JHS18

80Th Running Of The Grand Prix D'endurance

332 posts in this topic


Audi is on pole with the #1. That much is certain. I'll try and get confirmation on the rest of the grid soon.

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It is an Audi lock out of the front row with #1 and #3 with Davidson's #8 third and #2 fourth, #7 fifth and #4 sixth. #21, #12, #13 and despite a crash, #17 round out the top ten.

Full confirmation of a run down of the complete grid soon.

Edited by JHS18

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Deltawing gets into the top 30 with 29th position.

A rest day tomorrow, before the serious stuff begins on Sautrday for the 80th running of the Grand Prix d'Endurance.

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Haha yeah, as I wrote a few days ago, there's some strange choices of "Am" drivers. What is Pedro Lamy doing in an Am car? What is Simonsen doing in an Am car? I think the rules need looking at, it doesn't make sense. :P

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As you'd expect from "rest" day, few more rumours about the future.

Firstly, this from another forum.

Diesel engines in LMP2 will be allowed a year earlier than planned, in 2013. At 'least one manufacturer' is about to make an announcement about supplying such engines next year.

Sounds like Skyactiv-D.

Whilst this may attract more manufacturers, I do have a problem with diesel. Firstly, the ACO STILL haven't hit the right balance in equality between petrol and diesel cars, something they've been trying to do since...ohh...2007? On the basis LMP2 probably has its most competitive field EVER this year, I don't want that to change next season because someone has a diesel.

Also - whilst diesels LMPs are incredibly technical and interesting from that side of things, you have to say that the engine note is really boring. Fans like engine noise. It is part of racing. Having 4 silent Audis this year is already overkill...no more!

No but seriously, I think the ACO should listen to F1 fans on this. Remember the whole fuss over what the new engines in F1 would sound like? It is the same here. I don't want noise at motorsport to become something of the past. tongue.png

Secondly, some Lotus news.

According to this article (which is in German but it is fairly easy to understand) - seems like there could be a full Lotus LMP1 car (and not just a rebranding exercise of existing teams) in the future. Seems like it'll start in LMP2 next year, before being "upgraded" to LMP1 for the year after. Where they have the money to do that...well, your guess is as good as mine.

http://www.motorspor...t_12061507.html

Translated article:

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.motorsport-total.com%2Fwec%2Fnews%2F2012%2F06%2FNeuer_Lotus-Prototyp_wird_in_Le_Mans_praesentiert_12061507.html

Edited by JHS18

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Additionally, a few more rumours:

People are still expecting a Honda announcement that will see their works entrance in LMP1. We'll see.

Sebastien Loeb - the most successful rally driver ever - is still being rumoured to be retiring from WRC at the end of this year. Why that's relevant? Well, if he does, it is highly likely that he'll make the switch to sportscar racing. He already owns a team that runs in ELMS, but has not been able to race the car himself due to WRC commitments/restraints from Citroen.

The guy is super talented and a class act. It'd certainly be interesting to see what he could to at Le Mans.

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Eh, I don't think you can formulate an opinion for the whole without asking.

I personally don't care at all if there is or isn't engine noise. I'm more likely to attend a Grand Prix with the quieter (though still loud turbocharged six cylinder engines; the engines they are running in IndyCar are turbo sixes, maybe they're a little bigger but revving lower, if I recall the F1 proposal) engines because quite frankly F1 in the city streets contained within buildings is way too loud for my tastes, even with ear protection. So opinions vary. ;)

In the case of F1, I figure there are F1 fans who are more exicted about seeing all new engines than they are disappointed by a very, very, very marginal decibel reduction (some people noticed it at the Indy 500 this year, but a lot of them also don't wear ear protection and are losing their hearing and probably thought it was a lot quieter than it really is :P). There are probably F1 fans who hate the idea of quieter engines but will still watch and attend anyway, just like F1 fans are with any other issue. And then there are probably F1 fans who hate the idea and will never watch again and while I'm not going to guess how many are in each of the three categories, I feel like the last one isn't too big.

If ACO are going to listen to fans, they should, of course, listen to their own, who may want entirely different things than F1 fans do, whatever it is that F1 fans want (we don't really know for sure). And in doing that, they may find that people don't like the diesel noise, or the diesel performance gap, but I personally think the diesels sound really cool. I'm just as impressed with how quiet the Audi is as I am with how loud the Corvette (or the Viper which just tested) is.

But that's just me. I also come from the ALMS where the rules were different and diesel and gasoline cars were very much equal (Porsche and Acura LMP2s beat Audi LMP1s all the time overall; hell the Intersport V10 AER won once, too).

Anyway, if it's a Mazda Skyactiv diesel...now it all makes sense, doesn't it? Patrick Dempsey wanted to take his team to Le Mans (and maybe the full WEC) next year. But he would only do it with Mazda. Now there's a Mazda LMP2 engine, and one that will probably be competitive. If they announce a Mazda LMP2 engine, diesel or otherwise, now you know one team that's going to be fielding it.

And one guy who is going to be supporting it. I love Mazda's racing teams. Probably because they get me an employee discount (invoice pricing) on new Mazdas that I have never purchased. But I did share it with a friend purchasing a new Mazda and saved him a thousand or two so there. :P

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I've been busy all morning, but here it is, race time.

The flag flies in less than ten minutes.

I have a video stream if anyone is interested. PM me if needed.

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Audi take control at the start after a few drops of rain early on. Toyotas fourth and fifth.

Early casulties? #16 Pescarolo and #21 HPD, both in the pits. Big battles between the #17, #22 and #15 and a massive battle on going in GTE Pro and Am.

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#17 Dome pushed back into the garage, whilst the #16 rejoins. A disastrous opening first hour for Pescarolo. Meanwhile, the slowest Audi #4 has been pushed into its garage with a problem as well.

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#3 Audi with an unscheduled stop now. Seems like a slow puncture.

Edited by JHS18

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End of hour one update:

Top five in LMP1 - #1 Audi, #2 Audi, #7 Toyota, #8 Toyota, #3 Audi.

Top five in LMP2 - #24, #46, #49, #35, #44.

Top five in GTE Pro - #51, #97, #74, #73, #71.

Top five in GTE Am - #79, #99, #81, #76, #67.

Deltawing 28th.

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Looks like the #16 may be the race's first official retirement. Still in its box with not much work going on.

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Some cars in problem in the respective GT classes. #80 car finds itslef in the gravel, whilst the #99 is pushed into its garage.

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