Le Mans 24 hours 2009

Please discuss here all your remarks and pose your questions about all racing series, except Formula One. Both technical and other questions about GP2, Touring cars, IRL, LMS, ...

Post Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:33 pm

modbaraban wrote:
Looking forward to vyselegend coming back with loads of pictures and videos.


Hehe, here I am, sorry for the wait! 8)

What a fantastic Le Mans edition! :P It had absolutely everything that makes an event unforgettable:

Lots of drammas, lots of action, lots of emotions. A fantastic weather, splendid girls, tasty barbecue, maybe the sun was a little bit too warm but that's better than camping in the cold mud...

I'm glad Peugeot broke their duck finally, but I don't really agree that they were stronger than last year. Actually they ran a relatively similar strategy, and they had even less performance advantage, but it was simply the first time they didn't suffer terrible luck, as no lapped car crashed in them, the weather was stable, and even if they still managed to do something very stupid with #7, they were ok. Still some strange glitch affected the #8, like last year. But then again it just confirms that the fastest car tends to break more often... Perhaps it's safe to say the the real "reliable" pace of the 908 is the one of the #9.

Audi were hurt by the lack of dry testing, and it was obvious that all three R15 had to deal with massive understeer for the first six hours. If you've seen Premat's crash on youtube it appears understeer coming in the right kink before Indianapolis was exagerated! By the way I was at Indianapolis at the start so the #3 crashed just 25m in front of me! I've shot it in the gravel:
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During those hours before the night they lost the race IMO (even if cooling problems and suspention reliability would have compromised it later anyway). They tried to change nose several times, desesperatly searching for more front grip, but in the end I think they got too far and altered the balance of the car in an unsafe way. If you've watched the Lucas Luhr crash, you probably noted he didn't lost the rear suddently, but inexorably during two plain seconds of steering corrections, and despite having good forward momentum! So It feels to me like a longitudinally unbalanced car, although I'm not in position to argue if it's about the rear being to light or the suspention/camber/anti-roll bar settings being messed up... Audi are famous to extract the maximum from their cars, but here they seemed lost in terms of set up, which is understandable when you know the only running they did here was on the wet.

Funnily, it looked like a reverse battle of 2007, with the R15 suffering the same youth-related problems than the 07' spec 908, while Peugeot had a good deal of experience of the track/car combo. Notably, the cooling problem that haunted Peugeot for two years, specific to this track, was now Audi's trouble, as the remaining two R15 had to pit systematically for cleaning the turbo intakes.

Btw I'v taken interesting pic of their brake duct, and it is the first time I've seen it "caged" like that. Certainly they were aware of the risk of sucking in much dirt from the track.

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I've also jumped on the occasion to take a close-up of the controvesial winglets of the front

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And the revised engine cooling extraction, replacing the abrut grid from sebring.

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As for the 908, I've shot it with the front flaps opened, and after they made lots of ink sink, it was discovered they just help cliping the front bodywork in...

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Another little detail worth a pic was the intake, which external shape looks unchanged, but I'm pretty sure the splitter dividing the flows for the turbos and the brakes was vertical before, and it looks horizontal now. Or I'm just confused...
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I'll try to post more stuff tomorrow. I discovered late in the saturday night that my camera was actually able to record some video clips in avi format, so I've rec little clips which I'd try to upload later. But nothing really special.

If anyone have a youtube clip of Treluyer's crash of the #17 Pescarollo please post a link here, because I was just back in the camp when I heard it in the radio, but was too tired to return to the track so I haven't seen the images...

PS: It seems the hosting server for the pics sucks a lot (a myspace account) :evil: , and hotlinking doesn't work ATM, so I've put a link under each pic. I hope it will work...
vyselegend
 
Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Location: Paris, France

Post Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:24 pm

About the Peugeot front covers, I don't know if someone made a Youtube vid of it, but there was definitely a footage of Peugeot mechanic using them during the race as they change the nose cone...it was an incredibly awkward procedure...

I also noted that Audi do their nose cone change with 4 mechanic(outside of tire changing it is allowed), 4 guys to put the thing on and off....
RacingManiac
 
Joined: 22 Nov 2004

Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:11 am

Vyselegend, great to see you back around and many thanks for your pics and first-hand impressions!

vyselegend wrote:If you've seen Premat's crash on youtube it appears understeer coming in the right kink before Indianapolis was exagerated!


Premat justified that one with a momentary loss of steering assistance.

vyselegend wrote:If you've watched the Lucas Luhr crash, you probably noted he didn't lost the rear suddently, but inexorably during two plain seconds of steering corrections, and despite having good forward momentum! So It feels to me like a longitudinally unbalanced car, although I'm not in position to argue if it's about the rear being to light or the suspention/camber/anti-roll bar settings being messed up...


Tréluyer has commented that, while following the R15, their back end seemed too unstable.
We know now that they've replaced the front legality mesh by the valence panels, because the accumulation of dirt in testing shifted the downforce balance forward radically, so they should have this issues figured out. Noticing the Sebring performance, I would say the car only gets really unstable in Le Mans configuration, though, so I believe the next Peugeot/Audi battles may have a diferent ending (although we all know that's Le Mans that really counts!!! :wink: )


vyselegend wrote:If anyone have a youtube clip of Treluyer's crash of the #17 Pescarollo please post a link here, because I was just back in the camp when I heard it in the radio, but was too tired to return to the track so I haven't seen the images...

I believe no one has. It wasn't caught on broadcast and no video has yet surfaced, to my knowledge. However, Benoît explained the car got (unexplainablely) sideways in a little bump where the Bugatti circuit diverges from the main one. Then it got airbourne (yes, again...) and crashed in the barriers.
dumrick
 
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Location: Portugal

Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:38 am

Audi's ad, found & saved by ianroke, from the ten-tenths forum (I guess we'll never see it again :lol: ):
http://www.ianroke.co.uk/ad.htm

Some great "ambiance" photos from Endurance-Info:
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dumrick
 
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Location: Portugal

Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:04 am

dumrick wrote:
vyselegend wrote:If anyone have a youtube clip of Treluyer's crash of the #17 Pescarollo please post a link here, because I was just back in the camp when I heard it in the radio, but was too tired to return to the track so I haven't seen the images...

I believe no one has. It wasn't caught on broadcast and no video has yet surfaced, to my knowledge. However, Benoît explained the car got (unexplainablely) sideways in a little bump where the Bugatti circuit diverges from the main one. Then it got airbourne (yes, again...) and crashed in the barriers.

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This is all I've been able to find so far. The wreckage looked seriously scary on TV while the driver stayed in the car for very long.
modbaraban
 
Joined: 5 Apr 2007
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:02 pm

The level of safety these things are engineered to is unreal...except for the airborne thing, of course.

dumrick wrote:However, Benoît explained the car got (unexplainablely) sideways in a little bump where the Bugatti circuit diverges from the main one. Then it got airbourne (yes, again...) and crashed in the barriers.


That's the entrance to the Porsche esses I'm guessing? That makes sense cause the airborne thing's been happening when the car gets unsettled and it's at a relatively high yaw. Hitting a bump and getting sideways'll do that to you.

Glad he's ok.
Loud idiot in red since 2010
United States Grand Prix Club, because there's more to racing than NASCAR
jon-mullen
 
Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Location: Big Blue Nation

Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:13 pm

Woah, there is nothing left on that car, and then i thought the audi crash was pretty hard.
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender
wesley123
 
Joined: 23 Feb 2008

Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:21 pm

jon-mullen wrote:That's the entrance to the Porsche esses I'm guessing?


No, it was after the Dunlops approaching the Esses.
dumrick
 
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Location: Portugal

Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:41 pm

dumrick wrote:
jon-mullen wrote:That's the entrance to the Porsche esses I'm guessing?


No, it was after the Dunlops approaching the Esses.


Oh. They really didn't have any cameras running there, it's like 25 seconds from start-finish.
Loud idiot in red since 2010
United States Grand Prix Club, because there's more to racing than NASCAR
jon-mullen
 
Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Location: Big Blue Nation

Post Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:30 pm

Anybody know what manufacturer makes the wheels for the Peugeots and the Corvettes? Are they the same manufacturer? I've seen a few cars over on badboyvettes.com with similar ones. Does anyone know why that GT2 Porsche was stranded on the Mulsanne rather than being pushed behind the breaks in the barriers? Seems to me they had plenty of time to get it off the racing surface with all the full course yellows.

I'm gonna miss the 7.0l LS7.R. :cry: That engine is so awesome and it played it's swansong well. YouTube C6.R sounds and you'll see what I mean. It was such an assault on your hearing and whenever someone was being interviewed on SpeedTVs coverage there was no mistaking who blew by. Congrats to Peugeot, it took alot of effort to beat the juggernaut that is Audi to win the 24 hours. I've never been more interested in a race than I was about this one. It has something that F1 doesn't. Maybe it was the racing part rather than having politics dictate everything, or the sheer diversity of the cars. I don't know. I was really happy for Dan Binks as well. He has been on the other winning Corvette car for the past few years and finally got his 24 hours win. And a final attaboy to the teammates of Karthikeyan (? spelling) for running the whole race with just the two of them. Not a achievment to scoff at no matter what Nahrain did. I know I couldn't do that! =D>
Ray
 
Joined: 22 Nov 2006
Location: Atlanta

Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:03 am

Ray wrote:Anybody know what manufacturer makes the wheels for the Peugeots and the Corvettes? Are they the same manufacturer?


Both the Vettes and all the Pugs used BBS wheels in this year's LM24.

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(No that's not me.. sorry)
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OZ and BBS are quite dominant in top level circuit racing. In most cases you can tell the difference between the two looking at the spokes. Basically BBS trademark design have 'paired' spokes while OZ's spokes are more evenly spaced.

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OZ for comparisson
modbaraban
 
Joined: 5 Apr 2007
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:11 am

Thanks modbaraban. I guess I could have done some sleuthing myself huh?
Ray
 
Joined: 22 Nov 2006
Location: Atlanta

Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:06 am

Ray wrote:Does anyone know why that GT2 Porsche was stranded on the Mulsanne rather than being pushed behind the breaks in the barriers? Seems to me they had plenty of time to get it off the racing surface with all the full course yellows.

Well, I don't remember that particular situation (I must have been sleeping or partying at that time...), but you have to consider that, at Le Mans, and as long as the driver stays inside the car, they try to keep it on the racetrack as much as possible, in the even that the driver can fix the problem or crawl back to the pits for a repair or rebuild.

Even in Audi's crash at the Porsche turns, it has only been forbidden to go back to the pits because the gearbox was leaking oil, even with a whole corner of the car damaged, wheel and suspension included.
dumrick
 
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Location: Portugal

Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:01 am

dumrick wrote:
Ray wrote:Does anyone know why that GT2 Porsche was stranded on the Mulsanne rather than being pushed behind the breaks in the barriers? Seems to me they had plenty of time to get it off the racing surface with all the full course yellows.

Well, I don't remember that particular situation (I must have been sleeping or partying at that time...), but you have to consider that, at Le Mans, and as long as the driver stays inside the car, they try to keep it on the racetrack as much as possible, in the even that the driver can fix the problem or crawl back to the pits for a repair or rebuild.

Even in Audi's crash at the Porsche turns, it has only been forbidden to go back to the pits because the gearbox was leaking oil, even with a whole corner of the car damaged, wheel and suspension included.


I knew they had a 10 meter rule for the driver staying with the car, but it was stopped very early in the race and I don't understand why they didn't have it moved during the couple of full course yellows they had later on. Seems to me to be a big danger having that car out there for so long when the car, driver, and team weren't actively trying to return to the pits. If I'm not mistaken Bob Varsha said on the SpeedTV broadcast that the team had packed the hauler and were waiting for the race to be over to retrieve the car.
Ray
 
Joined: 22 Nov 2006
Location: Atlanta

Post Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:59 am

That car stayed abandoned at the right side of the Mulsanne straight till the end of the race. I belive there wasn't any gap in the barrier or any back road for a crane(?) to access the car and remove it from the track, a Safety Car would be required to get a tow truck take the car away.
modbaraban
 
Joined: 5 Apr 2007
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

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