Le Mans Series

Le Mans Series

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.

Source: Chevrolet

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.

Details after the jump

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.

In the midst of all the new racing machines being introduced for the 2011 racing season, West Racing has just received their Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560 GT which they will enter into this year’s AmericanLe Mans Series. The supercar, which was developed in cooperation with tire partner Yokohama, will be undergoing its first testings at Sebring in late January and will also participate in the annual ALMS Winter Test from February 9th-10th.

The racing car is based on the Gallardo LP560-4 which is powered by the new 5.2 liter V10 engine with an output of 560 HP at 8000 rpm. With this base engine, the Gallardo receives a 40 PS increase compared to that of the previous model. The LP560-4 accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds and from 0-124 mph in 11.8 seconds. Top speed lies at 201 mph. The racing Lambo’s specifications are still being kept under wraps, but we expect to see improved aerodynamics, even if the engine remains largely unchanged.

West Racing expects to have its driver lineup ready by the end of the year.

Source: ALMS

Don’t look now, but before you know it, electric cars might not be exclusively seen on public roads in the future.

Green GT, a Swiss-based automaker is in the process of developing an FIA-spec electric race car that, if all things come together, could drive its way into Le Mans sooner rather than later. Built with a carbon chassis and a fiberglass body shell, the Green GT has the look of a modern-day racer with an unusual performance twist. Instead of the standard petrol engine, the Green GT – if you haven’t figured it out by now – will be powered by two-phase synchronous motors each with 201 hp of power, producing a total output of 402 hp.

Just to prove that Green GT is dead serious about its intention in revolutionizing auto racing, the company recently held a presentation of the car under a Le Mans prototype with a Sprint body at the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne with no less than FIA president Jean Todt to determine the performance and validity of the concept electric racer in a competitive setting.

Despite their demonstration, Green GT is still undergoing more testing and development. The plan now is to take advantage of the cold winter season to put the car under a series of cold-weather tests to further establish its performance and endurance capabilities.

We don’t know what the future’s going to hold for this car, but in a world where technology and innovation are moving at rapid speeds, don’t be surprised if this car becomes more than just a concept in the near future.

Next year is practically days away and Aston Martin still hasn’t chosen a name for their 2011 Le Mans Race Car, so let’s help them out a little, shall we? The company has placed an online page where you can go and register the name you think would be fitting of their new racer. All you have to do is choose an emotive name that truly captures the personality behind this year’s entry, and back it up with a reason why you chose it.

Registering the name of your choice will give all enthusiasts the opportunity to be a part of Aston Martin’s history, something that isn’t presented to any of us on a daily - heck even yearly - basis. Participants will also be entering for the chance to win a range of Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing Merchandise.

Aston Martin and Prodrive chairman, David Richards said, "Having won the GT category twice at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008 and the Le Mans Series outright in 2009, we still want to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the 24 Hour race overall to bring the title back to Britain.”

Now all they have to do is pick a name. Should be easy, right?

Source: Aston Martin

Look up the winners of the Le Mans endurance race for the past 10 or so years and you’ll notice that just about every year, Audi has stood on the top podium of the world’s most historic endurance race. It’s had some down years – like in 2009, when Peugeot Peugeot dethroned the folks over at Ingolstadt for the championship – but for the most part, Audi has been the class of Le Mans. In fact, they have won the championship nine times while using a three of its noted LMP1 racers: the R8 , the R10 TDI , and the R15 TDI .

But now that new regulations are being implemented in the endurance race, combined with the competitive field drawing closer to each other, Audi decided it was time to field a completely new LMP1 racer for Le Mans in 2011. And so, after a year of research and development, the four rings brand has finally introduced its latest Le Mans Monster, the R18.

UPDATE 02/01/11: The Audi R18 LMP1 race car was finally put through the testing paces after the closed-cockpit Audi racer spent a few hours at the Sebring race track in preparation for its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this year. All nine of Audi’s factory drivers were given a chance to test out the R18 to get a feel for the car as the company makes its final preparations leading up to Le Mans this June. According to Audi motorsport chief Wolfgang Ullrich, the decision to test their new Le Mans bad boy in Sebring was made because of Florida’s warm and dry weather, which he says is more conducive to race testing compared to the colder European sites. It really doesn’t matter to us where Audi does their testing; what’s important is that the R18 is finally out of its cage and ready to pounce on the competition. Check out a few photos of Audi’s test run in Sebring in the gallery!

UPDATE 06/07/11: The 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans is set for the green light this weekend with powerhouse Audi getting ready to introduce their latest racing racer, the R18 TDI. In previewing their new race car, the German automaker has released a promo video to get us acclimated with the car, including the new features and changes made on the car from the its successor, the R15 TDI, as well as the company’s continued efforts in becoming one of the best automotive motorsports teams in the world.

Details and Press Release after the jump.

The Peugeot 908 HDi won first place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but as is the case in the racing industry these days, last year’s championship car could just as easily be the following year’s also-ran, which proved to be true for the 908 HDi when all four cars who participated at this year’s installment of Le Mans failed to even make the finish line.

So with a need for a new racer to compete in 2011, Peugeot Sport has finally introduced the successor to the 908: the 90-X.

Technical details of the 90-X are still unknown as of this time as the car is still in the testing phase. According to Bruno Famin, Peugeot Sport’s technical director, the team is still exploring several options with regard to the engine and technology that’s going to be used in the 90-X. "Work on the engine’s development is ongoing,” he said. “Endurance racing is an ideal proving ground to provide us with the opportunity to showcase all the brand’s technologies."

Having said that, the closed cockpit 90-X supposedly passes all of ACO’s 2011 regulations, including the 900 kg weight limit. Peugeot also installed a new safety feature in the 90X – a “shark fin” – which was designed to prevent the race car from going airborne in the event of any unforeseen accidents.

Peugeot Sport Director Olivier Quenel said that preparations made for the 90-X are on schedule with track testing already taking place before the year ends. "I am pleased to report that we have now done that [test runs],” he said. “Even so, there is still a long way to go and a considerable amount of work to be done as we prepare for 2011."

Source: Peugeot Sport
Posted on by Ashfaaq 3

After Autocar voted the road-going 911 GT3 RS as Britain’s Best Drivers’ Car earlier this week, it comes as no surprise that it’s racing brother, the GT3 RSR clinched the title of the world’s most successful GT Racer.

From its debut in 2004 (996), the RSR has found winning ways, taking no less than six class victories in that season. Since then the precision machine has undergone numerous improvements on its way to 19 class and overall victories between 2007 and 2010.

“It’s impressive how the 911 GT3 RSR has developed from year to year. The lap times alone are astounding, because despite the restrictions imposed on us again and again by the regulations, the car just got faster every year,” says Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister, who celebrated the majority of his successes at the wheel of the RSR. For this reason, the five-time winner of the American Le Mans Series is not at all anxious about tackling the 2011 season: “When you finish a season you always think: now we’ve reached our limit, now the car’s gone as far as it can go. And then Porsche comes up with something new again. And I reckon it won’t be any different in 2011.”

Catch the full story after the jump.

Source: Porsche

Back in the 60’s, the Ford GT enjoyed unprecedented success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning the overall title four times between 1966-1969. Oddly enough, after dominating Le Mans for four successive years, the Ford GT fell off the racing grid, inconspicuously absent from the famous endurance race for 41 years.

That is, of course, until now. Matech went to this year’s Le Mans race fielding two Ford GTs, the first time since 1969 that a Ford GT participated in the endurance race. Despite both cars failing to see the checkered flag, their return to Le Mans still proved to be relatively successful after the two GTs, neophytes that they are, fared better and far more impressively than most of the competition

And the best part of the whole experience is that Matech was there for the entire weekend to document the return of the Ford GT to Le Mans for a movie that’s being called “Reborn”. Check out the trailer of the video and tell us that you’re not getting all pumped up to see the feature-length.

Source: Matech GT1

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