This week, Audi unveiled the Audi R18 E-tron Quattro which will debut at Spa and run at LeMans.  The E-tron Quattro will utilize a flywheel hybrid system to drive the front wheels at speeds over 120kph.  For Spa and LeMans, Audi will race 2 R18 Ultras and 2 E-tron Quattros, reverting to one of each in subsequent WEC events. I’m looking forward to seeing how the hybrid E-tron compares to the Ultra on the track.  Even with Peugeot pulling out, this could make for an interesting LMP1 category at LeMans this year.

Audi R18 Ultra next to the Hybrid Audi R18 E-tron Quattro
R-18 E-tron Quattro's Flywheel and Hybrid Drivetrain to the front wheels in yellow


In other new car news, it was announced on 22 February that Alex Job Racing will be fielding a Lotus Evora (in addition to the Porsche in the GTC category) in the ALMS GT series beginning at Long Beach.  I have to admit it was surprising to hear that Alex Job would be running anything that wasn’t a Porsche!  Hopefully the Lotus program is more successful than Jaguar’s program.

The Delta Wing car that will be running at LeMans this year has finally hit the track and it turns:

There is an excellent article on Autoweek’s website about the car with some technical info on why it works.  I can’t wait to more of this car on the track and see what type of lap times it can run and how its performance compares to that of the LMP1 and LMP2 cars at LeMans.

Finally, it is sad to note that Risi Competizione won’t be racing at Sebring and that their 2012 season is in doubt:

“Risi Competizione, racing with Ferrari, has been a stalwart of the Series for the last decade and we fully recognize the extremely high level of competition it supports. To race a Ferrari is to enter into a partnership with history and legend. The standards are so high that commitment must be total and complete. Risi Competizione knows better than many what it takes to win the 12 Hours of Sebring, and I feel that, right now, we wouldn’t be representative of our best.”

Although I’m a Corvette fan, I’ve always had a lot of respect for Risi and held them in high regard. It can’t be good for the ALMS that Ferrari’s best bullet in the series is gone. Their presence at Sebring will truly be missed.  Hopefully they’re able to pull something together and make some races later in the season. It just won’t be the same without them.

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