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Le Mans 24 Hours 2019 - The Last of the Hybrids


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#1 Nonesuch

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 13:36

As Maester Aemon says, "an LMP1 Hybrid, alone in the world, is a terrible thing."

Or maybe that's not exactly what he said. Either way, the 87th edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans is nearly here, less than a month away! :clap:

No fewer than 185 drivers are listed on the official entry list, announced today.
 
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After the withdrawal of Porsche and Audi from the WEC, Toyota is the last remaining LMP1 Hybrid entry. There has been much discussion about the ACO's "Equivalence of Technology" rules; critics have complained that the LMP1 category is essentially split into two, with the Hybrid Toyota cars having an insurmountable advantage over their non-hybrid counterparts. So far, the results of the WEC races in the 2018-2019 season have indeed shown that the Toyota cars will probably finish first and second - unless they run into trouble. That is not an impossible scenario. Before finally winning Le Mans in 2018, Toyota's record at the legendary race was one of heartbreaking failure, of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Even in the much shorter WEC races, the Toyota cars haven't always proven to be reliable. There is, in other words, a lot still to play for.

 

Leading the challenge are the Rebellion Racing and SMP Racing cars, with single-car entries by Dragonspeed and ByKolles rounding out the LMP1 field. And even within the Toyota team there are fireworks on the cards. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López will be keen to win the race for their side of the garage, after being beaten to the finish by Sébastian Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso last year.

The Le Mans race is also the 8th and final event in the World Endurance Championship Superseason 2018-2019. Toyota #8 will attempt to defend its championship lead from Toyota #7. Will Fernando Alonso finally win another FIA World Championship? We'll see!

The track

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The race takes place on one of the longest currently used circuits in the world. A full lap around the Circuit de la Sarthe measures 13,629 kilometres - almost double the length of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit!

As in the old days, large parts of the circuit are normally part of the French public road network. Various corners have become iconic in their own right, such as the Dunlop Curve and Chicane with the ever-present Dunlop bridge. Or Tertre Rouge, where cars leave the twisty first sector and accelerate down the Hunaudières. The Mulsanne corner provides a brief respite, after which the cars once more speed through the French countryside towards the Indianapolis and Arnage combination. Then it's off towards the Porsche and Corvette Curves - a true test of man and machine alike. Despite the length of the track, the fastest lap in last year's race came in at a mere 3:17.658 thanks to Sébastian Buemi and the #8 Toyota!

Large parts of the track are full-throttle sections, so it's no surprise that the fastest speed was measured upwards of 340 kilometres per hour. The LMP2 #36, piloted by Nicolas Lapierre, set that speed during one of his stints. In 2015, André Lotterer and his Audi R18 set a fastest lap with a record average speed of 249,5 km/h. By way of comparison, only five F1 cars were faster during last year's Monza Grand Prix!

After 24 hours, the winners will probably have driven close to 400 laps around the circuit. The all-time record stands at almost 5411 kilometres (or 397 laps) by the winning Audi in 2010. That's almost 18 F1 Grand Prix in one day!

The schedule
 
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12 June
16:00-20:00 Free Practice
22:00-00:00 Qualifying 1

13 June
19:00-21:00 Qualifying 2
22:00-00:00 Qualifying 3

15 June
09:00-09:45 Warm-Up
15:00 Race start

No points for guessing when the race ends. During the qualifying sessions, all drivers are required to complete five laps to familiarize themselves with the night time conditions at Le Mans.

In-between these events, there are many other sessions scheduled for the Ferrari Challenge, the Road to Le Mans junior series, etc. Be sure to check out the full schedule at the official website.

The cars
 
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Four categories of cars will appear on the grid for the race, these being:

LMP1: the premier Le Mans prototype (LMP) class is reserved for manufacturer teams. Private teams are allowed to participate without hybrid systems, and make up the vast majority of the entries.
LMP2: the successful LMP2 platform allows private teams to purchase one of four FIA-approved chassis. All cars use the same engine. Despite being heavier than LMP1 cars, these LMP2 machines can reach great speeds, sometimes exceeding their 'faster' prototype cousins in a straight line.
GTE-Pro: Grand Touring Endurance cars are race-adapted machines based on street-legal sports cars. Teams with professional drivers will be placed in the Professional group.
GTE-Am: GTE teams with a mixture of professional and amateur drivers compete in their own group.

For comparisons' sake, the 'pole position' qualifying times of last year for each of these categories were:

LMP1: 3:15.377 (Toyota #8)
LMP2: 3:24.842 (IDEC #48)
GTE-Pro: 3:47.504 (Porsche #91)
GTE-Am: 3:50.728  (Dempsey-Proton #88)

Per category, the following number of cars will appear at the race:

LMP1: 8 cars
LMP2: 20 cars
GTE-Pro: 17 cars
GTE-Am: 17 cars

In addition to the regular WEC entries, all categories except LMP1 will also see special Le Mans-only entries from regional series like the European Le Mans Series (ELMS).

Defending champions
 
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All of last year's winners return in 2019 to defend their title!

In LMP1, Toyota returns to Le Mans with the same line-up that won last year's race: the #8 car by Buemi, Nakajima and Alonso.
In LMP2, Signatech Alpine Matmut and their #36 car driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Pierre Thiriet and André Negrão will attempt to fend off the others in what should prove to be a highly competitive field.
In GTE-Pro, Porsche and their #92 line-up Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor will also return in the same formation as last year.
In GTE-AM, previous winners Dempsey-Proton Racing will similarly field the same line-up of Matt Campbell, Christian Ried and Julien Andlauer that steered the #77 to class-victory.

The legends
 
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Like any classic motor race, Le Mans has its own set of legends. Like frequent winners Porsche (19 times), Audi (13 times) and Ferrari (9 times). No doubt irksome to the French organisers, German constructors dominate the list of winners with no fewer than 34 wins going to German cars. The French themselves come in at 15 wins, just behind the 17 wins for British constructors. Between Audi and Porsche, the Germans also hold the records for most podiums, most entries, most all time participations, pole positions, and fastest laps.
 
On the drivers front the situation is a lot more mixed. Mister Le Mans himself, Tom Kristensen of Denmark has won the race nine times between 1997 and 2013, far ahead of Jacky Ickx of Belgium, who won the race six times between 1969 and 1982. Other frequent winners include Italians Emanuele Pirro (5), Luigi Chinetti and Rinaldo Capello (3), Brits Derek Bell (5), Woolf Barnato and Allan McNish (3). French drivers Henri Pescarolo and Yannick Dalmas (4) and Benoît Tréluyer (3) add some much needed French successes. Germans Frank Biela (5), Klaus Ludwig, Marco Werner and André Lotterer (3) add to the Germans' strong record at Le Mans.
 
Beyond the headlines of the winners, there are dozens if not hundreds of great Le Mans stories to be told. Like the story of Alexander Wurz, who became the youngest winner at just 22 years old in 1996. Or David Brabham, who finally won in 2009 after a record 15 unsuccessful attempts. In recent times Le Mans has welcomed both its youngest ever driver in Matt McMurry from Arizona (16 years, 2014) and its oldest in South-African Jack Gerber (68, 2013). Nobody has started more races than Frenchman Henri Pescarolo, who took part in 30 races. Unfortunately, he is also the man with the most Le Mans retirements at 18! On a more positive note, what's not to like about Tracy Krohn and Niclas Jönsson's joint Le Mans career: they started 13 races as team-mates and will do so again this year, in the #99 Dempsey-Proton Porsche.

Featuring

Manuela Gostner, Michelle Gatting and Le Mans-alumnus Rahel Frey will take the wheel of the #83 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488GTE in an FIA-backed all female line-up.

 

Coming off a strong result in the first ELMS race where they finished third in class, their outing in Monza proved little short of a disaster, with everything that could go wrong, going wrong. Let's hope the ladies have a better time of it in Le Mans!

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To get into the mood, be sure to check out the one hour overview of last year's Le Mans race here:

 

 

Edited by Nonesuch, 15 May 2019 - 18:54.


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#2 Nonesuch

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 15:45

Racing Team Nederland revealed a new colour scheme - different from its current WEC colours - for the Le Mans race.
 
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More images, and a report of the event (in Dutch) here: http://autosport.nl/...w-kleurenschema
 
Unlike last year, when supermarket mogul Frits van Eerd was joined by former F1 drivers Giedo van der Garde and Le Mans-veteran Jan Lammers, this year will see the team replace Lammers with the youngster Nyck de Vries, currently in F2.

 

Another reason LMP2 is good fun: amateurs, up and coming talent - there's place for all of them in this category! :up:


Edited by Nonesuch, 15 May 2019 - 15:45.


#3 f1paul

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 16:00

Have a funny feeling at least one of the Toyota's won't finish the race.

 

Anyway, I look forward to the GT action - it almost always goes down to the final few hours.  :up:



#4 BRG

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 17:21

Re the OP, Olivier Gendebien was NOT German!



#5 ARTGP

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 17:43

If they get the BOP right, GTE will be the only thing worth watching. 

 

Of course they need the other categories to "headline".. But the real fans know the protos are just grid fillers to prop up the GT category.



#6 messy

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 18:39

I find the WEC pretty depressing this season, to be honest. Especially when you recall how good it was in 2014-16 - three strong manufacturer LMP1 teams all fighting with great drivers....2016 was surely the high water mark for top level sports car racing for many years, wasn't it? I don't think I realised back then how great it was. Now Toyota are basically racing unopposed, Ford are withdrawing from GTE too and the privateer LMP1 entries just aren't cutting it.

But Le Mans is Le Mans regardless of anything else and it's still one of my highlights of the year....but at the front we're gonna get Toyota #8 winning, aren't we.

#7 Ben1445

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 18:40

I'm felling pretty good about the No.7 Toyota this year 



#8 Nonesuch

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 18:57

Re the OP, Olivier Gendebien was NOT German!

 

Thanks for the correction. :up:

 


I'm felling pretty good about the No.7 Toyota this year

 

Not that the Toyota's weren't pushing last year, but I have to think them getting that win will allow them to be a bit more relaxed this year. Perhaps we'll see both cars putting their win over a team win a bit more than in 2018, which could be quite the battle if both cars hold up. :up:



#9 TomNokoe

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 19:21

Wish Ant Davidson was still with Toyota, but will be rooting for him in LMP2!

#10 ARTGP

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 19:30

I'm felling pretty good about the No.7 Toyota this year 

 

Unless the #8 car gets seriously delayed, then that's not really in the script.

 

Goal is to generate the headlines with Alonso. #7 is just the second bullet in the gun should something go wrong with the #8.


Edited by ARTGP, 15 May 2019 - 19:30.


#11 Ben1445

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 19:41

Are we reeeally doing this whole ‘they only want Alonso to win’ thing again?

#12 Cornholio

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 20:34

I find the WEC pretty depressing this season, to be honest. Especially when you recall how good it was in 2014-16 - three strong manufacturer LMP1 teams all fighting with great drivers....2016 was surely the high water mark for top level sports car racing for many years, wasn't it? I don't think I realised back then how great it was. Now Toyota are basically racing unopposed, Ford are withdrawing from GTE too and the privateer LMP1 entries just aren't cutting it.

But Le Mans is Le Mans regardless of anything else and it's still one of my highlights of the year....but at the front we're gonna get Toyota #8 winning, aren't we.

 

Largely my feelings too, especially regarding 2014-16 WEC, it was utterly awesome. I can't even call it nostalgia because I was enjoying it so much at the time too. Not just 3 strong LMP1 manufacturers but 3 clearly different technical approaches, which kind of felt like a modern day version of the V8 vs V10 vs V12 engine days in F1 of the late 80s and early 90s. Not to mention the fully open chassis/engine LMP2 formula that also got canned at the end of '16. And generally feeling less of the F1-style obsession with overtaking and "good racing", yet managing to provide it organically on occasion anyway.

 

Last year, this year and next will more have a feeling of enjoying what little is left while it's still there, especially with talk this week that some sort of GTE-based formula might be the future of the top class as a last resort. At least with mid-90s GT1 there were also prototypes sharing the top billing



#13 ThadGreen

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 23:01

Nice OP. Looking forward to this.

#14 TF110

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 03:29

OP, are you saying this is the last year for hybrid lmp1's? Because they're running next year's Le Mans too (2019-2020 super season). So 2020's LM24 would be the last of the lmp1 hybrids, at least that's what the rule makers want to happen. 

 

Can't wait for the test day, and hope there's a challenge to Toyota in lmp1. I think the EOT is headed towards a closer race so let's see.


Edited by TF110, 16 May 2019 - 03:29.


#15 Nonesuch

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:32

OP, are you saying this is the last year for hybrid lmp1's?

 

Toyota is the last of the Hybrids. :)

 

I'm not as pessimistic as some seem to be, but at the same time it's hard not to feel a bit disappointed by how LMP1 in particular has shaken out. And while I understand why some are not as happy about current LMP2 rules as previous ones, but I think the net result is very positive. LMP2 is a great, competitive, accessible, and still properly fast category. I expect great action in this field, perhaps more so even than in GTE.

 

GTE really shot itself in the foot last year will silly restrictions, on stint lengths in particular. I'm not entirely sure how that's handled this year, but it was widely criticized by participants and fans alike. We'll see, I guess.

 


#16 Joseki

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:59

Are we reeeally doing this whole ‘they only want Alonso to win’ thing again?


They gotta be preemptive in downplaying a possible #8 win.

If they lose they (= Alonso) are not a good group of drivers, if they (= Alonso again) is only because it was coordinated. Once the narrative is set they just follow either path based on how the race is going.

Edited by Joseki, 16 May 2019 - 11:00.


#17 Henri Greuter

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 11:24

Are we reeeally doing this whole ‘they only want Alonso to win’ thing again?



Why not if we have to deal with `that` yet again????

#18 Imateria

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 11:36

Why not if we have to deal with `that` yet again????

Because it was dumb stupidity last year and it'll be dumb stupidity this year.



#19 Henri Greuter

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 11:59

Because it was dumb stupidity last year and it'll be dumb stupidity this year.



long toes .... ???

There are more great stupidities being dealt wit over here and being dealt with again and again whenever they show up their ugly head.
I see no reason why we should make an exception this time and ignore it instead of allowing it to be brought up for discussion and follow what happens.

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#20 Nonesuch

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 15:46

Conspiracy theories are just that. Conspiracy theories. They are no more serious in motor racing than in other areas of interest.

Toyota would be perfectly happy if the #7 wins and the #8 finishes second. The #7 gets the big prize, and the #8 becomes the World Champion. No problem.

One of the #8 drivers, I forget which, said as much after Spa-Francorchamps; they can just mirror the #7 and be fine. They're defending their championship lead at Le Mans.

#21 Nonesuch

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 15:56

It's not really Le Mans if Ford isn't moaning about BoP. :lol:

Ford being the team who built, sorry - adapted, a GT car as a prototype, sorry - as a production car, and the same Ford that has deliberately slowed down in pre-Le Mans races to mess with the BoP, sorry - always struggled in races prior to Le Mans.

 

“The car is brilliant, a great concept for what it needs to achieve in the class and as a car,” the Frenchman told Motorsport.com. (...)

 

“2016 was the only time I can remember we could say, ‘this is our strength’, and that was top speed, because the organisers didn’t know the potential of the car. As soon as they saw its potential, they pegged it and that’s been it.” (...)

 

“BoP is controlled by the series and so it’s like socialism brought into racing. The last time I checked, socialism doesn’t work in reality. My problem is that it gets decided from the top who’s getting what. It’s not like there’s a rulebook saying make the best car you can.”

 

https://www.motorspo...d-imsa/4389496/

 

Never mind that Ford never achieved the required minimum production numbers of the road-legal car and shouldn't even be allowed to compete anyway.

 

It'll be a shame if the cars don't find a new team to be raced by - but this team and their lousy conduct won't be missed. :wave:

 

Edited by Nonesuch, 16 May 2019 - 15:57.


#22 Henri Greuter

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 16:43

 

It's not really Le Mans if Ford isn't moaning about BoP. :lol:

Ford being the team who built, sorry - adapted, a GT car as a prototype, sorry - as a production car, and the same Ford that has deliberately slowed down in pre-Le Mans races to mess with the BoP, sorry - always struggled in races prior to Le Mans.

 

 

Never mind that Ford never achieved the required minimum production numbers of the road-legal car and shouldn't even be allowed to compete anyway.

 

It'll be a shame if the cars don't find a new team to be raced by - but this team and their lousy conduct won't be missed. :wave:

 

 

 

 

You're probably happy that in the 60s Ford won only 4 in a row and was gone after '69.

Imagine they had won 1970 as well....

Then the current program likely would have continued yet another year....



#23 TF110

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 17:40

 

It's not really Le Mans if Ford isn't moaning about BoP. :lol:

Ford being the team who built, sorry - adapted, a GT car as a prototype, sorry - as a production car, and the same Ford that has deliberately slowed down in pre-Le Mans races to mess with the BoP, sorry - always struggled in races prior to Le Mans.

 

 

Never mind that Ford never achieved the required minimum production numbers of the road-legal car and shouldn't even be allowed to compete anyway.

 

It'll be a shame if the cars don't find a new team to be raced by - but this team and their lousy conduct won't be missed. :wave:

 

 

Still haven't seen the street BMW M8 yet either though!  :lol:



#24 cheekybru

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 17:48

A full lap around the Circuit de la Sarthe measures 13,629 kilometres - almost double the length of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit!


**** the bed!

Good OP, props

#25 Henri Greuter

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 18:00

Still haven't seen the street BMW M8 yet either though!  :lol:

 

 

What else do you expect from BMW ??  Think about the IMSA title of 2001 or thereabout that they won in a category for production cars with a car that never was built in sufficient numbers to be lawfully homologated, let alone ever went into production.

And then had the guts to want to continue with what was an illegal car and when IMSA stood up that by now they really had to built the required production cars to make the title the won legal after all or had to race the new season with sever penalties, they then pulled out...



#26 TF110

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 19:59

What else do you expect from BMW ??  Think about the IMSA title of 2001 or thereabout that they won in a category for production cars with a car that never was built in sufficient numbers to be lawfully homologated, let alone ever went into production.

And then had the guts to want to continue with what was an illegal car and when IMSA stood up that by now they really had to built the required production cars to make the title the won legal after all or had to race the new season with sever penalties, they then pulled out...

That's the point I was making. At least with the Ford GT, they made the car and are actually increasing the number produced. BMW has done this before and we've still yet to see the M8 on the streets. Not like it matters really with the class bop.



#27 Henri Greuter

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 20:06

That's the point I was making. At least with the Ford GT, they made the car and are actually increasing the number produced. BMW has done this before and we've still yet to see the M8 on the streets. Not like it matters really with the class bop.

 

Welll :well:

As much as I am a Porsche fan, they are also doing something similar ar far as I know.

 

We have thse mid-engined 911 GTR's nowadays racing worldwide.

But to my knowledge all mid engined Porsche street cars on sale nowadays are named Boxter or Cayman.

It would make me feel happy and a lot better if someone could make me stand corrected and proving mid engined streetlegal 911's built after 2016 being sold

Because if not, then I must have the same sentiments towards Porsche as I do have towards those BMW cheating machines ):


Edited by Henri Greuter, 16 May 2019 - 20:07.


#28 ARTGP

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 22:01

That's the point I was making. At least with the Ford GT, they made the car and are actually increasing the number produced. BMW has done this before and we've still yet to see the M8 on the streets. Not like it matters really with the class bop.

 

But the M8 is just a tarted up 8 series with a different engine tune...As far as anyone is concerned, BMW already met the requirement.  The M8 production car is about as similar to the race car as the 8 series. The only thing either of the two road models have in common with the race car is the chassis and engine block. And BMW already have built more 2019 8 series than entire Ford GT production allocation.  

 

Do you think BMW isn't building the M8 for some reason?  The blatant abuse of the M badge since they seem to just slap it on anything with wheels suggest otherwise.

 

 

Now had BMW shown up with a mid engine twin turbo V8 in the back of i8 electric  car, now that should raise a few alarm bells as to a homologation special. They should have done it anyway. The M8 has been underwhelming.


Edited by ARTGP, 16 May 2019 - 22:05.


#29 Nonesuch

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 09:09


You're probably happy that in the 60s Ford won only 4 in a row and was gone after '69.
Imagine they had won 1970 as well....

 

Don't know about that, but I imagine it would have been great fun to see the Ford vs. Ferrari showdown play out in real time. It comes across as an epic story in Baime's Go Like Hell and Dal Monte's Enzo Ferrari. :up:

 

Still haven't seen the street BMW M8 yet either though!  :lol:

 

True, absolutely. The system is not working as intended.

 


#30 Henri Greuter

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 11:15

But the M8 is just a tarted up 8 series with a different engine tune...As far as anyone is concerned, BMW already met the requirement.  The M8 production car is about as similar to the race car as the 8 series. The only thing either of the two road models have in common with the race car is the chassis and engine block. And BMW already have built more 2019 8 series than entire Ford GT production allocation.  
 
Do you think BMW isn't building the M8 for some reason?  The blatant abuse of the M badge since they seem to just slap it on anything with wheels suggest otherwise.
 
 
Now had BMW shown up with a mid engine twin turbo V8 in the back of i8 electric  car, now that should raise a few alarm bells as to a homologation special. They should have done it anyway. The M8 has been underwhelming.



Underwhelming?
It won Spa 24 hours, the blue ribband event for GTs nowadays.

#31 Imateria

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 11:28

Underwhelming?
It won Spa 24 hours, the blue ribband event for GTs nowadays.

You do realise that GT3 and GTE are different classes, right?



#32 Henri Greuter

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 11:35

You do realise that GT3 and GTE are different classes, right?



It's still a M8 that won, right? It only beat or looses out to other opponents....

BTW all those difference in GT categories is what disappoints me in the GT racing. One car eligible over in one series not permitted in another. Long time ago, the Ferrari 360 Modena was legal in one class but in the other it had to race without the aerodynamic bottom plates so it was less standard than as it was sold.


But that is the entire problem with Endurance racing I'm afraid. Either for sportscars/prototypes or GTE/production cars, it reamins impossible to find the common grounds to create rules that assure we geet to se everyone against another instead of brand X against Y but not against Z in one series and the other way around in another series.

#33 ARTGP

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 11:52

It's still a M8 that won, right? It only beat or looses out to other opponents....

BTW all those difference in GT categories is what disappoints me in the GT racing. One car eligible over in one series not permitted in another. Long time ago, the Ferrari 360 Modena was legal in one class but in the other it had to race without the aerodynamic bottom plates so it was less standard than as it was sold.


But that is the entire problem with Endurance racing I'm afraid. Either for sportscars/prototypes or GTE/production cars, it reamins impossible to find the common grounds to create rules that assure we geet to se everyone against another instead of brand X against Y but not against Z in one series and the other way around in another series.


No. It was an M6 GT3 that won Spa 24 hours.

Completely different model

#34 Henri Greuter

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 11:56

No. It was an M6 GT3 that won Spa 24 hours.

Completely different model


I've checked it and you're right. I stand corrected.
Thanks and sorry for the confusion it caused.

Edited by Henri Greuter, 17 May 2019 - 11:57.


#35 ThadGreen

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 21:36

Don't know about that, but I imagine it would have been great fun to see the Ford vs. Ferrari showdown play out in real time.


I still think that the 1960's and early 1970's were magical for sports car racing. The simple elegant lines of the cars, the vivid colors, especially of the Ferraris' and the competition was incredible. It was also a much simpler time and of course I was much younger. :)

#36 Jeeves

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 02:04

While I agree Ford isn't the only one at fault in this nowadays, it was 2016 that set the precedent for this waiver BS. Porsche saw their chance and reacted with a mid-engined 911, because they knew the ACO would yield. Rules became guidelines and it's been downhill ever since.

But I'm more concerned about the over-regulation of the GTE Pro driving stints. It's not a real endurance race if you can't have a field of cars running strategies only Paul Trussell can keep up with.

#37 ARTGP

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 11:23

While I agree Ford isn't the only one at fault in this nowadays, it was 2016 that set the precedent for this waiver BS. Porsche saw their chance and reacted with a mid-engined 911, because they knew the ACO would yield. Rules became guidelines and it's been downhill ever since.

But I'm more concerned about the over-regulation of the GTE Pro driving stints. It's not a real endurance race if you can't have a field of cars running strategies only Paul Trussell can keep up with.

Waivers started long long before the mid engined 911.

Remember the BMW M3 GTR from the early 2000s?

Or the last BMW M3 GT2 car which had the transmission moved from the front of the production car to the back of the race car in addition to having the engine moved practically into the glove box...Or the Z4 GTE which had the M3's V8!

Edited by ARTGP, 18 May 2019 - 11:24.


#38 Jeeves

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 14:28

Waivers started long long before the mid engined 911.
Remember the BMW M3 GTR from the early 2000s?
Or the last BMW M3 GT2 car which had the transmission moved from the front of the production car to the back of the race car in addition to having the engine moved practically into the glove box...Or the Z4 GTE which had the M3's V8!

Ah, I knew I shouldn't have used the word waiver so lightly. Mea culpa.

Wasn't aware of BMW's history in this regard, guess I've got something to add to the reading list. When it comes to endurance racing, I'm still a relative noob.

Edited by Jeeves, 18 May 2019 - 14:40.


#39 TennisUK

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 07:58

Or the Z4 GTE which had the M3's V8!


If my memory serves me correctly that car never received ACO homologation - only IMSA - so it wasn't eligible for Le Mans.

It was an unusual car in another way, too - the GT3 and GTE cars were essentially identical, save for a few bolt on aero bits.

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#40 Ben1445

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 16:07

Will be BMW's last race in WEC GTE. They're pulling out already. 

https://www.motorspo...p-exit/4393462/



#41 Imateria

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 17:26

Oh look, another BMW programe at Le Mans ending after only a year or so, how very predictable.



#42 boomn

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 17:41

While I agree Ford isn't the only one at fault in this nowadays, it was 2016 that set the precedent for this waiver BS. Porsche saw their chance and reacted with a mid-engined 911, because they knew the ACO would yield. Rules became guidelines and it's been downhill ever since.

But I'm more concerned about the over-regulation of the GTE Pro driving stints. It's not a real endurance race if you can't have a field of cars running strategies only Paul Trussell can keep up with.

The mid-engined 911 didn't need a waiver.  They used the same part of the existing rulebook that already allowed the Corvette to move its engine back behind the front axle.  



#43 HistoryFan

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 18:31

So WEC is really facing strong times...

 

all manufactures just want to do Formula E :down:



#44 Henri Greuter

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 18:37

The mid-engined 911 didn't need a waiver.  They used the same part of the existing rulebook that already allowed the Corvette to move its engine back behind the front axle.  

 

 

Don't get me wrong, I like Porsche way more than I'll ever like Corvettes. But a change from at about front axle level to way behind the front axle, for me that is less questionable of being within the spirit of the rules than a 180 swap of engine 100% behind the rear axle to 100% before the axle.

At least 25 street legal cars of such mid-engined 911s being built and sold would have been appropriate and made it more legitimate..



#45 Dan333SP

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 19:03

If my memory serves me correctly that car never received ACO homologation - only IMSA - so it wasn't eligible for Le Mans.

It was an unusual car in another way, too - the GT3 and GTE cars were essentially identical, save for a few bolt on aero bits.

 

I remember the Z4 GTE racing in the ELMS though? Wouldn't that require ACO homologation?

 

http://www.sportscar...rst-appearance/

 

It was definitely a development of the GT3 car, but that's fine because both of them were just about the best sounding machines on the track. The M8 GTE apple has fallen very far from the tree in that regard.

Edited to add a video because I miss this car :(

 


Edited by Dan333SP, 22 May 2019 - 19:06.


#46 TennisUK

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 20:27

It could be the M6 that was only IMSA homologated.

Regardless I don’t care that BMW are leaving - the M8 is a ridiculous sight in GTE. As was the M6. And the M3 belonged in a touring car race.

#47 Imateria

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 23:30

So WEC is really facing strong times...

 

all manufactures just want to do Formula E :down:

For a history fan you might want to brush up a bit, BMW have had multiple projects over the last 20 years or so that have been with questionable cars and then pulled out after a year or so. The only time I've ever been glad to see a BMW on the grid is with the old PTG team and the late 90's prototypes.



#48 Henri Greuter

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:49

It could be the M6 that was only IMSA homologated.

Regardless I don’t care that BMW are leaving - the M8 is a ridiculous sight in GTE. As was the M6. And the M3 belonged in a touring car race.


I hope you have the same opinion on the left over behemoths: Bentley and Mercedes

#49 jonpollak

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:25

2. Questions

Is this race still locked away on a channel no one gets in the USA?

Is the Ford vs. Ferrari movie coming out before or after this years race?

Jp

#50 TennisUK

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 13:15

I hope you have the same opinion on the left over behemoths: Bentley and Mercedes

The Bentley GT3 is a hideous contraption that belongs in a Golf Club, not a race track. I'm no fan of Mercedes products but at least the AMG is a sports car.

 

Anyway, neither is going to race at Le Mans unless they switch to GT3 regs...