15/6/2012 - Poland & Ukraine or a motor race in France?
With wall-to-wall coverage of the Euro football, hours of F1 highlights and the never ending previews of the Olympics, you could be forgiven for missing the fact that this weekend marks the 80th running of a truly unique motorsport event. At 4pm on Saturday, outside a small town in France, The Le Mans 24-hours will get underway, with some of the world's biggest manufacturers and drivers competing to win the ultimate test of speed and reliability.
As in most motorsport genres, the technology and advances used on the sportscars often find themselves on road cars down the line. So it's interesting that for the first time in the history of the race a hybrid car will be starting from pole position. The hybrid in question is Audi's R18 e-tron Quattro which set a barnstorming lap on Thursday.
And this is far from being the only "different" car on the track. Toyota has its own petrol hybrid car for their return to La Sarthe after a long absence. Nissan has entered this year in a car so different that it's not officially classified - the astonishing looking delta car. It has skinny inbound front wheels, bizarre body shape and full width rear wheels. It looks more like a deranged batmobile than a sportscar. The whole concept is based around looking to reduce the resources required for the future of motoring; the car is designed to use half as much fuel and tyres of its rivals. However, as it only hit the road for the first time in March, the chances of the car finishing are slim, even making it as far as nighttime running will be an achievement. And you never know - if the idea proves itself, maybe all our cars will end up looking like a spaceship.
So after enjoying your takeaway and glass of wine on Saturday night, spare a thought for those mad souls thundering round the roads of La Sarthe who are not even halfway through their race. For me at Spoiler Towers it will make a nice change to have something to watch on TV instead of another blooming talent show!
Have a great weekend.
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