The irony that the speed camera sign near my house has been hit by a car, brilliant!
The Le Mans 2014 race looks set to be quite a battle, Porsche vs Audi vs Toyota and new rules hopefully levelling the LMP1 field.
Audi will no doubt remain the favourites due to their staggering success in recent years but the challenge from Porsche and Toyota should not be over looked, Porsche inparticular.
Porsche has quite a history at Le Mans and I suspect with Audi getting closer to Porsches 16 overall wins Stuttgart decided it was time to re-enter to most prestigious endurance race of them all.
I am intrigued to see how the Porsche 919 compares to the Audi and Toyotas pace, it is Porsches first trip out for some time, 1998 was the last factory outing which was won by the factory 911 GT1 ’98. The Porsche is using a V4 turbo engine which is quite unusual, Audi will stick with their trusted 3.7 V6 TDI and Toyota will use their 3.4 V8, all three engines will be supplemented heavily by hybrid electric power too.
I was initially concerned that the V4 would not be audibly the best, but the video below shows that it does sound good, its no flat 6 or V8 but I accept that Porsche thinks reading the rules means this engine gives them the best chance.
The driver line up is strong, Le Mans winners are included in the pool of Porsche factory drivers as well as the star attraction that is Mark Webber (who has not race at Le Mans since is spectacular accident in the ill fated Mercedes CLR in 1999). Seeing Porsche push so much resource into this years race reminds me of their previous wins, below are the 16 Porsche winning cars from the 917 in 1970 to the 911 GT1 in 1998.
To quote a Porsche head of Motorsport in 1981 (Professor Bott) before the 956 program for Le Mans, “we have never done this before, but we have never been wrong before”… roll on June.
I love these, $160 a piece is too rich for me but if I had the cash I would have a few.
Linear Edge well done, https://linearedge.com/products-page/sculptures/
This is simply brilliant.
It shows so many interesting comparisons between many iconic circuits, the length of all the straights at Le Mans, the size of the Isle of Mann TT course…
These are pictures that I saw on Bridge to Gantry (excellent website for any Nurburgring enthusiast), the difference from 1967 to today is unbelievable yet it is unmistakably the same track.
The hedge lined track and lack of trees compared to now looks, well, mental!!
I am of course glad the track was transformed to the circuit we all know and love but the old track certainly looks exciting, pretty much like driving the worlds best B road. This is how the Ring is known by many anyway, but in the ’67 state it could not have been closer…
In 1987 and 1988 a little known French team called WM entered Le Mans with no intention of winning, their sole intention was to break the 400kph barrier on the Mulsanne straight.
The team was set up by two Peugeot engineers and although it was not a factory team they did enjoy a huge amount of help from Peugeot especially with engines and access to aerodynamics development.
In 1987 the car used a 2.8 V6 twin turbo with 850bhp, the cars performance in 1987 was below par due to poor fuel quality from the paddock pumps, many teams suffered serious engine issues at this Le Mans for this reason, even the factory Rothmans Porsches were crippled other than their winning car (classic Porsche). The car did manage 380kph but this was some way off the 415kph the car had managed in testing.
1988, the car was tweeked from the ’87 car, now 3.0 litres and 900bhp and other subtle aero enhancements. The car suffered early difficulties but after a very lengthy pitstop (3hrs!) the car returned to the track and did what it was built to do. After a number of laps the car managed 405kph (252mph) before it predictably retired with overheating issues. There were rumours that the lengthy pit stop consisted of a repair, blanking off cooling ducts and pushing the boost up to the limit hence the over heating, either way it achieved its goal.
The team did return in 1989 with a pair of cars but were hampered by technical problems, neither of the cars managed any kind of decent run. The winning Sauber Mercedes managed 401kph in qualifying, this showed that speeds on the Mulsanne were getting very high indeed and due to safety concerns the Mulsanne for 1990 was to have a pair of chicanes splitting it into three. This would cement the P88 into the record books.
This is a story I like because of its pure focus on achieving what the creators wanted. The rear covered wheels are a feature seen at Le Mans on a variety of cars, but to almost cover the fronts in a quest for speed even though it will compromise your cars chance of winning, it becomes clear that victory at Le Mans was last thing on WM’s mind. Hats off to them.
To follow on from my current reading these DVDs are my current viewing…
Both are good, the In Car 956 is simply amazing, the LeMans full Mulsanne straight footage is spectacular to say the least as is the crazy fast old Kyalami circuit in South Africa. The Alzen Porsche likewise is comically fast (albeit not as fast as a 956), the opening 8:09 lap took 8 years to beat, although it was Uwe Alzen that beat his own lap record with a scorching 8:02 in a less powerful car last year (Z4 GT3), he is the definition of a Ringmeister!