24 Hours of LeMans--This Weekend!

This weekend marks one of the greatest races in Motorsport, the 24 Hours of LeMans.  This race has been the proving ground for some of the greatest achievements in automotive history.  This is where the top manufacturers in the world battle each other with the latest technology. Watch this race if you want to know what technologies will end up in road cars in the next few years.  This year's biggest battle will be between Audi, Toyota and Porsche as they each take a different approach to using hybrid technology in the LMP1-H class.  Audi also has laser headlights....that's right, fricking laser beams.

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Already this week potential disaster struck Audi as the #1 Audi E-Tron was (almost) completely destroyed during practice.   However, 24 hours later Audi has build a new car using a new tub.  This is simply outstanding, yet Audi are known for their quick repairs.   Driver Loic Duval is fine after the crash but will not be able to race.

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Good weather permitting, this year could be one with many firsts.  We won't be shocked to see new faces, and new cars on top, and we expect that a few records could be broken too.  We have our fingers crossed for an epic and safe race this weekend.

Storylines:

***A set of sweeping new technical regulations, aimed at fuel efficiency, has turned the LMP1 into a completely new game. Fuel flow meters now control power output, while hybrid systems, up to four times more powerful than last year, are mandatory for all factory teams. It equates up to a 30 percent reduction in fuel consumption over previous years.

***Porsche returns to top-level factory prototype racing at Le Mans for the first time since 1998. The German manufacturer’s two Porsche 919 Hybrids have been blisteringly quick in the opening two FIA World Endurance Championship rounds but have lacked reliability, posing questions over its bid for repeat glory.

***Toyota, on the other hand, has been the dominant force in the early season races, with its new TS040 Hybrid sweeping both six-hour rounds at Silverstone and Spa. With potentially the best overall package, the Japanese manufacturer could be in position to claim its long overdo first overall win.

***Twelve-time and defending winners Audi, on the other hand, has struggled for pace with its new R18 e-tron quattro, which runs with the smallest 2MJ hybrid system. However, the German manufacturer has experience and reliability on its side, which could very well play into the benefit for the three diesel-powered contenders.

***Rebellion Racing is the only LMP1 privateer in this year’s field (designated LMP1-L), due to the withdrawal of the Kodewa team with its Lotus T129 AER. The Anglo-Swiss squad’s Rebellion R-One Toyota, meanwhile, debuted at Spa but has yet to come close to the performance of the factory cars but received a late Balance of Performance adjustment that should help close the gap.

***While not competing in LMP1, Nissan unleashes its electric race car, the ZEOD RC, in quest of becoming the first car to complete an entire lap of the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe on electric power only. The car, running as this year’s Garage 56 entry, does not have high expectations of a finish, but with efforts on the history making run ahead of a two-car factory LMP1 program in 2015.

Teams to Watch:

Audi Sport Team Joest — While being the most successful prototype manufacturer in the modern era, Audi doesn’t necessarily come in as favorites for the overall win this year. Nine-time and defending winner Tom Kristensen is rejoined by Loic Duval and Lucas di Grassi, who fills the seat of the now-retired Allan McNish. Audi’s No. 2 lineup of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler remains unchanged, while Filipe Albuquerque joins the factory roster in the No. 3 car alongside Oliver Jarvis and Marco Bononomi.

Toyota Racing — Unlike Audi, Toyota has gone for a two-car approach, with Stephane Sarrazin teaming with Alex Wurz and Kaz Nakajima in the No. 7 TS040 Hybrid. However, it’s been the No. 8 entry of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Lapierre that’s swept the opening two FIA WEC rounds and will likely be a contender again.

Porsche Team — Porsche also has two 919 Hybrids in its maiden Le Mans appearance with hybrid power. While all eyes will be on the No. 20 car, driven by ex-F1 star Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard, don’t discount the Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb-driven No. 14 machine, which has, on average, been a tad quicker this season so far.

Toyota has claimed pole:

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Qualifying Highlights

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Coverage Schedule:

Race Day Broadcast Schedule

Saturday, June 14-Sunday, June 15 – all times ET

8:30 a.m-4 p.m., Saturday (Fox Sports 1)

4-5 p.m., Saturday (Fox Sports 2)

5-6:30 p.m., Saturday (Fox Sports GO)

6:30 p.m., Saturday-1 a.m., Sunday (Fox Sports 2)

1-7:30 a.m., Sunday (Fox Sports 1)

7:30-9:30 a.m., Sunday (Fox Sports 2)

Corvette Racing 24-Hour Live Stream

9 a.m. Saturday-9 a.m. Sunday (Foxsports.com)

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20140611/motorsports/140619959#ixzz34RzoNMB2 Follow us: @AutoweekUSA on Twitter | AutoweekUSA on Facebook

Below you will find live streaming coverage for both video and audio.

LIVE COVERAGE Live - 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours by lemans-tv

If you are out and about and cant be near a television RADIO LEMANS has full coverage of the event.

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Audi has done it again.

Throwback Thursday June 11th, 2014