Drivers revelling in challenge of LMP1s

Le Mans 24 Hours drivers are revelling in the power and challenge of the current breed of LMP1 car like never before.

With the energy retrieval 'boost' sub-classes and highly developed mechanical grip levels never before seen at Le Mans, several of the leading manufacturer drivers have told Motorsport.com how it feels to drive the current breed of Le Mans Prototypes.

"It is so quick on the approach to the Porsche Curves, there is a bump on the entry and it can unsettle the car at close to something like 310kph," said No.9 Audi driver Filipe Albuquerque.

"We down shift for the right but take it flat and then you pick up the speed again for the left. The feeling you have in the car is very special and it all feels planted to the ground. It is great fun."

"As drivers you want to go faster and faster of course but speaking to some of the other guys, it is now the case we speak, look at each other and realise 'wow, this is really, really quick," continued Albuquerque.

The Portuguese Audi Sport Team Joest driver improved his teams lap in the Thursday evening session and has so far been the quickest in the No.9 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

"Personally, over a stint you are looking ahead to this section because of the traffic and there are a variety of ways you choose your line here," he said.

"In the wet you can be creative but also you need to leave some margin because the walls are very close.

"The question of leaving margins is up to us the drivers but it is like this in every race we do. You have to be intelligent about it and treat places like this section with maximum respect."

2015 may indeed become remembered for being one of the fastest of all time as plans are already been discussed to potentially slow the cars down slightly for the 2016 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Hartley on intensity of the competition

Porsche driver Brendon Hartley starts tomorrow's Le Mans 24 Hours in second position and also waxed lyrical about being one of the top drivers in this exciting era of LMP1 racing.

"Ever since I did my first Le Mans in 2012 I have loved and appreciated every part of it, but here and now I get a sense that these cars are special and the awareness of the WEC is growing and growing," said the Kiwi.

"On track the concentration levels are so stimulating for us because of the speed and what the cars are capable of," continued the driver of the No.19 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

"The intensity of the competition with our rivals is something that is very special and unique in racing today. It is a privilege to be part of it all and even better to be able to race for poles and wins."

"For us the drivers it is something we dream about to be in control of these designs that are capable of some awesome cornering and top speeds.

"Putting it all together with the team and the engineers gives us a unique level of working at one of the highest levels in motorsport."

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Event 24 Hours of Le Mans
Track Le Mans
Article type Analysis