Le Mans

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2018 BMW M8 GTE

2018 BMW M8 GTE

Bimmer returns to Le Mans with the first M8 ever made!

The official confirmation that BMW is planning to revive the 8 Series and build the first M8 ever is arguably the best BMW-related news we received this year. And while both cars are still a few months from going public, the German firm offered us a sneak preview by launching the M8-based race car first. Unveiled at the2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, it’s called the M8 GTE and will mark the brand’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans after seven years. The new race car will make its debut in early 2018, at the 24 Hours of Daytona.

BMW also confirmed that the M8 GTE will race before the 8 Series goes on sale, so don’t expect the flagship coupe to arrive earlier than January 2018. But the good news is that the race car gives a good look at what the upcoming M8 will bring to the table in terms of design and even performance. Of course, the production model won’t be as aggressive as the GTE-spec vehicle, but many of these styling features will make it on the coupe that you’ll be able to find in dealerships. Let’s have a closer at the M8 GTE and BMW’s upcoming campaign in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M8 GTE.

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Pops' Rants: Hybrids Are Dying, Porsche Is Playing Dumb

Pops’ Rants: Hybrids Are Dying, Porsche Is Playing Dumb

You can never have enough ice

You know I hate summer right? Well, you might as well hear it again. It’s way too hot and it makes me too lazy to go to the fridge to make more ice. And I’m really cranky when I run out of ice for my whiskey. But, there is one thing I do like about summer: the racing! Oh man, June is simply packed with good quality racing. There’s the 24 Hours of Le Mans, there’sPikes Peak, and there’s plenty of action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Yeah I know, Goodwood isn’t a sanctioned racing event, but you get to see a bunch of cool cars going up the hill. Old cars, the kind that Pops likes. Unfortunately, this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was a bit of a disappointment.

And, before all you Porsche fans start yelling that it was awesome because they won again, I’d like to point out that they were extremely lucky and the racing sucks. And yes, I had my money on Toyota this year. Because I like the Camry (yes, it’s irrelevant blah blah) and I think they deserve the title after so many unlucky stints at Le Mans. But, it wasn’t to be. Their cars crapped out and the 919 Hybrids had fun doing donuts around the LMP2 cars. Because Audi is no longer racing in the prototype class and hybrid race cars suck. Yes, I said it, they suck!

Continue reading for the full story.

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2018 Green4U Panoz GT-EV

2018 Green4U Panoz GT-EV

Set to debut at Le Mans in 2018

Just like all-electric cars are slowly but surely coming into dealerships in higher numbers, battery-powered vehicles are becoming more involved in the racing scene. Hybrids can be found in quite a few series nowadays and they have made up the top tier in the World Endurance Championships for a few years now. With Formula E having already established an all-electric series, it’s only a matter of time until EVs will be raced in just about any motorsport series out there. Green4U isn’t the first company to set its eyes on the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans race, but it could become the first to join the event with a full EV. Its new prototype is called the Panoz GT-EV and could race at Le Mans as early as 2018.

Founded in September 2016, Green4U, an electric vehicle company, owns George-based automaker Panoz (hence the Panoz GT-EV name), Team Panoz Racing, and DeltaWing. Panoz is already a famous name in the racing scene, having built several prototypes and GT race cars, as well as the founding of the American Le Mans Series, which later merged with the Rolex Sports Car Series to form United SportsCar Racing. The DeltaWing race car, known for its unusual design and rather unsuccessful stint at Le Mans in 2012 was also linked to Don Panoz. Later on, designer Ben Bowlby left to create the strikingly similar Nissan ZEOD RC. Neither the DeltaWing or the Nissan were electric, but the Panoz GT-EV is being designed to work on electricity alone. The car is still a long way off from hitting the race track, but Green4U is already rolling out the details. Find out more below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Green4U Panoz GT-EV.

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2017 Oreca 07 LMP2

2017 Oreca 07 LMP2

Oreca is looking to add to the trophy collection in 2017

If you’re at all familiar with the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) or the 24 Hours of Le Mans, odds are you’ve heard the name “Oreca” before. Also known as the Organisation Exploitation Competition Automobiles, Oreca is a French race team headed by former F1 team manager Hugues de Chaunac. Founded in 1973, Oreca is best known for developing and producing top-shelf racers for the LMP2 category, providing a winning platform for a number of teams from a variety of different nations. Oreca’s latest effort is dubbed the 07, offered as an upgrade over the outgoing 05 model, coinciding with rule changes for the 2017 season. The new car is now headed to Le Mans, where Oreca hopes to clinch yet another class win thanks to improved aerodynamics, more power, and a tweaked chassis.

Oreca Technology’s Director, David Flourey, describes the 07 LMP2 as the “furthest-developed prototype to date, the one on which we have made the least compromises possible.” At its core, the 07 is essentially an Oreca 5, which isn’t a bad thing when you consider the 05 took top honors in the LMP2 category at Le Mans for the last two events running. The 05 was also the first closed-cockpit racer to bear the Oreca name, and considering this isn’t historic racing, it’s time to evolve the breed. As such, Oreca is promising even higher levels of performance and greater reliability with the 07. So far, things are looking up for 2017. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Oreca 07 LMP2.

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There's a 24-Hour Forza 6 Marathon During the LeMans!!!

There’s a 24-Hour Forza 6 Marathon During the LeMans!!!

Qualifying has already started, so you better hurry up and signup if you want to compete

The 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans is on the horizon, and while race car drivers will be put to the ultimate test on the Circuit de la Sarthe, gamers will be participating in their own gasoline-fueled test of endurance in a 24-hour marathon of Forza 6. The marathon comes as part of a partnership between Porsche, Microsoft, and Automobile Club de l’Quest (ACO) and will actually run simultaneously to the real 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The official name of this online test of endurance is formally known as “Forza Racing Championship (Forza RC) Season 3: The Porsche Cup.

As you might have guessed by the official name, those who actually make it through qualifying and become finalists will get to race virtual versions of the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Prizes include real-world money, and there’s even a title in ACO’s newest category: “Official Endurance Esports.” The thing is, however, that if you really want to participate you need to head over to the signup page now as qualifying has already begun. The only requirements are a working Xbox One and a copy of Forza Motorsport 6. Well, that, two working hands, and a girlfriend that’s not going to nag you the whole time. Qualifying comes to an end on May 28th, so you still have some time. When the final race kicks off, it will be streamed via YouTube, Twitch, and Beam for the whole world to see.

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"Le Mans: Racing Is Everything" Web Series Is The Show We've All Been Waiting For

"Le Mans: Racing Is Everything" Web Series Is The Show We’ve All Been Waiting For

Amazon Prime is giving us a chance to learn more about what happens behind-the-scenes at Le Mans

It’s regarded as the most dangerous race in the world and is likewise considered as one of the three races that make up the Holy Trinity of auto racing. It’s the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and if anybody has ever wondered what it would look and feel like to go on a deep dive into the behind-the-scenes action at Le Mans, Amazon Prime is providing that opportunity with the six-episode documentary Le Mans: Racing is Everything.

Beyond capturing the essence that makes the 24 Hours of Le Mans one of the most famous races in the world, the series also follows six racing teams that compete in the race and the intense preparations each of these teams have to go through in order to win the race, or at least be competitive in it. Mind you, a lot of these race teams – Aston Martin, Audi, Nissan, Porsche, and Toyota – are at the top echelon of endurance racing. Each one of them is featured in the series to go with Rebellion Racing, a small racing team from Switzerland that last competed at Le Mans four years ago. The series starts on June 9, 2017 on Amazon Prime.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2017 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps - Race Report

2017 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps - Race Report

Toyota seems unstoppable ahead of Le Mans

Some traditions may annoy us, but the fact that the Spa six-hour race has been the final “practice” before the Le Mans 24 Hours is something well established and respected which has been the norm for years. This time round, the battle was as hot as ever with three Toyotas fighting two Porsches at the top. Add to the equation the complexity of managing just four sets of tires (plus two "Joker" sets) for the whole weekend on a track that’s really hard on tires, and you get the picture of a thrilling race.

Toyota cited the stability of the rules as the main incentive for the German-Japanese outfit to bring out a third TS050 to help in their decades-old desire to win at Circuit de la Sarthe. Until then, though, the No. 9 was present at Spa-Francorchamps in the Ardennes and poised to be driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Stephane Sarrazin and Yuji Kunimoto. This car was also fitted with the low-downforce package as was the case for the two 919s from Porsche. The difference was, however, that Spa, with its super fast first and third sectors, is much more fit for a setup with less drag. This meant that Porsche was, in theory, to close the gap on Toyota even more than they did at Silverstone, making for an electrifying six-hour race.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Audi R8 LMS GT4

2017 Audi R8 LMS GT4

The already successful R8 LMS goes GT4 racing!

Audi made a bunch of wise marketing decisions in recent years, one of them being the R8, essentially a Lamborghini with different body work and a more affordable sticker. But, while the road-going R8 is somewhat successful, its race-spec counterpart has already achieved iconic status with several wins in just about every racing series out there. The R8 LMS has been incredibly popular among private teams in recent years and it’s not surprising that Audi is looking to expand the lineup as much as possible. The latest version to join the family is the LMS GT4 and made its debut at the 2017 New York Motor Show.

As the name suggests, the LMS GT4 was developed for production-based racing and derived from the road-legal R8 V10. It’s more affordable than the world-beating GT3 and it’s eligible for every racing category under GT4 regulations. The GT4 European Series is arguably the most important competition under these regulations and brings together a massive number of cars. Vehicles that the R8 will compete against include GT4-spec versions of the Chevrolet Camaro, Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M4, KTM X-Bow, and Porsche Cayman, just to name a few.

The new race car will make its on-track debut at the Nurburgring 24 Hours on May 25. The R8 LMS GT4 will also compete in North America, Asia, and Australia throughout 2017. Production will begin in the second half of the year with first deliveries to be made by the end of 2017.

“Audi Sport GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers offering cars in the GT3 and TCR customer sport categories. Now we’re targeting the GT4 class at exactly the right time. These fast-growing business segments and the DNA shared by our race cars and production vehicles underscore our ambition to become a true global player in the high-performance league," said Stephan Winkelmann, managing director of Audi Sport.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi R8 LMS GT4.

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Is this what LeMans Racers of 2030 Will Look Like?

Is this what LeMans Racers of 2030 Will Look Like?

Jurors must have had a difficult time picking the best designs

The Michelin Challenge Design has been going on ever since 2002 when designers from around the world were challenged to design a car that would fit in with Italy. Since then, the challenge has focused on other locations like China, California, France, and Germany. Other years including the design of electric cars (2010) and Mobility for All (2016.) For 2017, however, Michelin and Automobile Club de I’Quest challenged entrants to design a car that would win Le Mans in the year 2030 and, as expected, the creativity of some of the designs is out of this world.

There was a total of 1,600 entries for this challenge, of which Michelin has showcased the top 20 that you see here. First place went to Tao Ni of Wuhu, China and his “Infiniti Le Mans 2030.” Second place went to Daniel Bacelar Pereira of Vila Real, Portugal, and his “Bentley 9 Plus Michelin Battery Slick. Third place goes to the Cierzo C1 that was submitted by Kurt Scanlan from Toronto, Canada. Of course, all of the designs were nothing short of amazing, but you can’t award first place to everyone.

Thom Roach, Vice President of OEM marketing for Michelin North America, said, “The winners of our 2017 Michelin Challenge Design presented numerous highly innovative features for the Le Mans race in the year 2030 and the quality of work from this year’s entries was truly outstanding. We congratulate the winners for their thought-provoking, visually captivating designs for the world’s greatest endurance race, Le Mans 24 Hours.”

The jury that was tasked with choosing the absolute best designs was comprised of some of the brightest minds in the automotive world and included people like, Damien Michelin of Michelin North America; Chris Chapman, Chief Designer for Hyundai America Technical Center; Dave Marek, Acura Global Creative Director for Honda R&D Americas; and Richard Plavetich, General Manager of Design Business for Nissan Design America; among others from BMW, GM, Ford, and PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Of the Top 20 designs, first, second, and third place will be invited to Michelins stand at the North American International Auto Show where they will be recognized and will participate in a private portfolio review. The first-place winner will also be recognized at the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hour Race.

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2016 IMSA Petit Le Mans - Race Report

2016 IMSA Petit Le Mans - Race Report

Season finale at Road Atlanta reveals 2016 champions

The 2016 IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship is now in the history books and its last hurrah, the 19th annual Petit Le Mans, was as exciting as ever even though the champions were unofficially crowned early on. In spite of that, the battles for overall and class honors across the board went to the wire. It was also the last race for the entirety of the Prototype field (minus the Deltawing) as new P2 and DPi machinery will be introduced in 2017

Qualifying was a straight-forward affair for Michael Shank Racing on the eve of their 250th (and last) Prototype start. Pla and the No. 60 Ligier had been the pace setters throughout all of the practice sessions, the Frenchman unwilling to relinquish the top spot to the Daytona Prototypes that sang their swan song at Road Atlanta. He set an unbeatable 1:13:061 mid-way through the session which was nearly a half-second quicker than the best that Mazda’s Tristan Nunez could do in the No. 55. Third quickest was championship leader (by a thin one-point advantage) Eric Curran in the No. 31 Action Express Corvette, while the No. 70 Mazda started fourth.

Robert Alon was the quickest in Prototype Challenge, his 1:16:411 being just a tad quicker than Alex Popow’s last flyer which put him next to the pole-sitting PR1/Mathiasen ORECA. Johnny Mowlem was third fastest on his last professional start in the BAR1 Motorsport No. 20 car. Kenton Koch was fourth for Performance Tech, the top four separated by just two tenths of a second.

Three quarters of a second – that was the gap between the pole sitter in GT-LM and the bog last starter in the premier Grand Touring category. To say it was tight is an understatement, Richard Westbrook’s pole time of 1:18:131 being just a tenth and a half quicker than Antonio Garcia’s best effort that put him second. Toni Vilander and Joey Hand filled the second row, while Tommy Milner was only seventh in the championship-leading Corvette No.4. It could have been worse, though as last year’s winner, Nick Tandy, started from tenth aboard the No. 911 Porsche.

Jeroen Bleekemolen slipped through the cracks to claim the first pole in 2016 for the No. 33 Viper in GT-D, this car also on its last start. The Dutchman thus put himself in the best possible position to mount an attack on the championship-leading Scuderia Corsa Ferrari that came to Road Atlanta with a huge gap in the points standings following the disqualification of Magnus Racing at VIR. Bleekemolen’s 1:21:305 was just under a half-second quicker than the best time by Park Place’s Matt McMurry, who qualified ahead of another Porsche, the No. 23 of Mario Farnbacher who was joined on row two by Christina Nielsen who was aiming to become the first female champion in IMSA-sanctioned competition since 2009 when Melanie Snow became champion of the GTC category.

Continue reading for the full story.

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BMW Announces Return to Le Mans and Endurance Racing

BMW Announces Return to Le Mans and Endurance Racing

Also confirms partnership with Andretti for Formula E entry

BMW has just revealed plans to expand its presence in the global motorsport scene by joining a new racing series by the end of the decade. The German automaker also confirmed its partnership with Andretti Autosport for Formula E, but more importantly, it said it will built a GT-spec car for the FIA World Endurance and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championships, which means a return to the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

The decision comes seven years after BMW’s withdrawal from Formula One and four years afters its successful return to the DTM. By joining the new series, the German automaker will basically race in every important competition running in Europe and the United States, except Formula One. Munich also stated that it plans to further build on its presence in DTM and Dakar Rally, as well as continue to run its customer racing program in the GT3 and GT4 categories.

As for the new GT car that will mark the company’s first return at Le Mans since 2011, when BMW Motorsport raced the M3 GT2 in the LM-GTE Pro class, the German carmaker said it will arrive just in time for the 2018 season. Details are scant, but chances are BMW isn’t planning to develop a hybrid prototype, but a LM GTE racer that would go against the Ford GT, Ferrari 488 GTE, and Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.

"Starting with the 2018 season, we want to further expand our activities in GT racing and compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship, as well as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This obviously also includes our return to Le Mans, which we are particularly looking forward to. The way the WEC has developed so well makes us confident that there is a big future for GT racing," said BMW Motorsport Director, Jens Marquardt.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Mazda Pays Tribute To 1991 Le Mans Win With 787B-inspired Livery

Mazda Pays Tribute To 1991 Le Mans Win With 787B-inspired Livery

The famous green-and-orange paint scheme returns to the track after 25 years

Mazda is celebrating its victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991 with two special liveries at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, round six of the 2016 IMSA SportsCar Championship, at Watkins Glen International on July 3. The No. 55 Mazda prototype will feature a vivid green and orange color scheme in honor of the 25th anniversary of Mazda victory at Le Mans, while the No. 70 car will carry a similar design, but in Soul Red, Silver and Machine Grey, the brand’s current corporate colors.

The only Japanese manufacturer to have won the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, Mazda achieved its big victory in 1991 with the rotary-powered 787B race car. The green-and-orange colored race car was motivated by a 2.6-liter, four-rotor Wankel engine and was driven to victory by Johnny Herbert, Volker Weidler, and Bertrand Gachot. The winning car completed 362 laps and defeated factory efforts from Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Peugeot. Interestingly enough, the famous green-and-orange livery was inspired by Renown, a clothing company which made argyle socks, the team’s then-primary sponsor.

The tribute, No. 55 prototype will be driven by Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez, and Spencer Pigot. Both Nunez and Pigot weren’t even born when Mazda won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“I may not have been born when they won Le Mans, but being an age where technology is key, there are a lot of videos on the internet of that car! I’ve been watching the 787B for years - even before I got picked up by Mazda. It’s one of those cars that really captures your eye - and the sound that rotary motor made! It’s going to be an honor to run that paint scheme," said Nunez.

Mazda has yet to win any races this season, but scored 150 points, enough for a third place in the manufacturers’ championship. In the teams’ standings, the No. 55 car is fifth, while the No. 70 car is seventh.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 24 Hours Of Le Mans - Race highlights: Video

2016 24 Hours Of Le Mans - Race highlights: Video

Drama-filled race shows how hard the Le Mans 24 Hours really is

So, did anybody see the final stages of the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours? If you didn’t, you missed what could arguably go down as one of the most dramatic finishes in the race’s long and storied history. Porsche and Ford took home top honors in the LMP1 and GTE Pro categories, respectively, but the real story of the race was how both teams recorded their victories.

Let’s start with Ford, which came close to replicating its sensational 1-2-3 finish in 1966, only to have Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 488 GTE climb its way to second place amidst a lot of controversy. Both teams filed protests against the other, and both teams were penalized from said protests. In the end, Ford still took home the victory in what turned out to be an arousing return to endurance racing for the American manufacturer, which was celebrating the 50th anniversary of that historic 1966 triumph over Ferrari. History repeats itself, 50 years later.

Now let’s move on to the top class LMP1 category where Toyota was on the verge of its first-ever triumph in Le Mans when the race-leading No. 5 Toyota of Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi, which was untouchable throughout the course of the 24-hour race, came to a sudden stop as it was starting its final lap. The No 2 Porsche driven by Neel Jani, Romain Dumas, and Marc Lieb passed the car on its way to one of unlikeliest victories in the Le Mans history. As devastating as it was for Toyota - believe me, my heart sunk when I saw the car lose power - the results are real and Porsche now has its 18th Le Mans title.

You can relive the highlights of the race in the video. Do check it out!

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2016 24 Hours Of Le Mans - Race Report

2016 24 Hours Of Le Mans - Race Report

Porsche wins dramatically as Toyota’s leader loses power with five minutes to go

Late race drama for Toyota that saw their hopes of a maiden Le Mans triumph vanish in thin air, only for Porsche to take their 18th overall victory, overshadowed the dominance of American teams over the GT classes in what might be one of the most dramatic Le Mans 24 Hours races to date.

Long-distance racing is often considered the hardest of all circuit-based types of racing and there’s no better proof than last weekend’s 84th edition of the famous Le Mans 24 Hours held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, in France. A record 60-car grid aligned for the classic test of man and machine which gathers the biggest crowds of all European motorsport events (in excess of 230.000 people attended the race in 2016). Everybody was welcomed with some not-so-welcoming weather in the days leading up to the weekend, the overcast sky adding to the somewhat dark tone of the GTE-Pro teams over the never-ending subject of the Balance of Performance.

The BoP, as it’s known, tried to even out cars with very different layouts: from mid-engined turbo’ed models to rear-engined naturally-aspirated ones and, also, the front-engined models as well. It doesn’t take an engineering genius to figure out that after all this BoP work is done some will be left unhappy while other will be quite comfortable with what they’ve got. On the former side stood Porsche, Aston-Martin and Chevrolet while Ferrari and Ford, with their mid-engined turbocharged racers, were the satisfied ones.

For those of you that have not been following endurance racing in 2016, the presence of Ford might come as a surprise, but the American manufacturer followed up on its promise to celebrate its first Le Mans victory, in 1966 with the Mk.II, in grand style by launching the race version of its new supercar – the GT. The car debuted at Daytona earlier in the year and, beyond a myriad of reliability problems, showed enough promise to get the Ford guys excited. Their excitement grew a lot more after the Laguna Seca round of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship where Ford won in the GT-LM class, not on pure speed, but on fuel efficiency. The WEC rounds followed where Ford was accused of hiding its true pace, some saying it used exceedingly long gears for the second round of the season at Spa-Francorchamps.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Toyota Loses Le Mans to Porsche in Dramatic Race Finale: Video

Toyota Loses Le Mans to Porsche in Dramatic Race Finale: Video

Late breakdown prevents Toyota from taking its long-awaited first win

The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans turned out to be one of the most dramatic endurance races in history after the leading Toyota prototype lost power and stopped on the pit straight with only five minutes to go, handing over the big win to Porsche. The German team won its 18th title at Le Mans, setting a new record for the most iconic motorsport event in Europe.

The race got underway on Saturday under a safety car due to torrential rain. With Audi’s R18 hybrids having dropped out pretty early, the battle for the overall win became a Toyota vs Porsche affair before the night settled over Circuit de la Sarthe. The TS050 of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, and Kazuki Nakajima looked set for victory after a solid run coupled with Toyota’s excellent refueling strategy, but tragedy struck with five minutes to go when Nakajima started losing power.

Much to the team’s despair, the Toyota came to a halt on the pit straight with just one lap to go, giving way to the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb. Prior to losing power, Nakajima had a 50-second lead. At the end of the day, Toyota’s reliability failed when it mattered most. What a blow!

The video above captures the final moments of the race. While Toyota’s drivers and engineers had nothing to do but stare at the screen and witness their best chance at finally winning Le Mans vanish into thin air, the folks in the Porsche stand were celebrating one of the luckiest wins in motorsport history. Hit play to check it out and stay tuned for our full report of the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Audi To Host 24 Hours Of Le Forza Online Endurance Race

Audi To Host 24 Hours Of Le Forza Online Endurance Race

Event will take place this weekend in downtown San Francisco

The Le Mans 24 Hours will be the talk of the motor racing world as the 86th instalment of the iconic endurance race kicks off this weekend in France. But a continent away in the U.S., a different kind of endurance race will also take place, one that will be hosted by Audi of America in partnership with Forza MotorSport 6. The event will take place in San Francisco and it has been billed as a 24-hour virtual race featuring 12 teams of professional gamers and the finalists from Audi’s own 24 Hours of Le Forza Contest.

While it may not have the same authenticity as actually competing in Le Mans, the Audi 24 Hours of Le Forza will pit these teams against one another in a 24-hour online endurance race on Forza 6. Contestants will even be dressed in full racing suits and helmets, and will drive near-replicas of the real race cars with the same shifts and similar weather conditions as what is expected in Le Mans.

The online endurance race will be live-streamed on Twitch, the social media platform that has become the go-to app for live streaming online gaming events.

The team who ends up winning the Audi 24 Hours of Le Forza will get more than just bragging rights for their accomplishment. A trip to Sonoma, California awaits every member of the team where they will get the chance to participate in a real-world Audi sports car experience. The second- and third- place teams will also receive awards, with the runner ups getting a trip to Austin, Texas to attend the 2016 Lone Star Le Mans race and the third-place group all receiving an Xbox One and a copy of Forza 6.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Lego Version Of Ford GT Race Car To Be Displayed At LeMans: Video

Lego Version Of Ford GT Race Car To Be Displayed At LeMans: Video

Ford’s 50th anniversary celebration of 1966 Le Mans victory is now in full swing

If any of you think that getting paid to build LEGOs is a fun job, I’m here to let you know that, well, yes, it’s an awesome gig. But it can also be tedious, especially when you’re tasked to build a LEGO version of the Ford GT race car that approximately has 30,000 to 40,000 LEGO bricks in it. Such is the job of Pascal, who was tasked to build a scaled version of the Ford GT race car that will spend the coming weekend on display at the Circuit de la Sarthe for the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race.

It’s not a coincidence that the LEGO version of the Ford GT race car will be on hand at Le Mans right around the same time that the American automaker celebrates the 50th anniversary of its unforgettable 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans back in 1966. The Blue Oval has made a concerted effort to remind everyone of that historic feat and now, it’s also brought in LEGO to take part in the festivities.

The final product isn’t shown until the end of the video but we do get a lot of Pascal explaining the process behind the creation of the LEGO Ford GT racer and as it turns out, it’s not as easy as it looks. For one, building something of this scale involves tedious amounts of planning just to make sure that the scale is done right. A 3D model was also created in the size of the LEGO version – one-third the size of the actual race car – to ensure that the builders like Pascal will have the scale down pat when the build starts.

It gets even more chaotic when the actual build starts. I’d like to be as descriptive as I can to do Pascal’s words justice, but I think it’ll be much better if we just heard it from the man himself.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 24 Hours of Le Mans – Preview

2016 24 Hours of Le Mans – Preview

Twice around the clock separates the wheat from the chaff

No other race in the world manages to capture the public’s imagination quite like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Even when placed alongside the Monaco Grand Prix and Indy 500, the two remaining trophies in the Triple Crown of Motorsport, the 24 HOLM is simply a cut above in terms of scope, challenge, and spectacle. “Epic” is just the baseline here – four categories of race cars take to the track at once, with “traffic” complicating individual maneuvers for position within each respective class. A mix of tight corners and ultra-long straights make race car set-up a battle in and of itself, while the prolonged runtime stresses man and machine to the max. The best drivers in the world are called upon to participate, some of which lose upwards of 6.5 pounds by the end of their final stint. Simply put, the 24 HOLM creates legends.

This year will be the 84th running of the highly celebrated motorsport event. Also acting as the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 2016 24 HOLM includes a field of 60 vehicles, equaling records from the ‘50s for the race’s largest all-time grid. Going for glory will be 180 drivers from 27 different countries, including 23 Americans.

But of course, the 24 HOLM is just as much about the stories as it is the numbers. Stateside fans will no doubt tune in to watch the new Ford GT compete in the LM GTE Pro class, marking 50 years since the automaker’s renowned 1-2-3 finish against Ferrari. Then there’s the LMP1 class, where Audi will challenge Porsche to retake top honors after it was dethroned last year. Meanwhile, Frederic Sausset, a quadruple amputee, will compete in LMP2 with a specially modified Morgan.

We’ve got the lowdown on everything you need to know about the 2016 24 HOLM, including track info, the classes, the cars, the drivers, where to watch, and even a little history. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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