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Thread: Le Mans 2011

  1. #1

    Le Mans 2011

    We'll what an amazing few days (again)?

    We had a mostly trouble free run down. One close call with the Gendarmes whilst having some fun with an Audi R8 who did get nicked at a high enough speed to get a 750 Euro fine as a minimum and my Brother-in-Law did pick up a 90 Euro fine for speeding out of a village trying to catch me up.

    Weather generally good, with just a few spots of rain during the race & some proper rain on Sunday night.

    As for the racing itself - WOW. The legends race was superb, with such a huge array of gorgeous, priceless cars, but the main event was sooooo thrilling. Two horrendous crashes put the # 3 Audi out (whilst being driven by McNish) fairly early and the # 1 Audi out close to mid-night (whilst being driven my Mike Rockenfeller). It was a miracle nobody was seriously hurt in either crash.
    So it was one Audi vs 4 Peugeots and still the # 2 Audi won by one of the lowest margins ever of 13 just seconds.

    A few pics here.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/andytims19 ... ifyingPits

    https://picasaweb.google.com/andytims19 ... versParade

    https://picasaweb.google.com/andytims19 ... upportRace

    https://picasaweb.google.com/andytims19 ... 24HourRace

    Another great year, lots of laughs, a "few" beers, lots of dodgy food - Love it.

    Roll on 2012 :)
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions. Bell & Ross BR03-92 Nightlum

  2. #2
    Master aldfort's Avatar
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Lucky you.

    I was glued to the TV for most of the 24 hours. Thank you Eurosport! It's been a few years since I went in person.

    I wonder if the "gentleman driver" class will be re-thought now. The number 1 Audi shunt in particular was horrible and I really thought MR was toast.

    Big shame for the Aston Martins as well!

  3. #3

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by aldfort

    I wonder if the "gentleman driver" class will be re-thought now. The number 1 Audi shunt in particular was horrible and I really thought MR was toast.
    I hope not really.

    Admittedly I think Robert Kaufmann did cause the crash with Rockenfeller, but those LMP1 lights are so bright I can't imagine they don't at least partially blind the driver being overtaken at night & McNish caused his own accident by clipping the rear Ferrari of Anthony Beltoise.
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions. Bell & Ross BR03-92 Nightlum

  4. #4
    Master
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims
    Quote Originally Posted by aldfort

    I wonder if the "gentleman driver" class will be re-thought now. The number 1 Audi shunt in particular was horrible and I really thought MR was toast.
    I hope not really.

    Admittedly I think Robert Kaufmann did cause the crash with Rockenfeller, but those LMP1 lights are so bright I can't imagine they don't at least partially blind the driver being overtaken at night & McNish caused his own accident by clipping the rear Ferrari of Anthony Beltoise.
    Couldn't agree more, it's part of what makes Le Mans so special.
    I can't believe how close the finish was, it had me glue to the TV, and of course followed by a cracking GP too.

    Anyway following the FULL :shock: 24hrs on Eurosport I AM going next year.
    Started my research already, but further pointers more than welcome. :)

  5. #5

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Yes lucky no one got mashed by that Audi. I know how that R8 driver felt... last time I went I got a 450E fine in an NSX. After he'd fined me and established I spoke a little French the Gendarme turned to look at the sleek NSZ (not mine) by the road in The French Sunshine and said it was pretty. I said I'll give you a quick spin for E450. He laughed but not enough to waive the fine.

    so my advice to those going is be careful. we are not talking about fines by post. If you cannot pay up in cash on the spot or at nearest ATM you are going to the lock up.

  6. #6
    Master aldfort's Avatar
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims
    Quote Originally Posted by aldfort

    I wonder if the "gentleman driver" class will be re-thought now. The number 1 Audi shunt in particular was horrible and I really thought MR was toast.
    I hope not really.

    Admittedly I think Robert Kaufmann did cause the crash with Rockenfeller, but those LMP1 lights are so bright I can't imagine they don't at least partially blind the driver being overtaken at night & McNish caused his own accident by clipping the rear Ferrari of Anthony Beltoise.
    When you watch the highlights you'll see it was the front of Beltoise car that clipped the rear of the no.3 Audi which was almost past him. The problem was that McNish, in typical style, had no reserve of grip left so the tiny contact spun him out.

  7. #7
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Great pics Andy!

  8. #8
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    I'm not sure McNish's crash was the fault of either driver. It just didn't work out and if he wasn't driving flat-out then he wouldn't be so good!

    My girlfriend persuaded me to stay in Edinburgh over the weekend rather than fly to Southampton at sparrowfart on Saturday and drive down to LM. I didn't even drink at the wedding on Friday night just so I would be ok. She then proceeded to moan about me watching the first three hours on Eurosport, we then went out so she could sulk somewhere else. I got another three or four hours that night after she went to sleep and had the silent treatment again the next morning before we left to fly home. Apparently I ruined the weekend. So I missed the best race in years just so she could have a huge sulk at me. Never again.

    Here's a picture of Le Mans 2011 'Edinburgh hotel' (like 'Chelsea hotel' but with no head...) edition. That's Tunworth (Hampshire) cheese in the foreground, possibly the best British cheese and far superior to that French Camembert and Brie nonsense. Just out of shot a warm bottle of lager and a beer wall of one.

    "A man of little significance"

  9. #9

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Great stuff. Thanks for posting the pics, Andy.

    For anybody who hasn't been, and fancies the idea, a good place to start is http://www.beermountain.com

    It's also a good idea to book tickets through one of the specialist tour operators - if for no other reason, it should give you access to their hospitality area. Which will undoubtedly have better toilets than the campsites and the main circuit. It makes more of a difference as the weekend wears on.


    Regards

    Ian
    Although no trees were harmed during the creation of this post, a large number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.

  10. #10
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    I popped into the Pistonheads campsite last year and that really is worth the extra wedge. Close to the track with proper showers, toilets and bar with giant TV screen and cold beer. That's right, cold beer. Those of you who have been know what that means, for those that haven't, it's just as important as showers you don't have to queue for and clean toilets.
    "A man of little significance"

  11. #11
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims
    Quote Originally Posted by aldfort

    I wonder if the "gentleman driver" class will be re-thought now. The number 1 Audi shunt in particular was horrible and I really thought MR was toast.
    I hope not really.

    Admittedly I think Robert Kaufmann did cause the crash with Rockenfeller, but those LMP1 lights are so bright I can't imagine they don't at least partially blind the driver being overtaken at night & McNish caused his own accident by clipping the rear Ferrari of Anthony Beltoise.

    I tried to look at the Rockenfeller crash on Youtube today but because it was so late its just too dark. What you can see from the inboard is that the GT did cross the centre line just as the Audi was coming up his right handside and clipped him. Couple of things spring to mind though, i think the GT drivers were told to hold their racing line and in was incumbent on the LMP's to get past them, it was dark with headlights approaching and probably very difficult to judge closing distance. Im not trying to say it was or wasnt the GT's fault, i just dont know. I'm just glad that Rocky survived what was an horrendous crash, thank god its 2011 as in years gone by he would have been toast. McNish as well, testament to the build, strength and standards the cars are now built to. Thos photographers and marshalls were lucky though :shock: i thought he was going to go over the barrier and take some of them out, it happened opposite where we were in the ACO.

    Fantastic race, fair play to Audi for coming through, it was the quicker car.

    Good company, a few scoops :D , some dodgy food and a cracking race - what more could you ask for.

    Roll on 2012. already started to plan!!!

  12. #12

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    I just wonder what would've happened if McNish had overtaken the Ferrari ...he looked to be going so fast that he would've gone in to the two cars in front of him instead.

  13. #13

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims
    Some fantastic shots, especially the last lot. A question though for endurance racing enthusiasts....why do cars 12 & 22 not have the vertical fin on the back of the hood, I thought they were the new rules for that class of car.

  14. #14

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob

    Some fantastic shots, especially the last lot. A question though for endurance racing enthusiasts....why do cars 12 & 22 not have the vertical fin on the back of the hood, I thought they were the new rules for that class of car.
    Cheers.

    As for the fin I think all the P1 cars without it (which also included 10, 11, 13, 20 & 24) were earlier designs.
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions. Bell & Ross BR03-92 Nightlum

  15. #15
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    IMHO, Le Mans stopped being a great race, when cars could not be driven there by road any longer, but had to be trailered there. The original spirit vanished from then on. As a French, I can't understand the crazy following it still enjoys in the UK. Well, if we call it an event rather than a race, I can see why. The historical importance, the "ambiance". WRC is a much better show/race, somewhat lacking suspense, I must admit, due to Loeb's input making the outcome quite predictable :mrgreen:

  16. #16
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Have you Le Man's fans seen "Truth in 24"??

    One of the best films I've seen in a long time.
    Follows the Audi team for a year in preparation for LM24.

    Stupidly, due to some licensing agreement, it isn't available in the EU? WTF
    Free to download on itunes USA.. some US Audi dealers give 'em away too. Grrr.

    You can bypass the UK itunes thing - just set up a temp. US account.

  17. #17

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims
    We'll what an amazing few days (again)?

    my Brother-in-Law did pick up a 90 Euro fine for speeding out of a village trying to catch me up.
    Would that be in a yellow 968 by any chance? :wink:

    Great race and a great time had by all. We were out by Porsche Curves.

    Regards

    Peter

  18. #18

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob

    Some fantastic shots, especially the last lot. A question though for endurance racing enthusiasts....why do cars 12 & 22 not have the vertical fin on the back of the hood, I thought they were the new rules for that class of car.
    Cheers.

    As for the fin I think all the P1 cars without it (which also included 10, 11, 13, 20 & 24) were earlier designs.
    Really odd that they would allow that....you wouldn't get F1 cars of different regulation types in the same race. :?

  19. #19

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    ^^^^ Le Mans has 4 distinct classes of car, so minor variations within class are small beer in the scheme of things. The fastest LMP1's ran at about 3:25 vs circa 4:10 per lap for the slower GT's

    Also most of the teams run on tiny budgets compared to F1, so allowing some teams to run with older kit built to slightly different regs avoids tiny grids.
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions. Bell & Ross BR03-92 Nightlum

  20. #20

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    I know about the classes of car but you would think that if the 'organisers' had decided that the P1 cars had to have the fin for safety reasons then all P1 cars would be affected.

    Meh....roll on Goodwood, Friday and Saturday tickets booked 8)

  21. #21

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    The technical specs for the 2011 cars for LMP1 and 2 are here http://www.lemans.org/wpphpFichiers/...ations-lmp.pdf

    Page 16 provides the answers regarding the fin. It seems that cars built before July 2010 don't need a fin yet. In 2013 all the LMP1 cars will need one.

    Regards

    Peter

  22. #22

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    It's just been announced Andre Lotterer will be driving the 2011 winning Audi at Goodwood 8)

  23. #23

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Some of my pics for those who couldn't attend, twas another great weekend and well worth the effort :drunken: :drunken: :drunken:



    If only my pockets were this deep :D



    Audi doing its thing 8)




    Peugeot trying to stop them :wink:



    What a lovely NOISE (I do miss the Viper - Vett fights)



    Beautiful Lola Aston



    Le mans cure-all

  24. #24

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    I didn't take many pictures this year.








    Good trip, good company, good race, thumbs up here!

    Regards

    Peter

  25. #25
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by ratty

    What a lovely NOISE (I do miss the Viper - Vett fights)
    Me too! Did you hear the Panoz GT1s and prototypes? They made your insides and the ground shake. I do like the Corvettes and like to see them do well at Le Mans. They've been raced for decades, as have the 911s, it would be a sad day at Le Mans if one or the other wasn't represented.
    "A man of little significance"

  26. #26

    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Me too! Did you hear the Panoz GT1s and prototypes? They made your insides and the ground shake. I do like the Corvettes and like to see them do well at Le Mans. They've been raced for decades, as have the 911s, it would be a sad day at Le Mans if one or the other wasn't represented.[/quote]


    Oh Yessss those lovely lovely Panoz, I am sure the engineers worked hard to get the loudest car on track and they succeeded :lol: :lol: :lol:

  27. #27
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    Heres a bit of my footage from Arnarge Corner. Whack it up on the speakers and enjoy. Listen out for the Corvette in the middle and the end

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHF4EEyDVm0

  28. #28
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    Re: Le Mans 2011

    What they all said, as ever it was great (partically the Corvette's and the Robertson GT40) but was I the only one on the pit straight watching Steve McQueen? 10pm Tuesday night Paramount did a press/public screening actually on the main pit straight, broadcast through the pits PA, with a huge big screen plonked adjacent to the clock. The surreal view about 200 white garden chairs all in neat rows!

    Of course being French, they had the cheek to show it dubbed in French :lol:

    Lucikly there were subtitles. In French of course...

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