Motorsports Porsche

Behind the scenes with the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid

Porsche GT3 R Hybrid

Here is a real treat for you, Autocar have just posted a video of Steve Sutcliffe driving the Porsche GT3 R Hybrid. This is the same car that very nearly won the demanding Nürburgring 24 hour race at its first attempt.

In his written review Sutcliffe says driving the GT3 R Hybrid is, “Quite spooky, incredibly efficient but also just very, very exciting to use. When you press the magic button for the first time it actually feels a bit like a cheat, the rush of extra acceleration comes at you that fast. But when you get used to the way it works – the way it can alter not just your speed along a straight but also the handling balance mid corner even – the hybrid GT3 R is quite clearly a highly significant piece of kit; the beginning of a brand new era.”

Piers Ward from has also had a drive in the GT3 R Hybrid. Here’s a bit of what he had to say, “This thing is utterly brilliant. It’s not about chasing fuel figures or CO2, it’s about trying to maximise performance.

“By the end of three braking zones, the flywheel is fully re-charged. The weirdest part of the whole thing is the noise is makes as it’s getting charged up – like a hoover on speed, whirring away frantically.”

In closing his review Sutcliffe says, “hybrid power is not the future for companies like Porsche and cars like the 911, it is the present. Not so much the end of the road for high performance cars, but the beginning of a brand new chapter.

Take the jump to watch the Autocar clip.

Motorsports Peugeot

Peugeot all set for Le Mans defence

Peugeot 908 HDi FAP

The factory backed Peugeot 908 HDi FAP machines are all set to defend their 2009 Le Mans 24 hour crown. But seeing as the French team have demoted Australia’s David Brabham from the winning car to the LMP2 category AUSmotive’s full support will be behind the Audi R15 TDI.

Of course, Peugeot won’t care about that too much as they’re far too busy preparing the 908 for its fourth and final outing at La Sarthe. Indeed, Peugeot Sport’s Technical Director, Bruno Famin is expecting a close race with the R15s from Ingolstadt, “This is the 908 HDi FAP’s fourth and final year of competition. It is an outstanding car and I think we can look forward to an incredibly thrilling Le Mans 24 Hour; I believe it will be very close from flag to flag.”

Famin also explains a bit about the changes made to the car since its 2009 success, “Our work initially focused on adapting the 908 HDi FAP to the new 2010 regulations, which essentially meant the engine and bodywork. The only aerodynamic change is the result of having to adjust to this year’s new engine power levels.

“We have endeavoured to recover some of the power lost because of the rule changes, which involved working with Bosch on improving engine combustion, reducing power losses through friction with Total and improving the flow efficiency of the intake and exhaust systems with Dow.”

There’s more from Peugeot and their three-car team after the break. For Australian readers television coverage of the 2010 Le Mans 24 hour race will be provided by One HD on free to air, and the EuroSport channel on Foxtel will also have extensive coverage of the race, including practice and qualifying sessions. Check your local guides for details. A live online radio broadcast, with English commentary, is also provided for free by Radio Le Mans.

Audi Motorsports

Live coverage of Le Mans 24 hour from Audi tv

Audi tv - Le Mans 24 hour

Below is a YouTube clip advertising live coverage of the 2010Le Mans 24 hour race this weekend direct from Audi tv. Clearly, the coverage will focus heavily on the three R15 TDI bearing the four rings. But, for those of us with limited access to full race coverage this footage from Audi could be a very valuable thing indeed.

Can Audi win their ninth outright victory, or does Peugeot have what it takes to defend last year’s success?

[via The German Car Blog]


2010 Nürburgring 24 hour race

Nurburgring 24 hour race

One of the world’s greatest endurance races is on this weekend—the Nürburgring 24 hour. You can follow the race with live radio, live streaming pictures and twitter updates from drivers and manufacturers—see for details. There’s even a couple of iPhone Apps available. Also make sure you keep an eye on AUSringers for updates of how the Australian and New Zealand competitors fare during the race.

The race starts at 11pm tomorrow (Australian Eastern time) and, of course, finishes at 11pm Sunday. Just in time to catch the end of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Lexus Motorsports

Lexus LF-A returns for Nürburgring 24 hour race

Lexus LF-A

Lexus, in partnership with Gazoo Racing, will return to the Nürburgring 24 hour race this year (13–16 May) with production versions of the LF-A supercar.

The cars will be driven by a mix of Japanese and German drivers, including Toyota master test driver Hiromu Naruse, Takayuki Kinoshita, Akira Ida, Juichi Wakisaka, Armin Hahne, Jochen Krumbach and Andre Lotterer. The driving talent has a great mix of GT racing and proven experience at the N24.

Powered by a 552hp V10 the LF-A certainly isn’t lacking for performance. Indeed, in road-going trim Lexus claim their supercar can reach 100km/h in 3.7 seconds, and is able to exceed 200mph (320km/h+).

Last year Gazoo Racing entered two pre-production models in the 24 hour enduro. They’ll be hoping for better success in 2010 with encouraging, if not spectacular, results achieved in the 2009 race. Only one of the LF-As finished the event, placing fourth in class (from five finishers) and 14th overall, some 41 laps behind the winning Manthey Racing Porsche 911 RSR. The second LF-A managed to complete 106 laps and almost 22 and a half hours of competition before withdrawing from the event.

More after the break.

Holden Motorsports News

Mal Rose Racing at the 2009 Dubai 24 hour

2009 Dubai 24 hour race

A quick shout out to Mal Rose and his team for their recent efforts at the 2009 Dubai 24 hour race (8-10 January). Mal Rose Racing took an ex-Garry Rogers Motorsport V8 Supercar and a duo of Mitsubishi Mirage Cup cars to the race. Mal’s team was the only Australian representation at the race in 2009.

Mal shared racing duties in the V8 Supercar with Peter Leemhuis and Tony Alford (who debuted a Nissan GT-R at the 2008 Targa Tasmania). Competing against touring cars and GT specials from manufacturers such as Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Aston Martin and Audi, to name a few, Mal’s team had their Aussie V8 Supercar leading their class, and as high as third place outright, before mechanical issues spoiled the fun.

They were holding a solid top ten position as far as 14 hours into the race before diff troubles saw the team spent two hours in pit lane. Despite these issues the team got the car back on the race track and set their best times. Mal’s best time of 2 minutes 8.5 seconds was virtually matched by Peter Leemhuis (2 minutes 8.7 seconds).

Mal spent time early on in the race dicing with F1 engineer Adrian Newey (currently with Red Bull Racing) who was driving a Ferrari F430. In the stifling conditions Newey was treated for heat exhaistion after his stint and Mal was pretty chuffed with his fitness, stating, “I am now 46 years old and feel very race fit!”

In their third Dubai 24 hour race, the team completed 494 laps, finishing fifth in class and 33rd outright. Overall, this was a great effort by the team in what is a true privateer outfit. It’s great seeing guys like Mal having belief in themselves and getting out there and having a great time.

Film maker Stuart Greaves from Adrenaline Video was there making another doco, following on from his 2007 release, Mal’s Big Green Hell. So expect a new release soon!

The next event for Mal Rose will be with Peter and Tony in the Donut King Monaro at the Bathurst 12hr in mid February. Their next international events will be the Nürburgring 24hr in May then Spa 12hr in June 2009.

(A few more pics sent in from Mal can be seen after the jump.)


All new Volkswagen Scirocco GT24 revealed

Volkswagen Scirocco GT24

Volkswagen have revealed the Scirocco GT24 at the 2008 Wörthersee event, held annually in Austria. AUSringers readers will already be familiar with the race version of the car which will be making it’s competition debut at this weekend’s 24 hour race. This GT24 version, with 239kW, looks fantastic. See AUSringers for more info. If you would like Volkswagen to bring the road going version of the new Scirocco (see pics below) to Australia, please leave a show of support in the comments section.