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Thread: 88e 24 Heures du Mans (2020 24 Hours of Le Mans)

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    88e 24 Heures du Mans (2020 24 Hours of Le Mans)

    We're a few days away from the greatest motor race in the world!

    I'm immensely looking forward to this one due to the amount of night time running we will have being so late in the year, but sadly though; the GTE Pro field is half the size as it was last year with just the 8 cars (4 of the 8 are Ferrari teams), with no Ford GT or Corvette entries.

    It is a special anniversary for Ferrari at Le Mans, this years race marks 60 years since we won 6 years in a row with the legendary 250.


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    FERRARI AT THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS 1960-1965 (6/6) – 250, THE MARQUE'S LUCKY NUMBER
    Sixty years ago, Ferrari scored the first of its six consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1960 to 1965. An unmatched feat that – along with the successes of 1949, 1954 and 1958 – allowed the Italian marque to surpass Bentley and Jaguar (co-holders of the win record at the time with five each). The sixth and final installment in this series addresses the lineage of the most legendary Ferraris at the race: the generation of 250 models.

    Ferrari's string of six consecutive wins at the 24 Hours coincided with the heyday, on the track and the road, of the different versions of the 250, the first of which dated back to 1952. Twenty-six variations of the Ferrari 250 crossed the finish line at the race from 1960 to 1965, and five of the marque's nine victories were won by a car sporting this number. Now considered a legend in the saga of Ferrari, the number originally designated the unit volume of its engine, i.e. 250 cm3 for each of its twelve cylinders, arranged in a V.

    250 TR, TWO PATRONYMS, TWO LEGENDS –
    Having first appeared in 1957, this Ferrari was also known under the name Testa Rossa (TR), a reference (literal translation: red head) to the colour of the engine cylinder head covers immediately noticeable once the bonnet is open. At the wheel of this car, Olivier Gendebien won three of his four wins at the 24 Hours, in 1958 and 1961 with Phil Hill, and in 1960 with Paul Frère. In 1962, the Testa Rossa label was also given to the 330 of Gendebien-Hill, the last front-engine prototype to win at Le Mans.


    250 GT SWB, PERFECTION –
    In 1959, this version marked the birth of the road 250 GT. To optimise maneuverability, its wheelbase (the space between the front and rear axles) was reduced by 20 cm, from 2.60 m to 2.40 m. This earned it the moniker SWB (for short wheelbase), however not officially recognized by Ferrari. This 250 GT SWB was available with a steel body (for the road) or aluminum body (for competition). In 1960 and 1961, six 250 GT SWBs finished in the top 10 at the 24 Hours, with as best result third place for Jean Guichet and Pierre Noblet in 1961. That year, a very special 250 took the start in the race. Nicknamed "Sperimentale" (experimental) by Italian journalists, the car was painted in French blue to welcome as a factory driver Le Mans area native Fernand Tavano (joined by Giancarlo Baghetti). Forced to retire, this 250 predated one of the most iconic Ferrari's ever, set to make its first appearance the next year.


    250 GTO, THE LEGEND –
    On 24 February 1962, during the annual presentation of competition Ferrari's in the courtyard of the Maranello factory, the press discovered the 250 GTO (for "Gran Turismo Omologato"). Compared to the 250 GT, its aerodynamics were optimised by a plunging front, back set V12 engine and a truncated rear with a spoiler. In 1962, the renowned GTO finished its first 24 Hours in second (Jean Guichet-Pierre Noblet) and third (Jean Blaton-Léon Dernier) places. The following year, two Belgian GTOs made it into the top 5 thanks to Jean Blaton-Gérald Langlois von Ophem (second) and Léon Dernier-Pierre Dumay (fifth). In 1964, the GTO finished in the top 10 once again, thanks to Lucien Bianchi-Jean Blaton (fifth), Innes Ireland-Tony Maggs (sixth) and Fernand Tavano-Bob Grossman (ninth). This exceptional achievement was followed up with three consecutive wins in the World Marques Championship (1962-63-64). Its track record and rareness (only thirty or so units were produced) make the GTO cost a fortune on the collection cars market, and happy owners form the elite of Ferrari lovers.


    250 P, AN ITALIAN EXCEPTION –
    In 1963, the only participation for the Ferrari 250 P in the 24 Hours ended in victory (Lorenzo Bandini-Ludovico Scarfiotti) and third place (Umberto Maglioli-Mike Parkes). A third car took the start, but its drivers John Surtees and Willy Mairesse were forced to retire in the lead with a fire in the 19th hour. The 250 P also marked a key date in the history of race as the first rear engine car to win at Le Mans. Bandini and Scarfiotti formed the only all-Italian driver line-up to win the 24 Hours at the wheel of a Ferrari.


    250 LM, THE LAST VICTORY –
    Presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1963, two 250 LMs were first fielded in the 24 Hours in 1964, but only one made it to the chequered flag (16th), with at the wheel Pierre Dumay-Gérald Langlois von Ophem. The car tasted glory the following year: after the retirement for factory prototypes 330 P2 and 275 P2, a duel between Ferrari partner teams pitted North American Racing Team (NART) against Ecurie Francorchamps. They finished in this order in the top two spots thanks to Masten Gregory-Jochen Rindt (winners) and Pierre Dumay-Gustave Gosselin (second). This one-two was rounded out by another partner team, the Swiss outfit Scuderia Filipinetti, sixth thanks to Dieter Spoerry-Andreas Boller. The 250 LM was seen again at Le Mans in 1966, 1968 and 1969.
    https://www.24h-lemans.com/en/news/f...y-number-54123

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    A nice read, thanks! I wasn't aware that Bandini/Scarfiotti had that victory in 1963, my first year of being a tifoso was 1967 when I decided to support Bandini and Ferrari rather than the usual British suspects, I was rebelling against my Dad and uncles. Sadly Bandini died after his crash at Monaco so it was an unfortunate time for a new tifoso, but I've never looked back!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    A nice read, thanks! I wasn't aware that Bandini/Scarfiotti had that victory in 1963, my first year of being a tifoso was 1967 when I decided to support Bandini and Ferrari rather than the usual British suspects, I was rebelling against my Dad and uncles. Sadly Bandini died after his crash at Monaco so it was an unfortunate time for a new tifoso, but I've never looked back!
    You're showing your age there Wisepie!

    Yes I thought it was a nice little read too! I would love to know if Lucien Bianchi is any relation to Edoardo Bianchi who brought us the bicycles and motorbikes? I'm sure it's just one of those coincidences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 458 Italia View Post
    You're showing your age there Wisepie!

    Yes I thought it was a nice little read too! I would love to know if Lucien Bianchi is any relation to Edoardo Bianchi who brought us the bicycles and motorbikes? I'm sure it's just one of those coincidences.
    Yes I'm an old fossil and happy to have made it this far, and still be supporting Ferrari through thick and thin. As for the Bianchi connection, I'm afraid I have no idea and my experience of two-wheeled modes of transport has never been very successful, requiring stabilisers to stay upright. I follow MotoGP and of course my support of riders follows the usual Italian preference! I can't keep up with Rob and his mile-munching on two wheels although I admire his attitude and stamina!

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    Unfortunately Wikipedia was no help for me in finding the answer, interestingly though the motorcycle arm was eventually owned by Fiat.

    #51 AF Corse 488 was third fastest in FP1 earlier ~1.2 seconds behind the leading Aston Martin in GTE Pro. Looks like #51 will be the fifth fastest after FP2 as well but with the gap being ~1.3 seconds this time with Porsche being the fastest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 458 Italia View Post
    Unfortunately Wikipedia was no help for me in finding the answer, interestingly though the motorcycle arm was eventually owned by Fiat.

    #51 AF Corse 488 was third fastest in FP1 earlier ~1.2 seconds behind the leading Aston Martin in GTE Pro. Looks like #51 will be the fifth fastest after FP2 as well but with the gap being ~1.3 seconds this time with Porsche being the fastest.
    I think Bianchi was a fairly common name in Italy and S of France, just as Leclerc is in France, some people made a connection between Charles (Monegasque, obviously) and the French supermarket chain Leclerc. I don't like to see the AF Corse or any other team's 488s being behind Astons and Porsches, hope they have the staying power in the race and get some luck. Talking of Fiat, today I was parked next to an Abarth 124 Spider (AKA Mazda MX5) in red, it looked superb and much more interesting than said Mazda. Just my opinion!
    Last edited by wisepie; 17th September 2020 at 17:55.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    I think Bianchi was a fairly common name in Italy and S of France, just as Leclerc is in France, some people made a connection between Charles (Monegasque, obviously) and the French supermarket chain Leclerc. I don't like to see the AF Corse or any other team's 488s being behind Astons and Porsches, hope they have the staying power in the race and get some luck. Talking of Fiat, today I was parked next to an Abarth 124 Spider (AKA Mazda MX5) in red, it looked superb and much more interesting than said Mazda. Just my opinion!
    Could just be a popular name, for years I've seen the Leclerc name as it's a big sponsor of Tour de France so knew there was no connection to our Charles.

    After the first couple to Free Practice sessions it's following the status quo of how the WEC has been playing out, tonight's FP3 will be interesting as it's dusk/nightime. I don't know what the top speeds have been like so I'll be keeping an eye on that this evening.

    Ha! Yeah the 124 spider does look the splitting image of an MX-5 I wouldn't mind one! But for me it's not a patch on the Chris Bangle designed Fiat Coupe with Pininfarina styled interior of the late 90s. Sadly you don't see many of them around today, but I always see one up the road from me in Stamford.

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    Watching my first bit of coverage tonight and the track is looking beautiful as always looks very weird without the 300,000 fans and all the extra lights of the fairground though.

    A bit of talk from the commentary team about how hurt Aston Martin have been by BoP recently, not half as much as Ferrari have though!

    The situation in GTE AM is mimicking that of GTE Pro with the Ferrari cars behind Aston and Porsche.

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    One thing I didn't realise is that this year the earlier free practice session doubled up as qualifying! I should've read up on the timetable

    Commentators talking again about how good the BoP is this year, they are British so naturally favour Aston but as a tiffoso it irks me a bit I do think the 488s especially, the AF Corse ones will come alive in the dark though! Well I hope so anyway!

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    James Calado says the Astons and the Porsches look "fast" but he's happy with the car he's got underneath him.

    Finally the commentators mention that Ferrari have got nothing back in terms of BoP whereas everyone else has.

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    Been able to watch all today. As had to take few days off unexpected. Someone i work with, his girlfriend daughter has covid. So work rang few of us yesterday who worked with clarkee. Told us stay home get tested. Im not ill, but people, work, panic about nothing.

    Cannt get on bike till get results back. Gutted. As been cracking weather.

    We running under radar, cars looking quick, stable and consistent. Got ferrari town in pits. Great. Is odd not seeing 300 odd thousand fans there
    Last edited by Rob; 17th September 2020 at 22:37.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Been able to watch all today. As had to take few days off unexpected. Someone i work with, his girlfriend daughter has covid. So work rang few of us yesterday or worked with clarkee. Told us stay home get tested. Im not ill, but people, work, panic about nothing.

    Cannt get on bike till get results back. Gutted. As been cracking weather.

    We running under radar, cars looking quick, stable and consistent. Got ferrari town in pits. Great. Is odd not seeing 300 odd thousand fans there
    A lot of people are still pretty scared about this thing, I would love for normal normal to return.

    I don't think I've ever asked what's the bike you ride is? It's not a Bianchi is it?

    The Risi car is looking gorgeous today/tonight

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    Quote Originally Posted by 458 Italia View Post
    A lot of people are still pretty scared about this thing, I would love for normal normal to return.

    I don't think I've ever asked what's the bike you ride is? It's not a Bianchi is it?

    The Risi car is looking gorgeous today/tonight
    Im not getting political, but we just got get on now. Yes few more case. But deaths are so so low, plus alot more people dying from flu and cancer everyday. But hey ho.

    Specialized.

    Loving tweety bird too. Its what the crew is calling the #70 car guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Im not getting political, but we just got get on now. Yes few more case. But deaths are so so low, plus alot more people dying from flu and cancer everyday. But hey ho.

    Specialized.

    Loving tweety bird too. Its what the crew is calling the #70 car guy
    I wholeheartedly agree with you there Rob

    Ahh nice! same as Bora and Deceuninck QS!

    Haha!! I can see how #70 got that name!

    Bad shunt for the red river car!!! Is that the same shade of red as the F1 car was running last weekend?

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    AF Corse #71 and #51 were second and third in FP4 Just behind the #92 Porsche.

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    Results from Hyperpole:



    Here's the overall grid after Hyperpole for tomorrow:



    It's great to see the Rebellion splitting the two Toyotas
    Last edited by 458 Italia; 18th September 2020 at 14:12.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 458 Italia View Post
    Could just be a popular name, for years I've seen the Leclerc name as it's a big sponsor of Tour de France so knew there was no connection to our Charles.

    After the first couple to Free Practice sessions it's following the status quo of how the WEC has been playing out, tonight's FP3 will be interesting as it's dusk/nightime. I don't know what the top speeds have been like so I'll be keeping an eye on that this evening.

    Ha! Yeah the 124 spider does look the splitting image of an MX-5 I wouldn't mind one! But for me it's not a patch on the Chris Bangle designed Fiat Coupe with Pininfarina styled interior of the late 90s. Sadly you don't see many of them around today, but I always see one up the road from me in Stamford.
    The current 124 Spider doesn't look anything like the current MX5 from where I'm standing, despite being based on the same platform. The 124 Spider was another Fiat failure in the UK, sadly, I think it looks great. My nephew had a 1990s Fiat Coupe 20v which he crashed, I had a Marea Estate with the same engine which was very underrated! Thanks to you and Rob, I'm more or less up to speed with Le Mans, may fortune shine on the Ferrari teams, will keep a close eye on the race.

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    Bird, encouraging progress for the race
    Le Mans | 18 September 2020
    After the difficulties encountered in yesterday’s free practice, the fifth place with which Sam Bird completed the Hyperpole session gives positive feelings especially for the race. The work on the set up carried out during the night by the technicians and engineers of AF Corse’s number 71 car seems to be going in the right direction.

    “I was pleased with the balance of the car during the Hyperpole”, said Bird. “We made great progress after the night time free practice. Yesterday we weren’t very happy with the behaviour of the car, but the whole team worked on it during the night. We have learned a lot, and this will come in handy during the race”.
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    Calado, happy for the first row
    Le Mans | 18 September 2020
    A good qualification, with a front row perhaps unexpected but welcomed with a smile by the crew of the 488 GTE number 51. The second set of tyres allowed James Calado to get the 3’51″115 which is worth the start from the front row for tomorrow’s race.

    “Yes, we’re obviously happy to be on the front row for the start of this Le Mans”, said Calado. “It was not an easy qualifying. My first fast lap was deleted for ‘track limit’, so my fault. But then I repeated the same lap time. The feeling wasn’t as good with the second set of tyres. I think the temperature went up with the track and I made one or two mistakes. So pole position was probably possible or close anyway. But yes, the balance was also not perfect but we can all sit together now and discuss what we’re going to do in the race because we know how much the track changes over twenty-four hours. Now is not important but it’s still a nice feeling to be in the front”.
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    Just 45 minutes away from the start! The warm up session earlier this morning was a wet one, the track looks to be drying now though but there will still be a few damp patches around.

    Are Kiera and Jacob on the wall at Le Mans Rob?
    Last edited by 458 Italia; 19th September 2020 at 13:16.

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    IT'S LIGHTS OUT AND AWA.......... ........Nah I'm not saying that

    WE ARE GREEN AND WE ARE RACING AT LE MANS!

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    Yes! James Calado in #51 overtakes Gimi Bruni in the Porsche and now leads GTE Pro!

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    We off wahooooooo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    We off wahooooooo
    Mark Cole is annoying me already

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    Quote Originally Posted by 458 Italia View Post
    Mark Cole is annoying me already
    Use radiolemans.com mark cole used to like tom gaymor cannt stand. Yes used be aston driver but leave that at the door. Commentators meant be unbiased.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Use radiolemans.com mark cole used to like tom gaymor cannt stand. Yes used be aston driver but leave that at the door. Commentators meant be unbiased.
    Good suggestion will give it ago if it's not too much out of sync with the pictures I'm seeing. The commentary is way too partisan for my liking, like you say they should be unbiased.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 458 Italia View Post
    Good suggestion will give it ago if it's not too much out of sync with the pictures I'm seeing. The commentary is way too partisan for my liking, like you say they should be unbiased.
    No not too bad. I got pics my friend vale sent me from the gris but cannt upload as to big.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 458 Italia View Post
    Good suggestion will give it ago if it's not too much out of sync with the pictures I'm seeing. The commentary is way too partisan for my liking, like you say they should be unbiased.
    No not too bad. I got pics my friend vale sent me from the grid but cannt upload as to big.
    Last edited by Rob; 19th September 2020 at 15:08.
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    Where we are after the first hour:



    Last edited by 458 Italia; 19th September 2020 at 14:49.

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