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AndrewMather

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Everything posted by AndrewMather

  1. AndrewMather

    Wimbledon 2014

    Any tennis fans about? Personally really enjoying Wimbledon so far this year, some great matches already. Murray looked pretty good earlier.
  2. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014 Thread As it's the annual Test Day for the 24 Hours of Le Mans this Sunday, I thought I'd start a thread for the race this year. Is anyone going to the race itself, or staying up to watch the whole thing (I tried last year, got to about 15 hours and had to take a tactical nap so I didn't miss the end)? For those who are perhaps not up to speed on how Le Mans works, basically its 4 races going on all at once on the same track for 24 hours straight. Pretty much every single car is fighting for something and not just the pride of not being last like Marussia and Caterham do in F1. This year has the potential to be one of the most memorable in recent years. Porsche are back in contention for overall victory for the first time since 1998 whilst Toyota look like having the best chance of breaking Audi's recent dominance of the event. The top cars are all brand new racers this year and have not done longer than a 6 hour race so reliability and keeping out of trouble will be key. So here is my run down of the classes, who to look out for, where the names you may recognise are and any other interesting nuggets that may be of interest. LMP1 ClassOk let's kick off with probably the most complicated yet interesting class. The LMP1 class is for the big-daddy's, the thoroughbreds, the cars that will be competing to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This class is split into two groups, the Lightweights and Heavyweights. The big difference between the two is that the Heavyweights are the hybrid vehicles which use KERS-style system and the Lightweights are the more conventional petrol-powered non-hybrid racers. The winner barring some real drama will be a Heavyweight. The LMP1-H class is made up of 7 cars from some of the biggest manufacturers in the world, Audi, Toyota and Porsche. Due to the freedom the regulations give the teams, each manufacturer has taken a totally different approach to making the hybrid sportscar prototype of the future. Teams are allowed to store either 2 Megajoules, 4MJ, 6MJ or 8MJ of electrical hybrid energy, which can be delivered however the manufacturers want. This has delivered a fascinating demonstration of modern day technology that is not only relevant to the road but also creates exciting racing. Audi have gone with an arguably conservative option for their R18 e-tron quattro, powered by a V6 Turbodiesel engine coupled with a 2MJ hybrid system equipped with a flywheel. Toyota and Porsche have both gone with cars with 6MJ hybrid systems but different engine setups and energy storage systems. Toyota have a V8 normal aspirated engine with super-capacitors to store their energy, with the capability of temporary 4WD by adding a set of super-capacitors to the front axle. Porsche meanwhile have gone with a V4 Turbo petrol engine with F1-style battery storage for their energy solution. For me F1 and its restrictive rules set should really take a look at what the World Endurance Championship is doing here, the level of creativity, innovation and relevant findings to the road industry is way ahead of what F1 is currently doing with its V6 Turbo's, and the racing the arguably better as well, with no DRS, no need for 2 compounds of tyre and the freedom for teams and drivers to do what they want, when they want.  Audi return to Le Mans as reigning winners with 3 cars headed up by the #1 car which includes Tom Kristensen, Le Mans legend, looking for his 10th victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe. As ever Audi have very strong lineups in all 3 cars which are each capable of winning overall. Avid F1 fans will remember the name of Lucas Di Grassi who shares the #1 with Kristensen and Loic Duval. Di Grassi replaces Allan McNish in the car which is also the reigning FIA World Endurance Championship winner. Audi have struggled in the first two races of the WEC on sheer pace but their German efficiency and tactical know-how made sure they scored a podium at the 6 Hours of Spa earlier this spring. Don't count Audi out just yet, after all to finish first, first you have to finish, and that is something Audi have always been good at. Toyota are arguably the favourites for Le Mans this year having won the first 2 rounds of the WEC in some style. Toyota's 2 car effort is full of the top talent in sportscar racing with former F1 drivers Anthony Davidson and Sebastian Buemi alongside Nicolas Lapierre in the #8 TS040 (current FIA WEC leaders) and a full trio of ex-F1 drivers in the #7 with former Benetton and Williams driver Alex Wurz, long time Toyota protege Kaz Nakajima and one-time Minardi racer Stephane Sarrazin. As has been said Toyota have won the first 2 races and would love to make it 3 with the big one, but this is Le Mans and anything can happen especially reliability wise with Toyota's reliance on a high tariff of energy usage potentially an Achilles heel. The big plus for this car's design though is it's acceleration out of the corners, outputting up to almost 1000bhp at full boost, this thing shifts and not much can keep up with it. Last but not least for Porsche who return to the top class at Le Mans with the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Two cars travel to Le Mans, the #14 and #20. F1 fans will eagerly want to see how Mark Webber does in the #20 who himself returns to the 24 Hours for the first time since 1999 when he drove for Mercedes-Benz. Fans of the race will no doubt remember the horrific crashes that Mark suffered, flipping over twice during practice and the warm-up due to a fault with the aero of the Benz. The safety improvements to both the cars and the circuit should ensure that they will be no repeat of such an accident. The race win may be a bit of a stretch for Porsches in what is still their first year back, however don't be surprised if the Porsche are right up there battling for the lead in the early stages, just as Toyota did on their return to Le Mans 2 years ago. Of the LMP1-L entrants, only two remain, the privateer entries from Rebellion Racing who come with their own car for the first time. The Rebellion is a thing of beauty in my eyes, and it sounds great too. The car is still very much a baby so getting to the finish would be a truly great accomplishment in itself, but as a team they have shown in the past that they are capable of being a nuisance to Audi and Toyota so monitor their progress. Another long time F1 driver appears here with Nick Heidfeld heading up the #12 alongside son of Alain, Nicolas Prost and reigning GP2 champion Fabio Leimer in the #13, a testament to the appeal of Le Mans and the WEC to the young drivers of today.
  3. The engineer definitely has the face of 'bloody drivers' on.  On the old circuit I did prefer that layout, we have enough Tilke tracks already and the new track misses something for me. That said it is a good track, much better than most Tilke original tracks. 
  4. AndrewMather

    UEFA EURO 2016 QUALIFIERS

    We're not getting a goal in this Ecuador France game are we :(
  5. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Just thought I'd point out that the #95 Aston Martin leads in GTE-Am, what a great way to honour Allan Simonsen if they could take this. Edit - Oh bugger I just cursed it, #95 in the garage.
  6. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    I'm back. Turns out I've not really been able to follow this one as closely as I would have liked this year. It's definitely been an eventful one, so many stories including the ones of achievement out of adversity that Le Mans always throws up. As disappointed as Toyota will be with the #7 the efforts of the #8 coming back from that far down to be in a podium is fantastic. Rebellion looking like getting a car to the end is a great story as well.
  7. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Afternoon everyone. I'm back after being 'off the grid' really for the last week hence I missed qualifying. Anyway the news so far in the race is that the Nissan ZEOD is sadly already out of the race 40 minutes in. Terminal gearbox failure.
  8. AndrewMather

    Hass announcement just made!

    There's plenty of American drivers kicking around at the moment that could do the job. Rossi and Conor Daly being the leaders imo.
  9. AndrewMather

    Dat der wee race in Canadia.

    Thought yesterday's qualifying was the most entertaining of the year so far. All 3 parts of it as well with it being so close throughout places 3-22. I wasn't really that bothered with the front row because you knew who was going to be there. Would have preferred Lewis on pole but then again he should just be able to sit behind Nico till lap 3, wait for DRS and then take off. For me the pressure is still on Nico to step up and fend Lewis off.
  10. AndrewMather

    Hass announcement just made!

    Have to agree with SynGamer, Haas is no mug. You don't run indycar and nascar teams for as long as he has without some sort of a brain. But trying to do a USF1 and basing the team in the States, hmm not sure. I do hear that the plan for a US base may be scrapped though, ie the reason they've delayed till 2016. He was in the Ferrari garage for qualifying and thought straight away an engine deal would be why. Would be a wise choice, seems to have done Marussia good. I'm all for a female driver as long as she's quick and is there on talent, not a marketing exercise. So in that case don't you dare release a certain Ms Patrick from sucking in one of your NASCAR's to sucking even more in an F1 car Mr Haas, don't you dare. Give it to someone who has shown much better promise at lower levels and has age on their side to develop into an at least good midfield runner for a few years (calling Simona de Silvestro....). 
  11. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    All friendly banter really. They're in the same umbrella company after all.
  12. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    I think the noise is that it will be more of a Honda project than a McLaren project or a 50/50. Two things to consider with the potential for a Honda project. 1) Wirth Research have worked with Honda Performance Development for years in LMP2 and were preparing for an assault on LMP1. They stopped and handed over all the work, this wasn't for a customer car like the LMP2 car that Strakka and several others ran at Le Mans and in the ALMS. Why? 2) Honda are building a pretty big race engineering facility in Milton Keynes that's apparently for McLaren's F1 stuff and WTCC. McLaren already have a huge facility for prepping cars etc, why on earth do they need another one. And WTCC doesn't need that much space and isn't a solid enough reason to invest in a state-of-the-art facility like that. I can't find any plans for it but I imagine it will be a similar size if not bigger than Mercedes High Performance Powertrains' facility in Brixworth. Why do Honda need an at least reasonably sized facility in the heart of motorsport valley unless it will be used to a large degree for a large project which isn't public yet. Using the F1 engine for a Le Mans effort would for me also explain why they don't want to do take care of more than 1 F1 team's engine supply. Because believe me they have more than enough resources to take care of 2 maybe 3 teams' needs. Could easily be 1 F1 team + 1 LMP1 project instead of 2 F1 teams.
  13. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Mostly on the Radio Le Mans Midweek Motorsport Collective facebook group (very knowledgeable group of people) and on the WEC sub-reddit. There was also a mention of a big announcement on the way on RLM a few weeks back on Midweek Motorsport, but they couldnt go into absolute detail at the time. May not sound like much but RLM do pride themselves on giving their listeners a heads-up as soon as they can and reliably as well. The motorsport media in general, especially F1 media can be pretty slow to pick up on things and inaccurate whereas sportscars' guys in know are totally different. Put it this way, when Webber moving to Porsche was announced during the British GP last year and all the F1 media went nuts about it, I'd know since April earlier that year because RLM had said the deal was done and dusted the morning of the 6 Hours of Silverstone which I was at. When it comes to rumours and big deals they know their stuff.
  14. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Yeh Ferrari were being rumoured last year. Also a certain Mr F Alonso is the official starter of the race this year. My money is on them with the powerplant being the F1 engine. They'll need to improve it a hell of a lot though to run well at Le Mans. But then again by doing an LMP1 project with the same engine you basically give yourself a load of testing track time that you wouldn't get with F1.
  15. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Yep you're right Silverstone was a much closer affair. I think on the straights is where the Toyota really gets to use its outright speed from all that power which I believe has now been quoted at MORE than 1000bhp instead of 987bhp at Spa. In terms of aerodynamic grip I reckon Toyota and Audi are both pretty strong and evenly matched, which is to be expected as both cars' bodywork are heavily derived off already 2 year old developed packages. Porsche perhaps lack a bit but they'll catch up towards the end of this WEC season like Toyota did in their first year. By the way guys, I'm hearing and reading the Radio Le Mans website that there will potentially be a big announcement which may also be quite a surprise during race week, maybe even on race day itself. There's lots of talk about another LMP1 entrant on top of Nissan joining next year. At the moment the names being flashed around are BMW, Ford, Ferrari and probably the most surprising of all McLaren in conjunction with Honda. As I say just rumours at the moment over what the announcement could be which in itself is a rumour, but the next fortnight could be very interesting for the future of the race.
  16. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Audi are perhaps 3-4kph slower than Toyota now. At Spa this was more like 10. 
  17. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Fair enough. One weird thing though, I 'posted' that comment like a few days ago. As for Audi I'd say they've been the opposite. At Spa they were utterly nowhere on sheer pace for a good part of the race and both Toyota and Porsche were killing them on the straights. Especially the #3 Audi which was running less aero as a test before Le Mans, it was really slow on the straights and not great in sectors 2 and 3 round Spa. The number #1 got a podium at Spa through a bit of bad luck for Toyota and Porsche being unreliable.  Meanwhile at Silverstone the crashes for Audi in my opinion were partially caused by the drivers having to push due to bad strategy calls from the race engineers. Audi have been massively on the back foot all season, mainly because they've gone too conservative with their hybrid system but at least they're back in with a chance round Le Mans on pure pace.
  18. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    It should be on Motors TV. Some of it anyway. Dunno if John Hindhaugh is commentating though. I'd hazard aguess and say he'll be doing some of it and some of it on Radio Le Mans . No need to be so biased though.:P Radio Le Mans are doing the whole race for free online. TV pictures on Motors I'm not sure about it but I'm 90% sure the full race won't be on there. It will be on Eurosport and last year I think they did a track sound only channel on their online subscription player along with their own commentary. There is also the FIA WEC app which you can get just for Le Mans. There are a couple of outlets such as Audi TV that I hear are doing free streams onboard their cars. Yeah I know Radio Le Mans are doing the whole race , what I was saying is that John Hindhaugh won't be commentating for the whole race on it. I remember last year Motors didn't do the whole thing so I'd say it's the same this time around. To be fair, the man's got to sleep at some stage ;). Plus the rest of the team that do the coverage are still really good. 
  19. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

  20. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Little bit more in depth and opinions from test day. This video mainly covers Aston Martin, the new Ligier and how for me Audi are back in the game. http://youtu.be/An5haVYmkiw
  21. AndrewMather

    What do you want in F1 2014? GAME IDEAS

    I don't know if anyone has posted this before so sorry if they have. If there are issues with classics (mostly taking up data ones), why not make a seperate classics game as a one off. With the amount a player can do for a year release for a season I think classics can get derided by many. I just think there's potential for that part of the series to work as a seperate game itself with the scope for more seasons, more cars (more time to get licenses sorted ;) ) and as its a classic game it wouldn't need to come out every single year. Just a thought, can understand the difficulties behind it, but I would probably buy it.  Edit - I'd rather buy this as a one off game than race stars. Just my opinion
  22. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Hey guys, apologies for the delay with this post. Was down in London all of yesterday and as a result I've been absolutely knackered today. Anyways here are the leading times from what sounded like an interesting test day. I've so far listened to the morning session, will hopefully do the same with the afternoon session tomorrow morning. LMP1 1. #8 Toyota - S Buemi 3:23.0142. #7 Toyota - K Nakajima 3:23.1563. #3 Audi - M Bonanomi 3:23.7994. #1 Audi - L Duval 3:24.4535. #14 Porsche - N Jani 3:24.6926. #2 Audi - A Lotterer 3:24.7577. #20 Porsche - T Bernhard 3:24.9118. #12 Rebellion - M Beche 3:31.7009. #13 Rebellion - D Kraihamer 3:33.043 LMP2 1. (10.) #26 G-Drive Racing (Morgan-Nissan) - R Rusinov 3:37.7952. (11.) #48 Murphy Prototypes (Oreca-Nissan) - K Chandhok 3:38.2863. (12.) #36 Signatech Alpine (Alpine-Nissan) - N Panciatici 3:39.026 GTE-Pro 1. (28.) #92 Porsche 911 - F Makowiecki  3:57.2602. (30.) #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 - G Fisichella 3:57.4833. (32.) #52 RAM Racing Ferrari 458 - M Griffin 3:57.993 GTE-Am 1. (29.) #90 8 Star Motorsports (Ferrari 458) - P Ruberti  3:57.4032. (31.) #72 SMP Racing (Ferrari 458) - A Bertolini 3:57.5693. (34.) #61 AF Corse Ferrari 459 - M Cioci 3:58.440 Garage 56 1. (27.) #0 Nissan ZEOD RC - W Reip  3:52.574 So far it looks like (and I'm agreeing with Sam Collins on RLM here) that the #3 Audi is going quick on single lap pace to try and get the glory of pole and stomping on Porsche's parade who might also go for pole to get some headlines (they did at Spa 6 Hours I think).  GTE looks incredibly close, remember those times are over a much longer track than anything in F1. Once I've listened through the second session I'll do more of an opinion piece in a video from my youtube channel which I hope you don't mind me sticking on here when I do. (Please don't beat me for the channel plug, please, pretty please....)
  23. AndrewMather

    What do you want in F1 2014? GAME IDEAS

    For me I have to reiterate with EffOne's posted. GPx series was the best F1 series there's every been due to its how immersive it was. You could adapt the game to how you wanted to play, and that's not even going into how you could mod it. I do understand though that you can't give players the option to change driver names, team names etc due to licensing.  I can't see what stopping the hot seat mode GPx used to have though, that was great to have as a feature and I don't think anyone else has every done it. If it could be done in 1995 surely it could be done now with the advance in technology and hardware power. It would be a great feature for those wanting to casually play the game with friends as an alternative to split-screen.  Another thing that GPx had (more from the modding community admittedly) was better timing info whilst out on track. For example a run down of the full order and time gaps every few laps or so like you get on the TV. That would be good as well.
  24. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Fair play, I didn't watch 2010. I'll have been building a Formula Student car at the time. 
  25. AndrewMather

    Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

    Have to agree Silver Arrows, especially as I can see TK retiring after this year. It's incredible to think he's 46 and still at least near the top of his game. But with McNish hanging up the helmet last year he's the last of the original set of Audi drivers from the early 2000's. I've just had a look at his finishing record at Le Mans and whenever his car has got to the end of the race its always been on the podium and I don't think he's been the cause of any retirements either. If this is his last he'll be dearly missed I'm sure.
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