MICHELIN MASTER OF THE SITUATION! Two Audis in the lead, a Peugeot in third place Michelin on top in four categories A warm sun came out on Saturday after 18h00 on the Sarthois circuit, a sun...
MICHELIN MASTER OF THE SITUATION!
Two Audis in the lead, a Peugeot in third place
Michelin on top in four categories
A warm sun came out on Saturday after 18h00 on the Sarthois circuit, a sun that had not illuminated this 75th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans since Wednesday morning.
The Courage # 31 experienced some difficulties with its fuel line causing a 37 minutes delay in the stands. It was at 19h45 when Audi #1 took over second place, one lap down from Audi # 2 with its very motivated driver (Allan McNish) setting the fastest lap at 3'27684 at 21h15.
The Peugeot #7 lost two minutes changing the bonnet, and the # 8 pitted twice due to problems suffered with its rear bearing, this resulted in 19 minutes lost and 5 laps down.
At 22h00, only 7 Prototypes were in the top positions in comparison to 15 at the start of the race.
It was Barazi Epsilon in the eighth scratch position who is now leading category LMP2.
In LM GT1, Corvette #63 is maintaining the same lap as the Astons, with the Saleens waiting in ambush two laps down.
The Ferrari # 97 driven by Risi Competizione is in 23rd position in the general ranking, but the first in LM GT2, out in front of the Porsche Flying Lizard and that of Autorlando. At 21h57 Corvette #63 collided with Audi #1 at Dunlop and went into the gravel with the Audi suffering right rear damage. At the same time, the Creation #9 spun off forcing the safety cars back into action
Matthieu Bonardel 4 Wheel Competition Director.
"Most cars chose to go out with rain tyres before the arrival of the rain; this cost them an additional stop in the pits. Others, cleverer decided to run with slicks " soft " tyres. Initially their performance pretty average, but when the track began to dry, the tyres had still enough substance left to pull off a good run.
Finally the track began to dry and the teams put on mediums. Now with the temperatures starting to drop the crews are going to change to soft tyres.
These options must be conserved until 9h00 tomorrow morning bearing in mind that in order to get the best performance out of medium tyres you need to run them in temperatures at around 20.
Tomas Venge Aston Martin 007
"I was on medium tyres for my stint, and we were able to succeed two stints without a problem. The tyres are performing very well despite the slippery circuit conditions. Everything is going really well with the Michelins "
Frank Biela Audi
"I went out on mediums but with the arrival of the rain I was unable to complete 1 stint and a half. Now the conditions are more stable and the weather is getting better and better. We have had no problems with the Michelin tyres, everything is going great. "
Pit stops and tyre strategy
In the course of the Le Mans 24 Hours, each car can be expected to make some thirty scheduled refuelling stops.
Refuelling stop with tyre and driver change (duration: just over 52 seconds)
1) The car arrives in front of the team's garage. The driver switches off the engine. Four mechanics are authorised to work on the car, while a supervisor watches over operations. The regulations only permit two nut guns.
2) Two mechanics position the left-hand tyres beside the car, and two other mechanics position the right- hand tyres.
3) To begin with, the car is refuelled (90 or 100 litres). Two people (fuel and air vent). The refueller inserts the hose into the tank. No other mechanical work is permitted on the car during this time (approximately 40 seconds).
4) Meanwhile, the driver climbs out of the cockpit and removes his bucket seat before helping his team- mate take up position inside the car. The first driver helps his replacement fasten his harness belt and plug in the radio leads.
5) When the refueller pulls the hose free, a mechanic switches on the compressor which automatically activates the hydraulic jacks. Using one of the nut-guns, the first mechanic unfastens the central wheelnut of the front left wheel, then that of the rear left wheel. As he does so, the second mechanic puts on the new front wheel, then the rear before the first mechanic tightens the wheelnuts. The two other mechanics do exactly the same on the other side (approximately 12 seconds).
6) The car is fired up and leaves. Drivers must not spin their wheels in the pit-lane.