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The FIA, ACO, and IMSA have named four chassis constructors that will be authorized to provide all the LMP2 prototypes at Le Mans and the four series in which they compete around the world, all powered by a single engine and electronics system.

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Starting a career in formula racing? There's a whole dedicated ladder of feeder series from Formula Renault to GP2. Ditto rally, Indy, NASCAR... even Dakar-style rally raid has the Land Rover Defender Challenge. But sports endurance racing is a bit more tricky. You can start out in GT cars, but if your goal is to get into Le Mans prototypes, even the second-tier LMP2 sets the bar for admission pretty high. That's why the Automobile Club de l'Ouest – the French motorsport sanctioning body t

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With Porsche joining Audi and Toyota at the front of the LMP1 grid at Le Mans next year, Nissan is the next to be throwing its hat (and considerable R&D budget) into the proverbial ring. But only if it's allowed to do something radically different, according to the latest report in Car magazine.

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Race fans that look forward to the motorsports mecca that is the 24 Hours of Le Mans will have to wait one additional week.

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The Automobile Club de l'Ouest, organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has announced a number of rule changes for the 2014 race that open up the options for LMP1 racers and guide their technology closer to that of road cars, and that should also give fans even better racing than we're used to seeing. Probably biggest of all is loosening the restraints on engine design. Currently, gas engines are limited in size to 3.4 liters, while diesel displacement can be no more than 3.7 liters, with further

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The Automobile Club de l'Ouest, organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has announced a number of rule changes for the 2014 race that open up the options for LMP1 racers and guide their technology closer to that of road cars, and that should also give fans even better racing than we're used to seeing. Probably biggest of all is loosening the restraints on engine design. Currently, gas engines are limited in size to 3.4 liters, while diesel displacement can be no more than 3.7 liters, with further

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Diesel power may still be the dominant force at the forefront of endurance sportscar racing centered around Le Mans, but this year sees a new form of propulsion on the field: hybrids.

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When Toyota announced its return to endurance sports car racing with the new TS030 Hybrid this season, the plan was to enter a handful of races, like Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps, on an invitational basis.

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Even though Aston Martin's gone home and Audi won't have Peugeot to kick around at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, there's a heap to look forward to: a large field of entries that includes two Audi diesel R18s plus two more hybrid R18s, Toyota's TS030 LMP1 hybrid and LMP2 racers from Lotus and Morgan.

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When Toyota announced its return to endurance sports car racing with the new TS030 Hybrid this season, the plan was to enter a handful of races, like Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps, on an invitational basis.

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If it seems to you that just about every year the powers-that-be change the classes in Le Mans racing, well, you're not far off. The racing categories for various vehicles is constantly in flux, with organizers at the ACO forever seeking out the right balance between various categories to keep the racing action competitive. And so it should come as little surprise that the ACO has tweaked the regs yet again for the 2012 championship.

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Mending a rift in motor racing is good for everybody. It was good for American open-wheel racing when the Champ Car and IndyCar Series put aside their differences to rejoin forces. And it will be good for sports car racing now that the FIA and the ACO are in the same corner.

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International motor racing is a complicated web of various series, each with their own types of cars run under different rules. The one element that binds them all – or at least a good proportion of them – together is the FIA. The international automobile federation governs Formula One, the World Rally Championship, the World Touring Car Championship and a variety of others. The one notable exception is Le Mans.

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Peugeot 908-HY hybrid prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Honda Performance Development 2.8-liter turbo V6 – Click above to enlarge

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The drama has already begun at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, albeit not the on-track kind. Peugeot has reportedly lodged a protest against Audi's R15 racer, charging that elements of the car's front wing are illegal. Peugeot asserts that the flap-like sections at the rear of the front wing, where "Michelin" appears in the above pic, are bodywork elements that are not allowed by the technical regulations.

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