Posts Tagged ‘24 hours of lemans’

Nissan Darting into LeMans with DeltaWing racer

Revolutionary design could reshape motor sports.

by on Mar.14, 2012

Nissan has put its name on the DeltaWing racer as its title sponsor.

Over more than a century of motor sports, the racing world has often been transformed by dramatic shifts in design.  Today, aerodynamics can play as significant a role as the powertrain in a race car – as fans of the Formula One world can readily attest.

Is the DeltaWing project ready to unleash the next big revolution?  The dart-like concept, which has more visually in common with a fighter aircraft than a NASCAR or even an Indy racer, is set to get its first big test during the unforgiving 24 Hours of Le Mans thanks to the project’s latest sponsor, Nissan.

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The Japanese maker says it is “aiming to change the face of endurance racing forever” with what has now been renamed the Nissan DeltaWing.  That’s no minor boast when you consider what the exotic concept will be going up against, including the likes of Audi’s latest diesel-powered monster, the R18 eTron Quattro.


First Look: 2011 Corvette Carbon Fiber Z06

A “track-to-street” technology transfer on 500 retail models.

by on Mar.11, 2010


The carbon fiber Z06 will be priced between the Z06, starting at $74,285, and the fire breathing and Porsche eating ZR1, starting at $106,880.

Chevrolet is extending the Corvette lineup with a carbon fiber package on the 505 horsepower (377 kW) Z06 model. The lightweight limited edition of 500 sports cars includes black carbon fiber rockers, splitter and roof panel with the full-width body color spoiler.

The carbon fiber Corvette will be priced somewhere between the base Z06, which starts at $74,285 and the fire breathing and Porsche eating ZR1, which starts at $106,880.

Chevrolet says the Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition is a “tribute to the 50th anniversary of Corvette’s first race in the 24 Hours of LeMans.”

“For track use, the Z06 Carbon is the best balanced Corvette yet. It combines the lightweight and naturally-aspirated Z06 engine with the road-holding and braking of the ZR1,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette Chief Engineer. “For technical tracks like Laguna Seca, the Z06 Carbon could shave up to three seconds off the Z06 lap time.”

Although street legal, it is debatable how many miles the carbon fiber Z06 two-seaters will ever compile on public roads. No matter, the high performance Chevy will be in demand among collectors.

Z06 Carbon has two colors: “Inferno Orange” and new “Supersonic Blue,” which, of course, overhypes the speed capability of the car.

This carbon Z06 has Brembo carbon ceramic brakes with dark gray metallic calipers, which were first introduced on the ZR1. (Click Here) Black, 20-spoke 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are fitted with Michelin PS2 tires. “Magnetic Selective Ride Control” is standard for the first time on the Z06.

The Corvette Z06 Carbon will be available in two colors: “Inferno Orange” and a new “Supersonic Blue,” which, of course, overhypes the speed capability of the car.   (more…)

First Look: C6.R and the Production Corvette ZR1

Strongest link thus far between racing and production Corvette?

by on Mar.03, 2010

C6.R and ZR1 differ significantly are in situations where GT rules prohibited the use of the more sophisticated ZR1 components.

Corvette Racing’s second-generation C6.R will be powered by a new 5.5-liter  production-based V8, to compete in the new unified GT class in the 2010 American Le Mans Series, Chevrolet said today.

Corvette C6.R will also compete in the GT2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The updated C6.R and the Corvette ZR1 – starting at $107,000 – have a strongest link thus far between the Corvette Racing team and production Corvette. (Well, at least in recent times. ) Both cars will compete on and off the track with more expensive showroom competitors,  including Aston Martins, BMWs, Porsches and Ferraris.

Corvette, of course, has a long history of production-based endurance racing, making its first appearance at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1956, and its first appearance at Le Mans in 1960. (Click Here)

Then Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov used the racing program to improve the production Corvette, including the development of heavy-duty and high-performance components, as well as the introduction of the race-bred Z06 option on the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, which remains a favorite among collectors.

Introduced as a 2009 model, ZR1 is the fastest, most powerful car ever produced by Chevrolet.

The transfer of technology between racing and production cars resumed with the start of the modern Corvette Racing program in 1999.

Tadge Juechter, the current Corvette chief engineer says, “Simply put, without Corvette Racing, there would not be a Corvette Z06, much less the ZR1. And, without the foundation of the Corvette C6, Z06 and ZR1, the Corvette Racing team would not be the dominant presence in production-based racing.”

C5-R and Corvette Street performance

Corvette raced the C5-R from 1999 through the end of the 2004 season. The first-generation car scored 35 victories in 55 races, won its class at the 12 Hours of Sebring three consecutive years, posted three 1-2 finishes in the GTS class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and earned four consecutive ALMS manufacturers championships for Chevrolet.

It also served as a catalyst for Corvette performance. In 1999, the fifth-generation Corvette C5 produced 345 horsepower from its 5.7-liter V8. Marketing claimed, with some substance in the instance, that it used powertrain technologies developed for the C5R.

Corvette reintroduced the Z06 moniker in 2001, with a 385 horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine. Current versions start at $75,000.

Spotlight on Performance!

In addition, it is said, that the C5-R helped shape the sixth-generation Corvette, introduced for the 2005 model year. Corvette Racing’s influence could be seen in the C6 Corvette design, which featured flush headlights for better aerodynamics; a single, large grille opening for the engine air intake, radiator, and brake cooling; a lower coefficient of drag; and a relatively light 3,179-pound curb weight.   (more…)