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Lotus returns to Le Mans with LMP2 car

Lotus LMP2 car

The 80th edition of the Le Mans will mark the return of the British automaker Lotus. The company has already made a comeback to the worlds of F1 and Indy and it also oversees GP2 and GP3 teams. In addition, the brand also has competition versions for its road-legal cars that take part in a variety of rallying and GT championships. Let’s not forget that Lotus also organizes its own kart programs so they have a pretty busy schedule.

Lotus’ plans were to develop its own LMP2 from scratch but when Peugeot retired from this competition, Lotus decided to pick up the program for the 908 HDi FAP and further improve it. The team that Lotus chose for Le Mans is Kodewa, which is a German sports car concern located in Ingolstadt that is run by ex HRT F1 team principal Colin Kolles from Romania and his father Romulus. They chose a Lola B12/80 coupe chassis while the engine is a BMW-sourced V8 unit that is prepared by Engine Developments Ltd., which is the same group that the British company uses for designing, constructing and maintaining its Indy car engines.

The LMP2 car will be wearing a 1970s-inspired black and gold livery that reminds us of Lotus’ glory days in the racing world. The car will be making its official debut when the FIA starts its brand new World Endurance Championship (WEC) in March on the Sebring International Raceway road/airport course at the Mobile 1 12 Hours of Sebring. A second car is scheduled to make its appearance at the second race of the season which will be the 6-hour race in Belgium at Spa-Francorchamps, before the summer when the Le Mans race is organized.

Source: Lotus via Motor Authority

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No more endurance racing for Peugeot

Peugeot 908 HDi FAP

Today we have some sad news coming from PSA Peugeot Citroen as they’ve announced to withdraw from endurance racing because of the difficult economic conditions in Europe. By taking this move, PSA will focus more on the upcoming car model launches. This decision is also part of the company’s plans to save $1.03 billion (800 million euros) and to slash 6,000 jobs this year, according to Reuters.

The Peugeot 908 prototype race managed to grab 14 victories in 16 races, the most important one being in 2009 when they obtained a double win at the demanding 24 Hours of Le Mans. With this victory, Peugeot managed to end Audi’s five-year consecutive winning streak.

The good news is that Peugeot will still take part in the World Rally Championship (WRC). Too bad that we won’t see them at Le Mans anymore. Hopefully, in the future they will come back in this competition and they also should consider returning to F1.

Source: Peugeot

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Toyota Returns To Le Mans With A Hybrid

Toyota LMP1 Le Mans Prototype (Rendering)

The Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has decided to return to Le Mans next year where they will compete with Peugeot and Audi with their new gasoline-hybrid vehicle. The all-new LMP1 car is being developed by Toyota Motorsport while the powertrain is the responsibility of the Toyota Motor Corporation.

If you didn’t know, Toyota is already experimenting with alternatively-powered racing technology and back in August they’ve established a new lap record for an EV on the Nurburgring Nordschleife by using a modified Radical that had two electric motors.

The automaker never managed to win the prestigious and demanding Le Mans race but they did had some interesting cars, like the late 1990s Toyota GT-One prototype.

Source: Toyota via Autocar

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Need For Speed: The Run Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe

This 1960′s beauty has been remodeled for some famous race tracks around the world, including Le Mans and Daytona.

Only six were built but none of then are still on the streets after private collectors decided to keep this jewels locked away.

389 horse power. Top speed 198/mph. 0-60 in 4 seconds. One more reason to eagerly wait for Need For Speed: The Run.

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Electric GreenGT LMPH2 Set To Race At 2012 LeMans

Electric GreenGT LMPH2

In the experimental race class of next year’s Le Mans endurance race we’ll get to see this new GreenGT LMPH2 racer. In this video we catch a glimpse of the car doing a demonstration lap at the famous circuit, being driven by Christian Pescatori, who is part of the team responsible for the development of the racer. The announcement was made last week at a press conference by the Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO), who is the association in charge of the Le Mans race.
GreenGT, the Swiss-based team, will continue with the development of the car until the 2012 edition of the LeMans where we shall see this hydrogen-fueled car racing among other competitors in the experimental class. The car will hold 12 kg of hydrogen in 700 bar high-pressure tanks and the power output is expected to be around 402 hp (408 PS / 300 kW).

Source: GreenGT via WCF

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Audi Triumphs At Le Mans

The 79th edition of the famous Le Mans endurance race was won once again by Audi, this time with their spectacular R18 TDI model. The Audi Team Joest drivers Marcel Fassler from Switzerland, Andre Lotterer from Germany and Benoit Treluyer from France managed to finish the race just over 13 seconds ahead of the second-place Peugeot 908.

You probably know that the German automaker Audi has been dominating the Le Mans for the last few years with the R-Series TDI race cars, but Peugeot has also done a pretty good job, winning the 2009 Le Mans.
The winning R18 TDI was the number 2 car and it was the only one who managed to cross the finish line as the number 1 and number 3 cars crashed. The good news is that drivers Allan McNish and Mike Rockenfeller didn’t suffer any injuries.

Source: Audi via WCF

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Honda CR-Z Racer, Heading To Le Mans

At the beginning of this week, the Japanese automaker Honda announced that they will take the CR-Z Racer for a few demonstration laps during this year’s edition of the famous 24 hours Le Mans race. Created by Honda Performance Development (HPD), the car made its official debut at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas while the racing debut occurred at the Thunderhill 25 Hours.

As a reminder, the Honda CR-Z Racer is powered by a 4-cylinder 1.5-liter engine that features turbocharging and direct injection, working together with an electric motor. The power unit was installed transversely and allow of those 200 ponies are sent to the front wheels. The peak torque of the engine is rated at 237 Nm.

Source: Honda via ZerCustoms

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Ouch! Audi RS5 Safety Car Causes Serious Crash At Le Mans Race In France

[youtube width="470" height="344"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F63z6eGb6rE[/youtube]

Not a good way to advertise a car, for sure. During the Le Mans series race in France, the Audi RS5 safety car caused a massive pile-up crash at the Paul Richard High Tech Test Track last weekend. Why? Because it didn’t pull off the track after a green light.

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Audi 24 hours of Le Mans – the 2010 victory

Out of all the motorsports events in a year, one that is dearly close to our heart is the 24 hours of Le Mans. There’s something special about this competition and its spirit, not only because of it’s rich history, but also because of the legends it gave birth to.

Last year, Audi won the 24 Hours competition of Le Mans for the 9th time, by this proving that it can endure things as Ferrari’s creations. Last year, the Audi R15 TDI shined in all its glory and there are simply moments that should be captured on film, for our grandchildren to watch.

Expectations, drama, intensity and hopes gather around the last minutes of the race, as the teams fight for survival on the track. It is an impressive display of passion, engineering and a bit of magic. This is a video made of all those moments.

“If you don’t get a single piece to fit perfectly, you just won’t have enough to clinch victory.”


“Le Mans is never the achievement of a single individual. We win together or we lose together.”

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Geneva 2011 – Peugeot 908 Hybrid4 Le Mans Racer

Peugeot 908 Hybrid4 Le Mans Racer

One month ago, the French automaker Peugeot unveiled the 908 HDi FAP Le Mans Race Car, and for this year’s Geneva Motor Show edition, they’ve brought the hybrid version of the car, which will take part in the 2012 edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans. Starting with this year, the Le Mans regulations make hybrid cars eligible for the competition.

Peugeot 908 Hybrid4 Le Mans Racer

This diesel-hybrid car was designed in order to comply with the newest racing regulations and will pay a significant role in the automaker’s environmental strategy for this year.  The car has the same engine as the standard 908 model, but offers 80 hp more thanks to the electric motor that is powered from the stored kinetic energy generated while braking. For brief periods of time, this extra power is released automatically via the rear wheels under acceleration.

Peugeot 908 Hybrid4 Le Mans Racer

The recovered energy is stored in the lithium-ion batteries and this system will allow the 908 Hybrid4 to be powered only while in the pit-lane. The first track tests of the car are programmed for the end of this month and Peugeot wants to run the 908 Hybrid4 at the official pre-Le Mans 24 Hours test day on April 24th.

Source: Carscoop

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2011 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP Le Mans Race Car Unleashed

2011 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP Le Mans Race Car

Le Mans is probably one of the most difficult races in the world and in order to win here you need a car that is almost perfect as the competition is pretty steep. In the recent years, this highly-acclaimed competition has been dominated by Audi, while Peugeot is trying to keep up with the pace. With their new 908 Hdi FAP Le Mans race car, the French are hoping to take down Audi’s R18 LMP1 racer. Without any doubt, the 908 will be the most dangerous rival for the R18 and we will have to wait until June 11th to see who the boss is.

The 908 is a closed-cockpit car that features four identical wheels and a “shark’s fin” power unit cover. The car’s design wasn’t created to be beautiful; it was made in order to be fast on the track. Due to the reason that a new set of regulations was adopted, the French automaker had to do some changes to the car. They increased the size of the contact patch between the tires and the track, installing larger front wheels which meet the 2011 regulations

The V12 engine was dropped in favor of a V8 3.7-liter V8 HDi FAP that has a 90-degree angle and outputs a whopping 550 hp.

The last time when Peugeot won the race was in 2009. In 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 Audi grabbed the first place and this year the race will be head-to-head. Audi will be using their R18 LMP1 that features a V6 3.7-liter TDI engine, linked to a 6-speed gearbox. The drivetrain is very similar to the one the 908 which means that we should see a pretty close race.

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Video: Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid to race in ALMS at Road Atlanta

Porsche surprised everyone when it unveiled the 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car. The model, equipped with a 480 HP flat-six engine, has a flywheel assembly that, when needed, can feed power to two electric motors located at the front of the car.

While some didn’t approve of such blasphemy, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid proved itself in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring endurance event.

Now, Porsche has announced that it will take its hybrid racer in October to the Road Atlanta circuit. No, it won’t race Mini, but it will race in the Petit Le Mans race, counting for both the Le Mans International Cup and the American Le Mans Series.

Seeing as how the Le Mans governing body, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, hasn’t revealed the official regulations for hybrid race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will run as an unclassified model.

The company didn’t miss an opportunity to show off, and revealed a new video of its track-ready hybrid. Check it out after the jump.

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Citroen Survolt electric race car to make its debut at Le Mans Classic

The Citroen Survolt electric vehicle concept impressed a lot of people when it was revealed at the beginning of the year.

Now, it seems that Citroen really wants to make the Survolt stand out even more, and has announced that the electric model will be driven at the famous Le Mans Classic race, set to start on July 10th.

In case you forgot, the Survolt electric race car (pictured above while preparing for the Le Mans event) uses two motors, capable of a combined output of 300 HP. When you combine the impressive power figure with the carbon fiber bodywork and the low weight of the tubular steel chassis, you get a proper race car, even if it is an electric one.

According to Citroen, the Survolt is capable of sprinting from 0 to 62 mph in under five seconds, and up to 162 mph. Thanks to the two battery packs, the Survolt can cover 124 miles on a single charge. Its recharge times vary from 2 hours, with a special charger, or 10 hours, from a regular 220-volt socket.


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Ford France offering one-off Focus RS models with Le Mans-winning liveries

The current Ford Focus RS really took the notion of a hot hatch and blew it out of the water. Sadly, it will soon see the end of its lifecycle. Until then though, at least in France, it will have a proper sendoff, thanks to a series of unique models.

The five Focus RS versions you see above are all decked out in special liveries, which were showcased by historic Ford race cars at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race over the years.

While the light blue and orange Gulf livery sported by the Le Mans-winning GT40 in 1968 and 1969 is easy to spot for any racing fan, the other editions are also worth explaining. The black and silver stripe livery was showcased by the Ford Mk II which won the 1966 race. The red and white stripe came from the Mk IV which won in 1967. The White and thin blue center stripe was used on the Mk IIB France special edition in the 1967 race. Last but not least, the two-tone white and blue livery was made famous by the Capri RS 2600 which won the Touring category at Le Mans in 1972.

Only these five cars will be available for purchase, but you’ll also get special Recaro racing seats set to match the exterior livery, plus a personalized numbered plate.

Outrageous? Yes, but so is the 305 HP Ford Focus RS as a whole.


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