Toyota TS040 Hybrid Debuts For Le Mans Showdown

Stanley Yee on

The Toyota Racing TS040 Hybrid, the company’s newest endurance racing prototype, will put out 1,000 total system horsepower through its advanced hybrid system. The TS040 Hybrid will compete in the 2014 World Endurance Championship, including the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans.

At the heart of the TS040 sits a 3.7 liter V8 engine with over 500 horsepower. Electric hybrid systems feed additional power to all four wheels, bringing total system output to around 1,000 horsepower. more

SRT Viper Withdraws Le Mans Entry

Stanley Yee on

Both factory SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-Rs have been withdrawn from the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans. Instead of participating in the famed endurance race, the team says they will be focusing on their efforts in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series.

“We regretfully and respectfully decline to participate in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “We are honored to once again be invited by the ACO to compete in this historic event, and they were the first to be informed of our decision. We will remain focused on our North American racing program in 2014.” more

2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Fitted With Laser Headlights

Ryan ZumMallen on

When it hits racetracks for the first time next month, the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro prototype will be a technological marvel. We already outlined some of the impressive upgrades that Audi have made to their Le Mans winner, but yesterday they revealed something else that is sure to stir up the racing faithful: freaking lasers.

That’s right, the 2014 R18 will use laser beams in the headlights to cut through the dark of night. Audi has installed a blue laser that backlights a yellow crystal lens that emits the beam. The main headlight is still an LED system, but expect the Audi R18 to sport a distinctly different look when its charging down the Mulsanne Straight this year. Here’s the kicker, though: It’s coming to production cars. more

2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Details Released

Stanley Yee on

Audi has released information on their historically dominant Le Mans Prototype, the 2014 R18 e-tron quattro. The 2014 model has been further refined from the previous year's model, and has been given a new, darker livery than before.

The 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro improves on Audi's race proven R18 chassis, which has been immensely successful in one of the most important series of motorsport now known as the World Endurance Championship. In what has been the most successful prototype campaigns since Porsche's Le Mans dominance, minor changes have been made to keep the R18 competitive in the upcoming 2014 season. more

Porsche Tests Four-Cylinder Hybrid LMP1 To Prep For Le Mans
Ryan ZumMallen on

Just days after completing its initial testing in Portugal, Porsche has revealed that its LMP1 racecar that will compete in the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 2014 WEC season is powered by a hybrid four-cylinder powertrain.

Does that mean that the engine will rely more on the hybrid system than the engine? Does it mean the Porsche LMP1 will be slower than its competition in the name of fewer pit stops? We don’t know yet, but it’s becoming clear that this will definitely be a season to watch. more

Porsche LMP1 Racer Now Testing For 2014 Season
Ryan ZumMallen on

The most exciting entry in next year’s 24 Hour of Le Mans continues making progress, as the Porsche LMP1 racecar has begun vigorous testing at the automaker’s official track. Porsche is still vague about the details, and the design, but the progress being made is undeniable.

Still draped in heavy camouflage, the Porsche LMP1 still looks like its undergone some design changes since the last time we saw it. The car has slimmed down, sharpened on the corners, and Porsche hints at very advanced technology that could catapult them into top contention with the likes of Audi and Toyota. more

Bentley Mulsanne Le Mans Edition to Debut at Pebble Beach
Stanley Yee on

Bentley will commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Le Mans Limited Edition Mulsanne. The Le Mans Edition Mulsanne will make its debut at Pebble Beach during the Monterey Classic Car Week.

The Bentley Mulsanne is the latest car to receive the Le Mans Edition specifications. Bentley Le Mans Edition design features diamond quilted seats and door panels, drilled metal pedals, sport suspension and steering, quad exhaust pipes, and dark five spoke wheels. The Le Mans Editions are inspired by Bentley's six Le Mans wins. more

Bugatti Commemorates Its Heroes with Legend Edition Veyron GSV
Adam Burpee on

In appreciation of all those who inspired and influenced Bugatti, the automaker is commemorating those people with a handful of "Les Legendes de Bugatti" exclusive editions. 

The first name that comes to mind when thinking about Bugatti's history is none other than Jean-Pierre Wimille. He's not only an inspiration to Bugatti, but to the racing community at large. Over the course of his career he won two 24 Hour Le Mans races for Bugatti, and it is for this reason that the first of the special edition Bugattis will be in his honor. The Bugatti Legend "Jean-Pierre Wimille", which is based on Wimille's winning Bugatti 57G Tank in 1937, will make its world debut at Pebble Beach in August. more

Viper GT3-R Opens New Chapter For SRT Racing
Michael Wood on

Chrysler has developed a new addition to the bountiful world of automotive racing, with the new SRT Viper GT3-R. Similar to the street legal Vipers that fill many automotive fans with envy when they drive down the freeway, the SRT Viper GT3-R was the brainchild of the Street and Racing Technologies division of Chrysler.

Things are looking up for the automotive giant Chrysler, and the R&D team that puts such fine racing machines out there. In the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans just this past weekend, the previous-generation Viper GTS-R finished 9thin its class, driven by Ryan Dalziel. Considering this is the first time that a Viper has been competing at Le Mans since 2000 in the notoriously challenging GTE-Pro class, it seems to be an indication of a strong foundation which the new Viper GT3-R can build upon. more

New Era Ahead After Audi Wins Tragic 24 Hours of Le Mans
Ryan ZumMallen on

This was supposed to be a swan song. The 81st running of the most grueling race on earth should have been remembered as a graceful victory for Audi to cement their legacy as the greatest dynasty in 24 Hours of Le Mans history, as their venerable R18 e-tron quattro crossed the finish line first and led the race into a rebirth with new rules, new cars – indeed, a new chapter beginning in 2014.

But there are no guarantees in racing. There is not even probability. For all the safety measures that have made the sport less dangerous than ever, it is still controlled chaos; especially during a 24-hour race that for some teams means nearly 3,000 miles driven at an average 123 mph. more

Lotus T128 Returns To Le Mans After Court Seizes Racecars
Michael Wood on

Lotus, the famed manufacturer of sophisticated racecars, is in a bit of trouble just days before the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place. Both the Nos. 31 and 32 Lotus Praga T128 cars had parts seized by a French court late Tuesday night, hours before an official Le Mans practice session – resulting in what could be a major disruption during the crunch time preparations for the race.

Lotus and the racing team managing their cars, Kodewa, face legal challenges in addition to the technical and endurance based challenges for which the Le Mans Prototype 2 class is known. Stephane Chosse, founder of the Adess AG and SCE Solutions companies that helped design and build the Lotus T128, presented documents to a French court claiming that Lotus was in deep debt to him. As a result, bailiffs began to seize parts from Lotus's high end cars participating in the Le Mans Prototype 2 races, and Lotus claims that the documents presented were falsified and intend to fight the case. more

Motorsports Monday: Action-Packed Weekend In IndyCar, DTM, NASCAR & More (VIDEO)
Ryan ZumMallen on

IndyCar Series – Milwaukee IndyFest: The 2013 IndyCar season has been a campaign ripe with Cinderella stories, intense pack racing and bitter battles for front position. The short one-mile track in Milwaukee combined with that furious atmosphere to create a 250-lap race with its fair share of action. Teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti battled for the lead through most of the race, as the defending series champion tried to wrestle momentum away from perhaps the hottest driver in IndyCar at the moment. An electrical failure prevented Andretti from challenging for the win, but their fight was a fascinating look into a possible championship duel down the line.

Andretti’s misfortune left the gate open for Hunter-Reay, who would hold off current points leader Helio Castroneves and 2012 runner-up Will Power for the victory. Hunter-Reay, the most unstoppable driver in the series when on top of his game, has now won twice this year. It was the first podium in a troubled season for Power, who has struggled to regain the form that made him the most fearsome driver in IndyCar for four straight seasons. Still, he sits only in 11th place in the standings. Castroneves leads Hunter-Reay by 16 points and Andretti by 50 heading into the Iowa Corn Indy 250 next weekend. Check out this highlight video of the Milwaukee race, after the jump. more

2014 Porsche LMP1 Le Mans Racecar Unveiled In Testing
Ryan ZumMallen on

As anticipation builds for the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hour race this weekend, Porsche has made a huge splash by unveiling the car they will race in the 2014 running of the famed endurance race. The as-yet-unnamed prototype debuted in camouflage after a test session at the Weissach test track, and looks well on its way to completion. But can it tangle with the likes of Toyota and Le Mans superpower Audi?

Porsche is decidedly mum on nearly all details concerning the new LMP1 car, including everything from the rear design to the powertrain inside. What we do know is that the car will mark their return to the top level of Le Mans racing for the first time in 16 years. That, and its test drivers are very, very happy. more

Motorsports Monday: Canada Kind To Vettel, Red Bull (VIDEO)
Ryan ZumMallen on

Formula One – Canadian Grand Prix: Formula One is an organization of tradition. These traditions may change or evolve over the years, but mostly the teams play to their roles. On Sunday, some top programs continued their incredible success while one impressive streak came to an end. Sebastian Vettel dominated from the start to capture the win for Red Bull, while on the other end of the spectrum the esteemed McLaren team ended their streak of 64 consecutive races with a point. Sergio Perez and Jenson Button finished 11-12 and were never in contention, marking an unceremonious fall from grace for the famed British squad. The day belonged to Vettel, though, who took his third win of the season and his first ever on the scenic Montreal circuit. He lapped the entire field except for four drivers, and his only hiccups were a quick brush with the Turn 11 wall and a quick off in Turn 1. Other than that, the drama was all behind Vettel. more