Braselton, Ga. (June 8, 2001) - On March 15, 2001, just fifteen days after Dick Barbour Racing announced the 2001 Le Mans Prototype 675 program, we issued a press release with the title, "How Well Can An LMP675 Finish At Le Mans?" Without being ...
Braselton, Ga. (June 8, 2001) - On March 15, 2001, just fifteen days after Dick Barbour Racing announced the 2001 Le Mans Prototype 675 program, we issued a press release with the title, "How Well Can An LMP675 Finish At Le Mans?" Without being redundant, we think it's appropriate to re-visit the question in light of how the early season has progressed.
Back in March we asked, "Can a Le Mans Prototype 675 sportscar carry its drivers to the podium at the great round-the-clock French race? The answer to that question will have to wait until 4 PM Central European Time on Sunday, June 17. Still, a tantalizing preview occurred on May 20 when Didier de Radiguès and co-driver Eric van de Poele made it to the overall podium at the Jarama round of the European Le Mans Series. Thus, even in a "sprint" race, de Radiguès and van de Poele stole a finishing position that by conventional wisdom should have gone to one of the all-conquering Audis.
Nearly Fast As A “900” Through The Radar
Even so, it isn't just the podium at Jarama that lends consideration to the argument that a well-driven Reynard 01Q-Judd 675 might do very well indeed. At Le Mans, straightaway speed is one of the most important factors to a fast lap. Straightaway speed is something this Reynard has in abundance. At the Le Mans Preliminary Trials last month for example, Eric van de Poele's top speed on the Mulsanne straight was over 200 mph. According to unofficial measures, that speed was reported to be not only highest of any LMP675 participant but also very close to a number of LMP900 entries. At Jarama's much shorter straight, Didier de Radiguès flashed by the radar gun just a couple of kilometers per hour shy of the two fastest LMP900s (and faster than the rest.)
Indeed from an overall perspective, the Jarama results showed that on a medium length circuit, the team's Reynard 01Q-Judd- powered entry had the speed to stay close to the best of the LMP900 category. Close enough, in fact, that when one of top three runners was not mortally wounded, but merely delayed, the LMP675’s pace enabled the drivers to take over an LMP900-style finishing position. That ability to take the race to the outskirts of the LMP900 performance envelope is the team's well-reasoned hope for overall success at Le Mans.
Dick Barbour Racing has two entries accepted for this year's 69th running of the world's greatest 24-hour endurance motor race. Didier de Radiguès, Sascha Maassen and Hideshi Matsuda will pilot the DBR #36 Reynard 01Q-Judd. The #37 Reynard will be driven by Milka Duno, David Murry and John Graham who is the defending LMP675 Le Mans winner.
The Case For The Dick Barbour Racing Reynard 01Q - Judd: Quick Performance Facts
* LMP675 lap record at UK's Donington Park.
* Fastest LMP675 lap at Le Mans Preliminary Trials.
* LMP675 victory, pole position, race lap record and podium overall at Jarama ELMS.
* Excellent aerodynamics, with top speeds nearly equal to the better LMP900s.
* Lighter overall weight and similar brake system allows braking superior to many LMP900s.
* With the Judd KV675 V-8 the power-to-weight ratio will be virtually identical to the best LMP900 car.
* Better fuel consumption means longer stints and less time in the pits.
Dick Barbour Racing