Le Mans Series

Le Mans Series

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 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."

Press release after the jump.

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.

More details in the press release after the jump.

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 returns to Le Mans 24-Hours

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.

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Peugeot 908 V12 HDI

Peugeot, the French car manufacturer, announced that is planning to develop a hybrid diesel car which will be used to compete in the 2009 Le Mans 24 hour endurance race. These news were revealed by Peugeot’s new Ceo, Mr. Jean-Philippe Collin so things are already established and set to go. According to the CEO the new diesel engine will be mounted on the existing 908 chassis and the tests with the new car will begin at the end of this year.

Although the car will be still in testing there are some small chances so that racing in November at the famous chinese endurance race ACO 1,000km Challenge in Shanghai.

Corvette Racing will be powered by E85 ethanol, a high-octane, renewable alternative fuel, in the 2008 American Le Mans Series. As part of the series’ "green racing" initiative, the most successful team in ALMS history will use a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline in the demanding arena of endurance road racing.

AUDI AG makes a clear commitment to motorsport for the 2008 season with the most extensive factory involvement in the company’s history. In addition to defending the DTM title with the new A4 and the entry of three diesel-powered sportscars in the 24 Hour of Le Mans, Audi Sport plans the continuation of its involvement in the American Le Mans Series and its entry in the Le Mans Series in Europe.

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