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Le Mans 24 Hours 2014

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Fair play, I didn't watch 2010. I'll have been building a Formula Student car at the time. 
I can't remember if they retired from it or not though , so you may still be right , because it looked like pretty light damage.

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I'll be there. Got there very late on Friday last year, so didn't have a lot of time to prepare before the race. Arriving on Thursday morning this year, so should have a bit more time to soak in the atmosphere (and some French beer!) before the race starts.

Managed to stay awake for 21 of 24 hours last year, will try and do the whole race this time! :)

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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 3:23.014
2. #7 Toyota - K Nakajima 3:23.156
3. #3 Audi - M Bonanomi 3:23.799
4. #1 Audi - L Duval 3:24.453
5. #14 Porsche - N Jani 3:24.692
6. #2 Audi - A Lotterer 3:24.757
7. #20 Porsche - T Bernhard 3:24.911
8. #12 Rebellion - M Beche 3:31.700
9. #13 Rebellion - D Kraihamer 3:33.043

LMP2

1. (10.) #26 G-Drive Racing (Morgan-Nissan) - R Rusinov 3:37.795
2. (11.) #48 Murphy Prototypes (Oreca-Nissan) - K Chandhok 3:38.286
3. (12.) #36 Signatech Alpine (Alpine-Nissan) - N Panciatici 3:39.026

GTE-Pro

1. (28.) #92 Porsche 911 - F Makowiecki  3:57.260
2. (30.) #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 - G Fisichella 3:57.483
3. (32.) #52 RAM Racing Ferrari 458 - M Griffin 3:57.993

GTE-Am

1. (29.) #90 8 Star Motorsports (Ferrari 458) - P Ruberti  3:57.403
2. (31.) #72 SMP Racing (Ferrari 458) - A Bertolini 3:57.569
3. (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....)

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Toyota are definitely my bet for the win. By far the best car they've made so far. I'm sort of annoyed Porsche placed Webber in the #20 Porsche instead of the #14.They should switch Webber and Lieb imo.

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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

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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
What do you mean Audi are back in the game ? They've dominated the 24 hours for the past decade . Plus they were pretty unlucky so far this season.

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fIsince08 said:
I'll only watch it if a) it's on Motors TV and b) John Hindhaugh is commentating.
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. 

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fIsince08 said:
I'll only watch it if a) it's on Motors TV and b) John Hindhaugh is commentating.
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. 
That was the point I was making....
And I don't really have any preferences when it comes to commentators. @flsince08 is just being biased because Hindhaugh is from Sunderland. 
:P :P

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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.

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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.


Ah , sorry , I didn't watch Spa . At Silverstone it seemed as though they had pretty good pace though . Close to Toyota and ahead of
Porsche anyway.

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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.

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McLaren! That's surprising indeed. I'd love to see either of the F1 teams joining LMP1- if you're going to swap NA V8s for turbo V6s, then at least make good use of the new engines.

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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.
Ferrari have been rumored for a while , haven't they ? I'd say it'll be them. Exciting times ahead. :D

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McLaren would be awesome, but I don't think they would do it as they'd have a focus on F1, their automotive sector and then this. Also a very technical comment, but the Audi looks so cool. The livery is just amazing!

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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.

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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.

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McLaren would be awesome, but I don't think they would do it as they'd have a focus on F1, their automotive sector and then this. Also a very technical comment, but the Audi looks so cool. The livery is just amazing!
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.

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All friendly banter really. They're in the same umbrella company after all.
Yeah, if I recall correctly there was a Porsche "Mission 2014" billboard directly opposite the Audi garage last year!

I personally like the banter: at least the WEC hasn't got a stick up its ass in the way "other" top level motorsports do...

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