THE 24 Hours of Le Mans Thread!

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by rabbitl1, May 31, 2007.

  1. The old girl has definitely still got her legs. Luc Alphand got 3rd in GT1 last year in a several year old C5-R.
  2. Ingolstadt, 08 June 2007

    A lap of Le Mans with the Audi R10 TDI

    The Audi drivers discuss the 13.629-kilometre long circuit
    Average speed of almost 240 kph
    Fast corners are particularly impressive

    When Mattias Ekström climbed out of the Audi R10 TDI cockpit after his first laps around the "Circuit des 24 Heures" at Le Mans, his eyes lit up. "The circuit is very impressive – and incredibly fast," explained the Swede, who reeled off his first laps in a LM P1 sportscar as did his DTM team-mates Lucas Luhr, Alexandre Prémat and Mike Rockenfeller at Le Mans on the official test day.

    The Audi DTM drivers already knew that the 13.629-kilometre circuit was a law unto itself from stories told by their experienced team-mates. Le Mans is a high-speed circuit with an average speed of almost 240 kph. More than anything else, it is the many fast corners that have to be taken just as quickly during the night as they are in daylight that make Le Mans the special challenge that it has become.

    In addition, the majority of the circuit runs along public roads, which are only closed off for the 24 Hour race and which are full of ‘tram lines’ caused by heavy trucks throughout the year.

    We asked the Audi drivers to explain the most important track sections which they will have to complete almost 400 times in their Audi R10 TDI during the race on the 16/17 June.

    Frank Biela on the Dunlop corner/chicane: "This corner is much safer but not any easier to handle since it has been modified. You have to brake hard for the Dunlop chicane on the exit of the fast right hand kink. This is extremely tricky. The exit of the chicane isn’t exactly easy either because the track drops away on the exit and you want to avoid using the kerb. The lap starts in a challenging way – just about everything at Le Mans is a challenge even though it often does not look like this from outside."

    Dindo Capello on Tertre Rouge: "This section has been modified since last year. We compared the telemetry data from 2006 and 2007: Tertre Rouge is almost two seconds faster as a result of the new layout. The new tarmac also has more grip. However, the decisive factor is that the corner is now much more fluid and really fast as a result. The modifications, however, have also made it easier."

    Mattias Ekström on the Hunaudières straight: "When I drive down the straight and select fifth gear, I’m travelling at a very high-speed. You really notice that you are driving at over 300 kph when the braking points for the chicanes come up so quickly. It’s very impressive. On the straight itself, you only have to make sure that you follow the right line, because there are ‘tram lines’ formed by the trucks. There’s enormous turbulence when you follow another car, your helmet waggles from side to side and you feel vibrations in the cockpit."

    Emanuele Pirro on the chicanes on the Hunaudières straight: "I actually don’t like chicanes because they destroy the rhythm and aren’t very challenging. But the two chicanes on the Hunaudières are actually excellent to drive and very important. While you can relax a little on the straights, you have to be fully concentrated at this point. It’s important to find the right braking point to be able to carry exactly the right amount of speed into the chicanes. The slower you get, the more you have to reduce the brake pressure, because otherwise the front wheels lock. Obviously, it is also important to accelerate again as early as possible."

    Allan McNish on Mulsanne: "The Mulsanne hairpin isn’t quite what it used to be. Earlier, when the cars had less downforce, the suspension was worse and the tyres didn’t have much grip, approaching Mulsanne was really frightening. Our R10 TDI is so stable under braking that it is very easy today. You get Mulsanne in your sights as soon as you come over the crest on the Hunaudières. It’s tricky having to brake at the same time as turning-in and crossing the ‘tram lines’ made by the trucks. The car gets a little unstable as a result. You brake really hard in the last part – from more than 320 kph to about 70 kph. As soon as you reach the apex you accelerate hard. During the race you can even get on the throttle before the apex because the circuit picks up grip."

    Lucas Luhr on the approach to Indianapolis: "This segment is something very special. It goes up and down. You drive through a break in the forest where the trees crowd each side of the circuit. You approach at well over 300 kph, dab the brakes, shift down and get immediately back on the power. This is one of the parts where you need, as you say in English, ‘big balls’! You let out a sigh of relief every time you’ve gone through. Afterwards, you brake hard for the slow left-hand corner, which is slightly banked. That’s the reason for the name Indianapolis."

    Alexandre Prémat on Arnage: "Most of the corners at Le Mans are extremely fast and the car is designed for these. That’s why it is the slow corners that cause the problems, because the aerodynamics hardly have any affect and you have very little downforce. Arnage is very slow and anything but easy. Even braking is tricky. We take the corner in second gear. You feel the enormous torque produced by the R0 TDI in your back under acceleration."

    Tom Kristensen on the Porsche curves: "The Porsche curves are incredibly fast and an absolute highlight – especially with our Audi R10 TDI. The car handles fantastically there, also because of the long wheelbase. It’s quite curious that you can hardly hear the diesel engine in this fast combination of curves. I had to get accustomed to this last year, especially in the night."

    Mike Rockenfeller on the Ford chicane: "When you exit the Porsche curves and all the fast sections you experience the exact opposite: two slow chicanes. You shift down to third gear for the first chicane, which is still pretty quick. But the final chicane before the start and finish is very slow. You have to slow both the car and yourself down to prevent entering the chicane to quickly, because you are more used to the speeds from corners before the chicane."

    Marco Werner on the start-finish straight and the pit entry: "You’re always happy to have completed another lap when you come onto the start-finish straight. It’s also fantastic to see the vast ranks of spectators. It’s no problem to read the pit-board: it is illuminated and the engineering standard – as is usually the case at Audi – very high. The pit-lane entry is very tricky: It’s relatively narrow and shaped like a chicane. However, the grip level is not as high as it is on the circuit, and you can easily make a mistake here and throw the car into the gravel bed at the pit entry."
  3. #53 rabbitl1, Jun 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
  4. We'll find out on Monday whether the legendary Tom Kristensen will race at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was badly injured in a DTM accident a few weeks ago.

    If he races, he'll join Allan McNish and Dindo Capello in the #2 Audi R10 TDI and Mike Rockenfeller, Lucas Luhr, and Alexandre Premet will race in the #3 Car. If Kristensen can't go, it's likely that Mike Rockenfeller will move into the #2 car, and Mattias Ekstr�m will take his place in the #3 car.

    I really like Rocky, so I'd like to see him in the #2 car which would put him in a better position to win than he'd have in the #3 car.
  5. Ingolstadt, 08 June 2007

    Press conference with Tom Kristensen on June 11

    Dear ladies and gentlemen,
    Dear colleagues,

    Tom Kristensen has won the Le Mans 24 Hours already seven times. This makes the Audi factory driver the most successful driver in the history of the world’s most important endurance race which will be run for the 75th time on the weekend of 16/17 June.

    Whether Tom Kristensen will be able to race for Audi Sport Team Joest at Le Mans as planned following his severe accident at the DTM opener at Hockenheim will be decided after final health checks.

    Tom Kristensen would like to communicate the decision personally to you. Thus we would like to cordially invite you to a

    Press conference with Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen
    on Monday, 11 June at 12:00 noon
    in the Hilton Copenhagen Airport Hotel

    Apart from Tom Kristensen, Siegfried Krause from Audi Sport, and a doctor aiding with his recuperation plus myself will be at your disposal.

    We are looking forward to welcoming you in Copenhagen.

    With sporting regards

    Jürgen Pippig
    Head of Communication Motorsport
  6. #56 rabbitl1, Jun 11, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Flying Lizard Unveils Custom Porsche Livery for 24 Heures du Mans

    June 11, 2007 -- Le Mans, France -- Flying Lizard Motorsports unveiled today a custom livery for the team's No. 80 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The design, created by Troy Lee Designs, depicts the team's familiar Flying Lizard image brought to life in full color across the Porsche's curves. The livery will be run at only one race: this weekend's 24 Heures du Mans, June 16-17 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France.

    The team offered the first glimpse of the new No. 80 today at its scrutineering appointment. Scrutineering is the formal technical inspection by the ACO of each car competing at Le Mans. It is held in historic downtown Le Mans. The livery, which had been kept hidden in the team's garage, was displayed before and after technical inspection to the thousands of sports car fans attending the event.

    Seth Neiman commented on the project, "Racing at Le Mans is one of the best parts of our season and each year we try to bring a little something special to this great event. This year we've chosen to add to the spectacle with a special livery -- let's hope the Lizard brings us luck!"

    On site in Le Mans for the event, Troy Lee reflected on designing the car, "I started by thinking about the Lizard's character and looked to the color and texture of real lizards for inspiration. I think a racecar should be colorful and interesting and look like it's travelling 200 mph even while it is standing still. The Porsche is a pretty aggressive car with a high and wide profile -- it was a perfect surface on which to bring the Lizard to life."

    Based in Corona, California, Troy Lee has built a significant portfolio of custom designs for all things racing: from his roots in motocross helmet, bike and gear design to race cars, production autos and even Hot Wheels. The design for Flying Lizard is the first time he has worked with an ALMS team. Currently a professional motocross and Supermoto racer himself, Troy has been a major proponent of motocross and an important part of the resurgence of Supermoto racing in the U.S. The Team TLD/Honda professional AMA Supermoto team won both the Supermoto and the Supermoto Lites championships in 2006. For more see

    This weekend, Lizard drivers Johannes van Overbeek, Joerg Bergmeister and Seth Neiman will pilot the No. 80 Porsche in the team's third consecutive 24 Heures du Mans. van Overbeek and Bergmeister are partners in the team's No. 45 Porsche, which competes in the American Le Mans Series. Now at the halfway point of the ALMS season, the duo is currently second in the drivers championship, just 14 points behind Risi Ferrari Mika Salo and Jaime Melo, who will also be competing at Le Mans in the No. 97 Ferrari.

    Flying Lizard will also offer a limited edition set of merchandise commemorating the custom livery. The gear is available on-site at Le Mans at the Flying Lizard retail store in the vendor village and online at

    Following the Lizards during Le Mans Race Week
    The 24 Heures du Mans begins on Saturday June 16 at 3 p.m. CET (6 a.m. PT). Follow the Lizards' progress:

    * Listen to team radio transmission at
    * View images at
    * Read the team blog at
    * Listen to Radio Le Mans, available at 91.2 FM locally in Le Mans and streamed online at
    * Watch MotorsTV in Europe, and SpeedTV in North America. MotorsTV will air week-long coverage and SPEED coverage begins at 5:30 a.m. PT on June 16.

    About Flying Lizard Motorsports
    Founded in 2003, the Sonoma, Calif-based Flying Lizard team is competing in its fourth season of sports car racing with the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). In 2007, the team again fields two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs -- the No. 44 and the No. 45 -- in the 12-race ALMS season.

    The Flying Lizard squad has finished in the top three in the ALMS drivers' and team championships in every season to date. In 2006, Johannes van Overbeek was second in the ALMS GT2 drivers' championship and the team finished third. In 2005, van Overbeek was third in the ALMS GT2 drivers' championship and the team finished in third. In 2004, in their inaugural year, Johannes and the team finished in second place. Flying Lizard has completed two contests at the historic 24 Heures du Mans, finishing fourth in GT2 in 2006 and third in 2005.

    Visit the team website at
  7. High-res pics! w00t!

    This is not only my favorite GT2 car, but easily the best looking car in the whole field!
  8. That's actually a pretty sweet scheme, unlike Creation's livery. <A BORDER="0" HREF=""><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/disappointed.gif"></A>
  9. #59 The Dude, Jun 11, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
  10. Damn, it promises rain for the whole weekend.
  11. Ingolstadt, 12 June 2007

    Audi fights for seventh Le Mans victory

    - Three Audi R10 TDI cars in the 24 Hours of Le Mans
    - Comeback of Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen
    - Six veterans and three youngsters compete for Audi

    On 16/17 June 2007 AUDI AG will again tackle one of motorsport’s biggest challenges of all: With three prototypes, Audi Sport Team Joest will be contesting the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s most demanding car race that will be staged for the 75th time this year.

    Since 2000, Audi has been the brand to be beaten at Le Mans. Five victories with the Audi R8 that became a legend in its own time were followed by the historic first triumph of a diesel sportscar – the Audi R10 TDI – in its Le Mans début in June 2006.

    Despite modified regulations, which prescribe tanks for diesel cars this year that are ten percent smaller than those of prototypes powered by petrol engines, the squad of Audi Head of Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich is banking again on the performance capabilities and the reliability of Audi TDI Power in the French endurance classic. For the first time, the Audi R10 TDI will have to compete against another diesel sportscar: the Peugeot 908.

    Audi’s opponent Peugeot is a manufacturer who has been successful in various motorsport categories and is a very strong competitor. However, as a pioneer of diesel technology, Audi has an advantage in terms of experience, which includes Le Mans, and Audi Sport Team Joest intends to translate this advantage into the seventh Le Mans victory for Audi.

    For the first time since 2002, AUDI AG is fielding three factory cars in the 24 Hours of Le Mans again. Taking turns at the wheel of the third R10 TDI will be three young drivers who normally contest the DTM for Audi: Lucas Luhr (Germany), Alexandre Prémat (France) and Mike Rockenfeller (Germany).

    The cockpits of the other two R10 TDI cars will be occupied by six veterans, who – between them – have scored a total of 20 Le Mans victories. They include Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen (Denmark), who will be celebrating a comeback after his serious accident in the DTM race at Hockenheim.

    The first serious session at Le Mans will be the first qualifying at 7 p.m. (local time) on Wednesday. The race will start at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Worldwide, the "race of the year" will be broadcast on TV in more than 100 countries.
  12. Qualifying is tomorrow!
  13. BAD NEWS!

    The Arena team has just confirmed to the ACO that the LMP1 Zytek 07S won't be ready in time for the 75th 24 Hours of Le Mans. Mike Earle has confirmed this morning to Daniel Poissenot that he has to withdraw the car from the race.

    They had many problems during last weekend's test day including a large crash by Hyanari Shimoda which caused them to miss their appointment for scrutineering yesterday, forcing them to withdraw from the race.

    Sucks, that was one of the cars I was rooting for.

    Looks like I'm rooting for Creation in LMP1 now.
  14. Yeah, that is pretty unfortunate. Are there any reserve teams next in line or is it to late?
  15. No. The reserve list is cut off once the final list is published a couple weeks before the test days.

    Even so, the teams on the reserve list haven't gone through the test day or scrutineering, so they'd be dead in the water before they even began.

    The field is now down to 54.
  16. In the wake of the Arena Motorsports Zytek 07S being withdrawn, the 3 drivers of that car, Tom Chilton, Hyanari Shimoda and Stephan Johannsson were left without drives for this weekend's race.

    However, Johannsson has now moved into the #13 LMP1 Courage Competition Courage LC70 AER. It's great news for both Johannsson and Courage, but you've gotta feel bad for Val Hillebrand, the driver being replaced in the Courage.
  17. Qualifying begins in a little more than 2 hours!
  18. #68 rabbitl1, Jun 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
  19. I wish i could go this year, it is going to be epic. <A BORDER="0" HREF=""><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/sad.gif"></A>
  20. I am staying up all effing day to watch it on SPEED.
  21. Here are the times from today's first session. The 2nd session will end any minute.
  22. You and me both man.
  23. hurray for Audi being on top
  24. They aren't anymore.

    At the end of the 2nd session times looked like this for the top few teams:

    1 8 Team Peugeot Total LMP1 SARRAZIN S 3:26.344
    2 2 Audi Sport North America LMP1 McNISH A 3:26.916
    3 7 Team Peugeot Total LMP1 MINASSIAN N 3:27.724
    4 1 Audi Sport North America LMP1 PIRRO E 3:28.301
    5 3 Audi Sport Team Joest LMP1 LUHR L 3:29.736

    And heavy rain is expected tomorrow, so this will likely be the starting order for the race.
  25. ah well, they'll still win (hopefully)

    but most importantly, c'mon ASTON!

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