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A word of warning?


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#1 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 12:39

Audi as expected have steamrollered their way to the front of the grid for this weekend's Le Mans 24. Nothing unusual about that, however they have done it with their new turbo diesel powered cars which have already proven to be ultra reliable at Sebring.

This worries me. The thing most of us here love about racing cars is the noise I suspect. We grew up with the sound of ERAs, Maseratis, Matra and Ferrari V12s, Chevy V8s etc.

Apparantly these Audis are so very quiet, whistling their way past and the drivers reckon they can only hear the rush of wind on the Mulsanne. If they win convincingly, how many other manufacturers will develop quiet fuel efficient diesels for frontline sportscar racing? The environmental 'noise police' will almost certainly jump on this with glee, probably starting in France, asking why all motor sport are not like this, including F1 and our beloved historics?

According to the Autosport Le Mans review, Ulrich Baretzky, the Audi man responsible for the V12 TDI engine claims that he 'hates noisy engines' and a 'noisy engine has little relevance to anyone wanting to buy an Audi for the road'.

How can these front line whistling modern sportscars raise any excitement whatsoever? It would be like going to an air show to find out that the Merlins and modern awesome Rolls-Royce jets are grounded and you only have gliders to watch!

Yet thousands will probably continue to meet at Le Mans every year. Look at Monza, serious problems with noise as many circuits have, therefore is this the answer the FIA are looking for?

Are our days numbered and should I as a lover of the wonderful varied exhaust notes have concerns? I am hoping that Audi do not win this weekend..

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#2 ian senior

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 12:50

I agree. I admire the technology Audi have produced, but deplore their attitude.

Like many (most?) of us, I like noise. It's part of racing. It doesn't even have to be particularly loud in decibel terms, it's the quality of the noise that sets the heart racing. I think back to all the times I've arrived at a circuit and heard racing cars in action as I walked or drove through the gate. It just wanted to make me get closer to it as soon as possible. It'll be a sad day if the NIMBYs rule the roost. I can see their point of view, but surely a happy medium could be achieved. As I said, there's a world of difference betweeen a nice noise and a loud, objectionable one.

#3 WHITE

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 12:53

Silent engines sound good for me ;)

#4 Twin Window

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 12:56

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson

...how many other manufacturers will develop quiet fuel efficient diesels for frontline sportscar racing?

Peugeot will have one for next season, so their PR bloke told me at the back end of last year.

All very dull.

:down:

#5 Mallory Dan

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 13:02

I remember thinking the same when I first heard the 956s at S'stone in 1983. V quiet compared to what I was used too. There again, I'm glad the Mazda rotaries never won very much, and hence weren't copied ...

#6 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 13:13

And the Interserie turbo Porsches in the Martini Trophy at Silverstone in the early 70s were quiet too. The Mazda was pretty loud I agree however nowhere near the concerns back then from the NIMBY brigade as now.

Even Snetterton has major problems and is in the middle of nowhere! Interestingly the noisiest sport on earth, drag racing, has no restrictions at Santa Pod when the 300mph, 8000bhp top fuel dragsters are running, guzzling nitro-methane at a rate of 102 gallons per minute! They have an all-year-round licence until 9pm. However a quick 5 second burst up the strip now and then is not a disturbance like a 60 lap Grand Prix!

#7 Maldwyn

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 13:16

Originally posted by ian senior
I think back to all the times I've arrived at a circuit and heard racing cars in action as I walked or drove through the gate. It just wanted to make me get closer to it as soon as possible.

Exactly. The noise feeds the anticipation. I remember walking up the road from the car park towards Goodwood House for the first time hearing a number of distinct engine notes which all rattled the senses. I can't imagine a whistling diesel doing the same in a few years time.

#8 BRG

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 14:20

Isn't noise just wasted energy? If competition cars were the super-efficient devices that we like to think they are, shouldn't they all be silent?

Personally I would be happy to see silencers on all competition cars, up to and including F1. If you have to wear ear-plugs to be comfortable around these cars (and not suffer hearing damage), then aren't they simply too noisy?

I am not really calling for zero noise, as I agree it gives some nice extra character to the differing engine layouts etc, but do they really need to be louder than road-cars?

#9 M Needforspeed

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 15:13

the sim racers I know that play Grand Prix Legends at home, are always praising this game for the noise of each 7 cars JP Goedhart sound genius provided us with ..I doubt they don t play it loud when there are , at home...

Noise is part of Motor Racing, and even when at home, most of gamers have the choice to switch down noise at low volume, they don t ! so ...

Michel

the BRM P 160 V 12 engine noise is the best melody my ears have ever listened too ! :yawn:

#10 JacnGille

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 15:29

Yeah, the different sounds that different engine configurations produce have been a part of racing for decades. However, given the choice between quiet racers and no racers, due to track closures over noise, I will choose the former every time. How many tracks have been forced to shut down in the last 10 years over noise complaints and how many more are in jeopardy today?

#11 Jerry Lee

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 15:49

In the Mid to Late eighties, the same thing happened to Unlimited Hydroplane racing in the US. Previously all boats used surplus WWII aircraft engines (e.g. Rolls Merlins, Rolls Griffons and Allison). Then one team got the Turbine engine to work properly in a boat and everyone soon switched. These days there is one boat still running a Turbo Allison (which is much quieter than Merlins and Griffons ever were) but is only competitive because of restrictions (size and fuel flow) on the Turbine engines. In the past you could tell from miles away when a boat was running. Now it's very difficult and you can hear the hull smacking the water as it passes on the straight.

#12 mfd

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 16:10

Can't say I agree or disagree about the noise, but the reason behind Audi doing this whole project is to be there first.

How many of us are now driving super-diesels, who wouldn't have considered them a viable road car twenty years ago ?

I can't quite remember the exact phrase, but wasn't it along the lines of "win today, sell tomorrow "
As we saw with the FSi, Audi are just using the racetrack to develop their technology for the road and thus justifying their involvement in competition

I really hope they don't get lured into F1, I know Red Bull are desperately trying to hook them.

#13 LotusElise

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 19:50

We have had quiet cars before - what about the gas-turbine models driven by Graham Hill and Jim Clark in the Sixties?

#14 Twin Window

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 20:06

Originally posted by M Needforspeed

the BRM P 160 V 12 engine noise is the best melody my ears have ever listened too !

:up:

#15 macoran

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 22:13

Originally posted by BRG
Isn't noise just wasted energy? If competition cars were the super-efficient devices that we like to think they are, shouldn't they all be silent?

Personally I would be happy to see silencers on all competition cars, up to and including F1. If you have to wear ear-plugs to be comfortable around these cars (and not suffer hearing damage), then aren't they simply too noisy?

I am not really calling for zero noise, as I agree it gives some nice extra character to the differing engine layouts etc, but do they really need to be louder than road-cars?


Don't you like motor sports ???

Play GP on your PC !!! if you have half a decent setup, you can switch off the speakers !

#16 Doug Nye

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 22:43

Originally posted by BRG
Isn't noise just wasted energy? If competition cars were the super-efficient devices that we like to think they are, shouldn't they all be silent?


This would have been music to Tony Vandervell's ears. He thought exactly the same way and for their period his Vanwalls were notably quiet. When Mr Ferrari waxed lyrical about his V8s in the pits at Monza c. 1956-57 Mr Vandervell merely tapped one foot against the car's rear tyres and told his famous customer "That's where the noise should come out..." - then tapping the V8's megaphone exhausts "...not there!".

DCN

#17 Frank S

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 22:57

I remember some fun at the first Showroom Stock race on Riverside. The event was set as the last race of Saturday, so there wasn't much in the way of crowd to dampen the sounds. The large field hummed its way past Start-Finish and out of sight around Turn Two. Large smiles and shaking of heads as the screech of tortured tires wafted across the mile from Turn Six.

--
Frank S

#18 cosworth bdg

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 03:11

Please HURRY UP and bring on turbo Super - Diesels in F1........... :up:

#19 cosworth bdg

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 03:31

[QUOTE]Originally posted by BRG
[B]Isn't noise just wasted energy? If competition cars were the super-efficient devices that we like to think they are, shouldn't they all be silent?

My sentiments exactly.................................

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#20 Vicuna

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 05:09

Get very used to it.

We baby boomers and pre-boomers have grown up in an age where the oil will last forever and sun tans and smoking are cool.

F1 will be diesel within a dozen years...about the time VAG enter.

They can't be any less successful than any F1 effort by Porsche.

Suggest you read 'Green' by Dottore Michele Lorenzo on www.pitpass.com

#21 RTH

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 07:05

Give it time, racing cars will be filled up with liquid hydrogen which they will turn in to electrical power in a fuel cell and drive electric motors in each wheel, will corner as if on rails in complete and utter silence with all the drama of a milk float.

What is significant is a report in 'Autocar' this week that "Diesels could be killing us "

Smog in Britain and elsewhere caused by emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide the vast amounts of which comes from diesel engines -- over 5 times as much emits from a diesel as from a current petrol engine.

As if that is not bad enough the real danger comes from the microscopic PM 10 particulate (not the blue or black smoke of unburned fuel you often see , which is much bigger size ), this causes lung cancer, astma and a range of respritary and other serious life threatening ilnesses, its a hugely serious issue now car purchase has shifted from 5 % diesels 20 years ago to 40 % now. All these dangers have been well known for at least 30 years, very late in the day governments are it appears only just waking up to it , if only very slowly.

The Audi bosses are so worried about anyone seeing ANY smoke out of the back of the LM cars they have been filled with huge particulate traps which are very expensive to buy very costly to service and need frequent attention. This is the main reason the cars are so quiet. Devices not on road cars or trucks, still at service trials on a pilot group of new buses. If made mandatory, as they should be, they will add greatly to the purchase price and servicing cost of all diesel powered vehicles

You can read all about the technical detail of the Audi R10 TDI V12 twin turbocharger 650 BHP 1100 NM blowing at 3 bar direct injection over 4 full pages in this months 'Racecar Engineering' magazine vol 16 no 7.

In the same issue it looks in detail at the JCB diesel world land speed record challenger over 7 pages of text !

In comparison now a modern catalysed petrol engine in terms of toxic emissions is staggeringly clean to the extent in some urban areas what comes out of its tailpipe can at times be cleaner than the air that goes down the intake ! If not in terms of CO2, which other than the greenhouse effect, is harmless directly to health.

#22 cosworth bdg

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 07:55

Originally posted by RTH
Give it time, racing cars will be filled up with liquid hydrogen which they will turn in to electrical power in a fuel cell and drive electric motors in each wheel, will corner as if on rails in complete and utter silence with all the drama of a milk float.



In comparison now a modern catalysed petrol engine in terms of toxic emissions is staggeringly clean to the extent in some urban areas what comes out of its tailpipe can at times be cleaner than the air that goes down the intake ! If not in terms of CO2, which other than the greenhouse effect, is harmless directly to health.

We are not very far away with HYDROGEN FUEL CELL technology today, all we need is for Politicians OF ALL Personations to push it further....

#23 RTH

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 10:48

Incidently you can listen to live circuit commentary on line www.0157.org then follow the links on the 74th running of this weekends Le Mans 24 hr race - starts an hour later this year due to some football at 17.00 ...............local 4.00pm UK time you can of course read this forum while you listen !

On the Le Mans page of parent www.autosport.com you can click on the full qualifying list then set it to start when the race starts you then get real time updated lap chart positions.

It would appear first time for many years there is no TV coverage on Eurosport this appears to now be confined to Motors TV which is subscription only , one or two positions on the grid caught the eye


Audis 1st & 2nd
Pescarolos 3rd & 4th
MG Lola 12th overall
Radical 14th
Astons 20th & 21st
Lamborghini Murcielago 34th

#24 mfd

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 12:22

What is significant is a report in 'Autocar' this week that "Diesels could be killing us "

In the UK at least, high fuel costs encourage us to use diesel...

..so if the government slashed the tax on petrol ( but not diesel ) we could all become better environmentalists by switching back to our old ways !

#25 HistoricMustang

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 13:06

I can still hear those fantastic Robert Yates V-8's powering the Panoz. :clap:

Diesel fuel next and then on to bio-diesel and then perhaps a finger to the petro producers. In that case put me on the bus for silence.

Henry

#26 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 13:12

A few years down the road maybe, but if it becomes too quiet, I'm off...perhaps take up bird watching or something....how about chess or fishing? Silence is needed for those pastimes and probably just as exciting as a racing car without noise.

#27 RTH

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 15:57

Originally posted by mfd
What is significant is a report in 'Autocar' this week that "Diesels could be killing us "

In the UK at least, high fuel costs encourage us to use diesel...

..so if the government slashed the tax on petrol ( but not diesel ) we could all become better environmentalists by switching back to our old ways !


Yes, very much so, also in a group test of economy cars in Autocar about 3 weeks ago the Toyota Aygo came out as the cheapest car to run beating all the diesel cars of similar size mainly because of its low kerb weight. LPG or LNG are even cleaner still but a 2006 petrol car especially a japanese one who seem to set themselves even higher standards have clean exhaust gas in terms of toxicity no diesel gets even close.

#28 RTH

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 15:58

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
A few years down the road maybe, but if it becomes too quiet, I'm off...perhaps take up bird watching or something....how about chess or fishing? Silence is needed for those pastimes and probably just as exciting as a racing car without noise.


Have you heard the noise those birds make on Bill Oddie's Springwatch programme !!!

#29 Keir

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 02:05

It seems that it is 2006 and we are being moved along, albeit a tad quieter !!!!!

#30 RTH

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 06:21

After 15 hrs

Audi Diesels are in 1st & 3rd
3 Aston DB9s in the top 10 - lead car 1st in GT1 - 4th overall
MG Lola leads P2 and 6th overall
Lamborghini in 24th

Kristensen's 3rd place Audi has just had turbo failure so will drop further...........turbo was changed in 16 mins.....back out again

#31 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 07:28

To me motor racing is much about noise......and clear colours and numbers, that is identifiably cars....am I getting old?????? The sound of a 6cyl jag or maser is music to me , fine with others too....or the rumbling of a big V8!!! , listen to the top technical Vettes of today, they still have it......
the best noise I ever heard though was the Honda 6 250/350 mc! Anyway I believe motorsport today is more money/PR than sport...thank you all for the TNF...all tha t nostalgia keeps me young.......,am i getting old??? Without the noise , silly commentators will dominate even more ,but of course there is the switch..........Regards to all of you from Bjørn(the transporter nut).

#32 Vicuna

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 08:10

Good post Bjorn

#33 T54

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 15:09

the best noise I ever heard though was the Honda 6 250/350 mc!


Try their 5-cylinder 8-speed 125cc... higher pitch and anothr 5000 rpm at 25500... :)

#34 RTH

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 15:10

Well, for the first time in history a diesel powered car the Audi R10 no. 8 won outright the Le Mans 24 hr race, the RML MG Lola won P2 a Corvette won GT1 and a Panoz won GT2. has to be said not in any way a classic.

#35 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 15:46

WE need the big boys back.

All the same, it's good to see an alternative technology win a major motor racing event. Would that F1 allowed such inovation (depite F1's falacious claims to be the world pinnacle of motor sport).

#36 petefenelon

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 16:08

While I love the noise. as an engineer, I recognise that it doesn't actually help performance much.

Was it John Cooper or Colin Champan who's alleged to have kicked the tyres of a Ferrari and said something like "that's where you want all the power, not going out of the exhaust pipes..."?

I think the F1 after the increasingly tedious 2.4v8 formula will be for hybrid turbodiesels - and it'll be the manufacturers pushing for it. If that's what it takes for motor racing to survive - so be it.

#37 petefenelon

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 16:11

Originally posted by RTH
Well, for the first time in history a diesel powered car the Audi R10 no. 8 won outright the Le Mans 24 hr race, the RML MG Lola won P2 a Corvette won GT1 and a Panoz won GT2. has to be said not in any way a classic.


Were you following the same race as me? GT1 was one of the best scraps in that class ever, GT2 kept me interested right to the end, and had the RfH Dome kept going P1 would've been very interesting...

I'm full of admiration for Joest and Audi, even if they don't excite me much. They've gone out and done something very different and made it work; now, when Peugeot come in, let's see whether Audi have just exploited a loophole in the equivalency rules, or whether they've built something that stretches the diesel regs as far as they'll go!

(thinks: we need a latter-day Napier Deltic in LMP1 ;))

#38 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 17:03

Originally posted by petefenelon
Was it John Cooper or Colin Champan who's alleged to have kicked the tyres of a Ferrari and said something like "that's where you want all the power, not going out of the exhaust pipes..."?

Tony Vandervell

#39 petefenelon

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 17:41

Originally posted by Roger Clark

Tony Vandervell


Even better ;P - ta!

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#40 Alan Cox

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 18:59

Only discovered the ACO's website this year, and followed the race through it. It's an example of how to construct a 'live' site, with continuous updates, pit stops (and reasons for them), driver changes, photos (now it's over, there are 145 pages of photos!), team and driver profiles and press releases etc.......

Why can't others do likewise?

http://www.lemans.or...accueil_gb.html

#41 Bonde

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 19:01

...ahem - Pete: Se DCN's post #17...

#42 petefenelon

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 19:04

Originally posted by Bonde
...ahem - Pete: Se DCN's post #17...


D'oh! -

#43 RTH

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:03

Originally posted by petefenelon


Were you following the same race as me? GT1 was one of the best scraps in that class ever, GT2 kept me interested right to the end, and had the RfH Dome kept going P1 would've been very interesting...

I'm full of admiration for Joest and Audi, even if they don't excite me much. They've gone out and done something very different and made it work; now, when Peugeot come in, let's see whether Audi have just exploited a loophole in the equivalency rules, or whether they've built something that stretches the diesel regs as far as they'll go!

(thinks: we need a latter-day Napier Deltic in LMP1 ;))


Well true there was some interest in the lower classes to near the end, the 4 Astons generally did rather disappoint after last years strong promise. With all due respect the concept of the Corvette is well, shall we say rather dated. The road going Panoz was a bit of a surprise right near the end.

But really the top 10 hardly changed at all for the last 10 hours the result all too predictible. I was hoping the rain would arrive and deluge the last 6 hours , but it wasn't to be.

Personally I wish the race was now again for all production based road sports cars. Same old story really, too many driver aids, too much downforce, too much reliability, well over half the starters finished the race, not enough crisis, drama, heroic cobbling up the car drastic car repairs with tape and string up and down the pitlane !!...... to get to the finish. Too much resouces, too many staff too much help and assistance of all kinds for the driver. In short because the cars are now so good a lot of the fun and spectacle of even 24 hr races sadly has gone , for the present at least.

Simlification of the cars technically as I think you said yourself Pete lets go back to "Le Mans Unplugged " In the pits they were even able to tell that the gearbox oil temperature in a CORVETTE had gone up ! All of this sort of stuff I think should be denied competitors.

The ACO of course in its present guise will not do it, they still have this romanticised dream of a little Frenchman in blue & white striped T shirt and beret building a prototype in the shed at the bottom of his garden and his home brewed pale blue prototype taking the flag at 4.00pm.

But leviathans like Audi can and have steamrollered this event and prototype racing for the last 6 years and more , impressive but not exciting. I wish something would be done.

#44 ian senior

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 11:08

Back to the noise issue. I remember, at a somewhat lower level of racing than Le Mans, the turbocharged special saloon Escort driven by Jim Evans in the 70s. It was an almost surreal experience to see this car racing quietly at the head of the field, while all the proper noisy cars were chasing it in vain. Fast car, good driver, but it didn't seem right somehow.

In principle, I have nothing against such cars, either special saloon Escorts or Le Mans winning Audis, as long as they don't become the only choice for competitive racing. As always in racing, variety is the best thing. There should be more than one way to produce a competitive car.

#45 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 11:17

Originally posted by RTH


The ACO of course in its present guise will not do it, they still have this romanticised dream of a little Frenchman in blue & white striped T shirt and beret building a prototype in the shed at the bottom of his garden and his home brewed pale blue prototype taking the flag at 4.00pm.

Courage, mon vieux!;)

(You forgot the Gitane dangling from his lips!)

#46 kayemod

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 11:24

Originally posted by Vitesse2

Courage, mon vieux!;)

(You forgot the Gitane dangling from his lips!)


And the string of onions over his shoulder.

#47 RTH

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 11:30

mais oui, mais oui, laboratoire garnier !! (as Del might say ! )

#48 petefenelon

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:20

Originally posted by RTH



The ACO of course in its present guise will not do it, they still have this romanticised dream of a little Frenchman in blue & white striped T shirt and beret building a prototype in the shed at the bottom of his garden and his home brewed pale blue prototype taking the flag at 4.00pm.

But leviathans like Audi can and have steamrollered this event and prototype racing for the last 6 years and more , impressive but not exciting. I wish something would be done.


Re: the little Frenchman, the ACO have been trying to give Henri's boys the win for the last N years!;)

Re: the 'leviathans' - if manufacturers are in racing, they're going to dominate, particularly when they want to illustrate their superiority in one particular technology. They'll either develop it themselves or buy up the little guys who are doing it. Either you make a formula that's so tightly policed that there is virtually no competitive advantage to be gained by chucking money at it (virtual spec-cars), or you reduce the stakes such that there's no PR advantage for them in it. And even in the former case, you'll note that in the very equal Daytona Prototype series Porsche have started turning up the heat, supplying near-works engines and drivers to Alex Job.

Next year will be interesting - VAG vs PSA both with high-tech diesel cars. I still wonder if Pescarolo's operation will end up running the Pug team but some of his management decisions before this year's race were... odd... (ask Christophe Bouchut).

There's a part of me that would prefer racing without big manufacturers. But racing without big manufacturers is racing without publicity, racing without telly, racing without widely-available publications. Do we really want to go back to two paragraphs tucked away in the back of the paper?

The romantic within me would love to see Le Mans looking like a glorified European 2-litre round from the early 70s, the realist says that the raison d'etre is LMP1 and GT1 and the journeymen and enthusiasts are just making up the numbers.

#49 simon drabble

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 13:27

it was the first Le Mans i have been to and I found it anything but dull - the Audi was astonishingly quiet but the noise of the Lambo and the Astons made up for it! Historic racer Gregor Fisken lasted well but ultimately had to retire whicch was a shame, I was lucky enough to be driving a friends 246 Dino there and back and that was as much fun as the rest of the weekend - I just hope the Gatso's werent working!

#50 philippe7

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 15:13

Originally posted by RTH
they still have this romanticised dream of a little Frenchman in blue & white striped T shirt and beret building a prototype in the shed at the bottom of his garden and his home brewed pale blue prototype taking the flag at 4.00pm.


Of course . In his shed . Just like a certain Ken Tyrrell did in 1970 in "another" international formula.( and a certain Peter Connew a few years later , with slightly less success ) . What's wrong with that ?