Patrick Long heads to Petit Le Mans leading GT2 Championship

Patrick Long heads to Petit Le Mans leading GT2 Championship

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Patrick Long heads to Petit Le Mans leading GT2 Championship

Posted: 23 Sep 2010 05:48 AM PDT

Patrick Long heads to Petit Le Mans Photos © Rick Dole 2010

Patrick Long and his teammate Jörg Bergmeister head into the 2010 ALMS season finale at Road Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans, a 10 hour or 1000km endurance contest, next Saturday, Oct. 2. The duo, with four race victories and a 22 point championship lead to their credit thus far this season, can wrap up their second consecutive ALMS GT Driver’s Championship if they finish 10th place or better while completing 70% as many laps as the class winner. Joining Long and Bergmeister in the #45 car will be longtime Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb, himself a winner at Petit Le Mans and 2010 LMS (Europe) GT Driver’s Champion. Flying Lizard Motorsports and Porsche both hold single-point leads in the team and manufacturer’s championships, respectively, so it’s all still to play for in Georgia.

Long will enter a very busy stretch of races at Petit Le Mans, though that race remains his top priority. Petit will see the U.S. competition debut of the innovative Porsche GT3 R Hybrid, which will be run with infrastructure assistance from Flying Lizard Motorsports, and which Patrick will race in November in Zhuhai, China. After Petit Le Mans, Patrick will head to Australia to compete in the Australian V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 race, then immediately head to Germany to race in the VLN at the famed Nürburgring.

Patrick said, “We’re excited to be getting to Road Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans next week, and will be racing hard rather than conservatively. With Atlanta being the home for Porsche Cars North America, we always have a lot of friends and family at the track, so we’re motivated to put on a good show for them. It’s been such a tense championship this year, and while it’s great to have a lead going into the final race, we’re realistic that everyone’s going to be going all-in.”

Live television coverage of the 2010 Petit Le Mans will be on SPEEDTV at 11am ET on Saturday, October 2.

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Lamborghini to Unveil Technology Concept at Paris Auto Show

Posted: 22 Sep 2010 08:03 AM PDT

Lamborghini Paris Teaser 2

Contrary to previous rumors and reports, Lamborghini will not unveil the successor to the Murciélago at the Paris Auto Show at the end of the month. That might leave you to think we’ll see the next generation Gallardo on the stand – but that would also be inaccurate.

Instead, the series of photos Lambo has teased us with so far are of a single “technology demonstrator,” says our source.

Some reports have suggested Lambo will unveil both a concept model and the Murcielago successor (or Jota as its being called). Again, our source indicated that just one model would be shown and that seems to make sense. For an automaker like Lamborghini that releases very few new models it doesn’t make much sense to show more than one at a time.

Lamborghini Paris Teaser 1

A recent report by 0-60 Magazine shed light on two new models being shown to dealers, the LB715-5 and the 83X. While the naming would seem to suggest the LB715-5 is the successor to the Murcielago. The 83X is, therefore, the likely Paris concept car which will showcase new technology for the brand.

Built specifically for the Paris Auto Show, the concept vehicle is expected to make extensive use of carbon fiber (likely for the actual chassis), while the photos so far seem to indicate it will use a V10 engine. As is also the case with small production automakers like Lamborghini, you can be sure a concept car won’t be put to waste, meaning that it’s likely to head to production or many of the ideas and components showcased in it will trickle down to future products.

Lamborghini Paris Teaser 3

No other details have been provided, but we’ll keep you updated as info continues to spill out. Plus, follow our coverage of the Paris Auto Show starting September 30th.

- AutoGuide

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Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles set for further growth with new products, new markets, and new technologies

Posted: 22 Sep 2010 07:04 AM PDT

The Multivan Edition 25

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are presenting five world innovations at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Fair, among them a new variant of the Volkswagen Amarok, which has successfully secured its place on the market. The markets are on a course set for growth, with worldwide deliveries to customers rising by the end of August 2010 by 18.1 percent, to 269,800 light commercial vehicles.

“Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are concentrating on a profitable course set for growth. We are succeeding in this with new products, new markets, and new technologies”, said Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, Speaker for the Board of Management
of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, at today’s press conference.

In the past 12 months alone, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles have presented three new models, the new T5, the Amarok, and, most recently, the new Caddy. These series feature lower consumption, even greater safety, and still more comfort and convenience, as Dr. Schreiber explained.

Amarok Single Cab

In the current fiscal year, by the end of August the brand achieved worldwide growth in deliveries of 18.1 percent, providing 269,800 light commercial vehicles from the series Caddy, T5, Crafter and Amarok, as well as the Brazilian models Saveiro and T2 (January – August 2009: 228,400).

Main contributor to this growth was the new T5, which achieved an increase worldwide of 20.5 percent, to 91,300 deliveries (January – August 2009: 75,800).
Leading market shares in Germany, of 47.1 percent, and 26.5 percent in Western Europe respectively, are clear proof of the success of the upgrading of the T5 series, which with new consumption-optimised engines, even better safety, and a higher range of fittings, is winning over new customer groups., underlined Dr. Schreiber

Despite the change of model which has just taken place, and despite the withdrawal of the State promotion premium, the Caddy has still been achieving stable sales figures. In the first eight months of 2010, 83,780 deliveries were achieved worldwide, corresponding to a reduction of seven percent in relation to the comparable period in the previous year (January – August 2009: 90,400).

The Speaker for the Board of Management emphasised how confident he was that the new Caddy will be achieving just as sustained and positive order figures as the new T5 for the remainder of the year, thanks to its increased efficiency, its convincing overall economy, and its even higher quality of fittings. In September orders for the new Caddy are already up some 20 percent.

The Crafter achieved an increase of 9.2 percent to 22,420 deliveries worldwide (January – August 2009: 90,400).

In its run-in year, the Amarok has so far attained about 8,000 deliveries. Dr. Schreiber points out, too, that in the current run-in year there are already 40,000 orders in hand for the new pickup from all international markets.

Light commercial vehicles from Brazilian production also succeeded in increasing deliveries from January to August, with the Saveiro attaining 94.2 percent by way of 46,000 deliveries (January – August 2009: 23,700). The Brazilian classic T2, with 18,200 deliveries, showed stable sales figures (January – August 2009: 17,800).

Dr. Schreiber is entirely confident that the 2010 fiscal year is to exceed the brands previous delivery record of 447,000 light commercial vehicles, which was achieved in 2008.

The financial results from the half year for the brand, with a 33.3 percent rise in sales to 3.54 billion Euro and an operational result of 118 million Euro, have confirmed the success on the markets. The profits have come from own strengths, and not, as in the previous year, from the one-off effect of the yield from the sale of the Brazilian truck sector to MAN.

“Overall, we are pleased with the course of 2010 so far. For us, the crisis in the light commercial vehicles markets has been overcome”, Dr. Schreiber said.

This year’s programme for the IAA Fair from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles puts the focus on fuel consumption, functional performance, and safety. The BlueMotion Technology has been established for all models, and ESP is a series standard, as Dr. Schreiber emphasises.

At this year’s IAA Commercial Vehicles Fair, from 23 to 31 September 2010, in Hall 12, the brand will be presenting a total of five world innovations, as well as the richly varied range of other models on the programme:

Volkswagen Caddy

The new Caddy – The compact urban delivery vehicle has been perfected in every respect. The clearly identifiable design gene of the Volkswagen brand, ESP as a standard for the series, a completely new range of equipment fittings, and maintenance costs reduced yet again thanks to six new TDI and TSI four-cylinder engines, with up to 21 percent less fuel consumption, all make the new Caddy one of the most innovative and safest compact vans in the world. The Caddy with BlueMotion Technology, which, as a box van rated at 102 h.p., consumes only 4.9 l of Diesel per 100 km, emits only 129 g / CO2 per kilometre, and can cover more than 1100 kilometres with one tank filling.

Amarok Single Cab

The Amarok SingleCab with short cab and long load surface represents the classic “workhorse” among the pickups. In comparison with the Amarok with the four-door double cab, the SingleCab has a load surface 2.20 metres long with the same overall vehicle length, which means that two Europa pallets can be stowed one behind another, loaded transversely. The Amarok SingleCab will be coming onto the market in the first half of 2011. The study presented on the Fair stand, as a 90 kW

TDI unit with BlueMotion Technology, provides an insight into how, with the Amarok too, fuel consumption can be reduced from what is already the best in class, 7.4 l, to 6.9 l per 100 kilometres.

Transporter BlueMotion

The Transporter BlueMotion Technology: In comparison with a current standard model of the same power, the Transporter with BlueMotion Technology requires 0.5 litres less Diesel fuel. The average consumption, now of only 6.8 l/100 km., is a new record value in this class. The most economical Transporter of all time is available as from early 2011.

The Multivan Edition 25

The Multivan “Edition25” anniversary model, to mark the occasion of “25 years of the Multivan“ with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. This is based on the current Multivan Comfortline, and is immediately identifiable by its silk matt lacquered roof and the black 18-inch light metal alloy wheels. The anniversary model has an exclusive range of fittings as standard, and represents an excellent price/performance ratio.

The Transporter Rockton: A Transporter for hard off-road operation, for carrying personnel and material to places which are really difficult to reach – it was for these extreme conditions that the Transporter Rockton was developed. The all-wheel drive Rockton has been tailored especially to the needs of target groups such as building contractors, mountain rescue teams, and other potential groups such as hunters. The permanent all-wheel drive 4MOTION, with a differential lock on the rear axle as standard, a body lift of 30 millimetres, and reinforced suspension and shock absorption, can carry up to five people plus freight with complete reliability, even over trackless terrain.

The strategic goal for the middle term from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, as Dr. Schreiber emphasised, is to increase the brand’s share of the world market in the segment of light commercial vehicles and pickups in the middle term to ten percent.

In Europe, all the potentials which the market has to offer will be consistently explored and exploited, with environmentally-friendly, innovative, and even safer light commercial vehicles.

In South America, where Volkswagen is well established in Brazil with light commercial vehicles, more markets are now being successfully secured for the Amarok and, in its wake, also for vehicles such as the T5, the Crafter, or the Caddy. Newly won importers, dealers, and workshops in the whole of Central and South America are the best proof of how well the new Amarok series is leading the way.

The most promising growth market for such a light truck at the present time is China. Especially light commercial vehicles seem to be of great interest. Here too, together with the rest of our Group, we are faced with the challenge of grasping these opportunities, explained Dr. Schreiber.

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Lamborghini Gallardo Nighthawk

Posted: 22 Sep 2010 06:27 AM PDT


Yes this LP560-4 Coupe did start off white! The crew at FibraFoil in Dubai created a stunning piece of art from it. If it reminds you of a Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, you’d be correct. FabraFoil used that exact jet as inspiration for this project and we may even see it at next years Gumball 3000 Rally across Europe.

More detail and pics over at our good friends Crank&Piston. Visit FibraFoil for more info on them.

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Audi eyes ALMS return

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 09:00 PM PDT


Photo: © 2010 Loek Pictures |

Audi’s assault on the new Intercontinental Cup next season does not preclude a full-time return to the American Le Mans Series.

Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich has revealed that the German manufacturer is evaluating mounting its first full campaign in the United States since 2008. He said Audi is “looking into whether it makes sense and whether it can be handled” alongside its attack on the new seven-race Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in 2011.

“We are thinking, at least, of returning to the ALMS and working on preparations, but it is not decided,” he said. “We have no 100 percent go for next year’s program because it is still the end of the summer.”

Ullrich explained that the ALMS, a series it won every year from 2000 to 2008, remains an attractive proposition for Audi.

“It is a great championship with great racetracks and great marketing opportunities,” he continued. “There is a good TV package and good racing.”

Should Audi commit to the ALMS next season, it could attract other manufacturers into the series, Ullrich believes.

“I am quite convinced that if we give a sign that we are going to return to the ALMS, other brands who have been looking at it for some time will think about it also,” he said.

It is unclear whether Audi’s factory team, Joest Racing, would be able to do both the ILMC and the 10-round ALMS. Audi’s most recent campaigns in the States were masterminded by the now-disbanded Champion Racing team.

The new-for-2011 Audi R18 will make its race debut in the Sebring 12 Hours next March, the first round of the ILMC. If the German manufacturer follows its previous practice, it would then revert to its previous design, the R15, for the ALMS races between Sebring and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

A return to the ALMS is more likely than a full attack on its European counterpart, the Le Mans Series, according to Ullrich.

“America is one very important market covered by one company, Audi of America,” he explained. “It is more difficult to get the money together for Europe because we would be dealing with five different national companies, each of which only gets one race. That makes it much more difficult to find a solution.”

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Lamborghini’s Paris 2010 Teaser 3

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 09:20 AM PDT

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