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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Apr 08 2012, 10:01 AM

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The all-new 2013 SRT Viper is without a doubt the star of this year’s New York Auto Show. Boasting big numbers, the Viper’s enormous 8.4-liter V10 engine produces 640-hp. Plus, SRT has announced a factory-backed return of the Viper to the American Le Mans Series and international endurance racing.

But here comes the most important bit of information of all – show your support for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer and the very first Viper can be yours. The official charity of the American Le Mans Series, the Austin Hatcher Foundation For Pediatric Cancer’s mission is to aid cancer children and their families during the treatment and to provide continuing support throughout survivorship, all services are at no cost to families, and are funded solely buy donation.

The auction for the first 2013 SRT Viper will hold at Barrett-Jackson of Orange County, from June 22-24. Serial #01 vehicles have displayed a historic trend of reaching massive figures by auction end, so it will be exciting to see how much the new Viper can raise for the Austin Hatcher organization.

Co-founder of Austin Hatcher Foundation Dr. Jim Osborn said, “We are very excited that the first production Viper be auctioned at Barrett- Jackson Orange County to benefit the many families faced with pediatric cancer. We just can’t thank Mr. Gilles and his team enough.”

GALLERY: 2013 SRT Viper

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 |  Mar 20 2012, 11:32 AM

Since 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette has been a part of the American landscape, both on the road and on the track.

It is easily the most winning American sports car, having clocked wins on national and international circuits. Corvette’s have been particularly competitive at the 12-Hours of Sebring race. Since its first race outing in 1956, 231 Corvette’s have competed at Sebring, 24 of which have won class or outright victories at this track.

So it is fitting that Sebring International Raceway has inducted the Corvette into its Hall of Fame. It also worked out for Corvette that on its 60th anniversary, the car placed second and third place in this years grueling endurance race.

Russ Clark, Chevrolet’s marketing director for performance cars said; “We are thrilled that Sebring has recognized the success of the Corvette on the race track by inducting it into the hall of fame. Even more important than the awards and race wins are the benefits to our production vehicles as a result of our racing programs,” said Clark. “We have been successful at transferring racing technology to the street, especially in our high-performance vehicles such as the Corvette ZR1, Z06 and our carbon fiber models, including aerodynamic, powertrain, chassis, braking, safety and design features.”

On the occasion of the Corvette’s 60th Anniversary, Chevrolet is offering the 427 Convertible Collector Edition Corvette, which is essentially a z06 without the roof. A 60th Anniversary appearance package is also offered on all 2013 Corvette’s.

Congratulations on your new honor Corvette, you truly deserve it.

 |  Mar 12 2012, 2:02 PM


One of the most interesting race cars to ever come to life is the DeltaWing racer.

Originally designed to be an innovative replacement for the IZOD Indy Car race series, this futuristic race car seems to have a found some new life. Originally, it was rejected by the Indy Car series, who opted to go with the tried and tested (boring) choice of the old Dallara chassis, but Nissan Europe has given us new hope.

Thankfully, Ben Bowlby, the designer of the DeltaWing racer found new interest from the American LeMans Series, and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, who have granted it a spot in the popular 24-Hours of LeMans Endurance Race.

The question everyone has been asking though is, who and what will power the DeltaWing racer?

Nissan of Europe today posted a shadowy image of the DeltaWing, with “Nissan” written prominently on its nose, an obvious tip as to who will power the car.

The DeltaWing racer was using a four-cylinder, twin-turbo motor in its initial testing at Buttonwillow race track in California, and was believed to be the engine that was going to power this vehicle at the Sebring 24-Hour race, but only for exhibition. This car’s first official race outing with be at LeMans in June.

We will keep a keen eye on this project, as it is one of the radical race cars ever made. We hope to see it in the winners circle very soon.

[Source: Autoweek]

 |  Sep 29 2011, 9:45 AM

After a 71 year absence from Le Mans, Bentley returned in 2001, but with little success and in-house competition with Audi the decision was made to drop the Speed 8 LMP1 program in 2003. The team did go out with a bang, however, taking the checked flag at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – due in part to a lack of participation by Audi.

Now Bentley is poised to return to motor racing once again, with AutoCar reporting the British luxury brand is preparing to make an announcement next summer.

“An LMP1 car would be a good way to go, but not the only possible way,” said Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer. While in-house competition with other VW owned brands like Audi and Porsche (which is planning its own Le Mans entry for 2014) seems unlikely, Durheimer suggests that one solution would be to run the cars in different markets, with the Bentley team perhaps competing in the ALMS series in the U.S. (it’s strongest retail market), or overseas in Asia, to help grow the brand there. As a result the only time the three teams would come together would be to race at certain major events, like the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With Audi continuing its diesel push and Porsche rumored to be planning hybrid technology for its LMP1 car, expect Bentley to try a different route, perhaps running on an alternative fuel like ethanol.

[Source: AutoCar]

 |  Sep 19 2011, 1:00 PM

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Porsche‘s updated GT3 R Hybrid made its North American debut this weekend at the American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca and the folks at Porsche couldn’t be happier. Well, that’s not exactly true. They’d be a lot happier if the car had been racing for points.

Driven by Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas and Richard Lietz the hybrid not only posted the fastest lap time of all the GT competitors, but it completed the 6 hour endurance race with just three pit stops, compared to five for its rivals. And to make the victory even more impressive, because the car wasn’t competing for points it wasn’t eligible to qualify and so it started at the back of the grid.

“The start phase was huge fun, because it was relatively easy to overtake the slower competitors,” said Romain Dumas. “But it’s even more fun because we can apply superior tactics thanks to the lower fuel consumption. We are much more flexible and we made the most of this today.”

“We had the least pit stops of all the teams and showed clearly what the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid can do,” said Lietz. “We didn’t experience one technical problem and left all the other GT vehicles behind us. Our expectations have been far exceeded.”

And with that excellent news, there was added celebration as it was also a Porsche that managed to take the first place spot in the race, with Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long finishing just ahead of one of the BMWs to lock down the team’s third victory this season.

The GT3 R Hybrid mates a 470-hp naturally aspirated six-cylinder boxer engine powering the rear wheels with an additional 200-hp of electric boost available on demand to the front wheels thanks to Porsche’s innovative flywheel hybrid technology.

GALLERY: Porsche GT3 R Hybrid at Laguna Seca

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 |  Aug 20 2011, 3:30 PM

Any Lotus enthusiast will tell you that the brand would be wise to stop pumping resources into Formula 1 and IndyCar, an instead get more heavily involved in road racing. After all, in many respects it represents a better bang-for-the-buck for the marketing folks, with a direct correlation between the cars that race and the cars sold through dealers.

Lotus has already initiated a sports car racing program in Europe with several renditions of the Evora, including the most recent Evora GTE, which competed first at the 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium and then at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Lotus has now confirmed with AutoGuide that it is planning a U.S. stop this year, where it will look to challenge the Ferraris, Corvettes, Porsches and BMWs at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

Lotus did not give any indication of how many vehicles it would run at the 10 hour endurance race, which will be another step in the Evora GTE’s development as Lotus looks to seriously take the fight to its rivals and cease to be an afterthought in the exotic and sports car segment.

 |  Aug 05 2011, 10:05 AM

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Porsche is about to unleash a very different type of hybrid on the residents of California, announcing plans to have the GT3 R Hybrid race car take part in the American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca on September 17th.

The race car won’t be eligible to race for points, as the ALMS governing body does not yet allow hybrids, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be competing and looking for a win. Porsche works pilots, Romain Dumas and Richard Lietz, who have both raced the car, will be sharing duties behind the wheel.

Version 2.0 of the hybrid racer, the GT3 R Hybrid uses a modified version of the original’s powertrain, making 470-hp from a naturally aspirated six-cylinder boxer engine, with an additional 200-hp of electric boost available on demand. It also weights over 100 lbs less than the original thanks to a focus on weight savings for the electric components.

So far the GT3 R Hybrid has competed in two races this year, finishing a disappointing 28th at the Nurburgring 24 Hour Race as a result of rule changes for hybrid cars as well as contact with another vehicle. The hybrid racer did start off the year strong, however, taking the podium at the Nürburgring Long Distance Championship in Germany.

GALLERY: Porsche GT3 R Hybrid

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 |  Jul 22 2011, 2:14 PM

 

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As the American LeMans Series rolled into Mosport International Raceway, situated an hour east of Toronto, the only thing that could match the aural assault of a flat-six Porsche engine roaring down the main straight was the searing heat – weather forecasters noted that with the humidity taken into account, temperatures felt like 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Despite the excruciating conditions, we were unwilling to turn down the opportunity of a lifetime, and the chance to ride shotgun in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racecar, which will take part in the IMSA GT3 Challenge support race this weekend. AutoGuide was the sole media representative at Mosport, and the other passenger was a race driver interested in joining the series in 2012.

Our  pilot for the afternoon was Randy Oswald, who counts the Mosport race as his home event. Oswald had the benefit of a liquid-cooled racing suit to combat the searing heat, while passengers were allowed to wear short sleeved shirts and long pants. As Oswald expounded on the importance of proper safety gear, reports of a crash came through the radio, delaying the practice session for some time.  ”I was told that if you drive one of these long enough,” he said, pointing to his brand new 911 GT3 Cup car, “you’ll set one on fire – so always wear your firesuit.” Sure enough, the wrecked car we’d heard about earlier came in on a flatbed, with the rear end of the car crumpled and charred by flames.

Luckily, the hot laps were much more fun and free of any life-threatening conditions, as Oswald expertly piloted the car through Mosport’s 10 turn, 2.4 mile course. With very little run-off room, daunting elevation changes and the potential for very high speeds, Mosport is one of the world’s great tracks, and experiencing it in a full-blown race car was a treat. A Porsche representative warned us not to take our SLR camera in the car, since the g-forces turn our small Nikon into the equivalent of a 60 lb freeweight while in motion, presenting a safety hazard should it get loose.

Outfitted with a whining sequential gearbox that muffles out the raucous exhaust note, the GT3 Cup accelerated rapidly down the straights, but completely blew us away with the sheer amount of grip available thanks to the Yokohama Advan slicks and the specially designed aerodynamics package that enable the car to pull as much as 1.6 Gs. One driver noted that even a 911 GT3 RS can be coaxed into a gentle four-wheel drift throughout the track, but the aforementioned tires and aero package help keep the GT3 Cup planted in a way that no street car can ever dream of.

The ALMS series at Mosport kicks off Friday and lasts until Sunday, with the first GT3 Challenge race on Saturday, July 23rd at 4:50 P.M. The main ALMS race will be held on Sunday, July 24th at 3:05 P.M, and according to ALMS, is the fastest race on the entire schedule, with speeds average speeds of over 130 mph for the prototype cars.

Gallery: Porsche GT3 Cup Car/ IMSA GT3 Challenge Practice

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 |  Jul 15 2011, 11:15 AM

Auto racing and environmental consciousness normally do not mix, however, the American LeMans Series has been working on changing that, and hopes to improve on its already green track record.

This is the only race series around the world in which four different types of fuels are being used, namely E10, E85, diesel and isobutanol. Also, apart from the result of championship points given to teams and drivers respective of their finish in the race, ALMS also awards a championship within a championship to the greenest team on the grid.

Now the series is looking to go greener still by hoping to soon introduce natural gas powered race cars. In an interview with Fox Car Report, ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton said he wants to “demonstrate the competitiveness of natural gas, and the ease and convenience of refueling, because right now that’s seen as one of the impediments. If you can take away some of what the consumer would describe as downside issues, and demonstrate its competitiveness and the fact that you don’t have to sacrifice anything, I think it would go a long way toward mainstream acceptance of natural gas as a fuel for any type of vehicle.”

When asked about electric race cars, Atherton said this technology might play in this series in the future, but not at the moment, saying electric drivetrains cannot handle the stress of such a race series, however he is looking at other electric race series to bring in as part of their support festivities. Nissan has already hinted at an all electric series using spec versions of the NISMO Leaf RC race car.

Atherton is also excited about introducing the Delta Wing racer, a concept that was originally intended for the IndyCar Series. This racer would weigh half as much as current race cars and also consume half the energy. He hopes to have the Delta Wing racer ready for the 2012 season opener in Sebring, Florida.
In addition, look for hybrids to join the series in the future, with rumors that Porsche’s 2014 Le Mans entry will use both gasoline and electric technology.
[Source: Fox News]
 |  Jun 09 2011, 11:12 AM


In a merger that seems obvious from the get-go, American Le Mans has named the Sports Car Club of America its Official Grassroots Motorsports Partner.

No, not Grassroots Motorsports, the required summer reading of any Miata or E30 owner—grassroots motorsports, as in an attempt for American Le Mans to reach out to those not blessed with talent scouts or an innate driving ability honed from being in go-karts from the age of 4. It’s a way for American Le Mans to leverage the support of SCCA’s 60,000+ members, though we’d be hard-pressed to find one of them who hasn’t heard of ALMS.

“The partnership between ALMS and SCCA is a very natural one,” said Scott Atherton the president and CEO of ALMS. “The majority of ALMS fans are auto enthusiasts, many of them wondering how they can become more involved in motorsports at a grassroots level; the SCCA is the ideal place to start that journey. Similarly, we believe SCCA members have a deep appreciation for our sport and hope all of them will take full advantage of the fan-centered opportunities the ALMS offers.”

The next race in the 2011 American Le Mans season will be on the weekend of July 8-9 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. And in the grand tradition of motorsports being sponsored by vaguely irresponsible-seeming manufacturers of hard liquor, the top sponsor this year is Tequila Patrón.

[Source: American Le Mans]

 |  Apr 27 2011, 9:57 AM

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Corvette Racing’s 2011 season rolls on and with it the latest installment of season two of the Track to Street series. In Episode 4 the team heads to the Long Beach Grand Prix, a treacherous street circuit where you’re lucky to escape with a functioning car. And with the 24 Hours of Le Mans race next on the schedule, Corvette Racing was eager to keep its cars intact.

For all the videos subscribe to Chevy‘s YouTube channel here and while you’re at it, sign up to AutoGuide’s YouTube channel too.

 

 

 |  Mar 30 2011, 11:28 AM

One of the leading teams in the American Le Mans Series has published a tactful but strongly worded essay taking the ALMS to task for failing to secure a proper live television deal for the 2011 season, when the race series has previously been able to secure such a contract.

For this season, ALMS shifted to a largely digital broadcast format, with races being shown live on ESPN3.com, and then aired later on ABC. Due to a scheduling conflict, ABC was unable to air the 12 Hours of Sebring broadcast on the West Coast, a significant market for motorsports.

On its official website, Risi Competizione posted a lengthy, but eloquent essay, taking the ALMS to task for what it argues is a retrograde movement in securing coverage for its race series. Risi also notes that the high cost of sports car racing, and the need for significant sponsorship exposure makes the broadcast deal look unprofessional.

While ALMS boss Scott Atherton posted a defense of the new media deal 4 days before Risi’s own blog, Risi seems to have been feeling unfulfilled by the arrangement, and their public criticism of the ALMS management is surprising.

We asked a spokesman from Chevrolet to comment on whether Corvette Racing shares the same sentiments. In an email, he stated “No, I don’t think we share that exact same opinion. Though yes, we’re sensitive to the concerns of fans and we of course want the best broadcast coverage possible for fans.”

We highly suggest checking out both Risi’s post (linked below) and the ALMS official statement. Both of these primary documents must be read to gain a solid grounding in the issues, but we would love to hear what you think. As motorsports fans ourselves, it’s safe to say we are fairly invested in this story.

[Source: Risi Competizione]

 |  Mar 29 2011, 6:57 PM

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With the anticipation growing for Audi‘s R18 LMP1 race car to hit the track competitively, Audi is probably wishing it’ll happen sooner themselves. After losing out at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Audi may be looking forward to getting the R18 out on the track in order to replace the current R15 race cars.

Two of the R18s were first test-driven at Sebring along with an R15 as a control car and all ten Audi racing drivers were involved in the testing program. Currently they’re on their way to Europe and will be torn apart and analyzed by Audi Sport in Ingolstadt.

Their next appearance will be at the famous Le Mans racetrack and will compete for the first time in the six hour race in Spa-Francorchamps.

Official press release available after the break.

GALLERY: Audi R18

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Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 28 2011, 3:08 PM

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At any given ALMS race, you’re guaranteed to see a field of Porsches on the track at any given minute. These are mostly 997 variants, but now there’s the possibility of catching a glimpse of Porsche’s Panamera and Cayenne at any ALMS race. Ideally, we hope not to see these on the track, given that they’re support vehicles, but it’s nice to see Porsche’s lineup being properly represented at one of the world’s most prestigious race series.

The Panamera Turbo is the official safety car for ALMS; essentially a stock model that has a dome light and paint scheme on it, similar to the well-known Mercedes AMG safety cars. The larger Cayenne SUV will be pulling duties as the medic’s emergency response vehicle, and we really hope that the Cayenne makes a limited number of appearances for that reason alone.

[Source: Autoblog]

GALLERY: Porsche Panamera and Cayenne ALMS Support Vehicles

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 |  Mar 25 2011, 10:45 AM

The lines between reality and virtual reality are getting blurred, as proven by Lucas Ordonez. He went from racing cars in the virtual world of video games, to actually competing in an LMP2 racer provided by Signatech Nissan in the 12-hours of Sebring, and actually finishing 2nd in the race. The 25 year-old Spaniard will now head to France to compete in this years 24-hours of Le Mans. Not bad for someone who only used to race sitting on a sofa.

GT Academy’s American chapter is now also looking to find their next star, and are hoping to turn the process into a reality TV show. More than 52,000 contestants signed up for this competition, and the list dwindled down to just 32. These virtual racers then went on to compete in further tests in Orlando, Fl. but only half have advanced through. So now the ‘Sweet 16′ virtual racers will go to the Silverstone racetrack in U.K. to compete in the final competition. These new tests will test a person’s physical fitness and actual skill in a race car.

There will be only one winner, and we wish all of the contestants the very best.

 |  Mar 24 2011, 8:00 AM

Chevy’s had some entertaining commercials as of late, from a memorable Super Bowl spot for the new Camaro this year, to last year’s ‘America still builds rockets‘ Corvette ad. Well, the boys at Chevy’s marketing agency quietly introduced a new ad for the ‘Vette over the weekend during the 12 Hours of Sebring race.

In case you missed it, the ad touts the Corvette ZR1′s capability and awesome horsepower, commenting that in order to keep things fair on the track when competing with Porsches and Ferraris, they were asked to dial-down the power – 168-hp to be exact.

Unfortunately for Chevy, they only managed to place third and fourth in class, and it wasn’t a Porsche or Ferrari who beat them, but a BMW.

[Source: CorvetteBlogger]

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 18 2011, 8:06 PM

It may be one of America’s most storied races, but the car sitting on the pole for tomorrow’s 59th running of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring isn’t even from a manufacturer that sells cars here.

Topping the Audis in qualifying was Anthony Davidson in the Peugeot 908 with a 1:46.571 lap time. Davidson will race with Alexander Wurz and Marc Gene in tomorrow’s endurance classic, defending last year’s title. Peugeots also took third and fifth place in qualifying, divided by two Audi R15s in second and fourth. Tom Kristensen set the second fastest lap in qualifying with a 1:47.680, and will share the car with partners Allan McNish and Dindo Capello before the R15 chassis is retired.

And while LMP1 saw a battle between European rivals, LMP2 came down to an all-Japanese dual, with the Level 5 Motorspots Lola-Honda driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay besting Soheil Ayari in the Signatech Nissan. A second Level 5 Motorsports Honda placed third.

In the hotly-contested GT category, the new Ferrari 458GT cars got all the publicity, but managed only 5th in class, while one of the older F430GT models driven by Gianmaria Bruni took the GT pole. Finishing just behind was the Corvette ZR1 driven by Oliver Gavin. BMW took third in an M3 GT driven by Dirk Werner, with the top-placing Porsche just sixth.

Watch all the action starting Saturday, March 19 on ABC, ESPN2 or ESPN3.com. Those outside the U.S. can watch the race live at www.americanlemans.com

 |  Mar 18 2011, 5:26 PM

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The great American Le Mans Series begins this weekend at the wonderful 12 Hours of Sebring. And with all first races of the season, great anticipation brews for new race car debuts and at the top of everybody’s list is Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 458 GTC. Luckily for us, Risi Competizione brought along a photographer out on their test days and has finally reveals some photos of the car in race form to the world.

Risi Competizione is a Houston-based race team that has specialized in fielding Ferraris for many years in the ALMS series. They have taken plenty of class victories back with them with their 430 GT2, so it’ll be plenty interesting to see how successful they can get their 458 to become, and more importantly, how qiuckly.

Risi Competizione’s Founder and Team Principal, Giuseppe Risi, had a few things to say about their new car:

“This new car offers a great opportunity for us to show what, I believe, we do best at Risi Competizione,” he says, “which is to technologically develop our cars to race and win GT events at the highest level of competition. I am confident that our total race car preparation will be better than our competitors, and that will allow us to concentrate our efforts on the areas of development and evolution that new race cars inevitably present.”

Risi continues: “We will be concentrating on just one car this season, and will be making a run for the GT Championship. We are under no illusions that the 12 Hours of Sebring – traditionally a happy hunting ground for us – will be a severe test as the F458 is short on testing time and the track is punishing. It’s going to be a true test for the car and for us, although racing is a challenge in itself at any level. I’m completely confident, however, that our guys are up to it.”

We’ll be keeping our eyes glued to this weekend’s Sebring coverage. One of the best races of the year!

[Source: JonSibal.com]

GALLERY: Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 GTC

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 |  Mar 17 2011, 1:10 PM

Highcroft Racing has dominated the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series for the past 4 years, but the program didn’t seem to be doing much to promote the Acura brand. In light of that, the car will now be branded as a Honda Performance Development car, a move that signals both a positive shift for Honda’s in-house go-fast division, and a bad omen for the company’s beleaguered luxury division.

This year, Highcroft will be campaigning their new entry in the much tougher LMP1 class. Patron will also no longer be sponsoring the car, having decided to instead sponsor the ALMS series as a whole. Michelin will step up to provide the funding for Highcroft. The new car, dubbed ARX-01e, will share the same tub and 3.4L V8 as the LMP2 cars of years past, but everything from the suspension to the aerodynamic package will change to make the car more competitive for LMP1.

With legendary race cars like the Audi R15 and Peugeot 908HDi as the top dogs of LMP1, Highcroft will have a tough fight ahead of them if they want to gain any ground. The first race, held in Sebring, Florida, kicks off Saturday.

Hit the jump to read the official press release

Continue Reading…

 |  Feb 10 2011, 10:03 AM

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West Racing Team announced last October that it would field a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 race car in the American Le Mans Series, marking the return of the Italian brand to ALMS since a dismal performance back in 2004 with a Murcielago R-GT. After much anticipation and with the season nearing its start, West Racing has just released the first photos of the purpose built race car.

Few details about the car are available, but it certainly looks menacing painted matte-black and sporting a set of HRE Monoblok wheels. Tires come from Yokohama Advan, which will sponsor the effort for the season.

West Racing recently announced Nicky Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager as drivers, with the first race set to take place March 19th, at Sebring.

We’ll be sure to keep an eye on the team and see if a Lamborghini can in fact be a successful race car.

GALLERY: West Racing Team Gallardo LP560

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 |  Feb 03 2011, 9:38 PM

When you think about Le Mans Prototype racers, Cadillac is probably not the first name that would spring to most people’s minds. In fact, it might be one of the last.

Back in 2002, Cadillac campaigned the LM-02 racer. After two years of dismal results, this car, LM-02-002, was a lone bright light for the team’s efforts, placing 9th at Le Mans and landing on the podium four times in the American Le Mans Series.

Powering the racer a 4.0-liter, V8 that produces 600-hp, thanks to a twin-turbo set-up. It also has a six-speed paddle-shift gearbox, just like in a Formula-One car. It also gets carbon brakes on all four corners.

And now all this goodness can be yours, because model number LM-02-002 is going on the auction block at the Amelia Island Concours on March 12, 2011. The auction portion will be handled by RM Auctions, a company that specializes in moving exotic machinery.

So if you fancy yourself a new track-day toy, this fully functional racer might just be what you’re looking for.

 |  Jan 30 2011, 11:34 PM

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With the race season about to get into gear, anticipation for 2011′s finest race cars continues to grow. Last year, Extreme Speed Motorsports entered the American Le Mans Series with a pair of Ferrari F430 GT race cars. This season the Scott Sharp-owned race team will be campaigning Ferrari’s new 458 GT.

Scott Sharp, who will be one of the team’s drivers, has teased the world with new photos of their Ferrari 458 GT, and we have to say, it’s quite the eye candy. Despite missing its full graphics, we are already in love with how sleek the 458 looks in American Le Mans race car form.

For those that know little about Extreme Speed Motorsports, their hard work throughout the 2010 season paid off with a runner-up finish at the Petit Le Mans to close out the season. Now the team looks forward to working on their 2011 race program and the 458 GT to grow off its success.

The ALMS season starts March 18th at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

GALLERY: Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT

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[Source: Jon Sibal Blog]

 |  Dec 01 2010, 9:55 AM

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At the recent launch of the 2011 Porsche Carrera GTS in California, the journalists present were treated to a special guest: five-time American Le Mans Series champion Joerg Bergmeister.

The Porsche factory driver got his first chance behind the wheel on the streets, comparing the wide-body 408-hp Carrera to his own daily driver, the 911 Carrera S. He even draws a few comparos to his Flying Lizard 911 GT3 RSR race car

No Corvettes were harmed in the making of this film.

See the video after the jump:

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 |  Oct 26 2010, 1:35 PM

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One fun fact you may not know about the Porsche 911 – it’s the world’s best selling race car. According to Porsche, more than 1,400 Cup cars have been sold since their debut in 1998, and this year marks a big upgrade for the venerable, but still competitive racer.

The biggest change is a switch to the GT3 RS as a starting platform. This allows the 911 Cup to get the wider track and body, which also allows for bigger wheels, tires and brakes, and a more powerful 3.8L flat-6 engine making 450 horsepower.

The updated 911 Cup will make its debut in England in 2011, but you can hit the jump to read all about it, and peruse through the gallery.

Gallery: Porsche 911 Cup

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