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PostSubject: Re: LeMans 2013   Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:49 pm

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PostSubject: Re: LeMans 2013   Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:01 pm

yes full here is there channel

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Cornish Pirate 7
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PostSubject: Re: LeMans 2013   Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:47 pm

There is a long break in the WEC calendar between the third and fourth rounds at Le Mans and Interlagos, and perhaps it is just as well, because for many teams, this year’s 24 hours will have taken longer than usual to recover from. For Audi and Toyota, both will take a lot of encouragement from the result of the June classic, but with five rounds of the 2013 World Endurance Championship remaining, there are still many open questions and still plenty of points at stake.

It is with that in mind that I propose to look back at this year’s 24 hour race. Throughout qualifying the Toyotas had been worryingly slow, and it was feared by many that the Audis would disappear into the distance from the start. The race started in light drizzle on a damp track, with heavy rain reported at Tertre Rouge. In the first two laps, the two Toyotas were able to get ahead of two of the Audis, but before a pattern could emerge, poor Allan Simonsen had his accident, and the safety cars were brought out.

By the time racing resumed, the track had dried out and for a little while, the true potential of the leading cars could be seen. The table below shows the average of the best six laps, before the rain set in again around 16:50.

No. Car Driver Time
1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro André Lotterer 3m 26.623s
2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Allan McNish 3m 28.311s
8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Anthony Davidson 3m 28.395s
3 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Lucas di Grassi 3m 28.547s
7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Nicolas Lapierre 3m 29.891s

At this stage in the race, the Audis were occupying the top three positions, but the Toyotas were still in touch – Davidson less than 10 seconds behind McNish, with Lapierre only a further 12 seconds behind Davidson. Lotterer’s pace in the no. 1 car was quite simply astonishing, building up a lead of 28 seconds before his pit stop at 16:54.

Between 17:30 and 18:30, conditions were fairly consistently wet. The average of the best six laps in this period were:

No. Car Driver Time
1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Lotterer / Tréluyer 3m 32.824s
3 Audi R18 e-tron quattro di Grassi / Jarvis 3m 32.828s
2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro McNish / Duval 3m 33.458s
8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Anthony Davidson 3m 35.971s
7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Nicolas Lapierre 3m 36.230s

This seems to imply that, in the wet, the Toyotas were unable to keep up. Or was this just Audi flexing its muscles after a conservative start?

Between 19:00 and 20:00, the track was pretty much dry: again, the table shows the average of the best six laps in the hour.

No. Car Driver Time
2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Loïc Duval 3m 26.975s
1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Benoît Tréluyer 3m 27.189s
3 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Oliver Jarvis 3m 27.876s
8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Sébastien Buemi 3m 29.551s
7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Alex Wurz 3m 29.964s

So, with five hours gone, it had become abundantly clear that the Audis were quick, very quick. The two Toyotas were separated by less than 15 seconds, but had fallen 2 minutes behind the leader of the race - more than half a lap. But would their longer stints allow Toyota back into contention?

Before the race, we knew that the fuel consumption of the Audi would be high – that it would only be able to do 10 laps on a tank, while the Toyota, with extra fuel compared to 2012, would be aiming to do 12 laps. But that was assuming a dry track – and no safety cars. In the histogram below, I show the how many stints were completed by each car per stint:

Hopefully this is fairly clear: it shows, for example, that the no. 2 Audi completed 20 stints of 10 laps, 6 stints of 11 laps and 3 of 12. No. 3 Audi’s shortest stint was 7 laps and it managed to complete two stints of 16 laps (with the help of the safety car).

The extra lap (or two) that Toyota could achieve was not sufficient though – the deficit in average lap times was simply too large. Repeated safety car periods and changeable weather meant that it was almost impossible to see the pattern of the race, but maybe the graph below helps.

The graph shows the positions of the no.8 Toyota and the no. 3 Audi relative to the winning no. 2 Audi. Safety Car periods are shown in yellow at the top, increasing amount of rain in blue at the bottom.

The horizontal scale shows the number of laps completed; the vertical scale is the number of seconds that separate the leader from the other two cars. The gridlines are at four minute intervals, so represent something in excess of a lap.

Notice how the safety car periods cause the gap to the leader to extend, due to the slower pace. But notice also the more subtle effect of some of the safety car periods. Take the seventh one, (which ended on lap 190, at 4:08am). During this period, the leading car made two pit stops. The first was because McNish was out of fuel, but then he came back in after running just 7 laps behind the safety car to switch to wet tyres as the weather deteriorated. McNish had been in the car for 2¼ hours and chief engineer Kyle Wilson-Clarke made the decision to switch to Loïc Duval, in case it stayed wet (and free of safety cars) for long enough that the tyres would have lasted for longer than McNish’s remaining driving time would have allowed.

As a result, the extra stop enabled both the Toyota and the no. 3 Audi to close the gap to the point that it was less than two minutes again. In the event, even though the safety cars stayed away, the track dried a bit, although conditions were still variable, and the wets were removed at Duval’s next stop.

But notice how, in the following period, between laps 200 and 250 (from 4:45am until 07:45am) there is a gradual, but consistent increase of the gap between the first and second-placed cars. Duval was in the car from 4:00am until 7:15am, coping with changing conditions and arguably broke the will of the Toyota challenge in this stint.

The three safety car periods between laps 250 and 280 again caused the leading Audi to lose time waiting at the end of the pit lane for the safety car queue to pass, but Sarrazin was held up by a comparable amount of time as well. As a result, as the race entered its final four hours, the Audi held a lead of more than a lap, and even though Buemi was able to unlap himself at one point, the futility of the chase was clear, and he dropped back again as the race reached its emotional conclusion.

So what can we expect in the remaining five rounds of the championship? The one thing that Le Mans did not do, was to provide any guidance about what might be expected from Audi and Toyota in the rest of the season’s races. McNish, Duval and Kristensen have a lead of thirty points in the drivers’ classification over Tréluyer, Fässler and Lotterer; while Audi leads Toyota by 102 points to 67 in the manufacturers’ chase. Neither of these is an insurmountable lead, and yet: somehow, I have the feeling that it will be difficult to raise the same fervour, the same passion for Interlagos, Austin, Fuji, Shanghai or Bahrain. But just suppose that Toyota’s singleton entry would take pole position and finish ahead of Audi in each of the first four of those races, then just three points would separate the two manufacturers as they headed to the desert in Bahrain in November. That might just provide the showdown that the category needs.

If not, then one has to be a little fearful that LMP1 will fizzle out like a damp firework. There may be high hopes for the new regulations of 2014, but talk has a habit of being cheap. If it is to be worthy of its name, and more importantly, to continue to succeed, the World Endurance Championship is going to have to deliver on its promises.

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