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It started out as a simple question.  Who can drive the furthest in 24 Hours?  Taking place on mostly public roads and in all weather conditions, The 24 Hours of Le Mans will not only test a car's speed, handling, and technology, but it is also a true torture test on it's ability to simply hold together.

Headlights, windshield wipers, carbon disk brakes, low aero drag, and laser lights have all been invented here.

Follow me below the fold to see why The 24 Hours of Le Mans is truly the only auto race in the world that matters.

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Today the Supreme Court ruled that police need a warrant to bring a drug sniffing dog on a suspect's property to search for evidence.

http://news.yahoo.com/...

The ruling was 5-4 and take a look at this wacky split.

For freedom:

Antonin Scalia
Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Sonia Sotomayor
Elena Kagan

For the police state:

Chief Justice John Roberts
Justice Stephen Breyer
Justice Anthony Kennedy
Justice Samuel Alito

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The 12 Hours of Sebring is the oldest running Sports Car race in North America and this year is the 61st running.  Taking place in Sebring, Florida on an old army airfield base that hasn't been repaved since the 1950s, this track is known for it's extremely bumpy surface and is a true test of a car's reliability.  Many teams use the 12 Hours of Sebring as the ultimate test preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans as it is said that Sebring will break car parts that you never thought could be broken.  The old adage about Sebring is that it is half as long as The 24 Hours of Le Mans, but twice as hard.

Follow me below the fold for more.

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Hillary Clinton is set to endorse marriage equality.

Her circle has “indicated privately that she feels like … because of her role as the country's chief diplomat that it was appropriate for her to stay out of this,” one source said, adding that “she will end up with the rest of the clan.”

http://www.ontopmag.com/...

Could this be a signal she may run for President in 2016?

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The 24 Hours of Le Mans started out as a simple question.  Who could drive the farthest in 24 hours?

Mostly taking place on public highways, this monster 8.5 mile-long track tests not only the car's speed, handling, and technology, but also it's ability to stay together.  It takes place at all hours of the day and in all sorts of weather.  Only the front straight has outside lighting, while on the rest of the track drivers have to rely on their own headlights.  By the time the race is over, the winner will have traveled about 3200 miles, roughly the distance from New York City to London.

This is the track that until 1989 featured the Mulsanne Straight, a 4-mile long back-straight with speeds reaching 250mph on public roads.  This is the track where in 1955 a car flew into the stands in a fireball and killed over 80 people, almost ending auto racing forever.  This is the track where in 1999 the factory Mercedes lost it's downforce and launched itself high up off of the track, backfipping multiple times and disappearing into the trees.

Even with 2 chicanes on the Mulsanne Straight and massive engine restrictions to slow the cars down, drivers are still full throttle for 80% of the lap and top speeds reach over 200 mph on 5 different places on the racetrack.  Last year the top speed was 214mph.

Throughout the decades many factory companies have tried their hand at winning this great endurance race.  Porsche, Ford, Ferrari, Mercedes, Peugeot, Nissan, Jaguar, and Aston Martin have all been there, each coming up with innovative designs and technology to try to win. Today, the battle for the win is between Audi and Toyota and the technology being developed relates to green energy.

The factory-built Audi's are entering 4 cars this year.  Two of the cars are the Audi R18 Ultra, which runs on bio-diesel.  New for this year are 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattros, which is a hybrid version of the Audi R18 Ultras.  Energy under breaking is stored in the flywheel, which gives 500KJ of energy to the front wheels under acceleration by an electric motor, which gives the car four (quattro) wheel drive.  This is an advantage in lap traffic and in wet weather.

The factory-built Toyota is returning to Le Mans for their 1st factory effort since 1999. This year they are running 2 TS030 Hybrids.  Unlike the Audi, Toyota runs on normal petrol fuel and their hybrid system gives power to their rear wheels under acceleration.  This allows the Toyota to use hybrid power anywhere on the track (as long as they have energy stored) as opposed to the Audi which can only use their hybrid power after the heavy braking zones on the track.

New for this year is a car called the DeltaWing.  It received the 56th and last spot on the grid this year, which is reserved to a car that features new designs or technology.  The car only weights 1000lbs (half the weight of the other Prototypes) and only has 300 Horsepower.  It can go twice as far as the other cars on fuel and even though it has logged over 900 miles this weekend, it has not yet needed to change tires.

There are 5 different types of green energy being used as fuel for this race.  The American version of this series, the American Le Mans Series, is the only racing league officially recognized by the EPA, DOE and SAE as a green racing league.  

So don't let anyone tell you that we can't run cars on alternative fuels or technology.  These cars run for 24 hours at over 200 mph at 5 points on the race track and log over 3200 miles, proving that we can do it.  These cars are classified as SportsCars which means that they are just super-modified versions of the road cars in existence.  The technology and innovations from these cars eventually goes right into normal driving technology.

Schedule: Coverage on SPEED Channel

This Saturday (EST)

8:30am (race beings at 9am) to 1pm
2:30pm-7pm
7:30pm-9:30am Sunday (race ends at 9am)

For the 2 hours during the race, SPEED channel isn't showing it, go to speed.com and they will have live streaming.

Eurosport

Eurosport and Eurosport 2 will be showing the entire race live.  

2:30pm Saturday (France time) to 3:30pm Sunday (France Time)

Enjoy the race.  If anyone has questions or wants more pics, ask below and I'll answer!

Okay, now it's time for pictures!

At Night

Audi R18 Ultra

Audi R18 Ultra (left) Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro (right)

Toyota TS030 Hybrid

DeltaWing

Discuss

The 24 Hours of Le Mans started out as a simple question.  Who can go the furthest in 24 hours?

Mostly taking place on public highways, this monster 8.5 mile-long track tests not only the car's speed, handling, and technology, but also it's ability to stay together.  It takes place at all hours of the day and in all sorts of weather.  Only the front straight has outside lighting and on the rest of the track your only light comes from your headlights piercing through the darkness.  By the time the race is over, the winner will have traveled over 3200 miles, roughly the distance from New York City to London.

This is the track that until 1989 featured the Mulsanne Straight, a 4-mile long back-straight with speeds reaching 250mph on public roads.  This is the track where in 1955 a car flew into the stands in a fireball and killed over 80 people, almost ending auto racing forever.  This is the track where in 1999 the factory Mercedes lost it's downforce and launched itself high up off of the track, backfipping multiple times and disappearing into the trees.

Even with 2 chicanes on the Mulsanne Straight and massive engine restrictions to slow the cars down, drivers are still full throttle for 80% of the lap and top speeds reach over 210 mph on 4 places on the racetrack.  In 2008 they reached 225mph and last year they reached 220mph.

Throughout the decades many factory companies have tried their hand at winning this great endurance race.  Porsche, Ford, Ferrari, Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan, Jaguar, and Aston Martin have all been there, each coming up with innovative designs and technology to try to win.  Today, the battle for the win is between Audi and Peugeot and the technology being developed relates to green energy.

Both the Audi and the Peugeot are factory built turbo diesel cars that run on bio diesel.  In fact, there are 5 different types of green energy being used as fuel for this race.  The American version of this series, the American Le Mans Series, is the only racing league officially recognized by the EPA, DOE and SAE as a green racing league.  

Both the Audi and the Peugeot are really quiet cars.  You see, noise is wasted energy, so the quieter the engine, the more efficient it is.  You need all the efficiency you can get to last for 24 hours.  In fact, as the Audis and Peugeots go by, they sound like a "whoosh".  It is said that the cars are so quiet, that once they are in 3rd gear, the drivers have a hard time shifting, because the sound of the wind is louder than the engine.

Hybrid drive train systems are allowed under the new regulations, along with Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) that captures energy from the brakes and stores it in the flywheel.  Also, the Audi will be using LED headlights for the first time ever in this race.

So don't let anyone tell you that we can't run cars on alternative fuels.  These cars run for 24 hours at over 210 mph at 4 points on the race track and log over 3200 miles, proving that we can do it.  These cars are classified as SportsCars which means that they are just super-modified versions of the road cars in existence.  The technology and innovations from these cars eventually goes right into normal driving technology.

For US viewers, the race is on SPEED starting at 8:30am this Saturday(race begins at 9am).  SPEED is showing 17 hours of the race.  From 11pm (Saturday night) to the finish (9am Sunday morning) is uninterrupted coverage.
For Europe, the entire race will be on Eurosport and Eurosport2 from 8:30am Saturday to 9:30am Sunday (US EST time).

Enjoy the race.  If anyone has questions or wants more pics, ask below and I'll answer!

Okay, now it's time for pictures!

At Night.

Audi at Night.

Peugeot 908

Audi R18

Discuss

Early this morning, the Wisconsin Assembly passed the bill to take away the rights of workers to collective bargain.  

Democrats stalled for more than 60 hours, offering amendments and long speeches.  However in a matter of seconds, the Republicans halted debate and within a few seconds had passed the bill.  

I don't know the rules of the Wisconsin Assembly, put I personally would have waged at least a 3 day one man filibuster speaking until I literally passed out.    

Full story can be found here:  

http://news.yahoo.com/...

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