Le Mans Le Mans 2015


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Next weekend sees the 83rd running of the most famous motor race in the world. This year LMP1 has 14 entries, works teams from Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Nissan and Rebellion Racing and Team ByKolles also preparing cars for the senior category. All the runners in LMP1 will be on Michelin tyres but there the similarity ends. Audi have a 4 wheel drive turbo diesel hybrid, Porsche have a 4 wheel drive turbo petrol hybrid, Toyota a 4 wheel drive naturally aspirated hybrid petrol engine and Nissan a front wheel drive turbo hybrid petrol engine. Rebellion and ByKolles will use Toyota naturally aspirated petrol engines prepared by Advanced Engine Research of Basildon in Essex. The engine rules in LMP1 are a based on the total power output of the internal combustion engine and the hybrid system. The 4 wheel drive system is not full time, the drive to the front wheels is only activated over 120 kph.

LMP2 has 19 entries with cars from Ligier, Morgan, Oreca, Dome, Gibson, Alpine and BR Engineering. They will use tyres from Dunlop and Michelin and engines from Nissan, Judd, Honda and SARD (a Japanese tuning company who prepare Toyota engines). LMP2 cars are heavier than LMP1 and don't have hybrid systems. They are limited to 5 litre naturally aspirated engines and 3.2 litre turbo or supercharged units. LMP1 cars must have closed cockpits LMP2 can have open or closed.

The rest of the field is made up of GTE cars split in to Pro (9 entries) and Am (14 entries). These are cars you will recognise as the field is made up of Ferrari 458's, Porsche 911's, Chevrolet Corvettes, Dodge Vipers and Aston Martin Vantages.

Here's the entry list, you may recognise some of the drivers:



Qualifying is this week (10th and 11th) and takes place during daylight and in the evenings. If you have never seen these beasts running at night, take time out to watch some of the qualifying on Eurosport. The race starts at 3pm CET on Saturday 13th and, strangely, finishes on Sunday at 3pm CET.

At the front, expect a titanic battle between the Audis and Porsches but don't rule out Toyota as the race can have a really high level of attrition and sometimes cars spend long hours in the pits having major work done to them. You will see cars with huge speed differentials racing on the same track without any major complaints from the drivers about problems with blocking or the need for blue flags. LMP1 have white headlights, LMP2 yellow so the GTE boys know just how fast the cars coming up behind them, flashing their very expensive headlights are.

Try and take some time to watch the race. Although an endurance series these guys really do go flat out in each driver stint and will hit some incredible speeds along the Mulsanne straight, even with the chicanes.

Enjoy, I know I will.
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Terrific races (across all classes) in prospect this year. Hopefully Nissan's test day pace wasn't representative, and they will be there or thereabouts in the race - will probably need high attrition to reach the podium, though.

Here's a link to Andy Blackmore's fantastic spotter's guide. Look out for Aston Martin no.97, which will be unveiling a top secret "Art Car" livery specially for this year's race.
Radio Le Mans has the three preview podcasts led by John Hindhaugh up and available to listen: episode 1 covers the GT classes, episode 2, the LMP2 battle, and the LMP1 class in episode 3.
Looking forward to this should be brilliant hopefully will get some brilliant racing like we did last yr as if I remember correctly & interested to see if Toyota/Davidson after there crash & reliability problems last few yrs & also how hulkenburg gets on
Sadly not. Apparently there was at least one application, but nothing that the ACO considered innovative enough - which is probably to their credit. So the 56th garage is occupied by a conventional entry instead.
For viewers in Britain, Eurosport is the appointed broadcaster as usual. Apart from two half-hour breaks for the "24 Minutes" summary programmes, coverage should be continuous throughout the day and night.

Wednesday 10th June
15:00 - 19:00 Free Practice Eurosport 2
21:00 - 23:00 Qualifying 1 Eurosport

Thursday 11th June
18:00 - 20:15 Qualifying 2 Eurosport
20:45 - 23:00 Qualifying 3 Eurosport

Saturday 13th June
07:45 - 08:45 Warm-Up Eurosport
08:45 - 09:45 Le Mans Legends Race Eurosport
From 13:45 83rd Grand Prix d'Endurance Eurosport

As a special treat, Saturday morning starts with the Legends race, for which an incredible field of 61 cars has been assembled, examples of which competed at La Sarthe between 1949 and 1968, including Jaguar C, D and Lightweight E Types, Aston Martin DB2, DP214 and DB4GT, Mercedes 300SL "Gullwing", Lotus 11, 15, 17 and Elan, Ferrari 275 GTB, AC and Shelby Cobras, Porsche 901, 904 and 910, a phalanx of Ford GT40s, MGB, Austin-Healey Sprite and a gorgeous Alpine A220.
Am I the only one who thinks the art car is pretty cool? Like yeah, no way in hell I'd buy or even drive a car with that paint job but it looks really REALLY different from anything else I've ever seen, even on art cars. Looks like it would function great as testing mule camo (a la Red Bull testing this year). And its a fascinating way to interpret the space of the race car. Anyways I'll just go on appreciating art all by myself.
I was thinking that myself.

On another question. What do the driver ratings, platinum, gold, silver and bronze mean?? I see Max Chilton is rated Platinum so it can't be that important. :D
Cheers for that mate. Other than the criteria leading to a classification, it doesn't amount to much else then.
it will be interesting to see what Hulkenberg does and if it might open a longer term relationship in the advent Audi could get into F1
This may well prove to be one of the truly epic Le Mans of all time. The Porsche vs Audi aspect is particularly interesting as it amounts to fratricide. I expect the Porsches to show their speed early and lead probably the entire first half of the race. I still expect Audi to take the win as Joest is still the Audi team and has either 13 or 14 Le Mans races already under his belt, including a large number of Porsche's overall wins.

It seems strange to be here and not have the expectation of seeing the great Kristensen going for another record-shattering win. The place seems a little empty without him.
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