We’ve seen some outstanding safety cars this year ranging from Mercedes, Porsche, and BMW, but this latest safety car seems to have come to fruition straight from our dreams. Patrolling the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11–12, 2011 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France will be a beautiful red Audi R8. Guess the R18 race car won’t be the only Audi to star at this event.
The Audi R8 Safety Car will feature the same V10 engine found in the standard model that will deliver 525 HP and can hit a top speed of 197 mph. Some may wonder why a car of this caliber would even need to be patrolling the race instead of starring in it, but there needs to be at least one powerful and speedy model keeping everything in line.
Make sure you keep your eyes open during this weekend’s 24 Hours of Lemans to catch a glimpse of this spectacular safety car!
You know Le Mans season is fast approaching when teams set to compete in the legendary race are one by one introducing their 2011 racers to the public. One team that’s scheduled to participate in the 24-hour endurance race is Flying Lizard and today, the team officially unveiled a special edition livery for the No. 80 and No. 81 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR race cars that will compete in Le Mans. The livery, which was created by California-based artist Troy Lee, celebrates the rich and esteemed history of Porsche at Le Mans, highlighted by the 28 drivers that have won the world-famous endurance race while driving a Porsche.
Although the design is similar for both cars, they sport different color schemes - candy metallic orange for the No. 80 and candy metallic blue for the No. 81 - with the primary colors providing backdrop for the driver names and flags that weave throughout the design of the race car.
The 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is powered by a 4.0-liter, six-cylinder boxer engine mated to a six-speed gearbox, producing an output of 455 horsepower at 7,800 rpm and a peak of 332 lb/ft of torque.
This is the one and only factory low-drag lightweight Jaguar E-Type and is a vehicle that should have been laid to rest a long time ago. In fact, the Jaguar was thought to be dead until Peter Neumark of Classic Motors Cars breathed new life into the last racing car ever built at Jaguar’s factory.
Only twelve lightweight E-types were built by Jaguar’s competition department back in 1963, but only one returned to undergo preparatory work for the LeMans race later that year. Malcolm Sayer designed the vehicle to have a special low drag body that would be coupled to a highly modified engine. This combination was set to take LeMans by storm and lead driver, Peter Lindner, to victory. Unfortunately, while on the Montlhery circuit, something went terribly wrong causing a crash that would end up killing Peter Lindner and destroying the Jaguar E-type. Sayer himself said that the vehicle could not be repaired and that opinion was echoed in the 1970s when a second survey confirmed the vehicle’s fate.
Fast forward to 2007 when Peter Neumark entered the scene. Determined to revive the crumpled E-Type, Neumark set out to make history with one of the most complex restorations to ever take place in the world.
Hit the jump to see what dedication, passion, and 7,000 hours of hard work can accomplish.
Typically, a Safety Car is used to keep all of the race cars participating in the event SAFE - hence the name -, but this past weekend Audi’s Safety Car did everything but the one task it was designed to do. At the start of the 2011 LMS season at Le Castellet, the Audi Safety Car was still on the track when the green light appeared and the racers began their competitive journey.
As angry as some may have been for the not-so-speedy Safety Car and the unfortunate pileup that ensued, Audi isn’t actually to blame. The organizers opted for an additional parade lap for the Audi, but failed to communicate this decision to all of the teams. The result was a clash and bang of metal.
Some of the vehicles destroyed were the Porsche GT3 RSR models from teams like Felbermayr-Proton, ProSpeed, and Imsa. Porsche works driver, Richard Leitz, commented by saying, "After the formation lap, the lights were already green, but because of the packed field it wasn’t possible to register that the safety car hadn’t yet left the track. Suddenly I was torpedoed from the left and pushed into the wall. I had no chance to avoid the accident
We would say enjoy the video, but no one could seriously do so considering its content. We’re just wondering who will have to pay for all the damages?
While all eyes were at Sebring last weekend for the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race to mark the opening of the 2011 ALMS season, German automaker, Audi, went largely unnoticed as it completed a couple of testing runs for its new LMP1 racer, the R18.
The R18’s debut is still a month away at the 6-hour Spa-Francorchamps endurance race on May 7, 2011, but with precious time remaining before its debut, the engineers over at Audi worked double hard last weekend to ensure that the car’s aerodynamics and reliability were up to par with its predecessor, the R15.
Fortunately, Audi was kind of enough to post a couple of videos of the Sebring testing, complete with action shots of their LMP1 racer run roughshod on the race track. On top of the two-minute R18 action-fest, there’s also another video featuring no less than Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, the brand’s motorsport head, giving us the low-down behind the car, including the decision to go for an all-new 3.7-liter V6 diesel engine with the R18.
Check out the video of Dr. Ullrich’s interview after the jump.
Are you ready to have your 2011-racing itch finally scratched? With the 2011 Formula One season getting delayed by political unrest in Bahrain, the racing community turns its attention to the opening of the 2011 American Le Mans racing season this weekend with one of the most iconic endurance races in the world, the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Always one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the year, the 12 Hours of Sebring kicks off the 2011 ALMS season in grand fashion with the reigning champs from Peugeot Sport Total ready to defend their 2010 title against a field of heavyweight contenders, including headlined perennial contender, Audi, and last year’s runner-up, Aston Martin.
In addition to the top-of-the-field LMP1 class, the 2011 12 Hours of Sebring will also feature races from a number of different classes, including the new LMPC class, led by PR1 Mathiasen M/Sport’s Oreca FLM09, and the always-competitive GT class, which has a formidable entrant in the form of the recently-revealed Risi Competizione’s new Ferrari 458 GTC.
To keep you updated with all of the cars scheduled to participate in all of the weekend’s races, the folks over at SpotterGuides.com have provided everything you need to know about each and every car that will see the green light this weekend. Keep tabs on some of the favorites and be on the look-out for dark horses, because this weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race is expected to be one for the books.
If you’re going to keep tabs on all the action from the confines of your own home, you can watch the race in its entirety online on ESPN3.com, or if you have an Xbox, you can catch the action through live streaming. If you miss out on watching the race live, ABC will have a recap from 12:30 – 2:00 pm EST with ESPN2 airing the same recap show next Tuesday, March 22, 2011.
Turns out, the French automaker may have more than one race car that’s set to compete in one of the most important races of the calendar year. Much to our surprise, the French automaker came to the Geneva Motor Show and unveiled another version of their new LMP1 bad boys, the 908 HYbrid4 LMP1 racer.
Dressed in white and black livery, the 908 HYbrid4 comes with the same powerplant as the 908 HDi FAP, except that on top of the 3.7-liter V8 engine, the former will also be carrying a hybrid system that comes with an added ’assist power’ of 80 horsepower.
After spending some quality time in Geneva, the French automaker will be bringing the 908 HYbrid4 out on the test track to further work out the kinks in time for the official pre-Le Mans 24 Hours test day on April 24th, 2011.
The work is far from over for the folks over at Peugeot so we’ll just have to wait and see how the team progresses with the testing and development of their newly revealed 908 HYbrid4 racer.
Details on the Peugeot 908 HYbrid4 LMP1 Racecar after the jump.
A new season of automotive racing is coming closer and closer to the green light, which, of course, could only mean one thing for the boys over at Corvette Racing. Yes, friends, family, and countrymen, it’s time to gear up and buckle down for another season of the Track to Street series.
For the first episode, the team has set up shop at Road Atlanta to spend some laps testing out an important and newly legal element of GT2 racing: paddle shifters.
Whereas a lot of people driving streets cars with paddle shifters don’t necessarily feel the importance of this new technology, in GT2 racing, it can spell the difference between faster shifting from one gear to another while also minimizing the wear and tear on the gearbox.
In a racing series as grueling as the ALMS endurance races, the importance of keeping critical parts of your race as fresh as possible is of vital importance to any team that has aspirations of becoming a contender.
The addition of paddle shifters for the 2011 season may mean more work for the men of Corvette Racing, but then again, that’s the price you pay if you want to succeed in such a long and arduous racing environment.
The Le Mans endurance race is long considered as the oldest and pre-eminent race of its kind in the world. It’s safe to say that the teams that participate in Le Mans aren’t exactly what you’d consider as run-of-the-mill. Only the big boys play here, so they say.
On that note, recent Le Mans history has seen two automakers sit on top of the throne. While one team has long dominated the endurance race for the past decade, one team was able to put a stomp to the other’s run of dominance, claiming the overall championship in 2011.
Sure, Audi reclaimed its throne from Peugeot last year, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned from these two teams, it’s that Peugeot won’t go down without taking any swings for the fences.
This year, the French automaker is armed and ready for battle after introducing their 2011 Le Mans racer, the new 908 HDi FAP race car.
While it’s going to have it’s hands full against Audi and their equally new R18 LMP1 racer, the new 908 race car is expected to be the strongest challenger to Audi’s reign of dominance. Whether the latter has the goods to knock off the former from its perch is still anyone’s guess. What we do know is that these two cars will be front and center when the 2011 Le Mans endurance race kicks off in June 11.
The 2011 24 Hours of Nurburgring is still months away, but even now, we’re already seeing teams introduce their stallions for the grueling endurance race.
One team that’s scheduled to participate in the event will be the FALKEN Motorsport Team, which will be fielding a custom, race-ready Porsche 911 GT3 R.. There’s no denying that the competition at the 24 Hours of Nurburging is going to be as tough as it’s ever been. FALKEN will need to be on its A-game with their development of the car leading up to the race this June 25-26, 2011.
Fortunately, they picked a pretty good car to go to battle with. The Porsche 911 GT3 R is powered by a 4.0-liter six-cylinder, naturally-aspirated boxer engine that produces 480 horsepower at 7,250 rpm. Whether that is enough to outlast the competition is anyone’s guess. But at least you know that the FALKEN Motorsport Team won’t go down without a fight.
UPDATE 07/25/2011: If there is anything that can top watching the Porsche 911 GT3 R as it speeds along in the 24H race at the Nurburgring, it’s watching the Porsche as it tackles the Nurburgring at night! Apparently, Wolf Henzler - the man behind the wheel - enjoys staring death in the face! In one word, this video is mesmerizing! Check it out after the jump!
Details on the FALKEN Porsche 911 GT3 R after the jump.