Audi R18 ETron testing makes me wonder why I don’t watch more WEC.

So with all of the negative press surrounding F1 in media-life, my friends and I have been talking about other racing series that we probably should be paying more attention to. Eventually the conversation always comes back to the World Endurance Championship.

Even though it’s harder to ‘relate’ to a team when you have three cars per team and three guys sharing a car, you really cannot doubt that the P1 cars are basically Formula 1 cars with roofs on them.

Check out this test at Monza. You can’t argue this speed.

AWD, Turbodiesel, Hybrid Endurance Racer- Yes, please!

This just blew my mind! Audi’s contender for the 2012 LeMans Series. The Audi R18 e-tron Quattro. (Sounds like something out of ‘Transformers’).

Quoted from Autoblog: “The two are part of the same system, regenerating brake energy (similar to F1’s Kinetic Energy Recovery System) into a flywheel that is then fed back into the front wheels under acceleration,the V6 TDI engine feeds 510 horsepower to the rear wheels for a combined through-the-road all-wheel-drive system. The added weight of the hybrid powertrain is offset by a carbon-fiber gearbox housing, used for the first time in endurance racing.”

Insane! Audi is running two versions of this car, with two ‘traditional’ R18 Ultras at Spa leading to the build up for LeMans.  Toyota’s hybrid contender might want to watch out!

Alain McNish’s Huge LeMans Crash!

Alain McNish is one of my favorite racing drivers. Easily in the top five of all drivers ever, so to see an accident of this level sends chills down my spine. This was for the lead when McNish was attempting to pass the #58 Ferrari 458.

My thoughts go out to McNish and the whole Audi team. I really hope that Alain is ok.

Update: McNish escaped serious injury. Click here to view the SpeedTV gallery of the crash wreckage.

Le Mans 24 Hours 2011: Qualifying Romain Dumas Hard Crash

This is a sickening accident that’s happened during night qualifying of the 2011 24 Hours of LeMans. The Audi R18 of Romain Dumas t-bones an Aston Martin that was in a mid-spin. Both drivers are ok, but the cars both need alot of work.

Scary stuff, because I’m slightly concerned that the Dumas didn’t just ditch the R18 off the track, if he saw a spun car directly ahead of him. Take a look.

Audi R18 LMP1- Hot or Not?

With Audi retiring the R15, the Audi R18 is really bringing up some conflicting commentary amongst us at the “Starting Grid”. As endurance prototype racers go, we are vastly greater fans of the closed cockpit design (+1). However, the “shark fin” on the back which has been infesting automotive design lately shows up as a massive fail on our books. (-1). However if it turns up to be faster than the Peugeot 908 update/replacement, we might let that shark fin go.

We have no idea on the amount of torque that this machine will put out, but knowing Audi…<evil smiles>

Thoughts? (more pictures +video below)

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