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Nissan’s DeltaWing racecar and the victory that almost wasn’t.
Audi‘s LMP team is coming back to the United States, debuting the R18 TDI in American soil for the first time and challenging for victory at the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta.
Earlier this year, the Audi R18 TDI already won at the 24 hours of Le Mans in dramatic style, so the team looks forward to ending the racing season in dominant form. Driving the R18 will be Rinaldo “Dindo” Capello, the winningest racing driving at Road Atlanta, along with the duo that earned many podiums for Audi, Timo Berhand and Marcel Fässler.
During last year’s race at Road Atlanta, Capello had to make an unscheduled pitstop when an insert in his helmet came unfastened and dangled over his eyes, obstructing his view. Were it not for that wardrobe malfunction that cost Capello the race, Audi would have won at Road Atlanta for the tenth time.
If you won’t be able to travel, catch the race on Eurosport or ESPN. Qualifying begins Friday, September 30th and the race will start on 11:30am on Saturday, October 1.
GALLERY: Audi R18
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.
Nissan fans will rejoice at the brand’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans race this year.
The Japanese automaker has just announced a partnership with Signature Racing out of France that will see the team use Nissan Motorsports (NISMO) 4.5-liter V8 engines in high-level LMP2 prototype cars.
But before the big race in France, Nissan will debut the car at the 12 Hours of Sebring, in Sebring, FL on March 19th. The car is also set to return to our shores for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta later this year.
Porsche has announced that it will enter the 911 GT3R Hybrid race car in the famed Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta on October 2nd.
Porsche feels sufficiently confident with the hybrids fuel economy and performance gains that they are interesting in campaigning in the Petit Le Mans, and the ALMS series, should their jaunt at Road Atlanta go well. Since the Automobile Club de ‘Ouest, the sanctioning body that oversees LeMans, hasn’t drawn up any rules for hybrid race cars, the GT3R will go unclassified for now.
Road Atlanta will be the first race in a few series called the LeMans Intercontinental Cup. The GT3R will also appear at the race in Zuhai, China, but hasn’t confirmed that the car will appear at Silverstone for the European round later on.
Gallery: Porsche 911 GT3R Hybrid
Hit the jump to read the official press release