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1949 Le Mans

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#1 cabianca

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:06

At Le Mans in 1949, Luigi Chinetti rigged an on-board oil tank that he refilled as the race went on. I know he set the engine up loose so it would last. My question is, was this a convenience to speed up pit stops, or was it a way to get around rules about adding fluids (except petrol) during the race? I add that he used a similar set up on his 1932 winner. That Alfa had a capped pipe coming out of the left side of the cowling. However, the 1949 version was not near as conspicuous.



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Posted 25 October 2013 - 16:54

Whatever the Le Mans rules, can you believe Chinetti's additional tank he actually had fitted on the Ferrari could have been against the rules and passed unnoticed on the winning car?

#3 D-Type

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 18:55

David Hodges's Le Mans history has a chapter summarising the regulations.  There is no specific mention of replenishing oil but he does say "The intervals between permitted refuelling (fuel, oil and water) stops have varied, from 25 laps in 1949 and 1061-62, to 34 in 1956 ...".  This suggests the limits were the same for the three liquids.  If this is the case, the additional tank would have been simply to ensure that there was enough oil to satisfy the Ferrari's heavy consumption.  The driver may have transferred oil to the engine from the additional tank, but I can't picture him opening a can or bottle and topping up the tank while on the move.

Edited by D-Type, 25 October 2013 - 18:56.


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 18:10

Thanks D-Type (and David Hodges).  The regulation only limited the distance between refill pit stops, apparently not the capacity of tanks on board.


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