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The FIA World Endurance Championship is no longer going to have grid girls standing by the cars at the beginning of each race starting from the Six Hours of Silverstone in April.

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Fox Sports has signed a deal to air the entire 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship in the US. The races will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2, plus will stream online. It will all starts in April's with the Six Hours of SIlverstone.

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The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo will not make its competition debut until the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Nissan is withdrawing the racer from the first two events of the World Endurance Championship to focus on testing.

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Porsche is giving the 919 Hybrid a design overhaul for the 2015 racing season in hopes of finding more success than last year. The first images released by the company show a simple horizontal intake running across the front of the coupe and gills along the car's sides. Power still comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged V4, plus an electric motor for the front axle.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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There's a new season of motor racing upon us, and while that doesn't always mean a new crop of cars in every series, in the case of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, that's exactly what it means. Porsche recently revealed its new 919 Hybrid and Audi its revised R18 E-Tron Quattro. Now it's Toyota's turn.

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This is the new Audi R18. It looks like the Bond villain of race cars (it has red running lamps), and if Audi's past is any indication, it'll prove difficult to beat in the LMP1 class of the 2014 World Endurance Championship.

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Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish took the No. 2 Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro to victory at this weekend's Six Hours of Austin at the Circuit of the Americas, marking the 12th victory for the R18 body and the 100th LMP overall victory for Audi since 2000. The milestone victory also saw a second R18, driven by Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer, take third place.

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Mark Webber has announced he's leaving the Red Bull F1 team to join Porsche in that company's quest for victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Australian has signed a contract that will keep him with his new employer for the next "several years." Porsche says Webber will helm the company's new LMP1 sports prototype at Le Mans and will also compete in the World Endurance Championship. This won't be his first go at the legendary 24-hour race – Webber has competed at Le Mans twice before. No

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Audi released a single photo of the long-tailed version of its R18 E-Tron Quattro Le Mans racer, but the photo didn't offer the best view of the stretched rear. The car has been caught testing at Monza, in Italy, and not only do we get a better view of what it's got out back, we get pretty awesome sound as it makes high-speed runs past the camera.

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Race teams are always looking for ways to shave hundredths of seconds of their lap times. Case in point: Audi is making some slight changes to its prototype racecar to make it ever so much more slippery as it cuts through the air.

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Porsche is ready to go racing in 2013, showing off a new 911 RSR today that is scheduled to compete in several endurance events this year. Based on the current 991 911, the new RSR will compete in the 2013 season of the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It will not, however, make an appearance in a North American racing series this year.

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This is the Alpine LMP2 competitor you'll see contesting European endurance races this year, including The 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Parent company Renault showed off the N36 racer at its atelier in Paris, the blue and orange a switch from the yellow, black and white livery Alpine wore last time it was seen in Le Mans way back in 1978 when it won the race.

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Porsche still hasn't showed the LMP1 contender it is building for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014 – in fact, there won't be any public eyeballs on it until the middle of 2013. But the Stuttgart manufacturer sure wants to make sure everyone knows it is coming, giving us another update – after the initial announcement and a retrospective video – on the car's progress even if there is no actual car yet.

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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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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 a major automaker shuts down its racing program like Peugeot did at Le Mans, it leaves a big gaping hole for everyone involved. The French automaker's departure from endurance racing left the series organizers scrambling for another team to take its place just as it was preparing to inaugurate the new FIA World Endurance Championship. It left Audi – the Diane Sawyer of Le Mans racing, to borrow an analogy from Talladega Nights – without its Katie Couric. And arguably most of all

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The top class of endurance racing like what we see at Le Mans tends to follow trends. Open cockpits gave way to closed ones in LMP1 racers, but while diesel engines continue to dominate, we're now entering the age of hybrid prototypes.

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The top class of endurance racing like what we see at Le Mans tends to follow trends. Open cockpits gave way to closed ones in LMP1 racers, but while diesel engines continue to dominate, we're now entering the age of hybrid prototypes.

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