JHS18

80Th Running Of The Grand Prix D'endurance

332 posts in this topic

Doesn't Dempsey even have his own team know? Caught a bit of ALMS at Laguna and it seemed like he did. Could be certain I'd heard talk of him wanting to get an entry for next year.

Yeah, a lot of people who go to Le Mans really respect the place. I think that comes from the fact that you just can't turn up and race in the sense of a lot of other races in the world. The ACO have to accept your entrance and invite you to race. I always do look forward to even seeing the entry list to see who has been given a spot, who has missed out...you've done a good job even being there really.

I kind of agree. Night racing does have something very cool to it. Le Mans in the light is a bit enough challenge, but in the dark, I can't even imagine what it is like. But yeah, I get what you mean. Sometimes it is hard to really know what's going on just because of the glare from the car's headlights. :P

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Correct. Dempsey has owned a Grand-Am Mazda RX-8 team for years. This year, they are fielding an LMPC car full-time in ALMS and an LMP2 in various races. Dempsey drives the P2; he can't race the PC due to his insurance not allowing him to run open-cockpit cars.

They do want to go to Le Mans, but they are waiting to have a Mazda engine. That either means going to P1 or Mazda giving them a P2 engine. Not sure what the plans are fully. One rumor had them doing WEC next year.

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Should DeltaWing go the distance without significant problems, it is projected to do so with half the pit stops of the other runners. I think it's cool stuff. People forget that Le Mans is billed as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, and that Group C was regulated by fuel consumption rather than engine capacity (leading to the urban legend that the C stood for consumption, which it did not). I'm not saying racing should be fuel mileage (though I love fuel mileage races, and everyone always whines about them, but I think they are so much more dramatic than everyone having fuel to the end and the positions not changing at all...drivers on different strategies, that makes for exciting on-track racing to me), but this is a cool project and it's very much in the spirit of sports car racing and racing as a whole. I'm sure the first F1 cars with wings looked weird to people and the first sidepods were weird and all that. Change is cool, especially when change is taking racing back to the old school for a little while. I truly hope to see DeltaWing yield promising results for the future racecars.

And it's getting media attention in the U.S. Le Mans doesn't even register here, but science/tech magazines are featuring DeltaWing, car magazines are featuring DeltaWing, places like CNN and Yahoo have given it some attention...it's the most visible Le Mans car in the U.S. and it stole all the headlines the 2012 IndyCar could have made.

I think that's cool.

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U.S. TV coverage of Le Mans...I'm putting this here mostly for my own reference so I don't forget...but maybe some of the guests reading are Americans and will find it useful...probably not...so we'll just call it a vanity post on my part:

8:30 AM - 1:00 PM

2:30 PM - 7:00 PM

7:30 PM - ???

12:00 AM - 9:30 AM

That's actually a lot more than I was expecting.

For the masses:

SPEED's Le Mans section; it usually has great galleries and videos and articles. SPEED's a very underrated racing website. http://auto-racing.s...com/lemans-alms

And then there's this: http://stream.speedtv.com/corvette

I'm not sure what it is...but it looks like a stream...just what will be streamed there is beyond me.

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Should DeltaWing go the distance without significant problems, it is projected to do so with half the pit stops of the other runners. I think it's cool stuff. People forget that Le Mans is billed as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, and that Group C was regulated by fuel consumption rather than engine capacity (leading to the urban legend that the C stood for consumption, which it did not). I'm not saying racing should be fuel mileage (though I love fuel mileage races, and everyone always whines about them, but I think they are so much more dramatic than everyone having fuel to the end and the positions not changing at all...drivers on different strategies, that makes for exciting on-track racing to me), but this is a cool project and it's very much in the spirit of sports car racing and racing as a whole. I'm sure the first F1 cars with wings looked weird to people and the first sidepods were weird and all that. Change is cool, especially when change is taking racing back to the old school for a little while. I truly hope to see DeltaWing yield promising results for the future racecars.

And it's getting media attention in the U.S. Le Mans doesn't even register here, but science/tech magazines are featuring DeltaWing, car magazines are featuring DeltaWing, places like CNN and Yahoo have given it some attention...it's the most visible Le Mans car in the U.S. and it stole all the headlines the 2012 IndyCar could have made.

I think that's cool.

It's good to hear that. It's a cool project, and I think the ACO really need to be thanked for coming up with an initiative that will allow cars like this to race. Even if it is a failure and doesn't make it past 12 hours, in a way it doesn't really matter because it is about future technologies - and as we know, future technologies don't always work straight away. Considering that this was quite a late project and it hasn't had as much track time as a Audi or a Toyota, they've done a good job so far.

I think in future years, it'd be cool to have a few more cars racing under Garage 56 regulations, but I know that probably won't happen. Anyway, GreenGT - next year's 56 car does actually exist. I didn't realise that it had even been built yet.

upgreengeetee.jpg

Question for you - what do you think Deltawing's realistic future after Le Mans is? I've read somewhere that this could be its one and only race, but I'd find it strange if they've gone to all this effort only to race it once.

U.S. TV coverage of Le Mans...I'm putting this here mostly for my own reference so I don't forget...but maybe some of the guests reading are Americans and will find it useful...probably not...so we'll just call it a vanity post on my part:

8:30 AM - 1:00 PM

2:30 PM - 7:00 PM

7:30 PM - ???

12:00 AM - 9:30 AM

That's actually a lot more than I was expecting.

For the masses:

SPEED's Le Mans section; it usually has great galleries and videos and articles. SPEED's a very underrated racing website. http://auto-racing.s...com/lemans-alms

And then there's this: http://stream.speedtv.com/corvette

Isn't that a camera from within Corvette's garage? Can recall that being the case in years gone by. May also be an option to ride onboard with the Corvette cars.

Thanks for the information by the way.

As I mentioned some posts ago - scrutineering is taking place now. Yesterday was the first day of scrutineering and there's a nice gallery of what was going on - including team photos - here:

http://www.endurance...?page=1034&np=0

Another gallery here:

http://www.facebook....63622911&type=3

I like seeing the team photos every year. I also think it is really cool that members of the public, fans, can just get so close to the action. You wouldn't see that during scrutineering at a Formula One race for instance.

Edited by JHS18

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Hearing some more on the weather too.

60% chance of rain on Saturday, but it is likely to disappear by Sunday. A downpour to what was seen in the early stages of Le Mans 2001 could not be out of the question then:

With how big the circuit is, rain can then play chaos. Some places the track will be completely dry, other places very wet. Hopefully if it does rain, it doesn't rain too heavily that it means the Safety Car has to be brought out.

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DeltaWing's realistic future: Dr. Don Panoz wants a class of DeltaWings in ALMS next year. It isn't clear if it will be spec cars or not (since DeltaWing was supposed to be open source for variability). My only concern is that you'd have way too many classes. I wonder if you could give LMP2 teams the option to either merge into LMP1 (as they did a few years ago) or take the cheaper option and merge into LMPC (which is not impossible). Then you have LMP and LMP and can add in DeltaWing from there...

So I have no idea how it's going to work, but ALMS wants to continue with it. If you had enough of them, I honestly am not against phasing out LMP1 and leaving that to WEC and making DeltaWing the top class of ALMS...

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That could work. As you mentioned earlier, LMS (or ELMS as it is now) phased out LMP1 to be different to the WEC - but they're already struggling to get a big enough grid to complete the season with a mixture of P2, PC, GTE and GTC cars. So you could say that it hasn't worked.

Mind you, WEC very nearly didn't work this year either. Fun fact: WEC was Peugeot's idea. Audi was indifferent to it. Toyota didn't care. Peugeot told the ACO and FIA that they'd compete only if there was a "World Championship". Then guess what happened? Peugeot pulls out only a few weeks before the thing's supposed to start. FIA dictate that for a series to earn the "FIA World Championship" title that there has to be two or more manufacturers competing a full season. Toyota never intended to compete in a full season this year - but after a bit of persuasion by the ACO, they said they would. Basically, Toyota saved WEC from being a none event this year.

I hope Deltawing finds a home post Le Mans and isn't just retired to some rich person's collection like a lot of cars often are. But it is difficult with sportscars championships as they are now to see where it'd fit in.

Edited by JHS18

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Toyota didn't run the full season...they weren't at Sebring...the WEC is a lie. :P

It would be hard to get enough cars for an ALMS DeltaWing class to be relevant, while not so many that they're over-crowding places like Lime Rock and Long Beach. You also run into the same issue the ACO had...how fast do you let it go? The car will need half the pit stops of the LMPs, so if you let it go to its full potential, its likely winning every ALMS race overall. Are they comfortable with that? Are Dyson and Pickett comfortable with that?

If they merge the nine P1s and P2s back into LMP like the old days, keep LMPC, GT, and GTC, and add DeltaWing, they have a good series. Just what they let DeltaWing do is beyond me...do you let it run as a classified LMP, recognizing it is slower but more efficient? I think so, for ALMS' purposes, but at the same time, ALMS like to keep everything equalized and balanced and all so I don't know what they want to do.

At the end of the day, American sports car racing is just in a sad place. I wish ALMS and Grand-Am could start working together. There is no reason other than political ones that in the future you couldn't have a series with restricted LMP2s racing against sped up DPs and LMPCs (none of them are that far from each other) in one class, a class of LMGT, and a class of Daytona GT merged with GTC (same specification already). P1 and DeltaWing could fit in there if enough cars were floating around (right now, three P1s isn't enough, and it's only two at the endurance races, and the third one is technically illegal under ACO rules because it's Dyson's old car).

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Anyway, American sports car racing has nothing to do with Le Mans...

What's GreenGT's selling point? I'm can guess, based on the name, but I don't know anything about it and I think the 56 program is one of the coolest things there is.

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Haha I don't think Toyota ever considered doing Sebring anyway - I believe their original plan for this year was to test, run Le Mans with one or two cars, and then test some more for the rest of the season before a proper attack with two or three cars next year. But then Peugeot quit, and that sort of changed. I don't think anyone really knows what they're doing after Le Mans in terms of the other WEC races. They're possibly doing Silverstone, but that's as much as I've heard.

As for GreenGT - their aim is to be the first prototype electric/hydrogen powered race car - basically a 100% green, zero emissions racer. It is an interesting project, like Deltawing. I just find it funny they use the "GT" tag when it actually looks more like a prototype than anything else. But they have a website dedicate to the latest information on what they're working on. Hopefully they get it to be a success next year seeing as it is pretty likely that electric/hydrogen cars are the future of road cars, nevermind racing cars.

http://www.greengt.com/en/greengt-h2.php

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WEC footnote: I don't expect Sebring on the calendar next year. My understanding is that ALMS didn't really enjoy losing in their own race accommodating you guys.

I'll be using gasoline ("petrol") to the very, very, very end until the U.S. government declares my car illegal and offers to buy it from me. It's cheaper and it's proven. :P

Thanks for the info on GreenGT, James. Interesting project. It's good to see this stuff getting exposure at Le Mans. There are a lot of races in America that are very, very, very small and not talked about much that are really great with this kind of technology. We've run all-electric oval races, races where you get a seriously tiny amount of fuel and have to complete a certain distance, solar-powered racing cars, all sorts of racing car projects at our college campuses that then compete, etc. But none of that is talked about or covered or anything. This is getting off-topic, all my posts do, I'm sorry, but here's an example of some stuff that was way before its time and never went anywhere:

It's good for Le Mans and the ACO to be giving these projects a place to be and a place to generate legitimate attention.

So this race counts for WEC points, right? Is that a first, for Le Mans to be a championship event? I'm assuming it is scaled for a lot more in the championship (I know ALMS has a scale...races over 6 hours pay 30 to win, 4-6 hours pay 25, and under 4 hours pay 20).

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Funnily enough, there's a Grand Prix Electrique that has run at Pau (big F3 street race - kind of like Macau) for the past couple of years. But it didn't start brilliantly in 2011:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBPFgnCgkuY

My only complaint about hybrids, or electric powered cars, or whatever? There's no engine noise. Engine noise is an important in motorsport.

As for your question - yes, points are awarded at Le Mans, and yes, I believe it is the first time that's been the case. It is awarding double points as well. Points are identical to F1:

25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 and then half a point beyond 11th.

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Also, whilst this is not strictly relevant to this year's Le Mans (or even next) I thought I'd mention this.

There's speculation what team could run Porsche's car when they return in 2014. Audi's is run by Joest, Toyota's is run by Oreca.

The obvious candidate would be Penske. I remember hearing a comment Roger Penske made when running the RS Spyders in ALMS that they'd only do Le Mans if they had a chance of outright victory. With a brand new Porsche LMP1 car, that'd be possible. The other team being mentioned is Rebellion. With Lola's current financial problems and no indication that they'll be able to produce new Le Mans cars in the future - Lola teams could be forced to look elsewhere. Rebellion, the leading Lola team, could be a candidate to run the Porsches. They're financially secure and available. Or will one of Porsche's GT teams like Flying Lizard step up?

Something to keep an eye on.

Edited by JHS18

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Penske tried really hard to get an Audi R18 for ALMS. Wayne Taylor Racing (Grand-Am) did, too. Audi had no interest in running in North America. Point being: Penske still likes sports cars.

But does Penske like racing outside of the U.S.?

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Mind games have begun. Wurz said at scrutineering Toyota told him to back off on his flying lap on test day to stop "the Audi guys from crying."

Even in that jokey context I can believe it. But saying that, I'd be surprised if anyone's shown their hand yet, including Audi.

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Images like that are sort of a tradition for American machinery1 going off to France to battle other machines. Similar graphics were on a lot of American planes in WWII.

I think it's stupid but hey, whatever works for them. :P

1 Starworks prepared the car in the U.S., at least, even if it's a Honda designed by a British man and made from parts that originate in all sorts of places.

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A Starworks side story that you guys may already know:

Peter Baron's team used to be called SAMAX and ran in Grand-Am with Milka Duno. Their best result in that era was second in the 2007 Rolex 24, with drivers Patrick Carpentier, Darren Manning, and Ryan Dalziel, and rider Duno.

Anyway, he took SAMAX to IndyCar with Milka Duno in 2007 and that was just a huge train wreck. Duno switched teams and SAMAX carried on in Grand-Am for 2008. The car was driven by Dalziel and Henri Zogaib and won at Lagune Seca.

Henri Zogaib was, like a few in sports car racing's past have been, a con-man. He was funding the ride through his Ponzi scheme. Zogaib was promising that with the help of this made-up man, he would get a quick 38% profit on his investors' money and pay it back.

The team folded before 2009 when the money disappeared, and Zogaib was eventually arrested.

Peter Baron had invested $800,000 in Zogaib's scheme, believing it to be legitimate. Ryan Dalziel and his father invested $550,000. Zogaib also owed Baron $450,000 for team expenses that he never paid. Other drivers who were scammed included A.J. Allmendinger and J.C. France, who would later be arrested himself for drag racing on public roads while drunk while under the influence of cocaine while having drugs in his car. The charges were dropped on France because the France family essentially owns the city of Daytona.

Anyway, Baron and Dalziel lost their livelihoods in the scam, and you can take that either as "wow I feel bad for them" or "wow who would ever believe in some get rich quick scheme without ever meeting this iron ore magnate, isn't this all a big red flag, sounds like some people got a little too greedy for their own good" but however you see it, that's the backstory of Starworks, which joined Grand-Am in 2010 after SAMAX folded and didn't race in 2009 and has since had some success, winning at Mid-Ohio in Grand-Am last year and taking pole at the Rolex 24 this year.

Baron himself has a podium finish in class at Le Mans.

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I didn't know that actually, and that is a cool story.

There's some crooks in motorsport isn't there? It's a dodgy sport full of con-men! :P

No, I kid. I'm glad they got it sorted out and they're a welcome addition to the P2 grid. Tom Kimber-Smith is a solid driver, but to be honest, he's the only one of the three in that car that I know an awful lot about.

It's great that there are a lot of good stories on the grid. A lot of teams that have had to really fight to even get here. I guess that's why you see such scenes of emotion at Le Mans - like in that clip I posted a while ago. I've watched motorsport for many years, and the only race I've regularly seen such vivid emotions, from elation and victory to despair and frustration is Le Mans. Again, look at last year. Look at how much it means to Audi, but equally how much it meant to Peugeot to not win.

It's a great place.

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Also on an unrelated note - either my eyesight has been damaged after looking at them so long, but the fins on the prototypes don't appear to be that bad. They look worse on some than others, but mostly it is alright. Besides, you can't complain about looks if it has a genuine safety benefit.

But I still think (and I'm probably biased) that the best looking car of any is the 458. Man, I love that car. It looks how a racing car should look.

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Now you know why I made hundreds of posts about Indy. It's the same thing. Emotion is everywhere all month there. Cool stuff, hope to "feel" Le Mans this year. :thbup:

Ryan Dalziel (pronounced Dee-al) is a pretty solid driver, 30 years old, so pretty young. He won the pole for the Rolex 24 this year (he was in the car) and was the lead driver; quicker than his teammate Allan McNish, though he has more Daytona Prototype experience (including three wins). He then finished third overall (and LMP2 winner I believe) at Sebring with Enzo Potolicchio and Stéphane Sarrazin a few weeks later, so they're very capable. After that, he took an LMPC class win with CORE Autosport. So it's been a pretty successful year for him. Dalziel participated in Champ Car Atlantic (the support class to Champ Car) and finished second in that championship twice with a lot of race wins, before eventually moving to Champ Car in 2007. He was in a pretty shaky team and had a few top tens.

Enzo Potolicchio is competent. He's a pro-am driver, and there's nothing wrong with that. I think he comes from Ferrari Challenge-type stuff. He's older (43), but has been fine as Dalziel's number two in the past.

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It's good to here that. It's a cool project, and I think the ACO really need to be thanked for coming up with an initiative that will allow cars like this to race. Even if it is a failure and doesn't make it past 12 hours, in a way it doesn't really matter because it is about future technologies - and as we know, future technologies don't always work straight away. Considering that this was quite a late project and it hasn't had as much track time as a Audi or a Toyota, they've done a good job so far.

I think in future years, it'd be cool to have a few more cars racing under Garage 56 regulations, but I know that probably won't happen. Anyway, GreenGT - next year's 56 car does actually exist. I didn't realise that it had even been built yet.

upgreengeetee.jpg

Question for you - what do you think Deltawing's realistic future after Le Mans is? I've read somewhere that this could be its one and only race, but I'd find it strange if they've gone to all this effort only to race it once.

Isn't that a camera from within Corvette's garage? Can recall that being the case in years gone by. May also be an option to ride onboard with the Corvette cars.

Thanks for the information by the way.

As I mentioned some posts ago - scrutineering is taking place now. Yesterday was the first day of scrutineering and there's a nice gallery of what was going on - including team photos - here:

http://www.endurance...?page=1034&np=0

Another gallery here:

http://www.facebook....63622911&type=3

I like seeing the team photos every year. I also think it is really cool that members of the public, fans, can just get so close to the action. You wouldn't see that during scrutineering at a Formula One race for instance.

Holy toledo Batman - has that thing ever seen a wind tunnel? Do they know that large frontal area = slow?

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