Le Mans Series

Le Mans Series

Aston Martin has had some relative success in the Le Mans series, having won two titles in 2007 and 2008 for the GT category. But in terms of the big one – the 24 Hours of Le Mans – Aston Martin’s title drought has lasted for over 40 years since its last win at Le Mans back in 1959.

Well, Aston Martin is thinking that the wait has been long enough and now they’re beginning the process of building the ultimate LMP1 racer to bring the Le Mans title back to the Land of Big Ben. In this teaser sketch, Aston has begun the groundwork of designing their new racer, dressing this sketch up with Gulf Oil livery, with the real work to build the car already in its infancy stages.

According to David Richards, Aston Martin’s big boss, winning GT titles isn’t enough to satiate the appetite of Aston Martin to reclaim theLe Mans title it won back in 1959. "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,” he said.

From what we’ve heard, the racing prototype is currently being worked on, including the introduction of a new powertrain and chassis, at the company’s racing headquarters in Banbury, UK. The first models of these cars are expected to start testing early next year in preparation for the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Source: Aston Martin

Porsche announced today that the911 GT3 R Hybrid will be at the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta on October 2. The car will have to travel a distance of 1,000 miles or a maximum of ten hours to complete the race. The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will not be eligible for points, as hybrid technology is not yet included in the GT regulations.

"After the 911 GT3 R Hybrid’s fantastic performance at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we are now eager to gain more experience with the hybrid technology on a variety of race tracks," says Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport. "At the same time, we would like to show fans and customers in our most important markets how our ‘race lab’ performs under racing conditions," adds Kristen.

Porsche also plans to race the 911 GT3 R Hybrid on November 7th at the season final of the new Le Mans International Cup, the six hour race in Zhuhai, China.

The GT3 R is powered by a hybrid drive that combines a 480 HP 4.0 Liter flat six engine with two electric motors developing 60 kW each as well as an electrical flywheel power generator fitted in the cockpit next to the driver. This unit is used to deliver energy to the electric motors and is charged whenever the driver applies the brakes, with the two electric motors reversing their function on the front axle and acting themselves as generators when not providing four wheel drive traction.

Press release after the jump.

Porsche Design has unveiled the new P´6612 Dashboard Le Mans 1970 Limited Edition chronograph that has been launched to pay tribute to Porsche’s LeMans victory 40 years ago. This was the day when a red-white-red Porsche 917 K bearing start number 23 driven by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood won the Le Mans race. The watch will be limited to only 917 pieces and will be available starting this September at Porsche retail outlet stores.

The P´6612 Dashboard Le Mans 1970 Limited Edition wears the same clean lines as the Porsche 917 and its strap is designed after the 917’s steering wheel. It features black calf leather with dual perforations like those of the 917’s steering wheel spokes, red stitching, and a titanium pin buckle. The P’6612’s dial is fashioned after the 917’s dashboard and features a black background with black hour and minute hands that feature white luminous material that allows them to stand out.

The P´6612 Dashboard Le Mans 1970 Limited Edition chronograph has self-winding ETA 2894-A2 movement that offers a power reserve of 42 hours. The case is made from brushed and polished titanium and has the number of the edition as well as inscriptions stating "Winner Le Mans 1970" together with "917-023" – the chassis number of the winning car.

Pricing for this timepiece has yet to be announced.

The 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans was a successful one on a lot of fronts. It had action-packed racing, it had a record-breaking performance from Audi, and it didn’t have any fatalities. The last one may be a bit harsh, but given the history of Le Mans, something like that should never go unsaid.

Developments in safety and technology give race car drivers the opportunity to ply their crafts without worrying about whether they’d live to see the checquered flag, but any true fan of the Le Mans racing series knows that that wasn’t always the case. In their new documentary called "Deadliest Crash", BBC takes a look back at the one racing accident from 1955 that spurned the advent of safety changes in motorsports. That incident still stands as the single deadliest racing accident in motorsports history, taking over 85 lives with it, as well as injuring another 120 people.

Knowing how dangerous the sport of motor racing is, measures were made to ensure that something like that never happens again and proof of that attempt lives on in Le Mans today. Apart from a few minor car mishaps, the 2010 staging of the 24-hour endurance race had all of its drivers in good and stable condition after the race. Of course, it also is worth noting that the 1955 incident served as the wake-up call for racing leagues to prioritize driver - and spectator - safety above everything else.

Check out the teaser vid of "Deadliest Crash" and be sure to catch the DVD when it hits stores.

Source: BBC

All that talk about putting an end to Audi’s recent dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is now all for naught as the boys from Ingolstadt scored a 1-2-3 finish at the most prestigious endurance race in the world, the fourth time they’ve done so since 2000.

Audi’s win at the 2010 24 Hour of Le Mans is also the ninth time in 11 years the manufacturer has bagged the championship. Since 2000, to say that Audi has dominated Le Mans is as gross an understatement as saying that Michael Schumacher’s record seven F1 driver’s championships are ’impressive’. In the past 11 years, Audi has been unseated at the top step of Le Mans only twice - once in 2003 when Bentley won it and last year when the Peugeot Sport Total pulled it off - proving once again that the road to Le Mans glory passes through Ingolstadt, Germany.

Continued after the jump

Source: Le Mans

While everyone is waiting for the big Le Mans weekend, Audi has decided to tease us with a few images that give us an idea of the show that is in store for all of us. Audi will enter the race with a R15 TDI powered by a V10 TDI engine. To keep it in line and make it a little bit more competitive, Audi tweaked the R15 TDI’s body shape in addition to giving it a modified cooling and fuel tank system. The V10 TDI engine gets smaller air restrictors yet still delivers a staggering 590 horsepower. The car features a new radical design that features more red. In addition, large areas of the Le Mans race sports car that is internally designated as "R15 plus" will be kept in a purist black carbon-fiber look.

Panoz Auto Development has revealed a new teaser image of the Abruzzi "Spirit of Le Mans" supercar that will debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race. The car will be revealed to the press on June 8, 2010.

"The anticipation of the public in seeing the Abruzzi ’Spirit of Le Mans’ is only slightly behind my own," Panoz said. "I can guarantee that there has never been such a unique ownership and delivery program around such a spectacular automobile. It quite appropriately captures my dream and my experience of Le Mans – an event that is among the most meaningful of my life."

As a reminder, the Abruzzi "Spirit of Le Mans" supercar will feature new technologies that will make the Abruzzi stand apart from others. Its body will be made from a Recyclable Energy Absorbing Matrix System (REAMS) which provides many environmental, performance, and structural advantages. It will also feature a new three-stage "TRIFECTA COOLING" technology that improves both engine performance and efficiency.

We’ve been hearing about this debut for months now and we would just like to see the car in its entirety. We have to say, we are a little disappointed with this teaser image. They could have given all of us a little more, especially since the debut is only a few days away.

Press release after the jump.

To those who own a Playstation 3, you can stop reading now. This doesn’t concern you; unless after reading it, you decide to run to your nearest Best Buy and pick up an XBox 360 and a Forza 3 video game to start practicing.

What’s all the fuss, you ask? Well, in celebrating the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans in France - the 24-hour race will be held on June 12 to 13, in case you didn’t know - Audi of America and Xbox/Turn10 will once again host the 2nd Annual AXF-24 Challenge at the Audi Forum in New York City on June 12, from 1pm to 5pm.

The four-hour XBox Live Forza Motorsport challenge will be the culmination of a North American-wide Forza 3 challenge where players on Xbox Live competed for the fastest lap times on the Circuit de la Sarthe while driving the 2009 Audi#2 Audi Sport Team Joest R15 TDI . Of all the participants, the three drivers with the top three fastest times will be given an opportunity to strut their skills in the AXF-24 Challenge on June 12, right at the same time the actual Le Mans race is taking place in France.

As for what’s at stake, how about a 1-day Audi R8 sports car experience package? You read that right. The winner gets an opportunity to spend one whole day with an Audi R8 at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Game on, indeed!

Press Release after the jump

Source: Audi USA

Do you have that obsessive desire to keep track of anything and everything that goes on at the 24 Hours of Le Mans? If the answer is yes, you should send a fruit basket to the folks over at EVO for creating a free iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad app that chronicles everything you need to know about the legendary endurance race.

With the help of Audi , all of the pertinent information you need will be featured in the app, including driver bios, team profiles, and the ever-so-important trackside and behind-the-scene news. Granted, Audi made sure that they have a section all to themselves, but still, the whole app was created especially for the most obsessive fans of the 24 Hours of Le Mans .

So, before you start jumping and screaming in delight, you better head over to the iTunes App Store and start downloading the program. Oh, did we mention it was free? Get to it, then.

Source: iTunes

What goes on in building a race car? That’s a question that’s been asked by curious bees since time immemorial, but since the whole process takes a long time to be documented in detail, Jaguar ’s US-based racing team, Jaguar RSR, was kind enough to show us how they built their XKR-based GT2 racer from the ground up - in a little more than 30 seconds.

While the specific details of the whole process are a little too fast for our liking, the time-lapse video does show us a quick overview of the building process of the car that’s scheduled to compete at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of the brand’s 75th anniversary.

Source: Jaguars

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