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ACO creates Formula Le Mans


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#1 IOU 16

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 19:13

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/68385


I love this idea. Many more young drivers are going to sports cars at a younger age now, give them a series to perfect their craft in the cars before jumping into the top series.

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#2 Josta

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 19:20

Originally posted by IOU 16
http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/68385


I love this idea. Many more young drivers are going to sports cars at a younger age now, give them a series to perfect their craft in the cars before jumping into the top series.


Don't really understand this. Anyone can race in the lower categories that exist within the current race, so what is the point in this?

#3 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 19:21

I think you'd just keep doing F3 and GP2, and go to Le Mans when it presents itself. What it will do, I think, is give the not-quite-F3-superstar drivers (ie the 'gentleman drivers') a good training ground before doing LMS, ALMS, and Le Mans itself.

#4 pingu666

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 19:22

i dont see much point in it either, maybe a good support race for the lemans/fia gt series?

#5 noikeee

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 19:31

Maybe it's better in terms of costs compared to open-wheel feeder series?

Or they're trying to kill the idea that sports cars drivers are almost all rejects and/or veterans from other forms of racing (F1, F1 feeders, touring cars), and try to build Le Mans racing as an ultimate desirable goal for young drivers.

#6 IOU 16

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 19:33

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
I think you'd just keep doing F3 and GP2, and go to Le Mans when it presents itself. What it will do, I think, is give the not-quite-F3-superstar drivers (ie the 'gentleman drivers') a good training ground before doing LMS, ALMS, and Le Mans itself.


From what I have noticed though is that there are many more young drivers moving to sports cars. And very good young drivers.

Colin Braun (he has moved on to Nascar)
Patrick Long
Jonny Cocker
Dominik Farnbacher
Joey Hand
Simon Pagenaud (his was more because of the Champ Car sellout)
Mike Rockenfeller
Dirk Werner
Brian Frisselle



All these driver had great karting careers, many progressing to F3, Atlantics, Champ Car, and doing very well. Championships, wins. Some younger drivers see more opprotunity in sports cars than in open wheel racing. Many could have gone on and done well in F1. Patrick Long was on the path to be the first American in F1 long before the world knew of Scott Speed, but after opted to sign with Porsche after winning the British Formula Renault title. Joey Hand had a few years of success in Atlantics. Colin Braun is a US Formula Renault Champ.

With new interest in sports car racing by the manufactures, there is money to be had, and drivers to attract.


Originally posted by paranoik0
Maybe it's better in terms of costs compared to open-wheel feeder series?


Not sure about that. But with two drivers per car, I am sure the costs are split.

Or they're trying to kill the idea that sports cars drivers are almost all rejects and/or veterans from other forms of racing (F1, F1 feeders, touring cars), and try to build Le Mans racing as an ultimate desirable goal for young drivers.


I would rather win Le Mans than Indy.

All young drivers goal, at least in Europe is F1. Most find that is not going to happen, so why continue in the F1 feeder series?

I think many teams will create junior teams and build around this series. Audi Junior Team. ORECA Junior Team.

#7 BMW_F1

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 19:45

Originally posted by IOU 16

Colin Braun is a US Formula Renault Champ.



what ever happened to Colin Brown the World Karting Champion from the UK?. At some point I thought this was the same guy but they are not..

#8 Risil

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 19:47

I think this is a sign, along with the highly successful Le Mans 24h this year, that prototype and sportscar racing is on the way back up. Le Mans-type series seem better able to promote technological development than the increasingly restrictive Formula One (which IMO was never an easy fit for such a remit), and with Peugeot getting in on the action perhaps a couple more manufacturers may follow, especially as car manufacturers are forced to lay off staff from their increasingly-redundant F1 programmes.

Getting younger drivers who aren't going to reach F1 to consider prototype racing, instead of wasting their time on the lower rungs of the F1-centric motorsports ladder, is a great idea IMO. But Le Mans's greatest challenge, and presumably one which they are addressing, has to be to encourage more major manufacturers to consider a full-scale LMP1 programme. I'd certainly rather see the more technically-minded teams like Honda or Toyota improve the breed in sports car racing, than sit around basically just marketing themselves in Formula One.

#9 Locai

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 16:54

I'm not quite sure what the point of a 1 hour race WITH a driver change is? So then the drivers get 30 minutes each? That's not a lot of seat time. Most feeder series run for closer to 1 hour. It's not like the drivers are going to be so exhausted that they NEED a change. Is this being done so that the costs per-driver are cheaper?

It seems to me like there already are plenty of sportscar series available. In the US (at least) the SCCA has seemingly dozens of road racing classes...and NASCAR is King here! I would have to imagine that there are plenty more road racing series in Europe. Why do we need another? It seems to me that most new drivers who are interested in Le Mans-style racing would start off in the GT classes anyways and move up to prototypes from there.

If they insist on doing something like this, then why not just make a cheaper-to-run car and eliminate the driver change? Do driver changes really need to be showcased in a feeder series?

#10 pingu666

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 17:58

multiple drivers per car is a big part of endurance racing, so it really needs tobe in there

#11 Jerome

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 18:25

I think it is not a good idea, because these young drives would have to learn not only to drive the cars but also:

a. drive through slower traffic
b. Drive at night or other strange moments

A better idea would be to indeed create these 'feeder' sportcars, but throw them into the mix of 'lesser' endurance races of 24 hours or 1000 kms. You could use all the cars that can't make the big Le Mans: semi-street Porsches, BMW's, or even Mini's....

#12 CWeil

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 01:36

IOU16- ask most of those drivers you listed if they went to sportscars because they preferred it over open-wheel or if it was because they HAD to. They'll pretty much all say the same thing.

I think the idea of the Formula Lemans thing is ok, but in practice it's not going to be what people expect. Much as Ross said, it's going to end up with mostly gentleman drivers and guys who couldn't cut it in even the lowest reaches of OW. They aren't going to be the ones who end up running prototypes in the future.

I don't think it's going to work out as any sort of proper feeder.

(I'm especially not sure how they plan to "deal with traffic" given that they're all running the same car)

#13 Youichi

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 09:04

Originally posted by Jerome
I think it is not a good idea, because these young drives would have to learn not only to drive the cars but also:

a. drive through slower traffic
b. Drive at night or other strange moments

A better idea would be to indeed create these 'feeder' sportcars, but throw them into the mix of 'lesser' endurance races of 24 hours or 1000 kms. You could use all the cars that can't make the big Le Mans: semi-street Porsches, BMW's, or even Mini's....


But they already have feeder classes, GT2 and GT3, if they want a prototype-class aswell, then just make a LMP3 class, and let them run with everyone else.

I can't see any point in separate races.

#14 F1Fanatic.co.uk

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 09:22

Originally posted by Locai
I'm not quite sure what the point of a 1 hour race WITH a driver change is? So then the drivers get 30 minutes each? That's not a lot of seat time. Most feeder series run for closer to 1 hour. It's not like the drivers are going to be so exhausted that they NEED a change. Is this being done so that the costs per-driver are cheaper?

Surely the point is they need to get experience of arriving at a compromise car set-up with another driver? That's not something you have to do non-endurance racing.

#15 Bob Riebe

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 09:39

Gee it sounds like a pre-school for racing drivers.

I did not know the racing drivers of sixties, seventies and eighties had such great difficulty adapting to LeMans, Daytona and Sebring.

There must be hidden horror stories never told.
Gentleman driver--hmmm, now being a gentleman is an insult meaning you are a lessor human being than than preferred elite.

No wonder non-drag or short track racing is surviving and not thriving the narcisistic people running it have their heads up their butts and can not smell their own dung.