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The 24 Hours of Le Mans: The Legend of Automobile Sports

// The following is a guest post by Sabrina Beaudoin, a french journalist and administrator of  Thank you Sabrina for sharing your work with the American F1 audience!

// Le Mans

Every year there are more than 50 competitors coming from different parts of the globe, whom have diverse backgrounds in their sporting careers and are brought together for a face to face challenge through the famous 24 hours of Le Mans. For the 80th edition, Le Mans circuit is ever more welcoming and attractive. This challenge is not just a simple run as it counts for the FIA championship. The 24 hours of Le Mans is also something that we all share and connect with. Despite the brand, prototype, team sponsorship or pilot that one supports, all fans gather in a reunion where spirits are lifted by the adrenaline. Again, this year brought over 200,000 people to cheer on this festivity.

Coming from 4 corners of the world, avid fans enjoy this moment as well as the social and unified team spirit brought by this event. Without such enthusiasm, Le Mans would not be the same…and would not open its doors for almost 2 full weeks to welcome such a crowd. We start with a qualifier day that allows certain people to get ready for the Mans day, others only participate at this session and stand aside the more experienced crowd…embracing and learning. The following week is a measure of skills and performance. To help boost local attendance, the promoter of the race encouraged the town to participate. Certain activities will always be unique to the town, such as the famous parade of pilots that enable the public to experience a closer connection with them.

Audi Coming to F1 - Design Study


Could Audi make it's way to Formula 1?

That's the question on a lot of people's minds with the new engine regulations set forth for the 2013 season.  Many new manufacturers have expressed interest in returning to or joining Formula 1 for the first time thanks to the new four cylinder turbocharged specifications.  The Head of Volkswagen Motorsport, Kris Nissen, spoke in May 2010 about the potential for Volkswagen to consider entering Formula 1 and other racing series as a result of new regulations surrounding engine specifications. Now that FIA has announced the 2013 F1 regulations stipulating 1.6 liter four cylinder engines be used, it's now closer than ever to see VW enter the series.

Kim Stapleton, an architect and designer, has been interested in this potential for a while now.  Beginning with a initial design study in 2007 and  a recent update in early January 2011, she has undertaken a speculative project to investigate the possiblity of Audi joining Formula 1.  Her exploration resulted in a concept for a car design based on the 2010 Red Bull Toro Rosso car in the images here.  I sure like the design, and given Audi's involvment with Red Bull in other series, it seems like a perfect fit for the Torro Rosso team.

With the potential for international exposure and a chance to race Ferrari, Renault, and Mercedes, will VW push for Audi to be a new team in F1?  What about Porsche, do they seem like a better fit for F1?  Of course, any entry into F1 would effect the other racing series that these brands already compete in.  Given Audi's dominating success in the American Le Mans Series (AMLS), who wouldn't expect them to come out wit.  Of course the question must be asked, how would F1 directly benefit the brand, whether that be VW, Audi or Porsche?  What about Lamborghini?

via Fourtitude