Ferrari and McLaren prepare to do battle off the track

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F1’s two most successful teams of the last four decades are squaring up to each other off the track as both reveal their latest top-of-the-range road cars.

Ferrari unveiled the LaFerrari (see video below) at the Geneva International Motor Show today. It will go up against the McLaren P1 (pictured) for the honor of being the ultimate hybrid supercar.

The LaFerrari – a curious choice of name which translates simply to ‘The Ferrari’ – boasts a 6.2-litre V12 engine whose 788hp output is enhanced by the addition of a hybrid engine, giving it a total of 950hp.

In contrast the P1’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 and hybrid motor produce a combined 903hp. Yet both companies claim their beasts will hit 217.5mph. “There is rarely any need to go fastest,” a McLaren spokesperson added drily.

Unlike the LaFerrari, the P1 can be driven solely in electric mode with a range of 12.4 miles at an average speed of 30mph. “More than enough for an owner to enter a city centre Zero Emissions Zone, have dinner and return home,” say McLaren. Jenson Button arrived at the launch of the team’s 2013 F1 contender in one, then the P1 silently reversed out of view.

Ferrari says an electric-only mode “would not fit the mission” of their car but admit they tested the technology: “a full-electric version of LaFerrari achieved just 220g/km of C02 emissions on the combined cycle”.

Both are keen to play up the F1 connections of their machines, referring to their hybrid engines as “Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems”. McLaren take it a step further, with “DRS”-like active aerodynamics and a launch control system dubbed IPAS (Instant Power Assist System).

Both cars reflect the traditions of the companies: Ferrari engine-led, McLaren technology-focused. Ferrari are yet to name their price, but don’t expect it to cost much less than the P1’s $1.3m price tag.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.



Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III