View Full Version : Le Man 24HRS

4th June 2010, 18:32
Will use this thread for all 24hr news, qualie times and news for the whole week and over the race weekend.

Well it all kicks off next, with week long build up starting Tuesday 8th June with the driver autograph seesions and then Wednesday 8th free practice starts at 1600-20.00. Then the first qualifying starts at 22.00-00.00. Thusrday 10th the second qualifying is at 19.00-21.00 and then 22.00-00.00.
Friday is pitlane walk all day from 10.00-20.00 also the drivers parade in city centre at 18.00-19.00.
Saturday is warm up in the morning for 45 minutes starting at 09.00-09.45, couple of support races then the main event, the big 1 starts at 15.00 Saturday 12th June.

I really cannt wait for this, be cheering the Audi's to beat the Pugs, and for sure as always all the Ferrari's especially Risi.

4th June 2010, 18:33
Going For A Three-Peat At Le Mans Against Strong Odds www.risicompetizione.com

“We are, once again, under no illusions about how difficult the task ahead is going to be,” says Team Principal Giuseppe Risi. “The level of competition and the number of top line entries is higher than ever before, and we all know there will be no room for error either on or off the track. This is our final year of competition with the Ferrari 430 – a car which has enjoyed, and which has brought Ferrari and Risi Competizione, an enormous amount of success. There would be no better way to sign off its Le Mans history than with victory against the best GT teams and drivers in the world, but it won’t be easy.

“We’ve had this amazing run of success in the major endurance races,” continues Risi, “winning the last six consecutively. But nothing lasts forever. That doesn’t mean we’re prepared to relinquish our grasp on the winners’ laurels, but it does mean we are realistic about the challenge ahead.

“We are, as always, delighted to have Tracy Krohn and his colleagues back within the team. With two-car entries from Corvette, BMW, AF Corse and multiple Porsche factory-supported entries, we will of course be stronger with two than with a single-car entry and I know Tracy, Nic and Eric will be hoping for another strong finish.”

In order to achieve this aim, Risi Competizione has once again put together all the elements it knows are required to succeed in the toughest test for man and machine, the twice-round-the-clock French classic due to take place on June 12/13.

The supremely reliable and race-proven F430, created by Ferrari SpA with final build by Michelotto, will be in the hands of six drivers who are all experienced at Le Mans, and all of whom have stood on the podium in front of the hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic sports car fans.

In the No. 82 ‘Rosso’ red 430, two-time winner Jaime Melo will be teamed with his ALMS regular driving partner, Gianmaria Bruni, and 2009 team mate Pierre Kaffer. Both Bruni and Kaffer have won with Melo, the Ferrari and Risi at Le Mans in 2008 and 2009 respectively and together at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March of this year. The Brazilian-Italian pairing has arguably spent a greater number of development and racing miles in the F430 than any other drivers in the world, although Kaffer is working hard to catch them up – racing the Berlinetta in three different series this year. The trio has developed a strong bond, and all know what it takes to succeed at La Sarthe.

Sporting the distinctive green and blue livery of Krohn Racing, the No. 83 Ferrari 430 will once again be driven by 2007 and 2009 podium finishers Tracy W Krohn and Niclas Jönsson. They will be joined, as last year, by the hugely experienced Belgian driver, Eric van de Poele. Krohn Racing achieved its best ever result (4th overall) at the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year, and has profited from the earlier scheduling of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca round of the ALMS as an extensive pre-Le Mans familiarization session, and the team mates are raring to go.

Running on the extremely consistent and successful Michelin tire package, and with Shell Helix as the official lubricant of the team, the Risi Competizione team is as well prepared as ever. With a largely unchanged pit and pit wall crew, consistency, slick pit work and smart strategy will be key factors in the team’s contribution towards achieving the much desired third GT2 Le Mans victory. As they say at the start of the Olympic Games, “Let the games begin.”

The 78th running of the world’s most famous sportscar race, which begins at 3.00pm (local, 9.00am CDT) on June 12, will be seen by over 230,000 spectators, up to 350 million TV viewers worldwide, and reported on by 1,800 journalists from over 35 nations.

Risi Competizione victories at 24 Hours of Le Mans

1998 Ferrari 333 SP (LMP1) – W Taylor/E van de Poele/F Velez (Doyle Risi Racing)
2008 Ferrari 430 GT (LMGT2) – Jaime Melo/Mika Salo/Gianmaria Bruni
2009 Ferrari 430 GT (LMGT2) – Jaime Melo/Mika Salo/Pierre Kaffer


Name: Gianmaria (Gimmi) Bruni
Nationality Italian (lives Rome, Italy)
Date of Birth: May 30, 1981
Notes: Junior open-wheel champion and former F1 driver with Minardi and GP2 winner before making debut in sportscars in 2007. Official Ferrari GT development driver, immediate winner in FIA GT Championship. Runner up 07, winner in 08; runner up 09 Le Mans Series and FIA GT Championship and 2010 12H Sebring.

Le Mans Experience: 2009 – AF Corse Ferrari 430 GT2 (Perez-Companc/Russo) – 6th
2008 - Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT2 (Melo/Salo) – 1st

Gianmaria Bruni: (On his approach to the 2010 event) “We are looking for a good result –but I don’t want to say anything more than that. The approach will be the same as the last two Le Mans races I’ve done, which is to relax as much as possible and take time with everything, speeding up a bit towards the race. I think the secret to success in the endurance events is a good relationship with my partners, the team set up, and to be slickest possible in the pits. Le Mans is a bit longer but no tougher than Sebring, but it will be harder this year because there are 18 cars in the GT class and all very competitive; we saw many of them in Sebring. I think the Lieb/Lietz/Henzler Porsche will be very strong, the Corvettes and BMWs too, but we will be good too!”

(On the 24 Hours of Le Mans) “Since I was a kid I was aiming and dreaming to drive at Le Mans, and to drive in F1 and at Indianapolis. I’ve been able to do two of them and with Risi I was able to win here already [GT class win in 2008] so of course I think it’s a fantastic event.”

(On representing Ferrari) “It will be something special, carrying on a three and a half year partnership with the Ferrari brand behind my shoulders, and I’m proud of it. I’m Italian and a Ferrari Risi Competizione driver and I’m driving with the best drivers – it’s a very good place to be.”

Name: Pierre Kaffer
Nationality German (lives Salenstein, Switzerland)
Date of Birth: November 7, 1976
Notes: Junior open-wheel champion before switching to sportscars. Achieved success with Veloqx Audi, under the tutelage of Allan McNish, including victory at Sebring. Two-times overall runner up at the 24H Nürburgring. Winner (GT2) of 2009 12H Sebring, 24H du Mans, Petit Le Mans, 2010 12H Sebring.

Le Mans Experience: 2009 – Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT2 (Melo/Salo) – 1st
2008 - Farnbacher Racing Ferrari 430 GT2 (Nielsen/Ehret) – 3rd
2004 - Veloqx Audi R8 LMP1 (McNish/Biela) - 5th

Pierre Kaffer: (On what it takes to succeed in endurance events like Le Mans) “I think the secret to success is that everybody is very well prepared, and that you have no trouble in the traffic or the pits, which is key, and to have a quick average lap time. In a 24-hour race the crew, the team behind your back which supports you with everything you need, is vital and no one is better than Risi Competizione in my opinion; the team is one of the best in the world. It’s also important to have a very good strategy and to be able to react actively in the race. If you have a safety car, you need to decide very quickly when you have to pit, how much fuel you need to take, if to tires or not. All these things have to be really planned, even in a hurry.”

(On the GT2 competition at Le Mans) “It comes down to Porsche and BMW in my opinion. You saw at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring that the BMW was really reliable and continuously fast. I think right now Porsche are the favorites, and BMW are the under-dog. Like us, they have a good car and good driver line ups – all with the skills to win the race. Corvette also has a strong car, really fast on the straight, and we know them from America. They will be hard to beat as they have a lot of experience in Le Mans...they tried to get the under-dog number but they are not it. I think, however, we are one of the strongest driver combinations, as we showed at Sebring, and they should all be watching us carefully.”

(On what makes Le Mans so special) “Le Mans is special because it’s once a year and the biggest race in the world. It’s like a little world championship because it’s the best drivers and teams in the world, and it’s a big pleasure and honor to drive for Ferrari and for Risi. We showed last year we can win altogether and I think this year, with Gimmi as well, we are one of the strongest combinations. That gives you a lot of confidence going into the race.”

Name: Jaime Melo
Nationality: Brazilian (lives Milan, Italy)
Date of Birth: April 24, 1980
Notes: An open-wheel champion in F3000, switched to sportscars in 2004 and has not stopped winning since. Official Ferrari GT development driver. 2006 FIA GT Champion with AF Corse, 2007 ALMS GT2 Drivers Champion with 8 wins from 12 races, 6 pole positions; Winner of the 2007 12 Hours of Sebring (closest finish in Sebring history and voted the Series Greatest Moment); 2008 GT2 winner of 24 Hours Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. Winner (GT2) of 2009 12H Sebring, 24H du Mans, Petit Le Mans, 2010 12H Sebring.

Le Mans Experience: 2009 - Risi Ferrari 430 GT2 (Salo/Kaffer) – 1st
2008 – Risi Ferrari 430 GT2 (Salo/Bruni) – 1st
2007 - Risi Ferrari 430 GT2 (Salo/Mowlem) – DNF (water pump)
2004 - JMB Ferrari 360 GT2 (Daoudi/de Fournoux) - DNF (transmission)

Jaime Melo: (On his approach to Le Mans) “I normally take it race by race and of course Le Mans is one of the biggest races in the world. It’s a long week and I think we need to take the first half of it very easy and not stress too much. Of course be focused and concentrated, and try to give the team the maximum information we can to make the car consistent and quick at the same time. Just try to stay on the track and take the race the way we normally do.”

(On the pressure of returning after two class victories) “There’s always a little pressure. We race for Ferrari and there’s always pressure but it’s the kind you can manage because you know the potential of the team. We’ve got a good team, the Ferrari car and Michelin tires so that eases it. Of course we won the last two times and we hope we can do a third. It’s also the last year of the F430 so I want to finish its history at Le Mans in the best way possible.”

(On the driving trio of Melo/Bruni/Kaffer) “We are of course not the same, but I think our driving styles are not so different and we are all pretty quick and really consistent and professional. Put all that together and we can give very good information to the team and that’s how we can succeed. Especially me and Gimmi, but also Pierre now, we know the car SO well and that’s a big advantage.”


Name: Nic Jönsson
Nationality: Swedish (lives Buford, Georgia, USA)
Date of Birth: August 4, 1967
Notes: Former open-wheel and touring car champion, IRL and Indy Lights driver. After debut in sportscars, has raced successfully in both ALMS and Grand-Am Rolex Sportscar Series, regular top six and podium finisher in both. 2nd (GT2) 2007 24 Hours Le Mans, 3rd (GT2) 2008 12 Hours Sebring, 2009 winner New Jersey Motorsport Park race in Krohn Racing Ford Lola DP

Le Mans Experience: 2009 – Risi/Krohn Ferrari 430 GT – Krohn/van de Poele) – 3rd
2008 – Risi/Krohn Ferrari 430 GT (Krohn/van de Poele) – DNF (accident)
2007 - Risi/Krohn Ferrari 430 GT (Krohn/Braun) – 2nd GT2
2006 - Petersen White Lightning Porsche 911 RSR (Bergmeister/Krohn) - DNF (accident)

Nic Jönsson: (On the competition) “The competition is getting tougher and tougher every year. Not just at Le Mans, I think, but in sports car racing in general. You have a much younger driver talent focusing on sports car racing now from the get-go…coming straight out of go-karts or single seaters. The goal was always to make it into Formula One or Indy cars. I think that has changed a little over the years because we have seen sports car racing getting more and more popular as more factories are getting behind it. They are pulling out of open-wheel racing because they can’t really relate it as far as car sales in the same way as they do to sports car racing. Previously sports cars were looked at more as retirement for good Formula drivers. That has definitely changed. The competition is very stiff and there are a lot of factory efforts out there today. That tells you there is factory engineering, factory money and also factory drivers, so that is the most competitive racing in the world. It is the best there is.”

(On the relationship he has built with Tracy Krohn and progress over the past years) “I think it is a working relationship. To be able to work with somebody, if it is coaching, just like running a business, trust is number one. The sport we do is very dangerous. You have to make decisions very quickly in the car. It helps to have someone like myself who has a lot of experience and been doing it for a long time as a professional to work with. Tracy is very successful in his own right in the business world. He has the same kind of goal and same way of doing things to reach success. It’s just a different industry. I think the chemistry between Tracy and me has been very obvious. We both are eager to succeed and be very competitive and try to reach goals. We also learn from each other. I think the driver line-up we have works…not just me and Tracy, but with Eric van de Poele, who has won there several times and has an extreme success rate in sports car racing over the years. Tracy’s been driving at Le Mans for five years so he’s gained experience there too and we’ve achieved a lot of results. Hopefully we can carry on doing that and maybe in coming years in the future we will end up on the top of the podium at Le Mans.”

(On the strengths of the #83 car driving team) “I think one of the strengths we have is there is no ego involved at all. I think we all rate each other as successful individuals. Even though Eric and I have had success on the race track, Tracy has had success in the business world. None of us has anything to prove in the car because Eric has won a lot of championships and many big races in the world. Over the years I have done the same thing so we don’t have anything to prove to each other. We are there to try to help the team and help each other to get a victory at Le Mans for Tracy and together with Tracy. I think that’s the biggest thing we have. We work very well together as a group. We kind of like the same set-ups and we’re just like one big happy family.”

Name: Tracy Krohn
Nationality: American (lives Houston, Texas, USA)
Date of Birth: August 26, 1954
Notes: Been competing in Grand-Am Series since 2004, climbing from Grand-Am Cup to Prototype, first overall victory being at 2005 Six Hours of the Glen. Won “Jim Trueman Award” for Sportsman drivers in 2007. Finished 2nd and 3rd in GT2 class at 2007 and 2009 24 Hours Le Mans. Chairman and CEO of W&T Offshore Inc., an oil and gas exploration and production company headquartered in Houston.

Le Mans Experience:2009 - Risi/Krohn Ferrari 430 GT – Jönsson/van de Poele) – 3rd
2008 – Risi/Krohn Ferrari 430 GT (Jönsson/van de Poele) – DNF (accident)
2007 - Risi/Krohn Ferrari 430 GT (Jönsson/Braun) – 2nd GT2
2006 - Petersen White Lightning Porsche 911 RSR (Bergmeister/Jönsson) - DNF (accident)

Tracy Krohn: (On his hopes for the 2010 race) “We always hope to be on the podium. That’s the point of being there. The really good part about that it is a very long race; it takes a lot of patience. There are a lot of factory teams out there and clearly the best sports car drivers in the world. A lot of times, believe it or not, that really plays to our favor because we don’t have anything we are trying to prove. We’re just trying to keep ourselves in a position to have a chance at the end and we don’t have to worry about one-up-manships with teammates. We don’t have to worry about whether our job depends on this drive or a lot of different outside pressures. All we have to do is go out there and stay in the present time and drive the race.”

(On how he and his team mates are preparing for Le Mans) “We prepared for Le Mans by competing in the six-hour American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca in California a couple of weekends prior to the Le Mans race. That’s probably the best way to prep for it. It is long enough to give us a pretty good feel for how the car is going to behave under these conditions. And actually that track can be somewhat similar to Le Mans, but of course not as long and not nearly as fast but in terrain it is kind of similar. In cases, very low grip, variable weather conditions and that sort of thing. So this is one way to do it. We get everybody ready for a longer race starting at the Laguna event.”

(On the GT class competition) “I think this year the numbers in the field are going to be staggering because there are so many different brands involved. I think the GT2 class will probably be the most competitive. At least that’s the way it has been in the American Le Mans Series this year.”

Name: Eric van de Poele
Nationality: Belgian (lives Incourt, Belgium)
Date of Birth: September 30, 1961
Notes: Driven more than 65 different racing cars on over 80 race tracks worldwide. Five-time winner of 24 Hours of Spa, three-time class winner of 24 Hours of Le Mans, two-time winner of 12 Hours of Sebring (1995/6), winner of Petit Le Mans (1998 in a Doyle-Risi Racing Ferrari 333SP), former Formula One driver with 29 starts, DTM Champion.

Le Mans Experience:
2009 – Krohn Risi Ferrari F430 GT2 (Krohn/Jonsson) – 3rd in class (GT2)
2008 - Krohn Risi Ferrari F430 GT2 (Krohn/Jonsson) – DNF (accident)
2002 - Team Bentley EXP Speed 8 (Wallace/Leitzinger) – 1st GTP, 4th overall
2001 – Team Bentley EXP Speed 8 (Wallace/Leitzinger) – 1st GTP, 3rd overall
2000 - Team Cadillac Northstar LMP (Taylor/Angelelli) – Finish 22nd LMP900
1998 - Doyle Risi Racing Ferrari 333 SP (Taylor/Velez) – 1st in class (LMP1)
1997 - Nissan Motorsports Nissan R390 (Suzuki/ Patrese) – DNF (gearbox) (GT1)
1996 - RFB/Team Scandia Ferrari 333 SP Dallara (Goossens/Bachelart) – DNF (Accident) (LMP)
1994 - Clayton Cunningham Nissan 300ZX Turbo (Gentilozzi/Kasuya) – DNF (Ignition) (IMSA GTS)
1992 - Peugeot Talbot Sport 905 (A Ferte/ Wendlinger) – DNF (engine) (Category 1)

Eric van de Poele: (On what makes Le Mans a special place and the fans) “I am a big fan of this race and it is a fantastic privilege to accomplish my passion with a top team and with the great and very professional Risi Competizione team. There are a few Belgian drivers there this year and I know that many Belgians try to follow the race. Le Mans is a part of the ‘motorsport’ tradition in Belgium and it is always an honor to start at that race. The French are very nice to me as well - they like my hat!”

(On what it takes to be a successful endurance racing driver) “As with many other disciplines and business, it is the motivation and the energy you dedicate on your goals. I love my job and try to give all to do it properly. You need certainly a bit of luck for a few of the victories, but on average you get the results you deserve, I guess. You definitely have to have a different spirit for endurance events compared to the sprint races. If you don't get this spirit, you create a bad atmosphere in the team and with your teammates, and it never works. Endurance is a "THE" discipline of compromises without mistakes, if you know what I mean!”

(On what is the most challenging part of the Le Mans circuit) “I have to say, the change of rhythms during a lap is the most challenging. It is not a very physical track, but mentally, you need to be 100% alerted. During the night it is twice more challenging and even twice more if it rains. You can make no mistakes at all. The speed you reach doesn't give you a lot of room for this. It is a race track that you have to respect, like Spa.”

4th June 2010, 18:34
Audi 'better prepared' for Le Mans

By Steven English Friday, June 4th 2010, 10:32 GMT www.autosoprt.com

Audi believes it is heading into this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with a much better chance of victory than 12 months ago, when Peugeot dominated the event.

The German manufacturer has an upgraded version of the R15 TDi this year, dubbed the 'R15 plus'. The car has covered more than 25,000 miles of testing this season, including two 30-hour runs, and the team's technical director Ralf Juttner is confident that it will arrive at Le Sarthe much better prepared than in 2009.

"Our preparations went well, everything worked out as planned," Juttner said. "Consequently, the pre-race phase was clearly more relaxed than it was last year, which will hopefully benefit us at Le Mans.

"This year, everything was finished as early as it should be before a race at Le Mans. During our most recent test we again found a few things so that we're now traveling westward with optimism.

"On Wednesday and Thursday we'll concentrate on the race as we usually do. The additional practice time will no doubt be helpful but has already been totally filled with planned activities. We've still got enough on our agenda that we want to do and have to do."

Feature of the R15 plus include a remodelled radiator package and cockpit to increase top speed and additional headlights to improve the drivers' vision at night.

Dindo Capello reckons the changes will help the team to make up ground to Peugeot, which heads into the event as the slight favourite.

"Last year, the compromise between set-up and aerodynamics was our main problem," he admitted. "That was changed and the improvements are notable. The engine specialists have done a great job too. Despite the restrictions we've got almost the same power as last year and are not suffering that much from the rule changes in this area.

"I think the R15 TDi accelerates even better this year. Well done to the engineers: they really did a superb job this winter - by the way that goes for the design too, which surprised many people. I received a large number of e-mails and letters from motorsport fans who are just as thrilled with the new design as I am."

4th June 2010, 18:42
Beechdean Mansell Ready for the Big Challenge at Le Mans
By Team Update ⋅ June 4, 2010 www.planetlemans.com

http://i46.tinypic.com/33m3788.jpg© Planetlemans – Marcel ten Caat
Brand new race team Beechdean Mansell Motorsport is as ready as it will ever be for the ultimate racing challenge – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Nigel, Leo and Greg Mansell will be making racing history when they cross the start line on Saturday 12 June as the first father and two sons team to compete in the world’s most famous race. However the 1992 Formula One World Champion and 1993 CART IndyCar Champion is under no illusions of the task the team face.

Nigel Mansell said: “To have competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours is a special achievement and the fact that I am going to be doing it with both my boys makes it very comfortable and I’m very happy about it. I think the two biggest challenges are tiredness and reliability. I really hope the car gods look favourably on us and give us reliability for a very special race. The goal is to finish and get more competitive and the biggest goal is to attract a sponsor so that we can continue our dream.”

Leo Mansell, who competed in the 2009 race, said: “I think that without a doubt the Le Mans 24 Hours is the biggest race in the world and just to be a part of it, competing with fifty odd other cars is a great thing in itself. The grid includes manufacturers and current grand prix drivers and the amount of people it draws make this an amazing event and a special place to race. I think the biggest challenge is staying out of trouble. Avoiding contact with other cars, not getting punctures and having reliability is difficult and this is the biggest thing. The goal this year has to be to finish the race and stay out of trouble. I think if we do that we’ll have a good result.”

Greg Mansell said: “I think the Le Mans 24 Hour is the ultimate challenge as a driver and as a team. It’s going to be really interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing the physical and mental demands; it’s going to one hell of an experience. I think the biggest challenge is being able to concentrate for that long, keeping the car on the track and dealing with the traffic. Everyone is going to be tired at the same time and there will be the speed differential with different strategies and so this is going to be a lot more extreme than we’ve experienced before. It’s going to be tough. I think the realistic goal is to finish. To get any kind of result you have to finish and if we do finish we will get a result, so that’s our aim.”

Andrew Howard, BMM Team Principal said: “This is the big one, the race we’ve all been building up for. The team is ready, we’ve been working extremely hard on the car over the past few weeks, and now we have to prove ourselves in the world’s toughest race. I know we are up to the challenge and we’ll deal with whatever Le Mans decides to throw at us. Our goal is to finish the race and anything extra is a bonus.”

The Beechdean Mansell Motorsport Ginetta Zytek GZ09S left the UK for France on Wednesday 2 June and will be flying the Union Jack at Le Mans during the build up for the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Beechdean Mansell Motorsport Race Club

Beechdean Mansell Motorsport has launched a Race Club for fans wanting to be part of the all British team featuring racing legend Nigel Mansell and his two sons Leo and Greg as they tackle the most famous race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours. For just £25.00 race fans can join the Beechdean Mansell Motorsport Race Club and receive a team baseball cap, a discount card on all team merchandise and event ticket offers, a newsletter and regular exclusive team updates and competitions to win some very exciting prizes that are only available for Race Club members. For more information on how to join the Beechdean Mansell Motorsport Race Club, or to view the range of merchandise in the new Beechdean Mansell Motorsport Shop, visit the website at www.beechdean.co.uk

4th June 2010, 18:44
24 Hours of Le Mans 2010 – LM GT1 Preview


4th June 2010, 19:07
I can't wait to watch :-D

4th June 2010, 19:25
Wednesday it is going to be on eurosport1&2 and HD YES!!!!!

Live Le Mans 24 Hours: Qualifying (120min)

4th June 2010, 21:00
Wednesday it is going to be on eurosport1&2 and HD YES!!!!!

Live Le Mans 24 Hours: Qualifying (120min)

awesome :-D thanks for the info Rob!!!! who are you supporting?

5th June 2010, 06:58
Risi all the way!!!

And Audi to beat the Pugs!

5th June 2010, 09:09
Risi all the way!!!

And Audi to beat the Pugs!

+1 :-D

5th June 2010, 19:20
Risi all the way!!!

And Audi to beat the Pugs!

ooooooh YEAH!!!!

5th June 2010, 19:22
#RisiComp # Le Mans. The two F430GTC cars were airfreighted to Europe on Saturday. The Risi Comp team leaves today for France.
2 days ago

5th June 2010, 19:26
24 Hours of Le Mans: A new starting ceremony!
By Series Update ⋅ June 4, 2010 www.planetlemans.com

56 drivers will cross the track and get into their cars at 14h15 on Saturday at the start of the 78th Le Mans 24 Hours. The tradition of the herringbone start adapted to modern requirement will make its great comeback to Le Mans, and will be one of the highlights of this exceptional event.

The ACO will enable the crowd at the 78th Le Mans 24 Hours to relive the herringbone start. It is one of the symbols of this great race and was also called the Le Mans-type start when it was used from 1925 until 1969. It will be a prelude to the real flying start for the cars at 15h00 on Saturday.

The details:

After the official photo on 12th June at 13h55, the 168 drivers will line up per crew opposite their car parked in herringbone style according to the starting order. The driver nominated to take the start at 15h00 will be in full racing kit with his two team-mates in their overalls by his side.
The winner’s trophy returned by Peugeot will arrive at the top of the pits straight at 14h05. As it passes by, the two team-mates of each driver taking the start will join the mechanics behind their respective cars.

Once the trophy has been given to President Jean-Claude Plassart the tension will rise a few notches, and the drivers lined up along the white line will be ready to cross the track.

The Clerk of the Course will give them the signal at 14h15. They will cross the track, and will have 7 minutes to get properly installed and belted up in their car with the help of their mechanics. At 14h22, the Clerk of the Course will give the green light successively to each car, which can go though the pit line until 14h37.

The cars will then line up on the grid for the flying start. The passage of the French Patrol (aerobatics) will be the signal to begin the formation lap before the flag falls at 15h00!

5th June 2010, 19:49

After several seasons as a dominant force in prototype competition in the American Le Mans Series, Highcroft Racing is set to make its overseas debut at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Originally a surprise selection as one of the original factory teams for Acura in LMP2 competition, Highcroft Racing went on to score the most points of any Acura squad in three consecutive seasons.

The team also scored the brand its first overall victory and first LMP1 championship in 2009 after a great season-long battle with rivals de Ferran Motorsport.

For 2010, those performances have continued under the Honda Performance Development banner with Highcroft leading the newly combined LMP1/LMP2 points championship in the ALMS after three rounds and scoring consecutive victories at Long Beach and Laguna Seca.

2009 Le Mans winner David Brabham heads a stunning driver line-up which also includes team regular Marino Franchitti and Le Mans specialist, Marco Werner.

Brabham, the popular British-based Australian has his sights set on a fourth consecutive victory at Le Mans. He triumphed in GT1 competition for Aston Martin in 2007 and 2008 and last year earned his first overall victory driving for Peugeot.

His remarkable speed and consistency has continued since last year, the Highcroft star clinching his first American Le Mans Series championship last October and charging into the 2010 championship lead this season after wins at Long Beach and Laguna Seca.

New Highcroft signing Marino Franchitti will contest Le Mans in prototype machinery for the first time. The talented Scot has already proven to be extremely fast in 2010 - taking the LMP2 class pole at Sebring and anchoring the team's Laguna Seca victory. He has two previous starts at La Sarthe in GT machinery but is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to drive the official factory-backed HPD ARX-01c at Le Mans.

Marco Werner will make his debut for the team after a stellar career at Audi which netted him three overall Le Mans victories. The German drove the HPD for the first time in testing after the ALMS season-opener at Sebring and last week joined Brabham and Franchitti on board the Wirth Research simulator in the UK.

ALMS team regular Simon Pagenaud will suit up for Peugeot in the LMP1 class at Le Mans this year - hoping to emulate his Highcroft teammate Brabham's overall victory from 2009.

While team owner Duncan Dayton has previously contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans on four occasions, this year's Le Mans assault is the first overseas race for the Highcroft team which originally entered ALMS competition in 2006.

The team has established its championship-winning caliber in the US, but now the Danbury, Connecticut-based squad is eagerly awaiting its first opportunity to take on the biggest and most famous endurance race in the world.

Highcroft Racing will use one of the biggest stages in international motorsport at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans to continue its battle against malaria.

In 2009, the team launched a partnership with Malaria No More to raise funds to combat the disease which kills a child in Africa every 30 seconds.

The 2009 season proved highly successful for Highcroft and the Miles to End Malaria campaign. In addition to Highcroft's championship victory, the campaign raised more than $63,000 to provide bed nets for families in Africa.

For next week's event on June 12-13, the Highcroft car will proudly bearing the colors of Malaria No More as the primary signage on the side of the car.

"During the actual 24 hours of the race, nearly 3,000 children will die from malaria in Africa - that is really a frightening number especially considering a $10 bed net can protect an entire family," Highcroft Racing, President, Duncan Dayton said.

"The team and our partners believe our debut at Le Mans provides an outstanding opportunity to really take our Miles to End Malaria campaign to the next level.

"We have tremendous support from the fans across the globe and we hope they will join us in trying to make a difference to eradicate malaria.

"We're not talking about research to find a cure, this is not a maybe or a hope - for every $10 we raise, another family can be protected."

Malaria No More has also received additional support from the official English commentary service for the 24 Hours of Le Mans - Radio Le Mans. Racing fans throughout the world can join the Miles to End Malaria pledging pit crew online.

"I'm not sure if I can pinpoint one particular reason why I love Le Mans but I always look forward to going there.
"The history, the atmosphere, the track itself, the competitors - everything is really special. It is a very difficult to describe - it is a race that you really have to experience it to understand what makes it so special.
"It is certainly a highlight of my year and I am really looking forward to going there with Highcroft Racing.
"It will be the first time for the team at Le Mans, but I told the guys at Laguna that we are now ready to go to this race. For several years we have been putting together such a great team and we have grown into a squad that is now ready to perform really well at Le Mans.
"A lot of people in Europe probably don't know that much about Highcroft and I'd like to think people will be pleasantly surprised by what they see.
"Duncan runs a very professional outfit - they look good, they act good and they perform exceptionally well.
"We have had to raise our game to do battle with Penske in recent years and last season's battle with de Ferran was just as intense.
"It has been a great journey for us as a team and now we're ready for Le Mans with a car we know very well.
"Myself and Marco have been here many times and won and know what it takes to do the job here and Marino has continued to impress every time he gets in the car. We need to do what we do at any other race track to concentrate on every single aspect of the preparation.
"The LMP2 class will be tough but the biggest challenge for us will actually be ourselves and the race overall. We have to dot the "I's" and cross the "T's" like we say before every race in the ALMS. If we can do that here we will be looking good. We don't know a lot about the European teams and they don't know a lot about us so there will be a lot to learn.
"We've headed to Europe with a perfect scenario after two wins and in the lead of the championship in the US. We're now going into new territory but we do so with a lot of confidence that we can do the job and that is important. I'm very proud of the team because they have done so well and now we have an even bigger challenge ahead but I am confident they can get the job done."

"I've been to Le Mans twice in a GT car but my dream has always been to be there in an open-topped prototype so I really couldn't be more excited about that.
"With respect to the cars that I have driven at Le Mans in the past, we probably weren't in a position to really challenge for the class win but I am now certainly in a car that is more than capable of getting the job done.
"It will be the first time at Le Mans for the team and our key goal is making sure we get to the finish and learn as much as possible - anything over and above that will be a bonus.
"My preparation for Le Mans has been really strong and it was great to get to drive the circuit aboard the Wirth Research simulator.
"It is a huge bonus and an amazing tool at our disposal. It was brilliant for all three of us to get some virtual miles under our belt before we arrive.
"I'm expecting the Porsche Curves to be a huge amount of fun. It was amazing on the simulator and I am really looking forward to doing that in reality in the ARX-01c.
"People tell you how fast you can get through there in a prototype but having tried it on the sim, I can't wait to do it for real. If the car feels half as good as what it did in the simulator we are going to be in very good shape.
"I really have an amazing opportunity to go to Le Mans with two amazing teammates. We're going to miss Simon who will be in the Peugeot but hopefully he can win overall and we can join him with the LMP2 class victory.
"To go there with a guy like Brabs who has won there the last three years - firstly in GT1, then overall - is a great opportunity for me.
"For us to be able to get a guy like Marco who won this race overall three years in a row is also incredible. For a Le Mans prototype rookie I really couldn't be in a better place.
"I shook down the car with the new aero kit before Laguna and I was hugely encouraged by the updates.
"Around Le Mans I think we are going to have a perfect balance between drag and downforce - the guys have really done their homework."

"Doing miles in the simulator was very beneficial. When you make a change on the car like a roll bar, aero or springs, you can really feel the difference.
"Our training session we did with Brabs' trainer was also very enjoyable. I arrived as a new teammate and went home as a new friend. We now have a great "closeness" between the three of us and really got to know each very well.
"This is hugely important for Le Mans for working together. The training was not just about the physical aspect, but team building and we now go to France really knowing how each other works - it was very hard, but very funny and beneficial.
"Our plan during race week will be to find a good set-up for the car. The team will be making their debut and the HPD ARX-01c will be racing there for the first time.
"Hopefully we will have good weather we will be able to collect a lot of data during practice. I think this will be extremely important.
"Highcroft certainly hae so much experience in the ALMS in the longer races. Le Mans is a bit of a different world but they know how to do well in these long events so I am confident we will be very well prepared.
"Once we have that data and have a good solid car for the race, we just need to concentrate on having a strong safe race.
"Staying out on the track and keeping out of trouble is really imperative for Le Mans. You never know what can happen with traffic and rain can be a very big challenge.
"This is not like a normal race track because most of the track is public road with trucks and cars rolling around. It is not in the best condition compared to a lot of the tracks we go to.
"Doing multiple stints on the tires is also very important. We have a very good partner in Michelin who know how to win here and they work very closely with the team on perfecting the set-up
"Doing well at Le Mans is a big dream of Duncan's and I believe we have a great team behind us with a lot of experience.
"Everyone is really looking forward to this race."

· The ARX-01c flew on Saturday, May 29 from JFK to Heathrow. It was then loaded into a race transporter and driven to Le Mans.
· Highcroft will have a team of 32 people at the race including drivers
· The team shipped 4 tons of freight in total
· 10 sets of wheels were sent
· 2.5 sets of new Le Mans bodywork
· The new Le Mans aero kit has 133 specific pieces which are different from the standard ALMS kit
· We plan to use 44 tires during the race
· We'll consume 574 gallons of fuel during the race
· Rules only permit us to use two engines, one for practice and qualifying, and one for the race.
· During the 12 days the team will cater more than 1,000 meals for the crew.
· Not much sleep during the race, but we've booked 319 bed nights in Le Mans for the duration of the event.
· Most of the team are away for 12 days

Track Distance: 13.6 km / 8.5 miles
Pole Time: 3:37.720 (LMP2)
Average Speed: 225 km/h / 140 mph
Time on Straights: 2.1 minutes
Fastest Corner: Porsche Curves
Max Corner Speed: 220 kph / 137 mph
Max Lat G's: 3.5 G
Max Lat G's Corner: Porsche Curves
Slowest Corner: Arnage
Min Corner Speed: 70 km/h / 44 mph
Top Speed: 295 km/h / 183 mph
Full Throttle: 79%
Max Braking G's: 3 G
No. of Braking Zones: 11
Gear Changes: 56
No. of Turns: 21

5th June 2010, 19:52
Second trip in three years for Lewis' popular LMP1 squad


Autocon Motorsports return to Le Mans 24 Hours as the sole US representative in LMP this year. Team owner/driver Michael Lewis-– splitting time with Tony Burgess and Bryan Willman next week - took time out of his busy schedule to speak to lola-group.com about the teams aims for the coming week at Le Mans.

1. What are your aims and objectives heading to your second Le Mans 24 Hours?
“The number one objective is to finish. Number two is to run a flawless race with no mistakes or problems. In an ideal race we’d aim for a top 10 finish with our Lola-AER. Those are my ‘team owner objectives. My ‘driver’ objectives are a little more selfish. I’d like to turn a lap in the mid 3m30’s and consistently run in the high 3m30’s in the race.”

2. How tight is the turn around for getting the car from Laguna to Le Mans?
“The logistics of being an overseas team is the first race you’ve got to ‘win’. This is proving particularly challenging and it gives us roughly three days to turn the car around and our shop is on the west coast."

3. How will Hugh Chamberlain fit in to the team for Le Mans?
“Hugh was instrumental in getting a lot of things in place for us in Europe. He’s a real character with great experience at Le Mans and I’m sure he’ll be instrumental during the race as well.”

4. How would you describe racing at Le Mans?
“For me, a life-long race fan, it’s a pilgrimage in addition to the challenge of the event itself. I truly think it’s the single greatest race in the world. To be involved as a team owner as well as driving is such a thrill for me. The atmosphere of the event is unparalleled. This is my second shot at this (after 2008) and you never know how many you’re going to get as a small team, so you really have to make it count.”

5. You will be the only true American team competing in LMP. Are you hopefully of good US following during the week?
“On foreign soil you really do take the ‘representing America’ thing seriously and we hope to do a good job. I really think we’ll surprise a few people with our performance in the Lola-AER. We do hope that a few people will tune in and check up on us at Le Mans. Hopefully we’ll still be pounding around on Sunday and the fans in the US will be shouting for us.”

A select group of Series drivers and teams will compete at the 78th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The world’s greatest motor race is set for June 12-13 from the famed Circuit de la Sarthe in France. SPEED will broadcast the event live with flag-to-flag coverage available on radiolemans.com.

The next race for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. The two-hour, 45-minute race is set for 2:05 p.m. MT on Sunday, July 11 from Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. SPEED will air the race same-day at 4 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche – a production of Radio Show Limited – as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Visit the Series’ schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.

You can follow the Series on Twitter (almsnotes) and on our Facebook page and the official YouTube channel.

6th June 2010, 14:34
24 Hours of Le Mans 2010 – LM GT2 Preview www.planetlemans.com
By Marcel ten Caat ⋅ June 6, 2010
(this is the class to watch, as all of the top cars will be running so close all the race and it will look like a 1 hour sprint race. Fingers crossed for Risi to win again, but thoso Chevys are going to be right up there and be main threat.)

Our Le Mans preview leads us to the GT2 category. GT2 is stronger than ever before and will see eighteen cars with top drivers racing each other. Aston Martin, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche and Spyker will all be racing at Le Mans this year in GT2, so we’re in for a thriller.

Aston Martin Vantage
(#92 JMW Motorsport)
The Vantage made its debut last year with Drayson Racing, but the sole Vantage GT2 is now run by none other than JMW Motorsport. In the first two Le Mans Series races Darren Turner and Rob Bell showed the car is quick, but still lacks some reliability. As Darren Turner is unavailable for Le Mans Rob Bell will be joined by Tim Sugden and American Bryce Miller. The American has not raced the Vantage before, nor has he raced at Le Mans. Realistically the JMW team should hope for a finish, as that would be the first time for the Vantage. A decent finish will only be a bonus given the reliability so far.

(#78 and #79 BMW Motorsport)
After long debates at the Automobile Club de l’Ouest the BMW M3 GT2 was homologated and invited to Le Mans. The car, albeit in in IMSA-spec, won the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring last month and was very quick in top speeds in the two Le Mans Series races this season.

© Planetlemans – Marcel ten Caat
The German manufacturer is taking its return to Le Mans, the last time was in 1999, very serious and that is why Team Schnitzer is running the operation.
The #78 car will be driven by Jörg Müller, Augusto Farfus and Uwe Alzen, while the #79 will have more top drivers, Andy Priaulx, Dirk Müller and Dirk Werner.
To honour the 1979 BMW Art Car the #79 will run a special livery, one that will not be missed easily. It’s hard to say where the BMW’s will finish, but our guess is that they will be battling for the class win.

Corvette C6.R GT2
(#63 and #64 Corvette Racing)
A new era has begun for Corvette Racing. After years of victories in the GT1 category the American squad has moved to GT2, where they will have more competition. Both cars will have top driver line-ups; the #63 will be driven by Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell and Antonio Garcia, while the #64 will have Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Emmanuel Collard, the 2009 LMP2 winner. The new GT2 Corvette has already shown it is capable of winning a race and with the right strategy it might do just that at Le Mans. But 24 hours is a long period of time…

Ferrari F430 GT2
(#82 and #83 Risi Competizione, #89 Hankook Team Farnbacher, #95 and #96 AF Corse)
Five Ferrari F430 GT2s will be racing at Le Mans this year and they all have quick and/or experienced drivers onboard.
Risi Competizione for example will bring its two cars to La Sarthe. The #82 will undoubtedly have the quickest line-up at Le Mans. Jaime Melo, Gianmaria Bruni and Pierre Kaffer will try to win Le Mans for the third time in a row for Risi Competizione. Easy to say this car is the one to beat.
The second Risi car will be driven by Tracey Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Eric van de Poele. Even though their names are not as stellar as some of the names in other cars the bright green Ferrari managed to end on the podium several times already.

© Planetlemans – Marcel ten Caat
Another two-car team is AF Corse. Initially planned to race one Ferrari the withdrawal of the Peka Racing Corvette last month meant their second car was in as well. As a result three former F1 drivers will race for them at Le Mans, even though their top drivers from the LMS will race for Risi. In the #95 Ferrari experienced GT2 driver Toni Vilander will be joined by Giancarlo Fisichella and Jean Alesi, while Vilanders compatriot Mika Salo will join Luis Perez Companc and Matias Russo in the #96 Ferrari. Even though the AF Corse crews might not have the GT2 and/or Le Mans experience that their colleagues over at Risi Competizione have, both crews are set to fight for podium spots.

The fifth Ferrari is the Hankook-shod Farnbacher car. Most recently the car finished second at the Nurburgring 24 Hours, but in the Le Mans Series it has been drama so far. Team regulars Dominik Farnbacher and Allan Simonsen will team up with Leh Keen for Le Mans. For Hankook Team Farnbacher much will depend on the race conditions and staying out of trouble (and away from other cars!)

Jaguar XKRS
(#81 RSR Jaguar)
What can we say about this one. For the first time since the Jaguar XJ220 in 1995 there is a Jaguar racing at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Unfortunately so far the team has had some rather poor performances in the American Le Mans Series. Even though the team tested a lot in recent weeks and the performance at Laguna Seca was much better, the car still lacks speed and reliability. It remains to be seen what Ryan Dalziel, Paul Gentilozzi and Marc Goossens can do with this car at Le Mans. A finish can be regarded as a victory for the team.

Porsche 997 GT3 RSR
(#75 Prospeed, #76 IMSA Performance, #77 and #88 Felbermayr-Proton, #80 Flying Lizards, #97 BMS Scuderia Italia)
One third of the GT2 field will be racing a Porsche. Five teams will enter six 997 GT3 RSRs and they all hope for a better result than last year when the Porsche teams were blown away by Ferari.
The top entry for the manufacturer from Weissach will be the #77 Team Felbermayr Proton car. Driven by factory drivers Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Wolf Henzler they are the favorite among the Porsche teams. Even though Ferrari will be considered top favorite, this car (if it doesn’t have any bad luck) will be right in there for the win.
The second Felbermayr car (#88) can not be regarded as a candidate for the race win, considering it has Horst Felbermayr Jr and Sr onboard joined by Miro Konopka.

© Planetlemans – Gerlach Delissen
Another contender will probably be the BMS Scuderia Italia car. A top line-up was announced for the Italian car, with Richard Westbrook and Marco Holzer joined by Audi factory driver Timo Scheider. As a result BMS Scuderia Italia should now be able to fight for a repeat of last year’s second place.

IMSA Performance Matmut will enter one car for Raymond Narac, Patrick Pilet and Patrick Long. Even though the line-up is strong the team has not been able to repeat its 2007 form recently. If they get it right they will battle for victory, if not…they’ll be battling for a mid-field position.

ProSpeed Competition’s Porsche will have three gentlemen drivers onboard. Dutchmen Paul van Splunteren and Niek Hommerson and Belgian Louis Machiels will all start their very first Le Mans 24 Hours. The trio raced together at the Spa 24 Hours last year and finished ahead of the works cars, hence their invitation to race the car again. But looking at the strength of the GT2 field there is no doubt this car will not be in it for the top positions.

And finally the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche #80. Americans Seth Neiman and Darren Law will be joined by Jörg Bergmeister in France. Not the strongest line-up possible, but certainly an experience one. We don’t rate this car as an outright candidate for victory, far from it. But should it it stay out of trouble it could do well.

Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2R
(#85 Spyker Squadron)
For a while it seemed as if Spyker Squadron was set to get two cars into the race. But in the end they decided to focus on one car, which is probably the best decision given the circumstances. Last year the little Spyker finished in fifth place, in between the Ferrari’s, after a steady run.
For this year Spyker Squadron will have one of the best available line-ups in the GT2 category with Peter Dumbreck, Tom Coronel and Jeroen Bleekemolen. Knowing that the Laviolette GT2R usually gets better as the race progresses and that it has had a troublefree season so far it wouldn’t surprise us if they finish right up there again.
At Le Mans the Spyker will be running its blue and yellow livery again and not the black and red livery it uses in the Le Mans Series.

That’s the end of our preview into the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2010. We expect to see fights in every class with the main focus on the battle between Audi and Peugeot at the front and the battle in GT2 further down the field.

Planetlemans is ready for Le Mans…

6th June 2010, 14:45
2010-06-06 by PR
Aston Martin Racing factory driver Sam Hancock climbs back into an LMP1 cockpit at Le Mans for the first time in four years next Wednesday when practice begins for the 78th Grand Prix of Endurance.

The former LMP2 class champion will partner Darren Turner and Juan Barazi in the iconic Gulf-liveried #009 coupe at the world's most famous race in what will be Sam's fifth Le Mans 24 Hours appearance.

Despite stepping away from sportscars a couple of years ago to pursue other motorsport categories, the burning desire to race at Le Mans is one that has perennially burned inside Hancock since his last appearance there in 2006.

"I'm massively looking forward to it," enthused Sam. "It's always pretty gut wrenching when June comes round and everyone's talking about Le Mans but you're not a part of it. It was an ingrained part of my calendar and the highlight of the year. Not doing it for the last couple of seasons was tough so I'm really looking forward to this one."

2010 will be the first time that Hancock has the backing of a major manufacturer at Le Mans which, he says, is making a marked difference to his preparation.

"Everyone at Aston Martin Racing is just fantastic and as you would expect it's a first class, very professional, top level team. One thing that's been particularly good is all the organisation and support they provide for their drivers. In the past, with a week to go, there would been a million things to organise, which brings with them additional levels of stress and distraction, but it's completely the opposite with Aston Martin. That allows me to focus on myself and ensure that I'm physically and mentally fit for Le Mans' unique challenges."

While racing for Aston Martin is bound to stir emotion in any motorsport fan, Sam is well aware of the task at hand.

"On the one hand, as a professional driver, I'm tempted to say that it's just another car with four wheels and an engine. And to a certain extent that's true, but you can't completely ignore the badge on the front. After all, with Aston Martin you're driving for a marque with so much Le Mans history. I definitely had that feeling the first time I sat in it at the workshop, and then when I drove out of the pits when we tested a couple of weeks ago. But after a few laps you forget about it and just concentrate on driving as quickly and consistently as possible, as if it was any other team.

For most, finishing at Le Mans is considered a result in itself, especially when competing in a class so utterly dominated by diesel prototypes. Hancock remains open-minded though and sees no reason why a good result should be beyond him and his team mates.

"I think it's very difficult to set goals because we all know that the diesel cars are in a different league even though they share the same category. Clearly we're going to be in a fight with the petrol runners but that in itself feels a bit defeatist. The good thing is that anything can happen at Le Mans which gives me a lot of hope. The car finished fourth last year so regardless of how many diesels there are, it's not just theoretically possible to beat them, but a reality. We're reliable and fast so who knows?

Catch week-long coverage of the Le Mans 24 Hours, including practice, qualifying and the race live on Eurosport and www.RadioLeMans.com.

Sam will also be keeping followers abreast of all the action from inside the Aston Martin Racing garage throughout the week via regular Twitter updates. Click here for more info.

Source : Sam Hancock

9th June 2010, 18:35
Fastest times from Free Practice 09/06/201020h00

With the free practice session ending at 20.00 the fastest times by class were:

LMP1 No 2 Peugeot 3:20.034

LMP2 No 26 HPD ARX 3:38.691

GT1 No 52 Aston Martin 3:56.839

GT2 No 64 Corvette 4:00.888

Car No 2 completed most laps (57) and Car No 19 the least - only 2 laps, after stopping early on in the session.

9th June 2010, 18:38
Capello: Audi in better shape than '09

By Simon Strang Wednesday, June 9th 2010, 15:06 GMT www.autosport.com

Three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Rinaldo Capello says he feels as confident of his chances of success at La Sarthe this year as at any time during his sportscar career.

The 45-year-old Italian, who shares the #7 Audi with eight-time winner Tom Kristensen and twice victor Allan McNish, told AUTOSPORT that a recent successful test at Paul Ricard and the high state of readiness of Team Joest have made him believed that Audi's new R15 TDI Plus is strong enough to wrest control of the 24 hours honours back from arch-rival Peugeot.

"I have raced in the past when the feeling was not really very good," said Capello. "I have other races, like in 2003 when we won with Bentley where the feeling was unbelievably good before the race.

"This year I have more or less the same kind of feeling. I am confident. I know that we have worked hard and we have arrived here at Le Mans really prepared."

Capello added that Audi's downfall in 2009, where the same crew finished a distant third behind two of the factory 908 HDi FAPs, was down to the R15 programme running late and the team not having time to test extensively prior to the race.

"If we look back 12 months we cannot compare the atmosphere, because in 2009 we were running late," said Capello. "The latest details of the car had been fixed just before the race, and that is something which can not happen at Le Mans, because you do not win here if you are not 100 per cent prepared.

"This year I have the impression, I am sure, that we are 101 per cent prepared and I am looking forward to driving. For sure, because we did the last test just a few days ago, from my side it would be nice to have a chance to drive a little bit in dry conditions like it should be in the race to make sure the car is how we think it should be.

"Tomorrow that seems impossible because the weather forecast is very, very bad," he added. "We should get quite bad weather to the end of the first four hours today as well.

"But we would like to have the chance to do some laps in the dry to have a confirmation of what we think is the best set-up for the race."

9th June 2010, 18:42
i hope Dindo is right. Those Pugs looked quick in practice, but its only practice, and Audi's were running to more race pace and set up. First quali is at 22.00. Cannt wait.

10th June 2010, 19:13
Risi On Provisional GT2 Pole At Le Mans www.risicompetizione.com

Held on a dry track throughout, the Italian’s time of 3:59.233, set at the auspicious [European] hour of 22:22, came relatively soon after the start of Wednesday’s two-hour qualifying on the huge and extremely fast 8.47 mile (13.6km) circuit – the first of three such sessions to be held over the next 48 hours. It followed a productive four-hour practice session this afternoon during which all six of Risi and Krohn’s drivers were able to re-familiarize themselves with the track and the challenge that is Le Mans. Driving the Krohn green No. 83 Ferrari, Nic Jönsson set a fastest time of 4:03.959 to take a provisional 9th place in the intensively competitive GT2 class.

Despite 40 of the 120 minutes being lost to red flag stoppages – after different competitors throughout the field’s four categories experienced misfortunes – both the No. 82 and 83 Ferraris achieved the program they had set out for themselves at the beginning of the day; to find a good race set up.

The Rosso red Ferrari’s program was somewhat curtailed when it suffered a transmission problem soon after Bruni set his quickest lap time of the day. After investigation by the two-time GT2 class winning Risi mechanics, this was attributed to a failed gearbox output shaft – a part that was at the end of its scheduled life and due to be changed tomorrow (Thursday). The car was wheeled into the pit garage shortly before 10:30 pm and work immediately started on preparing it for the remaining four hours of qualifying before Saturday’s race.

Bruni said of his evening’s work: “It was difficult to find a clear lap but this one (the fast lap) was on my fifth lap so the tires were not so good! I had two good laps before that, and was quick in Sectors 1 and 2, but got traffic at the end of each lap. I slowed down once and went again. It’s good, I’m pleased because we worked hard to find a fast and comfortable set up on the car in the practice session this afternoon and now the car is very good.”

Houston’s Tracy Krohn watched his Krohn Racing colleague, Nic Jönsson, place the green and blue Ferrari in a very respectable 9th place on the provisional GT2 grid (behind four other Ferraris, two Corvettes and two Porsches but in front of two BMWs, an Aston Martin and a further three Porsches). The trio of Krohn, Jonsson and van de Poele, all experienced and successful Le Mans drivers, were very satisfied with their day’s work, summed up by Tracy Krohn at the end of the day.

“We started off not too bad, and actually fairly close to a good set up. We had a little oversteer in the car and we worked on that and now it’s pretty good. Nic claimed a good lap, and I got out in the pitch black and did three laps right there at the end but there were a couple of problems on the track which held me back. But it’s good and we’re pleased with where we are right now; I feel good about it.

Krohn continued, “You can tell that the speeds of the prototypes especially, and the field in general, has picked up since last year but the real issue is more that certain prototypes are much slower. That’s been a bigger issue than the ones at the top of the time sheets – you know what they are going to do but some of the others are an unknown. It’s much more comfortable coming here knowing the track and the routine; knowing where you should be at certain points in the week. We are right where we need to be.”

Qualifying for the 78th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will continue on Thursday with sessions from 7:00-9:00pm and 10:00 pm to Midnight, although rain is forecast for tomorrow so today’s times may not be improved upon. The Houston-based Risi team, while delighted with Wednesday’s outcome, holds true to its long-held belief that to succeed in endurance racing you have to finish first in the race, and not necessarily first in the qualifying battle. And a battle it will be…stay tuned.

10th June 2010, 19:18
:-( GT1 class to be dropped from 2011 :-(
(what a shame)
By Ben Anderson Thursday, June 10th 2010, 11:11 GMT www.autosport.com

The GT1 class will be dropped from next year's Le Mans 24 Hours under new plans by event organiser, the ACO.

A handful of the new breed of GT1 cars, also competing in the new-for-2010 FIA GT1 World Championship, are racing at Le Mans this year, but will have to be adapted to continue their participation next season.

The ACO plans to create a single 'GT Endurance' category for next year's event, "based on the 2009 GT2 regulations with a few modifications", according to ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil.

"We are delighted to see the success of this category [GT1], but the [2011] FIA GT calendar is not compatible with our series," he said.

"The GT1 cars are also sprint race cars, so they do not comply with the philosophy of endurance [racing]."

The ACO will implement the single set of regs for GT cars from 2011 to 2013, and split the category into two classes: LMGT PRO (for any car and driver line-up) and LMGT AM (for cars at least one year old, and drivers from the silver and bronze categories under the current FIA driver grading system).

Beaumesnil added: "There are lots of gentleman drivers in the Le Mans Series and this will enable them to fight for victory."

When asked if manufacturers like Ford and Nissan, which have built new cars for the FIA GT1 World Championship, could adapt their current models for 2011, Beaumesnil said: "It's quite possible. There's much [talking to be done], but I see no reason why Ford and Nissan can't be at the start next year

11th June 2010, 21:11
Risi Competizione face fight through the field :-( NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Risi Competizione’s Gianmaria Bruni retained the honor of setting the fastest GT2 lap time for the 24 Hours of Le Mans after the third and final qualifying session, despite some strong competition from both Corvettes and the No. 95 AF Corse Ferrari. These four cars broke under the four-minute lap barrier and followed a trend seen in the LMP1, LMP2 and GT2 class of a reduction in time of 3 seconds a lap compared to 2009.

However, a subsequent official ACO scrutineering check after Midnight found a minor irregularity on the rear wing and the No. 82 car will now start the race from the back of the grid after having its times cancelled. The No. 83 sister car, sporting the colors of Krohn Racing and Krohn Aviation, will start from 12th place on the GT2 grid.

The team, while obviously disappointed at its own oversight, looks forward to the race with the same enthusiasm with which it has approached all of its endurance races. Risi Competizione has won each of the six major sportscar races in which it has competed (12 Hours Sebring, 24 Hours Le Mans and 10 Hour Petit Le Mans) since June 2008.

While Thursday’s qualifying sessions were relatively calm and untroubled for the six Risi and Krohn Ferrari drivers, it had been an extremely full day for the team. As to plan, race engines, gearboxes and new radiators were fitted into the two Ferrari F430s, work carried out seamlessly under the direction of the two lead mechanics, Chris Riggs (82) and Rob Midkiff (83).

Bearing this in mind, an attempt at improving upon Wednesday’s times was never considered. During the two 2-hour sessions, the drivers bedded in brake pads, checked headlight positions and ran in the new parts – both cars completing their scheduled programs by 2300 hrs.

Friday’s preparation work continues apace up and down the pit lane, with the common aim of leaving the track at a reasonable hour in order to get some much needed sleep before the 40 hours of Le Mans. The race may be 24 hours long, but for everyone involved within a team, there are at least 40 hours non-stop work ahead this weekend. May the best team win.


Gianmaria Bruni: “I think it will be a very good race with Corvette obviously, as we could see from qualifying. We all got traffic on quick laps but I think we’ve got a little more in the pocket which will help us in the race. I’m happy with the car, and we are all close together so we have a good package. We’ll see what the race will bring and see what the weather will do.”

Jaime Melo: “If you start first or last at this race, it doesn’t really change anything for this race. It’s where you finish that is important. It’s always good to be on pole – Gimmi did a very good lap on Wednesday – so we’re pretty confident with the car and for the race.”

Pierre Kaffer: “First of all I have to say the whole Risi Competizione team, Ferrari and the guys have done a great job to prepare the car for Le Mans. It’s not often that you have such a good car from the beginning onwards and I think we have a very good racing set up. Today we’ve just been checking the lights and bedding in brake pads, putting minimum laps on the car as it has our race engine and gearbox in. As far as the competition is concerned, I’m a little surprised that Porsche has not been closer to us. I expected Corvette to be very fast, and they are very quick on the straight which is an advantage at Le Mans, but overall I think the race will be a different story. The key will of course be to stay out of trouble, have the minimum amount of time in the pits and keep a good pace throughout. If we have a little bit of race luck too, we have a strong package to be able to fight for the victory.”

Tracy Krohn: “I think this year in particular we’ve seen more people around the track and in the paddock, and more people in the stands, despite the weather conditions being dicey. Maybe it’s a good sign of a recovering economy.

“Going into the race with the same team, same drivers and same car gives us great confidence, and as you know we’ve had some good results here in recent years. It’s always good to have standards and everyone here has been round this track many times now.”

Nic Jonsson: “I think this year the competition in the GT class is the toughest for many, many years; certainly since we’ve been here. For us, Krohn Racing, going into partnership with Risi Competizione again it gives us a great chance to drive one of the best cars in the field – the Ferrari F430 – and I feel confident as the car is very solid. For us we will stick to the same formula as before and just have scheduled stops and stay out of trouble, stick to our race pace and the race will come to us. There’s a lot of pressure on some of the factory drivers, they have a lot to prove and we have a lot less pressure on us.”

Eric van de Poele: “For us it was quite okay because the rain started quite late in the session. Unfortunately we couldn’t validate the rain tires we wanted to try but it was interesting anyway because the track was still damp. I could feel it and the car was very well balanced even on slicks in the wet conditions so we just used the opportunity to validate a few things we’d changed to prepare the car for the race. We are very happy with the car and I think it’s a better car than last year so I’m really looking forward to seeing Nic start the race.”

11th June 2010, 21:12
be hell of a race now, long long race, so win is still possible and sure Risi will.

11th June 2010, 21:17
Allan McNish and team-mates find the right balance

11/06/201017h37- Twice Le Mans winner Allan McNish is still hungry, but he also is realistic after the practice sessions.

“During the free practice session, we didn’t find the right balance for the car. The three cars had three different programs and after the session, we put everything together and we had a better car. I was the first to drive yesterday, so I didn’t have good conditions – it was dark and damp, but Tom and Dindo told me that they had more feeling, more grip and more reliability.”

Although the balance of the car was better, the three Audis were far behind the Peugeots.

“I knew where we were supposed to be, and we are, but Peugeot are incredibly fast and worked very well over the winter. I am sure, that there will be incidents on the track because of traffic, but also at the Ford chicane, there are “bananas” that bounce you – Stéphane Sarrazin jumped very high! A little bit of rain would add interest to the race, which should be a quick race.”

This year, Audi has three winning cars.

“For the first year, we have three cars which can fight. This is a great benefit in terms of engineering and drivers. With Tom and Dindo, this is a routine – we don’t have to talk for things to happen! We unfortunately lack speed even if reliability is quite good. We’ll see…”

11th June 2010, 21:21
Risi Ferrari fails scrutineering

By Kevin Turner Friday, June 11th 2010, 10:02 GMT www.autosport.com

Gianmaria Bruni has lost his GT2 pole for this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours after his Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 failed scrutineering.

Bruni pipped the works Chevrolet team to top spot with a time of 3m59.233s, but a post-qualifying check found the car's rear wing Gurney flap to be 2mm too low.

The team maintains that the wing was in a higher position for Bruni's qualifying run on which the lap was set, but has accepted it made an error.

Bruni, Pierre Kaffer and Jaime Melo will therefore start from the back, leaving Oliver Gavin on GT2 pole for Chevrolet with 3m59.435s, just ahead of team-mate Jan Magnussen.

12th June 2010, 19:46
24 Hours of Le Mans 2010 : Hours 1-3
By Marcel ten Caat ⋅ June 12, 2010 www.planetlemans.com

The 78th Le Mans 24 Hours got underway at exactly 3 pm local time and the four Peugeots went onto the Mulsanne straight ahead of the three Audi’s. McNish immediately opened the attack on Nicolas Lapierre, but the Audi driver was unable to pass the Oreca Peugeot.

Michael Lewis and his Autocon Lola had the disputable honour of being the first car to retire from the race (the AF Corse #96 was retired in qualifying). Lewis parked his car on the side of the track coming out of Arnage.

Just seventeen minutes into the race Marc Goossens (RSR Jaguar) slowed down and smoke was seen coming from his car. Moments later Nigel Mansell lost control of his Beechdean Mansell Motorsport Ginetta-Zytek on the bump just before Indianapolis. He first hit the inside wall and then the outside wall, the car came to a halt and the safety car was deployed so that the medical team could get to the stranded car and help to get Mansell out.

At 3.49 pm the race was restarted. Moments later after the Racing Box Lola of Luca Pirri spun at Arnage, but the Italian was able to get back quickly. A difference in speed between the safety cars though meant the lead group had taken over a minute when the green flag was waved.

After one hour the three Peugeots were one minute clear of the rest of the field and lapping quicker than their main rivals.

French squads OAK Racing and Oreca then managed to bump into each other at the Mulsanne Corner. The #6 was sent into a spin, knocking down several cones. Fortunately the Oreca 01 AIM was able to recover quite fast and returned to the track.

One hour and fifteen minutes into the race the KSM Lola slowed out on the track. Only a few minutes later the Race Performance Radical SR9 went off into the gravel. One minute later it was back out, but as it continued it seemed to be rather out of shape. It returned to the pit though.

At 4.30 pm Peugeot was still 1-2-3 in the race, the #9 Audi now ahead of the Oreca Peugeot. Way behind them the #78 BMW M3 put the pressure on the IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche and as a result the Porsche went straight at the first Mulsanne chicane and into the gravel. The lead for best non-diesel LMP1 was on between the two Lola Astons, the #007 and #009 running through the field of slower cars like a train.

Just before five o’clock two teams suffered problems. First it was the #79 BMW Art Car that stopped at the first Mulsanne Chicane, but continued with flat left rear tyre on a very, very slow lap. Then Leinders backed his car into the wall on the run down from Dunlop to Tertre Rouge. The Belgian driver managed to get his car back to the pit, but the damage to the rear was significant.

After two hours the top three per class were:

P1: Peugeot (2) – Peugeot (3) – Peugeot (1)
P2: HPD (26) – HPD (42) – Lola (25)
GT1: Ford GT (60) – Corvette (73) – Aston Martin (52)
GT2: Corvette (64) – Corvette (63) – Ferrari (82)

A new round of pit stops then followed. At 5.30 pm bad luck struck for the first Peugeot. The #3 suddenly slowed down and a lot of smoke was seen coming from the car. It continued to the pit with what looked like a suspension problem.

The JLOC Lamborghini was the next car to hit a tyre problem, the #69 slowed down with a puncture.

Five minutes before the end of the third hour the Race Performance Radical went into the gravel for a second time. Moments later Peter Dumbreck ran wide at Indianapolis and clipped the tyre wall. On his way back to the pit he was then ran into the wall by the Norma. Damage on all four sides of the car meant it was taken into the box by the mechanics and a lot of work required.

Yet Peugeot was still leading…

12th June 2010, 19:51
6hr Update
12/06/201021h27- After 6 Hours the positions are:

Overall and LMP1 #11 Peugeot leads #2 Peugeot by 2 mins 20 secs completing 97 laps

In LMP2 #42 HPD leads #26 HPD by 2 mins 49 secs " 89 laps

In GT1 #60 Ford GT leads #73 Corvette by 3 mins 3 secs " 83 laps

In GT2 #82 Ferrari leads #64 Corvette by 1 sec! " 83 laps

7 Retirements 3/5/19/29/38/70/80

Risi are leading GT2 after starting at back of grid. This is really close racing between us and the vettes. As usaul Bruni, Melo and Kaffer are doing an outstanding job, driving very hard and fast.

Oh and J i have the lucky Risi t-shirt on again, and many thanks for that mate :thumb

12th June 2010, 19:53
Audi hits out at Priaulx over incident

By Simon Strang Saturday, June 12th 2010, 18:15 GMT www.autosport.com

Audi Motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich has blamed Andy Priaulx for the accident which cost Tom Kristensen and the #7 Audi three laps, and dropped it from fourth to eighth in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The eight-time winner ran into the gravel at the Porsche Curves as he tried to go around the outside of Priaulx's slow-moving BMW M3, which was recovering to the pits with a front-let puncture.

"There was a slow car on the track," Ullrich told AUTOSPORT. "I think it was Andy Priaulx in the BMW. Because he had a puncture he was limping home to the pitlane.

"And then he moved, in one of the fastest corners, from the right side of the track, to the left side of the track without looking into the mirror. Tom Kristensen came along and there was a car in the middle of the road going very slow. He tried to avoid it and went out."

Priaulx appeared to understeer across the track with his damaged car, as Kristensen elected to go to the outside of the fast right hander the opens the section of corners.

Kristensen lost a lap trying to return to the track, and a further two in the pits as the Audi team repaired the rear bodywork of the R15 TDI Plus.

"At least there was no damage to the suspension it was just the rear wing and the rear bonnet and I hope the car will run fine now," said Ullrich, who was seen marching down the pits and remonstrate angrily with Schnitzer team manager Charly Lamm over the incident.

"I'm really not happy about it and I know that he would really not be happy about it in this situation either," said Ullrich.

Asked by AUTOSPORT what he said to Lamm, Ullrich replied: "I told him that he should talk to his drivers and tell them to look in the mirror to see what they are doing. Because this is not professional."

12th June 2010, 20:05
7h00m Jaime Melo has the gap out to almost one second over the #64, as we see the sister #63 Corvette in the pits for service from third place in class

12th June 2010, 20:05
7h03m All eyes are now on the Risi Competizione pits to see when Jaime Melo will bring the class-leading #82 in.

12th June 2010, 20:21
7h14m The GT2 lead fight has died off for the time being, as we wait for the leading #82 Risi Competizione Ferrari to come into the pits. It enjoys a one minute lead over the #64 Corvette currently, with the #63 Corvette still third.

7h15m The #82 is in now and there is no driver change. Jaime Melo stays on board and it's fuel only. Out he goes and we'll update shortly where it is in relation to the Corvette.

12th June 2010, 20:23
7h22m The fourth placed GT2 car #77, the Felbermayr Porsche comes into the pits. Richard Lietz stays in the car and he rejoins the race.

12th June 2010, 20:28
7h27m The action has settled down a little following that rash of class-leading pitstops - save for the fact that the GT2 fight between the #82 Ferrari and the #64 Corvette is back on again. The gap is just two seconds.

must go, and carry on watching race. This is going to be cracker. Forza Risi

12th June 2010, 20:58
A shame for the Risi #82 Ferrari having to be pushed into the garage :-(

12th June 2010, 21:21
I know, heart breaking (a bit like footy, actually)!

The #82 Risi Ferrari was doing so well, fighting for the GT2 lead with the Corvette after starting from the back of the grid, could have gone on to win the race. Shame about the gearbox problem. :-s

13th June 2010, 08:49
I know, heart breaking (a bit like footy, actually)!

The #82 Risi Ferrari was doing so well, fighting for the GT2 lead with the Corvette after starting from the back of the grid, could have gone on to win the race. Shame about the gearbox problem. :-s

really really gutted, could of won this, especially now that both vette's have fallen aswell :-(:-(:-( happy that pugs are being beaten and the smugness has gone.

13th June 2010, 08:49
95 Fisi goes straight on at Indianapolis and reports brake failure.
13/06/201010h06- Auto NewsThe #95 AF Corse Ferrari 430 went straight on at Indianapolis in the hands of Giancarlo Fisichella.

He brings it back to the pits to repair front end damage - it is thought the brakes failed.

13th June 2010, 08:51
#64 grinds to smoky halt at Mulsanne corner
13/06/201009h43- Auto NewsOlly Gavin driving Corvette #64 grinds to a smoky halt at Mulsanne corner and is pushed behind the wall.

Olly has now got out of the car.

#63 Corvette suffers engine failure www.autosport.com

By Kevin Turner Sunday, June 13th 2010, 05:43 GMT

Chevrolet's efforts to win the GT2 class on the 50th anniversary of its Le Mans debut have taken a blow after the second-placed car suffered a suspected engine failure.

The two works Corvettes had led the competitive GT2 category since the demise of the Risi Ferrari late on Saturday.

The #63 car was still on the same lap as the leading #64 machine and Antonio Garcia had just climbed aboard when it pulled off the road and stopped.

Johnny O'Connell, who had been sharing the car with Garcia and Jan Magnussen, told AUTOSPORT: "It's something in the engine. I don't know of any over-revs or anything like that.

"The thing about it is that it can happen to the #64 car, so they might back it off a bit."

The #77 Felbermayr Porsche is now up to second in GT2, just under two laps behind the remaining Corvette.

13th June 2010, 08:52
19h45m Jean Alesi with a good outlap in the #95 Ferrari 430, which looks to have recovered from its earlier technical problems

13th June 2010, 10:04
Update 11am after 20hrs
13/06/201011h06- Positions at 11am were:

Overall and LMP1 #9 Audi leads #8 Audi by 20secs

LMP2 #42 HPD leads #35 Pescarolo by 7 laps

GT1 #50 Saleen leads #52 Aston Martin by 5 laps (only 3 GT1s left)

GT2 #77 Porsche leads #89 Ferrari by 2 laps

32 cars still running out of 55

13th June 2010, 10:05
H20: Audi duo remain in control

By Steven English Sunday, June 13th 2010, 09:04 GMT www.autosport.com

Romain Dumas and Andre Lotterer are holding station in the #9 and #8 Audis as the German manufacturer moves nearer to a surprise Le Mans victory.

The pair are separated by two minutes as they continue to reel off lap after lap at the head of the field. Alex Wurz is now at the controls of the #1 Peugeot, but still one lap down.

Allan McNish is still fourth in the #7 Audi, but Loic Duval is now just 1m30s behind and closing in at four seconds per lap.

Juan Barazi has had two more offs in the #009 Aston Martin, but managed to hand it over to Darren Turner in sixth place, over a minute ahead of the #15 Kolles Audi.

There was more drama for Aston Martin when the #008 Signature car went straight on into the wall at the first Mulsanne chicane.

The Highcroft HPD's challenge has fallen away due to a persistent problem with the cooling system, leaving the Strakka car eight laps clear in LMP2.

In GT1, the Larbre Saleen is back on course after its earlier off and maintains a comfortable five-lap advantage over the Young Driver Aston Martin.

Richard Lietz is now at the wheel of the #77 Felbermayr Porsche in the lead of GT2. The 911 is two laps clear of the Hankook Ferrari, with the BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche in third.

The sole remaining BMW has been pulled back into the garage for repairs, while the Prospeed Porsche has spun into the gravel at Indianapolis for the second time in two hours.

13th June 2010, 10:08
21h06m Wurz in the #1 is now only 43 seconds behind the #8 Audi, which should be in the pits fairly soon.

13th June 2010, 10:10
13.06.2010 The Fairy Tale Ends For Risi Competizione
When the No.83 Krohn Racing Risi Ferrari entered the pits at 0613 hrs this morning with smoke coming from the rear, there were glum faces all round as the engine problem proved to be terminal. It is the first time since the team has been racing the storied, and extremely successful Ferrari F430 GTC that neither car has made it to the checkered flag at the French classic.

With the No. 82 car already parked up in the pits due to gear selection issues (officially retired at 0100 hrs), all hopes were being pinned on the familiar green and blue liveried Ferrari which has achieved two GT2 podium finishes in the last four years. Nic Jönsson was at the wheel of the Ferrari and explained what happened: “I was coming into the second chicane on the Mulsanne and the engine stumbled; it felt like there was fuel starvation. Then there was a big puff of smoke in the back and the crank case pressure dropped. There wasn’t any warning or temperature change or anything.”

Since overcoming a persistent understeer problem early in the race, the No. 83 Risi car was making steady progress and all three drivers had driven without any issues during the night and early morning. It was a hugely disappointing end to the team’s troubled weekend.

Risi Ferrari No. 82 Driver Quotes:

Pierre Kaffer: “It was a very unusual problem which happened to the Risi Competizione team and for Ferrari. They have such great gearboxes normally and it was a shame we got such an unlucky problem. We need to analyze everything to find out what the problem was. It’s a pity after such a great race with Corvette.”

Jaime Melo: “We tried our best and everything was working properly. We gave everything we had from the cars to the team and drivers, but maybe that wasn’t enough today. The competition is so strong with the Corvettes, as they showed us, and it would have been a great battle but the gearbox didn’t help us.”

Gimmi Bruni: “It was very disappointing to finish like this. Pierre, Jaime and I recovered from last on the grid to first until the car had the problem. It’s a shame but that’s the way it goes. I feel sorry for the team and Ferrari who have all been working so hard for this race but, unfortunately, it’s this thing called ‘racing’ and it proves that things can happen even in the F430’s life.”

13th June 2010, 10:12
21h10m Meanwhile, the #4 Oreca Peugeot is chasing the #7 Audi driven by Tom Kristensen and the gap between fourth and fifth is now 51 seconds.

21h08m Mike Rockenfeller continues to lead around a lap clear of that pair but certainly can't afford any delay in this fast-paced run to the finish.

looks like the LMP1 race isnt over yet, fingers crossed the Audi's can take 1-2 this year. Hope they can find and improve the speed of the R15 plus. Then next year they have the R18.

13th June 2010, 10:28
Yeah I didn't expect the LMP1 race to be so tight, I thought the Pugs would just drive off into the distance. Fingers crossed the Audis can hold station and cruise home to take the 1-2.

But such a shame about Risi though! :-(

13th June 2010, 10:44
hopefully Alesi, Fisi and Vlander can pick up a podium

13th June 2010, 10:54
Feel really sorry for Wurz and the team. :-s

13th June 2010, 11:07
i wanted the number 1 Peugot to win, i wanted to see Gene take it over the line
oh well, hopefully Fisi and Alesi make it to the podium

13th June 2010, 18:48
i had family get together this afternoon. and missed last2 half hours. Got it recorded, so watch it later, but already now the result. Great for Audi 1-2-3 fantastic.

13th June 2010, 18:51
Allan McNish on the retirement of the last remaining Peugeot
13/06/201013h48 Allan McNish, as the last remaining Peugeot retires says:

"The race come down to reliability, we've all won it (Peugeot, Oreca and Audi), so I know the highs and lows. I feel very sorry for Oreca but also somewhat relieved, as it takes pressure off our car."

13th June 2010, 19:07
Audi claims win as Peugeot crumbles

By Steven English Sunday, June 13th 2010, 14:08 GMT www.autosport.com

Audi claimed a shock 1-2-3 victory in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours after Peugeot suffered a catastrophic collapse from the stronghold it enjoyed early in the race.

Peugeot was cruising, with the #2 car in particular looking almost certain for victory, but reliability woes plagued the 908s throughout the race and each of its cars ground to a halt before the end. That left the race to fall into the laps of the unfancied Audi R15s, which had been unable to compete with the raw pace of the Peugeots all week long.

Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Mike Rockenfeller clinched their maiden Le Mans victories in their first year together, while the #8 car of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer followed home in second. The favoured Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen, Dindo Capello car was the one to hit trouble during the race and recovered to complete the podium.

But, as expected, it was Peugeot that romped off into the distance early on, with the ORECA example also leaving Audi in its wake. But their formation was broken inside the three-hour mark when a suspension failure damaged the tub of the #3 car and Pedro Lamy, Sebastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud were spectators before the latter two had even been strapped in.

The #1 and #2 cars ran closely up front into Saturday night. A safety car period separated them for a while before the next of the problems struck. The #1 car lost four laps in the pits to alternator trouble and the rest of its race became a charge to catch up. Ultimately it was the last of the factory cars to expire, but only after 13 hours of intense charging from Anthony Davidson, Alex Wurz and Marc Gene.

It clawed back time right through the night, but was always fighting a losing battle to make the progress required. Davidson gave it everything and a bit more during his stints: spinning early on, colliding with a Ferrari during the night and then playing his part in an incident that dumped the #64 Corvette out of its GT2 lead. Davidson was trying to lap Emmanuel Collard at the Porsche Curves when the pair got a little close for comfort. There was no contact, but Collard spun into the wall, though Davidson later protested his innocence.

Ironically, the best hope for the #1 car came after the demise of the #2 from the lead on Sunday morning. Once chasing an Audi two laps ahead, rather than another version of itself four laps ahead, it began to make real progress. Wurz was at the controls and homing in on the #8 for second place when the Peugeot engine let go at Indianapolis and all he could do was lead a thick trail of oil all the way back to the garage.

That was curtains for the factory team with the #2 car of Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Nicolas Minassian having gone out early on Sunday, also with a blown engine. This car was not even on a caution to the wind charge, it had been settled into a two-lap lead all the way through the night and was lapping no quicker than it had to. This retirement more than all the others in the last three years exposed the fragility of the 908, even when it enjoys such a performance advantage over its rivals.

During the closing stages, all Peugeot had left to hope for was that its customer car might still be able to sneak third and stop Audi taking a clean sweep of the podium. Not exactly what it had in mind when its 908s took to the track on Wednesday as easily the fastest cars in town.

But the ORECA car's desire to charge all out in an attempt to topple just one Audi from the rostrum ended predictably prematurely with an almost identical failure to that of the #2 car. And so Audi, which had not been given a prayer of victory since crossing the French border, found itself with a 1-2-3.

Yes, this was a case of Peugeot snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and Audi inheriting glory only when those ahead faltered, but that is not to say it was not deserved. Audi simply did its sums. It was not that Peugeot pushed too hard and blew up all its cars. Far from it. But that did not matter.

This was Peugeot's race to lose. They knew it, and so did Audi. It was never going to be much of a poker game. Audi would ride its cars only as hard as it knew it could, while Peugeot would sit ahead of Audi and hope for the best. The Audi R15 responded dutifully. The Peugeots misbehaved. The worrying thought for Peugeot is that its flagship machine might just be fundamentally flawed. Even when you treat it nicely it is a fragile creature with a cruel streak and a habit.

And this time it was not the fancied Audi that came through. It did not need the outstanding individual performances that won the 2008 race. McNish, Kristensen and Capello were out of the hunt by Saturday afternoon when Kristensen tripped over Andy Priaulx's wounded BMW and backed into a tyre wall in the Porsche Curves. It was never given the chance to recover the three laps it lost because the other two R15s ran near-perfectly.

The #9 line-up of Rockenfeller, Dumas and Bernhard was just quicker than Fassler, Lotterer and Treluyer and spent the vast majority of the race circulating a minute up the road from it. And that was it. When all the rival cars drop out, all you have to do is finish.

Speaking earlier in the week about his chances of victory, Bernhard had told AUTOSPORT: "It will be a big dream come true. This is the one race missing in my CV. I've won Daytona overall, I've won the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring, I've won Sebring, so really this is the race in my career that I want to win at least one time.

"I remember I had a video game from 1989 called Le Mans, it had a 962 Porsche and for me to drive here was a childhood dream. Just to drive here in an LMP1 car was a dream come true, to be on top of the podium would really be a dream."

The rate of attrition took its toll right through the LMP1 class. The Rebellion Lolas disappeared early on, Nigel Mansell crashed his punctured Ginetta-Zytek on the fourth lap, and the Drayson Lola spent half its time in the garage - so the unofficial petrol class was pretty thinly contested. It got a lot worse on Sunday afternoon as both works Aston Martins blew their engines and Vanina Ickx crashed the Signature car, leaving the ORECA-AIM of Soheil Ayari, Didier Andre and Andy Meyrick with victory by default.

The arrival of HPD (still Acura, to you and me) at Le Mans sadly failed to bring the underwhelming LMP2 class to life. It's a shame that the arrival of a new manufacturer coincided with the absence of another - neither of the two Porsche Spyders that have been giving CPR to the class for the last two years were present this time, so it was another two-car race.

For much of the race, it seemed as though the Highcroft car of David Brabham, Marco Werner and Marino Franchitti was well-matched against Strakka's Danny Watts, Jonny Kane and Nick Leventis. Strakka could run its HPD car a couple of seconds quicker than Highcroft, which gave it a handy margin to compensate for Leventis, who was never going to match the pace of any of the opposition's trio.

Watts and Kane did a fine job of tearing off up the road and Highcroft just never found a way to close the gap. It was hurt by the positioning of the safety cars at the start. And later, each of its three drivers lost time to a puncture. Highcroft was already two laps back and staring up a pretty steep mountain before the car developed a problem with the water pressure in the cooling system. It had to make a string of pitstops early on Sunday morning just to keep it running, and then eventually stopped for good.

The #35 Oak Racing Pescarolo and the #25 RML Lola completed the class podium by doing exactly what is necessary in LMP2 - both simply kept going. Neither had any major problems, nor ever threatened the pace at the front. But with the fourth car in class 25 laps behind the winner, the podium filled itself.

The GT1 class signed off its final year as part of the Le Mans 24 Hours by displaying exactly why it is being dropped for 2011.

Early on, there was a decent scrap between the Young Driver Aston Martin and the Ford GTs of Matech and Marc VDS. But it was not long before they began to tumble. The Aston lost 15 laps to a broken driveshaft and Bas Leinders had a big crash in the Marc VDS Ford. The #60 Matech GT hung around longest, and even survived a tangle with the second Oak Pescarolo, but eventually folded with a similar engine failure to the one that claimed the sister car - although in less firey fashion than the departure endured by Natacha Gachnang.

That left the Larbre Saleen to take the honours - a car that was not only three laps behind the class leader by Saturday evening, but is also a model that has been around since 1999. The Alphand Chevrolet team picked up second in class, but even that was not for its better car. The #73 Corvette ground to a halt with transmission failure on Sunday morning, leaving the #72 five laps shy of the Saleen.

This was a particularly punishing year on the reliability front, but at least the fiercely and relentlessly competitive GT2 class had good reason for most of its frontrunners to blow up - they all spent the first half of the race doing qualifying laps.

The ongoing scrap at the front between the #82 Risi Ferrari and the #64 Corvette quite literally kept the crowd on its feet through more than four hours of bumper to bumper racing on Saturday afternoon. The lead changed back and forth as the pair continually chased, caught, drafted, passed and repassed each other as though in a touring car race. Unfortunately for the spectacle, the Risi car developed intermittent gear selection problems a third of the way through the race and had to yield for lengthy repairs. It did get back into the race but never cured the problem and gave up the ghost during the night.

The Corvette held the lead over its #63 mate until early Sunday morning, when Emmanuel Collard spun the car into the barrier after the non-contact clash with Davidson. Again, the car did make it back into the race, but fell to an engine problem soon after - possibly a legacy of the rear-end damage sustained the crash. The #63 car had departed only recently, also with a blown engine.

With the Corvettes and the quickest Ferrari out of the way, the road was clear for the #77 Felbermayr Porsche of Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Wolf Henzler to coast to victory on the 40th anniversary of the marque's maiden Le Mans triumph. It wasn't given a great deal of opposition in the end. The AF Corse Ferrari ran second for a while in the hands of Jean Alesi, but tumbled down the order after Giancarlo Fisichella had a scary moment overshooting Indianapolis on Sunday morning.

The Hankook Farnbacher Ferrari finished second in GT2 after a pretty quiet and uneventful run, with the BMW Scuderia Italia Porsche completing the podium.

BMW's first Le Mans with its M3 turned into a race to forget. Its aesthetically fetching art car - the #79 machine of Priaulx, Dirk Muller and Dirk Werner - had just about everything possible go wrong with it on Saturday. The race was barely three hours old when the Schnitzer team had to completely rebuild the right rear suspension following a puncture for Muller.

Priaulx had only been back out in the repaired car for 45 minutes before it sprang the puncture which led to the accident with the Audi. Muller was back in it later on Saturday afternoon to collect its third puncture, and then damaged the gearbox in a spin caused by the deflation. It only put an end to the misery when it ran out of fuel later on Saturday evening. The #78 sister car at least kept on going, but was only sixth in class and never in the lead fight.

13th June 2010, 19:08
A Ferrari on the podium at the Le Mans 24 Hours, Fisichella: “A really unique experience”

Le Mans, 13 June – A Ferrari F30GTC, maybe the least expected one, made it to the podium in the LMGT2 category in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Hankook Farnbacher car numer 89, crewed by Simonsen-Farnbacher-Keen, finished second behind the Porsche of Lieb-Lietz-Henzler.

The cars from Maranello did not have much luck in this race. First, the two Risi Competizione cars dropped out, then the AF Corse one, driven by Fisichella-Alesi-Vilander went off the track, requiring a long pit stop which meant any chance of fighting for the win had gone.

Problems with the gearbox and engine during the night meant the two F430s run by the American team had to retire. There was great disappointment, especially for car number 82 which, having started from the back of the grid, staged a great climb up the order until it was duelling for the lead with the two Corvettes. The other Houston team car had to retire with engine failure.

The only AF Corse car in the race was lying second this morning, shortly after dawn whe, because of a brake problem, it went off the track at 280 km/h. Giancarlo Fisichella, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s third driver was at the wheel at the time. “It looked like being really bad, but luckily, there is an escape road at that point and I was able to limit the damage. Unfortunately, we had to spend a long time in the garage to repair the car and after that we could not make up the time lost. All the same, fourth place is a very good result. I am happy to have had this unique experience: it was a tiring race, without any sleep, but it was unforgettable. I want to thank the team for all their efforts and my team-mates in this adventure, Toni and Jean who were really fantastic.”

13th June 2010, 19:14
Simon Pagenaud of Peugeot speaks
13/06/201016h47- Simon Pagenaud of Peugeot No 3 said:

"If we knew what went wrong it would help us. We've run 32 hour tests and nothing like this has happened before. We've never had a tub break and never had an engine failure. Everyone in the team is in tears. The team is like a family and to win would have meant so much to us."

13th June 2010, 19:20
GT2 Porsche relieved to be back on top

By Steven English Sunday, June 13th 2010, 15:32 GMT www.autosport.com

Le Mans 24 Hours GT2 winners Wolf Henzler and Marc Lieb were relieved to take Porsche back to the top of the class after two years of Ferrari dominance.

The Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 has won the class in the last two races and looked likely to challenge again after fighting the leading works Corvette in the early stages.

The #77 Felbermayr Porsche that Henzler and Lieb shared with 2007 class winner Richard Lietz couldn't match either, but moved forward as the pace of the race took its toll on those ahead. The trio eventually won the class quite comfortably, ahead of the Hankook Farnbacher Ferrari and the BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche.

"After two hours we knew we couldn't match the Risi Ferrari or the Corvettes," said Henzler. "It was like a sprint race so we just decided to drive our own race and it turned out good for us."

Lieb added: "After the last two years when we have struggled here and the Ferrari has been very strong, we are very pleased to come back and win for Porsche."

hats off to the Porsche, they drove good clean race. Risi will hit back at Utah and take another enduro win at Petit Le Mans october 1st

13th June 2010, 19:45

After a very long 24 hours, the Ferrari F430 of the AF Corse team arrived
fourth at the finish line. At the beginning of the race, the French public was
enthusiastic by the fantastic performance of Alesi. AfCorse had absolutely no
problems during the first hours of the race, with the car alternating between
the fifth and third positions. During the night Vilander, Fisichella and Alesi
reduced the gap between them and the other drivers and although they got a flat
tyre, they were able to bring the car into second position. But in the first
hours of the morning the car driven by Fisichella had some problems with its
brakes, colliding against the barriers. Fortunately the Roman driver was able
to bring the car to the box to be repaired. The time lost fixing the car made
the team lose three positions, so Vilander found himself in fifth position,
being forced to attack to reduce the gap. Three hours before the chequered
flag, the car gained one position, finishing the race fourth, very near the
podium. Amato Ferrari, although aware of the importance of finishing the race,
is a bit sorry to have missed a podium that for several hours could have been
possible. An applause goes to the car which showed to be fast and reliable, as
to the Michelin tyres, which gave their best performance during the entire

14th June 2010, 01:06
Decent results in a tough race, go Ferrari..

19th June 2010, 16:09
GT2 classification on hold – top 2 under investigation
By Marcel ten Caat ⋅ June 18, 2010 www.planetlemans.com

Shortly after the finish of the 78th Le Mans 24 Hours it became clear that the battle in the LM GT2 category had ended on track, but was likely to go ahead beyond Le Mans. Today the Automobile Club de l’Ouest informed the teams that the classification is indeed not final.

The first placed number 77 Team Felbermayr Proton Porsche 997 GT3 RSR (Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Wolf Henzler) and the #89 Hankook Team Farnbacher Ferrari F430 GT2 (Dominik Farnbacher, Allan Simonsen and Leh Keen) did not immediately clear scrutineering at Le Mans and this afternoon the technical delegate of the ACO, Daniel Perdrix confirmed that the engines on both cars will be undergoing further checks.

It is expected that the results of these inspections will be announced in early July. As a result the full LM GT2 classification is now suspended, as are the general classification and the Michelin Green X Challenge classification from the first LM GT2 car.

If the ACO finds nothing irregular on the two cars the results will stay as they are. Should there be something irregular they could be excluded and that could promote the BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche 997 GT3 RSR to first place, with AF Corse and IMSA Performance Matmut taking second and third.

To be continued…

19th June 2010, 20:40
Wow, didn't know that!

engines on both cars will be undergoing further checks

I wonder what that could be? :Hmm

19th June 2010, 21:04
Wow, didn't know that!

I wonder what that could be? :Hmm

yeah i know, i surprised at that too. I will email friend tomorrow morning too see if they know what further checks mean. ;-)

19th June 2010, 21:13
Audi R15+TDI : a win for the legend
#9 – Audi R15+TDI/Audi Sport North America/Bernhard-Dumas-Rockenfeller (winners)
#8 – Audi R15+TDI/Audi Sport Team Joest/Fässler-Lotterer-Tréluyer (2nd)
#7 – Audi R15+TDI/Audi Sport Team Joest/Capello-Kristensen-McNish (3rd)

Audi’s 2010 win definitely is one for the books, even more than those in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Nobody expected such a result, including Dr. Ullrich himself. The R15 Pluses were not as fast as their competitors, but could maintain a constant pressure which certainly contributed to the engine failures suffered by Peugeot. Audi’s finishing order was determined by Kristensen’s hesitation when overtaking a BMW M3, and Lotterer’s runoff at Arnage.

Romain Dumas became the first French driver to win the Le Mans 24 Hours since Yannick Dalmas in 1999, while Timo Bernhard and Mike Rockenfeller also won their first 24 Hours. Audi has already announced their intention to come back next year with a new R18.


20th June 2010, 10:50
yeah i know, i surprised at that too. I will email friend tomorrow morning too see if they know what further checks mean. ;-)

ooo wonder what will happen :-E