The 79Th Running Of The Grand Prix Of Endurance
Posted 05 May 2011 - 11:04 AM
There's a lot of interest around the race this year, lots of new cars. Both Audi and Peugeot have brand new cars, although in the case of Peugeot, you wouldn't really know looking at it. It seems the Audi has the edge at the moment and it'll be fascinating to see how these two big rivals go.
Hopefully the diesels won't have too big an advantage, but there's a lot of interest for the petrol cars too.
Aston Martin have a brand new car too, the first genuine Aston Martin Le Mans car we've seen for many years, however, the car has proved unreliable so far, and it is unlikely they'll be challenging for victory. There's a great feel good story too, with Henri Pescarolo's team making a welcome return to the series, whilst the Rebellion team with Toyota engines continue to go from strength to strength.
Elsewhere, the GT class looks like it'll be tightly fought as ever, with the Ferrari 458 making it's debut. There's a great level of diversity in the class as well, with the much improved BMWs, new Lotus Evora GTE, Aston Martin Vantage in the hands of Le Mans rookies, Jota, as well as the regular Corvettes and Porsches.
Here's the entry list for Le Mans.
Oh, and it is also the ILMC race at Spa this weekend, with most teams who will be racing at Le Mans present, so it'll be sort of a LM dress rehearsal. Interestingly, Aston Martin WON'T be there, so where that leaves there double car Le Mans entry, I have no idea.
Posted 05 May 2011 - 09:49 PM
In all seriousness, I'm hoping for a good race. The only Le Mans-style race televised in the U.S., and to be honest, the only one that needs to be with ALMS being highly unlikely to see 2012 thanks to Atherton whoring the series out to the ACO. Nice one, Scott.
But rant aside, I would love to see a non-Audi, non-Peugeot team win, as unlikely as that is with both bringing so many cars. But it happened at Sebring (sort of), and a car as ugly as the Audi R18 shouldn't be allowed to win.
Glad to see Pagenaud in a Peugeot again. He's damn good, though he won't win; Bourdais, quick as he can be, just can't win Le Mans, whether it's his own fault or someone else's or no one's.
Highcroft? For real? They don't even run ALMS anymore, and failed to get an Indy 500 program together. I'm a big fan of that team, and David Brabham, but tell me when the car's out on the circuit...
Interesting lineup in the 009, particularly Fernández. I wouldn't mind a win from them, though it seems that's not going to be likely.
Level 5 only entering one car? But but but but how will Scott Tucker score double points and win the drivers' championship by default if he only has one car to drive?
Massive in the direction of Robert Kauffman and Michael Waltrip. What an embarrassment. And Bobby Labonte tested with AF Corse; they should run him instead of those clowns.
WHERE IS PATRICK LONG. There's a #80 with Jörg Bergmeister that he belongs in.
Explain GTE to me. I don't get it. Is it GT3?
Posted 06 May 2011 - 10:52 AM
"...Bourdais, quick as he can be, just can't win Le Mans, whether it's his own fault or someone else's or no one's."
I agree with this as well but putting the statement into print now vastly improves his odds.
Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:13 PM
No, it's still GT2.
Basically, last year the ACO announced that there wouldn't be a GT1 class this year, so they've split GT2 in to two classes and renamed it "GTE".
You have GTE Pro class for the full time racing drivers, the factory drivers, etc, then you have GTE Am, which is basically for gentlemen drivers. It's also the class for older cars like the 430, whereas the 458 is in the Pro class.
Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:30 PM
Looks like Peugeot are in a decent position for Le Mans, then...
Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:00 PM
They were genuinely competitive at Sebring against an assortment of factory and private diesels, but without any sponsorship, that was the end of the line.
There will be no LMPs, no Indy, none of that. Team's done and it's no surprise they won't be at Le Mans, even if it is disappointing.
Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:31 PM
Posted 07 June 2011 - 10:14 PM
The on track action starts tomorrow for first practice at 14:00 (UK time) with qualifying at 21:00. There should be a live video stream for qualifying, so I'll post it if I can find one. Oh, and use www.radiolemans.com to listen to all the coverage. Fantastic commentary, and the only place I go.
Posted 07 June 2011 - 10:26 PM
The race is this weekend?
Can't they schedule it around my schedule next time?
Posted 07 June 2011 - 10:44 PM
Well, the race is 24 hours long, so you have no excuse not to see any of it!
Posted 07 June 2011 - 11:07 PM
Let's see...SPEED's coverage on Saturday goes 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM to 8:00 PM, 11:00 PM to NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, and resumes 6:00 AM to finish. I'll be around for none of that.
Could have sworn it was next weekend...and I'm recording the Texas Indy races so my loss.
Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:15 AM
Anyway, here is a spotter's guide for you. Some pretty nice liveries out there this year.
Weather report - it looks uncertain. Saturday should be dry, but there could be a high chance of rain for Sunday.
I'll post again to let you know when practice is due to start.
Posted 08 June 2011 - 01:35 PM
Posted 08 June 2011 - 01:47 PM
Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:09 PM
I guess of the legitimate contenders in P1 I'd prefer the 3 over the other Audis and the 7 over the other Peugeots. Tiago Monteiro's always a favorite of mine, but I don't know anything about his teammates or his team. Fernández/Primat isn't bad, Meyrick is more like Mehrick to me, and the Aston couldn't be uglier...well, I guess if it were an Audi Rwhatever, but...
I have no one in P2.
A few in GT. 56 has three drivers I like, 80 has Patrick Long, and 89 has Leh Keen.
GT-Am has just one, and needs just one: 68. No questions there.
Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:23 PM
Anyway, as for my favourites? Rebellion Racing in P1, Signatech in P2 (Ordonez is really cool, came from the GT5 Academy thing) and of course, all the Ferrari teams in GT, but particularly AF Corse and the #51.
Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:41 PM
The only live video I can find at the moment is of a camera within the Corvette garage, but that's not particularly exciting.
Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:50 PM
The top seven are now split by just over 2 seconds, the Oreca Peugeot #10 back on top. They may have the older spec Peugeot, but they could be one to watch as they were at Sebring.
Edited by JHS, 08 June 2011 - 02:52 PM.
Posted 08 June 2011 - 03:09 PM
In P2 it's very close, just 0.102 splitting the Oreca car from the Signatech Nissan. The Greaves Motorsport Zytek is in third, just 2 seconds off the pace.
In GT Pro, it is typical GT close action, with the top 9 split by little over 2 seconds. It's a BMW one two, the #55 leading the #56, with the #77 Porsche and two Corvettes behind. The 458s let to show their full pace? They dominated Le Mans test day.
In GT Am, it's incredibly close. Just 0.041 of a second between the leading Aston Martin V8 Vantage over the Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche. Everyone else with a bit of work to do.
Obviously a long way to go, not just in this first session, but also over the week. Obviously don't expect a lot of teams to show their full hand just yet.
Posted 08 June 2011 - 03:26 PM
Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:13 PM
Here's how things are in the different classes.
#1 Audi 3:27.986
#2 Audi +0.310
#9 Peugeot +0.550
#7 Peugeot +0.706
#3 Audi +0.735
#8 Peugeot +1.103
#10 Peugeot +2.110
#42 Strakka HPD 3:42.863
#48 Oreca +0.432
#26 Signatech Nissan +0.534
#55 BMW 3:59.028
#56 BMW +0.386
#74 Corvette +1.439
#60 Aston 4:04.702
#81 Porsche +1.564
#57 Ferrari +1.626
Radio Le Mans Qualifying coverage is listed at beginning at 21:00 UK time, so I'll let you know when it is going to start.
Edited by JHS, 08 June 2011 - 06:13 PM.
Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:18 PM
The only clue out there is that it may be at the ACO presser tomorrow, and it may be the DeltaWing (former IndyCar concept...now with a closed roof, revised bodywork, and headlights) going Le Mans racing in the near future...
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