- This topic is empty.
- June 8, 2008 at 8:53 pm #126402AnonymousGuest
This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans is this coming Saturday and it looks like a classic in the making! Coverage starts at 5:30am PST on SPEED and there is about 17 hours of total coverage. How many of you guys are into sports car racing???
For those of you that are or maybe those looking to get into it, here’s an overview of everything leading up to the race. The Le Mans 24 Hours is one of the worlds oldest and most prestigious sports car races. As the name suggests, it is a 24 hour race, and each team uses 3 drivers. Below is a everything you need to know to get involved in the action!
Radio Le Mans
If you don’t get SPEED TV, you can listen on Radio Le Mans (It’s FAR more exciting that it probably sounds). Just click the link below and then click “Listen Live”.
Last weekend was the official test day in which each team must “qualify” with 10 laps by each driver, just to make sure that everyone on your team is skilled enough to tackle the course. The times are meaningless though, and most teams just use the day to concentrate on race setup.
The one thing that makes sports car racing exciting compared to just about every other type of racing is that there are multiple classes (4 in this case) racing at the same time on the same track, and each class brings something distinctly different to the race.
There are 2 classes of cars called Le Mans Prototypes or LMPs broken into LMP1 and LMP2. These cars are extremely high tech, purpose built race cars which many people look at as “Formula 1 cars with bodies”
The LMP1s are the top class in the sport. They run at about 900kg, and have upwards of 600-700hp and will do about 210mph down the Mulsanne Straight. The most exciting part of LMP1 in recent years is the arrival of diesel powered race cars and an epic battle between Audi and Peugeot is expected. There are many other petrol powered LMP1s in the race as well and all are hoping for a great result, but they’re all being realistic and looking at themselves as more an “LMP1.5” class as hey just can’t compete with the factory diesels. For a full preview of the LMP1 class, click here.
LMP2s use the same formula as LMP1s, but they’re lighter (about 750kg), produce in the neighborhood of 500hp, and have slightly narrower tires. In the American Le Mans Series, the Porsche RS Spyder has dominated LMP2 for the past few years, but this is the first time they’ll be attempting the 24 Hours. Only a few of the other cars can match the Porsche’s pace, but will the Porsche have the reliability to get the job done? LMP2 has generally been a class where the cars have not been reliable an the winner would be whoever could last. Will that change this year? For a full preview of LMP2, click here.
Next up are the GT cars. These are radically modified versions of cars you and I see on the road. These are not just home-built track day cars though. They’re purpose built, highly developed race cars, built by the factory and are extremely complex race cars.
GT1 is the top class in this category and these are the “big” GT cars. These cars have an 1100kg wight limit and produce more than 600hp. Factory teams from Corvette and Aston Martin have been battling for several years now with Corvette leading the series 2-1 (and with 5 victories in the last 7 years), but Aston Martin is the current GT1 champion and they’ll be looking to retain their title this year. Look for the yellow Corvettes and Gulf blue Astons to mix it up in front all race long. There are 4 Corvettes, 4 Aston Martins, 1 Saleen S7R, and 1 Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT For a complete GT1 preview, click here.
Finally we come to GT2, the “slowest” class at Le Mans. These cars would still easily outperform just about any road going supercar on a track though. They’re a less technologically sophisticated than GT1s, only make 450-500hp, but weigh about the same. This year we’ll be seeing a continuation of the age old battle: Porsche v. Ferrari. Ferrari seems to have the edge as there are 7 430 GTs compared with just 3 911 GT3 RSRs, but Porsches have generally been better in the endurance races, whereas Ferrari has shined in the sprint races. There are also a couple of Spyker C8s, but they probably won’t find themselves at the front. Can Porsche manage to beat the onslaught of red Italians? Can Ferrari get over the 24 Hour hump? For a full GT2 preview, click here.
I hope this “short” post may have grabbed the interest of a forum member or 2 that may not have given Le Mans a shot before.
Hope everyone makes it up for the start! If I can pull myself away from the TV, I’ll be attending my very first CnC next week (I just moved to SoCal)! Look for me in my white 12 Hours of Sebring t-shirt and red Flying Lizard Motorsports hat!June 9, 2008 at 2:35 am #129850AnonymousGuest
Thanks for the great post with all of the information!! I can’t wait to see more diesel vs. diesel action!June 9, 2008 at 3:48 am #129851AnonymousGuestvwminispeedster;4044 wrote:Thanks for the great post with all of the information!! I can’t wait to see more diesel vs. diesel action!
I’m just really dissapointed at how incredibly lopsided the LMP1 diesel and petrol regulations are. On paper the cars should preform identically, but somewhere along the line, things went wrong because now the diesel cars are SO much faster, that the gas powered car have virtually no chance.June 9, 2008 at 3:58 am #129852AnonymousGuest
I’m most looking forward to Aston v. Corvette in GT1 and Porsche v. Ferrari in GT2.
This is most likely the last year that we have 2 GT classes, so this year could be an epic, historic battle between 2 amazing programs!
And the 2 American teams of Flying Lizard Motorsports and Risi Competizione will be taking the fight to each other in Porsches and Ferraris along with the rest of the best in the world!
Go Corvette Racing!! & Go Flying Lizard Motorsports!!June 9, 2008 at 7:24 am #129853AnonymousGuest
Great post man!
I love sports car racing. In fact the only reason I’ve been going to the Long Beach GP is to see the ALMS cars. For me its the Porsche RS Spyders in the prototypes and the Ferrari’s in the GT class. Le Mans should be great this year!June 9, 2008 at 9:13 am #129854AnonymousGuest
Great post WMUCarGuy :thumbup:
I’m happy to see you watch the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As everything the years I support the pescarolo team and Labre compétition team who run with Saleen S7R.June 9, 2008 at 9:49 pm #129855AnonymousGuest
I’m hoping to be able to pull myself away from the race to make it to my very first CnC, but I dunno if it’ll happen. CnC is every weekend, but Le Mans is only once a year!June 12, 2008 at 7:27 am #129856AnonymousGuest
Big crash to night for the Lola Mazda number 44, drive by Hideki Noda
[youtube]http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=yxm9PjVmgW4[/youtube]June 13, 2008 at 6:05 pm #129857AnonymousGuest
It’s a shame that the Mosler team is not allowed to race in the La Mans.
Guess the bigger car companies didn’t like a small company like Mosler winning and taking the spot light.June 13, 2008 at 7:22 pm #129858AnonymousGuest
Yes, I preferred to see mosler that peugeot (diesel:thumbdown:) at Le Mans. I shall also like seeing a Maserati MC12 corsa running at Le Mans.July 12, 2008 at 6:54 am #129859AnonymousGuest
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.