(Images courtesy of Porsche)
Porsche has taken the wraps off of its 919 Hybrid prototype racing machine at the Geneva International Motor Show. According to Porsche, the high efficiency of the Porsche 919 Hybrid is the result of a balanced overall concept. From the combustion engine to the energy recovery systems, suspension and chassis, aerodynamics and driver ergonomics, the sum of the components "form an incredibly efficient unit for maximum performance." The drive system is based on a 4-cylinder gasoline engine that is compact and lightweight. The 2.0 liter V-engine is a structural component of the chassis, and reaches a maximum engine speed of approximately 9,000 rpm. It features direct injection, a single turbocharger and thermodynamic recovery capabilities. The compact unit outputs around 500 hp. Two different energy recovery systems harness energy to replenish the batteries and provide power. The first system is the innovative recovery of thermal energy by an electric generator powered by exhaust gases. The second hybrid system is a motor on the front axle utilizing brake recuperation to convert kinetic energy into electric energy. The electric energy is then stored in water-cooled lithium-ion battery packs and when the driver needs the stored power, the front motor drives the two front wheels through a differential during acceleration. This gives the Porsche 919 Hybrid a temporary all-wheel drive system, because the gasoline engine directs power to the rear wheels, just like the 918 Spyder. Porsche formed a new team of over 200 employees to develop and implement the program at their development center in Weissach. Friedrich Enzinger, Head of LMP1: "Within two and one half years we built the infrastructure, assembled our team and put this highly complex race car on wheels. We have the greatest respect for the lead our competitors have in racing experience. Our objective in the first year is simple: to finish races and be competitive." Don't kid yourselves folks, they're in it to win. Anything less than victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be a massive disappointment.
Porsche also displayed its 911 RSR racing machine at Geneva, the seventh generation of the 911 racer. In its first appearance at the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans the Porsche 911 RSR placed first and second in the GT-Class. Improved even further for the 2014 season, the 911 RSR started the 2014 season with a class victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The 911 RSR is raced in the new TUDOR United Sports Car Championship as well as being part of the WEC World Sportscar Championship series, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"Crucial in the development of the Le Mans prototype were the newly created and revolutionary racing rules for this class as they relate to energy efficiency," Matthias Müller, Chairman of Porsche AG, commented. "In 2014, it will not be the fastest car that wins the World Endurance Championship series and the 24 hours of Le Mans, rather it will be the car that goes the furthest with a defined amount of energy. And it is precisely this challenge that carmakers must overcome. The 919 Hybrid is our fastest mobile research laboratory and the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built."
Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany) will share driving duties in the Porsche 919 Hybrid with number 14. Car number 20 will be driven by Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia).
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Audi unveiled the 2014-specification Audi RS 5 DTM in Geneva. With aerodynamic tweaks and visual details designed to be make it appear closer to the sporty production models of the RS line than its predecessor, the new Audi RS 5 DTM is "significantly more aggressive," according to Audi. “In addition to the suspension, our main priority was to improve the aero,” says Stefan Aicher, Head of Vehicle Design at Audi Sport. The RS 5 now has the honeycomb grill from the production car at the front and new air ducts feeding the engine and brakes. As a result, the race car now "shares an almost identical look to the sporting RS production models," says Audi. Almost identical? Uh, if you say so.
(Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for GM Racing/Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Jimmy John's Chevrolet SS ) dominated the "The Profit on CNBC 500" NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Speedway on Sunday. Harvick led 224 of the 312 laps at the one-mile track, including the final 24, surviving several re-starts while holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports National Guard Chevrolet SS). Watch the video here.
(Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for GM Racing/Chevrolet)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports National Guard Chevrolet SS) followed up his big Daytona 500 win with a strong second-place run in Phoenix. Earnhardt, Jr. leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.
(Photo by Matthew T. Thacker/NKP ©2014 courtesy of Ford Racing)
Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion, above) sat on the pole in Phoenix and ran a very racy third, with Team Penske teammate Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion) finishing right behind him in fourth.
Kurt Busch. The 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will join Andretti Autosport for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. If he qualifies for the race, he will become the fourth driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, N.C., later that same day. "To add a driver with the résumé of Kurt Busch to the Indianapolis 500 field is a huge gain for INDYCAR," said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations. "We want to see the best 33 drivers put their skills to the test on the biggest stage in motorsports, regardless of which series they come from. To attempt 'the Double' is a tremendous challenge, and we're looking forward to watching Kurt accomplish the feat this May." Busch, 35, commented: "It was a talk over dinner (with his agent, John Caponigro) one night on 'what if?' and now it's all becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti. I went once to watch the '500' with Roger Penske when I first signed a contract with him to drive stock cars. To feel it, to experience it, I'm going to actually revert back to that to try to block out some of the emotional excitement of what it means to be part of the '500.' To drive in it this year, nothing is going to compare, nothing can prepare or get me ready when they drop that green flag and 33 of us rush into Turn 1." Busch tested an Andretti Autosport car at the Speedway last May, his second time in an Indy car. "That was a whole kid in a candy store moment of experiencing an open-wheel car at 220 mph," he said. "You can definitely get a different appreciation for the track and its heritage with an open-wheel car versus a stock car that I've done the last 15 years there. It got my mind going and my juices flowing on 'I want to do this.' The adrenaline and excitement was there, but last year just didn't seem like the right timing. Now 11 months of chewing on the fat and working on the details, I'm more excited than ever to do this."
Lexus will debut the RC F GT3 racing concept at the 84th Geneva International Motor Show. Based on the recently revealed RC F performance coupe, the RC F GT3 concept was developed to meet Group GT3 international racing standards. The machine weighs 2,755.8 lbs. and comes with a modified version of the base RC F’s V8 engine, producing over 540HP, according to Lexus. Lexus will supply GT3-compliant (certified by the FIA) vehicles to racing teams starting in 2015, with development testing beginning this year.
(BMW Group photos)
Development work on the new BMW M4 DTM, which will compete in the 2014 DTM season, is now complete after almost a year of development. The new car will make its first public appearances at the official ITR tests in Budapest, March 31st – April 3rd, and then at the final test in Hockenheim, April 14th – 17th. “Even before the BMW M3 DTM completed its final race last season, our development team was already hard at work on the 2014 car,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Preparing a new car for the DTM is a big challenge. In few other series is aerodynamics so important. Even the slightest detail can make the difference between success and failure. And this attention to detail shown by our engineers is apparent at first glance – from the elongated bonnet with its steeply sloping front and aerodynamically optimised wing mirrors, to the contoured roofline that is a characteristic feature of the BMW M4.” The M4 DTM model made its first appearance in the wind tunnel at the BMW Group’s Aero Lab last April 22nd, thirteen days before the opening race of the 2013 season in Hockenheim. The BMW M4 DTM made its on-track debut in Monteblanco, February 11, 2014, three hundred days after the first test in the wind tunnel.