It's all about the quattro.
From the Auto Union race cars of the 1930s to the Le Mans prototypes of the 21st Century, Audi has a racing legacy many manufacturers would kill for. But their greatest contribution to the realm of automotive competition can be boiled down to one word: quattro.
Gotta give Audi credit, because their 2012 LMP1-class contender combines three technologies most car companies wouldn't squish together, even in the focus-group-free world of racing: all-wheel-drive, hybrid drive, and a turbodiesel engine. Hey, if this year's Le Mans car doesn't work out, they could always make one hell of an SUV out of the leftovers.
Blame a bunch of new vehicles we'll never see here.
The field at the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans will be a bit smaller this year, as Peugeot has announced they're shutting down their endurance racing program for the year.
Take a look behind the scenes of Europe's other 24 hour race.
Welcome to 2012, everyone! If you're anything like us, you've just dragged yourselves back to work after a luxuriously long holiday break. So why start working now? Instead, set your GChat to Away, close the office door and check out the first episode from our good friends at YouTube's DRIVE channel.
They support the arts. By which we mean ridiculous races.
We dig Mercedes-Benz. Not just because they're making some really dynamite cars these days, but because their PR team is cool enough to loan the organizers of the 24 Hours of LeMons race a C63 AMG Coupe for use as an official pace car.