I was left with no internet connection for a few day, which was a pain in the a**, but at least it helped to take some distance and have a more objective judgement on the race.
Audi weren't unbeatable as I had thought, actually they once again owe a victory to Mac Nish, the scottish terminator (quote from Eric Helary on motors tv)
I don't remember having ever seen such a close fight in P1 at Sebring. The pace of the four diesels was so identical that, all 12 hours long, the fight was decided by the drivers.
It resulted in a three way battle between two cars, with Mac Nish vs Montagny, Kristensen vs Bourdais and Capello vs Sarazin. Now I'd say the Audi line-up is still better (nobody compares to Mac Nish and Kristensen ATM)
, but I was actually surprised by the level of the frenchies. Montagny has already shown for a moment of which material he is made, and for the first two times he got into the car, he was actually on par with Allan, if not better. In the end he couldn't do a Mac Nish for the last stint, with apparently worn tyres, which underlines that he's not at the scott's level yet. But very close I'd say!
Bourdais was spectacular on his last stint, he broke the track record while doing consistent 1'44 laps. Arguably this could have made the race go to Pug, without the slow puncture. But Bourdais was also the one who spun two times. Klien spun too, and Montagny went into the grass on cold tyres on two occasion.
I think it shows how much difference there was between the R15 & the 908 in terms of driveability. Audi has built a car with a balance very close to the optimum, and it also generates more downforce.
But interestingly, those points are not so determinants at Le Mans, where a car can live with a slow speed corner's exit disavantage and a slight lack in downforce, especially if it compensate with a higher top speed.
So I wouldn't burry Peugeot yet, as far as LM is concerned.
Furthermore when they have improved so much, as it seems they have now a very efficient engine, they manages tyres better, and most of all they made incredible progress in pit stop works...
Bring on Le Mans!
PS: BMW will have to work hard if they are serious bout making endurance
races! One of their car clocked 27 laps, and the other was doing better but couldn't survive half the race too...
PS2: Thanks modbaraban for the video links.