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Le Mans Series

Le Mans Series

Posted on by Simona  

Back in July, we heard the first rumors of a possible return to Le Mans competition for Ferrari . We heard the first semi-official confirmation of this return in December when Ferrari president, Luca di Montezemolo , decided to comment on those rumors.

The firestorm is now growing, as a very strange Ferrari prototype was caught testing on the Mugello race track, which may be the ultimate confirmation that the Italian company could indeed return to Le Mans .

A while ago, we came across a video that revealed a LaFerrari testing something other than its usual hybrid powertrain. Now, new rumors suggest that the engine tested was not a turbocharged V-6 engine, but likely a supercharged V-8 engine or a hybrid powertrain that are more suitable for endurance racing.

Along with the new engine, the Le Mans LaFerrari will also be equipped with lots of aerodynamic modifications and a huge rear wing to produce the downforce needed for racing, according to the above image.

Click past the jump for a full list of Ferrari victories at Le Mans and to read more about the regular LaFerrari.

Posted on by Simona  

Le Mans prototype are not - and we repeat: are not - homologated for road use, but it looks like in Japan everything is possible. Motorhead magazine and Maiham-Media.com invited three guys that own three Le Mans prototype that actually raced the famous competition to show us how does it feel to drive such powerful cars.

The cars you’ll see driven in this video are: Mazda 767B , a Jaguar XJ220LM and the Porsche 962C . Apparently, two of these cars received some kind of approval to be driven on the streets - just occasionally - so the video is not a complete brake of the law.

All we can say is that we’re very happy to see the three cars aren’t just kept on a garage or museum for safe keeping, but will have been nicer to see the three cars raced on their natural environment.

Posted on by Simona  

We first heard rumors about a possible return to Le Mans racing by Ferrari back in July. Now, just a few months later, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo decided to finally comment these rumors.

In his recent Christmas address to the factory, Montezemolo said that Ferrari is proud of all the results obtained by the 458 GTE , but also liked "the idea of racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours in the highest category."

According to Montezemolo , this idea needs "some serious consideration," but no final decision has been made as of yet. Though we do not know yet when or if the return will happen, we can say that it would add a little more excitement to the legendary race.

Ferrari needs to be very careful with this decision and take the time to prepare cars that can actually be competitive. The last thing the famed supercar builder wants is to end its long absence — since 1973 — with a string of undesirable results. Simply put, Ferrari wants to "return and win, say thanks and come home."

Click past the jump to read more about Ferrari’s participation at Le Mans.

Source: Autosport

Audi ’s dominance of endurance racing has become the stuff of legend and just when it appeared that the company had earned a slack off in preparations, think again.

The 2014 R-18 e-tron quattro LMP1 racer will make you believe otherwise.

Fresh off of another dominant showing at the 2013 World Endurance Championship, Audi is taking to heart the saying "the early bird gets the worm" with the early development of the R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 race car . Testing is set to begin this week with particular emphasis being put on achieving high fuel efficiency, using its sophisticated hybrid drive systems.

That’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a champion that wants to win more and not sit on its laurels and bask in all the glory it has earned.

As for the car itself, the 2014 R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 racer is expected to feature a flywheel-based, electric-drive system paired with a powerful TDI engine. Exact specifications have yet to be revealed, but preparations are already underway to build a race car that can take advantage of the company’s expertise in endurance racing, while also fitting in new rules in the WEC with particular focus being paid to efficiency, and the use of advanced fuel-saving technology, like hybrid drive systems and diesel engines, to ensure that the race car is more than just competitive, but one that can live up to Audi’s sustained excellence in endurance racing.

Judging by its looks, the race car retains all the shapes and lines of the current R-18 e-tron quattro that the company used to win the 2013 WEC title. The full-blown, cockpit-style look is going to be kept, as are those vertical LED lights, the swooping flat nose, the enormous rear wing, and those bulging wheel arches that helps in keeping the race car low to the ground.

With Porsche , Toyota , and a host of other brands determined to push Audi off of its pedestal, the company is preparing a revised version of the R18 to ensure that things of those sort never happen.

Updated 03/26/2014: The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro made its first miles during the 2014 WEC season, not on the legendary race track in Western France but in public traffic. And these new cool pictures come to prove it. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s predecessor

Posted on by Simona  

If you haven’t seen Rush just yet, you still have time get a chance to. In the mean time, you can start daydreaming about another flick that includes an icon in the automotive industry: Carroll Shelby .

Apparently the new movie, titled "Go Like Hell," has in pre-production since 2011, and it will tell the story of the battle between Ford and Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the 1960s.

The new movie will be based on the 2009 book "Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their Battle For Speed and Glory at Le Mans" by A.J. Baime. He is an editor for Playboy Magazine, and managed to write the book based on some extensive interviews with Lloyd Ruby, Mario Andretti and Carol Shelby.

The initial details on the movie suggest that Tom Cruise will play the role of Carroll Shelby in the upcoming movie. Michael Mann and Brad Pitt were also associated with the role, but Cruise was chosen because of his role in another auto-racing movie — "Days Of Thunder" — back in 1990.

We have no other details on the movie, but if the movie gets the final "OK" from the studio, we expect it to arrive sometime in 2015.

Click past the jump to watch Cruise in action in Days Of Thunder.

Source: Edmunds
Posted on by Simona  

Mercedes-Benz models are not necessarily our favorite luxury vehicles, though we do have a special place in our hearts for the 2014 CLA-Class . However, this SL GTR Concept car designed by Mark Hostler is a Mercedes is definitely up there on our all-time favorite Mercedes concepts list, though it is simply a design study.

Designed as a supercar inspired by Le Mans racers, this SL GTR supercar concept features a specially designed grille, a large rear spoiler that improves downforce at high speeds and a classic teardrop shape racecar canopy. The concept sits on five-spoke, magnesium wheels wrapped in racing tires to go along with a race suspension and carbon-ceramic brakes.

As this was a concept car inspired by Le Mans prototype, it offers racecar-inspired chassis technology. Under the hood, you can find a Nismo-designed, 5.5-liter, V-8 engine used that is best known for its use in the Nissan GT-R GT1 racer.

Of course, this is simply a design study that doesn’t actually exist in real life, so there are no performance numbers to rattle off. Regardless of it being real only in the digital sense, this is still a very impressive concept.

Click past the jump for a video of the Mercedes SL GTR Concept by Mark Hostler.

Source: Tuvie
Posted on by Simona  

The biggest challenge for the SRT Viper GTS-R this year was, of course, the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, where the two cars entering the race finished eighth and ninth. Those results weren’t quite what SRT SRT and Chrysler were expecting and they knew that the GTS-R needed more practice, so the team entered it in this weekend’s Road America race where Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens piloted the beast. We think this practice was a success, as it claimed first place in the GT Class.

From 1999 to 2000 the Viper scored a total of 16 victories in the ALMS competition, with the last one being on December 31st, 2000 in Adelaide, Australia. This weekend’s win is the 17th factory-backed victory for SRT Viper in the famed ALMS.

Goossens took the lead in the last 33 minutes of the race and held that position for the remainder of the race. He had to work pretty hard for the win though, the Viper was low on fuel in the final eight minutes of the race with the green flag flying. Fortunately, the race went into caution just before he hit the pits, causing the entire field to slow down. He skipped the pits, option to take advantage of the reduced speed to milk the last few drops of fuel from his tank.

The Viper not only took the GT Class, but it also totally dominated the entire weekend, as the No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R claimed the pole, while the GT Class winner was fifth on the starting grid.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper GTS-R.

Posted on by Simona  
Ferrari LMP1 Race Car

After Porsche chose to make its return to Le Mans , it is now Ferrari’s turn to consider the same comeback. According to the German magazine Auto Motor Und Sport Ferrari executives will make a final decision on its possible return to the LMP1 Prototype class of the LeMans Series. If the return is approved, Ferrari could race the 24-hour race as early as 2015.

An official Maranello team entered the LMP1 sports prototype class of Le Mans for the last time back in 1973 and since then, Ferrari has only participated in the GT class.

This is not the first time Rumors have swirled about Ferrari making a comeback to the Le Mans LMP1 class; recently, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said that the new 1.6-liter turbo engine that will be used on the Formula 1 cars next year "would allow some interesting projects." That quote sparked plenty of rumors that these "interesting projects" may include an LMP1 model, as said 1.6-liter engine would be fairly easy to adapt for use in an LMP1 prototype.

The company is already testing the LMP1 Race Car and it could serve as basis for the next Le Mans prototype.

Click past the jump to read more about Ferrari’ history at LeMans.

Source: AMS
Posted on by Simona  

While the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro scored an overall victory at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours race, the 911 RSR finished first and second in GTE-Pro class. This result was a pretty successful one for Porsche , especially when you consider that this marks the company’s first run in Le Mans since 1998.

The 911 RSR that took first place in the GTE-Pro class was entered by the Porsche AG Team Manthey and was driven by Porsche factory drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria). The second 911 RSR was driven by Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France). The Porsche team had strong opposition from Aston Martin , Chevrolet , Ferrari and SRT .

There was a third 911 RSR entered by Porsche customer team, IMSA Performance Matmut, and driven by Frenchmen Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl-Vernay and Christophe Bourret.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 RSR.


Tragedy struck the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the weekend after Aston Martin Racing driver, Allan Simonsen, lost his life following a devastating crash while driving the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE .

The 34-year-old racer was making a pass at the Tertre Rouge when he lost control of the racecar, crashing into the barricades that ultimately cost him his life. Simonsen was pronounced dead due to sustained injuries at the Circuit Medical Centre.

“On behalf of all of us at Aston Martin Racing, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the individuals, and families whose friends or loved ones were involved in today’s terrible tragedy,” Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw said in a statement.

On behalf of everyone here at TopSpeed, we’d like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Allan Simonsen. Our words may ring hollow, given the shock of losing Allan, but rest assured, our thoughts are with the family as they try to recover from this devastating news.

Click past the jump to read about Allan Simonsen’s racing career and Aston Mastin’s press release of the driver’s tragic passing


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