This rendering of the Nissan GT-R LM endurance racer to race in the top LMP1 class in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans was supposedly based on reports from people who actually have seen the car. The engine supposedly fits underneath that long nose at the front, though behind the axle, for a novel mid-engine design. The brand promises to have a very different looking racer, and this would certainly fit those criteria.
Anticipation for all of the exciting reveals at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show just a few weeks away is building to a fever pitch, and rumors are mounting that Ford has a big surprise in store in the shape of a future performance halo model.
Le Mans icon Tom Kristensen is retiring. The Danish driver, who was an integral part of Audi's absolute dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, captured a record-breaking nine wins at the legendary endurance race, along with six overall victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring in a career that spanned 26 years.
Ford dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1966 to 1969, scoring four consecutive wins. Wouldn't it be great if the Blue Oval could go back to France for the 50th anniversary of that performance and show it can still compete in international endurance racing? Actually, the latest rumors indicate that could be exactly the case, and the car taking that checkered flag could be another revival of the Ford GT.
The Nissan ZEOD RC hybrid racecar has had mixed success in its competition life. It was invented to do a completely electric, high-speed lap at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which it was able to do in practice. However, when the big event actually came, the car lasted less than an hour before it had to bow out with transmission issues. Nissan hasn't completely given up on its experiment, though. The experience (and possibly some of the tech) is going to help with the GT-R LM racer next year, and now
There are any number of ways to experience the 24 Hours of Le Mans. You can watch it on TV or online. You can attend in person. You can follow it on Twitter. You can even catch the recap of it here on Autoblog. Or, compared to all of these fairly modern methods, you can go old school and analyze the race in pictures.
Commenting on the rush of events that rocked beginning and end of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Paul Truswell of Radio Le Mans said "the race is about the ability to endure, not just the ability of drivers to do what they do for a long time." The entire race machine, all the way down to the pit boards and radios, has to survive the stress and abuse of the entire day. This was the race to prove those words.
Audi came away a big winner at this year's Le Mans competition, but Nissan has at least one thing to celebrate. The Pyrrhic victory apparently presages Nissan giving up on the gas-electric race car for Le Mans 2015.
As is so often the case, the 2014 Le Mans was a war of attrition, and Audi managed to prevail once again after all 24 hours had been recorded in the history books, with its Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro claiming first and second places, followed by Toyota in third. Drivers Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer inherited the lead in their No. 2 Audi after the No. 7 Toyota, driven by pole-sitter Kazuki Nakajima, was forced to retire with electrical problems in the 15th hour.
Not only does this weekend mark the running of the 82nd 24 Hours of Le Mans, it will also see the return of one of the race's most venerable brands to the top tiers of endurance racing. Porsche will campaign its first top-flight car since the 1998 911 GT1-98, the 919 Hybrid, at this weekend's race, in the hopes of knocking off its corporate rival, the dominant Audi team.
In less than 24 hours the flag will drop on Audi's title defense at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Toyota's best ever chance to win and Porsche's return to le grand défi. The Le Mans organizers have kept as au courant with broadcast options as they have with power unit technology, so you'll be able to find a place to watch or listen no matter what your preferred method.
When we saw the picture above yesterday, our first thought went to driver Loic Duval. After hearing that he, miraculously, walked away from the annihilated heap that had been the number one Audi R18 e-tron Quattro, our next thought went Audi's hopes in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. With the race kicking off on Saturday, we couldn't be sure if the team would run a two-car effort (that would put them on even footing with the two-car teams of Porsche and Toyota), attempt to rebuild the decimated
Loic Duval, driver of the #1 Audi R18 E-tron Quattro, suffered a massive crash today during free practice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Duval's car reportedly went off track backwards at high speed near the Porsche Curves and flew into the retaining fence. There is no video of the actual crash at the moment, but a video of the aftermath (viewable below) shows significant damage to the Audi and to the fence. The wall nearby the car appears unaffected.
One of the best ways of learning a new track, aside from driving it, is to hear someone that's intimately familiar with it give you a good walkthrough. That's just what you'll get here, as the winningest driver in 24 Hours of Le Mans history, Tom Kristensen, walks you through the Circuit de la Sarthe's high-speed, 8.5-mile strip of pavement.
Ah, sibling rivalry. It really is a beautiful thing. It's even more beautiful when said siblings are automakers with very, very well-known racing histories. That's how you get videos like this, which is Audi's way of welcoming Porsche back to the top flight of Le Mans racing.
The Nissan Zeod RC hybrid racecar is certainly cool with its pointy looks, we're excited to see it run, but it isn't built to win races so much as push boundaries. But we might not have too to wait long for one of the Japanese brand's vehicles to claim an overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well. The company is announcing the GT-R LM Nismo racecar with a two-car, full factory effort in the top LMP1 class of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans.
We can scratch off one more car from the list for the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Lotus T129 LMP1 car has been dropped from the entry list of the 82nd running of the historic race, with organizers citing "a lack of preparation" as the reason. On a more positive note, the list of 168 drivers in 56 vehicles has been officially published for the June 14 race.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is still months away, but Audi Sport apparently can't wait to get started. It has just debuted the new livery for its 2014 R18 E-tron Quattro with a public drive through the streets of the town of Le Mans, while simultaneously announcing that it has a new, larger engine.
Open-source software isn't a new thing, even in the world of racing. Just take a look at the gorgeous Project Cars video game to see what we mean. What is, unusual, though, is an open-source car. And we aren't just talking about any car - we're talking about an open-source Le Mans prototype. Oh yes.