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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A long-time supporter of endurance racing, the ACO and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Japanese DOME company has begun development of its latest generation prototype, the S103.

The car, a scale version of which is shown here, will be built in compliance to 2014 regulations and will be for both the LMP1 and LMP2 categories. The basic layout and CFD analysis have been completed, and DOME is now undertaking a substantial wind tunnel test programme before releasing images of the car’s final form.

Since the car is being built to spec and all cars look just about the same, it isn't too hard to figure this is what the cars will look like.
 

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A long-time supporter of endurance racing, the ACO and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Japanese DOME company has begun development of its latest generation prototype, the S103.

The car, a scale version of which is shown here, will be built in compliance to 2014 regulations and will be for both the LMP1 and LMP2 categories. The basic layout and CFD analysis have been completed, and DOME is now undertaking a substantial wind tunnel test programme before releasing images of the car’s final form.

Since the car is being built to spec and all cars look just about the same, it isn't too hard to figure this is what the cars will look like.
Love the Jaguar D-Type Fin on the back.... :)
 

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I am sure the roll-over fin will remain on all LMP cars for the foreseeable future, but the model doesn't have the fender cutouts over the wheels like current cars--has that been abandoned?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am sure the roll-over fin will remain on all LMP cars for the foreseeable future, but the model doesn't have the fender cutouts over the wheels like current cars--has that been abandoned?
This car was built from spec book, I'm not sure about cut outs, but all will have a canopy, LMP 1 and 2 classes. Since this car is now going to be subjected to the wind tunnel, the cut outs might appear for final shape. Nonetheless, this is what Porsche's and Audi's effort will look like, with very minor variances.
 

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I'm a big fan of LeMans Prototypes, and so I don't understand why all the regulations? There have been lots of periods when particular cars dominated series (Audi Quattro and the SCCA, Nissan and the IMSA, and I've probably left out the real notable ones...) and every time the regulations are used to "even the playing field." Yet I recall those particular periods as very memorable. It wasn't a matter of IF those cars would win, but by HOW MUCH, and in what style? Close racing is fun, sure--and who can even remember the period in F1 when Schumacher won every friggin race by a lap or more...boring? So I understand the role regulations play in series, but can't we have one "no holds barred" series? And why not let it be LeMans? Rant: off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just read the 2014 addendum to the LMP rules, I don't see anything about cut outs being removed, so maybe it's not shown until aerodynamics are completed.
 

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New fan here, so pardon the questions. Porsche is not currently running LMP cars, correct? If so, how long have they been out and are they planning to get in again?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
New fan here, so pardon the questions. Porsche is not currently running LMP cars, correct? If so, how long have they been out and are they planning to get in again?

Thanks.
Porsche will start their LMP program next year (LMP1.)

"Porsche dropped its factory motorsports program after winning the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Porsche 911 GT1 for financial reasons, facing factory competition from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and others. An LMP1 prototype with a V10 engine, intended to be entered in 2000, was abandoned unraced due to an agreement with Audi, a related company led by Porsche co-owner Ferdinand Piech. The V10 was used in the Porsche Carrera GT instead, while Audi dominated Le Mans after BMW, Mercedes and Toyota moved to F1.

Porsche made a comeback in the LMP2 category in 2005 with the new RS Spyder prototype, although this was run by closely associated customer teams rather than by the works. This was not welcomed very much, as rule makers intend the LMP1 category for factory entries, while the LMP2 should be reserved for privateers. Based on LMP2 regulations, the RS Spyder made its debut for Roger Penske's team at Laguna Seca during the final race of the 2005 American Le Mans Series season, and immediately garnered a class win in the LMP2 class and finishing 5th overall. The nimble albeit less powerful (due to the regulations) RS Spyder clearly possessed the pace to challenge Audi and Lola LMP1 cars in the ALMS.

Penske Racing won the LMP2 championship on its first full season in 2006 and against Acura in 2007 and 2008. 2007 was the most successful year for the RS Spyder, winning 8 overall races and 11 class wins while the Audi R10 from the larger LMP1 class won only 4 overall victories.

The car debuted on European circuits in 2008 and dominated the Le Mans Series; Van Merksteijn Motorsport, Team Essex and Horag Racing taking the first three places in the LMP2 championship. Van Merksteijn Motorsport took a class victory at the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans and Team Essex won the LMP2 class at the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Daytona Prototype Action Express Racing Riley-Porsche won the 2010 24 Hours of Daytona. This was unusual since the Riley-Porsche was powered by a Porsche Cayenne SUV based 5.0-litre V8. Porsche refused to develop the V8 for Grand-Am competition and was, instead, built by the Texas-based Lozano Brothers. Since it was not officially sanctioned by Porsche, the company will not technically claim the win."

There it is in a nutshell .
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm a big fan of LeMans Prototypes, and so I don't understand why all the regulations? There have been lots of periods when particular cars dominated series (Audi Quattro and the SCCA, Nissan and the IMSA, and I've probably left out the real notable ones...) and every time the regulations are used to "even the playing field." Yet I recall those particular periods as very memorable. It wasn't a matter of IF those cars would win, but by HOW MUCH, and in what style? Close racing is fun, sure--and who can even remember the period in F1 when Schumacher won every friggin race by a lap or more...boring? So I understand the role regulations play in series, but can't we have one "no holds barred" series? And why not let it be LeMans? Rant: off.
One disturbing trend I'm seeing in racing in general, is the greening of the sport, to ridiculous levels. To begin with the footprint created by racing is inconsequential compared to just about any automotive endeavor, from urban traffic to farming......so just to do it to be "relevant" and politically correct is asinine, in my opinion it's hobbling the sport. Can-Am used to be pretty much THE no-holds barred series. Formula One is becoming a social experiment.
 

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For a fan of LMP the website Mulsannes Corner is the best. From there I discovered that the cutouts (known in the paddock as Big Honking Holes -BHH) can now be vertical or horizontal. The ones mandated last year were the horizontal ones, above each wheel. The alternative ones are inside the fenders at the wheels. There's a photo of one of the vertical ones on the website.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the site.....so much info, don't know where to start!
 

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Porsche will start their LMP program next year (LMP1.)

"Porsche dropped its factory motorsports program after winning the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans ..."

There it is in a nutshell .
So then, this is a big deal for Porsche next. Will be interesting to watch.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I want to see how Audi and Porsche are going to deal with each other, on and off the track and how VWG is going to deal with this.
 

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I certainly hope there will be a strong and healthy rivalry between Porsche and Audi. Dr Ullrich has been so influential in making Audi Racing dominant, but in a positive and admirable "technical superiority" way. I can imagine Audi maintaining the Teutonic rigor while Porsche takes a little more "loose and adaptive" approach even if that sounds like an oxymoron for a German racing team...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
" Porsche's World Endurance Championship (WEC) program is on track to produce an LMP1 prototype racer in time for the 2014 season, but its 991 RSR program has suffered a major setback: Thomas Laudenbach, head of power train at Porsche, was seen at Sebring wearing AUDI team gear. Laudenbach has been recruited to head ups AUDI'S hybrid and electronics department under the direction of Ulrich Baretzky, designer of all of AUDI'S Le Mans winning engines in the 21st century, gasoline and diesel. At Porsche, Laudenbach was responsible for development of the 3.4 liter, direct injection V8 that powered the RS Spyder to considerable success in the American LeMans Series, '"We had to put considerable efforts into the development of the direct fuel-injection unit in order to significantly improve performance and efficiency,"' said Laudenbach at the time. Now, still lacking direct injection , the latest 991-based RSR may be at a disadvantage against Ferrari's 458 Italia. The latter has direct injection and superior fuel economy- so superior, in fact, that IT CAN GET THROUGH A SIX-HOUR RACE ON FOUR STOPS, WHICH THE PORSCHE CANNOT. News of Laudenbach's switch to the AUDI camp will have been greeted with dismay at Weissach."

The writer of the above quote is the European Editor for Panorama, Michael Cotton.

Audi apparently can cannibalise Porsche's man with experience without a problem. I still stand by my opinion, AUDI Motorsport is the premier racing arm of The Volkswagen Group, Porsche has a long way to go to reclaim that title and the 991 as it stands now, is not the answer. And if AUDI is allowed to rifle through Porsche personnel, who knows what the outcome of that program will be like."

I posted this on another thread, but I think its relevant here.

"It is returning to the 24 hours of Le Mans race next year and building "experience" centers in Shanghai, Atlanta and Los Angeles aimed at cultivating sports-car aficionados with on- and off-road test tracks and driving courses. It also has stepped up Porsche roadshow events." WSJ report on Porsche's fading racing history and it's impact on current model line up.
 

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Wow, this is sad news indeed. (PS, I hope it's OK for us to keep talking via this thread, but I'd like to see more LMP discussion, both current and historic.)
I read the WSJ article, and while there are many facets to the current situation (997 programs no longer supported, 991 program uncompetitive, VW ownership, increase in GT orientation for street cars, etc.) it would be DARN shame if Porsche were to slowly disappear from the race tracks of the world. Their dominance of LM style racing is the stuff of legends, and I have missed them in recent years, although I am a great fan of the Audi LM effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Agreed, I'm hopeful for the 2014 campaign, I'm very concerned about the leeway Audi is enjoying. I looked deeply into VWG hierarchy, it's a mish mash of former Porsche execs, Porsche family members, there's a lot of competition amongst them, Piech is 75 he's not going to be viable for too long, his wife is already embedded in the Group. An SA in my local Porsche dealership told me that family is always at each other's throats. If Piech is favoring Audi over Porsche there's going to be conflicts, it alarmed me when I heard of Audi dipping into Porsche personnel, specially program specific leaders, with no protests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Reading through Mulsanne's Corner news, I found this very interesting bit:


10.24.12

"A little blurb came my way today that came via an attendee of the London Institute of Mechanical Engineers technical lecture series recently presented by Mr. Ulrich Baretzky. During the lecture Mr. Baretzky elaborated a bit on the relationship between Audi and Porsche and specifically about what to expect regarding the 2014 LMP season. Many believe, me included, that with Porsche's entrance Audi would bow out before the start of the 2014 season. Not so says Baretzky, and my source indicated that according to Baretzky, "Piech wants Audi to continue doing what they are doing in LMP1 with diesel technology as 70% of Audis and VWs sold are with Diesel engines. And he wants Porsche to compete in LMP1 with gasoline technology in order to show-case gasoline engine technology to the world." Yes I know, this isn't an official announcement from Audi. But you gotta think Baretzky isn't going to be making public statements as such without the approval of Volkswagen Audi Group..."

Baretzky is the gentleman who oversees Audi Motorsport engine designs and development, he also brought in Porsche's top engine guy for the LMP 1 effort Thomas Laudenbach, into the Audi fold.

http://www.mulsannescorner.com/newssept12.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So Audi diesel......and Porsche gasoline. Interesting, and it makes sense. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was just reading a bit into Ferdinand Piech's biography, though related to F. Porsche, Piech is more Piech than Porsche, here are few points that shows why the VWG has been so successful:

Piëch was born in Vienna, Austria, to Louise (née Porsche; Ferdinand's daughter) and Anton Piëch, a lawyer.

"From 1963 to 1971, he worked at Porsche in Stuttgart, on the development of the Porsche 906 and following models that led to the successful Porsche 917."

"Always thinking big, Piëch started development of a 16-cylinder engine for the Can-Am series. It is probably no coincidence that his grandfather had developed a famous supercharged 16-cylinder engine for the Auto Union racing cars in the 1930s. Piëch was denied the chance to complete it, as a turbocharged version of the existing 12-cylinder was simpler, more powerful and very successful. Three decades later as CEO of Volkswagen Group, Piëch insisted on the very ambitious Bugatti Veyron, with a turbocharged W16-cylinder, 1,001 horsepower (746 kW) and 407 km/h (253 mph) top speed."

"Piëch held a small engineering company in the time between leaving Porsche AG and joining Audi, and while there, he developed a 5 cylinder in-line diesel engine for Mercedes-Benz. He picked up the concept again after moving to Audi, because there was a market demand for engines with more than 4 cylinders. At the time, Audi (and the Audi-derived VW Passat/Santana model range) used longitudinally mounted inline engines and front wheel drive. More conservative layouts with 6 cylinders were rejected because of engineering and production costs (V6 engine) or packaging requirements (straight 6 did not fit because front wheel drive required that it be mounted in front of the axis)."

"In 1993, Piëch moved to Volkswagen AG, parent company of the Volkswagen Group, where he became Chairman of the Board of Management, succeeding Carl Hahn. At that time Volkswagen was only 3 months away from becoming bankrupt, and he was central to orchestrating its dramatic turnaround. He retired from the Board of Management in 2002, but as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, he still serves in an advisory capacity."


This is important, it shows why Audi is preeminent in racing:


"Piech owns a significant share of Porsche, exactly 10%. In order to prevent discussions among the many family members, a policy was established in early 1972 that no Porsche family member is allowed to be involved in the management of the company. Even company founder Ferry Porsche, Piëch's uncle, only held a seat on the supervisory board of Porsche after the company's legal form was changed from a limited partnership to a private legal company. This made Piëch move to Audi after the foundation of his engineering bureau."

"Piëch has fathered 12 children with four different women, and is currently married to Ursula (Uschi) Piëch. He is dyslexic, an atheist, and has a vast car collection that includes two Bugatti Veyrons that are regularly driven by him and his wife. An aggressive and demanding manager, Piëch's prolific firing of subordinates throughout his career has been legendary in automotive circles, particularly how he engineered the ousting of former Volkswagen CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder and Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking. According to Piëch, he fires any subordinate who "makes the same mistake twice"

In my opinion and this is just an observation, Piech's ego is tied to VW/Audi, not
Porsche, he didn't stay long at Porsche, his pet projects never materialized, as soon as he leaves Porsche he revitalizes VW the parent of Audi, he singlehandedly is credited with turning VWG in the powerhouse that it is today. Piech has no lost love for Porsche, he's been an Audi man most of his career, what he couldn't do in Porsche AG he was free to do at VWG, through brilliant management VWG owns two of the most exotic and expensive car brands in the world, after acquiring his grandfather's car company his career path became a circle, no doubt he thumbs his nose at his former family members with the right last name, at the end he controls the name and the legacy his grandfather left the automotive world, how he treats said legacy will indirectly affect us as Porsche customers and devotees. Porsche is in flux now, just a division whose master might not care for its racing success, after all he's an Audi man at heart.

To me, the LMP effort will be an indicator as to how strong Porsche is within the conglomerate.
Porsche has been so careless with its racing heritage, that now it's resorting to circus like experience to "cultivate" sports cars aficionados, it's sad, hopefully the chickens haven't come home to roost, perhaps Piech might find a soft spot in his heart for his grandfather's namesake.
 
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