Le Mans 2016: Hybrids Rule But the Human Spirit Prevails

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

After over 300 trips around the 13.629 kilometer (8.47 mile) circuit, Porsche edged out Toyota for the overall win in the last three minutes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  A breakdown left the leading #5 TS050 hybrid stranded on the track with the Porsche #2 919 hybrid speeding past for the overall win.  Toyota and Porsche had battled it out for the entire race, with Audi struggling with a blown turbocharger and broken suspension.  That Audi’s technicians’ and mechanics could repair significant mechanical issues and have their cars complete the race within striking distance of a podium finish speaks volumes for their skills. As usual for several years, Toyota, Porsche and Audi ran hybrid cars in the LMP1 …

24 hours of Le Mans 2013: Previewing the Future

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans ended Sunday morning with hybrid racers taking the first five places.  Audi’s R18 e-tron Quattro took first, third and fifth places, with Toyota’s TS030 taking second and a well-earned fourth place.  The winner averaged over 149 mph for the 24 hours. According to Wikipedia, Audi’s R18 e-tron quattro is a hybrid version of the R18 ultra, with a Williams Hybrid Power-designed flywheel accumulator system for energy storage which delivers 500 kiloJoules (about 10.8 horsepower for one second) to the front wheels via an electric motor, giving the car four (quattro) wheel drive. The system, as per the regulations, is only available at speeds above 120 km/h (75 mph). The car is fitted with a smaller 58 liter (15.3 U. S. …

24 Hours of LeMans – Hybrids, KERS and High Speeds

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The 24 Hours of LeMans is the quintessential motorsports event every year, pitting the top automobile racing teams in the world against the endurance trial of completing a full day’s run at “full chat,” as the British used to say, overcoming weather, wear and tear, and competing drivers. Traditionally populated with internal-combustion gasoline engine powered racers in many sizes and classifications, the race has seen inroads with turbo-diesels, hybrids, and hints there may be soon full electric competitors.  The most advanced class this year comprised a collection of formerly exotic technologies, with a variety of approaches to going fast. The race’s official web site explains, “The LM P1 class (Le Mans Prototype 1) welcomes machines at the leading edge of …