Video: 24 Hours of Le Mans Night Qualifying
Watch the Audi R18
Spaceship E-Tron quattro set a blistering lap time at the hands of Mr. Le Mans himself, Tom Kristensen.
If you haven't noticed, we're a little excited about this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Mostly because, for the first time, the teams, manufacturers and race organizers are actually using this thing called the "internet" to connect with fans who can't be there. The coverage for 2012 will likely be more expansive than any 24 Hours of Le Mans before. If the Toyota TS030, starting in third, can match the Audi's pace, we could very well witness an epic battle for the podium while eating cereal in our boxers.
The Audi R-18 e-Tron quattro is no doubt quick. It qualifited on pole (the e-tron featured below qualified fourth) with a time of 3:23.78. It's easy to see how, based on the insane closing speeds. The e-Tron's regenerative braking system sounds like it was picked right out of a 70's science fiction movie. What's more bizarre is that it's almost quiet when it passes by the cameras. Kind of like a low-level stealth cruise missile.
The speed of the R18 e-Tron is a bit ambiguous until you see it out-brake, out-corner and then out-accelerate the Chevrolet C6 Corvette ZR1. The Corvette is no slouch either, it qualified third in GTE- Pro. Witness the difference in speed from the cockpit of the awesome sounding Corvette ZR1:
And since it's Friday, we'll gift you another on-board flying lap courtesy of the Signatech Oreca Nissan LMP2 . Here you can really see how all that speed affects the drivers. Towards the end of the lap, watch closely as the Nissan takes the Porsche Curves nearly flat out in fifth gear. Notice the g-forces slapping the driver's head around like a kitten playing with a ball of yarn. Pretty intense stuff.
See more of our coverage of the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans