Le Mans 2012

TornadoRed

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from Autoweek:

The Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) has revealed teams' driver nominations for the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, scheduled for the weekend of June 16-17.

The list confirms that one of the two new factory-backed Audi R18 E-tron quattro turbodiesel-electric race cars, entered by Audi Sport Team Joest, will be driven by last year's Le Mans winners, André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer. The other car will be driven by seven-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello.

These hybrid four-wheel-drive LMP1 cars will be backed up by conventionally powered Audi R18 ultras for Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Loïc Duval and, in the Audi Sport North America entry, Mike Rockenfeller, Oliver Jarvis and Marco Bonanomi.

Audi's new main opposition (after Peugeot's withdrawal), Toyota Racing, will operate two Toyota TS030 Hybrids driven by Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima, and by Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and a third driver yet to be identified.
(end of excerpt)
http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120523/alms/120529909#ixzz1vqeoeWU8


The cars are changing, the main opposition is different, but the drivers are mostly the same as last year, and the year before, and the year before that....
 

bhtooefr

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And Audi's going to a 4-car entry, too. Interestingly, resurrecting the Audi Sport North America name, for that fourth car.

At least as of Spa, they were having understeer problems with the hybrids. Suspension tuning probably needs to be slightly different to get the power up front down, although they can't rely on that power being there coming out of slow corners, making tuning tricky.
 

El Dobro

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Hopefully. Toyota will show up this time.
 

TornadoRed

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Audi Sport Team Joest #3, the Audi R18 Ultra, has had a change in the driver lineup for Le Mans.

Timo Bernhard, who suffered a cervical vertebrae injury in a crash during testing at Sebring in March, continues his rehabilitation and will be replaced for Le Mans by reserve driver Marc Gené. Gené will be sharing driving duties with Romain Dumas and Loic Duval, as he did a few weeks ago at Spa. Gené, Dumas, and Duval finished first overall at Spa.

According to Bernhard, "on the advice of my doctors and in close coordination with Audi, I decided not to run at Le Mans this year.”

Green flag will drop at 3 pm local time, June 16th.
 
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TornadoRed

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The top two Audi R-18 e-tron Quattros

#1, the new Red Sonya, driven by Faessler, Lotterer, and Tréluyer. Notice the red trim on the mirrors.



#2, driven by Capello, Kristensen, and McNish

 
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bhtooefr

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I thought the 2012 cars were using new tubs, though, FWIW. Seems odd to give it the same name when it's on a different tub...
 

TornadoRed

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I'm assuming that since they kept the same trim colors, they would keep the name; but I could be wrong.
 

RedInk

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Thursday: Second qualifying - Second hour
http://www.lemans.org/en/races/24h/update/thursday-second-qualifying-−-second-hour_7649.html

This is exciting news:
-----------------------------------
Qu'on se le dise : Audi et Toyota n'en ont pas fini de leur affrontement pour la pole position. Au cours de ce début de deuxième soirée de qualification, dans les deux camps, on a d'ores et déjà réussi des améliorations significatives. André Lotterer, qui avait réussi la pole position provisoire hier soir, a même enfoncé le clou en passant sous la barre des 3'24'' à près de 240 km/h de moyenne!
------------------------------------
Above means that the new R18 driven by André Lotterer got an average speed of 240 km/h (149.13 Miles/h). This is already faster then last year.
------------------------------

Loïc Duval is the fastest driver at Le Mans qualifying so far. The Frenchman set a lap of 3m 24.078s with Audi R18 ultra #3 during the second qualifying session. He is 0.919 seconds faster than André Lotterer with Audi R18 e-tron ultra in P2. Allan McNish is third after two of three sessions with the second hybrid Audi. Marco Bonanomi finished q2 in fifth position. His best lap with Audi R18 ultra #4 was 3m 26.420s
------------------------
 
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RedInk

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Diesel-Hybrid-Sportwagen von Audi holt Startplatz eins in Le Mans

Qualification:
1. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 3.23,787 Min.
2. Dumas/Duval/Gené (Audi R18 ultra) 3.24,078 Min.
3. Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin (Toyota) 3.24,842 Min.
4. Capello/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 3.25,433 Min.
5. Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima (Toyota) 3.25,488 Min.
6. Bonanomi/Jarvis/Rockenfeller (Audi R18 ultra) 3.26,420 Min.
7. Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD Honda) 3.29,622 Min.
8. Prost/Jani/Heidfeld (Lola-Toyota) 3.29,837 Min.
9. Belicchi/Primat/Bleekemolen (Lola-Toyota) 3.31,866 Min.
10. Bourdais/Minassian/Ara (Dome-Judd) 3.33,066 Min.
 

El Dobro

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Right now on Speed, they're showing the Road To LeMans for Toyota.
 

El Dobro

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So, where's the Nissan Delta Wing?

Just as I got done typing, they finally showed it. Amazing.
 
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El Dobro

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Did you look at the revolving globe down the page on justin.tv?It has the both of us on it.
 

TornadoRed

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Three hours done, 21 hours to go.

The #1 Audi E-Tron Quattro has completed more than 50 laps, which is a very fast pace. So far there have been no full-course cautions.

The Toyotas are running 2nd and 3rd, then the other three Audis.

I was just wondering, in past years the cars and the driver's racing suits all had "TDI" prominently displayed. This year, not at all.
 

bhtooefr

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Keep in mind that previously, Audi's goal was to market their TDI technologies. IIRC, half of the point of the R10 was to shock Americans into buying diesels.

Now, it's to market their electric and light weight technologies, because Americans are now buying Audi diesels just fine.
 

El Dobro

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Damn! I hope Davidson's ok, that was bad.
 
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bhtooefr

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Sounds like he was going to try to fix the rear suspension, then gave up and now the doctors are taking care of him.

Is this "crash your top tier LMP1 and fix it yourself on the side of the track" day?

That was a HARD hit.
 

TornadoRed

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Spectacular crash by Anthony Davidson in the #8 Toyota. He was passing a Ferrari at the Mulsanne corner, he was on the inside, and the Ferrari driven by Perrazinijust turned right into him. There is a full-course yellow.

Davidson got out of the car okay and appears to be seeing if the car can make it back to the pits. But the Toyota did go totally airborne and did a sideways 360 before landing back on its wheels; I just don't see how it can be driven any further today.

Right now the Toyota #7 is leading, followed by the two e-tron Audis and then the #4 Audi Ultra. The #3 Audi Ultra has been in the pits for some time and is now 7 laps behind the leader, though it appears ready to finally come out of the pits.
 

TornadoRed

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If you look at the course chart on Audi TV, you can see that the U4 and E1 Audis are following one pace car down Mulsanne, while E2 and U3 are passing the pits.

Just a reminder that there are two pace cars, on roughly opposite sides of the course.

This caution period will take a while, so that the damage to the track and the ARMCO barrier can be repaired.

EDIT: correction, there are three safety cars, roughly equally spaced around the track.
 
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