Le Mans 2012: when hybrids attack
But will Audi or Toyota emerge victorious?
It’s about three-quarters of an hour to the start of the race, so I think I’ve just got time catch up quickly with the front-running action. Which is to say the battle between Audi and Toyota for hybrid supremacy.
Round one went to Audi, which secured the first ever hybrid pole here with the #1 R18 e-tron quattro. This is a monster of technology, combining a 3.7-litre TDI V6 that drives the rear wheels with an electric motor acting on the front wheels. So it has four-wheel drive and all that combined electric motor and turbodiesel torque. Energy for the motor is stored via a flywheel, but because it’s driving the front wheels it can only be engaged above 75mph.
The top Toyota is the #8 car. This TS030 uses quite a different kind of hybrid technology, which works with the 3.4-litre petrol V8 to drive the rear wheels. Electric energy is stored in quick-release capacitors, and can be used at any time.
Both Audi and Toyota build charge via brake-energy regeneration, just like the KERS on current Formula 1 cars.
Further down the field, Nissan brings other interest in the LMP2 category. With 13 out of the 20 cars entered in this class powered by a Nissan engine its expecting a good result.
More than this however, we also find Martin Brundle racing together with his son Alex in the same car, alongside GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez; another GT Academy winner, Jordon Tresson, is in a rival Nissan LMP2 machine – these two really want to beat each other.
On the road with the landmark Lambos for special golden anniversary drive.
Date 13/05/13, Duration 4:26, Views 8751
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- Austin Allegro
- Austin Maxi
- Austin Montego
- Austin Princess
- Hillman Avenger
- Morris Marina
- Morris Ital
- Vauxhall Viva