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24 Hours of Le Mans paves the way for electric sports cars (Video)

Bakersfield racing fans may be bleary-eyed after the conclusion today of this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the premier endurance racing event in the world. Audi won the classic race for the fourth straight year utilizing the driving team of Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, and Loic Duvalin. Toyota’s entry driven by Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi, and Stephane Sarrazin was second, followed by another Audi, Toyota, and a third Audi in third, fourth, and fifth places, respectively.

The victory celebration was somewhat subdued because of the death of Danish driver Alan Simonsen shortly after the start of the race.
Nissan unveiled its experimental ZEOD race car Saturday, to be debuted at next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
Nissan unveiled its experimental ZEOD race car Saturday, to be debuted at next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
Photo credit:
Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Other than demonstrating the dominance of Audi and the pressure put on them by a surprising Toyota team, the race was noteworthy because the top five finishers all were hybrid vehicles, utilizing partial electric drive as a supplement to their diesel or gasoline fueled engines.

Also notable was the announcement yesterday of Nissan’s entry for next year’s race, the Nissan ZEOD RC (see video above). Nissan claimed that it is the fastest electric vehicle in the world and it bears a striking resemblance to the experimental Delta wing racer that debuted last year. The car will compete under the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) “Garage 56” entry – an additional spot on the starting grid for vehicles that showcase new and innovative technology.
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