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Ginetta G60-LT-P1 Ready To Tackle Le Mans 12
Jan
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Ginetta, Le Mans, WEC on 01 12th, 2018


With all but one major manufacturer having pulled out of the class, LMP1 racing this year will come down mostly to the independents. Like this one, for example.

Revealed at the Autosport International racing car show in Birmingham, England, is the new Ginetta G60-LT-P1 – made by one of the UK’s best-established racing car constructors and deriving its name from the 60th anniversary the company celebrates this year.

The debut car wears the livery of the TRS Manor team that is set to field two of them in the full the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship “super season” that encompasses the Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans at both ends, where other teams are set to follow as well.

There it’ll have to compete with the Toyota TS050, which will remain the only major manufacturer entry in the class. But the Ginetta does without the complicated hybrid powertrain. Instead it packs a 3.4-liter V6 sourced from French supplier Mecachrome, producing some 650 horsepower to drive it to a top speed of 225 mph.

“I’m delighted to finally be able to unveil our latest machine to the motorsport industry, and what better time than at the start of our 60th year of manufacturing,” said Ginetta chairman Lawrence Tomlinson. “The LMP1 will be a strong contender in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and at Le Mans. We have a great team of Design Engineers in Leeds, have worked with some excellent partners on the project, and can’t wait to show you what the LMP1 is made of out on track.”

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Pair Of Le Mans-Winning Corvettes Meet At Thermal Club 6
Jan
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in Chevrolet Videos, Classics, Corvette, Film, Le Mans, racing, video on 01 6th, 2018


When a personal car collection includes both the first Corvette that ever raced in Le Mans along with the last one, you have to bring those two together on a race track.

Bruce Meyer is the man that holds the keys to both the iconic Briggs-Cunningham C1 Corvette that raced in Le Mans in 1960 and a C6.R that won its class in 2009.

The C1 is the #2 car entered by the Cunningham team in Le Mans but failed to finish the 1960 race, but another C1 from the same team managed to score the victory in its class.

“I’ve always been a hot-rodder, a bit of a patriot and I love to see the American dominance in sports, and in motorsports,” said Meyer to Petrolicious. “I love the American effort at Le Mans, and I decided to go see if I could find one of the original Le Mans Corvettes. So my first entry was with the C1 Corvette, and this was the very first Corvette to ever run Le Mans.”

Meyer’s C6.R is chassis 007 and comes with an impressive racing history. Despite the obvious advances in aerodynamics and chassis engineering, the racing Corvette’s recipe retained the simple but always effective formula of a big, powerful engine, just like the C1 did.

“In its career, it raced 15 races, and of those 15 it finished 1st in 10 of them, and when it didn’t finish first, in four of them it finished 2nd, and one time it DNF’d,” Meyer added. “So it’s come through unscathed, and as you see it today, is exactly how it finished Le Mans in 2009.”

VIDEO



The Latest Hypercars Would Make Awesome Le Mans Racers 26
Dec
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Aston Martin Valkyrie, Ferrari LaFerrari, Koenigsegg Agera, Le Mans, McLaren Senna, Mercedes AMG Project One, Motorsport, Porsche 918, racing, Renderings on 12 26th, 2017


It had a good run, but today’s LMP1 class is all but completely dead – killed by a gradual bleeding of its vital participating manufacturers. It’s time, in short, for the FIA and ACO to rethink of what the top tier at Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship should be composed. And looking at these renderings, we’re convinced that the latest crop of hypercars would be just the ticket.

Illustrated by Marco van Overbeeke and shared both on Behance and Drivetribe, these images show what the most extreme road cars would look like if converted to a revived GT1 specification.

GT1, for those who don’t recall, was a more extreme class of (barely) road-derived racers that formed both the top tier at Le Mans in the late 1990s and the backbone of the successive FIA championships from 1993 through 2012. It yielded such legendary cars as the Porsche 911 GT1, Mercedes CLK GTR, McLaren F1 GTR, Maserati MC12, and Aston Martin DBR9 – each world-beating champions in their own right, casting a long shadow even over the LMP1 prototypes and GTE racers that have taken their place at either end.

It would take a special breed of machinery to revive their spirit, but these race-converted hypercars could do just the trick – encouraging the most exotic automakers to showcase their machinery, and giving fans something more tangible to root for.

Overbeeke’s conceptual lineup includes race-converted versions of the Mercedes-AMG Project One, McLaren Senna, Aston Martin Valkyrie, Porsche 918, Koenigsegg Agera RS, and Ferrari FXX-K Evo. Who knows, maybe Bugatti could be tempted to take part as well with a competition-spec Chiron (looking like its Vision Gran Turismo concept), and Toyota to shift its program based on the LMP1-inspired supercar concept it has coming. It’d make a fitting opportunity for Lamborghini too, if the costs could be kept low enough for the VW group to justify multiple programs (like it did with Porsche and Audi until recently). What do you say, racing fans?

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Jay Leno Samples 1965 Le Mans Class-Winning Bizzarrini Racer 23
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in Classics, Film, Jay Leno, Le Mans, video on 12 23rd, 2017


In terms of cars driven and reviewed by former late-night talk show host Jay Leno, this 1965 Bizzarrini, which won its class at Le Mans, ranks among the best.

The story of this racer starts in the 1960’s when Giotto Bizzarrini was working at Ferrari. The engineer was the father of the Ferrari 250 GTO but was unceremoniously fired from the Italian manufacturer, alongside the rest of the Ferrari racing team, in 1961.

Upset, Bizzarrini went on to work at a selection of other Italian companies, including ATS, before creating the car you see here, which won the 5,000-cc and over class at the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The owner of this particular car is Bruce Meyer, and the stories he shares with Leno about the vehicle’s history are truly fascinating, so be sure to watch the video after the jump!

VIDEO



Toyota’s Staying In LMP1 For At Least Another Year 19
Dec
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Le Mans, Motorsport, racing, TOYOTA on 12 19th, 2017


The biggest question mark hanging over the future of endurance racing has been answered as Toyota has confirmed it’ll continue racing for at least another season.

With Porsche, Audi, Nissan, and Peugeot all having packed up and left in recent years, Toyota’s announcement leaves it as the last major manufacturers competing in the hybrid LMP1 class at Le Mans and the broader FIA World Endurance Championship of which it is part.

Toyota won the championship in 2014, but has yet to succeed at Le Mans. The team was leading the race this year but failed to maintain its lead to the finish line, handing Porsche the win for the third (and final) year running.

“Since 2012, we have taken up the challenge of the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, with race cars equipped with hybrid technologies,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda. “The ever-better cars that Toyota pursues are honed and created via the extreme environment of motorsport. That is exactly why we will persistently engage in motorsport, without being swayed by the good and bad of economic times.”

Toyoda also hinted strongly at the prospect of a production sports car to be derived from its TS050 Hybrid endurance racing prototype. “This year, I went to Le Mans for the first time and heard people cheering for Toyota. I also heard many people saying that they would like to see Toyota come out with a hybrid sports car like our cars in the race,” noted the chief executive. “I, too, would like us to produce just such a car, and I think it would be one that would help make cars fun for the next 100 years.”

The automaker is set to reveal the Toyota Gazoo Super Sport Concept at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon next month, with teasers showing more than a hint of Le Mans prototype inspiration.

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Cadillac’s Racing Prototypes Have Changed A Bit In 67 Years 13
Dec
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Cadillac, Classics, IMSA, Le Mans, Motorsport, racing on 12 13th, 2017


Cadillac has been around for a long time. 115 years, to be precise. In that time, it has raced extensively, and as you might expect, its racers have changed a lot over the decades.

Jordan Taylor got to find that out for himself first-hand this week at Daytona, where he drove the 1950 Cadillac Series 61 Le Mans racer known as “Le Monstre.”

French (as you might have guessed) for “the monster,” the one-of-a-kind racing prototype was rebodied in aluminum with a streamliner shape to take on the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1950 (alongside a production-bodied version of the same). It ultimately finished eleventh, but its jet-age shape made an impression or two.

Nearly seven decades later, Taylor found it to be a radically different driving experience to the Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype he drove to victory in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The two endurance-racing prototypes are both powered by Cadillac V8 engines, but that’s about where the similarities end.

Le Monstre‘s engine displaced 5.4 liters and produced just 160 horsepower, where the DPi-V.R dispatches 6.2 liters to the effect of 580 hp (in accordance with series regulations). Where the new one uses Brembo disc brakes to keep its 2,050 pounds of curb weight in check, the old one used drum brakes to anchor its 3,700 pounds.

“On the first lap going into the Bus Stop, I went for the brake, and I am not sure I’ve ever driven anything with full drum brakes before,” said Jordan. “When I got up high onto the banking, I looked left at the DPi-V.R on the inside and felt like I was going to fall out of the car. The relative lack of safety back then, and lack of support around the driver were crazy feelings.”

“You don’t get the sensation of how steep the Daytona banking is in the Cadillac DPi-V.R at over 170 mph,” continued the new IMSA champ. “I couldn’t imagine what it was like doing over 130mph down Mulsanne lap-after-lap for 24 hours. It was a great experience to be able to drive a car with such a great Cadillac history.”

Le Monstre is currently part of the Collier Collection at the Revs Institute in Naples, Florida, about four and a half hours south of the Daytona Motor Speedway where Jordan got to drive it for four laps at the end of the last IMSA test session of the year.

“Getting the chance to drive a car that raced in the 1950 Le Mans 24 Hours was super-exciting,” he said of the experience. “Besides trying to learn a three-speed column shift, I had to turn the steering wheel past 90 degrees to get it turn. Combine that with the car weighing 3,700 lbs. on skinny tires – it was a handful.”

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Aston CEO Says He’d Be Interested In The Valkyrie Racing At Le Mans 12
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in ASTON MARTIN, Aston Martin Valkyrie, Le Mans, Motorsport, racing on 12 12th, 2017


Aston Martin chief executive Andy Palmer has admitted that he would be very interested in seeing the Valkyrie hypercar compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Speaking to Autocar, Palmer said that as it stands, the top level of LMP1 racing is of no interest to Aston Martin. However, if the FIA changes the regulations on sportscar racing to allow for racing derivatives of road cars to compete at the top of the sport, the British marque would seriously consider a campaign.

“My personal perspective is very clear: Aston Martin will never compete in a prototype category because it has no relevance to us.

“But if they allowed racing derivatives of road cars, that would be very interesting to us and, I suspect, the fans.

“Road-derived race cars fighting for the win is in keeping with the history of sportscar and Le Mans racing, and the prospect of the likes of Valkyrie fighting against McLaren P1, LaFerrari and more would be interesting to more than just me, I suspect,” Palmer said.

Quizzed about whether Aston would race the Valkyrie if such changes were made to the sport, the executive said “Watch this space.”

If Aston Martin achieves it goals with the track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro, a variant tweaked for Le Mans could be just as fast as an LMP1 car. In fact, Aston Martin claims that the Valkyrie AMR Pro will achieve lap times to rival a modern Formula One car.

Beyond its use of a naturally-aspirated V12 engine and hybrid system delivering roughly 1000 hp, the Valkyrie will be able to achieve such incredible speeds thanks to the huge amounts of downforce it’ll produce. Aston says it will sustain cornering forces in excess of 3.3G and braking deceleration of more than 3.5G.

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1954 Jaguar D-Type Le Mans Racer Is Expected To Fetch More Than $12 Million 1
Dec
Posted by Carscoops Staff in auction, Classics, Jaguar, Le Mans on 12 1st, 2017


Major collector-car auctions take place around the world and throughout the year. Scottsdale is surely one of (if not the) highlight of the year, though – and this car is bound to be the toast of next year’s events.

This Jaguar D-Type was the lead car in the British automaker’s effort at Le Mans in 1954, driven by the legendary Sir Stirling Moss.

Unfortunately, it didn’t make it to the finish line, retiring in the middle of the night with brake trouble – but before it did, it set a new record when it reached 172.97 miles per hour down the Mulsanne Straight.

Pictured here by Patrick Ernzen for RM Sotheby’s, OKV 2 went on to compete in numerous other events, but arguably even more important was the role it played in developing Jaguar’s future Le Mans winners. For the next three years, subsequent D-Types would go on to complete a hat-trick of victories in the famous endurance race, cementing Jaguar’s place in the history of motor racing.

With so much history behind it, RM Sotheby’s projects this D-Type will sell for more than $12 million when the gavel drops at the Arizona Biltmore on January 18-19. And the auction house should know, having sold another of its kind just last year for over $20 million.

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1954 Jaguar D-Type Le Mans Racer Is Expected To Fetch More Than $12 Million 1
Dec
Posted by Carscoops Staff in auction, Classics, Jaguar, Le Mans on 12 1st, 2017


Major collector-car auctions take place around the world and throughout the year. Scottsdale is surely one of (if not the) highlight of the year, though – and this car is bound to be the toast of next year’s events.

This Jaguar D-Type was the lead car in the British automaker’s effort at Le Mans in 1954, driven by the legendary Sir Stirling Moss.

Unfortunately, it didn’t make it to the finish line, retiring in the middle of the night with brake trouble – but before it did, it set a new record when it reached 172.97 miles per hour down the Mulsanne Straight.

Pictured here by Patrick Ernzen for RM Sotheby’s, OKV 2 went on to compete in numerous other events, but arguably even more important was the role it played in developing Jaguar’s future Le Mans winners. For the next three years, subsequent D-Types would go on to complete a hat-trick of victories in the famous endurance race, cementing Jaguar’s place in the history of motor racing.

With so much history behind it, RM Sotheby’s projects this D-Type will sell for more than $12 million when the gavel drops at the Arizona Biltmore on January 18-19. And the auction house should know, having sold another of its kind just last year for over $20 million.

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1954 Jaguar D-Type Le Mans Racer Is Expected To Fetch More Than $12 Million 1
Dec
Posted by Carscoops Staff in auction, Classics, Jaguar, Le Mans on 12 1st, 2017


Major collector-car auctions take place around the world and throughout the year. Scottsdale is surely one of (if not the) highlight of the year, though – and this car is bound to be the toast of next year’s events.

This Jaguar D-Type was the lead car in the British automaker’s effort at Le Mans in 1954, driven by the legendary Sir Stirling Moss.

Unfortunately, it didn’t make it to the finish line, retiring in the middle of the night with brake trouble – but before it did, it set a new record when it reached 172.97 miles per hour down the Mulsanne Straight.

Pictured here by Patrick Ernzen for RM Sotheby’s, OKV 2 went on to compete in numerous other events, but arguably even more important was the role it played in developing Jaguar’s future Le Mans winners. For the next three years, subsequent D-Types would go on to complete a hat-trick of victories in the famous endurance race, cementing Jaguar’s place in the history of motor racing.

With so much history behind it, RM Sotheby’s projects this D-Type will sell for more than $12 million when the gavel drops at the Arizona Biltmore on January 18-19. And the auction house should know, having sold another of its kind just last year for over $20 million.

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Aston Martin Unveils 9-Minute Doc Celebrating The Vantage GTE 24
Nov
Posted by Sergiu Tudose in ASTON MARTIN, Aston Martin Vantage, Aston Martin Videos, Le Mans, Motorsport, racing, video on 11 24th, 2017


If you were curious to know what it took for Aston Martin to build a road car and a race car at the same time, the British automaker has just put it on film for you.

This specially-commissioned video documents the birth of the Vantage GTE, Aston Martin’s track focused weapon aimed at the FIA World Endurance Championship.

“We decided to replace the current Vantage road car and – since it’s really necessary to take race technology from the track to the road and from the road to the track – it’s really important that we design both simultaneously,” said company boss, Dr Andy Palmer.

The video will take you through the 18 months it took in order to turn a concept into a racer able to challenge the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, Ford, Corvette and BMW at Le Mans next summer.

Thus far, the Aston Martin GTE has completed over 14,000 km (8,700 miles) of testing, in the UK, Spain (at Navarra) and at Sebring in the U.S.

VIDEO



Alonso Successfully Completes Test With Toyota’s LMP1 Prototype 23
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Le Mans, Motorsport, racing, Reports, TOYOTA on 11 23rd, 2017


Fernando Alonso has inched closer to his dream of competing at the Le Mans 24 Hours, completing a day of testing with Toyota in Bahrain.

Throughout the day, the Spaniard did over 100 laps, setting a best lap time of 1 min 43.013 seconds, six tenths shy of the best time achieved by Toyota LMP1 driver Mike Conway in the same conditions.

Speaking to Motorsport, Toyota advisor Alex Wurz said he was very impressed with Alonso’s performance.

“I am a sports car fan, so I am proud when professional drivers come to feel the excitement of these prototype cars. Fernando is one of the best race drivers out there so, as you would expect, he did very well in the test.

“He adapted quickly to a rather unique driving style and gave some very good and structured feedback during the day,” Wurz said.

Alonso is currently pursuing motorsport’s ‘Triple Crown’ and recently reached a new deal with the McLaren F1 team that will allow him to race in other series’ during the 2018 Formula One World Championship. He is widely expected to compete with Toyota during the famed endurance race and his successful test outing will only improve his chances of landing a one-race contract.

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Alonso Successfully Completes Test With Toyota’s LMP1 Prototype 23
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Le Mans, Motorsport, racing, Reports, TOYOTA on 11 23rd, 2017


Fernando Alonso has inched closer to his dream of competing at the Le Mans 24 Hours, completing a day of testing with Toyota in Bahrain.

Throughout the day, the Spaniard did over 100 laps, setting a best lap time of 1 min 43.013 seconds, six tenths shy of the best time achieved by Toyota LMP1 driver Mike Conway in the same conditions.

Speaking to Motorsport, Toyota advisor Alex Wurz said he was very impressed with Alonso’s performance.

“I am a sports car fan, so I am proud when professional drivers come to feel the excitement of these prototype cars. Fernando is one of the best race drivers out there so, as you would expect, he did very well in the test.

“He adapted quickly to a rather unique driving style and gave some very good and structured feedback during the day,” Wurz said.

Alonso is currently pursuing motorsport’s ‘Triple Crown’ and recently reached a new deal with the McLaren F1 team that will allow him to race in other series’ during the 2018 Formula One World Championship. He is widely expected to compete with Toyota during the famed endurance race and his successful test outing will only improve his chances of landing a one-race contract.

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Russia’s Gunning For Toyota With New BR1 LMP1 Prototype 21
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Le Mans, Motorsport, racing on 11 21st, 2017


With most of the hybrid prototypes having now left the series, the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship and its headline event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is now wide open to privateer teams eager to take on Toyota for outright victory. And they’re starting to line up for their chance at the top prize.

The latest comes from Russian firm BR Engineering, which has unveiled its own conventionally powered LMP1 prototype at the season finale in Bahrain this weekend.

Called the BR1, it’s based on a Dallara chassis with power from either an AER twin-turbo V6 rated at 720 horsepower, or a Mecachrome-based Gibson V8 good for about 700 hp. Whatever engine is fitted will drive the rear wheels through a six-speed paddle-shift Xtrac gearbox with a Tilton clutch and limited-slip differential.

Brembo provides the brakes, Kayaba the electric power steering, OZ the 18-inch magnesium wheels, and Michelin the tires – all fitted to a package weighing approximately 930 kilograms (or about 2,050 pounds).

Having already passed all the FIA’s homologation procedures and undergone extensive track, wind-tunnel, and simulator testing, the chassis is ready for privateer teams. Among them will be DragonSpeed and Russia’s SMP Racing, which has an all-star Russian driver roster lined up including former F1 pilots Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin, IndyCar veteran Mikhail Aleshin, and Le Mans endurance racers Kirill Ladygin and Victor Shaytar.

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Revised Rules Might Lure McLaren In Entering The LMP1 Series 18
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Le Mans, mclaren, Motorsport, racing, Reports on 11 18th, 2017


McLaren says it is intrigued by new regulations, which could make prototypes in the World Endurance Championship more relevant to road cars.

According to Motorsport, McLaren boss Zak Brown was involved in the second roundtable meeting of potential manufacturers, and while he did not say whether the British carmaker will get into prototype racing, his presence does give hope to the struggling series.

“We like lots of what they are saying: with the budgets and the level of technology they are talking, it’s heading in a direction that means there is a strong interest on our part,” Brown said.

Back in August, Brown had commented that McLaren would build an LMP1 prototype if rules were changed to make the sport more cost-effective.

At the time, the executive said: “I believe the WEC has an opportunity to hit the reset button. I’d love them to get back to the Porsche 956 or 962 days, where factory and privateer teams can race together knowing they each have chances of winning. Right now, with the current rules, that’s just not possible. But look at the success of the LMP2 category, where costs are controlled for the benefit of everyone, so I’d like to see that kind of thinking transferred to LMP1.”

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