Le Mans Series

Le Mans Series

Jaguar announced its return to the Le Mans 24 hours race, being one of the most successful British make in the race’s history with a total of seven wins between 1951 and 1990. The American Le Mans Series racing team RSR , headed up by long time Jaguar privateer racer Paul Gentilozzi will bring their 2010 XKR GT2 to la Sarthe for a race twice around the clock this June. The next generation Jaguar XK-R race car was designed as a joint effort between the American racing team RSR and Jaguar’s Advance Design Studio, which is headed by the automaker’s chief designer Ian Callum.

"Spirits will be high around Jaguar’s return to Le Mans but we must remember the incredibly high level of competition - a podium place in our category will not fall into our hands. That said, I can guarantee 100 per cent commitment from JaguarRSR and urge fans of Jaguar and Britain’s racing heritage to support the team whole heartedly," said Paul Gentilozzi who will drive the JaguarRSR XKR GT2 in the 2010 American Le Mans Series.

Press release after the jump.

Posted on by Terence 1

Speaking of ambitious car building efforts, when a team decides to go racing there is almost nothing that can sand in their way, not even having to build a complete race car from scratch. When Patrón Highcroft racing driver Scott Sharp totaled his Acura ARX-02a LMP1 car heading into turn 3 during a practice session for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the fun loving tequila drinking team was faced with that very task. After making sure that Sharp was still on point and stripping the wrecked Acura for whatever was still race worthy, all that the Acura racing team could do was wait.

The brand new carbon fiber tub arrived directly from Honda’s Performance Development center in California at the racetrack in Atlanta, Georgia at 9:30 AM on Friday morning and after 15 and a half hours of non stop wrenching, the ARX-02a’s 4.0 Liter V8 was fired at around 1:00 AM the next day. About six hours later the Acura took the shape of an LMP car and was on the track and race ready by 9:45 AM Saturday morning. It might have been a tall order, but remember what we said about how nothing can keep a racing team from competing.

Crash video after the jump.

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If the Porsche racing drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long can take home the checkered flag this Sunday at the upcoming round of the American Le Mans Series at Road America in Elkhart Lake, the pair will have won their sixth straight GT2 win in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR . The German Joerg Bergmeister said that: “Of course it would be great to continue our winning streak, … but it’s even more important for us to bring home as many points towards the championship as possible.”

If Porsche wins at Elkhart Lake, Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long will drive into ALMS all time greatness

Thanks to his American teammate Patrick Long, Bergmeister has already won as many races after just six rounds of competition than he did in the entire 2005 season when he won the championship behind the wheel of a Porsche. Jorg has already racked up 26 wins in the ALMS GT2 class, easily making him the most successful driver in the category. The fact that four of those wins came at Road America, more than any other driver, doesn’t hurt their chances at success. The German Porsche pilot Bergmeister has a very special relationship with the 14 turn 6.5 kilometer racing circuit. “This is my favorite track – it’s very fast, very hilly and very demanding,” and facing stiff competition from the likes of BMW, Chevrolet and Ferrari; he also said that: “If we want to do well here we have to give everything we’ve got.”

The ALMS race at Elkhart Lake will start on Sunday, August 16 at 3PM Eastern, but check your local listings for times, and will run for over 2:45 hours.

Press release after the jump.

The GT field will look a little different in the 2010 Le Mans Series because a few teams will be both moving up and down in class. The Corvette Racing Team , hot off their GT1 win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be stepping down into the GT2 category in order to compete on the track with the same vehicles that the production car competes with in showrooms. Meanwhile, the Dutch super car builder Spyker, who has been competing in the GT2 category since 2002, has bigger dreams of entering their new C8 Aileron as a GT1 racecar.

The new C8 super car will make its production car debut at the Geneva Motor Show early next year, but on the racetrack the Spyker Squadron plans on entering two machines, while a privateer team will handle the older C8 Laviolette.

The C8 Aileron is powered by an Audi sourced 4.2 Liter engine that delivers 400 HP and will be available with two transmission options. The first is a 6 speed manual gearbox built by Getrag with a set of gear ratios perfectly matched to the FSI powered eight cylinder. If you want to shift your Spyker with paddles, you get a ZF 6 speed automatic. The Spyker C8 Aileron can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 187 MPH.

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Things didn’t turn out as well as Dr. Ulrich and the rest of Team Audi would have liked, but at least an R15 made it onto the podium. It was a sight to see all three Peugeot 908 s regroup for the final laps of the 24 hour race, in order for that oh so important photo finish after so many years of trying. Things didn’t turn out exactly as we predicted:

Like you saw in the video, a Peugeot 908 took the overall win as well as the LMP1 trophy.
In the smaller LMP2 category Team Essex’s Porsche RS Spyder took home first place in its category.
Johny O’Connel won his 4th 24 Hour Title behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Corvette
Risi Competizione taking the GT2 win for the second year in a row, in the same Ferrari F-430.
Posted on by Terence 7

It is mid-June, the Nurburgring 24 has passed and the endurance race fans from around the world are gathering at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France. That is because this Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14 racing greats from around the world are competing in the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans. The race twice around the clock includes vehicles from the ALMS as well as the LMS racing series which are made up of two classes of GT, production car based racers, and two classes of prototypes, this year’s race will include 20 of the big boy LMP1 machines all fighting each other as well as lapped traffic for an overall win.

The big battles lately have been between Audi’s and Peugeot’s endurance racing teams at these events. The German automaker is competing in their all new R15 racecar and Peugeot is bringing back their 908, except this time it has Formula 1 derived KERS. Reports from the racetrack say that the Audi camp has gotten a hold of some unfound speed from their previous entrant, the R10 . The four ringed automaker has an excellent track record at the epic endurance race, with an Audi engine winning every year since 2000. 2003 was the only year that an Audi R chassis didn’t take home the victory, that year Audi’s factory efforts lent their services to fellow members of the Volkswagen Volkswagen family, creating the Bentley Bentley Speed 8. Ever since 2006 Audi’s racing team has been taking advantage of the rules regarding diesel powered race cars, a trend that has caught on with Peugeot.

Continued after the jump.

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.

Porsche 917 celebrates its 40 anniversary

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”.

Press release after the jump.

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 R15 TDI

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.

Porsche RS Spyder

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.

Press release after the jump.

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