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LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
05-11-2010, 06:17 PM
Post: #1
LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
In the spirit of the MotoGP thread, is anyone else here interested in LeMans style endurance racing? (That is, either the LMS - LeMans Series in Europe or the ALMS - American LeMans Series here in the US.)

I am a big fan - it's definitely my favorite style of racing. Something about the whole aspect of the endurance AND the speed being important factors in victory appeals to me. I also like the fact that there's a little more leeway for innovation with the cars than there is in something like F1. Pit strategy becomes so important as well, which I like.

Audi Sport team Joest is my favorite team - I am a bit of an Audi fan anyhow, and I love Audi's LMP cars - the diesels they've been running for the past few years are pretty cool stuff, and they've really changed the face of the series with them. The R10TDi basically forced Peugeot into developing the 908, which finally beat Audi at LeMans.

Heroes wise, currently (surprise, surprise) I like the Audi guys a lot - McNish, Capello, and Tom "Mr. Lemans" Kristensen are my favorite drivers, and I would really like to see them take the 24 Hours back from Peugeot this year with the R15 Plus, but we'll see...

Anyone else into it at all?

-Tim

(PS, Brutus, I hope this is ok to post here. If it's not, I understand.)
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05-11-2010, 08:19 PM
Post: #2
RE: LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
No problem with the post at all. I was wondering if Aston Martin are racing the 24 hours this year? They seemed to be focusing more on that aspect of developement a few years back but I'm not aware if they've continued to do so.

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05-12-2010, 05:34 AM
Post: #3
RE: LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
AM is racing in both the ALMS and the LMS this year, in a couple of the different classes. They've got an Aston Martin - Lola LMP1 car that's wearing the Gulf blue and orange that's a pretty great machine. It came in third (ahead of my beloved Audis and behind two of the Pugs) at Sebring this year, and second at Long Beach, where the Pugs and Audis were absent. They would have probably won the Long Beach race but for a tiny tiny miscalculation by the driver right near the end of the race. He hit the armaco on the edge of a turn and it threw him off just enough to let the Acura slip by, which was a total heartbreaker. It came in second behind an Audi at Paul Ricard as well.

Last year, one of their cars actually came in 4th at the 24 hours, which is pretty good considering what they were up against.

Behind Audi, I have a huge soft spot for AM.

-Tim
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05-12-2010, 08:07 PM
Post: #4
RE: LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
I've heard of the LeMans, but never paid much attention to it. Might have to hit up YouTube and see if I can watch a little bit of it.
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05-13-2010, 05:06 AM
Post: #5
RE: LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
It's pretty cool racing. 'Course, I'm biased, but it is pretty cool.

For a decent introduction, have a look at a film called "Truth in 24." It's available free on iTunes. It's Audi-centric, but it gives a really good feel for the entire form of racing, and an overview of how the whole thing works. Audi paid the NFL Films documentary team to follow them around during the 2008 season and at the LeMans 24 Hours that year, and the result is a pretty kickass documentary. They got Jason Statham to narrate it, which was a great touch, I thought.

The basic formula for the LeMans 24 Hours is they start the race on a Saturday afternoon, and they don't stop until 24 hours later. Whoever has completed the most laps after that 24 hours is the winner. There are several classes of car that are all on the track at the same time with HUGELY different capabilities, so that adds some more interest and excitement to it, because you'll see top-of-the-line prototype cars having to figure out how to weave their way through the slower production car based racers. There are usually three drivers per car, and they take turns swapping out drivers during the pit stops. Generally, no driver is allowed to be in the car longer than 4 hours at a time, during which the guys in the top end P1 (Prototype 1) cars will do the equivalent of more than an entire Indianapolis 500.

Interesting trivia:
LeMans was the first place where anyone ever sprayed Champagne in victory. Modern seatbelts were developed on LeMans racing cars.
The reason that the ignition switch on a Porsche road car is on the left hand side of the steering wheel is because traditionally, the race was started with all of the cars lined up on one side of the track, and the drivers on the other. They had to run to their cars, jump in, start them, and take off. Porsche figured out they could save a few tenths of a second by allowing the driver to be twisting the ignition key with his left hand while he was putting the car in gear with his right.

-Tim
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05-13-2010, 08:40 PM
Post: #6
RE: LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
Wow, thanks for the tip on the free documentary! Downloading now.
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05-14-2010, 04:54 AM
Post: #7
RE: LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
Nice - enjoy it! I actually just re-watched it on my iPhone during a couple of flights last week. I have some friends who are professional automotive journalists, and one of them is in pretty close with the folks who run Audi of America. He gets press credentials and goes to LeMans every year with the Audi team. There is a scene in that documentary where the Audi drivers are, ummm... "signing" a woman in a nightgown, and you can see my buddy's camera lens a couple of times poking into the frame. Tongue

-Tim
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01-22-2011, 12:07 PM (This post was last modified: 01-22-2011 12:08 PM by State of Grace.)
Post: #8
RE: LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
I am excited to have stumbled upon this thread - I am a BIG TIME Gear Head! I grew up going to Motorsports events with my Dad and I also had the good fortune to work in the industry. I was a camera person for a Motorsports show and my employer at one time was Scott Maxwell. If you have followed ALMS for a long time you would know that he has raced in that series for many years. I also was employed by Panoz Motorsports at Mosport International Raceway.

As a spectator that has had her diapers changed at the race track my favourite racing is open wheel and sports car road course racing. I've been fortunate to have watched Gilles Villeneuve tearing up Mosport Raceway and LOVED the Can-Am series where also many great names in racing graced the seats of the prototype racecars. I've had the pleasure to meet some of the greats! I guess you can see from all my ramblings here (Sorry a-boot that.) that I am pretty passionate about motorsports racing!

I have some pictures to share that I have taken at the ALMS events at Mosport International Raceway. I only uploaded a few of the hundreds of pictures I've taken over the years.

Brutus - I put a couple of the Aston Martin ones in there for you.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/sixsongs/se...881400340/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sixsongs/se...756113455/


I've subscribed to this thread now. Great to have others who love road racing and specifically the ALMS!

FAITH is fear and doubt standing in HOPE. Angel
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01-29-2011, 02:49 PM
Post: #9
RE: LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
Grand-Am Rolex Daytona 24 Hour now on! The racing season begins... ladies and gentlemen - start your engines! Smile

Who's watching the race?

FAITH is fear and doubt standing in HOPE. Angel
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01-29-2011, 03:02 PM
Post: #10
RE: LeMans style endurance racing anyone?
Uhhhh that would be me - well....I have it on tv while I work. I just tuned in about 5 minutes ago....I asked my wife if I could have one of those watches. She just rolled her eyes, pointed down at my office and told me to get busy.

No sense of humor today for some odd reason.

Primary Principle - "It must NEVER be my fault"
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