Gumpert Apollo hybrid to race at Nurburgring 24

Click to view more of the Gumpert Apollo in hi-res

Endurance sportscar racing continues to lead the way in green motorsports, as independent German automaker Gumpert prepares to campaign a hybrid version of its Apollo supercar at the upcoming 24-hour race at the Nurburgring next month. Known as "the green hell," the Nurburgring Nordschleife makes a rather fitting debut for the hybrid race car.

The Apollo hybrid will use a 100kW electric motor – charged under braking – to supplement the gasoline-burning 630hp twin-turbo V8, and will be driven by former F1 pilot Heinz-Harald Frentzen alongside Dirk Muller. Gumpert noted that with the upcoming kinetic energy recovery system being instituted in Formula One and its star F1 driver, it hopes to spur the development of green racing when the hybrid Gumpert lines up on the grid on May 24 alongside such alternative-energy racers as the Audi R10 TDI and Peugeot 908 HDi. View the images in the gallery by clicking the thumbnails below and read the press release after the jump.

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Hybrid Gumpert to Race at 24 Hours Nurnburgring
Driven by Heinz-Harald Frentzen

A green car for the Green Hell, Gumpert will be entering an electric-petrol hybrid race car into the next 24 Hours Nurnburgring this May. The race car is based on the Gumpert Apollo and will be piloted by ex-Formula 1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Dirk Muller.

The Hybrid Apollo uses both an 100 kW electric motor and a 3.3 liter V8 bi-turbo petrol engine and produces 630 hp. The electric motor will be recharged when the car brakes. On its maiden race, the hybrid-concept will be taking on race cars like the Porsche 911 GT3, Dodge Viper, Lamborghini Gallardo, BMW Z4 and Chevrolet Corvette.

Gumpert is fully aware of the 2009 Formula 1 rule that teams must use hybrid engines and has therefor formed a team around the former F1 driver Frentzen. "Motorsports can not ignore the necessity to save energy. I see a chance that our sport will go back to the forefront of technical development, making cars outside of the ractrack much more energy efficient," said Frentzen.

The 24 Hours Nurburgring will take place on 24 - 25 May 2008.

[Source: Gumpert]

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