development is just tired of seeing images on the web of cars people are claiming as the "Panoz Abruzzi", so they have released a teaser image as a little taste of what’s to come when the Abruzzi "Spirit of Le Mans" supercar debuts at the world famous 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race. While waiting for the official details, the first teaser image of the future supercar looks quite promising.

"The styling is inspired from a classic era when racers would literally drive their own cars to Le Mans to compete and then drive back home. However, the technology of the Panoz Abruzzi ’Spirit of Le Mans’ is absolutely leading-edge. We will provide many more details about the concept and some very special elements surrounding this exciting new car next month at Le Mans," says Panoz

The supercar will feature a new body made from a Recyclable Energy Absorbing Matrix System (REAMS) which provides many environmental, performance and structural advantages. Panoz Auto Devel Devel opment will also utilize a new three-stage "TRIFECTA COOLING" technology. This "Trifecta" is an innovative development that improves both engine performance and efficiency. In addition to a typical high-efficiency radiator, there are stage two and stage three cooling systems that lower coolant temperature on both the inflow to and the outflow from the radiator.

Press release after the jump.

Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX5 World Chronograph

Here we go again. Another timepiece by yet another automaker. Remember the AMVOX2 Chronograph revealed in 2009? If you do and never had the chance to buy one (it was limited to only 24 units), you’ll be happy to known that Aston Martin and Jaeger-LeCoultre will reveal the AMVOX5 Chronograph at the Le Mans Series championship race on the Paul Ricard circuit. This new and exclusive chronograph is limited to 300 units in ceramic and titanium and 200 in ceramic and pink gold.

The chronograph features a winding mechanism on lubricant-free ceramic ball bearings, a large variable inertia balance and laser-welded balance spring, all of which ensure its reliability. This all-terrain caliber is inserted in a case made of high-tech ceramic combined with titanium and 18 carat pink gold. Made by compacting yttrium oxides mixed with a binder and a small proportion of zirconium oxide under high pressure, the compound is then subjected to a temperature of 2,000°C. After fluoroscopic testing for homogeneity, the ceramic block is then shaped using special diamond-tipped tools. The intensely black case weighs much less than steel, yet is twice as hard, giving the AMVOX5 World Chronograph its infallible resistance. Did you get all of that? Okay, keep reading.

Jaeger-LeCoultre will also offer two Racing models made in ceramic and titanium, with a black or white dial, each in a limited series of 100. Inspired by the performance of the meteoric LMP1 Aston Martin Racing prototype, these timepieces feature chronographic counters executed in carbon fiber, punctuated with a flash of orange on the world time disc, the chronographic second hand and the overstitching on the calfskin leather strap.

Press release after the jump.

Only a few weeks after its official debut, the Audi R15 Plus has made a strong impression by winning its first race at Le Castellat in France. The racing sports car ran the entire distance without the smallest problem during the test race which means no unscheduled pit stops.

On the opening lap of the 8-hour race, Allan McNish overtook the Peugeot which had started from pole position in the hands of Frenchman Stéphane Sarrazin and on the third lap the Lola-Aston Martin of Stefan Mücke. After 266 laps the two Audi drivers held a five-lap lead from the Lola-Aston Martin of defending champion Stefan Mücke, Harold Primat and Adrian Fernandez. The Oreca team, Peugeot , finished fourth after succumbing to a technical problem during the opening stages of the race.

So, it seems that the Audi R15 Plus is more than ready for the 24-hour race at Le Mans on June 12-13, 2010 and Audi is making sure of that by succumbing the Audi R15 Plus to a 30 hour test followed by the LeMans dress rehearsal.

Press release after the jump.

Adrian Newey is more than just one of the world’s foremost race car designers; he also knows a thing or two about driving them.

Here he is in a few file photos from 2007 competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on board a Ferrari F430 GT2 that was designed in the colors of the AF Corse team. Newey definitely has a knack for building some world-class race cars including this year’s Red Bull RB6 Formula One car , which has been wiping the dust off of all of its competitors in Formula One. He also has a knack for driving as his performance at the 2007 24 Hour of Le Mans has shown. His team finished fourth in the GT2 category demonstrating Newey’s mad skills behind the wheels of the very same racing cars he designs.

While it may be asking a little too much of the 51-year old to drive this year’s RB6, it sure would be interesting to see how he fares against, say, Red Bull’s young hotshot driver, Sebastian Vettel.

Of course, the likelihood of that happening is remote and, if it did, we’re not exactly betting our mortgages on the rocket scientist himself. Then again, the car Vettel - and Mark Webber - drive is Newey’s own creation so he might have a few tricks up his sleeves too.

Photos courtesy of Zsolt Csikos

Source: Jalopnik

Don’t look now; the American Le Mans Series just may have found its newest team – and energy source – to the 2010 grid. According to an ALMS press release, Delorean and its world-famous and time-travelling DMC-12 have been given the ‘go-signal’ by league officials to compete in the 2010 American Le Mans Series.

While the car is noticeably more powerful and technologically-advanced than any car the ALMS has ever had competing in its league, Delorean officials have said that while the rules don’t explicitly dictate that the DMC-12 is in violation of any rules, the new team shall nevertheless withhold the use of its many unique features, including the time-travelling aspect that, if used, would let DeLorean finish the 12 Hours of Sebring in about 1.2 seconds.

Never the type to back down from an intimidating newcomer, the existing teams of the ALMS are all gearing up for Delorean’s first race of the year, with the date still pending validation.

Press Release – legitimate or otherwise – after the jump

Source: ALMS
Posted on by Alexander + 3

Having been founded in 1989, Panoz has not been around very long in terms of carmaker years. That being said, it comes as no surprise that the number of cars they have debuted is limited with the Esperante being at the top of the Panoz model list. Recently, we received news that the list will become 1 model longer as the Panoz Abruzzi surfaces.

Don Panoz, father of Panoz Auto’s founder Dan Panoz, announced during the 12 hours of Sebring broadcast that the Panoz Abruzzi would debut at the 24 hours of LeMans in June. Little is known as to the specifications of their newest model, but the above rendering was reportedly produced by a former employee of Panoz whose job was designing and building the GTLM bumpers as well as other design projects.

If the rendering above was the sketch for the new Abruzzi model we hope that additional modifications have been made since then. The Esperante is a very nice looking sportscar, but it has its own model and the Abruzzi should have its own identity as opposed to looking like a curvier version of the Esperante as shown in the photo. Additional modifications are likely considering Panoz will be introducing a newer version of the Esperante following the Abruzzi debut.

As if their plate isn’t already getting full, Dan Panoz also said that he is hoping the GT2 racing variation will be unveiled at the Petit LeMans. We’ll keep you updated on all Panoz debuts as they occur.

Source: PanozLife

So much for all that hype, huh?

Before the 12 Hours of Sebring got underway last weekend, so much talk was placed on the two Corvette C.6 R race cars that have been dominating the American Le Mans Series for as long as we can remember.

Well, the 2010 12 Hours of Sebring has come to pass and the only thing we’ll remember about the Corvette Racing Team during the race didn’t even come on a positive note but a rather embarrassing one. Instead of putting forth a performance that we’ve come to expect from them, the Corvette Racing Team was involved in a pretty humiliating collision involving both their cars. While two cars from the same team figuring into an accident happens from time to time, we can’t recall the last time where two teammates crashed into each other, which, unbelievably happened to this guys in a pretty disastrous pit lane crash.

We expected a lot of things from this team heading into the first race of the ALMS season, but never in our wildest imagination did we think that they’d get off to such a disastrous start.

Check out the video and see for yourself.

Source: YouTube

The 2010 12 Hours of Sebring is already underway and BMW driver Dirk Muller already has already had enough drama to last him the entire weekend. The weekend started off on a high note after Muller set the fastest time in qualifying last Friday but because of some irregularities found on his BMW M3 , his best time was reneged and he was forced to sit all the way down to the 13th place on the GT2 grid.

If that wasn’t enough, Muller ended up missing the recon laps before the start of the race because, earlier in the day, he ended up crashing his M3 into a wall.

With everything seemingly going against him heading into the start of Sebring 2010, Muller began the race on the pit lane and as soon as the race got underway, Muller showed why he was one of the dark horses to stake claim to the race as he maneuvered past a crowd of Porsches on his way to placing fourth in GT2 after an hour of racing.

Check out the video and see what Muller had to say about his rather eventful weekend so far.

Source: BMW
Posted on by Alexander + 0

This year, the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team is ready to take on the 2010 season of the American Le Mans Series at the 58th annual 12 Hours of Sebring on March 20th. This year, BMW has entered two M3s with a different combination of drivers. In the No 92 car they have drivers Bill Auberlen, Tommy Milner, and Dirk Werner and in the No 90 car they have Joey Hand, Dirk Muller, and Andy Prialux. The drivers will be competing in this 12 hour competition in the GT2 class. Last season, the Rahal Letterman Racing Team started off rough, but ended with 1 win, 5 more podiums, two poles, and 3 fast laps.

“We’ve essentially been preparing for this race for one year,” said Martin Birkmann, BMW of North America Motorsport Manager. “Gremlins struck last year at Sebring, but following a successful 12 hour simulation here in January and two excellent days at the recent Winter Test, I believe we are ready. Last year, the target was to take one checkered flag; this year the target is two.”

Check out the full story, official press release, and video featuring the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team after the jump.

Back in the early 1960’s Bill Ford wanted to go racing at Le Mans to settle a score with Enzo Ferrari Ferrari after the Italian racer suddenly backed out of a deal where the FoMoCo would absorb the Scuderia, and with it all of their competition cars. Thus is the story if the legendary Ford GT-40 , which eventually won the historic race twice around the clock four times in a row from 1966 to 1969, dethroning the Italian stallion and making names for driving greats like Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, Pedro Rodríguez and Jacky Ickx.

A modern day interpretation of the iconic Ford GT will once again represent the Blue Oval at 2010 running of the 24 hours of Le Mans thanks to the Matech Competition team. "This is great recognition for the whole team who have worked very hard on this Ford GT Ford GT 1 project. That our car has been considered for this 78th edition exceeds our wildest dreams. The 24 Hours of Le Mans are as much a legend as Ford’s adventure at Le Mans. Now we need to prove that both the team and the car are ready for the unique challenge that is Le Mans. We are equally pleased that our customer team, MarcVDS Racing, has also received an invitation to the race, and we look forward to providing them with our support as we do in the GT1 World Championship." While a four-peat may be difficult to do in the 21st century, the Matech Ford GT will definitely have history on its side when the green flag drops at the Circuit de la Sarthe this June.

Video after the jump.

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