JHS18

80Th Running Of The Grand Prix D'endurance

332 posts in this topic


And some news that might interest Eric - apparently Muscle Milk will be coming to Le Mans next year with a HPD in 2013 and a Porsche the year after. Interesting if Porsche are so open to customers having their car straight away, if that's what it meant.

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Interesting fact: ACO rules state that teams are only allowed two engines per car for the whole week. If the #8 Toyota has another engine related problem, it will have to start from the pit lane and go a lap down. The rule was brought to stop teams increasing costs with qualifying engines.

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Starting to rain a little bit on the start finish straight. Also, the engine change on the #8 will take an hour to 90 minutes so will be ready for the start of qualifying.

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Audis move to complete the top 4 places, split by less than a second. I think Toyota's still yet to show their hand yet though, let's wait till qualifying before jumping to conclusions.

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Another improvement by Deltawing on a 3:50.567 to move up a spot to 33rd overall.

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Big damage to the rear of #51 after an off at Porsche Curves I believe.

Tom Kristensen takes the #2 to top spot with a 3.26.494 - still slower than the 3.25s we saw on test day.

Deltawing improves again 3:48.607 but remains thirty third.

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And ANOTHER improvement for the Deltawing, that's more like it, with a 3:45.933 to move to 30th overall.

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A change in GTE Pro as the #97 goes fastest in class on a 3:57.036.

Deltawing improves yet again with a 3:43.995 to move to 29th. It is now faster than 5 LMP2 cars.

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A change in LMP2 as well as the #44 goes quickest with a 3:40.969. Quite a few quick times coming in now.

Less than half an hour of the session remaining.

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Slight improvement for Kristensen as he sets a 3:26.310

.

Guess what? Deltawing. 3:43.576 and moves to 28th.

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You don't think Pickett Racing could possibly be the factory Porsche team in 2014? Doing Le Mans with their HPD in 2013 to get ready for the move over? They were hands down the best non-Audi team at the WEC race in Sebring, and I realize Toyota wasn't there and the ALMS cars are on slightly different rules, but they were so close to Audi at Sebring. Pickett fielded the very last Porsche RS Spyder, and that's how they ended up with the great driver lineup they've had. They've worked with Porsche drivers Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard, and Sascha Maassen, and I believe both Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr came as a result of Porsche (Volkswagen Audi Group; I know Luhr drove an Audi before). They may be a better choice than Penske because they solely focus on sports cars.

They have the performance, the results, the connections, and the drivers (you just replace Honda's Pagenaud with Porsche's Dumas) to be among the best candidates to field the works Porsche, I think, and with Porsche backing they could have the budget to do the WEC.

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Pleasantly surprised that the HPDs are only around 5 secs a lap slower than the Audis

Are they running the E-Trons for quali and the Ultras for the race? Between the two there does not seem to be too much time difference

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Maybe. But that's the first time I've heard of that being a possibility. Not saying they aren't qualified enough or whatever, but with all the focus on Penske etc recently, I guess that was quite a surprise.

Edited by JHS18

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Haven't heard on what Audi are doing really with strategy if I'm honest. It doesn't sound like they'll be chasing times too much tonight though - tomorrow has a better forecast and the track will be more rubbered in.

All I know is that if it rains, you'd have to say that the E-Trons hold the advantage. If it is dry - and in race conditions, the Ultras may have the edge.

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Andre Lotterer on what can only be described as a qualifying sim sets the times alight in the last few seconds of this practice session. 3:25.163 - faster than last year's qualifying time.

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Session is officially over. Audi show their hand early, but still, watch out for Toyotas in qualifying. It didn't seem they were going for times, as Radio Le Mans reports.

Qualifying starts in just under two hours.

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Maybe. But that's the first time I've heard of that being a possibility. Not saying they aren't qualified enough or whatever, but with all the focus on Penske etc recently, I guess that was quite a surprise.

I guess I've never been able to figure out if the Penske rumors all over the Internet were based on anything or just your usual wet dream speculative stuff. You know, sort of like when there was a rumor that there would be a United States-based F1 team and it was "I BET IT'S GANASSI, I BET IT'S PENSKE, I BET IT'S HENDRICK, I BET IT'S ANDRETTI" for a few months and it never was going to be anything more than Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor. I realize that's a bad example because Pickett Racing is an actual, established team but there's just always a huge tendency to associate big names like Penske with anything out of wishful thinking, so I never really could determine if Penske was actually interested and having conversations, or if it was just the usual "well it's a Porsche sports car so it has to be Penske!" stuff.

It will be interesting either way. Thanks for the updates.

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Two hours of qualifying starts in just a few moments time.

Same deal applies. PM me if you'd like a video stream. Commentary and live timing can be found at links I posted a while ago.

Some teams have said they're perhaps not going to chase times tonight, as the general belief is the track will be quicker and the weather better tomorrow, but still. At the end of this session we will have a provisional grid. So it is still exciting. :P

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Kristensen opens the session with a 3:26.536.

Everyone bedding themselves in fairly slowly so far. Just watch the times drop and drop as the night goes on.

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