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Rob
8th June 2015, 16:15
Well, here we go, week build up, practice starts Wednesday. Scrutineering yesterday and today.

This years, will be, could be can be best one ever. All time lap times maybe broken this week and in race. Im still unsure on Toyota. Where they may end up. At Spa they were slow and didnt really run into trouble.

Rob
8th June 2015, 16:20
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Five AF Corse Ferrari 458’s to dream again “Le Mans”


LE MANS, June 8th – Five AF Corse Ferrari 458’s in the “24 Heures du Mans”, the endurance race par excellence. The 458’s lined up for the Italian Team - that, in the last years, has written beautiful pages in the history of the French race thanks to victories and podium finishes – are ready for the new battle.

GTE PRO CATEGORY – Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella will share the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia #51. The trio is two times winner at Le Mans, in 2012 and 2014, always with the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia #51. Davide Rigon, James Calado and Olivier Beretta will be at the wheel of the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia #71.

GTE AM CATEGORY – In numerical order of the cars, Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Alex Mortimer will race in their AF Corse Ferrari #55.

Peter Mann, Raffaele Giammaria and Matteo Cressoni will drive the AF Corse Ferrari #61. François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas will share the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia #83. The “24 Heures du Mans” is third round in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) where the AF Corse Ferrari 458’s have the top positions.

Bruni and Vilander are first in the GT Drivers Cup (Fisichella races just at Le Mans).

Perrodo, Collard and Aguas are second in the GTE Am Drivers standing.

Ferrari is second among GT Manufactures (1 point behind Aston Martin).

AF Corse is leading in the GTE Pro Team classification and second in the GTE Am.

The green light for the race will flash at 3 p.m. (local time) on Saturday, June 13th.


TIMETABLE
Free Practice / Wed 10th Jun – 4 p.m.
Qualifying Practice / Wed 10th Jun – 10 p.m.
Qualifying Practice / Thu 11th Jun – 7 p.m.
Qualifying Practice / Thu 11th Jun – 10 p.m.
Warm-Up / Sat 13th Jun – 9 a.m.
Race / Sat 13th Jun – 3 p.m.

AF Corse Press Office - Riccardo Delfanti

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Rob
8th June 2015, 16:25
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Le Mans 24 Hours
It’s Le Mans week!
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Today, the first scrutineering session marked the beginning of Le Mans week. Drivers and cars assembled at Place de la République, for the scrutineering procedures that will continue tomorrow. The crowds were out in their masses to cheer on 22 drivers, including the Audi and Nissan teams. The loudest cheers were reserved for actor-driver Patrick Dempsey. As a regular driver in the 24 Hours, Dempsey takes the week’s festivities in his stride and like the other drivers and the fans, he will be looking forward to start of the race, at 3 pm on Saturday 13 June.

By 1.30 pm fans gathered along the roadside to watch the cars make their way to tents for the various administrative and technical checks. Although the session was not yet under way, three drivers dressed in black were already queuing up to take their turn. Johnny Kane, Danny Watts and Nick Leventis were impatient to kick off the countdown to the race and more than ready to get started with today’s procedures. They are pleased to see their n°42 Dome S103 back at Le Mans this year as the car didn’t run the race itself last year due to an accident in a practice sessions. At 2pm, the mechanics pushed the car out for all to see. This year, the public can get a better view of the cars thanks to a big screen set up on the square.

The Dome was the first of the 56 cars in the line-up to be subjected to the scrupulous checks administered by the scrutineers. Meanwhile, the three British drivers had to undergo checks of their own, before talking to the journalists present and then being interviewed on the stage by the race commentators.

The square was buzzing with activity all afternoon as the 22 cars filed past. In total 66 drivers are required to undergo checks. However, a few were absent today due to other engagements. The following four drivers have until 6 pm tomorrow to pass the checks: Bonanomi – Audi n°9 ; Monteiro – Team Bykolles n°4 ; Seefried – Dempsey Proton Racing n°77 ; Bachler – Abu Dhabi Proton Racing n°88.

German Manufacturer Audi is the outfit to beat and the new impeccably presented Audi R18 e-tron quattros were one of the highlights of the afternoon. But some only had eyes for Patrick Dempsey. Always very popular, especially with the women in the crowd, Dempsey once again raised a huge cheer as he mounted the official podium.

The striking lines of the Nissan GT-R LM Nismos impressed the crowds, who gathered excitedly around the vans that transport the cars from the circuit. A few minutes earlier, another Nissan-powered car, the n°41 attracted its share of attention, thanks to the highly publicised Gaëtan Palletou, who has gone from video games to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in less than ten months. The Swiss drivers of Rebellion Racing and their AER-powered R-Ones and Team Sard Morand rounded off a fabulous afternoon.

Scrutineering continues tomorrow, Monday 8 June. The first of the 34 cars will be the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR n°67 from Team AAI, in the LM GTE Am class. The car has run in the Asian Le Mans Series but this is the first time we have seen it at Le Mans. The day will proceed like today with a mixed list of cars in the various classes.
Ferrari, Aston Martin, Corvette and Porsche all feature in the LM GTE Pro class and in LM GTE Am, the Viper is sure to be popular.
As for LM P1, the Porsche 919 Hybrid will be present from 1.30 pm and later on World Endurance Champions Toyota Racing will take the stage. The procedures will finish at 5 pm with Krohn Racing’s characteristic green Ligier JS P2 closing the field.

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Rob
8th June 2015, 17:45
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Ready to Rock at Le Mans

Two-car American LMP2 team set for Le Mans debut
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Le Mans, France, – June 8, 2015 – In 1967, John Lennon was the cover story for the debut issue of Rolling Stone. This week, Rolling Stone is the cover story for Tequila Patrón ESM as it makes its first appearance at the 83rd 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the fourth race of the eight-race FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC).

As Tequila Patrón ESM makes its Le Mans debut, it does so as the only two-car American LMP2 team. This week, the Florida-based crew trades in its familiar black and Patrón green livery for the black, white and Rolling Stone red. The No. 30 and No. 31 Ligier JS P2-Hondas feature liveries depicting the legendary popular culture magazine Rolling Stone. The No. 30 machine features a silver roof and mirrors while the No. 31 will have a red roof and mirrors.

In March 2015, Patrón Spirits International, the lead sponsor of Tequila Patrón ESM, announced the partnership with Rolling Stone in both brands’ first involvement in this world famous racing event. Tequila Patrón ESM will also appear in a short film and accompanying story for RollingStone.com and Rolling Stone magazine.

Known as the world’s oldest active endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most prestigious events in sportscar racing. It is the ultimate test of man and machine as the 56-entrant field takes to the 8.4667-mile (13.6259 km) circuit, a combination of closed public roads and permanent racing track, known as the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Even though the Tequila Patrón ESM team and sponsor Rolling Stone are making their Le Mans debuts this weekend, four of the six drivers have competed at Le Mans and two of those drivers have earned class victories.

Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and David Heinemeier Hansson, co-drivers of the No. 30 Rolling Stone Ligier JS P2 machine, all have experience at Le Mans. Tequila Patrón ESM team owner Sharp first turned laps at La Sarthe in 1996, in the then-World Sports Car class aboard a Riley and Scott Oldsmobile Aurora with Wayne Taylor and Jim Pace. Dalziel was the 2012 LMP2 winner with Starworks Motorsport in the Honda Performance Development ARX-03b machine. Before earning that 2012 win, Dalziel also competed in 2010 and 2013. In three attempts at Le Mans, Heinemeier Hansson continuously improved his finishing position. In 2012, while in the LMP2 class, he finished third and then second in 2013. Last year, Heinemeier Hansson earned his first Le Mans victory with Aston Martin Racing in the LMGTE-AM class.

In addition to earning the title “24 Hours of Le Mans champion”, the race winners receive double championship points. The 24 Hours of Le Mans awards 50 points to the class winner. In the years that Dalziel and Heinemeier Hansson won at Le Mans, they both went on to win World Championships in their respective classes.

Johannes van Overbeek is the only driver of the No. 31 Rolling Stone Ligier JS P2 that has competed at Le Mans. He shares season-long driving duties with Ed Brown and Jon Fogarty. In four previous GT2 class appearances, van Overbeek finished third, fourth and sixth.

Now in its second race with the Ligier JS P2-Honda race cars, Tequila Patrón ESM seeks another win for Honda. The last Honda LMP2 win was in 2012 with Starworks Motorsport racing the ARX-03b machine co-driven by Dalziel. The other Honda win took place in 2010 at the hands of Strakka Racing team in the HPD ARX-01c.

Ride along with Tequila Patrón ESM and Rolling Stone
Viewers will be able to watch qualifying and the race from the on-board camera mounted to the No. 31 Rolling Stone Ligier JS P2 via the FIA WEC second screen app or online at www.fiawec.com

Tequila Patrón ESM on Track
Wednesday, June 10
Free practice – 4 p.m. CET – Central European Time (10 a.m. ET)
Qualifying practice – 10 p.m. CET (4 p.m.)

Thursday, June 11
Qualifying practice – 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. CET (1 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET)

Saturday, July 13
Warm-Up – 9 a.m. (3 a.m. ET)
Race – 3 p.m. (9 a.m. ET)

Where to Watch
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be televised globally and on the FOX Sports Network of channels.

For U.S. viewers, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will air on Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14:

Fox Sports 2
June 13 - 8:30 a.m. – noon and 11 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
June 14 - 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.

Fox Sports 1
June 13 - 7-8 p.m.
June 14 - 3:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

FOX Sports GO
Flag-to-flag coverage begins Saturday, June 13 at 8:30 a.m. until Sunday, June 14 at 9:30 a.m.

The race can be viewed via the FIA WEC second screen app or online at www.fiawec.com. In addition, viewers can download the 24H Le Mans application which will provide live coverage throughout the race. Download the app at 24h-lemans.com

To listen to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, tune into Radio Le Mans at www.radiolemans.com.

Rob
8th June 2015, 17:51
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ASTON MARTIN UNVEILS REHBERGER VANTAGE GTE
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• Aston Martin Racing unveils 24 Hours of Le Mans art car
• Design revealed to racing fans in Le Mans town centre
• Unique effects on Vantage GTE created by artist Tobias Rehberger

8 June, Le Mans: Aston Martin Racing is today unveiling a 24 Hours of Le Mans art car designed by artist Tobias Rehberger. The unique creation gives the Gulf #97 Vantage GTE the illusion of movement and speed, even when static.

Rehberger is renowned for his abstract art and optical effects that distort perception and has received numerous international prizes and awards, including the Golden Lion for best artist at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Aston Martin Racing invited him to design a livery that would work with the Gulf Vantage GTE’s lines and colours in a way never attempted before.

Thirty years since the first art car ran in the 24-hour race, Rehberger set out to create a design that uses geometric shapes and patterns to give the car, when static, the impression of movement and speed.

The German artist, who will attend Saturday’s race as a guest of Aston Martin Racing, explained: “My design for the Aston Martin art car is rooted in my interest in distorted perception and related phenomena like auto moving patterns, optical effects, camouflage and visual confusion, which I have addressed in many works before.

“In this case, the design is based on a geometric optical effect pattern. Comparable to a fast object, a steady fixation on a point of the pattern is impossible.”

The artwork was commissioned by the owner of car #97 who has long-admired the work of Rehberger and was interested to see how he could manipulate the appearance of the race car that is based on Aston Martin’s Vantage road car.

Driver of the car, Darren Turner was impressed with the results: “Personally, I think art cars are fantastic,” commented Turner. “This design really pushes the boundaries of what’s been done before and challenges how we can use patterns and colours in racecar liveries – I love it!”

The design, which will be seen on the side of the #97 Vantage GTE in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be unveiled at the official race scrutineering in the town centre today (8 June).

The 24 Hours of Le Mans starts on Saturday 13 June at 1500hrs.

- ENDS -

Rob
8th June 2015, 17:54
NICO HÜLKENBERG (PORSCHE): F1 YESTERDAY, TODAY LE MANS.
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It was yesterday in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix, it is now at Le Mans for the 24 Hours ... He's the Hulk.

Until the sixties, it was not uncommon for F1 drivers come try their luck at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The stars of the time as Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn or Graham Hill have played the same event while they were at the peak of their glory in Grand Prix. The increasingly dense schedule has ended up away from the Sarthe. With few exceptions ...

The latest, Sebastien Bourdais, then under contract with Toro Rosso, finished 2nd in 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans on Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. We also remember Eddie Irvine in 1993 and 1994 and especially Johnny Herbert and Bertrand Gachot, winners of the 1991 Mazda while on exercise in Jordan and Lotus F1.

This year is Nico Hulkenberg attempt the double blow. Eighth yesterday at the Canadian Grand Prix, Force India driver donned this afternoon his Porsche combination to avoid the administrative checks. "I find this atmosphere that we talked a lot about me," he admits to the microphones of journalists from many to greet him. "It is truly magical here ... And I will take advantage even better tomorrow after a good night. I did not sleep on the plane between Canada and France so I still need to sleep I tackle the Everest of the Le Mans 24 Hours. "

Physically at Le Mans, the German still has a little head to Montreal: "I am very happy with the four points scored yesterday although it was not the most eventful race of my career with the exception of my battle with Vettel . " hectic, the next weekend will certainly since it will deal with overruns Car Grand Tourism slower than its LM P1 prototype. " I'll have to learn to move in the traffic without losing too much time ... It's the great unknown for me. " He still has four test sessions (Wednesday and Thursday) to understand the pitfalls of the biggest race of endurance in the world. The start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be given Saturday, June 13 to 15 hours.

Rob
8th June 2015, 20:56
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=153&v=AwZke_z8ZXc

Rob
8th June 2015, 20:57
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWH12D3iNsQ

Rob
8th June 2015, 20:58
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8FWWWei8UY

Rob
8th June 2015, 20:58
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhp15NEK2MM

Rob
8th June 2015, 21:00
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80OUY0eK-GI

Rob
8th June 2015, 21:01
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqCVUU8pubQ

fratelliferrari
8th June 2015, 21:07
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=153&v=AwZke_z8ZXc

Thanks Rob :-D

Rob
8th June 2015, 21:10
Thanks Rob :-D

no problem mate. Got email saying check this link out. ;-)

If got eurosport, they are doing their 24 minutes every night. Just news and interviews and features for the race.

Rob
9th June 2015, 13:40
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Rob
9th June 2015, 15:16
THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS BY NUMBERS [1/4]

There is no end to the statistics generated by the Le Mans 24 Hours. Here are some of the most surprising, spectacular or fun facts and figures about the race.

4: A driver must be at the wheel for at least 4 hours during the race.

14: On the other hand, the maximum driving time is 14 hours for any one driver.

10: Ten is the minimum number of laps that a driver must complete during the Test Day if he or she is a rookie or has not competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours for over 5 years.

55: The number of cars invited to compete.

56: The additional spot on the grid for vehicles that showcase new and innovative technology.

5: The number of classes in the race: LM P1 hybrids, LM P1, LM P2, LM GTE Pro, LM GTE Am.

12: The quota for the number of sets of slick tyres allowed in LM P1 during the race itself. The other categories are allowed 14 sets. An extra set is available in special cases (punctures, tread separations etc.)

4: The number of mechanics allowed to change tyres. Only two are allowed to work at the same time. Mechanics therefore perform a sort of choreographed dance on each side of the car.

60: The speed limit in the pit lane is 60 kph.

80 kph: The speed limit in a slow zone (in an accident area following a yellow flag)

1,245 kg: The minimum weight for a GTE, not including driver or fuel. The minimum weight for an LM P1 is 850 kg. It is 870 kg for a LM P1 Hybrid and 900 kg for an LM P2.

20: The percentage of biofuel to be used.

370,000: The maximum price of a new open cockpit LM P2 car. Closed cockpits may cost up to €450,000.

5,410.71 km: The longest distance covered during the race. The record was set in 2010 by the n°9 Audi R15 Plus TDI driven by the Bernhard-Dumas-Rockenfeller team.

16.5: Or, to be precise, 16 years and 202 days, is the age of the youngest driver ever to have negotiated the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit. American Matt McCurry took the wheel of a Zytek in the LM P2 class on 14 June 2014.

405 kph: The highest speed ever reached at Le Mans. Roger Dorchy set the record in 1988 on the Mulsanne Straight in a Peugeot-powered WM P88.

9: The record number of victories, held by Danish driver Tom Kristensen.

13: the number of times Audi has won Le Mans, in 16 runs.

Rob
9th June 2015, 15:18
THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS 50 YEARS AGO IN 1965 (VIDEO)

The 1965 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans marked the return in force of American manufacturer Ford. It would once again size itself up against Ferrari who, prior to this race, had already one eight times…

General Info:

Date: June 19-20, 1965
Weather: hot and sunny
Edition: 33
Starting number: 51 cars
Retirements: 37 cars
Spectators: 280,000
Start: given by M. Maurice HERZOG (French Minister of Youth and Sport).

Important Facts:

It was a revenge story over the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans at which Ford had been largely beaten. The American marque launched into battle with its new 7-liter engine prototypes (Ford Mk II). Two cars were entrusted to Phil Hill-Amon and McLaren-Miles and the Ford effort was rounded out with four GT 40s.

Ferrari officially entered 330 Ps and 275 Ps. Surtees-Scarfiotti and Guichet-Parkes shared the two 330s while Bandini-Biscaldi drove a 275. Two official 365 P2 were also present and entered by the NART (Pedro Rodriguez-Vaccarella) and Maranello Concessionnaires (Bonnier-Piper). Five 275 LM models completed Ferrari's armada.

In the end, it was total defeat for all factory cars in both Ferrari and Ford's camps. Ferrari owes its salvation, for its last victory to-date, to the 275LM entered by the NART which was not expected to take a leading role.

Some Key Numbers:

First win for Goodyear
The win in GT for Ferrari who finished third in the scratch thanks to Beurlys-Mairesse
Last victory, the sixth consecutive, to-date for Ferrari
First and only participation for Jackie Stewart, in a Rover-BRM turbine
Last participation to-date for a Maserati
Final participation for Maurice Trintignant
Death of Lucky Cassner during the April testing
Construction of concrete walls obliquely to the grandstands
Movement of the Dunlop Bridge to the top of the hill
Construction of an underground passageway from the Dunlop Bridge to the pits
Beginning of work on the future Bugatti circuit
Construction of a chapel by the Tavano company

The Winners:

Overall: Ferrari 275LM (private) driven by M.Gregory (USA) / J.Rindt (AUT), 4677.11 kms raced at an average of 194.880 km/h
Gap with second: 74.510 km
Best time at free practice: 3:33:00 for Phil Hill (USA) in a Ford MkII
Best time in-race: 3:37:5 for Phil Hill (USA) in a Ford MkII

Performance Index Winner: PORSCHE 904/6 of H. Linge and P. Nöcker
Energy Efficiency Index Winner: PORSCHE 904 GTS of G. Koch and A. Fishaber

This video is of the final race lap with the commentary at the time.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOprK5w23cc

Rob
11th June 2015, 13:23
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BUSY START FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
Wednesday 10 June 2015

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing began its Le Mans 24 Hours week with a busy day of preparation in the opening practice and qualifying sessions for the third round of the World Endurance Championship.

With the emphasis firmly on set-up development and tyre evaluation over long stints rather than qualifying position, both TS040 HYBRIDs continued the constructive work started at last month’s official test day.

The #2 of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway was the fastest TS040 HYBRID and earned provisional seventh on the grid, with the #1 of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima in eighth.

Evening sun greeted the start of the two-hour qualifying as 14 LMP1 cars in a grid of 56 fought for pole position, which is awarded to the fastest single lap time from any of the three qualifying sessions.

The contest was interrupted at half distance by a red flag, reducing running time by around half an hour as safety barriers were repaired following an accident.

Around a quarter of the session remained, making for a very busy race track but Kazuki and Stéphane took the chequered flag having improved their respective lap times in the closing minutes.

A productive day delivered plenty of data and gave the team reason to believe there is more to come from the TS040 HYBRID in race trim, with more improvements targeted in Thursday’s two qualifying sessions.

Earlier in the afternoon, the only official free practice of the week started on a wet track with both cars leaving the pits on grooved tyres to begin four hours of fine-tuning and analysis.

A dry period allowed the team to study the changeover point from wet to hybrid intermediate then dry tyres. Within a few laps on slick tyres, Sébastien improved on the best lap set by a TS040 HYBRID during the official test day.

The rain returned periodically until the end of a session which was also interrupted by a lengthy red flag period. Despite the disruptions, the two TS040 HYBRIDs completed a total of 78 laps, 1063km after a trouble-free practice.

Qualifying continues on Thursday with two more 120-minute sessions (19.00 & 22.00). The drivers’ parade in the city on Friday afternoon gives fans a chance to meet the drivers before the race weekend, which begins with a 45-minute warm-up at 09.00. The race starts at 15.00 on Saturday.

TS040 HYBRID #1 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima)
Free practice 1: 7th (3min 24.763secs), 41 laps
Qualifying 1: 8th (3min 23.767secs), 25 laps

Anthony Davidson: “It was nice to finally drive some laps in the dry today after the wet conditions we experienced for most of the test day. The car felt nice to drive and we didn’t have any problems, so it’s been a decent start. We have focused 100% on race performance; given what we saw at Spa and in the test we were never going to focus on qualifying. There is still a long way to go this week and the story of Le Mans 2015 will be written on Saturday and Sunday, not in qualifying.”

Sébastien Buemi: “In line with Spa, we are not on the same level as Audi and Porsche over one lap so today was all about race set-up. Congratulations to Porsche on getting the provisional pole with a very quick lap. We are working as hard as we can on the car to get it into the best possible condition for the race. We did a lot of work today and got lots of information so we will be working hard to find more performance and put ourselves in the best position for the weekend.”

Kazuki Nakajima: “Today we worked on our car set-up and race preparation, looking at tyre degradation and performance. I think we found a good set-up so I am quite happy with the work we did today. I was quite unlucky with traffic at the end of my best lap in the evening, but qualifying isn’t the priority. If the bad luck comes in qualifying, it’s much better than it coming in the race.”

TS040 HYBRID #2 (Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway)
Free practice 1: 8th (3min 25.537secs), 37 laps
Qualifying 1: 7th (3min 23.543secs), 23 laps

Alex Wurz: “I did some work for the race and car balance is going in a good direction. It’s a year since we’ve been at Le Mans at night and it always takes a few laps to get your references correct, with so many reflections and lights. You have to filter out what is useful and what is just annoying; the usual process in Le Mans race week. The weather forecast is mixed tomorrow so let’s wait and see what we get.”

Stéphane Sarrazin: “The car is feeling good for the race and we worked very hard for that. We improved the balance and understood more about the tyres, so it’s been a positive day, despite the final classifications. Porsche was very fast so congratulations to them for provisional pole position. We didn’t event go for a qualifying run as we are putting all of our effort into the race. We’ll keep working hard tomorrow and let’s see what we can do.”

Mike Conway: “It was good to get a few laps in the night, my first in an LMP1 here, but unfortunately we had the red flag and lost half an hour so I didn’t get as much running as I hoped for. I have to wait until tomorrow to get more track time in the night which is what I need. Stéphane did a good job in terms of lap time late in qualifying but we were looking at the race so one-lap pace wasn’t the priority.”

French and German translations of this press release will be available shortly on www.toyotahybridracing.com, where copyright-free photos are also available for editorial use.

High-resolution copyright-free photos, including historic images from previous TOYOTA Le Mans entries, are available for editorial use at www.toyotahybridracing.com/media.

A ‘Meet the Team’ media session will be held in the team catering area in the paddock on Thursday 11 June from 16.30 to 17.00. The traditional pre-race press conference will take place on Friday 12 June at midday at the TOYOTA hospitality building in the Parc du Raccordement. All accredited media are invited on a first come, first served basis.

Rob
11th June 2015, 13:32
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24 Hours of Le Mans :
Porsche beats all records!
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As expected, this first day will be have been marked by the domination of the Porsche 919 Hybrid cars during the first qualifying practice and who totally smashed the record of the track. But let’s be careful, Audi isn’t far behind. In LM P2, an Oreca 05 from Team KCMG finished in front whereas the Aston Martins excelled in LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am.

During the free practice sessions that took place between 4 and 8pm, the competitors began carefully on a drying track after the afternoon rain. The red flag was presented only 5 minutes after the opening of the track because of an immobilized driver who had made a mistake (without any other consequence other than this neutralization) at braking point in the chicane ForzaMotorsport (first of the two chicanes on the Hunaudières). The British driver Richard Bradley was the cause of this behind the steering wheel of the Oreca 05 n°47 of the Hong Kong team KCMG. The prototype LM P2 was brought back to the pits on the breakdown truck. A little later, the same Richard Bradley did the best time of the free session on this Oreca 05 n°47.

Audi and Toyota, then Porsche, accelerate
A few minutes after the restart of the session, the prototypes Audi and Toyota were the first to produce significant timing. Just before 6pm the first offensive of the Porsche cars 919 Hybrid saw Mark Webber and Nicky Tandy establish the first references of the evening with 3’22. 228 and 3’22.819 on the n°17 and n°19. Marc Lieb wasn’t late to slip in his n°18 between its team cars with 3’22.491. Marc Webber came very close to the 2014 pole position with 3’21.796 and beat the score with 3’21,362.

41 minutes of neutralization
At 6.14pm the session was neutralized because of a contact of the Oreca 03R n°48 with the American driver Mark Patterson on the inside of the Porsche corner and because of the immobilization of the Rebellion R-One n°13 at the beginning of the Hunaudières straight. The session restarted at 6.55pm. Loïc Duval placed the Audi n°8 between the three Porsche cars. Timing decreased but with the rain that seemed to come back on the circuit, the enthusiasm of the head drivers was held back.

Only Romain Dumas was to be faster in his n°18 but his timing wasn’t taken into consideration because of a non valid trajectory in the Ford corner. The four wheels of his Porsche 919 Hybrid n°18 had crossed the limits of the track to avoid a Ferrari GT.

Mark Webber, the fastest driver of the free practice sessions
If we go by the performances, this session of free practice, with 50 minutes less, was therefore dominated by Mark Webber’s Porsche 919 Hybrid n°17 who kept the best time with 3’21 362. A faster timing than the 2014 pole position but not as fast as his team driver Brendon Hartley (3’21.062) during the Test Day on the 31st May.

At 10pm, after two hours of pause, the first session of qualifying practice begun. A breathtaking session with the Porsche 919 Hybrid constantly on the alert. Neel Jani and Timo Bernhardt were successively beating the lap record in qualifying by establishing times of 3’16. 887 and 3’17.767. The last record dates back in 2008 and was established by Stéphane Sarrazin in a Peugeot 908. An exceptional performance with regards to the 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations set up in 2014 that allowed to reduce the consumption of LM P1 prototypes by nearly 25% equal performance, if not better as we can see with these records.

At 10.55pm, three cars, the Audis R18 n°7 and n°9 as well as the Gibson 0155 n°41 were said to be in difficulty in different areas around the circuit provoking the neutralization of the qualifying session during 30 minutes. If the two Audis were able to regain the pits, the damaged n°41 driven by Gaëtan Paletou, had to be freed of the protections at Mulsanne.

At the end of these qualifying sessions, the Porsche 919 Hybrid n°18 (Dumas, Jani, Lieb) signed the best timing with 3’16”887 in front of its team car, n°17 (Webber, Bernhard, Hartley) at 8 tenths and the third Porsche 919 Hybrid n°19 (Tandy, Hulkenberg, Bamber) at 2,4 seconds. Then follow the three Audis R18 e-tron Quattro n°8, n°9 and n°7 placing themselves between 3 and 5 seconds from the Porsche cars. Then come the Toyotas n°2 and n°1 who remained behind their competitors Audi and Porsche at nearly 7 seconds. The first private cars of Rebellion Racing placed themselves at 9 and 15 seconds in front of the first Nissan GTR LM Nismo, n°23 which continued its progress with 3’38”488.

The fastest LM P2 is the Oreca05 Nissan n°47 (Lapierre, Bradley, Howson) with 3’38”032. In LM GTE Pro, the best time goes to the official Aston Martin (McDowall, Rees, Stanaway) n°99 with 3’54”928 and in LM GTE Am another Aston Martin n°98 (Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda) with 3’55”102.

Return of the 56 competitors of the 24 Hours of Le Mans tomorrow as from 7pm for another four hours of qualifying practice (7pm-9pm and 10pm-midnight).

The departure of the 83rd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be given on Saturday 13th June at 3.00pm.


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Rob
11th June 2015, 13:38
LE MANS BY THE NUMBERS (2/4)

There is no end to the statistics generated by the Le Mans 24 Hours. Here are some of the most surprising, spectacular or fun facts and figures. Today, we’re counting from nought to seven!

0: The number of women on the starting grid this year

0: The garage n°56 grid slot, reserved for innovative machinery, stands empty this year. No invitation was awarded this year but there are nevertheless 56 cars on the starting grid.

1: Patrick Morisseau will be Clerk of the Course for the first time, alongside Race Director Eduardo Freitas, having taken over from Daniel Poissenot.

1: The car number that has won the race the most times. Ten in fact, in 1929, 1939, 1967, 1982, 1986, 1992, 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2012. What about this year? Answer on Sunday 14 June 2015 at 15h00.

2: The car number that has been in pole position the most times - eleven to be exact.

3: The number of Nissan GTR LM NISMOS entered for the Japanese constructor’s comeback.

3: Only Audi and Porsche have ever pulled off a Le Mans hat trick, i.e. pole position, best lap time and overall win. Audi has managed the feat eight times and Porsche, the constructor with the most Le Mans wins to its name, has done it seven times.

3:18.513: The quickest qualification lap time on the present circuit (13.629 km). The record holder is Stéphane Sarrazin, in a Peugeot 908 HDI-FAP.

3:19.074: The fastest lap time during the race itself (average of 246.463 kph) on the present circuit. Loïc Duval achieved the feat in the Peugeot 908 HDI-FAP run by ORECA in 2010.

4: The number of new cars in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours. The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, the BR 01, the Dome S103 and the ORECA 05, i.e. one LM P1 and three LM P2s.

5: The record number of pole positions, held by Jacky Ickx (1975, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1983). The Belgian driver also holds another record, for the number of fastest laps in the race — five again.

6: Six former pole sitters will be on the starting grid this year: Stéphane Sarrazin (2007, 2008, 2009), Emmanuel Collard (2005), Kazuki Nakajima (2014), André Lotterer (2012), Benoît Tréluyer (2011) and Loïc Duval (2013).

7: The number of former Le Mans 24 Hours winners who are back again this year: Marcel Fässler (2011, 2012, 2014), André Lotterer (2011, 2012, 2014), Benoît Tréluyer (2011, 2012, 2014), Alexander Wurz (1996 et 2009), Timo Bernhard (2010), Romain Dumas (2010) and Loïc Duval (2013).

7: The number of times the Le Mans 24 Hours has fallen on 13/14 June (1931, 1953, 1970, 1981, 1987, 2009, 2015)

7: Seven drivers have won the race from pole position: Henri Pescarolo (1974), Jacky Ickx (1975 -1981 - 1982), Michele Alboreto (1997), Tom Kristensen (2003), Benoit Tréluyer (2011), André Lotterer (2012) and Loïc Duval in 2013. Although there have been hat tricks for teams, as mentioned above, no driver has ever held pole position, run the fastest lap and won the race the same year. However, two driver line ups have managed it: 1997 - Alboreto (pole position) - Kristensen (fastest lap) - Johansson and in 2011 - Fässler - Lotterer (fastest lap) - Tréluyer (pole position).

Rob
11th June 2015, 13:44
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Tequila Patrón ESM Logs First Competitive Laps at Le Mans
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Le Mans, France – June 10, 2015 – Tequila Patron ESM made its race-week debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with practice and qualifying Wednesday at the 8.4667-mile (13.6259 km) Circuit de la Sarthe.

In its second race with the Ligier JS P2-Honda and Dunlop-shoed race car, Tequila Patrón ESM made additional strides in performance and development of the new racing machine since the FIA World Endurance Championship’s (FIA WEC) 6 Hours of Spa in May. Less than six weeks ago, the team accepted delivery of the Ligier JS P2 machines, raced at Spa-Francorchamps and is now competing in one of the longest and most challenging endurance races in the world.

Mixed weather conditions during the four-hour free practice Wednesday afternoon was a major factor in speed and choices of wet or dry Dunlop tires. Then the evening qualifying session was cool and dry, but red flags and race traffic halted the team’s pace.

Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and David Heinemeier Hansson, co-drivers of the No. 30 Rolling Stone Ligier JS P2 Honda, were 15th quickest in the LMP2. Of the three pilots, Dalziel’s fastest qualifying practice lap 3:44.675 (218.4 kph) is the first Le Mans qualifying time set for the team.

Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek and Jon Fogarty, co-drivers of the No. 31 Rolling Stone Ligier JS P2 Honda, were 18th quickest of the LMP2 class. Fogarty’s lap of 3:46.165 (216.9 kph) is the first official qualifying laps set by the No. 31 team at Le Mans.

Per Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) rules, qualifying sessions began with Wednesday’s two-hour night session. The team has two more qualifying sessions on Thursday to improve its starting position for the 83rd 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Of the 56-entrant field, Tequila Patrón ESM is the only two-car American team in the LMP2 class.

Tequila Patrón ESM returns the Circuit de la Sarthe on Thursday afternoon for two final qualifying sessions at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Central European Time (1 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET).

Green flag for the 83rd 24 Hours of Le Mans is Saturday, June 13, at 3 p.m.

Ride along with Tequila Patrón ESM and Rolling Stone
Viewers will be able to watch qualifying and the race from the on-board camera mounted to the No. 31 Rolling Stone Ligier JS P2 via the FIA WEC second screen app or online at www.fiawec.com.

SCOTT SHARP

“Tonight’s session was good. It was our first opportunity to run at night, and you have to get used to the darkness. Every lap around this place is awesome. I’m more comfortable in the Ligier with every session. Ryan set a pretty good time earlier tonight and we were hoping to go a little faster toward the end. We’re all learning and moving in the right direction.

“It is so exciting to finally bring Tequila Patrón ESM to Le Mans. We’ve wanted to race here since we started the team in 2010. We’re super excited to be here. I’m pleased with the progress we’re making. I love the car; the Ligier is fantastic. I think we have a great package. Earlier in practice, we came out with a good, strong baseline set-up and we just need to keep improving and execute a great strategy.”
ED BROWNblack

“We haven’t had many laps in the dry here, so it is difficult because usually you have muscle memory of which way the track goes. It was good. The headlight needed some adjustment, but the team will work on those and we’ll see what happens.

“I love the track. I’d like to get more dry laps and find a little more speed. We’ll be good for the race. We’re thrilled to be here and can’t want for Saturday.”
RYAN DALZIEL

“It was a good day. The weather was intermediate – dry into wet and wet into dry, which is something we’ll see in 24 hours. We learned a lot about the car. In the first practice, we were definitely close on the times and I think we missed it a little bit in qualifying trim. It was a combination of traffic and we changed the car a little. A lot of teams were out there getting a qualifying run in because it is probably going to rain tomorrow.

“All in all, the team has done a great job with the short amount of time with the Ligier. We’re learning a lot. Hopefully tomorrow we can get a little bit of dry running in and the wet will be good as well because the race is looking pretty rough right now. It was a great job by everybody. I think we made some good gains in tonight’s session. Hopefully, we can verify it tomorrow and if not, we have a pretty good car for the race in the dry. We were good on intermediate tires in the wet early, so either way, I think we feel pretty good right now. This has been one of the easier days for the team since we started the season and worked with three different chassis. It was nice to see everybody calm and cool.”
JOHANNES VAN OVERBEEK

“Tonight was the first time I’ve driven the Ligier in the dry at Le Mans; this is a big learning experience. I have a lot to learn with the car and how to drive it to its potential. I’m pleased with where we are and we just need to hope the weather holds out so we get more dry running in tomorrow.

“The Ligier is comfortable to drive in the wet, but we need to get used to the visibility. It would be nice to have a dry race, but anything can happen. Whatever the weather does, it will be the same for everybody. The car looks great and is running great. We have a lot to do before the green flag on Saturday.”
JON FOGARTY

“I’m trying to find my way around Le Mans a bit still. Tonight’s session will mostly like be our fastest session and probably set our grid position. We were pushing hard. I was still learning on my first few laps of the session. We need to find some pace. We’ve had a limited amount of time to run and we’re working on everything. We have a plan and I think it is the right one to get us where we need to be.”
DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON

“I like the night racing at Le Mans, even though I take a little longer to adjust to it. I always find that the first night practice was tough because it is dark at Le Mans. This car has decent lighting, compared to what I’ve driven before, but you still have to get acclimated and I can’t do that in a couple laps; I need more than that. I usually love the dark and night once I’ve been out for a full stint.

“The car is comfortable but it is too comfortable, so we have to get closer to something that’s a bit faster. We need to find a little more speed and get clean runs in. We didn’t get clean runs today and the time sheets don’t reflect what we’re able to do. We’re hoping to get some dry laps tomorrow and we’ll move up the sheets. This race is about longevity and speed.”

Rob
11th June 2015, 14:00
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Rob
11th June 2015, 14:08
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Rob
11th June 2015, 14:10
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Rob
11th June 2015, 14:17
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Rob
11th June 2015, 14:21
last but not least

Leena

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Rob
11th June 2015, 14:28
If it stays dry tonight, think we may see that time smashed again. Audi, are really close to Porsche, think the #7 was going to do quicker lap but pitted at the end of the quick lap. Astons, :roll not to worried. Pole is nice, but the race is important, think we be setting up like we did at Silverstone and Spa. Get good grid spot, and go about our race, and let it come too us and then start pushing when time is right.

Got beers and pretzels and snacks already, and some energy gels.

Rob
11th June 2015, 17:21
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The ACO announces two new regulations

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Today 11th June, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest held its annual press conference in the 24-Hours museum before the 83rd Le Mans 24 Hours on 13-14 June. It took advantage of the occasion to announce two new sets of regulations for the GTE and LM P2 categories.

On Saturday 13th June the start of the 83rd Le Mans 24 Hours will be given at 15h00. Pierre Fillon, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest president made a point of reminding everybody of the main safety regulations applied at the circuit with the new division of the zones of the layout and the various revamps carried out. It was also announced that during the 2015-2016 winter four new pits will be built so that the circuit can accommodate 60 cars in 2017 in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

With the aim of helping entrants and improving performance two sets of new technical regulations were announced today.
The first to come into force will be the one governing the Le Mans Grand Touring (LM GTE) category on 1st January 2016. The aim of these regulations brought in by the ACO and the FIA is to make the category a more sporting and attractive proposition through its technology and regulations, which will lead to a better performance differentiation between the LM GTE and the GT3 categories.

This new philosophy will make GTE more attractive to new manufacturers from a cost point of view.
The second set of regulations concern the future of the Le Mans Prototype 2 category (LM P2). The ACO, IMSA and the FIA are working flat out on the introduction of these new regulations that will come into force in 2017. Their aim is to ensure the long-term success of this category thanks to the reduction of costs, a guarantee of stability in the regulations and the wish to orient the performances in LM P2 towards those currently prevailing in LM P1.

After the presentation of the regulations the allocation of the 56th garage in 2017 was announced. It has been given to Welter Racing with its BW Biogaz Le Mans 2017. The ACO considers this car to be a technically innovative one as it is powered by methane extracted from waste recycling.

The Le Mans 24 Hours is the pinnacle of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and during this press conference it gave pride of place to the Americans by recalling the strong links between Le Mans and the United States. Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of the International Speedway Corporation and NASCAR Vice president, went up onto the podium to talk about the project for the enlargement and improved welcome of the public at the Daytona International Speedway, which runs the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona every year, the opening round of the North American Championship.

To close the press conference President Fillon presented the 15th Spirit of Le Mans to Yoshiaki Kinoshita. This trophy is awarded every year by the Automobile Club to a person who has best served the Spirit of Le Mans. Toyota, the Japanese company that has been the pioneer in terms of engine hybrids, made its Le Mans comeback in 2012. Kinoshita was the president of the Toyota Racing team that entered two TS030 Hybrids for the race. In 2014, he just missed out on victory at Le Mans, but went to win the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Even before the start of the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours on Saturday 13th June at 15h00, see you in 2016 on 18-19 June for the 84th running of the greatest endurance race in the world. The test day will be held on Sunday 5th June.

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Rob
11th June 2015, 17:30
2016 GTE Regulations, Key Points

At the traditional pre-Le Mans 24 Hours press conference in the circuit museum today, the ACO confirmed the main details of the 2016 GTE regulations, which will apply at Le Mans, in the WEC, in the United Sportscar Series and in the European and Asian Le Mans Series.

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ACO Technical Director Vincent Beaumesnil and his FIA counterpart Bernard Niclot were on hand to explain the background to the new rules, which have come about following the decision not to proceed with convergence between GTE and GT3.

Bernard_Niclot_8848The aim is to clearly define GTE as the top category of GT racing and improve its performance compared to GT3, to clearly separate the two classes in series where they compete together (such as TUSC, ELMS and Asian Le Mans). Cost reduction was also key, with an increase in the homologation period for each GTE car to three years.

Regulations will be less restrictive in an effort to reduce the number of ‘waivers’ required to balance the performance of GTE cars – but also more strictly enforced. Cars will be expected to fit into very tight performance window.

There will be free aero development allowed within imaginary ‘boxes’ around the wheelarches, front wing and rear diffuser – subject to the cars remaining within the defined performance window. Sonic restrictors will still be used to limit performance if necessary.

To improve a safety, an extraction hatch will be mandatory, allowing safety crews to remove a driver from the car in the event of an accident without bending their spine.
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In 2016, the new cars will be eligible in the GTE Pro class alongside existing models, with GTE Pro running only new cars in 2017. GTE Am will see only current cars in 2016, before the new models come on stream alongside the exisiting ones in 2017. In 2018, both categories will permit the new models only.
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In the regional series (European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series), the current cars will continue to be used in both Pro and Am classes 2016. New cars will be permitted in both classes in 2017 alongside the old ones, before both classes switch to new cars only in 2018.

Senna4Ever
12th June 2015, 08:43
Awesome Pics from LeMans Rob ... Thank you

pull my hat for Porsche ... wow ... what a hat trick ... very very impressive. Will be interesting to see if they will make it also over the 24h ...

The Architect
12th June 2015, 22:37
A difficult week so far for the teams I'll be following.. Hopefully if it comes to the worst, Porsche can hold on for 24 hours and win.

Rob
13th June 2015, 06:16
A difficult week so far for the teams I'll be following.. Hopefully if it comes to the worst, Porsche can hold on for 24 hours and win.


Just hope they don't do a Pug from few years ago. Turn up loads of pace. But turned out to be very fragile. I got loads of press releases to put up. Will do later before race start after I slept abit after work.

Rob
13th June 2015, 10:26
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ASTON MARTIN QUALIFIES ON POLE FOR THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS
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• Aston Martin Racing has qualified on pole for the 24 Hours of Le Mans
• Richie Stanaway sets the fastest lap in the #99 Vantage GTE
• The #98 Vantage GTE qualifies on pole in the GTE AM class

11 June, Le Mans: Aston Martin Racing has qualified on pole in both GT classes of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans with its #99 and #98 V8 Vantage GTEs.

It might have been his first time racing at the world-famous Circuit de la Sarthe, but Le Mans ‘rookie’ Richie Stanaway (NZ) was quick to impress, posting the fastest lap and putting the #99 on pole.

“That was the start we were looking for, but there’s still a lot of work to do to win the race,” commented Stanaway. “The car feels great and we’re all on top form so we just need to bring it all together on Saturday.”

But it wasn’t only Stanaway who took pole position for Saturday’s 24-hour endurance event. In the GTE Am class, Pedro Lamy (PT) set the fastest time in the #98 Vantage GTE and will start from third place overall in the GT race.

The #97 Vantage GTE will start from third in the PRO class and the #95 Young Driver AMR entry will start from fifth. The #96 Gulf Racing car will start from twelfth in the GTE AM class.

The 82nd 24 Hours of Le Mans starts at 1500hrs on Saturday 13 June.

24 Hours of Le Mans GTE qualifying results:

#99 GTE PRO – P1 overall / P1 in class
#97 GTE PRO – P3 overall / P3 in class
#98 GTE AM – P4 overall / P1 in class
#95 GTE PRO – P6 overall / P5 in class
#96 GTE AM - P21 overall / P12 in class

- ENDS -

Rob
13th June 2015, 10:40
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NEWS ALERT
Le Mans - 12 June 2015
Hello Mr Robert Allum,

FORD TO MAKE WEC DEBUT IN 2016 RETURN TO ENDURANCE RACING
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Ford announced today it is returning to one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world with its new Ford GT race car, based on the all-new ultra-high-performance supercar that goes on sale next year.

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The Ford GT race car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans – referred to by many as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency – starting next year. Revealed today at the famous circuit in Le Mans, France, Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro)..

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Rob
13th June 2015, 10:52
Listening to radiolemans the other day. Dr Ullrich saying the speeds are knowing getting too high for safety. Corning speeds of the Audis are 280kph. Thats massive.

Rob
13th June 2015, 11:01
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Rob
13th June 2015, 11:04
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Rob
13th June 2015, 11:06
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Rob
13th June 2015, 11:09
The GT40 looks like our #51 and #71 cars. I at the moment dont like it. :-??

Rob
13th June 2015, 11:14
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2015 24 Hours of Le Mans Let the show begin!:clap
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A few hours from the start of the 83rd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will be given tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., everything is coming together to put on the show. In view of the qualifying sessions, the battle on the track will be fierce, but the celebration will also be around the circuit to the delight of spectators.

Optimal conditions indicate a very fast start to the race. Among the four manufacturers entered in the LM P1 class, Porsche, Audi and Toyota seem the best-prepared to succeed. Nissan, whose official return to the top class is primarily looking to finish with its three cars, the No. 21, 22 and 23. At a circuit whose safety features were once again reinforced over the winter, the 165 qualified drivers are getting ready for high-level competition. Though history is not decided in advance, the results of the qualifying sessions do provide some indications. In a lap, Porsche is undeniably the fastest. The Audi R18 e-tron quattros aren’t far behind and will certainly know how to take advantage of the experience garnered these last 16 years to make up for the slight time deficit recorded Wednesday and Thursday. Toyota, world champion, is definitely in the underdog position, but will count on unflinching reliability to try and upstage its adversaries.

Among the surprises during qualifying was namely the withdrawal of American Corvette Racing’s No. 63 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. Corvette is still in the game though with two of these impressive GTs. The No. 64 the team officially entered in LM GTE Pro and the No. 50 entered in LM GTE Am by the French team Larbre Compétition.

The day before the start, barring an unlikely upset, it looks like the highest step on the podium will go to one of the eight driver line-ups representing Porsche, Audi and Toyota.

After the first two rounds (Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps) of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Test Day and the two practice evenings, Audi looks solid and Porsche full of drive. Toyota knows it is slower but is not throwing in the towel. Porsche, whose three cars achieved exceptional performances, is already reaping the rewards of the intense work begun in 2011 for the German marque’s return to the highest level of world endurance racing. The No. 18 and No. 17 cars are already in the record books for having beaten the previous lap record dating back to 2008 at qualifying. The prize went to Neel Jani in the No. 18 in 3:16:887. Porsche could win but knows to remain humble in the face of Audi’s experience all while not underestimating Toyota’s capabilities.

The question of longevity goes to Nissan, the fourth big manufacturer entered in the top class. Having been delayed in their schedule, the new No. 21, 22 and 23 Nissan GTR-LM NISMOs taking part in their first race of the season did not have the pace needed to hope to figure well at the qualifying sessions without compromising their presence on the track. Another underwhelming performance to set aside belongs to one of the private cars, Team ByKOLLES’ No. 4 CLM P1/01, just like Pierre Perret’s in the No. 45 Oreca 03R in LM P2. The drivers of these five cars having been unable to reach the minimum required to qualify, will start the race behind all the other cars in their classes, as specified in Article 68 B 2.8.2 of the regulations.

With 19 cars representing six marques of chassis (Oreca, Morgan, Ligier, Gibson, BR and Dome) and three engine providers (Nissan, Judd, Honda), the LM P2 class is looking quite competitive. We will observe closely the exploits of Belgian driver Laurens Vanthor who would like to add another level to his career in prototypes, and also the return of great motorsports hopefuls such as Turvey, Estre, Evans, Lancaster, Chatin, Webb, Derani and Roussel along with established drivers like Bird, Minassian, Aleshin, Watts, Kane and Sharp, to bring the race to breakneck speeds…It remains to be seen which driver line-up will be able to roll fast at length.

In Grand Touring Pro, the race is up for grabs between the title-holder Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and Corvette. After the free practice sessions, the Brits and the Italians were the fastest, in GTE Pro as well as in GTE Am, but the differences are minimal. As was the case last year, the win in the two classes could play out like a magnificent ballet.

Note that like the drivers of the No. 4, 21, 22, 23 and 45 cars, Olivier Beretta in the No. 71 Ferrari and Han Chen Chen in the No. 68 Porsche, have been approved to take part in the warm-up and the race. These cars will start from the back of the starting grid with the fastest driver of the line-up in question.

The public will be able to relish in an exceptionally exciting 83rd edition with 55 high-quality cars that Bill Ford will have the great honour of setting free by lowering the checkered flag on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.




FORD: the return!

What better to launch this edition than to jump ahead to 2016, as the day before the start, on Friday, June 12th, Ford officially announced its big return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans by presenting a Ford GT, considered the successor to the model that in 2016 will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its win. Four units of this superb GT would thus swell the already well-stocked ranks in the LM GTE class at the next 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Pierre Fillon, ACO President: « On the cusp of experiencing a new edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans by all accounts exceptional, it is with great pleasure we welcome Ford’s return. To watch this great manufacturer enter in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the year of the 50th anniversary of its victory here is also extraordinary. This new Ford GT will join the competition with the most wonderful GTs currently on the planet belonging to Aston Martin, Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche. The race will be even more fantastic. »

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Rob
13th June 2015, 11:21
MANAGING THE SLEEP OF RACING DRIVERS.

This is the end of our series on the physical conditions of a driver; the management of his night and sleep. The driver from the Rebellion R-One-AER No. 12, Mathias Beche, tells us his secrets!

"One week before the 24 Hours of Le Mans I try to sleep for eight hours per night if I can," he said. "But as we are all very excited before Le Mans, it’s not always very easy! In general, I sleep well. I prefer to go back to the hotel as I wish to be in a comfortable and quiet place to recharge my batteries. Moreover, trying to go to sleep isn’t always easy at testing, especially if I was the one driving last. Adrenaline is still at its peak…

"During the race, it’s different. When I get out of the car, you must debrief, eat and get massaged after each stine! For example, in 2013, I was able to sleep for 45 minutes. This year, I’m hoping to get a little more sleep! »

fratelliferrari
13th June 2015, 12:53
Iam getting nervous here! Only 2 hours to go now :pray

Rob
13th June 2015, 12:56
Iam getting nervous here! Only 2 hours to go now :pray

same here my friend.


Will send you message in minute.

Going to be hard fight. And amazing race this year.

Rob
13th June 2015, 16:52
quick catch up. Porsche showing good speed, out leading but #7 Audi is taking the fight to them.

#92 Porsche out with blown engine, SC came out. So far #51 is 2nd in GTE Pro, #71 is 7th.

Rob
13th June 2015, 16:56
James in #71 just take two places on run down to Indy, really good move.

Rob
13th June 2015, 17:03
James taking inside out of Mulsanne corner

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wisepie
13th June 2015, 18:52
Get those Astons out of the way, please, and I so wish Ferrari were in LMP1, guess that's too much to hope for but with Ford returning, maybe the old duel will resume.....?:pray

The Architect
13th June 2015, 20:35
Just hope they don't do a Pug from few years ago. Turn up loads of pace. But turned out to be very fragile. I got loads of press releases to put up. Will do later before race start after I slept abit after work.

They seem to be doing well so far. Otherwise, the race is worse than I could have hoped for. Toyota are nowhere and Nissan are pulling a McLaren.

Whatever happened to the Geordie commentator? These guys on the official stream are so sterile and dull.

Rob
13th June 2015, 20:44
They seem to be doing well so far. Otherwise, the race is worse than I could have hoped for. Toyota are nowhere and Nissan are pulling a McLaren.

Whatever happened to the Geordie commentator? These guys on the official stream are so sterile and dull.

go to radiolemans.com and listen live. Thats what i have in earphones. Porsche, going well so far. Great fighting at front, and in the GTE. Great to see the SMP running at front of GTE AM, met them all at Silverstone, great bunch. Hope #51 can claw back to front.

Dont like doing it, but fingers crossed for doom and gloom to enter the Aston pits and Vette pit (again)

Rob
13th June 2015, 20:54
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TOYOTA GAZOO RACING: LE MANS 24 HOURS UPDATE 1
Saturday 13 June 2015

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing made a clean start to the 83rd Le Mans 24 Hours, running in seventh and eighth as the third round of the World Endurance Championship approached its fourth hour.

The race began in perfect conditions, with bright sunshine and air temperatures of 20°C at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Sébastien Buemi, who shares the #1 TS040 HYBRID with Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, took the start from eighth and immediately overtook Alex Wurz in the #2.

After the opening hour, a pattern had emerged with both TS040 HYBRIDs making steady progress, although the leading Porsche and Audis were edging clear. The gap was significantly reduced when a three-car incident further down the field brought out the safety car at the one-hour mark.

Twelve minutes later, the racing resumed and the two TOYOTAs continued the fight, lapping consistently and cleanly dealing with the lapped cars.

After three stints on the slick Michelin tyres, and with a gap of half a lap to the leader, Sébastien handed the #1 over to Anthony in seventh place. Alex did likewise in the #2, with Stéphane taking the wheel in eighth.

TS040 HYBRID #1 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima)
Grid: 8th

Sébastien Buemi: “It’s always a special experience to take the start at Le Mans and I could fight a bit on the first lap. We did three stints on the tyres to start with. Obviously we were not able to match the pace of the Audis and Porsches but we expected that and there’s no panic for us. We are doing our best and we will see in the next few hours how the race takes shape.”

TS040 HYBRID #2 (Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway)
Grid: 7th

Alex Wurz: “It was not an easy stint for me. The car balance wasn’t perfect; it was lively on the rear so I was struggling to carry speed in the fast corners. On the out lap of my last stint, someone dropped a lot of oil which covered my windscreen so I could hardly see. I lost a lot of time in traffic. We decided to keep going until the end just to stay with our strategy, but it was frustrating. However, it’s only the first stage of a long race.”

The Architect
13th June 2015, 21:01
Ah, that's much better. Apart from the jingles, it's much compelling to listen to.

Rob
13th June 2015, 21:27
Ah, that's much better. Apart from the jingles, it's much compelling to listen to.

alot better, and more informative. When you trackside, these guys are what you will hear.

Rob
14th June 2015, 08:36
Went for sleep at 01.00am, wake up at 06.30am, :-s forgot set alarm. Only wanted 2 hours sleep, but great news #51 is leading GTE Pro. My little girl Keira excited about that now. :thumb

Rob
14th June 2015, 08:40
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Scuderia Corsa 24 Hours of Le Mans Update - Hour 16

June 14, 2015 (Le Mans, France) - Color has returned to the sky above the Circuit de la Sarthe, and as the 83rd 24 Hours of Le Mans neared its final hours, the no. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia continued to contend for a podium position in the GT-Am class.

Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Jeff Segal cycled through the Ferrari as the race went from daylight, to dusk, to midnight, and then through sunrise. While the Ferrari ran as high as third position during the night, when Bell got back behind the wheel at 7:02 AM local time the Ferrari was fourth but closing on the final podium position.

The rookies at Le Mans - both the Scuderia Corsa team as well as it's all-American driver line up - have enjoyed a relatively trouble-free run through sixteen hours of competition as the top five cars in class are separated by a mere two laps.

Jeff Segal
It was good. The car seems like it came alive. In the beginning of the race we struggled a little bit with an imbalance in the handling, but our pace was okay, and then in these conditions with these tires it was definitely better. There were some tricky conditions - we had some safety car, some slow zones, and some accidents that left debris all over the racetrack so at this point in the race it is very much about survival. You come around a corner and the exit is covered in gravel and you had no notice, so you have to be smart and be fast. It seems like one by one people are starting to have problems and it's our job not to be one of those.

Townsend Bell
I just applied what I learned from the first stint and I think the average pace improved a little bit. I am still learning the tires and the tire wear and just learning what to anticipate but I feel like I'm getting to learn the track pretty well now. I keep learning from other cars around me - an inch here, and inch there - so it's starting to feel pretty comfortable. But we got up to third and there's a long ways to go so we'll try to hang on.

Bill Sweedler
Le Mans is a magical place! I drove into the dark last night, and then I drove into the light today. It's a pretty magic time, both of them. We are pinching ourselves, still running within the top four in GT-Am, and there's about ten hours to go. We have a Petit Le Mans left to run, and let's see what happens!

Rob
14th June 2015, 11:55
1 and 3 in GTE Pro at moment.:clap

F1NAC
14th June 2015, 13:11
Not anymore :(

Rob
14th June 2015, 13:20
:pray

Senna4Ever
14th June 2015, 13:47
Listening to radiolemans the other day. Dr Ullrich saying the speeds are knowing getting too high for safety. Corning speeds of the Audis are 280kph. Thats massive.

:-E

I watched a bit not all so far ... but much more exiting than any other F1 race since Hungary 2014
Especially the close fight from Porsche and Audi ... the speed of the cars in the dark looked so awesome and frighting at once ...

It is time for Ferrari to come back to LMP1 ... Audi is beatable ... Porsche proved it

all thumbs holding for GTE Pro .... :pray

Rob
14th June 2015, 14:39
:-E

I watched a bit not all so far ... but much more exiting than any other F1 race since Hungary 2014
Especially the close fight from Porsche and Audi ... the speed of the cars in the dark looked so awesome and frighting at once ...

It is time for Ferrari to come back to LMP1 ... Audi is beatable ... Porsche proved it

all thumbs holding for GTE Pro .... :pray

Ferrari, got an F1 team. So that will never happen unless we leave F1. Or, someone like AF Corse do LMP1, but that will never happen. As need full factory backing to race at the front. But, then, look at Nissan. How far behind and surprised they are at their pace.

Rob
14th June 2015, 14:41
Still going to get a double AF Corse podium. Not top step but never mind, been heck of a race and fight. The silver lining, The #63 isnr in WEC. And our main rivals in WEC, are behind us on track.

Rob
14th June 2015, 14:48
so far, we got a Ferrari 1-3 in AM, with the super SMP Racing leading the way.

Rob
14th June 2015, 14:57
Porsche going to win, with The Hulk!!!! brilliant.

Ste
14th June 2015, 15:21
Astonishing effort from Porsche and I'm so happy to see Hulkenberg win. And Webber second, just brilliant.

Gutting for the #51 AF Corse though.

RedRebel40
14th June 2015, 15:25
I really like Hulkenberg, I wish that he replaces Kimi next year. Young and fast

Ste
14th June 2015, 15:40
I really like Hulkenberg, I wish that he replaces Kimi next year. Young and fast

Then we won't see him doing LeMans again...well, probably not.

Think he may ditch F1 for WEC entirely, unless a good drive opens up somewhere. Only one that seems likely is Ferrari.

Rob
14th June 2015, 16:53
I really like Hulkenberg, I wish that he replaces Kimi next year. Young and fast

3 years too late. Should of replaced Massa couple years ago.

Rob
14th June 2015, 16:56
So heart breaking for #51 after strong run to return to the front of the field. But what an effort by the team to replace gears and get back out to get podium. Both #71 #51 strong points for the WEC, so close.

Rob
14th June 2015, 17:16
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2015 Le Mans 24 Hours :263 500 spectators!
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We’d like to thank all the people who attended this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, the 83rd event, which attracted 263 500 spectators. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest is delighted with this new record crowd that is further proof of the on-going success of the greatest motor car race in the world.

A reminder: in 2013 the number was 245 000, last year 263 300 and in 2015 263 500 spectators attended the greatest endurance race in the world!

The Le Mans 24 Hours continue to meet with ever-increasing success. Nissan’s comeback, the on-track battles, the entertainment and the innovations put in place to welcome spectators have all boosted the crowd’s enthusiasm for the blue riband event in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The new media services met with record success and enabled a large number of people to follow the race all over the world, in particular thanks to the many downloads of 24H Le Mans, the official application of the Le Mans 24 Hours. 2 670 599 surfers connected to the official site of the event, 24h-lemans.com; the number of fans on the official Le Mans 24-Hours Facebook page exceeded 378 700 and 215 391 followers kept up to date with our information #24LM and #Le Mans.

Our thanks to all the fans who came to thrill to the 83rd Le Mans 24 Hours.
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fratelliferrari
14th June 2015, 18:31
So heart breaking for #51 after strong run to return to the front of the field. But what an effort by the team to replace gears and get back out to get podium. Both #71 #51 strong points for the WEC, so close.

:-(:-(:-( Iam so so sad but indeed great work by the AF Corse crew to get the #51 back on track to take some important points! After all we did good job for the WEC Championship :-D
Congrats to #72 to win GTE AM :ferrarifl

wisepie
14th June 2015, 18:56
At least AF Corse got a podium after all the problems, Ferrari generally did well in both classes entered, so pleased to see the Hulk win something and the cicuit looked amazing, I only went once in the early 70s, those Ferrari 512s looked and sounded fantastic. Great photos Rob, grazie, now you can sleep!

Rob
14th June 2015, 20:55
At least AF Corse got a podium after all the problems, Ferrari generally did well in both classes entered, so pleased to see the Hulk win something and the cicuit looked amazing, I only went once in the early 70s, those Ferrari 512s looked and sounded fantastic. Great photos Rob, grazie, now you can sleep!

Grazie mille. Got few more to put up. Will do later, got make up few hours with Keira and Jacob and Mrs Rob..

Wow i watch the races from then i think WOW, so romantic and special times. Plus those 512 mama mia. Im looking to go next year. My plan is Silverstone WEC Spa WEC and then Le-Mans. :-D

So happy for #72 SMP Racing squad. Met them all at Silverstone aswell, so friendly and open.

killer
15th June 2015, 02:29
That win may have just sealed things for Nico as to where the driving is at for next year. Well done to Porsche #19 and #17!

Gutted for AF Corse, but that's racing. Cheers to SMP for putting a Ferrari up there. Big nod to Dempsey Racing--good job.

If only a certain series would pay more attention to the WEC...

Senna4Ever
15th June 2015, 08:01
Ferrari, got an F1 team. So that will never happen unless we leave F1. Or, someone like AF Corse do LMP1, but that will never happen. As need full factory backing to race at the front. But, then, look at Nissan. How far behind and surprised they are at their pace.

I see your point and also the issue with Nissan or also Toyota ... I mean: how much longer is Toyota participating Le Mans compared to Porsche? And the lost the contact to the front runners.
Nevertheless I would have absolute confidence that Ferrari could do very well in LMP1 in parallel to F1 ...



Astonishing effort from Porsche and I'm so happy to see Hulkenberg win. And Webber second, just brilliant.
Gutting for the #51 AF Corse though.

Well said ...

Rob
15th June 2015, 18:19
I see your point and also the issue with Nissan or also Toyota ... I mean: how much longer is Toyota participating Le Mans compared to Porsche? And the lost the contact to the front runners.
Nevertheless I would have absolute confidence that Ferrari could do very well in LMP1 in parallel to F1 ...




Well said ...

Toyota have commited for another 3 years. Next year, fROm what i have been told, they are going to complete redisgn of the car. Go away with the supercapacitor, and go with batteries and twin turbos.

As much as i would like to see full, i mean a full LMP1 factory back programme, i thinkit be bad idea. Unless, we pull plug on F1. I mean, i dont know the numbers on Audi and Porsche spendings, but i bet its millions. And with the costs of F1 and then to run LMP1 programme to compete at the levels of the 2 front runners, be way way way to much.

Rob
15th June 2015, 20:42
this came through today from good friend
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sorry some reason can not rotate

Rob
15th June 2015, 20:47
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LE MANS DISAPPOINTMENT FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
Sunday 14 June 2015

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing endured a long Le Mans 24 Hours, showing good reliability but finishing a disappointing sixth and eighth at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The #2 TS040 HYBRID of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway finished in sixth place, with Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima in eighth.

TOYOTA congratulates Porsche on a hard-fought and impressive victory after the #19 beat its sister #17 car to the win. The Audi #7 was third.

Having targeted Le Mans this year, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing leaves La Sarthe frustrated but determined to improve in all areas after a result which was far away from the team’s pre-season expectation.

The two TS040 HYBRIDs ran consistently and reliably but fell short of the pace of their rivals. An improvement of one second in terms of fastest race lap compared to 2014 was not enough to challenge and led to a solitary race for both cars.

Only one incident of major significance affected the team and that occurred in the fifth hour, when Anthony Davidson clashed with a GT car, damaging the front right corner. That caused handling problems and a further accident followed soon after.

Quick work by the pit crew ensured replacement front and rear bodywork, plus new left rear suspension, was fitted, with the #1 losing 13 minutes and rejoining five laps behind the leader.

Otherwise the team experienced a frustrating race which saw the TS040 HYBRIDs unable to challenge the leading cars whilst also under no immediate threat from behind.

Twenty hours of dry weather limited the strategic opportunities and put the emphasis on consistent, reliable running and pit operations. Despite the physical demands of a 24-hour race, the pit crew performed impeccably.

Light rain did begin to fall inside the 21st hour and continued sporadically but it was never enough to have a significant outcome on the race.

There was a late position change for the #2 car when it moved up to sixth place due to technical problems for the #9 Audi. Alex and Sébastien took the chequered flag with both cars exceeding TOYOTA’s previous record distance at La Sarthe.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will now return to base with determination to improve and be back at Le Mans stronger and more competitive in 2016. Before then, there are five WEC races remaining, beginning at the Nürburgring on 30 August.

Toshio Sato, Team President: “Congratulations to the Porsche team who performed very well and can be proud of their achievement. Ultimately our car was not fast enough at Le Mans this year to fight for the podium. We reduced the gap to the opposition compared to qualifying but we were not able to fight, which is disappointing. We cannot be happy with this result, but I am satisfied with the professional work and dedication of the team. It has been a hard journey, but we never gave up. Aside from the contact for the #1 car early in the race, we made no mistakes and the cars ran well. Now we start preparation for Le Mans 2016 when we want TOYOTA to return much stronger.”

TS040 HYBRID #1 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima)
Race: 8th (+9 laps), 386 laps, 29 pit stops. Fastest lap: 3min 20.896secs
Grid: 8th

Anthony Davidson: “It’s obviously disappointing not to make the podium this season at Le Mans. We were up against strong competition and we knew it would be harder this year but it’s proven to be much more difficult than we imagined. We have to stick together, push together and come back stronger. I am immediately thinking about next year’s Le Mans. I will put this one aside and look forward.”

Sébastien Buemi: “I am obviously disappointed with the result and the race as a whole. We had great reliability with no technical issues and the team did a great job in the pit stops, as well as getting the car on track again after the accident. In the end I think we finished where we deserved to, based on our pace. Congratulations to Porsche, they deserved their win.”

Kazuki Nakajima: “It was a hard race for us. This race is always very difficult but it’s tough to see Porsche making it look it easy. We did our race and the set-up of the car was very good, we were just missing some speed. The mentality of the team was very strong and we fought to the end; that was quite positive. I hope this hard time will be the kick-off point for next year. We have to push hard.”

TS040 HYBRID #2 (Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway)
Race: 6th (+8 laps), 387 laps, 30 pit stops. Fastest lap: 3min 22.633secs
Grid: 7th

Alex Wurz: “We had a race without problems; we only stopped for fuel and tyres but we were several laps down so we have clear homework to do. The direction in which we have to improve is also clear and we have a whole year to do that. Overall I am disappointed but looking specifically at our race on #2, it was okay; we controlled everything once we saw the position we were in and it worked well.”

Stéphane Sarrazin: “It was really a difficult race for all of us, the whole team. We didn’t have the pace so we know what we have to improve. We showed that the car is very reliable; we had no issue with both cars and our crew performed really well so these are the positive points. Well done to Porsche and Audi, they did a brilliant job and that gives us a lot of motivation to come back next year aiming for the top.”

Mike Conway: “It was my first Le Mans in LMP1 and with TOYOTA. I learned a lot. We just hung in there and tried to make no mistakes. We were in our own race really. We kept pushing, then towards the end the third Audi came into play. That was more exciting because we had to push hard to keep a good gap. At the same time Kazuki was in front of me, so it made it interesting to battle a bit with lap times. Congratulations to Porsche for their achievement.”

Rob
15th June 2015, 20:49
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OAK Racing press release – 14th June 2015
Le Mans 24 Hours 2015 - Race

A bittersweet result for OAK Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
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After weeks of preparation, testing, free practice and qualifying sessions, the 24 Hours of Le Mans are finally over, with OAK Racing coming away with mixed results. The #35 Ligier JS P2-Nissan-Dunlop, driven by the gentlemen trio of Jacques Nicolet, Jean-Marc Merlin and Erik Maris, finished in 11th in LM P2, more than satisfying their goal of making it to the end of the race. However, the talented trio of Le Mans rookies in the #34 Ligier JS P2-Honda-Dunlop, Christopher Cumming, Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre, sadly didn’t make it to the end of the race due to a gearbox failure in the 23rd hour of the race.

Starting in 7th on the grid, Laurens Vanthoor took the first stint in the #34 OAK Racing Ligier JS P2-Honda, and had climbed up to 3rd in class before handing over to Kevin Estre for a double stint. Estre narrowly avoided getting caught up in the slow-zone crash involving an LM P1 in 3rd hour of the race that brought out the safety car. The team was running strong in 4th when, just at the end of hour 6, Christopher Cumming spun off into the gravel at Indianapolis. The car was undamaged and he quickly returned to the pits for a quick check-up and clean. Thanks to the quick work of the team, they only lost about 10 minutes between the incident and re-joining the race with Laurens Vanthoor back at the wheel.
With the drivers double stinting, the car went through the night unscathed, and had climbed up to 6th thanks to the drivers’ skill in the dark and ease of driving the car. Vanthoor was in his element during his night stint and set the car’s best lap time so far (3:38.251).
When the sun rose on Sunday morning, the trio carried on their good work, and were running in 5th place when, at only 1h30 from the finishing line, the gear box gave up. The car returned to the pitbox, where the team tried to repair it, but to no avail. They sadly retired an hour before the end.

In the #35 OAK Racing Ligier JS P2-Nissan, the gentlemen trio of Jacques Nicolet, Jean-Marc Merlin and Erik Maris had a good 24-hour race. Jean-Marc Merlin made a clean start, avoiding any incidents and moving up and down the field a bit; by the 7-hour mark, they were sitting in 15th out of the 19 cars racing in the LM P2 class, which was impressive for the trio.
They came out unscathed through the night stint, despite two spins, and drove into daylight just outside top 10 of the LM P2 class. On Sunday morning, the #35 got a couple of penalties, which dropped them a few places: a 15 second stop and go from speeding in the pit lane, and a few hours later, a stop&go penalty with an engine restart. A couple of hours from the end, the car developed a problem with the silencer on the exhaust, and so they quickly had to pit. It took the team several minutes to fix the silencer, which meant they fell out of the top 10. The team did a wonderful job, as it really meant a lot to them to get the car to the end. The car fixed, Erik Maris rejoined the race for the final hour and he crossed the finishing line in 11th in LM P2.

The drivers of the #35 OAK Racing car have reached their goal of giving Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque the most exposure possible: they’ve put them on the screens for over 24 consecutive hours!

Onroak Automotive cars and Dunlop tyres carried them throughout the race, as well as Nissan and Honda engines. Overall, the team are pleased with the result for the #35 Ligier JS P2, but they are of course disappointed that they came so close to getting both cars past the chequered flag.

Philippe Dumas, Team Principal: “We very nearly completely reached our goals for the #35. I think that they’re very happy with their adventure, and sincerely, I congratulate them for the sporting side of things. They were great. They didn’t make any mistake, they did their thing. That was a good point. For the #34, we knew that it could hold surprises. With the changeable weather during the test day, we weren’t ready enough. We were there right up until 1h30 from the finish line, and we’d practically made it. I’m very disappointed for the drivers and the team, the boys and girls working on the car and for it not to finish…it’s a great disappointment.“

Chris Cumming, Driver - Ligier JS P2 #34: “It’s obviously very disappointing, but I’m really proud of all the crew for working so hard and giving us a great car and great stops throughout the race. And for Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor for driving well and giving us a shot at being 4th place or maybe even a podium today, if the gearbox had held up. I think we should be proud of what we’ve almost accomplished and take some encouragement from it.”

Kevin Estre, Driver - Ligier JS P2 #34: “I’m very proud and very happy having taken part in my first edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with OAK Racing. I’m very happy with the team. We’ve got a good car, a good team. We fought until the end. We have a few mishaps sadly at the start of the race and during the night, but we had a respectable position, and for three rookies, it’s not bad. Sadly, at the end of the race, we had a mechanical problem and we had to retire. It’s a shame; it would have been a nice prize to finish the race, for us as beginners, for the team. I can’t help feeling for them, having worked on this car for months, and especially over the last 23 hours, and to finish at an hour from the end, it’s tough. But that’s racing, that’s endurance, and I hope to be able to do this again next year and to finish well placed.”

Laurens Vanthoor, Driver - Ligier JS P2 #34: “Of course, I’m disappointed. The goal for me was to get to the podium. We tried. We made a few small mistakes during the race, and we were on route for fourth. In the end, we had a problem with the gearbox. It wasn’t easy for us, as it was an ‘extra’ car for Le Mans, with people who haven’t worked together very much. It wasn’t easy for the drivers; we were all new to Le Mans, and we did our best, and I think that the speed we had could have given us a podium. But that’s that.”

Erik Maris, Driver – Ligier JS P2 #35: “The race went more or less without any issues, apart from the last couple of hours. Of course, it would have been better not to break the silencer....which made us lose a place in the last hour. It's doesn't really matter, it's not bad in 11th and we made it to the end, which is the main thing. It's great to have finished! “

Jean Marc Merlin, Driver – Ligier JS P2 #35: “Contract fulfilled. We were reliable, constant, regular. The car is great. We had fun, we didn’t have any problems of trust, it was ideal. We would’ve liked to finish 10th, but we finished 11th because of a little technical problem that isn’t even worth mentioning. The team is friendly. I’m looking forward to next year! “

Jacques Nicolet, Driver – Ligier JS P2 #35: “As a driver, I had lots of fun. I went full out this morning for nearly three hours. I set some good times, I found a good rhythm and it made me really happy. I really needed it. I also want to thank my teammates and the team of the #35 who have been especially attentive to the gentlemen drivers that we are, and made it a point to get the car back out on track so that we could take the chequered flag. “

Rob
15th June 2015, 20:55
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“24 Hours of Le Mans”: double podium for the AF Corse Ferrari 458’s and leaderships more and more strong in championship

LE MANS, June 14th 2015 - Double podium in the “24 Hours of Le Mans” for the AF Corse Ferrari 458’s. In GTE Pro, the best expression for GT cars, Davide Rigon, James Calado and Olivier Beretta took the checkered flag of the world’s most important endurance race in second position with the Ferrari 458 Italia #71. Just behind, the winners in 2014 and 2012 of the “La Sarthe” race: Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella in their Ferrari 458 Italia #51. The trio fought hard for the first position. Once gained the top, a gearbox problem forced their Ferrari 458 Italia to the box for a pit stop to solve the problem. When the number 51 resumed the race was third keeping the position until the end.

Looking to GTE Am category, François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas narrowly missed the podium in their Ferrari 458 Italia #83. The fourth place in the endurance race par excellence leaves unchanged their ambitions to win the championship.

Fifth place for Peter Mann, Raffaele Giammaria and Matteo Cressoni (Ferrari 458 Italia # 61): thanks to a positive perfomances, they gained the “top five” position after a difficult start. Withdrawal for Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Alex Mortimer due to power-supply problems of their AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia #55.

The “24 Hours of Le Mans” was the third race of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and assigned double score.

In the GT Cup Drivers, Bruni and Vilander are always first with 61 points, Rigon and Calado are second (57).

In the GTE Am Driver standings, François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas has the second place with 66 points.

Ferrari is firmly leader in the GT Manufactures standings thanks to 144 points.

AF Corse is first in GTE Pro Team standing with 73 points and second with 66 in GTE Am Team Classification.

AF Corse Press Office - Riccardo Delfanti
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Rob
15th June 2015, 21:00
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Press Release – Le Mans 24 Hours 2015 - Race - 14th of June 2015


LM P2 Podium finish for G-Drive Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
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Roman Rusinov, Julien Canal and Sam Bird, racing in the #26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 have taken the 3rd step on the LM P2 podium at the 2015 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans! Their sister car, the #28 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 of Gustavo Yacaman, Pipo Derani and Ricardo Gonzalez, finished just behind them in 4th in class. Both cars, built with Onroak Automotive chassis and shod with Dunlop tyres, had an almost perfect race, despite some small incidents, unavoidable in a 24 hour race, bringing home a podium and valuable points for the FIA World Endurance Championship standings.
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In a race disrupted by 3 safety cars and countless yellow flags and slow zones, the two G-Drive Racing cars performed to their best, avoiding main incidents from start to finish. The weather in Le Mans was favourable, starting in warm and bright conditions, and only suffering about 30 minutes of light rain on Sunday morning.
The G-Drive Racing cars qualified in 2nd and 9th on Thursday, with Sam Bird in the #26 starting on the front row of the LM P2 class and Pipo Derani taking the start in the #28 a few rows further down the grid.

The race got off to a very clean start, without any incidents for the first hour. When the green flag fell, Sam Bird got caught out by the Gibson and Oreca cars around him and fell back a few positions down the field, but he kept a steady pace, keeping up with the peloton, and ended up in 3rd after the initial shuffle. Derani, in the #28 G-Drive Racing car managed to hold onto 9th and started to work on climbing up the field.

The drivers of the #26 G-Drive Racing held onto third until the 3rd hour, where a small starting fire during a pit stop refuelling cost them a few places, and they rejoined the race in 6th in LM P2. The trio did a good job and worked to climb back up the field as the sun was setting. With the retirement of the #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 in the 14th hour, they reclaimed 2nd LM P2 place. The team then focused on keeping up with the leaders, the #47 KCMG Oreca 05.

In hour 19, the #47 went off the track, and it looked as though the #26 could take advantage of this and claim the lead, but the #47 managed to rejoin, and keep a sufficient enough gap to stay well ahead of Julien Canal who was doing his best to catch him. The LM P2 leaders made another mistake in the 22nd hour, but it was still not enough for the #26 to catch up. The last hours came down to pit stop strategy, with the #38 Jota Sport Gibson catching up and eventually overtaking the #26 to take 2nd in class. The #26 fought to keep up, but ended the race in 3rd in class.

The race for the crew of the #28 G-Drive Racing was well managed and they had a nearly flawless race, apart from a couple of stop&go penalties, both due to speeding in the pit lane. The first one hit hardest, as it happened in the 2nd hour of the race when the cars were still on the same lap, so it cost them a few places. Gustavo Yacaman, Pipo Derani and Ricardo Gonzalez worked hard though the night and managed to make their way back up the field, and avoid any incidents to make up for that first small mistake. The 2nd penalty came at the end of the 21st hour, as they were racing up in 5th in LM P2. With a 6 lap lead over their nearest competition, they didn’t risk losing any positions. They fought for position against the #34 OAK Racing Ligier JS P2, but when they had to retire due to a gear box issue, the crew of the #28 G-Drive Racing claimed 4th LM P2 place for themselves.

G-Drive Racing are very pleased with their result, as this will of course mean very important points for the FIA WEC championship, as KCMG are one of their closest rivals. They have currently lost the lead in the points, but the important points collected today will help towards the rest of the season.

Philippe Dumas, Team Principal: “I’m obviously torn between the disappointment of not winning this unique race that everyone want to win and a really good overall result by finishing 3rd -4th in class and taking points for 2nd and 3rd in the WEC LM P2 classification. Le Mans is Le Mans and to get to the end is an exploit in itself. We have to be satisfied with this result. We also need to congratulate our rivals. “

Sam Bird, #26: “So we’ve just finished the 24 Hour Le Mans race, and I’ve got to say that it’s probably the hardest race I’ve ever taken part in. The boys and girls at G-Drive Racing, and everybody here did a really good job, they’re faultless. They made sure the cars were immaculate all week and fast. Just not fast enough in a straight unfortunately for this event. It’s a long championship and a podium is an amazing achievement here. So congratulations to everybody. “

Roman Rusinov, #26: " This was the 4th time for me with G-Drive Racing in Le Mans so I am happy to get podium back for the Russian team! Despite all the difficulties we'd get points and good results in overall. So I am very happy to see the Russian flag in Le Mans again. Big thanks to all the fans - it couldn't happen without your support. Thanks to all the team members - great job! Looking forward to the next battle. »

Rob
15th June 2015, 21:02
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Scuderia Corsa Charges To The Podium in Le Mans Debut

No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 finishes third in first 24 Hours of Le Mans for team and drivers Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Jeff Segal
June 15, 2015 (Le Mans, France) - Never give up. This was the Scuderia Corsa motto leading the team to the podium at the World Famous 24 Hours of Le Mans.

After 24 hours of racing, 330 laps of the Circuit de la Sarthe and 25 pit stops, the no. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia took the checkered flag and claimed the final spot on the podium in the GT-Am class in the 83rd 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The run to the Le Mans podium was anything but trouble-free, especially in the final six hours. The team was slowed by a broker starter and, while fighting locked in battle for the final podium position, an overheating engine. Bell was locked into an exciting 40 minutes heavily broadcasted duel and only the engine concern made him backed off.

"Normally I should be speechless, but I'm not right now," said Bill Sweedler. "When Townsend and I won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2012 we joked with each other and said 'wouldn't it be amazing to eventually compete at Le Mans?' And the fact that we got here, and we had a shot - we had a real shot - at winning is incredible. For Scuderia Corsa, Michelotto, all of our sponsors, we couldn't have asked for more other than a win, but a podium at Le Mans is a special event. And, it gives us a reason to come back to Le Mans and shoot for the top step. And I've got to thank the crew, the team, and especially Jeff and Townsend. And my family for coming out to cheer us on - they were my true lucky charms."

Bell scored his first Le Mans podium mere weeks after competing in the Indianapolis 500. "It's a great day for us," said Bell. "There were so many obstacles in this race for us. So many times I thought that we were done because of penalties or mechanical issues but we never gave up and we never stopped believing that we could get here. The team deserves a huge congratulations. I mean, this is not only our first time here as drivers but our first time as a team coming together in this way and it's pretty special to do that with a first time group. One thing I learned a long time ago is that the result can never be taken from you. We achieved it together, and it's a special bond with those people forever".

"Ultimately it was a beautiful race," said Segal. "All of us were rookies, and for the team it was their first time at Le Mans, so there was a lot for everybody to learn. We had a tremendously difficult task in front of us to end up on the podium at the most difficult sports car race in the world against the best competition in the world. It's unbelievable. And to think that when we look at third place and we could have had more, it makes it even better. I think we are all hungry for more, and we are already thinking about next year but maybe for a short while we will enjoy our podium and smile a bit."

Scuderia Corsa's result adds another chapter to the long history of success for American Ferrari entrants at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and provides a foundation which the team hopes to build on in future editions of the race.

"What a fantastic feeling", said Giacomo Mattioli, co-owner of Scuderia Corsa "I'd like to thank Bill for the trust that he put on Scuderia Corsa. IMSA for their endorsement, Ferrari Corse Clienti, Michelotto, Kessel and Michelin for their support. Team did a stellar job and never gave up. I am proud of the international racing platform that Scuderia Corsa has developed."

"It was a great weekend for Scuderia Corsa," said Art Zafiropoulo, Team co-owner. "We have a podium and it's remarkable to accomplish such a strong finish in Le Mans. So happy for Bill, Townsend and Jeff, what a great debut! We are looking forward to future races at Le Mans!"

Scuderia Corsa's next event will be the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's Sahlen's Six Hours at the Glen on June 26-28 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. The event will also be the third round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, in which Scuderia Corsa is currently second in the GT-Daytona class.

Rob
15th June 2015, 21:05
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Rob
15th June 2015, 21:07
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Rob
15th June 2015, 21:14
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Rob
15th June 2015, 21:18
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abbottcostello
17th June 2015, 10:46
What a great race, so happy for Nico & Mark! Would be great if this started a trend for F1 drivers to again take part in Le Mans!

Kudos to AF Corse & SMP Racing & what can I say about my 2nd favorite marque but WOW Porsche, what a race!!

Always feel like I'm watching history being made when I watch this race & the superb updates here are such a bonus, can't say thank you enough Rob!!!

Rob
17th June 2015, 14:46
What a great race, so happy for Nico & Mark! Would be great if this started a trend for F1 drivers to again take part in Le Mans!

Kudos to AF Corse & SMP Racing & what can I say about my 2nd favorite marque but WOW Porsche, what a race!!

Always feel like I'm watching history being made when I watch this race & the superb updates here are such a bonus, can't say thank you enough Rob!!!

If it wasnt for Honda saying no, Alonso would of been it the #19 car aswell.

No problem, i wanted to update through the night, but was too much into the race. Was nice to watch and be apart of history. Thats why now i love endurance racing and Le-Mans. So much action, stories and action. Just full flat out nowadays. And the speed of the LMP1s now, well the hybrids. Well, Porsche and Audi. Is mind blowing.

Rob
17th June 2015, 15:38
Nissan GT-R LM NISMO LMP1 ran without hybrid in Le Mans 24 Hours

Nissan has admitted that its front-wheel-drive GT-R LM NISMO LMP1 contender raced in last weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours without its hybrid system engaged.

Darren Cox, the Japanese manufacturer's global motorsport boss, made the admission in the wake of a race in which the best Nissan lapped 18 seconds off the pace, confirming the widely held conclusion that the GT-R LM gained no benefit from hybrid power.

"No, we didn't try running it," Cox told AUTOSPORT.

"For reliability reasons we didn't engage the hybrid system."

Cox explained that the decision was made after the Le Mans test two weeks before the race.

Ben Bowlby, technical director and team principal at the Nissan Motorsports squad, had suggested at the test that the fully-mechanical system developed by Torotrak would operate at reduced power in the name of reliability.

The GT-R LM was conceived to run in the hybrid sub-class that allows for eight megajoules of retrieved power to be deployed over the 8.47-mile Le Mans lap.

The transmission arrangement designed to send power retrieved from the front axle to the Nissan's narrow rear wheels proved unreliable on the dyno and has yet to run on the car.

This forced Nissan to retrieve and deploy via the front wheels and to downgrade to the 2MJ division.

Cox stated that Nissan's simulations suggested that 8MJ of hybrid boost would be worth four seconds per lap at Le Mans.

Harry Tincknell posted the best time by a Nissan driver at 3m35.888s, which compared with Audi driver Andre Lotterer's fastest race lap of 3m17.475s.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/119532

Rob
17th June 2015, 15:40
Le Mans 24 Hours win 'greatest achievement' - F1's Nico Hulkenberg

Formula 1 driver Nico Hulkenberg believes winning the Le Mans 24 Hours with Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber for Porsche is the greatest achievement of his career.

Hulkenberg, Tandy and Bamber took control of the 2015 race during the night in the #19 919 Hybrid, pulling away from their Porsche team-mates and the leading Audis to take the German manufacturer's first overall win in the race since 1998.

And Force India F1 driver Hulkenberg, who has one grand prix pole position to his name and has not won a race since his title-winning GP2 campaign of 2009, said his Le Mans debut had been a dream.

"Today is a great achievement, the greatest of my career," said the 27-year-old.

"It's right after the win, so it's still tough to realise, and I think it will come to me in the next few days.

"It's an amazing experience for me, coming from the F1 environment and to see a race like Le Mans.

"I'm really happy I've done it, and even more happy that I've won it straight away with these two guys who are now legends."

Hulkenberg believes the key to his car's victory was the fact that both Porsche and the #19 car's drivers did not put a foot wrong.

"For our car it was a flawless race," he said. "We had great pace, we were mistake-free, with a good flow, a good rhythm.

"I'd like to thank everybody for pushing like hell for the last couple of months without much sleep - today is the payback and the reward for that."

Tandy, the only driver in the winning car to have competed in the race before (in the GTE division), believes the night conditions allowed the #19 Porsche to seize the initiative.

"The conditions came to suit the way our car was working, handling wise, compared to the other cars," said the Briton.

"The air temperature helps a lot with the turbo, and when everything is working as one it comes easily to you.

"It was clear that those cooler conditions into the morning suited how our car and our drivers were working.

"The track came to us when dusk started to fall - our car just switched on and we were able to keep a high performance across a quadruple stint on the tyres, which was key to our victory."

Bamber expressed his gratitude towards Porsche for calling him up to its third car for the biggest race of the year.

"It's been an amazing 12 months for me - 12 months ago I was driving for Timo [Bernhard, second-place finisher]'s Carrera Cup team in Germany," he said.

"I have to say a huge thank you to Porsche for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to race here.

"It's beyond my wildest dreams to come here and win Le Mans at the first attempt.


http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/119501

Nova
24th June 2015, 05:13
Great pix n articles mates, thank you.