Tag - American Le Mans

Audi Unveils the new R18 TDI Le Mans Prototype

After a 2010 Le Mans season that Audi Sport would rather forget, they are back for 2011 with this all-new Audi R18 TDI prototype.   Powered by a 3.7-liter V6 TDI, Audi hopes that the diesel powered R18 does a much better job fighting the Peugeots off than the R15 and R15 Plus did.  Audi says that the chassis and aerodynamics package contains the best features and know-how of the R8, R10 TDI and R15 TDI.  As with the Acura prototypes, Audi has fitted the R18 with identically sized front and rear wheels.  Audi says this helps maintain a more balanced weight distribution.

Audi will field three Audi R18 cars at Le Mans under Audi Sport Team Joest, as well as campaigning the R18 in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup for a total of seven endurance races in 2011.  Because the car is still very much under development, Audi will be sending two R15 TDI Plus cars to Sebring to compete in the first round of the ILMC, and plans are for the R18 to make its debut at the Spa-Francorchamps 6 hour endurance on May 8th, 2011.  The R18 TDI will make it’s only North American appearance for 2011 at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on October 1st, 2011. 

We wish the Audi Sport team all the luck and congratulate them on building this absolutely sinister looking prototype.  We can’t wait to see the R18 TDI run at Petit Le Mans next year! 

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2009 Petit Le Mans Wrap-Up

Story by ALMS Communications
Photos by Zerin Dube

Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin gave Peugeot its first American Le Mans Series victory on Friday, winning a weather-shortened 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. Race officials, citing hazardous conditions due to torrential rains that fell at Road Atlanta just past the four-hour mark, called the race at eight hours, 44 minutes running.

Peugeot’s two diesel-powered factory prototype coupes finished 1-2 with the pole-sitting 908 HDi of Pedro Lamy and Nic Minassian in second. The first of Audi Sport Team Joest’s Audi R15 TDIs placed third, the car driven by Allan McNish and Dindo Capello. The Peugeot-Peugeot-Audi finish mirrored the end result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, and it ended Audi’s nine-year unbeaten streak at Road Atlanta.

“We only did three races this year,” Montagny said. “We missed Sebring by only 22 seconds, and it was a win for the Peugeot team at Le Mans and a win here. I think if we had a full time we really would have battled it out with the Audis.”

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Corvette Racing Unveils the Next-Generation C6.R


Corvette Racing’s next-generation C6.R will make its racing debut August 6-8, 2009 in the American Le Mans Series event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The next-generation C6.R, which will race in the GT2 category, is based on the Corvette ZR1 supercar. The updated C6.R utilizes the ZR1’s body design, aerodynamic package, aluminum frame and chassis structure, steering system, windshield, and other components. C6.R #3 will be driven by Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, and Antonio Garcia. C6.R #4 will be driven by Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, and Marcel Fassler.

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Weekend Wallpaper: Audi R15 TDI

With the 57th Annual Mobil 12 Hours of Sebring just a week away, we thought it would be an appropriate time to post up a few wallpaper size images of the all-new Audi R15 TDI.  The Audi R15 is the staff favorite to win overall, and we can’t wait to see it run next weekend against the Peugeot 908 HDi and Acura’s new ARX-02a in LMP1.  In the meantime, enjoy a gallery of 1440×960 images after the jump!

By the way, if you are a fan of the American Le Mans Series, be sure to check out The Race Forums.  They’ll be updating the site with daily news and fantastic photography straight from Sebring all week long. 

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10th Annual Petit Le Mans Finish a Nailbiter


The 10th Annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta is done and in the books after one of the most exciting finishes of any American Le Mans races in recent memory.  After 1000 miles, it was just 0.923 seconds that put the LMP1 Audi R15 piloted by Dindo Capello and Allan McNish in front of the LMP2 Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder driven by Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Patrick Long.  This victory comes on the heels of a tough season for Audi where the Porsche RS Spyders have escaped them all year long.  The victory at Petit Le Mans is the first overall victory for Audi since the St. Petersburg race in March. 

The win for Audi wasn’t easy, as Dindo Capello had a seemingly insurmountable 30-second gap to close on Dumas with just a half hour of racing left.  Fortunately for Audi, a caution flag worked to Capello’s favor and allowed the R15 to work its way up through traffic.  With 15 laps to go, Capello took an amazing 8 minutes to pass Dumas and clinch the overall victory.  The victory gave Dindo Capello and co-driver Allan McNish their second consecutive LMP1 driver’s championship. 

#6 Penske Porsche RS Spyder of Maassen/Briscoe/Collard

#6 Penske Porsche RS Spyder of Maassen/Briscoe/Collard

In GT1, Oliver Gavin, Max Papis and Oliver Beretta took a class victory in their #4 Corvette Racing C6.R, escaping the fate of DNFs for the #3 Corvette Racing C6.R and the pole-sitting Lista Racing Maserati MC12.


GT2 proved to be a great class to watch as the Porsches of Flying Lizard Motorsports battled it out with Wolf Henzler and Dominik Farnbacher in the Tafel Racing Porsches.  At the end of 1000 miles though, it was the team Jorg Bergmeister, Johannes van Overbeek and Mark Lieb in the #45 Flying Lizard 911 GT3 RSR that took a three lap victory over Tafel Racing.  The pole-sitting Risi Competizione Ferrari F430, driven by Jaime Melo, Mika Salo, and Johnny Mowlem, was the dominant car in GT2 until electrical problems took them out of contention. 


All in all, this was the most exciting Petit Le Mans that we can recall in our minds.  Anytime a 10 hour or 1000 mile race comes down to a fraction of a second between first and second, you know the attendees got their money’s worth.   We hope next year’s race at Road Atlanta will be even better!

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Petit Le Mans @ Road Atlanta Race result (Round 10 of 11 races of the American Le Mans Series)
1. McNish/Capello/Pirro (GB/I/I), Audi R10 (LMP1), 394 laps
2. Minassian/Sarrzin/Klien (F/F/A), Peugeot 908, 394
3. Werner/Luhr (D/D), Audi R10 (LMP1), 394
4. Briscoe/Castroneves (AUS/BR), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
5. Bernhard/Dumas (D/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
6. Maassen/Long/Collard (D/USA/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 392
7. Leitzinger/Franchitti/Lally (USA/GB/USA), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 390
8. de Ferran/Pagenaud (BRA/F), Acura ARX-01B (LMP2), 388
9. Dyson/Smith (USA/GB), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 384
10. O’Conell/Magnussen/Fellows (USA/DK/USA), Chevrolet Corvette (GT1), 365

Result LMP2 class
1. Briscoe/Castroneves (AUS/BR), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
2. Bernhard/Dumas (D/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 394
3. Maassen/Long/Collard (D/USA/F), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 392
4. Leitzinger/Franchitti/Lally (USA/GB/USA), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 390
5. de Ferran/Pagenaud/Dixon (BRA/F/NZ), Acura ARX-01B (LMP2), 388
6. Dyson/Smith (USA/GB), Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2), 384

Further class winners
LMP1: McNish/Capello/Pirro (GB/I/I), Audi R10
GT1: O’Connell/Magnussen/Fellows (USA/DK/USA), Chevrolet Corvette
GT2: Salo/Melo (FIN/BRA), Ferrari F430

Points’ standings
Drivers LMP2 class
1. Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Porsche, 189
2. David Brabham, Scott Sharp, Acura, 155
3. Patrick Long, Porsche, 121
4. Sascha Maassen, Porsche, 113
5. Butch Leitzinger, Marino Franchitti, Porsche, 102

Manufacturers LMP2 class – Engine
1. Porsche, 196
2. Acura, 188

Manufacturers LMP2 class – Chassis
1. Porsche, 196
2. Acura, 188

Teams LMP2 class
1. Penske Racing, Porsche, 196
2. Highcroft Racing, Acura, 155
3. Dyson Racing, Porsche, 116

Drivers GT2 class
1. Joerg Bergmeister, Wolf Henzler, Porsche, 181
2. Dominik Farnbacher, Dirk Müller, Ferrari, 150
3. Johannes van Overbeek, Patrick Pilet Porsche, 124

Manufacturers GT2 class
1. Porsche, 195
2. Ferrari, 190

Teams GT2 class
1. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 198
2. Tafel Racing, Ferrari, 160