This video was taken last weekend during the 1000 km of Spa, part of the 2009 Le Mans Series. The homologated road version, the Spyker C8 Laviolette LM85 is powered by a 4.2 Liter V8 producing 400 HP and the engine is mated to a manual six-speed Getrag gearbox. Perfect for taking down Porsches, Lamborghinis and even a few Ferraris.
Forty years ago at the Geneva International Motor Show an animal was unleashed upon the world, the Porsche 917. As the years went on and regulations were relaxed the car evolved. The engine grew to become more and more powerful; and the body would take the shape that best suited the challenge of the moment.
The Porsche 917 earned its reputation racing around the world in the early 1970’s. The car won multiple World Championships, earned the German carmaker their first overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and with the aid of a pair of turbochargers boosting to the song of 1,400 HP the Porsche dominated the Can-Am series here in North America and before its demise Mark Donahue would set the FIA speed record in a closed circuit averaging 221 MPH around Talladega.
The 917 even made it to Hollywood, starring alongside Steve McQueen in the racing epic, Le Mans.
For all these reasons and many more 50 international motor sports experts from the British trade magazine Motor Sport have nominated the Porsche 917 as the “greatest racing car in history”.
Audi loves its oil burner racers and for a good reason. The diesel powered R10 car has given Audi three consecutive wins at Le Mans. Now we’re starting to get information on the R10 replacement, the R15.
Audi didn’t just lobb off a few cylinders from its passenger cars, but also from its racers. The R10 used a turbo V12, and the R15 has a turbo V10 that makes "more than 600 hp." Audi says the real benefit of the engine is that its more compact and lighter than its predecessor.
We could bore you with all the aerodynamic details, and all the small tweaks the super-brain engineers over at Audi used to make the R15 a competitor, but it’s a lot to digest. We’ll wait and see how the car competes at Sebring on March 21 and Le Mans in June before we get all tech heavy on this car. Those who want to know all the details now can read the press release after the jump.
Audi may have the domination in LMP1 class endurance racing with cars like the new R15 TDI, but its soon-to-be corporate parent has a stranglehold on the LMP2 division. Porsche has no intention of letting its grip slip anytime soon, so it’s introduced the RS Spyder to do battle at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
The RS Spyder will use the same 3.4-liter V8 engine, but because of air restrictors, power is down about 25 hp to 440 hp. LMP2 is usually a class catering to private race teams, so piloting the RS Spyders this year is the NAVI Team Goh from Japan and the Essex squad from Denmark.
When Audi announced the its new R15 TDI race car we didn’t get much detail. All Audi gave up was that it had "numerous technically innovative detail solutions" and released a extreme close-up pic. From this we thought we may have to wait until the official unveiling on March 21st to know more about Audi’s next Le Mans racer, but now we got this pic of the car performing a few test laps.
The first race test of the car will come at the 12 Hours of Sebring race in Florida at the end of March. The big prize will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in June, where Audi will see if it can continue to dominate the LMP1 class.
Audi is ready to replace the three-peat Le Mans winning R10 TDI with an new oil burner. The R15 TDI diesel racer will make its debut on March 21st at the 12-hour race at Sebring, Florida.
Sebring is an important race by itself, but it is also the test run for the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in June. Audi is the dominant force at Le Mans. It’s taken the podium there every year since 2000 (the Bentley Speed 8 used a lot of Audi technology including the engine,) so the R15 TDI is an important car to the German manufacturer.
All Audi will say about the R15 is that it has numerous technically innovative detail solutions and differs significantly from its predecessor. "So far the R15 TDI has performed as we expected," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Now it must also prove itself in race conditions. Sebring is a particularly hard race and is therefore perfectly suited to reveal even the smallest of weaknesses."
Aston Martin won the GT1 class in the 2007 and 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans races with the DBR9, and now Aston has set its sights higher this year. It’s abandoning the GT1 class to focus its efforts on the faster LMP1 class and the overall win.
The car is based on the 2008 Charouz Racing System Lola, and power will come from the same production-based Aston Martin V12 engine that was used in the DBR9 that won in 2008. Although all car companies would like to win at Le Mans, this would be especially sweet for Aston Martin. Fifty years ago, Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori brought Aston an overall win on the French circuit in a DBR1.
Caparo will make its first ever appearance at the 24 hours of Le Mans this year, after signing a partnering agreement with the Barazi Epsilon team. The team will be competing in the LMP2 category and will provide Caparo with the opportunity to develop lightweight structures and components in a competitive motorsport environment.
“The 24 hours of Le Mans is one of the most challenging races in the motorsport calendar and we are delighted to be involved with the Barazi Epsilon team,” says Angad Paul, chief executive officer, Caparo. “We intend to use this year’s events to gain valuable experience of sportscar racing and understand how we can apply our various technologies across the Caparo Vehicle Products companies.”
Caparo’s automotive expertise covers many areas where it is applying innovative design and manufacturing techniques to help vehicle manufacturers reduce lead times. In addition the company is increasingly focused on weight reduction, one of the key strategies for fuel economy and emissions improvement. “The design of lightweight components for motorsport applications provides substantial benefits for teams,” continues Paul.
Corvette Racing, America’s premier sports car racing team, returns to Le Mans in France on the weekend of 14/15th June with the aim of adding to their unique winning tally in the world’s toughest motor race. Since 2001, Corvettes have won the GT1 sports car class five times and have a heritage at the track dating back almost half a century.
The 2008 Le Mans 24-Hours continues to see the GT1 category as one of the most competitive arenas, with the Corvette C6.R (Corvette 6th generation, Racing) cars set to do battle with marques such as Aston Martin and Lamborghini. The Corvette Racing team comes to the La Sarthe circuit with an illustrious winning pedigree.
Corvette Racing made its competition debut in 1999 and by the end of the 2007 season had won 63 of the 90 races it had contested. The team’s accomplishments now include seven consecutive American Le Mans Series GT1 manufacturers and team championships and six successive drivers’ championships.
The 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans starts at 15.00 hrs local time on Saturday 14th June.