I was going to give this a few days to let the dust to settle from Le Mans, but there's a lot to talk about.
A new beginning
Yesterday's race result was particularly historic. It was the first victory for a hybrid car at Le Mans. The ACO and FIA are known to be keen to encourage manufacturers to enter hybrid cars, with Honda admitting that such rules are very tempting. Toyota and Audi say that running sports cars is much more advantageous to running in Formula One currently, simply because it gives them the platform to develop new technologies, and that it is more relevant to their road car market.
Mazda announced on Saturday that they would be using diesel power in LMP2 from next year, with Dempsey Racing running a Skyactiv-D engine at Le Mans, and possibly the WEC too. The engine will be available to other teams as well.
Porsche have announced that their 2014 LMP1 will be petrol powered, but it is likely that they'll go down the route of Toyota and incorporate hybrid technology somehow.
You have to say that the future has arrived, and expect plenty more hybrid projects to be announced in the future.
The end for Lola?
2012 might be the last year we see Lola cars racing at Le Mans. As discussed in the Le Mans thread, Lola recently entered administration. Things haven't improved, with no buyer yet found, and nearly all employees have been laid off. Furthermore, as Rebellion Racing announced on Radio Le Mans - spares are starting to become few and far between. There's even been talk they may have to switch to a Dome chassis with one or both cars to see out the remainder of this year's WEC.
These are worrying times for Lola customer teams, not just in Europe, but further abroad as well. With a major rule change in 2014 effectively meaning the cars running now will become obsolete, time is rapidly coming to an end for Lola.
Garage 56 and Deltawing
Again, not totally sure how this will go. Been discussed about having a unique Deltawing thread, and no doubt if it ends up in ALMS, Eric will talk about it lots.
But it is fair to say after a difficult birth, Deltawing captured a lot of people's hearts this week. There's a quite extraordinary clip of Motoyama's attempts to fix the car after its crash on Saturday, and it is inspirational to say the least:
Whilst the future for the Deltawing is unclear at this stage, what we do know is that the Garage 56 rules did work. They captured people's attention. As we now know, next year's '56 car will be GreenGT - attempting to become the first ever electric/hydrogen powered, zero emission racer at Le Mans. Will it be as successful as Deltawing?
Edited by JHS18, 18 June 2012 - 06:26 PM.